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Colorado Proud School Meal Day / Farm Expo

Wendy Lynch,   Morris Elementary School
Access to Healthy Foods,  Community Involvement

What started as a Healthy Eating Play from Fuel Up to Play 60 turned into an amazing event. September 30 was Colorado Proud School Meal Day. Morris Elementary benefited from the generosity of many agriculture community members that helped to provide a great meal for lunch and a Farm Expo in the afternoon. Lunch was chili, baked potato bar, wheat roll, and fresh fruit. The Rural Community Resource Center organized volunteers to help serve lunch to our students and invited quest. 

After lunch, the students of Morris Elementary participated in a Farm Expo to learn more about Colorado agriculture. State Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown opened the Farm Expo with a "surprise box" that introduced students to some essential tools for farming and products produced right here in Yuma County. The students then rotated through five different stations related to agriculture. The Western Dairy Assoc. gave a presentation on dairy farms, where milk comes from, and how it gets to the store; Colorado Farm Bureau brought the Ag in Motion trailor for students to learn about crops, wildlife, natural resources, pigs, and fruits and vegetables (topics our student FUTP 60 leadership team picked). Third rotation was farm equipment supplied by our local Wagner CAT dealership. Students got hands-on learning about the combine, sprayer, wheel tractor, and track tractor. Students had to complete a scavenger hunt to find different tractor parts with adult volunteers and they learned what those parts are used for. The fourth rotation was farm life games. We had help from Yuma High School FFA students. MES students participated in relay-style games, where they had to gather eggs from a chicken coop, hang the laundry, stack the hay, fill the grain bins, and sort food into the five food groups. The last rotation was farmer twister bingo. Students had to use their hands and feet on a lifesize bingo mat to get bingo. If their team got bingo, they rode a stick horse galloping around the gym. Commissioner Brown was our bingo caller. He did such a great job connecting with the kids; he spoke their language, and encouraged them to work together as a team. 

After the Farm Expo, students were treated to ice cream sandwiches donated by Yuma Dairy. Students took home materials from WDA, Yuma County Cattlewomen's, and the Beef Council. Every student also took home white baby pumpkins. At the end of the day, students had a surprise on their desk: a chicken beanbag made by the Yuma County Quilt Guild and cups from Wagner CAT. We could not have done this event without wonderful parent volunteers, community volunteers, and the entire Morris Elementary staff.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

We have already started planning our Colorado Proud Meal for next month. We hope to have at least one Colorado Proud Meal every month with the main dish being a locally produced product.