The University of Georgia Tifton Campus will welcome around 500 fourth-graders during Agriculture and Environmental Awareness Day on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Katie Wilson, director of Agriculture and Environmental Awareness Day for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said that technology used in agriculture will be featured.
“One of the newer presentations we’ll have is about drones in agriculture,” Wilson said. “We want the children to be able to see the technology that is being used in agriculture. We’ve tried to feature more technology because we know this generation is going to use technology even more than we do.”
Wilson said that there will be 15 topics at the event, which happens once during the spring and once in the fall. Some of the topics include cotton and peanut harvest, simple machines and citrus production.
“We split up the environmental aspects of the day,” Wilson said. “In the spring we only go over certain topics, and we’ll go over the others in the fall. This way, we don’t double up, because a lot of the fourth-graders were hearing the presentations they already heard in third grade.”
Wilson stresses that the agricultural awareness event is significant because children often don’t realize the impact that agriculture has on their daily lives.
“A lot of children think that food and other things magically appear in front of them,” Wilson said. “An event like this shows them that agriculture is very important.”
Students are introduced to career opportunities during the event. Wilson said that one year, a little girl asked a presenter if she was a scientist, and the presenter said she was. The little girl couldn’t believe women could be scientists.
“Every time I hear that story, it reminds me that we can change a child’s life,” Wilson said. “She realized that there’s another opportunity for her. The event can show these kids the impact of agriculture and show them career pathways they didn’t know existed.”
There will be stations set up all over campus. The children will start the day at the Future Farmstead and will work their way to the turf plots.
Wilson said that, as well as the children, the coordinators and presenters get a lot out of the day.
“The coordinators have a passion for it,” Wilson said. “We don’t get extra pay for doing this. It’s on a volunteer basis. We just get the thrill of seeing the expressions on the children’s faces as they’re learning. The coordinators and presenters know they’re planting a seed in these kids in the hopes that they’ll choose agriculture as a job or at least understand its importance.”
For more information on the event, go to www.ag-enviro.org or contact Wilson at 229-386-3217.
(Kyle Dawson is an intern at the UGA Tifton Campus.)