Azalea City Civic Club Showcases Georgia Agriculture with 8th Annual Taste of Georgia Event

Staff Report

Friday, August 25th, 2023

To recognize Georgia’s agriculture as the number one industry in the state, the Azalea City Civic Club presents the 8th Annual Taste of Georgia event, which showcases locally grown, raised and produced agricultural products, as well as the people who make it possible.

For the first time, Taste of Georgia will feature a daytime Agricultural Symposium on Sept. 7 to educate attendees on agricultural business and operations. The event will feature a panel of distinguished guests, including:

  • Moderator: Matthew Kulinski, Director of Marketing, Georgia Department of Agriculture

  • Chris Chammoun, Director of Agriculture Technology, Center of Innovation, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development

  • Russ Goodman, Georgia State Senator

  • Heidi Jeffers, Director of Economic Development Metter, Georgia

  • Walt Moore, District Director, UGA Small Business Development Center

  • Cheryl Smith, Agritourism Manager, Georgia Department of Agriculture

Following the panel, guests will enjoy a meal crafted with local meat and produce, and attendees can participate in breakout sessions to suit a variety of interests. Breakout sessions include:

  • Produce Safety Education: Megan Rayburn, Outreach Associate, Georgia Department of Agriculture

  • Backyard Fruit Trees & Gardens: Josh Dawson, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Fort Valley Extension

  • Getting Started with Backyard Poultry: Kim Post, CEC/Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent, UGA Extension

  • New Bee Removal Law: Stephanie Peterson, Beekeeper, Blossom Bee Removal 

“Georgia is known to be a leading producer of crops like peanuts, a variety of vegetables, blueberries, pecans and more,” said David DiSalvo, Executive Director of Visit Valdosta. “With agriculture’s irreplaceable impact on the Georgia economy, it’s vital that events like Taste of Georgia educate the community on industry trends, initiatives and the future of agriculture.”

The 8th Annual Taste of Georgia, presented in partnership with Georgia Grown, will also include an evening of Georgia’s finest vendors and distributors. On Thur., Sept. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Rainwater Conference Center, the community is invited to sample and enjoy food, wine, beer, spirits, merchandise and more. Tickets are now available for $40 and can be purchased the night of the event for $50.  

Proceeds from the 8th Annual Taste of Georgia event will benefit the Greater Valdosta United Way’s 2023 campaign and 4-H, America’s largest youth development organization.

Both events offer networking opportunities to connect with Georgia businesses and resources, while enjoying the best products that South Georgia has to offer. For more information on the event, sponsorship and vendor opportunities, please visit