Baking a Difference: Tennessee 4-Hers help those in “knead” through baking initiative

Young bakers learn valuable life skills while making a difference in their community through the Springfield, Tennessee 4-H program.

In Springfield, Tennessee, a group of young 4-Hers are learning more than just how to bake—they are also discovering the joys of giving back to their community. This heartwarming story unfolds as these budding bakers come together to create delicious bread and share it with those in need.

The recipe for this initiative comes from the renowned King Arthur Flour baking company, but the real magic happens when these children roll up their sleeves and dive into the world of hands-on baking. While there may be easier ways to churn out carbohydrates, for Levi Wix, one of the young bakers, the challenge is all part of the fun.

“Instead of cooking in a pan, it’s more hands-on, and that’s what I like about it,” Wix said, about kneading bread dough by hand.

As the students mix flour, water, salt and yeast, these youngsters find a sense of fulfillment in creating something from scratch, rather than settling for the convenience of store-bought options.

4-H agent Lauren Patterson emphasizes that this baking endeavor is not just about culinary skills.

“We really hope that they learn these great baking skills,” Patterson said. “Also, during this, we incorporate a lot of math because there’s fractions with baking.”

The children are encouraged to let their creativity shine through as they shape their doughy creations, exploring various techniques to make braided loaves, knots, as classic diner rolls in addition to straightforward boules.

However, the story does not end with baking alone. This initiative is also a heartwarming service project. Each child in the King Arthur Flour class bakes 16 pieces of bread and then gets to choose where their creations are donated. Half of all the bread created in these baking sessions will be donated to people in need. Blessing Boxes are among the possible recipients.

The baked goods shared through each Blessing Box offers a lifeline to those facing hardship in communities across Tennessee. The locations also provide other philanthropic-minded people in the community a place to leave donated items so that those in need can help themselves without shame.

“One of the things that they’re taught is responsibility and community service,” said Elizabeth Graves Fletcher, an organizer of the program, highlighting the values instilled in these young bakers. “I think they’ll like that aspect of giving it to neighbors, and we have a lot of blessing boxes around Robertson County, and I’m sure one of them will put it in a Blessing Box.”

For young participants like Raylee Phanco, the significance of their contribution is not lost on them.

“Some people don’t have stuff they need, like food,” Phanco said. “They need that to survive. I think we should give it to someone who actually needs it.”

These 4-Hers are not just learning to bake—they are also learning the power of compassion, community, and the art of making a difference one loaf of bread at a time.

Related Stories
Two Tennessee farmers were named National Young Farmer and Ranchers winners during the 105th annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Two Tennessee farmers were named National Young Farmer & Rancher winners during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 105th annual meeting last week.
Explore Secret Garden Bees’ sweet story of growth and success in the world of honey production thanks to a vital grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund.

The upcoming year holds significant importance for the Climate Smart Commodities Program, as partnerships and data reporting take center stage, according to a top USDA official.
A landmark agreement aimed at salmon restoration and clean energy projects along the Snake River is facing intense scrutiny and opposition from the agricultural industry.
Livestock producers are increasingly turning their attention to grazing management as a key strategy for optimizing production.
The FCC stopped taking requests for the $14 billion program earlier this month. Lawmakers warn an end to this program could be detrimental.
At the center of those discussions is spending for USDA.
Producers are getting a better outlook for hog profitability, and analysts call it a breath of fresh air.
As spring planting nears, Midwestern farmers are gearing up for a season filled with opportunities and challenges like market pressures and pest dynamics.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently unveiled a new herbicide plan, sparking concerns among soybean farmers across the United States.
CEO and Co-founder Andrew Coppin spoke with RFD-TV’s own Suzanne Alexander to learn more about RanchBot’s remote water monitoring technology.
Jalyssa Beaudry tells Brownfield Ag News that 75 percent of the dairy farmers she interviewed do not use automated milking systems on their operations.
Rural Lifestyle & Entertainment Shows
Dailey & Vincent are BACK ON RFD-TV for another great season, brought to you by Gus Arrendale & Springer Mountain Farms. Join them as they welcome scores of fabulous bluegrass, country, and gospel music acts as special guests!
Join popular polka performer Mollie Busta as she hosts the weekly “Mollie B Polka Party” on RFD-TV! The one-hour program features the nation’s top polka bands and a wide variety of ethnic styles produced on location at music festivals from around the country.
Starring award-winning artist Perley Curtis, anyone who enjoys the classic sound of real Country music will love “Perley’s Place.” Filmed live at the iconic Nashville Palace, near Opryland in Nashville, TN, with a live audience, it’s one classic County hit after another.
The affable and unassuming international singing star Daniel O’Donnell is one of Ireland’s best known performers – from Australia to Alaska.
“The Marty Stuart Show” is a must-see during RFD-TV’s Saturday Night Music Row. Each exciting episode features Mr. Stuart and his band “The Fabulous Superlatives.” Episodes also feature his wife — “Country Queen,” Ms. Connie Smith—who has helped make the show a celebrated success.