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Governor Perdue Announces Agriculture Liaison

Tuesday, October 14, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Makes Appointments to Agricultural Advisory Commission and Tobacco Community Development Board

Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Donnie Smith of Willacoochee, GA will serve as the Governor's Agriculture Liaison.

"Georgia's vast agriculture community is the driving force of our state's economy," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "I know that Donnie Smith will be an effective advocate and advisor for the agriculture industry across this state."

Smith will serve as a key contact for the agricultural community to ensure that the Governor is an active partner in creating and expanding job growth within the agriculture industry in Georgia. This position will encompass overseeing the Governor's Agricultural Advisory Commission and the role of Executive Director of the Tobacco Community Development Board. The office will be moved from Atlanta and located in Tifton, GA.

Smith, 56, is the owner and operator of Smith Farms - a diversified tobacco, peanut, corn, cattle, timber, and cotton enterprise. He served as the Chairman of the Board of the Georgia Agri-leaders Forum in 1999 and on the National Advisory Committee for Tobacco Inspection in the same year. In 1995, Donnie was named Georgia Lancaster Sunbelt Expo Farmer of the Year as well as Georgia Flue Cured Tobacco Farmer of the Year. He has an Associate of Science degree from South Georgia College.

Governor Perdue also announced appointments to the Governor's Agricultural Advisory Commission and the Tobacco Community Development Board. The Governor's Agricultural Advisory Commission will bring together members of various sectors within the agricultural community to act as a sounding board for economic development ideas and to implement the Governor's strategies and initiatives. This commission will include members of various commodity groups throughout the state including cotton, peanuts, peaches, tobacco, onions, poultry, dairy/cattle, row crops, produce, timber, pecans, and turfgrass. The Tobacco Community Development Board oversees the administration and distribution of the tobacco settlement funds to tobacco farmers throughout Georgia.

The following are the newly appointed members to the Governor's Agricultural Advisory Commission:

  • Oney Huson, Macon - farmer, businessman
  • Mike Anderson, Statesboro - agriculture supply
  • Craig Lanier, Metter - cotton ginner
  • Donald "Skeeter" McCorkle, Dearing - Nurseryman, urban agriculture
  • Rick Moss, Doerun - diversified farmer
  • Buddy Leger, Cordele - watermelon/ pecan producer
  • Randall Morris, Uvalda - diversified/onion farmer
  • Vincent "Zippy" Duvall, Greensboro - dairy/poultry farmer (County Commissioner)
  • Wayne Christian, Dublin - farmer/accountant
  • Andy Stone, McRae - timber
  • Robert Dickey, Musella - peaches
  • Ken Morrow, Cartersville - turfgrass
  • Jerry Lane, Claxton - poultry processor
  • John Callaway, Hogansville - beef producer
  • David Lee, Alma - pork producer
  • Joe Burns, Grayson - flower grower
  • Gary Paulk, Wray - diversified farmer
  • Jimmy Champion, Sylvester - diversified farmer

The following are the newly appointed members to the Tobacco Community Development Board:

  • Jack Mixon, Waresboro, tobacco grower seat - farmer
  • Kerry Van Moore, West Green, quota holder seat - farmer
  • Darvin Eason, Lenox, citizen seat - agricultural supply dealer