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Newton Farm Bureau wins state honors
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Agriculture remains one of Newton County’s most important industries, and the Newton County Farm Bureau has received the highest award it can get for its role in promoting that industry.

The County Farm Bureau won the prestigious McKemie Award, which is given annually to the farm bureau that does the best job of promoting agriculture in its community.

Newton County won the award in the Georgia Farm Bureau’s largest division, the 2,231-plus member category, during the 76th annual Georgia Farm Bureau convention earlier this month.

The McKemie Award is based on a farm bureau’s complete list of programs, including the Women’s Leadership Committee, which created a video celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Georgia Farm Bureau; the Young Farmer Program; general promotion and education, including hosting a forum when the county was discussing gun-firing laws; and legislative efforts, including having members of Congress come to visit farms.

Newton County Farm Bureau members put in 2,074 volunteer hours in those four areas.

"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," Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said in a press release.

Newton’s Farm Bureau received the choice of a $1,000 cash prize or an expenses-paid trip to the 2014 American Farm Bureau Convention in San Antonio in January.

The local Farm Bureau also won the Outstanding Young Farmer Committee Award. Among its efforts, the committee hosted its annual farm day for local students, reaching 658 students and 30 teachers.

Newton County Farm Bureau received the choice of one paid trip to the 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers to Washington Trip or the 2014 American Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference.

Also, Office Manager Crystal Hyatt was recognized as one of two state finalists for the Georgia Farm Bureau Outstanding Office Manager Award. Hyatt, who has been employed with the NCFB for almost six years, was instrumental in organizing activities in local schools to teach students about agriculture and in assisting various committees with promotional activities. She and her husband, Daniel, live in Newborn.