BROOKINGS, S.D. — To celebrate National Farm to School Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted Box Elder’s YFS Fullerton Farm in “The Dirt” newsletter.
Operated by Rapid City Youth & Family Services (YFS), Fullerton Farm is a thriving outdoor education center designed to educate youth on the benefits of a nutritious, adequate diet and the value of wellness.
This fall, YFS teamed up with SDSU Extension to host a community Harvest Festival. More than 340 adults and children attended this free, family-friendly event at Fullerton Farm.
“Teaming up with community partners, like Youth & Family Services, is a great way to educate South Dakotans and provide applicable health and wellness information to improve the health and wellbeing of youth and families throughout the community,” said Prairey Walkling, SDSU Extension Community Development Field Specialist.
The Harvest Festival provided community members with a taste of YFS’s vision for family engagement and wellness.
“The children had a fabulous time digging in the dirt pile, tasting honey, fruits and vegetables and pedaling a bicycle with a blender attached to make fruit smoothies,” said Darcie Decker, YFS Nutrition Director.
With a mission to help close the opportunity gap for thousands of disadvantaged children living in western South Dakota, YFS said Fullerton Farm is a venue they use when providing education about the importance of good nutrition and wellness through YFS’ eight comprehensive programs, including two Head Start programs (Center-Based Head Start and Home-Based Head Start) and YFS’ sponsorship of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Fullerton Farm offers its guests an opportunity to learn about growing, preparing and preserving fresh produce. The farm has helped increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for children and families; given children opportunities to develop a taste for healthy foods while they’re young; and encourages children and families to grow some of their own food. “We believe that if children grow veggies and help prepare them, they are much more likely to eat them,” said Sharon Oney, YFS Grants Administrator.
— SDSU Extension
For more news from South Dakota, click here.