Region 8 second graders visit Pizza Ranch

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Around two hundred second graders filled the gym at Allen Park Community Center in Jonesboro on September 28th.

It's "Hope Week" and as a part of this week, the "Pizza Ranch" was put into action.

The "Pizza Ranch" is an opportunity for students to come out and learn not only how pizza is made, but where it comes from.

Multiple stations were set up throughout the gym that students visited. . each with it's own aspect of the pizza process.

Melissa Coles is the Senior Human Resource Generalist for Farm Credit Midsouth.

She says she and her colleagues decided to participate in Pizza Ranch because they want to give back, "We want to give back to all the communities in which we serve and one of the projects we're doing this week is and we're teaching them how agriculture is a part of your daily lives. Pizza doesn't just come from the pizza place. The farmers have to raise it, grow it. And we've got five different stations where 4H team leaders are at and three additional agricultural stations their visiting."

Melissa says she and her colleagues are aware of the investment that should be made in tomorrow's farmers.

"We realize that their future is our future so we have a vested interest in their agricultural education and getting them involved at a young age."

Tweny-eight of the students came from Riverside Elementary in Caraway.

Second Grade teacher Shannon Farley says the idea of Pizza Ranch is great for the students.

"We've been studying nutrition and learning how to make pizza and so, today, we're out here to learn all the different stages and stations of how they make pizza. And since it's Hope Week, we are also going to go to Hope Circle to take some snacks that we've collected for the chemo patients."

Shannon says the Pizza Ranch experience may help her students connect the agriculture they see around them.

"On top of learning about the food pyramid and nutrition, they are learning the process of how to make a pizza, what it goes into from the farms, which is good because in Caraway we've got farms all around us so a lot of them see all this stuff."

Shannon says this is the first year she and her students participated in the Pizza Ranch.

She felt it was a great experience for the kids.

©2010 KAIT All rights reserved.