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December 9, 2015





Jennifer Whittaker,




MACON, GA. – Georgia Farm Bureau presented Jones County teacher Lauren Goble its 2015 Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award during the organization’s 78th annual convention Dec. 6 on Jekyll Island.


Goble, who teaches first-graders at Mattie Wells Elementary School in Gray, was recognized for incorporating information and activities in her classroom curriculum that teach her students about agriculture and how it impacts their daily lives.


As the award winner, Goble received a $500 award and an expense-paid trip to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Litchfield Park, Ariz., in June 2016. She will also be invited to present a workshop on her teaching methods at the Georgia Farm Bureau Educational Leadership Conference next March.


After attending the 2015 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in June, Goble was inspired to develop what she calls her “Thank a Farmer Friday” lesson plan. Each week Goble’s class virtually visits one of 32 farms she is partnering with across the state. The students learn about the crop or livestock that the farm grows, prepare a recipe featuring the commodity and discuss how the farmer grows the crop or livestock. Students learn the geography of Georgia by locating the featured farm of the week on a state map and discussing how far away the farm is from Jones County and the direction they would travel to visit the farm. The students also write a class letter sent to the farmer asking questions about the farm and the crops he grows.


Goble’s class planted a fall garden that was used in recipes for its Thanksgiving Feast. The class watched daily weather forecasts to determine whether they needed to water their plants.


“By doing ‘Thank a Farmer Friday’ my students travel all across our state. We are able to talk about why peaches grow better in Middle Georgia but apples grow better in North Georgia. I am able to tie in the different topographical and geographical regions of our state so they better understand what the farmers face and how diverse our state is,” Goble said.


“I can’t wait to see how much my students grow in their agricultural literacy between now and the end of the year. They have grown so much, and I have parents telling me that they are going home with so much excitement about what we are doing.”


Goble, who has taught elementary school for eight years, has been a nominee for both the Bibb and Jones County Teacher of the Year. She is a member of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Jones County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.


Founded in 1937, the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization. The organization has 158 county chapters. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major commodities grown in Georgia.