April 5, 2011

Letter to Georgia legislature organized and likely written by Bryan Tolar of the anti-enforcement coalition and signed by many users of black-market labor opposing passage of our legislation

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News article on letter HERE

From: “Bryan Tolar”
Georgia Agribusiness CouncilGeorgia Agribusiness Council
1655 South Elm Street
Commerce, GA 30529-2700
(706) 336-6830

Date: April 4, 2011 3:45:08 PM EDT

Subject: Immigration Reform vs. Georgia’s Economy

Dear Representative –

The Georgia Agribusiness Council is pleased to have worked with a broad coalition of business interests to offer the attached letter stating our concerns with the direction of state immigration reform legislation. In a 24 hour period, 270 businesses, large and small, from all across Georgia asked to be included in this letter to you, our elected leadership. Other business interests may weigh in on this issue as well as the week progresses. Our economy is at stake. The letter is attached for your review.

We ask that you work with employers, law enforcement, elected officials and government entities to study the immigration reform efforts in other states and communicate the need for a federal remedy to a federal challenge. Thank you for your consideration.


Bryan Tolar, President

Georgia Agribusiness Council


April 4, 2011

Dear Representatives:

Thank you for the time and effort you have devoted to the difficult topic of illegal immigration in Georgia. We especially appreciate the opportunity to share our concerns with legislators throughout this process.

While the business community agrees that this issue must be addressed, we encourage you to consider both the cost and the overall impact on Georgia’s economy of the provisions included in the bills that come before you in these final days.

The General Assembly wisely requires fiscal notes for bills with financial impact, yet none have been produced for the bills addressing this issue – one with significant impact on business and agriculture as well as state and local government. In addition, a recent report estimated that employers nationally spent $95 million in 2010 to comply with the E-Verify system, concluding that it costs small businesses an average of $127 per new hire to comply with the E-verify process. While we encourage all businesses to abide by Federal law and only hire legally documented workers, our state’s unemployment rate still leads the nation, and we should look for alternatives to adding new costly mandates that could discourage legal job creation. Mandating the E-Verify program will harm Georgia’s economy, not enhance it.

We must also weigh the unintended potential cost of losing major conventions, tourism, and international business opportunities. We have worked for decades to build Georgia into an international business and tourism destination and today our products are welcomed around the world. The needed expansion of the Savannah Port is a testament to the success of selling our goods worldwide. We urge you to consider the message we send to the foreign investors and workers that are vital to our success on the global stage.

Finally, we would also encourage a more thorough discussion of programs implemented in other states – some are creating their own verification programs and others have chosen to accept a valid driver’s license. Whatever verification program you decide is best for Georgia, we hope you will consider using an incentive for compliance as opposed to an unfunded mandate.

It is unfortunate that this matter has fallen to the state as a result of inaction on the part of the Federal government and we have appreciated having the opportunity to be a part of the discussion. Please know that the Georgia business community will continue to advocate in Washington D.C. for a unified and balanced approach to immigration reform, including manageable guest-worker visa programs. We hope that you will consider the points made above, and are confident that your final decisions will keep in mind what is best for our economically-strapped businesses and industries, large and small, that are so vital to our economy.


Marty McLendon, Owner 1-800 RR Emergency, LLC

Jim McLeod 4 P Farms

Bob Delbridge 404-CUT-TREE

Linda Lighthill, Owner A Passion for Pruning

Roger Flota, Owner Abbey View Farms

Jimmy Adams, Owner Adams-Briscoe Seed Company

Jon M. Harris, Vice President AgSouth Farm Credit

Dan Bremer AgWorks, Inc.

Duke Lane Jr. All Lane Southern Orchards

Joseph A. Manning, Owner Allen Pritchett & Bassett LLP

Richard Bare, President / CEO Arbor-Nomics, Inc.

Mark Keightley Artistic Landscapes, Inc.

Deana Price Atlanta Pinestraw

Pete Waller Atlantic Insulation & Refractory

Van Murphy B.C.T. Gin Co., Inc.

Doug Baker, Owner Baker Environmental Nursery Inc.

Joe Barrentine, Owner Barrentine Poultry Equipment Installations, Inc.

Anthony Bentley Bartow Farm & Lawn, Inc.

Johnny Bell, President Bell Irrigation Pipe & Supply LLC

Alan & Vana Bennett Ben-Wood Harvest

Tim McMillan Berrien Peanut Co.

Lamar Vickers Berrin County Farm Bureau

Jason C. Berry, Owner Berry Farms

Scott Reinblatt Big Blue Sky Landscaping

Stu Brown, Owner Bio Lawns Inc.

Cale Blocker, Owner Blocker Farming Enterprises LLC.

Jason C. Berry Blueberry Farms of Ga.

Jim Bone, Owner Bone Agricultural Consulting

Brandon DeWitt Brandon DeWitt Farms

Robert B. Brannen Brannen Farms

James A Brannen Brannen’s Tobacco Whses.

Marty McLendon, Owner Bullneck Contracting, LLC

Rich Chastain C & L Packing

Michael C. Staley, President C&M Residential Services

Joyce Calhoun Calhoun Produce, Inc.

Ben Carter, Owner Carter Land Services LLC

Adair Chambers-Peterson Chambers Brothers Blueberries, LLC

Jimmy Champion, Owner Champion Groves, Inc.

Donald Chase, Owner Chase Farms, Inc.

Scott Chatham President Chatham Landscape Services

Hardy Kaplan, Owner Chattahoochee Home & Garden

Sam Watson Chill C Farms LLC

Tim Thoms, Owner Christmas Acres

John Newman Classic Landscapes, Inc

David Cleveland, Owner Cleveland Organics

David Cleveland , Owner Cleveland Tree Farm

Joe Burns Color Burst

Chuck Cartledge Cotton Partners, LLC

Larie W. Cooper Courtland Mini Storage

Terry Danforth, Owner Danforth Farms

Jay Stephens Davis Landscape

Tony Eaton Delta Fresh Sales, Inc.

Randy Dewitt Dewitt Farms

Randy Dewitt DeWitt Produce Co., Inc.

Paul Chappell, Owner Diversified Trees, Inc.

Buck Anderson Dixie Peanut Co.

Jaclyn D. Ford Dixon Farm Supply

Jaclyn D. Ford Dixon Gin Co., Inc.

Joe M. Dixon, Owner Dixon Seed & Chemical

Gregory M. Walker Docia Farms

Philip Grimes Docia Farms Inc.

Jane Grimes Docia Farms Partnership

Paul and Angie Bagley Downey Trees, Inc.

Jon Ladson Dykes Farms

Alice Adams Early County Gin, Inc.

Wendell T. Ebbett Ebbett Business Solutions

Gail Williams, Office Manager Eddie’s Landscaping, Inc.

James Myrick, Owner Edward L. Myrick Produce

Michele Ambler, Owner Elegant Elements

Roy Embry, Owner Embry Farm Service

Roy Embry, Owner Embry Transport Inc.

Charles B. Evans, Jr., Owner Evans Farms

Tom Shannon Ewing Irrigation

Linda Exum Exum Farms

Linda Exum Exum Pecan Company

Jon Ladson Farmers Gin & Peanut Co. Inc.

Jon Ladson Farmers Trucking Co. Inc.

Wayne Cloud, Owner Fertigation Products & Equipment Co.

F. W. (Bill) Fogg III, Owner Fogg Farm

Jon Ladson Fowler Farms

Lee Bonecutter, Vice President FPL Food LLC

Phil Walters Frank A. Smith Nurseries

Bill Franklin, Owner Franklin Battery and Supply Company

Stephen Feitshans Garden Fresh LLC

Susan Gworek Garden Wonders, Inc.

John Hausler, Owner GardenBuilder

Gary H. Paulk, Owner Gary H. Paulk Farms

Gene Mobley, Owner Gene Mobley Investments

Bryan Tolar, President Georgia Agribusiness Council

Richey Seaton Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Cotton

Steve Mullis, President Georgia Blueberry Growers Association

Zippy Duvall, President Georgia Farm Bureau

Charles Hall Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association

Chris Butts Georgia Green Industry Association

Chris Keith, Owner Georgia Horticulture

Don Koehler Georgia Peanut Commission

Charles Griffin Georgia Pork Producers Association

Franklin Burch, President Georgia Tobacco Growers Association

Mary Kay Woodworth, Executive Director Georgia Urban Ag Council

Billy Thomas Georgia Vegetable Co., Inc.

Charles Hall Georgia Watermelon Association

Billy Phillips Gerrald INC.

Terry L. Gerrald Gerralds Vidalia Sweet Onions Inc.

Tony Gibson, Owner Gibson Landscape LLC

Pat Cooney Golf Club of Georgia

Donny Wilson Grande Creek Blueberry Farm

Marta and Mike Garland Greenland Landscape & Masonry

Mike Holland Greenline Distributors

Andrew Grimes Owner Grimes Farms

Paula Dodson H.C. Dodson Farms

Bob Hammock, Owner Hammock Landscapes Inc.

Alex Hardy, Owner Hardy Farms Peanuts

Gerard Krewer Harriett’s Bluff Farm, LLC

Jon Davis, Plant Manager Hart-AgStrong, LLC

Richard C. Sloan Helena Chemical Co.

Jim McCutcheon, CEO HighGrove Partners, LLC

Jamey Adams HighMark Seed Company, LLC

Brandon Houseman, Owner Houseman Pest Control, Inc.

Ken Anders Howard Fertilizer and Chemical

Gary H. Paulk, President Irwin County Farm Bureau

John V. Bennett Jab-J Corp dba Alma Sunbelt Blueberries

Jacob W. Paulk, Owner Jacob W. Paulk Farms Inc.

J.W. Paulk Jr., Owner Jacob W. Paulk Jr. Farms

Janet Humareda John Bowen Turf Company

Mike Mobley John Mobley & Sons

Bob Krueger, Owner Krueger Family Farms

L.G. Herndon Jr., Owner L.G. Herndon Jr. Farms, Inc.

Jon Ladson Ladson Farms

Mark Thelen Landmark Landscapes

Mike Easter, President Landscape Plus

Mark Sanchez, CEO Lane Pecans and Vegetables

Mark Sanchez, CEO Lane Southern Orchards

Ron Lee , Owner Lee Farms, GP

Buddy Leger, Owner Leger and Son, Inc.

Rick LeVan LeVan Irrigation

Ed Walker Lewis Taylor Farms

Dee Ritter Little River Produce LLC

Neal Kicklighter LTF Greenhouses

Eric Lutz, Owner Lutz Berry Farm

Marty McLendon, Owner MAI Services, LLC

Marty McLendon, Owner MAI Trucking, LLC

Joe Jenkins, President Manicure Touch Lawn Care

Matthew Kiefer, President Matthew’s Strawing Service

Ron Lee McCleskey Cotton Company

Jeff McKinley, President McKinley Group, Inc.

Marty McLendon, Owner McLendon Acres, Inc.

Craig McManus, Owner McPlants

Patrick Yi MediPurpose, Inc.

Steve Meeks, Owner Meeks’ Farms & Nursery, Inc.

John Lapide Melon 1 Inc

Moises Desantos MEM Landscaping, LLC

James Allen Miles, Sr. Miles Berry Farm

Micheal E. Miles Miles Brothers Timber

James Allen Miles, Jr Miles Sunbelt Blueberry Corp.

Ken Roberts Miller County Gin Company

Richard Minor, Owner Minor Brothers Farm Partnership

Richard Minor, Owner Minor Produce Inc.

Marty McLendon, Owner MMTM, LLC

Mark Mobley Mobley Gin Company

Jerry Lee, Human Resource & Environmental Services Manager Monrovia Nursery Cairo

Tim Moore, Owner Moore Farms

Linda Nall, Owner Nall Blueberry Farm

Tyron Spearman, Executive Director National Peanut Buying Points Association

Bob Morrissey National Watermelon Association, Inc.

Jody C. Chumbler, President NatureCare Landscape

Rick Upchurch NatureScapes

Steve Murray, President New Leaf Landscape Services

Pete Knapik New Life Landscapes, Inc.

Jake Daughtrey New River Produce LLC.

Kevin Paulen Oasis Landscape and Irrigation

Scott Hart, Jr. Ochlockonee Ridge Farms

Walter McDaniel Okefenokee Botanicals Inc.

Pete Waller Ottawa Farms

Rick Kaldrovics, President Outside Landscape Group, LLC

Jason C. Berry Patriot Gas Co.

Ben Copeland, Jr. Patten Seed Company

David Cleveland , Owner Peach Palette

Al Pearson, Owner Pearson Farm

Tammy Pearson Pearson Landscapes, Inc

Rusty McDaniel, General Manager Pinecliff Planters Cotton Gin, LLC

Bob McLeod Pineview Peanut Co.

Dwayne D. Halbig Pinnacle Environmental Corp.

Timmy Pittman, Owner Pittman Family Farms

Tom Delaney, Director of Government Affairs PLANET – The National Landcare Network

Rachel S. Mizell Poultry Health, LLC

Rachel S. Mizell Poultry Housekeeping Services, Inc.

Clayton Danforth Quality Feedstuffs Inc.

Bill Brim Quality Produce Inc.

Deborah Kelley, Owner R. G. Kelley Co

Ed Cooper Rainey Creek Farm

Michael Davis, Owner Raintree Lawn and Garden

Paul Long, Owner Redbud Lane Nursery

Allen Coleman, Manager Roche Farm and Garden

Mike Ford, Owner Royal Landscaping

Garett Backman Rubicon L.C.

Sam Williams Sam Williams Advertising

Floyd Tanner Sandy Bottom Berries LLP

Richard Saul Saul Nurseries

Pete Wilkerson, Partner Scapes

Tim Floyd, General Manager Sconyers Gin & Whse. Co.

Scott & Janice Craft, Owners Scott & Janice Craft Farms

Allen Miles Sergio n Diaz

J. Simmons Simmons Farms Inc.

Jenny Hardgrave, Owner / President Simply Flowers, Inc.

Don Smith, Managing Partner Simply Green Lawn Care

William H Smith, III & Steve Healy, Owners Smith-Healy Farms, Inc.

Ken Morrow, Owner Sod Atlanta, Inc.

Dixie Speck, Owner Solterra Landscape

Lamar Beamon Southeast Lime & Stone Co.

Dusty Findley Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association, Inc.

Kent Fountain & Roger Branch, President / CEO & Vice President Southeastern Gin & Peanut

Steve McMillan Southern Grace Farms Inc.

John Boudrot, President Southern Sod Sales, Inc.

Edward J. Klaas, II, Owner Southern Sprinkler Systems, LLC

Kent Hamilton Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetables

Brad Glen Sowega Cotton, Inc.

Bill Brim Springhill Produce

David Youssi, Owner / President Sprinkler Solutions, Inc.

Steve Montgomery Steve Montgomery and Company

Charles Cowart Still Pond Inc.

Lorne Stipe, Owner Stipe Comtronics

Ben Strickland, Owner Strickland Farms

Jon Ladson Stripling Farms

Elam Rusk Sumter County Producers Gin LLC

Chip Blalock, Executive Director Sunbelt Ag Expo

Phil Walters Sunbelt Turf

John R. Duval SunnyRidge Berry Center

Tony Bass, Owner Super Lawn Trucks

Andy Stone Superior Berries Company

Andy Stone Superior Pine Products Company

Ben Copeland, Jr. Super-Sod

Alan Parrish Sweet Dixie Melon Co.

Ronald Deal Sweet Vidalia Farms

Swede Nelson Sweetwater Irrigaion

Jeff Wainwright Taylor Orchards

Jason Royal, Access Control Manager The Fence Guys

Jimmy Hill, Owner The Hill Group, Inc.

Hugh Glidewell The Landscape Guys, LLC

Joe Edmonson The Other Side, Inc.

Rick Smith The Pruning Guru

Ken Morrow The Turfgrass Group, Inc.

James Kelley The Yard Man Inc.

Tim Thoms, Owner Thoms Trees and Plants, Inc.

Paul Massey Tifton Turf Farms

Paul Miller, Owner Timberline Nursery

Jeff Beasley, Owner Transplant Nursery, Inc.

Jason M. Harris & Jimmie Turbeville, General Manager Tri County Gin, Inc.

Tim Thoms TTPF, LLC

John Boudrot Turfmovers

Gary A. Branch Ty Ty Peanut Company

Todd Guilmette, President Unique Environmental Landscape

Toby Moore USA Poultry & Egg Export Council

Tom Daughtrey Valdosta Plant Co. Inc.

Johnny H. Veazey, President Veazey Plant Company, Inc.

Carlos Vickers Vickers Farms Berrien County

Howard & Kim Brown, Owners W. Howard Brown Farms

Sherry Waldrop Waldrop’s Lawn Care, Inc.

Warren Bicknell, III, Owner Warbick Farms

John J. Kenna Water, Color & Stone Inc.

Wavell Robinson, Owner Wavell Robinson Farms, LLC

Wayne & Paulette Lee, Owner Wayne Lee Farms

Everett Williams, Owner WDairy LLC

Bobby N. Webb Webb Farms

Greg Mullis West End Blueberries

Bob Delbridge Wholesale Wood Products

Albert Wildes, Owner Wildes’ Blueberry Farm

Richard Best, President Wildlife Foods Ltd., LLC

Blake Williams, Owner Williams Blueberry Farm