Ag News

GFB mourns loss of Donald Childs

by Jennifer Whittaker, Georgia Farm Bureau

Posted on Aug 05, 2020 at 0:00 AM

Longtime Georgia Farm Bureau leader Donald Childs of Jackson County inspired many Farm Bureau members to follow his example of service to the organization during his 64 years as a member. Childs died on July 24 at age 87.

Graveside services were held July 27 at Erastus Christian Church where Mr. Childs was an elder and served as Sunday School chairman for many years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Edna Merle Childs; son, Steve Childs; and parents Charlie and Mazelle Childs. He is survived by his son, Jerry Childs, and brother, Sammy Childs, both of Commerce; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Childs grew up on his family’s farm, helping to grow wheat, soybeans, hay and other crops along with chickens and beef cattle.  He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and resumed farming after returning home.

He joined Farm Bureau in 1956 and began serving on the Jackson County Farm Bureau (JCFB) Board of Directors. In 1978 Childs was elected JCFB president, serving until 1982 and again from 2003 to 2006. He served as county vice president for many years and was a county director when he died. 

Childs was elected to the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 1979 as a GFB 2nd District Director and held this position until 1984 when he was elected as one of the organization’s three vice presidents. In 1994 GFB voting delegates designated Childs to serve as the organization’s 1st vice president, a position the voting delegates continued to entrust him with until he stepped down in 2008. Childs served 29 years on the GFB Board of Directors.

“Georgia Farm Bureau is a better organization thanks to the dedication and service Donald Childs provided as a county and state leader for over 64 years,” GFB President Gerald Long said.

“I had the privilege of serving with Donald on the state board for nine years. I was always impressed with the thoughtfulness with which Donald considered the issues and the quiet dignity he brought to a room."

During his time on the GFB Board, Childs served as a GFB voting delegate at the American Farm Bureau Convention numerous times and sat on the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company Board of Directors from 1995 through 2008.

Childs, who opened Childs Equipment and Farm Supply in Commerce in 1990, worked for years with the GFB Hay Advisory Committee to help acquire Vermeer hay equipment as  first-place prizes  for the organization’s annual hay contest.

The Georgia General Assembly honored Childs with a resolution in 2009 honoring him for his service to Farm Bureau. GFB awarded Childs its Commodity Award in 2011. He previously was named Outstanding Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1971 by the Soil Conservation Service and in 1989 the Atlanta Farmer’s Club named Childs its Farmer of the Year.

In addition to his Farm Bureau activities, Childs was active in the Jackson County and Georgia Cattlemen’s Associations. He served on the Jackson County School System Ag Advisory Committee and was a long-time supporter of 4-H, FFA, the Young Farmers Association and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Childs also served on the Georgia Seed Development Commission and the Georgia Well Water Committee.

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