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FARM BUREAU

Vol. 76 No. 6

GEORGIA

NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers

November-December 2014


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contents

table of november-december 2014

GFB returns to Jekyll Island for annual convention

The schedule for GFB’s annual convention, set for Dec. 7-9, is changing slightly for the PAGE 6 first day. Gov. Deal will speak Dec. 8.

Ga. top blueberry producer

departments

we, the farmers PAGE 4

legislative update PAGE 5

commodities update PAGE 7

around georgia

PAGE 26

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 jawhittaker@gfb.org For questions regarding advertising contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., 1-800-397-8908 Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Georgia was the leading state in U.S. blueberry production this year according to a report the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) issued in early October. PAGE 8

GFB Achievement Award finalists bearing fruit

Matt and Melissa Bottoms, Drew and Shelly Echols and Chris and Lorie Rogers are competing for the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award to be named Dec. 7 at the GFB convention. All three couples have been active in GFB’s Young Farmer program, are leaders in their counties and use their farms to educate the public about ag. PAGE 10

Ga. National Fair celebrates 25 years

This year marked a milestone for the Georgia National Fair, and fair attendance was the second largest in the event’s history with 456,023 guests from Oct. 2-12. Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the grand champion prizes for the Market Goat Wether, Market PAGE 12 Goat Doe and Market Lamb awarded at the fair.

EPA registers Enlist Duo herbicide in six states

This fall the USDA approved the use of genetically modified corn and soybean seeds that tolerate the combined chemistry of 2,4-D and glyphosate used in the new herbicide Enlist Duo, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authorized the use of PAGE 14 Enlist Duo in six states.

USDA plans to implement second beef checkoff

After preliminary discussions to increase the existing National Beef Checkoff assessment failed, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said the USDA will work to begin a PAGE 16 second beef checkoff.

Ga. shines as Sunbelt state, Grimes named Expo Southeastern Farmer

Georgia agriculture shined at the annual farm show as Tift County farmer Philip Grimes was named the 2014 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the year PAGE 20 and Georgia was the featured spotlight state of the event.

UGA transitioning crop research to Iron Horse Farm

The UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences is beginning to move the crop and forage research it has been conducting at its Plant Sciences Farm in western PAGE 22 Oconee County to its newly acquired research farm in Greene County.

Centennial Farm program recognizes Georgia’s ag heritage

Eighteen Georgia farms were recognized for continuously operating for 100 years or more during the Georgia Centennial Farm Awards ceremony held at the Georgia National Fair. PAGE 24

on the cover

(Photo by Katrice Driggers) Coffee County Farm Bureau member Katrice Driggers shot this photo of her son, Jarrett, with Bonnie, a neighbor’s show cow, last year. Katrice and her husband, Ashley, used the photo as their 2013 Christmas card, and she entered it in the GFB photo contest.  You might think Jarrett is sharing a Christmas secret with Bonnie, but Katrice said he was encouraging the cow, who kept tossing off her Santa hat, to cooperate. Jarrett is the grandson of Coffee County Farm Bureau Director Jerry McKinnon and his wife, Kem, who chairs the CCFB Women’s Committee. The McKinnons raise cattle on their diversified farm along with row crops.  Katrice says Jarrett has inherited an interest in farming from her dad. “Anything papa does Jarrett wants to do.”  November-December 2014 / 3


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

we, the

farmers FARM BUREAU GEORGIA

NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers

Zippy Duvall, GFB President

Called together in faith & works

As farmers we believe that the work we do will ultimately bring about something productive and good. That’s faith. Our work for agriculture is never over or done; we must continue to be vigilant. As we go to press with this issue, your Georgia Farm Bureau staff is finalizing details for our 77th annual convention to be held Sunday, Dec. 7 through Tuesday, Dec. 9 on Jekyll Island. If you haven’t had a chance to attend convention in a while, I encourage you to come this year. This will be our third year holding our convention in Jekyll’s new convention center, and the new facility is a great place to meet. Being the grassroots organization that we are, we’re making some adjustments to the convention schedule based on member feedback. You told us you wanted a shorter program on Sunday evening so you can get to supper earlier with your county delegations. To accommodate this request, we’re moving the memorial service for county Farm Bureau presidents, who have passed this year, to Sunday morning at 11 a.m. Jackson County Farm Bureau President Swayne Cochran, who is an ordained Baptist preacher, will deliver the sermon. In recent years our Young Farmer Discussion Meet has coincided with other Sunday activities, so this year we’re holding it at 4 p.m. in the main ballroom right before the awards program. Come for the discussion meet and get good seats, so you’ll have them when the

awards program starts at 5 p.m. The awards program is the home office’s chance to recognize the county Farm Bureau programs that have gone above and beyond during the past year to promote agriculture in their communities. These counties have done an outstanding job telling others about agriculture and have earned their time in the spotlight. Our Monday schedule is following the same format as recent years, with the general session starting at 8:30 a.m. followed by the County Presidents’ & Secretaries Luncheon at noon and commodity conferences in the afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. We’ve got some great speakers lined up for the commodity conferences. Check out the complete list on page 7. Monday evening we’re going to show the documentary “Farmland” beginning at 8:30 p.m. We’re proud that our own Crawford County Farm Bureau President Leighton Cooley and his family are featured in the film. We showed an edited version of “Farmland” at the GFB Commodity Conference in August, but we’re showing the full-length film at convention. If you haven’t had the chance to see the film, there’ll be no better time, and if you have seen it before, chances are you’ll want to see it again. I know I do. Tuesday our voting delegates will vote on the recommendations the GFB Policy Development Committee made for our 2015 policy, which determines See WE, THE FARMERS page 13

GFB President Zippy Duvall, right, front, and the GFB Legislative staff prepare to mail the more than 10,000 postcards the organization collected during its Ditch the Rule campaign. The cards voice opposition to the rule the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps want to implement to expand their regulatory authority over Waters of the U.S. Pictured with Duvall are from left, GFB Legislative Director & Assistant Corporate Secretary Jon Huffmaster, Assistant Legislative Director Jeffrey Harvey, National Legislative Specialist Tas Smith, Administrative Assistant Sandy Smith and Legislative Specialist Matthew Smith. 4 / November-December 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


legislative update

Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director

Science does not justify EPA rule According to the SAB report, “The purpose of the Report is to summarize the current understanding of these connections, the factors that influence them, and the mechanisms by which connected waters affect the function or condition of downstream waters…The Report is a scientific review and, as such, it does not set forth legal standards for the Clean Water Act jurisdiction.” In the letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy, the SAB writes, “The EPA Report is a thorough and technically accurate review of the literature on the connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters…The SAB finds that the review of the scientific literature strongly supports the conclusions that streams and…wetlands are physically, chemically, and/or biologically connected to downstream navigable waters.” EPA has touted this report as clear scientific evidence of connectivity between navigable waters and small water features that are dry most of the year. The problem is that connectivity is not the issue. This SAB report is an example of a government agency asking the wrong question. The connectivity of upstream to downstream waters has never been in

iStock

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on April 21, regarding the “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act.” The rule has been controversial since it was published. Farm Bureau believes the rule expands federal regulatory authority, is against the will of Congress, ignores U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and will eventually infringe on private property rights. We have urged the federal agencies to withdraw the rule, and we have called on our members to submit public comments to that effect. About 15,000 total comments have been submitted through Georgia Farm Bureau. On Oct. 17, the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) released its 103-page report to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The EPA SAB is a 52-member board of scientists from across the country established by Congress in 1978 to provide advice to the EPA administrator. EPA requested the SAB study the proposed rule and determine whether evidence was there to scientifically prove connectivity from small tributaries to downstream waters.

The U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are seeking to expand their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act from just navigable water to include all water, even ditches filled with rainwater after a storm. Georgia Farm Bureau News

dispute. After all, water does indeed run downhill. Most people know that a tiny spring in North Georgia will eventually become part of a branch, then a creek, then a stream, then a river, and finally flow into the ocean, which is a navigable water subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. The question at hand is not whether there is connectivity between waters up and downstream. The question is whether the federal government has authority to regulate all water because of that connectivity. EPA and the Corps are essentially making the argument that since the water in a North Georgia spring will someday be part of the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean, that spring IS part of the Gulf or Atlantic today and needs to be regulated by the federal government. Farm Bureau rejects that argument. We have no problem with the connectivity issue or the science behind it, but the idea that connectivity proves regulatory authority is quite a stretch. EPA’s contention is particularly puzzling in light of the fact the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled there are limits to federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The public comment period for the proposed rule ended on Nov. 14, but the issue has not been settled. EPA will go through more than 250,000 comments submitted nationwide. The proposed rule could be withdrawn, or it could be changed and brought up again for additional comments moving toward finalization. In the meantime, Farm Bureau members are urged to bring the issue up in every meeting where a U.S. Congressman or U.S. Senator is present. Contact your national elected officials and let them know your property rights are important to you. Urge your congressman and senators to support legislation to block implementation of this proposed rule. Jon Huffmaster is GFB Assistant Corporate Secretary & director of the GFB Legislative Department. November-December 2014 / 5


Photo by Jay Stone

Part of GFB’s annual convention is the finalization of the organization’s policy for the next year. Here, Oconee County Farm Bureau Sec./Treasurer David Williams makes a recommendation during the 2013 business session.

GFB returns to Jekyll Island for annual convention By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________

T

he 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau convention is set for Dec. 7-9 on Jekyll Island, which will host GFB for the 51st time as the organization sets its policy for next year and recognizes the achievements of its volunteers. “We always look forward to the convention,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall, who will preside over his eighth convention. “It’s always important for us to set our course in terms of our position on a variety of issues that affect agriculture, and it’s a time of fellowship for our members from across the state.” Gov. Nathan Deal is scheduled to speak during the Dec. 8 general session, which also features Duvall’s annual address. Featured events will be the final round of the 2014 Young Farmer Discussion Meet, the GFB state awards program, election of district officers, finalization of GFB’s 2015 policy and meetings of GFB’s 20 commodity advisory committees. 6 / November-December 2014

Convention activities begin on Dec. 7. Registration runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The annual memorial service and time of worship begins at 11 a.m., and the trade show opens at noon, featuring exhibits from a wide variety of agricultural organizations and government agencies. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and Duvall are hosting a drop-in reception from noon to 4:45 p.m. The “Celebrating Agricultural Literacy” recognition event, sponsored by the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee, begins at 1:30 p.m. The GFB Policy Development Committee meets in open session at 2:45 p.m. followed by a closed session for committee members only. The Young Farmer Discussion Meet final round begins at 4 p.m., with Heather Brannen of Bulloch County, Cleve Jackson of Floyd County, Constance Reid of Greene County and Brittany Ivey of Stephens

County competing for top honors. The four finalists advanced through preliminary rounds during the 2014 GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference in July. Dec. 7 activities close with the annual GFB Awards program at 5 p.m. On Dec. 8, a complimentary biscuit breakfast will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m., followed by the opening general session at 8:30 a.m. The general session includes recognition of outgoing Young Farmer Committee members and the Young Farmer Raffle drawing. The County Presidents’/Secretaries’ Luncheon begins at noon, and commodity conferences begin at 2 p.m. GFB will show “Farmland,” the featurelength documentary film by Academy Award-winning Director James Moll, at 8:30 p.m., Dec. 8. On Dec. 9, the annual membership breakfast begins at 6:45 a.m. and the annual business session for policy discussion and action starts at 8:15 a.m. District caucuses convene at 10:15 a.m. for election of district directors. There are three contested elections. In District 1, Wesley Hall of Forsyth County and William Grizzle of Cherokee County are vying for the spot left vacant with the retirement of Henry West. In District 2, Dennis Miles from Towns County is running against incumbent Randy Ruff from Elbert County. In District 8 Rodney Dunaway of Pulaski County is running against incumbent Don Wood of Wilcox County. District directors seeking re-election without opposition are Nora Goodman of Paulding County (District 3), Skeetter McCorkle of McDuffie County (District 4), Jim Ham of Monroe County (District 5), James Emory Tate of Jeff Davis County (District 6), Ben Boyd of Screven County (District 7), Lucius Adkins of Baker County (District 9) and Daniel Johnson of Pierce County (District 10). The caucus for North Georgia Vice President is scheduled for 11 a.m. Incumbent North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims is running unopposed. At 11:30 a.m. the business session continues with elections of the GFB president (current GFB President Zippy Duvall is running unopposed) and North Georgia vice president, designation of 1st vice president and any further action needed on policy. Georgia Farm Bureau News


commodities/marketing update Don McGough, Director of Commodities/Marketing Dept.

GFB names speakers for commodity conferences at convention

If you’re going to Georgia Farm Bureau’s 77th Annual Convention Dec. 7-9, be sure to attend some of the commodity conferences to be held Monday afternoon Dec. 8 at 2 and 3:30 p.m. These meetings will feature 39 speakers addressing ag issues relevant to a wide range of commodity interests. All meetings will be held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Meeting room assignments will be listed in the convention program available at registration in the exhibit hall. Convention attendees are encoruaged to attend these meetings to hear the latest updates on Georgia agriculture. 2 P.M. CONFERENCES

– Feedgrain/Soybean –

• Educating Tomorrow’s Consumers about Ag Dr. Robert Beckstead • Funding for Invasive Wildlife Control Daymond Hughes • •

– Forestry –

Using Prescribed Fire Neal Edmondson Site Prep & Planting Longleaf Pines Steve Meeks

– Goats & Sheep –

• Novel methods to control internal parasites Dr. Thomas Terrill

– Hay –

• Producing & Preserving Quality Hay Dr. John Bernard • Caring for Quality Hay Bryan Setzer • GFB Hay Contest Winner Presentation Farrell Roberts, GFB Hay Advisory Committee Chairman

– Honeybee –

• Ga. Dept. of Ag Honeybee Update Brad Bush • UGA Honeybee Research Philip Quinn Georgia Farm Bureau News

– Peanut –

• 2014 Crop Year Review Dr. Scott Monfort • 2015 Peanut Market & Beyond Jim Moore

– Poultry –

• Topics Concerning Ga.’s Poultry Industry Paul Breedwell, P.E.

– Swine –

• •

Update on Swine Diseases Dr. Robert Cobb National Pork Board Update Stephen Herring

• •

EPD Updates Cliff Lewis Tapping the Tennessee River: a Solution to Tri-State Water Woes Brad Carver

– Water –

3:30 P.M. CONFERENCES • •

– Aquaculture –

UGA Aquaculture Research Update Dr. Gary Burtle Georgia Clam & Oyster Farming Thomas Bliss

– Beef Cattle –

• Addressing the Public’s Food Safety Concerns Dr. Jacob Segers • Ga. Beef Board Update Suzanne Bentley • Ga. Beef Commission Update John Callaway • •

– Cotton –

Cotton Market Outlook Dr. Mark Lange Ga. Cotton Commission Update Chris Chammoun

– Dairy –

• Multiple Component Pricing Implications for Southeast Erick Metzger & Colt Hoffman • Managing & Understanding

Dairy, Continued--------------------------------------- Milk Protein Michael W. Overton, DVM, MPVM

– Environmental Horticulture –

• Research Update & Neonicotinoid Issues Dr. Matthew Chappell • Promoting Yourself, Your Product, Your Industry Walter Reeves • •

– Equine –

Animal Health Issues Affecting the Equine Industry Dr. Robert Cobb Horse Industry Update & Unwanted Horse Overview Darryl Landreth

– Fruit/Vegetable –

• Wetland Issues Mike Wylie • Farm Policy for Drift Protection Chris Caldwell • NAP Program Eligibility Leiann Nelson

– Pecan –

• •

Pecan Fungicide Resistance Dr. Tim Brenneman Ga. Pecan Production Trends Dr. Lenny Wells

• •

2014 Crop Year Review Dr. J. Michael Moore Marketing U.S. Tobacco Stuart Thompson

– Tobacco –

Ga. Peanut Farm Show

Jan. 15, 2015 UGA Tifton Conference Center 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. More than 100 exhibits, $40,000 in door prizes, educational sessions & a free lunch! Jan. 2 is the deadline to make nominations for Outstanding Peanut Farmer. Call 229386-3470 or visit www.gapeanuts.com for more information. November-December 2014 / 7


Report shows Ga. top blueberry producer

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Georgia has moved to the top of U.S. blueberry production according to a preliminary report the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) distributed to its members in early October. According to the report, Georgia growers produced 96 million pounds of blueberries in 2014, up 37 million pounds from 2011. Michigan, frequently the national leader, was second at 91.5 million pounds. The final numbers will be made public in February.

University of Georgia blueberry breeder Scott NeSmith, who helped launch UGA’s current blueberry breeding program in the late 1980s, was surprised to hear Georgia’s production topped the nation this year. Georgia has been No. 1 in blueberry acreage for the last few years, but it was uncertain when all the new acreage would impact the state’s annual blueberry production. “We’ve been gaining a lot of potential over the last five years, and I think we

Farm Bureau celebrates Farm-City Week

GFB President Zippy Duvall, seated, signs a proclamation declaring Nov. 21-27 Farm-City Week in Georgia. Joining Duvall for the signing were, standing from left, GFB Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain, GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long and GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims. County Farm Bureaus have been celebrating Farm-City Week throughout November with activities designed to increase awareness of agriculture in their communities as schedules allowed. Kiwanis International began the celebration in 1955 to recognize the partnership between farmers and their urban neighbors who help process, market and sell the food and fiber farmers grow. 8 / November-December 2014

iStock

By Merritt Melancon, UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences News Editor __________________________________________________________________________

just reached that potential a little earlier than we thought,” NeSmith said. “Other states have held onto their positions as far as production goes, but we’ve just gotten much higher numbers.” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black celebrated the state’s move up the blueberry rankings during a speech at Sunbelt Ag Expo on Oct. 14 and predicted more success for the state’s blueberry industry. “Georgia’s going to be a blueberry leader for the next generation,” Black said. Hundreds of Georgia farmers have worked tirelessly over the last three decades to increase the state’s blueberry production and meet consumers’ growing demand for blueberries. The increase in production has been buoyed by the research and Extension support of UGA faculty and staff. When NeSmith started producing blueberry varieties that could thrive in Georgia’s sandy soils and warm summers, the state’s farmers were only growing about 3,500 acres of blueberries. Today, they are cultivating about 20,000 acres and have grown production tenfold. “We probably only produced about 5 million or 10 million pounds a year back in 1990,” he said. “That’s a long ways to go to get to 100 million pounds. I remember when we hit 25 million pounds a year, we were thinking, ‘Well, it just doesn’t get better than this.’” GFB reporters Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker contributed information to this story. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Important farm bill deadlines set for Feb. 27, March 31 Farmers have until Feb. 27, 2015, to visit their Farm Service Agency office to update their yield history and/or reallocate their base acres for crop insurance programs under the 2014 farm bill. Updating yields and reallocating base acres are the initial steps farmers must take to participate in Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the new farm bill programs replacing direct payments. Farm owners and producers have until March 31, 2015, to make a one-time, irrevocable choice to participate in PLC, ARC-County (which covers each commodity separately based on county production of that crop) or ARC-Individual (which applies to all covered commodities on a particular farm) for the 2014 – 2018 crop years. Georgia crops covered include canola, corn, grain sorghum, oats, peanuts, soybeans and wheat. Visit http://fsa. usda.gov/arc-plc to access a program designed to help determine if PLC or ARC is best for you. Cotton is covered under the new Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), a new crop insurance product that may be purchased on its own or in conjunction with a companion

policy. The sales closing deadline (SCD) for cotton insurance is Feb. 28, 2015, as it is for corn, cotton, tobacco, grain sorghum, peanuts and soybeans. SCD for wheat, oats and canola was Sept. 30. Visit http://www.rma.usda.gov for more information about STAX and all RMA programs. According to USDA Notice ARCPLC-13, “failure of the farm’s current producers to

Feb. 28 deadline to buy peanut crop insurance

Peanut growers have until Feb. 28, 2015, to buy peanut crop insurance offered under the 2014 farm bill. The peanut revenue policy is available in all Georgia counties where yield-based insurance coverage is currently offered. Growers who insured peanuts in the 2014 crop year under the Actual Production History insurance plan will automatically be moved to the new peanut revenue insurance plan yield protection for the 2015 crop year. If a carryover policyholder wants to select revenue protection or cancel the transitioned yield coverage, the change must be made on a contract change form by Feb. 28, 2015. The new insurance policy is available through the federal crop insurance program and replaces the 2014 crop year peanut provisions. The new insurance program provides growers with a choice of yield protection, revenue protection and revenue protection with the harvest price exclusion. Coverage levels range from 50 to 85 percent. Federal crop insurance policies are sold and delivered through private crop insurance companies and agents. More information is available at http://www.rma.usda.gov.

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November-December 2014 / 9 10/17/14 10:59 AM


Achievement Award finalists bearing fruit Stories by Jay Stone and Jennifer Whittaker _________________________________________________________

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PIKE COUNTY – Matt Bottoms’ education is in landscape design and ornamental production – he has two associate degrees from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College – but he views his 328-acre farm and nursery as a venue for learning as well as his family’s livelihood. “We talk a lot about ag in the classroom,” he said. “Well, all of my life ag has been my classroom.” Matt and his wife, Melissa, are handing that educational legacy to their two daughters, Anna, age 7, and Madelyn, age 3. Anna is home-schooled, and on a farm there is a never-ending string of hands-on lessons to drive home basic concepts. Matt is a fifth-generation farmer, and he is the second generation on Bottoms Nursery, which his parents started in 1976, growing muscadines, azaleas and other ornamental plants. The family narrowed the nursery’s focus to small fruit-bearing plants in 2003. Matt took over operation of the nursery in 2009. Today, Bottoms Nursery produces more than 130,000 small fruit plants a year. About half of those are muscadines, and he also grows blackberry, blueberry, fig and raspberry plants along with pomegranate, Japanese persimmon, apple, peach and plum trees and this year started a tomato enterprise with an acre of tomato plants. Bottoms Nursery sells plants to mail order companies, vineyards, you-pick operations, garden centers and homeowners. Bottoms launched a grain operation in 2011, starting with 20 acres of wheat and soybeans and has gradually expanded it to 265 acres. The nursery uses a website and inperson sales visits to retail nurseries to market its plants. Matt handles distribution as well as hauling plants to customers. 10 /November-December 2014

Photo by Jay Stone

he three finalist families for the 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Achievement Award have two key things in common. First, they all grow fruit. Matt and Melissa Bottoms of Pike County grow and sell a variety of small fruit plants in their nursery. Drew and Shelly Echols of Hall County operate Jaemor Farms, selling fruit and vegetables directly to the public. Chris and Lori Rogers of Jefferson County operate Sunny Day Farm, where they sell their fruit and vegetables directly to the public.

Second, each family uses their farms to teach students and the general public about agriculture. The Echols and Rogers families have incorporated agritourism venues into their farming operations, adding entertainment options like corn mazes. The Bottoms family is active in Pike County’s ag education scene. Each family receives a $200 travel allowance to the GFB Annual Convention, where the state winner will be announced on Dec. 7. The state winner will receive a Polaris Ranger Crew 570 RTV, $500 in cash and an expense-paid trip to San Diego, Calif., to the 2015 AFBF Annual Convention, scheduled for Jan. 10-12, to compete for national honors.

The Bottoms family, from top, Matt, Melissa, Anna and Madelyn.

A native of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Melissa is a self-described city girl who chose to go into agriculture. “I was the cheerleader/sorority type,” she said. “Whenever I say what I’m doing now my friends say ‘You’re doing what?’ ” Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Georgia and intended to stay in Athens and pursue a master’s degree. She was coaxed into taking a job teaching ag at Pike County High School by then-principal Charlie Garrard. “I fell in love with the school and the town, and then God showed me He had a whole lot more waiting for me here,” Melissa said. When she and Matt got married, she already knew the educational value of on-farm experience.

“Fortunately with the ag aspect of my job I was able to take the kids into a greenhouse and put hands on the stuff that we were doing,” Melissa said. “But it’s just a whole other level to be here at the nursery with Matt watching him do what he does every day and bring a science lesson, a math lesson to life.” Melissa left her teaching job in 2008 to help out on the farm and stay home with Anna. She’s continued teaching science and math in a co-op group for home-schooled students, working in agricultural tie-ins when possible. The couple is heavily involved in the annual Pike County Farm Day for local kindergarteners, and they help the FFA program. Melissa has recently accepted a position on the Pike County Agribusiness Authority. They’ve been extensively involved in Farm Bureau, serving as chairs of the GFB Young Farmer Committee in 2010. Matt won the 2012 GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet. He has also served as chairman of the GFB Environmental Horticulture Committee. “Relationships are probably the most valuable thing we get from Farm Bureau,” Matt said. “When I pick up my cell phone and I look at my list of favorites, I think five out of 10 are relationships that I’ve built over the last eight or 10 years through Farm Bureau.” Those relationships, Melissa said, provide a support system for a vocation and lifestyle that comes with some isolation. “It’s hard sometimes being a farmer’s wife. We keep things at home going and we know they’re going to be in the nursery or out in a field somewhere, and we wish they were home more sometimes,” Melissa said. “It’s nice to have those friends … they can relate and they know what you’re going through.” Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Jenniffer Whittaker

The Echols family, from left, Chloe, Drew, Cohen and Shelly.

Photo by Jay Stone

HALL COUNTY – Drew Echols grew up picking peaches and working at his family’s Jaemor Farm Market on Highway 365 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Decades before the local grown movement became

The Rogers family, Kimberly, Chris and Caleb.

JEFFERSON COUNTY – Chris and Lori Rogers are a first-generation farm couple. A year ago, the Rogers’ dream for Sunny Day Farm was just that – a dream. They wanted to start an agritourism and roadside market Georgia Farm Bureau News

trendy, the Echols family was selling the produce they grew straight to consumers and have been long-time members of Georgia Farm Bureau’s Certified Farm Market program. In his early 20s, Drew worked for Georgia Power for several years, helping out on the farm on weekends before returning to the farm full time in 2002 to work with his grandfather, Jimmy, dad, Jarl, and uncle Judah. Like most family farms looking to add a new generation to the payroll, the Echols family had to expand. “Primarily our farm had been a peach operation. I knew we needed to get more crops in the ground and diversify the summer produce we were offering the public,” Drew recalled. Agritourism was just taking off about the time Drew and his wife, Shelly, joined the farm. Drew felt offering farm field trips was a way the farm could expand, and in the fall of 2002 he began hosting field trips for elementary students. That first fall 600 students and teachers visited the farm. By 2006, Drew was ready to offer a corn maze that attracted 3,600 visitors. Through the years, the Echolses added a petting zoo, pony rides and other activities that drew more than

800,000 people to Jaemor Farm last year. Drew recalls his family growing about two acres of pumpkins a year when he was in high school. After the Echolses opened their corn maze, they’ve steadily increased their acreage to meet demand. This year Drew planted 45 acres of pumpkins with 30 different varieties. As Jaemor Farm has grown, so have Drew’s responsibilities. Drew serves as a farm manager responsible for planting, managing, harvesting, packing and storing the farm’s crops, selling and marketing the crops and as agritourism director. “With an operation like this, you wear a lot of different hats,” Drew said. Since Drew returned, the Echolses started planting squash, corn, muscadines, blackberries and strawberries and expanded their acres of tomatoes, pumpkins and watermelons. They also grow apples. “I’m proud to be a part of Jaemor and the educational work we do,” Shelly, a former teacher, said. “It can be tough raising your family on a farm, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our daughter, Chloe, works with her dad around the market, and our son CoSee ECHOLS page 17

business to go along with the row crops Chris was already producing, but needed a location on a high-traffic road on which to put it. They’d waited three years for the right land to become available. This spring land on U.S. Highway 221 north of Louisville became available. The Rogerses made an offer, and they’ve sprinted through 2014 getting their new enterprise up and running. Work began in June on building the roadside market. Except for the framing and siding, Chris did most of the work himself, including covering the market’s interior walls with rough-cut planks to give it an old-time feel. “I originally thought I’d come back and finish it, but a lot of people who have stopped in have said they like the way it looks now,” Chris said. The Rogeres opened their market on Sept. 20. School groups are taking tours. The corn maze, corn pit, jumping pillow and interactive areas with egg-laying hens and pigs are all operational, as is an ag-themed playground. Visitors can take a wagon tour for an up-close look at Rogers’ field crops. The agritourism side was a way to get Lori more involved in the farming operation and

to cater to her desire to teach. Instead of the three R’s, she’s sharing farm knowledge with school children and home-schooling Caleb, the couple’s 4-year-old son. “Doing this gives me the opportunity to teach other children like I would my own, plus it gives me time off with my own child in the evenings for homework, soccer and summers off to spend time with him,” Lori said. Chris grew up in Augusta and in high school worked summers with a friend whose family had a farm. He rented a small patch of land, grew watermelons, sold them and was hooked on farming. He went to South Georgia to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and quickly got involved in a sod business that grew rapidly in the early 2000s with the housing market. College had to wait. “I was running the business during the day and hauling the grass at night,” he said. “I got my CDL as soon as I turned 21, and I was a one-man show. It got to the point where you’re making money on one hand and you want an education on the other hand. I chose to stay with the business. I had a lot invested See ROGERS page 17 November-December 2014 / 11


Ga. National Fair celebrates 25 years

GFB sponsors market goat & lamb grand champions

12 / November-December 2014

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

The Georgia National Fair in Perry kicked off on Oct. 2 with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony with Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority Chairman Gene Sutherland manning the scissors in Reaves Arena. Deal was the featured speaker for the ceremony and presented Sutherland with a commendation recognizing the fair’s 25 years. “This is the opportunity for farmers across the state to showcase what they have done and what they are doing as a part of our agricultural economy,” Deal said. “Twenty-five years is certainly a significant time for something like the fair. It is a rare opportunity that we see enterprises like this survive for a quarter of a century.” In the Georgia Grown Building, the Georgia Department of Agriculture unveiled its photo exhibit called “Seasons and Faces of Georgia Agriculture.” The exhibit showed Georgia farmers working in virtually every commodity produced in the state. In addition to photos, the exhibit included agricultural artifacts, crop plants, seeds and agricultural tools, as well as brochures detailing Georgia agriculture facts. Fair attendance hit the record books as the second largest in the organization’s history with 456,023 guests from Oct. 2-12. Total attendance grew 1.4 percent from 2013. The Georgia National Fair’s overall attendance record of 465,053 was set in 2010. This year the fair set a revenue record of $5.6 million. Georgia 4-H and FFA members competed in livestock shows held throughout the fair. Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the grand champion prizes for the Market Goat Wether and Market Goat Doe awarded during the Junior Market Goat Show held Oct. 2-4. GFB also sponsored the grand champion Market Lamb prize awarded at the Junior Market Lamb Show on Oct. 5. According to show organizers, 443 students showed 783 goats while 118 students showed 249 lambs. “Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to sponsor the grand champions for the 4-H and FFA fall livestock shows because Farm Bureau is committed to giving back to our communities. We do this to support our farm families and families who are interested in agriculture,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “Showing animals teaches children responsibility and how to win and lose.”

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker ________________________________________

For the fourth consecutive year, Worth County FFA member Chase Roberts, right, won the Grand Champion Market Wether prize of $1,500. Roberts, who started showing goats in 2005, is the son of Anita and Michael Roberts and he is a sophomore at Worth County High School. Judge Chad Coburn presented the silver tray. Banks County FFA member Payton Jackson won the Grand Champion Market Doe prize of $1,500. Jackson, who has shown goats for five years, is the daughter of Kipp and Lara Jackson. She is a sixth grader at Banks County Middle School. GFB 2nd District Field rep. Clay Talton, left, presented the award check.

Elbert County 4-Her Ansley Ruff won the Grand Champion Market Lamb prize of $1,000. Ruff, a junior at Georgia Cyber Academy, has shown lambs for five years. She is the daughter of Greg and Shannon Ruff. GFB YF Coordinator Jed Evans presented the prize check. Judge Brad Angus, left, presented the silver tray. Georgia Farm Bureau News


WE,Georgia THE FARMERS page 4will award a Farm Bureau the position our in organization takes total of $14,250 scholarships to on 10 legislation inseniors the coming comhigh school who year. plan The to pursue mittee, which consists of 30 Farm an undergraduate degree incounty agricultural Bureau presidents, the chairmen of GFB’s and environmental sciences, family and 20 commodity advisory and consumer sciences or a committees related agriculthe GFB tural field.Board of Directors, met Oct. 6 andThe Nov.top 3 tothree reviewstudents the 350 resolutions will each submitteda by 90 county Farm Bureaus.The receive scholarship of $3,000. Submitted resolutions many remaining seven studentscovered will each reissuesabut multiple resolutions were subceive $750 scholarship. mitted regarding taxes, genetically modStudents submitting an applicaified seed, the National Beef Checkoff, tion must currently be a Georgia high pendingsenior 2,4-D and technolschool anddicamba plan toseed enroll in a ogy, and the possibility of Georgia unit of the University System ofbecomGeoring aorpublic gia Berryinitiative Collegestate. during the 2014 I’d like to 2015 academic thank year. every county that submitted resolutions and all of the committee members for giving of their time to review the submissions. Farm Bureau’s policy development process is what makes us effective as a grassroots organization. The process allows you, our members to determine the issues that are important to you and the position our organization takes on them. eanut fans have a daily Speaking of positions chanceour to organization win a vacahas taken, Georgia tion Farmand Bureau has been hundreds of working relentlessly sinceuntil late spring to other prizes Nov. 30. prevent the U.S. Environmental Vacation destinationProtection choices Agency (EPA) andCalifornia, the U.S. Army Corps include Colorado, of Engineers implementing New(Corps) York from or Florida. Visit the Waters of the United States rule they http://www.EnergytoBurn.org proposed to inregister April. This willtoinfringe for arule chance win. on private property rights by After registering,expanding particithe regulatory the called agencies have pantsauthority play a game “Crack under thethe Clean Water Act (CWA) from Peanut” for a chance to win just navigable anypeanut water and that instantwaters prizestolike eventually flows into a navigable body. peanut butter packs, iPods and gift cards. you We crack asked county Farm Bureau leaders If three peanuts that match, to join us and other state Farm Bureaus then you’re an instant winner! in telling EPA and the Corps to Ditch “When it comes to getting through an the Rule by sending letters to your local early morning or long day, everyone wins papers, submitting comments online and with peanuts. At seven grams per servvia postcards to the EPA, and educating ing, peanuts have more energy-boosting your communities about the issue. protein than any nut,” said Bob Parker, Boy, did you ever! I don’t remember an president and CEO of the National Peaissue our members have rallied behind so nut Board. “Through the Energy to Burn passionately in a long time. sweepstakes we’re able to celebrate the As we went to press Nov. 11, we’ve power of peanuts and help re-energize received more than 10,000 signed postAmericans with a funto vacation. ” that we cards in opposition the rule The “Energy to Burn” sweepstakes, is will mail to the EPA before the Nov. 14 sponsored by the National Peanut Board comment deadline, which was extended and by Hampton fromco-presented Oct. 20 in early October. Farms, We’ve Planters and Skippy. tracked over 4,000 comments filed online

Contact your county Farm Bureau via theforGFB Ditch the Rule or webpage. office more information an appli-I know many of our county leaders cation. The application deadline is have Febdiscussed the issue with other groups ruary 21, 2014. Applications must beduraping meetings in theirbylocal proved and signed the communities, Farm Bureau and our district representatives president of the field county in which theand aplegislative staff have addressed the issue plicant resides or attends high school. at meetings the state. All these You mayacross also download a of copy of efforts have culminated in Georgia being the application by visiting http://www. one of the leading Programs states to generate comgfb.org, selecting and then Ag ments in opposition to the rule. in the Classroom.   We’ll have to wait and see if the EPA The Georgia Farm Bureau Muand Corps listen to all of us opposed to the tual Insurance Company and the GFB rule and scale it back or if they forge ahead Women’s Leadership Committee sponwith their plan. If they don’t scale the rule sor the scholarship program. back, then rest assured Farm Bureau will Winners will be announced in May explore other avenues of relief. 2014. In the book of James we are told that

our faith becomes perfect only when faith and works are performed together. God has called us to lead his people to him for spiritual nourishment. As farmers we produce food for their physical nourishment. James 2:22 says, “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” We, the farmers, must continue to work together so agriculture can remain strong, move forward, and we can feed God’s people. We have faith that the Lord will provide the tools, weather, and technology, but we must fulfill his will through our works. I thank God for calling me to be a farmer and a follower.

Peanut sweepstakes offers vacation, assorted prizes

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GFB to award college scholarships


EPA registers Enlist Duo herbicide in six states By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

T

he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Oct. 15 that it has registered the new herbicide Enlist Duo for six states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. This follows the USDA’s Sept. 17 announcement that it approved the use of genetically modified (GM) corn and soybean seeds that tolerate the combined chemistry of 2,4-D and glyphosate used in Enlist Duo. The USDA is charged with regulating the safety of GM plants while the EPA oversees the safety of herbicides for human and environmental health. According to the EPA, the agency was accepting comments until Nov. 14 on whether to register Enlist Duo in 10 more states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota. University of Georgia Extension Weed scientist Dr. Stanley Culpepper explained that the EPA didn’t register Enlist Duo for use in Georgia primarily due to the Endangered Species Act. “EPA is challenged by the Endangered Species Act and must meet certain requirements regarding this act before labeling a product in a given state,” Culpepper said. The EPA found that Enlist Duo poses no threat to endangered species in the six states for which it has approved the use of the herbicide and the additional 10 states for which it accepted comments. “Georgia has more endangered species than many of the registered states,” Culpepper said, “which may make the EPA approval process for use of the new technology in Georgia take slightly longer.” “We are hopeful the EPA can address the Endangered Species Act requirements for Georgia by 2016 making certain we can use these corn and soybeans technologies safely. Additionally during 2016, Georgia

14 / November-December 2014

This fall the USDA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of corn and soybean seeds that tolerate the new herbicide Enlist Duo, which includes 2,4-D and glyphosate to fight herbicide resistant weeds.

may be on the front line for a cotton registration. Although Georgia growers will see a slight delay with these corn and soybean traits, it is hopeful that Dow AgroSciences will have premier cultivars available for our growers once EPA approval is granted.” The herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate are two of the most widely used herbicides in the world for controlling weeds, according to the EPA. Dozens of other countries including Canada, Mexico, Japan and 26 European Union members have approved these pesticides for use on many crops and residential lawns. Last year Canada approved the use of Enlist Duo for corn and soybeans. The EPA evaluated the risk Enlist Duo presents to all age groups ranging from developing fetuses to the elderly by considering exposure through food, water, pesticide drift and use around homes. The EPA maintains its decision meets the Food Quality Protection Act standard of “reasonable certainty of no harm” to human health. The formula of Enlist Duo the EPA approved contains the choline salt of 2,4D, which is less prone to drift than other forms of 2,4-D. EPA has put in place restrictions of use to avoid pesticide drift including a 30-foot in-field “no spray” buffer zone around the application area in fields, forbidding pesticide application when the

wind speed is over 15 mph and forbidding air applications. To ensure weeds won’t become resistant to 2,4-D and continue increased herbicide use, EPA is also imposing a new set of requirements on the registering company, Dow Agrisciences. The requirements include extensive surveying and reporting to EPA, grower education and remediation plans. The registration will expire in six years allowing EPA to revisit the issue of resistance. EPA said in a released statement that it intends to apply this approach to weed resistance management for all existing and new herbicides used on herbicidetolerant crops. The EPA says its risk assessments have determined that the 2,4-D choline salt used in Enlist Duo is practically non-toxic to bees and no adverse impacts to bees are expected. The new herbicide is not the same as agent orange, which was a mixture of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D along with kerosene and diesel fuel used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. The EPA canceled all use of 2,4,5-T in 1985. The new herbicide technology is seen by the ag community as a solution to glyphosate-resistant weeds that infest an estimated 70 million acres of U.S. farmland threatening crop yields and the U.S. food supply. Georgia Farm Bureau News


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• Clemson University Research Facility (S.C’s land-grant University) • Strawberry Hill U.S.A. in Chesnee, S.C. (Farm of 2013 Sunbelt Expo Farmer James Cooley: fruit & row crops) •  McLeod Farms in McBee, S.C. (Home of Mac’s Pride Peaches, strawberries, blackberries and vegetables) •  Boone Hall Plantation (Founded in 1681, one of America’s oldest working plantations that today grows produce & offers tours of the historical site.) •  Charleston Tea Plantation (America’s only tea garden, includes 127 acres of tea plants & produces the American Classic tea brand.) Deadline to register is Jan. 9. Visit http://www.gfb.org/SCfarmtour to see tour brochure and print the registration form. A check made payable to GFB Inc. with a completed registration form must be received by GFB Field Services by Jan. 9 to hold a spot on the tour. For more information, call 478-474-0679, ext. 5231 or email mmakers@gfb.org.

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Photo by JT Johnson

USDA plans to implement second beef checkoff

By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ After preliminary discussions to in- Marketing Service published a notice in crease the existing National Beef Check- the Federal Register seeking input from the off (NBC) assessment failed, Agriculture public to guide its development of the new Secretary Tom Vilsack has indicated the checkoff program. USDA will work toward beginning a sec- The USDA wants feedback on who ond beef checkoff. should be assessed, how the new checkoff A dozen beef industry groups, collec- board should be structured and selected, tively called the Beef Checkoff Enhancement what powers and duties the board should Working Group, has worked for the past have, who has decision-making authorthree years to revamp the national checkoff, ity, how the assessment rate should be including raising the assessment by as much determined, how the assessment should be as $1 per head of cattle sold. Those negotia- collected and when referendums should be tions have been unsuccessful and this summer one of the groups, the National Farmers Union (NFU), withdrew after concluding The Natural Resources Conservation that no agreement would be reached. Vilsack said on Sept. 30 that he would Service is accepting applications for the issue an order establishing a second check- 2015 Agricultural Conservation Easement off under the Commodity Promotion, Re- Programs (ACEP) until Dec. 18. ACEP, search and Information Act of 1996. Estab- created through the 2014 farm bill, has lishment of a second checkoff would follow two components - Agricultural Land Easethe federal rulemaking process. The USDA ments (ALE) and Wetlands Reserve Easewould have to publish it in the Federal Reg- ments (WRE). ister and allow for comment from the pub- Applications for WRE are accepted lic before putting it into place. In published directly from farmers. These easements reports Vilsack said he anticipated the sec- would restore and enhance wetlands and improve habitat. Eligible lands include ond checkoff would take effect by 2016. Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2014 policy sup- farmed or converted wetlands that can be ports the existing NBC, which was formed successfully restored cost effectively. Apunder the 1985 farm bill and is currently $1 plications will be rated according to the per head. GFB also supports an inflation easement’s potential for protecting and adjustment in the current national checkoff enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. not to exceed a total of $2 per head.  ALE easements prevent farmland from On Nov. 10, the USDA’s Agricultural

held. Interested parties have until Dec. 10 to submit comments on those questions. The notice can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/beefcomments, where a summary of the companion checkoff may be reviewed and comments submitted. Comments may also be submitted by mail to Beef Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Research and Promotion Division, Room 2096-S; Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program; AMS, USDA, STOP 0249; 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.; Washington, D.C. 20250-0249. Earlier this year, Georgia beef producers approved a $1 per head assessment for cattle sold in Georgia. The Georgia Beef Commission began collecting the state assessment on July 1, in addition to the $1-per-head NBC. Recognizing that additional money is needed for beef promotion and research, Georgia is one of several states that have taken this step, opting not to wait on an increase in the NBC assessment. On Oct. 14 a group of 45 state cattlemens’ associations, including the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, sent a letter to Vilsack urging him not to issue an order for a supplemental beef checkoff under the 1996 farm bill law. In the letter to Vilsack, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association expressed concerns that a second checkoff under the 1996 law would give more control to the federal government, add bureaucracy and fail to assure a coordinated national/state partnership.

NRCS program deadlines Dec. 18 & 19

16 / November-December 2014

being developed as an eligible partner acquires a conservation easement. Landowners must work with an eligible partner (i.e. land trust) to pursue funding for an ALE conservation easement. Applications for both ACEP programs are available at USDA Service Centers and online at www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted. Farmers who wish to be considered for financial assistance under the 2015 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) must apply by Dec. 19. This deadline covers all general EQIP programs including the Longleaf Pine, National Water Quality, On-Farm Energy, Organic, Seasonal High Tunnel, StrikeForce, Working Lands for Wildlife and the North Georgia Irrigation Pilot Project. Visit a USDA Service Center or www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov to learn more. Georgia Farm Bureau News


ROGERS from page 11 in it. Not just sweat equity, but financially I had so much invested in it. It was only going to work if I stayed in it.” He’s out of the sod business now and into row crops that aren’t dependent on the housing industry. He grows corn, peanuts, soybeans, wheat and cotton on 1,100 acres. Lori grew up in Randolph County. Her father, Jeff Henry, works for a trucking company and is a preacher; her mom, Janice, is a bookkeeper. Lori, who tends the family’s garden, moved it from their home to the market this year, growing strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and a variety of vegetables. Visitors can pick their own or purchase ECHOLS from page 11 hen loves riding the tractors with Drew. I think the kids are learning a lot about hard work and responsibility growing up on the farm.” The Echolses started growing strawberries in 2010 with three acres and began offering spring field trips. This year they planted 12 acres. With business booming at the original farm market in Alto, last year the Echols family opened a second Jaemor Market in Commerce that his sister, Daphne Crumbley, manages. The Echolses sell most of their produce through their retail markets and the rest through select wholesale avenues. In the past year the farm held one-day strawberry and peach festivals where guests could pick fruit, and Drew says they may offer occasional pick-your-own days in the future. The nature of their operation puts the Echolses on the frontline of answering consumers’ questions about farming. “More than ever we’re having to be advocates for ag and the whole industry,” Drew said. “I talk to our visitors about conventional agriculture and why we do what we do and the sound science behind conventional farming. We just try to give them straight answers.” Drew served as the Hall County Farm Bureau (HCFB) Young Farmer Chairman for several years. Then, the couple served on the GFB YF Committee in 2005 and as vice chairs of the committee in 2006. “I can’t put into words what Farm Bureau means to me for the friendships Georgia Farm Bureau News

them in the market. Chris said he generally prefers to keep to himself and stay on the farm, but being involved in Farm Bureau has encouraged him to reach out beyond the farm community to work to influence policymakers on farm issues. “It’s given me the boldness to stand up in front of people and tell our story,” said Chris, who has served as the Jefferson County Farm Bureau president the last two years and on the GFB Young Farmer Committee. “Four or five years ago if you were to ask me if I’d be interested in speaking with congressmen or some of our representatives, I would never have done it.” we’ve gained since becoming involved,” Drew said. Drew served as HCFB president from 2009-2013 and continues to serve as a HCFB director. “I can’t thank Farm Bureau enough for the work they do fighting for our farms and representing us in Washington,” Shelly said.

USDA announces new Whole-Farm crop insurance

A new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) crop insurance policy is available for the 2015 crop year, the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced Nov. 6. WFRP is designed for highly diverse farms with up to $8.5 million in insured revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities, both crop and livestock, or those marketing to local, regional, specialty or direct markets. Coverage levels will range from 50 to 85 percent. WFRP is available in Georgia and may be purchased from local crop insurance agents. Sales closing dates will vary by county and will be either Feb. 28 or March 15, 2015. For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/ rmapolicy.

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November-December 2014 / 17


iStock

U.S., Brazil end WTO cotton dispute The United States and Brazil settled their longstanding  cotton  dispute in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Oct. 1. Under the terms of the agreement, Brazil will terminate the cotton case, giving up its rights to countermeasures against U.S. trade or any further proceedings in this dispute. Brazil has also agreed not to bring new WTO actions against U.S. cotton support programs while the current U.S. farm bill is in force or against agricultural export credit guarantees under the GSM-102 program as long as the program is operated consistent with the agreed terms. In 2005 and again in 2008, the WTO found that certain U.S. agriculture programs (domestic support to cotton under the marketing loan and countercyclical

payment programs and export credit guarantees under the GSM-102 program) were inconsistent with the United States’ WTO commitments. In August 2009, WTO arbitrators provided the level of countermeasures that Brazil could impose against U.S. trade in the form of tariffs on numerous U.S. products. The 2014 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides for additional support for the technical assistance and capacity building activities begun under the 2010 MOU. The United States will make a final contribution of $300 million to the Brazil Cotton Institute. The 2014 MOU also provides for additional uses for the funds, such as research in conjunction with U.S. institutions.

Ga. DNR, Ag Dept. launch program to hunt wild hogs

Renew your GATE card for 2015

The Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption program (GATE) is an ag sales tax exemption certificate issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) that identifies the card holder as an ag producer qualified for the tax exemption. All 2014 GATE cards expire Dec. 31. To renew your card visit http://forms.agr. georgia.gov/gate/ or call 1-855-FARM TAX from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Mon.-Fri. There is a $20 fee for online applications and a $25 fee for applications made via mail or phone. Many county Farm Bureau offices will assist their members with online signups/renewals. GDA staff will be at the Georgia Farm Bureau convention Dec. 7 & 8 to help farmers renew their GATE cards. The GATE card should only be used to purchase items eligible under the program used for the production of ag commodities for which the card holder qualified for the card. More information about GATE is available at the aforementioned website.

18 / November-December 2014

iStock

Wild hogs can be a big problem, especially for landowners who grow crops. That’s why the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have launched a new program, Hunters Helping Farmers, to match farmers who have unwanted wild hogs and hunters who want to hunt them. Interested farmers can register on the GDA website at http://www. agr.georgia.gov. Information from interested farmers and hunters will be matched based on geographical area and given to the farmer to choose if and when to contact a hunter. The farmer will be responsible for making all arrangements with the hunter. There is no charge to register as a farmer or hunter. For more information, please call 1-844-464-5455.

Ga. Cotton Commission 8th Annual Meeting & UGA Cotton Production Workshop Jan. 28, 2015 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Begins at 8 a.m. For more information call 478-988-4235 or visit www.georgiacottoncommission.org

Georgia Farm Bureau News


9 Ga. counties get USDA drought disaster designation Westmoreland meets with Heard County Farm Bureau

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, fourth from right, met with the Heard County Farm Bureau Board of Directors during a tour of the poultry farm of HCFB President Ralph Caldwell, center, on Oct. 17. Westmoreland and the county Farm Bureau leaders discussed issues impacting agriculture. Pictured from left are HCFB member Denney Rogers, HCFB Director Dan Harrod, HCFB member Gwen Caldwell, HCFB Director Doug Craven, Ralph Caldwell, Rep. Westmoreland, GFB 5th Dist. Field Rep. Cliff Bowden, HCFB Vice President  Chuck Stephens and HCFB Director  Jonathan Adams.

Ga. U.S. Congressional members receive AFBF award By Jay Stone _________________________________

The American Farm Bureau Federation has honored nine Georgia members of the U.S. House and Senate with its Friend of Farm Bureau Award for the 113th Congress. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson were honored, as were Reps. John Barrow (D-12th District), Sanford Bishop (D-2nd District), Jack Kingston (R-1st District), Austin Scott (R-8th District), David Scott (D-13th District), Lynn Westmoreland (R-3rd District) and Rob Woodall (R-7th District). “Georgia Farm Bureau has long enjoyed strong relationships with the state’s members of Congress, and we are blessed to have a group in Washington that understands agricultural issues and how laws affect farmers,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “We’d like to thank each of them for their support, and the Friend of Farm Bureau Award is one way we do so.” The Friend of Farm Bureau Award, established in 1996 for the 104th Congress, is given to individuals who have supported Farm Bureau issues, as demonstrated by their voting records, and who were nominated by their respective state Farm Bureau and approved by the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors, which selects the isGeorgia Farm Bureau News

sues used to measure the voting records of nominated legislators. Additional criteria included number of bills each member sponsored or cosponsored relating to Farm Bureau priority issues, having a leadership role in Congress on those issues and how accessible and responsive a legislator is to Farm Bureau members and leaders. Georgia Farm Bureau also has the opportunity to provide reasons why a specific member of Congress should receive the award. Chambliss and Isakson will each receive the award for the seventh time, dating back to their service in the House of Representatives. Kingston is also being honored with the Friend of Farm Bureau Award for the seventh time. This is the fifth Friend of Farm Bureau Award for Bishop, and fourth each for Barrow and David Scott. “As the leading industry in Georgia’s vibrant economy, supporting our agriculture community has always been a top priority of mine,” Isakson said. “I’m proud to join Georgia Farm Bureau to represent such hardworking Americans, and I will continue to make decisions that strengthen our agricultural economy while also protecting its legacy.” Four Georgia members of Congress received the award in 2012, six in 2010, nine in 2008, 12 each in 2006 and 2004 and 11 in 2002.

The USDA designated nine counties in Georgia as primary natural disaster areas in October due to damages and losses caused by recent drought conditions. Those counties are Baker, Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole and Thomas. Farmers and ranchers in an additional seven counties in Georgia also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous to the primary counties. Those counties are Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Cook, Dougherty, Tift and Worth. All qualified farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. For more information visit http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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November-December 2014 / 19


Photo by Jay Stone

Participating in the ribbon cutting for Sunbelt’s new Spotlight State Building were, from left, Colombo North America President/ CEO Leandro Santos, President/CEO Colombo Brazil Luiz H. Colombo, ABAC President David Bridges, Fort Valley State University Cooperative Extension Administrator Dr. Mark Latimore, Sunbelt Executive

Director Chip Blalock, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Thomas Carter of the Georgia Development Authority, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Dean Scott Angle. Georgia Farm Bureau was a major donor for the building.

By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker _________________________________________________________

tive, the choice of either $1,000 in PhytoGen cottonseed or $500 to a designated charity from PhytoGen cottonseed and a Columbia jacket from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply. USDA Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden spoke at the Withers lunch. “Ninety-nine percent of our population really doesn’t ‘get’ what you do,” Harden said. “The one percent of us who is growing food for everybody really has got to do a better job. I’d like to challenge you next year to bring somebody from the office, from the community, or a relative who might be removed from the farm, with you to Expo. We’ve got to make sure the 99 percent that really doesn’t get what you do understands that the average age of the American farmer is 58; in Georgia it’s 60. Who’s next? We’ve got to make sure people want to come back to the farm and be involved in agriculture.” Another highlight of this year’s Expo was the ribbon cutting for the new Spotlight State Building spearheaded by Georgia’s Spotlight State Committee to provide a permanent exhibit space for the spotlight state. Georgia hosted an exhibit that included a mural depicting a variety of Georgia agricultural commodities running the length of the building’s interior. “This dream became a reality because of a lot of support from the state of Georgia on the grassroots level. I’m excited that the Georgia agriculture industry believes so strongly in our educational mission at Sunbelt Expo,” said Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock.

Ga. shines as Sunbelt state, Grimes named Expo Southeastern Farmer

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lthough the opening day of Sunbelt Expo, Oct. 14, was affected by thunderstorms that caused a delayed opening of an hour, Georgia ag shined at the annual farm show as Tift County farmer Philip Grimes was named the 2014 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the year and the state was the featured spotlight state of the event. The Expo site received 1.3 inches of rain opening day according to Expo Farm Manager Michael Chafin, but the weather was sunny for the second and third days on Oct. 15 and 16. Grimes, a Tift County Farm Bureau member who has been farming for 37 years, grows peanuts, cotton, cantaloupes, broccoli, snap beans and corn under irrigation on 2,200 acres. He was recognized along with farmers from the other nine Expo states during the annual Willie B. Withers lunch held on opening day. “I didn’t grow up on a farm,” said Grimes, the fourth winner from Georgia. “I married my wife and her daddy farmed. I started working with him. Got a little bigger and he retired and I took over. It got bigger and bigger from there. It took a pretty good size operation to start with just to get a good crop. At one point it was just paying the bills. Now it’s a little more than that.” Grimes’ award prizes included $15,000, a year’s use of a Massey Ferguson tractor, a $500 gift certificate from Southern States Coopera-

20 /November-December 2014

Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Jay Stone

Sunbelt Expo visitors get an up-close look at an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Often referred to as drones, UAVs can be used by farmers to gather information from above their fields, allowing them to pinpoint problem areas for issues ranging from water stress to weed or insect problems.

GFB staff members Jeffrey Harvey, left back and Ricky Lane, right back, told Expo attendees about a rule the U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed that threatens private property rights as it would bring all water under the agencies’ regulatory authority. GFB provided postcards that Expo attendees filled out with comments opposing the rule. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Expo attendees explore the vegetable garden at the Rural Lifestyles Pavilion sponsored by Hoss Tools.

Tift County farmer Philip Grimes and his wife Jane accept the $15,000 grand prize check from Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock, left, and Swisher Sweets Vice President for Smokeless Marketing Ron Carroll. Grimes is the fourth farmer from Georgia to be named Southeastern Farmer of the Year.

Photo by Andy Lucas

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Sunbelt also opened its new Rural Lifestyles Pavilion, which housed presentations and information about raising backyard chickens, keeping bees and gardening. Andy Schneider, AKA “The Chicken Whisperer,” talked to Expo attendees about numerous aspects of raising backyard chickens such as setting up a brooder and coop and dealing with predators. Members of the Southwest Georgia Beekeepers Club gave talks about using bees to pollinate vegetable gardens and fruit trees. During the ribbon cutting ceremony for the pavilion, Blalock credited Greg Key with Hoss Tools for voicing the need for the building as interest increases in hobby farming. Blalock thanked Tripp and Carlton Strickland of Georgia Metals for erecting the pavilion and UGA Extension Agent James Morgan for organizing the educational demonstrations. Although field demonstrations were canceled on opening day, Expo attendees had the chance to see harvest demonstrations for hay, corn, cotton, peanut and soybean equipment on the last two days of the events. There were also demonstrations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), operated by remote control, that can be flown over fields to gather information about crops such as water stress, weed or insect problems.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan, front left, greeted fans at the Georgia Peanut Commission Building Oct. 14. The GPC is one of Ragan’s sponsors. Ragan drives the #34 Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports. November-December 2014 / 21


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

The UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences held an open house Sept. 23 for its newly acquired crop science research farm located in north Greene County on Hwy. 15. UGA bought the 660-acre farm from the Curtis family. The farm has been named the Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm in honor of the landmark sculpture that has stood on the farm since 1959. To see more photos from the event visit http://tinyurl.com/ ugaironhorse.

UGA transitioning research to Iron Horse Farm By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________

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he UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) is beginning to move the crop and forage research it has been conducting at its Plant Sciences Farm in western Oconee County to its newly acquired crop science research farm located in north Greene County on Hwy. 15. The new farm has been named in honor of the landmark sculpture that has stood on the farm since December 1959. About 100 people – UGA employees, neighbors of the Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm and members of the Oconee and Greene County ag communities - toured the new farm and heard bout the college’s plans for it during an open house at the farm on Sept. 23. “We’re going to make this farm a showcase for agriculture not only for our state, but for our country. The only way

22 / November-December 2014

we can grow more food is through new technology because we have no more land, so what goes on here is very important. This will be research that will make our region, state country and world better,” said Dr. Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. UGA bought the 660-acre farm from the Curtis family, who grew row crops and cattle. The purchase was finalized in 2013 after selling the UGA Plant Sciences Farm where it conducted crop and forage research since 1970. UGA researchers will grow soybeans, corn, cotton, wheat, small grains, hay crops and experimental row crops on the new farm, said Dr. Dennis Hancock, an associate professor and forage Extension specialist in the CAES Crop & Soil Sciences Department. Hancock is chairing the transition

team charged with moving the research and facilities from the college’s former farm in Oconee County to the Iron Horse Farm. UGA must completely vacate the Plant Sciences Farm in Oconee County by Dec. 2015, Hancock said. “This is an A through Z process that we’re just getting started on. We’re probably on letter C,” Hancock said. Dr. Bob Shulstad, CAES associate dean of research, told event attendees why the college opted to sell its former research farm in Oconee County and described the process the college went through to purchase the Iron Horse Farm. “We sold the Plant Sciences Farm because we couldn’t sustain ag research at the level we like to operate because of the development that grew up around us. We would have needed to invest $4 million improving old structures,” Shulstad said. “We’re appreciative of the state legislature for backing us in this move because agriculture is the number one industry in Georgia, and we’re one of the top five colleges of agriculture in the country.” Twenty to 25 scientists will conduct research on the farm at any given time and CAES students and Extension agents will also have the opportunity to participate in UGA research, CAES Crop & Soil Sciences Department Head Donn Shilling said. During a hayride tour of the new farm, open house attendees saw the 220-acre soybean crop UGA researchers planted this summer. Researchers have also planted an experimental plot of perennial sorghum and a plot of switchgrass. Iron Horse Farm Manager Josh Griffin showed tour participants where CAES plans to build the farm’s headquarters building with classroom facilities. The tour also included a stop at the farm’s 56acre lake that will provide water for the farm’s irrigation system. Work will soon begin to stabilize the lake and install the infrastructure for the irrigation system. The lake is fed by Ellison Creek, which runs through the farm. The farm has a permit to pump from the nearby Oconee River, but Hancock said they would only do that as a last resort and don’t anticipate having to use the permit. Visit http://tinyurl.com/IHFarm to learn more about the farm. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Story of the

Iron Horse By Jennifer Whittaker _______________________________________

he Iron Horse, the Curtis family and UGA have a rich history. Jack Curtis was a student at UGA in May 1954 when the sculpture was placed on the quad in front of Reed Hall dorm, which stands on the hill above Sanford Stadium. Students, unaccustomed to modern art, vandalized the sculpture and set it on fire. UGA promptly removed the horse from campus and stored it off campus. Abbott Pattison, who was commissioned to make a series of sculptures for UGA, designed the horse, which is actually made of steel painted black rather than iron. Pattison named the sculpture, which stands 12 feet tall and weighs two tons, Pegasus. In 1958, after returning home from the Navy, Curtis asked his father, L.C. Curtis, who was a professor in the UGA College of Agriculture, what became of the horse. Father and son gained permission from UGA officials to relocate the sculpture to their farm where it has stood facing south since 1959. Many jokes have been made through the years about the horse’s rear facing Athens, but in a 1997 interview Curtis told this reporter the placement of the horse happened by accident when the truck that brought it to the farm got stuck in the field. The Curtis family retained ownership of the sculpture, the 400 feet around it and an easement from the highway to the horse to allow the public to visit it. Sadly, Jack Curtis, age 82, died Sept. 26, days after UGA hosted an open house for its newly acquired farm.

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Bentley named GCA Exec. VP The Georgia Cattlemen’s Association (GCA) has named Will Bentley as its new executive vice president (EVP). Bentley has been employed with the GCA since January as the organization’s director of association services and has been handling some of the EVP duties since August when former EVP Josh White went to work for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Bentley is from Thomaston where he and his dad, Danny Bentley, and brother, Matt, own an Angus-based, commercial cow-calf farm with which Will has been involved his entire life. Bentley has a professional background in sales and recruiting and worked in Denver, Colo., prior to joining the GCA. He graduated from Georgia Farm Bureau News

Shorter College in 2008 where he majored in business marketing and minored in communication. Bentley “Will is a people person who loves the fellowship of the members of GCA,” GCA President Melvin Porter said. “Will has a good work ethic, great personality and a great enthusiasm for the cattle industry and GCA. We are looking forward to working with Will to advance our association. Bentley may be contacted by email at will@gabeef.org or by phone at 478-4746560.

Plan to attend an Ag Forecast meeting Jan. 14 • Gainesville Brenau Ga. Mnt. Center Jan. 15 • Cartersville Clarence Brown Conf. Center Jan. 16 • Bainbridge Cloud Livestock Facility Jan. 21 • Lyons Toombs County Agricenter Jan. 22 • Tifton UGA Conference Center Jan. 23 • Macon Ga. Farm Bureau Interested in learning how technology is being used to solve problems for the ag industry and in hearing the economic outlook for 2015? Then plan to attend one of the meetings in this series, which is supported by an endowment from Georgia Farm Bureau with support from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Ga. Agribusiness Council. Dr. Douglas Britton, program manager for the Agricultural Technology Research Program at Georgia Tech, will discuss agri-technology and research his program is conducting with UGA to help agriculture. UGA economists will deliver updates on supply, demand and prices for Georgia’s major commodities. Check-in for all of the meetings, except Tifton, begins at 9 a.m. with seminars starting at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. Check-in for the Tifton event starts at 7 a.m., breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. followed by the seminar from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Cost is $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, visit www.georgiaagforecast. com, call 706-583-0347 or email carlam@uga.edu. Follow the meetings on UGACAESFacebook or on Twitter @ UGA_CollegeofAG#AgForecast. November-December 2014 / 23


Charlie Miller, Historic Preservation Division, Georgia DNR.

The 2014 recipients of the Centennial Family Farm Award were recognized during a reception on Oct. 3 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry.

CENTENNIAL FARMS

Program recognizes Georgia’s ag heritage

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n Oct. 3, 18 Georgia farms were recognized at the 21st Annual Georgia Centennial Farm Awards ceremony for continuously operating for 100 years or more. These farms joined the 451 farms recognized by the program since it began in 1993. The program is a partnership between the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Forestry Commission and the Georgia National Fair & Agricenter with support from Georgia EMC. Farms may be recognized with one of three awards. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are listed in the national Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Farm Award doesn’t require continuous family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Family Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that aren’t listed in the National Register of Historic Places. To nominate a farm for the award in 2015, visit http://www.georgiacentennialfarms.org or contact Charlie Miller at 404-651-5287 or by email at Charlie.miller@dnr.state.ga.us. The postmark deadline for applications is May 1 of each year. 24 / November-December 2014

2014 recipients of Centennial Family Farm Award Dr. James Henry Carter Farm.....................................................Bacon County Cooper Family Farm....................................................................Burke County Zean William Kirkland Farm.......................................................Coffee County Titus Stephens Centennial Farm........................................ Dougherty County Triple J Farms....................................................................... Effingham County County Line Farm................................................Greene &Taliaferro Counties Sunrise Farm on the Soque...............................................Habersham County The Wiley Farm...............................................................................Hall County Moore Farm........................................................................... Lowndes County Southern Pecan Orchards.........................................................Macon County Brady-Dillard Farm.................................................................... Marion County Briarpatch Farm........................................................................ Putnam County Opie Farm................................................................................Screven County Seckinger/Odom Farm.............................................................Tattnall County Wilson Farm................................................................................Taylor County Brookshire Farm.......................................................................... Union County Malcom Family Farm................................................................ Walton County W.W. Seaton Home Place Farm........................................... Whitfield County Georgia Farm Bureau News


2014 GFB district award winners recognized Each of Georgia Farm Bureau’s 10 districts held its annual meeting this fall and recognized the following 2014 district award winners. The state award recipients will be chosen from these district winners and announced at the annual GFB Convention in December. The membership award was presented to counties that experienced membership growth in 2014.

ment: Caitlin Rodgers, McDuffie County; Excellence in Agriculture: Marcus Eason, Oglethorpe County; Office Manager: Katy Seagraves, Clarke County; Membership: Columbia and Putnam counties.

FIRST DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Walker County; Young Farmer Committee: Cherokee County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Cherokee County; Promotion & Education: Walker County; Young Farmer Achievement: Ben & Vickie Cagle, Cherokee County; Excellence in Ag: Iris Peeler, Floyd County; Office Manager: Shirley Pahl, Cherokee County; Membership: Dade and Gilmer counties.

THIRD DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Newton County; Young Farmer Committee: Newton County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Henry County; Promotion & Education Committee: Newton County; Young Farmer Achievement: Keith McWaters, Newton County; Excellence in Ag: Sierra Coggins, Carroll County; Office Manager: Kim Hindmon, Haralson County; Membership: Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnett and Newton counties. FOURTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: McDuffie County; Young Farmer Committee: Clarke County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Greene County; Promotion & Education Committee: Greene County; Young Farmer AchieveGeorgia Farm Bureau News

hoto by Damon Jones

SECOND DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Jackson County; Young Farmer Committee: Madison County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Stephens County; Promotion & Education: Madison County; Young Farmer Achievement: Drew & Shelly Echols, Hall County; Excellence in Ag: Trisha Lastly, Madison County; Office Manager: Angela Wood, Hart County; Membership: Franklin and Union counties.

Office Manager: Pat Steed, Bibb County; Membership: Bibb, Bleckley, Dodge, Jeff Davis, Jefferson and Telfair counties.

FIFTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Pike County; Young Farmer Committee: Pike County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Crawford County; Promotion & Education Committee: Harris County; Young Farmer Achievement: Matthew & Melissa Bottoms, Pike County; Office Manager: Stacy Buttrill, Heard County; Membership: Butts, Lamar, Taylor and Troup counties.

SEVENTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Emanuel County; Young Farmer Committee: Bulloch County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Screven County; Promotion & Education Committee: Wayne County; Young Farmer Achievement: Mitchell & Rebecca Pittman, Toombs County; Excellence in Ag: Cliff Riner, Tattnall County; Office Manager: Debbie Gibson, Chatham County; Membership: Candler, Screven and Toombs counties.

SIXTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Jones County; Young Farmer Committee: Washington County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Laurens County; Promotion & Education Committee: Jones County; Young Farmer Achievement: Chris & Lori Rogers, Jefferson County; Excellence in Ag: Brett Bland, Telfair County;

EIGHTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Lee County; Young Farmer Committee: Macon County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Macon County; Promotion & Education Committee: Turner County; Excellence in Ag: Ryan Talton, Houston County; Membership: Macon, Schley, TerSee WINNERS page 29

Retiring GFB 1st Dist. Director honored for years of service

Georgia Farm Bureau 1st District Director Henry J. West, fifth from right, front row, was honored with a special presentation during the GFB 1st District Annual Meeting. West, who has served as a GFB 1st District Director for 30 years, was honored for his years of dedication to agriculture and to Farm Bureau. West, who is stepping down as district director at the end of the year, has been Gordon County Farm Bureau president since 1981. He began his farm by raising hogs, then turkeys and chickens, cattle, row crops and hay. He built his chicken houses in 1954, at which time his farm was 160 acres. Over the years he has expanded his acreage to the 600 acres he farms today. West is a member of the Red Carpet Cattlemen’s Association, Plainview Baptist Church, the Sonora Masonic Lodge and the Fairmount Ruritan Club. November-December 2014 / 25


AROUND GEORGIA News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker BACON COUNTY Bacon County Farm Bureau (BCFB) held a political breakfast at its office this summer. All of the candidates vying for offices in the July 22 run-off election were invited to speak. About 50 farmers and guests attended the event. Pictured from left are BCFB President David H. Lee and candidates running for Georgia’s 1st District U.S. Congressional Seat Dr. Bob Johnson, Brian Reese and Buddy Carter. Candidates for Bacon County’s 6th District County Commission seat also spoke at the event.

CHATHAM COUNTY Chatham County Farm Bureau participated in a farmer’s market at West Chatham Elementary School. The market was set up with educational booths during the morning to teach the 800 students about farming. CCFB Office Manager Debbie Gibson and CCFB Agency Manager Ricky Blanton are pictured at the booth. CCFB used its booth to teach the students that all of the ingredients used to make pizza are grown on farms and the food group to which each ingredient belongs. Students guessed how many peanuts were in a jar, and the class that came the closest won a pizza party. CCFB used a bale of cotton to teach the students how cotton is grown and the many products made from cotton. The students also had the chance to see and pet broiler chicks.

CLAYTON & HENRY COUNTIES Almost 300 people attended a Farmer Appreciation Dinner co26 / November-December 2014

hosted by Clayton and Henry County Farm Bureaus in August.  Guests enjoyed a barbecue dinner and door prizes.  Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black spoke to the farmers after dinner.  Black emphasized that when the agriculture community educates the public about farming, we need to put a face on the people growing our food. 

COLQUITT COUNTY The Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce named the Colquitt County Farm Bureau as its October Business of the Month. The CCFB Board of Directors and staff are pictured with Chamber Ambassadors during the presentation at the CCFB office. The Chamber recognized CCFB for the many activities it does to promote agriculture in the local community such as holding an Ag Awareness Expo for fourth-graders each May and visiting classrooms throughout the school year to teach students how their food is grown. CCFB was also recognized for the member benefits it offers including insurance and financial services. DOUGLAS COUNTY DCFB recently held a peanut promotion day at its office offering free peanut samples, peanut stress balls and peanut recipes. Buddy McNutty, mascot of the National Peanut Board, welcomed guests. EMANUEL COUNTY Emanuel County Farm Bureau hosted the August meeting of the Emanuel County Georgia Young Farmers Association. ECFB Legislative Chairman Tim Garrett discussed the services and benefits Farm Bureau offers farmers. Garrett discussed Farm Bureau’s Ditch the Rule campaign and encouraged attendees to submit comments. Air Evac representative David Biddle spoke to the group about the medical transport service the company provides. Attendees Georgia Farm Bureau News


were able to examine an Air Evac helicopter and talk to an Air Evac pilot and medical staff. GORDON COUNTY More than 75 cattle producers attended the Curt Pate Stockmanship & Stewardship Seminar Sept. 23 at the Calhoun Stockyard. Gordon County Farm Bureau was a sponsor of the event.   Pate, who advocates for humane treatment and handling of livestock, shared his knowledge of working with cattle. Pictured from left, Pate meets with GCFB Office Manager Nelda Heramb and GCFB Secretary Elizabeth Arnold who manned a booth at the event promoting Farm Bureau membership. 

GREENE COUNTY On Aug. 25, Greene County Farm Bureau hosted its annual Legislative Steak Supper.  Lake Oconee WDDK Radio Host Chip Lyness, red shirt, speaks with Ga. Sen. Burt Jones, center. Each year GCFB invites its county, state and national elected officials, along with any candidates running for elected office, to a dinner in appreciation of their efforts on behalf of agriculture.  GCFB Vice President Larry Eley conducted the meeting attended by 58 people. GCFB Directors Charles Crumbley and Wynn Copelan cooked the steaks. Members of the GCFB Women’s Committee prepared the side dishes HART COUNTY Hart County Farm Bureau recently helped sponsor the Hart County Farm Fest. Through its booth at the event, HCFB promoted Farm Bureau membership and the “Ditch the Rule” campaign.  Pictured working the booth are from left, HCFB Office Manager Angela Wood, HCFB Agent Joylynn Wilson and HCFB Secretaries Brenda Cleveland and Tina Simmons. The HCFB team distributed brochures, boiled peanuts Georgia Farm Bureau News

and Farm Bureau bags to the more than 2,000 people attending the festival.  HCFB also held a drawing for a free basket of Farm Bureau products and Georgia commodities.  HALL COUNTY Hall County Farm Bureau was a sponsor of the Georgia Special Olympics (GSO) State Horse Show held Oct. 10-12 at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center in Gainesville. The show was part of the 2014 Special Olympics Fall games held in Gainesville that weekend. HCFB donated $4,500 for the horse competition. GSO Project Manger Jenna Morgan thanks (pictured from left) Georgia Farm Bureau 2nd District Field Representative Clay Talton, HCFB President Jerry Truelove and HCFB Director Billy Skaggs for its donation.

LAURENS COUNTY Laurens County Farm Bureau (LCFB) held a member appreciation day for their members at their county office. LCFB Agency Manager Sam McGaughey grilled sausage and hot dogs for the picnic lunch. Other LCFB staff, LCFB President James Malone, LCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Elaine Avery and GFB 6th District Field Representative Don Giles helped with the event, which included a drawing for door prizes featuring a Yeti cooler, t-shirts, cups and Igloo coolers.

MACON COUNTY Macon County Farm Bureau (MCFB) leaders visited with Ga. Continued on next page November-December 2014 / 27


Continued from previous page Rep. Patty Bentley and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black during a July 31 visit to the William L. Brown Farm Market, a Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market. Pictured from left, Rep. Bentley, MCFB Vice President Howard Brown, Commissioner Black, MCFB President Mike McLendon and MCFB Secretary/Treasurer David Levie visit during the event.

MONROE COUNTY Monroe County Farm Bureau (MCFB) members visited two local elementary schools to teach students where their food comes from and to encourage them to eat healthy. MCFB Women’s committee Chairman Melissa Mathis, pictured, read “Who Grew my Soup?” and led the students in playing the My Plate is Georgia Grown game with seven first-grade classes to teach the students about the five major food groups.

students and teachers enjoyed ice cream sandwiches at the end of their tour.

TALIAFERRO COUNTY Taliaferro County Farm Bureau (TCFB) celebrated paying off the mortgage on its office with a note burning ceremony during its annual meeting Sept. 9. TCFB President Bobby Moore, center, left, was joined by Linda Mitchell, center, right, wife of former TCFB President Frank Mitchell and members of the TCFB Board of Directors, past and present insurance agents and GFB 4th District Field Rep. Rick Hubert. Mr. Mitchell was the TCFB president in 1994 when the organization bought the lot in downtown Crawfordville where the office is located. Despite being the secondsmallest county Farm Bureau in Georgia, TCFB managed to pay off its 20-year mortgage in 11 years.

OGLETHORPE COUNTY Oglethorpe County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee member and OCFB Secretary April Moore recently visited the Oglethorpe County Primary School and spoke to the entire second grade about how pumpkins grow and their decorative and nutritional uses.  The students enjoyed making pumpkin pie in a cup. 

TAYLOR & PEACH COUNTIES The Peach and Taylor County Farm Bureaus co-hosted a legislative breakfast at the Peach County Farm Bureau office Sept. 16. These county Farm Bureau members had the chance to hear legislative updates from Georgia Rep. Robert Dickey and staff representatives of several members of Georgia’s U.S. Congressional delegation.

PIERCE COUNTY Pierce County Farm Bureau (PCFB) helped host an Ag Day with the help of PCFB member and Pierce County 4-H Director Trey Walker. The event, held at the Mock Ag Arena at Pierce County High School, was attended by 578 fourth & fifth-grade students from the three county elementary schools. The students rotated through 10 learning stations presented by 4-H and FFA students and several PCFB members. Topics covered included commodities grown in Georgia, ag games, farm animals and tractors. The

TROUP COUNTY Troup County Farm Bureau (TCFB) members John and Marcia Callaway hosted a Mom’s Day on the Ranch event Aug. 20 to give non-ag moms a chance for an up-close look at a cattle farm to see how beef gets from pasture to plate in a safe, sustainable way. TCFB Director John Callaway, who chairs the Georgia Farm Bureau Beef Committee, is shown speaking. Marcia, who serves as the TCFB Women’s Committee chairman, said the event addressed

28 / November-December 2014

Georgia Farm Bureau News


questions consumers have about how producers raise their cattle and educated the moms about the nutritional benefits of beef. TCFB provided buses to transport the attendees around the farm, and TCFB members served as guides. TURNER COUNTY Turner County Farm Bureau (TCFB) Director Steven Metcalf, left, and TCFB member Isaac NeSmith, right, visited a local school where they talked to all of the kindergarten students about farming. Metcalf’s and NeSmith’s sons, center, welcomed their dads to their class. Metcalf and NeSmith talked to the kids about the crops they grow, including cotton, and the equipment they use to plant and harvest their crops. The students enjoyed going outside to see the tractor Metcalf and NeSmith drove to the school. TCFB provided the students with copies of the Georgia AGtivity coloring book. WARE COUNTY Ware County Farm Bureau held its 8th Annual Junior Market Goat Show Sept 20 at the Waycross Exchange Club Fairgrounds. Thirty-two students from across the state competed in the show, which included showmanship competitions for students ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors. WCFB had a great team of volunteers who helped host the show including Ware County WINNERS from page 25 rell, Turner and Webster counties. NINTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Grady County; Young Farmer Committee: Grady County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Colquitt County; Promotion & Education Committee: Colquitt County; Office Manager: Connie Melton, Worth County; Membership: Baker, Miller and Seminole counties. TENTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Bacon County; Young Farmer Committee: Cook County; Legislative/Policy Development Committee: Coffee County; Promotion & Education Committee: Cook County; Excellence in Ag: Justin Shealey, Cook County; Office Manager: Michele Waters, Cook County; Membership: Atkinson, Bacon, Berrien, Charlton, Clinch, Cook, Irwin and Lanier counties. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Extension Agent Joe Slusher, WCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Heidi Flowers, Ware County High School FFA Advisor Jody Kemp and his wife, Jodi, WCFB Office Manager Emily Godwin, WCFB member Cindi Crawford, WCFB Director Edwin Crawford and WCFB Young Farmer Chairman Garrett Ganas.

WAYNE COUNTY Wayne County Farm Bureau (WCFB) recently hosted a farm tour at the farm of WCFB members Jacob and Emily Nolan for about 420 third-grade students from local elementary schools. During a hayride around the farm, WCFB members J.W. Oliver and Jeremy Godwin told the students how the cotton, peanut and soybean crops are grown and harvested. Wayne County School System nutrition employees educated the students about dairy food nutrition at the cow milking station. Extension Agent Mark Frye and local 4-H livestock show team members exhibited farm animals, and local USDA-NRCS employees taught the students how farmers protect the environment. The students had their pictures made with a tractor and then made photo frames for the photos at a craft station.

Paul elected National FFA president

Andy Paul, a sophomore ag education major at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, was elected president of the National FFA Organization at the 87th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 29-Nov.1. Paul, who served as president of the Georgia FFA from April 2013 to May 2014, was a member of the Oglethorpe County High School FFA. He is the son of Jeff and Marsha Paul of Lexington. Paul was one of six student delegates at the national conAndy Paul vention elected to represent the organization as National FFA officers. Paul will commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization and travel more than 100,000 miles representing FFA at various events. Georgia FFA brought home 15 national awards including the Perry FFA chapter winning the national championship in the Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event. For a complete report of how Georgia fared at the convention visit http://bit.ly/ffahonors. November-December 2014 / 29


Avery graduates from AFBF program

Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Elaine Avery was one of 16 Farm Bureau members nationwide to complete the American Farm Bureau Women’s Communications Boot Camp in October. Program participants were recognized after completing an intensive three-day course featuring sessions on working with the media, public speaking, testifying, messaging and seeking elected office. AFBF began offering the communications program 8 years ago for female volunteers because it’s often women who step up as communicators to represent agriculture in their communities, AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Terry Gilbert said. Avery Avery, an active Laurens County Farm Bureau member, has served on the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee since Dec. 2011 representing the organization’s 6th District. She and her husband, Hugh, raise blueberries and vegetables on their farm.

Signup for new GFB newsletter

In September, Georgia Farm Bureau rolled out a new weekly electronic newsletter that offers its readers a summary of state and national ag news each Wednesday. The newsletter also includes a comprehensive calendar of upcoming Georgia ag events and features a video from the Georgia Farm Monitor TV show. Visit http://tinyurl.com/gfbnewsalert to signup for the GFB News Alert delivered by email and start your free subscription. Anyone with an interest in Georgia agriculture is welcome to subscribe. This newsletter replaces GFB’s former weekly newsletter Leadership Alert.

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Former GFB 7th district director dies

Gennis Folsom, who served as a Georgia Farm Bureau 7th District Director from 1992 to 2011, died on Sept. 25. He was 83. A farmer who grew pecans and Vidalia onions, Folsom was a member of Folsom the Tattnall County Farm Bureau Board of Directors from the late 1960s until his death. He served as TCFB president in 1967 and from 1984 to 1998. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Folsom family,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “Gennis was a committed servant to agriculture and a valued contributor to our organization, and he will be truly missed.” Folsom served in the U.S. Air Force and retired from civil service with the fire department at Fort Stewart. He was born in Glennville on Dec. 19, 1930, to Roy D. and Gertrude Hilton Folsom and lived in Tattnall County all of his life. He was a Mason and a member of the Alee Temple, a member and deacon of Ebenezer Free Will Baptist Church. Survivors include his wife, Edna Allen Folsom of Glennville; children Fran Folsom, Kelly (Karen) Folsom, Genise Folsom Pedrick (Jerry Combs), and Jeffrey (Jenny) Folsom; sisters Juliette DeLoach, Carolyn Silvers, Bobbie Jean (Earl) Conn and brother, Mike (Dianne) Folsom; 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Memorial donations may be sent to the Ebenezer Free Will Baptist Church Youth Program, 1718 Ebenezer Church Rd. Glennville, GA 30427 or Affinis Hospice, 806 Maple Drive, Vidalia, GA 30474. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Donna Rocker

Photo by Donna Rocker

GFB holds Ag Educator Workshops

Toombs County Farm Bureau (TCFB) hosted an Ag Educator Workshop and farm tour Aug. 29 for 21 teachers from three local elementary schools. Georgia Farm Bureau Field Services staff members Donna Rocker and Dennis Black led the workshop teaching the group how to incorporate ag into their teaching strategies. The class visited the farm of TCFB President Chris Hopkins where they saw many of the crops discussed in the workshop along with tractor technology and irrigation equipment.

GFB offering college scholarships

High school seniors who plan to pursue a college undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agricultural field have until Feb. 6, 2015, to apply for one of the 10 GFB Scholarships for Agriculture the organization will award next year. The top three students will each receive a $3,000 scholarship. The remaining seven students will each receive a $750 scholarship. Students submitting an application must currently be a Georgia high school senior and plan to enroll in a unit of the University System of Georgia or Berry College during the 2015-2016 academic year. “Georgia Farm Bureau is pleased to offer this opportunity for Georgia students planning to pursue a career in agriculture,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. Scholarship recipients will be announced in April. After recipients confirm they are pursuing a qualifying major at one of the eligible colleges or universities named in the application, scholarships will be paid directly to the school. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information or an application. Applications must be approved and signed by the Farm Bureau president of the county in which the applicant lives or attends high school. You may also download a copy of the application by visiting http://bit.ly/gfbschols. The Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee sponsor the scholarship program. Georgia Farm Bureau News

White County Farm Bureau (WCFB) hosted an Ag Educator Workshop and farm tour Sept. 24 for 15 teachers from five local schools. GFB Field Services staff members Donna Rocker and Dennis Black led the workshop.  The teachers visited the farm of WCFB President Stanley London where they learned about raising replacement heifers for dairies.

Feb. 1 deadline to apply for Monsanto scholarships

Monsanto is offering $1,500 college scholarships to 324 students nationwide through its America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders scholarship program. The National FFA Organization is administering the program, but students don’t have to be FFA members. To be eligible for a scholarship, students must be under the age of 23; be high school seniors or full-time college students, meet the FFA-published criteria for eligibility listed at www.FFA.org/ scholarships, and have a permanent address in one of the following Georgia counties: Appling, Baker, Berrien, Bleckley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Screven, Seminole, Sumter, Tattnall, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth. Each of these counties planted at least 30,000 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and/or vegetables based on USDA numbers. Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA. College students applying for the scholarship must be pursuing a degree in an agrelated field listed on the Grow Ag Leaders website at www.GrowAgLeaders.com from a two or four-year school. Students have until Feb. 1, 2015, to complete the application available at www.FFA.org/scholarships. Three farmers who live or farm in any of the eligible counties must endorse an applicant. Students will receive an application ID number when they start an application that they will provide to the farmers. Farmers must visit the Farmer’s Endorsement Database at www.FFA.org/scholarships or call 1-877-267-3332 before Feb. 8, 2015. Farmers do not have to be a Monsanto customer. Farmers may endorse their children or other family members. Farmers will be required to provide the student’s application ID number. November-December 2014 / 31


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Georgia Farm Bureau News - November / December 2014