2023 Georgia Farmer of the Year, Bart Davis

Doerun, GA

Amidst the endless stretches of peanut fields, Bart Davis is hard at work, tending to his family’s legacy. With a deep rooted of love for agriculture, Davis has has transformed this once, five hundred acre family farm into a sprawling five-thousand acre operation over four decades. It’s a combination of Davis’s lifelong dedication, coupled with an unwavering commitment to innovation and community.

“It’s about a lot of other things other than actually putting the plow on the ground. I mean, a farmer that’s been successful does a really good job farming, tries to stay up with times and, tries to make his operation better each and every year,” says Davis. “Being involved in your farm, organizations such as, the Cotton Commission, Peanut Commission, or whatever you may be in, just to be a real big advocate for agriculture in Georgia.”

Davis is not the type of person who seeks accolades. He would rather his work do the talking. When asked about his recognition of being Georgia Farmer of the Year, Davis humbly replied, “I’m sure there are a lot of other farmers out there who deserve it more than I do.”

“I’m just the kind of guy, I just like to work and do things and try to help people, but I don’t ever really like to get the recognition for doing it, but it is an honor. After I got it and it sort of sunk in, I was like, ‘well, maybe I do more than I feel.'”

For Davis, farming isn’t just a profession, it’s a way of life, a journey that began at the tender age of eighteen, following the untimely loss of his parents during his senior year of high school. With resilience as his guiding force, Davis embraced his role as a steward of the land. Today, Bart focuses on cultivating cotton, peanuts, and corn, while also managing a thriving cattle operation.

“I was actually planting the crop. We was actually planting peanuts the day daddy died, which was April the seventh, 1982, the day he passed away. So, sort of got thrown in
my lap sooner than what I was expecting. Of course, you know, I felt like the world was coming to a end, but friends and family and just working every day and loving it. I mean the good Lord blessed us, and I’ve been successful at it,” says Davis.

But Davis’s contributions extend far beyond the boundaries of his own farm. He has actively given back to the industry by assuming leadership roles. For a decade, he has served on the Georgia Cotton Commission Board now as its chairman. Additionally, Bart chairs the Georgia Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation and represents Georgia on Southern Cotton Growers and Cotton Incorporated at the national level. His dedication to the industry, a testament to his passion for agriculture,

“You have gotta be dedicated to it. You can’t just wanna do it because you like it, and if you don’t wanna work that day, you don’t work. We work every day out here. I mean, there’s something to do seven days a week, twenty four hours a day out here, if a man’s willing to do it, you know? It’s tough. I mean, if a young man today, like my boys and my daughter, they are involved in it. Of course, I was the second generation farmer, and now they are the third. If you got somebody that can help you, a family member or somebody that’s willing and that you can work with and maybe learn from them, and then possibly let them work some land, it’s probably the best way for a young man to get started today. But if he don’t have some kind of way to get started, it’s just almost impossible to start from scratch,” says Davis.

As Bart Davis continues to shape the future of farming in Georgia and beyond, his story serves as an inspiration for aspiring farmers and a testament to the enduring spirit of agriculture in the Peach State.

By: Ray D’Alessio