Giving us our daily bread

Published 8:02 pm Friday, November 21, 2008

Citing the “Lord’s Prayer,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said it’s the farmers who fill a world’s spiritual need to “Give us today our daily bread.”

“I don’t know of a more faithful hero than a farmer,” Duvall said. He told the crowd at the annual Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Appreciation Luncheon at the new Cloud Livestock Pavilion that farmers invest time, money and resources for crops, with the faith that they will flourish and perhaps turn a profit.

Duvall is a third generation dairy farmer who talked a little about the changing political climate in Washington, but said agriculture’s future rests with the connection a farmer has to future generations, citing the new livestock pavilion as an example.

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The main purpose of the Agriculture Appreciation Luncheon is to thank the farmers for their contribution to the local economy, and ultimately the state’s $57 billion agricultural economy.

Decatur County is ranked No. 1 in three separate crops—peanuts with a $20 million farm gate income; sweet corn with a $48 million farm gate income and tomatoes with a $24.1 million farm gate income.

Ag awards

The luncheon also serves as a forum to formally honor the Ag Man of the Year, who is Douglas Dean, and the Ag Woman of the year, who is Frances Edmunds.

Chamber Agriculture co-chairman Ashley Gardner said Dean’s legacy of almost seven decades of farming in Decatur County spells success. Dean’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather farmed in the county, and now he’s passing that torch to his son, Kerry, and grandson, Brian.

Edmunds was introduced by 4-H Coordinator Lindsey Bell, who said Edmunds “certainly has a passion” for agriculture and farming.

Edmunds is the marketing specialist with Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, but also serves as a liaison with the Future Farmers of America and 4-H. She dedicated her award to her family, the family at Farm Credit and to all the ladies who do their part in keeping agriculture alive and well.

A new award this year is a $250 scholarship to a graduating high school senior who wrote a winning essay addressing the topic “Agriculture’s role in the 21st century.”

Caleb Adkins, son of Tim and Teresa Adkins of Bainbridge, is a home-schooled senior who plans to major in industrial maintenance and forestry.