MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - The 2016 Sunbelt Ag Expo kicked off on Tuesday with a huge turnout.
Tens of thousands of people showed up at the Spence Field in Moultrie and the attendants got an up close look at the latest farm technology and equipment.
They also got to talk to farmers and learn about the Georgia Grown mission.
People from all over the South showed up to try out new products, learn new farming techniques and just enjoy themselves.
One major theme from Tuesday was Georgia grown products and how important the state's agricultural industry is for Georgia's future.
Ag Commissioner Gary Black spoke about the Georgia Grown unprecedented partnership that's in the works with Subway restaurants in North Georgia.
Subway restaurants are buying more than eight million pounds of Georgia grown crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
Consumers wanting fresh, locally grown produce is becoming a growing trend.
Black said that the partnership is a win-win for Georgians, ensuring that we have healthy foods and keeping our farmers in business.
In the afternoon, a few of the political leaders gathered at the Agriculture Building to promote their Georgia Grown mission.
Black said more and more people across the nation are becoming more concerned about where there food comes from.
He said it's a win-win, getting locally-grown food in our restaurants while keeping our local farmers in business.
Senator David Perdue touched on the state of our crops, particularly cotton, after Hurricane Matthew.
"We've got some cotton damage, I'm afraid to quantify it for you, but it's significant. And we've got some significant damage in the pecan industry. And other parts are having it. And if it happened to you, it's major. But overall, this is a very resilient group. These farmers know how to handle this. and from the federal standpoint and the state standpoint, we're going to be behind them every where as they measure their losses and rebuild from this." said Perdue.
Governor Nathan Deal spoke to Sunbelt Ag Expo visitors.
He said agriculture is extremely important to the state of Georgia.
"It is a 70 billion dollar economic impact of agriculture and agri business to our state. It is the number one leading component. No other state has ever received the distinction for the 4th consecutive year to the number one state in the nation in which to do business," said Deal.