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The Southeast Produce Council announced Dec. 8 that Tommy Irvin, Georgia's longtime commissioner of agriculture, will receive its 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award this March.

He will be honored during the council’s annual retail and foodservice conference and exposition, scheduled for March 3-5 in Orlando, FL. The award will be presented Saturday, March 5, during the keynote luncheon.

Mr. Irvin’s tenure as the longest serving commissioner of agriculture in the United States spans more than 41 years of a 54-year-plus career in public service. He also is the longest-serving statewide official in Georgia, according to information posted on the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s web site.

Mr. Irvin has served as Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture since 1969. He was elected to his 10th four-year term in November 2006 and is scheduled to retire from his post Jan. 1, 2011.

Commissioner Irvin and his wife, Bernice, live on a farm in the Glade Creek Community of Habersham County. They are the parents of five children, 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.