Gary Black's Campaign for Agriculture Commissioner got a big boost today from the announcement of a coalition of sportsmen from across Georgia who are going to work hard toward victory in the next 17 days.
The "Sportsmen for Black" group includes Governor Sonny Perdue, former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Tanner, and is Chaired by Cader Cox IV, of Riverview Plantation of Camilla. In all, Georgia sportsmen from over 54 counties have joined Gary's charter team.
"Gary's lifelong support for the Second Amendment, conservation and our hunting and fishing traditions are part of why he will make an excellent Agriculture Commissioner," said Coalition Chairman Cox. "He understands how much Georgia's economy and its sense of identity are dependent on sportsmen and the industries that support them."
Hunting and fishing are big business in Georgia. Their economic impacts include:
$3.5 billion in wildlife-associated spending by residents and non-residents
$20 million in revenue for conservation from hunting and fishing licenses each year
$112 million in hunting leases for farmers annually
$41.5 million per year for raised quail for release
Nationally, spending by hunters and anglers is more than the revenues of Microsoft, Google, eBay and Yahoo-combined (76 billion vs. 73.6 billion).
"Hunting and fishing are a part of Georgia's natural heritage and they are also critical to our economy and to our aggressive conservation efforts," Black said. "I am going to do everything I can to expand opportunities for sportsmen and for Georgia farmers and landowners who also benefit from these activities."
Black is a strong supporter of the Conservation Use Valuation Assessment program (CUVA) which has reduced the burden of ad valorem tax rates for farmers and landowners and protected millions of acres of Georgia land from development. He has also been an advocate for sound water management policies, riparian rights, and private property rights. He also supports the USDA's wildlife habitat incentive programs which will again be reviewed during 2012 Farm Bill debate in Washington.
As Agriculture Commissioner, Gary has proposed providing online licensing for breeders, kennels and stables associated with hunting facilities aimed at cutting the red tape involved in dealing with requirements of state government.
Sportsmen interested in joining the coalition may visit the campaign website.
Members of the Sportsmen for Gary Black include:
|Joseph||Ellenberg||St. Simons Island|
Gary Black is a Republican candidate for Georgia Agriculture Commissioner. His first experience as an advocate for agriculture came at age 17 when he served as Georgia FFA State President. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Agricultural Education in 1980. Gary began his career with the Georgia Farm Bureau in 1980 supervising the young farmer leadership development program for Georgia's largest general farm organization. In 1989, leaders of the Georgia Agribusiness Council selected Gary as its President--a role he held for 21 years. In 1993 Gary organized AgriTrust of Georgia, a self-funded workers compensation insurance fund that now provides coverage for over 17,000 agricultural employees in Georgia. Gary helped lead efforts to manage the Showcase of Southern Agriculture during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta and also co-managed the Georgia Food Industry Partnership, a food safety and quality research consortium, for the past 13 years. Gary and his wife Lydia, have two children, Ward and Caroline. Together, the family operates Harmony Grove Farms in Commerce, GA and are active members of the Maysville Baptist Church.