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Vol. 77 No. 6



The Voice of Georgia Farmers

November/December 2015

$500 Bonus For Georgia Farm Bureau Members Georgia Farm Bureau members get $500 Bonus Cash* toward the purchase or lease of any eligible 2014/2015/2016 Ford vehicle. Enjoy valuable savings on your choice of vehicles from our comfortable and capable lineup – like the all-new 2015 F-150 with best-in-class towing and payload** and improved fuel efficiency.




2016 FORD F-150

Take advantage of this exclusive special offer today.


*Program #32010: $500 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/6/2015 through 1/4/2016 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2014/2015/2016 model year Ford vehicle including Hybrids and Final Pay Units. Incentive not available on Mustang Shelby GT/GT500, Mustang Boss 302, Mustang Special 50th Anniversary Edition, F-150 Raptor. Offer is subject to change based on vehicle eligibility. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 30 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $500 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Ford Dealer for complete details and qualifications. **Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR.

$750 Savings, reserved just for Georgia Farm Bureau Members Georgia Farm Bureau members get $750 Bonus Cash* toward the purchase or lease of any eligible intelligently designed 2014/2015/2016 Lincoln vehicle. Enjoy exclusive savings on your choice of vehicles from our luxurious Lincoln lineup – including the 2016 Lincoln MKX with an all-new 2.7L EcoBoost engine that is ready for wherever the road takes you.




Take advantage of this exclusive special offer today.


*Program #32055: $750 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/6/2015 through 1/4/2016 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2014/2015/2016 model year Lincoln vehicle including Hybrids and Final Pay Units. Offer is subject to change based on vehicle eligibility. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 30 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $750 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Lincoln Dealer for complete details and qualifications.


table of november/december 2015

GFB Convention set for Dec. 6-8

GFB will honor its outstanding county programs on Dec. 6. Members will hear Gov. Nathan Deal and former Sen. Saxby Chambliss during the general session on Dec. 7 and will hear ag issue updates pertinent to Georgia’s major commodities during meetings that afternoon. Voting delegates will approve GFB’s 2016 policy and elect the 2016 board on Dec. 8. PAGE 6

Sunbelt Expo celebrates agriculture


we, the farmers PAGE 4

legislative update PAGE 5

commodities update PAGE 7

around georgia


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 information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or 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 Visit the GFB Web site today! Georgia Farm Bureau TV: “Like” us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Check us out on Pinterest:

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Cooking, equine and crop harvest demonstrations, stock dog trials, driving ranges for Ram trucks and small tractors – these were just some of the highlights the 77,000 people who attended the 38th Annual Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie enjoyed. PAGE 8

GFB implements changes in administrative leadership

Georgia Farm Bureau promoted five key administrative leaders in October finalizing a succession plan begun in 2013. PAGE 10

GFB increases overall membership

GFB ended its 2015 fiscal year on Aug. 31 with 309,378 member families - a gain of 7,433 members. Across the state, 150 county Farm Bureaus increased their membership and all of GFB’s districts met their quota goals. PAGE 12

Agriculture takes center stage at Ga. National Fair

Rides, music and fair food may have brought folks to the Georgia National Fair but once they got there they discovered agriculture was the star attraction prominently displayed in the Georgia Grown Building and via livestock shows. PAGE 14

Farmers have new tool in battle against feral hogs

The Oklahoma-based Noble Foundation has teamed up with WW Manufacturing to offer landowners a new option for trapping feral hogs. The “Boar Buster” is a hybrid trap that combines the sturdiness of a corral with the stealth of a drop net. A wildlife camera monitors the trap area allowing the trap to be triggered remotely via the Internet. PAGE 16

2014 farm gate value of Ga. ag is $14 billion

Led by increases in forestry and livestock values, Georgia’s agricultural output increased by $484 million in 2014 according to the latest University of Georgia Farm Gate Value Report released this fall. PAGE 20

Ga. FFA has good showing at national convention

Georgia FFA students claimed 15 national individual awards, captured a national VP office and an outstanding chapter award during the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo, held Oct. 28-31 in Louisville, Kentucky. PAGE 23

GFB Ag Foundation offering $65,000 in scholarships

Georgia students have until Feb. 5, 2016, to apply for one of the many scholarships the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture will award. The foundation is also accepting applications until Dec. 15 for up to $7,000 in grants it will award county Farm Bureaus for programs that advance ag literacy, consumer education or leadership development. PAGES 30-31

on the cover----------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Photo by Lawayne Oliver) After an ice storm hit Hall County last February, Lawayne Oliver joined her husband, Jason, in riding the fence lines on their family farm to look for downed trees that may have damaged fences allowing cows to escape. Lawayne snapped these frozen maple tree blossoms while Jason and his dad, Daniel “Boone” Oliver, removed trees and limbs off the fence and made repairs. The Olivers operate a third-generation dairy in Clermont milking a herd of about 150 cows. November-December 2015 / 3

we, the



The Voice of Georgia Farmers

Zippy Duvall, GFB President

One day at a time

It’s been unusually rainy and cloudy across Georgia this fall, which has made harvesting crops difficult. Hopefully by the time you read this the sun will have returned and things will be brighter. In the September GFB News I told you that GFB increased its membership over last year. The contest was winding down as we went to press, so I didn’t have final numbers to report. I’m proud to say that we added 7,433 new members during our 2015 membership year, which ended Aug. 31. This brings our total membership number to 309,378 member families. GFB achieved this membership increase because our county Farm Bureau staff and volunteers worked hard last summer to recruit new members and retain existing ones. We met our goal because everyone pitched in, and I sincerely thank you for your efforts. To maintain our growth momentum, we’ve kicked off a Winter Membership Challenge that will recognize one county from each of GFB’s districts with the largest percentage of membership growth from Nov. 1 to the end of January. With Christmas coming up, everyone can help with this campaign and take care of their shopping lists. What better gift than a Farm Bureau membership for the person who has everything? Be sure to give them a copy of the GFB membership booklet or direct them to the GFB website at for a complete list of all the discounts and services their membership provides. Of course the biggest membership service we offer is serving as the voice of Georgia’s farmers and rural communities. For more than a year, we’ve been working to protect the property rights of Georgia landowners by fighting the Waters of the U.S. Rule, (WOTUS) initiated by the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers. Although the agencies rules went into effect Aug. 28, the fight isn’t over. I’m so grateful that Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue understand the threat WOTUS poses for agriculture, county governments and Georgia’s overall economy. Sens. Isakson and Perdue remain committed to supporting legislation that would revise WOTUS to define clear limits to the rule and take into account an economic analysis of the rule. I was glad to participate in a video the senators released in early November offering testimony from other Georgia farmers, ag leaders and county officials explaining the negative impact WOTUS will have. You can see the video at http:// Since President Obama has vowed to veto any legislation reforming the rule that reaches his desk, our best hope may lie in the judicial system. There are 12 different district court cases challenging the rule. One of these cases includes a suit filed by the state of Georgia and eight other states in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. American Farm Bureau is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling that allows the EPA to micromanage local land use and development decisions under the guise of implementing the Clean Water Act. Rest assured that Farm Bureau is doing all it can to protect your property rights and land against the overreach of federal agencies seeking to micromanage your farms. Just as farmers want to protect the natural resources on our farms, we do everything we can to care for our livestock. A shortage of large animal veteriSee WE, THE FARMERS page 11

GFB President Zippy Duvall visits with Gov. Nathan Deal during Sunbelt Expo. 4 / November-December 2015

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. Chief Operating Officer WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER

DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Wesley Hall, Cumming 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: David Cromley, Brooklet WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Janet Greuel, Fayetteville 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 Lili Davis, 478-474-0679, ext. 5126, or email: Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2015 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.


Georgia Farm Bureau News

legislative update

By Jeffrey Harvey, Legislative Director

Agriculture community works to protect the GATE Program Abuse it and lose it. Scary words for a farmer to hear mentioned about a program that’s vitally important to the farmer’s profitability. State leaders have issued this warning to producers since the implementation of the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) program back in 2013. The reports of improper purchases with the GATE card are a commonly heard problem by state legislators. Whether or not these allegations are completely warranted, these accusations have caused GATE to come under increased scrutiny. For many farmers, the loss of sales tax exemptions on materials used to produce their commodities would mean the difference between profit and loss. The agricultural exemptions created by GATE give Georgia farmers the ability to compete, not only with farmers from surrounding states, but internationally. In 2012, the Georgia General Assembly recognized this by passing a major tax reform package (HB 386), which led to the eventual creation of the GATE program. Lawmakers understand how vital sales tax exemptions on inputs are to producers and the role agriculture plays in stimulating economic growth. But, lawmakers have made their intentions clear: the GATE card must be used properly. Under the GATE program, a qualified agricultural producer receives a sales tax exemption on the inputs used to produce livestock and crops. Items such as seed, feed, fertilizer and equipment are often the largest expenditures a farmer incurs. Prior to the GATE program, many of these basic input exemptions were allowed under Georgia law. However, because of lax oversight, opportunities for abuse were created. For example, anyone could enter an agriculture supply store and purchase sales tax exempt items after signing an ST-A1 form. The ST-A1 form was provided by the Georgia Farm Bureau News

Department of Revenue, and there were no safeguards in place to require that only legitimate producers use them. GATE differs greatly from the old system because the program requires qualification by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA). This qualification system requires an individual sign an affidavit pledging they produce $2,500 in agricultural products and pay a $25 application fee. While misuses still occur, the GDA has been proactive in making sure they remain controlled through improved screening procedures and program administration. So far, GDA has contacted nearly 10,000 GATE cardholders, result-

ing in more than 80 cards being revoked and several more cardholders relinquishing theirs voluntarily. In addition, GDA has rejected almost 100 new applicants due to increased screening procedures. Now, all new applications must be interviewed over the telephone with GDA staff. And over the next couple of years, GDA plans to conduct audits on all cardholders. In 2014, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) brought in two auditors dedicated to the GATE program. The goal for these auditors is to insure the items being purchased by cardholders are legitimate. A number of farms have already been audited but only minor infractions have been found. DOR Commissioner Lynn Riley confirmed these findings at a recent Georgia House Ways and Means Committee hearing. According to Riley, DOR has not found a significant number of abuses and most of the cases have been

unintentional. The department now intends to focus more on retail facilities. Georgia Farm Bureau and others in the agriculture industry have also been working diligently to maintain the GATE program’s integrity. Over the summer, a coalition of agriculture stakeholders have discussed various ways to reform the program to ensure legitimate producers have access to the program in the future. Consensus among the stakeholders was to increase efforts to educate cardholders and retail operators about the items that qualify. Prior Georgia law named specific agricultural items that were allowed for purchase, but under GATE, more general terms are now being used to identify the exemptions. This change was designed to prevent constant legislative changes when a new agricultural technology surfaces. The broader language is positive for producers, but also increases the likelihood for mistakes. Other ideas were discussed for stricter enforcement of the rules and increased punishment for violators. No one disputes the benefits that GATE provides for the agriculture community, but the egregious cases of fraud and abuse by a few bad actors must be prevented. If agriculture is to remain the leading economic engine in this state, programs like this must be preserved and protected. Farmers have always prided themselves on being good stewards of their land and natural resources. Those same efforts must also apply to the programs that directly impact their bottom line. While many of the abuse allegations may be inaccurate, it is important for GFB to be proactive in protecting GATE for future generations of farmers. For questions about the GATE program, please call 1-855-327-6829 or visit To report abuse and GATE fraud, please call 1-877-423-6711. November-December 2015 / 5

GFB Convention set for Dec. 6-8

By Jay Stone ___________________________________ or the 40th straight year and the 52nd time since 1961, Georgia Farm Bureau will hold its annual convention on Jekyll Island. The 2015 GFB Convention takes place Dec. 6-8 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. The convention is GFB’s event to set its organizational policy for 2016, provide updates on the major commodities grown in Georgia, elect its officers and recognize achievements of its volunteers, who as a bonus have the chance to enjoy the historic and beautiful Georgia coast and renew friendships with fellow farmers from around the state. “The Georgia Farm Bureau Convention is always an exciting time,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall, who is presiding over his ninth convention. “It’s a prime chance for our members to engage and be part of developing our policy. It is that engagement that gives GFB its strength, and we welcome the chance to visit with our volunteers from all over the state.” New for 2015 is the GFB Foundation for Agriculture Fundraiser Breakfast, which will be held on Dec. 7 from 6:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Tickets are $25 per person. For more information, contact the GFB Foundation for Agriculture at 478474-8411 or by email at Registration takes place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, 7:30 a.m. to noon on Dec. 7 and 6:45 a.m. – 8:35 a.m. on Dec. 8. The GFB trade show, featuring 44 exhibitors, will be open from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 7:30 a.m. to noon on Dec. 7. Here’s a day-by-day look at the GFB Convention schedule:


The annual memorial/worship service opens convention activities at 11 a.m. The GFB trade show is open from noon to 4:30 p.m. Duvall and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black will host a Certified Farm Market/Georgia Grown drop-in reception for convention attendees. 6 / November-December 2015

Photo by Andy Lucas


GFB convention attendees visit with Member Services Assistant Director Jennifer Brack, left, in the GFB trade show during the 2014 convention.

At 2 p.m., the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee hosts Celebrating Agricultural Literacy, an event that includes the announcement of the 2015 Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year, recognition of outgoing Women’s Leadership Committee members and introduction of the new committee members and the 2016 state chairman. County Farm Bureaus will display information about their ag literacy programs.   The GFB Policy Development Committee meets at 3:15 p.m. to finalize its recommendations. The meeting begins with an open session followed by a closed session for committee members only. The GFB state awards program begins at 4:30 p.m., when GFB announces its winners in the following categories: Promotion & Education Committee, Women’s Leadership Committee, Legislative Committee, Young Farmer Committee and Membership Award. Also to be announced during the awards program are the McKemie Awards of Excellence and the 2015 GFB Hay Contest winner. GFB will also present the 2015 Harvest For All donation to the Georgia Food Bank Association and recognize the winners of the GFB Young

Farmer competitive events, which were held in July at the Young Farmer Leadership Conference. The Young Farmer Achievement Award winners are Matt and Melissa Bottoms of Pike County. Kyle Dekle of Habersham County won the Young Farmer Discussion Meet. Stephanie Butcher of Coweta County won the Excellence in Agriculture Award. Each of the award winners will compete for national honors at the AFBF Convention in January in Orlando.


Following the Foundation Breakfast, the opening general session begins at 8:30 a.m. The session features a patriotic remembrance, President Duvall’s annual address, and remarks from Gov. Nathan Deal and former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss. American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director of Regulatory Relations Don Parrish will provide an update on the Waters of the U.S. Rule. The session includes recognition of outgoing GFB Young Farmer Committee Members and the Young Farmer Raffle drawing. The annual County Presidents’/ See CONVENTION page 22 Georgia Farm Bureau News

commodities/marketing update By Don McGough, Marketing Dept. Director

GFB names speakers for commodity conferences at convention An important part of Georgia Farm Bureau’s annual meeting occurs on Monday, Dec. 7 when convention attendees can hear 33 speakers deliver updates on Georgia’s major commodites at 2 and 3:30 p.m. If you want to hear some of the latest agricultural news and information, this is the place to be. 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 encouraged to attend these meetings to hear the latest updates on their specific commodity interests and Georgia agriculture. 


2 PM CONFERENCES Cotton--------------------------------------

• •

• •

Cotton Production 2015 & Beyond Dr. Jared Whitaker Ga. Cotton Commission Activities Richey Seaton

Dairy & Swine--------------------------

•  Antimicrobial use in Livestock: New Federal Regulations Dr. Brenton Credille •  Update on the Calif. Marketing Order Proposal Everett Williams

Equine-------------------------------------• •

Ga. Equine Rescue League Update Patty Livingston Ga. High School Rodeo Association Ronnie Haselrig

Forestry----------------------------------• •

Ga. Forestry Association Update Andres Villegas Pre-engineered Noise Barriers Pam Floyd

Fruit, Vegetable & Environmental Horticulture----

• C ritical Labor Issues for Farmers: MSPA, FLSA, OSHA, & H2-A Ann Margaret Pointer • New Commercial & Ornamental Blueberry Varieties Dr. Scott NeSmith Georgia Farm Bureau News

•  New Challenges & Pests for Ga. Forage Growers Dr. Dennis Hancock • Modern Hay Brian Setzer • 2015 Hay Contest Winners Farrell Roberts

Honeybee-------------------------------• •

Honey Authenticity Testing Dr. Randy Culp Univ. of Florida Honeybee Research Brandi Simmons

Poultry------------------------------------Managing HPAI Communications Julie McPeake HPAI 2015: Looking Back & Ahead Dr. Martin Smeltzer

3:30 PM CONFERENCES Aquaculture-----------------------------

Peanut-------------------------------------• •

Asian Market Opportunities Don Koehler Peanut Market Perspectives George Lovatt

Pecan---------------------------------------• •

2015 Production Summary Dr. Lenny Wells Federal Pecan Marketing Order Dr. Randy Hudson

Tobacco-----------------------------------• •

2015 Crop Review Dr. J. Michael Moore Tobacco Crop Insurance Update Davina Lee

Water--------------------------------------• •

UGA CAES Water Activities Dr. Gary Hawkins Georgia Water Outlook Mark Masters

•  Promoting Locally & Sustainably Grown Products Dave Snyder

Beef Cattle------------------------------•  Antimicrobial use in Livestock: Impact of New Federal Regulations Dr. Brenton Credille • Ga. Beef Commission Update John Callaway • Ga. Beef Board Update Will Bentley

Direct Marketing/ Agritourism-----------------------------• •

Ga. Agritourism Association Update Beth Oleson Jibb’s Vineyards Through the Years Howard James

Feedgrain/Soybean----------------• Grain Grading Seminar Marc Marullo

Goat & Sheep-------------------------• •

FVSU Small Ruminant Update Dr. Niki Whitley Master Goat Farmer Certification Bob Waldorf

Ga. Cotton Commission 9th Annual Meeting & UGA Cotton Production Workshop

Jan. 27, 2016 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Begins at 8 a.m. For more information call 478-988-4235 or visit November-December 2015 / 7


2 Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Expo Georgia Farmer of the Year James Lyles (second from right) and his wife Tara (third from right) with (from left) UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Interim Dean Joe Broder, UGA President Jere Morehead and UGA Associate Dean for Extension Laura Perry Johnson.

Photo by Jay Stone

Director Chip Blalock, left, welcomes visitors to the media breakfast held the first day of Expo. Blalock told reporters the Southeast’s largest farm show endorses GFB President Zippy Duvall in his campaign for American Farm Bureau president.

Photo by Jay Stone

1 Sunbelt Expo Executive



5 Expo renamed its Rural Lifestyle Pavilion that opened last year The Hoss Tools Sustainable Living Center in honor of Hoss Tools of Norman Park. The center includes a backyard garden and offered a lineup of speakers focused on the public’s growing interest in homestead farming. 6 Georgia Farm Monitor

staff taped a live segment of “Meals from the Field” in the Georgia Ag Building on Oct. 21. You may get “Meals from the Field” recipes at and view the segments at user/GeorgiaFarmMonitor

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

4 CASE IH used a 7240 combine with a 3162 Draper head to harvest soybeans on the Expo farm.

Photo by Jay Stone

3 As the 2015 Expo Spotlight State, Mississippi used its exhibit space to showcase its top commodities including catfish and rice.



ber of the American Stock Horse Association Executive Committee, gave two clinics each day at Expo to demonstrate how cattle owners can use horses to work their herds.

8 / November-December 2015

Photo by Andy Lucas

7 Brian Sumrall, a mem-


By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________


he Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition lived up to its name as the sun shone brightly on the 77,000 folks who journeyed to Moultrie to attend the 38th annual three-day event that celebrates all things pertaining to Southeastern agriculture and rural living. According to Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock, the Expo featured a record 1,221 exhibitors. Just inside the main gate, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) staff handed out literature about the organization and farming in the Georgia Agriculture Building, where representatives of each of GFB’s departments were available to interact with Sunbelt visitors. During the kickoff media breakfast held the first day at the Georgia Agriculture Building, Blalock announced the show’s endorsement of GFB President Zippy Duvall in his campaign for American Farm Bureau president. “It’s a special occasion for us in the Southeast, and it’s a great chance for us to promote our candidate from the great state of Georgia and the Southeast, Zippy Duvall,” Blalock said. “Zippy’s done a great job managing and running the Georgia Farm Bureau, and we know he’ll carry that leadership to Washington.” While addressing the media, Duvall discussed the importance of building bridges to reach solutions to issues affecting agriculture. “This campaign is about staying true to the roots of this organization and that is the farmers and ranchers across this country. As we focus on them we’re going to make sure that we solve some problems by building bridges and relationships with people all over this country, with other organizations and commodity groups, but most of all with policy makers that affect agriculture,” Duvall said. “Whether they are challenges or changes, we’re going to manage through them, and we’re going to find good solutions for the American farmer. We’re going to be at the table to have those national conversations about immigration, about rules and regulations, or federal regulations that Georgia Farm Bureau News

Georgia Farm Bureau News

the features of competing brands. At the Fort Valley State University building, FVSU professor Charlie Williams presented information on uses for unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, including finding lost cattle and detecting stresses in field crops. FVSU showed off its mobile solar power unit, which uses photovoltaic cells to provide a remote source of electricity for tools and other applications in the field. Expo visitors who stopped by the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences building learned how Georgia agriculture contributes to our fall tailgates by providing us with turfgrass, beef, poultry, peanuts, pecans, dairy, blueberry and cotton products. UGA Extension promoted its Walk Georgia program by awarding attendees with prizes for successfully completing the Walk Georgia course around the Expo Exhibit grounds. Walk Georgia is a free, online program that allows you to track your physical activity. GFB’s photos from the Sunbelt Ag Expo may be seen online at http://tinyurl. com/sunbelt1,,

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

are imposed on our farmers.” As the 2015 Expo Spotlight State, Mississippi used its exhibit space to showcase its top commodities including, catfish, cotton, rice and sweet potatoes. Mississippi Farm Bureau (MFB) served fried catfish nuggets. Mississippi State University (MSU) served its famous Edam cheese and shrimp and handed out MSU’s burgundy cowbells whose infamous clanging annoys players and fans of opposing football teams. The Mississippi Sweet Potato Council offered sweet potato cake bites. Visitors also had the chance to sit on a charming patio and listen to a one-man honky-tonk band for entertainment. The Willie B. Withers Luncheon, normally held in the Maule Flight hangar, was held in a new location, the Spence Field Speculative Building. During the lunch, MFB President Mike McCormick touted the state’s agricultural production, noting that because Mississippi has a state population of less than three million people, ag’s $8 billion contribution to the state economy plays an important role in the daily lives of all Mississippians. North Carolina row crop farmer Danny Kornegay was named the Swisher Sweets/ Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year from a collection of 10 state farmers of the year, including Georgia’s James Lyles from Catoosa County. Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the crowd and said that while the state has drawn rave reviews for its business climate and enticed big-name corporations to locate here, agriculture remains Georgia’s top industry. “As much as we are proud of having national headquarters decide to come to our state, like Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, as much as we are proud of having technology companies and other high-tech companies come to our state and call Georgia home, we still acknowledge that the number one economic driver in the state of Georgia is agriculture and agribusiness,” Deal said. The chance to observe the harvest of cotton, hay, peanuts and soybeans drew Expo attendees out to the show’s fields. New this year, attendees had the opportunity to test drive a variety of small tractors and compare

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Expo celebrates agriculture 6


Donations sought for S.C. farmers who lost crops to floods

Speaking at the Willie B. Withers Luncheon held Oct. 20 at Sunbelt Expo, South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers gave an update on farm losses his state experienced due to flooding in early October. Weathers said crop losses had reached $300 million and were expected to increase as damage was evaluated. Although the USDA issued a primary natural disaster designation for 29 South Carolina counties due to losses caused by excessive rain and flooding beginning Oct. 1, Weathers anticipated there would be gaps between the losses South Carolina farmers suffered and the help the federal government would provide. Weathers asked for donations to help affected farmers fill in the gaps. Those wishing to contribute may visit Weathers indicated the site would soon be able to accept online donations. Plant it Forward SC is being administered by the South Carolina Advocates for Agriculture, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to improving the South Carolina agricultural industry. Plant it Forward SC will reimburse farmers for a percentage of their seed costs used to plant crops destroyed during the 2015 rain event. The fund will also pay livestock producers for a percentage of their hay losses due to the 2015 rain event. The amount of funds distributed to producers will be based on a predetermined formula contingent on the amount of donations received. Producers will be required to complete an application and present such information as proof of crop/ livestock loss specifically attributed to the 2015 rain event, farm identification number and seed/hay records. November-December 2015 / 9

GFB implements changes in administrative leadership Georgia Farm Bureau promoted five key administrative leaders effective Oct. 6, finalizing a succession plan begun in 2013. Corporate Treasurer/Secretary Wayne Wayne Daniel Daniel has been promoted to chief operating officer. Daniel has worked with GFB since 1977, first as director of accounting. He was appointed treasurer by the GFB Board of Directors in 1978 and named administrative assistant to the GFB president in 1989, and subsequently named corporate secretary. Daniel has served five GFB presidents, overseeing the organization’s financial and administrative matters. GFB Assistant Treasurer David Jolley was promoted to chief financial officer and corporate treasurer. Jolley, a certified public accountant, has worked in the GFB Mutual Insurance Company Accounting Depart-

David Jolley

Jon Huffmaster

ment since 2002. He was promoted to director and controller in 2009. Jon Huffmaster was promoted from legislative director and assistant corporate secretary to chief administrative officer and corporate secretary. Huffmaster, a native of Fulton County, has worked with GFB for 34 years, starting as a field representative in GFB’s 5th and 10th Districts before becoming legislative director in 2001. Jeffrey Harvey was promoted to director of the Georgia Farm Bureau Legislative Department. He succeeds Huffmaster. Harvey has worked in the GFB Legislative Department since 2001 and has been the

Jeffrey Harvey

Tas Smith

assistant legislative director since 2005. Harvey grew up on his family’s row-crop and livestock farm in Wilcox County. As legislative director, Harvey will oversee GFB’s efforts to promote laws favorable to agriculture. GFB National Affairs Specialist Tas Smith was promoted to assistant legislative director, filling the position previously held by Harvey. Smith, a native of Taylor County, will continue to be responsible for national affairs, working with members of the Georgia congressional delegation. He joined GFB as a legislative specialist in 2005.

The Georgia Farm Bureau Policy Development (PD) Committee met in Macon Oct. 12 and Nov. 2 to prepare the policy GFB members will vote on at the organization’s annual convention in December.  The policy approved by the voting delegates guides GFB’s legislative initiatives. The PD Committee consists of 30 county presidents, the chairmen of GFB’s 20 commodity advisory committees, the GFB Board and seven Georgia members of the American Farm Bureau Issue Advisory Committees. The committee is tasked with sorting through both existing policy and new resolutions. This year, 80 county Farm Bureaus submitted more than 350 new resolutions for consideration. The PD Committee discussed these at length and provided recommendations for the voting delegates to consider at the annual convention. Most of the tax resolutions were about the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program or Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA). The concerns about GATE have been prompted by concern of misuse of GATE privileges. The

10 / November-December 2015

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

GFB Policy Development Committee prepares policy for 2016

Members of the Georgia Farm Bureau Policy Development Committee review policy resolutions during a meeting at the GFB home office in Macon on Nov. 2.

committee approved policy acknowledging the importance of the GATE program for legitimate ag producers and supporting efforts to maintain its integrity by working to curb misuse. For long-term preservation of CUVA, the committee urged caution when making changes to the program.  The committee expressed support for

USDA allowing farmers to use generic certificates that would allow producers additional options in marketing their commodities. The committee also approved policy that supports treating cottonseed the same as other oilseeds in the farm bill program. See POLICY page 15 Georgia Farm Bureau News

WE,Georgia THE FARMERS from pageaward 4 Georgia Farm Farm Bureau Bureau will will award aa narians in$14,250 Georgia’s rural communities has total of in scholarships total of $14,250 in scholarships to to 10 10 become an increasing problem astoolder vets high school seniors who plan pursue high school seniors who plan to pursue retire and small animal practices are more an an undergraduate undergraduate degree degree in in agricultural agricultural appealing to vet school graduates. and environmental sciences, family and environmental sciences, family and and GFB has made increasing the number consumer consumer sciences sciences or or aa related related agriculagriculof large animal vets in Georgia’s rural comtural field. tural field.a priority issue in recent years munities The top students will each top three threestate students willlegislaeach andThe has supported and federal receive a scholarship of $3,000. The receive a scholarship of $3,000. The tion intended to encourage vet students to remaining seven students will each reremaining seven students will each rebecome largescholarship. animal vets. ceive a $750 ceive a $750 Students The Foodscholarship. Animal Veterinary Incentive submitting an Students submitting an applicaapplicaProgram (FAVIP) is one such program tion must currently be aa Georgia high tion must currently be Georgia GFB supports. I’m proud to say that high Zeb, school senior and plan to enroll in school senior and plan son, to enroll in aa Bonnie’s and my youngest was a memunit of the University System of unit theinaugural University System of GeorGeorber or ofofBerry the FAVIP class, which gia College during the 2014gia or Berry College during the 2014graduated from UGA’s vet school in May. 2015 academic year. 2015 academic year. who was serving as Zeb and Sonny Perdue, governor when the program was initiated and personally funded an endowment that gives up to $1,000 to the program’s graduates, eanut fans eanut fans have have aa daily daily are featured in chance to win aa vacachancetheto fall win issue vacaof tion and hundreds of tion and S until o uhundreds t hNov. s c a p30. eofs other prizes other prizesmagazine. until Nov.This 30. Vacation choices Vacation destination destination choices magazine is sent include Colorado, include California, California, Colorado, toFlorida. UGA College New York or Visit New York orof Florida. Visit Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) alumni to to register register for for aa chance chance to to win. win. and ag leaders. After registering, particiAfter registering, partici The FAVIP was designed to incentivize pants play game called “Crack pants play aato game called “Crack high school students pursue becoming the Peanut” for a chance to the Peanut” for a chance to win win food animal veterinarians. The program instant prizes like peanut and instant prizes like peanut and guarantees students aiPods spot inand thegift UGA Vet peanut butter packs, cards. peanut butter packs, iPods and gift cards. College provided they complete required IfIf you three that match, you crack crackmaintain three peanuts peanuts classes and certain that gradematch, point then you’re an instant winner! then you’re an instant winner! averages as they complete their under“When itit comes to through an “When comes to getting getting an graduate degrees in the CAES.through They must early morning or long day, everyone wins early morning or long day, everyone wins also complete two practicums and the vet with peanuts. At grams per servwith At seven seven schoolpeanuts. application process.grams per serving, peanuts have more ing, peanuts have more energy-boosting energy-boosting Zeb is now working at a food animal protein than any nut, ”” said Bob Parker, protein than any nut, said practice based in Watkinsville.Bob TwoParker, of his president and CEO of the National Peapresident and CEO of the National PeaFAVIP classmates are working at mixed nut Board. “Through the Energy to Burn nut Board. “Through the Energy to Burn practices in Clarkesville and Sandersville, a sweepstakes we’re able celebrate the sweepstakes able to to celebrate the third works atwe’re an equine practice in Texas power of peanuts and help re-energize power of peanuts re-energize and a fourth worksand for help the USDA Food Americans with fun Americans with aaService. fun vacation. vacation.”” Safety Inspection The “Energy to Burn” sweepstakes, isis “Energy to Burn” sweepstakes, The FAVIP is intended to supply large anisponsored Peanut mal vets toby fillthe the National needs of our ruralBoard comsponsored by the National Peanut Board and co-presented by Hampton munities and USDA.byGFB believes Farms, FAVIP and co-presented Hampton Farms, Planters Skippy. can helpand provide our state with more large Planters and Skippy.

Peanut Peanut sweepstakes sweepstakes offers offers vacation, vacation, assorted assorted prizes prizes


Georgia • ews Fall 2013 Georgia FNeighbors arm Bureau N Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2013

Contact Contact your your county county Farm Farm Bureau Bureau office for more information or applianimal vets. In fact, one of the office for more informationpolicy or an anrecomapplication. The application deadline is mendations GFB voting delegates will concation. The application deadline is FebFebruary 21, 2014. Applications must be sider at our annual convention is increasing ruary 21, 2014. Applications must be apapproved and signed by Farm Bureau the number students annually proved and of signed by the the Farmaccepted Bureau president of county in the FAVIP from five toin 10.which president of the the county in which the the apapplicant or attends high school. plicant On resides aresides personal note, I’d like to thank or attends high school. everyone for also their download support and prayers You aa copy of You may may also download copy of this fall during my campaign to be elected the application by visiting http://www. the application by visiting http://www. American Farm Bureau president in,, selecting selecting Programs Programs and and then then Ag Ag ary.the Your support has meant the world to in Classroom.   in the Classroom.   Bonnie and me as we traveled acrossMuthe The The Georgia Georgia Farm Farm Bureau Bureau Mucountry meeting with other state presidents tual tual Insurance Insurance Company Company and and the the GFB GFB and their boards. Women’s Leadership Committee Women’s Leadership Committee sponspon the We look forwardprogram. to visiting with our sor sor the scholarship scholarship program. county volunteers at GFB’s annual convenWinners Winners will will be be announced announced in in May May tion and then traveling with many of you to 2014. 2014. the AFBF convention in Orlando.

It has been my honor to serve as your GFB president for the past nine years. I didn’t decide to run for the AFBF position because I was tired of serving as your president but because I felt God calling me on this journey. While serving as your GFB president, I’ve learned that we support each other by working as one. I’ve also learned we should never give up, never stop doing good and just lean on our Lord. He is, after all, the one who taught us to love and support each other as we work together for the good of the whole. No matter what a day brings, we will do well to remember the wisdom found in Psalm 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Thinkstock Thinkstock

GFB to award college scholarships



As As low low as as



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21 November-December 2015 / 11

Federal panel denies centralization of WOTUS cases

Ga. Peanut Farm Show

Bibb County Farm Bureau achieved the largest membership increase during GFB’s membership campaign this year by adding 420 new members. BCFB President Jimmy Jordan, left, accepts a quota certificate from GFB President Zippy Duvall during the GFB 6th District Meeting Sept. 29.

Photo by Lili Davis

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) expanded announce we met our goals and have an its overall membership in fiscal year 2015, increase in membership of 7,433 member the first time in nine years the organization families over last year. We succeeded behas experienced membership growth since cause everyone pitched in.” reorganizing its insurance company struc- The membership increase qualifies ture. Statewide, GFB has 309,378 member Georgia for the American Farm Bureau families, up from 301,945 in 2014. Federation quota state classification. The “I’d like to thank all of our county Farm membership increase also contributes to Bureau staff and volunteers who worked GFB’s eligibility for other national awards hard this summer to recruit new members AFBF gives at its annual convention. and retain existing members,” said GFB The membership numbers are imPresident Zippy Duvall. “I am proud to portant because GFB is a grassroots orga-

nization, drawing its strength as the voice of Georgia farmers from its membership. Members at the local level initiate the organization’s policy – the guidelines it follows in pursuing governmental support for agriculture. “A lot of organizations are ‘top-down’ organizations in that their leadership drives everything they do,” Duvall said. “We pride ourselves on being a ‘bottom-up’ organization. We take our direction from what our members want.” Across the state, 150 county Farm Bureaus increased their membership. Visit to view a list of these counties. Bibb County Farm Bureau achieved the largest membership increase with 420 new members. Dooly County Farm Bureau was the first county Farm Bureau to meet quota. GFB, the largest general farm organization in Georgia, continues to offer a collection of member benefits that far exceed the value of the $25 annual membership dues. While GFB welcomes the chance to offer its popular insurance products, insurance enrollment is not required to be a member. Benefits include travel discounts, special deals on health and wellness programs, discounted family entertainment, banking services and a comprehensive insurance program. For a complete list of GFB member benefits visit default.html. To join Georgia Farm Bureau contact a local county Farm Bureau office. A directory of GFB county offices can be found at For more information, call 1-800633-5432.

In July, Dooly County Farm Bureau achieved an increase in its membership over 2014 becoming the first county Farm Bureau to meet quota. DCFB President Teel Warbington accepts a quota certificate from GFB President Zippy Duvall during the GFB 8th District Meeting Sept. 28.

GFB increases overall membership, 150 counties gain members

On Oct. 14 the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Legislation (JPML) denied a request by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to centralize 12 different district court cases challenging the agencies’ Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The cases include a suit filed by the state of Georgia and eight other states in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. The EPA and Corps requested that the cases be centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The JPML found that centralization is inappropriate based on previous rulings where, as in the current set of cases, centralization was denied for cases that would be decided on the administrative record. The court also noted that centralization would be complicated by opposite rulings in district courts on requests for preliminary injunctions; the District Court of North Dakota granted an injunction for 13 states, while the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia denied an injunction. 12 / November-December 2015

Jan. 21, 2016 UGA Tifton Conference Center 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. More than 100 exhibits, numerous door prizes, educational sessions and a free lunch! Call 229-386-3470 or visit for more information.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

USDA issues initial recommendation for Pecan FMO

Rural–urban partnership focus of Farm-City Week

GFB President Zippy Duvall, seated, signs a proclamation declaring Nov. 20-26 FarmCity 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 allow. 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.

Pecan growers and other industry stakeholders have until Nov. 27 to submit comments on the proposed Federal Marketing Order (FMO) for Pecans that the USDA published in the Federal Register on Oct. 28. The USDA recommendation for the marketing order follows public hearings held in July in New Mexico, Texas and Georgia during which an Administrative Law Judge and USDA personnel heard 60 hours of testimony from pecan industry stakeholders as to how a FMO for pecans will benefit growers, shellers, processors and consumers. “This Recommended Decision on the FMO by USDA is truly historic for our industry. It is the result of a unified effort of dedicated growers, supporting shellers and our congressional senators and representatives whose backing was See PECAN page 20


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Georgia Farm Bureau News

*Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS

November-December 2015 / 13

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Georgia Farm Bureau 1st Vice President Gerald Long and his granddaughter, Addie, are featured on the cover of the 2015 Georgia Grown magazine. The Longs were on hand to unveil the cover of the new magazine. Addie is the daughter of Justin and Kelli Long.

Agriculture takes center stage at Ga. National Fair in Perry

By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________

14 / November-December 2015

members in action on their farms. The Rodgers Family, who are McDuffie County Farm Bureau members, were the stars of the new “Milk Makers” movie, produced by Georgia Dept. of Agriculture employee Nathan Wilson. The film features Billy and Gladys Rodgers, their sons Andy and Mark, and their children Josh and Caitlin, talk-

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker


isitors to the 26th Annual Georgia National Fair held Oct. 8-18 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry may have only had food and midway rides on their minds when they arrived, but they most likely left with a greater appreciation of Georgia agriculture. “The Georgia Department of Agriculture is committed to telling the story of Georgia agriculture through our Seasons & Faces of Georgia Exhibit,” Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black said during opening day ceremonies at the Georgia Grown Building on Oct. 8. “We’ve added a milk video and more photos to the photo exhibit we unveiled last year. Although Georgia agriculture has a $72 billion impact on Georgia’s economy, we have a consuming public that doesn’t relate to pie charts, but they do relate to meeting the faces behind agriculture and that’s what we’re trying to show them.” For the third year, the Georgia Grown Building showcased exhibits featuring numerous Georgia ag organizations, including Georgia Farm Bureau. For a second year, the building included a photo exhibit, “Seasons & Faces of Georgia Agriculture,” that included photos of numerous GFB

ing about daily life on a dairy farm. You may view the 20-minute film online for free at Georgia Farm Bureau 1st Vice President Gerald Long and his granddaughter, Addie, are featured on the cover of the 2015 Georgia Grown magazine and were on hand to unveil the magazine cover. This issue also features numerous other GFB members and includes an article about GFB’s “Georgia Farm Monitor,” which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. “Very few states have something comparable to the Georgia National Fair,” Gov. Nathan Deal said during his comments at the opening ceremony. “We should be proud of it and we should support it.” Deal encouraged fair attendees to visit the Georgia Grown Building saying, “You may think you know everything that’s going on in Georgia agriculture, but I assure you, you will learn something new.” The fair set an attendance record with 501,628 people attending the fair this year. This breaks the previous record set in 2010 of 465,053 people. In addition to the record turnout, the Georgia National Fairgrounds also welcomed its 20 millionth guest to the facility during the fair. The count of total visitors includes every event held at the facility, not just those attending the fair. The lucky attendee was awarded a prize package that included tickets to the Rascal Flatts concert, season passes for the 2016 fair and See FAIR next page

Pictured from left, Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal are pictured with the stars of “Milk Makers,” Mark and Marcia Rodgers, Holly Ballantine, the nutritionist for the Rodgers dairy, Billy Rodgers, Caitlin Rodgers, Jan and Andy Rodgers, Josh Rodgers and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black. Georgia Farm Bureau News

GFB awards market goat grand champion prizes

FAIR from previous page assorted fair promotional items. “We were blessed with excellent weather conditions for the run of the fair. Good weather usually prompts our patrons to visit and enjoy the event with some coming multiple times throughout the 11 days. We also experienced a unique situation with Columbus Day falling on the fair’s Patriotic Day, which led to a crowd as large as a typical Saturday. A new Monday record was set with 42,361 visitors,” Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority Executive Director Randy Moore said. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Dade County 4-H member Brett Dyer, center, won the Grand Champion Market Doe Award during the 2015 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat Show held Oct. 9-10 in Perry at the Georgia National Fair. Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Coordinator Taylor Sills, left, presents the $1,500 prize check sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau to Dyer as show judge Marty Gibbs, right, presents Dyer a silver tray.

Photo by Jay Stone

Georgia 4-H and FFA members competed in livestock shows being held throughout the Georgia National Fair. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) sponsored the grand champion prizes for the market goat wether and market goat doe awarded during the Junior Market Goat Show held Oct. 9 and 10. For the fifth consecutive year, Worth County FFA member Chase Roberts 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. He is a junior at Worth County High School. Dade County 4-Her Brett Dyer won the Grand Champion Market Doe prize of $1,500. Dyer, who has shown goats for 10 years, is the son of Carla Dyer and the late Ted Dyer, He is a sophomore at Dade County High School. “One of Georgia Farm Bureau’s key goals is to develop the next generation of Georgia farmers,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “The young people involved in these shows learn responsibility and how to be gracious winners and losers in competition. We are proud to sponsor the species grand champions for the 4-H and FFA fall and winter state livestock shows because Farm Bureau supports our farm families and families who are interested in agriculture.”

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

Worth County FFA member Chase Roberts, center, won the Grand Champion Market Wether Award during the 2015 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat Show held Oct. 9-10 in Perry at the Georgia National Fair. Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Coordinator Taylor Sills, left, presents the $1,500 prize check sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau to Roberts as Marty Gibbs, right, who judged the show, presents Dyer a silver tray.

POLICY from page 10 Several resolutions were submitted regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The committee recommended federal assistance through the Risk Management Agency and disaster programs for growers impacted by HPAI. Considering the severe implications HPAI could have for Georgia, the committee supported the state’s efforts to control the outbreak in the timeliest fashion possible. The committee also discussed the use of drones on farming operations and the potential the technology has for agricul-

ture in the future. Some of the submissions received on this issue encourage regulators not to restrict access to this new technology, but at the same time, be respectful of private property rights. The committee will meet again Dec. 6 at 3:15 p.m. during the GFB Convention on Jekyll Island for an open session of policy development followed by a closed session for committee members only. The purpose of this meeting is to make last-minute recommendations before the voting delegates ratify GFB’s 2016 policy on Dec. 8. November-December 2015 / 15

Photo by Jay Stone

The Boar Buster corral is 18 feet in diameter. In a trapping situation, the system’s camera (right side of photo) is directed toward the corral from 30 feet away. The camera detects movement, sends a text message to the user’s phone and streams video to the internet, allowing the user to choose when to spring the trap.

Farmers have new tool in battle against feral hogs By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________

Feral hogs present a major challenge to farmers and ranchers. In Georgia alone, the wild swine annually cause millions of dollars in crop and property damage, and the pigs also present a risk of spreading disease to farm livestock. According to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Information Service (APHIS), feral hogs cause $1.5 billion in damage nationwide each year. A 2012 study by the University of Georgia attributed an estimated $87 million to feral hogs in Southwest Georgia. After fielding numerous requests for help from farmers exasperated from years of dealing with the pesky pigs, the Oklahoma-based Noble Foundation began researching ways to trap them in sufficient numbers to rein in their population growth. “Feral hogs impact every different discipline out there,” said Noble Wildlife and Range Consultant Josh Gaskamp. “They 16 / November-December 2015

impact everyone from the farm producers, the corn producers to the livestock guys to the wildlife folks because of the hogs’ tendency to destroy habitats and compete with native wildlife for natural resources.” After years of development, Noble presented farmers with a new trap option called Boar Buster, which Gaskamp and representatives from licensee WW Manufacturing demonstrated at the Sunbelt Expo. Because feral hogs produce two litters of piglets a year and are capable of reproducing as early as six months of age, 70 percent of their population must be eliminated every year to keep their numbers from continued expansion. A common complaint farmers have about conventional box traps is that the animals are becoming “trap shy,” associating the walls of the trap with danger and avoiding it. This was solved with the use of drop nets.

“The pigs don’t associate that overhead canopy with any danger. So they were more apt to walk underneath it,” Gaskamp said. But the nets require man-hours to install and monitor. If hogs are caught, they have to be removed immediately, and all this work generally is done at night, after the farmer has worked all day, Gaskamp said. Gaskamp said Boar Buster captures an average of 88 percent of targeted hogs, well above the 70 percent required to maintain the hog population status quo. Boar Buster is a hybrid trap that combines the size of a corral with the trap efficiency of a drop net. The corral is suspended above the ground, allowing hogs to enter from any direction. A wildlife camera monitors the area below and around the corral using motion-detection technology. When movement is detected, the camera sends a text message to the owner’s cell phone. The owner can then log on to the Boar Buster website and view a live video stream, transmitted by broadband from the camera. If there are sufficient hogs inside the corral area, he can then trigger the trap remotely. The walls of the trap drop to the ground, containing the pigs inside an 18-foot perimeter. The Boar Buster spirals to the ground, allowing the entire trap to be raised by one person with a hand-crank wench. According to Gaskamp, one person can set up the entire Boar Buster in less than half an hour. He recommended baiting to the location for a couple of days before setup to ensure hogs will enter the trap. The streaming camera is the key. It frees the landowner to trigger it from anywhere there is an internet connection. The Boar Buster website includes testimony from one test-site administrator who triggered the trap while eating dinner and another time while attending a ball game. The entire system costs $5,995, plus fees of $70 per month for the wireless communications features when they are used. There is no fee during times when the system is turned off, and no contracts are required. To view GFB’s photos from the Boar Buster exhibit at Sunbelt visit For more information, visit Georgia Farm Bureau News

During a ceremony held Oct. 9 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, 13 Georgia farms were recognized for continuously operating for 100 years or more. This brings the total number of farms recognized by the Georgia Centennial Farm Program since 1993 to 482. 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. Farm owners interested in applying for the award in 2016 should visit to download an application or contact Lynn Speno at (770) 389-7842 or .

2015 Centennial Family Farm recipients Boyd-McLocklin Farm....................Barrow County Harville Family Farm.......................Bulloch County Traders Hill Farm......................... Charlton County Chambless Farm........................... Colquitt County Benefield Farm........................... Gwinnett County Martin Dairy Farm............................Lamar County Georgia Gregory Terry Farm........Murray County Hickory Hill Farm....................Oglethorpe County Renfroe Hill Farm LLLP.................Stewart County Grace Acres Farm........................... Wayne County J.O. Rees-Dillard Farm................ Webster County Pope Cattle Farm............................Wilkes County Pinkney Farm................................... Worth County Georgia Farm Bureau News

10736_Vermeer_TM1200_Square4.7x4.7_Aug2015.indd 1

Photo by Neil Gilbert, Ga. Dept. of Agriculture

Ga. farms receive Centennial Farm designation

8/7/15 11:09 AM

November-December 2015 / 17

Hunnicutt named assistant provost & UGA Griffin Campus director

2016 Ag Forecast meetings set

Jan. 21 • Carrollton • Carroll Co. Ag Ctr. Jan. 22 • Cleveland • Unicoi State Park Jan. 25 • Bainbridge Cloud Livestock Facility Jan. 26 • Tifton • UGA Conference Center Jan. 27 • Alma • Blueberry Warehouse Jan. 29 • Macon • Ga. Farm Bureau The keynote topic for these meetings will be a discussion of sales tax distribution patterns and how tax reform programs, such as the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) and the Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT), have affected Georgia counties. UGA economists will also provide an economic outlook for 2016. 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 http://www.georgiaagforecast. com, call 706-583-0347 or email carlam@ Follow the meetings on 18 / November-December 2015

struction, research and outreach — particularly at a college with multiple campuses — will serve UGA-Griffin and our community partners well.” Hunnicutt comes to UGA from Frank Phillips College in Texas where he served as vice president of extended services at Frank Phillips College in the Texas Panhandle. He was responsible for the operation of branch campuses in Perryton and Dalhart and oversaw extended education programs such as continuing education and corporate development. “I feel my entire career has been preparing me for this position, and I consider it a distinct privilege to join the UGA family and Griffin campus team. The Griffin campus holds many opportunities, and I know we will all be proud of the outcome,” Hunnicutt said. Hunnicutt joined Frank Phillips College in 2003 as the director of its Perryton

campus. In that role, he managed a $3.8 million capital campaign to build a permanent campus that opened debt-free in 2005. He served as dean of the campus and was named the college’s service area liaison responsible for building relationships with communities and businesses in the campus’ nine-county service area. As vice president of extended services, a position Hunnicutt held since 2013, he oversaw extended education programs throughout the college’s service area. He has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Tarleton State University in Texas and holds master’s degrees in reproductive biology, animal science and general agriculture. He earned his doctorate in animal science from the University of Wyoming. Located 40 miles south of Atlanta, the UGA-Griffin campus was established in 1888 as the Georgia Experiment Station. See HUNNICUTT page 21

McCann named UGA Extension assistant dean

Mark McCann, head of Virginia Cooperative Extension from 2005-2009, began serving as assistant dean for UGA Extension Oct. 1. He will be responsible for assisting with UGA Extension’s operations as well as leading agriculturMark McCann al and natural resources programming. He started his career as an assistant professor and Extension beef specialist in the UGA Department of Animal and Dairy Science. Before coming to UGA, he most recently served as professor of animal and poultry science and as an Extension beef specialist at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. “Mark’s long history with Extension in Virginia and in Georgia gives him a familiarity that will allow him to hit the ground running, but will also give him the perspective that comes with having worked in another Extension system,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension. “We are very excited

Photo courtesy UGA

Photo courtesy UGA

As of Nov. 1, Lew K. Hunnicutt is the assistant provost and campus director of the UGA Griffin campus. This is a newly created position that will have Hunnicutt reporting dually to the UGA Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost to support instrucLew Hunnicutt tional missions of the campus and to the dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) to support the research and Extension missions of the college. Hunnicutt will oversee all research, Cooperative Extension and instructional programs at UGA-Griffin. “I am excited that Dr. Hunnicutt will be leading the UGA-Griffin campus,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “His extensive experience in administering in-

to have him join our work family and excited to work with him to build a second, impactful century for UGA Extension.” McCann received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from North Carolina State University and his Ph.D. in agriculture from Texas Tech University. During the seminar McCann gave as part of the interview process in June, he outlined his plans to keep UGA Extension responsive to diverse communities across Georgia, from the row crop farms of southwest Georgia to the urban community gardens of Fulton County. He shared his vision for UGA Extension moving into the future by fostering partnerships and relationships inside and outside the Cooperative Extension System, by monitoring the impacts of Extension programs and by monitoring and responding to the needs of the state. “We’re going to go where our communities, the industry and our partners take us,” McCann said during his seminar. “If we stay in tune, our audiences and our stakeholders will show us the way.” Georgia Farm Bureau News

UGA bids Dean Angle farewell

The UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) honored former dean, Dr. Scott Angle, during receptions held Sept. 10 in Tifton, Sept. 15 in Griffin and Sept. 16 in Athens. CAES faculty and members of Georgia’s ag community attended the events. Angle left UGA Sept. 18 to serve as president and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center, an organization focused on increasing food security in almost 100 countries. Dr. Kris Braman, a UGA entomologist at the UGA Griffin Campus, emceed the Griffin reception. “This is a bittersweet moment for us as we bid farewell to Dr. Angle and thank him for ten years of exceptional leadership,” Braman said. “He has strengthened the links between our research and Cooperative Extension units to insure farmers in all 159 counties have access to the latest research and information.” Former Gov. Sonny Perdue and his wife, Mary, attended the Griffin reception. Perdue complimented Angle saying, “I tried not to interfere in your job too much because you were doing such a good job. We will forever be better because you travelled our way.” Ken Morrow, owner of Sod Atlanta, praised Angle for increasing student enrollment and leading the college through tough economic times. “When Scott came here we were struggling with the fact that students had declined. What a wonderful turnaround we’ve seen under Scott’s leadership. You were the right man for the right time. You had some hard challenges to deal with, however, the college moved forward under your leadership.” Angle responded to the well wishes offered to him at the Griffin reception by saying, “If I have any good legacy it was that I hired a bunch of good people. My hats are off to all of you and I thank you for all of Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

By Jennifer Whittaker ____________________________________

Dr. Carol Robacker, UGA associate professor of horticulture, presented Dr. Scott Angle with a Lavender Mist Abelia plant developed by her plant breeding program at the UGA Griffin Campus. Robacker, who served on the search committee that selected Angle in 2005, said, “I’m really proud of our selection. You’re a man of integrity. We knew that you worked for us and tried hard to make sure we had what we needed to do our job.”

your support.” Dr. Josef Broder, CAES associate dean for academic affairs since 2005, is serving as interim dean. Dr. Sheila Allen, UGA College of Veterinary Medicine dean, is chairing a 23-member search committee tasked with selecting the new CAES dean.

GFB President Zippy Duvall is a member of the committee along with CAES faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as government and agribusiness representatives. Visit to view a complete list of committee members.

Hi, I’m

Billy Blueberry This is My Story

Billy Blueberry is an illustrated children’s book that tells the story of the entire life cycle of a blueberry, from the planting of a blueberry bush to being picked and eventually being shipped all around the world. Designed for primary school-aged children (Kindergarten through 3rd Grade), Billy the Blueberry was written by Brandon Wade, Bacon County Young Farmer Chairman, and illustrated by Edward Bedgood, Bacon County Farm Bureau member. The book can be ordered by contacting: Bacon County Farm Bureau Cost per book: 422 South Dixon Street $ Alma, GA 31510


plus shipping


Email: November-December 2015 / 19

By Merritt Melancon ____________________________________


ed by increases in forestry and livestock values, Georgia’s agricultural output increased by $484 million in 2014, making agriculture, once again, the largest industry in the state with a value of $14.1 billion. According to the most recent University of Georgia Farm Gate Value Report, published this fall, the value of Georgia’s livestock and aquaculture industries increased by almost 36 percent from 2013. The significant increase in beef prices in 2014 combined with anticipated high prices have led Georgia farmers to increase their herds. In one year the value of the state’s beef cattle production rose by $443,394,105 to $1.089 billion, making it the second most valuable commodity group in the state. Coordinated by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED), the Farm Gate Value Report is one of the most comprehensive annual studies of its kind. Eighty-six Georgia commodities are evaluated. UGA

Cooperative Extension agents, who work closely with farmers in every county, collect data that other surveys can’t, according to Kent Wolfe, director of the center and an ag economist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). “It’s an on-the-ground survey of what Georgia farmers are growing,” Wolfe said. “It’s really the only study of its depth in the nation. We collect more data than the federal agencies and on more commodities than they are able to survey.” Whereas larger surveys may not count emerging or niche commodities, like southern peas for example, the UGA Farm Gate Value Report does. Southern peas, like black-eyed peas, are a $5-million-ayear-business in Georgia. “We can look at the economic impact of those commodities on the state and county level,” Wolfe said. “Besides providing agriculture’s economic contribution, it provides a picture of how many people are involved in agriculture across the state and in the county, as well as the impact that their businesses have.”


2014 farm gate value of Ga. ag is $14 billion

The detail also makes the report invaluable for spotting emerging trends, whether it’s an uptick in commercial okra production or a surging beef market. “It gives Georgia a unique tool that other states don’t have,” Wolfe said. The UGA CAED offers the report free to the public. To view or print the report, visit Merritt Melancon is a UGA CAES news editor.

Budget deal makes changes to crop insurance programs Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314) and President Obama signed it into law on Nov. 2. The bill raises federal government spending limits for the next two years and suspends enforcement of the debt limit until March 2017. The bill included provisions to cut $3

billion from the federal crop insurance program by lowering the rate of return allowed for insurers from 14 percent, the level called for in the 2014 farm bill, to 8.9 percent. It also mandated a renegotiation of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement by December 2016. Leaders in the House and Senate ag-

Photo by Jay Stone

Godwin reappointed to Soybean Board

Georgia/Florida Soybean Association President Walter Godwin is one of 17 soybean farmers from across the country appointed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as a director of the United Soybean Board (USB). Godwin, from Mitchell County, is one of 12 returning directors. The board will be sworn in as directors of the USB at its upcoming annual meeting in St. Louis in December. Godwin will serve a three-year term. The USB board of directors invests soy checkoff funds on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers in projects to improve farmer Godwin profit potential. The USB and soy checkoff is overseen by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

20 / November-December 2015

riculture committees voiced opposition to the crop insurance measures, and both committees announced that an agreement was reached with House and Senate leadership to restore the funding in the FY 2016 Omnibus spending bill, which the appropriations committees in both chambers will write. The current continuing resolution to fund the federal government expires Dec. 11. The American Farm Bureau Federation opposes the inclusion of this language in the budget bill or any language that would reopen the 2014 farm bill.

PECAN from page 13 invaluable,” said American Pecan Board President Mike Adams, who grows pecans in Texas. Visit to read the USDA recommendation published in the Federal Register. Directions for submitting comments are provided on the first page. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Whitaker named UGA cotton agronomist dynamic industries in Georgia and is incredibly important to the economy of Georgia,” said Johnson. “We are very excited to have filled this position and look forward to the great work Dr. Whitaker will do researching issues and solving problems related to cotton production and sharing that information with county Extension agents and producers that can use the information to be more productive and more profitable.” According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, cotton had a $964 million farm gate value in 2014. The crop contributed 6.85 percent of Georgia’s total farm gate value, ranking

third behind broilers and beef in contributing percentage and accounted for nearly 40 percent of Georgia’s total farm gate value for all row crops. Jared Whitaker “We’ve seen cotton acres diminish in other states while Georgia acres remain relatively stable. In order to keep Georgia production strong, UGA’s role will be to help growers make good decisions, try to keep cotton as profitable as it has been and keep it competitive with other crops,” Whitaker said.

HUNNICUTT from page 18 The Griffin campus offers undergraduate degrees as well as graduate degrees through UGA’s CAES, College of Education, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and Terry College of Business. UGA-Griffin is internationally known

for its research in agriculture, food processing and food safety. Notable research centers at UGA-Griffin include the Center for Food Safety, the Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center, the Center for Urban Agriculture, and a Turfgrass Research and Education Facility.

Photo courtesy UGA

Since 2009 Jared Whitaker has been working with cotton growers in Southeast Georgia and soybean growers across the state but as of Dec. 1, he is transitioning into a new role with UGA Extension as its UGA cotton agronomist and will focus solely on cotton statewide. As leader of the UGA Cotton Team, his job will be to keep Georgia producers as informed as possible and to improve production statewide. UGA’s newly hired Cooperative Extension cotton agronomist believes the biggest challenge Georgia cotton farmers face is making a profit. “Cotton prices have remained far below the levels most producers yearn for. Even if prices improve, management practices continue to be evaluated as new products and issues continue to arise,” Whitaker said. Laura Perry Johnson, UGA associate dean for Extension, said hiring Whitaker should boost the state’s cotton industry. “Cotton is one of the largest and most




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tion on policy changes, begins at 8:15 a.m. District caucuses will convene at 10:15 a.m. for election of district directors. The only contested election is in District 2, where Stanley London from White County is running against incumbent Bobby Gunter from Lumpkin County. In District 5, Matt Bottoms from Pike County is running unopposed for the seat vacated by Jim Ham of Monroe County, who resigned his seat to run for Middle Georgia Vice President against Robert Fountain Jr. from Emanuel County. That election will take place during the Middle Georgia Vice President Caucus, at 11

a.m. in Ballroom A. District directors seeking re-election without opposition are Bill Bryan from Chattooga County (District 1), George Chambers from Carroll County (District 3), Marvin Ruark from Morgan County (District 4), Ralph Adamson from Lamar County (District 5), James Malone Jr. from Laurens County (District 6), Gary Bell from Evans County (District 7), Scotty Raines from Turner County (District 8), Paul Shirah from Mitchell County (District 9) and David Lee from Bacon County (District 10). Gerald Long is seeking redesignation as GFB 1st Vice President.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

aged farmers to install flashing lights on all equipment that will be traveling highways during harvest season. Blackwood and Johnson said the flashing light kits are readily available at most automotive or big-box stores. “These lights are cheap and they’re easy to install,” Johnson said. “We don’t care what color the lights are – red, yellow, orange or white – it will keep the driver of your [farm] vehicle protected. We love our farmers and

we’re out there to make sure you’re safe.” Johnson also cautioned peanut growers not to overload peanut wagons and trucks headed to buying points and shellers. “When you load up an eighty thousand pound truck with one hundred thousand pounds of peanuts it’s a problem when you take a curve,” Johnson said. “We realize there are exemptions [for ag trucks] but don’t overload them beyond what’s safe. Also make sure your drivers are capable of driving heavy loads and have the proper licenses they need.” Blackwood stressed the importance for all drivers to put cell phones away while driving. “The number one cause of distraction is cell phones,” Blackwood said. “We need to put those cell phones down especially in rural areas where there are cotton and peanut pickers on the road. Put down those cell phones and put your mind on the road.” Farmers should adhere a reflective sign with the slow-moving vehicle triangle to all equipment or trailers driven on a public road, Blackwood said. “We want to see 2015 improve our yield behind the wheel and are doing this by drawing attention to precautions members of the ag community and the general public can take to safely share the road,” Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black said. So far in 2015, there have been 269 collisions and four deaths in accidents involving farm vehicles, according to the GOHS. Jay Stone contributed information to this article.

During a press conference at Sunbelt Expo Oct. 21, Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, left, and Georgia State Patrol Captain Buddy Johnson encouraged farmers to install flashing lights on all equipment traveling highways.

State officials offer tips to prevent road accidents involving farm equipment By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________


n 2014 there were 510 collisions in Georgia involving farm and construction equipment that resulted in 169 injuries and 22 fatalities, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). During a press conference at Sunbelt Expo Oct. 21, GOHS Director Harris Blackwood and Captain Buddy Johnson, commander of the Georgia State Patrol Troop G in Southwest Georgia, encourCONVENTION from page 6 Secretaries’ Lunch is at noon. The Outstanding Office Manager Award will be presented at this event. Finalists for the award are Carla Palmer of Coffee County, Jean Dykes of Henry County and Denise Temple of Jackson County. Commodity Conferences will be held at 2 and 3:30 p.m. featuring 33 speakers who will deliver updates on Georgia’s major commodities.


The annual membership breakfast begins at 6:45 a.m. The GFB Business Session, which features the organization’s discussion and ac22 / November-December 2015

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Ga. FFA has good showing at national convention

Georgia Farm Bureau News

West Jackson Middle School FFA Advisor April Davis, center, and students Peyton Puckett, left, and Savannah Van Buren, right, accepted the National Outstanding Middle School Chapter Award at the 88th National FFA Convention held Oct. 28-31 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Photo courtesy of Georgia FFA

Georgia FFA students claimed 15 national awards, Abbey Gretsch was elected as the National FFA Southern Region Vice President and the West Jackson Middle School FFA Chapter won the National Outstanding Middle School Chapter Award during the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo, held Oct. 28-31 in Louisville, Kentucky. The convention, which drew more than 65,000 FFA students from around the country, featured the retiring address of National FFA President Andy Paul of Oglethorpe County. Matt Dylan Thompson, a member of the Screven County FFA, was named the overall winner of the National FFA Talent Competition. Thompson sang a country song and played guitar. Gretsch, a native of Oglethorpe County and a Clarke County Farm Bureau member, is a member of the Athens Christian FFA chapter. Gretsch was selected from a field of 41 candidates after completing an extensive process that included a written test, writing exercise and six rounds of interviews. A sophomore at the University of Georgia majoring in agricultural communications, Gretsch will take a one year leave of absence from college to serve as a National FFA vice president as the officer team travels across the U.S. and abroad. She is the daughter of Fred and Anne Gretsch. The West Jackson Middle School (WJMS) was one of five national finalists for its award, including Pelham Middle and Madison County Middle of Georgia. Each finalist chapter had two students make a ten-minute presentation explaining their chapter’s activities in the Student, Chapter and Community Development portions of the FFA Program of Activities. WJMS FFA sells custom wreaths as a fundraiser and hosted a wreath-making class in which FFA members learned how to make wreaths, learned how to critique work and give constructive criticism. The chapter also teaches community members how to make the wreaths. April Davis is the WJMS ag education teacher and FFA Advisor. Six Georgia FFA students won National Agricultural Proficiency Awards. They are: John David Sheppard of Screven County FFA (Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication); Erik Lovvorn of the Bowdon FFA (Agricultural Mechanics Energy Systems); Lori Edwards of Sonoraville FFA (Agriscience Research – Animal Systems); Chance Hingson of Lowndes County FFA (Agriscience Research – Plant Systems); Ian Bennett of Lowndes County FFA (Emerging Agricultural Technology) and Sara Spradlin of Madison County FFA (Environmental Science and Natural Resources Management). Eight projects conducted by Georgians won top prizes in the FFA Agriscience Fair. All eight were from Lowndes County FFA: Brinson Coggins and Jackson Sumner (Animal Systems, Division 4) Shaw Wacter (Environmental Sciences/Natural Resource Systems Division 1); Hunter Corbett (Environmental Sciences/ Natural Resource Systems, Division 2); Levi Herring and Con-

Photo courtesy of Georgia FFA

By Jay Stone ______________________________________________________

Retiring National FFA Southern Region Vice President Steven McBride of Tennessee introduces Abbey Gretsch as the new regional vice president.

way McNeil (Environmental Sciences/Natural Resource Systems, Division 3); Charity Brown and Avery Fletcher (Environmental Sciences/Natural Resource Systems, Division 4); Chance Hingson (Food Products & Processing – Division 2); Ian Bennett and Trevor Ross (Power, Structural and Technical Systems, Division 4) and Chandler Kudyk (Social Systems, Division 2). A total of 77 students from Georgia were awarded American FFA Degrees. Georgia was represented in Louisville by 25 official voting delegates and more than 1,500 local FFA members, advisors and alumni. November-December 2015 / 23

AROUND GEORGIA Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker

News from County Farm Bureaus

BULLOCH COUNTY Bulloch County Farm Bureau (BCFB) held a Farm Day in July for the Bulloch County Boys & Girls Club. More than 50 members of the club visited Nellwood Farms, run by Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Chairman David Cromley’s family, where they learned about cotton & peanuts, beef cattle, poultry, honeybees and made a farm-themed craft. The students also enjoyed a hayride through a cattle pasture to see beef cows close-up. BCFB Women’s Committee member Jane Cason reads the book “The Beeman,” which teaches children how beekeepers dress to protect themselves from getting stung, how beekeepers care for beehives and how honey is harvested. Cason and BCFB Young Farmer member Jamie Cromley talked to the students about beekeeping and the equipment beekeepers use to care for their hives.

CHARLTON COUNTY Charlton County Farm Bureau donated copies of the Georgia Farm Bureau Ag Commodity Map and My Plate is Georgia Grown placemats to its local middle school for eighth-grade Georgia Studies students to use as they learned about Georgia geography. The students used the maps to learn about the top 20 commodities Georgia farmers grow and where in Georgia the commodities are grown. Students were asked to locate the regions in Georgia that are the most agriculturally based and discuss how the soil and climate of each region makes it suitable for producing the ag commodities grown there. CHEROKEE COUNTY Cherokee County Farm Bureau (CCFB) held its 3rd Annual Pie Challenge Aug. 15 at the Woodstock Farmers Market. Winning pie bakers from six area farmers markets met for the final showdown in youth, adult and professional categories after competing in contests at their local markets earlier this summer. Winners of the CCFB Pie Challenge were: center, front row 24 / November-December 2015

from left, Youth Winner Landon Doughtery and Youth 2nd Place Catherine Beck. Back row, from left, Roxanne Janes 3rd place Professional Division, Penny Daughtery 1st place Professional; Tina Rhoades 2nd place Adult Division; Carol Maddox 1st Place Adult and 2nd Place Professional; and 1st Place People’s Choice Remzije Cerkini. Contest winners received baking utensils. More than 63 pies were entered in all rounds of the contest and 11 contestants competed in the final round. Chefs Tony Pisconeri of Pisconeri Studios in Jasper, Daniel Porubianski of Century House Tavern in Woodstock and Brian Jones of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta judged the pies on appearance, taste, texture and originality. Pies had to include one locally grown ingredient.

CLARKE COUNTY Clarke County Farm Bureau intern Kandice Hooper has been visiting five first-grade classes at a local elementary school to teach the students about agriculture. Hooper is shown teaching a lesson titled “Farms Around the World,” designed to complement the geography unit the students were studying about continents and oceans. Hooper, a former Georgia FFA vice president, is a freshman at UGA studying early childhood education.

DAWSON & FORSYTH COUNTIES The Dawson and Forsyth County Farm Bureaus co-sponsored a 5K run Oct. 17 to benefit the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation Georgia Farm Bureau News

ELBERT COUNTY The Elbert County Women’s Committee manned an Ag in the Classroom information table at a back-to-school event for Elbert County Middle School teachers July 29. Pictured from left, committee members Sophie Walskey and her daughter, Samantha, Charlotte Ward and Stephanie Hewell visit with ECMS Principal John Jarvis along with ECFB Office Manager Haley Black. The committee members did AITC activity demonstrations for soybeans, cotton and soil to show the teachers the type of hands-on activities AITC offers and had a signup sheet for teachers to book a time for committee members to visit their class to lead one of the activities.

EVANS COUNTY Evans County Farm Bureau paid off its building and held a note-burning ceremony on Sept. 14. From left are: ECFB Agency Manager Sheri Duffield, ECFB Women’s Committee Chairwoman Angela Todd, GFB President Zippy Duvall, ECFB Women’s Committee Co-Chair Nancy Clark, ECFB Director Larry Garrison, former ECFB President Donny Jones, ECFB Office Manager Karon Anderson, ECFB Customer Service Representative Joanna Thompson and GFB 7th District Director Gary Bell.

FAYETTE & SPALDING COUNTIES Fayette and Spalding County Farm Bureau co-hosted a Farm Safety Camp at the UGA Griffin Campus in July. The camp drew children 8 to 13 years of age from the two counties for the day-long Georgia Farm Bureau News

event that taught attendees how to identify and deal with hazards around the home and farm to avoid accidents or injury.  Adam Andrews, a Spalding County farmer, is pictured teaching the tractor safety class. Other classes covered fire safety, general farm safety, insect bites and stinging pests, stranger danger, boating safety, ATV safety, small animal safety, electrical safety, first aid and hearing health.  All campers received gift bags with safety material to take home.

GRADY COUNTY Grady County Farm Bureau (GCFB) got a head start on celebrating Farm-City Week, which will be observed in Georgia Nov. 20-26, by sponsoring a speech contest for local high school students. GCFB President Sammy Perkins, left, and GCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Donna Powell, right, present Laura Cook, an FFA student at Cairo High School with a $75 prize for winning 1st place in the contest with her award-winning speech titled “Why are Farmers important?” and John Sodrel, an FFA student at Whigham School, with a $50 prize for winning 2nd place with his speech, “Organic Foods: The Fruit Market’s Goldmine.” GREENE COUNTY Greene County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee member Martha Copelan, center, recently visited the pre-k and kindergarten classes at Nathanael Greene Academy to read “Cinderella and the Glass Slipper” and “The Apple Orchard Riddle” to teach them how apples are grown. HALL COUNTY In August Hall County Farm Bureau (HCFB) Young Farmer Chairman Caroline Lewallen, left, and HCFB member Dixie Truelove spoke to about 75 women attending the monthly Women’s Source Lunch in Gainesville.  The topic of the meeting was “How’d  That (Continued on next page) November-December 2015 / 25

Photo by Erin Smith courtesy Gainesville Times

for Agriculture. Forty runners registered for the race and received race t-shirts. The event raised $1,027 for the foundation through sponsorships and registration fees. Awards were presented to male and female runners with the overall best time. In addition, the top three runners were recognized in each of the age groups starting with 10 years and under ranging to 75 years and older. Age groups were separated by every five years.

(Continued from previous page) get on my Plate?” Lewallen talked about GFB Certified Farm Market Jaemor Farms where she works as an agritourism &  marketing coordinator. Truelove spoke about the family dairy farm she runs with her brother, HCFB President Jerry Truelove.

LAURENS COUNTY The Laurens County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee recently visited a fourth-grade class at a local elementary school. Committee members taught the students about soybeans and honeybees. The students used beeswax pellets, vegetable oil (soy), and herbal mint oil to make their lip balm. During the lesson the students learned how beeswax is made and processed as well as where soybean oil comes from. At the end of the lesson, the students were given a soybean bookmark with lots of very interesting information about soybeans.

MONROE COUNTY Monroe County Farm Bureau partnered with the Monroe County Library to bring the Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom (GMDC) to Forsyth as part of the 2015 Summer Reading Program. About 100 parents and children attended an event held in June at the Monroe County Clubhouse to celebrate June being Dairy Month.  GMDC Coordinator Nicole Karstedt taught the kids how farmers care for their cows and gave a milking demonstration with a live cow in the milking parlor. Children’s librarian Celeste Edge read a story about farm animals, and the MCFB served ice cream and exhibited a booth highlighting the nutrional benefits of dairy products and facts about Georgia’s dairy industry. MUSCOGEE COUNTY Muscogee County Farm Bureau President Jim Wooldridge presented a $500 donation on behalf of MCFB to Muscogee County 4-H Director Ashleigh Day. The donation will be used to purchase supplies for the Muscogee County 4-H program and to introduce new programs. 26 / November-December 2015

PIERCE COUNTY Pierce County observed Fire Prevention Week in October by holding fire safety presentations for all of the kindergarten classes in the local elementary schools. Pierce County Farm Bureau (PCFB) participated in the county-wide effort by donating copies of the fire safety coloring books available from the GFB Field Services Department to almost 700 students. PCFB Agent Jay Walker, left, and PCFB Agency Manager, Stephen Tanner, right, are shown presenting coloring books to students at Blackshear Elementary. AirEvac, one of Georgia Farm Bureau’s member benefit partners, participated in the safety demonstrations. POLK COUNTY Polk County Farm Bureau displayed a booth at the county fair in Cedartown that ran from Sept. 22 through Sept. 26. PCFB used its booth to educate consumers about honey and beef production and making healthy eating choices using Georgia Farm Bureau’s My Plate is Georgia Grown program. PCFB Office Manager Sue Cuzzort, center, talks with fair attendees. RICHMOND COUNTY Richmond County Farm Bureau (RCFB) hosted a pizza party for FFA and 4-H leaders from Hephzibah High School and Cross Creek High School on Sept. 28. RCFB President Tommy Rider, standing, encouraged the students planning to pursue ag degrees to apply for the scholarships – valued up to $65,000, that the GFB Foundation for Agriculture will award in 2016. RCFB Vice President Arthur Rider and RCFB Sec-Treasurer Frank Davis, not pictured, talked about the importance of agriculture and ag careers. During the event, RCFB presented a $1,200 donation to both the Hephzibah High School and the Cross Creek High School FFA programs and a $1,200 donation to the local 4-H Club and to Georgia Farm Bureau News

TATTNALL COUNTY The Tattnall County Farm Bureau Junior board held its first quarterly meeting Sept. 21. TCFB is the first county Farm Bureau to form a junior board and is making organizational history with the board’s formation.     Pictured from left, TCFB Program & Education Chair Lanell Oliver, congratulates the new TCFB Junior Board members on their selection - Mary Grace Oliver, Shelby Pearce, Jacob Kingery, Katie Huffmaster, Matthew Oliver and Jacob Pearce. Junior Board members not pictured are: Trent Kennedy, Malon Stanfield, Tykey Mack, Ridge Bradley, Grace Hutcheson and Chloe Oliver. Members were selected based on their interest in agriculture and possible interest in pursuing a career in agriculture. TCFB worked with the Tattnall County High School ag program to select the board members. TCFB Junior Board members will receive service hours for helping TCFB with ag promotional events in the county, such as TCFB’s upcoming Farm Day Nov. 19. “Forming this board is a win for Tattnall County Farm Bureau as it helps us recruit young volunteers who have a passion for agriculture and it will provide them with service hours needed for school as they help us with local ag promotion events,” said TCFB President Lavanda Lynn.  “We understand that these junior board members are the future directors of this great organization!”

TROUP COUNTY Troup County Farm Bureau teamed up with the Roosevelt Soil and Water Conservation District to cosponsor the 10th Annual Youth Field Day at the Marvin H. Jones Nature Center for third and fourth-graders on Oct. 16. Three hundred students and 12 teachers rotated between six learning stations highlighting different aspects about the environment. At the Master Gardening station each student received a cup filled with soil, seeds, a rubber band and paper to cover the top of the cup once they planted their seeds.  The instructor taught the students how to properly plant seeds and transfer seedlings to the garden.    Other stations featured forestry, the Soil Conservation Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Natural Resourses and Mead Paper Company whose representatives showed students how paper is made from trees. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jay Stone

the Augusta Exchange Club for the livestock shows at the Georgia–Carolina Agriculture Fair.

Pictured from left, GFB 3rd District Field Representative Ricky Lane, GFB 3rd District Director and Paulding County Farm Bureau President Nora Goodman, Paulding County Extension Coordinator Mary Carroll Sheffield and PCFB Women’s Committee Chair Christy Loftin work the PCFB booth at the organization’s farmers market.

AFBF honors Paulding County for farmers market

By Jay Stone ___________________________________________________

Paulding County Farm Bureau (PCFB) is among 28 county Farm Bureaus nationwide recognized by the American Farm Bureau for innovative program ideas in this year’s County Activities of Excellence Awards (CAE) program. The winners will be highlighted during AFBF’s 97th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, Jan. 8-13, 2016, in Orlando, Florida. AFBF honored the PCFB’s Farmers Market, which moved to a lot at Paulding County High School this year and was administered through a cooperative effort between PCFB and the Paulding County FFA. The market kicked off this spring and allowed FFA students to sell produce they grew at the school. “Our county board felt like we needed to help the people who produce in this area, and the people in the area wanted home-grown products. So we sat down at a board meeting one night, and I suggested that we look into developing a farmers market, and the board went along with it. They thought it was an excellent idea,” PCFB President Nora Goodman said. The CAE program acknowledges and shares successful county Farm Bureau programs and activities. Counties compete for recognition in five different membership groups. Those groups are county Farm Bureaus with membership of less than 1,000 members, 1,001-3,000 members, 3,001-5,000 members, more than 5,001 members, and a new category this year for collaborative multi-county activities. This year’s CAE award winners come from 11 states: California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas. November-December 2015 / 27

2015 GFB district award winners recognized Each of Georgia Farm Bureau’s 10 districts held its annual meeting this fall during which the following 2015 district award winners were recognized. The state award recipients of the Women’s Leadership, Legislative Program, Promotion & Education and Outstanding Office manager will be chosen from the district winners and announced at the annual GFB Convention in December. The state young farmer awards were announced at the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference in July. The membership quota award was presented to 150 counties that achieved membership growth in 2015 (see story page 12). FIRST DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Chattooga County; Young Farmer Committee: Cherokee County; Legislative Program: Cherokee County; Promotion & Education: Walker County; Young Farmer Achievement: Ben & Vickie Cagle, Cherokee County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Ashley Rivers, Cherokee County; Office Manager: Kyla Compton, Walker County. SECOND DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Madison County; Young Farmer Committee: Madison County; Legislative Program: White County; Promotion & Education: Elbert County; Young Farmer Achievement: Thomas & Alicia Harrell, Madison County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Matthew & Kimberly London, White County; Office Manager: Denise Temple, Jackson County. THIRD DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Henry County; Young Farmer Committee: Newton County; Legislative Program: Newton County; Promotion & Education: Henry County; Young Farmer Achievement: Joshua & Ashley Spears, Newton County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Tom Liles, Paulding County; Office Manager: Jean Dykes, Henry County. FOURTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Taliaferro County; Young Farmer Committee: Greene County; Legislative Pro28 / November-December 2015

gram: Greene County; Promotion & Education: McDuffie County; Young Farmer Achievement: Caitlin Rodgers, McDuffie County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Marcus Eason, Oglethorpe County; Office Manager: Shirley Duvall, Greene County. FIFTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Pike County; Young Farmer Committee: Pike County; Legislative Program: Upson County; Promotion & Education: Monroe County; Young Farmer Achievement: Matthew & Melissa Bottoms, Pike County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Stephanie Butcher, Coweta County; Office Manager: Jennifer Bassett, Talbot County. SIXTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Bibb County; Young Farmer Committee: Washington County; Legislative Program: Washington County; Promotion & Education: Washington County; Young Farmer Achievement: Jonathan and Bridget Hitchcock, Washington County; Office Manager: Pat Steed, Bibb County. SEVENTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Wayne County; Young Farmer Committee: Bulloch County; Legislative Program: Toombs County; Promotion & Education: Toombs County; Young Farmer Achievement: Mitchell & Rebecca Pit-

tman, Toombs County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Kyle Shedd, Bulloch County; Office Manager: Whitney Hutcheson, Toombs County. EIGHTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Houston County; Young Farmer Committee: Houston County; Legislative Program: Turner County; Promotion & Education: Houston; Young Farmer Achievement: Tal & Amanda Talton, Houston County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Ginger Orton, Schley County; Office Manager: Lisa Dean, Houston County. NINTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Colquitt County; Young Farmer Committee: Colquitt County; Legislative Program: Decatur County; Promotion & Education: Worth County; Young Farmer Achievement: Elton Baldy, Colquitt County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Michael Chafin, Colquitt County; Office Manager: Ann Hardy, Early County. TENTH DISTRICT Women’s Leadership Committee: Bacon County; Young Farmer Committee: Cook County; Legislative Program: Bacon County; Promotion & Education: Cook County; Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture: Justin Shealey, Cook County; Office Manager: Carla Palmer, Coffee County.

Former GFB Women’s Committee member Lois West dies Lois West, who served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s committee from 1980 to 1985, died on Sept. 15 after an extended illness. She was 91. In addition to her service on the GFB Women’s Committee, she was very active in Gordon County Farm Bureau for many years. West is survived by her husband of 67 years, retired GFB 1st District Director Henry West, daughters Rita Crook, Neva Adams and her husband David,

Nelda Heramb and her husband David, and son Terry and his wife Joy, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Nelda is the Gordon County Farm Bureau office manager. “We were saddened to learn of Lois’ passing,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “She was truly a dedicated servant for Farm Bureau and for agriculture. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Henry and the rest of the West family.” Condolences may be sent to the West family at 148 West Lake Rd. SE, Rydal, GA 30171. Georgia Farm Bureau News

ag in the classroom update By Donna Rocker, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) facilitated an Ag in the Classroom Educator Workshop in Newton County held Sept 29 at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. GFB Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Donna Rocker told teachers attending the event how they can use AITC lessons to teach their students about agriculture while meeting mandated curriculum standards. Each teacher received more than $100 in resource materials to use in their classrooms. Nineteen teachers from seven schools in Newton County attended the workshop. During the classroom portion of the workshop the teachers learned how to use hands-on activities to teach students how food is grown. Teachers, pictured right, plant seeds in cotton balls placed in plastic gloves to make a “Garden in a Glove.” The cotton balls serve as a soil substitute and the glove as a greenhouse. The teachers also took a field trip to Burge Plantation where they toured an or-

Photo by Donna Rocker

GFB holds Ag Educator Workshop in Newton County

ganic garden and visited the farm of NCFB Director Grady Hodges where they learned about row crop and hay production.

200 varieties of fruit, nut and berry plants

Jones named FVSU president The Georgia Board of Regents named Dr. Paul Jones the 10th president of Fort Valley State University on Nov. 10. Jones was previously serving as interim president of Darton State College in Albany, a University System of Georgia state college. Prior to that he served as chief budget officer at Georgia College and State University (GCSU) in Milledgeville. He also served as GCSU interim president and as vice president and vice president for institutional research and enrollment management. “Paul’s success at Darton combined with his leadership capabilities have made it clear he is the ideal candidate to be appointed permanent president of Fort Valley State University,” Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, said. “Fort Valley State University and its long-term success is critically important to our university system. With his solid Georgia Farm Bureau News

background in finance and fiscal affairs, combined with his proven experience as president within our system, Paul Jones will work to quickly build a close, team relationship with Fort Valley State University faculty and staff.” During Jones’ interim presidency at Darton State College, the campus expanded its online degree offerings by adding four new baccalaureate online degrees. He also established new articulation agreements with Albany State University. Jones holds a doctorate of philosophy degree in education and human resource studies from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Utah State University. He and his wife, Sylvia have two children, Isaiah and Daphne.

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Deadline for applications is Feb. 5, 2016

By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Foundation for Agriculture is offering up to $65,000 in scholarships to Georgia students pursuing a degree related to agriculture, forestry, veterinary medicine, family and consumer sciences or a related field. GFB is expanding its scholarship program after establishing the foundation earlier this year, GFB President Zippy Duvall recently announced. For more than 40 years the organization has annually awarded scholarships to high school seniors entering college with plans to pursue a degree in agriculture or family and consumer sciences. In 2016 the GFB foundation will award scholarships in the following four categories. Scholarship for Agriculture – This scholarship is for high school students who plan to enter a college that is part of the University System of Georgia or Berry College during the 2016-2017 academic year to pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agricultural field. The GFB Foundation will award five scholarships of $3,000 each and seven scholarships of $1,500 each. Technical College Scholarship for Agriculture – This scholarship is for high school students who plan to enroll in a Georgia accredited technical college who will be majoring in an area of agriculture or agriculturally related field of study. The GFB Foundation will award 10 scholarships of $1,000 each. Rising College Junior/Senior Scholarship for Agriculture – This scholarship is for college students who have at least two semesters of college work remaining to receive an undergraduate degree from a unit of The University System of Georgia or Berry College and are majoring in agriculture and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agriculture field. The GFB Foundation will award 10 scholarships of $2,000 each. 30 / November-December 2015

UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship – This scholarship is for students currently enrolled in the UGA Veterinary Medicine program specializing in large animal/food animal practice. The GFB Foundation will award two scholarships of $2,500 each. “Agriculture has a great need for welltrained individuals equipped with the skills that a higher level of formal education provides to meet agriculture’s growing technology and research needs,” said Duvall, who chairs the GFB Foundation for Agriculture’s Board of Directors. “Georgia Farm Bureau wants to financially assist students who are pursuing a career in agriculture and will be the future leaders of our industry.”


GFB Ag Foundation offering $65,000 in scholarships

The deadline to apply for all of the scholarships is Feb. 5, 2016. Applications and scholarship eligibility requirements may be obtained from county Farm Bureau offices across Georgia or downloaded at the GFB Foundation for Agriculture website at The scholarship recipients will be announced in spring 2016, and the scholarships will be distributed in the summer of 2016.

Feb. 1 deadline to apply for Monsanto scholarships Monsanto is offering $1,500 college scholarships to 352 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, 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 ag-related field listed on the Grow Ag Leaders website at www.GrowAgLeaders. com from a two or four-year school. Students have until Feb. 1, 2016, to complete the application available at www. Three farmers who live or farm in any of the eligible counties must endorse an applicant. Farmers and applicants do not have to live in the same county. 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 or call 1-877-267-3332 before Feb. 8, 2016. 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 and the farmer’s name, address and phone number. No other information about the student is required. Farmers are asked to endorse no more than three students. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Deadline for applications is Dec. 15

GFB Foundation for Ag to award $7,000 in grants to county Farm Bureaus

By Jay Stone ___________________________________ The Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is taking applications for its initial round of grants to Georgia county Farm Bureaus for programs that help advance agricultural literacy, consumer education or leadership development. “Expanding our agricultural literacy programs was a key reason we started the GFB Foundation for Agriculture,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “We’re very proud to offer this first round of grants to help our county Farm Bureaus have the resources they need to continue working to connect their communities with the farm.” Grants of up to $350 are available in two yearly cycles – a winter/spring cycle with an application deadline of Dec. 15 and a summer/fall cycle with an application deadline of June 30. A maximum of 20

grants will be awarded in each cycle. Each county Farm Bureau is eligible to apply once per calendar year. Funding is not available for mileage, field trips, landscaping projects, wages and benefits, safety supplies, office supplies or food. Visit to view possible projects grants may fund. For the winter/spring cycle, grant recipients will be notified by Jan. 15, 2016, and the funds will be issued by Jan. 31, 2016. Payments will only be made to a county Farm Bureau. Selected projects are required to submit a follow-up report, including at least two photos, within 30 days of the event supported by the grant. The grants will be offered on a competitive basis with priority given to those programs demonstrating a need for financial support.

Applications and grant guidelines can be accessed by county office staff on the GFB Sharepoint site. Completed applications should be mailed to Jed Evans, at P.O. Box 7068, Macon, GA 31209 or sent via email to The GFB Foundation for Agriculture is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation. Donations are tax-exempt. GFB is using the foundation to finance activities and educational materials designed to increase the agricultural literacy of Georgia residents. The foundation focuses on four pillars to promote the mission of enhancing agricultural literacy across Georgia. These pillars are: Ag in the Classroom, educational outreach, scholarships, and leadership development. For more information about the GFB Foundation for Agriculture or to make a donation, visit

Discover the backroads we travel. Photo courtesy of Barrow Co. Farm Bureau

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The GFB Foundation for Agriculture will award up to 20 grants of $350 each to county Farm Bureaus for programs that increase ag literacy in their communities. Georgia Farm Bureau News

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Georgia Farm Bureau News - November / December 2015