Swainsboro and Emanuel County landscape is made up of fields, woods, and sandy soil. Under a canopy of piney woods, the forest floor is still carpeted with wiregrass, flora and fauna. The native deer, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, alligators, fish, bobcats, quail, foxes, snakes, turtles, and other wildlife compete with recent immigrants such as coyotes and armadillos.
The Ohoopee, Ogeechee, and Canoochee rivers flow through the county, and the smaller streams and innumerable ponds make the region an excellent recreation and fishing area. Along the waterways and low-lying areas are stands of hardwoods. Outside the city limits of Swainsboro, Emanuel County is truly the outdoorsman's paradise. There is literally something for everyone!
Swainsboro is the county seat of Emanuel County and supports seven other towns within the county. This includes:
Despite the significant presence of manufacturing and other commercial interests, Emanuel County is the 7th largest county in Georgia and remains heavily committed to agriculture. In 2011, almost 70% of the entire Emanuel County population lived in what was defined as a "rural" area.
Many people do not think of "timber" as an agricultural product. Well, not only is timber an agricultural product, but it is Georgia's highest valued agricultural product. With an estimated 24.8 million acres in forest, Georgia is "big" on timber. That's 67% of Georgia's 37 million acres of agricultural land area. Aside from the obvious wage and tax benefits derived from compensation to forest industry employees and supporting businesses, land owners and forest managers also earn significant annual income.
Better grades of pine tree timber can be used to make high-end furniture, ornamental interiors, cabinets, paneling, and well as made into dimension lumber for use within the construction industry.
Lower grades of pine are used to make composite particle and oriented-strand board, cardboard, and paper products. Many of these factories are also located in neighboring counties.
To highlight the importance of timber to the county and state: Emanuel County is consistently one of the top 5 timber-producing counties in the State of Georgia—a huge provider of Southern Yellow Pine saw logs and pulpwood.
When looking beyond timber, cotton and peanuts are the largest farming commodities produced locally. Thanks largely to mechanization, boll weevil control, and federally funded programs, farmers in Emanuel County are able to grow a lot of cotton.
Technology has dramatically changed how farmers plant and harvest cotton, as well as how it is processed. Global positioning systems are used for improved planting efficiencies and computer-operated cotton gins—the equipment used to separate cotton fibers from the seeds make processing the cotton crop much more cost-efficient. The same technological improvements apply to peanut farming, too.
The area is also home to many farmers growing beef, fruits, vegetables, berries, and nuts.
The Swainsboro/Emanuel County Joint Development Authority has a number of outstanding industrial and manufacturing sites available. The following list illustrates several opportunities available for business development in Emanuel County
Pathway Technology Park
Pathway Technology Park is rural Georgia's first technology park. The Park has 120 acres with numerous sites and is complete with a redundant AT&T/ Bell South fiber loop. Underground utilities and protective covenants provide a campus atmosphere with plenty of large trees, curbed and guttered paved roads, is fully lighted and located within the city limits of Swainsboro adjacent to East Georgia College. All utilities are available.
Richard L. Brown Industrial Park
Richard L. Brown Industrial Park is just minutes from downtown Swainsboro. The Park has 88 acres and is the home of American Steel Manufacturers and JABO Industries. The park has paved roads, lighting and is easily connected to the Swainsboro Bypass and I-16 which is 15 miles away. All utilities are available.
Emanuel Industrial Park
Emanuel Industrial Park East and West are located south of the downtown area just off of U.S. 1. The parks are sites of several important industries including Advanced Metal Components, American Door and Drawer, Capro Industries, Chemetrom Fire Systems, Swainsboro Precision Machines, Inc. and Savannah Luggage. Both parks are easily accessed by the Swainsboro Bypass. Several industrial sites are available.
Southeast Georgia I-16 Industrial Park
Located just off I-16 on U.S. 1, Emanuel County's I-16 Industrial Park is the county's newest industrial park. Located just 91 miles from the port of Savannah, the park has 570 acres of build-able sites and is ideal for international trade. Emanuel County's status as a "Tier 1″ County equates to maximum state and local incentives for manufacturers or warehouse operations locating here.
Airport Industrial Park
The Airport Industrial Park features 250 acres for Industrial sites with both runway and truck access. The Airport features a 6,000 ft. runway and state of the art terminal building. The Swainsboro/Emanuel County Airport facilities also include T-hangers, corporate hangers, aviation fuel, ground power service, ground air conditioning service, and pilot's lounge.