By Clint Thompson
Sweet Grown Alabama is under the spotlight this week at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia. Alabama is the spotlight state during the three-day event, which has allowed attendees, numbering close to 50,000, the opportunity to explore the diverse agricultural landscape that is Alabama production.
Marlee Jackson, publications director at Alabama Farmers Federation, described what it has meant for her state to be under the spotlight this week.
“It’s been really fun to elevate the Sweet Grown Alabama agricultural brand for our state. It’s been well over a decade since we’ve been the spotlight state here at Sunbelt,” Jackson said, “and it’s been an honor to capitalize on everything that we’ve done in that past decade and really tell people that Sweet Grown Alabama is more than just specialty crops and things you think of off the top of your head, it’s every crop that’s grown in Alabama is Sweet Grown Alabama.”
Adults, children, agricultural enthusiasts have visited the Sweet Grown Alabama building this week, learning about an industry that numbers 44,000 farms with more than a $70 billion economic impact in the state. Diversity helps Alabama agriculture thrive and highlights the message Jackson and others wanted to convey this week.
“We want people to understand how diverse Alabama agriculture really is. We grow an incredible diverse array of commodities in our state; everything from specialty crops like trees, to peaches to beef cattle to traditional row crops. Everything is grown from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee Valley, and we’re really proud of that. We want people to hit the proverbial pavement and understand that taking a road trip through Alabama is really diverse and well worth your time,” Jackson said.
“Our theme for this building is to take a road trip through Sweet Grown Alabama. You come into our building and see a big welcome sign. You pick up a visitor guide and a bag and then you start journeying across the state of Alabama; you start in our Wiregrass region in the bottom corner of the state and then you travel across the state, learning about different commodities and the areas where those are most prevalent.”
Sunbelt will conclude on Thursday.