The girls will soon be into their basketball seasons so it was a good time to get away before we live in gyms the next few months.
The fall colors in the mountains were awesome and everything was decorated for the holiday season. With Thanksgiving soon here, I was lead to talk about agriculture in Gordon County and the many agriculture areas.
First, let me state that one of my duties is to put together the annual Farm Gate for Gordon County for all the agriculture from the previous year.
This can be time consuming because you try to be accurate plus you do not want to under appreciate any one area.
For 2011, we had a Gordon County Farm Gate value of over $166 million. Let me let that figure set in a minute.
Yes, I said over $166 million of value. I have not set down to compare Gordon to other counties, but that definitely puts us up at the top for not only North Georgia, but we hold our own throughout our state.
In my title I mentioned diversity in agriculture. This means that we have many different agriculture commodities and groups in Gordon County. That is where I think our strength begins. We have many different things going on agriculturally here.
For example, if you ask me how many cows we have in Gordon County, I can tell you we estimate about 13,500 brood cows locally, but that only tells part of the bovine story.
We have folks that raise registered cattle and will sell registered bulls and females to other producers.
We have folks that have traditional cow/calf operation where they mainly have commercial cows.
They will either sell their weaned calves at our local sale barn or will group their calves into semi-truck loads for sale. We also have producers that stocker calves instead of having cows.
In addition, we probably have more show calf producers in Gordon County than anywhere in Georgia. These folks raise show quality calves for 4-H and FFA youth.
Last year, we actually have one producer that raised one of the top show calves at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky.
To continue with livestock agriculture, we have horse breeders and pork producers as well as a large number of goat and sheep producers in Gordon County.
The goat numbers really increased on the last five years and our sheep farms have some of the best stock around. Don’t forget the poultry.
From my last calculations, Gordon County is home to 346 poultry house with the great majority in broiler production, but we also have egg production houses too.
In doing research years ago, I saw where my former place of employment, Bartow County, showed some massive acreage numbers in row crops. Gordon would have been very similar.
My parents will tell me how when they grew up, the school calendar would include time for students to be at home to pick cotton in the field.
Now, I scouted cotton in the summers between college, but never picked cotton.
Gordon County is still home to a very comparable amount of acreage of corn, soybean, wheat and even sunflowers and canola to name a few.
In addition, we have multiple sod farms, greenhouses and nurseries locally to assist your needs.
Other areas that have been on the rise is our agri-tourism area. How many of you visited a corn maze this fall or attended pumpkin festival? Not only do we do well in agri-tourism, but we have many producers getting into areas of farmer’s markets and pick your own farms.
Right here in Gordon County, you can go and purchase farm fresh produce.
If you choose to purchase organic vegetables, you can do that also. You also have local opportunities for items such as blueberries and strawberries.
I know I probably left one or two of our sectors out, but I think you get the point that agriculture is big business in Gordon County.
If you feel Gordon County Extension can be of assistance to you, contact 706-629-8685 or email email@example.com.