MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - South Georgia is welcoming thousands of families from all across the nation and they are all here to participate in the 2019 Sunbelt Ag Expo.
With dozens of schools from all across the state, expo organizers made sure they didn’t leave the children out.
This year, for the second year in a row, the expo was host to youth challenges so that everyone could participate in all the fun.
Trying to teach children about the importance of agriculture in their community, students from grades sixth through 12th were able to participate in the challenge Wednesday.
From floral design to identification contests, University of Georgia Professor Ashley Yopp said the programs are fantastic opportunities for growth.
“We’re really cultivating the next generation of agriculturalists here. So, last year we had 115 students registered and it boomed to 500 this year. It’s a great opportunity for them right here at Sunbelt," said Yopp.
Yopp said she wanted the students to have a chance to understand that agriculture affects their day-to-day in a variety of different ways.
She shared that the event opened up the opportunity to college students, to allow them to learn by assisting the youth.
Organizers said that they plan to try to continue to advance the youth challenges program for years to come.
Also at the expo Wednesday, the Reinke Manufacturing Company brought out its pivot with pink tires to raise awareness and remind everyone that finding a cure is pivotal.
Organizers said that they’ve been participating in raising money for breast cancer for at least the past seven years.
Mike Mills, who works with the manufacturing company, said they wanted to find a way to do some good and connect with their customers beyond the norm.
“One in eight women are going to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. We all have a woman in our life that’s important, a mom, a sister, a niece, an aunt. So, we were able to connect with those and provide this opportunity,” explained Mills.
Mills said the support for this initiative grows every year and they hope it will continue.
To support this cause, you can come out to the 2019 Sunbelt Ag Expo anytime Thursday and donate $10 and receive a T-shirt.
Two state agencies also came out to bring an important message of safety to the expo.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety wanted to remind you that when approaching vehicles, like tractors, on the road, that they are just that, vehicles that you should approach with caution.
They’re asking drivers to remember that they share the road with farm vehicles.
Their message is to yield behind the wheel, slow down and pass with care.
A message they hope will reduce the accidents and deaths that involve farm vehicles.
“We have far too many stories of families being negatively impacted with a loss of life and undo loss of productivity and impact to the family simply because of accidents that are almost always preventable," said Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.
Organizers explained that in the past five years, there have been over 2,200 crashes and almost 30 deaths because farm vehicles and automobiles share highways.
Their goal is to reduce both of those numbers to zero.
Officials want to remind everyone that this is a joint effort. They said that it’s not up to just farm or motor vehicles, but it’s up to all of us to ensure that we’re being safe.