GFB News Magazine

Taking pride in GFB's work on behalf of farmers

by Tom McCall
GFB President

Posted on November 27, 2023 2:46 PM

With the start of another session of the General Assembly about a month away, it reminds me of the important role Georgia Farm Bureau has in speaking on behalf of Georgia’s farmers. 

There’s a lot about the work our team does at the Georgia Capitol each year that makes me proud.  Over the years, one of the most impactful results our organization has had for members and non-members alike is the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program. 

GFB started work on the sales tax exemption issue back in 2010 after the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation to create the Special Council for Tax Reform and Fairness to study Georgia’s revenue structure and offer recommendations for change. In 2011, the council recommended to state officials that farmers keep their existing sales tax exemptions and that the exemptions be expanded to include energy, equipment parts, fence products and more. The council took this position because farmers came out in droves and voiced their concerns at various town hall meetings in 2011.

As House Ag Committee Chairman in 2012, I remember launching the GATE program and the initial signup at a joint press conference at your Georgia Farm Bureau home office.  

Passing the GATE designation was one of the best things the Georgia Legislature ever did for production agriculture. It came about because of the hard work and relentless dedication of the Georgia Farm Bureau members and our policy team pushing these important exemptions.  Because of Farm Bureau’s efforts, the program is still helping Georgia producers remain competitive more than 10 years later. 

I tell people all the time that GATE ought to be the driving force for anyone connected to Georgia agriculture to be a member of Georgia Farm Bureau. Simply put, the exemptions a farmer gets through the GATE program more than pay for a $35 membership with the one organization that made GATE possible.

If you’re not taking advantage of the GATE certificate, visit

to apply.  And if you’re not supporting GFB through an annual membership, signup today at

Thank you for your continued support!