Baylee Newberry of Wellington gets very big savings bond for very big cabbage

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Baylee Newberry, the daughter of Jason and Whitney Newberry of Wellington, recently grew herself a humongous cabbage. It won her a $1,000 savings bond towards education because of it.

Newberry, a third grader at Wellington Eisenhower Elementary School in 2013, was randomly selected by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, as winner of the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program for the state of Kansas.

There were 5,390 children who participated from Kansas.

Wellington third grade Eisenhower instructor Vanessa Sawyer gave each of her third graders a cabbage seed to grow. Sawyer’s cabbage grew 35.5 pounds! That’s a lot of sauerkraut to make.

This year more than 1.5 million third graders in 48 state have gotten hands-on gardening experience growing colossal cabbages with high hopes of winning “best in state,” an honor bestowed on Newberry. 

Each year Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, sends oversized cabbage plants to third grade classrooms, whose teachers have signed up for the program. If nurtured and cared for, kids can grow green, giant cabbages, some tipping the scales at 40 pounds.

Launched nationally in 2002, the program awards a $1,000 scholarship to one student in each participating state. At the end of the season, teachers from each class select the student who has grown the “best” cabbage base on size and appearance. A digital image of the cabbage and student is submitted online at

Baylee Newberry and her very big cabbage. Sauerkraut at the Newberrys!

Baylee Newberry and her very big cabbage. Sauerkraut at the Newberrys!

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