Justin and I have been relatively active in agriculture; me, more for my job. Justin has always helped with the local canning plant every year and our former ag teacher got us to join the Turner County Young Farmers program. I felt like a semi-imposter but Justin reminded me that we have interests in having cows and I have worked in the ag field for nearly 8 years. I have truly enjoyed my time so far with this program. Dennis is doing a great job sourcing out programs and activities. Our first official tour was to visit Golden Peanut Company. I have lived in Ashburn for 23 years and for some of that time my house was directly behind the processing facility. I never once thought I would get to tour the facility and see how it all worked. I enjoyed seeing how they get peanuts directly from the farmers and buying points and clean, shell, and prep them for further processing.
Our second tour was to Sconyers Gin. Again, I have lived here my whole life and worked in the ag field for a while and have never seen a cotton gin in operation. My Uncle Louie works there and it never even crossed my mind to ask to visit. The whole process is very fast and efficient. I just learned that Turner County’s farmers grow some of the highest quality cotton in the state so that is exciting to hear!
My favorite event so far was the Georgia Young Farmers Association annual conference at Jekyll Island. I worked as much as I was an attendee because the place was filled with my colleagues and people I have known for many years. Justin even talked to a friend at the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association about starting a local chapter in Turner County for young people interested in raising beef cattle.
Dennis talked me into giving a speech about the importance of agriculture for one of the competitions and even to enter the photography contest. I didn’t win but I learned a lot and feel like I will definitely be more prepared for next year. I probably worried the mess out of him with my nervous questions. Not knowing what to expect is hard for a first-time competitor. We had a large group at the event and our chapter won the award for the largest growth in membership for this past year. I believe this is a fabulous organization and I can’t wait to become more involved.