State leaders hold town hall to hear farmers’ concerns

Burke County

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF)– State leaders held a town hall at Burke County High School to discuss some concerns of Georgia farmers.

Agricultural Commissioner Gary Black and Congressman Rick Allen were there.

“Our farmers depend on the land to feed this nation,” Congressman Allen said. “They are the best conservationists on the face of this earth.”

One of the big topics of the day was environmental regulations impacting farming.

“I know you’re saying all these regulations are hindering progress, but what regulations do you believe are helpful for farmers?” an attendee asked.

“That water quality regulation should be at the state level,” Commissioner Black said. “Little streams, Mississippi River, those are appropriate places for the federal government, but the creeks on the backside of my place is not where the EPA belongs, in my opinion.”

Many say they feel regulations are overreaching.

“Anytime you see a white pickup drive up on your farm with blue jeans, you know you get a new regulation and a new problem,” a farmer said.

Congressman Allen says farmers should have more control of their land.

“They know how to do it, they’ve got plenty of common sense, and they don’t need the federal government telling them how to do it,” Allen said.

And they discussed challenges faced by Black farmers.

“Can you imagine Black farmers being in foreclosure for 30 years? That’s an outcry. That is an outcry,” an attendee said.

The town hall was put on by the school’s nutrition program and they plan to hold the forum again next year.


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