Ag News

GFB, Georgia Foundation for Agriculture announce new hires

Posted on Jun 27, 2024 at 3:31 AM

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) and the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) have recently added new hires to their respective staffs. The GFB Public Policy Department welcomed Chase McClure as a government affairs specialist on June 20. Phoebe Beard joined the GFA as an educational programs assistant on May 21.

As a government affairs specialist, McClure will work to communicate GFB’s policy positions on topics related to agriculture to elected officials while facilitating GFB member interactions with lawmakers and policymaking influencers. He replaces Jake Matthews who took a position with the Georgia Forestry Association last fall.

Chase McClure

A native of Monroe County, McClure graduated from Tattnall Square Academy and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in history from Mississippi State University (MSU) in 2023.

“We are excited to welcome Chase to Georgia Farm Bureau’s Public Policy Team,” GFB President Tom McCall. “Chase grew up around the timber business which has given him an appreciation for loggers and farmers that will serve our members well as he advocates for them at the state capitol.”

While a student at MSU, McClure was a member of the Beta Upsilon Chi Fraternity for which he served as historian and now serves on his chapter’s alumni board. He served on the MSU Interfraternity Council as recruitment coordinator for 2022 fall and 2023 spring rush

McClure was an active member of the MSU College Republicans and served on Mississippi Sen. Bart William’s (MS Dist. 15-R) successful 2020 campaign. He was also active in the Bulldog Chapter of Ducks Unlimited throughout his four years at MSU, helping each year with the chapter’s annual spring crawfish boils and fall dinner banquets to raise money for the Ducks Unlimited Foundation. He served on the planning committee for the 2021 spring crawfish boil that raised over $25,000 for wetland conservation in Mississippi. McClure plans to join a local Ducks Unlimited Chapter.

Prior to joining the GFB staff, McClure worked for the Central Georgia Technical College facility services department. He also worked as an administrative assistant for Timberhawg Investments, LLC, managing documents, assisting with office duties and technology needs and providing customer service as needed.

The son of Jeff and Tonya McClure, Chase has fond memories of going to work with his father, who is a procurement forester.

“I always loved watching the equipment at work on a tract of land. Talking shop with my dad and his peers has given me knowledge of the timber industry and the utmost respect for anyone in agriculture. Loggers and farmers are some of the most resilient people I know,” McClure said. “Politics has always been a passion of mine and being able to work for Georgia Farm Bureau is a dream come true because I get to work in a field I’m passionate about, and I get to advocate for the most important people in our state, our farmers.”  

McClure may be reached at Visit to learn more about GFB’s advocacy work for Georgia agriculture.

As an educational programs assistant for the GFA, Beard will work with Virginia Fulwood to set the schedule for the Georgia Ag Experience Mobile Ag Classroom to visit schools, community, and statewide events. Beard will serve as a mobile classroom instructor and will work closely with county Farm Bureau staff and volunteers as the GAE visits communities. She replaces Hannah Hall, who took a marketing position with the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine in April.

Phoebe Beard

The daughter of Chad Beard and Lori Wooten, Phoebe grew up on a Turner County farm where her grandparents Jerry and Nancy Wooten grew cotton, watermelon and peanuts. She graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural communications.

While a student at ABAC, Beard served as vice president of the Sigma Alpha Agricultural Sorority and as vice president of communications for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Club. During the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, Beard worked for a Texas wildlife rescue, Gator Country, where she educated the public about wildlife. From May 2023-May 2024, she interned at the Chehaw Park & Zoo in Albany, Ga., teaching environmental education to children and the general public.

“We’re excited to have Phoebe join the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture team,” said GFA Executive Director Lily Baucom. “Her dynamic background in agricultural education, from wrangling alligators in Texas to studying agricultural communications at ABAC, will be incredibly valuable as she brings her passion and unique experiences to the Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom.”

Beard lives in Tifton with her dog, Doodle Bug, but enjoys visiting the family farm weekly to feed and care for their horses.

“I’m excited to join the Georgia Ag Experience team because it offers a unique opportunity to take agriculture to every community in Georgia. I’m able to engage with children and adults to help them understand where our food comes from and how deeply agriculture is rooted in our daily lives,” Beard said. “My favorite facts to tell people are that the one-dollar bill is made up of 75% cotton and that marshmallows are made from cow byproducts. I love making agriculture education fun, accessible and memorable for everyone.”

Beard may be reached at Learn more about the GAE mobile classroom at .

  • Categories:
  • Tags: