New opportunities presented at Expo for students
BY AVA JANE TEASLEY
SIXTH THROUGH 12TH-GRADE students havenumerous educational opportunities at Expoand now have opened the door to college students. The Georgia Farm Bureau is excited topartner with the Expo to present, “Advocacyin Action,” exclusively for high school and college students.
Clay Talton, Associate Director of FieldServices at Georgia Farm Bureau said they areanticipating great networking opportunitiesthrough the challenge.
“Our goal is to prepare high school and col-
lege students to engage in agricultural advo-
cacy,” Talton said. “We hope that these stu-
dents learn more about the industry through
A month before Expo, the two divisions,
high school and college, will be presented with
a topic that will require advocating for. Teams
will be developed of around three to four peo-
ple to create a short video advocating for that
topic and submitted for judging.
The top three videos of each division willbe invited to Expo to compete in person. OnWednesday, Oct. 19, the teams will be givenanother topic and challenged to meet andvisit with people to advocate on the new giventopic. They will be judged based on their conversations and a winner of each division willbe chosen.
“We are excited to see how many teams
UGA, Florida, ABAC, and the other colleges put
together,” Talton said. “This challenge is a great
way to teach about what Georgia Farm Bureau
has to offer to people of this demographic.”
The Youth Educational Challenges spon-
sored by Country Financial are still on schedule
for this year. Students from all states continue
to be invited to participate in the event. Stu-
dents can participate in as many challenges as
they choose in their respective divisions.
The different types of challenges include
identification for agricultural mechanics/tools,
horticulture, forestry, wildlife, and animal sci-
ences. The top three finishers in each division
will be given an award, in addition to the club
or chapter, and state with the best overall finish.
Catrina Pollard, agricultural education teacher
at Eastside High School in Covington, said hav-
ing her students compete encourages the stu-
dents to utilize the knowledge learned within
“I require my students to participate in at
least one of the challenges that are offered to
them,” Pollard said. “I want students to gain as
much experience as possible to develop strong
knowledge and further engage them within
Additionally, Farm Credit Associations of
Georgia offers an ag mechanics contest. FFA
students are able to submit wood and metal
masterpieces that are judged and then dis-
played during the Expo for the public to see.
Check the Sunbelt Ag Expo website, sun-
beltexpo.com, to gather additional informa-
tion and to sign up for the different contests.
Partnerships with Georgia FFA continue
at the Expo. The State Tractor Driving Career
Development Event (CDE) will be hosted by
the Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 19 for the second
year. The event is sponsored by John Deere.
Jerry Stone, south
region area agri-
teacher, said that the
event was a success
in 2019, and he looks
forward to this year’s
“The top twelve
students will take a
ing and twenty ques-
test,” Stone said. “They
then will take on the
course and drive. The
course will be at the
north edge of the
The top twelve stu-
dents are FFA mem-
bers representing the
north, central, and
south region of Geor-
gia. The winner will be
recognized for their
The Sunbelt Ag
Expo began the Pork
Cook-Off in 1991 as a
partnership with the
Georgia Young Farmers Association (GYFA).
Soon the cook-off became the Southeast
Q-Fest that GYFA members looked forward to
Martin Bius, executive secretary of the
GYFA, said a great deal of pride goes into the
contest. The contestants even set up display
areas to be judged. These displays are the“Best
“Each year, awards are given for the best
Q-Fest teams and most talented horseshoe
pitching teams,” Bius said. “Each year is packed
full of fun and fellowship among the cooking
The Expo provides the uncooked Boston
butts, and the GYFA teams cook and prepare
each butt. The meat from the contest is used
for the Ag Appreciation Dinner at the Expo.
The teams begin cooking early in the morn-
ing and do not finish until after lunchtime on
“The GYFA looks forward to many more
years of cooking at the Expo,” Bius said.
The opportunities to be involved at Expoare endless and continuing to grow. Be sure tolook into the different options and see whichis the best fit for you to participate in this year.
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