Tommy Irvin, Georgia’s agricultural commissioner, will speak on “The Future of Georgia’s Trade with Cuba,” at a luncheon of the Atlanta Council on International Relations to be held on Thursday, Jan. 11, at 25 Park Place downtown in the SunTrust Dining Room, 12th floor. A reception will begin at 11:45 a.m. and the luncheon will follow at noon.

          Mr. Irvin, who has been commissioner of agriculture since 1969, headed a fact-finding tour of Cuba that included a dozen Georgia companies in October. He has supported recent U.S. legislation that would end food sanctions against Cuba, opening the door for Georgia agriculture, especially poultry products.

          The trip was criticized by the Washington, D.C.-based Cuban American National Foundation, an anti-Castro organization. Dennis K. Hays, a 35-year career diplomat and former coordinator for Cuban affairs at the U.S. Department of State who heads the Washington foundation, has visited Atlanta to meet with Mr. Irvin and present the organization’s objections to trade relations with Cuba.

          Mr. Irvin also favors free trade with China and North Korea. He was one of the first state agriculture commissioners to support trade with the former Soviet Union.

          The council is a non-profit and non-partisan educational organization that promotes understanding of international affairs.

          The council hosts luncheons periodically concerning international affairs. The cost of the luncheon is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. To make a reservation, call Roger Kass of KNG Marketing Services Inc. at (404) 467-4737 or send an e-mail to prior to Jan. 10.