South Georgia Students Visit Farm To Learn About Agriculture

South Georgia Students Visit Farm To Learn About Agriculture

[Tifton, GA / Damon Jones – Reporting]
Third grade students from all over Tift County recently gathered at STAR Farms to get an
up-close look at all the different aspects of agriculture from livestock, to equipment,
and even a little calf roping. This annual event put on by the county provides
an opportunity for many of these children to get their first look at life on the farm. [Craig Matthews – CTAE Director]
Today is all about exposure. We’re hopeful that these kids will be able
to come out and here today and see something that they have never seen before and have
an experience that they have never seen before, because even though we are in a heavy agriculture
area, some of these students aren’t able to see a cow or aren’t able to see how crops
grow or aren’t able to wildlife. [Damon]
And it’s no coincidence that all those in attendance are from the third grade, considering
it’s the age many children are their most impressionable. [Patrick Atwater – Superintendent, Tift
Co. Schools]
Farm Day came about with the influence from our Ag teachers. And they selected third grade as a pivotal
year, a pivotal age to introduce them to ag related subjects and content and this type
of activity. It catches their interest. It’s a good age for them to spark their interest
moving into 4th, 5th, 6th grade, and then onto middle school and high school. They were really old enough to grasp the concepts. [Matthews]
There are many ag related businesses and industries in Tift County. So, it’s important for our third graders,
who will be our future work force to be exposed to all things agriculture. [Damon]
And what makes this event so unique is just how interactive all these stations are for
the kids. [Matthews]
It’s a hands-on experience. They get to touch animals, they get to pet
them. They get to see things in person. And that’s a lot different than seeing it
in a picture in a book, or on a movie screen, or something like that. It’s a lot different. [Damon]
It’s not only a great experience for the kids, but also for the presenters. Most of the stations are run by FFA students
from local high schools and gives them a chance to show off their leadership and presentation
skills. [Matthews]
It’s a great opportunity for our high school FFA students to lead each booth as third graders
go around. Your high school students who are in FFA and
putting on the event, they’re growing and they’re learning and they’re preparing for
their future, and their future jobs as they’re leading this event today. [Atwater]
The opportunity to get parents, the teachers, the community engaged and involved to more
exposure to agriculture, it is our leading economic indicator in this area. So, we want people to know that agriculture
is here, is here to stay and we hope that it will continue to be here to stay. [Damon]
And if the feedback is any indication, this event is here to stay in Tift County for years
to come. [Atwater]
In my mind, I know the staff members I have spoken with and me personally, it is my favorite
day of the year. Aside from possibly the last day of school
and getting that last kid off the bus safely, farm day is my favorite day of the year. [Damon]
Reporting from Tifton, I’m Damon Jones for the Georgia Farm Monitor

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