Georgia County Government - Fall 2013 - (Page 66)

FEATURE Slice by Slice: Students Learn About the Significance of Agriculture on Pizza Farms The Pizza Farm taught students about every aspect of their favorite slice of pizza. From the wheat contained in the dough, to the meat used to top it all off, every ingredient used in making this popular food was featured on the Pizza Farm. Photo courtesy UGA Cooperative Extension. By Merritt Melancon Public Relations Coordinator UGA Cooperative Extension >> The collaboration between UGA Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture helps urban and suburban children make the connection between agriculture and the food on their plates. 66 There is nothing exotic about a pizza, but for many students the origins of their favorite slice, the stalks of wheat or the dairy cow that produces milk for mozzarella, might as well be from another planet. Recently, more than 800 Metro Atlanta elementary school students received a behind-the-scenes look at where pizza comes from at UGA Cooperative Extension’s Pizza Farm at the State Farmers Market in Clayton County. The end-of-year field trip was part of a long-term collaboration between UGA Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture to help urban and suburban children make the connection between agriculture and the food on their plates. “There is a lot to learn from a pizza,” said Fulton County Cooperative Extension Agent Kisha Faulk. “By walking through the parts of the pizza, you can learn about the dairy cows that we have here in Georgia, the wheat that we grow here and use in our mills. We have information about tomatoes and herbs that we use in sauce. And we even have live animals that we use for our toppings.” GEORGIA COUNTY GOVERNMENT Students learned how wheat plants are processed into flour to make pizza dough and were able to examine tomato plants and taste and smell the herbs that go into pizza sauce. The students also saw a dairy cow as they learned how much feed and water she needs to produce the milk that is used to make cheese. It took more than a year to plan the event, and Extension agents from across northwest Georgia volunteered to help run the giant exhibition. Extension agents have much experience teaching both students and teachers about Georgia agriculture and how to remain healthy. “Extension agents have been teaching PizzaFarm types of lessons — nutrition and agriculture — across Georgia for 100 years,” Faulk said. “It’s a visible, glamorous, fun look at the basic mission and principles of Extension.” Now that planning for the 2014 Pizza Farm is underway, Faulk is fielding calls from Extension agents and teachers across the state who want to start pizza farms in their own backyards. “There’s been interest in all four corners of the state,” Faulk said. “It’s a fun approach to looking at Georgia commodities and agriculture in the state, and it’s being delivered in a manner that’s attractive to kids; that’s extremely educational and that supports teachers in the classroom.” The pizza farm concept was born in Texas, where Houston-based Extension agents organized a pizzathemed field day to help introduce suburban children to agriculture. Georgia’s Urban Extension agents heard about their work and wanted to try it in Georgia to help children make a connection to their food. Fewer and fewer Georgia students, even those from rural areas, understand agriculture’s role in their lives. “A lot of young people don’t have agriculture in their backgrounds, and they really don’t understand where their food comes from,” said Beverly Sparks, associate dean for Extension at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “I think events like this really help them realize that food does not come from the grocery store. In an event like this we’re helping them understand what all it takes to produce a pizza.” In addition to learning more about what it takes to produce the food that is sold in restaurants and the grocery store, they also learned how a pizza fits into the USDA MyPlate dietary guidelines for proper nutrition. They

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Fall 2013

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
UGA’s Archway Partnership: Empowerment for Georgia’s Communities
Oglethorpe County: Focusing on the Benefi ts of Protecting Rural Roots
Eliminating Risks: LGRMS Celebrates 25 Years
Where Do We Stand? One Year after Georgia’s Criminal Justice Reform
Understanding the Impacts of Juvenile Justice Reform
New Jail Facilities: Counties Focus on New Technology and Capacity to Expand
2013 Legislative Service Award Recipients
Hospital Survival: Informed County Commissioners Can Preserve Local Health Care
Federal New: More Gridlock and Uncertainty May Be Expected in Washington for FY 2014
Slice by Slice: Students Learn About the Signifi cance of Agriculture on Pizza Farms
Talking Trees with Georgia’s County Commissioners
Partner News: Value at the Heart of the Unique Gas South-ACCG Partnership
Commercial Swimming Pool Renovations Do’s and Don’ts
Counties & The Law: The Supreme Court, the Voting Rights Act and Georgia Counties
Legal News: Bidding in Georgia: What to Do When the Lowest
Conference Preview: Legislative Leadership
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - Fall 2013