MACON, Ga. — On June 25, the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors approved changes to all remaining 2020 GFB conferences and meetings. The changes apply only to 2020 and were made to protect the health and safety of GFB members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has been difficult to come to this decision, but for the health of our members and staff, it is the right decision to make,” said GFB President Gerald Long.
The annual GFB Convention, scheduled for Dec. 6-8 on Jekyll Island, is cancelled. Because GFB by-laws require that elections be held, a District Election Meeting will take place in each GFB District for the purpose of holding the required elections for GFB officers and directors. Only voting delegates from the district will be allowed to participate in these meetings. Balloting and voting procedures will mirror those of past GFB conventions to the extent possible.
GFB will hold virtual meetings for its 20 Commodity Advisory Committees in lieu of the annual GFB Commodity Conference, which was scheduled for Aug. 5 in Tifton.
GFB’s district annual meetings, which normally take place in September, are canceled. In their place, GFB will hold a meeting for county Farm Bureau presidents and vice presidents; social distancing and other health precautions will be observed.
The GFB Policy Development Committee meetings, during which the organization determines its position on agriculture-related issues, are canceled. The meetings were originally scheduled for Oct. 12 and Nov. 2. Current GFB policy will remain in force. Policy issues which arise during the year will be referred to the pertinent GFB Commodity Advisory Committees, the GFB Legislative Committee, and ultimately to the GFB Board of Directors for action or clarification.
GFB is one of numerous agricultural organizations to take significant steps to reduce large gatherings and protect the health of their members.
On June 29, the National FFA Organization announced that the 2020 National FFA Convention & Expo will be held virtually during the week of Oct. 28. The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Conference, scheduled for Aug. 11-13 in Kansas City, will be held virtually.
The American Peanut Research and Educational Society Annual Meeting (July 14-16) and the National Peanut Board Annual Meeting (July 15-16) will each be held in virtual format only. The Southern Peanut Growers Conference (July 16-18) has been postponed to 2021. The Georgia Peanut tour, scheduled for Sept. 15-17, has been canceled.
The Sunbelt Expo Field Day, scheduled for July 23, will take place in a drive-through format, with participants moving through the Darrell Williams Research Farm in their own vehicles.
–Georgia Farm Bureau