“Top of the World” in N.Georgia can mean top of the feed mill

CLICK TO ENLARGE. Top: Kern (beige coat) and Junior Honors Seminar students looking at the Georgia mountains from the top of the Fieldale mill. Bottom: Plant manager Emory Forrester explains details of the operation.
Students in this semester´s Junior Honors Seminar, taught jointly by Profs. Rudi Kiefer and Linda Kern, were treated to an unusual view Friday as the class took a field trip to Baldwin. Operating two feed mills, the Fieldale Co. is the largest producer of chicken feed in the South, and a locally based family-owned corporation. “With 600 farms in the area raising chickens for Fieldale, we have to be pretty organized,” said mill manager Emory Forrester. “We have computer software for about everything, from the first processing of the corn coming out of the rail cars to the final feed mix that goes into the chickens.” Forrester has been married to an alumna of Brenau´s Women´s College for many years.

Going through all the areas of the mill, the students were particularly impressed by the fact that it is run by just 18 people, and “the cleanliness of the place everywhere,” said Monique Wimby WC´12. “Not only is it run like a huge clockwork, it´s also tidy. I feel good about eating chicken produced by Fieldale.” The rooftop view from the top of the mill, 260 feet above ground level, was breathtaking. The hillsides around Gainesville blended into the Blue Ridge Mountains to the northwest, with Brasstown Bald making its mark as the highest elevation in Georgia. The class returned to campus with the aroma of rosted corn meal still lingering, and a feeling that Georgia-grown chicken is good food.

Friday, October 14, 2011