Ag News

Former GFB 9th District Director Charlie Burch dies

Charlie Burch, who served multiple stints as Baker County  Farm Bureau president and sat on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors, died on Aug. 23 at his home in Newton. He was 90.

Burch had lived his entire life in Baker County. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Martha Jane Hatcher Burch, one brother, Henderson Burch, and one sister, Bonvle Burch Jordan.

Burch was born on Sept. 10, 1927, in Baker County, to the late Moree Burch and the late Mattie Tucker Burch. Free Will Baptist by faith, he was a member of Live Oak Free Will Baptist Church where he served as chairman of the Deacon Board and church clerk for many years. He was a faithful member of the Paul Palmer Fellowship Conference of Original Free Will Baptist. Burch attended and graduated from Elmodel School, then went to work on the family farm. He served in the United States Army during the 1940s. After his honorary discharge, he returned home, became a self-employed farmer on his newly purchased farm, and continued to farm alongside his father. Burch was actively engaged in farming for 66 years. In addition to farming, he managed the Newton Cucumber Shed in Newton, worked for the Roddenbery Pickle Company, and drove a bus for Baker County Schools for 10 years.

Burch was an active member of the Baker County Farm Bureau, serving as county president from 1971 to 1979, 1986-1990 and 1994-1995. He served as a GFB Director from 1992 to 2000. Burch also served on the Board of Directors for Southwest Georgia Farm Credit Services for 24 years, as well as serving on the Peanut Advisory Board for the Georgia Peanut Commission. In 2014, the Georgia Peanut Commission awarded Burch its 1st District Peanut Farmer of the Year Award.

Burch is survived by sons: Jarrell (Celeice) Burch and Tim (Lydia) Burch, all of Baker County; two grandchildren: Matthew (Shannon) Burch of Baker County and Jeremy (Dawn) Burch of Athens; two great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations can be made to the Live Oak Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Tim Burch, 3692 Pine Hill Rd., Newton, GA 39870.