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Breakfast serves as a forum for citizens, elected officials

Published: 04/08/2016 4:23PM
By: bradleyc


Lillian Salerno, deputy undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, provides remarks about Fort Valley State University's contributions to American agriculture during the 34th annual Ham and Egg Breakfast on April 5 in the Pettigrew Center.

Country ham, scrambled eggs and cheese grits filled the plates of more than 200 guests eager to hear from their elected officials during the 34th annual Ham and Egg Legislative Breakfast on April 5. The event regarded by many as a tradition, took place in Fort Valley State University's Pettigrew Center.

U.S. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-Albany), Deputy Undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Lillian Salerno, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Gary Black and Senator John F. Kennedy are a few of the elected officials that provided remarks and updates.

Some of the updates discussed included House Bill 579, which provides rules of the road for highway vehicles including agriculture equipment. Another update included Senate Bill 367 that allows criminal offenders a chance to have a successful transition back into society.

In addition to updates from elected officials, Salerno shared remarks about FVSU's role in American agriculture.

"We recruit heavily from the school for our positions in D.C. and in our agricultural research centers around the country. It [FVSU] plays a leading role as one of the premiere 1890 institutions. Salerno also encouraged FVSU to continue to keep producing top-notch scientists and agriculturalist so the U.S. Department of Agriculture can continue to hire them as the next generation of thought leaders for American agriculture.

The breakfast concluded with a $7,500 check presentation from Sam Welborn III, vice chair of the Flint Energies Board of Directors. Welborn presented the check to FVSU President Dr. Paul Jones and Rep. Calvin Smyre, who also serves as chair of the FVSU Foundation.

Moreover, the breakfast commemorated 100 years of the Ham and Egg Show. In 1916 Otis O'Neal, Houston County Extension agent, held the first Ham and Egg Show with 39 hams and 17 dozen eggs. In 1982, Dr. Glenwood Hill revived the Ham and Egg Show with the Ham and Egg Breakfast at Fort Valley State University.

For more information about Cooperative Extension Programs or upcoming events from the College of Agriculture, visit ag.fvsu.edu. or call (478) 825-6296.