July Newsletter Print

A Word From the Board

Greetings GAA members!

I can hardly believe we are halfway through peach season here at Jaemor Farms. Schools have already started calling to book fall field trips, and we planted our 12th annual fall corn maze this past weekend. Ready or not, fall is just around the corner! Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with members of the Georgia Grown marketing team in Atlanta. They have been great sponsors and friends of GAA and want to continue these efforts. While details are not 100% confirmed at this point - I can tell you that agritourism is on their minds, as well as Georgia's Department of Economic Development, as both departments are currently planning agritourism themed fall promotions. This is GREAT news for GAA members as they want to partner with us. Stay tuned for more details coming your way.

Our next GAA Board of Directors meeting is set for August 8th in Atlanta. We hope to be revealing to you the date and location of our 2018 annual conference to you soon. I have already begun to brainstorm educational topics for items I'd like to learn more about - and encourage you to do the same.

Always happy to be of assistance to you and your agritourism operation. Please don't hesitate to reach out


Caroline Lewallen
GAA President

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ORGANIZATIONAL SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness

The Center of Innovation for Agribusiness is a part of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and is located on the University of Georgia Tifton Campus. The Center provides the technical industry expertise, collaborative research and partnerships to help the state’s #1 industry connect, compete and grow globally. With focus areas in emerging and novel crops, food business development, and precision agriculture, the Center supports Georgia’s agriculture industry and enables companies to access high-growth opportunities for increased success.

A familiar face to many of you in the agritourism industry is Sarah Cook. Sarah is a Project Manager at the Center and has served in a variety of roles there for nine years. She specializes in small food processing, Georgia Grown, and agritourism projects. For more information, visit their website at www.agribusiness.georgiainnovation.org.  


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4th of July at Lane Southern Orchards

If your farm is in operation on the 4th of July, then you know that it is tough to pull away. Twenty-five years ago, the Lane family at Lane Southern Orchard in Fort Valley started grilling for their workers and invited locals out to spend the day on the farm. Fast-foward to 2017 and they now host 5,000+ on the farm for the fourth. Want to learn more about what takes place at their event? Click here for details and tips for planning farm events from Wendy Barton of Lane Southern Orchard.


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Member Spotlight - Willow Bay Farm

Willow Bay Farm is located in scenic Bostwick, Ga, a historic town tucked away in the midst of Athens, Watkinsville, Madison, Monroe, Winder and Covington and can be reached easily within 30 minutes or less from each of those locations! Jeff and Carrie VanDeMark's desire is to create an educational atmosphere that includes multiple field trip opportunities that students AND families will love. They are an up-and-coming agritourism farm with a petting zoo that includes ducks, a turkey, miniature donkeys, miniature ponies, dwarf lion-head bunnies and pygmy goats, and they are adding more unique animals every day. Their goal is to provide a hands-on sensory experience for young and old alike! Read more here.

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WOTUS Regulations Repealed!

From our legislative friends at Georgia Agribusiness Council......

The news about U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt repealing the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rules has been warmly received by agriculture, forestry and property rights enthusiasts. The two-year battle between landowners and the previous EPA administration was emotion-packed, but fell on the deaf ears of EPA leaders. It took President Trump and his new EPA leader to make our voices heard. We appreciate the work of all of the ag and forestry groups in Georgia and across the nation that fought in unity against the new rules. We also thank Growing Georgia for their article heralding the recent announcement. Read the full article

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What's Growin' On

Sweet Acre Farms Winery in Alto is all set to host their second annual Blackberry Jam on Saturday July 15th from 11am to 7 pm. This event is held to celebrate the blackberry harvest, bring the community together, and have some fun re-releasing their famous Bramblin' Sam Blackberry wine. For more information, visit their website.


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GAA Wants to Know What Your Fall Theme Is!

Do you host u-pick apple, school field trips, u-pick pumpkins or a corn maze at your farm from September to November? We'd love to know your theme, dates and activities to help us promote you - and learn from each other! Send us your details.

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Invite a Neighbor

Do you know someone who would benefit from a Membership in GAA? Help us to continue to grow our network of Agritourism Professionals. Email us their name and contact information today!

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