Albany plane builder shows off to the world

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Thrush Aircraft is very much involved in international trade. Trade officials and representatives from 23 countries continued their tour of Albany and southwest Georgia with a stop at a growing crop duster manufacturer.

But for some on the tour, this specialized aircraft can provide more than agriculture opportunities.

It's a continental visit to Thrush Aircraft. Representatives from 23 countries getting a look at one of America's top crop duster manufacturers.

"We are always looking at ways to improve food security in the country," said Cynthia Blanford, who represents Liberia. A post-war west African Nation. "We are importing 80% of everything that we eat on an annual basis at $80 million a year," she said.

Last year thrush rolled out 50 planes. "That's about a plane a week and we've actually increased our production this year, our goal is to go to 65," said Eric Rojek VP of Sales for Thrush.

Thrush has sold aircraft to buyers in 80 countries. And while it's met the agricultural needs of many these, dusters not only spray crops. In some places they save lives. "Malaria is one of our biggest challenges," said Blanford.

"It's currently in operation Africa fighting malaria as we speak," said Rojek said of his plane.

And as Liberia looks to combat that problem as well as well its food needs. This trip could prove worthwhile for both the country and the South Georgia company.

"We certainly welcome the opportunities for companies like Thrush to sit down and meet with me and my counterparts to figure out how me might develop a collaborative relationship," said Blanford.

One that could equal more growth for an already growing at home manufacturer.

In The VIP guests later traveled to Thomasville and Southwest Georgia Technical College. Last year, Georgia earned more than $36 billion from international trade.

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