2023 Legislative Report Week 3

GFB Public Policy Department



January 27, 2023



In this Issue: 

  • The Pace is Picking Up

  • House Ag Meets

  • Rural Caucus Meets

  • Action This Week

  • Bills of Interest

  • 2022 Census of Agriculture

  • Rodenticide Action Alert

  • Deer Nuisance Comments


The Pace is Picking Up

On Monday, January 23rd, legislators returned to the gold dome for legislative day 5 as we resumed the 2023 session. Following budget week and the beginning of appropriations hearings, things are picking up speed around the Capitol. Legislators have begun to introduce bills, committees are holding their first meetings, and the session is well underway.

Governor Kemp gave his State of the State address during a joint session of the House and Senate on legislative day 7. Governor Kemp highlighted the success of our state and attributed that success to the hard work of Georgians as well as the bipartisanship in both chambers of the General Assembly. While highlighting economic prosperity and job growth in the state, he acknowledged skilled labor shortages and lack of workforce housing to be some of the greatest challenges facing our economy. Throughout his address he congratulated Georgians on their achievements during his first term and tied them to the priorities he has for investing in education, supporting law enforcement, and improving the quality of healthcare during his second term.

This week ended on Thursday, January 26th, with legislative day 8. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) will continue to be at the Capitol every day to promote Georgia agriculture and represent our members.


House Ag Meets

This week the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Robert Dickey (R-Musella), held their first meeting of the new legislative session. Due to the large number of freshmen legislators in the General Assembly, most committees are made up of quite a few new faces. The House Ag Committee is no different, with 9 out of the 28 members being new to the committee. Chairman Dickey had members go around the room with introductions and allowed for several agricultural organizations to testify before the committee and tell a little about what we do and who we represent. The Chairman explained that these organizations, including Georgia Farm Bureau, work to ensure the future of agriculture remains strong and can serve as a resource to the committee. GFB looks forward to working with the House Agriculture Committee throughout this legislative session. Please click below to see who will be serving on the committee this session.

Committee Members


Rural Caucus Meets

The first meeting of the Rural Caucus took place this week with members from both the House and Senate gathering on Tuesday for a luncheon. The Rural Caucus, the General Assembly's largest caucus, is made up of legislators representing our rural communities and agricultural interests and offers an effective way for them to discuss policy ideas important to our members' communities. This session, Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park) will serve as the Chair of the caucus with Rep. Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) serving as Vice Chair. The Georgia Agribusiness Council sponsored the first meeting of the year alongside the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. Georgia Farm Bureau will co-host the Rural Caucus lunch with the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts on March 8th.


Action This Week

HB 53:
Reps Corbett, Meeks, Pirkle, Dickey, and Williams
This bill would establish the State Board of Registration for Foresters as an independent agency attached to the State Forestry Commission for administrative purposes. Currently the Board is under the professional licensing boards division of the Secretary of State's office.
Assigned to House Natural Resources and Environment Committee on 1/23/2023


HB 73:
Reps Gullett, Parsons, Thomas, Anderson, Meeks, and others
This bill deals with ensuring transparency between buyers and sellers of distributed energy generation systems, including solar energy procurement, and ensuring access to educational information surrounding contracts and agreements for such systems.
Assigned to House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee on 1/25/2023


HR 32:
Reps Balinger, Jasperse, Ridley, Byrd, Thomas, Scoggins
This resolution recognizes Shirley Pahl, program coordinator and office manager for the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, for her collaboration with legislators, leadership within the county, and dedicated service to her community. The members of the State House of Representatives congratulate her on her retirement and extends their best wishes.
House Read and Adopted 1/24/2023


SR 18:
Sens Walker, Goodman, Dixon, Echols, Anderson
This resolution recognizes February 21, 2023, as FFA Day at the Capitol and acknowledges the positive impact that FFA has on youth in Georgia.
Senate Read and Adopted 1/24/2023


SR 36:
Sens Walker, Goodman, Dixon, Echols, Sims, Anderson, and others
Recognizes February 8, 2023, as 4-H Day at the Capitol and commemorates the achievements of outstanding students within the organization this year.
Senate Read and Adopted 1/25/2023


Click Here to Search for Bills and Learn More 


Bills of Interest

HB 33:
Reps Camp, Mathiak, Lim, Au, and Cameron
This bill would establish the State Board of Veterinary Medicine as an independent agency attached to the Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes. The State Board of Veterinary Medicine serves as the licensing board for veterinarians in the state of Georgia. Currently, this board is administratively attached to the Secretary of State and is under the professional licensing boards division. The legislation would create an executive director position for the board and give them the authority to hire outside investigators to inspect veterinary clinic premises, equipment, and mobile clinics.
Assigned to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee on 1/23/2023

Click Here to Search for Bills and Learn More 


2022 Census of Agriculture

"The future of agriculture depends on your response."

The USDA's 2022 Census of Agriculture is officially underway, and they need your response to make sure all farm families are being counted. You have until February 6, 2023 to submit your information. It is critical that Georgia farmers participate, as policymakers use this data to make both federal and local decisions impacting farm programs, funding, crop insurance rates, rural development, disaster assistance, the farm bill, and much more. Remember, all personal information collected will remain confidential and will not be used in any other way other than USDA data collection. 

Although the survey may seem overwhelming, each producer only has to complete the sections that pertains to their operation. You can submit your questionnaire online or by mail. Below is a link that will allow you to access the online portal-- all you will need to have is your unique survey code. If you do not have the survey code from the form mailed to you, please call 888-424-7828 to obtain your code over the telephone.


Once you have your survey code, please follow the steps below to complete the 2022 Census of Agriculture.

  1. Go to
  2. Enter the 12-digit survey code in the box
  3. Select My Active Surveys
  4. Select the link that says UNITED STATES 2022 CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE
  5. Verify the contact information is correct and select ADDRESS VERIFIED - START SURVEY, or make corrections by selecting MAKE CORRECTIONS
    1.  If you made Operation, Operator, or Contact Information corrections, select SAVE CHANGES - START                 SURVEY
  6. Complete the census through the Conclusion section and select Submit Survey

All census information must be submitted by February 6, 2023 so be sure to complete yours in time.

Complete the Census of Agriculture


Deer Nuisance Comments  

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resource Division (WRD) is requesting public input on the development of hunting regulation proposals for the 2023-2025 hunting seasons. With the ongoing challenge of deer depredation and the resulting crop damage that greatly impacts our state's farmers, we encourage you to make your voice heard regarding these proposals by advocating for an expansion of limits and season dates and prioritizing harvest of does. Comments may be submitted by email to or by written letter mailed to the following address:


Dr. Tina Johannsen
GA DNR Wildlife Resources Division
2067 US Hwy. 278, SE
Social Circle, GA 30025


All comments must be received by 4:30 pm on February 6, 2023.


Rodenticide Action Alert 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently accepting comments regarding their proposed interim registration review decisions for several rodenticides. Included in the decision, EPA would classify nearly all anticoagulant rodenticides as Restricted Use Products (RUPs) and require certification for their use. This could decrease the availability of these products with current retailers as well as add additional cost, time, and manpower for Georgia farmers. We urge you to click the "Take Action" link below to submit comments to EPA and let them know continued access to rodenticides are important for your operation. Feel free to personalize the message to let EPA know the economic and safety impacts these products provide for you. The deadline to provide feedback is February 13, 2023.

More Info


GFB Day at The Capitol

This year's Georgia Farm Bureau Day at The Capitol is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14th. We hope you will take this opportunity to join us at the State Capitol to advocate for Georgia agriculture and meet with your legislators as well as other Farm Bureau members from across the state.

The event will begin at 9:30am in the Blue Room at The Georgia Freight Depot. The Depot is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive just northwest of the Capitol, at Underground Atlanta. Following orientation, we encourage everyone to visit with your legislators at the Capitol and invite them to come back with you to the Depot to enjoy lunch at noon. Invitations will be sent out to all legislators, but a personal invitation from you would be especially helpful.

Complimentary security parking is located at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel parking deck, located at 165 Courtland Street NE, and a shuttle bus service will run from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.


Dates to Remember

Please see below for a list of upcoming events related to Georgia Agriculture:

  • February 1: Georgia Agribusiness Council Breakfast 
  • February 6-7: Forestry Day at the Capitol
  • February 14: Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol
  • February 21: Georgia FFA Day at the Capitol
  • March 1: PB&J  Day 
  • March 6: Georgia Cattleman's Steak Biscuit Day


Not a Member Georgia Farm Bureau? Join Today!

The Georgia Farm Bureau Federation has a membership of almost 250,000 and serves as state's the largest general farm organization.  Our goal is to provide leadership and assistance to the agricultural sector, to promote farm products, to aid in ag-related procurement, to be a spokesman for the farmer in the legislative arena, to be a leader in the development and expansion of farm markets, and to strive for more agricultural research and educational funds and facilities.

With members in all 159 Georgia counties, Georgia Farm Bureau is dedicated to promoting and improving agriculture in our counties, state and nation and in continually improving and expanding our service-to-member programs which serve to enhance the quality of life for all Georgians.

Membership in Georgia Farm Bureau is open to everyone. You don't need to be a farmer or have insurance with us to join Farm Bureau!

If you would like to become a member of Georgia Farm Bureau, you can start your membership online right now! We have a simple application process, and you can be our newest member in just a couple of minutes. Click the button below or use our County Office Locator to find the office nearest you.



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Public Policy Department Staff

Alex Bradford, Director
Adam Belflower, Governmental Affairs Specialist
Raynor Churchwell, Agricultural Programs Manager
Renee Jones, Operations Coordinator
Jake Matthews, Governmental Affairs Specialist
Jeremy Taylor, Agricultural Programs Specialist
Keaton Walker, Advocacy and Policy Development Specialist