South Georgia olive farm can now manufacture olive oil - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia olive farm can now manufacture olive oil

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Jason Shaw (Partner of Georgia Olive Farms) Jason Shaw (Partner of Georgia Olive Farms)
Sandra Deal (Middle) First Lady of Georgia Sandra Deal (Middle) First Lady of Georgia
First Lady Sandra Deal sampling olive oil First Lady Sandra Deal sampling olive oil
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LAKELAND, GA (WALB) -

Georgia Olive Farms now has its own equipment to manufacture olive oil, so they don't have to send olives to an out of state company to make their oil.  

"This is a brand new facility; we actually just broke ground and started construction about five weeks ago, so this building come up pretty," said Jason Shaw, Partner, Georgia Olive Farms.  

Jason Shaw says this new machinery will help his business as well as other olive growers.  

"This facility is a true commercial size operation, we can run 2 tons of fruit per hour which that should get us by at least for the next three to five years and then we can add from there," said Shaw.  

Turning olives into oil is a long process.  

"Well the olives are brought in right after harvest, that's one of the keys of doing it in a timely fashion, we bring the fruit in, wash it, crush it go through a separation process, all the solids are extracted and you end up with high quality olive oil," said Shaw.  

Monday Georgia Olive farm workers showed off their equipment to the community and to Georgia's First Lady Sandra Deal. 

She sampled some of the oil and said what they are doing here is good for the state.  

"Well it's exciting to think we're growing olives here in Georgia, and that they have developed the equipment to harvest it which I had never seen done and also to process it through, and have the real olive oil come out," said Sandra Deal, First lady of Georgia.  

An official from the Georgia Department of Agriculture say they're excited that the farm is producing jobs.  

"Gary Black and the department of Agriculture are really excited about this new commodity in Georgia, it's a new adventure and we know it's going to produce a lot of jobs and a lot of cash flow," said Beth Meeks, South Georgia Supervisor, Georgia Department of Agriculture.  

Georgia Olive Farms spent a little more than $500,000 on the olive oil producing machinery and facility. They got a grant from the U-S-D-A to pay some of that cost.

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