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James Eugene Sutherland

Gene Sutherland
Date Honored: 09/17/2011

Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame

As chairman of Sutherland's Food Service, Inc., Gene Sutherland has aided the welfare of agriculture by buying from farmers and selling to Georgia consumers through the marketing of over 5,000 items of wholesale food product. The family-operated company has been recognized in "The Atlanta 10," which honors Atlanta's top privately owned companies. He is also part owner-franchisee of Eggland's Best, Inc. He runs a 525-acre commercial brood cow/calf operation with 125 head in Meriwether County, a 200- and 300-acre hay operation in Spalding and Coweta Counties, respectively, and a timber and row crop leasing operation on 2400 acres in Telfair County.

At one time, Sutherland was the largest egg producer in Georgia. He served as director of the Georgia Poultry Federation from 1971 to 1983, and held the positions of president and vice president from 1979 to 1983. He was director of the Georgia Egg Association from 1976 to 1994, serving as president in 1994. He was chairman of the board for the National Egg Company from 1982-1985 and director of the Georgia Poultry Improvement Association in 2001. Since the founding of the Georgia National Fair, Sutherland has served on the Agricultural Exposition Authority; first appointed to the position by Governor Joe Frank Harris. From 1983 to 1985, he served on the Board of Industry and Trade for Georgia. He has served since 1984 as director of the Georgia Agribusiness Council and was Chairman of the Board from 1989-1990.

Sutherland is a 32nd-degree Mason and a member of the Yaarab Shrine Temple. Sutherland serves on the governing boards for both Woodward Academy and Piedmont College.

Married to Joan for 56 years, they have four children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Sutherland and his family are active at the First Christian Church of Stockbridge, Georgia.