COVINGTON — Based on the recommendation of State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the State Board of Education has approved standards for agricultural education courses in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The new standards are a direct result of Senate Bill 330, legislation passed in 2018 which provides for a pilot program to develop and implement agricultural education in elementary schools. The courses will be offered in 20 elementary schools across the state that were selected for the pilot program last fall.

“I’m thrilled about this work and the opportunity to add agricultural education at the elementary level,” said Woods. “At the upper levels, our kids have a chance to learn the business and practice of agriculture, but now we can begin to build that understanding for our younger students in an age-appropriate way.”

State Sen. John Wilkinson, a former FFA program manager and agricultural education teacher and current chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committee, sponsored the legislation.

“Food doesn’t come from the grocery store,” said Wilkinson. “Four or five generations removed from the farm makes it hard for students to understand where their food really comes from. This new program will help kids understand the powerful impact of agriculture on the prosperity of our state.”

Georgia Rep. Terry England, a member of the House Education and Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committees as well as Appropriations chairman, added, “I feel it’s important that kids understand where food, shelter, and fiber come from. This is a step in the right direction.”

No pilot schools are in Newton or Rockdale counties.

Covington native and proud Valdosta State alumna, Hunter has previously worked with The Covington News and Valdosta Daily Times. She started working for Rockdale/Newton Citizen in June 2018.

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