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Governor, ag commissioner to address GFB convention
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MACON—Georgia Farm Bureau members will travel to Jekyll Island for the organization’s 73rd annual meeting Dec. 4-6.

“I’m pleased to announce that Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black will address our members during the general session on Monday morning,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “We also have a great lineup of speakers for our commodity conferences on Monday afternoon to discuss production and policy issues impacting the major commodities grown in Georgia.”

Members will gather at Jekyll’s Historic District Convention Campus located behind the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Convention activities will begin Sunday, Dec. 4, when registration and exhibits open at 12 p.m. Registration will be held in the lobby of Grand Oaks Hall and the exhibits will be housed next door in the Morgan Tennis Center.

The final round of the GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet will be held in Magnolia Hall beginning at 1 p.m. The four finalists — Kyle Dekle of Habersham County, Sara Ervin of Jackson County, Skye Gess of Oconee County and Troy Windham of Laurens County — were selected during preliminary rounds of the competition held in July at the GFB Young Farmer Conference.

The winner of this contest and the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Contest will be announced Sunday afternoon during the annual awards program. The GFB Young Farmer Achievement Contest finalists are Chad and Julie Carlton of Polk County, Chris and Marilynn Hopkins of Toombs County and Cody and Lora Lord of Laurens County.

Awards will also be presented to counties and individuals selected as state winners for various programs completed during the past year to promote agriculture.

GFB will award the organization’s highest honor, the McKemie Award, to a county in each of the organization’s three membership categories for having the best overall Farm Bureau program in its respective category.

Barrow, Chattooga, Cherokee, Emanuel, Habersham, Henry, McDuffie, Madison, Newton and Stephens counties will compete for the McKemie Award in the membership category of more than 2,601 members. Berrien, Bibb, Floyd, Franklin, Greene, Harris, Pike, Polk, Spalding and Washington counties will compete for the award in the 1,501 to 2,600 member category. Bacon, Crawford, Heard, Jasper, Meriwether, Upson and Wilcox counties will compete for the award in the membership category of up to 1,500 members.

On Dec. 5, the general session begins at 9 a.m. in Grand Oaks Hall. Gov. Nathan Deal is scheduled to speak around 9:15 a.m. GFB President Duvall and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black will also address convention attendees.

Commodity conferences featuring speakers who will address management and policy issues for the major commodities grown in Georgia will be held Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, voting delegates will discuss and approve policy resolutions submitted by county Farm Bureau chapters from across the state. The resolutions approved by the delegates will become the organization’s official policy and will guide its legislative efforts in the upcoming year. Delegates will also elect the 2012 GFB Board of Directors.

Duvall will begin the second year of his third two-year term to which he was elected last year. Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, raise broilers, cattle and hay on their Greene County farm.

As GFB president Duvall serves as an ex-officio member on all but one of Georgia’s Agricultural Commodity Commissions and serves on the board of directors of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Prior to being elected GFB president, Duvall served on the GFB Board of Directors as a 4th District director from 2002-06.