Tayshaun Prince Returns to Kentucky With Message for Children
Tayshaun Prince returned to Kentucky on Tuesday to help raise the curtain on a new agriculture display at The Explorium of Lexington.
The former University of Kentucky men's basketball star joined Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, Explorium executive director Lee Ellen Martin, and Kentucky Department of Agriculture officials to unveil the Farm To Market exhibit, which is designed to raise awareness of the importance of agriculture in the everyday lives of all Kentuckians.
"Tayshaun never stops giving back to the people of Kentucky," Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. "He generously took the time to help raise funds for this exhibit and then came back to help open it. Tayshaun understands that we have a responsibility to teach our children about where their food comes from and to eat fresh, nutritious foods as part of a healthful lifestyle."
Prince lent his name and likeness to a special label of Elk Creek wines to help raise money for the project in 2012.
"I am honored to play a role in opening this exhibit," Prince said. "This exhibit should help reinforce the importance of nutritional eating with our young people and the importance of agriculture in Kentucky."
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, based in Lexington, also provided funds.
"Orange Leaf is excited to partner with Tayshaun, Kentucky Proud and the Explorium on this project," said Orange Leaf co-owner Jeremiah Sizemore. "We have enjoyed supporting local farms by using Udderly Kentucky milk this past year, and we hope this exhibit will help encourage and educate the next generation of farmers and consumers."
The exhibit includes Kentucky Proud signage, a milkable fiberglass cow, a chicken coop, and a simulated garden and farmers' market.
"The Explorium is delighted to have our new Farm To Market exhibit teaching children about farming and the economics of the agriculture industry," Martin said. "The Explorium is about fun and learning, and we have no doubt that they will love milking the cow, harvesting and selling their vegetables, and gathering eggs in the barn. Many children have no concept of how food gets to the market. It is our hope that we can spark interest in becoming a farmer as well as encouraging children to make healthy eating choices."
The Explorium provides a fun and dynamic hands-on learning environment that inspires imagination and curiosity. Founded in 1987 as the Lexington Children's Museum, the Explorium averages 70,000 visitors annually and serves an additional 10,000 people with outreach activities in the Lexington community.
Prince has served as the celebrity spokesperson for the department's Eat To Win campaign, which encourages K-12 students across the Commonwealth to incorporate more locally grown fruits and vegetables into their diets. Prince will enter his 13th season in the National Basketball Association this fall as a forward for the Memphis Grizzlies. He led the Detroit Pistons to the NBA championship in the 2003-2004 season.
Comer Urges Schools to Serve Local Foods on Fridays
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer challenged Kentucky schools to provide fresh local foods to their students on Farm Fresh Fridays, a program that will launch in conjunction with Farm to School Month in October.
"Serving fresh local foods to our school children will provide them the nourishment they need to grow up strong and healthy," Commissioner Comer said. "It also will provide educators a way to teach them about where their food comes from. At the same time, buying farm-fresh foods helps local farmers make a living. I hope every Kentucky school will participate in Farm Fresh Fridays and eventually serve local Kentucky Proud foods on a regular basis if they don't already."
Under Farm Fresh Fridays, school food service directors will be called upon to procure and serve at least one locally grown Kentucky Proud fruit or vegetable once a month. Optional activities are suggested to educate students about local food and encourage students to share their Farm Fresh Fridays activities through social media.
Farm Fresh Fridays is an initiative of the Kentucky Farm to School Task Force, which includes members from the state Department for Public Health, Department of Education, Community Farm Alliance, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Kentucky Action for Healthy Kids, the Kentucky School Nutrition Association, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, producers, nonprofits, and others committed to the local food movement.
Kentucky schools in the KDA's Farm to School Program served local foods to an estimated 364,000 children in approximately 702 schools in the 2011-2012 school year. A total of 84 school districts are members of the Kentucky Proud program. For more information on the Farm to School Program, go to www.kyagr.com or contact Tina Garland at 502-382-7505 or [email protected].
From the Kentucky Department of Agriculture