James.qxp Nov Dec 2018 web - Page 21

“Our communities are filled
with more than farmers;
we are scientists, engineers,
educators, entrepreneurs,
innovators, marketers
and leaders.”
There is no argument that weather is the one
component of agriculture that can never truly be
predicted. Our farmers and residents of South
Georgia would certainly agree that they never
anticipated a strong hurricane to rip through the
heart of Georgia’s agricultural sector right when
their crops were at their most vulnerable. In fact,
some of the aforementioned renowned commodities
were most devastated by Hurricane Michael. But
despite the best efforts of Hurricane Michael, I still
believe that Georgia is Nature’s Favorite State.
My reasoning for still proudly proclaiming that
title goes back to my initial comments. We do not
farm by accident or by a means of last resort. We
are not forced into selecting agriculture as our
career choice. We farm because we choose to and
because we are darn good at it. Our communities
are lled with more than farmers; we are scientists,
engineers, educators, entrepreneurs, innovators,
marketers and leaders. And while it is still true that
we are blessed with good soil and climate, we have
recently experienced that those things are
ultimately unpredictable and can sometimes let you
down. However, I can proudly predict that the
thing that Georgia is the most blessed with and will
never let us down is our farmers.
Our farmers will not let us down. They will
persevere. They will not give up. They will
overcome. They will withstand the storm and
persist. They will not stop. They will rebuild and
N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8
replant. They will sustain the course and
continue their mission of feeding, clothing and
housing the world. They will continue to drive
the economy and boost Georgia into being
Nature’s Favorite State.
I have witnessed first-hand the devastation
that Hurricane Michael left behind. The losses are
severe and, in many cases, generational. The
destruction of the crops hit harder than a farmer’s
bottom line; it assaulted their heart and soul.
Hurricane Michael didn’t just wallop the crop
itself, it sucker-punched the pride and sole
purpose of our farmers by not allowing them to
fulfill their mission of harvesting their crop. But I
have also had the privilege to witness the
perseverance and resiliency of our farming
community. I have witnessed as well as the
generosity and kindness of neighbors, friends and
even strangers.
Just as our forefathers toiled the land to become
one of our nation’s leaders in agriculture, our
farmers today are determined to rebuild and
reestablish to maintain that title. It is because of
our farmers’ innate nature of perseverance and
persistence that they will continue to make
Georgia’s number one industry agriculture and
Nature’s Favorite State.
I nsider A dvantage
& James m agazine
Ready for 2 019!
InsiderAdvantage Georgia is looking forward to entering into the New Year with
our outstanding staff of writers!
Also, as in past years, we will be operating out of a satellite office in the press
gallery inside the Coverdell Legislative Office Building in downtown Atlanta to cover
the 2019 Georgia General Assembly. Look for our veteran journalists to bring you
daily updates on what’s happening when the legislature is in session along with a
variety of political, business and cultural topics throughout the year.
Furthermore, check out the Forum opinion section on the InsiderAdvantage.com
website. We publish commentaries from leading Republicans, Democrats and others
on vital public policy issues.
A $17.50/month or $200/year subscription
also gets you a full year of James magazine. Free!
Gary Black, elected in 2010 as state agriculture commissioner,
raises commercial beef cattle on his family farm in Commerce.
N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8


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