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FARM BUREAU’S

Georgia A

PUBLICATION

OF

THE

GEORGIA

Fall 2012 Vol. 17, No. 2

FARM

BUREAU


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Contents Fall 2012 • Vol. 17, No. 2

Summer job never ends Property tax incentives preserve Georgia’s for Callaway gardener David Chambers started gardening natural resources

4

6

Photo courtesy of Callaway Gardens

during summer visits to his grandparents’ farm. After college, he turned the summer job of his boyhood into a fulltime job as the manager of Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden at Callaway Gardens.

Find fall produce at GFB Certified Farm Markets

12

Craving Georgia grown apples, peanuts, pecans or pumpkins? Want to get lost in a corn maze or introduce your kids to farm animals? Check our listing of certified farm markets for a fun day on the farm!

Property tax programs, such as Conservation Use Value Assessment and the Forest Land Protection Act, help farmers afford to continue farming and keep their farmland undeveloped when urban sprawl drives up the fair market value of their land, raising property taxes. In exchange for agreeing not to develop their land, property owners get a tax break for protecting green spaces that provide clean air, clean water and soil conservation benefits.

Picture Agriculture in Georgia winners revealed

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The winners of our second annual photo contest have been chosen. Enjoy the top 13 photos. Thanks to everyone who submitted a picture, and we hope you’ll enter again next year!

GFB salutes GHSA champs Exhibit explores Ga. music

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Georgia Farm Bureau is continuing its sponsorship of the Georgia High School Association as the official insurance sponsor for all GHSA sports and academic competitions. We’re recognizing the schools that won 2012 state championships for events occurring last spring. We’ll recognize the fall and winter champions in the spring issue.

30

New Harmonies, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution, is hitting the high notes of Georgia’s rich musical heritage as it makes its way across the state through November 2013.

Finalists named in GFB Young Farmer Competition Something’s Cooking

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GFB has named the finalists for its Young Farmer Achievement and Discussion Meet Contests. Learn more about these great contests featuring our future ag leaders.

32

Pictured from left, the winners of the 2012 Georgia Egg Commission’s Recipe Contest are: 1st place, Karen Slaughter; 2nd place, Ali Merk; 3rd place, James Brooks; Best in Show, Rhonda Hitch.

Did you know you could read the Georgia Neighbors in its entirety on the GFB website,

http://www.gfb.org? If you would like to opt out of receiving a printed copy of the Neighbors please send an email to georgianeighbors@gfb.org. Please provide your name as it appears on your Farm Bureau membership card along with your membership number. When we publish the 2013 spring/summer issue we’ll email you a link to our digital magazine. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012

departments We, the Farmers ................................... 2 Insurance Update . ................................8 Legislative Update................................10 Farm Safety...........................................14 Member Services Update ...................18 Kids Corner..........................................18

about the cover

(Photo by Haley Anderson) Screven County Farm Bureau member Haley Anderson won the 2012 GFB Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest with this photo she shot of her husband Garrett plowing last year. The Andersons, Garrett’s parents Danny and Becky and his brother Benji grow cotton, corn, peanuts and pecans on the farm. Haley says farming is a way of life for the family and living on the farm has sparked her interest in photography. “The sunsets here are breath-taking, and there is nothing like witnessing a baby calf take his first steps, or watching the cotton field you planted in May turn into a blanket of white in October,” said Haley.

Like to Subscribe? All Georgia Farm Bureau members will receive the Georgia Neighbors. However, if you are not a farmer member and you’d also like to receive the Georgia Farm Bureau News, fill in this coupon and send it to: Georgia Farm Bureau News, P.O. Box 7068, Macon, GA 31209. Non-members can subscribe to both publications for $15/year. Send a check made payable to GFB and mail to above address. Name_______________________________________ Address______________________________________ City/Zip______________________________________ GFB Membership #____________________________

Questions about Member Services? Call 1-800-633-5432. Regarding editorial content, call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 For advertising rates and information, contact Linda Fuda at 513-307-7949 or lfudamedia@rcn.com

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FARM BUREAU’S

Zippy Duvall, President

Harvest time is family time I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: fall is my favorite time of year! Farmers have been working hard for months tending their crops, and now it is time to harvest the fruits of their labor. Fall is also a time when families and communities come together to celebrate with festivals and football games. Just like our farmers, our youth have been working hard preparing for another exciting season of fall sports. It’s game day, and I’m proud to announce that GFB will continue to sponsor the Georgia High School Association (GHSA). Our sponsorship covers all GHSA competitions. In addition to football, look for our GFB logo at any of the state high school sport competitions you attend this fall, next winter and spring. Last year our GHSA sponsorship reached 683,394 spectators and 67,531 participants who attended the GHSA playoffs and championship events during the 20112012 season. An additional 500,036 people saw our logo as they watched GHSA events on the GHSA digital sports network and the Georgia Public Broadcasting website. GFB’s sponsorship was also promoted on the GHSA website and social media, which attracted more than 2 million visits during the last season. Many of our county Farm Bureau leaders and county agents attended the championship events held this past year and were able to present state trophies to their hometown teams. This is a perfect way to share our message with Georgia that Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization involved in our local communities. GFB has been a longstanding supporter of the academic, research and athletic programs at Georgia’s oldest land-grant institution, the University of Georgia. For the second year, we are partnering with the UGA Athletic Association to promote our organization and Georgia agriculture 2

at UGA home football games with ads on the back of the tickets. We figure there’s no easier way to reach 92,746 people at one time, and we want Georgia fans to think about the farmers who grew the food they enjoy while tailgating. This year our ticket ad highlights GFB’s 75th anniversary. You’ll also see GFB promoted in the programs sold at each game and during commercials aired during the pre-game, game and postgame shows. These ads will remind Georgians Farm Bureau is a local organization, present in communities statewide. I’m also pleased to announce GFB will be sponsoring the football program at Georgia Southern University this fall. Our Farm Bureau logo is displayed on the GSU National Championship decals on the three main gate concourses through which 90 percent of GSU fans enter Allen E. Paulson Stadium and on a banner at the stadium’s elevator shaft. GFB will also be promoted during radio and television commercials aired during football, basketball and baseball broadcasts. Since reviving its football program in the early 1980s, the GSU Eagles have won six Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA) National Championships and eight Southern Conference Championships. With a growing student enrollment of more than 20,000 and an alumni base of about 75,000, we feel partnering with GSU will help us reach an additional audience. These various sports sponsorships will remind Georgians about the importance of agriculture and highlight our organization to younger generations who are our future leaders. For Georgia’s agriculture community fall means making a trip to Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie. The show, set for Oct. 16-18, offers visitors the chance to see the latest farm equipment and production research displayed by some 1,200 exhibitors. You can also watch cotton and peanuts being harvested. Expo is celebrating its 35th anniversary See WE, THE FARMERS page 35

A

PUBLICATION

OF

THE

GEORGIA

FARM

BUREAU

Issued twice a year by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation, located at 1620 Bass Road, Macon, GA 31210.

SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year OFFICERS VINCENT “Zippy” duvall, President GERALD LONG, 1st Vice President and South Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, North Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Middle Georgia Vice President Wayne Daniel, Treasurer/ Corporate Secretary DUKE GROOVER, General Counsel DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Wesley Hall, Cumming; Henry J. West, Rydal SECOND DISTRICT: Randy Ruff, Elberton; Bobby Gunter Dahlonega THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Jim Ham, Smarr; Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville SIXTH DISTRICT: James Emory Tate, Denton; James Malone, Dexter SEVENTH DISTRICT: Ben Boyd, Sylvania; Gary Bell, Bellville EIGHTH DISTRICT: Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Paul Shirah, Camilla; Lucius Adkins, Elmodel TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Alma; Daniel Johnson, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Jake Carter, McDonough WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Linda Crumley, Winder INFORMATION STAFF Paul Beliveau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Director Jennifer Whittaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editor Lillian Davis . . . . . . Publications Manager Jay Stone . . . . . . Publication/Web Specialist Michael Edmondson . Web/Video Manager Mark Wildman . . . . . . Radio-TV Specialist Dean Wood . . . . . . . . . Radio-TV Specialist Damon Jones . . . . . . . . Radio-TV Specialist Rick Treptow . . Senior Radio-TV Specialist Denny Moore . . . . . . . TV Anchor/Producer Vickie Amos . . . . . . . . Office Coordinator ADVERTISING POLICY All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in Farm Bureau’s Georgia Neighbors. For advertising rates and information, contact Linda Fuda at 513-307-7949 or lfudamedia@rcn.com. Farm Bureau’s Georgia Neighbors was established in 1995. Copyright 2012 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, GA. www.gfb.org

Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


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Summer job never ends for Callaway gardener David Chambers likes to say he’s still in the summer job of his youth. As a boy growing up in Pine Mountain in the 1950s and 1960s, he spent summers with his grandparents, who had a large garden and a lake in Heard County. They also attempted to grow cotton but eventually converted to raising livestock. Young David developed his passion for growing things while staying with them. He’d draw well water, collect eggs from their chicken houses and perform a variety of other chores. Chambers admits that might not sound like much fun to people now, but his life’s vocation grew out of it. “They let me do things my mom and dad would not let me do,” Chambers said. “They walked everywhere they went. You were back in history almost.” When he got to high school, he landed a job at Callaway Gardens, working in Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden with then-Garden Manager Emory Hambrick. After studying agribusiness at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for two years, Chambers succeeded Hambrick as the garden’s manager. “He’d been there about 10 years, and it was pretty well laid out what you did and how to get things done,” Chambers said.

Photo by Jay Stone

Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden Manager David Chambers shows off some of the bounty from the garden’s more than 400 species of plants.

Kiwifruit grows in Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden.

4

Today, Chambers oversees the cultivation of more than 400 varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers grown in Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden, a 7 ½-acre piece of land nestled between Callaway’s Robin Lake Beach and the Mountain View Golf Course. The garden has been used as a setting for the PBS series, “The Victory Garden.” “Springtime is my favorite, when everything is young and lush and there are all these different textures of green,” Chambers said. “My favorite part of gardening is that renewal time in the spring. That’s what keeps me going.” Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden recreates a farm scene with a wooden fence, a small gift shop designed as a barn and a gazebo designed as the front and back porches of a farmhouse where visitors can relax. The garden plots are connected by footpaths with the occasional park bench. Visitors can get close-up views of dragonflies and butterflies, and at certain times of the year they can witness bees harvest-

ing nectar from the garden’s flowers. The wide variety of plants comes with a wide variety of uses. Chambers, who has served as a Harris County Farm Bureau director for the past three years, is involved in virtually all of them. The garden provides fruits and vegetables served in three of Callaway’s restaurants according to crop availability. The garden is also one of 23 vendors for Callaway’s summer farmers market. Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden is also used in trials for seed companies. Chambers gets his hands on some species that are unique to this part of the world. Mr. Cason’s Garden is one of the few places in Georgia where kiwifruit is grown, Chambers said. There are also yellow watermelons and a collection of muscadine vines, including one trellis fashioned into a shelter over a park bench in the garden, as well as three Chinese date trees, commonly referred to as jujube. “They all three produce fruit, and See CALLAWAY page 30 Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012

Photo courtesy of Callaway Gardens, www.callawaygardens.com

By Jay Stone


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Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Property tax programs, such as Conservation Use Value Assessment, help farmers afford to continue farming and keep their farmland when development drives up the fair market value of their land and raises property taxes. In exchange for agreeing not to develop their land, property owners get a tax break for protecting green spaces that provide clean air, clean water and soil conservation benefits.

Property tax incentives preserve Georgia’s natural resources By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

I

n the often-quoted words of Benjamin Franklin, “Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” Regardless of how much we may dislike taxes, they are a part of our lives. Income, property, sales and auto taxes are the most common ways government collects money from its citizens to fund public schools, roads, law enforcement and parks that benefit everyone. During its 75-year history, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has provided Georgia landowners a voice in the legislative arena on tax issues in hopes of preventing excessive property taxes from forcing landowners to sell out to development. In 1983, GFB encouraged state legislators to pass House Bill 230, which established a preferential agricultural assessment for qualifying farm and forestland. This assessment uses 75 percent of the fair market value (FMV) of qualifying land instead of full FMV to determine property tax.

Why do landowners need property tax incentives? Land values rose rapidly during the 1980s, and Georgia increased taxes on tree farmers more than 100 percent by eliminating state capital gains exemptions and adding an annual property tax on growing timber, according to a report published by the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) and GFB in 1995. Concerned with the negative impact timber taxes and rising property taxes were having on farmers’ ability to continue 6

farming and growing trees, a coalition of groups, including GFB and GFA, worked with the General Assembly in 1990 to place Amendment 3 on the general election ballot. The amendment proposed allowing farmland to be assessed for property tax purposes based on the current use of the land rather than the land’s FMV. Georgia voters passed the amendment with a 62 percent approval rating. “In some areas of the state the counties were increasing tax prices on timberland, and we had to have something or people might not replant trees like we want and need them to do,” recalled GFB Forestry Committee member John Mixon, who was executive director of the Georgia Forestry Commission when CUVA was implemented.

Conservation Use Value Assessment In 1992 Georgia began implementing the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA). The program has helped landowners afford to keep thousands of acres of land in farms and timber. Landowners sign a 10-year covenant pledging not to develop their land in exchange for property tax assessments being based on the land’s productivity value instead of its FMV. “CUVA has worked out great,” Mixon said. “If you have a landowner out there who has land he is using for agricultural purposes or forestry, if he will put the land in CUVA for the ten-year period of time, the taxes on the dirt is based on the capability of the dirt to produce crops. Many agencies work together on coming up with the for-

mulas used to determine the CUVA rate.” In addition to farm and forestry land, environmentally sensitive property also qualifies for CUVA. Conservation use property is assessed at 40 percent of its current use value rather than 40 percent of fair market value. Owners who breach their conservation use covenant must pay back to their county tax assessors board twice the savings they have received over the life of the covenant up to the point it was breached. Land values are determined using a state formula set by the Georgia Property Tax Division of the Georgia Department of Revenue in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Statistical Service, Forestry Commission, Department of Natural Resources and Cooperative Extension. The formula mostly takes into account the ability of the soil to grow certain commodities but also considers the typical selling price of land from farmer to farmer rather than farmer to developer. A table of land values has been assigned to 18 classes of soil productivity – nine for farmland and nine for timberland. To qualify for CUVA, land must be owned by U.S. citizens and must be devoted to farming, commercial production of ag products or timber throughout the 10 years of the covenant. Up to 50 percent of the land may lie dormant, but the unused portion may not be used for any other business use. CUVA land may be leased for hunting, used for agritourism, cell phone towers, feefishing and mineral exploration that allows the land to lie fallow. Buildings affixed to See CUVA page 16 Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


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Insurance Update

By Daves Steed

GFB Brokerage Company grows to benefit members The Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (GFBMIC) has developed a strategic plan to grow in a manner that will allow our company to remain financially strong and positioned to meet the insurance needs of our members for many years to come. This plan calls for our insurance company to refine its product offerings to those supported by modern rating and servicing systems. Three years ago the GFBMIC formed a brokerage company that partners with other insurance companies to offer our members insurance policies, which other companies specialize in writing, and GFB Insurance has chosen to limit or not to write. The GFB Insurance Brokerage Company has evolved significantly in the past three years as an important benefit for our GFB members. Our insurance brokerage operation has expanded its portfolio of products

GFB Mutual Insurance Company Annual Meeting of Policyholders The annual meeting of the policyholders of the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company will be held Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building, 1620 Bass Road, Macon, Ga. 31210. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m.

GFB Mutual Insurance Company Annual Meeting of Directors The annual meeting of the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company Board of Directors will be held immediately following the annual meeting of the policyholders, which begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building, 1620 Bass Road, Macon, Ga., 31210. 8

to allow our GFB agents to offer a wider array of competitively priced insurance options to our members. GFB’s ability to provide so many more insurance solutions is also a strong tool for our agents to attract new members to Georgia Farm Bureau. Just exactly what has changed in the past three years? The brokerage company now has two different operations – a direct program and an in-house agency. The newest operation gives our GFB agents direct access to carefully selected partner companies that specialize in personal lines and commercial automobile products. GFB insurance partners with other insurance companies that specialize in providing coverage for mobile homes, dwelling property, recreational vehicles, specialty homeowners, flood and certain commercial and personal vehicles. Our GFB agents have the ability to directly access these products from our partner companies and efficiently offer quotes as well as provide service for the policies. We refer to this as the direct program. Fall hunting season is upon us, a time when all-terrain vehicle (ATV) usage increases significantly. Your GFB agent can use our new direct program to quickly help you get the ATV coverage you need at the best price. Many homeowner policies limit coverage for an ATV operated on premises and exclude coverage off the insured premises. If you currently own ATVs that will be used at hunting camps or other locations away from your primary residence it is important that you verify the extent of your current ATV coverage. Your GFB agent can offer a number of broad coverage options generally available only through brokerage specialty companies for ATVs as well as coverage for motorcycles, recreational vehicles, golf carts and boats.

December is the top month for ATV sales. If you’re planning to purchase an ATV, check with your GFB agent to make certain you set up coverage appropriate for your use of the ATV. The quote process is quick and easy through the GFB Brokerage Direct Program. Just give your GFB agent a call or drop by your local Farm Bureau office! The second operation of our brokerage company is an in-house insurance agency that makes commercial insurance and specialty personal lines products available to our GFB agents. The in-house brokerage agency is now better equipped to meet the many other personal and commercial specialty insurance needs of our members. Our GFB agents now offer additional personal lines products for log homes, vacant dwellings, rental properties and high value homes. We now have commercial markets that provide a wider array of coverages than ever before. Some of the classes of commercial business we have been able to cover for our members in the past few months include: convenience stores, small grocery stores, restaurants, motels, landscape companies, butcher shops, tire shops, automotive repair shops, floor installation companies, professional offices, veterinary clinics, special events coverage, bonds, coastal property and scheduled rental properties. Your GFB agent can help with these and many other commercial insurance classes of business. Please remember that your agent’s ability to provide the most competitive quote is based on allowing ample time prior to the current renewal date to gather the proper information. The availability of these brokerage insurance products along with the products offered through the GFB Mutual Insurance Company truly positions your GFB agent to best meet your insurance needs and protect your family or business. Contact your GFB agent today to arrange a review of your insurance program and an analysis of your insurance needs. Daves Steed is the Sr. Director of the GFB Brokerage Company. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


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* Program #33834: $500 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/04/2012 through 1/02/2013 for the purchase or lease of a eligible new 2011/2012/2013 model year Ford or Lincoln vehicle (not available on Shelby GT/ GT500, Mustang Boss 302, Focus Electric, Edge SE AWD, F-150 Raptor and Taurus SE). This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD* Program #33834: Bonus offereligibility exclusively for active Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, andand Tennessee membersLimit whoone are residents Plans. Some $500 customer andCash purchase restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 60 consecutive days must showFarm proofBureau of membership. of the $500 UnitedBonus States. Offer valid from purchase 1/04/2012 1/02/2013 foreligible the purchase or lease ofora leases eligibleper new 2011/2012/2013 Fordperiod. or Lincoln vehicle available on Shelby GT/ Cash offeris per vehicle or through lease. Limit of five new vehicle purchases Farm Bureau member model during year program See your Ford(not or Lincoln Dealer for GT500,complete Mustangdetails Boss and 302,qualifications. Focus Electric, Edge SE AWD, F-150 Raptor and Taurus SE). This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-

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Legislative Update

By

Jon Huffmaster

Labor done by manual workers is essential for our economy to function. As a farm organization, Farm Bureau tends to be most concerned about farm labor, but the essential need for manual laborers goes well beyond harvesting crops or tending livestock. Whole segments of Georgia’s farm sector would halt without labor, but that is true for nearly all parts of our state’s economy. What would happen to business in Georgia if no one hauled off the garbage, made hotel beds, washed restaurant dishes, mopped hospital floors or maintained lawns? The work done by manual workers is essential, but very few people aspire to it. Most people look at it as a condition to rise above. Many workers who do manual labor strive to instill an appreciation for education in their children so they may have better jobs. Parents involved in low-skilled labor will sacrificially deny themselves in an effort to help their children achieve a higher status. This is understandable, but it is still essential that our economy has employees to do the work. We must have people to do manual labor because these jobs cannot be outsourced, automated or mechanized. There is simply no machine available to pick a tree-ripened peach, change the sheets on a hotel bed or bus tables at a restaurant. Most Americans do not want these jobs. Young people generally do not plan for such a career, and the older Americans currently involved in manual jobs are gradually retiring out of the work force. In recent years immigrant workers filled many of these positions, but this trend could change as new immigration laws are passed. Two respected former state legislators gave a presentation about this essential economy to the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors during their September meeting. The speakers defined the essential economy as a group of jobs within various economic sectors comprised mostly of unskilled or low-skilled workers. Former Senator Sam Zamarripa is 10

a Democrat who served in the General Assembly from 2002 – 2006 representing an Atlanta district. Former Senator Dan Moody is a Republican who served from 2001 – 2010 representing North Fulton County. Both are successful businessmen, who were respected legislators before leaving the General Assembly voluntarily to return to private life. The key sectors of the essential economy include agriculture, landscaping & construction, restaurants & hospitality, building maintenance & services, personal care & assisted living, and distribution & logistics. These jobs typically include manual labor and low educational requirements. Workers generally are not specialized enough to hinder movement to other similar jobs. The importance of the essential economy is undeniable, but it is grossly undervalued by most Georgians. The number of people employed in this category is significant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of Georgia’s labor force is engaged in these jobs. The services provided by these workers are the foundation for other sectors of the economy. About 12 percent of Georgia’s gross domestic product is related to the essential economy. According to Zamarripa, Georgia is facing a sizeable shortage of these workers in the coming years. “A major component of the issue is demographic,” Zamarripa says, “There are simply not enough young people choosing to do this type of work.” Zamarripa and Moody have collaborated to form The Essential Economy Council, a bi-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization to develop research and analyze data regarding the workers in the essential economy and their impact. The plan is to provide legislators and others with very specific data about individual counties and legislative districts. The Essential Economy Council will be bipartisan in its approach and will not be working to introduce or oppose legislation.

Thinkstock

Manual laborers are essential to our economy

“We are a research and education organization,” said Moody, “We are not a lobbying group trying to offer legislation. We want to be a resource to let people know how this issue will affect them.” The council will have a broad scope with a focus on the long-term economic need for a motivated and available workforce. The council will provide elected officials with unique data about workforce issues that is reliable, credible, specific to their political districts and relevant to their constituents. “We can’t work with the General Assembly in an adversarial way,” said Zamarripa. “So, we’ve got to provide them with good information. “Georgia agriculture like many other segments of our state’s economy relies on having a dependable work force to do manual labor,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “I think the data presented by The Essential Economy Council will be invaluable as we look at this issue in the years to come.” “The work they do is essential; the products are essential; and if you add up their contribution economically, it’s a really big number, so we need to define this economy in real economic terms,” Zamarripa said, summing up the purpose of The Essential Economy Council. Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Department. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


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Visit Certified Farm Markets for fall produce Some of your favorite food items, including apples, peanuts, pecans, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, are in season and available at many Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets this fall! The cooler autumn temperatures make for a great time to pack up the kids and take a day trip to the country. Many of our farm markets offer hayrides, petting zoos, corn mazes and special festivals. Whether you live in the North Georgia mountains, Southwest Georgia, or somewhere in between, you can find a market near you to get your favorite fall treats or participate in farm activities. After Thanksgiving when it’s time to pick your Christmas tree,

AGRITOURISM, APPLES & PUMPKINS Aaron’s Apple House Ellijay www.aaronsapplehouse.com 706-273-3180

Calhoun Produce Inc. Ashburn www.calhounproduce.com 229-273-1887

Lane Southern Orchards Fort Valley www.lanesouthernorchards.com 478-825-3592

Dacula Briarpatch Dacula 770-962-4990

Little Bend Orchard’s Apple Barn Ellijay www.redapplebarn.com 706-635-5898

Adams Farms Fayetteville www.adamsfarmfayettevillega.com 770-461-9395

Davis Farm Fresh Produce Pelham 229-294-2540

Berry Patch Farms Woodstock www.berrypatchfarms.net 770-926-0561

Elliott Farms Lizella www.elliottfarmsga.com 478-935-8180

B.J. Reece Orchards Ellijay www.reeceorchards.com 706-276-3048

Freeman Springs Family Farm Rocky Face www.freemanspringsfarm.com 706-270-2402

Buford Corn Maze Buford www.bufordcornmaze.com 678-835-7198

Hillcrest Orchards Ellijay www.hillcrestorchards.net 706-273-3838

Cagle’s Family Farm Canton www.caglesfamilyfarm.com 770-345-5591

Hillside Orchard Farms Country Store Lakemont www.hillsideorchard.com 706-782-2776

Cagle’s Farmhouse & Papa Albert’s Market Canton www.caglesfarmhouse.com 404-567-6363 12

make plans to visit one of our many Christmas tree farms located across the state. We’re providing a list of our markets according to their main fall commodity. Visit http://www.gfb.org/commodities/cfm to access a complete list of our GFB Certified Farm Markets. Be sure to visit the farm’s website or call to verify hours before visiting.

Jaemor Farm Market Alto www.jaemorfarms.com 770-869-3999

Lowrey Farms Rome On Facebook 706-295-1157 Mack Aaron Apple House Ellijay 706-273-3600 Marks Melon Patch Dawson www.marksmelonpatch.com 229-698-4750 Mercier Orchards Blue Ridge www.mercier-orchards.com 800-361-7731 Mitcham Farm Oxford www.mitchamfarm.com 770-786-8805 Ottawa Farms Bloomingdale www.ottawafarms.com 912-748-3035

Panorama Orchards Farm Market East Ellijay www.panoramaorchards.com 706-276-3813 Payne Farm & Produce Calhoun 706-629-5704 Perry Pecan & Produce Ellaville 229-937-2087 Poppell Farms Odum www.poppellfarms.com 912-586-2215 R & A Orchard Ellijay www.randaorchards.com 706-273-3821 Rocky Ridge Farms Lexington www.rockyridgefarmmarket.com 706-207-5098 Southern Belle Farm McDonough www.soouthernbellefarm.com 770-288-2582 Thomas Orchards, Greenhouse & Gift Shop Bishop www.thomasorchardandnursery.com 706-769-5011 (Listings continued on page 22) Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


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Fall farm safety tips Farm Safety

Photo by Shanna Evans

Farmers across Georgia are in the middle of fall harvest. This is perhaps the busiest time of the year for farmers as they rush to get in crops. Safety should be at the front of everyone’s mind during this special season, whether you’re a farmer or not.

Safety on roads

With the harvest season in full swing, travelers on Georgia’s rural roads are more likely to come across farm machinery and equipment. It is very likely that motorists will encounter cotton pickers, combines, tractors, module trucks and trucks pulling peanut wagons. These machines move much slower than we are used to traveling due to their size. Both farmers and motorists should take extra caution on the roads during this time of the year.

Safety in the field

At harvest time, nothing seems more important than getting in your crop. However, farmers must be mindful of the

During harvest season farmers have to drive their farm equipment on the road as they harvest different fields or take their crops to market. Triangular signs on farm equipment indicate it is a slow moving vehicle. Don’t pass farm equipment unless you can see clearly ahead of both you and the equipment you will pass. Don’t assume farm equipment that pulls to the right side of the road is turning right or is letting you pass. Due to the large size of some machinery, farmers must sometimes pull to the right to execute wide left turns. Watch the operator’s hand signals and check the left side of the road for gates, driveways or field entrances the farmer may be turning into.

hazards surrounding the harvest, especially when it comes to children. Everyone needs to be reminded to slow down for just a moment and make sure that proper safety precautions are being taken. Take the time to explain proper safety tips to your children as they work around farm equipment because noth-

ing is more important than a child’s safety. The fall harvest is a very special time of the year. Whether you are enjoying a road trip to look at the changing leaves or working hard to bring in your harvest, please keep in mind the saying that we all learned in elementary school, “Safety First.”

GFB Harvest for All campaign fights hunger Difficult economic times have left many Georgians struggling to provide food for their families. According to a United States Department of Agriculture report released in September, 17.4 percent of Georgia’s households had low or very low food insecurity from 20092011, a rate surpassed by only five other states. A three-year average was used to report state percentages because rates can vary considerably each year. The U.S. rate of food insecurity for 2011 was 14.9 percent. For the eighth year, Georgia Farm Bureau is conducting its Harvest for All campaign to help alleviate hunger in our state. Each year the GFB Young Farmer Committee works with the Georgia Food Bank Association and its seven affiliate food banks located across 14

Georgia to provide food for Georgians in need. For the third consecutive year, the campaign is focused on raising money for Georgia’s food banks because they have the ability to stretch each donated dollar into approximately four meals. For example, for every $50 donated, 200 meals can be placed on tables around our state! “We encourage the members of our organization to contribute to this worthy cause,” GFB Young Farmer Committee chairman Jake Carter said. “Providing individuals with food is the job of a farmer, and we take this job very seriously. Harvest for All is a tremendous way to make a difference to those who may not know where to get their next meal.” Since 2004, GFB has coordi-

nated seven Harvest For All campaigns through which GFB members across the state donated about 49,000 pounds of staple food items and more than $60,000 in cash donations distributed to the food banks in Georgia affiliated with Feeding America. In 2005, GFB members collected 17,000 pounds of food, which were donated to victims of Hurricane Katrina in Hancock County, Miss. If you would like to donate to this campaign, please stop by your county Farm Bureau by Nov. 2 to make a donation. Working together, we can provide nutritious meals for those in need. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


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Forest Land Protection Act Tracts of timber larger than 2,000 acres were still assessed at their FMV until Georgia voters passed the Forest Land Protection Act (FLPA, pronounced “FLIPA”) in 2008 on the general election ballot and FLPA was implemented in 2009. Property enrolled in FLPA must be at least 200 contiguous acres of forestland, irrespective of county boundaries, with undivided ownership. Tracts less than 200 contiguous acres due to partial ownership transfers may qualify if certain criteria are met. Property must be owned by an individual(s) or any entity registered to conduct business in Georgia. More than 50 percent of the land must be used to produce forest products, but the land may be used for secondary purposes including: hunting or fishing leases, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, mitigation and conservation banking or production of ecosytem products and services. Land valuation is obtained using the same formula for CUVA and excludes the value of a residence located on the property. Property enrolled in FLPA must be used for 16

the growth of timber for all 15 years of the covenant. The penalty for a breach depends on which year the breach occurs in the life of the covenant. If the breach occurs in years 1-5, the penalty equals three times the tax savings, starting with year one of the covenant. The penalty equals 2.5 times the tax savings for breaches occurring in years 6-10 starting with year one of the covenant. If the breach happens in years 11-15, the penalty equals 1.5 times the tax savings starting with year one of the covenant.

Value of conservation tax programs “Ninety-two percent of the land in Georgia is privately owned. Programs like CUVA and FLPA give landowners incentive to keep it that way when land prices rise,” said Bob Izlar, director of the University of Georgia Center for Forest Business. Izlar served as director of the GFA at the time CUVA was implemented. “A lot of land that was sold at high prices in the early 2000s for development around Atlanta before the recession hit is now in foreclosure.” In 2010, there were 166,206 parcels of land enrolled in CUVA covenants that saved enrolled landowners $295.1 million. In 2010, there were 5,423 FLPA covenants that saved enrolled Georgia landowners $24.8 million in property taxes. A study released by the UGA Warnell School of Forestry last year estimated that Georgia residents annually receive more than $37 billion in environmental benefits from Georgia’s forestland in addition to the $28 billion worth of products the forestland generates yearly. “Before CUVA, the Georgia public was getting a free ride for the conservation benefits that landowners provide by keeping their land undeveloped,” Izlar said. “Essentially, CUVA determines how much the public is willing to pay a landowner for the clean air, clean water and soil conservation he provides by farming, growing trees and not developing his land. The number of covenants enrolled in both programs speaks to the need for these types of programs and their success. People in CUVA have committed not to do anything with their land for ten years and landowners enrolled in FLPA have made a 15-year commitment. I think this says a lot about the value farmers and tree growers place on

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

CUVA from page 6 the property that are used in the owner’s production of ag products or timber are included in the conservation use assessment but private residences and underlying property are excluded. If any land in a CUVA covenant is sold or there are changes in ownership during the 10-year period, the new owner must meet qualifications and apply to continue the original 10-year covenant to avoid breaching the covenant and incurring penalties. This includes change in partnership, divorce or death of a spouse. At the end of the 10-year covenant period, the landowner must reapply to enroll in CUVA again Landowners with less than 10 acres of qualifying land who apply for CUVA may be required to provide proof, such as IRS Schedule E or F, Form 1040 or 4835 to show ag income or loss. CUVA limits the number of acres that landowners may enroll in the program to 2,000. If a landowner purchases additional tracts of qualified property contiguous to their existing CUVA property, the landowner may add the newly acquired land into an existing CUVA covenant, if the newly acquired land is less than 50 acres.

A 2011 study released by the UGA Warnell School of Forestry shows that Georgia residents annually receive more than $37 billion in environmental benefits from Georgia’s forestland in addition to the $28 billion worth of products the forestland generates yearly. Property tax programs, such as the Forest Land Protection Act, encourage landowners with large tracts of timber to continue growing trees rather than selling the land for development.

keeping timberland and farmland working and protecting it against development.” Applications for both the CUVA and FLPA programs must be filed with the property owner’s local tax office between Jan. 1 and April 1. Editor’s Note: Information provided in this article is intended to provide a general overview of Georgia’s property tax incentives and is not a substitute for the advice of a legal or tax professional regarding a property owner’s individual situation. Property Tax Incentives for the Georgia Landowner, published by the UGA Center for Forest Business, was the primary source for information about the CUVA and FLPA programs. Contact the GFB Legislative Department at 1-800-898-1911 to obtain a printed copy of this book for $5 or visit: http://www. ugacfb.com/property_tax_incentives. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


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17


Member Services Update

ByJay

Murdock

GFB committed to offering valuable member benefits

G

eorgia Farm Bureau uses the size and strength of its membership numbers to negotiate partnerships with reputable companies who offer exclusive discounts to our members. It is our goal that every one of our valued members will be able to review the portfolio of member services and benefits and select one or

more that will save them much more than their $25 membership investment. Our leadership and staff are committed to researching, selecting and offering the bestquality and best-valued services available. Georgia Farm Bureau members saved more than $3 million through our member benefit programs in 2011.

Insurance Services

Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company is the largest personal lines property casualty insurance company based in the state of Georgia. Since 1959, we have provided trusted and secure insurance services to our membership. Our focus is serving the interests and insurance needs of Georgia residents and only Georgia residents. We’re owned by our members, which means we are 100% owned by Georgia policyholders. We’re also a local company with 158 county offices statewide. Our agents are your neighbors, and they know and serve the residents of the counties in which they live. Our local focus combined with our personal service is why so many Georgia Farm Bureau members stay with us throughout their lives. GFB strives to be the Georgia resident’s insurance company of choice for farm, automobile, life and dwelling insurance. We offer coverage for virtually every line of insurance and, in addition to our own products, your local Georgia Farm Bureau agent has strategic partnerships with the finest insurance providers in the industry; in other words we’ve got you covered!

FINANCIAL Services

We are proud to offer Financial Services through Farm Bureau Bank. Farm Bureau Bank was created by state Farm Bureaus to serve Farm Bureau members. Farm Bureau Bank supports the financial needs of members across 44 states. It is one of the strongest and most secure banks in the nation today with an unprecedented commitment to help Farm Bureau members achieve personal and professional goals. Offering deposit services, business services, vehicle loans, equipment loans, credit cards and more, Farm Bureau Bank is the Bank of Choice for Farm Bureau Members. See your local Farm Bureau agent for more information. 18

Below is a listing of some of our most popular member benefit programs. I encourage you to learn about and take advantage of all of the benefits and services available to you as a member. Thank you for your support of Georgia agriculture and thank you for allowing us to serve you.

FORD BONUS CASH PROGRAM

Georgia Farm Bureau members can get $500 Bonus Cash savings toward the purchase or lease of any eligible Ford or Lincoln vehicle. Members who have been active and in good-standing for at least 60 days are eligible to participate in this valuable offer. Visit www. fordspecialoffer.com/farmbureau/ga to take advantage of this exclusive member benefit.

HOTEL SAVINGS PROGRAMS

Farm Bureau members can save 20% off regular room rates at any of the Choice Hotels shown above. Reservations must be made in advance by either booking online at www.choicehotels.com or calling 1-800-258-2847. When booking online, click on the “Select Rate” drop-down menu and choose “Special Rate/Corp ID.” Enter the new Farm Bureau identification number of 00216530 and make your reservation. If you choose to make your reservation over the phone, please be sure to give the agent the ID number to ensure your reservation is booked at the correct rate. As a member of Georgia Farm Bureau, you will receive up to 20% off the “Best Available Rate” at nearly 7,000 participating Wyndham Hotels locations. Reservations must be made in advance by booking online at www.wyndham.com or calling 1-877-999-3223. When booking online, click on the “Enter promo/corporate #” link. Enter GFB code 1000000498 in the “Corporate ID #” box and make your reservation.

IDENTITY THEFT CONSULTATION & RESTORATION SERVICE*

Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America and in 2011 was the number one complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for the 12th consecutive year. Fortunately, you can rest easy knowing that Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


your Farm Bureau membership includes access to Identity Theft Consultation and Restoration Services for all eligible** family members in your household. Carry on with life knowing that a dedicated Recovery Advocate is working on your behalf to restore your identity and won’t stop until your identity is returned to pre-theft status. *Program is not identity theft protection, an insurance product or credit monitoring. **GFB member, spouse and children under the age of 19 (or 24, if a fulltime student)

CAR RENTAL DISCOUNT PROGRAM

We’ll put you on the road to savings… As a Farm Bureau member, you can save up to 20% on car rentals through Enterprise, National, Alamo and Hertz Rent-A-Car (discount varies by brand). Visit www.gfb.org/ benefits, click on “Car Rental Discount Program,” then click on the car rental company of your choice to book online, or use the listed discount phone number and discount code if reserving by phone.

THEME PARK DISCOUNTS

Your Farm Bureau leaders believe that family is a precious gift and realize the importance of spending time with our families and making memories. Take advantage of every moment and enjoy exclusive discounted tickets at each of the parks shown above as an added value of your Farm Bureau membership! Visit www.gfb.org/benefits for details and to purchase discounted tickets.

GRAINGER SUPPLY DISCOUNT

As a benefit of membership, Farm Bureau members receive at least a 10% discount on products from name-brand manufacturers such as DeWalt, Craftsman, Milwaukee, Carhartt, Georgia Pacific, 3M and Rubbermaid through Grainger Industrial Supply. Offering over 900,000 products, Grainger is “for the ones who get it done.” Member discounts are available when purchasing at local retail locations; by calling 1-877-202-2594; or ordering online at www.grainger.com using GFB account number 816135313. Members receive free freight when ordering on www.grainger.com.

DISCOUNT PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROGRAM

With the Farm Bureau Discount Prescription Card, members and their immediate family without prescription drug coverage can save up to 55% on prescription drugs by accessing the largest pharmacy discount network in the country. Members can present the card to over 56,000 participating pharmacies including Wal-mart, Walgreens, Kroger, Rite-Aid, Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Costco, K-Mart and many local, independent pharmacies. Agelity Discount Cards are available at your local county Farm Bureau or you may print cards online at www.gfb.org. Our website also provides online pharmacy tools such as pharmacy lookup, drug pricing, mailorder pricing & drug substitution information. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012

HEALTH SERVICES

Your Farm Bureau membership allows access to many health-related discounts and services such as insurance through Blue Cross/Blue Shield & Delta Dental and savings on hearing aids through ClearValue Hearing, Lasik through Qualsight, telephone medical consultations through Teladoc and Medical Alert Systems through VoiceCare. To explore further, please contact your local county Farm Bureau or visit www.gfb.org/benefits.

MEMBERS AUTOMOBILE BUYING SERVICE

Farm Bureau members can take advantage of this unique program that adds value to your membership. Members Automobile Buying Service (MABS) allows members to save time and money with a stress-free car buying experience. MABS handles the car-buying process for you and works with auto dealers in your market area and around the nation to provide you with the best possible price on your next purchase. This program is normally $199, but is included with your Farm Bureau Membership. To learn more, visit www. gfb.org/benefits or www.mabsamerica.com.

T

he Member Services Department is continuously assessing Farm Bureau membership benefits in an effort to bring you valuable offers in the future. If you have any questions about your membership or member benefits, please contact your county office or call the Member Services Department at 1-800-633-5432, select Option 1.

19


By Donna Rocker, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, 1-478-474-0679 Ext. 5365

I want a career in ag!

Have you ever thought about a career in agriculture? Farmers work hard year-round to produce our food, clothing, shelter and fuel. But agriculture is more than what happens on the farm. Agriculture is the largest employer in the U.S. with more than 23 million jobs. According to the United States Department of Agriculture publication Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Renewable Energy, and the Environment, United States, 2010-2015, “The agricultural, food, and renewable natural resources sectors of the U.S. economy will generate an estimated 54,400 annual openings for individuals with baccalaureate or higher degrees in [these areas] between 2010 and 2015.” Match some of the top careers with their definitions and then find them in the Word Search.

1. Agriculture inspector 2. Animal scientist 3. Biochemist 4. Environmental engineer 5. Farm financial planner 6. Food animal veterinarian

7. Food scientist 8. Hydrologist 9. Market research analyst 10. Natural sciences manager

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11. Plant scientist 12. Renewable energy specialist 13. Sales manager 14. Soil scientist 15. Technical writer

tion, reproduction, and development of domestic farm animals. C. Responsible for performing market research to determine how people perceive products and services. Helps companies understand what types of products peoI N S P

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ple want or need. D. Preserves our food supply by assuring its flavor, color, texture, nutritional quality, and safety. E. Manages the sale of items such as feed, machinery, fertilizer and seed to farmers and agricultural businesses. F. Helps evaluate farm businesses and provides an in-depth plan for the farm business so the operator and the lender can make decisions for the future. G. Is responsible for developing new varieties of crops and making crops more efficient to grow. H. Explains in simple language scientific and technical ideas that are difficult for the average reader to understand. I. Makes sure businesses comply with state and government regulations on health, quality and safety of food. J. Helps assess and protect our water supplies and water quality K. Studies the chemistry of living things L. Helps ensure that we can meet the world’s energy needs in the future using wind, biomass crops, agricultural residues, municipal wastes, or solar energy. M. Studies interactions between agricultural production and the environment N. Examines sediment, rock and mineral layers to determine what crops the land can support, how much livestock an area can feed or whether the soil can support the weight of a structure. O. Veterinarian who provides preventive care and treatment of injuries and diseases of animals who are bred for food and other products.

Answer key on page 31 20

Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


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21


(Continued from page 12) The Market at Rutland Farms Tifton www.rutlandfarms.com 229-821-0581 Tiger Mountain Orchard Tiger www.tigermountainorchards. webs.com 706-782-3290 T&T Farms Dublin 478-676-3670 The Rock Ranch The Rock www.therockranch.com 706-647-6374 Twin Oaks Fun Farm & Market Forsyth www.twinoaksfunfarm.com 678-544-0756 Uncle Bob’s Pumpkin Patch Newnan www.uncle-bob.com 770-253-8100

Calhoun Produce Inc. Ashburn www.calhounproduce.com 229-273-1887

The Market at Rutland Farms Tifton www.rutlandfarms.com 229-821-0581

Cagle’s Family Farm Canton www.caglesfamilyfarm.com 770-345-5591

Dean Farms Climax Until Oct. 30 229-246-2628

Thomas Orchards, Greenhouse & Gift Shop Bishop 706-769-5011

Double B Farms Christmas Trees Lizella 478-935-8742

SWEET POTATOES

Jack’s Creek Farms Bostwick www.jackscreekfarm.com 706-343-1855

Ellis Brothers Pecans Inc. Vienna www.werenuts.com 1-800-635-0616 Freeman Springs Family Farm Rocky Face www.freemanspringsfarm.com 706-270-2402 Ganas Pecan Farms Waycross www.gapecan.com 912-285-2589 Harvest Moon Market, LLC www.harvestmoonmarketllc.com 229-246-6750 Luck & Moody Peaches Barney 229-775-3300

Waldrop Mercantile & Farm Market Winston 770-942-4571

Marks Melon Patch Dawson www.marksmelonpatch.com 229-698-4750

Warbington Farms Cumming www.warbingtonfarms.com 770-380-2920

Merritt Pecan Co. Inc. Weston www.merritt-pecan.com 229-828-6610

Washington Farms Watkinsville www.washingtonfarms.net 706-769-0627

Pearson Farm Fort Valley www.pearsonfarm.com 478-825-7504

Yule Forest HWY 155/ The Pumpkin Patch Stockbridge www.aboutyule.com 770-954-9356

Perry Pecan & Produce Ellaville 229-937-2087

PECANS OR PEANUTS

Peyton’s Pecans Camilla www.peytonspecans.com 866-739-8607

Bay-Bird Farm Columbus 229-314-9341

RJ&G Farms Inc. Claxton 912-618-9312

22

Bay-Bird Farm Columbus 229-314-9341 Durrence Farm Reidsville Thru Thanksgiving 912-557-4939 Little Bend Orchard’s Apple Barn Ellijay 706-635-5898 Minter’s Farm Fayetteville www.mintersfarm.com 770-461-2840 Osage Farm Rabun Gap Thru October 706-746-6952

Lowrey Farms Rome On Facebook 706-295-1157 Minter’s Farm Fayetteville www.mintersfarm.com 770-461-2840 Ottawa Farms Bloomingdale www.ottawafarms.com 912-748-3035 Secret Forest Tarrytown www.secretforesttrees.com 912- 529-3702

Waldrop Mercantile & Farm Market Winston 770-942-4571

Spring Brook Farm LLC Carrollton www.springbrooktrees.com 770-861-5333

Williams Tractor Farm Bartow 478-552-2283 CHRISTMAS TREES

The Old Barn Christmas Tree Farm Sunnyside www.theoldbarnchristmastrees.com 770-227-5237

Berry’s Christmas Tree Farm Covington www.berrystreefarm.com 770-786-5833

Warbington Farms Cumming www.warbingtonfarms.com 770-380-2920

Berry Patch Farms Woodstock www.berrypatchfarms.net 770-926-0561

Yule Forest HWY 155 Stockbridge www.aboutyule.com 770-954-9356

Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


©2012 Media Services S-9388 OF25624R-1

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23


GFB cookbooks still available Legacy of Georgia Cooking, published by the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, features recipes provided by GFB members. These dishes, most of which feature Georgia-grown commodities, have been served at family suppers, Farm Bureau and church events statewide. Most county Farm Bureaus are selling the cookbook, which is beautifully illustrated with original artwork and photos depicting Georgia agriculture. To purchase a cookbook, contact your county Farm Bureau office or the GFB Field Services Department at 478-0679, ext. 5231 or email mmakers@gfb.org. The recipe we’re sharing is perfect for fall. “This was an unusual recipe I had to try,” said cookbook editor Donna Hellwig Rocker. “It was wonderful! Very moist and tasty. Perfect for the Oktoberfest dinner at my church.”

Sauerkraut Apple Cake Susan Hurt, Habersham County 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsps. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 2 tsps. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 1 cup vegetable oil 2 tbsps. molasses 11/2 cups white sugar 4 eggs 16 oz. sauerkraut, drained & rinsed 1 apple, peeled, cored & finely chopped 1 cup chopped pecans Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl combine oil, molasses and sugar with an electric mixer. Mix in eggs. Blend

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in dry ingredients. Stir in sauerkraut, apples and nuts with spoon. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve with a cream cheese frosting. Serves 18.

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Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


GFB announces college scholarships Georgia Farm Bureau will award a total of $14,250 in scholarships to 10 high school seniors who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agricultural field. The top three students will each receive a scholarship of $3,000. The remaining seven students will each receive a $750 scholarship. Students submitting an application must currently be a Georgia high school senior and plan to enroll in a unit of the University System of Georgia or Berry Col-

lege during the 2013-2014 academic year. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information or an application. The application deadline is February 22, 2013. Applications must be approved and signed by the Farm Bureau president of the county in which the applicant resides or attends high school.    You may also download a copy of the

application by visiting http://www.gfb. org, Programs and then Ag in the Classroom. The Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee sponsor the scholarship program. Winners will be announced in May 2013.

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Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012

25


GFB names Picture Agriculture in Georgia winners By Jennifer Whittaker 1

2

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Photos are numbered for i.d. purposes and do not indicate contest rankings.

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Haley Anderson of Screven County shot the winning photo of Georgia Farm Bureau’s 3rd Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia contest. Anderson’s shot of a farmer driving a tractor against a breathtaking sunset won her $150 as the overall grand prize winner and earned her the distinction of having her photo featured on the cover of the 2013 GFB Young Farmer Calendar. GFB members and employees submitted more than 250 photos in the contest. A panel of professional photographers selected 12 photos from the member category entries and the three winners of the employees’ category. Young farmers attending the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference in July chose the grand prize winner from the 12 member photos. Honorable mention prizes of $75 were awarded to the following in the member category: Garrett Anderson, Helen Barrett, Gerald Calhoun, Becky Durham, Charlie Harris, Eddie McGriff, Janet Mazurek, Michael Provenzano, Clay Talton, Dwight Wallace Sr. and Anna Wilson. Lee County Farm Bureau Secretary Donna Sumners won the grand prize of $100 in the employee category. Houston County Farm Bureau Office Manager Lisa Dean won the $75 prize for second place in the category, and Oglethorpe County Farm Bureau Office Manager Linda Whitehead won the $50 third place prize. “The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee was thrilled with the interest Farm Bureau members across the state showed in the photo contest,” said GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Jake Carter. “This is a fun way to get a true snapshot of Georgia’s diverse agriculture while allowing our members to share some special moments in their lives.” The 2013 GFB Young Farmer Calendar features the 12 member photos shown here. Contact your county Farm Bureau office to obtain a calendar. GFB plans to hold the contest again next year, so start shooting photos to enter! Contest details will be available next spring on GFB’s website and at your county Farm Bureau office.

Plowing Cotton at Sunset.................................1 $150 Grand Prize Member Category Haley Anderson, Screven County Anderson shot this photo of her husband Garrett plowing a few rounds of cotton on their Screven County farm with his 1953 model 60 John Deere around sunset during the summer of 2011. “I happened to catch him at the right place at the right time,” Haley said. “There’s nothing like a beautiful sunset in God’s country! I think this photo represents the work ethic of a true American farmer – working from sunrise to sunset!” Haley returned to the cotton field during the 2011 harvest, loaning her camera to Garrett, who won an honorable mention with a photo he shot of the cotton being picked. Afternoon Shower (shown below) $150 Grand Prize Employee Category Donna Sumner, Lee County Sumner captured this photo in July 2011 while riding around the family farm checking irrigation pivots with her son Matthew, who was home from veterinary school. Donna snapped the picture as they waited for the irrigation pivot to cross the dirt road that divides the cornfield. The Sumners use the corn to feed the dairy heifers they raise. “I usually try to take my camera with me on the farm because you never know when a photo opportunity may arise,” Donna said.

Member Category Honorable Mentions Three Bales Deep, Six Rows Wide..................2 Garrett Anderson, Screven County Garrett shot this photo of his best friend Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


Halo Over the Herd............................................3 Helen Barrett, Habersham County Barrett shot this photo in early April. She had been taking pictures of scenic Crescent Hill Baptist Church on Ga. Hwy. 17 in the Nacoochee Valley of Sautee Nachoochee to enter the contest and was leaving when she spotted the cows across the road. “As I was leaving I saw the cows and the clouds and thought ‘I might as well make their picture,’ ” Barrett said. “I was at the right place at the right time to get the ‘halo’!” The Holsteins belong to the London family of White County. Ham & Eggs..........................................................4 Gerald Calhoun, Turner County Watson, the pot-bellied pig, was only threemonths old when he came to live at the Calhoun farm at Easter. The Calhouns, who own Calhoun Produce, purchased Watson so visitors coming to the farm could see farm animals. “The baby chicks just took up with him. They jumped in his pen and would lay on him, and he would sleep through it,” said Gerald’s wife, Joyce. “They stayed with him for about two weeks until they grew up and started pecking him, and we had to separate them. Watson grew enough and is now living in a pen with another pot-bellied pig, Abigail. He’s a real highlight of the farm. Kids love him.” First Born....................................................... 5 Becky Durham, Greene County Durham was in the calving lot on her family’s dairy farm taking photos of another calf born earlier in the day on April 20 when she noticed this Jersey heifer was in labor with her first calf. As soon as the bull calf was born, Durham started taking photos. “The calf had just been born, and the mama Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012

cow was starting to clean it,” Durham said. “We had two Jerseys give birth on April 20, and a Holstein gave birth the next day.” Pretty in Pink........................................................6 Charlie Harris, Crawford County This photo of blooming peach trees was shot at Dickey Farms in Musella, about a mile from Harris’ house. “We can see the peach orchard from our house,” Harris said. “The orchard sits on a hill which lets us see the trees. They’re beautiful.” Frost Protection...................................................7 Eddie McGriff, Coffee County In March, McGriff shot this photo of Coffee County farmer Wayne McKinnon’s blueberry field being irrigated to provide frost protection. It seems counterintuitive that plants can be protected from frost with ice, but the system works because water, when it freezes, gives up heat to the environment. Water has to be constantly applied during the freezing weather. As long as the ice is kept wet, the temperature in the ice will remain 32˚F, which is warmer than the lower temperatures that will damage the blueberry crop. Best Buddies.........................................................8 Janet Mazurek, Elbert County Mazurek shot this photo of baby goats B.B., left, and Little Orphan Annie, right, on her farm this past spring. Mazurek said the kids were born six days apart in March to different moms. After Annie’s mom rejected her, B.B.’s mom started nursing Annie. “They became fast friends right from the start. They were always very near each other. I often took the camera out in the goat pasture because they are just so adorable and do the cutest things,” Mazurek said. Just the Two of Us................................................9 Michael Provenzano, Oconee County Provenzano shot this photo with a camera he got last year at Christmas. He spent the winter studying photography and hit the road looking for photos in March. He came upon the horses while driving the back roads of Oconee County. Mike took several pictures the day he shot this photo, but the photo of the horses was the only picture that came out from that day’s photo shoot. The Ocean Farm..............................................10 Clay Talton, Elbert County Talton captured this photo last December while attending the GFB Convention. He shot See WINNERS page 31

7

8

9

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Photos are numbered for i.d. purposes and do not indicate contest rankings.

and fellow farmer Stuart Boykin while he was helping Anderson harvest his 2011 cotton crop. Garrett’s wife, Haley, was visiting the field to take pictures and asked him to hold her camera. “I’m usually the one behind the steering wheel of the farm equipment. It’s very rare that I get to be on the observing end, but I was holding Haley’s camera and just decided to take some pictures,” Garrett said. “My heart sank when Donna Pye [the Screven County Farm Bureau office manager] called me to tell me I won because I was afraid I beat Haley. I breathed a sigh of relief that she won the grand prize because her picture was really good. Her winning the contest was worth its weight in gold to me.”

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12 27


GFB salutes GHSA champions

Photos are courtesy of MyBaxley.com

G

eorgia Farm Bureau is continuing its sponsorship of the Georgia High School Association as the official insurance sponsor for all GHSA sports and academic competitions. We congratulated the state champions of the 2011-2012 fall and winter competitions in our spring/summer issue. Below is a list of the schools that won 2011-2012 state championships for events that occurred at the end of the school year. “Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to begin our second year as a sponsor of the Georgia High School Association,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “We wanted to give back to our members, and we think this partnership is a perfect match to reinvest in our local communities by supporting our youth as the GHSA competitions involve public and private schools statewide.” Look for the GFB logo at state competitions this fall and winter. GFB is also presenting the “Georgia High School Scoreboard Show,” which began its 17th season in August. The popular Friday night program has become a staple for high school football fans across Georgia from 10 p.m. until midnight.

Appling County Farm Bureau Director Billy Wayne Sellers, right, presents the GHSA Class AA State Baseball Championship trophy to Jeremy Smith, head coach of the ACHS Pirates Baseball team. Top photo: All of the seniors on the team played baseball together since they were nine and 10 years old. In June the Minnesota Twins signed ACHS player Byron Buxton, fifth from right, back row, as an outfielder for their team. Buxton is the son of Appling County Farm Bureau members Felton and Carrie Buxton.

GYMNASTICS (April 27) –– Teams –– 1. Tift County 2. Lambert 3. Alpharetta 4. Newnan 5. Lowndes 6. Lassiter

–– Boys –– A - Brookstone AA - North Oconee AAA - Gainesville AAAA - Marist AAAAA - Milton –– Girls –– A - Athens Academy (Continued on next page) 28

Photo by Geri Powell

GOLF (May 7)

Members of the First Presbyterian Day School Lady Vikings Soccer Team pose with their GHSA Class A State Soccer Championship trophy while wearing their championship hats that include the GFB logo. This is the second consecutive year the team has won the state GHSA championship since joining the association two years ago. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


(Continued from previous page) AA - Greater Atlanta Christian AAA - Gainesville AAAA - Lakeside, Evans AAAAA - Milton

SOCCER (May 18-19)

LACROSSE (May 19)

–– Boys –– A thru AAAA – Lambert AAAAA - Milton –– Girls –– A thru AAAA - Westminster AAAAA - Milton

–– Boys –– A - Aquinas AA - Westminster AAA - Woodward Academy AAAA - Lambert AAAAA - Collins Hill –– Girls –– A - First Presbyterian AA - Greater Atlanta Christian AAA – Allatoona AAAA – McIntosh AAAAA - Milton

TRACK

––Boys Team Champions –– (May 10-12) A - Athens Christian AA - Putnam County AAA - Carrollton AAAA - Kell AAAAA - Brookwood –– Girls Team Champions –– (May 3-5) A - Athens Christian AA - Greater Atlanta Christian AAA - Monroe AAAA - Redan AAAAA - Walton

BASEBALL (May 26-28) A - Providence Christian AA - Appling County AAA - Columbus AAAA - Loganville AAAAA - Parkview

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Exhibit explores Georgia’s soundtrack

CALLAWAY from page 4 they seem to be steady every year,” he said. “We just have to find a good use for them. It’s an unusual looking tree with small leaves.” His work in the garden has some aspects in common with Farm Bureau programs, particularly in outreach and education. School groups visit Mr. Cason’s garden to learn how vegetables and flowers grow. Callaway offers scavenger hunts to prompt students to identify various plants and other notable things in the garden. In the summer, children from families vacationing at Callaway have the chance to plow or plant plots of vegetables. “It’s things they’re not really doing or seeing at home,” Chambers said. 30

New Harmonies Exhibit Tour Dates Oct. 27-Dec. 1, 2012

Moultrie

Colquitt County Arts Center

Dec. 8, 2012-Jan. 26, 2013

Toccoa

Currahee Military Museum

Feb. 9-March 23, 2013

Bremen

Warren Sewell Memorial Library

March 30-May 11, 2013

Thomson

McDuffie Museum

May 18- June 29, 2013

Nashville

Nashville Community Center

July 6-Aug. 17, 2013

Americus

Rylander Theatre

Aug. 24-Oct. 5, 2013

Waycross

Okefenokee Heritage Center

Oct. 12-Nov. 26, 2013

LaGrange

Legacy on Main Museum

Photo by Jay Stome

A traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution is hitting the high notes of Georgia’s rich musical heritage as it makes it way across the state. New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music begins the fifth leg of its 12-stop Georgia tour Oct. 27 in Moultrie. The exhibit was on display earlier this year in Calhoun, Madison, Darien and Perry. New Harmonies highlights various types of American music including blues, country, folk, gospel, Native American and sacred harp. The exhibit features interactive panels, listening kiosks and display cases that allow each community to explore and showcase its unique musical heritage. Host communities are offering companion programming for all ages including festivals, concerts and contests. The exhibit is sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council in partnership with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, Georgia Council for the Arts and Georgia Department of Economic Development. Upcoming tour stops are listed at right. To learn more visit http://www. georgiahumanities.org/newharmonies or call 404-523-6220, ext. 12 or 17.

Children can take part in scavenger hunts that prompt them to identify a variety of flower and vegetable species in Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


– Kid’s Corner Answer Key – 2 -B

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WINNERS from page 27 the photo from the St. Simon’s Island pier looking toward Jekyll Island. “We were taking family pictures and just happened to notice the shrimp boat coming in with the great sunset behind it,” Talton said. Hay Rake in Evening Sun...........................11 Dwight Wallace Sr., Peach County Wallace specifically took this photo for the contest in April at a farm about four miles out of Marshallville. “I had driven by the pecan orchard several times, and the rake never caught my eye because the light wasn’t right,” Wallace said. “The pecan orchard is usually real shady until the afternoon I drove by when the light was just right lighting up the orchard and the rake.” Watermelon Patch Princess........................12 Anna Wilson, Hart County Wilson shot this photo of her daughter, Grace, during a family gathering at her grandmother’s house in Dacula, Ga. “The kids were outside playing and talked my uncle into cutting one of the watermelons he grew,” Wilson said. “Grace loves watermelon. She’ll eat a whole watermelon herself, if you let her.” Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012

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Something’s Cooking You wanna “pizza” me?

Egg recipe contest features pizza pies

T

he 29th Annual Georgia Egg Commission Recipe Contest featured an Italian theme, “Your Supreme Pizza With Eggs.” The nine finalists took the theme around the globe - from the German Pancake Pizza entered by Thomaston’s Kevin Meyer to the Mexican Huevos Rancheros Pizza submitted by James Brooks of Byron - and around the menu from breakfast to dessert. Associates of The Mellow Mushroom restaurant chain judged the contest. Karen Slaughter of Warner Robins won the $2,000 first-place prize at the finals of the contest, which were held May 16 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. In her entry, Cornbread Pizza Scramble, Slaughter fashioned the pizza crust from cornbread and used honey vanilla Greek yogurt, bacon, pineapple and apricots to a create a warm and sweet pizza that combines a variety of flavors. She tested it on her family and friends. “Whenever I made it around the house,

Cornbread Pizza Scramble 1st place, Karen Slaughter Serves 4-5 Vegetable oil spray 5 bacon slices 5 tbsps. margarine, divided 1(6 oz.) carton honey vanilla Greek yogurt 6 eggs, divided 11/2 tbsps. brown sugar 1 (8.5 oz.) package corn muffin mix 1 (8 oz.) can of crushed pineapple, well drained 3 tbsps. dried apricots, chopped and divided 1 tbsp. apricot jam 1 tbsp. honey vanilla Greek yogurt Salt & Pepper to taste 6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 32

playing with the recipe, my husband just loved it so much he’d say ‘Don’t throw it out,’ ” Slaughter said. “When my husband says he’ll just keep eating off of it, then I know I’ve got something going.” Jackson County Farm Bureau Office Manager Ali Merk took the $850 secondplace prize with her Taste of Summer Fruit Pizza. Brooks claimed the $650 thirdplace. Rhonda Hitch of Kathleen won the $100 Best In Show prize for presentation with her Garden of Eden Pizza. Other contestants were Meyer, Mildred Felton of Winterville, Betsy Tansey of Woodstock, Virginia Webb of Clarkesville and Jamie Jones of Madison. For a free copy of the contest recipes, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winning Recipes, Georgia Egg Commission, P.O. Box 2929, Suwanee, GA 30024. The theme of the 2013 recipe contest is “Eggs … Any Way … Any Time … Any Where.” The recipe must be original, use a minimum of four eggs, serve at least four people and be prepared in 60 minutes or less. The deadline to enter the contest is Preheat oven to 400oF. Spray a 121/4 inch x 1/2-inch pizza pan with vegetable spray. Set aside. Cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels. Crumble into pieces when cool. Set aside. In microwave oven, melt 2 tablespoons margarine and allow to cool. In a mediumsized bowl, beat together carton of yogurt (reserving one tablespoon), 1 egg, brown sugar and melted margarine. Stir in corn muffin mix, crushed pineapple and 2 tablespoons of chopped dried apricots until mixed. Spread mixture evenly into pizza pan. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. While crust is baking, melt another 2 tablespoons of margarine in microwave. When melted, add remaining

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone

1st place winner Karen Slaughter

April 1, 2013. Contestants must be age 13 or older by April 1. Other eligibility requirements will apply. Call 770-932-4622 or email goodeggs@bellsouth.net for more information. tablespoon of apricots and the apricot jam; stir to mix. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat five eggs, 1 tablespoon of yogurt and salt and pepper until light and foamy. In a small non-stick skillet melt remaining 2 tablespoons of margarine, pour beaten eggs into pan and cook over medium until scrambled. When crust is done, brush with the melted margarine apricot mixture, then sprinkle cheddar cheese over pizza, reserving a little to sprinkle on top of eggs. Scoop scrambled eggs on top of pizza and sprinkle with a little cheese around the edge. Place crumbled bacon around pizza. Place pan in oven for about 2 minutes to melt cheese. Remove from oven and garnish as desired. Serve. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


Taste of Summer Fruit Pizza 2nd place, Ali Merk Serves 6-8

Pastry cream: 2 cups milk 1/4 cup sugar 3 eggs 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/3 cup sugar 2 tbsps. butter 1 tsp. vanilla

Photo by Jay Stone

Crust: 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 1/4 cup sugar 1 egg 11/2 cups flour Pinch of salt Pizza stone Oil spray

Taste of Summer Fruit Pizza

Crust: Preheat oven to 375o F. Cream butter in mixer with sugar until fluffy, add egg and mix until incorporated. Add flour and salt; mix until combined. Form into a disk on plastic wrap and chill for 15-30 minutes in refrigerator or 10-15 minutes in freezer. Flatten onto a sprayed stone. Prick dough center; bake 15 minutes until crust is lightly brown and dry. Cool. Pastry Cream: In a heavy pan, mix milk

Glaze: 1/2 cup clear jam or jelly (apple, apricot, scuppernong) 1 tbsp. water Assorted fresh or canned fruit Whipped cream, mint and/or chocolate for garnish

and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to boil over medium heat. In medium bowl, beat eggs. In separate bowl, mix cornstarch and 1/3 cup sugar; add to egg and whisk until smooth. Temper egg mixture slowly with hot milk by drizzling and mixing together. Return mixture to pan and slowly bring back to boil. Never stop stirring! Once back to a boil and thickened, remove from heat. Whisk in butter and vanilla. Run through sieve to catch lumps. Put in container to cool. Place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream to prevent skin from forming on cream. Glaze: Heat jam/jelly and water over stove or in microwave until melted. To assemble pizza, spread cream on crust. Top with fruit arranged in a beautiful pattern. Brush with glaze. Garnish with mint or chocolate.

Huevos Rancheros Pizza

200 varieties of fruit, nut and berry plants

3rd place, James Brooks Serves 6-8

Place crust on baking stone. Layer and spread evenly with refried beans, green chili sauce, pepper jack cheese, corn tortillas and fried eggs. Top eggs with half of the Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012

Grow Half-Dollar Size Muscadines and Blackberries

Photo by Jay Stone

1 12-inch pizza crust 2/3 cup refried beans 2/3 cup green chili enchilada sauce 1 cup pepper jack shredded cheese, Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand 5 corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces 5 eggs, fried 2 cups Mexican blend cheese, shredded 2/3 cup black beans, rinsed and drained 1 tbsp. butter 11/2 cups frozen raw shrimp, peeled & deveined 1 cup frozen, cooked chicken fajita meat 1/2 tsp. cumin 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced 1/2 cup avocado, diced 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced Salsa Sour cream

Huevos Rancheros Pizza

Mexican blend cheese and half of the black beans. Heat butter in a small skillet. Add the shrimp and chicken and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. Cook until the shrimp turns pink. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle evenly over pizza top with the other half of cheese, black beans and red bell pepper. Sprinkle with cumin as desired. Bake for 15 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro and avocado. Serve with salsa and sour cream to taste.

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Georgia Department of Agriculture launches Georgia Grown

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Photo By Brandon Ashley

T

he Georgia Department of Agriculture, under the leadership of Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, recently launched a new economic development initiative for Georgia agribusinesses and companies looking for local business resources. The Georgia Grown program will bring together an array of members from small artisans and niche farmers interested in growing their business to multinational corporations looking to increase trade opportunities and add jobs. It is open to anyone in the state interested in supporting the state’s number one industry, which has a $68.9 billion impact on Georgia’s economy each year. “The benefits of a successful program

Fannin County Farm Bureau President Tim Mercier, right, pours samples of apple cider made at his family’s fourth-generation apple orchard for customers who attended a recent Georgia Grown Farmers Showcase held at the Atlanta State Farmers Market operated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) in Forest Park. Mercier Orchards is a member of the GDA’s Georgia Grown program and is a Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market.

that reaches across the state and beyond will be wide-reaching,” said Commissioner Black of the program, which launched in January. “From economic and job growth to the environmental benefits resulting from reduced crop applications, buying locally benefits everyone in the supply chain.” Black said the program also offers a better understanding of agriculture, its impact on everyday life and the opportunities it affords in terms of future employment and investment to businesses and the public. Businesses interested in being listed on the program’s easy-to-search database can post business contact information for free. Georgia Grown subscription memberships, available at $100, $500 or $2,500

annual membership levels, offer additional benefits to help businesses grow and reach the next level of success. These benefits range from professionally designed Georgia Grown marketing tools and templates to economic development help for businesses looking to become regional or international suppliers. Additional, customized Founders Circle sponsorship packages are also available. Visit http://www.georgiagrown.com for more information about the Georgia Grown program or to join. Businesses interested in learning more about Platinum or Founders Circle level packages should call Georgia Grown Marketing Director Branden Lisi at 678-447-2228.

Share your opinion The Georgia Grown program is conducting a survey to better understand the opinions, experiences and preferences for locally grown products. Your input is valued and will be kept strictly confidential (used only for the purposes of research for this project). This survey will be available for a limited time at http://www.georgiagrown.com. Please take 10 minutes and lend your voice to the future of Georgia Agriculture. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012

Photo by Mark Wildman

WE, THE FARMERS from page 2 this year and Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to be part of the celebration. We’ve been an Expo exhibitor since the first show in 1978. This year we’re continuing our partnership with the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) to highlight Georgia’s number one industry at the Georgia Agriculture Building. Stop by and visit us right inside the main gate. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and I will host a Coke and peanut social from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 and Oct. 17. Our staff will be on hand to share how our organizations are working to promote Georgia agriculture. There will also be multiple cooking demonstrations each day to highlight the delicious, nutritious food Georgia farmers produce. Speaking of food grown in Georgia, GFB is proud to sponsor the GDA’s Georgia Grown program. The GDA has promoted Georgia-grown commodities for years but has relaunched the initiative during the past year to increase Georgians’ awareness of the program. Since 1986, GFB has promoted farmers who sell their commodities straight to consumers through our GFB Certified Farm Markets (CFM). With 109 participating markets, the CFM Program has seen a 56 percent increase in members over the last four years. Both of these programs are designed to connect consumers with the farmers who grow their food. Many of our CFMs are participating in the Georgia Grown program. You can learn more about our CFM program and markets offering fall produce on page 12 and the Georgia Grown program on page 34. If you’ve lived in Georgia for any time you know how lucky we are to have farmers who provide us with locally grown produce, peanuts, beef, chicken, milk and eggs. Imagine going one year without being able to enjoy Georgia apples, peanuts, peaches or blueberries! Georgia agriculture is so well recognized that the Georgia National Guard is preparing to send a third team of guard members to Afghanistan to help Afghan farmers improve their farming skills in an effort to stabilize the country’s economy and rebuild its agricultural infrastructure after more than 30 years of war. The University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences has provided training for all three Agribusiness Development Teams (ADT) that deployed from Georgia. ADT I, formed from members of the 201st Regional Support Group

Pictured from right, GFB President Zippy Duvall recently visited with Tift County Farm Bureau members Andrew, Drew and Lauren Grimes as they harvested their peanut crop.

(RSG), deployed from Fort Gordon last year and returned this past April. ADT II, which consists of members of the 265th RSG based out of Metter, assumed command of the Aghan ag mission in April and will continue to serve until ADT III relieves them next spring. The third team will again consist of members of the 201st RSG, and eight members of ADT 1 from Augusta, Atlanta, Clarksville, Dalton and Ringgold are scheduled to deploy a second time. I had the chance to speak to all three teams during their training at UGA, and I can tell you that each of these teams has consisted of brave men and women who love our country and are willing to serve so that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms of home, like eating fresh boiled peanuts while watching football. I think it’s important to note that our military’s strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan is to repair their farming infrastructure. This shows how important it is that a nation is able to feed itself. The agriculture community has a saying that being able to grow our own food is a matter of national security. If you don’t believe that, just look at Afghanistan. You may have read or heard media reports this year about the farm bill Congress has been working on. Critics of the farm bill say a farm bill isn’t needed when commodity prices are high. Yes, prices for most commodities are higher right now, but farm prices have always been cyclical, and they will most likely drop again. High commodity prices are also being offset by higher production costs. In a country where agriculture is one of the main economic engines of our economy, we need to make sure we have a safety net

for agriculture, not just for farmers, but for the benefit of all Americans so we can continue to feed ourselves. When you hear the media talk about the farm bill, keep in mind that only about 10 percent of the total United States Department of Agriculture budget is allocated for farm programs. Conservation and forestry programs account for eight percent and 74 percent is allocated to food assistance and nutrition programs that help needy Americans. Georgia Farm Bureau began 75 years ago out of the need Georgia farmers had for representation at the state Capitol and in the halls of Congress, and our purpose remains the same, to be the voice of Georgia’s farmers. Through the years our organization has grown as we began to offer member services such as insurance and discount benefits to meet our members’ changing needs. Membership has been the core component of Georgia Farm Bureau since it formed in 1937, and it will continue to be. As we grow older and mature in God’s word, he expects us to work hard and prepare for the harvest. It has been a long, hot summer with many challenges for all Georgians. Whether it be our farmers, our student athletes or our men and women in uniform, the season has been long, but now the fields are ripe for harvest. In the New International Version of the Bible we read in John 4:35 that Jesus said, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest!” God bless you and your family during this wonderful harvest season. 35


James & Brooke Hitchcock are finalists for the GFB YF Achievement Award. They are pictured with their son, J.W. and daughter Moriah.

Chris & Marilynn Hopkins are finalists for the GFB YF Achievement Award. They are pictured with their son, Banks.

Photo by Jay Stone

Photo by Jed Evans

GFB annually recognizes its up-andcoming leaders through the GFB Young Farmer Achievement and Discussion Meet Contests. Finalists for each contest were announced in July at the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference. The state winner of each contest will be named during the GFB convention in December. Both contests are open to farmers ages 18 to 35. Matt Bottoms of Pike County, Kyle Dekle of Habersham County, B.J. Marks of Newton County and Clay Talton of Elbert County were selected as the four finalists of the Discussion Meet Contest during the preliminary rounds of competition held at the July conference. The four were among 23 contestants competing to make it to the final round of the contest to be held at the GFB convention. The discussion meet is intended to simulate a committee meeting during which agriculturalists discuss issues impacting agriculture. In the three preliminary rounds, the contestants were divided into groups of five or six contestants to hold their discussions. During the preliminary rounds of competition the contestants discussed the following topics: 1) what a fair and balanced immigration policy should include 2) Farm Bureau’s role in encouraging the transfer of farm operations from one generation to the next and 3) how Farm Bureau might reach out to non-farm members to enhance the value of their memberships. During the final round of competition in December, the finalists will discuss one of the following topics: What can be done to encourage young people to return home to

the farm if living in a rural area doesn’t provide the same amenities as a metropolitan community or How can Farm Bureau play a role in ensuring the viability of ag education programs in schools? The discussion meet winner will receive a $500 cash award, an Arctic Cat 500 4x4 all-terrain vehicle and an expense-paid trip to the 2013 American Farm Bureau (AFB) Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 13-16, to compete for national honors. The three state runners-up will each receive $350 from SunTrust Bank. The three finalists of the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award are James and Brooke Hitchcock, Washington County; Chris and Marilynn Hopkins, Toombs County and Charlie Sanders, Greene County. The Hitchcocks grow corn, cotton, peanuts and raise cattle. The Hopkins grow corn, cotton, peanuts, pecans, watermelon and wheat. Sanders and his wife, Nancie, are partners in the family dairy farm along with her grandfather, parents and brother. Charlie is the farm’s heifer and calf manager. The GFB Achievement winner will receive $500, the free use of a Kubota L or M series tractor for one year and an expensepaid trip to the 2013 AFB Convention to compete for national honors. The two state runners-up will each receive $250 from GFB. The national winners of both contests will receive a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM, and paid registration to the 2013 YF Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The runners-up in both national contests will receive a Case IH Farmall tractor from Case IH, a $2,500 cash prize and a STIHL Farm Boss from STIHL.

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone

Photo by Jay Stone

Finalists named in GFB Young Farmer Competitions

Pictured from right, GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Jake Carter congratulates the finalists of the 2012 GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet: B.J. Marks of Newton County, Matt Bottoms of Pike County, Clay Talton of Elbert County and Kyle Dekle of Habersham County. They’ll compete for state honors at the GFB Annual Convention in December.

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Charlie Sanders, second from left, is a finalist for the GFB YF Achievement Award. He is pictured with his wife, Nancie, and children from left, Breanna, Brooke and Caleb. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2012


Chicago Doctor Invents Affordable Hearing Aid Outperforms Many Higher Priced Hearing Aids

Reported by J. Page CHICAGO: A local board-certified Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) physician, Dr. S. Cherukuri, has just shaken up the hearing aid industry with the invention of a medical-grade, affordable hearing aid. This revolutionary hearing aid is designed to help millions of people with hearing loss who cannot afford—or do not wish to pay—the much higher cost of traditional hearing aids.

“Perhaps the best quality-toprice ratio in the hearing aid industry” – Dr. Babu, M.D. Board Certified ENT Physician Dr. Cherukuri knew that untreated hearing loss could lead to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s dementia. He could not understand why the cost for hearing aids was so high when the prices on so many consumer electronics like TVs, DVD players, cell phones and digital cameras had fallen. Since Medicare and most private insurance do not cover the costs of hearing aids, which traditionally run between $2000-$6000 for a pair, many of the doctor’s patients could not afford the expense. Dr. Cherukuri’s goal was to find a reasonable solution that would help with the most common types of hearing loss at an affordable price, not unlike the “one-size-fits-most” reading glasses available at drug stores. He evaluated numerous hearing devices and sound amplifiers, including those seen on television. Without fail, almost all of these were found to amplify bass/ low frequencies (below 1000 Hz) and not useful in amplifying the frequencies related to the human voice.

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Farm Bureau's Georgia Neighbors - Fall 2012  

Farm Bureau's Georgia Neighbors - Fall 2012