The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program (JDS) is a dynamic arts and science curriculum that teaches wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum, with participants completing a JDS design as their visual "term papers." The Junior Duck Stamp contest begins each spring when students submit their artwork to a state or territory contest. At the state level, students are judged in four groups according to An Junior Duck Stamp Contest Entry. grade level: Group I: K-3, Group II: 4-6, Group III: 7-9 and Group IV 10-12. Three first, second and third place entries are selected for each group. A "Best of Show" is selected by the judges from the 12 first-place winners regardless of their grade group. Each state or territory Best of Show is then entered into the national Junior Duck Stamp Contest. To further the interdisciplinary underpinnings of the program, students are encouraged, but not required, to include a conservation message on their entry form with their art design. The conservation message is judged in some states and at the national level for all Best of Show winners. The message explains something the student has learned about wetlands habitat, conservation or waterfowl. It may also be a statement used to encourage others to participate in conservation.
The winning design from the national contest is used to create the Junior Duck Stamp for the following year. Junior Duck Stamps are sold by the U.S. Postal Service and Amplex Corporation consignees for $5 per stamp. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamp support conservation education, and provide awards and scholarships for the students, teachers and schools that participate in the program.
About 3400 students entered Arkansas's state JDS contest during the 2013-2014 school year.