TIFTON — The first Black Agricultural Communication bachelor’s degree graduate at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College says Google paved the way for his attendance at the four-year school in Tifton.
“I guess you can give Google the credit for me choosing ABAC,” DeAnthony Price said. “When I decided I wanted to major in agriculture, I googled the top ag schools in Georgia, and ABAC came up first.”
Price graduated from the Elite Scholars Academy, a charter school in Morrow. Unlike many of his classmates in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources at ABAC, he didn’t take Vocational Agriculture classes or participate in FFA in high school because those classes and activities were not available.
No problem for Price. Always quick to adapt to a new situation, he chose to major in Crop and Soil Science as an ABAC freshman. After a summer as a camp counselor at the Georgia FFA camp in Covington when his freshman year ended at ABAC, he changed his major to Agricultural Education.
“I loved working at that camp so much,” Price said. “I was there for three months, and I still get texts and calls from some of those kids, telling me about the impact I made on their lives.”
Bothered for much of his life by a slight speech impediment, Price had to communicate daily with the campers. Again, he made the adjustment. He did what he had to do to get the job done.
“At one time in my life, it might have taken me 10 minutes to even say my name,” Price said. “And here I was talking to 900 kids a week. I learned to overcome.”
After his sophomore year at ABAC, Price stepped out boldly again for a summer work experience. He served as a marketing specialist intern with the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
“That was an amazing opportunity,” Price said. “Growing up near Atlanta, I had always wondered, ‘Where did our food come from?’ That job gave me some insight into our entire state.”
That insight prompted Price to change his ABAC major to Agricultural Communication. It didn’t take long to figure out he was more than a minority in his classes. He was the only member of his race in the entire major.
“It means a lot to me to be the first Black American to graduate from ABAC with the bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communication,” Price said. “At ABAC, I learned to communicate and to educate people about agriculture. Academically, ABAC was very positive for me.”
When his junior year was complete at ABAC, Price embarked on yet another summer adventure. He moved to Stillwater, Okla., and spent the hot months doing research at Oklahoma State University.
“That was the first time I had ever lived more than five hours away from home,” Price said. “It really prepared me to live on my own. I learned a whole new culture out there.”
As his senior year at ABAC commenced, Price came up with a unique idea for his senior capstone project. He researched the topic, “The Lack of Black Farmers in Georgia.” Price said his research showed over 40,000 white farmers in Georgia and just over 2,000 black farmers
“When many people think of farmers, they think of the ‘Old McDonald’ song,” Price said. “That might be the traditional view of a farmer with a cow and a red pickup truck.
“Now you will find farmers in all states in all colors. As a society, minorities and agriculture are stigmatized. There is a negative face for minorities in the ag industry. I am here to try to change that.”
Price aspired to finish his senior year at ABAC with a bang. He had planned to accompany a group of ABAC students to Thailand for a study abroad trip. The pandemic ruined that endeavor.
“I was very excited about that trip,” Price said. “But things happen. You have to roll with the punches.”
The virus also delayed a longtime career goal that Price had marked on his calendar.
“After graduation from ABAC, I was going to Senegal for two years with the Peace Corps,” Price said. “COVID 19 wiped that out.”
Never one to let adversity stand in his way, the recently turned 22-year-old Price enrolled at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville to pursue his graduate degree in Plant and Soil Science.
“My dream job is still to work with Third World countries to help with world hunger,” Price said. “I want to be able to change lives by showing people different pathways to grow food. Going to Senegal would have been a good start.”