Lawmakers in Georgia want to introduce students as young as kindergarten to agriculture education. The aim behind the new guidelines is to encourage students to seek careers in the state’s largest industry – agriculture.
Georgia’s agriculture industry adds about $75 billion to the economy each year and provides jobs for more than 400,000 people.
The program will begin with 20 Georgia elementary schools that will roll out the agricultural education courses.
The Georgia Legislature approved the agricultural education curriculum for elementary schools during the 2018 legislative session. Teachers across the state are now working with the Georgia Department of Education to finalize lesson plans for the 2019-2020 school year.
State Sen. John Wilkinson, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee and is co-chair of the education committee, said the lessons will prepare students for careers in agriculture and give young people a greater respect for the food they eat.
“There was a time where the majority or people were involved in farms,” said Wilkinson, R-Toccoa. “As we get farther and farther away from the farm, a lot of our young people think food comes from a grocery store. We thought it would be good for all our students to at least have an idea of where their food comes from and what it takes to produce it. A lot of times, we take our food for granted. It’s really easy to do.”