WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - Lawrence County students showed off their Farm to School Initiative crops Thursday to Congressman Rick Crawford.
The program allows students the opportunity to grow their own crops at school.
They grow both vegetables and decorative plants.
Sloan-Hendrix, Hoxie and Walnut Ridge are the 3 schools involved with the program.
The cafeteria receives the food grown for students to eat while the other plants are sold.
Hunter Tribble, a junior at Walnut Ridge High School, said he knows the food he grows goes to others who may need it.
"I really like planting them and harvesting them and send them over to the cafeteria and watch all the other kids get to eat," Tribble said. "Because I know most kids don't get a good meal at home. So they get a good, fresh grown meal at the cafeteria from the all the vegetables we grow."
Joey Rice, the agriculture teacher, said he was proud of his students for what they grew.
He explained the program gave them the opportunity to apply what they learned in the classroom.
"They get to learn about it in class, they get to go to the greenhouse, they get to plant the plant," Rice said. "They get to do everything they learned in class and utilize it. They make it a hands on activity."
The operation Walnut Ridge High School had impressed Crawford.
He said this gave them the opportunity to learn the many aspects of growing food, which included economic development.
Crawford said the connection made between the students and their crops helped open them up to healthier diets.
"They're invested in that crop personally," Crawford said. "So when they see that crop harvested, then they go yeah I'm going to eat that because I planted it and I watched it grow and I'm responsible for that."
Rice said the school offered him and his students more space if needed to help grow the current program.
Crawford advised any school or student interested in this program to not reinvent the wheel.
He said contact other schools with the program and start where they did.
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