GFB, UGA Extension & Georgia Department of Agriculture helping farmers sell products
Georgia farmers and agricultural producers eager to sell their fresh produce and other products can connect with consumers and other buyers who need their products through a new partnership between Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB), the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program.
Because of marketing disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, many Georgia agricultural producers are experiencing difficulties getting their products to those who can use them.
A mixed-media campaign will encourage consumers to “Buy Georgia Grown, Now More Than Ever.” The collaborative effort includes Public Service Announcements, direct to consumer purchasing platforms, recipes and preservation tips for fresh produce, all supported by a targeted social media campaign under the hashtags #BuyGeorgiaGrown and #NowMoreThanEver .
“It is important that we support Georgia's number one industry, agriculture,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “We are pleased to partner with Georgia Grown and UGA Cooperative Extension in helping remind consumers that our farmers feed and clothe the world by producing the finest food and fiber.”
GFB will promote the program through its numerous media and social media platforms.
Types of agricultural products that qualify for the program include everything from vegetables, fruits and other produce to seafood, meats, dairy, poultry products and any other agriculture-related product, such as honey and prepared foods.
Georgia farmers who are keeping regular hours, providing curbside pickup, home delivery or e-commerce sales during the COVID-19 crisis can join the promotion program by visiting the Georgia Grown Ag-Products Industry Promotion at www.gfb.ag/GDAUGAproductpromotion or Georgia Grown E-Commerce Promotion at www.gfb.ag/GDAUGAecommerce and completing forms that will add their information to a statewide database of producers that will be shared with consumers and buyers. Growers in more than 70 counties have already signed up.
GDA’s Georgia Grown program - a state membership program designed to help agribusinesses thrive by bringing producers, processors, suppliers, distributors, retailers, agritourism and consumers together - will waive all membership fees for the service until July to help producers affected by the crisis.
UGA Extension will support the program through its network of county agents and specialists throughout the state.
“This is a grassroots effort that starts with all of our Extension agents, specialists and coordinators who have the relationships with these growers, producers and farmers,” said Dr. Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension. “We are working on several different ways to get this information out to producers and consumers, including our Extension website emergency resources page and through traditional and social media. Together we can make this into something that will not only help agriculture in Georgia, but the people who need access to fresh food as well.”
For consumers interested in picking their own produce, Georgia Farm Bureau has a group of 78 Certified Farm Markets available at www.gfb.ag/cfm . Georgia Grown also provides a list of pick-your-own producers at www.extension.uga.edu/ag-products-connection.