Centennial Family Farm in Rutledge offers farm-raised, natural-as-possible beef; and now offering pork, as well
By Stephanie Johns
Rutledge-based Verner Farms, a 140-years-old farm, not only offers all natural beef: as of February it also offers all natural pork as well.
Alan Verner and his son Adam – fourth and fifth generations, respectively – are partners in the farm, which has been honored by the state as a Centennial Family Farm.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Centennial Family Farm Program, begun in 1992, recognizes “family farms that have contributed to preserving Georgia’s agricultural history by maintaining working family farms for more than 100 years.”
Alan and his wife Sue Ellen, Adam and his wife Megan all run the farm together.
“Farming and raising cattle, we do it because we love it and don’t want to do anything else,” Alan said. “We take a lot of pride in what we do and think things through before doing them.”
Adam said the Berkshire hogs are raised the same as Verner cattle: nothing artificial, including no hormones, antibiotics, nor steroids.
The Berkshire hogs are known for high marbling and are similar to Kobe beef, he said.
“It’s the highest possible quality you can get,” he said. “You know it’s coming from us so you know it’ll be good.”
That also applies to the farm’s beef.
Stories by Stephanie Johns
lack of rain • low soil moisture • crops dependent on irrigation • conditions for wildfire good • dry conditions persist
Dry Gone Awry
The Morgan County area is considered to be in “exceptional drought” stemming from several years of poor rainfall, according to Keith Fielder, an agricultural extension agent in Putnam County.
Even though we have left summer behind and entered into fall, nothing has changed as far as the drought, he said.
“Dry conditions are dry conditions,” he said. “It’s a year-round deal.”
He said people may be most affected by the drought in summer because of the high temperatures but the soil moisture is still “very low” right now.
Timely rainfall in August and September was nice, but without sustained rainfall there is no real change, he said.
“Basically we’re right back where we were,” he said.
He noted that areas south of here have benefited from the rainfall brought by tropical storms. Lack of adequate rain in this area has affected hay production.
By Michael Prochaska | file photos by Angelina bellebuono
Agritourism is a growing business locally and across the state
Written by April Moore Skelton
Recipes by Conrad Skelton
Photography by Justin Evans
The weather has cooled off and it’s a wonderful time to be outdoors. Pick up the latest issue of Lake Oconee Living for recipes you can cook fireside.
Story and photos by
Judy A. Maxwell
Humane Society of Morgan County opens its state-of-the-art $1 million facility
Each year the University of Georgia Beef Team and local Extension Offices offers two Master Cattlemen Programs in the state. The programs rotate among the four Cooperative Extension districts in Georgia. Later this summer the program will be conducted in Morgan County.
The Master Cattlemen program consist of seven weekly meetings (two hours each week) covering various topics related to beef cattle production. Program participants that attend five of the seven sessions will receive a certificate of completion plus receive BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) certification. University of Georgia staff (UGA Beef Team) presents the weekly programs. Each participate will receive a Master Cattlemen notebook, which has proven to be a very valuable resource for beef cattle producers.
The UGA Master Cattlemen Program will start Aug. 23 in Morgan County. This program will meet each Tuesday evening (6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) through Oct. 4. The program is hosted by Jasper, Morgan, and Greene County Cooperative Extension Offices. Complete information including: Program Agenda, Registration Letter, and Registration Form can be found at the UGA Beef Team Web Site – ugabeef.caes.uga.edu – or by contacting the Cooperative Extension Offices in Jasper (706) 468-6479, Morgan (706) 342-2214, or Greene (706) 453-2083 counties. There is limited space (first 50 producers) for this upcoming program. There is an $85 charge for the course. This cost covers a copy of the Master Cattlemen’s notebook, refreshments at all meetings, a steak dinner at the final session, BQA certification plus a Master Cattlemen’s certification and cap. Complete the registration form and return it and the registration fee to the Morgan County Cooperative Extension Office at 440 Hancock Street, Madison, GA 30650 to register for the next upcoming UGA Master Cattlemen Program.
Printed in July 14, 2011 edition