Vol. 76 No.4
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
Ga. cotton, peanut & soybean acreage up – pg. 15
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*$750 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/3/2014 through 1/5/2015 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2013/2014/2015 model year Lincoln vehicle. Offer is subject to change based on vehicle eligibility. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 60 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $750 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Lincoln Dealer for complete details and qualifications.
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contents august 2014
we, the farmers PAGE 4
legislative update PAGE 5
member services update PAGE 8
commodities update PAGE 10
GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference continues growth Young farmers between the ages of 18-35 turned out in record numbers to attend the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leadership Conference in July. Attendees learned about Farm Bureau, financial and succession planning, marketing tips and much more. Finalists were also selected for the three GFB Young Farmer competitions.
Photo by Jay Stone
Groundbreaking ceremony held for Expo spotlight state building
Georgia will be the Sunbelt Expo Spotlight State for the 2014 Sunbelt Expo on Oct. 14-16. Georgia ag leaders gathered July 10 to break ground for the new building being built to house the spotlight state exhibit. PAGE 9
Georgia law to combat timber theft in effect
A new Georgia law designed to address unauthorized harvest of timber went into effect July 1. PAGE 12
New additions to Georgia ag community
public relations staff Andy Lucas Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone Print/Web Specialist Lillian Davis Publications/Advertising Manager Michael Edmondson Web/Video Manager Ray D’Alessio Senior Producer/TV Host Kenny Burgamy Co-Anchor/Reporter Mark Wildman Senior Radio-TV Specialist 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 firstname.lastname@example.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
Georgia’s ag community gained some new members this summer. Meet Terrance Rudolph, newly appointed NRCS state conservationist and Katura Wright, assistant state conservationist, along with Craven Hudson, the new associate state leader of Georgia 4-H. Dr. Dario Chavez is Georgia’s new peach specialist based in Griffin. Dr. Jerry Baker is the new dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and Ron Smith has been appointed to the Georgia Equine Commission. PAGES 14-15
Ga. well-represented at National AITC Conference
Crawford County Farm Bureau member Dennis Peavy, a teacher at Houston County’s Lake Joy Elementary School, was one of five recipients of the national Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award presented at the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in June. Almost 30 Georgia Farm Bureau members, teachers and ag organization representatives attended the event to learn to teach students about agriculture. PAGE 17
Annual tobacco tour highlights crop status & management practices
The 2014 Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour held in South Georgia and North Florida in June gave participants an up-close look at the effects spring rains had on the crop and research UGA is doing to battle diseases. PAGE 18
Students run on-campus farms at Berry College
Berry College is teaching its students business skills as they care for livestock, grow fruits and vegetables and run a farmers market as part of the school’s student work program. PAGE 22
on the cover
(Photo by Shane Curry) Appling County Farm Bureau member Shane Curry won an honorable mention for this photo he entered in the 2013 GFB Photo Contest. Curry, an Appling County Extension agent, shot the photo while checking a cotton research plot on Jeff Dean’s farm. Visit http://bit.ly/picwinners to see the winning photos from this year’s contest selected at the GFB Young Farmer Conference. The winners will be featured in the fall “Georgia Neighbors.”
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 3
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
farmers FARM BUREAU GEORGIA
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
Zippy Duvall, GFB President
Be strong & stand up for agriculture It’s shaping up to be a typical, hot and dry Georgia summer, but this summer is heating up in other ways besides the temperature. In the last issue of the “GFB News” I encouraged you to submit comments opposing the rule the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed to expand their regulatory authority over water on our farms under the Clean Water Act. I’d like to thank everyone who took time to submit comments through GFB’s “Ditch the Rule” webpage. American Farm Bureau and GFB’s “Ditch the Rule” campaign got the EPA’s attention, and they’re on the defensive. They started a “Ditch the Myth” website they’re using to refute our concerns with the rule and promote it. You can read more about this on page five, but the important thing is: If you haven’t submitted comments opposing the rule, please do so before the Oct. 20 deadline. Don’t be intimidated to submit your comments and speak your mind for fear of retaliation. Plenty of American farmers and their children have fought for our country to defend our right of free speech and our way of life. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain. If you need a reason to submit your comments, I’d like to ask you to do it for the future of Georgia agriculture. GFB hosted its annual Young Farmer Conference July 10-13, and I was reminded why GFB’s mission of being the voice of Georgia agriculture is so important. More than 400 young people between the ages of 18 and 35 attended this conference. GFB did our best to offer them family-oriented fellowship and work-
shops to help them address issues they’re facing as beginning farmers and to get them plugged into GFB. You can read all about the conference on pages six and seven and meet some of GFB’s leaders who were named finalists in our three Young Farmer contests. July 10 marked a special day for Georgia agriculture in Moultrie, Ga. The Sunbelt Expo held a field day to showcase the farm research being done at the Expo farm and the preparations being made for the 37th Annual Expo to be held Oct. 14-16. Chip Blalock, Michael Chafin and the rest of the Sunbelt staff are doing an outstanding job tending to the crops and every detail of the upcoming Expo. I hope you are making plans to attend because this year is very special. Each year a different state is chosen to be the spotlight state. This year it is our turn. The theme is “Always in Season, Georgia Agriculture.” Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to partner with UGA and the Department of Agriculture and other ag organizations in building a permanent structure to house our exhibit and future spotlight states. I am proud that Georgia is taking the lead to provide a permanent home to showcase Southern agriculture. In mid-July I attended the annual AFBF Council of Presidents Meeting in Washington. This meeting gives state Farm Bureau presidents the chance to meet and discuss issues, hear presentations from elected officials and policy makers like Krysta Harden, the USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Krysta See WE, THE FARMERS page 11
Georgia will be the 2014 Spotlight State during the 37th Annual Sunbelt on Oct. 14-16. A groundbreaking ceremony was held July 10 for the new Expo Spotlight State building. GFB President Zippy Duvall poses with a sign displaying Georgia’s spotlight state theme, “Always in Season, Georgia Agriculture.” Read page nine for more details. 4 / August 2014
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
Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director
Congress should rein in EPA & Corps
Photo courtesy of Bartow County Farm Bureau
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have proposed a rule that will greatly expand the regulatory authority of these agencies under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This proposal will infringe on private property rights. The proposed rule is “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act,” which was published in the Federal Register on April 21. The
Bartow County Farm Bureau is promoting the “Ditch the Rule” campaign in its community by asking its members to post yard signs the organization had printed locally. BCFB member Tracy Greenway is pictured placing a sign in her yard.
proposal is now in the comment period. Farm Bureau opposes this rule and urges EPA and the Corps to withdraw it. Everyone who cares about private property rights should submit comments at http://www.gfb.org/ditchtherule. The purpose of a comment period is to allow citizens affected by a proposed rule to express their opinions about it. Farm Bureau’s “Ditch the Rule” campaign is designed to educate the public and ramp up opposition to the rule. We are involved in this process because part of our purpose is to defend property rights. EPA recently launched its own website called “Ditch the Myth” to promote its rule. This is an improper role for a government agency. Agencies write proposed rules and schedule comment periods so that citizens may weigh in. In this case the agencies are running a rule-promotion campaign and making the American people pay for it. The agencies took eight years to develop this proposed rule. Government lawyers and bureaucrats – our employees - have spent countless hours and taxpayer dollars leading up to this 87-page proposal. In contrast, citizens have 120 days to comment, and during this time, the agencies are orchestrating a public campaign to influence comments in their favor. EPA assures landowners the purpose of the proposed rule is only to “clarify” the agencies’ regulatory authority. However, that clarity comes at the expense of landowners because it clarifies federal authority to regulate virtually all water features in the country and the land surrounding them. At EPA’s promotional website, the agency contends, “The proposal does not protect any waters that have not historically been covered under the Clean Water Act.” The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service contradicts that claim as follows: “Proposed changes would increase the asserted scope of CWA jurisdiction… by application of new definitions, which give larger regulatory context to some
types of waters, such as tributaries.” The proposed rule defines tributaries as any water “physically characterized by the presence of a bed and banks and ordinary high water mark…which contributes flow, either directly or through another water, to a water…” of the United States. In other words, if water on a landowner’s property might eventually end up in a navigable steam, that water feature will be considered a tributary of a navigable water of the United States. The agencies further contend the bed, bank, and high water mark “can be created by ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial flows.” Webster’s New World Dictionary defines ephemeral as “lasting only one day; short-lived; transitory.” Under this definition, water flow during a heavy rain constitutes a tributary subject to federal regulation. Congress should do something about it. Congress created these agencies, Congress sets their budgets, and it is up to Congress to rein them in. There is legislation pending in Washington to do just that, and Farm Bureau supports these efforts. On June 19, Sen. John Barrasso (RWyo.) introduced S. 2496, the “Protecting Water & Property Rights Act of 2014.” The bill would prohibit the finalization of the proposed rule. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss are cosponsors of the bill. On July 10, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.) introduced H.R. 5071, the “Agricultural Conservation Flexibility Act of 2014.” It rolls back the interpretive rule, issued by the agencies in March, which narrowed agricultural exemptions under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. On July 11, Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) introduced H.R. 5078, the aptly named “Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014.” Similar to the Senate bill, Southerland’s bill would prohibit finalization of the proSee EPA page 8
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 5
Members of Pork and Beans Brandon Whitt, left, and Josh Ogle, far right, work through a modified version of “Old MacDonald” with crowd volunteers, from left, Jake Carter, Marcus South, Laranda Wainright, Neely South and Garrett Ganas. The volunteers performed sounds of barnyard animals. To see more conference photos visit http://tinyurl.com/yfconf.
Young Farmer Leadership Conference continues growth Articles & photos by Jay Stone _____________________________________________________________________________
hether it’s the educational offerings, the competitive events or just a long weekend trip to the beach, the state’s young farmers appear to like what they’re getting from the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leadership Conference, which has tripled its attendance from 2010. More than 400 people registered for the 2014 conference, held July 10-13 on Jekyll Island. Those attending had opportunities to hear about Farm Bureau, financial and succession planning, marketing tips and much more. “This group and this organization have the ability to do anything,” GFB President Zippy Duvall, a one-time GFB state young farmer chairman, told the young farmers during the July 12 general session. “Don’t underestimate yourself. Don’t let anyone tell 6 / August 2014
you you can’t do something.” The event featured the preliminary rounds of the Young Farmer Discussion Meet, finalist interviews for the Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award and the announcement of the finalists for the Young Farmer Achievement Award. The conference also included workshops covering succession planning, legal issues on the farm, farm financing, opportunities in Farm Bureau, a review of Farm Bureau’s “Ditch The Rule” campaign, agritourism and ag apps. Attorney Will Thompson of the Macon firm James-Bates-Brannan-Groover LLP led a seminar on succession planning, emphasizing that planning and communication are crucial. He pointed out that an estimated 70 percent of family farms will
change hands in the next 20 years. “You should start sooner rather than later,” Thompson said. “Succession is a process. There is no one size fits all, and more communication between generations means met business goals and family harmony.” Another session featured GFB Field Services Director Mike Copeland and Assistant Director Dennis Black, who outlined opportunities the organization offers. They outlined GFB’s history, emphasizing that it has always been driven by farmers in pursuit of farm interests. Dr. Kent Wolfe, director of UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, led an educational session on agritourism opportunities, which he called “an experience economy.” “People are taking shorter trips and they’re traveling more by car,” Wolfe said. “They’re getting back to their ‘roots.’ They want to do something different. A visit to a farm allows families time together.” GFB 2nd District Field Representative Clay Talton led a session on agricultural smart phone apps, reviewing apps for weed and pest identification, mapping, weather, disease identification and more. On July 10, young farmers had a chance to play in a four-man golf scramble to raise money for Harvest For All, Farm Bureau’s fundraiser for those needing food. The proceeds will be donated to the Georgia Food Bank Association. That evening, attendees were treated to a low–country boil at Great Dunes Park. Among the attendees were more than 90 children, who were treated to a mobile milking demonstration, crafts and a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. During a Friday night cook-in, attendees were entertained by Pork and Beans, a Tennessee country music duo who delighted the crowd with their single, “Farm Strong” and took volunteers to help with their unique version of “Old MacDonald Had A Farm.” The GFB Young Farmer Committee auctioned off 14 items to raise money for the Young Farmer program, led by committee member and auctioneer Josh Pennino. Bridget Hitchcock of Washington County won the 2014 Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest. Conference attendees selected her photo out of the 12 finalist photos, all of which will be featured in the 2015 GFB Young Farmer calendar. Visit http://bit.ly/picwinners to see the photos. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Finalists named for GFB Young Farmer awards
inalists in the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer competitions were announced during the 2014 GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference. The finalist families for the Young Farmer Achievement Award are Matt and Melissa Bottoms of Pike County, Drew and Shelly Echols of Hall County and Chris and Lori Rogers of Jefferson County. The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers who derive the majority of their income from production agriculture. The three finalists will host judges for on-farm visits in September and the winning family will be announced at the 2014 GFB Convention on Jekyll Island in December. Each finalist family receives a travel allowance to attend the GFB Convention, where the winners will be announced on Dec. 7. The state winner will receive an Arctic Cat 4x4 all-terrain vehicle sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life, a $500 cash award and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention Jan. 11-14, 2015, in San Diego, courtesy of GFB. Profiles of the three families will appear in the Nov./Dec. â€œGFB News.â€? State runners-up each receive a $500 cash award from GFB. Heather Brannen of Bulloch County, Brittany Ivey of Stephens County, Cleveland Jackson of Floyd County and Constance Reid of Greene County advanced through the Young Farmer Discussion Meet preliminary rounds and will compete for state honors at the finals in December at the annual GFB Convention. During the first round of competition, the contestants discussed how the condition of government-managed public lands would change if they were managed privately. During the second round the discussion centered on whether a government safety net for livestock producers should be developed. In the third round, narrowed to 16 contestants, the topic was how young farmers can encourage membership growth and member engagement in Farm Bureau. The state discussion meet winner receives an Arctic Cat 4x4 all-terrain vehicle sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life, $500 cash and an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Convention from GFB to compete for national honors. The state runners-up will each receive $350 from SunTrust Bank. Addie Thomason of Franklin County, who advanced to the round
of 16, was the top collegiate finisher in the discussion meet and will compete for national honors at the American Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet in Nashville next February. Trisha Lastly of Madison County, Iris Peeler of Floyd County and Justin Shealey of Cook County are the finalists for the Excellence In Agriculture Award, which recognizes young farmers and farm advocates who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. The state winner will be announced in December at the GFB convention and receives a $4,000 cash prize sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life along with an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Convention from GFB. The runners-up will each receive a $500 cash prize sponsored GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Matthew London, right, conby AgSouth Farm Credit. gratulates Addie Thomason of Franklin The national winners County, the top collegiate finisher in of the AFBF Young Farm- the Young Farmer Discussion Meet. ers & Ranchers Discus- Thomason advances to compete in the sion Meet, Excellence in American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion Meet in February. Agriculture and Achievement Award each receive their choice of a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado or a 2015 GMC Sierra and paid registration to the 2015 AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference. The AFBF Discussion Meet finalists each receive a Case IH Farmall 55A tractor, a $2,500 cash prize and $500 in merchandise from Stihl. The AFBF Achievement Award finalists each receive a Case IH Farmall 65A tractor, a $2,500 cash prize and $500 in merchandise from Stihl. The AFBF Excellence in Agriculture finalists each receive a Case IH Farmall 45A tractor, a $2,500 cash prize and $500 in merchandise from Stihl.
Pictured from left, GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Matthew London congratulates Young Farmer Discussion Meet finalists Heather Brannen of Bulloch County, Constance Reid of Greene County, Brittany Ivey of Stephens County and Cleveland Jackson of Floyd County
Pictured from left, GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Matthew London congratulates Excellence In Agriculture finalists Trisha Lastly of Madison County, Iris Peeler of Floyd County and Justin Shealey of Cook County.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 7
GFB adds four new benefits for members By Jay Murdock ____________________________________ Farm Bureau has a long history of embracing the virtues of the rural way of life and providing valuable benefits and services to our members. In keeping with this tradition, we are pleased to announce four new benefits geared toward our rural friends.
Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members will now receive an exclusive manufacturer’s incentive discount of up to $300 on Polaris All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Utility Vehicles (UTV) and GEM® Electric Utility Vehicles. Polaris is headquartered in the United States and is a global leader in the manufacture of ATVs and neighborhood electrical vehicles. Negotiate your best deal with your preferred Polaris dealer and then present your discount certificate for further savings. To learn more about this program, find a dealer or obtain your discount certificate at http://www.gfb.org/benefits/polaris.html. Must be a GFB member for at least 30 days.
GFB members will now receive a manufacturer’s incentive discount of up to $500 on many Case IH tractors and implements. Case IH has powered agriculture for more than 170 years. With headquarters in the United States, Case IH has a network of more than 4,900 dealers and distributors. Negotiate your best deal with your preEPA from page 5 posed rule. Rep. Doug Collins, who represents Georgia’s 9th U.S. Congressional district, is a cosponsor of the legislation.
What can you do?
Submit Official Comments The most important thing landowners should do right now is submit comments to the agencies. Legislative efforts take time and may not succeed. Visit Farm Bureau’s official “Ditch the Rule” website. A prewritten comment can be found at the 8 / August 2014
ferred CASE IH dealer and then present your certificate for further savings. To learn more about this program, find a dealer or obtain your discount certificate at http:// www.gfb.org/benefits/case.html .
Receive 15 percent off as a GFB member on any make or model of Grasshopper True ZeroTurn™ mower and any parts or accessories purchased at the same time with the mower. Grasshopper is a family-owned business with more than 50 years of manufacturing experience. The Grasshopper Company has specialized in manufacturing True ZeroTurn™ riding rotary mowers since 1969. Grasshopper products are proudly made in the United States and are available through a worldwide network of knowledgeable, independent dealers offering sales, parts and service to turf care professionals, business and government entities and individuals. Find your local grasshopper dealer today by visiting http://www.gfb.org/benefits/grasshopper.html. Proof of GFB membership is required.
As a member of Georgia Farm Bureau, receive $10 off an Air Evac Lifeteam membership! An Air Evac Lifeteam membership also site with an area for personalization. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you need assistance.
Contact Your Representative & Senators
Your voice is amplified during an election year. Contact your legislators, and express your support for private property rights. Identify yourself as a Farm Bureau member and respectfully urge them to rein in these federal agencies.
makes you a member of AirMedCare Network, which is an alliance among Air Evac Lifeteam, Med-Trans Air Medical Transport, EagleMed, and REACH Air Medical Services. It is America’s largest air ambulance membership program. Your membership with Air Evac Lifeteam enrolls you in all four – giving you coverage in more than 200 locations across 27 states. Each of these five providers are committed to providing increased access to emergency trauma care to rural Americans. In a life-or-limb-threatening medical emergency, a successful patient recovery often depends on the amount of time it takes to deliver the patient to the hospital. Give yourself and your family peace of mind with an Air Evac Lifeteam membership. Even with medical insurance, an air medical transport can leave you with unexpected and uncovered expenses. As a member of Air Evac, you will not incur any out-of-pocket expenses in connection with your flight if you, or a member of your household, are airlifted by any of the participating providers. Whatever your health insurance provider pays will be considered payment in full. Annual Air Evac Lifeteam family memberships are normally $65, but as a Georgia Farm Bureau member, you’ll pay only $55 for this exceptional peace of mind. Visit your local county Farm Bureau office or http://www.gfb.org/benefits/ airmed.html today to join Air Evac Lifeteam and the AirMedCare Network! Jay Murdock is director of the GFB Member Services Department.
During this comment period, numbers matter. Urge your friends and family to submit comments to the agencies and communicate with elected officials. The clock is ticking on this proposed rule. Oct. 20 is the deadline to submit comments. If finalized, it is essentially the law of the land. Now is the time to step up and tell EPA to “Ditch the Rule.” Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Department. Georgia Farm Bureau News
By Jennifer Whittaker ____________________________________ A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Sunbelt Expo Spotlight State building during the Expo Field Day on July 10. Georgia ag leaders, members of the Sunbelt Expo Board of Directors and representatives of ag organizations financing the building attended the event. The permanent 40 x 75 foot building will be constructed in time for the 37th Annual Sunbelt Expo, to be held Oct. 14-16, and will be located across from the University of Georgia’s permanent building and beside the University of Florida’s building. Numerous Georgia ag organizations and businesses are funding the building’s estimated $75,000 cost. “For the last 36 years the Expo Spotlight State has been housed in a tent, but start-
Photo by Andy Lucas
Groundbreaking ceremony held for Expo spotlight state building
Participating in the groundbreaking are representatives of the key sponsors of the Sunbelt Expo Spotlight State building, from left, Ga. Agricultural Commissioner Gary Black, GFB President Zippy Duvall, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean Scott Angle, Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock, Assist. Director of the Ga. Development Authority Donald Wilder, Fort Valley State University Professor Dr. James E. Brown, Brittany Beasley, of Colombo North America and ABAC President David Bridges. For more photos visit http://tinyurl.com/expofd.
ing this year the Spotlight State will have a permanent building,” Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock said. “As the 2014 Spotlight State, Georgia wanted to leave a legacy, and Expo is very appreciative of the Georgia Spotlight State Committee taking the initiative to do this.” Georgia’s theme as the spotlight state is “Always in Season, Georgia Agriculture.” Mississippi will be the 2015 spotlight state followed by South Carolina in 2016, Blalock said. The state departments of agriculture
from each of the 10 Sunbelt states is providing their official state seal to be placed in a circle around the Expo logo on the building’s floor. “I’m real excited about the opportunity for Georgia Farm Bureau to be a part of Georgia being the Sunbelt Spotlight State and excited about being a part of this building. What better state than Georgia to take the lead on providing a permanent building for the spotlight state program,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 9
commodities/marketing update Brandon Ashley, Marketing Specialist
For the past two years, I have had the honor of participating in the inaugural class of the Advancing Georgia Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry (AGL) program. This is a leadership development class for members of Georgia’s agricultural community. This program is designed to develop members of Georgia’s ag community to become more effective spokespeople for their respective industries within agriculture, establish strong allegiances across the state and nation and further develop their leadership skills. For most program sessions we visited a different region in Georgia and looked at issues the area is facing. We also took a trip to New York where we learned about agriculture in the Empire State. You think of New York being New York City, but upstate New York is very rural and reminds me a lot of North Georgia. Agriculture plays a major part in New York. Our class also recently took a once-ina-lifetime trip to India June 29-July 13 that I will remember forever. During our two weeks in India, we traveled to more than 10 cities and learned a lot about Indian agriculture, culture, history, religion and higher education. India has a population of about 1.2 billion, second in the world only to China. We began our trip in India’s capital city of New Delhi. India is a cultural melting pot with Hindu, Islamic and British influences everywhere. Although about 80 percent of In-
Photo courtesy of AGL
AGL trip to India shows value of U.S. ag’s infrastructure
The Advancing Georgia Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry program recently visited India as the program studied international ag issues. GFB Commodity Specialist Brandon Ashley, center, back row, was among the participants who visited the Taj Mahal.
dia’s population is Hindu, the most iconic and famous image of India is the Taj Mahal, a memorial built by a Muslim king to honor his late wife. British customs are still prevalent even though British control of India ended in 1947. In some ways, I found India to be similar to the Southeastern United States. The people were very hospitable, much like our
Photo by Brandon Ashley
A young girl empties milk from her family farm at a milk collection center outside Jaipur, India. This collection center is one of many across India. Milk collected here is sent to a processing facility where milk, ice cream, butter and other dairy products are produced. Farmers are paid based on the volume of milk they contribute and its fat content. Milk at this collection center can come from other animals besides cows, such as goats and water buffalos. All of the milk is mixed together with no system in place to trace it back to an individual farm in the event of a food safety issue. 10 / August 2014
Southern hospitality. In some places, the Indians sat on the floor and gave us their chairs. Religion is very important to them, as is national pride. Indian people love their country and their culture. Another way Indians are like Southerners is they love to eat! Each meal had multiple courses, and it was considered rude if you refused seconds or thirds if the host brought the plate by. But the similarities between our cultures really end there. India has three times as many people as the United States, but is a third the size of the U.S. With such a large number of people in a relatively small area, everything is amplified. The poverty, traffic and trash are exponentially higher than what we see in America. Agriculture in India is similar to how it was in America 100 years ago. The average farm is less than five acres. As in the United States and Georgia, agriculture is a major economic driver for the country and the local communities. See INDIA page 18 Georgia Farm Bureau News
WE, THE FARMERS from page 4 spoke to all the state presidents. I was proud of our own farm girl from Mitchell County. Her father taught her to love and appreciate farmers and the land at an early age, and now she is leading the USDA team in implementing the 2014 farm bill. Krysta said every farmer in the country needs to educate themselves on the opportunities in the farm bill. The passion Krysta has for helping others get started in agriculture is contagious. Her words about women, young people and our veterans will inspire you. Reconnecting our wounded soldiers to the land and nature through agriculture is the best way to help our brave warriors heal their wounds, Krysta said. These are powerful words, which are full of truth and hope. We are so blessed to have a person like Krysta helping lead our USDA. I am confident she will always hold the love she has for agriculture at the root of every decision she has to make. While in D.C., I also had time to visit our legislators on Capitol Hill. Henry County Farm Bureau member Jake Carter, who is chairing the AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Committee, also attended the meeting. We visited Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson together. Sen. Chambliss has been a faithful friend to Georgia agriculture during his 19 years in Congress. We’re going to miss him when he retires at the end of this year, but I’m confident Sen. Isakson will carry the torch for agriculture as our senior senator. GFB’s summer membership campaign, which started June 1, has united the energies of our county Farm Bureau boards, county staff and insurance staff across the state. This campaign has created much excitement and is yielding positive results toward our membership goals. The campaign ends Aug. 31, and I challenge you again to ask your neighbors and friends who aren’t members to join Farm Bureau. The two biggest misconceptions about Farm Bureau membership are: 1) that you have to be a farmer and 2) that you have to have insurance with us to be a member. Neither is true. We’re just looking for members who want to be Farm Bureau Proud – folks who value faith, family and Georgia Grown food. Protecting these three
things is the core of Farm Bureau’s mission. I think a lot of people would gladly pay our $25 member fee to join us in our mission. Remind them that they’ll be rewarded for joining us with member discounts that will save them more than their $25 dues. In closing I leave you with this devotion. Upon the death of Moses, the Lord came to Joshua and explained to him that he had prepared the way and would provide everything Joshua needed to lead his people into the promise land. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
As I read the book of Joshua, I can’t help thinking about our agriculture communities. God tells us to be strong and not be afraid or dismayed. We should not be intimidated by the EPA. We should encourage our neighbors to join Farm Bureau and help us. We should encourage our young and beginning farmers. God has blessed us with everything we need to be successful on our farms. Georgia has the best farmers, plenty of water, the best soils and weather to grow our crops. To top it all off, God promises to always be with us. I thank God every day for allowing me to be a Georgia farmer. We, the agriculture communities of Georgia, are blessed by God for success.
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For more information, or to apply, contact your local Farm Bureau agent today. Existing Farm Bureau Bank loans are excluded from this offer. *Rate disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and based on exceptional credit. Some restrictions may apply based upon the make and model of equipment offered as collateral. Up to 90% financing for new and 85% for used equipment. Loans subject to credit approval. Rates are accurate as of 09/13/13. Rates and financing are limited to farm equipment model years 2003 or newer and are subject to change without notice. A down payment may be required for new or used equipment purchases. Financial information required for loan requests over $50,000. Commercial vehicles and trailers may be subject to an additional documentation fee. Farm Bureau Bank does not provide equity or cash-out financing on commercial vehicles and equipment. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank FSB. Farm Bureau, FB, and the FB National Logo are registered service marks owned by, and used by Farm Bureau Bank FSB under license from, the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 11
By Jay Stone ___________________________________ group of Georgia Farm Bureau district directors visited a Putnam County farm where interplanted alfalfa is being tested and WDairy in Morgan County on June 25. Many members of the Georgia Senate and House Agriculture committees also attended. After the tours, the group had supper with Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. GFB President Zippy Duvall and Black each talked about the importance of building and maintaining relationships, like those GFB enjoys with the UGA Cooperative Extension Service and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. “Strong relationships are required for anything you do that brings you success, happiness or fulfillment,” Duvall said. At Dodson Farm in Putnam County, where alfalfa is interplanted with Bermudagrass on a 40-acre field and used to generate feed materials for cattle, UGA Seed Specialist Donald Wood discussed the proj-
Photo by Jay Stone
GFB board, legislators visit NE Georgia farms
At WDairy in Morgan County, Everett Williams tells the GFB board and legislators about the dairy operation’s livestock care, waste management, and milking process in the dairy’s rotary milking parlor. To see more photos visit http://tinyurl.com/boardtour.
ect, which has produced sustainable crops that yielded higher nutrient content than Bermudagrass alone. “We feel like the program that we’re in now has the potential to be a gamechanger,” Wood said, noting the livestock nutritional benefits realized through the intercropping program. “We bring a highquality feed with our Bermudagrass. We’re not saying anything negative about Bermudagrass because these are making very good companion crops. But we’ll increase our [Relative Forage Quality] 30 to 40 points and in some cases we double our protein.” The result, Wood said, was that cattle do not require as much feed using an alfalfa-Bermudagrass mix – whether from hay
cut from the field or from grazing – and that saves money on feed. At WDairy in Morgan County, owner Everett Williams showed the group his feeding operation for the 1,500 cows he milks, as well as his waste disposal setup and the rotary milking parlor the dairy has used since 2012. It is one of about 10 rotary parlors in the state and can accommodate 72 cows at once. WDairy milks about 18 hours a day. The cows being milked are kept in freestall barns where they relax on beds of sand. Fans are used for ventilation and cooling, and a cooling mist is sprayed over the herd every five minutes during hot weather.
Georgia law to combat timber theft in effect ganization, and through its passage, we expect to see landowners’ property better A new Georgia law designed to address protected. Now, timber owners will have a unauthorized harvest of timber went into mechanism in place to recoup losses when effect July 1. they have been adversely affected by an un The Timber Security law (HB 790), authorized harvest.” which passed both chambers of the Georgia The law also allows landowners to be General Assembly and was signed into law compensated at three times the fair market by Gov. Nathan Deal on April 24, extends value of the trees, three times the dimininvestigative and arresting authority to the ished value of the damaged trees, reasonGeorgia Forestry Commission in cases of able reforestation costs plus attorney and unauthorized timber harvest, similar to the litigation fees. Previously the damages powers the GFC already has for cases of awarded were set at the value of the timber timber arson. harvested. “We appreciate the legislature’s sup- The bill, which was strongly supported port and the hard work of all the stake- by Georgia Farm Bureau, requires a scale holders involved in this effort,” said Geor- ticket and payment to be provided to the gia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. landowner within 20 days of harvest. Vio“This issue has been a priority of our or- lations of the 20-day rule are considered a
12 / August 2014
By Jay Stone ___________________________________
misdemeanor for each load. The new law establishes a four-year statute of limitations for victims to recover damages from unauthorized harvest of trees. For more information about the law, visit http://tinyurl.com/timberlaw. Georgia Farm Bureau News
By Jennifer Whittaker _______________________________________________________ Georgia Farm Bureau was proud to sponsor the Georgia High School Rodeo Association state finals held May 30 – June 1 in Perry at the Georgia Agricenter. State champions, based on cumulative points earned at sanctioned competitions held since last fall, are, pictured from left: Adriona Newbern, goat tying; Bailey Kinard, tied for saddlebronc riding; Whit Harper, team roping; Tyler Mobbs, bareback riding & tied for saddlebronc
riding; Lucas Brown, tie-down roping; Cole Watkins, all around cowboy & steer wrestling; 2014-2015 GHSRA Queen Olivia Tacy; Hayden Burdick, bull riding; Tyler Thornton, team roping; Ryanne Heath, all around cowgirl & girls cutting; Ali Ayers, barrel racing; Marlee Malcom, breakaway roping and poles; and Justin Haslerig, boys cutting. State winners and the three runners-up in each event were eligible to compete at the National High School Rodeo Finals held in Rock Springs, Wyo., July 13-19.
If you can’t be there, we can. She’s been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl. But if you can’t be there to see it, you can at least make sure that you’ve planned for her happiness. Farm Bureau Insurance* has a wide range of life insurance policies that can meet your family’s needs. Hopefully you will be there for all of her life’s greatest moments. But if you can’t, Farm Bureau Insurance* will be there to help see her through.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Georgia Farm Bureau supports Ga. High School Rodeo
*Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 13
Eastern Tennessee. Other positions Rudolph has held since joining NRCS after graduating from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University in 1996 include serving as a district conservationist in Michigan, Iowa, and as a soil conservationist in Wisconsin. He worked on a detail assignment as acting state conservationist in North Carolina in January 2012 and served on a detail assignment at the national NRCS headquarters in August 2012 as a member of the 2012 State Budget Evaluation Team. Rudolph and his wife, Teri, have two children, Taelor and Tamera. Wright, a native of Brunswick, Ga., graduated from Fort Valley State University in 1998. She returns to Georgia from Columbia, Mo., where she most recently served as assistant state conservationist
for programs with the NRCS. Wright began her NRCS career in 1995 as a student trainee in FVSU’s Cooperative Education Program. As a student trainee, she worked at the Brunswick and Nashville, Ga., field offices. After earning her degree from FVSU, Wright Wright worked at NRCS field offices in Commerce and Hartwell, Ga., Mississippi, Vermont, Florida and Missouri. In 2007, Wright earned her master’s degree in urban and regional planning, environment and land use from Jackson State University in Mississippi.
he also brings a wealth of executive leadership experience,” said ABAC President David Bridges. “We anticipate continued growth and enhanced reputation of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources under his leadership.” Baker has been serving as the chief
executive officer and executive director of Sigma Xi: the Scientific Research Society, a North Carolina-based international honor society for scientists and engineers. Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi has more than 538,000 members in 524 chapters worldwide. Baker has also served as publisher of the Sigma Xi American Scientist Magazine. Baker Baker said he looks forward to returning to Tifton. His previous academic experience included 13 years as a faculty member in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia. From 19902003, he served as an assistant professor, associate professor and research and extension location leader for animal and dairy science at the UGA Tifton Campus. “The visionary leadership of ABAC has laid the foundation for significant growth,” Baker said. “I am excited about the opportunity to join the exceptional faculty and staff of ABAC, which gives me the chance to serve the students, community and diverse stakeholders of ABAC programs.”
Courtesy of NRCS
Terrance Rudolph has been appointed the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Georgia state conservationist, and Katura Wright as assistant state conservationist, according to a release issued by NRCS. Rudolph took over for Acting State Conservationist Tansel Hudson on July 14. Wright began her duties on June 30. Rudolph Rudolph comes from Knoxville, Tenn., where he served as assistant state conservationist for field operations from October 2007 until July. In this position Rudolph directed the field office operations for 26 counties in
Courtesy of NRCS
Rudolph new state conservationist, Wright assistant
ABAC names Baker dean of Ag & Natural Resources School Dr. Jerome “Jerry” F. Baker became dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on July 1, according to an ABAC press release. “Jerry not only brings many academic credentials to his new position of dean, but
Craven Hudson, the newly appointed associate state leader of Georgia 4-H, has a life-long history with 4-H. His mother was an Extension home demonstration agent. Hudson, a native of Virginia with more than 25 years of Extension experience, comes to the University of Georgia Extension and Georgia Hudson 4-H from North Carolina State University where he most recently served as the executive assistant to the director of Cooperative Extension. He also held the position of executive director of development for
14 / August 2014
Courtesy of Craven Hudson
Hudson named associate state leader of Ga. 4-H 4-H and family and consumer sciences in the N.C. State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Craven’s background as a county Extension agent and knowledge of fund development and organizational skills will help Georgia 4-H continue to be among the best 4-H programs in the United States,” said Georgia’s State 4-H Leader Arch Smith. His first goals are to recruit more adult volunteer leaders and increase retention of fifth and sixth graders in the Cloverleaf program. Hudson earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry and wildlife from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree in forestry from N.C. State. He is currently working on a doctorate of education at N.C. State.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Ga. farmers increase peanut, cotton & soybean acreage By Jay Stone ____________________________________ Perhaps looking to take advantage of the best available crop price, Georgia farmers have planted significantly more acres in peanuts according to the June Acreage Report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which was released on June 30. Farmers planted 590,000 acres in peanuts according to the report, an increase of 160,000 acres over the state’s 2013 peanut acreage, a boost of 37.2 percent. National Peanut Board Chairman John Harrell said peanut prices relative to other crops motivated farmers to plant more peanuts. “The price of corn and the price of cotton are both down,” said Harrell, who is chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Peanut Committee and a Grady County Farm Bureau director. “Peanuts with the yields these new varieties potentially can make, even at $425 [per ton], if you can make 6,000-plus pounds [per acre], you can make more money. That was the driving force.” According to Harrell, the fact that no government payments for peanuts will be
made under the 2014 farm bill until October 2015 had little or no influence on peanut planting decisions. “People did not plant for the program. They planted because of the commodity prices,” he said. Georgia farmers also planted more acres of cotton and soybeans in 2014. Cotton acreage jumped from 1.37 million in 2013 to 1.45 million in 2014, an increase of 80,000 acres, or 5.8 percent. Soybean acreage increased by 21.7 percent, from 230,000 in 2013 to 280,000 in 2014. Georgia’s hay acreage estimate of 580,000 acres is the same as the 2013 harvested acreage. Georgia tobacco growers are expected to harvest 14,000 acres this year, up from the 12,800 acres of tobacco harvested in 2013. The state’s planted acreage in corn, sorghum and winter wheat all declined in 2014. Georgia corn acreage fell from 510,000 in 2013 to 380,000 in 2014, a decline of 25.5 percent. Sorghum planted for all purposes in Georgia totaled 45,000 acres in 2014, down 10,000 from 2013 planted acreage, or 18.2
Chavez new UGA peach specialist
Photo by Sharon Dowdy
Dario Chavez is developing a relationship with the Georgia Peach Council and the Georgia Peach Commission and creating a website and blog to share information with farmers and the public. To help guide Georgia peach farmers, Chavez is working with the UGA Peach Team that includes UGA plant pathologists, entomologists, horticulturists and USDA stonefruit breeders. He is also applying for grants to fund peach research projects and installing 60 varieties of peaches on the UGA Griffin Campus’ Dempsey Farm. Chavez grew up in a fourth-generation Ecuadorian farm family that raised dairy cows and beef cattle and potatoes. He earned an undergraduate degree in agricultural science Chavez and production from Zamorano University in Honduras. In 2005 Chavez interned with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Science’s Distance Diagnostics through Digital Imaging (DDDI) helping the DDDI system develop a Spanish manual for their partnership in Central America. He earned a master’s degree in plant breeding and genetics in the blueberry breeding program and a Ph.D. in plant breeding and stone fruit breeding genetics from the University of Florida.
percent. Winter wheat planted in late 2013 and early 2014 fell by 120,000 acres, from 420,000 in 2012/13 to 300,000 in 2013/14, a decline of 28.6 percent. The state’s rye acreage fell from 190,000 in 2013 to 170,000 in 2014, a drop of 10.5 percent. Nationally, NASS estimated a record high 84.8 million acres of soybeans planted in the United States for 2014, up 11 percent from last year. Corn acres planted are estimated at 91.6 million acres, down 4 percent from last year, the lowest planted acreage in the U.S. since 2010. Peanuts are at 1.315 million acres in 2014, up 23 percent from 2013. Planted upland cotton acres are estimated at 11.19 million, up 9.7 percent from 2013.
Smith joins ACCE, Sept. 1 deadline to apply for Equine Advisory Board
Ronald “Ron” Smith of Camden County was recently appointed to serve a three-year term on the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Equine (ACCE). Smith has served on the ACCE Advisory Board for the past year and has more than 30 years of experience with horses in the areas of training, breeding, showing and therapeutic riding as well as leadership and business management experience. Following Smith’s appointment to the ACCE, the ACCE is now accepting applications to fill the Southeast Georgia position on its advisory board, which counsels the commission on topics of research, education, and promotion of the equine industry. The ACCE is looking for a willing, experienced, and hardworking individual from Southeast Georgia who is passionate about building and supporting Georgia’s equine industry. Sept. 1 is the deadline to apply for the ACCE Advisory Board Southeast Georgia seat. Interested persons should contact Nathan Wilson at email@example.com. gov or 404-656-3678 to request an application form. Applicants must also submit a resume with the application form. Those with questions or concerns may also contact ACCE Chairman John Clements by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 404-863-2173.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 15
Workman wins Essay Contest discussing ag’s contribution to healthy diet By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________
In recent years, Georgia Farm Bureau has worked through its Ag in the Classroom program to educate students about the nutritional benefits of the food Georgia farmers grow and how eating these foods can improve their health. The My Plate is Georgia Grown campaign taught students about the USDA’s daily dietary recommendations for the five major food groups and portion control. Students participating in the 2014 GFB Middle School Essay Contest were asked to write on the topic “My Plate is Georgia Grown” to explore the importance of healthy
“My Plate is Georgia Grown”
By Morgan Workman
t is dramatically important to have a healthy diet. Each time you sit down to a meal, you’re making life-and-death decisions. Doesn’t that sound scary? We often take for granted the farmers who grow and raise our everyday foods so that we can have a healthy diet. Your food choices affect how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future. Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the increase of obesity in the United States. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is linked to major health risks. Heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer can be linked to an unhealthy diet. These major health risks can cause illness and sometimes even death. By making smart food choices, you can protect yourself from these health problems. Healthy diet habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood. By teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age you help them stay healthy throughout their life. There are five major food groups: protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. It is highly important that you eat the recommended serving for each food group. Peanuts, pecans, eggs, cattle, goats, sheep, hogs, poultry, turkeys, and alligators are great sources of protein raised and produced in Georgia. Examples of Georgia grains are sorghum, corn, pearl millet, wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Georgia is known for our homegrown peaches, watermelon, toma16 / August 2014
eating, the economic value of Georgia agriculture and how consumers can eat healthy and support local farmers. Morgan Workman of McDuffie County is the state winner of the contest, which had 62 entries and was open to students in sixth through eighth grades. Workman received a $100 cash prize for being the GFB 4th District winner and a $150 prize as the state winner. Workman, the daughter of David and Pamela Workman, was an eighth-grade student at Thomson-McDuffie Middle School when she wrote her essay earlier this year. Essays were judged on clarity of thought and writing skill. Contest winners were selected from each
toes, cantaloupes, and blueberries. Georgia’s appetizing Vidalia Onions and cabbage are the top producing vegetables. The largest produced dairy product in Georgia is milk. Milk is used to make butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, and pudding. Georgia has such a wide variety of food it makes eating healthy easier and faster. No matter which part of our state you visit, you’ll see some form of agricultural production. Georgia is also a high producing state of cotton and tobacco. Agriculture contributes more than $71.1 billion to Georgia’s economy yearly. One in seven Georgians work in an agriculture related field. In 2007, there were 47,846 farms in Georgia. These farms surpassed 10,150,539 acres of land. Georgia farms average 212 acres per farm. Agriculture is one of Georgia’s largest and oldest industries. Even though agriculture plays such a large role in Georgia’s economy, less than two percent of Georgia’s population lives on farms. Forty percent of the nation’s peanuts and pecans are harvested in Georgia. Georgia’s agriculture isn’t just a way to make a living. It’s a way to make a life, too. Eating healthy can be difficult with a busy work schedule. Foods being produced locally make it easier to get fresh food. Local food systems are a good idea to get your share of nutrients and assure you’ll be able to get them later, too. Consumers choose what’s local to them. Some say within a hundred miles is
of the organization’s 10 districts. Other district winners were: Bret Buursema, Forsyth County, 1st District; Colby Martin, Franklin County, 2nd District; Vani Senthil, Gwinnett County, 3rd District; Briana G. Simmons, Crawford County, 5th District; Lane Barrows, Dodge County, 6th District; Jacob Myers, Evans County, 7th District; Marquetta Griffin, Wilcox County, 8th District; Montana McQuaig, Decatur County, 9th District; and Ashley Clement, Coffee County, 10th District. Each district winner received $100. The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee coordinated the contest on the state level and county Women’s Committees promoted the contest locally.
local. Others say within their state is local. Either way you are supporting your state economy and local farmers. Buying food from farmers markets or straight from the farmer is a way to support your locally owned farms and live a healthy lifestyle. Buying from these farmers helps sustain the businesses that provide you and the nation with food. Agriculture plays a large role in everyone’s daily life. For instance, my father works for John Deere commercial products. This company produces agricultural equipment. Without this equipment farmers would not be able to harvest their crops such as cotton, watermelons, peaches, peanuts, pecans, eggs, etc. Without the need of this equipment many people would be without jobs. We often take the agriculture businesses and workers for granted but we should realize its importance. Today’s American farmer feeds about 155 people worldwide. Without farms and farmers Georgia couldn’t grow. Having a healthy diet not only makes you look great, but feel great, too. Farmers work hard to provide foods that fit in all five food groups. A well-balanced diet is key to having a healthy diet. The economic value of agriculture in our state produces $71 billion. Always remember to eat locally grown foods and support your local farmers. Georgia wouldn’t be what it is today without the family farms that grow and produce the wholesome, delicious food we eat. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo courtesy of National AITC
left: Dennis Peavy, Houston County; Cathy Johnson, National Peanut Board; Joy Crosby, Georgia Peanut Commission; Hugh Avery, Laurens County; Karrie Perrin, Stephens County; Jurice Oliver, Wilcox County; Nanette Bryan, Chattooga County; Lauren Macias-Dye, Elbert County; Linda Crumley, Barrow County; Maureen Mazurek, Elbert County; Sara Walker, Bacon County; Marsha Mastiforte; Cherokee County; Cathy Fontenot, Carroll County; Sara Hughes, Clarke County; and Sue Powers, Wilcox County. Not pictured Jeremy Bowman, Walker County.
Ga. well-represented at National AITC Conference
ship to attend the conference. Perrin also presented a workshop at the conference. Andrea Seagraves, who teaches kindergarten at Eagle’s Nest in Crawford County, received a scholarship to attend the conference from The CHS Foundation, a global food and energy cooperative. Visit http://tinyurl.com/aitc14 to view photos of the conference or to download some of the workshop information including Perrin’s “Sweet Tips and Tricks for Promoting AG Literacy in the Classroom.” The 2015 conference, “Unbridled Possibilities,” will be held in Louisville, Ky., June 16-20.
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________ Georgia sent a delegation of almost 30 riculture Educator Award presented by Farm Bureau members, teachers and ag or- Georgia Farm Bureau at its 2013 convenganization representatives to the National tion. Ag in the Classroom Conference held June Jeremy Bowman, who teaches at Nao23-27 in Hershey, Pa. The conference in- mi Elementary School in Walker County, cluded workshops on a wide variety of and Karrie Perrin, who teaches at Toccoa teaching approaches that can be used to Elementary School in Stephens County, deliver agriculture-based lessons in schools. each received a White-Reinhardt ScholarCrawford County Farm Bureau member Dennis Peavy, who is a teacher at Houston County’s Lake Joy Elementary School, was one of five recipients of the national Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award presented at the conference by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Agriculture in the Classroom Consortium. This competitive program recognizes a select group of teachers for their successful efforts in teaching agricultural concepts in their curriculum. Recipients of the distinguished award receive an honorarium of $500 and up to $1,500 for travel related expenses to the National AITC Conference. Other recipients were: Missy Locke, Ten- GFB member Dennis Peavy, second from left, was one of five recipients of the national nessee; Joann Hebert, La.; Melinda Beach, Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award presented at the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. Pictured from left are, Georgia AITC Coordinator Donna Rocker, S.C. and Lauren Arbogast, Va. Peavy, and Jim Kahler with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Peavy was the 2013 recipient of the George Mayo, president of the National Ag in the Classroom Organization. For more Georgia Excellence in Teaching about Ag- Georgia photos visit http://tinyurl.com/naitc.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 17
Photo courtesy of National AITC
The Georgia delegation attending the National Ag in the Classroom Conference June 23-27 in Hershey, Pa. included: front row, from left, Rena Booker, Crawford County; Barbara Johnson, Mitchell County; Andrea Seagraves, Crawford County; Janet Mazurek, Elbert County; Janet Greuel, Fayette County; Lynn Bagwell, Bartow County; Gwen Benson, Carroll County; Melanie Sanders, Oglethorpe County; Elaine Avery, Laurens County; Mandy Moon, Madison County; Wanda Faircloth, Mitchell County; Donna Rocker, Georgia AITC Coordinator; back row, from
Photo by Damon Jones
The 2014 Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour held June 9-11 in South Georgia and North Florida gave growers an update on the impact spring rains had on the crop and a chance to hear about the latest management practices UGA researchers recommend.
Annual tobacco tour highlights crop status & management practices hile the amount of tobacco planted in Georgia has fallen over the past decade, the same can’t be said about the quality, but growers have been challenged early this season due to heavy rainfall. During the 2014 Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour, held June 9-11 in South Georgia and North Florida, participants got a chance to see the effects the excess moisture has had on the crop. “Since transplanting, we’ve had too much rain,” said Dr. J. Michael Moore, the University of Georgia’s lead tobacco researcher. “It’s delayed transplanting and the early start of the crop has been very erratic in its size in a lot of cases.” According to Moore, it’s also been an above average year for black shank around the state as prolonged periods of soggy soil conditions have caused major root damage
to some of the crop. However, not all producers have been affected. “Black Shank has a very unfair distribution,” UGA Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Bertrand said. “So if you have it, you can have a very severe problem with it, and if you don’t have it, then you don’t have any.” The biggest surprise for the experts was the increased cases of tomato spotted wilt virus despite the cooler, wetter start to the growing season. It’s a problem that must be dealt with before the crops are transplanted. “There’s a combination of chemical treatments that can be applied that give about 50 percent control,” said Bertrand. “And those all have to be applied in the plant house before their plants are taken to the field. So once the plant drops out of the planter and into the field, everything that can be done has been done.” Despite all the early difficulties, Moore
said the majority of the crop looks good with some growers having the potential of topping 3,000 pounds per acre. He does warn against simply running over pigweed in the field, as it compromises the quality. “We’ve had complaints about the tobacco coming from the United States containing pigweed seed,” said Moore. “And it’s particularly the Chinese who have identified this and are not particularly interested in buying our pigweed seed. Let’s pull those pigweeds out.” The tour, which began in Live Oak, Fla., on June 9, made several stops in North Florida and South Georgia on June 10, including research facilities on the UGA Tifton Campus, and finished up with a number of on–farm demonstrations June 11. In addition to highlighting this year’s crop, the tour also gave participants a look at research on tobacco genetics, variety tests, and trials of new pesticide and fungicide applications. It’s an annual event Moore said is vital to the industry as it showcases a crop he believes people are coming back to. The USDA June acreage report estimates growers will harvest 14,000 acres this year up from 12,800 acres in 2013.
INDIA from page 10 India is a world leader in the production of milk, rice, cotton, sugar and other crops, but it isn’t a major player in international trade. Everything India produces is kept in the country, for two reasons. With so many people they need everything they can produce for themselves. Another reason India isn’t a major player in international ag exports is because it does not have the infrastructure we have in America. There is no efficient method of getting the food from the farms to the consumer. Storage of perishable products is non-existent. Forty percent of all produce harvested goes to waste. While some Georgia ag segments, like pecans, are making inroads in exporting
their crop to India, the biggest opportunity I saw was for our industry to share expertise. I believe there are opportunities for agribusinesses to share new and innovative technology to help improve the Indian farmers’ efficiency. Americans are blessed to live in a country where opportunities exist for everyone to better themselves. We are also blessed to live in a country where our food is readily available to us in a safe and efficient manner. Sustainability is a buzzword we hear often from critics of U.S. agriculture, but our system is the definition of sustainable. The critics of modern American agriculture want our system to resemble what is in India, but I don’t see how that would
sustain the way of life we have come to enjoy in this country because Indian farmers produce only enough food to feed themselves and only sell what they don’t need. The international trip to India was one of many eye-opening experiences I had during my participation in AGL. I was able to see the state, country and world in a new light. If anyone is interested in participating in Class II of Advancing Georgia Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry, please visit http://www.agl.caes.uga.edu/ or contact AGL Program Director Rochelle Strickland-Sapp at email@example.com. Brandon Ashley is a commodity marketing specialist in the GFB Commodities/Marketing Dept.
By Damon Jones __________________________________________________________________________
18 / August 2014
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Students receive Strickland Memorial Scholarships Two South Georgia students have been named the 2014 B. Frank Strickland Memorial Scholarship recipients. Sam Bennett of Valdosta and Kathryn Dixon of Patterson will each receive a $500 scholarship to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) in Tifton this fall and pursue agriculture degrees. The son of Marshall and Mary Beth Bennett, Sam is a recent graduate of Lowndes High School who was an active member of 4-H and became a Master
White leaving Ga. Cattlemen’s Association
Former Georgia Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Josh White has accepted the role of executive director of producer education with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). His last day at GCA was Aug. 4. He and his family are moving to Colorado and White joining the NCBA team Aug. 14. At NCBA White will lead a team of five in directing the Beef Quality Assurance program, Cattlemen’s College and other initiatives as NCBA works to bolster producer education opportunities. White, a Henry County Farm Bureau director, became the GCA executive vice president in October 2009. He breeds cattle and is a past president of the Georgia Limousin Association. Josh and his wife, Erin, served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee in 2001 and 2002. He was the 2008 GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet winner. “It has been a great honor and the most rewarding time of my career thus far serving Georgia’s cattle producers,” White said. “Thanks to all the volunteer leaders at GCA and all of our affiliated partners like Farm Bureau, the Agribusiness Council and the University. It’s been a real blessing to see that synergy and get to be a part of it.” The GCA has appointed a search committee to find White’s successor. Those interested in applying should contact Michele Creamer at Michele@gabeef.org.
4-Her in 2012. He earned his Eagle Scout badge in 2013. The daughter of Robert and Brenda Dixon, Kathryn is a recent graduate of Pierce County High School who was an active member of 4-H, FFA and the Georgia High School Rodeo Association. The scholarship is awarded to an entering freshman or rising sophomore at ABAC from a county where tobacco is grown. Lanier County farmer B. Frank Strickland was a lifelong advocate of Georgia’s tobacco
industry and an active Georgia Farm Bureau member serving on the GFB Board of Directors for 27 years. The ABAC Foundation administers the scholarship. A selection committee comprised of representatives from GFB, the Georgia Tobacco Commission and the Lanier County Farm Bureau select the recipients. For more information about the scholarship contact the GFB Commodities/Marketing Department at 1-800-342-1196.
UGA Extension Director Sparks retires
Dr. Beverly Sparks retired June 30 after serving seven years as director of University of Georgia Extension. She was the first woman to hold the position. Sparks spent 32 years working in Extension, first as an entomologist in Texas and Georgia conducting research, publishing papers and educating Extension agents and then leading UGA Extension. Sparks earned an associate degree in agriculture from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College before heading to UGA, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a master’s degree in entomology. She earned a doctoral degree in entomology at Louisiana State University and began her career at Texas A&M as an Extension entomologist. She returned to UGA in 1989 as an Extension entomologist. Her work focused on fire ants and other horticulture pests. In 2000, Sparks became director of UGA Extension’s Northeast District. In 2005, she became interim director of Extension and officially assumed the post in 2007. Sparks “Dr. Beverly Sparks has led Cooperative Extension through periods of growth and decline. She has shown determination and skill to make Extension the best it can be as it serves the citizens of Georgia,” said Scott Angle, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Most importantly, her grace and tact have held the organization together during some very difficult times.” CAES Assistant Dean for Extension Steve Brown will serve as acting associate dean for UGA Extension until Sparks’ replacement is selected through a national search.
Ga. cotton & tobacco commissions accepting nominations
The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commissions for cotton and tobacco are accepting nominations until Aug. 30 to fill positions on each board. The length of each term is three years. To qualify for nomination to either commission, the nominee must be a Georgia producer of cotton or tobacco. Nominations can be made by completing a nominee information form available at Farm Services Administration offices and sending it to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, 19 MLK Jr. Drive S.W. Room 324, Atlanta, GA 30334 or via fax to 404-656-9380. Nominations must be postmarked by Aug. 30 for consideration. The nominees will be certified to ensure they are an active Georgia cotton or tobacco producer. Geographic representation will be considered when making appointments. Agricultural commodity commissions are farmer-funded programs that conduct research, promotion and education for their respective commodities. Producers with questions may contact the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture at 404-656-3678.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 19
AROUND GEORGIA News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker BACON COUNTY Bacon County Farm Bureau (BCFB) members recently visited the eight first-grade classes at the local primary school to teach an Ag in the Classroom lesson about earthworms and how they enrich the soil for crops and plants to grow. BCFB member Ruth Pharr is pictured letting students feel an earthworm. Pharr and the other volunteers read the books “Wonderful Worms” and “Yucky Worms” to the students and helped the students set up earthworm habitats so they could see the worms in action. To add a little fun to the project, the volunteers gave the children gummy worms as a treat. BIBB COUNTY Bibb County Farm Bureau (BCFB) participated in the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Feed My School program held May 12-16 at Skyview Elementary School. BCFB members Dr. Shannon Elliott, Russ and Russell Elliott are shown giving the students Agtivity books, stickers, ag bookmarks, pencils and Georgia ag placemats that BCFB provided. Elliott Farms displayed tractors, baby goats and provided strawberries and tomato plants for the students. BCFB member Andrea Worley, not pictured, also helped with the event. CLARKE COUNTY In May, Clarke County Farm Bureau hosted a farm day at Lifespan Montessori School attended by about 60 students and facilitated by 16 volunteers. The students rotated through six different stations where they 20 / August 2014
learned about farm animals and had hands-on experiences. The students learned about miniature horses, baby chickens and honeybees, enjoyed farm games, tractor rides and a gardening station. CCFB member Donna Harris is shown helping the kids plant basil plants.
FAYETTE COUNTY Fayette County Farm Bureau held its annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner in May. About 75 people, including state and local elected leaders Rep. John Yates and Sen. Valenica Seay attended the event. The FCFB Women’s Committee presented its Farmer of the Year Award to Roger and Janet Greuel. FCFB Women’s Committee members presenting the plaque to the Greuels, center, were, pictured from left: FCFB Women’s Chairman Debi Creel and Committee Members Tammie Harp, Joanne Minter, Diane Allbritton, Robin Porter and Mary Carden. Roger serves on the FCFB Board of Directors and the Flint River Water Advisory Council. Janet is a member of the FCFB Women’s Committee and serves on the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The Greuels raise Brangus Cattle. GREENE COUNTY Greene County Farm Bureau (GCFB) teamed up with the Greene County FFA & Greene County Extension to host an Ag Day in May attended by 157 fourth-graders from three schools in the county and homeschoolers. Students rotated through 12 stations where they learned about a variety of topics including electrical safety presented by the Rayle EMC, gardening and growing seeds presented by the Master Gardeners and life on a dairy farm presented by Marvin Bell. FFA students held an Ag Quiz Bowl competition for the students; the Greene County EMS discussed 911 procedures, and the Morgan County HuGeorgia Farm Bureau News
mane Society covered dog care and safety. GCFB member Sherley Selman is shown talking to the students about cotton explaining how farmers plant the seeds, raise and harvest their crop, and the many uses of cotton. JENKINS COUNTY Jenkins County Farm Bureau (JCFB) participated in the Jenkins County Emergency Medical Services Safety Expo in May at the local hospital. JCFB President Dobie Gay, left, and JCFB Director Wade Parker, right, discussed the benefits of having protective covers on power take-off (PTO) shafts on tractors and the dangers of not having protective covers. They also used a tabletop model of a grain wagon to show how gravity can pull farmers down into the grain if they lower themselves into the wagon and precautions to take to prevent this. After attendees looked at the table-top demonstrations, Gay and Parker took each group outside to see a tractor hooked up to a rotary mower and discuss precautions to follow to prevent accidents with farm equipment. MADISON COUNTY Madison County Farm Bureau hosted its 11th Annual Farm Day in May. More than 370 first–graders were introduced to cattle, poultry, swine, goats, sheep, horses, farm safety, farm loans, conservation and commodities. For many students, it was their first opportunity to see live farm animals and learn about their care. The students also saw a demonstration of a cow being milked by the Mobile Dairy Classroom and an electrical safety demonstration by Hart EMC. Madison County Farm Bureau Director Trish Stuedemann, left, tells Sarah Beth Lord how to care for horses. TIFT COUNTY Tift County Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chairman Andrew Grimes, left, and his wife, Lauren, right, visited a local pre-K center to teach the 250 students how their food is grown. The Grimeses spoke to
14 classes and gave each teacher a copy of the book “Who Grew My Soup?” Andrew talked to the kids about being a farmer and the crops his family grows on their farm that the kids eat, such as cantaloupes, green beans, corn, broccoli and peanuts. Andrew, who drove a tractor to the school, also told the kids how he uses his tractor to plow the fields, plant seeds and harvest crops. Each kid then “got to be a farmer” and plant a green bean seed in a cup. The classes watched their plants grow at school as an experiment. TOOMBS COUNTY Toombs County Farm Bureau worked to increase students’ understanding of agriculture this spring with a farm tour for a local preschool and Ag in the Classroom visits to a local elementary school. The preschool farm tour visited the local John Deere dealership, TCFB Young Farmer Trey Mosley’s poultry farm and ended the tour at Pittman Family Farms, where the group took a hayride around the farms to see row crops and hogs. TCFB members and staff visited Toombs Central Elementary School May 12 thru May 15, visiting a different grade each day to educate the students about different aspects of agriculture. Kindergarten students learned about fire safety and forest fires while first–graders learned about bees; second-graders learned about tractor safety, and third–graders learned about fertilizers, types of soils, plant growth and the importance of farmers to the environment. TURNER COUNTY Turner County Farm Bureau members visited the Turner County Elementary School this spring to read the book “How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?” to the kindergarten classes. TCFB presented copies of the book and its accompanying educator’s guide to the school’s 18 kindergarten thru second-grade classes. TCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Dawn Kendrick is pictured reading to one of the classes. TCFB also hosted a Meet-the-Candidate Breakfast in April to give local residents a chance to meet candidates running for county commission seats and the Georgia Senate Dist. 13 seat. TCFB President Ross Kendrick welcomed everyone to the event and TCFB Director Jim Lumpkin served as moderator for the event.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 21
Photo by Jay Stone
Berry student Hali Holloway feeds Jersey heifers in her work with the Berry Dairy student enterprise. For more photos from Berry visit http://tinyurl.com/bcfarm.
Students run on-campus farms at Berry College
By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ While many of their contemporaries at other schools have hurried off to beach vacations or a couple of months at home with their parents, members of Berry College Student Enterprises keep plugging away on campus all summer long. They care for livestock, milk cows, grow fruits and vegetables and run a farmers market, all as a part of the school’s student work program. Though the Student Enterprises program is only five years old, Berry students working in agriculture and other on-campus jobs is nothing new. Dean of Student Work Rufus Massey says the school’s students have always contributed labor to the operation of the four-year liberal arts school just north of Rome. “When Martha Berry founded this institution it basically was self-sustaining,” Massey said. “Students would come here and exchange their work for tuition. The work was centered around crafts and agriculture and those things they needed to make the college work.” This is not a typical work-study pro22 / August 2014
gram. Berry’s students are taking ownership of their jobs, running businesses, solving problems as they come up and developing work ethic. Berry Farms Season’s Harvest CEO Chances Waite, a senior from Harris County, said she has the latitude to try new things, and she has collaborated with various oncampus groups to get projects going. Season’s Harvest is a five-acre vegetable farm on which the students grow corn, squash, okra and leafy greens like collards and turnips. In May, the farm had several varieties of tomatoes in its new high tunnel greenhouse, with wires inside the structure supporting the trellises. Waite and her staff of eight built an outdoor trellis system to see how well it would work. “Normally in a high tunnel you can hang the top wire and the tomatoes will trellis up one single wire coming down. So we’re going to experiment with it outside the tunnel and see how it works,” she said. The ag enterprises produce crops and
livestock that are used on campus, sold at an on-campus farmers market event and to local restaurants. There’s a corporate ladder within the program. Senior Josh Fancher of Suwannee is chief of staff of the Berry Enterprises Student Team, overseeing operations of all 14 enterprises. He’s wearing a shirt and tie and tooling around in a Student Enterprises car, but it wasn’t always that way. Fancher’s first on-campus job was on the Season’s Harvest farm, and while maintaining a spot on the school’s soccer team he has worked his way up to the top of the Student Enterprises organization. “The first day, they told me to go water all the vegetables we had out in the field. That was pretty shell-shocking,” Fancher said. While he expanded his wardrobe to include field hand attire, Fancher said he also expanded his knowledge and soon began viewing farming in business terms. “It was just getting to know what you’re supposed to do, where you’re supposed to step, how many inches away are you supposed to plant a row, how many rows are you supposed to plant on a certain field,” Fancher said. “To me, after you know that, it was how do you maximize the field space you have?” While he didn’t enter the program with farm knowledge, he was able to help members of the various enterprises learn business skills like spreadsheets and accounting software. Across Berry’s sprawling 27,000-acre campus, students operate the school’s dairy, which has a milking herd of 28 Jersey milking cows. In addition to milking, students tend to heifers, brood cows and calves. There are also programs in Angus beef and Martha’s herbs, which produces more than a dozen herbs. There are two farmers market events on campus, held in July and September. At least one local restaurant, Bella Roma, is serving Berry Angus beef, and Berry Student Enterprises has developed a farm-totable event featuring campus-grown fare. “We knew early on in the program that we needed a way to do outreach,” Massey said. “We knew we needed to engage the local community, and we needed to provide an outlet for the students to sell their products.” Georgia Farm Bureau News
Water quality improvement goal of GSWCC program The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) has begun a voluntary multi-phased nutrient planning management initiative for poultry and livestock operations in the Settingdown Creek Watershed in North Georgia and the Altamaha River Basin in Southeast Georgia. Farmers participating in this project will receive a free on-farm assessment, soil testing, an updated nutrient management plan (NMP) and an incentive payment for participating in the program. GSWCC will assist in identifying potential funding sources to complete improvements based on the farm assessment. There is no cost to farmers for this service. Nutrient management plans are recommended for all animal feeding operations, including poultry farms. An assessment and updated NMP saves costs while improving soil health and water quality by avoiding the overapplication of fertilizers to fields, preventing runoff of nutrients into creeks and streams, and improving the disposal of dead animals. Farmers wishing to take advantage
of this free service to update their plans should contact GSWCC region offices to set up a time to complete an on-farm assessment. Agricultural producers in Cherokee, Dawson, Forsyth and Pickens counties may contact Jessica Bee in the GSWCC Region I office in Calhoun by calling 706624-1434 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Producers in Appling, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Long, McIntosh, Montgomery, Tattnall,
CAFO Rule Information Sessions Aug. 12
Georgia Farm Bureau
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
UGA Livestock Arena
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
UGA Tifton Campus Center
10:30 a.m. – noon
These meetings, conducted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, will cover information about Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permits under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Land Application Systems (LAS). Attendees will receive one free continuing education credit. Time for Q&A will follow each session. For more information, send an email to email@example.com or call 404-656-3665.
Supreme Court limits EPA in GHG case On June 23 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its statutory authority in key provisions of its Clean Air Act (CAA) greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations. American Farm Bureau and dozens of other ag organizations challenged the regulations. While the Supreme Court did not invalidate the GHG rules entirely, it rejected EPA’s attempt to expand its authority to regulate millions of sources, including small businesses and farms, based solely on their emissions of GHGs. First, the Court rejected EPA’s argument that the CAA authorizes prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) and Title V (major source) permit requirements based solely on GHG emissions, noting that EPA’s interpretation would allow the agency to impose elaborate and costly permit requirements on millions of small sources nationwide.
Toombs and Wayne counties may contact the GSWCC Region III office in Statesboro by calling 912-681-5241 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The GSWCC has produced a free manual, Best Management Practices for Georgia Agriculture, listing agricultural water quality improvements. The manual is available online at http://tinyurl. com/betterh2o.
The Court found that “the PSD program and Title V are designed to apply to, and cannot rationally be extended beyond, a relative handful of large sources capable of shouldering heavy substantive and procedural burdens.” Second, the Court rejected the socalled “Tailoring Rule,” in which EPA ignored explicit numeric statutory thresholds that trigger Title V and PSD permit requirements. The Court upheld EPA’s power to require the “best available control technology” (BACT) to limit GHG emissions of large new or modified sources whose construction will trigger PSD permitting requirements due to non-GHG pollutants anyway.
WRRDA signed into law
The required legislative process for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) was completed on June 10 when President Barack Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law. The law includes funding for SHEP, which will deepen the Savannah River and extend its channel an additional seven miles into the Atlantic Ocean. When complete, the project will make the Port of Savannah available to larger vessels coming through the Panama Canal, which is also in the process of being expanded. The WRRDA includes $421 million in federal funding and the state of Georgia has set aside $266 million for SHEP. A project partnership agreement between Georgia and the federal government is expected by September. The agreement will define how costs of the project will be shared. Georgia Farm Bureau supported the bill. When complete, the expansion of the Savannah port is expected to increase export opportunities for Georgia farmers.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2014 / 23
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