University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead traveled to South Georgia Sept. 25 to learn more about Georgia’s top industry—agriculture—during his annual Farm Tour. The tour’s stops highlighted the diversity of the agriculture industry, ranging from the Pure Flavor Greenhouse Complex in Fort Valley to Premium Peanut in Douglas.
The 2018 Farm Tour marked the sixth year that Morehead, joined by Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and members of the Georgia General Assembly, visited farms and connected with the state’s agriculture industry leaders. Each year, the Farm Tour visits a different region of the state to understand the range of challenges and opportunities facing Georgia’s farmers. The annual event provides a critical opportunity to connect the state’s land- and sea-grant institution to Georgia’s communities, businesses and leaders.
“We are proud of our ongoing efforts with the university to further deepen the communication channels between our farming community and those who support it,” said Black. “This annual Farm Tour is a prime example of what great objectives can be accomplished through a strong partnership and joint collaboration. Every year, I look forward to the opportunity of helping make that connection between these two very important sectors of our state.”
Sam Pardue, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, accompanied Morehead and Black on the tour along with state Reps. Terry England and Tom McCall.
“What’s impressive about these farm tours that President Morehead participates in every year is that they’re never the same,” Pardue said. “Agricultural diversity is a big reason why the industry is No. 1 in Georgia. It’s great that President Morehead is willing and able to see that diversity up close.”
Chris Veillon of Pure Flavor Greenhouse Complex in Fort Valley discusses the business’s operations with UGA President Jere W. Morehead, second from left, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean Sam Pardue, in the white shirt on right, and other state officials on the UGA Farm Tour 2018. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)
This year’s tour started at Pure Flavor Greenhouse Complex in Fort Valley. The company opened a location in the state in 2017 and produces tomatoes and cucumbers year-round in a 75-acre greenhouse complex. The produce grown by Pure Flavor is part of the $1.1 billion value of Georgia’s vegetable crops.