Governor speaks at Farm Bureau Convention

Nov. 20 – MACON – Members of the Georgia Farm Bureau gather on Jekyll Island Dec. 4-6 for the organization’s 85th annual meeting. This year marks the 58th time GFB has held its convention on Jekyll Island.

Governor Brian Kemp, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation Zippy Duvall, outgoing Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Commissioner-elect Tyler Harper will address the General Assembly on December 5 between 8:15 a.m. and 12:00 p.m speak to the congress participants.

“Over the years, Jekyll Island has become our second home,” said GFB President Tom McCall. “Since 1976, the Georgia Farm Bureau has met at Jekyll for our convention every year except for 2020 when we held smaller district meetings due to the pandemic.

“Our members will enjoy meeting friends, hearing the latest on agricultural issues and determining our organization’s position on issues affecting their farms and rural communities. We are honored that Governor Kemp comes to speak with us, he estimates the economic impact of agriculture and related businesses at US$69.4 billion on the Georgian economy.”

Convention activities begin December 4 at 10 am at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Sunday events include the opening of a trade exhibition with more than 60 exhibitors representing agricultural organizations, agencies and companies from Georgia.

During the Celebrating Ag Leaders event on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., GFB will recognize agricultural advocacy and promotional efforts by County Farm Bureau volunteers and teachers for incorporating agriculture into their classrooms through the Ag in the Classroom Program. The first day of the congress ends at 4:30 p.m. with a memorial service

On December 5, the general session will take place from 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Jones Hooks, Executive Director of the Jekyll Island Authority, will greet convention guests during the opening session. McCall will deliver his annual address. Black will reflect on his 12 years as head of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Harper will present his plans for the Department.

On December 5, the congress fair opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 12 p.m. A series of 14 Commodity Meetings will be held on Monday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. where speakers will address management and policy issues for the main commodities grown in Georgia.

Commodity meeting topics include forest carbon markets, on-farm meat sales and processing, deer damage to row crops and pesticide regulations. Speakers will also make presentations on aquaculture, bees, cotton, feed, pecans, peanuts, poultry, tobacco, vegetables and water.

On December 6, GFB voting delegates will discuss and approve policy resolutions tabled by the statewide chapters of the county’s Bureau of Agriculture. The resolutions approved by delegates will become the official policy of the organization, which will guide its legislative efforts in 2023. The delegates will also elect the 2023 GFB Board.