Southwest Georgia Academy creating the next generation of farmers

Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 6:37 PM CST
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DAMASCUS, Ga. (WTVY) - The agriculture program at Southwest Georgia Academy is being taken to new heights to prepare students for their future careers.

“It’s really important to know farming skills, especially if you have a small garden at your house, or if you do agriculture for a job,” says James Thompson, student.

Assistant headmaster Jay Winkler says moving learning beyond the classroom is a new way to engage their next generation of students.

“We thought they would have a lot more fun if they could come out and do things, so some of our parents donated some lettuce seeds, collard seeds. One of our alumni grades raised money for a greenhouse, and we have just been able to come out and get the kids outside,” Winkler, Assistant Headmaster.

For some students, they are excited that they get to work just like their parents

“A lot of people in my family had been farmers, and my dad’s a farmer, and then my grandpa’s a farmer. I just know how to do it and it’s fun to me. It’s what I wanna do when I grow up,” says Flint Kimbrel, student.

Winkler says students have not been afraid to get their hands dirty either.

“They have a division of labor. they get right on it. One group will harvest. One group will wash. One group will cut. They will sort through and make sure there is no trash or weeds in it, and they all just work together,” says Winkler.

Students not only plant the crops, they use what they grow in their cafeteria.

“Our lunch room has enjoyed the fresh greens that we’ve been bringing in for them to put on the menu,” says Winkler.

Winkler says he is proud to see the students take on the challenge

“They have really just taken the bull by the horns and gone to work. as you can see, they come out and know their roles,” says Winkler.

Next year, the school says they will be taking a bigger step and adding an agriculture program this time for tenth and eleventh grades. High school students at the academy will plant corn, cotton and peanuts.

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