James Magazine Mar Apr 2020 - Page 10



which has declined significantly due to the
reduced demand for tobacco products and apply
what I have learned to hemp farming. What’s
needed to grow hemp is similar to the soil, temperature and farming techniques we used
with tobacco, and it may well replace
tobacco as a crop,” he says. “Adding
hemp as a crop also provides farmers with an additional species for
rotating their crops, which helps
improve soil conditions.”
Farmer, a native of North
Carolina, picked tobacco as a teen.
His background includes service as
director of government relations for
Georgia’s Nature Conservancy for 15
years where he also led efforts to pass
Georgia’s Outdoor Stewardship Amendment to
the state constitution in 2018.
As for University of Georgia graduate Tabor, he
is an agricultural management specialist with experience in running large-scale farming operations
around the world. He’s also an expert on production
10
JAMES
MARCH/APRIL 2020
and trade management for food and agricultural
commodities, and his farming experience includes
advising on the structuring, nancing and launch of
more than 1.5 million acres of farmland.
All three seem to have excellent backgrounds for their new venture.
Businesses like Second Century
Ag owe a lot to the 2018 congressional Farm Bill which changed
federal policy regarding industrial
hemp. It legalized hemp under
certain restrictions and allows
states (and Indian tribes) to submit a plan and apply for regulatory
authority over the production in
their state. A state plan must include
certain requirements involving keeping
track of land, testing methods and disposal of
plants that exceed the allowed THC concentration. After complying with the new rules, companies like Second Century Ag are off and running.
Tal Wright is a staff writer for James and InsiderAdvantage Georgia.
still clearly recall the crowded back bedroom in the suite of a long since replaced
Buckhead hotel just as the sun was rising
in November of 1980. Last-to-report Cobb
County precincts were coming in and the numbers
were being added up on one of those old bulky calculators, the kind that had the big roll of paper on top.
A miracle was taking place. After a century of total
domination by the Democratic Party (save
Reconstruction’s insertion of “Republican interlopers”)
Georgia was electing a Republican U.S. senator. Mack
Mattingly, who was given no chance of defeating
Herman Talmadge, pulled off the impossible. And he
did it the old-fashioned way: begging for money and
votes while most business leaders gave him no
resources and the press gave him no chance.
Before my GOP friends get too worked up over the
title of this article, I would stress the word “slowly.”
After all, I was a Republican state legislator when we
were a small minority. And I was among the very first
to ever encourage a presidential run by Donald Trump.
(Trump followed my syndicated column, occasionally
sending me handwritten comments on copies of them
or tweeting out the ones he liked.). So, I certainly
understand the energy he has put back into the
Republican Party.
But President Trump is a phenomenon the likes of
which we won’t see the again in our lifetime. He makes
and breaks politicians in “red” states and his sheer
presence will bolster turnout for Republicans in 2020.
So, for everyone who thinks Georgia is a purple
state, don’t bet on it in 2020. Sen. David Perdue is a
prohibitive favorite and, be it Kelly Loeffler or Doug
Collins, the “jungle primary” system favors a
Republican Senate candidate who can count on very
strong turnout in a post-November runoff.
But that’s 2020. The future beyond this year is
problematic for Georgia Republicans.
Yes, demographics are working against the GOP.
The once reliable metro-Atlanta “doughnut” is rapidly
disappearing. Long reliable Republican strongholds like
Cobb and Gwinnett counties are rapidly moving from a
White/Republican majority to an African American/
“other races” Democratic majority.
The automatic reflex for Republican strategists is to
attempt to move their party in the direction of the
mythical Atlanta swing suburban female voter. That
means distancing their candidates from Trump and
rebuking his style. Following this logic, Republicans
would make appointments and pass laws catered to
this fragile portion of their perceived electorate.
continued on page 12
MARCH/APRIL 2020
11

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