Education

Pilot Program To Introduce Agriculture Education Into Georgia Elementary Schools

"The desk that I'm sitting at, the leather and the clothes that we're wearing. That umbrella of agriculture is so important for us to make sure that we start teaching these earlier learners the importance and give them such a good 'ag awareness,'" said Christa Steinkamp of Georgia Agricultural Education.
"The desk that I'm sitting at, the leather and the clothes that we're wearing. That umbrella of agriculture is so important for us to make sure that we start teaching these earlier learners the importance and give them such a good 'ag awareness,'" said Christa Steinkamp of Georgia Agricultural Education.
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A three-year pilot program is set to begin, aimed at incorporating agriculture education into Georgia elementary schools.

Cogburn Woods Elementary in Fulton County and Hill City Elementary in Pickens County are among the 20 schools taking part.

Christa Steinkamp with Georgia Agricultural Education says when many people think of agriculture, food is the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s actually much more.

“The desk that I’m sitting at, the leather and the clothes that we’re wearing. That umbrella of agriculture is so important for us to make sure that we start teaching these earlier learners the importance and give them such a good ‘ag awareness,'” Steinkamp said.

The curriculum also includes lessons on animal and plant science, jobs in the agriculture industry and natural resource conservation.

Billy Hughes, program manager for Georgia Ag Education, says in a matter of years, the program could be expanded.

“The curriculum will be implemented this first year, and over the next three years, it will be refined to the point where hopefully when we’re done, we have a very solid curriculum to teach in the state of Georgia,” Hughes said.

Hughes says agriculture curriculum has been in place at the high school and middle school level since the late 1920s, but he says education about Georgia’s largest industry should start early.

The pilot program originated with Senate Bill 330, which was passed by the Georgia Legislature in 2018.