On Tuesday Oct. 18, state and local officials, business owners, community members, family and friends gathered at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm for a very special recognition of the Burt family and their farm’s 50th anniversary.
During the event, several elected officials shared their remarks, the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce held a 50th anniversary ribbon cutting, and State Representative Will Wade read a resolution officially declaring Oct. 18, 2022 as Burt’s Pumpkin Farm Day across the state of Georgia.
According to Wade, who grew up near the farm and has known the Burt family for much of his life, there is no family more deserving of the honor than the Burt family.
“You don’t get 50 years of business without doing a really good job of taking care of customers and taking care of the community,” Wade said. “The entire family to me is a great symbol of what makes Dawson County great, and that’s hard work and sticking together through thick and thin. They are a family of faith and that’s at the center of everything that they do — that’s at the center of what I believe our district is about: faith, family and working hard.”
State Senator Steve Gooch also spoke during the event, congratulating the Burt family on their accomplishment and thanking them for the part they play in the state’s agriculture.
“We appreciate the Burts for being here all these years; thank you for your steadfast ability to stay on this farm and raise your family and I hope your grandkids will do the same thing,” Gooch said. “What a beautiful place for tourists to come up; this place is packed every day of the week and on weekends. What an amazing opportunity for this community; it’s because of all your hard work and your family sticking together and making it happen.”
Burt’s Pumpkin Farm was started back in 1972 by local couple Johnny and Kathy Burt, who began by selling pumpkins from their front yard as a hobby and a way to make a little extra money. Since then, their farm has grown from selling about 300 pumpkins a year to now selling about 150,000 a year.
District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett, who has lived near the Burt family and seen the farm grow since the very beginning, said that to her the family and the farm are both staples of what make Dawson County what it is.
“We all know this place is magic — we've got a lot of jewels in Georgia; this is a jewel and your family is a jewel,” Fausett said during the event. “They’re the hardest working people I’ve ever seen in my life; I was here too when it all started and look where it is now… it is fabulous.”
Dawsonville City Council member Will Illg, Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond, Dawson County Clerk of Courts Justin Power, Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mandy Power and Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson also shared their thoughts during the event, thanking the Burt family for all they do for Dawson County and for all their family means to so many people.
“I love this farm; it’s like a little slice of heaven in Dawson,” Illg said. “We love you guys and we’re excited to celebrate you today.”
“If there’s one thing I know, they wouldn’t be a farm without a family,” Johnson added. “I love the Burt family; they’re just like family to me.”
Wade added that, both on a personal level and as a part of the Dawson County community, he’s grateful for the Burt family and their commitment to make the county a better place.
“When there’s something that needs done in the community, they’re just a phone call away — if you need a prayer or you need a pumpkin they are there for you, and to me that’s why this 50 years is happening,” Wade said.
After the reading of the resolution, Johnny and Kathy Burt accepted it from Wade and thanked those in attendance for their support throughout the years.
"I want to thank all of y’all — y’all are Dawson County, we’re Dawson County and we love every one of you,” Johnny Burt said.
To read more about the history of Burt’s farm, go to https://www.dawsonnews.com/life/arts-entertainment/faith-family-and-pumpkin-fields-burts-farm-opens-for-50th-season/.
To learn more about the farm including hours, directions and more, go to https://www.shopburtsfarm.com/.