SCREVEN COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - A Screven County farmer has been working the land for nearly 50 years, but he’s looking as much to the future as he is the past.
Joe Boddiford helps lead a statewide group that looks to help farmers across the industry. He says the bumpy road of agriculture extends beyond just the cab of his tractor. He says the current economy resembles almost 40 years ago.
“If you remember the early 80s, 20-30 percent of our farmers went out of business,” he said.
Boddiford is breaking ground now to plant 500 acres of peanuts. He’s spent many of his 46 years of farming involved in the Georgia Peanut Commission. The group helps lead research to create a better crop and help farmers stay in business.
“If we don’t stay on the leading edge of what we’re doing, there are bad days ahead,” Boddiford said.
While his own son is carrying on the tradition, he worries about the next generation of farming and getting young people involved in FFA as a way to introduce them.
“There are some schools with good programs turning out good students. We just need more of them coming into agriculture,” Boddiford said.
He hopes current trade tariffs can get resolved to stabilize international markets and help sales for American farmers stressed out by everything from political climates to the actual weather.
“We complain when we’re stressed, mainly when we’re overloaded, overworked, don’t have enough help, don’t have enough hours in the day, and things get difficult,” he said. “But I still can’t think of a better calling than the calling of agriculture.”
That determination shows why he’s proud to be a Georgia farmer.
Boddiford and his son farm more than 2,000 acres of peanuts, corn, and cotton.