MOULTRIE, GA (WTOC) - Farmers from around Georgia and beyond gathered in Moultrie for one of the largest agriculture shows in America this week.
The Sunbelt Expo helps the state’s farmers, and couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. Georgia’s agriculture commissioner says it’s a chance for the state’s growers and others to experience a little of everything.
“New innovations, new technology, test drive a tractor. Plus, just have an old-fashioned farming reunion. That’s truly what Sunbelt Expo is all about,” said Gary Black, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner.
With so much investment riding on each crop, farmers get an first hand look at new equipment in action that they could have in their operation.
“It’s also the kickoff for ’19. ‘I picked up an idea at Sunbelt’ or, 'I saw this variety perform well at Sunbelt,” Black said.
The expo fell on the heels of Hurricane Michael and its vicious blow to Georgia agriculture. Black says this was more than the normal weather event farmers face year in and year out.
“We lead the nation in pecan, in peanut production, in cotton. We’re second in production. In forest product production, we’re number one, but Michael has now made us number one in destruction,” Black said.
He’s grateful U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, from Georgia, brought Vice President Mike Pence and President Trump himself to the region to see the devastation Georgia farmers must overcome.
“We’re going to have to have some abnormal, creative thinking to figure out how to put our blessed state back together,” Black said.
He remains confident in the strength of those who are.