Bulloch receives GFB Commodity Award

Published 9:03 am Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, right, presents the 2013 GFB Commodity Award to former Sen. John Bulloch.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, right, presents the 2013 GFB Commodity Award to former Sen. John Bulloch.

Special to The Post-Searchlight

Retired Georgia Sen. John Bulloch, who championed agriculture as a state legislator for 14 years, received the 2013 Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award during the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Conference on Aug. 1 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus.

The award, one of GFB’s highest honors, is given annually to honor an individual who has supported and promoted Georgia agriculture.

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Bulloch retired from the Georgia Senate in 2012 after serving in elected positions for 34 years.

“Georgia Farm Bureau had a good friend and colleague in Sen. Bulloch. It’s a great privilege to present him with the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “His leadership will be missed. We are all sad to see him leave the senate, but we wish him well and know he will enjoy spending more time on his farm and with his family.”

Bulloch attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and returned to his native Thomas County, where he became the fourth generation to farm his family’s land, growing pecans and row crops.

His public service began in 1978, when he was elected to the Thomas County Board of Commissioners, on which he served for 20 years before winning a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. While in the House he was appointed to the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee. In 2002 he was elected to the Georgia Senate representing the 11th District, which includes Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Thomas and Seminole counties.

Bulloch’s work in the state senate included chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee and vice chairmanship of the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee, as well as serving on the Appropriations and Rules committees and as an ex officio member of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.

Bulloch was instrumental in getting poultry contract legislation passed in 2004, giving poultry growers certain rights in the process of structuring their contracts. He was a key figure on the Senate Appropriations Committee for agriculture, helping to secure funding for UGA extension and research as well as helping to fund extension specialist positions for various commodities. Until his retirement in 2012, he served as a key voice in the Senate on agricultural water issues.

Outside of elected office, Bulloch has served as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club, the Thomas County Central High School booster club, the Archbold Hospital Board of Trustees and many others.

“I want to thank you for what y’all have meant to me, because I did it out of love,” Bulloch said. “The day I die, I’m going to be a farmer, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

Sen. Bulloch has received numerous honors for his public service. In 1984 he was named Man of the Year by the Thomas County Chamber of Commerce. In 1986 he received the Farmer of the Year Award from the Thomas County Kiwanis Club. The Thomas County Chamber of Commerce awarded Sen. Bulloch its Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce named Bulloch its Legislator of the Year in 2011, and in 2013 Georgia Trend Magazine included him on its annual list of 100 Most Influential Georgians for the third straight year. In 2010 Bulloch received the Crop Life America State Legislative Award.

Bulloch and his wife Miriam have three daughters, Dee, Joni and Ashley, and four grandchildren. The Bullochs are members of First Baptist Church in Thomasville.

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 also has

20 agricultural commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major crops and livestock grown in Georgia.