State Reports

State Summary 2015 — Georgia

State Contact

Ms. Donna Rocker
Georgia Farm Bureau Federation
P.O. Box 7068
Macon, GA 31209-7068
P: 478.474.0679
E: dhrocker@gfb.org
Website

Classroom Resources

2016 Art Contest Calendar (which highlighted careers in agriculture)

Georgia Commodities Map

Lesson Plan and Teacher Resource Booklets for teachers (2 revised)

Cotton AgMag - online at http://www.gfbfoundation.org/agmag/default.html

Major Program Accomplishments or Outputs

In 2015 we held 3 one-day Educator Workshop & Farm Experience teacher training programs sponsored and coordinated through the county Farm Bureaus. We reached 70 educators from 3 counties and 25 schools. We also developed a partnership with Mercer University for a group of independent study pre-service teachers to match lesson plans to state standards. Our annual Educational Leadership Conference, sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Committee, places primary emphasis on agricultural literacy. One of the four concurrent workshops is presented by the Georgia Excellence in Educating About Agriculture award winner. In 2015 our winner was Carmen Power. One workshop was conducted by Tennessee AITC on using Skype in the classroom and another was on better use of photography and social media to share ag literacy events. Ag literacy is the primary focus of the Women’s Leadership Committee. In 2015, they connected their state convention booth with activities from the new Cotton AgMag. They also invited up to 20 county Farm Bureaus to bring ag literacy displays as part of the Celebrating Ag Literacy event at the state convention. This was a great way for volunteers to see what activities are going on and talk to the counties about how to do them. County Farm Bureaus are our greatest asset for agricultural literacy as they visit classrooms using the materials we introduce at the Educational Leadership Conference, provide through special promotions, and from attending the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. They read books, build school gardens, do activities with the children, and provide resources for teachers. They conduct the high school art contest and the middle essay contest. In 2015 we established the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. One of the first projects was Georgia’s first agriculture magazine for students. The Cotton AgMag was field tested by teachers and matched to state standards before being finalized and ready for distribution.

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

The largest impact comes from our county Farm Bureaus who spend countless people-hours doing classroom presentations, middle school essay contest, high school art contest, conducting Farm Days at Schools and on farms, providing educational materials, and assisting with school projects. With 159 counties, GFB volunteers reach about 40,000 students each year.

County Farm Bureaus are also committed to sending key teachers to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. In 2015, we had 39 people from Georgia attend the conference. They all came back ready to begin or expand their ag literacy programs. One of the teachers took an idea from the conference, expanded it, and along with her other ag literacy activities, became the 2015 Georgia Ag in the Classroom Educator of the Year.

The one-day Educator Workshop/Farm Experience reached 70 teachers in 2015. As we rolled out our newly formed GFB Foundation for Agriculture, we launched our first major project of a student agriculture magazine. The Cotton AgMag was developed by our AITC Teacher of the Year 2013 and field tested and matched to state standards by Georgia teaches in grades 2-5. The magazine is online at http://www.gfbfoundation.org/agmag/default.html.

Biosketch

Donna Hellwig Rocker has been with Georgia Farm Bureau since 1986, primarily coordinating the Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom program. In 1999, the GFB Women's Leadership Committee was added to her responsibilities. Since 1999, the Women's Leadership Committee has greatly increased their focus on youth education and agricultural literacy. Her responsibilities include materials development and teacher training.

Donna received an associates degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and a B.A. in Psychology from Georgia College & State University. She received her Masters in Adult Education from The University of Georgia in 2012.

She was part of the team to develop the AITC Consortium and has served as a regional representative and secretary for that organization.