In the News

New Industries Come To Early County

The Early County Development Authority met Monday afternoon and heard plans for two projects in Early County.

Will Harris of White Oak Pastures described his plans to build a small packaging plant on his farm north of Blakely.

Harris markets "natural grassfed beef" under his White Oak Pastures label, primarily through Publix grocery stores.

The processing plant will allow expansion of White Oak Pastures' beef market and provide custom processing for the area's cattlemen, Harris stated.

Harris Monday asked for the support of the development authority and Board of Commissioners.

A $500,000 OneGeorgia equity loan will be applied for through the development authority. While OneGeorgia is encouraging local participation in the project, it was not determined Monday how the county could participate in the project which is being built on private property.

The processing plant would be capable of processing 50 head of cattle per week and employ 12 to 15 people.

Also at Monday's meeting, EC2055 executive director Lisa Collins discussed the location of a filming related business in the industrial park.

"EC2055 has been working for several months with a prospect in the film industry," Collins stated. She stated the company, a wardrobe/costume manufacturing/ design business, is relocating from the Orlando area and is a key component to the development of the film industry in Southwest Georgia. The company will create 20 to 30 non-minimum wage jobs.

EC2055 is proposing to build a 10,000 to 12,000 sq. ft. building for the company on a five-acre site in the industrial park. The development authority agreed to work with EC 2055 in locating the company in the park.

Collins noted that Placemakers cited the film industry as one of the top 10 potential economic drivers in their initial background studies. A first class sound stage

was recently completed in Colquitt which hosted the first Southwest Georgia film festival over the Labor Day weekend which drew over 500 people including film directors, producers, screenwriters and actors.

Two films are already planned, including one which will be produced solely in Blakely.

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