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Coffee County Farm Bureau (CCFB) received four awards for its volunteer programs at the Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) 10th District annual meeting, held Aug. 31 in Waycross. Derek Pridgen is the CCFB president.
The CCFB Promotion & Education Committee, chaired by Spencer Highsmith, received the 10th District Outstanding Promotion & Education Award. Among its activities, the committee produced a video promoting Ag Week and created a mini-grant to help elementary school teachers continue or create agriculture-focused classroom projects. Committee members visited 12 classes, gave presentations on ag topics and presented teachers with supplies to help them teach farm-themed lessons.
The CCFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, chaired by Walt Pridgen, received the 10th District Outstanding Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee Award. The committee worked to purchase and plant fruit trees at all nine Coffee County elementary schools, with help from students. The committee shared information how to plant and care for fruit trees and the importance of eating fruit every day. Students were able to enjoy the results of their labor by eating the fruit the trees produced. The project reached more than 500 students and the committee logged more than 300 hours of volunteer service time.
The CCFB Legislative Committee, chaired by Donnie Smith, received the 10th District Outstanding Legislative Program Award. The committee hosted an ag legislative dinner for elected officials and local farmers. Lawmakers discussed issues important to agriculture with more than 100 farmers. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, state Sen. Tyler Harper, state Reps. Clay Pirkle and Dominic Lariccia and Zach Stokes of U.S. Rep. Rick Allen’s office all spoke at the meeting, as did Georgia Farm Bureau Public Policy Director Jeffrey Harvey. Topics included the federal migrant labor program, right-to-farm legislation, private property rights, taxes and more.
CCFB Office Manager Carla Palmer received the 10th District Outstanding County Office Manager Award. Palmer, a native of Tampa, Florida, began work at CCFB in 2003 and became office manager in 2006. Her duties include providing administrative leadership for the CCFB office and coordinating Farm Bureau’s agricultural advocacy activities in Coffee County. Palmer is CCFB’s primary point of public contact. She and her husband, David, have a daughter, Lillie, and live in Douglas.
The GFB 10th District includes 17 counties in southeast Georgia.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization and has 158 county offices. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB offers its members a wide variety of benefits, including insurance, but enrollment in member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.