The Missouri Department of Agriculture has announced the success of its 10,000 Gardens Initiative.

Missouri Agriculture Director Jon Hagler announces the success of the 10,000 Gardens Initiative

Announced in March, the goal was to have gardens across the state registered, with prizes being offered every time a new milestone of 1,000 was reached. The final garden was registered last week.

Those 10,000 sites cover more than 3.6 million square feet, or nearly 83 acres in all parts of the state. With the final registration, a $500 Tractor Supply Company gift certificate was presented to Sandy Perley of Columbia. Perley is a master gardener who volunteers with the Heart of Missouri Master Gardeners in Columbia.

The Department used the opportunity to unveil its winter Harvest for Hunger Food Drive. The Department will accept donations at its Jefferson City offices and encourages Missourians to donate food items, to benefit the Missouri Food Bank. Its staff kicked off the Drive with a cash donation of over $1,000.

The drive will conclude in March.

Find more information on the 10,000 Gardens Challenge or the Harvest for Hunger Food Drive at