By Loren Lindler
Much like rural Georgia, there is no clear cut definition of grassroots efforts. But, when it comes to rural Georgia, there are many organizations and individuals working to make these communities a better place - where many of you live, work, and play.
According to Scott Blount, Associate Director of Georgia's Rural Center, these grassroots efforts are those community-based, out in the field, boots on the ground individuals working to make rural Georgia succeed.
There are a number of grassroots efforts across the state, all allowing these rural communities to reach their fullest potential. All in all, these groups are working to advocate for healthy, vibrant rural Georgia communities.
While some of these individuals are rooting for rural Georgia in their hometowns, there are also many people working in non-rural areas, including the Capitol.
Here's some of the grassroots organizations working to make these rural Georgia communities thrive:
Georgia's Rural Center (The Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation)
Georgia’s Rural Center exists to build healthy, vibrant rural Georgia communities with managed support and collaborative partnerships.
Georgia Farm Bureau
The purpose of Georgia Farm Bureau, as the largest farm organization in Georgia, is to provide leadership and assistance to the agricultural sector, to promote farm products, to aid in ag-related procurement, to be a spokesman for the farmer in the legislative arena, to be a leader in the development and expansion of farm markets, to strive for more agricultural research and educational funds and facilities - in essence - to use the Georgia Farm Bureau organization and its facilities as the vehicle with which to assist in providing farm families a fair and equitable standard of living and to ensure the existence of agriculture as a vital and thriving industry in the future.
Georgia Agribusiness Council
Officially incorporated on January 17, 1966, the Georgia Agribusiness Council's mission is "To Advance the Business of Agriculture through Economic Development, Environmental Stewardship and Education to Enhance the Quality of Life for All Georgians."
Georgia Grown helps new agribusinesses grow and established agribusinesses thrive by bringing producers, processors, suppliers, distributors, retailers, agritourism and consumers together in one powerful, statewide community.
Georgia Family Connection
Georgia Family Connection brings together more than 3,000 local- and state-level partners in all 159 counties in Georgia working toward measurably better outcomes for our children, families, and communities. Georgia Family Connection is the only statewide network of its kind in the country.
Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center
In 2018, Georgia lawmakers dedicated special funds to establish a new Rural Health Innovation Center. The center’s responsibilities would be ambitious, tasked with confronting the complex health care challenges and wellness disparities facing rural communities.
Georgia Municipal Association
The mission of the Georgia Municipal Association is to anticipate and influence the forces shaping Georgia’s cities and to provide leadership, tools and services that assist municipal governments in becoming more innovative, effective and responsive.
Association County Commissioners of Georgia
ACCG is a nonprofit instrumentality of Georgia’s county governments. Formed in 1914 with 19 charter county members, today ACCG serves as the consensus building, training, and legislative organization for all 159 county governments in the state. With this primary charge, ACCG works to ensure that the counties can provide the necessary leadership, services and programs to meet the health, safety and welfare needs of their citizens.
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has been an advocate for our state’s communities since its creation in 1977. In 1996, the Governor and General Assembly merged the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority (GHFA) into DCA, and the job of providing safe and affordable housing became part of the agency’s mission. For four decades, DCA has helped communities spur private job creation, implement comprehensive plans, develop downtowns, generate affordable housing solutions and promote volunteerism.
It comes as no surprise that there are many individuals and organizations across the state working to make rural Georgia prosper. What are some of the grassroots efforts that you look to?