Monday, May 14, 2012

Dreams and Determination Day

I didn't count on a volunteer activity making such a personal impact when our Benton County Farm Bureau Women's Committee decided to plan an event to educate 300 students about Benton County's agricultural history to celebrate the theme of Arkansas Heritage Month "Dreams and Determination:Arkansans at Work." The beautiful downtown Bentonville Square was the perfect historical place to present information how farmers in Benton County made life in our agricultural community progressive and enduring with their dreams and determination.

Students rotated through ten stations to learn about agriculture in our county and state. At four of the stations, dedicated volunteers transformed  into characters of our past to relate information about the beginning of the poultry industry in our county, how rural electricity changed farm life, the development of the dairy industry, and the once thriving apple industry that transitioned into other farming activities--all guided by the dreams and determination of Arkansans at work to make a better place for their families.

As I watched the children attentively listening to each character's presentation, I realized how I have personally benefited from the dreams and determination of the generations before us. Although there are fewer farms in Benton County due to the transition from rural to sprawling urbanization, agriculture is still thriving and will continue its place in our county's history because of the dreams and determination of  Arkansas farm families just like mine.

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