Agriculture not just peanuts
During the current state budget debate a proposal surfaced by the President of the University of Georgia to eliminate about half the County Agents in the state, to close critical research facilities, to end the 4-H program in Georgia, basically gutting agricultural research and outreach in the state.
I am pretty certain he knew this would bring an uprising and did it ever. The agriculture community became energized.
Problem is this is not just an agriculture issue. This is an issue of statewide importance and will impact every citizen of this state.
Agriculture is an economic engine for our state’s economy. Farmers and others involved in the supply chain to us and those who process what we grow generate billions of dollars in jobs and income far beyond the farm. Some of those dollars are spent outside of agriculture, for automobiles, health care, housing, all the basic living expenses. Agriculture in Georgia employs a lot of people.
Another benefit to all Georgians is the price of food. Food in our country is the cheapest anywhere in the world. It is also the most wholesome available. Farmers grow commodities at prices not significantly different from five decades ago. We are able to do that because research has helped move yields and technology on the farm ahead to keep us efficient on our farms. Efficient farms translate in to affordable food for all of us.
On occasion, I hear my own colleagues talk about “folks not involved in agriculture” but it is my belief that we are all involved in agriculture. It is the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in; agriculture touches all of us every day.
I hope this makes you think, but most of all I want to thank you for being a part of my business, agriculture.
Chairman, Georgia Peanut Commission