Georgia Ag Week celebrates farmers’ many contributions

Published 12:34 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2021

We have your peaches and blueberries here. We have your cotton here. We have your timber here. So, if you find yourself needing sweets, sweats or struts, there’s a good chance you can get it – and a whole lot more – from right here in Georgia.

Nearly half of all U.S.-grown peanuts come from Georgia, making us far and away the No. 1 peanut state. Georgia is also the No. 1 state in broiler chickens and forestry. Georgia is No. 2 in cotton, pecans and watermelons and No. 3 in bell peppers, blueberries, cucumbers and peaches.

To celebrate farmers and the many contributions they make to our state, the Georgia Department of Agriculture has declared March 22-26 as Georgia Ag Week. This week is also National Ag Week and National Ag Day is March 23.

“Georgia farmers are proud of our place in the state’s economy, and we’re dedicated to providing safe, affordable and sustainable products for our fellow Georgians to enjoy,” said Justin Long, Decatur County Farm Bureau president. “While we’re providing for our human neighbors, we’re also working to protect wildlife habitat, soil and water resources. When Georgia farmers succeed, all of Georgia benefits.”

The week-long Ag Week celebration will include these themed days: March 22 – Hands-On Garden Day; March 23 – Buy Georgia Grown; March 24 – Ag Hero Day; March 25 – Ag Literacy Day; March 26 – Make My Plate Georgia Grown Day. For more information, visit www.gfb.ag/agweek21.

On Ag Literacy Day, March 25, five Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee members will provide video recordings of themselves reading books that promote some of Georgia’s top commodities. Members of the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee are also providing virtual tours of their farms. Sign up to receive both sets of videos and GFB activities at www.gfb.ag/agweek.

Agriculture contributed $70.1 billion to Georgia’s economy in 2019, according to the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED). The center says food and fiber production and the process of getting the raw materials to consumers contributed 359,220 jobs for Georgians in 2019.

County Farm Bureaus and agricultural organizations hold events in their local communities as schedules allow throughout the month of March to raise awareness of agriculture. Agriculture celebrations are observed in March to coincide with the planting of spring crops.

From 2012 to 2017, U.S. farmers increased the number of acres on which they practice sustainable soil use and conservation efforts by 34 million acres. This includes planting more cover crops, using no-till and minimum tillage planting methods to conserve soil, preserve/increase soil nutrients and improve water quality. These practices also trap excess carbon in the soil and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture contributed 10% of the U.S.’ overall GHG emissions in 2018, the lowest percentage of the five major economic sectors.

Georgia Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state. It represents farmers and rural communities and connects consumers with agriculture. GFB also offers its members a wide variety of benefits, including insurance, travel and auto discounts. Enrollment in any of the member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.