For the past seven years Walker County Extension and Walker County Farm Bureau have worked together to host an annual “Farm/City Tour.” Over this time period a fairly large group of local business people have spent an afternoon touring various Walker County farms to get a first-hand view of the type and amount of agriculture that is still a part of Walker County.
This year the local Extension and Farm Bureau offices partnered with Leadership Walker County to offer the “Farm Tour” as a portion of the training the program’s participants received; the tour participants visited Pigeon Mountain Simmental, Millican Cotton Farm and The Sod Farm (Rodney and Ebeth Edwards).
At Pigeon Mountain Simmental, John Howard spoke to the group about raising beef cattle and the impact they have on the local economy. He discussed the importance of water to the poultry houses and the importance of biosecurity in the poultry industry. He discussed his cattle operation and the popularity of the Simmental breed.
The group then went to Millican’s cotton farm. There, they observed cotton growing and ready to be harvested in a few weeks. The Millican’s have approximately 450 acres of cotton in Walker County. Last year was the first year any cotton was grown in the county in many years.
At the Sod Farm, participants saw what is involved in growing sod for the commercial and homegrown industry. They observed sod being harvested and got a good understanding of the inputs needed to grow Bermuda sod.
The Leadership Walker County group learned that agriculture is “big business” in the county as it generates an annual farm gate value of just over $78 million each year in Walker County. The farm gate value is the value of products/crops as they are sold off the farm before processing and other value-adding processes.
For more information about farming and agriculture in Walker County, contact the Walker County Extension Office, 706-638-2548, or Walker County Farm Bureau, 706-638-3237.