Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black will be the guest speaker at the spring commencement ceremony at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on May 4 at 6 p.m. in Gressette Gym on the ABAC campus.
Black began his career with the Georgia Farm Bureau where he headed the young farmer leadership development program. He served 21 years as president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, a chamber-type organization representing all aspects of Georgia’s food and fiber industry.
During his career, Black helped to establish AgriTrust of Georgia, a workers’ compensation insurance program for farmers and agricultural businesses. He has defended consistent policies throughout Georgia extending from private property rights to food safety, and from lower taxes to science-based environmental stewardship.
Black is an active supporter of agricultural programs that increase opportunities for young people. He serves in advisory capacities for 4-H and FFA. As a student, Black served as Georgia State FFA President in 1975-76.
Black earned a degree in agricultural education from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 1980 and is a past president of the college’s alumni society. He and his wife, Lydia, have two grown children, Ward and Caroline. Caroline was a student at ABAC 2007-2009.
The ABAC commencement ceremony will include the presentation of the prestigious George P. Donaldson award to the top graduate who participates in the event by ABAC Alumni Association Vice President Keith Rucker.
Approximately 260 students are expected to receive diplomas.