In late July, the Commodity Commission Ex-Officio Committee met to make appointments to the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) board of directors. GCC Vice Chairman Matt Coley, a cotton and peanut farmer from Vienna; and director Steven Meeks, a cotton, peanut, tobacco and timber producer from Screven, were both reappointed to another three-year term on the Commission’s board of directors.
Coley and his father operate Coley Farms. The Coleys also operate Coley Gin & Fertilizer, a cotton gin and peanut buying point that has been operating since 1945. Coley has degrees from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. He spent time in Washington as a staffer for Senator Saxby Chambliss and was instrumental in developing the 2008 farm bill.
Coley holds leadership positions in many cotton organizations, including serving as a member of the National Cotton Council’s Sustainability Task Force. He has served on the Georgia Cotton Commission board since 2012 and as vice chairman since 2017. Coley was a member of the Leadership Georgia class of 2016 and serves as a member of the National Peanut Buying Points Association board. He and his wife have two daughters who attend Crisp Academy, where Coley serves on the school board.
When asked why it was important to him to be involved with the Georgia Cotton Commission, Coley said, “As a fourth-generation cotton producer, one of my top priorities is working to make sure that the next generation has the opportunity to continue producing cotton in the future. The work of the Georgia Cotton Commission helps ensure this by utilizing the $1/bale investment from Georgia cotton producers for research, education and promotion. It is a great honor to be able to help steer Commission-funded projects that will not only help cotton growers today, but also benefit the next generation of Georgia cotton producers.”
Meeks operates Nine Run Farms and serves as operations manager for FMR Burch Farms. After graduating from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (UGA CAES), Meeks worked for Congressman then Senator Saxby Chambliss as well as the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and was a key staff member during the drafting, passage and implementation of two farm bills.
Meeks serves on numerous cotton industry boards and has served on the Georgia Cotton Commission board since 2012. He serves as a trustee for Leadership Georgia, of which he was a member of the 2012 class, and on the UGA CAES Dean’s Advisory Council. Meeks has served the people of Appling, Brantley, Pierce, and Wayne counties as a State Representative since 2018. In the General Assembly, he is a member of the Agriculture & Consumer Affairs; Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications; and Intragovernmental Coordination Committees. Meeks and his wife, the former Joy Burch, have one son, John William.
Meeks said of his reappointment, “I am honored to have been reappointed to the Georgia Cotton Commission Board of Directors. Cotton is Georgia’s number one row crop, and the work that Commission does in research, promotion and education is instrumental to the continued sustainability, both financially and environmentally, of cotton production in Georgia and will keep this economically important crop in Georgia for generations to come.”
The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about this and other topics, call 478-988-4235 or visit www.georgiacottoncommission.org.
Source: Georgia Cotton Commission