Travels through red dirt country — AgriPOWER Session 6 blog

By Jerri Furniss, AgriPOWER Class VIII participant

Georgia, the Peach State, was the latest destination for AgriPOWER VIII. Unseasonably warm for February, we found some growers welcomed the warmer weather, while others were not so happy. It all depended on the crop; for example, the temperatures were making the peach producers a little nervous as they need cool temps to stunt the growth of peaches to get them to market at just the right stage of ripeness. The onion producers were happy! Even though the crop needs lots of water (they use a center pivot irrigation device), their fields of onions were developing nicely and it looked like a good yield was in the making. The onion farmers also grow watermelons. They actually rotate these two crops.

The AgriPOWER class in front of cotton seed.

Dickey Farms is in Musella, Georgia and is considered the oldest peach farm in the state dating to 1894. We had a wonderful tour with owner, Cynde Dickey. This is where we discovered red dirt roads meandering through the peach farm. We even got to ride out the fields and watch how to prune a tree. They keep the trees small, not like our apple trees here in Ohio! They can pick from the tree without a ladder (and injuries). The pruning is extremely important and is certainly an art in order to get the best from the trees. The life of a peach tree is about 18 years. Check out their web site when you’re ready for fresh Georgia peaches, around June.

Southern Belle Farm  which was a dairy farm for three generations, is now being converted to a beef cattle and educational farm open to the public for tours. They serve thousands of school kids from Atlanta every year. Imagine children who don’t understand their milk comes from a cow? These folks are doing a great service to agriculture by opening their farm to the public. It’s also fun … who doesn’t giggle at pig races?

A big shout out to Hendrix Produce which allowed us to see their fields of onions and explained how they plant and harvest the onions. One of the things they have in common with other Georgia producers, regardless of the crop, is the importance of a trained and experienced labor force. Politics aside, the work force from our portsouthern border is crucial to these hard-working Georgia farmers. In case further explanation is needed, consider this: “They cannot produce the crop without them.”

Georgia Port Authority is one of the busiest ports on the east coast. If you are planning a trip to Savannah, call ahead and plan a tour of this incredible facility. The ships have 12 stories of cargo and another 12 stories below deck! And what’s even more amazing is these huge ships have a crew of only 12. Twelve! The tour is quick, but extremely informative. Check it out.

Session 6 blogs

Bennett Musselman describes Georgia’s diverse agriculture.

AgriPOWER’s trip to Georgia was eye-opening for Macy Staggs.

Session 5 blogs

Haley Davis describes “Channeling your inner goat”.

Taxes, pheasants and The Nature Conservancy were all part of Rita Myers‘ blog.

Jessica Parrish describes growing as a leader through AgriPOWER.

Session 4 blogs

Jessica Draganic talks about meeting Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judy French and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Ryan Conklin describes living the “suite life” and the friends and connections made through AgriPOWER.

Session 3 blogs

“Partaking in the political process” was the theme of Seth Middleton‘s blog.

Nate Bair learned about trade and the next farm bill on the Washington, D.C. trip.

“Mr. Smith, er Mr. Green goes to Washington” by Dave Green.

Session 2 blogs

Andy Hollenback talked about the insight the group received from agricultural leaders.

Racine Ramsey was impressed with the advice from ag communications experts on how to be effective agvocates.

J.D. Winteregg‘s take on how working as a team will move you forward.

Session 1 blogs

Jan Shannon talked about how AgriPOWER participants come from diverse backgrounds but share a passion for agriculture.

Nathan Vandenbroek shared how participants discovered what drives their strengths and how to mange their weaknesses.


Jerri Furniss is a full-time realtor in Westerville and has a grain farm in Pickaway County. She is a member of the American Association of University Women, Columbus Realtors and Ohio Association of Realtors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *