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Laurens County residents learn valuable land ownership information

Published: 06/04/2018 8:26AM
By: booner

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Rosetta May (left) reviews information in a folder she received from Fort Valley State University Laurens County Extension agent Titus Andrews (right) during the Managing Your Land for Profit Workshop in Dublin on May 23.

Farmers and landowners seeking information about forestry health, federal loan programs and wills filled the First African Baptist Church’s Family Life Center in Dublin on May 23.

From 10 a.m.-3 p.m., more than 42 residents from Laurens and surrounding counties attended the Managing Your Land for Profit workshop. Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program in partnership with the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service sponsored the workshop.   

Participants listened to presentations and updates from representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Georgia Heirs Property Law Center Inc., and FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program.

Topics of discussion and updates covered subjects pertaining to timber management, forest health, estate planning and resources available through the U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA).

“I think we had a very successful day,” said Titus Andrews, FVSU’s Extension agent for Laurens County. Andrews expected a smaller crowd due to inclement weather conditions, but was pleased with the number of people that turned out for the event.

One of the issues addressed during the workshop is the importance of estate planning, particularly heir property, a topic covered by several presenters. Andrews said several of his clients have challenges with heir property.

“You cannot receive any benefits from the federal government for heir property and you cannot receive any loans on heir property, so it sits there. Ninety percent of the time it goes abandoned, no one pays the taxes on it and then someone else ends up with the land. Then it (the land) leaves the family’s possession,” Andrews said.

Dublin native Rosetta May, 82, owns 412 acres of land in Laurens County. After she retired from the Dublin City School District, she decided to start raising Black Angus beef cattle and her brood calf cow operation now totals 40. She said she has some forestry on her land that is not up to par and she wanted to get some tips at the workshop to make it more profitable for her. May said learning about the proper planting of trees and knowing what fertilizers and pesticides to use is information she can implement immediately.   

“These workshops give you a variety of information that you might not be able to use today, but you can use it tomorrow or the next day. It is very helpful and knowledge is a powerful thing,” the former schoolteacher said with a smile.

For more information about FVSU’s Cooperative Extension programs in Laurens County, contact Andrews at (478) 235-8453 or email andrewst@fvsu.edu.