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(From the February - March 2015 issue of the Georgia Farm Bureau News)



Zippy DuvallYou didn’t misread the headline for my column. I’m encouraging you to be an AGvocate, one who advocates for agriculture.


Georgia Farm Bureau has a strong corps of volunteers who faithfully interact with their legislators to discuss how legislation and regulations impact their farms and who visit local schools to teach kids how food is grown. I’m grateful for these volunteers and say thank you and keep up the good work! But I’m putting on my coach’s hat and recruiting new members to our AGvocate team.


I know how busy you are when you farm and how hard it is to do anything besides caring for your livestock or tending your fields. I understand you may not be able to attend a Farm Bureau meeting or event, but thanks to modern technology we’ve got new ways you can AGvocate without leaving the farm.


GFB has adopted a new advocacy tool - VoterVoice - that we’ve incorporated into our website and are using to send out our legislative newsletters and alerts via email. The system allows us to educate GFB members about issues, and then, with the click of a button, you can contact your elected officials.


The first step to using VoterVoice is to sign up. If you have already provided Farm Bureau with an email address, you should be enrolled in the system and should be receiving the GFB Legislative Report. The report comes out each Friday while the Georgia General Assembly is in session and provides a synopsis of legislative activities pertaining to agriculture for the week. We’ll also send out legislative alerts about federal issues as the need arises using this system.


Our legislative emails will sometimes include a red “Take Action” button that will take you to our “Action Center” for more information on how to contact your legislators. It shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to respond.


If you’re not getting our legislative reports and advocacy alerts, sign up at This program is intended to make it easier and more efficient for our members to contact their elected officials on important issues.


Another way you can stay informed on ag issues is by signing up for our weekly electronic newsletter GFB News Alert. This newsletter is free and available to all Farm Bureau members. Our GFB print team works hard each week to provide a synopsis of breaking ag news that covers a variety of commodities and ag issues.


If we have your email in our system you should already be receiving it. Look for an email each Wednesday titled GFB News Alert from Georgia Farm Bureau. If you want to subscribe to the newsletter visit, look for the burgundy message at the top of the home page inviting you to subscribe and click on the Subscribe button.


The newsletter is available to anyone interested in Georgia agriculture, so feel free to forward it to your farming friends, even if they aren’t a GFB member. Our hope is after they read a few issues they will see how hard Farm Bureau is working for them, and decide to become a member.


Another way I’d like to encourage you to AGvocate is by supporting the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. GFB has formed this non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation to receive tax-exempt donations from individuals and businesses for the purpose of funding Ag in the Classroom programs, scholarships and other events to increase ag literacy.


We’re kicking off our fundraising efforts with a gala on March 7 at Stone Mountain. We’re thrilled to announce keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who is also a tree farmer and GFB member, is providing the entertainment. We’d love for you to attend the gala, but if you can’t, please make a donation. Any amount is welcome and will make a difference in our efforts to AGvocate for agriculture.


The Bible tells us to go tell the good news and let your light shine.


Matthew 5:16 says, “Let our light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your God in heaven.”


The good news is that God gave his Son to save each of us. He also gave farmers the responsibility to till the land and have domain over all livestock. We are honored to have this responsibility.


My dad always told me, “If you take care of the land and the animals God put in your care, they will take care of you.”


Farmers care about the food they produce, and we care about the families that consume it. Let’s be AGvocates and tell the good news about God and the good things we, the farmers, do every day.