The election took place at the Council’s Annual Meeting February 4, 2014, at the Embassy Suites Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle was the keynote speaker at the event.
The mission of the Georgia Agribusiness Council is, "To advance the business of agriculture through economic development, environmental stewardship and education to improve the quality of life for all Georgians." More than 800 Georgia businesses are members of the Council, ranging from family farming operations to retail farm suppliers and from grain elevators to wholesale produce distributors.
Folsom, who began his Farm Credit career in 1985, has been with AgSouth since 2006. A graduate from the University of Georgia with a B.S.A. in Ag Economics, he received his M.B.A. from Mercer in 1992. In addition, Folsom has a B.A. in Arts from Truett McConnell College. He is a graduate of the Georgia Southern Ag Finance School, Clemson’s Southeastern Ag Lenders School, and the Georgia Agrileaders Forum Leadership Training. In addition to his association with the GAC, Folsom is a member of the Carroll County Cattlemen's Association, Ephesus Baptist Church, and the Carrollton Kiwanis Club. He is also co-owner of a cattle and hay operation.
According to GAC President Bryan R. Tolar, “Agribusiness in Georgia is an industry generating upwards of $76 billion in economic activity each year. Access to financial resources is key to this capital intensive sector both at the farm and business levels. We are proud to have Mr. Merrill Folsom of AgSouth Farm Credit as the newly elected Chairman of the GAC Board of Directors. AgSouth and other such lending institutions provide vital agribusiness services that help fuel this diverse and vibrant industry. We look forward to his leadership in our organization.“
Peebles commends Folsom, saying, “AgSouth is very proud of Merrill and his life-long service to agriculture. His dedication, enthusiasm and insight into agriculture and agricultural finance are well-suited to lead the GAC Board in promoting Georgia agriculture.”
AgSouth Farm Credit is one of the strongest agricultural lending cooperatives in the Southeast. As of December 31, 2013, AgSouth had more than 8,100 members, $1.59 billion in assets and $285 million in capital and allocated accounts.
AgSouth Farm Creditprovides loans for land, equipment and production agriculture;