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Newton County Farm Bureau wins state awards
Pictured from right, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, congratulates Newton County Farm Bureau Promotion/Education Committee Chairman Sandi Mitcham, who accepted the GFB Outstanding Promotion/Education Committee Award and NCFB President Charles Berry, who accepted the GFB McKemie Award and GFB Membership Excellence Award for the organization’s 2,180-plus member category. The awards were presented on Dec. 7 during the organization’s annual convention on Jekyll Island.

Newton County Farm Bureau was recognized for its outstanding member programs during the 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau annual meeting, held Dec. 7-9 on Jekyll Island. NCFB received the Georgia Farm Bureau McKemie Award in the organization’s 2,180-member plus category during the 77th Annual GFB Convention, beating out nine other counties to win the award in its membership division.

The McKemie Award is the highest honor awarded to a county Farm Bureau in recognition of its efforts to promote agriculture in its local community and is a memorial to one of the organization’s former presidents, W.J. McKemie.

“Newton County has done an outstanding job of promoting agriculture in their local community this past year. It’s a pleasure to present them with the McKemie Award for their membership division,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said.

NCFB received the choice of a $1,000 cash prize or an expense-paid trip to the 2015 American Farm Bureau Convention in San Diego, Calif., in January for winning the award.

NCFB also won the GFB Membership Excellence Award for its membership division. The award was presented in recognition of activities NCFB conducted this past year to grow its membership. NCFB received $2,500 in gift cards for winning this award.

NCFB won the GFB Outstanding Promotion & Education Award for its work to educate consumers about agriculture. The 2014 committee, chaired by Sandi Mitcham, hosted three farm days this past year at local elementary schools reaching more than 2,000 students and 113 teachers from pre-K to fifth grade. During the farm days, NCFB volunteers taught the students about the many ag commodities grown in Georgia.

As the state winner of the promotion award, NCFB will receive one paid trip to the 2015 National Ag in the Classroom Conference.

The 2014 Newton County Farm Bureau Board of Directors was comprised of: President Charles Berry; Secretary/Treasurer Kevin Mitcham and directors Jack Cason, Charles Ewing, Richard Jolley, Wayne Farmer, Kevin Whitley, Tim White, Brent Galloway, Grady

Hodges, Chuck Berry, Earnest Nichols and Julius Hays. Sandi Mitcham served as the NCFB Promotion/Education & Women’s Committee chairman, and B.J. Marks chaired the county Young Farmer Committee.

County staff includes Agency Manager Jimmy Edgeworth, Agents Tina Barrick, William Calder, Jackie Lindsey and Belinda Rutherford, Customer Service Representative Amy Robison, Office Manager Crystal Hyatt and Secretary Kristen Oliver.
Founded in 1937, the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization. The organization has 158 county chapters. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major commodities grown in Georgia.