Newton County Farm Bureau representatives Crystal Hyatt, left, and Keith Mitchum received the 2014 Partner in Education of the Year award from the Newton County School System’s Middle Ridge Elementary School Principal Michael Forehand and Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce President Hunter Hall. (Staff photo: Jessicah Peters)
COVINGTON — By taking a hands-on approach to share the importance of local agriculture, Newton County Farm Bureau received recognition as the top 2014 Partner in Education of the Year.
The Newton County School System partnered with the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce several years ago to recognize businesses and community members who make an impact in the local schools.
Chamber President Hunter Hall said Keith Mitchum and Crystal Hyatt with the Farm Bureau have gone above and beyond to roll up their selves to bring agricultural elements to students at Middle Ridge Elementary School.
“They’ve conducted literacy clubs, provided teachers with hands-on lessons and materials along with hosting a Farm Day for students to better understand agriculture in the county,” Hall said. “It’s come out of their pockets to provide teachers the opportunity to attend conferences on agriculture on the local, state and federal level.”
Middle Ridge Elementary School Principal Michael Forehand said the Farm Bureau has brought education to life. Through a hoop house built by the Farm Bureau, the students can now plant and harvest their own crops.
“They’ve really rolled up their sleeves and dug into the dirt with us. Just this morning they were at our school again to serve breakfast for Teacher Appreciation Week,” Forehand said. “We can’t thank them enough for their support.”
Farm Bureau representative Mitchum said the local branch is able to give back to schools through the support of the bureau’s insurance members.
The Georgia Farm Bureau Federation is Georgia’s largest and strongest voluntary agricultural organization with more than 340,000 member families. It is an independent, non-governmental organization and the Newton County chapter serves farmers locally. The membership is mainly composed of farm families in rural communities and of people who want Georgia to be agriculturally successful, progressive and prosperous.