Zippy Duvall Supports Family Farms


Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Good afternoon, I’m Zippy Duvall, I’m President of Georgia Farm Bureau and today I want to talk to you about the family farm here in the state of Georgia.  At our organization we have what we call a young farmer committee and have one person designated that works for us that works with young farmers all over the state. Why would we do that?

Well, one is agriculture needs leaders in the future, and we want to make sure that we provide leadership development programs for young farmers to come out and take advantage of so they can be the spokesman of agriculture in the future.  And two is we’re concerned about the average age of the farmer here in the state.  It continues to climb and what do we do to prevent that from happening.  And we want to make sure that we address that issue too.  The average age continues to climb  just like I said and we need to find ways to be able to pass on these farms to our younger people and we also need to encourage our people that are going to college to consider a career in agriculture.  We have a great university system with a great agricultural school up there that’s sitting there waiting on good young people to come and learn what they can learn to go back and put those to work at their farms.

Some of the issues that we deal with is estate taxes.  An estate tax is on the federal level is a huge issue to agriculture and to small business.  And we’re fighting the battle each and every day have for years, to try to eliminate estate taxes.  We think that’s the fair thing to do.  Our fathers and forefathers worked all their lives to put together farms and pay for them and pay taxes on them and we don’t think that a death of one of our fathers or mothers that we should have to go and sell part of that land to pay the inheritance tax on them.

So that bill is very important to us as an industry.  It’s important to us in Farm Bureau that we make sure that we try to correct that problem and we’re coming up on a season at the Capital that they’re going to make some decisions on that.  And we’re hoping that decision will be positive for Georgia agriculture.