Celebration of the Copper Basin. The tri-cities work together for a common goal.

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – A celebration of the progress made and a look at future plans for the tri-cities of McCaysville, Ga., Copperhill and Ducktown, Tn. was recently held at the Burra Burra Seafood restaurant. The Copper Basin RSVP Reveal gave the public a look at what can be accomplished when multiple agencies work together for one common goal.

Crowd gathered at Burra Burra Seafood to discuss the future of the Copper Basin.

Zachary Welch, Chairman of the Revitalization Committee and member of the Renaissance Steering Committee, gave thanks to the numerous individuals, businesses and organizations involved in the process. Welch enthusiastically declared, “It’s a very exciting time for our area.”

Citizens and visitors are already noticing a more welcoming feel to the towns. Streetscapes have begun in several areas, flower pots have been placed and filled, hanging floral baskets now adorn the iconic bridges, and the McCaysville mall has seen a complete makeover with numerous businesses spriningup to fill vacant spots.

One of the most notable figures that has pushed forward the revitalization of the area is McCaysville resident Mike Galinski of Galinski Enterprises. 

“Just a super guy,” Welch said introducing Galinski to the crowd. “I am so thankful to be blessed with having him come into our community, invest his time and his resources and really help kick off revitalization of our town.”

Phase One of Galinski’s vision included restoring buildings in the area both structurally and aesthetically, in his words he wanted to “bring the buildings back to life”.

“We’ve been listening to the people and what they want,” Galinski said of the direction his projects have taken, adding that he has plans to begin an ice cream parlor in the mall.

Mike Galinski and Zachary Welch discussing the progress made and the future of area.

“I want to make it family friendly,” Galinski said of the initially named ‘Happy Bear’ ice cream parlor. “If you take your kid to the Happy Bear Ice Cream, how could they not be happy?”

Also slated for the town of McCaysville is a 12,000 square foot McCaysville Event Center and music venue. This project, still in its design phase, will need to meet state approval before construction can begin. 

Galinski said of the proposed event center, “It should be able to hold a pretty large amount, but also do small parties.”

Of those on hand to celebrate the success and direction of the Copper Basin district was Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.

“What a great day to be in the Copper Basin,” Ralston spoke with the excitement shared by all involved.  “I can’t tell you what it means to see the enthusiasm and pride that this community has.”

Ralston gave personal thanks to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a branch of the University of Georgia, who has worked with the citizens of Copper Basin to brand the area and give direction to several projects. Ralston also gave thanks to the Lyndhurst Foundation of Tennessee who funded the planning.

Ralston then addressed Galinski, who he feels has spearheaded the revitalization in the area, “Mike, thank you for your passion for this community, and your vision, and your investment, of not only your time and resources, but your creativity. You have truly been a transformative leader here.”

Senior Public Service Associate with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Danny Bevins, spoke of future goals for the tri-cities and the unification through branding that his team was able to create.

Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston celebrates the success of the area.

Details to the branding and future plans where scrutinized and thoughtfully presented in order to “tell the story” of the people and the land. The Copper Basin logos and designs are free for all to use.

Bevins said of his team’s work and the over 600 survey responses received concerning the course of the Copper Basin area, “This planning process is not our plan, it’s all your all’s plan.”

“We heard a lot about a riverwalk,” Bevins spoke of the citizens’ input and added that plans have been made to incorporate the river into the plans for McCaysville and Copperhill. The future of the river in the twin towns will host  “small gathering and sitting areas that are connected from both sides of the river, up and down”.

Other plans include a new park added as a continuation of the existing park in McCaysville, Wayfinding Signs, street and sidewalk improvements, benches and connecting walkways, and public art to enhance the feel in the area

Revitalization is undeniable in the area, and it is the hope of all involved to turn the Copper Basin district into a destination that is “Too Great For One State”.

McCaysville Mayor, Thomas Seabolt, being presented with a plan of the area.


Copperhill Mayor, Kathy Stewart, was also presented with a framed plan of the area.


Jan Hackett and David Ralston pose with a framed plan, that Ralston said would hang at the state capital.


Natalie Kissel


Fannin County Young Farmers Association News Release




The Fannin County Young Farmers Association and The Blue Ridge Mountain Cattleman’s Association help a joint function on January 11 at 6pm at Cohutta Country Store.  A meal was served and was sponsored by BRM Cattleman’s Association and Cohutta Country Store. Guest speaker was Dr. Brent Credille, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Assistant Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia  . He spoke to the group about DYSTOCIA MANAGEMENT IN BEEF CATTLE, Fetal dystocia is abnormal fetal size or position resulting in difficult delivery. Dr. Credille also brought a calving simulator to demonstrate to the group how to properly deliver a calf if the cow is unable to deliver on her own. Anyone who wanted to try to deliver the calf was able to give it a try. Pictured is Tayelor Long and Dr. Credille. 65 people were in attendance.

Beef Cattle Calf Simulation, Demonstration, & Talk




    Beef Cattle Calf Simulation
                               Demonstration and Talk                             

 January 11, 2018    6:00pm

Cohutta Country Store- Blue Ridge, GA

Program will be presented by  Brent Credille, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Assistant Professor; College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia

Meal sponsored by Blue Ridge Cattleman’s Association &  Cohutta Country Store

Anyone interested is welcome to attend

FCYFA and BRCA members attend free of charge

Non FCYFA and BRCA members we ask you pay $5.00

Please RSVP to rmathews@fannin.k12.ga.us or 706-455-2545 by 1/8/18

Recent App Released to Help Poultry Farmers Mix The right Ratio of Feed

Community, Featured

By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent

Spring is just around the corner and with the warmer weather the sound of baby chicks can be heard in the post office and the feed stores. Whether you are working with three laying hens in a backyard coop or a farm full of broilers, chickens need proper nutrition to live healthy, low-stress lives. Providing the correct balance of protein, vitamins and other nutrients can be challenging for those mixing their own feed. An incorrect mixture can lead to malnourished or stressed chickens.

Justin Fowler, an assistant professor in the Department of Poultry Science at the University of Georgia, recently released an app that will help midscale poultry producers mix the right ratio of feed ingredients needed to maintain a healthy flock. FeedMix, funded by a grant from the World Poultry Foundation, was released for both Apple and Android platforms at the end of 2016.

Fowler, who joined the poultry science department in 2015, developed the app after working with the emerging poultry industry in Ghana. He was one of a delegation of UGA poultry scientists who traveled to Ghana in June 2015 and June 2016 to help the Ghana Association of Poultry Farmers set up a Cooperative Extension-style continuing education program for Ghanaian poultry farmers.

Ghanaian poultry farmers who mix their own feed do so from ingredients that are very similar to U.S. producers’ ingredients, mainly corn and soybean meal. About 57 percent of Ghana’s chicken farmers grow at least some of their own feed components on their farms. After those visits to Ghana, Fowler collaborated with fellow faculty members and scientists. Together they created a simple app to help producers know exactly what they are feeding their birds when they are on-site, mixing their own feeds.

Gene Pesti, professor of poultry science and animal nutrition at UGA, compiled this information into a series of Excel workbooks, but many small farmers don’t always have access to the desktop or laptop computers needed to use them. They do, however, have smartphones. The advantage of this technology is that it provides immediate feedback to producers who are on a small enough scale that they may not have a good handle on exactly what kind of nutrition they are providing their flocks.

FeedMix is the second app released by the UGA poultry science department. In 2015, Brian Fairchild, Mike Czarick and agricultural engineer John Worley developed CHKMINVENT, an app that allows farmers to enter local climatic conditions and other factors to calculate cooling and ventilation plans for their chicken houses. Farmers in the U.S. and across the globe have downloaded the app more than 1,000 times.

For more information about the poultry science program at UGA, visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/departments/poultry.html and to learn more about these poultry science apps, search for them in Apple’s app store or on Google Play, or contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institute


FCHS Honors Vets

Featured Stories, Rebel's Corner

With Veteran’s Day here upon us, Fannin County High School held an assembly to honor the many Veterans, in the area, that have served in the United States Armed Forces. (more…)



BRES Visits Johnny Appleseed

Community, Featured Stories

The kindergarten students at Blue Ridge Elementary visited the University of Georgia Agricultural Department in Blairsville, GA on Wednesday, September 4th and received a surprise as they ventured through the hills of apple trees. (more…)



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