Georgia EMC: Keeping the Lights On and Keeping Us Safe
By Bethany Champion
An excellent feature of the Expo is having the Georgia EMC booth provide relevant education on electrical safety. Throughout the week, the booth featured friendly faces, unique demonstrations, and snacks for everyone who stopped by. Oscar, the robot, was a unique feature. Oscar was always ready to chat or pop a joke with anyone who walked by the booth. The “Be a Lineman” station featured friendly EMC employees and a real-world opportunity for children of all ages. At this station, children put on the lineman gear and climbed onto a mock power pole where they got to experience the feeling of hanging on a power pole. The linemen running this station were ready to help anyone “be a lineman.”
With demonstrations featured every two hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, anyone interested had the opportunity to watch a live high-voltage electrical demonstration. The demonstration utilized a hotdog to demonstrate how easily the human body and other substances work as a conductor. When the hotdog touched the powerline that was on, the hotdog immediately caught on fire. This demonstration also shows the importance of driving farm equipment responsibly and watching for your surroundings. Safety is such an important aspect of electricity, and EMC is committed to educating the public on the best safety practices possible. Sunbelt Expo is thankful for the long-lasting friendship of Georgia EMC and looks forward to having them next year.
Sunbelt Expo Hosts Mobile Food Nutrition Lab
By Phoebe Beard
Alabama Extension is a collaboration between Alabama A&M, Auburn University, and Tuskegee University. Their mission is to, “Transform lives through science-based information, practical solutions, and meaningful experiences.” They advertise themselves as the leader in research and problem-solving in the state of Alabama. Several programs within the Alabama extension agency include the Urban Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program- Education (SNAP-Ed).
The Urban SNAP-Ed focuses on making nutrition easy, tasty, and affordable. This program was developed by Alabama A&M and is co-funded by Alabama Extension. Participants of the program can have personalized lessons based on their age, that range from youth to senior adults. The curriculum is focused on basic nutrition, smart shopping techniques, hands-on demonstrations, and healthy recipes.
In order to promote the SNAP-Ed program, the extension has created a Mobile Nutrition Lab. It is housed in a 36-foot-long unit that is equipped with laptops, TVs, and lab equipment for hands-on experiments. The lab hosts lessons centered around topics such as meal planning, proper hand washing, healthy snacks, and balancing your food consumption with daily physical activity. The unit includes a bicycle-powered blender on the handlebars, letting you blend food while getting exercise as you pedal.
Peanuts, Get Your Peanuts!
By Emma Richwine
It’s a Sunbelt favorite a – the coveted grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich at the Georgia Peanut Commission. Every morning, a long line forms in anticipation of these delicious sandwiches. Friendly workers are grilling these sandwiches, cutting them in half, and serving them to visitors, all with a smile! The sandwiches are made with Jif peanut butter and Smucker’s apple jelly. You can find the recipe for this delicacy right next to the serving station to try back at home, if you want to know their secret. The building also has roasted peanuts in various flavors to sample. Nutritional information about peanuts is also featured all around the building. Fast facts are on display for all ages to learn more about the peanut industry. Another highlight is the photo cutout where you could be a farmer or his peanut. Families were lined up to take pictures at this cute display. Georgia is the number one producer of peanuts in the U.S., so be sure to stop by next year, show your support, and support Georgia peanuts throughout the year!
ATV Companies Provides Hands-on Experiences for Guests at Expo
By Layla Wallace
Each year, the Sunbelt Ag Expo offers many opportunities for its visitors to be involved in hands-on experiences. One example of this is all-terrian vehicle demonstrations. This year, Kawasaki, Polaris, and Can-Am placed tracks at the Expo and allowed guests to test drive their newest ATVs. Each track contained different bumps, hills, and rocky terrain to demonstrate the quality of these vehicles. Kawasaki and Can-Am required drivers to be 21 years of age or older and Polaris required drivers to be 18 years of age or older. All three companies take safety measures through participants signing contracts, watching safety videos, and wearing proper safety gear. For some companies, this was their first year bringing a demo track to the Expo and it has proven to be successful. It is important that customers interested in purchasing ATVs can experience the feel of the vehicle for themselves.
By far, one of my favorite experiences of the Expo has been getting the opportunity to drive one of the Polaris vehicles on their track. The entire process went smoothly, and it was a great way to close out my Expo intern experience. This year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo has been nothing short of amazing, and we are looking forward to another great year in 2024!
Tastes Of Georgia
By Peyton Coursey
Throughout the week at the Expo, visitors had the opportunity to taste a variety of foods from local restaurants and companies. Tasting included beef jerky from Strippling’s General Store, some BBQ from Tifton-based 3 Beards BBQ, or you can get some homemade doughnuts from the infamous Yodee’s Doughnuts. The Colquitt County FFA Chapter also had several places where they were selling delicious food to help raise money for their chapter. All of these amazing vendors plus many more are all local to our beautiful state and area! Not only is there food you can eat here, but numerous booths are Georgia-grown and have options for you to buy and take home! Rhootman Beverage Company gave away free samples of their all-natural pre-made drink mixes, better known as “Shrubs” but also had the option for you to buy your very own bottle to take home. Paulk Vineyards, a yearly favorite, was selling many of their jams and even juices. There were many more booths where you could sample oils, grits, drinks, honey, and more!
We thank every one of you for coming to the 2023 Sunbelt Ag Expo! We are so thankful for your support to us and all the local businesses, exhibitors, and vendors. We can’t wait to see you all next year!
Colleges of The Sunbelt
By Shelby Wentz
As we wrap up the 2023 Sunbelt Ag Expo, there were so many great vendors, sponsors, activities and much more put on. Many colleges from the southeast attend the Sunbelt Ag Expo each year. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Auburn University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Florida A&M, Alabama A&M, Clemson University, Fort Valley State University and the newly added University of North Florida were all attendees. With these colleges being involved, it brings in students who may have an interest in attending one of these schools. These colleges each have displays that interact and share educational purposes. Each school has their own unique features to the Expo. Overall this year, each college had a great turnout among all the visitors. Join us next year on October 15-17, 2024, to see all the new innovations of the colleges!