GFB members push ag issues at state capitol
Georgia Farm Bureau members visited the state capitol on Feb. 12, working to keep state legislators focused on issues that affect agriculture, including taxes and the state budget, natural resources and environment, animal agriculture and other topics important to Georgia’s farmers.
Gov. Brian Kemp spoke to the GFB group at lunch, pledging continued support for farmers and ranchers in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
“I just want you to know that my commitment is that we’re not going to forget,” Kemp said. “It will continue to be on our minds as we go through this long recovery. But I know that we can rebuild and revive south and southwest Georgia.”
Almost 500 GFB members representing 87 counties made the trip to reinforce messages delivered by GFB staff throughout the legislative session.
“The relationships that our Public Policy Department has inside the capitol are directly related to the relationships you have at home,” GFB President Long said. “Very few organizations can bring this many people to the capitol to advocate for their cause, and you should be proud of your efforts here today.”
GFB urged legislators to protect the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) and the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) and expressed support of funding for research that helps farmers. Farm Bureau members voiced support for preservation and enhancement of “right to farm” laws that shield producers from frivolous nuisance lawsuits and for protecting agricultural access to water.
Kemp said he would focus on rural Georgia by addressing farmers’ concerns as well as needs in rural communities.
“I believe that a successful rural Georgia is not possible without successful farm families and farm agribusinesses,” Kemp said. “You are, and the people you’re working with are, the backbone of our state’s economy.”