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Governor Expands Funding for Honors Program in Agriculture

Tuesday, February 22, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Governor Perdue Recommends Increasing Agriscience Slots in Governor's Honors Program

ATLANTA - This morning at a breakfast hosted by the Future Farmers of America (FFA), Governor Sonny Perdue announced his plan to recognize outstanding agriculture students by expanding the Governor's Honors Program in agriscience and biotechnology.

Presently the Governor's Honors Program, a six-week summer program for academically gifted and artistically talented students, budgets for 15 agriculture students and one instructor to participate each year.  The Governor's budget proposes to add $25,000 to double the agriculture participants to 30 students, and include two instructors each year.

“I'm committed to agriculture education,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “The Governor's Honors Program will help these students become the future leaders of the agriculture industry in our state.” 

Rising juniors and seniors in Georgia high schools are eligible to be nominated by their teachers for participation in the Governor's Honors Program (GHP).  Students are nominated in a specific instructional area in which their abilities, aptitudes and interests lie.  Major instructional areas are agriscience and biotechnology, English, foreign languages, mathematics, science, social studies, visual arts, theatre, music, dance, design, technology and executive management. Students attend the program on the campus of Valdosta State University.  In 2004, 675 students from across Georgia participated in the Governor's Honors Program.

The new agriscience and biotechnology slots in the honors program are funded through the Governor's 2006 proposed budget for the Department of Education.  Governor Perdue, a strong supporter of agriculture education, has added 70 agriculture-teaching positions to the Georgia school system since 2000.

“I have no doubt that organizations like 4-H and the FFA will be well represented by the excellent students that will be chosen for the honors program,” said Governor Perdue.  “These kids have learned the same lesson I learned growing up on our family farm.  If you take care of the land, it will take care of you.”

“This Governor is devoted to providing funding to encourage young people to get interested in agriculture,” said Donnie Smith, Agriculture Liaison to Governor Perdue.  “Because of his announcement this morning, Georgia's agriculture future looks brighter.”