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Farm Bureau Backs Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell's 'Healthy Children, Strong America' Platform

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 2016 - The American Farm Bureau Federation and American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture are pleased to support Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell and her platform of "Healthy Children, Strong America," which encourages children to make healthy choices and stay physically active

Cantrell, who grew up on a 700-acre farm in Warner Robins, Georgia, will join Foundation Executive Director Julie Tesch in introducing the First Peas to the Table Contest. This new national competition for schools will encourage children in kindergarten through fifth grade to plant, raise and harvest peas this spring.

The contest - including official guidelines and rules - will be announced on Monday, Feb. 15 at AFBF's Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

"We're honored to have Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell join us as we launch the First Peas to the Table Contest," Tesch said. "Getting your hands dirty is the best way to learn! Through this contest, we aim to provide fun, hands-on learning opportunities for students across the country," she said.

The contest highlights the Foundation's latest Book of the Year, "First Peas to the Table," by Susan Grigsby. The Foundation created the contest to help students understand the importance of healthy foods and agriculture in their everyday lives, and to increase their understanding of how plants grow. Classrooms will compete for the grand prize of a visit from Cantrell.

In conjunction with the contest, Tesch encourages educators to invite local farmers and ranchers to speak in their classrooms about food production and the importance of agriculture. Contacting your county Farm Bureau office is a good way to find local farmers.

After her remarks to conference attendees on Monday, Cantrell will visit the Longfellow and Wylie Ronald McDonald Houses and the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Children's Mercy Hospital.

Contacts:   Kari Barbic
(202) 406-3672
  Cyndie Shearing
(202) 406-3649