Farmers learn how to do it right - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Farmers learn how to do it right

February 28, 2007

Tifton - - Farmers and people who work in agriculture need to know some important rules and regulations from the government if they plan to sell their livestock. Everything from consumer safety to marketing affect agricultural professionals. 

Will Harris raises cattle in Early County.

"We sell our beef to Publix Supermarkets as opposed to selling live cattle and the information they're giving today is beneficial to us."

He's one of more than a dozen ag professionals attending a University of Georgia sponsored workshop teaching the do's and dont's of marketing.

"They have to consider federal regulations and Georgia Department of Agriculture regulations on food safety," says Julia Gaskin of UGA.

Organizers say there's a lot to think about that goes beyond just raising cattle and selling it to consumers. Harris has learned from experience.

"Today, there's a sophisticated consumer that cares more about where their beef comes from," Harris says.

They also care about how it's raised. The class focuses on some of these concerns, as well as marketing the product in stores - especially when it comes to labeling.

"'Natural meat' just means minimally processed and no preservatives. Labels like 'no extra hormones added'. We're trying to educate people so they know the types of labeling they can use to get to certain niche markets," says Gaskin.

The point is to make sure South Georgia farmers remain on track.

"They're doing it in a way that wont create problems for them or for consumers down the road," Gaskin says.

So that they'll continue offering services that keep our economy pumping.

The workshop is traveling the state. The next one will be held March 14th in Statesboro.

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