Local farm sees 150% growth as citrus industry continues to expand

Lindy Savelle says sales at her family grove, JoNina Farms, are up 150% from 2022.
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 7:32 PM EDT
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OCHLOCKNEE, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia may not be known for citrus, but the citrus industry continues to expand in the Peach State.

Lindy Savelle saw a 150% growth year over year at her family grove, JoNina Farms.

“It was crazy and crazier than last year. It’s really hard to believe that this industry going like this,” Savelle said.

Savelle is the current president of the Georgia Citrus Association. Savelle says the industry keeps growing and there’s a lot of potential for even more growth in South Georgia.

“More people are interested in growing their own food. Citrus is that one thing that the family can do together and it doesn’t require a whole lot of equipment,” Savelle said.

Savelle met people who drove hours to buy their citrus trees on Saturday. One family came from north of Atlanta. She plans to step down from her president role within the next few years to bring in the next generation of citrus leaders. Her next initiative is to get more than satsuma trees growing in the state.

“We want them to plant other varieties. We don’t to be known as one commodity. We need to have variety citrus-wise,” Savelle said.

Satsuma trees have about a 60-day window in their harvest. She wants to see grapefruits and other varieties of oranges grown.

Savelle believes there is room for home growers as well as commercial in the state. The idea of a family farm is going to be her initiative for this upcoming year.

Savelle was recently appointed to the Georgia Farm Service Agency Committee. She will represent the citrus industry there.

The United States Department of Agriculture defines the role as “responsible for the oversight of farm operations, resolving family delivery appeals from the agriculture community, maintaining cooperative relations with industry stakeholders, keeping producers informed about FSA programs.”