Ag News

GFB elects 2020 board of directors

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) voting delegates elected the organization’s 2020 board of directors Dec. 10 during the 82nd Annual GFB Convention held on Jekyll Island.

GFB President Gerald Long begins the last year of his second two-year term as GFB President. Long, of Bainbridge, raises cattle and grows peanuts, vegetables, corn, cotton, hay, small grains and timber with his family on their farm near Bainbridge. He has served on the GFB Board of Directors in various roles since 1999 and is a Decatur County Farm Bureau director. In addition to his Farm Bureau leadership, Long is a member of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and is a past treasurer of the Georgia Beef Board.

GFB members in the organization’s South Georgia Region re-elected Daniel Johnson of Pierce County to represent their region on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors for his second three-year term. Johnson was also designated as the organization’s 1st vice president by all GFB voting delegates. The GFB South Georgia Region includes 53 counties in the lower third of the state running from the Georgia coast to the Alabama line. Johnson, who grows tobacco, cotton and peanuts, previously represented the organization’s 10th District on the GFB Board of Directors from 2006-2016. He is vice president of Pierce County Farm Bureau and previously served as PCFB president for 25 years. Johnson chairs the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Tobacco.

Robert Fountain Jr. of Emanuel County continues to represent the organization’s Middle Georgia region on the GFB Board of Directors in the second year of his fourth consecutive three-year term. The GFB Middle Georgia Region includes 56 county Farm Bureaus in the middle third of Georgia. He is the third generation to own his family’s farm located in Emanuel and Johnson counties. He raises cattle, hay, timber, small grains and pecans.

Bernard Sims of Catoosa County continues to serve as the GFB North Georgia vice president. Sims begins the third year of his fourth three-year term. The GFB North Georgia Region includes 49 county Farm Bureaus in the northern third of Georgia. Sims serves as the Catoosa County Farm Bureau president. He grows turf grass, small grains, strawberries and hay, and raises cattle.         

Leighton Cooley of Crawford County was elected unopposed to a two-year term on the GFB Board of Directors, representing the 5th District. Cooley replaces Ralph Adamson of Lamar County, who stepped down from the state board after 13 years of service. Cooley and his wife, Brenda, run Cooley Family Farms in partnership with his parents, Larry and Terri, raising broilers, cattle and hay.

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; Bobby Gunter of Lumpkin County, 2nd District; George Chambers of Carroll County, 3rd District; Marvin Ruark of Morgan County, 4th District; James Malone 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 directors beginning the second year of the two-year terms they were elected to in 2018 are: Wesley Hall of 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; Matt Bottoms of Pike County, 5th District; James Emory Tate of Jeff Davis County, 6th District; Ben Boyd of Screven County, 7th District; Don Wood of Wilcox County, 8th District; Lucius Adkins of Baker County, 9th District; and Lamar Vickers of Berrien County, 10th District.        

Will Godowns of Pike County was named chairman of the GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. Heather Cabe of Franklin County was named chairman of the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee. Each will serve a one-year term as committee chairmen and will sit on the GFB Board of Directors.

Appointed officers of the GFB Board of Directors include General Counsel Duke Groover, Chief Administrative Officer & Corporate Secretary Jon Huffmaster, Chief Financial Officer & Corporate Treasurer David Jolley, Assistant Corporate Secretary & Senior Counsel Jeanna Fennell, and Assistant Corporate Treasurer & Senior Director of Accounting Rachel Mosely.

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