- Writer: J. Merritt Melancon
- Contact: Jessica Hill, Kim Seibert
- Athens, Ga. – On May 8-9, metro Atlanta students will have the opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at one of the hottest foods on the market today—pizza. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension staff will take the students on a guided tour of a demonstration farm at the State Farmers Market in Forest Park where pizza ingredients are grown.
Pizza Farm 2013 is open to elementary and home-schooled groups and is built around Georgia’s performance standards for fourth and fifth grades. Teachers and others must register their groups by April 19.
For many of the students, pizzas come from a restaurant or a freezer—and few of them have seen that each and every pizza starts its journey on a farm.
“Activities like this are important because many children know very little if anything about agriculture and where their food comes from,” said Jessica Hill, UGA Extension coordinator for DeKalb County. “Most think their food comes from the supermarket or a restaurant, not realizing that it all has its start on a farm.”
Helping children understand the origin of the food they eat is an important part of increasing students’ awareness of proper nutrition and the importance of fruits and vegetables in their diets, said Kim Siebert, UGA Extension coordinator for Clayton County.
Exhibits on the origins of the most popular pizza ingredients—from cheese to tomatoes to dough and even pepperoni and sausage—will be presented in stations set up around the State Farmers Market exhibit hall.
Other stations will focus on the importance of staying active and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Choose My Plate nutrition guidelines. Students will spend 10 minutes at each of the seven stations before being served a pizza lunch on site.
The cost of the program is $15 per group. For more information about the pizza farm event or to register a group, see extension.uga.edu/k12/pizza-farm.
Pizza Farm 2013 is being coordinated by UGA Extension and sponsored by Georgia 4-H and the Georgia Department of Agriculture.