Georgia Grown launching new campaign to help farmers hit hard by COVID-19

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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 18, 2020

BROOKS COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Georgia Grown is launching a new campaign to support farmers; Now More Than Ever.

Agriculture is one of the state's leading industries, but the coronavirus pandemic is making it difficult for some farmers to find buyers.

Most of the produce grown by Lawson Peach Shed in Brooks County is sold at a local market, so they haven't seen the drop in buyers other farmers in the area have.

But, as a small family-owned business, they say support is still needed more than ever.

For more than 50 years, Lawson Peach Shed has been growing vegetables and, of course, Georgia peaches, opening for the season on May 1.

Owner Barbara Lawson says, even through COVID-19, it's been busy.

"Buyers in the beginning on this coronavirus are just not buying like they were," Lawson said. "So, that makes it even better for us to have so many visitors."

For many, that's not the case.

Georgia Grown estimates the spring fruits and vegetables bring in over $500 million to the state; roughly half of that is sold through food service, much of which is shut down.

"They provide the food that I don't think people realize they provide," Lawson explained. "The corn, the peas, the butter beans. We go to the grocery store and find every day, it comes out of the farming communities and people don't realize that."

The More Than Ever campaign will be conducted through PSA's and social media hashtags.

Buy Georgia Grown organizers say they'll feature recipes and tips for preserving fresh produce.