Thank you for visiting the Georgia Grown Innovation Center website.
The City of Metter is the first “Georgia Grown Community” in the state. The city has fully incorporated Georgia Grown into its economic development strategy. The city offers programs and incentives to create a business-friendly environment that showcases agriculture, food, and retail businesses that embrace the vision of Georgia Grown and Metter Made products. The new Georgia Grown Innovation Center (GGIC) is a part of that Georgia Grown campaign.
The City of Metter partnered with Georgia Grown and Georgia Southern University’s Business Innovation Group to create the GGIC, a business incubator, that would focus on agriculture. This amazing synergy supports agri-business locally, regionally and throughout the state. The Business Innovation Group (BIG) is the business outreach program for the University that is committed to developing a vibrant entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem for the southeast region. BIG provides resources for students and entrepreneurs to gain skills and training necessary to understand business principles, experience how businesses operate and successfully launch new enterprises
Georgia Grown is the economic development arm for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The brand is one of the finest in the United States and is recognized globally. The program identifies opportunities for businesses through state programs, partners, branding, provides technical industry expertise, collaborative research, and partnerships to help the industry connect, compete, and grow.
What we offer
Physical benefits of the GGIC include a fully furnished office space, fiber internet and wi-fi, meeting room use, visibility on the website, co-working space, access to AV equipment, and controlled access to a secure building. Developmental benefits include coaching, market research, access to university faculty and students, mentoring, networking events, workshops, and technical support.
25 South Terrell Street
Metter, Georgia 30439
Office Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm. The incubator space is open to clients 24 hrs/day with code access.
Meet Our Partners
The three partners are the City of Metter, Georgia Grown, and Georgia Southern University. Each partner utilizes their individual strengths to provide a wide array of resources for the small agribusiness owners.
City of Metter
Department of Economic Development
The City of Metter embraces its agriculturally based economy and has integrated the concept into an economic development strategy and vision. Located on Interstate 16, less than an hour from the Savannah area, the City has become a destination for travelers and new businesses who are fans and soon to be fans of the Georgia Grown and Metter Made products and businesses.
With the city’s inviting and beautiful downtown, located just one mile from the Interstate, with shopping, restaurants, ice cream shop, yoga studio, gym, business incubator and so much more…you can see why Metter is the place to come and grow your business.
Business Innovation Group
The Business Innovation Group (BIG) is the business outreach arm for the University committed to developing a vibrant entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem for the southeast region. BIG provides resources for students and entrepreneurs to gain skills and training necessary to understand business principles, experience how businesses operate and successfully launch new enterprises.
Center of Innovation for Agribusiness
Georgia Grown is the Economic Development arm for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. They provide technical industry expertise, collaborative research and partnerships to help the industry connect, compete, and grow globally.
Resource Partners are people, groups, or organizations who have partnered with the GGIC to provide their knowledge as a resource. That can look like teaching a workshop, hosting an event, or holding office hours with the clients.
Director of Agricultural Technology (AgTech) at the Center of Innovation, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)
Chammoun supports Georgia based AgTech companies, assist in recruiting AgTech companies to Georgia, and helps foster the innovation ecosystem throughout the Georgia agricultural industry. He has served in several roles at GDEcD including Division Director for the Rural Georgia Initiatives and the Director of the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness.
Prior to joining GDEcD, Chammoun served as Director of Public Affairs for the Georgia Cotton Commission. In this role he coordinated the Commission efforts to better communicate with cotton producers and cotton consumers in the areas of research, promotion, and education. Chammoun is a native of Adel, Georgia and holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University.
Diana Earwood is the link to all things local. An agricultural liaison passionate about connecting growers and producers with their target markets, she brings the best blend of sales, education and account management. Having worked with brands, farmers and brokers, plus industry and government organizations big and small, Diana knows what it takes to state your story.With years of experience in serving the agricultural industry across the Southeast, Diana continues the standard of excellence from the Sutherland family. Beyond fighting for the best in what’s fresh, she’s committed to building her relationships with God, within her industry, and with her community. Diana is a proud mother cheering on the latest accomplishments of her daughter, Corey. She also enjoys spending time with everyone’s favorite furry friend, Mr. Waggles.
Executive Director of The Common Market Southeast, a non-profit food distribution organization whose mission is to bring good fresh food grown by small to mid-sized family-owned farms to local communities.
The Common Market works primarily through anchor institutions such as schools, universities, hospitals and community organizations in order to reach the maximum number of people creating improved access to local food. He has served as a member of the East Point Agricultural Plan Steering Committee and serves as an advisory board member for the South Atlanta Food Bank. He also serves on the board of Automotive Training Center, helping metro Atlanta youth overcome difficult life challenges to gain a career in automotive repair.
Prior to coming to The Common Market, Bill worked at The Kroger Co. for 18 years in various roles including Legal Counsel, Store Manager, District Manager and Vice President of Operations. Bill has also practiced law in the areas of civil litigation and general corporate work. Bill is a graduate of Howard University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in business management and the University of Kentucky where he received his juris doctorate.
Bill is an author and speaker. His book “The 12 Pillars of Manhood” discusses principles of manhood development and rites of passage from a Christian perspective. Bill and his wife Kristy live in East Point and have three adult children, Taylor, William IV and Ethan.
UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent
Ross Green is the UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent for Evans and Candler Counties. UGA Cooperative Extension provides onsite and phone consultations for pest and disease management, crop research, weed management, soil and water testing services, and online resources for crops, livestock, turf, ornamentals, wildlife, forestry, etc.
The Georgia Grown Innovation Center would like to say a huge thank you to AgSouth Farm Credit and Pineland for sponsoring the GGIC.
Pineland was established in 1951 and has been serving their community ever since. Pineland offers telephone services such as residential phone lines, business phone lines, and VoIP Business Solutions. Their services also include fast and reliable internet and TV. Additionally, they provide security services such as smoke/heat detection, camera systems, GPS vehicle tracking and much more.