No beach trips or skiing expeditions for us. Nope, we headed to our farmhouse in rural southeast Arkansas! The Mississippi River Delta might not be known for its tropical beach or mountain views, but it was a terrific setting for our unique week together on the farm. We had the privilege of hosting Mercy Street at Farm Camp for Spring Break 2017! And what a privilege it was......
Over 30 high school students and leaders from West Dallas joined us for an engaging time of learning about a complete healthy lifestyle through the lens of modern agriculture. It was an honor to hear from experts in a broad range of fields.
Marvin Walker grew up in Southern California and moved to Dallas, TX with his lovely wife two years ago. Marvin played D1 football at Weber State University and is currently attending Dallas Theological Seminary. He is actively engaged in the physical, emotional and spiritual development of young adults and has a heart for helping youth identify and embrace their purpose, believing that "Feeding your body with the proper fuel will transform you into a precious jewel!" The kids loved learning about healthy living from Marvin and were inspired to make longterm changes in their lives.
Rick Fields is the Science and Curriculum Coordinator for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H Youth Development program. Rick is a graduate of Alabama A&M University, where he earned a master's degree in Plant and Soil Science. His engaging lesson on hydraulic/pneumatic systems uniquely and beautifully connected our areas of agriculture and health as he taught us that our heart displays a hydraulic system while our lungs model a pneumatic system of functioning.
David Glover of Precision Air is an aerial applicator with over 20,000 hours of flight experience. David and his team hosted us at their airport and taught us about ag aviation. Among many interesting aspects of the industry, we learned about the federal regulations under which these professionals work to provide an invaluable service to crop farmers. Our time at Precision Air ended with an impressive air show and personal peak inside the cockpit.
Dr. Karen Ballard, Leigh Ann Bullington, and Keith Cleek from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Educators taught our students about soybean science. We learned about the history and uses of soy and the importance of soy for human nutrition. Did you know that the nitrogen added to the soil through the root system of this unique legume saved American agriculture during the Dust Bowl?! Our special guests even gave us the pleasure of taste testing a number of soy food product!
Charles Graham is a renowned gospel singer who grew up working the fields with his family in the Mississippi River Delta. After going away to college then traveling the world, he returned to the area and purchased the "big house" that he had only dreamed of seeing inside as a small boy. He now uses his beautifully renovated home to welcome guests from around the world to spread the message of overcoming barriers and healing wounds in order to promote community. What a privilege for us to gather and soak in this respite!
Outdoor Fun and Delicious Food!
Well, it wouldn't be Farm Camp without outdoor fun and delicious food. There was plenty of both!
We can't think of a better place to have spent Spring Break 2017! Our time together brought us greater understanding of so many areas of wellness throughout our world, and we're all better for it. See for yourself in this highlight video: