The Daily Dirt

Eight 2019 Predictions for Local Farmers

Farmer Services Director Michael Wall posing on Capital Hill with Board Chair and Farmer Joe Reynolds after a day of Farm Bill lobbying.

Michael Wall is a true Georgia Organics veteran. A former environmental journalist, Michael began working at Georgia Organics more than 10 years ago. He began his journey as the Communications Coordinator and worked his way to leading the Farmer Services team. As the Farmer Services Director, Michael has helped Georgia Organics’ strengthen relationships throughout the state including those with key legislators, local farmers, and food system leaders. Most recently, he worked with organization leadership to raise $50,000 for farmers negatively impacted by Hurricane Michael.

With the new year mere weeks away, Georgia Organics is thinking about what 2019 will mean for farmers. Michael spent 2018 traveling around the state working with farmers and even traveling to Washington, D.C. earlier this summer to advocate for an equitable farm bill on Capital Hill. So who better than him to provide a few projections for the upcoming year? Unfortunately, not all of these predictions are positive, but we are looking forward to checking back in next year to see where we are.

8 New Year Predictions for Farmers

  1. There will be some serious headway made for Certified Organic livestock processing in, or least close to, Georgia.
  2. We will pass over the 150 certified organic farms threshold.
  3. There will be dozens of farmer bankruptcies and suicides due to Hurricane Michael that will go unreported, or at least under-reported, because of the stigma clouding mental health.
  4. Farmer and rural stress will get more attention in 2019 than it has to date by the state’s agricultural institutions.
  5. More farmers than ever will embrace food safety best practices and become GAP or Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Certified.
  6. Georgia Organics farmer services staff will set another record for farms visited, and conversations with farm members.
  7. The Augusta area will come close to having the highest concentration of Certified Organic farms in the state!
  8. More small-scale farmers will have the access, and the option, to sell to whole sale buyers than ever before.

Stay tuned for more Farmer Services updates in 2019. Here’s what’s on deck…

  • More farm to restaurant work
  • More metro-Atlanta farmers receiving health insurance through the Kaiser Bridge Program
  • Peanuts! We can’t wait to give you more updates about our organic peanut work in South Georgia
  • and more!

Agree? Disagree? Comment below and tell us what you think about Michael’s predictions.

From now through the end of December, we’ll be writing about and spotlighting our farmers and the work of our farmer services team. We hope you keep reading, and to invest in our farmer services efforts please click here to contribute $100, $50, $25 or any amount that’s meaningful to you.

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