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Governor Perdue Kicks-Off Agriculture Week at the State Capitol

Monday, March 15, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue today formally kicked-off Agriculture Week at the State Capitol.  The week-long focus on one of the state's leading industries will highlight technologies and environmental innovations that will keep Georgia agriculture growing and competitive well into the 21st century. 

"Agriculture is one of our most important industries, employing one out of every six Georgians," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "Having grown up on a family farm, I know that farm families and farming communities play a leading role in the development of this state."

Agriculture Week will spotlight marketing, safety, education, and career opportunities associated with the industry.  More information on agriculture awareness in Georgia is available at

Agritourism: Growing Georgia Through Agriculture

With interest in adventure, outdoor travel, and family travel growing significantly in recent years, the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism (GDITT), the University of Georgia, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture are working together to develop more agritourism sights and destinations in Georgia and more aggressively marketing existing agritourism products.  Georgia is rich in assets that can be leveraged for agritourism marketing:  corn mazes, farm stays, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable outlets, hayrides, and food-related festivals are several examples that Georgia offers.

A special website with information about Georgia's agritourism attractions and events is available at  It includes itineraries for group tours, a searchable database of attractions, a calendar of upcoming events, and links to related sites.

Some examples of agritourism attractions include:

  • Cagle Dairy Farm in Cherokee County is a real working dairy that specializes in school tours and includes a corn maze.
  • Lane Packing Company in Peach County is a peach orchard and processing facility that offers a restaurant, orchard tours, and strawberry picking.
  • Burt's Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County has a market, hayrides, and also offers school tours.

Keeping Georgia Safe and Healthy

A new Reportable Animal Disease System (RADS), an animal tracking system, will be incorporated into the Georgia Agricultural Information Sharing and Analysis Center (AGISAC) network.  The Georgia Division of Public Health supplied the funding, the Department of Agriculture devised the program, and GEMA will integrate the technology into their monitoring systems.  RADS will allow the state to monitor animals from farm to table.  Georgia's animal disease reporting system is modeled after the human notifiable disease system, developed by the Georgia Division of Public Health, which allows medical professionals to report human diseases.

In response to the threat of terrorist attacks, the Georgia Department of Agriculture has spearheaded the AGISAC in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Human Resources and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.   A terrorist attack on agriculture and our food supply is a credible threat due to the severe economic consequences that could result.

Georgia is well positioned to lead the way in providing information sharing and analysis in order to fill the gaps in defending against agricultural terrorism and be consistent with other security measures for the state's critical agricultural infrastructure. 

Educating Georgia About Agriculture

Fifth grade teachers across the state will be receiving a curriculum supplement about the importance of agriculture to Georgia.  The lessons will help students achieve certain Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) objectives in science, math, social studies, and language arts through examples in agriculture.  On-line Agriculture Awareness Week lesson plans are available at

The lesson plans contain many hands-on activities with real-world examples to supplement learning.  For example, one lesson plan includes charts and graphs on the percent of consumer dollars spent on food for various countries and the numbers of farms, the size of farms, agricultural production, etc.  In this lesson students learn to interpret charts, tables, timelines, graphs, and diagrams.  In the process fulfilling these QCC objectives, the students learn about agricultural statistics.