The Peanut Capital of the World is home to five festivals, a historic downtown and is rich in agriculture. But the small city is slowly adding new industries and officials are hoping to see even more growth.
Nearly 6,000 people call Sylvester home, which is also home to the Peanut Festival. "It's huge for our economy. It's a great way to show our farmers how much we appreciate them," said Karen Rackley, Exec. Dir. Worth County EDA. More than 10,000 people attend the event, which is going on 51 years.
It also highlights one of the city's biggest employers- ConAgra Foods. "A lot of people outside of Sylvester don't know that every jar of Peter Pan peanut butter is made right down the road," said Chamber Director Stuart Pate.
Peanuts are just part of the diverse crops in Worth County. Georgia Pecan Company sells and buys pecans. "Economically we try to help farmer's get their pecans out the door. And we try to have jobs for the local economy," said Janice Craft of Georgia Pecan Company.
While this region is rich in agriculture, it's beginning to see some new business. Walmart is set to open June 4th and employs 160 people. "The citizens here cannot wait for the doors to get open so they can shop, be able to stay in their town and keep the sales tax dollars here," said Manager Jennifer Calhoun. "Conagra, the Peter Pan manufacturer is preparing to expand a little bit. So there's some exciting things happening in Sylvester," said Pate.
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And Worth County is planning for even more growth. They have one of 30 sites in the state that's certified GRAD ready. "What that tells industry is that if they're looking to move here, that we've already done the first phases of what they need to do, probably saved them a little over a year of paperwork. It's shovel ready," Rackley said.
"In the past it's more or less been an agricultural community. But now we're having industries here that really produce jobs that everybody can take part in," said Chris Shipp.
Proving the Peanut Capital of the World is more than just peanuts.
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