MACON, Ga. — Georgia Farm Bureau members will gather on Jekyll Island Dec. 5-7 for the organization’s 84th annual convention. Gov. Brian Kemp, U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Dist. 1) and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black will address convention attendees during the general session on Dec. 6 between 8:30 a.m. and noon.
“Last year the COVID pandemic prevented Farm Bureau from holding its traditional convention, so we’re excited to return to Jekyll for our annual meeting and reconnect with our members in person, in one place,” 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, Congressman Buddy Carter and Commissioner Gary Black are coming to speak to us. Addressing our members shows they appreciate the $70.1 billion economic impact agriculture and related businesses have on Georgia’s economy.”
Convention activities begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 5 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Sunday events include the opening of a trade show with more than 55 exhibitors representing Georgia agricultural organizations, agencies and businesses.
During the Celebrating Ag Leaders event from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., GFB will recognize agricultural advocacy and promotion efforts by county Farm Bureaus and a teacher who has included agriculture in her lessons through the Ag in the Classroom program. The first day of the convention will close with a memorial service at 4:15 p.m.
On Dec. 6, the general session runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Rep. Carter will offer greetings to GFB members from his coastal district where the convention is being held. GFB President Tom McCall, who was elected last year, will deliver his first annual address. Agriculture Commissioner Black will provide an update on Georgia Department of Agriculture activities, and Gov. Kemp will offer remarks.
During the general session, GFB will present its state legislative committee award and will present the McKemie Awards to three outstanding county Farm Bureaus for their overall programs. The GFB office manager of the year and two runners-up will be honored during an invitation event earlier that morning.
On Dec. 6, the convention trade show opens at 9 a.m. and closes at noon.
Monday afternoon, a series of 12 commodity meetings will be held 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, food safety for you-pick and commercial farms; on-farm sale & processing of meat; Georgia’s animal disease program; working with local governments, and the 2023 farm bill. Speakers will also give presentations addressing aquaculture, cotton, dairy, hay, pecan, pollinator, poultry, tobacco, and water issues.
On Dec. 7, 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 2022. Delegates will also elect the 2022 GFB Board of Directors.
–Georgia Farm Bureau