GFB members to reconnect at GFB Annual Convention
By Jennifer Whittaker, Georgia Farm Bureau
Georgia Farm Bureau members will gather on Jekyll Island Dec. 4-6 for the organization’s 85th annual convention. This year marks the 58th time GFB has held its convention on Jekyll Island. Gov. Brian Kemp, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, outgoing Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, and Georgia Commissioner-elect of Agriculture Tyler Harper will address convention attendees during the general session on Dec. 5 between 8:15 a.m. and noon.
“Through the years Jekyll Island has become our home away from home. Since 1976, Georgia Farm Bureau has met on Jekyll for our convention every year except for 2020 when we held smaller, district meetings due to the pandemic,” GFB President Tom McCall said. “Our members will enjoy catching up with friends, hearing updates on ag issues and determining the position our organization takes on issues impacting their farms and rural communities. We’re honored that Gov. Kemp is coming to speak to us. Addressing our members shows he values the $69.4 billion economic impact agriculture and related businesses have on Georgia’s economy.”
Convention activities begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Sunday events include the opening of a trade show with more than 60 exhibitors representing Georgia agricultural organizations, agencies and businesses.
During the Celebrating Ag Leaders event from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, GFB will recognize agricultural advocacy and promotion efforts by county Farm Bureau volunteers and teachers’ work to include agriculture in their lessons through the Ag in the Classroom program. The first day of the convention will close with a memorial service at 4:30 p.m.
On Monday, Dec. 5, the general session runs from 8:15 a.m. to noon. Jones Hooks, Jekyll Island Authority executive director, will welcome convention guests during the opening session. GFB President Tom McCall will deliver his annual address. Gary Black will reflect on his 12 years in office leading the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and Commissioner-elect Tyler Harper will share his plans for the department.
On Dec. 5, the convention trade show opens at 9 a.m. and closes at noon. A series of 14 commodity meetings will be held Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. featuring speakers who will address management and policy issues for the major commodities grown in Georgia.
Commodity meeting topics will include: forest carbon markets; on-farm sale & processing of meat; row crop damage by deer; and pesticide regulations. Speakers will also give presentations addressing aquaculture, bees, cotton, forages, pecan, peanut, poultry, tobacco, vegetable and water issues.
On Dec. 6, GFB voting delegates will discuss and approve policy resolutions submitted by county Farm Bureau chapters statewide. The resolutions approved by the delegates will become the organization’s official policy that will guide its legislative efforts in 2023. Delegates will also elect the 2023 GFB Board of Directors.