Georgia Hunters Helping Farmers

From the Herald…

Boars. Wild hogs. Feral pigs.

No matter the term, hogs can be a big problem. Especially for landowners who depend on their property to supply crops that provide for their livelihood.

Hunters Helping Farmers is a new program combining the efforts of the state departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources to help alleviate the agricultural and financial damage caused by these non-native invasive pests.

“It is a natural fit to connect hunters and farmers together to try and help solve this growing problem,” said Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. “In no way will this be a silver bullet, but hopefully one small way we can help assist in this huge issue for our farmers.”

Rooting, trampling and consumption of crops are the most common types of damage seen by farmers. Crops most often destroyed include rice, sorghum, wheat, corn, soybeans, peanuts, potatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe. Hogs also can potentially contribute to bacterial contamination and sedimentation issues in waterways and they can carry numerous diseases, such as brucellosis and pseudo rabies.

“Feral hogs are known for causing extensive damage,” said Georgia DNR Commissioner Mark Williams. “By matching a hunter who is looking for additional hunting opportunities with a landowner who needs help dispatching feral hogs, we hope to provide some relief to those who are suffering from this problem.”

The Hunters Helping Farmers program provides a mechanism to help farmers and hunters engage with a similar goal in mind. The goal of the new program is to help facilitate a relationship between farmers looking for ways to control hog issues on their land and hunters looking to hunt them. Interested farmers can register on the Georgia Department of Agriculture website at www.agr.georgia.gov. Information from interested farmers and hunters will be matched based on geographical area and given to the farmer to choose if and when to contact a hunter. The farmer will be responsible for making all arrangements with the hunter.

For more information, call (844) 464-5455.