January 20, 2014

Vice President Fogerty opened our meeting explaining the next 4 meetings would be devoted to specific criteria expected to be pertinent to E-SPLOST IV:

A) An agriculture center;
B) CTAE, a career technical agriculture building;
​C) Construction of a new multi-purpose gym;
D) Board of Education perspective.

This meeting would focus a panel discussion by prominent members of the agricultural community on the benefits of building an Ag center and its service to our students and community.  Invited speakers were:  Mr. Ralph Kotal, retired dairyman; Mr. Dick Phillips, Wakefield Farms; Mr. Larry Bramblett, cattleman; and Ms. Melea Baldwin, senior UGA student of Agriculture.

Subjects discussed were the dramatic changes in farm management and technology over the past years, use of computer technology allowing return of instant data for analysis of soil, animal husbandry and education of better farming practices.    It was noted that Hart County is 6th in the State for agricultural output, 98% of farms are family owned and operated, and that 1 in 7 Georgians work in some type of agriculture related industry.  Farmers are the original “environmental land stewards” and remain so.  The need to educate young people in animal husbandry and agriculture production is necessary as farmers produce a needed staple, food, for a growing world population.

Following the panel discussion HCPOA board member, Mike Buckel, made a power point presentation of the Franklin County Ag Center built in 2000.  The overview described the physical plant and layout of their Ag Center including livestock & agriculture show building, classrooms, shop building, greenhouses, and open shade house.  Discussed were its uses in the community and how it was built and financed.

​ President Garry Hamilton advised that due to illness, County Commissioner Bill Myer’s discussion of ISO fire ratings in Hart County is postponed.