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August 14, 2012





Don McGough, (478) 474-0679, ext. 5218




MACON, Ga. – Dr. Carter Black, whose veterinary career spans more than 40 years in both private practice and regulatory roles, received the 2012 Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award during the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Conference on Aug. 9 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. The award, one GFB’s highest honors, is given annually to honor an individual who has championed Georgia agriculture.


“We are proud to honor Dr. Black with the GFB Commodity Award,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “When you run up on men who have spent their lives helping us [farmers] you can’t help but recognize them. We appreciate Dr. Black and all he’s done for us across the state to improve livestock production and to support Georgia agriculture. I am confident that Dr. Black’s service will have long-lasting positive impacts for Georgia’s livestock industry.”


From an early age, Dr. Carter Black had a passion for large animals, and during his stint as Georgia’s state veterinarian, he said he tried to show compassion for the state’s livestock producers.


A native of Northwest Georgia who now lives in Summerville, Black was instrumental in the state’s efforts to eradicate several diseases afflicting livestock, including brucellosis in cattle and swine, bovine tuberculosis and pseudorabies.


“I appreciate this award,” Black said of receiving the 2012 GFB Commodity Award. “I often feel like I’m not as deserving as a lot of folks think I am. I’ve had a lot of success working with the livestock industry on eradicating these diseases but it’s because the department employees supported the efforts and the industry felt we were trying to help them.”


Black received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Georgia in 1964. He graduated from the UGA School of Veterinary Medicine in 1968 and worked in private practice until becoming assistant state veterinarian in 1984. He was promoted to state veterinarian in 2007 and worked in that capacity until his retirement in 2011.


While working to eradicate cattle and swine brucellosis, Black said he resisted the USDA’s push to depopulate livestock herds with animals that tested positive because he recognized the economic impact that tactic would have on livestock owners. Since Georgia became brucellosis free, the state’s livestock producers have enjoyed easier access to markets in other states.


He shared the story of one hog farmer who had brucellosis spreading in his farrowing house. Black suggested he start an alternate herd at a temporary location on his property before depopulating the farrowing house, an approach that mitigated the financial impact on the farmer.


“We looked at the economics and how we could keep that producer in business and get rid of the disease. It wasn’t an easy task,” Black said. “I felt like the way we handled the disease eradication and worked with those producers to benefit them is the reason they helped us and cooperated with the program.”


During the 1996 Olympic Games Black took a leadership role supervising the movement, testing and quarantine of horses competing in the equestrian events. While in private practice, he donated his services to the Chattooga County 4-H and FFA, and the Georgia High School Rodeo Association.


The Georgia Veterinary Medical Association honored Black as its 2001 Veterinarian of the Year, and in 2009 the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association gave Black its Top Hand Award.


Black and his wife Linda have one daughter, Candi, three grandchildren, Emily, Andrew and Jordan, and one great-granddaughter. The Blacks are members of Summerville First United Methodist Church, where he has served as chairman of the administrative board.


Georgia Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general farm organization, is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012. The organization has 158 county offices, and approximately one out of nine Georgians are involved with Farm Bureau. 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.




For a high-resolution photo to accompany this release, click here.


CUTLINE FOR ACCOMPANYING PHOTOGRAPH: Pictured from right, GFB President Zippy Duvall presents the 2012 GFB Commodity Award to Dr. Carter Black, who was joined for the presentation by his wife, Linda, granddaughter Emily Allen and great-granddaughter Dakyota Allen.