MITCHELL CO., GA (WALB) - The citrus industry is growing in Georgia and folks in Mitchell county want to be a part of it.
On Thursday, folks gathered in Camilla to launch the "MitCo Grow campaign."
Tangerines, lemons and grapefruit. It's what Mitchell County students and inmates at the Mitchell County Correctional Institute Prison planted in Camilla Thursday, as the county launches a new campaign.
"It's just over the top exciting," said President of the Georgia Citrus Associated Lindy Lamar Savelle. "It's good for the students and good for the county."
The citrus industry is growing strong in Georgia. Now folks in Mitchell County are jumping on the bandwagon.
With the trees planted Thursday, the number of trees planted in Mitchell County has grown to 964.
"Citrus can bring back the small family farm," explained Savelle, who encourages folks to plant in their backyards.
Savelle is leading the way for Citrus farming in South Georgia.
As a retired FBI agent, she wanted to do something different with her time and give back to her community.
"I'm excited about the opportunity for Georgia overall and the agricultural opportunities that citrus brings to this state," said Savelle. "Quite honestly this has become my passion in life."
This farm is tucked between the Mitchell County Correctional Institute Prison and AG extension. In the past week 100 trees have been planted here.
Both students and inmates will take care of the trees.
"Hopefully then can learn a trade working in the citrus business while they are here and when they get out they will be successful with employment," said Mitchell County Commission Chairman Benjamin Hayward.
Folks hope the Mitco Grow campaign will inspire others in Mitchell county to plant a tree or two in their backyards.
"We think this will be the future for Mitchell County and Southwest Georgia," said Hayward.
The trees planted Thursday will bare fruit in three to four years.
The best part about it is that you get a lot of yield for the crops.
Five acres in five years will produce 200,000 pounds of fruit.
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