Georgia Sees New Industry in Olive Growers

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-- Lanier County, Ga. -- May 29, 2012 --

Kevin Shaw is in the business of South Georgian Olive Oil. He and his two cousins own Georgia Olive Farms in Lanier County. The business is relatively new. Their first harvest was last fall. They made, and sold, about 75 gallons of Olive Oil. That's about $28,000 dollars worth. But that's not the only way they turn a profit.

Shaw says "we're actually doing turn key jobs for other people and installing for other people as well. From Live Oak, Florida up to Hawkinsville, Georgia and that's kind of taken a lot of our time, but we are going to put another 15 acres in on this farm this year."

That expansion will add to the roughly 25 acres that currently exist. As with most farmers, the recent rain has been a welcome addition to Georgia Olive Farms.

Shaw said "tropical storm Beryl has been a God send for sure. I mean we are in a severe drought."

Eyewitness News reporter Eames Yates spoke with the Georgia Olive Grower's Association. They say they're getting 2 to 3 calls a week from new olive producers. They're no where near the volume of peaches and pecans, but they are certainly growing in popularity in south Georgia.