Alumnus serves in state House of Representatives
Alumnus Robert Dickey learned early in his agriculture career that running a family peach farm was more than picking peaches. He needed an advanced business degree to manage Dickey Farms.
“I felt like a master’s degree in business would enable me to make better financial decisions to grow our business and to diversify,” said Dickey, who earned his Georgia College MBA in 1989. “Running a farm these days involves more than planting peach trees or picking peaches. You have to be very business savvy in order to stay competitive and maximize your profits.”
Today, Dickey and his father produce peaches and timber on the 3,000-acre Crawford County farm that has been in their family since 1897.
“Preserving the longevity of our farm has not always been easy,” Dickey said. “As with any business, there are many issues, but growing peaches takes a lot of long-term planning.”
Dickey also uses his MBA as Rep. Dickey (R-136), serving his first full term in the state House of Representatives.
“We needed a conservative business person in that position in the House,” Dickey said. “I also felt that having an agricultural background would be beneficial since agriculture is the largest industry in the state.”
His district includes rural and urban areas in Crawford County and parts of Bibb, Houston, Lamar, Monroe, Peach and Upson counties.
The freshman representative sits on three committees: Agriculture & Consumer Affairs; Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications, and State Planning & Community Affairs.
Dickey’s Georgia College MBA helped prepare him in fulfilling his professional and personal goals.
“Engaging classroom projects and discussions helped us develop professional skills we could apply at work and with civic and business organizations,” he said. “The faculty not only wanted us to succeed in obtaining our degree but also in learning skills that would help us thrive in all life’s opportunities.”
Dickey’s support of agriculture, leadership skills and civic engagement reach beyond the gold dome:
• He represents the peach industry both statewide and nationally — as a board member and past president of the Georgia Peach Council and former president and treasurer of the National Peach Council.
• He was a member of the Leadership Class of 1990 and a founding board member for the Georgia Agri-Leaders Forum, an agricultural leadership course that currently trains individuals in agriculture and agri-business industry. Dickey also served from 2002 to 2010 on the Governor’s Agricultural Advisory Board.
• He was elected to the Flint Energies Board of Directors in 1994 and served as vice chairman until his election to the House. He was a founding member of the Crawford County Chamber of Commerce and served on the board. He has been active in economic development and served on the Crawford County Industrial Authority for the past 20 years.
• He is a member of the board of directors of SunTrust Bank of Middle Georgia, Gordon College Foundation and Crawford County Farm Bureau. He also is a member of the Middle Ocmulgee Regional Water Planning Council.
• He serves as a deacon of Musella Baptist Church where he also teaches Sunday school.
Dickey has been married for 34 years to Cynde Martin Dickey, who also works at the farm. They have two children: Lee (28) and and Marjie (20).