GFA's Picnic on the Farm highlights coastal agriculture
Posted on Sep 27, 2023 at 11:36 AM
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) hosted its annual “Picnic on the Farm” on Sept. 16 at the Beachview Club Hotel on Jekyll Island. This event explores different aspects of Georgia agriculture, traveling to a different region each year. The event ventured to the Georgia Coast this year to highlight aquaculture through an engaging educational and culinary experience.
More than 100 guests attended the Picnic on the Farm, which raised $42,000 to support the GFA’s mission to educate consumers about agriculture and prepare the next generation of Georgia farmers and agriculture leaders for success.
The Golden Isles coast and Beachview Club Hotel provided a picturesque backdrop for this year's picnic. Guests enjoyed a relaxing afternoon featuring a seafood boil and signature cocktails while listening to live music. Georgia Department of Natural Resources employees and UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory experts led informative beach tours for attendees.
Local beekeepers, and representatives of land trust and conservation organizations hosted booths to discuss efforts they are making to protect pollinators and the environment on the coast.
Plein-air artists positioned their easels throughout the venue to capture the scenery and spirit of the event.
Attendees also had the opportunity to tour the foundation’s Georgia Ag Experience – a 36-foot mobile agriculture classroom, which travels approximately 200 days out of the year visiting third through fifth-grade elementary school students and public events. The mobile classroom brings the farm to the students using interactive computer games and simulation stations that educate students using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum.
Since 2021, the Georgia Ag Experience has educated over 40,000 students statewide. The Georgia Ag Experience is one of the many programs that will be funded by the Picnic on the Farm and other fundraising efforts led by GFA Executive Director Lily Baucom.
“There is a serious disconnect between those inside and outside of agriculture. The gap between farmers who grow food and fiber, and those who consume it, is getting wider,” Baucom said. In fact, most students are three to four generations removed from the farm. It is our job to find innovative approaches to address these issues which impact food security in Georgia, our nation, and worldwide.”
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is developing a pipeline for Georgia’s next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders. Through early exposure to agriculture, classroom learning, higher education, farm-based mentorship, and professional learning, the foundation’s programs provide a structured path that fosters growth and sparks passion in agriculture during students’ educational journey.
The Picnic on the Farm event was made possible by Presenting Sponsor Georgia Farm Bureau; Premier Sponsor Farm Bureau Bank; Signature Sponsors: FB Alliance and Alliant Insurance; Elite Sponsors, the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, AREO Trucking & Logistics, Anthem BCBS, and the Farm Credit Associations of Georgia; Select Sponsors: The West Family, ABAC School of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Cardinal Investment Advisors, Cobb County Farm Bureau, Marjac Poultry, Guy Carpenter, Blanchard Equipment, James Bates Brannan Groover, LLP., Truist Bank, Sapiens International Corporation, and The Sandblasting Shop.