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Free conference attracts hundreds to Fort Valley State University

Published: 04/02/2018 2:42PM
By: booner

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Timothy Robinson (center) shows off his 2018 Fort Valley State University Farm Family of the Year trophy during the 41st Farm, Home and Ministers Conference. Standing with Robinson is FVSU Dougherty County Extension agent Charlie Grace (Left) and Dr. Mark Latimore Jr., FVSU Extension administrator (Right)

People interested in farming, modern technology, current events and health issues attended a free conference hosted by Fort Valley State University on March 29.

From 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., more than 205 people attended breakout sessions located in FVSU’s C.W. Pettigrew Farm and Community Life Center. Topics of discussion included Solar Drying for Specialty Crops; Citrus, Persimmon and Blueberry Production and Focusing on Youth, Parents and Mentoring.

More than 28 vendors, small farmers and representatives from federal and state agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, FVSU Cooperative Extension, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Cooperative Extension conducted demonstrations or set up display booths.

Terralon Chaney, FVSU’s Twiggs County Extension agent and chair of the event said the purpose of the conference is to educate communities in Georgia about the impact agriculture has on their daily lives. She also said the conference serves as a means to help inform people about the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles, eating healthy foods and grow their own vegetables.  

In addition to the breakout session and demonstrations, FVSU Cooperative Extension employees presented the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Family of the Year Award, 4-H Family of the Year Award, and the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Farm Family of the Year Award.

Timothy Robinson and the Robinson Family of Albany received the 2018 ANR Farm Family of the Year Award. Robinson said he is thoroughly surprised to win the award. Robinson, a military retiree, decided to return home to his family’s 452 acre farm where he presently uses five acres to grow fruits and vegetables.

 “For me, it serves as motivation for me to really push and strive for the goals that I have set forth to really build the farm,” Robinson said in winning the Farm Family of the Year honor. He said developing the farm is a challenge and mission he must complete. 

Robinson was nominated for the award by Charlie Grace, FVSU’s Dougherty County Extension agent. “He is an advocate for FVSU in Dougherty County as it relates to the Extension program, and he mainly participates in all of the FVSU programs in the area of agriculture when it comes to training farmers,” Grace said.

Sheryl Tennyson, a school counselor at Hunt Elementary School in Fort Valley, received the 2018 Family and Consumer Sciences award. Gail Adams, FVSU Peach County Extension agent nominated Tennyson for the honor.

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Sheryl Tennyson (center) a counselor at Hunt Elementary School, received the 2018 Family Consumer Sciences award at the Farm, Home and Ministers Conference. Presenting the award to Tennyson is Dr. Mark Latimore, FVSU extension administrator (left), and Gail Adams, FVSU Peach County Extension agent.

Cheniya Parks, a senior at Twiggs County High School, received the 4-H Family of the Year honor. Philip Petway, FVSU 4-H Extension agent for Twiggs County, nominated her for the award.

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Dr. Mark Latimore Jr. (far left), FVSU Extension administrator and Phillip Petway (far right), FVSU 4-H Twiggs County Extension agent, present Cheniya Parks (holding trophy) and her family the 4-H Family of the Year Award

In addition, the Terrell County and Twiggs County Chapters of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) both received an FFA Scholarship Award totaling $500.

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Terralon Chaney (far left), FVSU Twiggs County Extension agent and Dr. Mark Latimore Jr. (far right), FVSU Extension administrator, present the Twiggs County High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter the FFA Scholarship Award.

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Charlie Grace (far left), FVSU Dougherty County Extension agent along with FVSU Terrell County Extension agent Atonya Jordan (second from right) and Dr. Mark Latimore Jr. (far right), FVSU Extension Administrator, present the Terrell County High School FFA Chapter the FFA Scholarship Award.

For more information about FVSU Cooperative Extension, visit ag.fvsu.edu.