Bainbridge resident to receive Master Farmer Award at ABAC

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gerald Long from Bainbridge will receive the 2017 Master Farmer Award on April 7 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College during the annual ABAC Alumni Association awards dinner.  The ceremony will recognize ABAC alumni who have impacted the college and their communities in significant ways.

Tickets for the 6 p.m. dinner and awards ceremony in Gressette Gym are $35 each.  The deadline to purchase tickets is March 28.  There will be no tickets sold at the event. Tickets can be purchased from the ABAC College Advancement Office at (229) 391-4900.  For more information on the 2017 Homecoming Week, interested persons can visit the web site at

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The ABAC Master Farmer Award is presented by the ABAC Alumni Association in recognition of alumni who have distinguished themselves as outstanding farmers.  The award is based upon leadership in the home and community as well as the use of wise and unique ideas in farm management and operation.  Service to the college is also taken into consideration.  The Master Farmer Award was first presented in 1955, making it the oldest of the awards presented by the Alumni Association.

A 1969 graduate of ABAC, Long operates GW Long Farms and Long Cattle Company in Decatur County.  A third-generation farmer who has farmed all his life, Long raises 280 acres of peanuts, 600 acres of cotton, and has 500 head of cattle. Long Farms also has a u-pick operation that produces quality locally grown natural vegetables.

Long was elected to the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 1999 as a 9th district director, representing 14 counties in Southwest Georgia.

In 2006, he was selected as the South Georgia vice president.  In 2016, Long was named president of Georgia Farm Bureau when his predecessor, Zippy Duvall, was elected president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

A founding board member of the Georgia Peanut Producers, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Flint River Water Planning Policy Center, Long serves on the Decatur County Industrial Development Authority. 

He is also a member of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and serves on the board of the Decatur County Cattlemen’s Association.

Under Long’s leadership, the Georgia Farm Bureau has supported An Evening for ABAC and was a donor to the Cotton Gin Restoration Project at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture.  The Long Cattle Company has also assisted the ABAC Beef Unit.