By Mary Catherine Gaston
Growing up in urban Clayton County, just 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta, DeAnthony Price gave little thought to where his food came from. Something piqued his interest during his junior year of high school, though, and he began to learn all that he could about agriculture. Facing graduation with a newfound farming fascination, DeAnthony decided to pursue his interest in college. The only problem was, the city kid had no idea where one would go to study such a thing. So, he did what just about any of us would do to find an elusive answer nowadays—he turned to Google.
The top result to DeAnthony’s cyber-search for “Georgia agriculture schools” was Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Though he had never heard of ABAC before, he liked what he saw online and decided to make a trip to Tifton to check it out. When he got there, he fell in love with the place. A few years—and majors—later, DeAnthony is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications in 2020.
In addition to carrying a full course-load, he has worked throughout his time as an undergrad, and he’s learned from each job along the way. Originally an agricultural education major, DeAnthony spent a semester teaching pre-K through second grade students about the state’s number one industry with the Georgia Museum of Agriculture’s Destination Ag program. While he enjoyed gathering and sharing knowledge, he found that teaching was probably not the best field for him. Along the way, though, he discovered agricultural policy and set his sites on a different major and ag-related career path.
DeAnthony returned to his roots in Atlanta this summer to intern in the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Division. Working in the department’s Georgia Grown program, he assisted with efforts to help the state’s food growers market their crops more effectively. He also helped bridge the gap between growers and eaters, and in doing so, came to realize that’s not the only vital bridge that needs building.
“Many people in urban areas don’t know much about agriculture. Many have false impressions,” he says. “Having someone in the department who is from an urban community and has heard all of those things –and even believed them at one time—can help build a connection between those communities. We can’t reach our goal of supporting Georgia agriculture without both communities on board.”
It’s a critical connection, and one that DeAnthony plans to continue creating after he finishes his years at ABAC. But not before he does a little bridge-building of another sort—with the Peace Corps in Africa. Though his mom hates the thought of him being even further from home, he feels like it’s the next step on his personal path of discovery, and it’s one he would love to take if he has the opportunity.
After that, though, this Georgia-grown agriculture advocate hopes to return to his home state and work in farm policy development. Whether that’s under the Gold Dome in Atlanta or in the state’s rural fringes, he will be back.
“I realize how important it is for young people to return to the communities where they were raised—to come back and help them prosper,” he says.
Expect this hard-working bridge-builder to do just that.