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Vol. 77 No. 5



The Voice of Georgia Farmers

September 2015

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contents september 2015


we, the farmers PAGE 4

legislative update PAGE 5

commodities update PAGE 12

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 questions regarding advertising, contact Lillian Davis at 478-474-0679, ext. 5126 or email 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:

GFB Commodity Committees start PD process; hear political & economic updates GFB members attending the organization’s annual commodity conference held at UGA’s Center for Continuing Education in Athens Aug. 13 began GFB’s policy development process and heard updates on UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption card, the state and national economy, and a review of the 2014 election and analysis of the upcoming 2016 election.

Photoby Jennifer Whittaker

table of


Ga. pecan industry leaders testify at USDA marketing order hearing

Pecan growers, shellers and industry leaders gave testimony in support of a proposed federal marketing order for their crop during a three-day hearing the USDA held July 27-29 in Tifton. PAGE 8

Southern Peanut Growers Conference offers industry updates

Peanut growers from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi attending the Southern Peanut Growers Conference July 23-25 at Callaway Gardens received information on peanut production, legislative issues, crop marketing and promotions. In addition, the conference offered many family activities. PAGE 10

GFB awards $14,250 in college scholarships

Ten students beginning college this fall to pursue ag degrees are recipients of Georgia Farm Bureau scholarships totaling $14,250. PAGE 13

Time for pickin’ & grinnin’ at the Georgia National Fair The Georgia National Fair in Perry which runs Oct. 8-18, is shaping up to be a boottapping good time with a strong stable of livestock shows, fantastic rides, delicious fair food and one of the strongest lineups of concerts in the fair’s history. PAGE 14

Villegas named Ga. Forestry Association President & CEO

The Georgia Forestry Association recently announced Andres Villegas will replace Steve McWilliams as the organization’s president and CEO. PAGE 16

Legislators meet with Farm Bureau members

U.S. and Georgia legislators met with county Farm Bureau members during a series of meetings held across Georgia in the past two months proving how important the relationships Farm Bureau members have with their officials are to agriculture. PAGES 18,19,21,22

on the cover

(Photo by Jennifer Whittaker) Georgia’s peanut harvest is just around the corner. According to the USDA August Crop Report, Georgia peanut growers planted about 800,000 acres and are expected to harvest a crop of 3.318 billion pounds, up 36.9 percent from the 2.423 billion pounds Georgia growers produced in 2014. This harvest scene was shot at the farm of Pulaski County Farm Bureau Director Rodney Dawson, who is the Georgia Peanut Commission Treasurer.

Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2015 / 3

we, the Photo by Jennifer Whittaker



The Voice of Georgia Farmers

Zippy Duvall, GFB President

Making the Best Better

Seems like yesterday we kicked off summer with Memorial Day and GFB’s summer membership campaign. I’d like to thank all of our county Farm Bureau staff and volunteers who worked hard this summer to recruit new members and retain existing ones. The campaign was still going as we went to press, but I am proud to announce we met our goals and have an increase in membership over last year. We succeeded because everyone pitched in.  Look for more details in the next GFB News. In addition to football and boiled peanuts, fall means it’s meeting time for Farm Bureau. We’ve got county and district annual meetings coming up, which Bonnie and I always enjoy attending. We love traveling across Georgia to visit our Farm Bureau family on their home turf and sharing a meal together. Since announcing my candidacy for American Farm Bureau president in July, we’ve had the opportunity to travel across our great country to meet with state Farm Bureaus in the Midwest and Southeast and have been well received. The diversity of Georgia agriculture has prepared me to represent the diversity of American agriculture. Georgia Farm Bureau has done a tremendous job of building coalitions within Georgia’s ag community and building bridges with our state and national leaders to benefit our farmers. I think we can take the game plan we use here in Georgia to the national level to benefit all of America’s farmers. Recruiting the next generation of farmers and helping them answer the call to farm is one of the greatest challenges agriculture faces today. Georgia is poised

to become the breadbasket of the Southeast, and I think we can implement much of what works for Georgia nationally. I’ve been telling the state Farm Bureau leaders I’ve met how my life experiences – 30 years managing my dairy, nine years as GFB president and many years of local public service – have prepared me to lead America’s largest farm organization – AFBF. I’ve pledged my commitment to face the challenges ahead and my willingness to embrace and manage change, as needed, to make sure Farm Bureau remains representative of America’s farmers and ranchers. My candidacy hasn’t slowed the work we’re doing at Georgia Farm Bureau. On August 13 we kicked off our pannual olicy development process at our commodity conference. Our 20 commodity advisory committees met to review policy pertaining to their commodities and make recommendations that will be reviewed by the GFB Policy Development (PD) Committee, which will meet Oct. 12 and Nov. 2 to prepare the policy GFB’s voting delegates will consider at our state convention. County Farm Bureaus have until Sept. 18 to submit policy recommendations to be considered by the GFB PD Committee. Be sure you submit yours to the GFB Legislative Department by the deadline. Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization that takes its marching orders from our members. For this process to work, it’s crucial that we hear from you! You can read complete coverage of the commodity conference on pages 6 and 7, but I want to mention two of our speakSee WE, THE FARMERS page 11

During the GFB Commodity Conference held in Athens Aug. 13, GFB President Zippy Duvall thanked Dr. Scott Angle for the outstanding job he did serving as dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences for the past 10 years. 4 / September 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. Treasurer/Corporate Secretary WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Asst. Corporate Secretary JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY

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

Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director

Atlanta & D.C. tackling tax issues Important tax issues will be up for consideration in Congress and in the Georgia General Assembly in coming months. In Washington, what Congress does with Internal Revenue Code Section 179 will determine how farms and small businesses can expense capital purchases. In Atlanta, a couple of tax bills from last year have generated interest that will affect farmers. Internal Revenue Code Section 179 allows small businesses to expense capital purchases in the year in which the purchases were made instead of depreciating them over several years. Expensing is the most accelerated form of depreciation, and it can be very beneficial to farmers. In 2008, the Section 179 expensing allowance was set at $250,000. In 2010, it was raised to $500,000. This means that a farmer could purchase $500,000 worth of farm equipment in 2013, and the entire $500,000 can be counted as an expense to offset taxable income. In 2014, the $500,000 Section 179 expensing allowance fell to $25,000. Congress scrambled to address the problem, and on Dec. 19, 2014, President Obama signed the law to extend the $500,000 level one more year. For 2015, the Section 179 expensing allowance once again goes back to $25,000 unless Congress raises it. This on and off tax law makes planning difficult for farmers and small businesses. Farm Bureau calls on Congress to make the $500,000 small business expensing allowance permanent and indexed to inflation. This action is good for farmers, businesses and the economy. Farmers and small businesses are more likely to make large equipment purchases if they can expense these costs in a single year. That means they will spend their money on equipment instead of taxes. Money spent on equipment generates additional jobs and business activity in manufacturing, sales, service and other areas. Money spent on taxes is just gone. On Feb. 13, the U.S. House of Repre-

sentatives passed H.R. 636, introduced by Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio). The bill would set the Section 179 allowance at $500,000 and index it to inflation. Georgia U.S. Reps. Buddy Carter (R-1), Sanford Bishop (D-2), Lynn Westmoreland (R-3), Tom Price (R-6), Rob Woodall (R-7), Austin Scott (R-8), Doug Collins (R-9), Jody Hice (R-10), Barry Loudermilk (R-11), Rick Allen (R-12) and Tom Graves (R-14) supported the legislation. A similar bill, S.1936, was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Orrin Hatch (RUtah). It passed the Senate Finance Committee on Aug. 5, and Sen. Johnny Isakson, a member of the committee, voted in favor. A weakness of S.1936 is that the bill only extends the Section 179 $500,000 allowance for two years. Farm Bureau prefers the permanent extension. On the state level, the Georgia General Assembly passed a sweeping transportation bill earlier this year. One of the provisions in the bill was the creation of a “Special Joint

Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure,” which will be made up of 14 legislators from the Georgia House and Senate. According to the legislation, this committee “shall cause to be introduced one or more bills or resolutions relating to tax reform.” In other words, a tax reform bill is likely on the agenda for next year’s legislative session. Ga. Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta) introduced H.B. 445 last February, another bill addressing tax issues. This bill would lower Georgia’s income tax rates and replace the revenue by eliminating dozens of tax credits and exemptions. The Ways & Means Committee held a hearing on H.B. 445 in Atlanta on Aug. 18, so there is some interest in the bill. At this point, nobody really knows how things will turn out, but it’s a pretty safe bet that taxes will be on the agenda. Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Dept. and GFB Asst. Corporate Secretary.

NASS adjusts how peanut hay is counted By Jay Stone ____________________________________________________________________

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has indicated it will change how peanut hay is counted as a factor in forage land values, which are used by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) as a factor in the Pasture, Range and Forestland (PRF) program. The PRF program provides assistance for livestock and hay producers during times of reduced rainfall. In June, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall wrote to NASS requesting that the agency change the way survey information is used on peanut hay. The classification of peanut hay as hay rather than a by-product of nut production has resulted in devaluation of forage land values in Georgia, which produces half the nation’s peanut crop. The county base value for hay in Georgia is $160.17 per acre. The same value is $372.03 per acre in Florida, $210 per acre in South Carolina and $208.20 per acre in Alabama. On Aug. 5, NASS Administrator Joe Reilly indicated in a letter to Duvall that NASS will exclude peanut residue from harvest for nuts from NASS estimates of hay acreage, production, stocks and price. Reilly noted that the agency will update the wording of its questionnaires, internal documentation and training materials to reflect this change. Perennial peanut hay, which Reilly indicated is a forage crop, will continue to be included in the hay estimates.

Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2015 / 5

GFB Commodity Committees start PD process; Article & Photos by Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________________________________________________ About 300 Georgia Farm Bureau members at- together,” Angle said. “We’ve been  blessed tended the annual GFB Commodity Conference with abundant resources and a long growing held at UGA’s Center for Continuing Education in season - and don’t ever underestimate the poAthens Aug. 13. litical support we have in Georgia - that make Members of GFB’s 20 commodity commit- this industry possible.” tees reviewed GFB policy concerning their com- Angle acknowledged the 28 percent budmodities to begin the 2015 policy development get cut Cooperative Extension has taken since process. 2008 but said with a turn around in the state “What you’ve come to do is important,” said economy, CAES is now hiring agents. GFB President Zippy Duvall. “It kicks off our policy “We’ve lost a lot of good county Extension development season. We want you to make sure agents, but now we’re hiring and we’re going what’s in our policy is on target because we want to need even more in the future,” Angle said. to make sure we have the right road map to repre- He asked the GFB members to be patient sent you. The recommendations coming from your with the new agents as they fill the shoes of vetcommittee are very important.” eran agents with 30 or more years on the job. Attendees also heard updates on UGA’s Col- “We will get these 25–to 26–year olds lege of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences up–to–speed and where they need to be but (CAES), UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, please be compassionate and give them a the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) break for the first year.” Card, a state and national economic outlook, and Angle also reflected on his 10-year stint as a review of the 2014 election results and analysis dean, which will end Sept. 18 and talked about of the upcoming 2016 election. The College of his decision to move to the International FertilVeterinary Medicine and five CAES departments izer Development Center in Muscle Shoals, Ala. presented displays to communicate their work to “It’s been an honor for me to work with improve Georgia agriculture. To see more photos so many of you and get to know you. Why from the conference visit go to another job? Ten years is a long time to CommodityConfpics. be a dean,” Angle said. “I wanted one more great adventure in my life. I’m 62 and I really Angle gives CAES update, wanted to do something different.” honored for service Angle encouraged the GFB members to CAES Dean Scott Angle said Georgia’s engage with members of the search commitagriculture industry is uniquely positioned to tee selected to choose his replacement (see provide food for a significant portion of the page 9) to ensure the next dean balances an world’s population. appreciation for traditional agriculture with “We’re becoming a organic and urban agriculture. breadbasket. The South “You’re the ones who have to hold the feet east is where it’s going to of the provost to the fire to select this person,” happen because we have Angle said. good soils and good Duvall thanked Angle for his 10 years of water. I see this transservice as CAES dean. In honor of Angle’s formation happening as tenure, GFB is making a donation to an AlAngle we speak,” Angle said. zheimer’s charity of Angle’s choosing. His “When we come out of this we will be seen as wife, Teresa, was diagnosed with early-onset the California of agriculture. Alzheimer’s seven years ago. Angle said Georgia will succeed as a leadAllen discusses Vet Med ing ag state because of the cooperative nature College’s efforts to place of Georgia’s ag community and its political students in food animal careers strength. “There is no other state that I know of Dr. Sheila Allen, dean of the UGA College where the Farm Bureau, the land-grant col- of Veterinary Medicine, gave an overview lege of agriculture, the commissioner of of changes made to the college’s admissions agriculture and other groups work so well policies and procedures in the past decade 6 / September 2015

intended to increase the number of graduates from the school who work with food animals. “We recognized that we needed to focus on some areas less represented in our profession. One was the need for vet services in rural areas. We  also need more vets in food animal research and public health vets who do food Allen inspections and look out for animal diseases,” Allen said. “We can see the effects of our admissions policy changes. Over time we’ve had more students interested in food animal careers. We went from having one student interested in food animals in the class of 2005 to having 14 students in the class of 2018.” Allen said the college is trying to increase the number of students becoming large animal veterinarians using several tactics, including the Food Animal Veterinary Incentive Program. This program identifies freshmen in the CAES with an interest in becoming large animal veterinarians. Students who meet the criteria of the program are guaranteed admission to the vet school. The first five students admitted into the program graduated from vet school in May. Two of the students are working in mixed animal practices in Georgia. A third is working in food animal production. The fourth is working with the USDA food inspection service, and the fifth is working as an equine vet in Texas. Visit to read more about this program. Allen said keeping tuition costs low is another way the vet school is trying to encourage its students to enter rural practices. “UGA is fourth from the bottom for instate tuition. The cost of education is something we’re very concerned about,” Allen said. In-state tuition and fees for the vet college is $18,354 annually versus $46,054 for out-ofstate residents. Allen said the college plans to lobby Congress to continue funding and expand funding for the federal Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, which forgives the student loans of vet students who practice large animal medicine in rural areas. She said the college Georgia Farm Bureau News

hear political & economic updates

Bullock provides political analysis

UGA Political Science Professor Dr. Charles Bullock gave an analysis of the 2014 election and discussed where the Republican and Democratic parties stand with voters, particularly in Georgia. Bullock said Democrats carried the millennial vote in Georgia while Republican core voters outvoted Democratic core voters. Although Cobb and Bullock Gwinnett counties have been big Republican counties since the 1980s, where Republican candidates could count on receiving two-thirds of the vote, Bullock said these counties could become Democratic counties in the next few years. “Republicans’ biggest challenge is to not become complacent. As long as they’re only attracting white voters they’re attracting a declining constituency,” Bullock said. Bullock said Georgia will get a lot of attention next year in the presidential election due to the state being a part of the so-called SEC Primary on March 1.

Dorfman gives economic update

UGA Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics Jeffrey Dorfman gave a review of the economy, noting that retail sales are now growing normally, incomes are growing, though slowly, consumer debt is expanding again and Congress is behaving better. The key thing, Dorfman said, is that conDorfman sumer confidence is finally recovering from the recession of 2007-08.

“We’ve finally got back to a healthy level,” Dorfman said. He also pointed out that even with the Conservation Use Value Assessment and other tax breaks farmers get, they’re still paying an equitable portion of local taxes.

Photo by Jay Stone

also plans to lobby the Georgia General Assembly to fund House Bill 60, which offers the same type of loan repayment in Georgia. Allen said each class of 114 students includes 80 Georgians. She said the college has contracts with several states, including South Carolina and Delaware, that don’t have vet schools to accept students from those states.

Black & Riley discuss GATE

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Revenue Commissioner Lynne Riley spoke at the event lunch regarding the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) program. Black discussed steps the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is taking to make sure the GATE program Black is being used properly by cardholders. Black said the GDA is selfauditing the program and has reached out to 10 percent of the 35,000 cardholders in the last six months to verify that cardholders qualify for the program and are using it properly. “We’re building a case file to show that the Georgia Department of Agriculture is being a responsible steward of the GATE card,” Black Riley said. “We’ve conducted 4,772 internal audits of GATE card holders, and we’ve rejected 57 of these card holders and have deleted another 272 cards because they were multiple cards. We’re also making sure every new applicant undergoes a thorough phone interview before they are given a card. If we take this approach of being a good steward we can preserve this card for the next generation of farmers.” Riley praised the state’s farmers for their efforts to use the GATE cards appropriately. “We have been looking since the concerns were expressed about the GATE program of whether there really is widespread abuse,” Riley said. “That hasn’t been what we’ve found. We’ve been targeting in on specific GATE card holders that have been brought to our attention that might not be fully complying with the laws and the uses of the GATE card, but we haven’t been finding a significant amount of abuse.”

Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, left, presents the 2015 GFB Commodity Award to Dr. John McKissick at the GFB Commodity Conference Aug. 13 in Athens. McKissick was recognized for his contributions to Georgia agriculture during his almost 40-year career as a UGA agricultural economist.

McKissick receives 2015 GFB Commodity Award

Dr. John McKissick, a professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES), received the 2015 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Commodity Award during the GFB Commodity Conference held Aug. 13 at the University of Georgia in Athens. The award, one of GFB’s highest honors, is given annually to honor an individual who has supported and promoted Georgia agriculture. “Dr. McKissick’s contributions to Georgia agriculture continue to have lasting effects. The economic reports Dr. McKissick wrote during his almost 40year career have provided valuable information to farmers and business leaders across Georgia that have helped them manage their risk in volatile markets,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “It’s a privilege to present him with the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award. We always give it to a member of the agriculture community who has made a lasting impact on Georgia agriculture.” McKissick, a resident of Athens, retired from UGA in 2010. He began his career at UGA in 1976 as a livestock and grain economist on the Tifton Campus. He later transferred to the Athens campus where he split his time between research See AWARD Page 9

Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2015 / 7

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

On July 28 Garrett Ganas, right, chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Pecan Advisory Committee, testified in favor of the proposed federal marketing order for pecans.

Ga. pecan industry leaders voice support for USDA marketing order at hearing By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________


eorgia pecan growers, shellers and industry leaders gave testimony in support of a proposed federal marketing order (FMO) for their crop during a three-day hearing the USDA held July 27-29 in Tifton. On July 28, Garrett Ganas, chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Pecan Advisory Committee, testified in favor of the marketing order. “As a small producer – I grow 150 acres and do some custom work for other growers – and as a young producer, I think this is the future of our industry,” Ganas said. “As a unified industry we can better gain funding for research and crop information. I have children and my orchard is something I’d like to pass on to them. I feel like through a national promotion program we will have better research, better promotion and better price support, and we have a better chance of competing on the national market against other tree nuts.” Leaders of the U.S. pecan industry formed the American Pecan Board (APB) several years ago and have been working to establish the FMO in hopes it will increase domestic demand for pecans as marketing orders for almonds and pistachios have 8 / September 2015

done. The marketing order would affect commercial growers who own a minimum of 30 acres or annually produce a minimum of 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans. If pecan producers in the 15 states where pecans are commercially grown pass the FMO during a referendum to be held next year, the final assessment rate would be determined after the first American Pecan Council is seated. Proposed rates for three categories of pecans are: 1-2 cents/inshell pound for native and seedling varieties; 1-2 cents/inshell pound for sub-standard pecans and 2-3 cents/inshell pound for improved varieties. Based on these proposed assessment rates, if a small grower produced the minimum amount of 50,000 pounds of improved pecan varieties, the first handler to receive his crop would pay $1,500 to the FMO. If the grower produced an additional 500 pounds of sub-standard pecans, his crop would be assessed an additional $5. “That’s a pretty good example of what you would pay on the small end of production,” Ganas told GFB media. “If we start paying this money, it’s going to pay for better crop data and better advertising, which should increase the price we receive per

pound of pecans. The benefits of the order would outweigh the costs.” Dr. Lenny Wells, a UGA Extension Horticulture/Pecan specialist, testified July 28 regarding the biology of pecans, production practices and cost of production, which served the purpose of verifying the need for the FMO and FMO provisions regarding production. Wells also testified as a small grower, saying, “One of the problems with pecans is you can go to parts of our country where people don’t know about pecans and their health benefits. I think by far the benefits of this marketing order far outweigh the costs. I don’t see why we would not have the same results as other commodities that have marketing orders.” Janice Dees, executive director of the Georgia Pecan Growers Association and chief operating officer of the U.S. Pecan Growers Council, spoke in favor of the proposed marketing order during her July 28 testimony. “The proposed federal marketing order for pecans in no way interferes or competes with the work and missions of the Georgia Pecan Growers Association and the U.S. Pecan Growers Council. I see the problems of pecan growers daily. Price volatility, inadequate supply, lack of reliable industry data and opportunities that cannot be seized because of inadequate industry funding,” Dees said. “The proposed federal marketing order for pecans is the right move for the industry. We cannot be a real player in the tree nut industry if we do not get this done, now.” Thomas Mason, chairman of the Georgia Pecan Commission, testified in support of the proposed marketing order on July 28 saying, “The proposed American Pecan Council would have some authorities that are similar or the same to those of the Georgia Commodity Commission for Pecans. I do not view this as a conflict for several reasons. I absolutely welcome the new revenue for promotion from the American Pecan Council. We really do not have enough from the Georgia Commodity Commission for Pecans to make a significant marketing impression on domestic consumers, but the money from the American Pecan Council might. When the American Pecan Council is in place, what I would like to see is the Georgia CommodSee PECAN INDUSTRY page 10 Georgia Farm Bureau News

campuses, staff, students and alumni, as well as government and agribusiness representatives, including Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. The committee includes members of the UGA Alumni Association, emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation, president emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation, members of the UGA Research Foundation and UGA Real Estate Foundation. Visit http://tinyurl. com/CAEScommittee to view a complete list of committee members. The committee will be assisted by the UGA Search Group in Human Resources. J. Scott Angle, who has served as dean of the college since 2005, announced July 17 that he will step down from his position Sept. 18 to lead the International Fertilizer Development Center, a global organization that works to alleviate hunger.

Stewart named Southwest District Extension Director

Stewart has served as county manager and administrator in multiple counties throughout Georgia, including Colquitt, Ware, Lowndes and Liberty. He also served as the assistant director for county services with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia for almost 12 years. Prior to joining UGA Extension, Stewart was serving as interim city manager in Grantville, Ga. Stewart was also instrumental in helping to establish local governments overseas in conflict environments, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Stewart earned a bachelor’s degree in community planning and development from Columbus State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Valdosta State University. His office will be in the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

AWARD from page 7 and Extension. In 1999, McKissick was named the Extension Coordinator for the CAES Agricultural Economics Department and in 2000 was named director of the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED), positions he held until his retirement. He is a part-time Extension Livestock Economist with the UGA CAES.  While leading the CAED, McKissick started many programs that still provide valuable economic information to Geor-

gia farmers and policy makers. These programs include the Georgia Ag Forecast meetings for which he continues to write market outlooks, the Georgia Farm Gate Value Report, the Ag Snapshots booklet, the Georgia County Guide and the Flavor of Georgia Contest. A native of Walton County, McKissick grew up on a dairy farm showing eight State Champion Jersey cows and becoming a two-time Master 4-Her.

Photo courtesy of UGA

Mike Stewart has been named the new district director for UGA Cooperative Extension Service for the Southwest District, which includes the following counties: Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Clinch, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Stewart Grady, Houston, Irwin, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Miller, Mitchell, Peach, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Taylor, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Webster, Wilcox and Worth.

Bailey takes reins as FVSU interim president Dr. Jessica Bailey has been named interim president of Fort Valley State University. Bailey previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fort Valley State. She assumed presidential responsibilities on May 16 and became interim president July 1 after Dr. Ivelaw Griffith stepped down June 30. Previously, Bailey held the position of Bailey dean for the School of Business and Economics at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. While there, she initiated an academic reorganization and secured a $1.25 million grant in support of the school. She also successfully chaired the school’s reaffirmation of Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. Prior to her service at WinstonSalem State University, Bailey served as dean of the Sydney Lewis School of Business at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va. Her primary responsibilities included administration of academic programs and school services, development and implementation of community outreach programs and supervision of faculty and staff. Bailey earned master’s degrees in vocational rehabilitation counseling from Coppin State University in Baltimore, Md., and in business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she also earned a doctorate in marketing. The Georgia Board of Regents will name a search committee to select the next FVSU president.

Photo courtesy of FVSU

University of Georgia Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten has appointed a committee to begin a national search to fill the position of dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). Dr. Josef M. Broder, who has Broder served as CAES associate dean for academic affairs for the past decade, has agreed to serve as interim dean beginning Sept. 19. Sheila Allen, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, will chair the 23-member search committee, which includes faculty from UGA’s Athens, Griffin and Tifton

Photo courtesy of UGA

UGA names CAES Dean search committee; Broder interim dean

Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2015 / 9

Southern Peanut Growers Conference offers industry updates, activities

By Andy Lucas, Mark Wildman & Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________ eanut growers from Georgia, Ala- County Peanut Producer Wes Shannon, bama, Florida, and Mississippi at- who serves on the Georgia Farm Bureau tending the Southern Peanut Grow- Peanut Committee. ers Conference held July 23-25 at Callaway GFB President Zippy Duvall welcomed Gardens received information on peanut the group to Georgia. production, legislative issues, marketing “I tell you one of the loves I have gained and promotions. In addition, the confer- since I ran for president nine years ago is ence offered many family activities. to ride in South Georgia in late September During the general session on July and the first of October and smell the pea24, growers had the chance to hear from nuts that have just been dug,” Duvall said. a panel of peanut researchers regarding “Can y’all relate to that? That is one of the genomics and the traits that will be avail- most wonderful smells that I have ever exable in future peanut varieties. The panel perienced.” included Dr. Scott Jackson with the Pea- Another highlight from the conference nut Genomics Initiative; Dr. Doug Brit- for producers was hearing from USDA ton, Georgia Tech; Dr. Corley Holbrook, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta USDA; Dr. Jason Ward, Mississippi State Harden, a native of Camilla, whose family University; Dr. Diane Rowland, Univer- grew peanuts. Harden said she always insity of Florida; Dr. Kris Balkcom, Auburn troducers herself around the world as the University; and Dr. Scott Monfort, Uni- daughter of a Georgia peanut grower. versity of Georgia. “This is a great industry with great “This morning we have been talking people,” Harden said. “There is something about genomics and how they are going to about peanuts, maybe it’s because they help our peanuts and how they are going are so good for you. Maybe it’s because to help us develop new cultivars in a faster you can’t just eat one. I don’t know, but way. That is important because it takes it brings people together with all kind of 12 to 15 years to develop a cultivar now snacks and what kid did not grow up eatand get it to where I can plant it in my ing peanut butter? Many kids would not field. If we can shorten that down to get- have had protein if not for peanut butter.” ting a new product out there for us, that Georgia Peanut Commission Chairwould make things much better,” said Tift man Armond Morris gave GFB media an PECAN INDUSTRY from page 8 ity for Pecans redirect its efforts and funds towards more Georgia-specific research.” Mason said he also supports the marketing order because it will fund the collection of data to provide accurate market information on the anticipated size of the pecan crop, which will help growers negotiate a fair price for their crop. Randy Hudson, of Ocilla, who serves on the APB as a grower representing the organization’s East Region, and Larry Willson, of Albany, who represents the APB’s Eastern Region as a grower/sheller, testified on July 27 regarding why the FMO was written with its proposed provisions. Other Georgia growers, shellers and industry leaders testifying during the 3-day hearing included: R.G. Lamar of Hawkins10 / September 2015

ville, Jeb Barrow of Matthews, Trent Mason of Kathleen; Brad Ellis of Cordele, J.B. Easterlin of Macon; Lamar Jenkins of Albany; Jeff Worn of Valdosta; Thomas Stevenson of Albany; Jaclyn Dixon Ford of Alapaha; and Jerry Dowdy of Wrens. Witnesses from other states included Tom Harmon of Gilbert, S.C.; Homer Henson of Louisville, Al.; and Fred Beshears of Monticello, Fla. Hearings were held July 20-22 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and July 27-29 in Dallas, Texas. Visit USDAPecanFMOhearings to read testimony submitted by witnesses each day of the hearing. Visit to see more photos from the Tifton hearing.

Photo By Andy Lucas


USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, who helps lead the department, working to strengthen the American agricultural economy and revitalize our nation’s rural communities, spoke on July 24 at the conference, sharing her experience of growing up on a family farm in Camilla, Ga., where her family grew peanuts along with other row crops.

update on GPC activities and the value of the Southern Peanut Growers Conference. “It is a good time for farmers to come and get away from the farm and understand a lot of new technology that is being developed whether it is a research area or whether it is in industry,” Morris said. “We have good researchers that are developing new seed. Also the seed that we have produces good yields, good quality peanuts resistant to diseases, and we have a lot of great things going on in peanuts.

GFB Foundation 5k Run

Oct. 17 • Rock Creek Park • 8 a.m. 445 Martin Rd. • Dawsonville Runners receive race t-shirts, awards to overall winners and age group winners in this event. Proceeds will benefit the GFB Foundation for Agriculture to fund GFB’s Ag In The Classroom program, consumer awareness projects and adult learning opportunities. Register by Oct. 11 to guarantee your t-shirt. Registration is $25 in advance, $30 the day of the race. On-site registration and packet pickup begins at 7 a.m. For online registration visit GA_Farm_Bureau_5K.html. Georgia Farm Bureau News

WE,Georgia THE FARMERS from pageaward 4 Georgia Farm Farm Bureau Bureau will will award aa ers - of Dr.$14,250 Scott Angle, dean of the to UGA total in scholarships total of $14,250 in scholarships to 10 10 College of Agricultural andplan Environmental high school seniors who to pursue high school seniors who plan to pursue Sciences, and Dr. Sheila Allen,agricultural dean of the an an undergraduate undergraduate degree degree in in agricultural UGAenvironmental College of Veterinary Medicine, and sciences, family and and environmental sciences, family and Scott has becomeora adear friendagriculduring consumer sciences related consumer sciences or a related agriculthe past nine years. He’s served the college tural field. tural field. agriculture well during his andThe Georgia top three students will each The He topheld three students will each tenure. the college and Extension receive a scholarship of $3,000. The receive a scholarship of $3,000. The together through some toughwill budget cuts, remaining seven students each reremaining seven students will each reand now Extension is hiring to fill lost ceive a $750 scholarship. ceive a $750 scholarship. positions. Students submitting an applicasubmitting an applica Students CAES student enrollment has increased tion must currently be a Georgia high tion must currently be a Georgia by almost 30 percent during hisenroll tenure,high and school senior and plan to in aa school senior and to plan to enroll in of the college continues be ranked as one unit of the University System of Georunit of the top University System of Georthe or nation’s agriculture colleges. gia Berry College during the 2014gia or Berry College during the 2014 While speaking at our conference, Dr. 2015 academic year. 2015 academic year. Angle encouraged our members to hold the search committee charged with hiring his successor accountable for selecting a new dean who appreciates conventional agriculture. As a member of the committee, I will do this, but it’s important that my fellow committee members hear this message from as many farmers as possible. I am sad to seeeanut Scott fans leavehave on Sept. 18, daily eanut fans have aawill daily but I pray he and chance his wife, Teresa, be to win a vacachance tothank win him a vacablessed in his new tion role and for and hundreds of tion and hundreds of all he’s doneother for Georgia’s farmers. prizes until 30. other prizesproducers until Nov. Nov.have 30. ManyVacation livestock destination choices Vacation destination choices expressedinclude concern in recent yearsColorado, about the California, include California, Colorado, lack of large animal veterinarians in GeorNew York or Florida. Visit New York or GFB Florida. Visit gia’s rural communities. has made increasingtothe number of large animal vets register for aa chance to register for chance to win. win. a prioritytoissue, and GFB has supported After registering, particiAfter registering, particistate and federal legislation that encourages pants play a game called “Crack pants play a game called vet students toPeanut” becomefor large animal“Crack vets in the a chance the Peanut” for a chance to to win win rural communities. instant prizes like peanut and instant prizes like peanut and Dr. butter Allen said heriPods college shares these peanut packs, and gift cards. peanut butter packs, iPods and gift cards. concerns and shared what the college has IfIf you crack three that youdoing crack three peanuts peanuts that match, match, been to increase the number of large then you’re an instant winner! then you’re an instant winner! animal vets it graduates. Dr. Allen said the “When it comes to an “When comes to getting getting through through an college has itgone from having one student early morning or long day, everyone wins early morning or long day, everyone wins interested in pursuing a career with food with peanuts. At seven grams per with peanuts. seven grams per servservanimals in the At class of 2005 to having 14 ing, peanuts have more energy-boosting ing, peanuts have more energy-boosting students in the class of 2018. protein than nut, ”” said Bob Parker, protein than any anylook nut,no said Bobthan Parker, We have to further the president and CEO of the National Peapresident and CEO of the National Peathreat of avian influenza coming to Georgia nut Board. “Through the to nut “Through theitEnergy Energy to Burn Burn and Board. the potential havoc could wreak on sweepstakes we’re able to celebrate the sweepstakes we’re able tothe celebrate the our poultry industry to see importance power of peanuts and help re-energize power of more peanuts helpveterinarians. re-energize of having foodand animal Americans with a fun vacation. Americans a fun vacation.””possible to We havewith to do everything The to isis prepare for an outbreak and follow the The “Energy “Energy to Burn” Burn” sweepstakes, sweepstakes, sponsored the Peanut Board biosecurityby protocols the poultry sponsored by the National National PeanutcompaBoard and co-presented by Hampton Farms, nies recommend protect our industry. and co-presentedtoby Hampton Farms, Planters Skippy. A list of and USDA-recommended biosecurity Planters and Skippy.

Contact Contact your your county county Farm Farm Bureau Bureau measures is on page 14. office for more information office for more information or or an an appliappli Followingapplication some of the recommended cation. cation. The The application deadline deadline is is FebFebmeasures 2014. may be inconvenient, but I apcan ruary ruary 21, 21, 2014. Applications Applications must must be be apassure you it signed will be more convenient than proved and by the Farm Bureau proved and signed by the Farm Bureau the hoopsofyou’ll have toinjump through if president the county which the appresident of the county in which thefarm apavian influenza is diagnosed on school. your plicant resides or attends high plicant resides orfarm. attends school. or You a neighbor’s So high please, please, may also download a copy of Youtomay also download ayour copy of adhere the recommendations intethe application by visiting http://www. the application by visiting http://www. grator gives you. Programs and then Ag, selecting, selecting Programs and then Ag the Thanks to Agriculture Commissioner in Classroom.    in the Classroom. Gary Black and his staff, Georgia is as preThe Georgia Farm Bureau Theas we Georgia Farm Bureau MuMupared can be if avian influenza does tual Insurance Company and the GFB tual Insurance Company and the GFB come to our state. Women’s Leadership Committee sponWomen’s Leadership Committee As I travel around the country,sponI am sor the scholarship program. sor the scholarship program. reminded of our 4-H motto “To Make Winners will announced in May willIbe be the Winners Best Better.” amannounced encouragedinbyMay the 2014. 2014. forward-thinking and dedicated people in

American agriculture. We, the American farmers and ranchers, are the best in the world at what we do, and we must continue to strive to be better. We have a moral responsibility to produce what is needed for God’s people. Tonight before we turn in, let us remember to ask God to continue to bless our fellow farmers and friends to help us work together to make life better for all. In Philippians 3:13, the Apostle Paul encourages us to focus on what is to come by God’s will by writing: “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”

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GFB to award college scholarships

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




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21 Georgia • ews Fall S 2013 21 Georgia FNeighbors arm Bureau N eptember 2015 / 11 Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2013

commodities/marketing update Joe McManus, Marketing Specialist

Oct. 30 deadline to enter GFB Hay Contest 1st place prize use of a Vermeer mower help reduce their damage. Although army worms haven’t been a problem in hay yet this year, their numbers are growing. Scouting hay fields pays dividends toward higher quality and greater quantities. The University of Georgia (UGA) has great information on its forage website Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members are encouraged to enter their Bermudagrass hay in the 2015 GFB Quality Hay Contest, which is designed to encourage the production of quality hay in Georgia. One way to appraise the management of your hay fields is to have your hay analyzed. The UGA Testing

Photo by Kenny Burgamy

Quality hay production in Georgia is always a challenge. Georgia’s hay season began this spring with abundant moisture, but as the weather grew hotter, the rains became fewer and lighter. Most producers have already cut their hay twice, but the third cutting is usually one of the higher quality crops. The heat and low soil moisture is taking a toll on hay quantity as well as quality. Insects are also becoming more costly to hay producers. Bermudagrass stem maggots are more prevalent across Georgia this year. Timely cutting and a spray program for those fields where they are found can

Effingham County Farm Bureau (ECFB) member Andrew Kessler, second from left, won the use of a Vermeer 604N baler, compliments of the Vermeer Manufacturing Company for winning the 2014 GFB Hay Contest with his sample of Tift 85 hay. Pictured from left, GFB Commodity Dept. Assistant Director Joe McManus congratulates Kessler during a presentation made at the Kessler Family Farm on July 16. Also participating in the presentation were Vermeer Sales Manager Bryan Setzer, center, ECFB Vice President Thomas Kessler, Andrew’s father, and Vermeer dealer Wayne Crockett of Burke Truck and Tractor in Waynesboro, who delivered the baler.

Lab evaluates hay entered in the contest using the Relative Forage Quality Test (RFQ). RFQ predicts the fiber digestibility and likely animal intake of the hay. By entering the GFB Hay Contest, you receive the RFQ values of your hay, and you will also be able to compare your hay to what other farmers are producing. Farmers who have their hay tested every year can see, through multiyear analysis, the improvements they make in managing their hay fields. Entry forms outlining the procedures for entering the contest and rules may be picked up at your county Farm Bureau office or downloaded from the GFB website html. There is a $15 fee for each entry to cover the cost of the lab test. Checks should be made out to Georgia Farm Bureau. Entry forms and samples should be sent to the GFB Commodities Department, 1620 Bass Road Macon, Ga., 31210. The deadline to enter is Oct. 30. The first-place prize is free use of a Vermeer TM1200 trailed mower for one year courtesy of Vermeer. Mower is pictured in ad on page 13. Producers may enter more than one sample in the contest. Producers who submit more than one sample may only place in the top five with their highest quality sample as determined by the RFQ test but will receive analysis for all samples submitted. Because a previous first-place winner has satisfied the intent and purpose of the See HAY CONTEST page 17

GFB Hay Contest Rules 1 Participants must be GFB members. 2 Only dry Bermudagrass hay samples may be entered. 3 Entry forms indicating all contest rules were followed must be completed & signed by contestant. 4 Hay samples must be taken from fields with a minimum maturity or re-growth of at least 25 days to ensure fair competition. 5 Hay samples must have been dried in the field. Samples must not have been artificially dried (e.g., in a barn, forced air, fans, etc.) 6 Fill a one-gallon Ziploc bag with naturally field-dried core samples taken from at least 5 different bales (rolls or squares) from the same farm, same field and cut under uniform conditions. 12 / September 2015

7 Forage samples submitted for the contest that will undergo lab analysis must be a core sample collected with a hay probe. Contact your county Extension agent for help if needed. 8 Fill a second one-gallon Ziploc bag with whole hay from the same cutting to be used as a display sample. 9 Hay samples with nitrate levels above 4,500 parts per million will be disqualified. 10 Hay samples with moisture content above 18 percent will be disqualified. 11 The GFB Hay Advisory Committee will settle any disagreements that arise. Georgia Farm Bureau News

GFB awards $14,250 in college scholarships By Jennifer Whittaker _______________________________________________________

Ten students entering college this fall to pursue ag degrees are recipients of Georgia Farm Bureau scholarships totaling $14,250. Kelly Childers of Wilcox County, Daniel McMillan of Berrien County and Caroline Waldrep of Monroe County were selected to receive the top three 2015 GFB Scholarships valued at $3,000 each. In addition to the top three awards, seven other students received scholarships of $750 each. These scholarship recipients are: Ian Bennett of Cook County; Mollie Cromley of Bulloch County; Elli Hayes of Whitfield County; Morgan Rushing and Sophie Usher of Effingham County; Sarah Spradlin of Madison County and Jarrett Williams of Appling County. “Our judges had a tough time selecting the top three scholarship recipients from the top ten finalists from the 143 outstanding applications we received,” said GFB Zippy Duvall. “These students are the future leaders of Georgia agriculture, and Georgia Farm Bureau is glad to help them prepare for this role by offering these scholarships.” The GFB scholarships recognize deserving and outstanding students pursuing undergraduate degrees in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related field. Only students who are enrolled in a unit of the University System of Georgia or Berry College are eligible. The 10 recipi-




ents plan to attend either Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Berry College in Rome, Valdosta State University or the University of Georgia in Athens this fall. Recipients’ anticipated majors include agribusiness, agricultural communications, agricultural education, agricultural engineering, avian biology, animal science/pre-veterinary medicine and biological science. The GFB Mutual Insurance Company and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee sponsor the scholarship program. Students interested in applying for the 2016 scholarships should contact their county Farm Bureau office after October for information.

GFB accepting hay directory listings

Farm Bureau members with hay for sale are invited to list their farm in the 2016 GFB Quality Hay Directory. The directory will be printed in late November. Hay producers should complete a form and send to the GFB office in Macon along with a check for $10 for each listing. Checks should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Those entering the hay contest may receive a free listing in the hay directory. The deadline for submitting entries for the hay directory is Oct. 30. Because this directory is used for the entire year, producers should include normal and projected production of round and square bales they anticipate selling. Directories are sent to all county Farm Bureau offices, county Extension offices, the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, cattle producers, dairy producers, horse owners, directory participants, and displayed at Sunbelt Expo and the GFB convention. The directory is also listed on the GFB website, www.gfb. org/commodities/hay.html. Visit this web page to download the directory form. 10736_Vermeer_TM1200_Square4.7x4.7_Aug2015.indd 1

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Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2015 / 13

USDA offers biosecurity tips to protect poultry farms from bird flu By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ Georgia’s poultry sector has a $38 billion impact on the state economy from farms, processing and allied industries according to the Georgia Poultry Federation, and the jobs of about 138,000 Georgians depend on poultry directly or indirectly. More than two-thirds of Georgia’s 159 counties have poultry production, and on an average day, Georgia poultry farmers produce 29.3 million pounds of chicken, 6.9 million table eggs and 5.5 million hatching eggs. In our August issue we ran an in-depth article detailing how Georgia plans to re-

spond if highly pathogenic avian influenza is diagnosed in Georgia. Visit fluplans to read the article. Veterinary experts agree that on-farm biosecurity is crucial to preventing the spread of HPAI if it arrives in Georgia, as expected this fall. Below are tips the USDA recommends poultry producers follow. • Allow only essential personnel access to your farm & birds. Disinfect any vehicles that enter your farm. • Don’t lend or borrow equipment from other farms. Bring only cleaned & disinfected items into your bird area.

Signs of HPAI:

Source: USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service

Poultry infected with HPAI may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms: • Sudden increase in bird deaths in flock • Sneezing, gasping for air, coughing & nasal discharge • Diarrhea • Lack of energy & appetite • Drop in egg production or soft- or thin-shelled, misshapen eggs • Swelling around the eyes, neck & head • Purple discoloration of the wattle, comb & legs • Ruffled feathers, listlessness, lethargy

• Avoid contact with other poultry. If that’s not possible, change clothes and shoes before working with your birds. • Wash your hands thoroughly before entering your bird area. • Use footbaths when entering/leaving your chicken houses (change disinfectant frequently)—or wear disposable boot covers. • Keep poultry separate from wild birds. Don’t let them share water sources or have access to common areas frequented by wild birds. • Eliminate standing water on your farm and clean up feed spills to avoid attracting wild birds. Source: USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service

Time for pickin’ & grinnin’ at the Georgia National Fair The Georgia National Fair in Perry is a proven annual hit. Last year the 25th annual fair drew its second-largest overall attendance (456,023) and set single-day records on three days. The 2015 fair, which runs Oct. 8-18, is shaping up to be a boot-tapping good time of an encore, with its strong stable of livestock shows, a fantastic selection of rides, ever-popular fair food and one of the strongest lineups of concerts in the fair’s history. The fair provides a showcase of Georgia agriculture, promoting the agricultural achievements of Georgia’s young people and providing a center for diverse activities to benefit the state’s economy. A variety of livestock shows runs Oct. 14-18 at the fair. The shows include competitions with horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, llamas, rabbits and cavys, a species of large rodents native to South America. The Georgia Grown Building near the 14 / September 2015

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

Mutton bustin’ is an attendee favorite at the Georgia National Fair, which runs from Oct. 8 – 18 in Perry.

clock tower will feature a wide variety of exhibits showcasing Georgia’s largest industry, agriculture. The Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program will feature an expanded version of its photo display, The Faces and Seasons of Georgia Agriculture, which made its debut last year. Georgia Grown will also have a video and theatre area inside the building. The always popular cooking demonstrations will

feature recipes by Senior Georgia Grown Executive Chef Holly Chute and others. A variety of ag organizations, including Georgia Farm Bureau, will have exhibits highlighting their contributions to Georgia agriculture. The Reaves Arena will feature country megaband Alabama on Oct. 10 and Rascal Flatts on Oct. 17. Tickets for both shows are $50. Fair patrons can choose from more than a dozen musical entertainment options available. A wide variety of entertainment will be available in addition to the music, including Royall Hanneford Circus, martial arts show Team Rock, the Tree of Life, nightly fireworks and much more. There’s also the midway, with dozens of rides for loads of family fun. Fair and ride tickets will be available beginning Sept. 8 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter box office, participating Kroger stores, online at and other locations. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo courtesy of Sunbelt Expo

Sunbelt gives visitors a chance to hit the track By Jay Stone ___________________________________

The 2015 Sunbelt Expo, Oct. 20-22 at Spence Field in Moultrie, features test tracks for all three major U.S. truck manufacturers. Chevy/GMC has had test tracks at Sunbelt in the past, and they’re joined by Ford and Ram Commercial in 2015. The challenges don’t stop there. There’s a new Compact Tractor Driving Range in the field demonstration area that will allow visitors over the ages of 21 to test drive tractors with 30-40 horsepower. “This will be the first time we’ve offered a driving range for this size tractor and as more people become interested in smaller acreage agriculture we thought this would be a great opportunity,” said Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock. “Our equipment exhibitors have been

Sunbelt Expo attendees will have the chance to test drive compact tractors at Expo’s Compact Tractor Driving Range. The three-day event will also showcase the latest farm equipment and technology.

very positive about participating and we expect most all the majors to be a part of this.” A new seminar series in the Sustainable Living Center includes presentations by Cory Mosser of Natural Born Tillers, author Forest Pritchard, who wrote Gaining Ground, Greg Key of Hoss Tools and Fred Rossman discussing bees. Clinicians Brian Sumrall and Carson James will lead demonstrations in the Sunbelt horse area. Sunbelt features more than 1,200 ex-

hibitors and field demonstrations on the 600-acre Darrell Williams Research Farm. The event annually draws nearly 100,000 visitors from across the U.S. and around the world. Trams will take attendees out to the research farm to see new machinery harvesting a variety of field crops. Catoosa County farmer James Lyles is the Georgia Farmer of the Year. He’ll be one of 10 state farmers honored durSee EXPO page 23


If you can’t be there, we can. She’s been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl. But if you can’t be there to see it, you can at least make sure that you’ve planned for her happiness. Farm Bureau Insurance* has a wide range of life insurance policies that can meet your family’s needs. Hopefully you will be there for all of her life’s greatest moments. But if you can’t, Farm Bureau Insurance* will be there to help see her through.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2015 / 15

Georgia Forestry Association names Villegas President & CEO

Andres Villegas was named the incoming president and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) during the organization’s annual Conference and Forestry Expo on Jekyll Island Aug. 1. GFA Executive Committee ChairVillegas man Joe Parsons of Graphic Packaging International made the announcement. Villegas will assume his new position Oct. 16. The news was the culmination of a

national search process that followed the announcement that Steve McWilliams, who served as president of the association for 12 years, is retiring. Since early April, a 13-member search committee, co-chaired by former GFA Executive Committee member Tom Norris of Interstate Paper Company and Past Chairman John Godbee, Jr. of F&W Forestry Services, worked to identify the GFA’s next leader. In addition to overall management responsibilities, the president serves as the association’s chief lobbyist, providing daily representation for the forestry community while the Georgia General Assembly is in session.

Villegas brings to the association more than 16 years of domestic and international experience in a variety of positions with Weyerhaeuser, Langdale Industries and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Villegas is currently serving as plant manager for a Weyerhaeuser Engineered Lumber Product (ELP) mill in Corvallis, Oregon. Villegas received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from The University of Georgia and an Executive Certificate of Management and Leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management. He and his wife, Lee, have one son.

USDA deregulates Dow’s herbicide resistant cotton

On July 22 the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its decision to deregulate herbicide-resistant cotton developed by Dow AgroSciences. Dow’s Enlist cotton trait makes the cotton resistant to a blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate and to glufosinate. The 2,4-D/ glyphosate blend is used in Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide, which the company developed to provide row-crop farmers with weed control options. The USDA completed its regulatory review process for Enlist traits on corn and soybeans in September 2014. Enlist Duo is in the process of being reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “I think folks are kind of being cautious about it,” said Georgia Farm Bureau Cotton Committee Chairman Eddie Green. “If the technology is used in a judicious way, it gives growers another option for weed control.” The caution is based in part on the potential for chemical drift in diversified operations or cotton farms located next to farms producing other crops. “Dicamba or 2,4-D based systems, once registered,  can be used to improve weed control, and our data even suggests  input costs as well as hand weeding can be reduced,” said UGA Extension Weed Scientist Stanley Culpepper.   “The challenge and concern is our ability to collectively manage off-target movement of 2,4-D and 16 / September 2015

dicamba in such a diverse state.” The Enlist Duo herbicide product is awaiting registration by the EPA. According to a Dow press release, once registered by the EPA for use on Enlist cotton, growers will be able to apply Enlist Duo herbicide on cotton with the enlist trait from burndown until mid-bloom. Dow rival Monsanto received deregulation notification in January for herbicide-resistance traits in its cotton and soybean seeds as part of its dicamba weedcontrol system.

USDA names three Georgians to Ag Advisory Committees Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman recently announced the appointment of one Georgian to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and two others to Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade (ATACs). Brenda Morris, a peanut farmer from Ocilla, was reappointed to serve on the APAC until June 15, 2019. Morris has been farming with her husband, Armond, in Irwin County for 52 years. The farm totals 2,500 acres of peanuts, cotton, corn and small grains.  Georgia Peanut Commission Executive Director Don Koehler was appointed to the ATAC for Trade in Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts. Koehler’s reappointment to the

ATAC is effective through June 15, 2019. The Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts ATAC provides technical advice on U.S. agricultural trade issues to the Secretary of Agriculture and the United States Trade Representative.  Irwin County pecan grower Dr. Randy Hudson was appointed to the ATAC for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables. Hudson, of Ocilla, is president of the U.S. Pecan Growers Council and CEO of Hudson Pecan Company and Hudson Pecan Farms. Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The USDAand the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Nov. 30 deadline to enter Monsanto charity program

34 Ga. counties qualify for $85,000 in donations 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 in 2014. The program is open to farmers, age 21 and older in eligible counties, actively farming a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans and/or cotton or 40 acres of open field vegetables or at least 10 acres of tomatoes, peppers and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture. Community non-profits that wish to encourage farmers to support their cause

may do so at the aforementioned website. Charities must be recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3) or as a unit of government under Section 170 (c) (1). One winner will be drawn from each eligible county provided at least one entry is received from the county. Monsanto will announce winning farmers and their recipient charities in January 2016. Visit or call 1-877-267-3332 to apply.

Nine Ga. students get Monsanto scholarships

HAY CONTEST from page 12 contest, the contestant is not eligible to win any prize category for the three years after winning the contest. Previous first place winners may, however, enter their samples for the purpose of having it officially graded. Joe McManus is assistant director of the GFB Commodities Marketing Department. Contact him at 1-800-342-1196 for more information on the hay contest or directory.

Farmers in 34 Georgia counties have until Nov. 30 to register to win $2,500 for a charity of their choice in the 6th Annual America’s Farmers Grow Communities program sponsored by Monsanto. Suggested charities include local 4-H or FFA programs, fire departments, hospitals, libraries or schools. No purchase is necessary to win. Eligible counties are: 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,

Nine Georgia students were awarded a total of $13,500 in college scholarships this spring from America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The new program encourages rural youth to remain in agriculture and provides $1,500 scholarships to support their education. Farmers play a vital role by promoting the opportunity to local students and endorsing their applications. By participating in the program, farmers are helping to develop new talent for the future of ag. The career paths most frequently cited by this year’s scholarship recipients are agronomy and farming, agricultural education and agricultural science and research. While many of the students come from farming families, some had little or no previous exposure to agriculture, but developed a strong interest in the industry through participation in FFA or other ag-related youth programs.  The Georgia recipients are: Jenny Bullard of Cook County; Kelly Childers, Crisp County; Kyla Enfinger, Seminole County; Daniel McMillan, Berrien County; Megan Oliver, Tattnall County; Bryan Tucker, Irwin County; Jeffrey Warren, Early County, Jarrett Williams, Appling County and James Woods, Screven County. Grow Ag Leaders scholarships, administered by the National FFA Organization, are available to high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in ag-related fields. Applicants

do not have to be FFA members but are required to receive endorsements from at least three local farmers. With support from the Monsanto Fund, more than $500,000 in scholarships has been awarded to students nationwide this year. For more information, visit www.

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3 Rep. David Scott met with Henry & Clayton County Farm Bureaus. Rep. David Scott (D-Dist. 13), who serves on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, spoke at the farmer appreciation dinner the Farm Bureaus held Aug. 18. Scott said because the average age of U.S. farmers is 60 years, it is important that the U.S. recruit young farmers, or we will lose the expertise needed to feed our country in the future. About 270 farmers turned out for the barbecue dinner held at the Locust Grove Event Center in Henry County. Pictured from left, HCFB Young Farmer Chairman & GFB 3rd Dist. YF Chairman Tom Strickland and HCFB President Ross McQueen talk to Rep. Scott and Scott’s Senior Policy Advisor Arthur Tripp. 4 Rep. Sanford Bishop attends Peach/Taylor Legislative Breakfast. Bishop, standing far right, and Ga. Rep. Patty Bentley (D-Dist. 139), third from right, met with Peach, Taylor and Crawford County farmers Aug. 25 during a breakfast cohosted by the Peach and Taylor Farm Bureaus at the PCFB office. Bishop, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, discussed how the Budget Control Act and sequestration is jeopardizing U.S. military, agriculture and infrastructure programs. Bentley (D-Dist. 139) summarized legislation the Ga. General Assembly passed this year that affects farmers. 5 Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Dist. 3) met with Harris (HCFB) and Troup County Farm Bureau (TCFB) directors on Aug. 28 at the TCFB office. Westmoreland and the directors discussed EPA’s new water rule and transportation, which was of particular concern because of the West Georgia counties’ distance from the Port of Savannah. From left are HCFB President Gilbert Andrews, TCFB Young Farmer Chairman Joseph Keith, TCFB Director Joel Keith, GFB 5th Dist. Field Representative Cliff Bowden, Westmoreland, TCFB President Harrell Landreth, HCFB Director James Rodgers, HCFB Director David Chambers, TCFB Director Gary Jones, Westmoreland Field Representative Theresa Garcia-Robertson, HCFB Director Freddie Cone and TCFB Office Manager Tina Yearta. 18 / September 2015

Photo by Jay Stone Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

2 Rep. Jody Hice (R-Dist. 10) met with Hancock County Farm Bureau (HCFB) members Aug. 6 at the farm of HCFB President Jimmy Kennedy and HCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Nancy Kennedy. Hice and a group of about 20 farmers and agribusiness representatives discussed the Waters of the U.S. Rule, the need for tax reform and food label legislation for products containing genetically modified organisms. Pictured from left, Hice visits with HCFB Director Steve Hill and HCFB member Fred Webster. Hice also attended the Greene County Farm Bureau legislative supper Aug. 24.

Photo by Jean Dykes

1 Rep. Rick Allen visits Bulloch County. Allen (R-Dist. 12), right, made a stop at the Bulloch County farm of the Brannen family on Aug. 3, visiting with the Brannens and Bulloch County Farm Bureau leaders. GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman David Cromley, left, and Ryne Brannen talk water usage with Allen at the edge of one of the Brannen’s fields.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________________________________________ Summer breaks aren’t just for beach trips. In July and August, members of Georgia’s U.S. Congressional delegation visited with Farm Bureau members in their districts.

Photo by Jay Stone

Legislators meet with GFB members





5 Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Pictured from left, Dr. Craig Kvien gives Sen. Perdue, GFB President Zippy Duvall & Ga. Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black an overview of the UGA Future Farmstead home designed to be zero-net energy through the use of solar film on the roof, a geo-thermal HVAC system and insulation made of recycled blue jeans.

Sen. Perdue meets with farmers, tours ABAC/UGA Tifton Campus By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________ U.S. Sen. David Perdue met with farmers in Tifton July 25 during a breakfast held at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Tift Hall. Perdue told the group he fought to be seated on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee to represent Georgia’s largest industry – agriculture. “I know the first thing I have to do is be here and listen. I take my seat on the agriculture committee very seriously,” Perdue said. “I’m so proud to be from a state where agriculture is the largest industry and contributes more than 50 percent to the state economy.” Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall introduced Perdue. “As a state Farm Bureau president I travel the country, and I hear other state Farm Bureaus complain about their legislators and elected officials not appreciating the importance of agriculture. Georgia is different. We are blessed to still have people who are public servants who realize agriculture is still the largest industry, and we are blessed to have state officials who support agriculture,” Duvall said. “Georgia Farm Bureau promotes Georgia agriculture, and we invite anybody to be part of our mission and I’m proud to be part of it. Senator Perdue has shown his interest in agriculture, and he brings along his business experience and realizes no one can be

successful with undue regulations.” Perdue told breakfast attendees government works at the state level because state governments are run by citizen legislators who have real jobs, and they stay in their local communities. “The number one thing I’m trying to fight is to become Washingtonized. In the Senate we have 36 senators who have been in office for more than 20 years. Our founding fathers never intended this.” Perdue said. Perdue criticized President Obama for circumventing Congress and implementing regulations through federal agencies. “This president has figured out how to run this country without Congress through federal agencies implementing regulations. He’s made federal agencies the fourth branch of government,” Perdue said. “I’m optimistic we’re getting some common sense back in Washington. Even some of the Democrats are starting to listen and get it.” Perdue expressed concern over the nuclear deal recently negotiated with Iran. “I’m really concerned about the deal and that’s why I’m fighting it. We’re going to end up with a nuclear Iran just as North Korea has nuclear weapons following the deal negotiated under the Clinton Administration in the 1990s.”

Perdue also expressed concern over the threat the U.S. debt crisis poses to our national security saying, “This debt crisis is not going away. It’s at $18 trillion and counting. To solve our debt crisis we’ve got to stop the spending outrage and we’ve got to grow our economy to solve it.” Following the breakfast, ABAC President David Bridges and Dr. Jerry Baker, dean of ABAC’s School of Agriculture & Natural Resources gave Perdue and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and GFB President Zippy Duvall a tour of the ABAC & UGA Tifton Campus. UGA Crop Physiology and Management Professor Dr. Craig Kvien welcomed Perdue, Black and Duvall to the UGA Future Farmstead house. This house is designed to be a zero-net energy house through the use of solar film on the roof, a geo-thermal HVAC system and insulation made of recycled blue jeans. UGA Irrigation Specialist Wesley Porter gave Perdue an overview of the variable rate irrigation research UGA is conducting to help farmers use water as efficiently as possible in row crop production.

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AROUND GEORGIA News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker

ATKINSON COUNTY Atkinson County Farm Bureau (ACFB) dedicated its office building to former ACFB President Henry McKinnon, seated, on June 28.  McKinnon, who served as ACFB president from 19952013, is ACFB’s longest serving president. He continues to serve as an ACFB director. Honoring McKinnon during the ceremony were, pictured from left, ACFB Directors D. B. Morris, Betty Murl Bazemore, Jenelle Taft, Imogene Lee, Jean Peterson, and ACFB President William White.

BANKS COUNTY Banks County Farm Bureau (BCFB) sponsored a four-day farm tour for the Banks County 4-H this summer. BCFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman and 4-H Agent Caitlin Bennett planned and implemented the “Our Future Farm Tour.” The tour was designed to expose 4-H’ers to different ag degrees and career opportunities agriculture offers and to hopefully inspire the 4-Hers to pursue an ag degree. Each day the tour highlighted a different sector of agriculture with classroom instruction and an on-farm visit to highlight the college degrees, resources, and capital needed to pursue a career in that sector. Students learned about equine business management at Grove River Ranch, poultry science at Country Charm Egg Distributors, diversified agribusiness at the Hinson Brothers’ Farm and seed extraction and turfgrass management at Maysville Sod. Pictured far left, UGA student Amanda Tinkle and C.J. Farmer, second from right & owner of Grove River Ranch, talked to 4-Hers Caitlyn Burrell, Ashlyn Payne, Gabe Caudell, Emma Fuller, Genna Langford and Shawn Smith about equine degrees UGA offers and the daily operating procedures at the ranch. CHATTOOGA COUNTY Chattooga County Farm Bureau (CCFB) partnered with the 20 / September 2015

Chattooga County 4-H and the Chattooga County Beekeepers Association to present a honeybee program to fourth and fifth-grade students at five different elementary schools in the county.  Pictured from left, Kendra Stallings with Chattooga County 4-H, Beekeeper Sophia Price, Beekeeper Randy Rolen and CCFB Women’s Committee member Jo Durham give the presentation at Trion Elementary School. Several beekeepers assisted in educating more than 400 students at the five schools that honeybees are essential in the production of many foods. The students also had the chance to see live honeybees in an observation hive.  COWETA COUNTY To celebrate May being Beef Month, the Coweta County Farm Bureau (CCFB) partnered with the Coweta County Cattlemen’s Association (CCCA) to distribute beef recipes, beef nutritional information, and beef promotional items to local churches and elementary schools. Bill Cline, a CCFB and CCCA member, presents Beef Month promotional materials to Susan Arguilla, a third-grade teacher at Western Elementary. CCFB & CCCA distributed more than 2,500 items including Beef Story coloring books, farm activity books, ag-related book marks, BEEF bumper stickers, balloons, pencils, art supplies,  recipes, and beef nutritional fact sheets to 14 school and church locations in Coweta County. EFFINGHAM/ CHATHAM On July 24 the Effingham and Chatham County Farm Bureaus cohosted a tour of Ottawa Farms in Bloomingdale for about 40 Virginia cattle producers visiting Georgia. CCFB Vice President Pete Waller, who owns Ottawa Farms, and Rita Douglas discussed the history of the 900-acre farm. Sam Ingram, the ECFB Young Farmer Chairman and UGA Effingham County Extension agent, Georgia Farm Bureau News

HOUSTON COUNTY Houston County Farm Bureau (HCFB) teamed up with Tucker Elementary School (TES) lunchroom staff to promote milk to the school’s kindergarten students. HCFB Office Manager Lisa Dean, center, secured milk activity books and bookmarks from the Southeastern Dairy Association and crayons from the Illinois Soybean Association to promote the many uses of soybeans. TES Lunchroom staff member Vicki Purvis, left, organized a program to show the kindergarten students where milk comes from and examples of items made with milk. TES Lunchroom staff member Betty Dean, right, assisted with the program. MADISON COUNTY Madison County Farm Bureau teamed up with Brush Creek Farm to participate in the Colbert Independence Day Parade.    Children from Farm Bureau families    rode on a wagon pulled by a John Deere tractor and tossed shirts and packs of Georgia peanuts  to the crowd. OGLETHORPE COUNTY Oglethorpe County Farm Bureau (OCFB) held its annual Farm Day for third-grade students on May 14.  OCFB President Dale Brubaker, right, and OCFB Vice President Jimmy Yarbrough, left, talked to the more than 160 students attending the event about safety precautions to use with farm equipment. The students also rotated through stations that covered farm animals, bees, forestry, water and soil resources. Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom Coor-

dinator Nicole Karstedt gave a milking demonstration with a live cow, and the local EMC gave an electricity demonstration. Each student received a gift bag with information and treats from several commodity groups. WHITE COUNTY White County Farm Bureau (WCFB) held its 12th Annual Kids Fun & Farm Day for local fourth-grade students this spring at the AgriScience Center in Cleveland.  About 350 students rotated through 12 learning stations that emphasized the importance, diversity and scientific nature of Georgia agriculture.  WCFB Director Paul Seabolt, pictured, with Seabolt Farms showed the students how to shuck corn and exhibited different feed commodities livestock eat. WCFB Young Farmer Chairman Matt London and Ashley Helton of London Farms showed students how to milk a cow.

Bulloch, Effingham & Screven counties host legislative dinner

The Bulloch, Effingham and Screven County Farm Bureaus cohosted a legislative dinner July 23 at R.J.’s Restaurant in Statesboro to give Farm Bureau members a chance to meet with their district state representatives, discuss ag issues and voice appreciation for the work the legislators have done for agriculture and rural Georgia. About 40 Farm Bureau members from the three counties attended the event during which they heard from Rep. Jon Burns (R-Dist. 159), pictured. Burns, of Newington, who was elected Georgia House Majority Leader in May, chairs the House Game, Fish and Parks Committee and serves on the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee, Appropriations Committee, Transportation, Economic Development & Tourism, State Properties, Ethics and Rules Committees. Reps. Bill Hitchens (R-Dist. 16), Jan Tankersley (R-Dist. 160) and Ga. Sen. Jack Hill (R- Dist. 4) also spoke at the dinner.

Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2015 / 21

Photo by Bill T. Akers

gave the producers an overview of Georgia’s major commodities. Pictured from left, front row, Ingram, Douglas & Waller welcome the group to Georgia. In addition to seeing Waller’s cattle, the Virginia producers also toured the farm’s strawberry and blueberry fields, hay operation and corn maze.

Monroe & Newton Co. Farm Bureaus take ag to schools with help of AFBF grants

Monroe County Farm Bureau President Butch Copelan, right, presents Hubbard Elementary School teacher Rebecca Wachtel and Principal Jay Johnson with a check. The school will use the funds to expand its hydroponic garden.

elementary school teachers. The conference, scheduled for Sept. 29, will be held at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield. The one-day event will provide teachers with firsthand experience with agriculture and an opportunity to visit local farmers. They’ll also receive hands-on ag-related lesson plans and a resource kit with approximately $100 worth of educational materials, including teacher’s manu-

Photo by Whitney Hutcheson

Two Georgia county Farm Bureaus are expanding their efforts to educate local students about agriculture after being awarded fall 2015 White-Reinhardt Mini-Grants from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA). Monroe County Farm Bureau is using its mini-grant to support Samuel E. Hubbard Elementary School in Forsyth for development of its Indoor Hydroponic Learning Garden. Students maintain the garden areas under the supervision of project leader Rebecca Wachtel, using the engineering design process and their understanding of science, technology, engineering and math to overcome challenges that arise. Newton County Farm Bureau is planning an educational conference for county

Photo by Sandi Williams

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

Tattnall, Toombs co-host legislative dinner

The Tattnall and Toombs County Farm Bureaus cohosted a legislative dinner Aug. 18 at the Tattnall County office giving Farm Bureau members members a chance to meet with their elected officials, discuss ag issues and voice appreciation for the work the officials are doing in Atlanta and Washington. Ga. Sen. Jack Hill, Ga. Rep. Bill Werkheiser, U.S. Rep. Rick Allen and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black gave updates and Ga. Sen. Tommie Williams delivered the keynote speech. Community leaders such as commissioners, school board members and county managers also attended the event. Sen. Hill, pictured center, discussed Georgia’s economy and presented a resolution honoring the contributions Dr. Jim Strickland made to Georgia agriculture as a large animal veterinarian. Pictured from left, Sen. Williams and Rep. Werkheiser joined Hill in presenting the resolution to Strickland’s widow, Norma. 22 / September 2015

als, DVDs, posters, student materials, maps and lab guides. The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a special project of the AFBFA. There are two opportunities for counties to receive funding. The White-Reinhardt Mini-Grant Program is offered to state and county Farm Bureaus in amounts up to $500 for classroom education programs for grades K-12 to initiate new programs or expand existing programs to additional grade levels or new subject areas.  The White-Reinhardt Scholarship Program provides up to $1,500 in travel funds to educators employed by a public or private school system or volunteers who  actively participate in classroom ag literacy programs or events to attend the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. Applications are currently being accepted and are due to AFBFA by Oct. 15 and must be made online. County Farm Bureaus interested in applying for a grant will find instructions on the Georgia Farm Bureau Sharepoint website under Field Services/Ag Literacy.  Visit the AFBFA website at www.agfoundation. org  and click on What We Support for more information. There are other tools on Sharepoint to help complete the application. If you would like GFB Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Donna Rocker to review your application before you submit it to AFBFA, you must send a draft of the application to her by Oct. 1. For help in completing the application, contact Rocker at Once she has provided you with feedback, you will then need to submit the application online. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Army Corps memos reveal conflicts over WOTUS rule By Jay Stone ___________________________________

A cache of internal memos that federal regulators intended to keep private reveals a culture of secrecy, falsehood and dysfunction that permeated the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rulemaking process, according to a July 31 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) press release. On July 30 the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released more than 50 pages of documents in which the Army Corps of Engineers repeatedly rebuked EPA officials for their abuse of the rulemaking process in producing the deeply controversial WOTUS rule. The entire economic analysis used to support the rule, Army Corps officials wrote, was not based on science or economics, according to Corps of Engineers memoranda. “It is clear from the memos that there were dire concerns internally that EPA was getting it wrong and with a high degree of arrogance,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “The flawed economic study is just the tip of the iceberg, and it was known internally that trouble was ahead. In fact, the memos themselves were stamped ‘Litigation Sensitive.’ They were never intended to see the light of day.” The Corps documents also validate AFBF’s own concerns that the rule makes it impossible for anyone, including the Corps, to know which features on the landscape are regulated, and which are not. The Corps even raised concern that it would be difficult to determine whether “a low depressional area on a farm field that ponds water after a rainstorm for ten days” would be a regulated “water” or an excluded “puddle.” EPA insisted throughout the rulemaking process that “puddles” would not be regulated. As the Army Corps memos clearly show, political appointees repeatedly ignored vigorous objections of career agency staff in order to rush the rule through. “The Corps documents confirm what we have been saying all along,” Stallman said. “Even the Army Corps of Engineers concedes this rule is unworkable. The Army Corps’ name is on the rule, yet experts tasked with determining its validity said they wanted the Corps’ name removed

from the economic analysis used to justify it. “U.S. Army Assistant Secretary Darcy pleaded with Congress to keep these memos from the public eye. Well, now we know what they say, and we want to know more. What other internal agency documents are out there? If the Corps’ economists objected so strongly, what did the EPA’s economists think? What else are these agencies hiding from the public? As Americans, we expect better, but during the entire WOTUS rulemaking process, we got worse – much, much worse.” AFBF is calling on EPA to immediately withdraw its flawed rule, go back to the drawing board and address the concerns of farmers, ranchers and business owners across the country.

State attorneys general ask EPA to delay WOTUS rule By Jay Stone ___________________________________ Noting that the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule finalized by the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would take effect Aug. 28, before courts have the opportunity to resolve numerous pending lawsuits, a group of 32 state attorneys general, including Georgia’s Sam Olens, on July 29 asked the agencies to delay the rule’s effective date by at least nine months.

The rule is being challenged in several courts by dozens of states. The EPA has requested that the cases be consolidated into one court. Georgia and eight other states filed suit in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia, seeking a preliminary injunction and asking the court to declare the rule unlawful. The court held a hearing Aug. 12 in Brunswick to consider the injunction request, but the motion was denied Aug. 27.

Farm Service Agency taking BCAP applications Enrollment is underway for farmers and forest landowners seeking financial assistance for growing new sources of biomass for energy or biobased products within designated project areas. The funds are available from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 farm bill and is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Biomass energy facilities or groups of

producers may submit proposals for new BCAP project areas. Proposals will be accepted on through Nov. 6. The 2014 farm bill authorizes funding each year for BCAP to assist with the establishment and delivery of biomass for energy or biobased products. For more information on the program or to enroll in updates, visit or contact your local FSA county office. To find your nearest FSA county office, visit

EXPO from page 15 ing a lunch on Oct. 20, when the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the year is named. Mississippi will be the Sunbelt Spotlight State 2015. Georgia native Heath Deloach, a Nashville-based country singer/songwriter and guitarist, will perform in the Farm

Credit Exhibit Building. The Expo begins at 8:30 a.m. each day of the show. Admission is $10 per person or $20 for a three-day admission ticket. Children under the age of 10 are admitted free accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit or call 229-985-1968.

Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2015 / 23

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