Livestock showcased at Sunbelt Ag Expo - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Livestock showcased at Sunbelt Ag Expo

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) –Major crops such as peanuts and cotton may get more attention, but livestock and animal products are also vitally important to Georgia's economy.

In fact, the state's number one ag product by far is chickens worth about $4 billion dollars a year.

Riders and their horses demonstrate cutting cattle from a herd. It's one of the largest competitive equine sports in the world and was showcased here at the Sunbelt Ag Expo. From cattle to fish, the livestock section highlighted all sorts of farm animals. You wouldn't want this big boy to step on your feet. He's a Romagnola.

"They're very lean meat there's not much fat at all on them," said Charles Tatum with American Romagnola Association. "They have a gene that's called a tenderness gene."

Beef cattle in 2008 had a $300 million impact on Georgia's economy.

This is major. He weighs 2,300 pounds. Farmers are hoping to bring this breed of cattle to the southeast market.

Some farmers are always looking for new livestock and one association is showcasing their alpacas. This is the very social Kya.

"They produce fibers," said Linda Rosenbaum with the Southeast Alpaca Association. "It's very luxurious soft fibers similar to wool but it's not as itchy or scratchy and it actually takes less fiber to make same warmth as you would need with wool."

And you can't forget fish. Every year fishing brings in $1.5 billion to Georgia's economy. Catfish were caught out of the ponds here, fried and served. A fishing specialist at the expo Thursday says almost every farmer has a piece of land with a pond on it.

"We're here to help people manage their ponds better for whatever they want to do with them," said fishing specialist John Jensen.

So even if farmers didn't leave the show with a new farm animal, they learned about new breeds available and new ways to improve their bottom line.

Next year's Sunbelt expo will be October 18-20.


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