GACDS, Georgia Natural Resource Conservation NRCS and Conservation Groups Doing Good Things

Woody Snell, President of Cobb County's GACDS, hosted a statewide meeting of leaders throughout Georgia, interested in Conservation and protection of natural resources, in Atlanta this week. This group consists of some of the states's leading farmers and community leaders.

Snell, a respected developer in the Atlanta area, has a way of attracting important people to his projects. He brought the Governor and Ldt Governor to meet with this groups of leaders. We continue to be amazed at some of the progressive developments and leadership in Atlanta. From sustainable development to projects that show a proper balance of environmental responsibility and economics. In one city drainage and flood control project, of the 4th Ward, near the old Sears building, the city spent $30,000,000, and this generated $400,000,000 of new development and became an upper scale economic development and urban renewal success.

We were impressed with Randy Bowens, who is buying up dozens of old houses, to be destroyed and the lots converted into community gardens in Austell, Georgia. We met matthew Frizell of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and he showed us the $400,000,000 "green building" that constantly shows how much energy the building is generating and using in real time. "This is one of the heaviest utilized buildings on our university campus" he said, as we saw a building with gardens and solar panels on the roof, to "LEEDS" certified from the bottom up.

Gary Black, Commissioner of Agriculture gave us an interview explaining farm programs and suggesting that some of these programs are not "farm welfare" but tools to even out very volatile markets making agriculture a more stable industry. He said that "Moderation and stability" is the key to understanding these programs and indicated that farming is a 'cash and capital' producer important to the American economy. Georgia people understand basic economics and the important contributions that agriculture makes to our nation's economy. We find these people practical, refreshing and in many ways traditional while still maintaining progressive and innovative ideas.

As history shows, those areas that maintain a strong agricultural economy also find economic strength and stability. Georgia is a great example of that. Ben Boothe presented a program on sustainable farming, Eden Gardens and Cornucopia Greenhouses, which was well attended and met with good acceptance. Many were interested in Ben's work and presentations.