By: Ri'Shawn Bassette | WALB News 10
July 12, 2019
QUITMAN, Ga. (WALB) -- Members of one South Georgia community are happy to have their food processing center and canning plant reopened.
“It’s just an awesome time for our community," said Brooks County resident Arnold Hodum.
An awesome time that resulted in a ribbon cutting for the newly renovated canning plant.
“Cleaning everything and revamping everything. We re-plumbed and re-piped everything inside the canning plant to make sure it’s fully functional," said Chad Schneider, a Brooks County agriculture teacher.
The plant is run by the Brooks County School System and the high school’s agriculture teachers.
Schneider, who is one of those teachers, said farming is a big deal to their community, especially the nearby family farms.
“The canning plant provides a place for these family farmers and people that have home garden to come in, and in a sanitary method, be able to can, store and put away their food," explained Schneider.
The teachers shared that the plant shut down two years ago after the boiler went out and was beyond repair.
Now, the community has a newly renovated facility that comes with almost $67,000 worth of repairs, including an all new boiler system.
“That was he bulk of what we needed. A canning plant doesn’t run without a boiler," said Schneider.
Schneider said that he is just happy they were able to get this plant up and running for the community.
“To have a farm to table set up, that’s what Ag education is all about, is knowing where your food comes from and knowing how to process and get it ready for consumption. We were tickled to death," said Schneider.
Hodum said he’s happy to pass down the traditions of canning to the next generation.
“It’s something that, like I said, my grandmother did, my mother did. I’ve done it and I look forward to passing it on to another generation," said Hodum.
The plant is currently open for business.
Schneider said the project was all thanks to about $52,000 allocated to them by House Bill 30, the General Appropriations Act.