Pecans Large Contributor To Lowndes County Economy
By: Jade Bulecza, WTXL-TV
10/9/2012 11:37:06 AM
The next time you eat some of grandma's pecan pie, there's a good chance those pecans came from Georgia.
The state is the top producer of the nuts in the country. One of the biggest pecan companies in the state is in Valdosta.
The vice president of South Georgia Pecan Company tells me Georgia is to pecans, what california is to almonds.
It's one of the oldest family run businesses in Valdosta. Twenty-seven year old Jeff Worn has been groomed for this job all of his life.
"I can remember from the time I was 10 years old, going into the shelling plant" said Jeff Worn. "I've always been more fascinated with equipment than I was with anything. I grew up working on pecan crackers."
South Georgia Pecan was established in 1913. Back then the nuts were cracked by hand, about thousand pounds per day. Today 200,000 pounds of pecans are shelled each day. The company supplies and packages pecans to the world.
About 170 employees are the backbone of the company.
"These people have taken ownership of this business and they've seen this place grow to what it is today and they're just as much a part of it as I am," said Worn.
Next year is the company's 100th anniversary so if you're in town stop by and wish them a happy birthday because it's places like these that have shaped Valdosta's economy.
Other businesses are learning the health benefits of those nuts so the future of pecans is bright.
"They'll be figuring out how to use pecans more, putting them in salads, more heart healthy type of entrees," said Worn.
Some huge retailers including Sam's club and Costco all buy their pecans from South Georgia Pecan Company.
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