With the opening of the Gordon County Agricultural Service Center this month, farmers in northwest Georgia now have a one-stop shop for information and help.
The new 14,000 square foot facility, located on five acres off of SR 53 Spur in Calhoun, houses the Gordon County office of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, UGA research and education staff, representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission and the Gordon County Young Farmers.
The new building is adjacent to the Northwest Georgia Livestock Pavillion, which hosts the annual UGA Calhoun Bull Test Sale and many other agriculture related events.
Gordon County officials built the $2.5 million ag service center on five acres provided by the Gordon County Development Authority.
“We are very lucky to have a county that has shown its commitment to agriculture in the county; one that understands how important agriculture is to the county and to the community,” said Greg Bowman, Gordon County UGA Extension coordinator.
Community members, as well as state leader Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Rep. Jack Meadows of Calhoun filled the building’s auditorium on Oct. 23 for the dedication. In addition to representatives from local, state and federal governments, several farmers attended to see the new space.
"I think the one-stop concept where a producer can come to one place and get all the information that they need is very helpful,” Bowman said. “For young farmers, it eliminates questions like, 'Where do I need to go to apply for this or sign up for this?
“For the older producers, it helps them because they may have had to make two or three trips, they can just come to one place and handle all of their business.”
The new facility should also allow Gordon County to host regional producers meetings on a more regular basis. The new center’s auditorium should seat about 200 people.
Bowman hopes that sharing a building with the regional agricultural offices will lead to collaboration between the agencies and better services for farmers in northwest Georgia.
(Merritt Melancon is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
Former Gordon County Extension Agent Steve Moraitakis, current Gorden County Extension Coordinator Greg Bowman and Joan Sutherland, Gordon County Extension Secretary wave hello from their new headquarters at the Gordon County Ag Service Center.Download Image
Community members gather with Gordon County Extension Coordinator Greg Bowman as he prepares to cut the ribbon at the Gordon County Agricultural Service Center.Download Image