Rep. Jon Burns Named to Southern Legislative Conference Agriculture & Rural Development Committee

ATLANTA— House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced the appointment of state Representative Jon Burns (R-Newington) to the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) Agriculture & Rural Development Committee. As the presiding officer of the Georgia House of Representatives, Speaker Ralston is charged with selecting members to represent Georgia within SLC.

“This is a great opportunity to interact with legislators from the southeastern United States on issues which affect Georgia,” said Rep. Burns. “Rural Development opportunities are critical to improving the quality of life in our area, and I thank Speaker Ralston for this appointment.”

The oldest of the SLC standing committees, the Agriculture & Rural Development Committee’s agenda focuses on issues critical to the future of farming and farm communities. As the “engine of the economy,” agriculture constitutes a vital sector of the economies of most Southern states. A principal focus of the Committee’s work in the past several years has been rural development and rural communities. The Committee holds a series of sessions that investigates the differences and similarities between rural and urban America and how to begin to bridge the divides between these communities.

Recent Committee initiatives include rural housing, agriculture education, updates on international trade and agriculture, consolidation in the farm sector, state actions on animal welfare, and conservation and farm land preservation. Other issues in which the Committee has long-standing interest include the imported red fire ant, the status of the rural South, and food safety and security. The Committee has focused on the changing face of agriculture across America and conditions in the rural South. The status and future of rural communities is emerging as a major focus for the Committee’s current year. Additionally, the Committee works annually with public and private agencies, local and federal officials, and the land grant university system to assure the continued vitality of the region’s farm and rural communities.

Founded in 1947, the Southern Legislative Conference is the largest of four regional legislative groups operating under the Council of State Governments. The 15 SLC member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. By working together within the SLC and participating on its committees, Southern state legislative leaders are able to speak in a distinctive, unified voice to address the issues that affect their states and the greater region.

For more information about SLC and its Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, please click here.

Representative Jon Burns represents the citizens of District 159, which includes portions of Bulloch, Effingham, and Screven Counties. He was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2006 and is currently the Chairman of the Game, Fish, & Parks Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, and Transportation committees.