Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Faculty Tour: Jaemor Farms

Written by Tim Quigley, assistant professor in the department of management in the Terry College of Business. Quigley moved to Athens 3 weeks ago from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. 

The UGA New Faculty Tour rolled into Jaemor Farms early Tuesday morning for breakfast and discussions with local and state agriculture officials.

Jaemor is a fifth-generation family farm turned tourist destination serving up peaches, apples, berries, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. It was interesting to hear how the younger generation argued for installation of a corn maze. The boost in traffic at the farm helped grow the pumpkin harvest and sales from 5,000 in 2006 to more than 30,000 in 2010.

We heard from Commissioner Gary Black of the Department of Agriculture who highlighted Jaemor's sustainability, noting that they were "green" long before it was trendy. Highlighting Jaemor's 100+ year history, he also noted that sustainability is not just about being organic or environmental but also includes ensuring there's profit from the family farm this year and an opportunity to make a profit in the years to come.

Commissioner Black also highlighted the growing importance of locally grown food as people begin to see a connection between national security, personal security and food security. He believes this will provide growth opportunities for Georgia's farmers.

The visit to Jaemor concluded with a tractor tour of the farm, samples of fresh blackberries and a quick stop in the market before boarding the bus for our next stop.

Photo courtesy of the Georgia Small Business Development Center in Columbus. 

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