Farmer of the Year
Gov. Nathan Deal poses for a photo with dairy farmer Everett Williams, who was selected as the 2017 Georgia Farmer of the Year.
Everett Williams recognized for his dairy industry advocacy
For 39 years, Morgan County, Georgia, dairy farmer Everett Williams (BSA – Dairy Science, ’75) has helped to chart a path for all the state’s dairy farmers.
New technologies and constant innovation have allowed the Williams family to grow the size and productivity of their herd while making WDairy, just outside of Madison, Georgia, a model for stewardship and sustainability in the dairy business.
In March 2017, when Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recognized Williams as “Georgia Farmer of the Year,” he emphasized Williams’ dedication to agriculture and innovation.
“It’s a big honor to be chosen,” Williams said. “I just think this a great program because it helps to spotlight agriculture in the state of Georgia.”
Lucy Ray, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension coordinator for Morgan County, nominated Williams because of his family’s commitment to the county’s agriculture, their family’s agricultural legacy and the land.
Both Everett and Carol Williams (BSA – Animal Science, ’75) are strong advocates for the dairy industry. They spend time talking to civic and youth groups about the impact of Georgia’s dairies and offering tours of their dairy to anyone interested. He currently serves as president of the Georgia Milk Producers, and she serves as president of Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation and helps to lead other organizations.
“I feel that Everett is an ideal Farmer of the Year,” said Ray. “He’s got one of the most technologically advanced dairies in the state. Also, Everett is very community minded, and the entire family is involved with the agricultural community statewide.”
As Farmer of the Year, Everett Williams represented Georgia at the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition in Moultrie, Georgia, in October. This also placed him in the running for Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year, an award given at the Sunbelt Expo.
Everett Williams’ father, John Williams, converted the family’s land in Morgan County from a cotton farm to a dairy in 1958. Everett Williams remembers his father working to milk 50 cows a day. Today, the farm milks 1,700 cows daily.
Everett and Carol Williams raised four children on the farm: Justin Williams, 36, who received his bachelor’s degree in finance from UGA; Daniel Williams (BSA – Dairy Science, ’07), 34; Katie Williams (BSA – Agribusiness, ’11), 28; and Michelle Williams, 27, who received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia College.
All four children have been involved in the farm throughout their lives, and both Justin and Daniel Williams have returned to Morgan County to take WDairy into its third generation.
By Merritt Melancon