Farm to You comes to CPS
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – Milk comes from cows, not grocery store refrigerators; a distinction which some children do not understand, but the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service “Arkansas Farm to You” program is changing many such misconceptions through an interactive exhibit which Clinton Primary School second, third and fourth graders toured recently.

The 40’x40’ enclosed exhibit was erected in the third and fourth grade activity room at CPS with volunteer help from the Hope High School Bobcat football team and staffed by Ladycat basketball team members and HHS cheerleaders, in conjunction with local master gardener volunteers and public officials, Terri James, Extension staff chair explained.

James said this was the first year for the Arkansas Farm to You exhibit, which is funded in part through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

The five interactive stations in the exhibit are staffed by volunteers who, first, explain how farms produce various foods; then, the next station explains transportation, processing and packaging of foods; the third station offers an overview of what a nutritional meal looks like from those foods; the fourth station explains how the body uses food; and, the fifth station involves healthy hygiene habits.

“We hope they will go home and tell their parents what they learned,” James said.

She said classroom teaching plans are offered to correlate information from the exhibit with instructional units. Students rotated from one section of the exhibit to the next in six-minute intervals, based upon scripted materials provided to volunteer presenters.

Community volunteers involved in the two-day program included Master Gardeners Mary Stuart, Jan McKinnon, Gwen Webb, Katherine Dickinson, and Nan Wright; Hempstead County Agricultural Extension Agent Steven Sheets, Southwest Research and Extension Center Director Dr. Vic Ford, SWREC employees Vicki Bennett and Kim Rowe, Hempstead County Tax Assessor Kim Smith, Hempstead County Clerk Sandra Rodgers, Hempstead County Treasurer Judy Flowers, Cooperative Extension Service employee Ruth Cook, Extension Homemaker Club member Nancy Wilson, University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana representative Loren Cuellar, Arkansas Health Department representative Edie Greenwood, Smiles of Arkansas representative J.J. Jackson, community volunteer Clay Wingfield, and Renee Gilbert from the Hempstead County Judge’s Office.

See more Farm to You photos on the CPS Facebook page.