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Area Foundation Commits $1 Million to Ag Literacy Initiative at ABAC

June 5, 2017

The Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation has committed $1 million over the next four years to continue the Destination Ag program at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Destination Ag, in operation since September 2016, connects students and teachers to the importance of agriculture and natural resources in their daily lives.

In August 2016, the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation announced a $250,000 gift to the ABAC Foundation to launch a major agriculture and natural resources literacy program at the Museum.  Since that time, Destination Ag has touched the lives of 5,000 elementary students in Tift, Colquitt, and Cook counties.

“ABAC and the staff at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture exceeded our expectations during the inaugural year of Destination Ag’s operation,” said Donnie Warren, Foundation Executive Director. “They are raising the bar for agriculture and natural resource education in our area.”

Museum Director Garrett Boone said the additional funding further enhances the educational mission of the Museum, which became a part of the ABAC campus in 2010.

“For the past nine months, the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation has allowed us to provide a dynamic, living laboratory through Destination Ag that showcases agriculture and natural resources by offering transformational experiences to children and teachers across South Georgia,” Boone said.

Key components of Destination Ag include hands-on field trip experiences for the young learners at the Museum which focus on the value of agriculture and natural resources with an emphasis on careers in these fields.

“Through this additional support from the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation, ABAC will continue to plant seeds that will ensure the growth of Georgia’s number one industry, agriculture, for the next generation and beyond,” ABAC President David Bridges said.  “This support has made it possible for us to invest in the lives of these students who will one day be the agricultural leaders in this state.”

“By taking part in Destination Ag, these kids know where their lettuce and tomatoes and beef come from,” Wesley Langdale, Chairman of the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation, said.  “Everyone in this country wants safe food.  Our kids need to know that we grow our own.”

Boone said that as the program continues to develop, students in second through fifth grades will be added in the counties of Berrien, Irwin, Turner, Ben Hill, and Worth.

“We have a responsibility to teach our children about their connection to the land for their food and shelter,” said Warren. “Destination Ag will play a vital role in living up to that responsibility for years to come as the program grows and attracts additional support.”
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