Jarrard speaks on National Guard mission to GFB

alt

Joe Jarrard, head of the Georgia Army National Guard, speaks at the 75th annual convention of the Georgia Farm Bureau.

From Staff Reports
news@newnan.com
Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard talked about the Georgia Army National Guard and its work at the annual meeting of the Georgia Farm Bureau.
Jarrard’s father, the late Tom Jarrard, was born in Newnan. Joe Jarrard, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard, gave GFB members an overview of the Army National Guard’s many programs.
Georgia Farm Bureau held its 75th annual convention from Dec. 2-4.
Jarrard pointed out that the U.S. National Guard was set to celebrate its 376th anniversary on Dec. 13. “The Minutemen, the farmer-citizen, is what started our militia, so we have a common thread there,” he said.
Of the 11,100 soldiers who serve in Georgia’s Army National Guard, only about 1,500 are full-time employees, Jarrard said. The remaining troops are guardsmen who serve one weekend a month and a couple of weeks in the summer.
Although most members are weekend warriors, Jarrard said National Guard members have never been as prepared as they are today.
“It’s true in Iraq and it’s true in Afghanistan. As you tour the battlefield you can’t tell the difference between active, reserve or national guard, mainly because everyone’s been over there multiple times during this war on terror the past 10 years,” Jarrard said.

In addition to being trained to respond to natural disasters, biological threats and search-and-rescue missions, two teams of Army National Guard soldiers have served in Afghanistan as part of Agribusiness Development Teams, and a third team is scheduled to deploy this year.

These teams, members of the 78th Homeland Response Force, are working with Afghan farmers to help them improve their farming practices.

“Afghanistan is way behind us in terms of farming technology. While I was serving in Afghanistan I saw a man plowing with a donkey – attached to a stick, weighed down by a rock,” Jarrard said.

“These teams also include female soldiers who teach the ladies how to raise chickens. It’s a great effort our soldiers are doing,” he said.

Jarrard praised Georgians for the appreciation they show military members.

“About 80 percent of the soldiers in the Army Guard joined after 9/11. They didn’t join wondering if they would have to serve. They joined knowing they would have to serve,” Jarrard said. “While we hope and pray for more peace, we have to be prepared.”

Other speakers at the Jekyll Island conference included Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black. More than 1,700 Georgia farmers and agribusiness leaders from across the state attended the meeting, which included a trade show and commodity conferences.

Tom Jarrard’s mother, Virginia Trammell Jarrard, spent her childhood on a Coweta County farm between Moreland and Luthersville. Her husband, Bonnell Jarrard, was a textile executive and the nephew of Juan M. Jarrard and Henry Grady Jarrard, who pastored Baptist churches in Coweta and Meriwether counties.

Tom Jarrard grew up in Gainesville, was a Vietnam veteran and returned to Gainesville where he practiced law for years. He died in 2007.


More Local

Governor's widow to be buried today

The widow of Gov. Ellis Gibbs Arnall will be buried in Newnan today. Ruby Hamilton Arnall, 96, Friday. Her funeral service will be today at ... Read More


Fighting fires was CCFD chief’s dream

“I loved it,” said recently retired Coweta Fire Chief Johnny Teeters. “It was a passion that hit me in the back of the hea ... Read More


Buy One, Give One

Local clinic receives $10,000 grant

Local New York Life agent Warren Budd, with the help of his colleagues, recently secured a $10,000 Community Impact Grant from the company t ... Read More


Regional leaders taking fresh look at TSPLOST

The regional TSPLOST for this region was rejected by voters five years ago, but new legislation has regional leaders looking at options for ... Read More


NTH Turns 150

Historic local newspaper photos sought

The Newnan Times-Herald is asking readers to share stories related to the newspaper’s history as the Times-Herald’s 150th birthd ... Read More

Department of revenue Chief shares info on tax fraud crackdowns

The Georgia Department of Revenue saved Georgia taxpayers over $33 million in fraudulent tax returns in 2014, according to Revenue Commissio ... Read More