Coffee County Farm Bureau members traveled to Atlanta on Feb. 12 to participate in Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the capitol. While at the capitol, members of the Coffee County Farm Bureau delegation visited with Jody Redding, Director with US Senator Isakson’s office, GFB President Gerald Long and had the pleasure to briefly speak with Gov. Brian Kemp. Members of the Coffee County Farm Bureau who attended the event included: Walt Pridgen- Young Farmer & Rancher Chair, Spencer Highsmith-Young Farmer & Rancher co-chair, Carla Palmer –office manager and members of the Coffee County Farm Bureau YF&R Jr. Board- Dawson Adams, Leana Atkinson, Emma Kate Tillman and Lillie Palmer.
The Coffee County delegation raised legislators’ awareness of GFB’s 2019 priority issues – taxes and budget, natural resources and environment, animal agriculture and general agricultural issues.
“The relationships that our Public Policy Department have inside the capitol are directly related to the relationships you have with your legislators at home,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “That’s why your involvement here and at home is critical to our success. Very few organizations can bring over 500 people to the capitol to advocate for their cause.”
Rep. Darlene Taylor (R-Dist. 173) and Sen. John Wilkinson (R-Dist. 50) read resolutions in their respective chambers declaring Feb. 12 as GFB Day at the Capitol. Long spoke to both the House and Senate thanking the legislators for the work they do on behalf of Georgia farmers and asking them for their support of the state’s farmers who sustained severe losses as a result of Hurricane Michael in October.
Gov. Brian Kemp spoke at the lunch GFB held at the Georgia Freight Depot attended by more than 500 GFB members and state officials. Kemp pledged to continue working to help Georgia’s farmers recover from the hurricane damage.
“I just want you to know that my commitment is that we’re not going to forget,” Kemp said. “It will continue to be on our minds as we go through this long recovery. But I know that we can rebuild and revive south and southwest Georgia.”
Kemp pledged to address the needs of the state’s rural areas, like access to high-speed internet, and he cited the need to invest in education by increasing teacher pay and ensuring that schools are safe. He told the GFB members that he would continue to fight for their access to water and for their right to farm.
“I believe that a successful rural Georgia is not possible without successful farm families and farm agribusinesses,” Kemp said. “You and the people you’re working with are the backbone of our state’s economy, and you are the lifeblood of most rural communities.”