Troup County approves farm for agro-tourism permit

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 5, 2019

By Alicia B. Hill

On Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners approved an agro-tourism permit for the non-profit Heritage Breed Animals and Seed Preservation to display and teach agriculture.

The close to 80-acre property was already zoned for agricultural use, and under the approved permit, the farm could host a variety of events including fall festivals, lavender festivals, flower festivals, operate a store with farm-related products, offer pick-your-own items, farm tours and specialty classes.

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“I think it’s going to be a great asset to the community,” said Jessica Turner, the applicant. “We’re going to supply a lot of educational opportunities for children to come on the land, understand where their food is grown, understand about unique animals that some of them are actually going extinct. They’re going to learn about organic growing. They’re going to learn about their community in general and how to help each other.”

Some local groups have already visited the farm including members of the LaGrange Youth Council.

“We’re trying to bring the public [in and] would love to start adult classes teaching people about fiber production,” Turner said. “That’s wool, alpaca fleece, spinning, knitting. We would love to spin that off into guilds where people actually come and learn to trade and take that back with them, maybe have a second income job at their home. There’s a lot of potential I think for this area and a lot of help it can give the community.”

The land is currently in use for PineyWoods Farm, which a 501(c)3 nonprofit certified organic farm that donates produce to the Georgia Food Bank and other similar Georgia charities.

The application stated that the educational aspect is in addition to its current nonprofit use.

“Basically, this is what the agritourism thing is all about,” Commissioner Lewis Davis said. “I think it is a good thing.”

There was no comment against the rezoning during the Troup County Board of Commissioners meeting or the board of zoning appeals meetings, but the county did put in place a standard set of conditions.