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Vol. 76 No.2

GEORGIA

April 2014

FARM BUREAU NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers


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contents april 2014

departments

we, the farmers PAGE 4

legislative update PAGE 5

commodities update PAGE 10

ag in the classroom PAGE 17

young farmer update PAGE 18

around georgia PAGE 20

public relations staff Andy Lucas Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone Print/Web Specialist Lillian Davis Publications/Advertising Manager Ray D’Alessio Senior Producer/TV Host Michael Edmondson Web/Video Manager Mark Wildman Senior Radio-TV Specialist Kenny Burgamy Co-Anchor/Reporter Dean Wood Radio-TV Specialist Damon Jones Radio-TV Specialist Vickie Amos Office Coordinator For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail jawhittaker@gfb.org For questions regarding advertising contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., 1-800-397-8908 Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau

GFB county presidents meet U.S. Senate candidates

Georgia Farm Bureau held a forum Feb. 19 in conjunction with the GFB Presidents’ Conference to give candidates running to be Georgia’s next U.S. Senator a chance to address county Farm Bureau leaders. PAGE 6

Farm bill row crop provisions covered in GPC webinar

The 2014 farm bill, titled the Agriculture Act of 2014, gives Georgia row crop farmers a choice between three crop insurance coverage options, which were reviewed in a webinar session presented by the Georgia Peanut Commission. PAGE 8

Georgia Beef Commission holding assessment referendum

Georgia cattle producers have until midnight April 15 to mail their ballots in the referendum being held to determine if growers will pay a $1 per head assessment to fund research, education and promotional efforts for Georgia’s beef PAGE 11 industry.

Farmers get industry updates at Soybean/Small Grain Expo

Soybean and grain producers heard research and policy updates on their crops, elected the 2014 officers of the Georgia/Florida Soybean Association and recognized outstanding producers during the annual Georgia/Florida Soybean/Small Grain Expo held Feb. 7. PAGE 12

GFB continues support of state 4-H & FFA livestock programs For the third year, Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the grand champion prizes at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in February. Meet the winners of this show along with the winners of the 2013 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat & Lamb Shows held last fall. PAGE 14

Pork producers hold annual meeting

Pork producers heard updates on University of Georgia swine research, waste management, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and niche marketing of heritage breed pigs during the Georgia Pork Congress and Georgia Pork Producers Association Annual Meeting held jointly on Feb. 18. PAGE 16

on the cover (Photo by Joe Moore) Gordon County Farm Bureau member Joe Moore entered this photo of his family’s canola crop in the 2013 GFB Photo Contest. The grain elevator where the Moores store their grain crops is pictured in the background. GFB is accepting entries for this year’s contest until May 6. Contest details are on page 18.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 3

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

table of


we, the

farmers GFB President Zippy Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, were on hand for the birth of their granddaughter Josephine Charlotte “Jocee” Terry on March 14.

I

have never been so ready to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring! I thought we had seen the worst winter had to throw at us after surviving January’s snow and frigid temperatures, but then we were hit with another storm the week of Feb. 10 that forced us to cancel Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol on Feb. 11. This was the first time GFB had to cancel the event since it began in 1983, but concern for the safety of our members made it the right decision. By lunchtime on Feb. 11, the storm was hitting Atlanta, and legislators and staff went home early as most committee meetings and events were canceled. The General Assembly adjourned for the rest of the week due to the weather while most of north and much of central Georgia was covered in ice. Although our members didn’t get to travel to Atlanta to meet with their legislators, GFB has been working diligently to represent them at the state capitol. We’ve worked to restore funding for the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission and its continuation as an independent agency for the upcoming fiscal year. We’ve been working to protect the long-term viability of the GATE program and to secure funding for a metal theft database with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. On the national level, I’m thankful that President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 on Feb. 7. Having a new farm bill in place lets farmers know the rules they’re playing by through 2018. Farmers have a lot of decisions to make by the end of the year regarding which insurance programs they will enroll in to protect against crop losses and in regards to their base acreage allocations. That’s why GFB is hosting a farm bill workshop March 24 to let UGA experts discuss the new farm bill and what it means for Georgia commodities. You may find the breakdown of the new farm bill interesting. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that 4 / April 2014

Zippy Duvall, GFB President

80 percent of the $489 billion bill will fund nutrition programs for consumers like SNAP, 8 percent will fund crop insurance programs, 6 percent will fund conservation programs, 5 percent will fund commodity programs and the remaining 1 percent will be divided between trade, credit, rural development, research, Extension, forestry, and miscellaneous programs. Soon after the farm bill’s passage, your GFB Legislative Committee and I had the chance to welcome Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D.Mich.) to GFB’s Macon office. As chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, Stabenow was one of the major forces behind getting the bill passed. We thanked the senator for her work and discussed other issues impacting agriculture. The visit also gave us a chance to meet U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, who was traveling with Stabenow. As Georgia prepares to elect a replacement for Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring when his term ends this year, GFB held a forum for the senate candidates in conjunction with our annual Presidents’ Conference. We wanted to give county Farm Bureau leaders a chance to hear from the candidates running to replace Sen. Chambliss. I’d like to thank Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Karen Handel, Jack Kingston and David Perdue for attending our forum. You can read more about the forum and what the candidates had to say on page 6. I encourage everyone to read up on each candidate and then exercise your right to vote on May 20 in our primary election. This is an earlier date for the primary so don’t let it pass by without casting your vote! We held the GFB Presidents’ Conference in Athens so that newly-installed University of Georgia President Jere Morehead could speak to our county leaders. We weren’t disappointed with what he had to say. Morehead voiced his support of See WE, THE FARMERS page 22

GEORGIA

FARM BUREAU NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers

SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President ZIPPY DUVALL 1st Vice President/South Georgia Vice President GERALD LONG North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR. Treasurer/Corporate Secretary WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER

DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Henry J. West, Rydal SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Jim Ham, Smarr SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Dexter; James Emory Tate, Denton SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Bellville; Ben Boyd, Sylvania EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Elmodel; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Daniel Johnson, Alma; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Matthew London, Cleveland WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Elaine Avery, Dexter 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 the Georgia Farm Bureau News. For advertising rates and information, contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 6011, Vernon Hills, IL 60061, 1-800-397-8908. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2014 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News


legislative update Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director

Georgia Legislature passes Flint River Bill for us,” said EPD Director Jud Turner at a Feb. 5 hearing of the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee at the Capitol. “I’m looking at (stream) flows that are… scary for ag because if we are involved in a federal lawsuit, we might be looking at some draconian solutions,” Turner continued. GFB President Zippy Duvall echoed those sentiments in a March 11 letter to Georgia representatives. “Senate Bill 213 is a good faith effort to protect endangered species and thereby avoid water restrictions in one of Georgia’s largest farming regions,” wrote Duvall.

Photo courtesy of Brian Hughes , U.S. Geological Survey

After years of discussion and debate, the Georgia General Assembly adopted amendments to the Flint River Drought Protection Act in the last few days of the session as legislators passed Senate Bill (SB) 213. The new law promotes environmental stewardship, encourages irrigation efficiency and provides flexibility in managing the lower Flint River during droughts. Georgia Farm Bureau supported the bill and actively worked for its passage. The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is never specifically referenced in SB 213, but the federal law was never far from the discussion. In the lower Flint River, certain species of river mussels are listed as endangered and require protection. Droughts in recent years have made that job more difficult. SB 213 allows the state of Georgia to augment streams during droughts in order to protect habitat for mussels or other important species. It also allows the director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to restrict withdrawals from those augmented streams. In other words, if the state of Georgia increases stream flows to targeted levels by pumping groundwater into a creek, then the EPD director would be able to restrict withdrawals from that creek in order to maintain the targeted flow. The concept of augmenting streams and limiting withdrawals was controversial in several arenas. Farm Bureau has always been dubious about the government’s authority to restrict agricultural water withdrawals. However, a couple of federal court cases brought the issue to the forefront. A 2007 decision regarding the Delta smelt, a small fish in California’s San Joaquin Valley, resulted in severe water use restrictions in that area. In 2013, a decision regarding Whooping Cranes in Texas had a similar outcome. In both cases, the result to farmers has been disastrous. “This bill is about managing our own house instead of having the feds manage it

The Flint River In its final version, the bill states that augmented flows shall only be for the purpose of maintaining minimum levels sufficient to protect critical habitat for vulnerable aquatic life within the affected areas. The area is specifically limited to surface water in four Flint River tributaries: Spring Creek, Ichawaynochaway Creek, Kinchafoonee Creek and Muckalee Creek. Although geographically limited, SB 213 is important legislation because of its value in limiting agriculture’s exposure to lawsuits regarding drought-induced habitat damage. It provides a template for situations that may arise during future droughts, and it demonstrates Georgia’s willingness to comply with federal law. A less controversial provision in SB 213

relates to irrigation efficiency in the Flint River basin. The bill defines irrigation efficiency as the total amount of water withdrawn from a source that is beneficially used to meet crop water requirements in accordance with applicable best management practices. By 2020, all agricultural withdrawal permits in the Flint River basin will be required to achieve irrigation application efficiencies of at least 80 percent. Mobile irrigation systems and solid-set irrigation sprinklers will be required to achieve 60 percent efficiency. When the law goes into effect, all new agricultural withdrawal permits will be required to achieve the 80 percent level. Another provision in SB 213 addresses the bidding process created by the Flint River Drought Protection Act. This law required the Georgia EPD Director to make a declaration by March 1 of each year on whether severe drought conditions were expected. If the director declared a drought, a bidding process was automatically triggered whereby the state would reduce irrigated acres in the Flint River basin by offering a cash incentive to farmers not to irrigate. Farmers would have voluntarily submitted a bid for a sufficient incentive. The bidding process was used for two years, but it never lived up to its intended purpose. For one thing, the reduction in irrigation did not have the impact on water resources that EPD had expected. In addition, as crop prices rose, farmers became less willing to bid to voluntarily refrain from irrigating an increasingly valuable crop. Finally, the state had less money to offer as incentives to farmers not to irrigate. SB 213 gives the EPD flexibility by making that entire process optional instead of mandatory. Despite the controversy surrounding SB 213, it passed the Senate 52-1 and passed the House 164-3. Gov. Deal voiced his support for the legislation during the session and is expected to sign the bill into law. Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Department.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 5


GFB county presidents meet U. S. Senate candidates Article & photos by Jay Stone ___________________________________ eorgia Farm Bureau’s county presidents heard speeches from five candidates for the U.S. Senate on Feb. 19 in Athens at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The Senate Candidate Forum, sponsored by GFB, was held in conjunction with the GFB Presidents’ Conference. It was intended to give county Farm Bureau leaders a chance to interact with candidates vying to replace Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is stepping down from his post when his term expires at the end of the year. Candidates Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Karen Handel, Jack Kingston and David Broun Perdue each had 15 minutes to speak to the audience. Attorney Lee Gillis of the Macon firm James-BatesBrannan-Groover moderated the forum organized by the GFB Legislative Department. Gillis conducted a random drawing to determine the order of appearance. GFB invited candidates with at least $250,000 in campaign funds on hand on their Federal Election Commission Commission filings. Candidate Michelle Nunn was also invited but declined, citing a schedule conflict. Broun (R-10th District), Gingrey (R-11th District) and Kingston (R-1st District) are all currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Handel Gingrey served as Georgia Secretary of State from 2001 to 2009. Perdue, a cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, is a former CEO of Dollar General Stores and Reebok. All five expressed concern over federal government spending and the need for regulatory reform. Kingston, Handel, Broun and Perdue each voiced support for the FairTax proposal.

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Kingston centered his speech on his work in the House, where he serves on the House Appropriations Committee, citing agrelated bills he has supported, including measures to help improve farmers’ access to credit and labor, regulatory reform and ag research. “We know how imHandel portant some of this research is,” Kingston said, noting efforts to combat diseases and pests that affect crops. “In South Georgia when we transitioned in the tobacco buyout to blueberries, we started researching blueberries. What a market that would be if we perfected it a little bit more than it is today. This takes ag research.” Kingston said he pushed for passage of the farm bill because he understands farmers can’t borrow money unless there’s a stated agriculture policy. Broun said the federal government has become increasingly intrusive and pointed out the need for energy independence, a strong national defense and securing the borders. “We cannot fix a big government,” Broun Kingston said. “We cannot make a big, intrusive government more efficient.” Broun said he has proposed $155 billion in targeted spending cuts, including closing the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service. Handel talked about her work on the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, the Fulton County Commissioners and as Georgia Secretary of State, focusing on challenges she inherited in each position and was able to turn around. She spelled out a four-part plan to solve the country’s major problems, saying that the U.S. should repeal Obamacare, get its fiscal house in order, scrap the IRS and repeal the 16th Amendment, which permanently established the federal income tax,

County Farm Bureau leaders listened to U.S. Senate candidates speaking at a forum GFB held Feb. 19.

and institute regulatory reform. Her plan for regulatory reform includes mandatory audits for all agencies, beginning with the EPA and the Food & Drug Administration, along with imposing a 10-year sunset rule on regulations. “The surest way to keep getting the same results we’ve gotten over the past 20 years is to keep electing the same people,” Handel said. “We need new leadership in Washington.” Responding to opponents’ criticisms that he is a career politician, Gingrey recounted his life as a doctor before being elected to Congress. “We have to stand Perdue for values such as lower taxes, limited government, standing for the constitution that we love and the founding fathers that we love,” Gingrey said. Perdue talked about his work with Reebok and Dollar General, emphasizing that the turnarounds in those large and complex companies prepared him for working on the nation’s larger issues. Along with tax and regulatory issues, he cited an urgent need to build up the nation’s infrastructure and work to improve education. “We have a full-blown financial crisis on our hands right now. It took a long time to get here but it’s here right now,” Perdue said, noting that in addition to the national debt the U.S. has $86 trillion in unfunded future commitments that will come due in the next 20- to 30 years. Georgia’s primary elections are scheduled for May 20, and the mid-term election is scheduled for Nov. 4. Georgia Farm Bureau News


UGA President Morehead speaks to county Farm Bureau presidents UGA President Dr. Jere Morehead told county Farm Bureau presidents he wants to expand the agricultural research the university is doing. Morehead spoke at a lunch during the 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau County Presidents’ Conference, held Feb. 20 on the UGA campus in Athens. “We always need to be looking to do more in the area of agricultural research than we have done before,” Morehead said. “It’s important not just because we’re a land-grant institution but also because we’re a research institution. We need to push the envelope as far as possible.” The event also included a legislative update by GFB Legislative Director Jon Huffmaster, who discussed the 2014 farm bill and bills in the Georgia General Assembly. GFB President Zippy Duvall urged the county presidents to contact lawmakers to express their views on laws affecting agriculture. “We want to tell our county presidents how important they are to the process,” Du-

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

UGA President Dr. Jere Morehead, left, visits with GFB 10th Dist. Director David Lee, center and 6th Dist. Director James Malone during the GFB County Presidents’ Conference.

vall said of GFB’s work to get farm-related laws passed. “With them coming in and sharing their own stories from their farms, that puts credibility to what our policy says. It puts credibility to what our people who work for us say. It just makes the whole process come together.” Conference workshops centered on membership recruitment, management tools available to county presidents and building partnerships with local 4-H and FFA chapters. Georgia Agricultural Education Program Manager Chip Bridges gave an overview of the state’s ag education programs and suggested county Farm Bureaus can support ag education by including ag teachers in their activities, voicing support of ag

education to local school officials and using FFA students to help with local Farm Bureau activities. “These students and their teachers are helping promote the most important industry in the world,” Bridges said. State 4-H Leader Arch Smith discussed the missions and successes of the 4-H program. Smith shared how 4-H and the UGA Cooperative Extension have worked for the past 100 years to educate the public about the importance of good hand-washing practices and healthy interaction with animals among other things. “We also want to help young people understand that if they’re interested in agriculture, there are a lot of other careers [in agriculture] besides farming,” Smith said.

New county Farm Bureau presidents visit GFB office Georgia Farm Bureau held an orientation for new county presidents Jan. 28 at its Macon office. GFB President Zippy Duvall, second from right, is pictured with the newly installed county Farm Bureau presidents attending the event. County presidents pictured from left are: Stan Kirk, Cobb County; Randall Crumbley, Carroll County; Chuck Steele, Barrow County; Tim Dyer, Union County; Ernie Ford, Calhoun County; Ross Kendrick, Turner County; Albert Ward, Banks County; Wayne Bennett, Dawson County; William White, Atkinson County; Philip Von Hanstein, Morgan County; and Jim Godley, Camden County. Other new county presidents not pic-

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

tured are: Kurt Childers, Brooks County; Leighton Cooley, Crawford County; Alan Davis, Decatur County; George Dean, Stephens County; Joe Hall, Seminole County;

Kenneth Murphy, Meriwether County; Shaun Page, Bryan County; Leigh Rush, Floyd County; Jerry Truelove, Hall County; Michael Williams, Bleckley County.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 7


By Jay Stone ___________________________________ he 2014 farm bill, titled the Agriculture Act of 2014, gives Georgia row crop farmers a choice between three crop insurance coverage options, which were reviewed in a webinar session presented by the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) on Feb. 24. The webinar, which was shot at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center and webcast to a total of 421 people at numerous sites around the state, focused primarily on how the commodity programs would work for peanuts. Bob Redding, the GPC’s Washington representative, gave a presentation on the legislative history of the 2014 farm bill, and UGA Extension Economist Dr. Nathan Smith discussed the specifics. “It’s my view that this is quite possibly the best peanut program for Georgia producers and Southeastern producers that we have had to date, when you look at the whole package,” Redding said. Smith noted that numerous details in the commodity portion of the farm bill have to be worked out through the federal government rulemaking process. Growers of row crops, with the exception of cotton, which is covered under the Stacked Income Protection Program (STAX), have a choice between Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Agricultural Risk Coverage-County (ARCC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage-Individual (ARC-I). PLC and ARC-C decisions may be made on a crop-by-crop, farm-by-farm basis. ARC-I decisions would apply to all crops on a given farm. PLC and ARC will provide payments using historic base acres without regard to production. Growers who choose PLC may also choose a Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), which covers a portion of the deductible, though this option will not be available until the 2015 crop. PLC provides payments when the price of a crop drops below a reference price.

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Price Loss Coverge example for peanuts

For a 400-acre farm with yields of 3,800 pounds per acre (1.9 tons) in a year with an average market price of $500 per ton.

 

Reference price $535 Minus avg. market price $500 = $35         x yield in tons x 1.9 = $66.50 x 85% of peanut base acres (.85x400) 340 PLC payment = $22,610 Or $56.53 per acre PLC sets the following reference prices for Georgia’s main field crops: peanuts, $535 per ton; wheat, $5.50 per bushel; corn, $3.70 per bushel; grain sorghum, $3.95 per bushel and soybeans, $8.40 per bushel. Landowners have two options for setting base acreage. They may choose to keep their base acreage as it was on Sept. 30, 2013, or take a one-time reallocation to the average planted acreage in the crop years 2009-2012. Farmers who do not make a base acreage election will be placed in the category of retaining their 2013 base acres. The total base acreage cannot be more than the farm’s base acreage on Sept. 30, 2013. Acreage listed as cotton base acres under the 2008 farm bill is listed as generic base in the new farm bill and may be reallocated for growing other crops. PLC payments will trigger if the reference price is higher than the average market price or the loan rate in a given year. The PLC payment will be determined by subtracting the higher of the average price or loan rate from the reference price, multiplying that by yield times 85 percent of base acres. Smith said payments would not be made for

the 2014 crop until after Oct. 1, 2015. The ARC-county plan establishes a benchmark county revenue by multiplying the county’s five-year Olympic average yield (average yields from 2008 to 2012, with the highest and lowest averages taken out) times the five-year Olympic average market price (average market prices from 2008 to 2012, with the highest and lowest averages taken out). The ARC guarantee is 86 percent of the county benchmark revenue. The ARC payment will be the ARC guarantee minus the actual county revenue for a particular crop year or 10 percent of the benchmark revenue, whichever is less. Payment will be made for 85 percent of the base acres for the crop. Growers will make the decision between PLC and ARC. Smith said all growers on a particular farm will have to agree and sign off on the program decision. Landowners will make the decision on allocation of base acres. For a summary of base acreage guidelines from UGA’s National Center for Peanut Competitiveness, visit http://tinyurl. com/kl7lowv. 

Specialty crop block grant deadline April 18 The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is accepting applications for the 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) until April 18. The SCBGP funds projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass/sod, nursery and greenhouse crops. For a list of all eligible crops visit http://

www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/scbgp. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service will make grant funding available, with Georgia’s share being about $1.2 million. Please refer to the links available on the GDA grants webpage located at http://www.agr. georgia.gov/grants.aspx for the grant application, guidelines and more information. For other questions please contact Jeanne Maxwell at Jeanne.Maxwell@agr.georgia. gov or 404-657-1584. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Source: Dr. Nathan Smith, UGA economist

Farm bill row crop provisions covered in GPC webinar


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Sen. Stabenow visits with GFB leaders By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) met with Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) leaders and staff at the organization’s Macon office Feb. 18. Stabenow and GFB President Zippy Duvall and GFB Legislative Committee members: GFB Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr., GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims and GFB Directors Ben Boyd and Randy Ruff, discussed the recently passed farm bill and other issues impacting agriculture including the need for immigration reform, the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to regulate agriculture and genetically modified crops. “We have a really good farm bill for

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), top center, met with Georgia Farm Bureau leaders and staff at the organization’s office in Macon Feb. 18. U.S. Senate Candidate Michelle Nunn, top left, accompanied Sen. Stabenow on her visit to GFB, expressing her interest in and support of Georgia agriculture.

Georgia and for the country,” Sen. Stabenow said. “Our top priority is to provide a peanut revenue program through crop insurance. There are a number of other areas that need to be implemented that I know the Department [of Agriculture] is working very hard on. The most important thing is we have the certainty of a five-year farm bill. We know what the parameters are. Now we just have to take the next step to get it implemented in a way that makes sense for farmers and ranchers.” Duvall thanked Stabenow for her work to get the farm bill passed and especially

for not including language that would have regulated layer hen enclosures. “I know in the beginning of the farm bill talks there was some consideration of including a proposal [that would have regulated egg production], and I want to say thank you for backing away from that,” Duvall said. “We have grave concerns about the federal government setting any rules and regulations about animal husbandry.” U.S. Senate Candidate Michelle Nunn accompanied Sen. Stabenow on her visit to GFB, expressing her interest in and support of Georgia agriculture.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 9


commodities/marketing update Taylor Sills, Marketing Specialist

Outlook for wheat & other winter crops is mixed 2014 will be an interesting year for producers growing winter crops in Georgia. From fall into winter, Georgia farmers planted 270,000 acres of wheat, down significantly from the 420,000 acres planted last year. U.S. wheat acres have fallen 2.7 percent from last year. The decrease in Georgia and U.S. wheat acreage is due mainly to lower prices and poor weather conditions. Although Georgia set a new yield record of 60 bushels per acre for wheat last year, many Georgia farmers have a sour taste in their mouth about wheat from 2013. Georgia farmers didn’t harvest 70,000 acres of wheat that they planted in 2013 mostly due to the extremely wet summer we had last year. Most producers could not harvest their wheat fast enough to prevent sprout damage from occurring, and the door was shut on selling the wheat for milling quality. One saving grace that wheat growers found last year was a livestock feed market with many Georgia feed mills. The current wheat/corn spreads tell us that, as of now, corn will be cheaper and readily available to feed until the corn harvest this fall. The frigid, wet winter we have seen this year has the wheat crop looking mediocre at best, but there is still hope for it to be another high yielding crop. Many of our farmers are growing more

acres of other traditional winter crops like oats, barley and rye. We are also starting to see more canola planted in the state. Canola is a little costlier to grow and manage, but can be very profitable for growers under current market conditions. Compared to a year ago, trading prices for the Chicago Board of Trade’s July delivery contracts for soft red wheat are down about 90 cents, a fairly significant price decrease. The good news is that it seems we may have hit the bottom of wheat prices at $5.57 on Jan. 29. Wheat prices have been helped by export demand, freezing temperatures in the Midwest and the recent bump that all grains have seen thanks to investment from Wall Street. Local basis started as low as 55 cents below board price, but due to the weather, the smaller crop and little interest in low prices, end users have strengthened their basis to nearly board price.

GFC report shows extent of ice storm damage on Ga. trees The ice storm that hit North and Central Georgia the week of Feb. 10 damaged trees on more than 70,000 acres, valued in excess of $65 million according to a report released by the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC). Most of the permanently affected trees

Paul Beliveau, former co-anchor of “The Georgia Farm Monitor” and director of Georgia Farm Bureau’s Information/Public Relations Department, was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame March 5. Beliveau was recognized for his nearly halfcentury in broadcasting, which included working at several radio stations and Macon’s WMAZ Radio and TV stations. The induction class also included Bob Paul Beliveau makes remarks during his Cathcart, general manager of WTOC-TV induction ceremony into the Georgia Asin Savannah and John Pruitt of WSB-TV. sociation of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Photo by Lili Davis

Beliveau inducted into GAB Hall of Fame

10 / April 2014

The Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity/Marketing Department is dedicated to working for our farmer members. The best avenues for grain marketing may not be the most obvious. It is always beneficial to look at all of your alternatives and understand the advantages of each to gain the most benefit. We keep a close eye on market conditions and can show you opportunities to market your grain. This can be done with a cash contract, forward contract or basis contract. We can also arrange transportation to get your grain to market in a timely manner, and Georgia Farm Bureau guarantees your payment. Your GFB Commodity/Marketing Department has the knowledge, experience and many points of contact to aid you, the producer, with your grain marketing and feed ingredient needs. For more information call us at (800) 342-1196. Taylor Sills is a marketing specialist in the GFB Commodities/Marketing Department. are pine species. Hardwood damage consisted mainly of limb and top breakage, with long-term survival likely. “A team of GFC foresters surveyed the zone that appeared to have endured the greatest impacts to our forests from the ice,” said GFC Forest Management Chief James Johnson. “About half of Georgia, over 90 counties, experienced some form of winter precipitation during this storm. Through field observations and geospatial analysis, 20 east-central counties were identified as hardest hit, with many now requiring salvage operations and management decisions that will determine tree survival.” According to the GFC, tremendous variation in damage amounts was observed, with three categories of intensity recorded: light to moderate, with tree recovery expected; moderate to severe, with more than 25 percent broken limbs and stems that may necessitate salvage operations or be at risk of loss; and severe, with more than 30 percent broken stems and tops and bendSee ICE STORM page 17 Georgia Farm Bureau News


By Jay Stone ___________________________________ The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Beef (ACCB) received statements of support during a hearing Feb. 28 at the Macon State Farmers Market regarding its proposal to establish a $1 per head assessment to fund research, education and promotional efforts for Georgia’s beef industry. As an industry we need to step up and fund a program that would help not only research but education, and invest in the things that will help our industry move forward,” said cattle producer Steve Blackburn, of Waynesboro, who compared current prices of consumer items to 1980s prices to illustrate the diminished value of the dollar from when the National Beef Checkoff (NBC) began. The current NBC only funds efforts to promote beef meat while the proposed Georgia checkoff could be used to fund Georgia research and education programs in addition to promoting beef. ACCB Chairman John

Callaway said that most other states around Georgia either have their own assessment or are working toward one. “I think this is the way that it’s happening nationally. More and more states are putting it upon themselves to come up with a state assessment,” Callaway said. Following the hearing, the ACCB board – Chairman Callaway of Troup County, Kenneth Murphy of Meriwether County, Ernie Ford of Calhoun County, Jeff Duncan of Madison County and Alan Wiggins of Turner County - met and chose to move forward with the referendum process. Ballots were mailed on March 12 to Georgia beef producers who registered with the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) by Dec. 31 to vote in the referendum. The ballots must be postmarked by midnight April 15. State law requires a minimum of 25 percent of the ballots issued must be returned for the ballots to be counted. At least 66.67 percent of the ballots cast must be affirmative for

Photo by Jay Stone

Georgia Beef Commission holding assessment referendum Appling County cattleman Chris Taylor spoke at the Georgia Beef Commission assessment hearing on Feb. 28.

the referendum to pass. Should it pass, the assessment would be in effect for three years beginning July 1. The assessment would be collected when cattle are sold. Cattle that sell for less than $100 per head would be exempt, as would cattle owned for 10 days or less. If Georgia cattle producers approve the assessment, state law requires the GDA to hold a referendum every three years for the assessment to continue. Per state law, the ACCB ex officio members appointed the current ACCB board members. Georgia cattle producers will have the opportunity to nominate future board members.

Monroe County H.E.R.D. Sale on MAY 3, 2014 • 12:30 p.m. Selling 85 Bred Heifers

Sleepy Creek Farm near Forsyth, GA Data Available: • A.I. Breeding & Sire EPD’s • Pelvic Area • Frame Score • Disposition Score • Weight per Day of Age • Average Daily Gain

All heifers will sell confirmed safe in calf to calving ease Angus Bulls. All heifers will be bred A.I. at least once to Sydgen Trust 6228 or PA Safeguard 021. For more information or to receive a catalogue, call the Monroe County Extension at (478) 994-7014. Web info at http://www.ugaextension.com/monroe/ Email uge2207@uga.edu; type HERD in the subject line.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 11


Photo By Jennifer Whittaker

Pictured from right, UGA Extension Agronomist Jared Whitaker and Effingham County Extension Agent Bill Tyson congratulate soybean producers Bart Waller of Effingham County, who won the 2013 Georgia Soybean Production Award; Mark Detweiler of Floyd County, who received a 2014 Georgia/Florida

Soybean Association Grower/Agribusiness Appreciation Award; and Andrew Moore of Gordon County, who is a member of the American Soybean Association/DuPont Leader Class and accepted a 2014 Georgia/Florida Soybean Association Grower/ Agribusiness Appreciation Award for his father, Joe Moore.

Farmers get industry updates at Soybean/Small Grain Expo By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

T

he Georgia/Florida Soybean Association (GFSA) provided its members with research and policy updates, elected its 2014 officers and gave awards during the 2014 Georgia/Florida Soybean/Small Grain Expo held Feb. 7 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. While speaking at the expo, UGA Extension Economist Nathan Smith said he predicts farmers will plant more acres of soybeans in Georgia and nationwide this year. “In the U.S., I think we’re going to drop about two million acres in corn production and a good bit of that may go to soybeans,” Smith said. Georgia farmers planted 230,000 acres of soybeans in 2013 and harvested 225,000 acres with an average yield of 40 bushels/acre. Smith predicts Georgia farmers may plant about 250,000 acres in soybeans this year. “If you can get $11 a bushel for beans that’s a good price, but I think we’ll be in the $10 range unless the next stock report comes out and shows a tighter stock situa-

12 / April 2014

tion, then prices could go up,” Smith said. Georgia farmers planted 420,000 acres of winter wheat in 2013 and harvested 350,000 acres with an average yield of 60 bushels/acre. Georgia farmers have planted about 270,000 acres this year due to lower prices that were about $6 a bushel in early February. John Anderson, a senior economist with American Farm Bureau, gave an overview of the new farm bill, saying farmers and landowners will have multiple decisions to make, such as base reallocation according to plantings from 2009-2012. American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser gave an update on ASA activities and outlined the organization’s input on farm bill policy such as five-year yield averages and funding for programs that promote exports. Dr. Scott Angle, dean of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) gave an update on the college. Angle said the CAES has been able to hire more than 24 new faculty at its Tifton, Griffin and Athens campuses, with many working on traditional row crops. The CAES has also hired about 40

new Extension agents. “The college is getting back to where it needs to be,” Angle said. “When you look at us in comparison to other schools we’re in pretty good shape.” Bart Waller of Effingham County won the 2013 Georgia Soybean Production Award for having an average yield of 82 bushels/acre. Waller planted his dryland soybean crop in mid-May and harvested it by the end of October. Mark Detweiler of Floyd County and Joe Moore of Gordon County each received the GFSA Grower/Agribusiness Appreciation Award. Andrew Moore of Gordon County was recognized for being a member of the American Soybean Association/DuPont Young Leader Program. Walter Godwin of Mitchell County, Thomas Kessler of Effingham County, Joe Moore of Gordon County, Brian Ogletree of Spalding County, Lanair Worsham Jr. of Mitchell County and Steve Yoder Jr. of Calhoun County, Fla., were elected as the 2014 GFSA directors. Godwin will serve as the GFSA president; Joe Moore is vice president and Yoder is the GFSA secretary/treasurer. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Burgamy & Talton join GFB staff

Kenny Burgamy has joined “The Georgia Farm Monitor,” and Clay Talton is the new Georgia Farm Bureau District 2 field representative. Burgamy joins Ray D’Alessio as co-anchor of “The Georgia Farm Monitor” and will also be a reporter for the weekly half-hour TV program. Burgamy brings more than 30 Burgamy years of radio and TV broadcast experience, most recently as morning and midday anchor at WMAZ in Macon. He and his wife, Dawn, live in Macon and have one daughter, Morgan. “We are very excited to welcome Kenny to our department and look forward to him joining Ray on the set of the Farm Monitor,” said GFB Public Relations/Information Director Andy Lucas.

Talton joined GFB on March 24 after working with the UGA Cooperative Extension Service since 2007, most recently as the Elbert County Extension Coordinator. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from UGA and has Talton served on the GFB

Young Farmer Committee. In December Talton was recognized with the 2013 GFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award. Talton and his wife Brittany live in Madison County with their daughter Lola and son Cohen. “We are excited to have Clay join our Field Services Department and the 2nd Disrict Leadership Team,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “He brings a wealth of ag knowledge and experience, and we know he’ll serve our 2nd District members well.”

Preliminary ’12 Ag Census report released

The number of Georgia farms fell by 11.6 percent, but the market value of Georgia’s agricultural products grew by 30 percent from 2007 to 2012 according to the preliminary report of the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, released Feb. 21. The Ag Census, conducted every 5 years, shows the number of Georgia farms declined from 47,846 in 2007 to 42,257 farms by 2012. The census also showed 529,969 fewer acres of farmland in Georgia, though the average farm size grew from 212 acres in 2007 to 228 in 2012. The market value of Georgia ag products grew from $7.1 billion in 2007 to $9.26 billion in 2012. The average age of Georgia farm operators increased from 57.8 years in 2007 to 59.9 years in 2012. The full census report is set to be released in May.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 13


GFB continues support of state 4-H & FFA livestock programs Article & photos by Jennifer Whittaker _________________________________________________________

M

onths of early morning feedings and after-school practice paid off for the 4-H and FFA members who won the six grand champion species awards at the 2014 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held in Perry Feb. 19-22. About 1,600 students from across Georgia showed more than 2,000 head of cattle, hogs and lambs in showmanship and species competitions. For the third year, Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the show’s six grand champion prizes. “Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to sponsor these awards because these children are developing life skills by taking care of their show animals,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “We’re glad to be able to give back to our youth programs that are developing agriculture’s future leaders.” Colquitt County FFA member Lakyn Davis won the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer Award of $2,500 with her registered Angus heifer. Davis, a senior at Colquitt County High School, is the daughter of Bart and Paula Davis and has been showing since she was in fourth grade. Houston County 4-Her Abbi Rainwater won $1,500 as the winner of the Grand Champion Market Barrow Award with her Hampshire hog. Rainwater, a fourth-grader at David Perdue Elementary, is the daughter of Brian and Natalie Rainwater. For the second consecutive year, Jeff Davis County 4-Her Chanleigh Underwood won the Grand Champion Market Gilt Award of $1,500 with her crossbred hog. Underwood, a fifth-grader at Jeff Davis Elementary, is the daughter of Chad and Autumn Underwood. Decatur County 4-Her Bo Bailey won the Grand Champion Market Steer Award of $5,000 with his crossbred steer. Bailey previously won the award in 2012. A junior at Robert F. Munroe Day School, he is the son of Dr. Cliff and Cindy Bailey. Houston County FFA member Jacie Babb won the Grand Champion Dairy Heifer Award of $1,500 with a Holstein. Babb, a senior at Houston County High School, has been showing for four years and is the daughter of Johnnie and Paula Babb. Morgan County 4-Her Ben Porter won the Grand Champion Breeding Ewe Award of $1,000. A sophomore at Gatewood School, Porter has been showing since he was in first grade and is the son of Chip and Shannon Porter. GFB also sponsored the Grand Champion Market Goat Wether Award and the Grand Champion Market Lamb Award presented at the 2013 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat & Lamb Shows held Oct. 3-5, 2013, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry. 14 / April 2014

Pickens County 4-H member Mason Sims won the $1,000 Grand Champion Market Lamb Award. Sims, the son of Chip and Christy Sims of Cherokee County, is a seventh-grader at Creekland Middle School and has been showing lambs for three years. Worth County FFA member Chase Roberts won the Grand Champion Market Goat Wether Award for the third consecutive year. Roberts, the son of Mike and Anita Roberts of Sylvester, is a ninth-grade student at Worth County High School and has been showing goats for seven years. He received a $1,500 prize.

Decatur County 4-Her Bo Bailey, left, won the Grand Champion Market Steer Award at the 2014 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 22. Bailey accepts the $5,000 prize from GFB President Zippy Duvall.

Jeff Davis County 4-Her Chanleigh Underwood won the 2014 Grand Champion Market Gilt Award at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 22. GFB President Zippy Duvall, left, presents Underwood with the $1,500 prize as judge Steve Nichols offers congratulations. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Morgan County 4-H member Ben Porter, right, won the Grand Champion Breeding Ewe Award at the 2014 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 22. GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans presents the $1,000 prize to Porter.

Colquitt County FFA member Lakyn Davis, far right, won the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer Award at the 2014 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 21. Pictured from left, GFB President Zippy Duvall presents the $2,500 prize to Davis as show judges Dr. Blake Nelson and Dr. Clint Rusk offer congratulations.

Worth County FFA member Chase Roberts, center, won the Grand Champion Market Goat Wether Award at the 2013 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat Show held Oct. 3-5 at the Georgia National Fair. GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans, right, presents the $1,500 prize as judge Chad Coburn presents Roberts a silver tray.

Houston County 4-H member Abbi Rainwater won the 2014 Grand Champion Market Barrow Award at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 21. Pictured from left, GFB President Zippy Duvall presents Rainwater with her $1,500 prize as judge Steve Nichols offers congratulations.

Pickens County 4-H member Mason Sims, front, won the Grand Champion Market Lamb Award at the 2013 State 4-H & FFA Market Lamb Show held Oct. 4-6 at the Georgia National Fair. GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans, left, presents the $1,000 prize as show judge Brad Angus presents Sims a silver tray.

Photo by Donna Rocker

Houston County FFA member Jacie Babb won the Grand Champion Commercial Dairy Heifer Award at the 2014 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 22. Pictured from right, GFB President Zippy Duvall presents the $1,500 prize to Babb as judge Dr. Doug Waterman offers congratulations.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 15


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Ewing leads NASS Southern Regional Office

The 2014 Georgia Pork Producers Association officers are, pictured from left, President Mark Clemmers of Coffee County, President-Elect Rodney Newton of Jackson County and Vice President Steve Healy of Bulloch County.

Pork producers hold annual meeting By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

The 2014 Georgia Pork Congress and Georgia Pork Producers Association Annual Meeting were held jointly Feb. 18 at the Georgia Farm Bureau office in Macon. Pork producers attending the event heard updates on University of Georgia swine research, waste management, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) and niche marketing of heritage breed pigs for upscale restaurants and markets. National Pork Board Regional Manager Stephen Herring gave an update on National Pork Board (NPB) activities, including action the NPB is taking to help producers fight PEDv, a new virus to the U.S. first confirmed here in May 2013. To date, no cases have been diagnosed in Georgia, but 2,400 cases have been reported in 26 states since last May. The virus, which causes severe diarrhea in pigs of all ages, is spread by oral contact with contaminated feces. The NPB has spent about $1.7 million on research since June 2013 on multiple aspects of PEDv including containment and management strategies for producers and ways to build immunity to the virus in sow herds. For more information visit www.pork.org/pedv. “Georgia ships a lot more pigs out than are brought in, but there’s still a chance the virus could find its way to Georgia,” said Dr. David Reeves of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. “If you’re around other pigs, wear disposable booties, coveralls and gloves, and don’t bring them back to your farm.” The virus has no impact on pork meat and only infects pigs and not humans or 16 / April 2014

other livestock, Reeves added. Outgoing Georgia Pork Producers President Dania Devane presented a $16,000 donation on behalf of the organization to University of Georgia Animal & Dairy Science Department members Dr. Mike Azain and Dr. Robert Dove to fund swine research the department is conducting. Dr. Curt Lacy, a UGA Extension livestock economist, discussed analysis the university is doing to explore the economic feasibility of raising heritage pig breeds in Georgia for high-end restaurants that want locally grown pork. “These customers want an enjoyable eating experience from an animal that was raised without farrowing crates and raised locally with no added hormones or antibiotics,” Lacy said. “They are willing to pay additional costs because they realize it’s a higher-cost product.” Lacy is asking farmers who are interested in growing for this market to contact him at clacy@uga.edu or 229-386-3512.

Jim Ewing is the new regional director for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Southern Regional Office. Ewing replaces Doug Kleweno, who retired Dec. 28, 2013, after nearly 42 years with NASS. Ewing Ewing, who has worked with NASS for about 27 years, is responsible for directing the activities of federal and state employees who provide official USDA estimates for Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. He is based in the Georgia NASS Field Office in Athens. Before coming to Georgia, Ewing spent the last seven years as the deputy director and state statistician in the Florida NASS Field Office. Prior to working in the Florida office, Ewing worked in the Colorado and Arkansas NASS Field Offices and worked in Washington, D.C., on the Census of Agriculture Ewing is a graduate of the University of Missouri where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. He and his wife, Becky, have been married 27 years and have three grown children.

May 24 conservation camp deadline

Rising 10th, 11th and 12th grade students have until May 24 to apply to attend a one-week residential camp the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission is offering June 8-12 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. Natural resource experts will give lectures, guide field trips and lead hands-on activities to enhance students’ understanding of Georgia’s natural resources during the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop (NRCW). The camp focuses on the value and protection of Georgia’s wildlife, forestry, soil, water and mining resources. More than $18,000 in college scholarships will be awarded during the event. Tuition is $150 per student but scholarships are available for students who have not previously attended the event. Visit http://abac.edu/nrcw to download the camp application and more information. Contact Luke Crosson at lcrosson@gaswcc.org or 229-995-6001 for more information. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Ga. teachers receive scholarships to National AITC Conference

G

eorgia teachers Jeremy Bowman and Karrie Perrin will be among nine teachers and two volunteer educators recognized by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture at the 2014 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference for encouraging agricultural literacy. The conference will be held in Hershey, Pa., June 23-27. Bowman and Perrin will each receive $1,500 scholarships through the foundation’s White-Reinhardt Fund to attend the conference. Bowman teaches at Naomi Elementary School in Walker County, and Perrin teaches at Toccoa Elementary School in Stephens County. Perrin, the 2011 recipient of Georgia Farm Bureau’s Georgia Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Educator Award, will also present a workshop at the conference. In addition to the two White-Reinhardt scholarship winners, there will be several other attendees from Georgia including Dennis Peavy, a Houston County teacher and winner of GFB’s 2013 Georgia ExICE STORM from page 10 ing of more than 45 degrees, dictating consideration of full salvage operations. Monetary damage estimates focus on the area of greatest impact and are based on timber harvest expectations at 30-plus years. Most of the damage was noted in acres that were recently thinned for the first time, a process that allows for optimal growth on forestland. “Pruning and tree removal can be dangerous, so it’s important to contact a professional to assess the situation before attempting a ‘do-it-yourself’ fix,” Johnson said, adding that ice-damaged tree hazards include broken limbs that may fall unexpectedly. Ice in amounts ranging from one-tenth of an inch to an inch triggered extensive power outages across the state Feb. 11-13. During and following the event, 40 percent (215 of 530) of the GFC’s workforce provided emergency response assistance to teams throughout the state, serving on chainsaw crews, helping motorists, deliv-

cellence in Teaching About Agriculture Educator Award; Nanette Bryan, who will represent Chattooga County as the 2013 GFB Promotion & Education Award winner; Sara Walker, who will represent Bacon County as the 2013 GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Award winner, and several members of the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee. Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) provides educators and GFB volunteers a wealth of resources for integrating agriculture, nutrition and natural resource education into the K-12 curriculum. AITC programs improve student achievement by utilizing innovative, hands-on lessons that intrigue students while teaching core curriculum concepts in science, social studies, language arts, math and nutrition. The national AITC conference showcases the best ideas and latest resources from across the country - ready to take into the classroom. The early registration fee before April 14 is $380. After April 14 the registration fee is $425. Check out the excellent ering emergency supplies, conducting law enforcement patrols and supporting other needed missions. The GFC’s “Timber Impact Assessment” of the February Georgia ice storm, and lists of consulting foresters and certified arborists may be viewed online at http://tinyurl.com/n6r9u2r.

Photo by Donna Rocker

By Donna Rocker __________________________________________________________________________

Karrie Perrin, the 2011 recipient of Georgia Farm Bureau’s Georgia Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Educator Award, is one of two Georgia teachers who received scholarships to attend the 2014 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in June. Perrin will present a workshop at the conference.

workshops and other events that are part of the conference at http://www.agclassroom. org/conference2014/index.htm. In related AITC news, Newton County Farm Bureau (NCFB) received one of 14 grants the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture awarded this winter to fund new ag literacy projects or expand existing ones. NCFB is using its $500 grant to install a hoop greenhouse at Middle Ridge Elementary School to teach students how vegetables are grown in conjunction with the USDA My Plate dietary guidelines. AFBF is accepting applications for the next round of the White-Reinhardt Ag Literacy Mini-Grants. Applications are available online at http://www.agfoundation. org under What We Support-Mini-Grants. Applications are due May 1. Contact Donna Rocker at dhrocker@ gfb.org for more information about the conference or Georgia’s AITC program.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 17


young farmer update Jed Evans, Young Farmer Coordinator

Young Farmers travel to Washington

Georgia Farm Bureau sent a group of 34 young farmers to Washington, D.C., March 4-7, to discuss issues impacting agriculture with Georgia’s Congressional delegation. The group braved snow and frigid temperatures to take their message to Capitol Hill.

A group of 34 young farmers from across Georgia traveled to Washington, D.C., on March 4-7 as part of the 29th Annual Young Farmers to Washington trip hosted by the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee. The young farmers had a chance to tell Georgia’s congressional delegation how critical issues such as immigration and excessive regulation affect their farms. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson met with the group in the Russell Senate Office Building, and Rep. Doug Collins led the group on a private tour of

the U.S. Capitol. Rep. David Scott joined the group for breakfast on March 6 and encouraged the young farmers to work with their elected officials to ensure sound agricultural policy is set in place. A number of congressmen met with the group during their visit to Capitol Hill. GFB President Zippy Duvall also addressed these young farmers and shared the importance of working with their elected officials and telling their story. “This is a tremendous opportunity for young farmers to visit Washington, D.C., and share with lawmakers and

elected officials how issues affect us as producers on a local level as we work to feed and clothe a population that continues to grow,” said GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Matthew London from White County. The young farmers also toured the American Farm Bureau Federation headquarters and visited with AFBF lobbyists on a number of priority issues including the recently passed farm bill, farm labor and immigration reform, Environmental Protection Agency regulations and genetically modified crops.

May 6 deadline to enter GFB Photo Contest

T

Photo by Alisha

Allen

he GFB Young Farmer Committee is accepting entries for its 5th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest. This contest is open to any Georgia Farm Bureau member who is an amateur photographer (receives no income from photography). Cash awards will be presented in two categories – Farm Bureau Members and Farm Bureau Employees. Prizes for the member category are: 1st Place - $150; 11 Honorable Mentions - $75 each. The winner of the member category will be featured on the front of the 2015 GFB Young Farmer Calendar. Prizes for the employee category are: 1st Place- $100; 2nd Place$75; 3rd Place- $50. Only digital photos that are a minimum of 1 megabyte (MB) in file size may be submitted with a limit of two entries per person. All photos must have been shot in Georgia in 2013 or 2014. Photos altered in any way will not be judged. All photos become the property of GFB. Digital photos must be sent as a JPEG file attachment via email to yf@gfb.org by 4:30 p.m. on May 6. If children or people are included in photos, you must complete a model release entry form that must be received by GFB at the time of the deadline. Visit your county Farm Bureau office for contest rules, entry instructions and the model release form or visit the GFB website at http://www.gfb.org.

18 / April 2014

Georgia Farm Bureau News


AFBF YF&R National Leadership Conference

Pictured from left, Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers attending the AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference in Virginia Beach, Va., were: GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans, David & Jamie Cromley, Bulloch County; Winston & Lori Brogdon, Berrien County; Darren & Wendy Hembree, Colquitt County; Kaci & B.J. Marks, Newton County; Skye Gess and Josh Pennino, Oconee County; Committee Chairmen Matthew & Kimberly and Madi London, White County; and Johnathan Barrett, Habersham County. The theme for the conference held Feb. 7-10, and attended by more than 1,000 young farmers from across the country, was “All Hands on Deck.” The Georgia delegation participated in leadership development activities and heard several mo-

tivational speakers. The group also toured some of Virginia’s historical landmarks, stopping at Jamestown and Yorktown. They also visited Smithfield Foods, where they were able to see the global impact this company has on the pork industry. Johnathan Barrett, a freshman at ABAC and a Habersham County Farm Bureau member, competed in the AFBF YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet. Barrett ad-

vanced to the Sweet 16 Round. He is the first GFB member to represent Georgia in this event. Jake Carter, Henry County Young Farmer Chairman, officially took over duties as chairman of the AFBF YF&R Committee during this conference. Carter, who chaired the GFB Young Farmer Committee with his wife, Jennifer, in 2012, will lead the AFBF YF&R Committee for the next year.

May 30 deadline to enter Young Farmer Contests & register for Leadership Conference

The GFB Young Farmer Committee is now accepting applications for the Young Farmer Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet. Registration is also open for the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, which will be held July 10-13 on Jekyll Island. Applications will be accepted through May 30 at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available at county Farm Bureau offices. Finalists for each of the competitive events will be named at the Young Farmer Leadership Conference. GFB members between the ages of 18-35 may apply for these awards. The preliminary rounds of the discussion meet will be held at the leadership conference. For more information on any of these awards or the conference, please visit http://www.gfb.org/yf or stop by your county Farm Bureau. The GFB Achievement Award will

recognize an outstanding young farmer or couple whose primary income is derived from farming. The GFB Excellence in Agriculture Award will recognize an outstanding individual or couple whose primary income is not derived from farming. Extension agents, FFA advisors and ag lenders are examples of individuals who may apply for this award. The GFB Discussion Meet is a competitive event designed to simulate a committee meeting where young farmers discuss topics relevant to agriculture today and explore solutions to issues facing them as agriculturalists. The state winner of each award will be announced during the GFB convention in December. The winner of each contest will compete on the national level at the American Farm Bureau Convention in San Diego, Calif., Jan. 11-13, 2015. Details on state and national prizes will be available at a later date.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 19


AROUND GEORGIA

News from County Farm Bureaus

Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker BACON COUNTY Bacon County Farm Bureau sent 27 care packages to American soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Kuwait to let them know how much their service is appreciated. Boxes were mailed to two soldiers from Bacon County who will distribute the boxes to fellow soldiers serving with them. BCFB staff and members who helped pack the boxes included, pictured from left, Jeanne Taylor, Linda Lou Edgar,  LeRoy Hayes, Jerrie Nall and Cathy Barber,  BCFB Women’s Committee Chairman.

DECATUR COUNTY Decatur County Farm Bureau held a breakfast for the Bainbridge-Decatur Chamber of Commerce Feb. 6 at the Cloud Livestock Facility. The DCFB used the breakfast, attended by about 155 people, to promote the benefits of Farm Bureau membership. DCFB President Alan Davis welcomed everyone. GFB 9th District Field Rep. Jeff Nunnery discussed what the organization does to promote agriculture. DCFB Sec./Treasurer & GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long made the closing remarks. The tables were decorated with My Plate is Georgia Grown place mats to promote USDA nutrition guidelines. Georgia peanuts and Farm Bureau membership booklets were also placed on the tables.  The DCFB Women’s Committee provided A Legacy of Georgia Cookbook and a gift basket of fruit, bread & vegetables as door prizes while the DCFB Young Farmer Committee provided a diecast John Deere tractor as a door prize. DODGE COUNTY Dodge County Farm Bureau helped sponsor the local livestock show for county 4-H and FFA members on Feb. 17 at the 20 / April 2014

ag building in Eastman. The winners of the show advanced to the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in Perry Feb. 1922. Exhibitors who advanced to Perry included, pictured from left, Brandon McCranie, Clay Lee, Colby Lee, Katelin McCranie, Will McCranie, Clint Lee and Macky Rowland.   EVANS COUNTY Evans County Farm Bureau President Donny Jones and ECFB Agency Manager Terry Branch, not pictured, participated in the annual Claxton-Evans County Chamber of Commerce banquet held in January. More than 25 local businesses showcased exhibits celebrating their history in the community. Jones is pictured with a display of office equipment and Farm Bureau memorabilia dating back to 1959 when the GFB Mutual Insurance Company began operating. HOUSTON COUNTY Houston County Farm Bureau sponsored the first-place prizes for all of the cattle and hog showmanship winners at the 39th Annual Houston County Young Farmer Livestock Show held in Perry Feb. 14-15. HCFB President Wayne Talton presents Perry High School FFA member Allie Benenhaley a belt buckle for winning the hog showmanship award for the 10th grade division at the show. Georgia Farm Bureau News


HCFB was a gold sponsor of the show donating $1,450 to cover the belt buckles for the six cattle and nine hog first-place showmanship winners and to help fund cash prizes awarded to runners-up in the showmanship competitions. Students competing in the show exhibited about 180 hogs and 70 cows at the local show. HCFB partnered with ag teachers from several Houston County schools to raise money for the livestock show by holding a Boston butt sale last August.

JACKSON COUNTY In an effort to help students understand how their food is grown, Jackson County Farm Bureau worked with the Commerce City Primary and Elementary Schools and Jefferson Academy to plant garden boxes with fall garden crops. The students are growing the crops and eating them in their school cafeterias. HoffmannLaRoche Inc., donated lumber for the garden boxes. Holding the Veggie Patch sign, Commerce City School Superintendent Dr. Joy Tolbert, left, and Commerce City Primary School Principal Lisa Maddox, right, are joined by JCFB volunteers who helped build and prepare the garden for the primary school. Pictured from left, back row, are Grant Siebert of Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. and JCFB Directors Jerry Johnson, Jerry Pittman and Joel Davis, JCFB Office Manager Denise Temple & JCFB President Swayne Cochran. 

commodity promotion “My Plate is Georgia Grown.” RCFB Secretary-Treasurer Frank Davis is pictured talking to event attendee Cindy Howard at the booth. Children attending the event received Farm Bureau shopping bags filled with Ag in the Classroom pencils, Fire Safety Coloring Books,   My Plate is Georgia Grown placemats, bookmarks and the Georgia Ag Commodities map.  RCFB also distributed flyers about the Harvest For All Campaign telling attendees how to make a donation to fight hunger. TURNER COUNTY Turner County Farm Bureau Office Manager Karen McCurdy, left, presents Turner County Elementary School Nurse Mona Morris with honey sticks to give students who come to her office with asthma symptoms. The school requested the honey sticks because local honey helps reduce asthma symptoms. TCFB purchased the honey from Odom Apiaries in Turner County. 

Ga. Centennial Farm nomination deadline is May 1 POLK COUNTY Polk County Farm Bureau held a legislative breakfast Jan. 7 at its office to give its members a chance to meet with its state legislators. During the meeting, members discussed Farm Bureau’s priority issues for this session of the General Assembly including taxes and the state budget, the GATE program, water issues, animal agriculture, metal theft and other ways to assist farmers. Pictured from left are PCFB Agency Manager Jackie Casey, Sen. Bill Heath, GFB Legislative Director Jon Huffmaster, PCFB Office Manager Sue Cuzzort, Rep. Trey Kelley, PCFB President James I. Casey and GFB District 3 Field Representative Ricky Lane. RICHMOND COUNTY Richmond County Farm Bureau had a display at the Small Animal Day held last fall at Barnhart’s Farm in Hephzibah. The display highlighted Georgia Farm Bureau’s current

The Georgia Centennial Farm Program, which recognizes historic farms and encourages their preservation, is accepting nominations. To qualify, farms must: be a working farm with a minimum of 10 acres actively involved in ag production, generate at least $1,000 in annual farm income and include 10 acres of the original farm purchase. Farms must have been continuously farmed for at least 100 years. The Centennial Farm Program has recognized 451 Georgia farms since 1993. The Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources administers the program in partnership with several organizations including Georgia Farm Bureau. Visit http://www.georgiacentennialfarms.org to download an application or contact Charlie Miller, Centennial Farm Awards Committee chairman at 404-651-5287 or by email at Charlie.miller@dnr.state.ga.us. Applications must be postmarked by May 1. Selected farms will be honored during the Georgia National Fair in October.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 21


The J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center in Watkinsville was officially dedicated as a University of Georgia facility during a ceremony on Jan. 21. Having served as a USDA Agricultural Research Service station for 76 years, the 1,055-acre farm and laboratory complex was transferred to the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in fall 2013 to expand the college’s education, research and outreach programs. The agricultural research that UGA faculty will conduct at the center is key to feeding the world’s growing population and keeping the U.S. food supply safe and secure. The center was founded as the Southern Piedmont Research Conservation Center in 1937 at the urging of Georgia native and then assistant chief of the Soil Conservation Service J. Phil Campbell Sr., who played a vital role in establishing the Cooperative Extension Service in Georgia before taking his role with the USDA in President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. The center was renamed for WE, THE FARMERS from page 4 agricultural research and said the university needs to do more of it. These were welcomed words to our ears. It’s good to know that the president of Georgia’s land-grant institution recognizes the value of agriculture and ag research to our state’s economy. For the third year, I had the pleasure of attending the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in Perry Feb. 21 and 22 to award the grand champion prizes Georgia Farm Bureau sponsors for the six species exhibited at the show. Your GFB state board made the decision to sponsor these awards to support Georgia’s 4-H and FFA programs and to invest in the future ag leaders of our state. If you’ve never attended this show, I encourage you to make plans to do so next year. It will give you faith in the future of our country as you watch about 1,600 students exhibit livestock that they’ve worked with for months to make it to the state show. You can read more about the grand champion winners beginning on page 14. In early March, Bonnie and I travelled with a delegation of 34 GFB Young Farmers to Washington, D.C. This ambitious group didn’t let the snow on the ground keep them from visiting Capitol Hill to meet with their 22 / April 2014

Photo By J. Merritt Melancon

UGA dedicates Campbell Center

Pictured from left, Dr. Scott Angle, dean of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; UGA President Jere Morehead, Rep. Jack Kingston, state Rep. Terry England, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Oconee County Commission Chairman Melvin Davis cut a ribbon at UGA’s J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center Jan. 21.

Campbell in 1997. UGA gained management of the facility—formerly the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center—as the USDA was moving to close similar sites around the nation. Congress approved a provision specifying 10 land-grant universities could take ownership of such facilities, provided they agree to utilize the property for agricultural research for a minimum of 25 years. UGA is the first land-grant university to complete the transfer process and take over management of a former USDA facility.

The center’s fields, pastures and labs will allow UGA faculty to continue research into sustainable agriculture and natural resources conservation. It currently houses about 20 ongoing UGA research projects on sustainable grazing systems, nutrient cycling, water quality, organic production and forage variety trials. For more information about the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center and the role it plays as part of UGA and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/center/campbell.html.

elected officials or taking in the sights of the city. This trip is an excellent way for young farmers to get involved with Farm Bureau and to see how our organization represents Georgia farmers in D.C. If your county has never sent a young farmer on the trip I encourage you to do so next year. Speaking of the future, we must remember that God really is in control of everything. Every day we live our lives thinking that we are in control and writing history. That is far from the truth. Just think about the last 12 months: storms in the spring of 2013, a wet summer followed by a dry fall, and then 2014 started off with a record winter storm. Looking back over time we see where we as humans work, plan and try to execute, but events alter our plans proving that God is in control not just some of the time but ALL the time! On a personal note, God’s sovereignty has never been more evident to Bonnie and me than with the birth of our third grandchild on March 14. Josephine Charlotte “Jocee” Terry entered the world at Virginia Hospital Center at 3 a.m. after 24 hours of hard labor and finally a C-section. As grandparents, we understand the

physical, mental and especially the spiritual meaning of John 16:20-21. Sorrow turns to joy only through our faith in our Lord through Jesus Christ. During the 24 hours of labor, Jocee’s heart rate plunged to dangerous levels, and we could not understand why the doctor didn’t just do a C-section. We talked about feeling so helpless. As Corrie’s parents, we have always been able to take the situation in our hands and make things better for her, her brothers and her sister. This time, God showed us that we were not handling the situation, but He was. Jocee’s difficult journey into this world drove us to pray with our son-in-law, Jared, and his sister, Missy, who is also pregnant. Standing together in a small room, we held hands and pleaded for God to intervene and protect both Corrie and Jocee through this difficult time. Tears of fear and sadness turned to joyful praise to our Lord. I would like to share my prayer with you that I said after her birth and realizing that God is always in control! “Oh Lord, thank you for being a God that never leaves us; who ALWAYS hears our prayers and takes care of us. Thank you, God, for taking care of our children. Amen.” Georgia Farm Bureau News


More than 200 champion riders from a variety of horse disciplines were honored during ceremonies at the Georgia Capitol on Georgia Equine Youth Champions Day, held Feb. 4. The champions are pictured with Gov. Nathan Deal (front, center) on the steps inside the state capitol. Both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate recognized the youth, all of whom were winners of state championships or invited to compete in national or world championships. The celebration included a group photo with Gov. Nathan Deal, who also spoke at a luncheon held at the Georgia Freight

Photo by Jay Stone

Equine Youth Champions honored at Capitol

Depot next to Underground Atlanta. The luncheon, catered by The Varsity, included presentations of certificates to each individual champion. Among them were 10 world champions.

The ACCE also recognized former “Georgia Farm Monitor” reporter Rick Treptow and ACCE Advisory Board member Ann Jones for their contributions to the industry.

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

GSWCC’s 2013 efforts, including progress on maintenance and improvements on some of the state’s 357 watershed dams. “We as a state have needed to do maintenance on these structures for some time,” Dykes said, noting that the GSWCC is pursuing improvements on three to five dams per year. “Things like removal of trees and brush and minor engineering work. We’re doing that in a limited fashion across the state, and we’ll be doing more in the coming year.” Duvall talked about finding people who are passionate about organizations like Farm Bureau and the GACDS. The three-day event included meetings for the Georgia Resource Conservation & Development Council, NRCS employees, the boards for the GACDS and GSWCC. Attendees were also offered educational sessions and the release of the GSWCC Green Book - the Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia. It can be seen online at http://tinyurl.com/m542sye. During the meeting, Jim L. Gillis Jr. of Treutlen County was recognized for his 75 years of service as a district supervisor on the Ohoopee River Soil and Water Conservation District. Dell Fleming MacGregor of DeKalb County was named District Supervisor of the Year. The late George Hillsman of Oconee County was inducted into the GACDS Hall of Fame.

Photo by Jay Stone

GACDS meeting spotlights conservation efforts

Danny Hogan, president of the Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors, speaks at the organization’s annual meeting.

Georgia’s conservation leaders were given updates about activities of various conservation organizations in 2013 and heard motivational speeches from Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and Georgia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Clark during the annual meeting of the Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors (GACDS) Jan. 24-26 at the Marriott Macon City Center. Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) Executive Director Brent Dykes provided an update on the

UGA Extension celebrates 100 years

The University of Georgia Extension is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act, which created the national network of educators known as Cooperative Extension, in 1914. Extension is collecting stories from farmers, homemakers, Extension agents, retired agents, former 4-H members and anyone who has been influenced by Extension. Visit http://100years.extension.uga.edu to submit your story. Selected stories will be compiled as part of this historical website celebrating Extension’s centennial. An exhibit, “100 Years of Extension: The Legacy of the Smith-Lever Act in Georgia,” will be displayed at the Richard B. Russell Library on UGA’s Athens Campus May 1-June 30. Hours are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays. Call 706-542-4444 for more information.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2014 / 23


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Georgia Farm Bureau News - April 2014