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Thursday, March 31, 2016

The time I met Miss America

A few month ago now, I attended the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference. Among the attendees were your usual Mid Western corn and soybean farmers, Texan cattle ranchers, cotton growers from the South and Miss America. Yes, you read that right, Miss America came to the Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) conference. Miss America and YF&R don't usually go together. You don't generally think Miss America would have anything to do with farmers. But this year, Miss America, Betty Cantrell is a girl quite familiar with agriculture. She grew up raising livestock through her local 4-H and grew up immersed in Georgia agriculture.

As a country girl she sees the importance of agriculture education and awareness. And that's why she has decided to partner with American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture in the First Peas to the Table  contest. The contest challenges Kindergarten to 5th grade classes to grow peas and learn about school gardens, history of farming and test their science methods. The team that grows the most amount of peas using only 20 pea seeds, wins a visit by Miss America herself.
The thing I love about this contest is not that fact that is a national pea growing contest, but that it is raising awareness of growing delicious and nutritious food. We live in a country with obese and overweight children and adults with bad eating habits. We also live in a country containing food deserts and children that suffer from hunger and are malnourished because they don't have access to healthy food. If more children and adults knew about growing food and how to have access to healthy food, our country would be better off. This contest is a way to help educate children how easy it can be for them to create a school or home garden. With more awareness of programs like these it can help to broaden  our children's eyes of connecting farming and food.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl


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