Woodbine Elementary School was the inaugural stop Wednesday for a mobile classroom that will tour the state to teach children about Georgia’s No. 1 industry — agriculture.
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture’s Georgia Ag Experience is a 36-foot trailer packed with eight stations containing interactive touch screens that enable participants to have fun while learning about the many careers related to the agriculture industry.
One station, for example, takes a student through all the steps needed to run a dairy farm, including feeding and milking a cow, then transferring the milk into containers for shipment. They also learn about the many jobs created to bring milk to consumers.
Another program teaches participants about the light, moisture, temperature and other conditions needed to grow specific crops and then follows their journey to grocery stores.
Lily Baucom, a representative from the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, said the first groups of children to tour the trailer and participate in other activities outside Wednesday went smoothly, with no glitches whatsoever.
“We’re trying to inspire the next generation of agriculture leaders,” she said.
The trailer travels to one school per day and is capable of teaching 150 children through the half-hour presentation.
“We want a lot of these kids to think about their role in agriculture,” Baucom said. “We want to show the diversity of the careers.”
Before children exited the trailer, they took a career test that recommended three potential agricultural careers based on their responses. The last stop features a hologram that explains about different jobs in the agricultural industry that go far beyond driving a tractor or raising poultry.
Lauren Goble, education program coordinator for the Georgia Farm Bureau, said the goal is to show the important contribution the agriculture industry makes to the state’s economy.
“We need the future generation to be cheerleaders for our farmers,” she said.
Daydra Roberts, a guidance counselor at Woodbine Elementary, said the trailer was a rare and welcome diversion for students who have not been able to take the typical classroom trips because of COVID-19 precautions.
“The kids are having fun doing this,” Roberts said. “I see a lot of self motivation. The kids were engaged the entire time.”