Spencer Highsmith, a native of Coffee County, was recently selected to serve as the Young Farmer Advisor for Coffee County starting July 1, 2020. Spencer received his B.A.S. degree in Diversified Agriculture from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA in 2014. He has since taught Ag Education at George Washington Carver Freshman Campus for five years and most recently taught Ag Mechanics at Coffee High School. His involvement within the agricultural industry is not limited to teaching agriculture education. Spencer and his father manage a cow-calf, hay and pecan operation in Pridgen, GA. His family's operation has been featured in both Sim-Talk and Georgia Cattlemen's Association magazines for excellence in management practices in recent years.
The Georgia Young Farmers (GYFA) program is the adult education component of Georgia's Agricultural Education program. County Young Farmer Programs conduct educational seminars on everything from agricultural technology to legislative issues affecting agriculture. Spencer will play an instrumental role in providing these opportunities and assisting farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness leaders in the community. Georgia Young Farmer Teachers provide instruction through organized classes on everything from new farming techniques, risk management strategies, water management, and agricultural awareness to legislative issues affecting agriculture. Furthermore, Spencer will provide on-site technical assistance to members involved within the local chapter.
According to Spencer, “Most people believe that you have to be a young farmer or rancher to be a member of the Georgia Young Farmers. This is not the case.” Membership in GYFA is open to anyone who is supportive of agriculture and agricultural education regardless of their age or participation and/or involvement in farming, ranching or agribusiness. “I encourage anyone who is involved in agriculture or anyone who simply supports agriculture in general to become a member of our local Coffee County Young Farmers Association. The educational and on-site technical assistance is worth the cost of membership. Agriculture is our largest industry in Georgia and my role is to help make a positive impact on our producers’ operations.”