Black discusses Strengths, Challenges of Georgia’s Ag Yield

| November 9, 2015


MARIETTA — “It’s always a great day to be a Republican,” began Rose Wing, chair of the Cobb GOP, at the start of a monthly breakfast on Saturday morning.

Wing addressed about 60 members of the Cobb GOP at the Cobb Republican Headquarters on Roswell Street. She noted the county is the largest Republican county in Georgia, and said the monthly breakfasts are important gatherings for local party candidates and voters alike.

The breakfast featured special guest speaker Gary Black, the second-term agriculture commissioner for the state of Georgia.

Coalition of Cobb County Business Associations chairperson Barbara Hickey said, “He’s informed, he’s energetic … we always enjoy hearing him.”

Black walked the crowd through a quick stewardship report, touching on the status of Georgia peanut and cotton crops: “We have a heck of a peanut crop.

“We’re leading the country in blueberries,” Black added. “We should smoke Michigan next year.”

But Black’s address quickly turned to what he sees as a problem on the horizon, as the commissioner speculated that Georgia will soon be “facing possibly the greatest challenge in the state’s history — foreign avian influenza.”

The disease, spread by migratory waterfowl such as ducks and geese, threatens Georgia’s $28 billion poultry industry, the largest in the country.

Though there have been no reported cases on the East Coast, the disease has been lethal to chicken populations elsewhere.

Black was quick to add that every possible precaution is being taken against such an outbreak, but the disease spreads easily and kills quickly. “Chickens will die,” Black said.

The commissioner wrapped up his address with a change in tone, reintroducing the Georgia Grown brand. The state-sanctioned brand allows farmers statewide the ability to boast Georgia’s high-quality produce, boosting marketing, education and promotional efforts for Georgia farmers.

More than 700 license-holders across the state can now proudly wear the title of Georgia Grown, and Black was confident that “we are going to build the best brand in the country.”

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – What s cropping up Agriculture commissioner discusses strengths challenges of Georgia s yield

Read more at Marietta Daily Journal

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