Documentary to feature local organic farm

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

COVINGTON -- The public is invited to attend a free screening of a new documentary called GROW! featuring Burge Organic Farm and to join in a discussion about agriculture on Thursday, April 7, at Burge Plantation in Mansfield.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with presentations on the Newton County Leadership Collaborative 2050 Plan, potential government and landowner strategies for farmland protection and an overview of the Farm Bill and related programs.

A questionnaire will be provided to participants for feedback on the concepts presented, said Nina Kelly with the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission. The commission is hosting the event along with Burge Plantation, Newton County and The Center Facilitating Community Preservation and Planning. Also involved in the meeting is Land Talks, a collaboration of Smart Growth Newton County, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy and Friends of Walton.

"We hope they'll have a better understanding in general of what the Leadership Collaborative is working on and also how they can contribute overall to the county's development as part of the 2050 plan and be educated in general about topics, why they want to protect farmland and the shift in agriculture in general," Kelly said.

Following the presentations, GROW! will be screened. The documentary made its debut at the Georgia Organics Conference in Savannah and focuses on young organic farmers in Georgia. Burge Plantation's own organic farm is featured.

"It's amazing there are this many younger people in Georgia interested in farming. It's something to take note of. It's been assumed that it's relegated to the older population, but the movie is going to show there is a movement back to it for young people. There's something in Georgia that's sort of sparking it, and that's really interesting," Kelly said.

Anyone who owns land in Newton County, farmland or not, should find something of interest at the event, Kelly said.

"When you're talking about protecting farmland, you're talking about protecting other resources, too. Living in Newton County, no matter what, this applies to you," she said. "Highlighting the places where food might be coming from is of interest to anybody. Young people may have an interest to see this movie and be inspired to pursue that interest in farming or agriculture or some related field."

Burge Plantation is located at 44 Jeff Cook Road in Mansfield. For more information on GROW!, visit http://growmovie.blogspot.com.