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Source: Jamie Hancock, 785-232-0062, ext. 104,

Friday, Oct. 1, 2010


MANHATTAN -- It's election season and the Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners program wants the public to vote -- and vote often -- for a special project to benefit Topeka and Shawnee County residents, as well as local and regional fruit and vegetable growers.

Shawnee County's Master Gardeners group, which is offered through Kansas State University Research and Extension, is seeking votes for a Pepsi Refresh Project grant to fund the Master Gardener Demonstration/Education Greenhouse. The project must be one of the two top vote-getters to receive a $250,000 grant from Pepsi.

"The Master Gardeners are looking to build a state-of-the-art greenhouse/education facility and training landscape next to the Shawnee County Extension Office in Topeka, said Jamie Hancock, K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent in Shawnee County. "The greenhouse and landscaping will be used to teach and train people in Shawnee Country and surrounding areas. It will provide year-round opportunities for schools, clubs, community groups and local and regional growers to receive hands-on, research-based education."

Voting starts today at and runs through Oct. 31. People can vote up to three times a day using three methods: online at; by text to the number posted by the project; and on Facebook by becoming friends with Pepsi.

For online voting go to Pepsi.Com, click on "Vote Now" and then click on the "Browse Ideas and Vote" tab. At the very top of the page type "Build a Master Gardener Demonstration/Education Greenhouse" in the search window. Click the search button and then the "Vote" tab for the project. Voters will be asked to sign-in; voters must be 13 or older.