‘It was a punch in the gut’ – Poultry show organizer reacts to suspension of events in Georgia – 95.5 WSB

“It means a lot to a lot of people…not just here. Literally people have been calling us crying because they’ve been waiting all year because we had to cancel last year due to COVID.

Bryan Massengale says the Newnan-Chattahoochee Valley Poultry Association show is the largest in the Southeast. And it’s not just big on the calendar this time of year in Georgia, but across the United States, with many attendees traveling hours out of state for the event.

It was to open Friday morning and last until Sunday. Instead, Massengale has spent much of his time since midday Wednesday calling exhibitors, sponsors and the like. to tell them that the fair will not take place.

“It was a punch in the stomach. We had already invested money in it,” explains Massengale, president of the CVPA and organizer of this show, which was to have its 18th edition. , I have to figure out what we have left to recover and see how we are going to pay for it, because there is money that has already been spent.”

Massengale poultry shows and all other Georgia poultry shows, flea markets, swap meets, etc., are now suspended by order of the state Department of Agriculture. This is Georgia’s proactive move to protect the poultry industry from bird flu. In recent weeks, outbreaks have been reported in Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina.

“Bird flu is a serious problem, and I’m not minimizing that. However, the timing was what I questioned. Massengale says he suspected something was wrong when his band applied for a show permit two weeks ago. “And it was a little strange to me last week that we didn’t get it. Normally we have that permit in our hands within 24 hours.

His band tried to get a few days extension so the show could go on, but it was impossible.

“I’m certainly not going to disagree with what state agriculture sees as best for the state, but it was tough.”

Massengale says the last time there was a suspension of poultry shows a few years ago, it lasted for months. For this situation, whenever a green light is given, he hopes to stage a reduced show. But that’s not a guarantee.

“It’s disappointing and for the chickens it means something, and everyone has their one thing they love, and their hobby, and chickens is what we do.”