Friday, August 9, 2013

New Faculty Tour: Got Milk?

Written by Beverly Johnson, public service assistant in governmental services and research, and Mara Register, public service assistant in governmental training, education and development, of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. 

Thursday started out bright and early with a visit to the University of Georgia experimental station in Tifton. Our visit to the facility was hosted by Dr. Joe West. This world renowned research facility was established in 1918 on land donated by Captain H.H. Tifton. More than 500 employees representing twenty-two countries work at the station. It is co-located with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and contains more than 2,200 acres of field laboratories.

We had the opportunity to see the progress of the Future Farmstead Project, a residential farm structure and site that will support research focused on sustainability and energy efficiency in farm facilities. We then heard from Dr. Charles Douglas who provided additional information about the experimental station during our visits to the dairy and peanut crop research field. The dairy was an amazing facility financially self-sufficient from milk sales. The dairy industry has an annual economic impact in our state of more than $780 million. One milk cow can produce 100 pounds of milk every day...and there are more than 80,000 milk cows in Georgia! Got Milk? You bet! It was an incredible visit with people passionate about agriculture and the key economic role it plays in our state and country.

Five fun facts:

  • Ninety-five percent of milk production in the United States comes from Holstein cows.
  • Georgia is the top producer in the country for pecans, peanuts and poultry.
  • In 2012, Georgia became the top producing state for blueberries
  • Georgia produces 35 commercial vegetable crops and is third in the country for overall vegetable production. 
  • Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton has an annual enrollment of 3,300 students from eighteen states and 20 foreign countries. 

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