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05-16-12-soil-to-spoon.jpgDirt gets a bad rap. The kids come in with it all over their hands and faces after playing outside. The dog drags it in and across the carpet. It somehow ends up on every white shirt you own. It can be very easy to blame the dirt. Kay Bullard of Cumberland Water and Soil Conservation District wants to change the public perception of dirt and she wants to start by teaching children about the wonders of soil.

Bullard presents, From the Soil to Your Spoon at North Regional Branch Library on Wednesday, March 23 at 4 p.m. The program is for elementary school children.

“Soil is the starting foundation for all of the food that we eat,” Bullard said. Her presenta-tion is about making the connection from the food on our dinner plates to the soil it was grown in and everything in between — including the processing of food and the trucks, trains and ships that deliver it to our stores.

Bullard will discuss, “... the plants that pro-vide us with the veggies and the fruits. Then we’ll talk about the animals that the farmer’s raise that provide us with the meats we eat.”

The children will conclude the program by making and taking home truffula trees, inspired by Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.

Bullard is enthusiastic about bringing her message to a younger generation and “seeing the expression on the children’s faces when they begin to understand the concept of what we are teaching — how important soil is, how important natural resources are to us. We need them for life. That’s not just dirt. It’s important!”

From the Soil to Your Spoon is part of the annual stewardship project developed by National Association of Soil and Conservation Districts. This is the 57th year the association has educated the public on the importance of soil and water conservation. In addition to library programs, Bullard also presents to elementary schools, participates in Earth Day and community events with Cumberland County Parks and Recreation.

It’s not just about respecting the soil. It’s about respecting the people who work the soil too.

“The next time you sit down to a meal, take a minute and think about where your food came from. Think about the farmers and the ranchers who helped to produce this food,” said Bullard.

“Recognize that they work to produce the food for a growing population and our farmers and are dedicated to land management practices that are healthy for the land and the soil so we can sustain our food supply and land for future generations.”

North Branch Regional Library is located on the corner of Rosehill Road at 855 McArthur Road. For more information or to register your child for the program, visit the Children’s Department or call 822-1998 ext. 223. You can also visit the Cumberland County Public Library at http://www.cumberland.lib.nc.us/.

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