UACES Facebook Miss America 2017, Fred Grooms to speak at 2017 Arkansas 4-H O’Rama
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Miss America 2017, Fred Grooms to speak at 2017 Arkansas 4-H O’Rama

By Mary Hightower 
U of A System Division of Agriculture
July 14, 2017

Fast facts:

  • Third-generation Army veteran to keynote at opening assembly
  • Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields to make special presentation at opening assembly

(340 words)

LITTLE ROCK – Miss America, Savvy Shields, and motivational speaker Fred Grooms will be inspiring youth at the 2017 Arkansas State O’Rama, three days of state-level competitive events for Arkansas 4-Hers. 


“We are so pleased to have two such inspiring speakers,” said Priscella Thomas-Scott, 4-H events coordinator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “With such a motivated audience, we look forward to seeing the messages from Miss America and from Maj. Grooms take root and bring life to the 4-H motto ‘To make the best better.’”   

More than 500 Arkansas 4-H members from all over the state, who qualified through county and district competitions, are expected on the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas on July 25-27 for one of the biggest gatherings of 4-Her’s in the state. The 4-H Youth Development program is operated by the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the Division of Agriculture. 

Shields is a University of Arkansas student making a special appearance at her home campus. bringing a positive message about her platform, “Eat Better, Live Better.” She will be at the State O’Rama’s Opening Assembly set for 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 25, at the Arkansas Union ballroom. 

Fred Grooms, a third-generation Army veteran, rose to the rank of major despite the difficulties of being dyslexic. After leaving the military, Grooms went on to earn master’s degrees in marketing and education. Today, Grooms travels the country teaching youth about leadership and the lessons that can be learned from failure. Grooms will be the keynote speaker, following Shields. He will twice conduct the workshop: “B.A.S.I.C Student Leadership – Lead Because Others Won’t,” on July 26 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in AFLS 107. 

In addition to competing for state titles in dozens of categories, the 4-H members will also be recognized for their achievements, including the naming of the Arkansas Governor’s Award, the state’s highest 4-H honor. 

For more information about 4-H, contact your county extension agent or visit


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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