On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida panhandle as a category 4 storm – the strongest storm to hit Florida in the past 100 years, and the third strongest storm to make landfall in the United States. Within hours of landfall, Hurricane Michael was on a direct path for Donalsonville, Georgia. The eye of the storm passed right over the communities in which our Georgia Team work and live bringing winds of 110-130 mph with gusts recorded as high as 152 mph at the Donalsonville airport.
Entire forests were stripped, landscapes have been forever changed, grain bins were blown miles from where they once stood, cotton crops were completely stripped and defoliated, and it was easier to count the number of pivots still standing than to even begin to assess the infrastructure efforts that would be necessary to get back to the business of growing potatoes in Southwest Georgia. All of this on a year during which Team Georgia was deep into the field preparation and execution cycle readying for a potential record production year of 2x or even 3x of “normal” cropping acres.
The aftermath of the storm and the clean up efforts attempting to get life back to “business as usual” in the area have been unbelievably awesome. Team Georgia’s response to the challenges faced has been “bring it on”. With all hands on deck at every level of the organization, they have been working tirelessly to care for their families, help their neighbors, repair their homes, and ready themselves for a record production year. Amazingly, two months after the storm they have around 1/2 of their acres ripped and fumigated, and only two pivots left to repair. All of this with smiles on their faces, a joke to share with the team, and a focus on taking one step at a time to tackle the mountain of work that lies ahead. Their Unity and Humility has truly shinned through.
Jose Luis Becerra Ortiz
Juan Jose Briones Espinoza
Roberto Chairez Chavez
Agustin Gallegos Trejo
Miguel Arcangel Hernandez Artalejo
Jesus Leobardo Lopez Chavez
Jose Alfredo Rodriguez Espinoza