BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) - Few people watch the weather any more than farmers do. A few inches of rain over a season can mean the difference between a bust and a bumper crop.
Friday morning, farm families of Bulloch County gathered to pray for good weather and more. That circle of prayer extends beyond just the people who work the land. The gathering serves as a reminder of the deep ties between farming, faith, and rural economies.
With heads bowed and eyes closed, farmers offered up prayers for the upcoming season. Wade McElveen will work long hours this spring to plant cotton and peanuts, but he says all that won't be enough.
"I can do everything I can do, but if the good Lord doesn't bless us with good weather, good conditions that we need, we're spinning our wheels," McElveen said.
Agriculture remains the biggest industry in Bulloch County. That's why bankers, equipment dealers, and others stood side by side with the growers. They say their future hangs in the balance just like the farmers who invest millions into the ground and work months for a return.
"If something happens to that crop, that's money they're not making out, that's payments they won't be able to make house payments, payments on tractors, equipment," said banker, Brannen Smith.
"It's a ripple effect, that's exactly right. If they aren't successful, then I can't be successful," said tractor dealer, Shane Fulcher.
Smith says that ripple extends to almost every business in a rural community. To them, a morning of prayer and support isn't time wasted but time invested.
The chamber used to hold the event in the fall before harvest but decided they wanted to move it up earlier when the season really beings.