American Royal bridging a gap

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As urban life continues to spread, many perceive a disconnect between society and American agriculture.

But from where does our food come? How does it go from the farm to the grocery store? What does it take to get it from development to growth to harvest and onto the shelves?

AmericanRoyalKansas City-area students have more of an opportunity to learn that now than ever before, thanks to the American Royal. The charitable organization has developed the Neighborhood Schools Partnership, in which five institutions receive a $5,000 grant that will expose their students to a variety of educational and experimental programming designed to engage the students in the agriculture process.

“The role of the American Royal is current and crucial,” said John Mitchell Jr., chairman of the American Royal. “Our 116-year-old mission will remain intact. We will fulfill our old mission in new ways.”

The mission is to “promote and celebrate the excellence in agricultural progress and develop future generations of leaders through agrarian values, disciplines and expressions of skills.”

That’s where the partnership comes in. The American Royal has teamed with the Guadalupe Center School, Allen Village, Crossroads Academy Charter, Rosedale Elementary and Gordon Parks Charter; each school receives the grant. The funds also help cover the costs of transportation, costs and other expenses that come about through the process.

“We’re really excited to be a community partner and have the opportunity for our students to provide them with education and a background that they do not have a lot of prior knowledge or exposure to,” said Ali Bunten with Gordon Parks. “This is an opportunity to learn where the food comes from and really expanding their understanding and their vocabulary.”

She said students have participated in the Children’s Agriculture Learning Festival Days, a two-day, interactive agriculture festival centered around the dairy industry.

“I believe the kids learn an awareness and maybe a whole other life that they might not have known about,” Bunten said. “There are occupations and opportunities in the agricultural world.”

It’s a learning process, and because of the American Royal, Kansas City students are getting that education.


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