Sponsored by Cherokee County Farm Bureau, Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and the Cherokee County Extension Office, the 2013 Cherokee Ag Expo will be Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Terrace Level of the Chamber office located at 3605 Marietta Highway in Canton.
Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black will be in attendance.
Cherokee farmers and other agriculture related businesses will have more than 20 farm displays and samples of locally grown foods and other agriculture products, said Shirley Pahl, program coordinator for the Cherokee County Farm Bureau.
Agriculture is different than it used to be, but in many ways it is the same. We have some of the best farmers here in our community,” Pahl said.
Poultry is still No. 1 in income for agriculture in Cherokee County, with the green industry such as green houses and plants coming in at No. 2, and equine and anything to do with horses at No. 3, she said.
“Everyone is invited to come and visit the different agriculture booths and enjoy all the Ag food including grits, honey, jams, and breads locally grown,” Pahl said.
This year’s spotlighted product is soybeans, and while the crop is not usually grown locally, several farmers are planting some of the product so that school children can tour this spring and see it growing, Pahl said.
“Soybeans is the commodity that we have promoted all year from June 1 to July 1. We have gone into schools such as Free Home Elementary and others, promoting the soybeans,” Pahl said.
At the ag expo, the Farm Bureau will be serving candied soybeans covered with dark, milk or white chocolate. and also will have chicken tenders fried in soy oil for those stopping in.
Farms featuring soybeans include Buckeye Creek Farm, Rocking S Farm and Cagle’s Farm, which will be the third stop for school children this spring.
One of the participants in the ag expo, Jeannie Ross of Ross Berry Farm and Apiaries in Union Hill, said she and her husband really love sharing where food comes from with school children.
“In our whole state, it is the biggest industry, as more land is bought up by subdivisions, we are losing our farmland,” Ross said.
Ross and her husband are beekeepers and also sell beekeeping supplies, including hives they make from fallen trees which they have sawed into lumber.
They also have berries in season, including blackberries, raspberries and figs.
“We have lived here for 20 years, and when we first moved to Union Hill, most of the land was still zoned agriculture. We wanted to have a few chickens for ourselves and to have bees,” she said.
They sell to a lot of retail outlets including Woodmont Ace Hardware, Family Tradition Restaurant and Cloud Supply, she said.
The public is invited to attend the agriculture expo. Call (770) 479-1481, ext. 0 to make a reservation.