Mobile ag. unit teaches 260 South Ga. elementary students about state’s top industry
LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - Fourth graders got a break from their normal classroom activities to get a unique perspective on agriculture.
It is part of a wider effort to get young children interested in pursuing a career in Georgia’s number one industry.
On Thursday and Friday, 260 4th-grade students at Twin Oaks Elementary School have been exposed to the Mobile Agriculture Unit. There are games to play in the unit, from tractor driving to grocery checkout.
The goal of the unit is to teach kids about agriculture and to get them excited about a potential future career.
“Long gone are the days where it’s just a guy in the middle of the field. It’s highly innovative, the technology in agriculture and that’s how we get the next generation to go into agriculture,” Hannah Hall, education programs assistant with the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, said.
The trips are sponsored by the local Georgia Farm Bureaus. The agriculture mobile unit is four years old now. Every year, the mobile unit’s goal is to reach students in all 159 Georgia counties.
“It’s nice for them to come outside and do something that’s outside of the norm of the classroom,” Ms. Timmons, a 4th-grade English teacher, said.
Although they weren’t farming, Hall says what they did is useful. Their goal is to energize the next generation to go into a farm-related career.
“You do have middle school ag programs at a lot of schools, or high schools, so if you can catch them now and get them interested and kind of get them thinking about those the different careers we think it has more long-lasting effects,” Hall said.
The mobile classroom is targeted at grades third through fifth, which are 7 to 10-year-olds. It exposes them to careers that they didn’t know existed. It also exposes them to the depth of the agriculture industry in Georgia.
“All the kids can see what’s here in their backyard. It’s a really neat thing. Some kids don’t realize what’s here in places like South Georgia,” Hall said.
Do children know that Georgia is the number one producer of broiler chickens? Do they know we grow cotton, as well as onions, watermelon and cucumbers in the Peach State?
“Having the trailer here has allowed them to see all of the different things that are available. What it’s like to drive a tractor. Also seeing the other aspects from chicken farming to dealing with all types of crops, how things are processed and then the animal side of it,” Twin Oaks Elementary School Assistant Principal Dr. Brian Holt said.
Hall says it’s just as important to keep those kids who have parents in the agriculture industry interested in carrying the tradition. She says farming is getting tougher to get into.
“One of the biggest problems that farmers face is not knowing who to give their farm to. You have kids are no longer interested because they see how much hard work goes into it they no longer want to do it,” Holt said.
April 24 through 28, the agriculture unit will be in Cordele.
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