Toombs County Young Farmers Impacting the Community
Courtesy of Toombs County Schools
Many people have heard of middle and high school agricultural education programs and the FFA, but fewer are familiar with the Young Farmer program, which focuses more on adult education. In addition to the Toombs County School System offering middle and high school agricultural education programs and FFA chapters, Toombs County also has one of only 64 young farmer chapters in the state, and one of only 14 in the central region of Georgia.
The nature of each chapter is driven by the community and their desires and needs. The focus of the Toombs County Chapter is adult education, community involvement, and support of the local FFA chapters and agricultural education programs. The Young Farmer advisor, Kasey Jackson, teaches a high school agriculture class and then focuses on planning adult classes, community outreach projects, supporting the Toombs County Middle and High School agriculture programs, fundraising that benefits both adults and youth in the programs, and farm/agribusiness visits and support.
Adult education classes can cover a wide range of topics. Some topics covered this year were: nuisance wildlife management for farmers, FSA/NRCS program opportunities, timber management, corn varieties, raised bed gardening, electrical safety/first aid, Ag South opportunities, and several others. Most recently, Representative Leesa Hagan gave members a legislative update and Dara Bell taught a class on canning vegetables.
The program also helps support the local hog show held each February and, with the combined effort of the middle and high school agriculture programs, hosts a hunting heritage banquet in the fall that raises money for the FFA and Young Farmer chapters. This year's banquet will be October 5th.
Coming up in late July, the Toombs County agricultural education programs will partner with the Toombs County Farm Bureau in hosting an agricultural themed day camp for children 5-12 years old, which will be held at the Toombs County Ag Center.
The Toombs County Young Farmer Program works to build strong relationships with agribusinesses, farmers, FFA members, parents and supporters of the agricultural community. For more information, please contact Kasey Jackson at: kasey. jackson@ toombs. k12. ga.us.