Record-holding farmer, land destroyed by Sabal Trail, in Valdosta at pipeline safety meeting


Valdosta, May 3, 2017 — U.S. corn production record holder and world soybean record holder Randy Dowdy, whose record-producing fields were severely eroded in rains after Sabal Trail’s pipeline construction destroyed his terraces and caused massive erosion of his cropland, will be at the Rainwater Conference Center in Valdosta 11:30 AM this morning at a pipeline safety exercise to talk about the implications of Sabal Trail’s destruction for pipeline safety and his livelihood.

Randy Dowdy is the 2014 50-year record holder for U.S. corn production and the world record holder for soybean production. Sabal Trail gouged its pipeline through his terraces on the land he used for those soybeans in Brooks County. Despite his warnings, they left that damage unfixed until rains in January caused massive erosion, washing his topsoil into a nearby creek. Beyond immediate damage, this destruction affects Dowdy’s ability to grow such record yields, and the basic productivity of his fields. What further economic damage has Sabal Trail done to other farmers and landowners? Where else will Sabal Trail’s pipeline cause erosion, perhaps in some places exposing the pipe and risking corrosion and breaks?

The event 11:30 AM this morning at Rainwater Conference Center in Valdosta is the Coordinated Response Exercise (CoRE) by Georgia Pipeline Awareness. All pipeline companies sponsor it, and local government emergency management personnel attend.

If Sabal Trail actually sends someone, maybe they can explain what they did to Randy Dowdy’s farmland and what they are going to do to make it right.

If Sabal Trail is not there, Randy Dowdy will tell his story anyway. Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman will interview him and put video online.

Quarterman remarked, “Even beyond the severe direct effects on cropland, the topsoil washed into Little Creek is affecting the water flow and all the plants and animals that depend on it. All this when this pipeline was never any benefit to Georgia, and after Florida Power and Light, whose customers are stuck with the $3.2 billion bill for it, admitted in its 2016 Ten Year Plan that Florida needs no new electricity until 2024 at the earliest. That means Randy Dowdy’s record-breaking fields have been destroyed by an unnecessary pipeline. The parade of state and federal agencies that so far have not made Sabal Trail fix this problem need to do so.”

About Randy Dowdy

Randy Dowdy is the 2014 50-year record holder for corn production:

He is the world record holder in soybean production:

And this is what Sabal Trail did to the fields where Randy Dowdy grew those record soybeans:

About Suwannee Riverkeeper

John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) as the Member of the Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River basin. WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. WWALS has opposed Sabal Trail since 2013.


WWALS Watershed Coalition
P.O. Box 88
Hahira, GA 31632
John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper


 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

2 thoughts on “Record-holding farmer, land destroyed by Sabal Trail, in Valdosta at pipeline safety meeting

  1. Janet Barrow

    Now I am really angry! With corn and soybean yields like Randy Dowdy has had, you know that he has tended his farm and that soil with the utmost care. It takes years to build soil like he has done. Sabal Trail has severely damaged his farm and livelihood.

    They mixed up the soils where I am, too, so I do not expect the wetlands to function properly anymore where Sabal Trail put its pipeline. I am also watching the erosion and “restoration” process. There are areas that were planted in March, and little to nothing is growing. Here is how I see the Sabal Trail pipeline – a bad scar over a festering wound that can erupt again at any time in the future.

  2. Pingback: Video: Randy Dowdy in VDT 2017-05-05 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

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