A Question About Chris Irvin

March 21, 2014 8:44 am

by Erick · 31 comments

Can somebody answer this one for me?

Chris Irvin is running as the Democrats’ candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture.

O.C.G.A. § 2-2-2 states that “[t]he department shall be under the control and management of the Commissioner of Agriculture, who shall be a practical farmer“.

Irvin, when he qualified, listed himself this way:


Likewise, on his “about” page on his campaign website, Irvin states, “In 1999, I started my own business of Deercourt Enterprises focusing on construction and development.”

In other words, he is very clearly not a “practical farmer” and does not claim to be a “practical farmer.” So how can he be qualified under Georgia law to be Commissioner of Agriculture.

Any idea?

Lea Thrace March 21, 2014 at 8:55 am

What does “practical” farmer mean? How is that defined?

Also, how has this provision been enforced/verified with previous Commissioners?

Salmo March 21, 2014 at 9:20 am

There have only been two in the past 45 years. Tommy Irvin farmed (I believe it was chickens) and Gary Black owns a cattle farm outside Commerce.

Before that, there wouldn’t have been any shortage of qualified farmers to run for Ag Commissioner.

Doctor Strangelove March 21, 2014 at 10:35 am

There are statutes in other states that also reference the term “practical farmer,” but there has never been a Georgia case or statute that actually defines the term. It’s nebulous, at absolute best, and in this day and age, completely outdated.

This is just Erick trying to rabble rouse. Aces.

Ed March 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

No idea but this is a law that should be changed… for a variety of reasons.

Doctor Strangelove March 21, 2014 at 10:33 am

A-men. This would be like the Texas Railroad Commissioner having to be a Conductor- just because it’s named one thing doesn’t mean anything.

General Jack D. Ripper March 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Or the Attorney General having to be an attorney! In the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress, what a crazy idea!

Funny, when Democrats violate the law, the problem is the law (even if it worked for them in the past). I assume that if the Republicans had a candidate who was not a “practical farmer,” they’d give that person a pass too.

Doctor Strangelove March 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm

But the difference is that the Attorney General only deals with lawsuits and legal issues. The Ag Commissioner doesn’t exclusively deal with actual agriculture. I don’t see a requirement for the Ag Commissioner to know about oil/gas or weights and measures. Nor food safety.

Ellynn March 21, 2014 at 9:20 am

SO… some one like Charlie, (unless he owns a farm), could not run for the post, even though he knows more about the state of Ag politics then an average farmer.

Salmo March 21, 2014 at 9:21 am

All he would need to do is grow some vegetables in his back yard and go sell them at the local farmers market a few times a year and he would qualify.

Dave Bearse March 21, 2014 at 9:23 am

Wasn’t our current Ag Commissioner’s principally employed as a lobbyist when he ran for office?

Salmo March 21, 2014 at 9:30 am

The requirements say nothing about your primary source of income. It just says you have to be a practical farmer. I’d say this qualifies as practical:


David C March 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

If someone does things like planting crops at the wrong time of year or selling at too high a price, would that make them an impractical farmer, and thus ineligible?

xdog March 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

I bet the usage of ‘practical’ is opposed to ‘theoretical’. Gotta keep those pointy heads in their place.

Will Durant March 21, 2014 at 9:53 am

How does being a farmer prepare you to investigate the intricacies of putting 17 gallons of gasoline into a 15 gallon tank?

Doctor Strangelove March 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

Oh man, Erick’s on a kick. I really love how you’re spending your time attempting to use your law degree, telling people things that are complete and utter lies.

Like, hey. I read your Red State article where you claimed that Jason Carter broke the law by attending a fundraiser where all of the money went to the DPG. Perchance have you ever actually read the law, because OCGA § 21-5-35(b)(3) is incredibly clear that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Honestly, I don’t know why we pay attention to you.

Jon Lester March 21, 2014 at 11:02 am

It’s true that other people with law degrees are actually practicing law, and not in media careers borne of “wingnut welfare,” but we should remember that it’s only human nature for one to adopt the habits of one’s enablers, when that’s who butters the bread.

Having said that, we should also remember that Erick bears some responsibility for getting Saxby Chambliss into Congress.

Blake March 21, 2014 at 10:40 am

The law is a ass.

Mrs. Adam Kornstein March 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

Does Tree Farmer count? I believe he has one.

Will Durant March 21, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Actually many Georgians use this very logic in reducing their property taxes as farms. Channel 5 reported back a couple of years ago that then state Transportation Board Chairman Rudy Bowen was saving around $200,000 per year in property taxes as a “tree farmer”. His multi-million dollar estate in Gwinnett did indeed have trees on it.

objective March 21, 2014 at 11:51 am

a practical farmer could be one who lets others farm, to capitalize on efficiencies, and just asks a few questions when he visits the farmstand

Ellynn March 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm

and gets the tax credit…

griftdrift March 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

If only the Secretary Of State statutes had a “practical administrator” requirement.

South Fulton Guy March 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Wow Grift you beat me to the punch. Well said – I am glad that there is someone besides me that does not unconditionally support Brian Kemp in spite of his failures – just because he has an “R” next to his name. One wonders if there would be so many fails if Douglas MacGinnitie had won instead.

greencracker March 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm

How about an impractical farmer? Builds greenhouses and doesn’t use them, grows things nobody wants to eat, like beets?

Blake March 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Hey, roasted fresh beets are delicious. Don’t blame beets for the suck imposed on them by canning.

No, I am not Dwight Schrute’s flack.

Darby March 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm

The trial court’s order in the 1994 case of Harris v. Cleland, Superior Court of Fulton County, CAFN E29598 may be able to answer the question. I am for the Republican, but Republicans should know this decision before they start too far down this path.

Blake March 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Fascinating. Might you be able to save me some time and provide a link?

Doctor Strangelove March 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I don’t have a link, but according to my research, it invalidated the requirement that Erick is so proudly trumpeting.

Lea Thrace March 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm

You answered my question by providing that information. Gold star! 12 points to Gryffindor.

Jane March 22, 2014 at 9:58 am

Was sharon harris libertarian a farmer?

Romegaguy March 25, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Erick also believes that goat fornicators should be Federal Judges

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