Anybody who is familiar with North Georgia knows that it's a region that relies on the poultry industry to keep a large segment of the economy running. On Thursday, August 16, federal officials will be in Hall County to hear from small business poultry farmers on concerns they have about keeping their farms viable.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has scheduled a public forum at the North Hall Community Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the goal of hearing from poultry farmers to learn more about what farmers need to finance their farms. Part of the conversation will center on the relationship between the small farmers and the larger segments of the industry, according to SBA Region IV Administrator Ashley Bell.
"We're really targeting those farmers that are actually raising the poultry - not the integrators, not the big companies - but we are going to talk about that relationship," Bell said. "That's going to be critical because their relationship really does weigh heavy on their [small farmers] ability to get capital and access to funds."
Bell said bankers who do business with the small poultry farmers are also encouraged to attend Thursday's forum.
He noted that the SBA will offer no policy recommendations at the event because officials are simply looking for input.
"This conversation that we have in Gainesville - what we hear from these farmers and these bankers in Northeast Georgia - that is what's going to be used to create the new banking policies for the entire poultry industry for the entire country," Bell said.
While the forum is open and free of charge, the SBA said space is limited, so organizers are asking participants to pre-register. Follow this link for registration information.