Union of Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Visit Georgia

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

On November 9, 2017, the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness hosted 15 executives from the Union of Japan Agricultural Cooperatives from the Tokachi area of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. COIAg teamed up with UGA Cooperative Extension in Macon County to showcase a large dairy and a row crop farm. This was the Japanese delegation’s only visit in Georgia during their tour of the US, which also included stops in New Orleans, Orlando, and New York.

The group visited Barrington Dairy, the largest dairy operation in Georgia. COIAg director Chris Chammoun brought greetings from the State of Georgia and gave a brief overview of Georgia agriculture. Macon County Extension Agent Erin Forte welcomed the group to Macon County and gave a brief overview of Macon County and central Georgia agriculture. Barrington Dairy owner Pete Gelber, who also owns Highbrighton Dairy, gave the group a tour of the farm and milking operation. Gelber explained all aspects of operating a large dairy, from growing corn for silage to milking cows 24 hours a day.

Next, the delegation visited William L. Brown Farm Market where they were treated to a traditional Southern meal. Except for the chicken, the entire meal was grown on William L. Brown Farm Market owner Howard Brown’s farm. Following lunch, Brown explained how his large diversified row crop operation works and what it takes to be successful in Georgia agribusiness. Brown sells both on the commodity market and direct to consumer. Due to the extensive rain that had fallen that day, the group was unable to get out into a field to see any crops, although were able to view cotton, soybeans, and other crops from the roadside.

The group departed with a Georgia Grown bag bearing the Georgia Grown logo and some literature about Georgia agriculture and agribusiness. We hope to see our new found Japanese friends in Georgia again soon.

From the Georgia Department of Economic Development