Agriculture leaders in Banks County were recognized Thursday night at the second annual Agriculture Awards Program held at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.
Farmer of the Year was awarded to Charles Turk. Slade and Kristie Jarrett, with Jarrett Bees, won Agribusiness of the Year. Michelle Dalton was awarded Woman in Agriculture.
Nominations were accepted throughout the year and a panel of judges was brought in to select the winners.
Bob Waldorf, Banks County extension agent, encouraged attendees to make nominations for next year's awards.
"There are so many people in this county that deserve these awards," said Waldorf. "It's up to you all to nominate them."
Various awards were also given to Banks County students. These included: Emily Lewallen, BCHS, art contest; Haley Hurley, essay contest; Amber Percifield, BCPS, coloring contest; and Ben Smith, BCES, poster contest.
The awards ceremony was the second part of the agriculture education program; earlier in the week, tours were given of local farms. Banks County ranks in the top 20 counties in agriculture for hay, cattle, goats, horses, swine, sheep and poultry. The county is ranked seventh overall in the state for agriculture production.
Michael Harden, Appalachian Regional Commission, spoke to attendees about the importance of agriculture in Banks County and the resurgence of locally grown food in recent years.
"This is about trying to make sure in Appalachia, that we protect our folks and give our young people a reason to stay in Northeast Georgia," said Harden. "I would like to encourage you to frequent your local farmer, to buy local, because this is a way to make sure our neighbors can survive in agriculture."
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