Joanna Griffin-Craven is a senior Agriscience and Environmental Systems major at the UGA Tifton campus. She is a native of Nashville, Georgia, and the first student ever selected to participate in the Georgia Agri-Leaders Forum, a year-long program that includes all aspects of Georgia’s agriculture industry and is designed to mold future leaders.
Berrien High School
B.S.A. in Agriscience and Environmental Systems
A.A. (Political Science), Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I am a member of the first cohort at the UGA-Tifton Campus. I am also the UGA-Tifton Campus FFA President, and UGA-Tifton Campus Ambassador. Additionally, I am the first student ever selected as a member of the Georgia Agri-Leaders Forum.
I work at the UGA-Tifton Campus Assistant Dean’s Office. I assist the Coordinator of Academic Programs with student recruitment events and serve as a liaison between the student body and the administration. I also assist Dr. David Bridges, UGA-Tifton Campus Assistant Dean, with various projects.
Additionally, I work at Co-Jo Farms, a small farm in Nashville, Georgia that has remained in my family for over one hundred years. We grow cotton, corn, peanuts, and tobacco. In 1999 we started growing “Red Wigglers.” In an effort to become more diverse and sustainable, we installed fifty earthworm composting beds that range in size and length to take advantage of a niche market in south Georgia by meeting the needs of local fishermen.
I chose to attend UGA because…
…UGA is a land grant institution with a rich history in agriculture. Many advancements in modern agriculture came as a result of research conducted at UGA. I am proud to be a student at the University and hope to continue learning here on the Tifton campus.
When I have free time, I like…
…speaking to local high school students about the importance of staying in school, setting goals, and leadership. The drop out rate in rural Georgia is very high, and I feel that I make a difference by talking to one student at a time.
The craziest thing I've done is…
…almost accidentally ran over former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia with my truck. He was riding his bicycle through town, and we were there to visit his boyhood home. I did not see the President on his bicycle until it was almost too late. Luckily the Secret Service detail stepped in to save the day.
My favorite place to study is…
…usually I find myself studying in the middle of a field on a grain combine as I wait for another grain wagon. This would probably not be the ideal place to study but when you live and work on a family farm, you do what you have to do.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…my dad. As a child, my dad worked four different jobs so that after graduating high school I would be able to attend the college of my choice. He is a true believer that the successes of tomorrow depend upon the actions of today. It would be nice to be able to spend an afternoon with my dad to catch up on all the times I missed as a child.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
…provide funding for various biotechnology research projects in the developing world. The research projects would be designed to promote disease, insect, and drought resistance in various food products. This research would allow economic growth and increase self-sustainability among the people of the developing world.
After graduation, I plan to…
…work to promote Georgia agriculture through various media sources. Not enough people realize that agriculture is more than sows, cows, and plows, and I would like to increase awareness about the important role that agriculture plays in our economy and lives.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
…walking toward the Arches for the very first time. I can still remember the feeling of pride in my heart. I stood in front of the Arches as a young woman from rural South Georgia who finally achieved a life-long dream of being a University of Georgia student.