Commissioners voted Tuesday to submit a letter of intent to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) to construct a 5,500 square-foot building to house USDA personnel and possibly other agencies later, including the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) and University of Georgia Extension Service.
It would be, essentially, a “one stop shop,” for farmers said Steve Moraitakas, who was representing the extension agency at the commissioners’ meeting. Right now, it’s “kind of cumbersome” for agriculture professionals to obtain permits they need because they must visit three different buildings, he said.
Gordon County is a magnet location for farmers dealing with several federal agencies, said Glenn Forrester, county executive director for USDA. Calhoun is the main point of operations for the USDA’s federal farm program that serves seven area counties and 300 to 500 producers, he said.
The NRCS has similar clientele but serves 100 to 200 other producers that the farm program doesn’t see, he said; the Calhoun location for USDA farm loan programs is the regional office for 22 Northwest Georgia counties. The Resource Conservation and Development program, a division of NRCS, also serves producers here, he said.
“If we could make it more convenient … we could get it all done for them (in one place),” Moraitakas said.
Moraitakas suggested the building be located on the west side of the existing livestock pavilion on land the county development authority owns.
Also during the Tuesday, July 6, meeting, commissioners: