Camilla students learn about agriculture on Ag Awareness Day

Camilla students learn about agriculture on National Agriculture Day
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:16 PM EDT
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CAMILLA, Ga. (WALB) - Tuesday marked Agriculture Awareness Day, and one school in Camilla is doing its part to educate its students on Georgia’s number one industry.

Staff at The Georgia AG Experience said they visit schools, like Westwood Academy, to demonstrate different aspects of agriculture.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for students to play a role in agriculture in their future. And it’s our job to teach students to bridge that gap, to teach them about careers,” said Virginia Fulwood, assistant state coordinator for the Georgia AG Experience. “And even if they chose not to go into a career, just for them to know that the food they eat, and the clothes they wear and the house they live in. Agriculture plays a part in all of that.”

A student playing with the interactive games at The Georgia AG Experience.
A student playing with the interactive games at The Georgia AG Experience.(WALB)

During the agriculture experience, students are able also able to practice STEM skills, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The 36-foot trailer travels throughout the whole state, visiting school districts.

“The kids love it because it’s very hands-on,” Fulwood said. “It’s not just a lesson or a lecture where they have to sit there and listen. There are 13 different computer stations. There’s virtual reality. And holograms. Video games that they can go in and play to learn about agriculture.”

Students said they learned a lot of new information during this experience.

“In there, building the chicken houses, that was cool. And learning the process, because we don’t have chicken houses. I didn’t know about that,” Thomas Williamson, a fifth grader, said.

“Some of the things that the cows ate are something that I did not know they would eat. Like I think it was soil in there and sugar maybe,” Tara Lamb, another fifth grader, said.

The AG Experience’s next stop will be in Early County and will finish up at the Peanut Proud Festival on Saturday.

Fulwood said sometimes students come in with little to no knowledge or interest in agriculture.

Tara Lamb, left, and Thomas Williamson, right, are fifth graders at  Westwood Academy and got...
Tara Lamb, left, and Thomas Williamson, right, are fifth graders at Westwood Academy and got to take part in The Georgia AG Experience. (WALB)

“We send out surveys and pre-visit lessons for the teachers before we arrive. And I’ve had students tell me that on the survey they put they had no interest in agriculture at all,” she said. “And then after we left, they said they were very interested in agriculture. I think we have a predetermined image of what agriculture is. And our job is to kind of change that image up.”

Lamb said she has previous experience with agriculture. And that Tuesday’s lesson piqued her interest even more.

“I mostly know the chicken stuff because we have chickens at our house,” she said. “And I would always help my grandfather with all four chicken houses. And I knew some of the cow stuff because we used to have cows and everything.”

“If it wasn’t any agriculture, we wouldn’t have clothes, we would have food. Nothing just about,” Williamson said.

If adults would like to get more involved in educating themselves, there are plenty of avenues.

“Contact your local farm bureau office,” Fulwood said. “They have so many different resources. Not only for students but adults as well. And maybe start, even if it’s just a little garden at your home. Farming isn’t necessarily 2,800 acres. It could just be your little garden in your nice backyard. And it’s a great way to eat healthy.”

Fulwood said people can also visit their local farmer’s market to support farmers as well.