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December 4, 2012





Jennifer Whittaker, (478) 474-0679 ext. 5334,




MACON, Ga. – Voting delegates at the Georgia Farm Bureau 75th Annual Convention, held Dec. 2-4 on Jekyll Island, re-elected Zippy Duvall of Greene County to his fourth two-year term as president of the state’s largest general farm organization. Irwin County Farm Bureau President Gary Paulk also ran for the position.


In the past six years, Georgia Farm Bureau has worked diligently to ensure the economic viability of Georgia’s farmers. The organization spearheaded a statewide effort to get its members involved in the Statewide Water Management Plan, secured sales tax exemptions for materials used to produce commodities and secured state laws to thwart metal theft. GFB continues to represent farmers’ interests on labor issues and the farm bill.


“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your confidence in re-electing me as your president. I love working for you and representing the greatest industry in our state,” Duvall said in his acceptance speech. “Thank you for what you stand for. The people that work in agriculture depend on our organization. We, the farmers have something to be proud of, and we’re going to move forward to continue our work for you.”


A Farm Bureau member since 1977, Duvall, 56, and his wife Bonnie raise broilers, hay and beef cattle on their farm in Greene County. Duvall currently serves on the Greene County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and has held numerous leadership positions in the county Farm Bureau including president and vice president. In 1982 he was named Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer of the Year and went on to be named the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer of the Year. The Duvalls served on the GFB Young Farmer Committee from 1984-1985; the Duvalls chaired the GFB Young committee in 1985. The Duvalls began serving on the AFBF Young Farmer Committee in 1986, and in 1987 Zippy chaired the committee. Duvall was elected to the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 2002 as a 4th District director, a position he held until being elected GFB president in 2006.


In addition to serving as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation and its affiliate companies, he is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors and of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company Board of Directors.


Duvall’s 30 years of community and public service include graduating from the Georgia Agri-Leaders Program and serving as chairman of the Greene County Board of Commissioners. He is a past member of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Georgia Association of County Commissioners. He has served on the Georgia Development Authority since 2010 and was appointed to the Essential Economy Council Board of Directors in October.


The Duvalls have four children: Vince and daughter-in-law Erin; Corrie and son-in-law Jared Terry; Zeb and Zellie and two grandchildren. The Duvalls are members of New Hope Baptist Church where Zippy serves as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.


In other elections, voting delegates selected their state board of directors and officers for 2013. Robert Fountain, Jr. of Emanuel County was re-elected to his second consecutive three-year term as Middle Georgia vice president. Fountain has held the position since 2009 and previously held the position from 1997 to 2006. Fountain represents 56 counties in the mid-part of the state running from the Alabama to the South Carolina state lines.


Fountain has served on numerous GFB administrative advisory committees as a regional vice president and served on the GFB Beef and Hay Committees. He has served as the Emanuel County Farm Bureau president since 2004 and previously served as vice president and county director.


A Farm Bureau member since 1980, Fountain raises cattle, hay, timber, small grains and pecans. He is the third generation of his family to own the family farm, which is located in Emanuel and Johnson counties. The farm was named a Georgia Centennial Family farm earlier this year.


In addition to Farm Bureau, Fountain is an active member of numerous other agricultural organizations including the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, for which he served as president from 2001-2002. Since 2002, Fountain has represented Georgia Farm Bureau on the Georgia Beef Board. He served on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board from 2005-2011 at the appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He has also served on numerous committees for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.


In district director races, D.E. “Skeetter” McCorkle of McDuffie County was elected as a GFB 4th District director. McCorkle has served as the McDuffie County Farm Bureau vice president since 1989. He is president of McCorkle Nurseries, a 70-year-old, third generation family business that sells landscaping plants in seven states.


Scotty Raines of Turner County was elected as a GFB 8th District director to serve a one-year unexpired term. Raines was first elected to the Turner County Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 1993 as the Young Farmer Chairman and later served as a director. He has served as county president since 2008. He grows cotton, peanuts, grains and raises beef cattle.


Gerald Long of Decatur was re-designated as the organization’s 1st vice president. He begins the third year of his second three-year term as GFB South Georgia vice president in which capacity he represents 53 counties in South Georgia.


Bernard Sims of Catoosa County begins the second year of his second three-year term as GFB North Georgia vice president. He was first elected to the position in 2008. Sims represents 49 counties in north Georgia.


The following were re-elected unopposed to serve two-year terms on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors: Henry J. West of Gordon County, 1st District; Randy Ruff of Elbert County, 2nd District; Nora Goodman of Paulding County, 3rd District; Jim Ham of Monroe County, 5th District; James Emory Tate of Jeff Davis County, 6th District; Ben Boyd of Screven County, 7th District; Don Wood of Wilcox County, 8th District; Lucius Adkins Jr., of Baker County, 9th District and Daniel Johnson, of Pierce County, 10th District.


GFB board members beginning the second year of the two-year term they were elected to in 2011 are: Wesley Hall of Forsyth County, 1st District; Bobby Gunter of Lumpkin County, 2nd District; George Chambers of Carroll County, 3rd District; Marvin Ruark of Morgan County, 4th District; Ralph Adamson of Lamar County, 5th District; James Malone of Laurens County, 6th District; Gary Bell of Evans County, 7th District; Paul Shirah of Mitchell County, 9th District and David Lee of Bacon County, 10th District.


Garrett Ganas of Ware County was named chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee. Nanette Bryan of Chattooga County was named chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. Both will serve a one-year term as committee chairmen and will sit on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors.


Georgia Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state and is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The organization has 158 county offices, and its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors.