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Mornings unPHILtered - Bring agriculture into the 21st Century
Gary Black, ag commissioner hopeful, wants to modernize state department
Gary Black Mug
    The first guest on Wednesday's “Mornings unPHILtered” show was Gary Black, who is running for the commissioner of Agriculture seat, which is being vacated by long-time commissioner Tommy Irvin, who is retiring.
    When asked by host Phil Boyum why he would want to run for the seat, he answered very simply: His whole life has been farming.
    Black said its time to make many changes to bring the state's agriculture industry into the 21st Century. He said the state's farmers need even more support from the Department of Agriculture as technology and the economy are changing so rapidly. Black grew up in Commerce, Ga., and served in the FFA and Ag-Ed while in high school.
    He served as the state FFA president in his senior year. He went on to the University of Georgia and then went on to work for the Georgia Farm Bureau. Over the past 20 years, Black has served on almost every Georgia farm council and organization that exists.
    Talking about responsible government, he said ensuring that the food we eat is safe is his number one concern. Politicians and regulatory agencies are in charge of consumer protection, and he thinks that while the impact of government on people's lives should be reduced, this is one area that no compromise should be made.
    Black said he believes the supervision of our food supplies must be something that government keeps a tight lid on.
    Black said one of the issues in the department is many of the agricultural inspectors don't have the knowledge and skills of the people and the farms that they are charged to oversee. Black said the level of professionalism must be improved as the dangers and challenges our agricultural industries become even more challenging.
    Black will speak to the Republican Party tonight at RJ's at 7 p.m., and welcomed any and all interested residents to come to the event.
    Go to his website at for more information on his campaign. Black said he personally answers all of his “Twitter” or “Facebook” comments and questions. Black said he and his son put together his Web site and that there were no high-paid political consultants who did the work for him.
    Boyum next welcomed Statesboro Mayor Pro-Tem and City Councilman Will Britt. Britt said he is quite excited about his new position, and believes he'll serve the citizens of Statesboro well. Britt promised to improve the way the community supports Georgia Southern University, beyond the fundraising campaigns.
    Britt said the college area and the campus is an area where many Statesboro citizens don't regularly venture. He wants to consider bringing council meetings on campus, and toy hold meetings with Georgia Southern administrators and city management to work out more personal communications.
    Britt spoke of how GSU's 20,000 students can play a much larger role in what goes on in the entire community. One small example is pushing for the GSU Homecoming Parade to return to downtown Statesboro. Britt also said making GSU football games more than just a tailgating event is something that he thinks would be very easy to do if local businesses were to celebrate those days as well.
    Changing topics, Britt said Statesboro city planner Christian Lentz is working hard with his staff to update, revise and, if necessary, to re-write city codes to make those laws and regulations more in tune with current needs. He said he has a group of citizens working with him to take the codes out that don't make sense.
    On the subject of Sunday alcohol sales, Britt said city residents and businesses need to formally make proposals to the city council, and then following prescribed procedures, he and the rest of the city council will take up the measure.
    The next city council meeting is Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. on the 2nd floor of City Hall.
    “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at on
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