Georgia’s 2023 Ag Teacher of the Year is a beacon of inspiration in STEM education

Georgia Ag Teacher of the Year, Sam Camp, is an ag educator who does more than lead by example. That is why she is being honored for her exceptional contributions to agricultural education in the state.

Sam Camp’s journey into the world of farming and education began long before she assumed the STEM position at Mt. Zion Elementary in Carrollton, Georgia. The Farm Monitor takes us there to learn more about her exceptional contributions to education.

Growing up on a small farm surrounded by a menagerie of animals, Camp started to cultivate a love for the land and its creatures from an early age. Later in life, the Camp Family’s 40-acre farm in Heflin, Alabama, became a haven for hands-on learning for Sam’s daughter, Laney, during the pandemic.

When the STEM position opened at Mt. Zion Elementary, Sam seized the opportunity without hesitation. While the educator never imagined she would one day leave general education, she also recognized the profound impact that farming and animal husbandry had on her educational ethos during the pandemic. A deeper understanding of agriculture coupled with her background in farming grew Sam’s passion for STEM education, molding her into a perfect fit for the new role.

Mt. Zion Principal Melissa Dearman also recognized Sam’s passion for STEM education and agriculture. Despite some initial hesitation, Dearman entrusted Sam with the STEM position, knowing that her dedication would benefit the students. The fusion of STEM and agriculture quickly bloomed into Sam’s passion, and she dedicated herself to creating a unique learning environment that bridged the gap between high school and elementary students.

With the support of the local high school and the Carroll County Farm Bureau, Sam Camp transformed her classroom into a hub of agricultural education. The connection between her “Big Eagles” (high school students) and “Little Eagles” (elementary students) is a cherished aspect of her teaching. By facilitating conversations and hands-on experiences with animals, Sam also aims to make students comfortable around agriculture and hopes to nurture in them an early appreciation for farming practices.

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