VALDOSTA – Local organizations partner to bring the Georgia Ag Experience to Valdosta in July.

Lily Baucom, Georgia Foundation of Agriculture executive director, said the program is expanding beyond elementary school visits by partnering with nine YMCA locations. On July 26-27, the Valdosta YMCA will host the ag experience.

The Georgia Ag Experience visits elementary schools and community organizations, targeting students in grades 3-5. The Georgia Ag Experience uses technology and digital learning so students can take a deep-dive into seven different Georgia agricultural commodities.

The STEM-based educational program engages students across Georgia to explore the vast opportunities in agriculture with a 36-foot mobile classroom.

The full program involves one educational lesson prior to the experience, one hour in-person experience with self-guided study, and one post visit investigative research project.

Baucom said Georgia Farm Bureau partners with the foundation to build early knowledge that youth can go into a career in agriculture.

All curriculum was developed by professors in the University of Georgia in the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. The lesson plans meet Georgia state standards and incorporate STEM teaching practices, organizers said. 

They will be updated periodically to keep pace with Georgia educational requirements and agricultural advancements. 

Christine Cortez, Lowndes County Farm Bureau office manager, said, “We are happy to be able to provide a unique opportunity to children in this area with the Georgia Ag Foundation and local YMCA. Especially, increasing children’s knowledge of and attitude toward Georgia agriculture.”

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