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Farmers gather to share ideas on crop production in Albany

Published: 12/07/12 4:02PM
By: booner

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Farmers, county agents, Fort Valley State University Extension personnel and clients pay close attention to a presentation during the Agriculture Production Farmers-to-Farmers Workshop at the Dougherty County Extension Office Dec. 7 in Albany

Maintaining an up-to-date profile is a vital rule for farmers. Failure to do so could lead to insufficient crop production, which could hurt a farmer’s bottom line. When the opportunity comes along to attend an event where helpful tips will be discussed, that gathering is bound to draw a crowd. Such was the case with the Agriculture Production Farmers-to-Farmers Workshop in Albany Dec. 7.

Approximately 85 people packed into the Dougherty County Extension Office to hear farmers and expert agents give helpful information ranging from irrigation to plant harvesting. “The primary purpose of this workshop is to bring together farmers,” said For Valley State University’s Dougherty County Extension agent Charlie Grace, who planned the event. “It also provides an educational opportunity for them to gather new ideas collectively, and take those (ideas) back to their farms so they can be more productive.”

Grace said it’s really more like farmer-to-farmer training. “Farmers that are involved in different types of crop production bring their knowledge here, and share it with other farmers,” he said.

Kreg Jenkins, a farmer from Dougherty County who raises catfish, works with aquatic systems and farms okra and collard greens, says his questions were answered about hoop houses, which allows the extension of the growing seasons because plants aren’t outside. Jenkins also enjoyed listening to other farmers speak about their crop growing techniques, which he may implement.

Jenkins said he would recommend other farmers attend workshops sponsored by FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program, which serves more than 30 Georgia counties. “You can learn a whole lot by coming to participate in them. There are a lot of opportunities out there that you might be interested in and get something out of them,” he said.

Grace said this is the fourth time he’s hosted the event in Dougherty County. He also said that the first two meetings he focused on bringing in agencies to talk to farmers, but the last two years it has been more of a farmer-to-farmer forum.