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Farming not so popular

January 21, 2003

Stewart County - Farming was once the livelihood of one South Georgia county, but farmers are disappearing from the landscape.

Stewart County was booming at one time, but the end of the peanut quota program has just about killed the county's agricultural economy. Lumpkin City Councilman Randy Mathis says farmers used to farm 10,000 acres of peanuts, now it's down to a thousand acres. Mathis says, "We had a number of farmers at one time, probably 30 to 50 farmers. Now, probably less than 10. They can't survive on what farm programs are giving them now." Stewart County's main industry is timber.

Yesterday, Governor Sonny Perdue announced a request to buy an almost complete prison in Stewart County. If approved by the legislature, it will bring in 350 jobs. Mathis hopes the prison will bring in more money to the area.

posted at 5:30PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com