The AGS “Jim Story Award”

Introducing Jim Story and the “Jim Story Award”
Jim Story, from Pendleton, Indiana was known around the world as a gourd gardener, a gourd manipulator and molder of gourds. Jim was ever the experimenter, teacher, and legendary supporter of the American Gourd Society. He inspired many of us to try new and different techniques, a number of which he pioneered. Jim encouraged gourd growers to continually "raise the bar" by facing ever-greater challenges.

Jim Story died in 2005 at the age of 83. In his honor, the AGS started the “Jim Story Award” in 2009 to encourage and inspire gourd growers to continue the exploration of gourd manipulation. The award is funded through voluntary contributions from AGS Chapters and individuals. The Jim Story Award (JSA) Committee has developed an application process, engages qualified judges and identifies winners every year. The top 3 winners receive cash awards and photos of them and their winning gourds are published in The Gourd Magazine.

A Jim Story Award trophy for outstanding gourd manipulation will be presented to the first place winner annually at the state chapter show of his or her choice.

This is a challenge to push the envelope. We are looking for innovation, new ideas, and new techniques of gourd manipulation or molding. The winners of the AGS Jim Story Award will receive:

  • 1st place: $300.00 and a Trophy
  • 2nd place: $150.00 and a Certificate
  • 3rd place: $50.00 and a Certificate

    Award Information
  • Application
  • Questionnaire
  • Rules
  • Questions and Answers
  • Judging Guidelines 
  • Previous winners
  •    Educational Marterials 
  • Questionnaire Examples
  • Tutorials
  • Seed Viability and Germination 
  • Backyard Arbors

    Honoring Jim
  • Jim Story Award News
  • I Remember Jim Story
  • Make a donation
  • How to Enter the JSA Competition
    This competition begins at the state/chapter level. Winners at the state/chapter level may then enter the national competition.
    To be considered for the national competition, the state/chapter winner must (A) be a current member of the American Gourd Society and (B) complete and submit the application and required photos to the Jim Story Award Committee as described on the application form.

    Beginning with the 2015 competition, we are encouraging the chapter winners to submit their applications electronically (via email) as noted on the application. We will still accept applications by USPS mail (those directions are also on the application.) The rules and guidelines are posted above and may change as determined by the AGS Jim Story Award Committee: Current Committee Members: Glenn Burkhalter, Chairman,, 256-883-0064; Betty Finch, Sylvia Nelson, CeceThomas