GFB President Gerald Long on Passing of Former Ag Commissioner Tommy Irvin
Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long issued the following statement:
"Georgia farmers and Georgia Farm Bureau lost a longtime advocate and friend last night with the passing of former Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin. Commissioner Irvin was a fine gentleman and public servant, and he was steadfast in his support of Georgia farmers. He was a Habersham County Farm Bureau member for more than fifty years.
"Commissioner Irvin was elected to his first public office in 1956 as a member of the Habersham County Board of Education. He later was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives and served on the Agriculture Committee. In 1969, Irvin was appointed Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor Lester Maddox after Commissioner Phil Campbell left to serve in the Nixon Administration.
"Commissioner Irvin served as Georgia's Commissioner of Agriculture from 1969 until 2011. His tenure holds the record as the longest serving Commissioner of Agriculture in the United States and the longest serving statewide official in Georgia history.
"He received many honors during his career, including the 2010 American Farm Bureau Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award. Georgia Farm Bureau nominated Commissioner Irvin for the honor, and it was presented by AFBF President Bob Stallman at the Convention in Seattle, Washington.
"All of us in agriculture have lost a true friend. We offer our sincere condolences to the family during this difficult time."