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Students experience numerous learning opportunities and participate in various activities. Both high school and college students will have an opportunity to attend the Expo to compete in “Advocacy in Action”, sponsored by the Georgia Farm Bureau. Clay Talton, Director of Field Services at Georgia Farm Bureau, says “It is important that we offer the best educational opportunities and resources as our youth seek exposure to the agriculture industry. The Sunbelt Ag Expo’s youth educational challenges are what sets this expo apart from others, and it is important we continue to build and expand on those opportunities.”

The contestants will be split into two categories: one for college students and the other for high school students. Each group was assigned an advocacy topic a month before the Expo. Students will compete in teams of three or four. These teams will create a video advocating for their topic. The best three videos from each were invited to compete live at the Expo. At the Expo, the top three teams will be with trainers who will have time to coach them on their advocacy skills and the topic. Students will then meet with stakeholders around the expo to present their ideas and advocate for their topic, the winner of each group will be chosen after being awarded based on how they hold their conversations.

Teams from all over the southeast have been put together to compete in this exciting contest!

The Youth Educational Challenges sponsored by County Financial are also back again for this year. Students are invited to the event and are encouraged to participate in contests pertaining to topics like agricultural mechanics, horticulture, and forestry. Ashley Denton, the agricultural education teacher at Perry High school, says that “These competitions allow our students to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a fun and competitive way. Students also get a leg up in FFA Career Development Events later in the year, by competing in the contests at the Expo.”

Similarly, AgGeorgia Farm Credit offers an ag mechanics contest. Students work hard in the classroom to hone their creative talents. At the Expo, they are given the opportunity to show off their wood and metal masterpieces. Students’ displays will be submitted and judged, then displayed to the public.

For the third year, the Expo will host The State Tractor driving FFA Career Development Event, sponsored by John Deere. Jerry Stone, South Region Area agricultural mechanics teacher, looks forward to making this year’s activities a success. Stone says, “This Career Development Event is one that countless students look forward to. Many of these students have spent much of their lives on a tractor and they are excited to show us what they can do.”

The best twelve students will take a twenty-question driving and problem-solving test and then will actually be able to drive the course. These students are FFA members representing the north, central, and south region of Georgia. Students are ready to put their driving skills to the test!