September 24, 2018
In agriculture and farming we don’t always think of the water first, but without the water, there is no life. There are no plants, there are no animals. In South Georgia, I met a young farmher who is as passionate about the water as she is about the land. Casey Cox has a love of the water that propels her as a farmer. She is not only the 6th generation on her family's farm, working to learn and integrate with her family’s operation, but she recently was the Executive Director of the conservation district in her county and the joint Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts.
I met Casey on a driveway that led into their farm, Long Leaf Ridge. We then jumped into her truck and started the day out at one of the most important places in the world to her, the Flint River. The river runs through the family’s property and is the lifeblood not only for their farm but for the region, carrying clean water, providing recreation and giving life. As we stood there and took in the early fall beauty around us, and the quiet babbling of the clear water it was easy to see why Casey is connected to the river. From there we reluctantly left the river and headed up for a quick stop at the farm office to talk to Casey’s father. They quickly visited about a few farm matters before we set off for the next stop. Casey drove me to a large field of sweet corn. The family grows hundreds of acres of the sweet produce. When we were there, crews were out harvesting the corn. From there it would be shipped to stores around the country. While there she explained the ways that she is working to utilize more technology on the farm - monitoring water usage to maximize the precious resource.
Next up we made a stop at a peanut field. Peanuts are a staple of south Georgia and on the Cox’s farm. The plants had recently been inverted and were laying out in the red dirt, drying and waiting to be picked. Casey and I tried a few of the fresh nuts….while good, I think I will stick to the roasted ones! We then continued on to Casey’s very favorite spot - the forest of Long Leaf pines. It was easy to see her love of the forest and the trees as we drove beneath the towering pines. As she drove, Casey explained to me that the forest we were in was one of the most bio-diverse environments in the country.
Our final stop for the day was to pick up a few kayaks, throw them in the back of her truck and head back out to the river. After hauling them down the steep riverbank, we both got in. I followed Casey as she paddled upstream a bit, absorbing the beauty around me. What a great way to end an amazing day!
I meet women all of the time who are connected to the land, but not many as passionate about that connection as Casey. The river and forest are where she was born, raised and where she came back home to. While she never expected to live in a house right there in those woods as an adult, and become a FarmHer, she is doing just that. She is a young woman with passion and spirit and is spreading that to those around her, advocating for agriculture and water right there at home, on the Flint River.
September 27, 2018
Casey is my sweet niece and I am so very happy and grateful that she has continued the Cox tradition of loving our land. My whole part of the family moved away, but take great joy in what Casey is accomplishing and love seeing this. Thank you so much.
October 21, 2018
October 17, 2018
October 15, 2018
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