Rhodes, Callaway to lead Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority
Georgia Farm Bureau members Foster Rhodes and John Callaway are leading the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority (GAEA) as chairman and vice chairman following their election by their fellow authority members on March 13. The GAEA oversees the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry.
Their election follows the death of longtime GAEA Chairman Gene Sutherland on March 6. Rhodes, a Houston County Farm Bureau member, has been a GAEA director since the authority’s inception in 1985 and has served as vice chairman of the GAEA since 1997. Rhodes is president of Walker Rhodes Tractor Company in Perry.
“The Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter is a wonderful asset to the state, community, and agricultural industry, and I am humbled to be able to serve in a capacity to help promote such an outstanding facility and staff. I have enjoyed watching the fairgrounds grow into what it is today, and as we look toward the future, we can all expect great things to come from this Georgia Point of Pride,” Rhodes said in a released statement.
Callaway, a Troup County Farm Bureau director, has served on the GAEA since 2011 but has supported livestock exhibitors showing at the fairgrounds through his family and as an Extension Agent when the facility first opened almost 30 years ago. He is a past chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Beef Committee and a past president of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association.
“It has been an honor to serve on the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority for the past eight years under the leadership of Gene Sutherland. I look forward to the continued success of the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter under the leadership of Chairman Foster Rhodes,” Callaway said. “My family and I are longtime fans of the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter because of its mission of serving children in agriculture as well as the tremendous economic impact it has on the state of Georgia.”
Other members of the GAEA are Roger Branch, Jerry Davis, John Hulsey, Ann Jones, Emily Watson and Johnny Webb.
The Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter is a state-owned, multipurpose rental complex open year-round. It consists of more than 1,100 acres with facilities specially designed for livestock and horse shows, concerts, rodeos, meetings, conferences, trade shows and RV rallies. Each October it hosts the official, state-sponsored Georgia National Fair.