Ag News

Georgia Department of Ag makes appointments to commodity commissions

by Georgia Department of Agriculture

Posted on Jul 26, 2023 at 0:00 AM

On July 25, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper announced appointments to 13 of Georgia's Agriculture Commodity Commissions. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) administers the farmer-funded programs. Funds collected by the commissions under grower-approved market orders support research, education, and promotion of each commodity.

Commission members are appointed for three years and can be reappointed. They are producers of the commodity and represent it on behalf of the other producers. On July 17, the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission Ex Officio Committee made the following appointments:

Apple Commission – David Lillard of Fannin County and Janice Hale of Gilmer County were reappointed. Joshua Aaron of Gilmer County is a new appointee;

Blueberry Commission – Shane Wade, Steve Mullis, and Kevin Eason all of Bacon County were reappointed;

Corn Commission – Wallace Anderson of Gilmer County and Rodney Harrell of Lee County were reappointed. Jonathan Hitchcock of Washington County is a new appointee;

Cotton Commission – Chris Hopkins of Toombs County and John Ruark of Morgan County were reappointed. Greg Sikes of Bulloch County is a new appointee; 

Equine Commission – Ron Smith of Spalding County was reappointed;

Milk Commission – Pete Gelber of Macon County and James Coble of Burke County were reappointed. Mark Rodgers of McDuffie County is a new appointee;

Peach Commission – Lee Dickey of Crawford County has been reappointed. Phillip Rigdon of Houston County and Tyler Wainwright of Houston County are new appointees;

Pecan Commission – RG Lamar of Richmond County has been reappointed. Greg Leger of Crisp County is a new appointee;

Soybean Commission – Tony Smith of Baker County, Greg Mims of Seminole County, and Mark Arial of Franklin County were reappointed;

Tobacco Commission – Carlos Vickers of Berrien County and Brant Clifton of Bulloch County were reappointed. Bo Corbett of Echols County is a new appointee;

Vegetable Commission – Dick Minor of Sumter County and Glenn Heard of Decatur County were reappointed;

Wine & Grape Commission – Eric Seifarth of Towns County has been reappointed. Chris Paulk of Irwin County and Sam Zamarippa of Lumpkin County are new appointees. The Ex Officio Committee also appointed the commission's advisory members – Chris Hoetnick, Kris Lange, Larry Lykins, and Sharon Paul;

Citrus Commission - The Georgia Citrus Commission was created earlier this year. Ken Corbett of Echols County, Landon Herring of Lowndes County, Justin Jones of Lee County, Jaime Patrick of Tift County, and Lindy Savelle of Thomas County were appointed. The committee also appointed the following to serve as advisory members: Stephen Batten, Delbert Davis, Kyli Lamar, Bill Rentz, and Brent Strickland. 

Each commission is an instrumentality of the State of Georgia. The Ex Officio Committee that made the appointments is comprised of the commissioner of agriculture, the president of Georgia Farm Bureau, and two members appointed by the Georgia Senate and House Agriculture Committees. Russ Moon and Buddy Leger are the ex officio members of the Georgia Apple, Beef, Blueberry, Citrus, Corn, Cotton, Milk, Peach, Pecan, Soybean, Tobacco, Vegetable, Georgia Grown, and Wine & Grape Commissions. Moon was appointed by the Senate Ag Committee; Leger was appointed by the House Ag Committee. Harry Thompson, appointed by the Senate Ag Committee, and Jimmy Kowalsky, appointed by the House Ag Committee, serve as ex officio members of the Georgia Equine Commission.  

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