Love for agriculture

Posted on 16 April 2014

Lindsey-2

Lindsay Hayes

By Powell Cobb

Reporter

There are people who love inspiring youth, and there are people who have a passion for it. Lindsey Hayes, agriculture extension agent for Decatur County, is an example of the passionate side.

She leads the charge for agriculture programming in Decatur County schools, particularly the 4-H development program, helping to develop kids into leaders in today’s society, whether through agriculture or beyond.

“We have a little over 500 4-H members in Decatur County,” Hayes said. “So we go into the classroom and provide lessons that meet the Georgia performance standards, but our lessons are more hands on so we’re giving kids a different opportunity to learn things that they’re doing in class. We’re giving them a different perspective of it.”

These opportunities range from leadership events, judging teams, summer camp and livestock programs. They even offer students sports programs like shotgun and archery teams.

“A lot of times, we are able to give kids opportunities that they would not be able to get otherwise,” Hayes said. “We have five camps across the state of Georgia, including one in Jekyll Island. A lot of times, that’s the kids, first time ever seeing the beach. It’s really cool to be able to give them those opportunities.”

Hayes grew up in an agricultural family in Bainbridge, living on a third generation farm. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor degree in political science, and then spent two years in Macon working at the Georgia Farm Bureau.

Loving agriculture, Hayes knew she needed to be in a location that helped the industry high on its list. Decatur County was the perfect fit.

“It’s pretty high up there as far as having a great agriculture community,” Hayes said. “We’re able to offer that opportunity to students. There’s not another one like it outside of Georgia National Fairgrounds. I think that demonstrates to the community how important agriculture is here.”

Agriculture even has a major role in Hayes’ personal life. Her children show swine competitively almost year-round. She travels with them on the weekends to different shows.

“But we also have 4-H kids who show it, so I’m able to intertwine the two,” Hayes said.

Every day is different for Hayes in the classroom. She loves bringing agriculture to students, future farmers and leaders in Decatur County.

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