2018 is a big election year for the state of Georgia. But if you are anything like me, you are usually too busy to pay as much attention to local politics as you should. So, to make things easier, I have started a series to pick apart each candidate’s pros and cons.
With introductions out of the way, meet Republican and current Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.
According to Georgia’s Department of Agriculture website, Black has loved farming since he grew up in Commerce, Georgia, where his wife and kids continue to raise cattle today. Black became an active member of Commerce’s FFA and was elected to be president of Georgia’s FFA Association in 1975.
Then he attended the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences where he earned a degree in Agricultural Education. During that time, Black interned with Senator Herman Talmadge and the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture.
After earning his degree at UGA, he began working for the Georgia Farm Bureau as the Young Farmers coordinator. Seven years later, Black was made President of the Georgia Agribusiness Council where he worked for 21 years as “advocate for farmers and agribusinesses across the state.”
He was first elected to be Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner in November 2010. Black “set out to retool the Department of Agriculture so that it could continue to serve farmers and producers in a 21st-century economy.”
He “revitalized” Georgia Grown, the Department’s marketing and economic development arm, to be a more business-focused program that helps Georgia’s producers find new markets and consumers. The program has over 800 license holders all over the state. Black also launched the Feed My School Program which aims to connect schools to local producers.
For all his successes, Black was named Georgia Trend Magazine’s Georgian of the Year in 2017.
Unfortunately, his campaign website only had a place to sign up to support him. When checking Black’s Facebook page, it only said in his about section that he was for safe food, strong farms, and responsible government.
If you think Black should continue to be Georgia’s agriculture commissioner, the election will be on November 6.