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By Tracy CourageU of A System Division of Agriculture
(463 words)Download MS Word version (Art available at https://flic.kr/p/2hzUpwD)
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas 4-H members showed up Oct. 12 at the Arkansas State Fair ready
to collect prizes for the fruits of their labors - specifically their pumpkins and
Ten-year-old Buster Passmore from Greene County won the giant pumpkin contest by a
landslide, delivering a 491.5-pound Atlantic Giant pumpkin. Buster and his dad, Mark,
used a tractor and a system of straps to load the pumpkin onto a pallet and into their
pick-up truck. Once at the fair, a forklift was used to unload it, and six men hoisted
the pumpkin off the pallet.
The pumpkin then presented a new problem for judges, whose scale maxed out at 400
Clay Wingfield, program technician at the Southwest Research and Extension Center
in Hope, chairs the annual Giant Pumpkin and Watermelon Contest and said he could
not recall a pumpkin bigger than Buster’s in recent years.
“It’s the biggest one I’ve ever grown,” said Buster, who has a Facebook page “Buster’s
Garden” with more than 3,700 followers. Asked for his secret to growing big pumpkins,
Buster said, “I do have a green thumb. And the other secret … well, it’s a secret.”
Colby Daniell, a Clark County 4-H member, won the giant watermelon contest for the
third time with a 145-pound melon. This year’s top 10 watermelon weights ranged from
25 to 145 pounds.
Owen Staton, 12, of Logan County, brought a 46-pound melon to the fair last year but
returned with an 82-pounder this year, placing third. He planted his seeds June 15
and picked the melon the day before the fair, allowing it maximum time to grow.
The competitions were open to the top five winners in each county in the state, and
the pumpkins and watermelons had to be grown by kids aged nine to 19 years old.
The top 10 winners in each contest are as follows:
To learn more about 4-H and youth development in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative
Extension Service agent, or visit https://www.uaex.uada.edu/4h-youth/default.aspx. Follow the Cooperative Extension Service on Twitter at @uaex_edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Media Contact: Tracy CourageDir. of Extension Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com