GFB Presents County Voices, Capitol Choices

Colbert, GA |

It was a who’s who in attendance for the second stop of the GFB County Voices, Capitol Choices tour as member from both the state House and Senate, along with the Georgia governor Brian Kemp were on hand at Moon Farms for a meet and greet with local farmers. It’s an event that provides an informal opportunity for producers, like GFB President Tom McCall and his wife Jane, to connect with legislators away from the hustle and bustle of the state capitol.

“When you get to their local areas, on a personal, local basis, then that means a whole lot more than six hundred, seven hundred people coming to the capitol and all trying to get in there and talk. So, when you can get one on one, like they did with the Governor and Mrs. Marty; I mean, that was great,” says GFB President, Tom McCall.

It was beneficial for the state lawmakers as well, offering them a platform to highlight some of the good work they are doing at the state capitol in support of rural Georgia.

“We get stuck in Atlanta a lot of times. We want people in rural Georgia, we want our farmers, our agribusiness people to know that we’re up there fighting for them. It’s a big part of our economy. There’s a lot of really good things happening in rural Georgia, a lot of really tough issues that we’re dealing with too with commodity prices, energy prices, but we’re trying to do things at the Gold Dome to help people fight through that,” says Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp.

All that work is not going unnoticed by producers around the state, as they are using this event to show their appreciation for all the support.

“Agriculture is the number one industry in this state, and I think they recognize and they, they embrace that and that’s what’s important to me is that they not only recognize that, but they want to see it thrive and get better. So, it’s definitely, it’s awesome to see the support that we get,” says Russ Moon, Owner of Moon Farms.

With Georgia being one of the largest and most agriculturally diverse states in the country, making it a priority for Governor Kemp benefits not just rural areas.

“As a Farm Bureau member, as a timber farmer myself, and somebody that’s been in some ag related businesses, I understand what that brings not just to the rural economy, but to our whole state’s economy, when you think about broiler production, cattle, a lot of the specialty crops that we have, fruits, vegetables; you could go on and on, fiber; it’s just a very, very important industry for us. It helps insulate our economy in a lot of ways,” says Governor Kemp.

Despite it being the largest industry in Georgia, it is not well represented in the state legislation, which is why connecting farmers with those in power is one of the most important missions of the Georgia Farm Bureau.

“There’s only five farmers left in the legislature right now, both house and senate, only five. So, for farmers to be able to tell their elected people what we do, what we need, the help that they need to give us and what we need to do for them to educate them, it’s what this whole thing is. That’s why it is important for farmers and our members to do what the purpose of Farm Bureau is, which is to represent agriculture, farmers, and rural Georgia in the legislative arena,” says McCall.

By: Damon Jones