Commodities Director Don McGough Receives 2017 Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award
Longtime Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Commodities Director Don McGough received the 2017 GFB Commodity Award during the GFB Commodity Conference, held Aug. 3 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus. One of the organization’s highest honors, the commodity award is given each year to honor individuals who have supported and promoted Georgia agriculture.
“I’ve known Don throughout my time being involved with Georgia Farm Bureau. His dedication to our farmer members through the years was evident by the relationships he has made with all the groups he has worked with,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “Don was an integral part of our organization’s success for nearly 40 years.”
McGough was born in Tifton and grew up in Lee County on his family’s farm, where they grew peanuts and corn and raised cattle and hogs. In his youth he was an active 4-H’er and in high school, McGough participated in FFA. As an FFA member, he raised boars, showed steers, participated in public speaking projects, and sang in the FFA Quartet.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia in 1977, McGough began working at Georgia Farm Bureau in the Field Services Department. After a brief stint at the organization’s state offices, he moved to GFB’s 10th District and was the district field representative. McGough briefly left GFB to work in agriculture research for DeKalb Seed in Edenton, North Carolina, but soon returned to GFB as a commodity specialist in the Commodities/Marketing Department in 1980.
In 1986 Don was named assistant director of the department and he was promoted to department director in 1997. McGough worked for six GFB Presidents: Emmett Reynolds, Bob Nash, Mort Ewing, Wayne Dollar, Zippy Duvall and Gerald Long. After 20 years as department director and 37 years of service to Georgia Farm Bureau, McGough retired on March 30.
“I relied heavily on Don’s leadership working with not only row crops but all commodity areas,” Duvall said. “I could always count on his professionalism and discretion when representing our organization with outside groups. Don was also an important part of the American Farm Bureau Farm Bill task force as we prepare for the 2018 Farm Bill.”
From livestock to specialty crops and row crops, at some point in his distinguished career McGough worked with all the various commodity groups. His greatest accomplishment as Commodities/Marketing department director was building excellent relationships with external agricultural organizations and the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commissions. Providing a reliable link to these external groups back to Georgia Farm Bureau helped all aspects of the industry thrive.
“I’ve always said that if I was in any county in the state and had a flat tire or needed anything, I knew someone well enough I could call,” Don said. “Building relationships through Farm Bureau not only gave me professional contacts, but gave me some good friends.”
McGough was the recipient of the Georgia Peanut Commission’s Special Award in 2017 for his contributions to the peanut industry. He was recognized by the Georgia Aquaculture Association for his efforts to help establish that group in the early 1990s. He is past president of the Georgia Ag Economics Association. McGough was also instrumental in the formation of the Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market program in 1986.
McGough is an avid fisherman and a certified “Memphis in May” barbecue judge. He is a longtime member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Bolingbroke and was recently selected to serve as a deacon. McGough has been married to his wife, Patti, for 42 years and has three grown sons: Jon, Alan and Patrick.
GFB is a membership-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving as the voice of Georgia farmers and rural Georgia since 1937. GFB, Georgia’s largest farm organization, promotes Georgia commodities and offers legislative representation to ensure Georgia’s farming future. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors.
GFB membership is open to the public and offers a wide variety of benefits to its members including insurance and discounts for health services, travel and family entertainment. Becoming a GFB member helps support local farmers and ensures Georgians continue to have access to locally grown, high-quality food.
For more information about GFB membership or to join, visit www.gfb.org.