The Legislative Department is charged with pursuing one of the original purposes of Georgia Farm Bureau: to represent farmers in the legislative arena. In accomplishing this goal the department works to coordinate the development of Georgia Farm Bureau policy, and to implement that policy through a number of legislative activities.
The development of Georgia Farm Bureau policy is truly a grass-roots effort. It provides direction for our legislative initiatives while giving opportunity for the farmer’s voice to be heard. Every year hundreds of resolutions are received that directly reflect the needs and desires of those farmers throughout the state. A Policy Development Committee is formed to deliberate these resolutions and decide which ideas should become part of our official policy. This process, which began over 65 years ago, is the backbone to our grass-roots organization. Policy development allows members to decide the positions we take in Washington and Atlanta. Farm Bureau is one of the few organizations that uses a true democratic process for representing members' views.
The other side of the Legislative Department coin works with Farm Bureau leadership to promote the organization’s objectives at all levels of government. We assist county Farm Bureaus on local issues, work to implement state and federal policy, and inform our membership of the outcomes. Our goal is to act as an intermediate between the farmers and their elected officials. The Legislative Department maintains a daily presence at the State Capitol working to deliver the farmers' message and implement Farm Bureau policy.
We host events such as “Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol” that allows our members the opportunity to discuss specific issues of interest with their elected officials. We then update our members on the progress of those issues with weekly legislative reports, delivered in print and electronically.
On national issues, we work closely with our Georgia Congressional Delegation and the America Farm Bureau. Annually we host a "GFB Presidents' Trip to Washington" visit that allows local Farm Bureau members the opportunity to sit down and discuss issues with their federally elected officials.
In addition to policy development and lobbying efforts, the Legislative Department encourages the membership to become more involved in legislative activities such as county legislative meetings and political forums. Without a doubt, the political strength of Georgia Farm Bureau is derived from the involvement of the statewide membership.
Our leadership believes the structure of the Legislative Department offers the best return to our members. By focusing on development and implementation of Georgia Farm Bureau policy, the department is one of the most important sectors of the organization.
You can have a voice in the legislative process by sharing your opinions and concerns with lawmakers in Atlanta and Washington. To help you do that, we've created our Legislative Action Center. The Action Center is a resource for locating your elected officials, as well as sending message to them via email. You can also search for state and national legislation that affects you, and even sign up to receive alerts from Georgia Farm Bureau regarding issues related to Georgia agriculture.
To see state and national district maps for Georgia lawmakers, you can visit our Congressional and State District Information Page.
To contact Legislative Department staff, please call (800) 342-1192.
Georgia Farm Bureau Legislative Department Staff
(from left) Alex Bradford; Sandy Smith; Jeffrey Harvey, Legislative Director; Jenna Saxon; and Tas Smith