Annual Ham and Egg Legislative Breakfast serves as platform to discuss Georgia agriculture

Published By: ChaNaè Bradley April 19, 2017

Fort Valley State University president Dr. Paul Jones (center) along with Dr. Govind Kannan, dean of FVSU’s College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology (far left) and Mark Latimore Jr., FVSU Extension administrator (second to the left) pose with Georgia elected officials on April 12 in the Pettigrew Center for the 35th annual Ham and Egg Legislative Breakfast.

Country ham and southern style scrambled eggs brought more than 150 guests to Fort Valley State University’s Pettigrew Center on April 12 to converse about the latest issues affecting Georgia agriculture.

The event known as the annual Ham and Egg Legislative breakfast, attracted city council members, county commissioners, state representatives, congressmen, mayors and members of the community.

U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, representing Georgia’s second district, began legislative updates by discussing the impacts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget on rural Georgia and the agricultural industry.

“Never forget that a nation is only as strong as its ability to feed its people. Our country does that and more due to the agribusiness that emanates from rural communities in Georgia and across the nation,” Bishop said.

With a proposed 20 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bishop said such cuts would make it difficult for our country to continue to produce the highest quality and safest food and fiber in the industrialized world. Bishop ensured attendees that he is working diligently to make sure rural Georgia and the agriculture industry are regarded as vital components to a quality life.

In addition to Bishop, Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) shared updates concerning funding for land grant universities like FVSU.

“The very critical parts of our funding for experiment stations and Extension and our flagship competitive grants program are going to be protected. Smaller programs are going to be impacted, relatively speaking, but were going to be ok,” Ramaswamy said.

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary Black, president of the Georgia Farm Bureau Gerald Long, and Rep. Patty Bentley provided remarks and updates on the Farm Bill and recently passed legislation.

Dr. Paul Jones, president of Fort Valley State University, said he is grateful for the extraordinary relationship with our elected officials.

“It’s significant, when you look out and see the leadership of the state, the house and our congressional delegation.  There’s no substitution for having that kind of support on your campus on any given day,” Jones said.  

For more information about future programs hosted by FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program, call (478) 825-6296.