Newton County Farm Bureau members traveled to Atlanta, Feb. 17 to participate in Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol. While at the Capitol, members of the Newton County Farm Bureau delegation visited with Rep. Doug Holt. Members of the Newton County Farm Bureau who attended the event included Brent Galloway, Charles Berry, Kevin Mitcham and B.J. Marks.
The Newton County delegation was among almost 500 Farm Bureau members from 91 counties across the state to participate in the event. While meeting with their state legislators, the Farm Bureau members discussed issues effecting Georgia agriculture. Georgia Farm Bureau has identified priority issues for this session of the General Assembly that include monitoring any impact the state water plan and tri-state water negotiations may have on agriculture, state budget and tax legislation, defending animal agriculture, and advocating for greater fairness in the biotechnology fees Georgia farmers pay.
As Farm Bureau members visited their legislators at the Capitol, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Tom McCall presented a resolution honoring the organization in the House, and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Bulloch presented a resolution in the Senate proclaiming it Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol. GFB President Zippy Duvall spoke in both chambers.
During the luncheon GFB hosted at the Georgia Depot to honor members of the Georgia General Assembly, Duvall presented Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin with a framed copy of a resolution GFB passed at the organization’s convention in December recognizing Irvin for his 41 years of service to Georgia’s farmers and his longtime friendship with Georgia Farm Bureau.
Gov. Sonny Perdue delivered the keynote address at the luncheon, discussing the state’s budget woes and water issues. Perdue thanked GFB for providing input on the state water plan and more recently the tri-state water negotiation. He also thanked Georgia’s farmers who are participating in the voluntary irrigation-metering program the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission implemented in recent years.
“Your participation in this program has enabled Georgia to have data to show other states that previous estimates of the water farmers were using were inflated three fold,” Perdue said.
Regarding the budget, Perdue said, “The big drought these days is revenue. When you just can’t afford it any longer you just can’t afford it. So, we’re going to preserve the core services Georgians depend on the most the way you do on the farm.”
Founded in 1937, the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization. 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.