Roy Barnes visits Irwin County - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Roy Barnes visits Irwin County

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

OCILLA, GA (WALB) –  Former Governor Roy Barnes took his campaign to the fields of South Georgia today. Barnes picked up endorsements from some farmers and business leaders in Irwin County in his bid to regain the seat he lost in 2002.

Barnes says education and job creation are the top two concerns. Friday he focused on using agriculture as a way to create more jobs for people in the area. 

Roy Barnes is no stranger to Irwin County, but this time around talking with some of the same people, he's hearing different concerns.

"I think the biggest problem is leadership, leadership is really important and that's what makes things happen," said Gale Buchanan, Former USDA Undersecretary of Research.

"Right now I think Education is the biggest problem," said Ben Hill County Sheriff Bobby McLemore.

"I think the biggest problem is jobs," said Irwin County Sheriff Donnie Youghn.

So he's spent the last two days talking with folks about their concerns and the plans he'll set forth if elected Governor again.

"In the meetings we've had the past two days you see people perk up when they ask questions and he gives an answer," said John Hudson, Board of Education member.

But today, he focused on Georgia's number one industry, agriculture. "We often forget agriculture is the basis for economic growth and development in this state," said Barnes.

And his plans to revive a program he started while he was Governor called "Value Added" Agriculture. "We would take these peanuts for example and processed them, then put farmers together to own processing plants and then attract say a large candy company," said Barnes.

Barnes say that way farmers get more for their crops and thousands of new jobs will be created in the process. "Why transport the peanuts all the way up there when you got the product and you can just ship from here," said Barnes.

"Governor Barnes understands if we can do something to add value to something we can produce that can certainly stimulate our economy and make our state prosperous in the future," said Buchanan.

Barnes also talked about the importance of restoring funding to schools and universities.

Barnes will face Republican Nathan Deal in November.

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