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Brannen honored as Ag Partner of Year
Luncheon wraps up Farm City Week
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Wendell Brannen was featured speaker for Friday’s Agribusiness Partner of the Year luncheon, but little did he know he would be the award recipient as well.
Brannen spoke about the joys and pitfalls of farming Friday during the event that brought Farm City Week to a close. The week’s events, including a Farm City Week breakfast Monday during which the Clarence Prince family was named Farm Family of the Year, were sponsored by Farm Bureau and the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce.
As he spoke during the meeting, Brannen, co-owner of Tillman and Brannen Farm Supply, he said he feels “truly blessed to have grown up on a farm.
“There’s something about the integrity of farm families that is very special to me,” he said.
He spoke about how former president Bill Clinton’s farm bill caused farmers to be “thrown out to the mercy of the world” and how farm subsidies are necessary. People who are not involved in farming fail to realize the necessity of subsidizing and that “other countries have been subsidizing agriculture for years.”
People not in the know are unaware of the extreme costs of farming. “Sometimes is appears that things are great on the farm, but that’s not always the case,” he said.
But the farm life remains wonderful, because “We still have the freedom of ownership and the choice to plant what we want,” he said.
He ended his speech with thanks to Bulloch County voters who approved the previous Special Purpose Local Option Sales tax that helped construct the Bulloch County Center for Agriculture, where the luncheon was held.
The building helped centralize several agriculture-related offices so farmers could visit one location to handle several items of business.
“This building is the greatest accomplishment of all” in Bulloch County’s agricultural history, he said.
After his speech, Bulloch County students read essays that won prizes in a local contest. The theme was “Georgia Farmers are my heroes because….”
Rhett Nichols, who won first prize, was not present; but Tanner Todd (second place), Matthew chance (third place) and Sara McCracken (fourth place) each read their own essay.
Then Brannen was surprised when he was named the 2011 Agribusiness Partner of the Year. The award included a gift of an agricultural painting by Olive Ann Groover, representing Bulloch County’s “past, present and future.”
After his humble and surprised response, Brannen stood once again and said “I don’t know anybody I would rather be associated with than the farm community. Farming is not a profession, it is a way of life. Thank you.”
Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee chairman Elliott Marsh said Farm City Week is an effort to “create a broader agriculture awareness in our community.” Aside from Farm City Week, the committee works all year towards that effort, he said.

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