Georgia Ag Week celebrates Georgia farmers
It’s easy to take farmers for granted. For most Americans, food is readily available and safe. When we shop, we have a wide variety of foods to choose from. We can eat fast food on the go, cook a gourmet meal with locally grown ingredients or satisfy our cravings with something in between.
Georgia farmers play a big part in feeding us. Did you know Georgia farmers produce almost half the peanuts grown in the United States? Georgia farmers also lead the nation in growing broilers that become the rotisserie chicken we buy at the grocery store, enjoy as chicken tenders or in chicken sandwiches. Georgia farmers are also top growers of blueberries, pecans and sweet onions. We can also thank Georgia farmers for growing cotton and timber to clothe and house us.
Agriculture contributed $73.4 billion to Georgia’s economy in 2017, according to the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED). The center says food and fiber production and the process of getting the raw materials to consumers contributed 391,300 jobs for Georgians in 2017.
To celebrate farmers and the many contributions they make to our state, the Georgia Department of Agriculture declared March 18-22 as Georgia Agricultural Awareness Week.
“Farmers make it possible for us to enjoy three meals a day with snacks in between,” said Derek Pridgen, Coffee County Farm Bureau president. “They also provide habitat to wildlife on their farms while protecting soil and water resources using environmentally sustainable methods to grow their crops and livestock.”
The week-long celebration included these themed days: March 18 - School Garden Day; March 19 - Buy Georgia Grown Day; March 20 – Ag Hero Day; March 21 – Ag Literacy Day; March 22- Make My Plate Georgia Grown Day.
To celebrate Georgia agriculture, the Coffee County Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Ranchers Junior Board, along with the assistance of the George Washington Carver Freshman Campus FFA built 4 raised beds which were donated to Satilla Elementary and Indian Creek Elementary. Members of the CCFB YF&R Jr. Board and Coffee County Extension Agent John McLemore delivered and prepared the beds for the students. On Wednesday March 20, CCFB YF&R Chairman Walt Pridgen and Jr. Board members Dawson Adams and Trey Gillis assisted students at Satilla and Indian Creek with planting their gardens.
To celebrate Ag Literacy Day on March 21, CCFB YF&R Jr. Board member Emma Kate Tillman visited Nicholls Elementary School. Emma Kate visited 3 classes at Nicholls and read From Milk to Ice Cream. Jr. Board member Dawson Adams visited 3 elementary classes at Ambrose Elementary and 1 class at Eastside Elementary. Dawson read Who Grew My Soup. Farm Bureau Office Manager, Carla Palmer visited Indian Creek Elementary and First Academy, and read PB&J Hooray. Lillie Palmer visited a class at Citizens Christian Academy and read the book PB&J Hooray. CCFB Women’s Chair, Kem McKinnon visited 2 classes at Citizens Christian Academy. Kem read Who Grew My Soup and Three Sisters Garden. County volunteers also completed a craft/worksheet with the students that related to the book they read.
County Farm Bureaus and agricultural organizations held events in their local communities as schedules allowed throughout the month of March to raise awareness of agriculture. Agriculture celebrations are observed in March to coincide with the planting of spring crops. National Ag Day was March 14.
Georgia Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state. It represents farmers and rural communities and connects consumers with agriculture. GFB also offers its members a wide variety of benefits, including insurance, travel and auto discounts. Enrollment in any of the member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.
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