ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The 31st Annual Georgia Quail Hunt kicked off in Albany Thursday evening with Governor Brian Kemp and other state and area leaders hosting 22 business leaders from around the U.S.
For the next three days, leaders in existing industries will enjoy quail hunting in South Georgia, which started at the Wynfield Plantation.
The recruitment event utilizes various hunting preserves throughout the area.
The hunt will allow those business leaders to learn firsthand about the assets South Georgia has to offer.
Kemp said his biggest focus is on promoting economic growth to business leaders after Hurricane Michael.
Organizers said this hunt could lead to more business opportunities for South Georgia.
Leaders from major companies around the U.S. are here scouting for birds, but also scouting for land.
Kemp said his main mission is to engage with existing businesses and other prospects to promote Georgia as the number one place to do business.
With Hurricane Michael making a big impact in rural Georgia, Kemp wants to show how quickly the region is recovering. He said he is an avid sportsman and often quail hunts, however, he wants to showcase rural Georgia to businesses to help bring more jobs to residents after the storm.
“We got great things going on all over our state, but we’ve got to focus on rural Georgia. Obviously, with the storms down here, we need to have more focus than ever and we’re working hard and we’re going to stand with Southwest Georgia as we rebuild and revive,” said Kemp.
Kemp also said it’s more than a hunt, it’s an event that could potentially create thousands of new jobs.
“We got existing industry, prospects and folks who are doing site selection. So it’s going to be a good opportunity for me to tell them about the great things we’re doing in Georgia and the great opportunities we have in South and Southwest Georgia,” explained Kemp.
The commissioner for Georgia’s Department of Economic Development said companies like Taurus USA and Georgia-Pacific all visited Albany for the hunt before their major business expansion announcement.
“A soft sell leads to people to come back years and years to invest. So that’s what Georgia Pacific is a great example of. They participated over years and years and here they are investing in Albany,” said Pat Wilson, commissioner for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The Quail Hunt is expected to end Friday.