Proud to be a Georgia Farmer: Brandon DeWitt

WALB's Jim Wallace speaks to Brooks County Farmer Brandon Dewitt on why he's Proud to be a Georgia Farmer.
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 8:40 PM EST
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BROOKS COUNTY, Ga. (WALB) - Brandon DeWitt from Brooks County is a record-setting farmer. A man who says farming is in his blood, but his role today is basically being the CEO of a diversified agricultural operation. DeWitt says that is why he is Proud to be A Georgia Farmer.

“Just carrying on my Father’s deal that he started back when he was 15 years old or so,” DeWitt.

DeWitt has a very impressive operation in DeWitt Farms in Brooks County. They work 7,000 acres with more than a half dozen crops. His attention was on digging his peanut crop when we visited.

“Is there a better time of the year than right now?” WALB’s Jim Wallace asked.

“No, harvest is the best time because you have worked hard on the crop all year long,” DeWitt said.

In 2022, DeWitt set the state standard, harvesting 6,493 pounds an acre. For folks who don’t know the peanut industry, that is incredible.

“Your name was in the news last year all over. You had the highest average of anybody in the state. It had to make you feel good?” Wallace asked.

“It did. But you know, all the stars have to line up for something like that. You don’t ever plant a crop thinking that it’s going to be great. Obviously, you want it to be good, but we are not planting a crop to be in a yield contest. Just throwing everything at it, because you got to make a profit at it,” DeWitt said.

DeWitt grew up on this farm, taught by his father.

“That’s all I wanted to do when I was coming up. When I was in school I didn’t care about playing sports, or ball, or anything. I just wanted to go home and get on a tractor and get after it,” DeWitt said. “Soon as I got out of high school, I think the day after I graduated I started planting cotton the next day.”

But DeWitt also grew up in a family deep in auto racing tradition and enjoyed his racing days. He takes from it a goal for doing his best and winning.

“You like competition?” Wallace asked.

“Oh yeah,” Dewit said. “I mean being competitive is something that’s always been in myself. And if you can be competitive and have some success, that’s nice.”

“Has farming get any competition to it?” Wallace asked.

“Yes, it can be very competitive,” DeWitt said. “You get competitive with your neighborhood, whether you admit it or not. It’s just part of it.”

Besides peanuts, DeWitt has a 200-acre bell pepper crop that will produce twice a year. He will also grow cotton, corn, green beans, cucumbers and wheat this year.

“Yes, being diversified is an important thing. Because one crop fails, whatnot, you’ve got a backup,” DeWitt said.

DeWitt says they got big into vegetables in the mid-1980s while maintaining their row crop production. He says their crops and varieties change from season to season, depending on what is profitable.

“What is the future now in farming?” Wallace asked.

“I think there is always going to be a future for it, because there is more and more people,” DeWitt said. “Statistics show from the 80s until now, how many more people. And that’s why we are mass producing now. The yields we had back in the 80s and 90s would not possibly feed the amount of people there are today. So that’s what’s basically keeping it going.”

DeWitt sees that as part of the competition of farming today. Challenged by the price of inputs and the weather. Striving to produce the food needed to feed a growing world. Dewitt says that is why he is happy as this year’s peanut crop is dug.

“That’s what you work hard on all year long, and you want to see what you are fixing to reap there,” DeWitt said.

DeWitt says this year’s crop doesn’t look historic, but still high quality. So that is why he is Proud To Be a Georgia Farmer.