Scandal once again darkens the otherwise murky clouds surrounding the MN Garlic Festival. It appears that a blatant case of conflict of disinterest occurred when Garlic Festival Director, Jerry Ford, won the prestigious and highly-contested Garlic Growing Contest at MN Garlic Festival in August of 2015.
First case in point:
Gary Klingelhoets (shown at right), who has won this honor more than half the time since the festival began in the mid-50’s, and who has always produced garlic bulbs of the highest quality, inexplicably declined to enter the contest in 2015. Unnamed sources close to Director Ford have confirmed that he often spoke of ways to get Klingelhoets out of the contest, like pulling strings to “make that supercilious show-off a judge so that he can’t enter”. That particular tactic didn’t happen in 2015, but it was noted that Klingelhoets was a vendor (with a prime booth location) at the festival for the first time. And now Stinky News has learned that he will indeed be a judge of the contest this year. Was he offered such perks to refrain from entering his bulbs in the contest?
Second case in point:
Ford showed up to the 2015 festival on crutches, claiming a serious injury. There was also a well-circulated rumor that this was to be his last year as Festival Director (it was not). Was this all a ploy for a sympathy vote?
Stinky News will continue to dig in to this developing story as it digresses. In the meantime, we encourage all garlic gardeners and growers to enter the contest and defeat Jerry Ford! Let him know that he cannot use his considerable influence as Festival Director to rig this otherwise respectable event.