On September 18, 2015 Leadership Georgia class participants, board members, and alumni toured Bulloch Gin in Brooklet, GA. Over 200 people were in attendance at this event which featured a gin tour, an explanation of cotton harvesting, as well as updates from the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) and Georgia Peanut Commission. GCC Vice-Chairman Lee Cromley welcomed the group to the gin and gave a brief history of cotton in Georgia and its importance to Bulloch County. Gin manager Andy Hart showed the group a pre-Civil War gin that was recently discovered and relocated to Bulloch Gin. This small historic gin was easy to open up and give the group a visual of how a gin operates.
Next the group clamored over the new John Deere CP690 cotton picker. For many, this was their first time seeing machinery of this type. They had very good questions about its operation and its effectiveness on the farm. Finally the group got to cool off in the shade of the gin warehouse and get an update from the GCC and the Executive Director of the Georgia Peanut Commission Don Koehler. Several members of the GA Legislature also were on hand to bring greetings including State Reps. Jon Burns and Jan Tankersley and State Senator Jack Hill.
The Leadership Georgia group then loaded the buses and went to see peanuts in the field. The gin tour will have a lasting impact on the participants as a super majority of the 200 plus in attendance were from metro Atlanta and this is only one of a handful of opportunities for them to be exposed to row crop agriculture and its impact on the the state.