Monday, October 5, 2020:   After a busy morning that includes our daily all-staff conference call, I have a meeting with my good friend, Michael Moorman, who is an active member of the Forest Landowners Association and is familiar with the challenges of forest owners throughout the southeastern U.S.  Michael has recently returned from western Louisiana where he saw first-hand the destruction of Hurricane Laura and shares with me the impact this will have on forestry across our country, particularly in the southeast.  Afterwards, I head to JC Lewis Ford in Savannah where I meet with my good friend Walter Lewis and other members of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) from the Savannah area. 

New car dealers throughout the First District are community minded businesspeople who support many great projects in our area.  Once back in my Savannah office, I have a virtual conference with Smashing Walnuts Foundations, a group whose mission is to crack the cure for childhood brain cancer, the deadliest and second most common cancer in kids under 18.  After hearing incredible stories by family members and advocates of their experiences and the need for more funding for research and treatment, I record a video for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco to thank them for their work in promoting human trafficking awareness.  Next, I head to Hinesville where I have the honor of speaking to the Liberty County GOP at their monthly meeting. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020:  Once in my Savannah office, I log onto a live stream of the Supreme Court case hearing of Arkansas v. PBMs, an extremely important decision that will have a tremendous impact on the future of independent retail pharmacy in our country.  Afterwards, I have a meeting with my good friend Keith Fletcher and representatives from Healthy Savannah to discuss implementing a contact tracing system in the Savannah area that will assist with all infection outbreaks and protect and assist fragile individuals to maintain their health. 

After our daily all-staff conference call, I head to downtown Savannah where I speak to the Chatham Group, an outstanding group of community leaders that get together once a month to hear from leaders in the community.  Once back in my office, I have a great meeting with Savannah Alderwoman Bernetta Lanier as we discuss opportunity zones in Savannah and other issues.  Next, I have a recorded interview with WSAV-TV in Savannah.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020:  I’m up bright and early this morning and headed to St. Simons Island where I speak to the US Government class at Frederica Academy, a great group of students taught by Steve Jobe. 

Without question, speaking to students is my favorite part of this position that I am honored to hold.  After our daily all-staff conference call, I remain on the Island and am honored to be the guest speaker at a luncheon for county and municipal officials in the area sponsored by Roberts Civil Engineering, one of the leading engineering firms in the First District.  Afterwards, I head to Woodbine in Camden County where I tour the former fire station that has been renovated as a Library and will serve the community for many years to come.  Next, I head to the Camden County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit in St. Marys where Camden County Sheriff Jim Procter and his great staff treat me to a tour of their unit and introduce me to a few of their K-9’s. 

Counties from South Georgia and North Florida utilize these highly trained dogs that are a great resource for law enforcement.  Later, I have a meeting with community leaders from Camden County before retiring for the night on the riverfront in beautiful downtown St. Marys.

Thursday, October 8, 2020:  I’m excited this morning to visit Woodbine Elementary School as I present a letter of congratulations to members of the K Club, an organization sponsored by the Kiwanis Club that teaches community service.  Members of this club consist of 4th and 5th graders and won state recognition last year for their great work. 

I also have the opportunity to greet Pre-K students at the school as we celebrate Pre-K week in the State of Georgia.  After a quick meeting with the Camden County School Superintendent to discuss how the school year is progressing thus far, I join in on our daily all-staff conference call while heading to the St. Marys Police Department.  Once at the Police Department, I present the Chief and officers a flag flown over the US Capitol on 9-11 to commemorate Patriots Day and thank them for their service. 

Next, I head to a meeting of the Camden County Republican Women’s Club where I am honored to be the guest speaker this month and have the opportunity to update them on issues in Washington.  Afterwards, I head to Hoboken in Brantley County and, during the drive, have a phone interview with The Current, a new publication dedicated to local issues. Once in Hoboken, I head to Cal-Maine Foods where I enjoy a tour of this facility that produces chicken eggs and is part of the largest producer and distributor of shell eggs in the United States.  I also have the opportunity to personally thank representatives of the company for their donation of eggs to America’s Second Harvest Food Bank during the COVID 19 pandemic. 

After a great visit, I head to Homerville in Clinch County where I record this week’s edition of Buddy’s Briefing before continuing on to Valdosta in Lowndes County where I meet with community leaders before heading to my hotel.

Friday, October 9, 2020:  I’m up early this morning and enjoying a breakfast with area community leaders including Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk, State Rep. John Corbett (R-Statenville), Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson and others.  After a great visit, I head to a visit of the Greater Valdosta United Way, an organization that has given much needed help during the pandemic before joining in on a Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DOD) briefing on Operation Warp Speed for members of the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee.  My next stop is Valdosta State University (VSU) where I have a great visit that includes a tour of the very impressive nursing school as well as the school of business.  During the tour of the school of business, I view the VSC Copeland African American Museum named in honor of VSU faculty member Dr. Roy Copeland.  Next, I meet with student Bob Greenbaum, who is from Rincon in Effingham County and interned in our office this past summer, and a group of VSU model United Nations students before engaging in a great discussion with students representing the Student Government Association and ROTC. 

Afterwards, I head to Waycross in Ware County and, during the drive, join in on our daily all-staff conference call.  Once in Waycross, I head to the American Farm Bureau office where I am presented the Friend of Farm Bureau award for my work on behalf of America’s farmers before heading to the Waycross/Ware County Chamber of Commerce where I film a video for the Chamber.  After a meeting with my good friend, Okefenokee Swamp Park (OSP) Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. William Clark, and OSP Executive Director Kim Bednarek, I head to Memorial Stadium where I perform the coin toss at the Benedictine-Ware County football game.  Afterwards, I head to St. Simons Island in Glynn County where I spend the night before another busy day in the southern part of the district tomorrow.