Jimmy Carter, Chair
Jimmy Carter brings historical perspective and public service experience to his post on the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) Board of Directors, currently serving as Chairman.
He certainly knows Henry County well as one of its native sons. And unlike many county residents of this bedroom community who commute across the county line daily to their jobs, Carter has for the most part stayed close to home, literally, whether working as a dairy farmer in McDonough or as an independent sales representative in this area’s agricultural industry.
Carter, as a sixth-generation resident of the County, has a sound public service record to boot, and he hopes that experience will benefit HCWA customers, employees, and fellow board members during his tenure at the Authority. He spent 18 years as an elected member of the Henry County Board of Education, even serving as its Chairman for part of that time. He has served the Authority since January 2005.
Carter is a third-generation dairy farmer in Henry County as well. In August of 1974, after completing his education at the University of Georgia and serving a tour in the Army, he came back home to partner with his father and uncle in the dairy business. He owned and operated his family’s dairy operations, which involved merging two farms into one, for more than 12 years.
In 1986, he closed the dairy operation and began work in sales in the agricultural industry. Currently, he serves as an independent sales representative for ABS Global, Inc. and Four Seasons Marketing Group. He is also a former Executive Director of the Georgia Milk Producers, Inc.
With this extensive experience in agriculture to his credit, he and his family are once again back in the farming business, but with a different twist. The Carters have made some improvements and innovations that include educational components that have been well-received by the public. The Carter family’s Southern Belle Farm is a popular destination for families, school tours, and thousands of other guests who visit the property annually.
“My long-term family goal is to help educate kids on what agriculture is all about,” says Carter, referring to the vision of Southern Belle Farm to include an educational component as a part of the state-of-the-art agricultural facility on his family’s McDonough property.
Not surprisingly, Carter’s love for the agricultural industry influences his perspective on the current rate of growth in Henry County. “We are blessed to be in a growing, vibrant area, but we can still preserve some rural influences and green space, and that is what we hope to do with our family farm,” he says. “A lot of people move to Henry County for open space and room to enjoy a great quality of life.”
A graduate of Henry County High School, with a Bachelor’s in agriculture and a Master’s Degree in animal nutrition from the University of Georgia, Carter and his wife Kathy have lived in McDonough all of their married life. They have three children Holly, Carmen, and Jake, who all live on the farm and are active in the operations at Southern Belle.
“I’m honored to be appointed to this Authority and hope to bring some historical perspective during my tenure,” adds Carter. “Water is a vital natural resource critical to quality growth in our community, and I want to make sure that we continue to be good stewards of those resources we are charged to oversee.”