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June 25--  Three area elementary schools are among 20 in Georgia named for a pilot program in agricultural education for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade.

Montgomery County Elementary School, Wheeler County Elementary and Appling County Elementary schools were selected by the Georgia Department of Education.

The State Board of Education approved standards for the new course at its meeting this month.

The new standards are a direct result of Senate Bill 330, legislation passed in 2018 which provides for a pilot program to develop and implement agricultural education in elementary schools.

“I’m thrilled about this work and the opportunity to add agricultural education at the elementary level,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “At the upper levels, our kids have a chance to learn the business and practice of agriculture, but now we can begin to build that understanding for our younger students in an age-appropriate way.”

State Sen. John Wilkinson, a former FFA program manager and agricultural education teacher and current chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committee, sponsored the legislation.

“Food doesn’t come from the grocery store,” Sen. Wilkinson said. “Four or five generations removed from the farm makes it hard for students to understand where their food really comes from. This new program will help kids understand the powerful impact of agriculture on the prosperity of our state.”

Georgia Rep. Terry England, a member of the House Education and Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committees as well as Appropriations chairman, added:

“I feel it’s important that kids understand where food, shelter, and fiber come from. This is a step in the right direction.”