Ag News

GFB Foundation Gala attendees have a good laugh

North Carolina farmer and comedian Jerry Carroll put a smile on everyone’s face as approximately 400 people from around Georgia shared a meal and fellowship during the 4th Annual Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Gala, held March 17 at Southern Bridle Farms in Fort Valley.

The event featured a silent auction for dozens of unique items, ranging from a Larry Munson bulldog statue to a Big Green Egg cooker. GFB used the occasion to recognize the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show grand champions and offer thanks to people and organizations that provide financial support for the foundation. Photos from the Gala may be viewed online at

GFB recognized the Hall County Farm Bureau “Hall GROWS” program and GFB Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Wendy Fuschetti of Banks County.

Hall County Farm Bureau has placed Ag in the Classroom curriculum in 27 schools in the county through its Hall Growing Real Opportunities with Students (GROWS) program.

Fuschetti, a third-grade teacher at Banks County Elementary School, teaches her students and their families the value of growing a garden, the process of planting seeds and growing them to harvest along with the joy of preparing meals from food they grow.

GFB President Gerald Long highlighted the organization’s Harvest 20 Vision, through which GFB aims to inspire, educate and preserve agriculture in an effort  to keep farming in the public consciousness.

“The GFB Foundation falls effortlessly into this vision,” Long said. “Through the year 2020 and beyond, Georgia Farm Bureau aims to increase its efforts to promote ag literacy in schools and throughout Georgia’s communities. We will educate consumers and our employees about the importance of agriculture, and we won’t stop until every citizen of Georgia understands why agriculture is vital to their survival.”

The grand champion winners of the Georgia Junior National Livestock Shows were presented commemorative belt buckles for their achievements.

Carroll, who has performed at numerous corporate events and provided opening entertainment for musical artists Lyle Lovett, Michael Bolton and Patty Loveless, had the crowd in stitches from the start.

“I’m the only comedian you’ll hear who has his pesticide license and 12 hours of manure applicator training,” Carroll quipped before launching into stories about his experiences traveling North America, how FFA changed his life and working on his family’s farm near Raleigh, North Carolina. Carroll’s family grows mushrooms and raise livestock, as well as hosting local school children as an education agritourism venue.

In between keeping the crowd laughing, Carroll urged the audience to continue its work on behalf of agriculture.

“When you’re having a kid on your farm and they see the livestock, the open spaces -  we’ve got to do more of that,” Carroll said.