Pierce County farmer Daniel Johnson has been named the Lancaster/Sunbelt Farmer of the Year for Georgia. Johnson has produced tobacco since he began farming in 1984 and currently contracts for R.J. Reynolds and Dimon International Tobacco Companies.

In 1988, Johnson was one of only three farmers to plant cotton in Pierce County. Like many Georgia growers, he has continued to increase his cotton acreage and currently grows 1,068 acres of cotton.

“We're just an average cotton and tobacco farm with an emphasis on tobacco,” says Johnson. “I grow 80 percent Bt cotton for the simple reason that I want to be in the tobacco patch and not the cotton patch all of the time.”

Johnson operates his farm with the help of one full-time employee and his wife, Patricia. In addition to managing his farm, Johnson is an active member in numerous agricultural and civic organizations. He has served as president of the Pierce County Farm Bureau since 1992 and is a past winner of the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award. He is active in the Georgia Young Farmer Association and won a National Young Farmer Association Award in 1997.

“I've always enjoyed being in Farm Bureau because the organization stands up for what a lot of farmers believe,” says Johnson. Johnson and his wife have three children — Lindsey, LeeAnn and Daniel, Jr. He will be competing with farmers from seven other Southeastern states for the regional award to be presented at the Sunbelt Expo in October.