Agri-tourism becoming increasingly important for South Georgia
Jay Shaw examines some olive trees on the olive farm in Lanier County
LANIER CO., GA (WALB) -
Jay Shaw is a State Representative, but he also grows olives with his brother in Lanier County.
He said he sees the public's desire to explore the agricultural assets that South Georgia has to offer. That's why he worked to get the "Georgia Grown Trail" bill passed by the state legislature.
"From me being in this business," said Shaw" I've seen how many people are willing and interested in traveling to these farms. And by having this network, and being able to advertise it as a whole, then we've got a lot more to offer than just one individual producer."
As part of the law, the state put up signs marking agri-tourism opportunities along the trail. Shaw's olive farm is one of the stops on the trail, and he's looking forward to his farm helping increase agri-tourism in South Georgia.
"In middle Georgia, with the Lang family, with what they've been able to do with the peach operation and to open up for tours during packing season, they've seen enormous growth," pointed out Shaw. "We, along with a lot of other producers here in South Georgia, are starting to understand more about that."
And he hopes more South Georgia farmers will take notice. "We've already been amazed at how many people have already found us and we haven't even advertised that we're open for tourists. Matter of fact, last Friday I think we had 68 students out here, a kids group, tour the farm," Shaw said.
As agri-tourism continues to grow in South Georgia, its economic importance, for the individual farmers and South Georgia, will continue to grow.