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From County to Capitol: Your Membership Dues at Work

From County to Capitol: Your Membership Dues at Work

The development of Georgia Farm Bureau policy is truly a grassroots effort. Policy development, which begins at the county level, allows members to decide the legislative positions we take in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Our goal is to act as an intermediary between Georgia’s farmers and those who make the laws we must follow. Farm Bureau is one of the few organizations that uses a true grassroots process to represent our members’ views. We maintain a presence both in Atlanta and alongside our parent organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation, in Washington, D.C., to deliver the farmers’ message and implement Farm Bureau policy from county to Capitol. 

 More Than Dues 

 Your $35 goes beyond an annual membership to Georgia Farm Bureau. It ensures your access to a safe, local food supply and provides a defense against radical groups who would like to dismantle common agricultural practices. Through a daily presence at the state Capital, we protect the rights of farmers, allowing them to produce the commodities that keep us fed, clothed, and sheltered.

 One of our primary goals, since our inception in 1937, is serving as a united voice in the legislative arena. We don’t take this responsibility lightly. “There is no organization that works on behalf of its members’ needs quite like Farm Bureau. We work to protect farmers’ bottom-line, prevent excessive government regulation, and preserve our rural way of life – but these efforts are only successful if our state’s farmers engage at the grassroots level” explains GFB President, Tom McCall. 

 GFB In Action

 Our advocacy efforts passed and protect the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) Program which provides thousands of dollars in property tax savings for farmers. CUVA saves landowners over $270 million annually. 

 Through the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) Program, farmers save $.07 per dollar spent on farm inputs: seed, feed, fertilizer, equipment, etc. Our legislative preservation of the GATE program allows farmers to recoup their membership costs when they spend $500 on inputs every year ($500 x $.07 = $35). The tax savings farmers recoup on a large equipment purchase can secure membership for more than 100 years. 

 $50,000 x $.07 = $3,500

 $3,500/$35 = 100 years

 For over two decades, farmers have received a property tax exemption on farm equipment and livestock, another GFB led initiative. We work hard for you, and it only costs $35 to become a Georgia Farm Bureau member and join our efforts. That’s just $0.67 per week, or half the price of a soda. 

 Our state’s agriculture industry keeps Georgia strong, contributing over $74 billion to the state economy annually and unfortunately Georgia’s 40,000 farms are just one legislative vote away from losing programs important to their financial success. Georgia Farm Bureau ensures the future of agriculture by advocating for support programs and an adequate safety net for producers in the $428 billion federal Farm Bill. 

 With over 4,200 interest groups represented at the Capitol, key agricultural programs are always under attack. We protect your interests, and our grassroots efforts help farmers reach Georgia’s 236 state legislators. 

 A Strong Defense

 Preventing legislation that would be detrimental to Georgia agriculture is just as important as passing legislation that would benefit it. Our Public Policy Department works at the state and federal levels to ensure that such detrimental legislation does not pass. 

 Things like:

  1. Unwarranted and excessive governmental regulation.
  2. Dependence on foreign countries for food, fiber, and shelter.
  3. Elimination of key tax programs that impact farmers’ profitability.
  4. Prevent misinformation from animal rights activists and environmental groups that negatively impact agricultural policy. 

Agriculture is reliant on strong commodity prices, low input costs, adequate labor, fair tax policy, and sensible regulations. Whether consumer or producer, the strength of Georgia Farm Bureau starts with you. Become a member today!