Organizers are again preparing for the Cherokee County Farm Bureau Ag Expo, an annual reminder that agriculture remains big business in a community increasingly known for suburban growth.

Cherokee County may be the fastest growing county in suburban Atlanta and populated by more than 260,000 people, yet more than half of its 434 square miles – 145,085 acres – is classified as farmland. There are more than 4,000 people employed in agricultural jobs in Cherokee County.

The Ag Expo is set for 4-7 p.m. March 27 at Hickory Flat Fellowship Church, 5301 Hickory Flat Highway, Canton.

According to the Farm Gate Value Survey report on Cherokee County from the University of Georgia Extension Service, several sectors of agribusiness have a more than $58 million impact on the local economy, including:

♦ Ornamental horticulture, $14.8 million;

♦ Fruit and nuts, $362,250;

♦ Livestock and aquaculture, $15.2 million;

♦ Poultry and eggs, $9.9 million;

♦ Forestry, $627,625;

♦ Agritourism, $11,116,250;

♦ Row and forage crops, $1,813,620; and

♦ Vegetables, $444,378.

The annual event celebrates the scope and impact of agriculture in Cherokee County and those who work in it.

Co-sponsored with Cherokee County Extension Office, Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and City of Woodstock, the expo features 30 different agriculture booths, a children’s activity area with planting and animals, gardening classes and teacher/student friendly booths. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 770-479-1481 ext. 0 or sfpahl@gfb.org.

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