On Friday, April 11, 2014, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black together with Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (HBS), a Southeast-based law firm that serves the food and agriculture industry, welcomed outstanding local agriculture students, their parents and teachers to the Commissioner’s barn in Commerce, Georgia for a BBQ dinner. Organized to recognize outstanding 4-H and FFA members, the gathering gave students an opportunity to visit informally with the Commissioner about their projects and the future of Georgia agriculture. 

"Former FFA and 4-H members serve in corporate and community leadership positions through our state and country. Sometimes the field is agriculture. But in any endeavor experiences gained through these wonderful programs equip students for life," said Commissioner Black. "I am honored to join my friends at HBS in recognizing and supporting the next generation of Georgia leaders." Commissioner Black, who is a former State FFA President, and his wife Lydia, who is a former 4-H camp counselor, are both active supporters of Georgia's agricultural education programs. 

The following 4-H members were selected based on their outstanding projects in agriculture: Josiah Austinson (Decatur County), Stennes Austinson (Decatur County), Jarrett Cartee (Bulloch County), Jared Daniel (Oconee County), Dalton Green (Walker County), Hannah Morgan (Harris County), Oakley Perry (Jeff Davis County), David Rice (Hart County), Camilla Summerford (Lowndes County) and Claire Woodard (Morgan County).

The invited FFA members were 2014 FFA State Star Finalists and 2014 Proficiency Award Finalists, which are awards that recognize outstanding achievements in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs.  The following FFA members attended:
Quinten Brown (LaGrange), Haley Throne (Oglethorpe County), Dexter Roberts (White County)
Stuart Dehoff (Screven County), Faith Gilman (East Jackson), Matt Holton (Dawson County)
Brandon Martin (White County); Morgan Allen (White County), James Holton (Dawson County) Justin Daniel (North Oconee).

These FFA Finalists will also be recognized during the 86th Georgia FFA Convention in Macon, Georgia on May 1 - 3, 2014.

"Many of our attorneys are former FFA and 4-H members," said Alex Booth, a former 4-H and FFA member who is now the managing partner of HBS.  "This event gave us a great opportunity to recognize the next generation of agriculture leaders," Booth said.  Event participants had a wonderful time celebrating the students’ achievements while enjoying great food and the Commissioner and his family’s hospitality.

About HBS

Hall Booth Smith, P.C. is a Southeast-based law firm with Georgia offices in Atlanta, Athens, Columbus, Albany, Tifton, and Brunswick.  A proud supporter of FFA and 4-H, HBS's Agriculture Practice Group represents farmers, agribusinesses, and food distributors throughout the state.