By Macy Staggs, AgriPOWER Class VIII participant
“My grandfather used to say once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer” – Brenda Schoepp.
I love this statement and the truth it brings. Farming is such a blessing and seeing the different avenues of agriculture that AgriPOWER has provided has been so eye-opening.
As we boarded the plane for Georgia, I had no idea how I could love agriculture any more, but that trip did it. The weather was gorgeous, which was a bonus, but driving down the roads and seeing farmland in a state that I normally relate to busy city highways opened my eyes to the quote by Schoepp. Everyone needs agriculture. This is a lifestyle for so many. Not only those who eat, but those who trust in agriculture to be a way of life.
When we first got there we toured “Southern Belle Farm.” Full of fun and education, every barn on the farm had a place for people of all ages to learn something ag related. It’s a great place focused on traditional family time. We then stopped at the oldest peach farm in the state. Founded in 1894 with 1,000 acres of peach trees, it’s a well known place to stop for peaches and ice cream. While we were there we were welcomed by Leighton Cooley from the farm favorite movie “ Farmland”.
The next day we started early with a stop at Hendrix Produce. With onions as far as you can see, they hand plant and hand harvest sweet Vidalia Onions. Then onto the next two stops “Southern States Cotton Gin” and “Ogeechee Peanut Company,” both two great operations that you would definitely not get in the great state of Ohio. The amount of work and skill that go into operations like both of these amazed me.
One of my favorite stops ended up being our last tour, “The Georgia Port Authority” The ports are the place for international trade. To see the amount of cargo that comes in and out was so neat to view firsthand — a proof to how important trade is to our economy. I left there with not only amazement but knowledge to be a better advocate for trade in our nation. How important it is!
Georgia was not only a great state with beautiful things to see, it was a great chance to see that the quote has so much truth imbedded in it. What would we do without the men and women who sacrifice so much to put food on our tables and clothes on our back. #thankafarmer