b'Class of 2021 Class of 2021Katibeth Mims Youry GonzalezAgricultural CommunicationAgribusinessG rowing up on her family farm in Donalsonville, Georgia, it came as no surprise that KatibethEncouraged by his FFA advisor, Bradleyshadow a person that works with USDA Mims considered a career teaching agriculture. Active throughout high school in theHall, Gonzalez selected Abraham Baldwininspections. It was an amazing process, National FFA she even served as president, following her father and grandfathers footsteps. Agriculture College (ABAC) because of itsand he had more than 20 years of close proximity to home [his family nowexperience.I wanted to be a teacher and work with FFA students, says Mims, who graduated fromlives in Douglas, Georgia] and small classGonzalez was also able to expand his sizes. Seminole High School. FFA is more than just learning about farming. Its about advancing aanalytical and problem-solving skills. new generation of leaders and teaching about the agricultural industry. Mr. Hall went to ABAC, Gonzalez says.When I worked with the production He is the main reason I am where I amprocess, we would open up an Excel today. spreadsheet and start doing the math. When she arrived at Abraham Baldwinimpacted by Hurricane Michael.Looking at the process, we determined While at ABAC, Gonzalez says he gainedwhat was going on and how to make Agriculture College (ABAC), her careerThis is a topic that is personal and verya greater appreciation for the agriculture choice began to change. I saw how manynear and dear to my heart, she says.A lot of high school students chart theirindustry and its economic importance.changes that would translate into profits.different careers there were, she says.Hurricane Michael left lots of damage incareer choice at an early age. Taking a cueWhile at ABAC, Gonzalez helped start a I had heard a little bit about agriculturemy hometown of Donalsonville.from a parent or relative or an interest in aIn a class taught by Dr. Audrey Luke- chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural communication, and at the time, it was aWorking for a state agency, Mims becameparticular subject can often lead toward aMorgan, associate professor ofResources and Related Science (MANRRS). relatively small program, but its startingaware of the government policy side ofprofessional interest.Agribusiness, Gonzalez says he graspedA national student organization, Gonzalez to grow. the vital impact of agricultural production.says the primary goal of MANRRS is agriculture.For Youry Gonzalez, the idea of majoringIn her class, she taught us about the food Mims says she switched to agriculturalWhen I think of ag communication, Iin agribusiness came during his junior yearbelt. It was a visual representation of theto promote inclusion and diversity for communication to reach a broaderat Claxton High School, where he wasfood dollar, he says. In 2019, on averagestudents within agriculture and natural audience. Its about letting consumersnow think about the different commodityresources.groups, like the Georgia Peanutinvolved in the National FFA. [U.S.] farmers receive 14.3 cents from every know where their food comes from anddollar, the rest goes to other costs. Everyone is welcome and can benefit the importance of agriculture.Commission, where she completedIt was through taking agriculture classes a second internship in 2020. Thethat I got involved with FFA, he says.In the summer of 2020, Gonzalezfrom what the club has to offer, he says. In 2020, Mims was one of seven studentswhole point of communication is aboutIve been told I have a good speakingcompleted his required internship atWe have students who are not minority selected as School of Agriculture andeducating people, and that includesvoice and thought about politics, business,Pilgrims Pride Corp. in Douglas. students or majoring in agriculture or Natural Resource Leaders, based on gradestate and national legislators, as well asnatural resources.point average, club and organizationlobbyists. maybe even law. It was from the influenceIt was a great opportunity, and I learned a of FFA and my advisor that I decided toGonzalez graduated from ABAC in spring activity, and leadership skills.Thinking about her familys farm, Mimsmajor in agriculture. lot about the companys entire production2021 and is employed full-time with process, he says. I had the chance toPilgrims Pride in Douglas. As part of her experiential learningsays, Its about sharing the stories of opportunities, Mims completed twoour farmers; many of them are working internships, the first in the summer oflate into the night and dont have time to 2019 with the Georgia Department ofspeak directly to legislators. They call and Agriculture Office of Communication.write letters but giving them a voice and sharing their stories so that policymakersIt was through taking agriculture classes that I got involved with FFA. Ive I mostly worked on graphic design forunderstand the importance of farmingbeen told I have a good speaking voice and thought about politics, business, brochures and infographics, she says. I also gained some writing experience andand agriculture.maybe even law. It was from the influence of FFA and my advisor that I had an article published in the GeorgiaBefore completing her senior year atdecided to major in agriculture.Market Bulletin, a newsletter produced byABAC, Mims secured a full-time job with the Georgia Department of Agriculture.the Georgia Department of Agriculture in- YOURY GONZALEZTifton.The article focused on federal disaster relief for Georgia farmers negatively PHOTOS BY LANDON ROWE, ABAC18 SG MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021 BUSINESS + CULTURE 19'