October 12, 2006
Mitchell County -- Mitchell County bills itself as a place where agriculture and industry meet. That slogan is certainly true at Glass Enterprises.
What started as a chicken farm 12 years ago is also now a huge alligator farm that does business all over the world. It's one of only about three dozen alligator farms in the United States, and it has grown fast.
"The first year we put about a thousand alligators on the farm, and now we're putting about 40,000 a year on the farm. At any given time, we have about 50 to 80,000 alligators on the farm," said President Mark Glass.
The farm processes about 200 alligators a day, six days a week They sell about 200,000 pounds of alligator meat every year all over the country.
The hides go mainly to high-end fashion houses in Europe and Asia to be turned into watchbands, shoes, or handbags.
The quality of these Georgia gator skins is so good that they're used on Swiss watches that cost up to $150,000 and designer handbags that can cost up to $200,000.