FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Paul Beliveau, (478) 474-0679, ext. 5237
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU TO HOLD 72nd ANNUAL CONVENTION
Gov.-elect Nathan Deal to address GFB members Dec. 6 at 10 a.m.
MACON, Ga. – Georgia Farm Bureau members will travel to Jekyll Island for the organization’s 72nd annual meeting Dec. 5-7. Members will gather at Jekyll’s Historic District Convention Campus located behind the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
“GFB has held our annual meeting on Jekyll Island for 47 years, and our organization is excited to continue this tradition as the Jekyll Island Authority forges ahead with its revitalization of the island facilities,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “We are honored that Governor-elect Nathan Deal has agreed to be our keynote speaker, and we look forward to working with him to promote Georgia agriculture. We’re also pleased to announce that A.D. Frazier, chairman of the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians, will also address our members during the Monday morning general session to discuss tax reform.”
Convention activities will begin Sunday, Dec. 5, when registration and exhibits open at 12 p.m. Registration will be held in the lobby of the Grand Oaks Hall and the exhibits will be housed in the Morgan Tennis Center.
The final round of the GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet will be held in the Magnolia Pavilion beginning at 1 p.m. The four finalists: Christy Bryan of Chattooga County, Jessica Bryant of Jackson County, Jonathan Fordham of Bleckley County and Will Godowns of Pike County were selected during the preliminary rounds of the competition held in July at the GFB Young Farmer Conference. The winner of this contest and the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Contest will be announced Sunday afternoon during the annual awards program. Awards will also be presented to counties and individuals selected as state winners in five categories for programs completed during the past year to promote agriculture. The GFB YF Achievement contest finalists are Stuart and Lauren Boykin of Screven County, Steven and Tiffany Metcalf of Turner County and Brian and Melissa Ogletree of Spalding County.
GFB will award the organization’s highest honor, the McKemie Award, to counties from three membership categories for having the best overall Farm Bureau program in each membership category.
Barrow, Chattooga, Cherokee, Coweta, Emanuel, Habersham, Henry, McDuffie, Madison and Newton counties will compete for the McKemie Award in the membership category of more than 3,001 members. Berrien, Bibb, Floyd, Greene, Harris, Jones, Polk, Spalding, Stephens and Washington counties will compete for the award in the 1,801 to 3,000 member category. Bacon, Cook, Heard, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Monroe, Pike, Upson and Wilcox counties will compete for the award in the membership category of up to 1,800 members.
On Dec. 6, the general session begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Grand Oaks Hall during which GFB President Duvall will deliver his annual address. Keynote speakers will address topics of interest to Georgia farmers. Governor-elect Nathan Deal will speak at 10 a.m. A.D. Frazier, chairman of the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians, will discuss the findings the council gathered this fall as it held a series of public meetings across the state regarding Georgia’s tax structure. The council, created by Georgia House Bill 1405 earlier this year, is charged with studying Georgia’s current tax structure and submitting its recommendations to Speaker of the House David Ralston and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle at the beginning of the 2011 legislative session.
Commodity conferences will be held Dec. 6 at 2 and 3:30 p.m., featuring speakers who will address management and policy issues for the major commodities grown in Georgia.
On Tuesday, voting delegates will discuss and approve policy resolutions submitted by county Farm Bureau chapters from across the state. The resolutions approved by the delegates will become the organization’s official policy and will guide its legislative efforts in the upcoming year. Delegates will also elect the GFB director positions that are up for re-election.
Delegates will re-elect the organization’s president, Zippy Duvall to his third two-year term. Duvall, who was first elected in 2006, is running unopposed. He raises broilers, cattle and hay on his Greene County farm. As GFB president he serves as an ex-officio member on most of Georgia’s Agricultural Commodity Commissions. He also serves on the board of directors of the American Farm Bureau Federation and has served as a member of Gov. Perdue’s Agricultural Advisory Committee. Duvall is past chairman of the Greene County Board of Commissioners and is a member of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.
His 30 years of community and public service also include Georgia Agri-Leaders, Georgia Dairy Family of the Year, Georgia distinguished Cooperator Award, Greene County Agri-business Man of the Year and serving on the Piedmont Soil and Water Board.
Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, have four children: Vince and daughter-in-law Erin, Corrie and son-in-law Jared, Zeb and Zellie and one granddaughter, Ava. The Duvalls are members of New Hope Baptist Church where Zippy serves as a deacon.
GFB South Georgia Vice President Gerald Long of Decatur County, who serves as the organization’s 1st vice president, is also running unopposed. Long has served as the organization’s South Georgia vice president since 2006 and was designated to serve as the organization’s 1st vice president in 2008. He represented the organization’s 9th District on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors from 1999 until 2006. Long and his family raise cattle and grow peanuts, vegetables, corn, cotton, hay, small grains and timber on their farm near Bainbridge. Gerald and his wife, Janice, have three adult children, Justin, Jared and Jeanie. The couple are members of the First Baptist Church of Bainbridge.
GFB District Directors running unopposed for another two-year term are: Henry West, Gordon County, 1st District; Randy Ruff, Elbert County, 2nd District; Nora Goodman, Paulding County, 3rd District; William Hutchins, Barrow County, 4th District; Jim Ham, Monroe County, 5th District; James Emory Tate, Jeff Davis County, 6th District; Ben Boyd, Screven County, 7th District; Don Wood, Wilcox County, 8th District; Lucius Adkins, Jr., Baker County, 9th District and Daniel Johnson, Pierce County, 10th District.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agricultural awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major commodities grown in Georgia.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo of GFB President Zippy Duvall.