Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members
January 2020

With the new legislative session approaching, we are preparing for the  2020   GAC Annual Meeting and Legislative Breakfast,  which will take place on February 4 & 5   We hope you will join us.
Lt. Governor Duncan to Headline The GAC Annual Meeting
GAC’s Annual Meeting will be held on February 4 at    The American Hotel   in downtown Atlanta. We will have a reception starting at 5:45 p.m. with supper being served at 6:30 p.m. We are pleased to announce that this year’s key-note speaker will be Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. The American Hotel is also the host hotel for the events. To make hotel reservations,  Click Here   or you may call (404) 688 - 8600 and ask for the Georgia Agribusiness Council block.
The GAC State Legislative Breakfast   will be held at 7:30 a.m. the next morning on February 5 at the   Georgia Railroad Freight Depot . This is a great opportunity for members to "meet and greet" with their state legislators and hear issues important to our industry.  Governor Brian Kemp   and  Speaker David Ralston   have been invited to speak and we are pleased to announce that  Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black , House Appropriations  Chairman Terry England , House Agriculture Committee  Chairman Tom McCal l   and Senate Agriculture   Chairman John Wilkinson   have been confirmed to join us for the breakfast.
 A shuttle from The American Hotel will be provided to the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot.
With the 2020 legislative session getting underway on Monday we will begin our weekly “Inside Agriculture” reports each Friday beginning Jan. 17. Early indications are that the budget will take up most of the oxygen in the building, but GAC has several priority issues that we will be pursuing including the much needed updates to Georgia’s Right to Farm legislation. We can expect a fast and furious pace as lawmakers will be itching to wrap things up and get back to their home districts as each position in the General Assembly will be on the ballot in 2020. We’ll report these updates, legislative initiatives, and Capitol conversations in our weekly reports. We look forward to serving as your eyes and ears again this year.  Please contact us whenever we can be of service.
Georgia House Agriculture Chairman and long time friend of GAC, Tom McCall has announced that he will be retiring his seat in the General Assembly at the end of his current term in 2020 and seeking election as President of the Georgia Farm Bureau. Chairman McCall was first elected to serve in the legislature in 1994 and is currently one of the longest serving legislators in Atlanta. In addition to serving as the Chairman of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, McCall also serves on several key committees including the Natural Resources, Transportation, and Game Fish and Parks Committees.

Chairman McCall has been a strong leader for agriculture under the Gold Dome and his presence will be greatly missed. We would like to congratulate Chairman McCall on his retirement and thank him for his tireless efforts to fight for our industry.
In response to USDA's promulgation of the Interim Final Rule governing the production of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill on October 31, 2019, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) has submitted an updated “Georgia Hemp Plan” to comply with USDA's requirements. Please view the plan here:

Comment Period Open
Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, O.C.G.A. §§ 2-23-12 and 50-13-4, GDA has also posted revised Hemp Growers and Processors Rules based on federal requirements. The GDA will accept written comments regarding the adoption of Hemp Growers and Processors Rules until the close of business ( 4:30 p.m.  E.S.T.)  on February 6, 2020 . The Hemp Growers and Processors Rules can be found at .
For more information regarding USDA's Domestic Hemp Production Program, visit .
Don’t miss the 58th Annual Wild Hog Supper on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at the Georgia Freight Depot alongside Honorary Hosts Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and the members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. Enjoy a delicious BBQ feast, rub shoulders with Georgia’s movers and shakers, and celebrate the start of Georgia’s legislative session all in support of the Farm to Food Bank program.

A historic celebration on the eve of the start of Georgia’s legislative session that first kicked off over five decades ago. Originally organized by a group of lobbyists, the event was handed over to the Georgia Food Bank Association over five years ago by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and now benefits our  Farm to Food Bank program . The event is family friendly with no alcohol and serves as a fun way to rub shoulders with old and new state’s leaders and enjoy some good ‘ole Georgia BBQ. 

Sunday, January 12, 2020 from 5:30-7:30 PM. The ticket office in the Blue Room of the Georgia Freight Depot will open at 5 PM, but doors to the event will not open until 5:30 PM. 

The Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30334. 
  • Directions and Parking.
  • Make sure to PAY FOR PARKING in the parking lots in front of and near the Freight Depot or you WILL be BOOTED! 

  • Tickets purchased online will be emailed directly to you. You will receive a unique barcode for each ticket, which can be scanned from your phone or on a printed piece of paper. You can distribute the barcodes to other parties by email or by printing them and providing them with physical tickets. Each barcode can only be scanned once. 
  • We will accept cash, credit card, and checks for tickets at the door beginning at 5:15 PM.

The UGA CAES 2020 Ag Forecast Seminar dates have been set. GAC is proud to be a partner in promoting these informative events that give a forecast for the agricultural climate. For more information  CLICK HERE  or follow the links to register.

Dates and Locations:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 21: Macon - Georgia Farm Bureau Building
  • Thursday, Jan. 23: Gainesville - Jaemor Farms
  • Tuesday Jan. 28: Lyons - Toombs County Agri-Center
  • Thursday, Jan. 30: Bainbridge - Decatur County Agricultural Center
  • Friday, Jan. 31: Tifton - Tifton Campus Conference Center
Thank you to all our member companies that were 2019 sponsor, we appreciate the outstanding support!  The 2020 GAC Star Sponsor program registration is now underway.  This program helps with events during the legislative session along with building support for a variety of projects and initiatives that cannot take place without the added participation. Star Sponsors are reflected in each of our newsletters, as posted on this page, along with the weekly legislative reports throughout each session of the Georgia General Assembly, monthly newsletters, and more.   Click here   for 2020 Star Sponsor registration information, email   Jill Hansard   or call the GAC office at 706-336-6830. Thank you!
ASMARK INSTITUTE -   2020 Emergency Response Guidebook 

DOT has announced the new 2020 version of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) will be available in the Spring. The 2020 version will replace the existing 2016 version.

In anticipation of their release, the Asmark Institute has pre-ordered a substantial volume of 2020 ERG Guidebooks. 
Because of this pre-order, we are able to offer a special "group" price to state association members while our supply lasts. They will ship as soon as the government releases the final version.

All pre-orders must be received by April 3, 2020 to receive the special pricing of $1.90 each (plus freight & tax). Please click here to pre-order today while supplies last!
Numerically indexed and color-coded, the DOT Emergency Response Guidebook helps emergency responders find vital information fast. It's also a great tool to aid in emergency preparedness, planning and training.

DOT requires hazardous materials shipments be accompanied by emergency response information (49 CFR 172.602). The 2020 ERG can help you meet this requirement. A copy should be placed in each vehicle that transports a DOT hazardous material.
Agri-Business Supply Inc.
Barrington Dairy, LLC
Bay Branch Farms, Inc.
Bill Hembree & Associates / Nationwide
Boddiford Farm Services Inc.
CSA Farms, Inc.
Curry Farm Supply Inc.
Drexel Chemical Company
Easterlin Pecan Company
Edison Gin Co-Op Inc.
GA Agricultural Commodity for Tobacco
Georgia Christmas Tree Association
Georgia Seed Association Inc.
H. T. McLendon Co.
Hazel Creek Cider, Inc. / Yearwood Farms, Inc.
Holder Ag Consulting
Israel Farm Supply, Inc.
McCorkle Nurseries, Inc.
Peebles Timber, Inc.
Quality Gin, Inc.
South Georgia Produce Inc.
Southeastern AGRI Services, LLC
Southern AGCOM Inc.
The Dairy Alliance, Inc.
Wells Fargo Commercial Banking
West Georgia Processing, Inc.
Special thanks to all of our Star Sponsors. Please call our office at 706-336-6830 for details. Thank you!

The  Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference  is the LARGEST educational conference and trade show in the southeastern United States that unites growers, vendors and suppliers. The 2020 SE Regional Conference will be held  January 9-12, 2020 in beautiful Savannah, GA! Attendee registration is NOW OPEN !
The 44th Annual Peanut Farm Show and Conference will be held January 16th at the UGA Tifton Conference Center. More than 1,400 farmers are expected to attend the 44th annual event to see more than 100 exhibits in the peanut industry.- University of Georgia Peanut Production Seminars and the industry wide sponsored Peanut Seed Seminar.- The one-day show includes awards ceremony and door prizes for farmers.
For more info CLICK HERE
The 2020 Georgia Dairy Conference  will take place in Savannah on January 21 - 23 . This event will provide dairy producers and industry leaders with an invaluable opportunity to hear from top educators, industry pioneers and fellow dairymen.  CLICK HERE  for more info and to register.
The  69th Annual Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc. Winter Business Meeting & Trade Show  will be  January 14-15, 2020 . 2020 is the 9th year that the Winter Meeting and Trade Show will be held at the University of Georgia Conference Center in Tifton, GA. The 2020 program will include agronomic and industry updates as well as addressing pressing issues facing Georgia Agriculture.  CLICK HERE  for more information.
This information is intended for members of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Inc. No part of this document shall be copied, edited, or redistributed in any form without express written consent from the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Inc.
Georgia Agribusiness Council | 706-336-6830 | WWW.GA-AGRIBUSINESS.ORG