Hands-on learning experiences encompass the grounds of Spence Field during the Sunbelt Expo. Whether you are a farmer with a small operation or a teacher with a bus full of students, the expo has fun learning experiences for all. These interactive demonstrations will ignite your interests in industries and aspects of agriculture that you may not have seen before.
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY
It’s peanut butter and jelly time for the Georgia Peanut Commission. Stop by to try tasty grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These sandwiches are a crowd favorite. The peanut butter is made from Georgia peanuts. From boiled to roasted, peanuts are a recognizable Georgia specialty. Interesting fact: peanuts are legumes and fruit below ground! While you try your PB&J, the Georgia Peanut Commission will have informational materials available about this staple Georgia commodity.
Chef Chris Wilton of Wilson Catering in Loachapoka, Alabama will be cooking up fried catfish over at the Aquaculture building. The farm-raised U.S. catfish is a southern delight. Snack on samples of catfish as you watch and listen to Chef Wilton. This opportunity is a must for catfish lovers and curious individuals alike!
Operating on a schedule throughout the Sunbelt Expo, visitors can see equipment in action as a part of the field demonstrations. Catch a ride to the demos on one of the trams located at the Tram Station. Trams depart the station 15 minutes ahead of the demonstration time. Witness the tedding, cutting, raking, or baling of hay depending on which time you attend. Farmers looking to invest in new equipment can get a firsthand look, and visitors curious about the hay industry can watch the processes. In addition to hay demonstrations, the other field demos include cotton harvesting, peanut harvesting, and tillage demos.
STOCK DOG TRIALS
Located right next to the tram station are the famous stock dog trials! With origins in the United Kingdom, stock trials date back to the 19th century. Preparing for the trials means long hours of preparation for both the handlers and dogs. The stock dogs trials at the expo mainly feature Border Collies. The skilled dogs are bred to herd livestock and respond to commands. Grab your spot on the bleachers, and let the trials begin!
The Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom features a fully operational milking parlor with a live cow. The mobile dairy is sponsored by the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk. Mrs. Nicole Karstedt engages, informs and entertains her audience as she explains milking and processing. To increase agricultural literacy in the dairy industry, the mobile dairy promotes the dairy industry through demonstrations.
The American Welding Society (AWS) presents a mobile welding lab. The organization focuses on inspiring the next generation through hands-on learning experiences. AWS uses virtual reality welding simulators by Lincoln Electric. The trailer includes five machines for visitors to practice on. With virtual welding machines, those newly interested in the trade can experience the feel of welding without fear or danger. The machines give feedback to users and include various levels of difficulty. Since welding is a skilled trade that requires hours of practice, this can be the first step in sparking interest.
GEORGIA AG EXPERIENCE
This unique experience is a 36-foot mobile classroom that showcases Georgia Agriculture on-the-road. The GA Ag Experience, powered by the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, uses technology and digital learning so students can take a deep dive into seven different Georgia agricultural commodities. The mobile classroom will be located just outside of the GA Ag / GA Farm Bureau Building at the Main Gate during the Sunbelt Ag Expo.
The experiences are presented by vendors and exhibitors at the Sunbelt Expo. In addition to these opportunities, there are countless more ways to be entertained during your time at the Expo. Visit somewhere that sparks your interest, and you might get a sample of catfish or a chance to watch stock dogs!