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December 8, 2015





Jennifer Whittaker,




MACON, GA. – Georgia Farm Bureau voting delegates elected the organization’s 2016 board of directors Dec. 8 during the 78th Annual GFB Convention held on Jekyll Island.


GFB members in the organization’s Middle Georgia Region re-elected Robert Fountain Jr. of Emanuel County to represent their region on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors for another three-year term. The GFB Middle Georgia Region is comprised of 56 counties in the mid-part of the state running from the Alabama to the South Carolina state lines. Fountain has held the position since 2009 and previously held the position from 1997 to 2006. He is the third generation to own his family’s farm located in Emanuel and Johnson counties. Fountain raises cattle, hay, timber, small grains and pecans.


GFB voting delegates re-designated Gerald Long of Decatur County as the organization’s 1st vice president as he begins serving the third year of his third, three-year term as South Georgia vice president. Long and his family raise cattle and grow peanuts, vegetables, corn, cotton, hay, small grains and timber on their farm near Bainbridge.


GFB President Zippy Duvall begins the second year of his fifth, two-year term as president of the state’s largest general farm organization. Duvall is running for president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. If Duvall is elected on Jan. 12 during the AFBF convention in Orlando, Fla., he will resign as GFB president, and Long will serve as GFB president until December 2016 at which time GFB members would elect the next GFB president.


Bernard Sims of Catoosa County, is beginning the second year of his third, three-year term as North Georgia vice president. Sims, who was first elected in 2008, represents 49 counties in north Georgia. Sims, who also serves as the Catoosa County Farm Bureau president, grows turf grass, small grains, strawberries, hay and beef cattle.


In district director races, Bobby Gunter of Lumpkin County was re-elected to a two-year term on the GFB Board of Directors as a 2nd District director. Gunter, who is president of the Lumpkin County Farm Bureau, raises beef cattle and grows hay and corn silage on his farm. He has served as a GFB Director since 2007.


Matt Bottoms of Pike County was elected to the GFB Board of Directors representing the organization’s 5th District for a one-year term to fill a seat vacated this fall. Bottoms, who is the Pike County Farm Bureau vice president, grows a variety of fruit plants, vines and trees that he sells wholesale and via the Internet and also grows wheat, soybeans and canola.


The following were re-elected unopposed to serve two-year terms on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors: Bill Bryan of Chattooga County, 1st District; George Chambers of Carroll County, 3rd District; Marvin Ruark of Morgan County, 4th District; Ralph Adamson of Lamar County, 5th District; James Malone Jr. of Laurens County, 6th District; Gary Bell of Evans County, 7th District; Scotty Raines of Turner County, 8th District; Paul Shirah of Mitchell County, 9th District; and David Lee of Bacon County, 10th District.


GFB board members beginning the second year of the two-year term they were elected to in 2014 are: Wesley Hall, Forsyth County, 1st District; Randy Ruff of Elbert County, 2nd District; Nora Goodman of Paulding County, 3rd District; Skeetter McCorkle of McDuffie County, 4th District; James Emory Tate of Jeff Davis County, 6th District; Ben Boyd of Screven County, 7th District; Lucius Adkins of Baker County, 9th District and Daniel Johnson, of Pierce County, 10th District.


Will Cabe of Franklin County was named chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee. Melanie Sanders of Oglethorpe County was named chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. Both will serve a one-year term as committee chairmen and will sit on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors.


Appointed officers of the GFB Board of Directors include Chief Operating Officer Wayne Daniel; General Counsel Duke Groover; Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary Jon Huffmaster and Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treasurer David Jolley.


Delegates also voted on policy that will direct the organization’s stance on legislative issues pertaining to agriculture in the upcoming year.


Founded in 1937, the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization. The organization has 158 county chapters. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture 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.




Here are links to high-resolution photos of GFB President Zippy Duvall, 1st V.P. Gerald Long, Middle Georgia V.P. Robert Fountain, and District Directors Bobby Gunter and Matt Bottoms.