Feature Story

Brooklyne Wassel
County Extension Agent
University of Georgia

Wassel, B.*1,
1 County Extension Agent, University of Georgia, Zebulon, GA, 30295

Pike County agriculture had a 2018 Farm Gate value of $19.8 million. It is the largest industry in the county thus plays an important role not only in the economic community but also the social community. Agriculture weaves the fabric of the community together though it takes guiding youth’s focus to see just how far rooted in the county it is. Having youth understand the opportunities and importance of agriculture in their own backyard is vital to ensuring the lifespan of agricultural endeavors in Pike County’s future. To this end, the Pike County Agent, a Pike County Agribusiness Authority representative, and two FFA advisors organized a day trip for FFA and 4-H members to experience agriculture within the county. This trip was sponsored by the Pike County Agribusiness Authority and Pike County Farm Bureau. Students and special guests from county and state government were toured throughout the day to experience a glimpse of what the agricultural industry provides to the county. The tour experienced a research farm with new farming technologies, a plant nursery representing the largest agricultural commodity in the county, a beef producer utilizing artificial insemination to improve herd genetics, and a flower farm demonstrating successful agritourism efforts. A summary article written by the County Agent was published in the agent’s monthly newsletter. The local paper, the Pike County Journal Reporter, asked to run the article along with photos originally posted on the Pike County Extension Facebook page. This article ran on the front page. The paper showed its understanding of the importance of the industry in the county by making it a featured story, and the agent was recognized by the Agribusiness Authority for helping to publicize the event.