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Georgia A



GFB transitions into new leadership



Winter 2016



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1/13/16 4:50 PM

Gerald Long, GFB President

Let me introduce myself

Many of you reading this know Farm Bureau and other ag organizame, but I’d like to introduce myself to tions and with our legislators. I’m those of you who don’t. committed to continuing this so Geor My wife, Janice, son, Justin, and I gia Farm Bureau remains an effective run a diversified family farm in Deca- advocate for Georgia agriculture. tur County near Bainbridge, Ga. I’m I believe in communicating, so if the third generation of my family to you have ideas or questions, please call farm it, and my oldest son, Justin, is my office at 478-474-8411 or shoot me the fourth. Our second son, Jared, an email at I also beworks for the National Beef Packing lieve in hard work and am considered Company, and our daughter Jeanie a workhorse. I expect everyone around works for Texas A&M University. me to do their jobs. If we do, Farm We raise about 500 head of cows, Bureau will be successful. There’s no grow about 280 acres of peanuts and doubt in my mind about that. normally grow about 600 acres of cot- I’m a person who believes in honton, but due to low cotton prices last esty and integrity. I think that’s very year we shifted that acreage into cows. important. I believe as a leader I will We also grow more than 50 different va- be called on to step up and sometimes rieties of vegetables on about 120 acres draw a line in the sand. I know there that we sell through the U-pick opera- will be times when I have to make tion we’ve run for 31 years. hard, difficult decisions. As your pres I’ve been a Farm Bureau mem- ident, I’m willing to do that. ber since 1970 and The most imstarted out serving portant thing you “United we stand. on my county board need to know about of directors. Then me is I’m commitDivided we fail.” I began serving on ted to Georgia Farm the GFB Beef Cattle Bureau. That’s why Committee and the vegetable commit- I’m excited to serve as your president tee. In 1999, my Decatur County Board until this term ends Dec. 6, and why of Directors encouraged me to run for I’ve decided to run for GFB president the state board to represent GFB’s 9th in December. District. In 2006 I had the opportunity When I met with our home office to run for South Georgia vice presi- employees on my first day, I told them dent, and in 2008 the GFB voting del- my motto is “United we stand. Dividegates designated me as the organiza- ed we fail.” tion’s 1st vice president. We have a dedicated team of em I’ve seen Farm Bureau grow during ployees at our state office, but I’m askthe 46 years I’ve been involved, and ing each one of them to do better toI’ve been proud to help lead an organi- day than they did yesterday and better zation that has repeatedly gone to bat tomorrow than today. I’d like to ask in Atlanta and Washington represent- our volunteer members to join us on ing Georgia’s farmers on hard issues the county level with your county prolike tax exemptions and immigration. grams to do the same. Let’s work to Our former president did a won- gether to promote our livelihood and derful job of building bridges between ensure GFB’s future is bright. Georgia Neighbors • Winter 2016


view from the field








SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President GERALD LONG 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN, JR. North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Chief Operating Officer WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER

DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Wesley Hall, Cumming SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Matt Bottoms, Molena SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Dexter; James Emory Tate, Denton SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Bellville; Ben Boyd, Sylvania EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Newton; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Daniel Johnson, Alma; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Will Cabe, Carnesville WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Melanie Sanders, Stephens ADVERTISING POLICY All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau Neighbors. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or mcfarlandadvantage@ Copyright 2016 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia. PRINTED WITH SOY INK


By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________


Former AFBF President Bob Stallman, left, hands the gavel to newly elected AFBF President Zippy Duvall. Stallman did not seek re-election after serving as AFBF president for 16 years. Visit to see more election photos.

ments of agriculture together to work for agriculture. This organization under Zippy’s leadership will availeth much,” Veach said. When addressing the AFBF voting delegates as a candidate for president, Duvall said, “This election is not about policy - you make that road map. This election is about leadership. I bring a style of leadership that builds bridges, and if you elect me, I will hold true to our common cause and values so we can move forward to solve problems for our farmers.” Duvall received a majority of votes to win the office on the third round of balloting. Rogers was eliminated on the first vote; Bushue on the second; and Villwock on the third round. “I am so humbled and thankful for your support and belief in my leadership for AFBF president. I will continue to represent all farmers and ranchers across the states. May God bless each of you as AFBF moves forward,” Duvall said after his election. Duvall pledged to work hard as AFBF president so that those who didn’t vote for

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

ippy Duvall became the first Georgian elected president of the American Farm Bureau Federation when voting delegates at the organization’s 97th annual convention in Orlando, Fla., elected him for a two-year term on Jan. 12. Duvall succeeds Bob Stallman, who served 16 years as AFBF president. Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas, announced last July that he would not seek re-election as president of the nation’s largest general farm organization. This marked the first time in 30 years that the incumbent president did not seek re-election. Barry Bushue of Oregon, Kevin Rogers of Arizona and Don Villwock of Indiana also sought the position. The election process began on the afternoon of Jan. 12 with state Farm Bureau leaders nominating candidates from the floor. Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach nominated Duvall for the position. “Zippy Duvall will work to bring all seg-

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Duvall elected AFBF president

The Duvall Family with Michelle & Scott VanderWal, center right, after the election. Zippy Duvall and South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal will serve together as AFBF president and vice president.


him will next time. “I’m going to wake up every morning and work for these (holding up his hands) – the working hands of the American farmer and rancher,” Duvall said. “I will not forget where the strength of this organization is. It’s in those hands. We are the strength and the hope for the people in this country and all around this world because we are the ones that are going to provide the nourishment they need.” Duvall, a broiler, cattle and hay producer from Greensboro, Ga., becomes AFBF’s 12th president. He served as GFB president from Dec. 2006 until he resigned Jan. 12 to serve as AFBF president. Following Duvall’s election, AFBF voting delegates elected Scott VanderWal, a thirdgeneration family farmer from Volga, South Dakota, AFBF vice president. VanderWal and his wife, Michelle, raise corn, soybeans and do custom cattle-feeding and some custom harvesting. VanderWal has served as South Dakota Farm Bureau president since 2004. Duvall began his Farm Bureau journey as a volunteer with his local Greene County Farm Bureau, where he still serves on the board of directors. In 1982, he and his wife, Bonnie, won the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Achievement Award and went on to win the AFBF award in 1983. Duvall chaired the GFB Young Farmer Committee in 1985, and in 1987, he served as chairman of the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and on the AFBF Board. As GFB president, Duvall has served on the AFBF Board of Directors since 2007, including recent roles on the AFBF Trade Advisory Committee, International Trade Mission and Finance Committee. The Duvalls have four adult children and three grandchildren. Georgia Neighbors • Winter 2016

Photo by Andy Lucas

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) President Gerald Long, right, and GFB 1st Vice President Robert Fountain Jr. are now leading the organization.

Long new GFB president; Fountain designated GFB 1st VP By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________________________________________________


erald Long, a diversified farmer who raises cattle and grows peanuts, vegetables, corn, cotton, hay, small grains and timber with his family on their farm in Decatur County, became the 12th president of Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) on Jan. 12, after former GFB President Zippy Duvall resigned to serve as American Farm Bureau president. The GFB bylaws provide a succession plan for the organization’s 1st vice president to fill the office of president if it is vacated. Following Long becoming the new GFB president, the GFB Board of Directors designated Robert Fountain Jr. of Emanuel County, who has served as the GFB Middle Georgia vice president for a total of 15 years, to serve as the organization’s 1st vice president. Under GFB bylaws, both Long and Fountain will serve in their respective offices until Dec. 6, when GFB voting delegates will elect the next GFB president and designate the next GFB 1st vice president at the organization’s annual convention. “Georgia Farm Bureau is an organization that represents all of Georgia agriculture. We communicate with our elected officials on the local, state and national level to voice the needs of agriculture and advocate for the farmer,” Long said. “ While I served as 1st Georgia Neighbors • Winter 2016

vice president I had the opportunity to represent all of Georgia and travel all over the state and meet county Farm Bureau leaders in their respective counties. Even though we may grow different commodities, we pretty much have the same issues. Serving as 1st vice president gave me an opportunity to see those issues and work through them to try to make it better for the farmers back on the farm. I will continue to do this as Georgia Farm Bureau president.” Long was first elected to the GFB Board of Directors in December 1999 as a GFB 9th District director representing 14 counties in Southwest Georgia. In 2006, GFB voting delegates in the 53 counties in GFB’s South Region elected Long as GFB South Georgia vice president. GFB voting delegates statewide have designated Long to serve as GFB 1st vice president each year since 2008. A Farm Bureau member since 1970, Long currently serves on the Decatur County Farm Bureau Board of Directors as secretary/treasurer and is a past president and vice president of the Decatur County Farm Bureau. Long and his wife, Janice, have three adult children: Justin and daughter-in-law, Kelli; Jared and daughter-in-law, Lori; and Jeanie and son-in-law, Diego Izurieta; and two grandchildren. The Longs are members of the First Baptist Church of Bainbridge

where Mr. Long has served as a deacon and on numerous committees. In addition to his Farm Bureau leadership, Long is a member of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and serves on the board of the Decatur County Cattlemen’s Association. He represents GFB on the Georgia Beef Board and serves as treasurer of the board. Long was a founding board member of both the Georgia Peanut Producers and the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, and the Flint River Water Planning Policy Center. He also serves on the Decatur County Industrial Development Authority. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where he majored in crop science and animal science. He then served six months of active duty in the Georgia Army National Guard and six years of reserve duty.

Fountain serving as GFB 1st VP

In addition to serving as GFB 1st vice president, Fountain will continue to represent the 56 counties in the organization’s Middle Georgia region on the GFB Board of Directors. Fountain has served as GFB Middle Georgia vice president since 2009 and previously held the position from 1997 to 2006. He has served as the Emanuel County Farm Bureau president since 2004 and previously served as vice president and county director. Fountain is the third generation to own his family’s farm located in Emanuel and Johnson counties where he raises cattle, hay, timber, small grains and pecans. In addition to Farm Bureau, Fountain is an active member of numerous other agricultural organizations including the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, for which he served as president from 2001-2002. Since 2002 Fountain has represented GFB on the Georgia Beef Board. He is currently serving a third, three-year term on the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) at the appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He is also a member of the CBB Executive Committee and has served on numerous committees for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Fountain earned his B.B.A. in management and agricultural economics and his M.B.A. in management and finance. Fountain is a member of Adrian United Methodist Church where he teaches Sunday school and serves as treasurer and chairman of the church administrative board. 5

Photo by Andy Lucas

Gerald & Janice Long at their roadside market.

Diversification key to Long Farm

Compiled from staff reports __________________________________________________________________________

GFB President Gerald Long checks on his cattle.


of about 500 Angus-Simmental crossbred brood cows. The Longs had been growing about 600 acres of cotton but are using that land for cattle production due to low cotton prices. They also grow corn, hay, small grains and timber. Long’s paternal grandfather, William “Nudie,” started the farm, followed by his father, Woodrow. Gerald began farming after attending ABAC and serving six months of active duty in the Georgia Army National Guard. His son, Justin, is the fourth generation on the farm. After Gerald returned home, the Longs started growing vegetables with commer-

Photo by Andy Lucas

Photo by Andy Lucas

Gerald Long, GFB’s new president, believes in diversification. “I think diversification is very important, particularly in these times with erratic commodity prices,” Long said. “I’m willing to expand my operation, and I’m willing to carry that over into this organization, to be able to expand this organization however we can do it, to better represent the membership.” On the Long farm, which turns 100 this year, diversification looks like this – about 120 acres of more than 50 varieties of vegetables sold at their you-pick roadside market, about 280 acres of peanuts, and a herd

cial production. “I saw that was not going to work for me, so we started the you-pick operation some 31 years ago,” Long said. “Our opening day is Mother’s Day weekend each year. We start off with little red Irish potatoes, squash and snap beans. Then we move right on into the summer and normally close up in that second week of July because of the heat. Then we start back with vegetables the first week of September with our fall crops.” Long describes his family’s farm as a, “hands-on, family-run farm. Either Justin or myself has done all the planting. We don’t expect other people to do the work for us.” Justin will assume more responsibility for the farm now that Gerald is GFB president, but Long will still be actively involved with the operation. Long is quick to point out that the success of his farm takes the whole family. He credits his wife, Janice, and daughter-inlaw, Kelli, for running the roadside market today and thanks his son, Jared, and daughter, Jeanie, for the work they put into the farm growing up. “I’ve told several people that thought they wanted to get into the you-pick vegetable business that you better have a willing, strong wife and family that will support you, because it takes her working at the market, managing the retail sales part, managing the customers as we’re managing the crops in the field.”

Gerald and Justin Long discuss farm plans. The Longs’ other son, Jared, works for the National Beef Packing Company, and their daughter, Jeanie, works for Texas A&M University. Georgia Neighbors • Winter 2016

GFB to award college scholarships Contact Farm Bureau Contact your your county county FarmGM Bureau Barnett named GFBoffice Insurance Co. for more information or an office for more information or an appliappli-

Peanut Peanut sweepstakes sweepstakes offers offers vacation, vacation, assorted assorted prizes prizes


Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2013 GeorgiaNeighbors Neighbors • Fall 2013 Georgia • Winter 2016

cation. application deadline He The serves as cation. The application deadline is is FebFebruary 21, 2014. Applications must president of the ruary 21, 2014. Applications must be be apapproved Georgia Arson by proved and and signed signed by the the Farm Farm Bureau Bureau president of county in Control a presidentBoard, of the the is county in which which the the apapplicant resides or attends high school. director and treaplicant resides or attends high school. You also surer of may the GeorYou may also download download aa copy copy of of the application by visiting http://www. gia Association of the application by visiting http://www. Property &, Programs, selecting selecting Programs and and then then Ag Ag ty Insurance Comin the Classroom. in the Classroom.   Barnett panies, a director ofFarm Bureau MuThe The Georgia Georgia Farm Bureau Muthe Georgia Underwriting Association, a tual tual Insurance Insurance Company Company and and the the GFB GFB director ofLeadership the Farm Bureau Alliance InWomen’s Committee sponWomen’s Leadership Committee sponsurance Company, and a director of the sor sor the the scholarship scholarship program. program. Georgia Insolvency Pool for which he Winners Winners will will be be announced announced in in May May serves on the organization’s investment 2014. 2014. and audit committees.

Peanut Proud Festival

March 19 Blakely, Ga. Downtown Square This all-day event kicks off with a 5k and Fun Run and ends with a street dance. During the day enjoy a parade, more than 100 vendors, a kids’ zone and free entertainment. Visit for complete details.

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Georgia Georgia Farm Farm Bureau Bureau will will award award aa total of $14,250 in scholarships total of $14,250 in scholarships to to 10 10 high school seniors who plan to pursue Al Barnett was appointed General high school seniors who plan to pursue an degree agricultural Manager of the Georgia Farm Bureau an undergraduate undergraduate degree in in agricultural and environmental sciences, family Mutual Insurance Company (GFBMIC) and environmental sciences, family and and consumer sciences or agriculand its wholly owned consumer sciences or aaffiliates a related related effective agricultural field. Dec. 2015. tural 18, field. top three students The Barnett worked in the will insurance The tophas three students will each each receive a scholarship of $3,000. industry for 38 years. Prior to joining the receive a scholarship of $3,000. The The GFBMIC staff in 1987 as a field claims remaining seven students will each remaining seven students will each rererepresentative, Barnett worked as an ceive ceive aa $750 $750 scholarship. scholarship. independent adjuster. Barnett became Students Students submitting submitting an an applicaapplicaa GFB district claimsbemanager in 1999 tion must currently a Georgia tion must currently be a Georgia high high and in 2005 was promoted to director of school school senior senior and and plan plan to to enroll enroll in in aa claims. unit of the University System of Georunit of the University System of Geor Barnett became GFBMIC operations gia gia or or Berry Berry College College during during the the 20142014manager in 2006 and served in that ca2015 academic year. 2015 academic year. pacity until becoming interim general manager in October of 2015. Barnett and his wife, Cheryl, have been married 40 years. They have two adult children - daughter, Heather, son, Rem, and daughter-in-law Megan. The Barnetts are members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Macon. eanut have aa daily A native of Eastman, eanut fans fansGa., haveBarnett daily to win a attended Middle chance Georgia College and chance to win a vacavacaand hundreds served a tour oftion duty in the United tion and hundreds of of States Navy.other other prizes prizes until until Nov. Nov. 30. 30. Vacation Vacation destination destination choices choices include California, include California, Colorado, Colorado, GFB Mutual Insurance New New York York or or Florida. Florida. Visit Visit Company Annual Meeting ofregister Policyholders to for to register for aa chance chance to to win. win. After registering, partici The annual of the policyAftermeeting registering, particiaa game called “Crack holderspants of theplay Georgia Farm Bureau pants play game called “Crack the Peanut” for a chance win Mutual the Insurance willto Peanut”Company for a chance tobe win instant prizes like peanut and held Thursday, at the instant March prizes 24, like2016, peanut and peanut butter packs, iPods and cards. Georgia Farm Bureau Building, peanut butter packs, iPods and gift gift1620 cards. IfIf Bass you peanuts that Road, three Macon, Ga., 31210. The you crack crack three peanuts that match, match, then you’re an instant winner! meeting will begin at 10 a.m. then you’re an instant winner! “When “When itit comes comes to to getting getting through through an an early morning or long day, everyone GFB Mutual Insurance early morning or long day, everyone wins wins with Company with peanuts. peanuts. At At seven seven grams grams per per servserving, peanuts have more energy-boosting Annual Meeting of Directors ing, peanuts have more energy-boosting protein than any nut, Parker, The annual of Bob the Georprotein than any meeting nut,”” said said Bob Parker, president and CEO of the National Peagia Farm Mutual Insurance president andBureau CEO of the National Peanut Board. “Through the Energy to Burn Board of the Directors be nutCompany Board. “Through Energywill to Burn sweepstakes we’re to held immediately following the annu-the sweepstakes we’re able able to celebrate celebrate the power of peanuts and help al meeting of the policyholders, which power of peanuts and help re-energize re-energize Americans aa fun ”” March begins atwith 10 a.m. onvacation. Thursday, Americans with fun vacation. The “Energy to Burn” sweepstakes, 24, 2016, at thetoGeorgia Bureau isis The “Energy Burn” Farm sweepstakes, sponsored by the National Peanut Building,by 1620 Road, Peanut Macon,Board Ga. sponsored theBass National Board and co-presented by Hampton 31210. and co-presented by Hampton Farms, Farms, Planters Planters and and Skippy. Skippy.



As As low low as as



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Farm Bureau’s Georgia Neighbors - Winter 2016  

In this special edition of our Georgia Neighbors magazine, we're sharing looking at recent leadership changes here at Georgia Farm Bureau....

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