A Glimpse Back at an Agriculture Spring Break Through Georgia

The Georgia Ag Tour through Georgia is one of my favorite college experiences. I not only got to spend it travelling with friends, but also learning about the amazing opportunities and people in Georgia’s agricultural industry. Two of my favorite stops were FPL foods in Augusta, Georgia and the UGA Tifton Campus Future Farmstead.

I expected FPL foods to be one of my least favorite stops because growing up on a cattle farm I never truly wanted to know what happened to a cow after she went to the sale barn. I expected it to be full of weird smells, sounds and sights. Although some of this was true, FPL foods opened my eyes to the processing side of the cattle industry. Surprisingly, FPL foods was one of the most sanitary places I had ever been. We toured everything from the killing floor to the deboning floor where each cut is separated and packaged. The floors were spotless and everything had its place. We got to see the area where the cows are killed and hung to be transported through the plant. We followed the carcasses from the killing floor through the plant to an end product. However, this does not all happen within a day because a carcass must have 24 hours to cure in the cooler before it is separated to its cuts. The processing side of the plant is a very small area with conveyer belts running in every direction bringing and taking cuts from each employee. FPL foods gave me a new appreciation for the beef processing industry and all the employees. These people spend all day standing in the same spot, doing the exact same task. Without these people our meat wouldn’t come to us so easily and we wouldn’t have the luxury of buying in the grocery store ready for us to cook. Surprisingly, FPL foods was a great stop, and extremely eye opening.

Another great stop was the UGA Tifton Campus Future Farmstead. This home was built a few years ago and built to be 100% self sustainable. This beautiful home not only houses graduate students, but was built as an example for possible homes in the future. The house uses its outstanding structure, insulation and solar panels to be able to operate without using an electricity, and they have a pond were they can recycle water. Additionally, the plants in the yard are all edible, such as blueberries so they can be profitable and aesthetic at the same time. This farmhouse is not only ahead of its time in technology, but beautiful too. The Future Farmstead was a beautiful place that is efficient and a great goal for people to look forward to when building new homes.

IMG_3054          This spring break was unforgettable, and I am so grateful for the professors who took us and the organizations that helped sponsor the dinners and all the farmers who opened up there operations and took time out of there day to show us there amazing operations.