Vol. 78 No. 2
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
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*Program 33413: $750 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/5/2016 through 1/3/2017 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2015/2016/2017 model year Lincoln vehicle. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 30 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $750 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Lincoln Dealer for complete details and qualifications. **Tested with 93-octane fuel.
1/13/16 4:50 PM
contents april/may 2016
view from the field PAGE 4
legislative update PAGE 5
commodities update PAGE 20
young farmer update PAGES 28, 29, 31
public relations staff Andy Lucas Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone Print/Web Specialist Lillian Davis Publications/Advertising Manager Michael Edmondson Web/Video Manager Ray D’Alessio Senior Producer/TV Host Kenny Burgamy Co-Anchor/Reporter Mark Wildman Senior Radio-TV Specialist Dean Wood Radio-TV Specialist Damon Jones Radio-TV Specialist Vickie Amos Office Coordinator For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or email@example.com For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau
Farmers’ voices heard during GFB Day at the Capitol
GFB held another successful Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol Feb. 4. GFB members met with their state legislators and voiced their concerns about ag issues and legislation impacting their farms. PAGE 6
GFB Presidents’ Conference highlights advocacy & member benefits
County Farm Bureau leaders attending the annual GFB Presidents’ Conference heard status updates on ag legislation, learned about GFB’s ag advocacy efforts and how to make county Farm Bureau programs more effective. PAGE 8
Crawford County livestock show turns 65 Thousands of Crawford County youth have learned about responsibility and caring for livestock thanks to the annual show Crawford County Farm Bureau has held for 65 years. PAGE 10
GFB presents grand champion prizes at state livestock show
For the fifth year, Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the grand champion prizes presented to the six species shown at the annual Georgia Junior National livestock Show. PAGE 12
Vidalia Onion Awards presented; corn short course recap Learn who the Vidalia Onion Committee honored at its annual banquet and tips corn experts recommend to manage crop stress. PAGE 14
Soybean, Grain Expo provides crop updates; crop gets historical marker Get the market outlook and research updates growers heard at the annual Soybean/Small Grain Expo. Soybean leaders also acquired a historical marker on Skidaway Island to recognize the first crop grown in North America. PAGE 16
GACDS annual meeting gives water, invasive plant updates
The Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors (GACDS) learned about water regulations, invasive species, estate planning and legislation impacting the group during its annual meeting. PAGE 18
Ag Forecast addresses local tax revenues, crop outlook
UGA economists gave farmers and agricultural stakeholders a peek into what’s expected for the 2016 crop year and an examination of county tax revenues during the 2016 Georgia Ag Forecast series.
UGA summit looks at women in agriculture
Female farmers and women employed by USDA, Cooperative Extension, and ag-related organizations and businesses from 13 Southeastern states discussed the contributions women make to agriculture and how to break through the glass hayloft during the Southern Region Women’s Agricultural Leadership Summit. PAGE 22
Ga. pork producers get industry updates at annual meeting
Pork producers attending their annual meeting learned about swine diseases, heard tips on managing their lagoons and elected state officers. PAGE 24
Learn who won the 2015 Quality Cotton awards, info about the boll weevil assessment rate and how to apply for scholarships being awarded by the Georgia Cotton Women. PAGE 30
about the cover--------------------------------------------------
(Photo by Jonathan Smith) Telfair County Farm Bureau member Jonathan Smith entered this photo in the 2015 GFB Photo Contest. GFB will accept entries for the 2016 contest until May 5. Contest details are on page 31.
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 3
view from the field Gerald Long, GFB President
Since January, I’ve been to Washington three times on behalf of Farm Bureau and have represented the concerns of Georgia farmers on federal issues each time. While attending the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Board Meeting, AFBF Advocacy Conference and escorting GFB’s Young Farmers to Washington, I’ve voiced GFB’s position on the need for USDA to designate cottonseed as an oilseed so producers can receive assistance to help stabilize rural economies dealing with historic low cotton prices. I’ve also discussed the need for Congress to pass a uniform voluntary label law for foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to prevent the patchwork of various state and local mandatory laws that are only further confusing consumers who don’t understand GMOs. I’ve also discussed the importance of Congress not adopting the $18 billion cut to crop insurance President Obama included in his proposed FY 2017 budget. With commodity prices at the lowest they’ve been in years, now isn’t the time to undermine the effectiveness of the farm bill and remove protections at a time when farmers need them most. And of course, I continue to remind our elected officials that the Waters of the U.S. rule must be repealed. You were well represented by the GFB members serving on AFBF Issues Advisory Committees and GFB directors who attended the AFBF Advocacy Conference in late February. GFB members attending this meeting represented GFB policy during committee meetings on environmental regulations, farm policy, energy, federal lands, market structures and trade. We also attended workshops designed to train us to be better advocates for agriculture. Your GFB Legislative Committee 4 / April-May 2016
and I have also met with state elected officials numerous times this winter to weigh in on legislation the Georgia General Assembly is considering that will impact agriculture. We had a great turnout for our annual Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol, and I thank everyone who attended. Some of the state issues we’ve been working on this session include HB 911: GATE; HB 840: Definition of Feral Hog; HB 876: Livestock Dealers; and SB 183: Livestock Liability Protection. GFB has worked to advocate for smart changes to improve the GATE program while curbing abuse. We’ve fought efforts to move GATE to the Georgia Department of Revenue and worked to ensure other proposed changes work for farmers. We’ve also worked with legislators on bills to address the ongoing problems with feral hogs and help the Georgia Department of Agriculture enforce existing rules governing livestock sales by requiring markets and animal dealers be licensed and bonded. The strength of Farm Bureau is our ability to influence elected officials in Washington and Atlanta. I know everyone isn’t able to travel to D.C. or Atlanta, but you can still weigh in on the issues and let your voice be heard. Visit our website www.gfb.org and click on our Legislative Action Center to sign up for our Voter Voice program that will notify you when there’s an issue you need to contact your legislators about. Stop by your county office or call our legislative department if you need more information. If you aren’t receiving our free, weekly electronic newsletter, GFB News Alert, I urge you to subscribe on our website. This newsletter will provide you with the latest GFB and ag news you need to know.
FARM BUREAU GEORGIA
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President GERALD LONG 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN, JR. North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Chief Operating Officer WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER
DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Wesley Hall, Cumming SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Matt Bottoms, Molena 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, Newton; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Daniel Johnson, Alma; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Will Cabe, Carnesville WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Melanie Sanders, Stephens 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 Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or mcfarlandadvantage@ gmail.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2016 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
legislative update By Tas Smith, Assistant Legislative Director
Cotton farmers need assistance There’s a saying that farm bills are written for the bad times. Unfortunately, when farm bills are written in good times, when commodity prices are high, the needs farmers have for bad times are often not accommodated. Most farm commodities are in a period of price decline, particularly since Congress passed the 2014 farm bill. Low prices on top of major changes in the safety net have hit cotton producers harder than most commodities. Due to the World Trade Organization (WTO) case with Brazil, Congress was forced to make changes to the cotton program and created the Stacked Income Protection Program (STAX) in the last farm bill. STAX is a revenue insurance program, only for cotton, that provides an additional layer of coverage on top of a farmer’s traditional crop insurance. Unfortunately, STAX has not been as effective as anticipated. Since the record highs of 2011, global cotton prices have declined significantly. According to the Risk Management Agency (RMA), U.S. average market revenue declined $156 per harvested acre from 2013 to 2014. Current expectations for prices and yield indicate that market revenue will decline by another $24/acre in 2015. Prices remain pressured by global stocks in excess of 100 million bales with more than 60 million bales held by China, increased government support levels in China, India and Pakistan, and strong competition from manmade fiber. The plunge in the market and the lack of a reliable safety net for cotton may jeopardize the future of Georgia’s cotton industry. Working closely with cotton industry leaders, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) sent a letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack on Nov. 6, 2015, urging him to designate cottonseed as an “other oilseed” for purposes of the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs under the farm bill. Securing this designation would result in an estimated $80 per acre support to cotton farmers nationwide. The designa-
tion of cottonseed could be accomplished administratively through USDA, and most importantly, would not reopen the farm bill. Cottonseed designation also has strong support from Georgia’s congressional delegation as 14 of Georgia’s 16-member delegation signed a letter urging Secretary Vilsack to designate cottonseed as an “other oilseed.” On Feb. 3, however, Secretary Vilsack announced he did not have the authority to give the designation to cottonseed since Congress removed cotton from the definition of a covered commodity eligible for the ARC or PLC programs.
GFB disagrees and believes the Secretary has the clear authority to make this change for cottonseed. The 2014 farm bill specifies that the term “other oilseed” means a crop of sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, or any oilseed designated by the Secretary.” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) provided further support for this reasoning by stating, “As a result of a WTO settlement with Brazil, Congress effectively removed cotton lint from ARC and PLC. Cottonseed has not historically been a covered commodity, and Congress never discussed adding cot-
tonseed to the list of covered commodities. Rather, Congress left intact the Secretary’s authority to designate any oilseed as “an other oilseed.” And that’s where the crux of the matter lies. The WTO dispute with Brazil centered on market signals from cotton fiber, NOT cottonseed. The United States was the largest exporter of cotton fiber. Cottonseed is not a widely traded commodity and the United States exports just five percent of annual production. Given the lack of cottonseed trade, many in the industry believe it would be difficult for a WTO panel to conclude that a decoupled cottonseed program would have any impact on the international oilseed markets. Despite Farm Bureau’s disagreement with Secretary Vilsack’s decision, other avenues to assist cotton farmers are being considered. Discussions are currently taking place between USDA and the cotton industry about a cost-share program for producers to assist with ginning costs. Congress may also consider lifting the prohibition on the Secretary’s ability to use Section 32 Commodity Credit Cooperation funds to further assist cotton producers. But farmers also need a permanent safety net that a cottonseed program will provide. While Secretary Vilsack has made it clear he will not designate cottonseed, a new Secretary of Agriculture will most likely be named after the upcoming presidential election. He or she may have a different opinion about cottonseed. Hearings on the 2018 farm bill will begin to take place next year to gather input on how to best improve the agriculture safety net. The new farm bill could present an opportunity to give cotton farmers the protection needed through a cottonseed program. While Secretary Vilsack’s decision is clearly a setback, other avenues remain. Georgia Farm Bureau will continue to work closely with our members and allies to ensure cotton farmers get the assistance they need.
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 5
Farmers’ voices heard during GFB Day at the Capitol G
By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
eorgia Farm Bureau (GFB) held its 33rd Annual Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol on Feb. 4 as GFB members traveled to Atlanta to meet with their state legislators and voice their concerns about ag issues and legislation impacting their farms. The event kicked off with an orientation meeting at the Georgia Freight Depot where GFB President Gerald Long welcomed the group to Atlanta. “Today is your opportunity to talk to your legislators and let them know what you think. As you talk to your elected officials, be sure to thank them for their help and tell them about our priority issues, not just today but when you see them on the streets back home,” Long said. GFB’s priority issues for the 2016 General Session are: taxes and budget – specifically protecting the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) and the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) programs. GFB members stressed that these programs help farmers remain competitive with farmers in surrounding states who have similar tax exemption programs and protect farmland from the threat of development; natural resources and environment issues – such as farmers’ right to use water
Feb. 4 was Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Wilkinson, front row, right, presents a resolution honoring the organization to GFB President Gerald Long. Participating in the presentation were from left, second row, Sen. Ellis Black, GFB 1st Vice President Robert Fountain, GFB First Lady Janice Long, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and back row, from left, Sen. Jesse Stone, Sen. John Kennedy, GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims, Sen. Dean Burke, Sen. Jeff Mullis and Sen. Tyler Harper.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
on a timely basis to water crops and livestock. GFB members told legislators about new irrigation technology they are using on their farms to conserve water but expressed the need to use water in times of drought; animal agriculture – GFB members discussed the need for liability protection for livestock owners when they offer public access to their farms and the need for more food animal veterinarians in Georgia to care for livestock; and general ag issues such as ensuring new production methods, such as drones and genetically modified organisms, remain available to farmers.
House Speaker David Ralston, right, welcomes GFB President Gerald Long to the Georgia House for GFB Day at the Capitol. Visit http://tinyurl.com/16GFBCapitol to see more photos of the event. 6 / April-May 2016
GFB honored at capitol
After the orientation meeting, GFB members and leaders visited legislators at the Georgia Capitol. House Speaker David Ralston welcomed Long and the GFB vice presidents to the Georgia House where Rep. Darlene Taylor, Dist. 173, a member of the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee, introduced the GFB leaders. Sen. John Wilkinson, chairman of the Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs
Committee, introduced the GFB leaders in the Senate where Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle welcomed the group. Long addressed both the House and Senate. “Thank you for the support you provide agriculture,” Long said. “We [Farm Bureau members] want to be a resource for you [about ag issues], and we want to ask y’all to work with us as we address issues that impact agriculture.” Long told the Senate that farmers are facing the lowest commodity prices they have in years, which makes tax programs like GATE and CUVA more important than ever to keep farms economically viable. Polk County Farm Bureau President James Casey was recognized in the Georgia Senate by Sen. Bill Heath for serving as PCFB president for 50 years. After visiting with state legislators at the capitol, GFB members hosted a lunch attended by about 500 at the Georgia Depot for their legislators and other elected officials. Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black spoke. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Deal discusses budget & education
Black asks GFB to support 20/20 Vision Program
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Deal said his proposed budget includes an additional $1 million in funding for the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) to renovate state farmers markets and replace about 25 cars used by GDA employees who travel across the state with their jobs. “As we see an evolution in how people think about their food and the way they get it, farmers markets are becoming more vital,” Deal said. He said the state will continue efforts to guard Georgia’s poultry industry against the threat of avian influenza and commended the GDA and USDA poultry labs for efforts they are making to monitor the situation and develop contingency plans in the event of an outbreak. “I am sure we will continue to be on guard, because, if we are not, this major segment of our economy could be impacted,” Deal said. Deal also spoke passionately for the need to improve the 139 Georgia schools classified as chronically failing schools because they have received failing grades on standardized tests for three consecutive years. He stressed the need to improve the quality of these schools so the communities the schools
many things, but, more than anything else, it’s the great liberator. It liberates young people from the kinds of problems that may have plagued their families for a long time.”
Gov. Nathan Deal addressed GFB members at the GFB Day at the Capitol lunch held Feb. 4 at the Georgia Freight Depot.
are located in can attract new businesses. He asked GFB members to consider voting for the Opportunity School District Initiative that will be on the state ballot in November. “You may not live in a community that has a failing school, but you are not immune to the consequences of crime that result from failing schools,” Deal said. “Education is
Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black asked county Farm Bureaus to encourage their local school boards to participate in the 20/20 Vision program the GDA is working on with the Georgia Department of Education. Black said the program aims to see that all meals served in school cafeterias include at least 20 percent Georgia Grown commodities. “Being in schools is second nature to county Farm Bureaus with your ag education programs,” Black said. “It’s not going to be about the Georgia Department of Agriculture or Department of Education telling schools what to do, but it’s about all county groups encouraging local school boards to participate in this program.” GFB members have been traveling to Atlanta for GFB Day at the Capitol since 1983. The only year the event was not held was 2014 when it had to be canceled due to a predicted snowstorm.
Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2016 Farm Tour
From Farm to Fork A Beef Cattle Experience
April 16 • Crowne Plaza Ravinia 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road • Atlanta, GA 30346 Reception begins at 5:15 pm, Dinner at 6:30 The 2nd Annual GFB Foundation for Agriculture Gala will be held on Saturday, April 16 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta. The 2016 gala will be hosted by Dr. Roger C. “Bo” Ryles and will feature entertainment from Georgia 4-H’s performing arts group, Clovers and Company. All proceeds from the gala will benefit the GFB Foundation for Agriculture and its initiatives. Tickets are available for $100/person and $1,000/table and can be purchased by contacting Marilyn Akers at (478) 474-0679, ext. 5231 or by mailing a check to: GFB Foundation for Agriculture, PO Box 7068, Macon, GA 31209. Tickets will be sent upon receipt of check. Space is limited, so reserve your seat today!
Deadline to register is May 11th. For cost & tour details, contact Marilyn Akers at (478) 474-0679, ext. 5231.
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016 / 7
GFB Presidents’ Conference highlights advocacy & member benefits GFB starting speakers bureau
UGA professor correcting misconceptions
UGA Associate Professor Dr. Robert Beckstead shared how he is using his class, “Affects of Global Agriculture on World Culture,” to correct misconceptions students have about agriculture.
ture, discussed the misconceptions of agriculture he strives to correct. In addition to addressing the incorrect views students may have about agriculture, Beckstead uses his class, “Affects of Global Agriculture on World Culture,” to expose students to the variety of jobs available in ag, teach students why agriculture is important and give students the chance to meet real farmers through class visits and a series of videos Georgia Farm Bureau produced. The class meets UGA requirements for mandated culture classes and has become popular with nonag students and ag students from urban areas.
Pictured from left, GFB 5th Dist. Director Matt Bottoms, GFB 9th Dist. Field Rep. Jeff Nunnery, Mitchell County Young Farmer Chairman Casey Cox, Hall County Young Farmer Chairman Caroline Lewellan and GFB 2nd Dist. Field Rep. Clay Talton led a workshop about the speakers bureau GFB is starting.
Photo by Andy Lucas
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
During the opening session, Dr. Robert Beckstead, who teaches a University of Georgia class that introduces freshmen and sophomores to the world of agricul-
GFB 2nd Dist. Field Rep. Clay Talton and GFB 9th Dist. Field Rep. Jeff Nunnery discussed the speakers bureau GFB is establishing to advocate for agriculture in communities across Georgia. To get the speakers bureau off the ground quickly, GFB has identified at least two Farm Bureau members from each of the organization’s 10 districts, who are knowledgeable about ag issues subject to public scrutiny, such as GMOs, water or livestock care. The speakers will receive media trainSee CONFERENCE page 15
Photo by Andy Lucas
Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) held its annual County Presidents’ Conference Feb. 11 at the Aberdeen Woods Conference Center in Peachtree City. County leaders attended workshops covering GFB’s ag advocacy efforts, how to make county Farm Bureau programs more effective and heard legislation impacting agriculture. “My goal as your state president is to search for new and innovative ideas to address the challenges we have on the farm and as an organization,” GFB President Gerald Long told the 250 county leaders attending the event. “Please share your ideas with me or my staff.” Long also announced he is seeking election as GFB president in the organization’s Dec. 6 election. “I am honored to be serving as your state president,” Long said. “I look forward to working with you to focus on our mission to enhance and serve agriculture. My emphasis will be to keep us on track and provide you with the necessary resources to do this.”
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
By Jennifer Whittaker ____________________________________
Farm Bureau County leaders attending the annual GFB Presidents’ Conference included, pictured from left, front row, Hancock County Farm Bureau Vice President Skye Gess & HCFB President Jimmy Kennedy; Macon Co. Farm Bureau Director Glen Lee Chase & MCFB President Mike McLendon and second row, GFB 2nd Dist. Directors Lumpkin Co. President Bobby Gunter and Elbert County President Randy Ruff. 8 / April-May 2016
GFB President Gerald Long told conference attendees his goal as GFB president is to search for innovative ideas to address the challenges farmers and GFB face. Visit http://tinyurl.com/16GFBPRESCONF to see more photos from the event. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Andy Lucas
Pictured from left, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall meets with Georgia Farm Bureau members serving on the AFBF Issues Advisory Committees during
meetings in February - Donald Chase, Tim McMillan, John Mixon, Mark Masters, Andy Bell, T.E. Moye, GFB First Lady Janice Long and GFB President Gerald Long.
GFB leaders take ag message to Washington By Andy Lucas ___________________________________ A group of 19 Georgia Farm Bureau leaders participated in the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Advocacy Conference, held Feb. 22-25 in Washington, D.C. The event drew approximately 500 American Farm Bureau members from 43 states. The AFBF Advocacy Conference featured 16 breakout sessions including policy briefings, advocacy training and onsite practice and coaching. The main issues that were covered were technology, regulatory reform and trade. The primary goal of the conference was to help leaders become better advocates for agriculture. GFB President Gerald Long and his wife Janice led the Georgia delegation, which included GFB 1st Vice President Robert Fountain Jr., GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims and GFB directors Ralph Adamson, Gary Bell, Ben Boyd, George Chambers, Nora Goodman, Bobby Gunter, David Lee, James Malone, Skeetter McCorkle, Scotty Raines, Marvin Ruark, Randy Ruff, Women’s Leadership Committee Chairperson Melanie Sanders, James Emory Tate and Don Wood.
AFBF President Zippy Duvall emphasized the importance of grassroots involvement. “The grassroots members of Farm Bureau develop our policy and then it is the grassroots members who engage with lawmakers to implement those policies,” Duvall said. “Nothing less than our nation’s security – our ability to feed ourselves – depends on our success. That success is rooted in our willingness, all of us, to get outside the fence rows of our farms and ranches and make our unified voice heard.” In addition to the conference, meetings were held with Georgia’s U.S. Congressional delegation to discuss key issues impacting farmers. Topics included GMO labeling, obtaining an “other oilseed” designation for cottonseed, Waters of the U.S. and crop insurance. The conference was held in conjunction with meetings of the AFBF Issue Advisory Committees (IACs). Georgia members attending IAC meetings were: John Mixon, Pike County, Federal Lands Committee; Mark Masters, Dougherty County, Environmental Regulations Committee; Andy Bell, Decatur County, Market Structures Committee; Tim Mc-
Millan, Berrien County, Farm Policy Committee; T.E. Moye, Baker County, Trade Committee, and Donald Chase, Macon County, serving as chairman of the Energy Committee. AFBF replaced its commodity committees with Issue Advisory Committees last year. The committees are comprised of members with direct involvement on issues important to US. farmers and ranchers. The IACs are charged with developing policy recommendations for the AFBF president and board of directors. There are 15 IACs: Ag Labor, Animal Care, Budget and Economy, Energy, Environmental Regulations, Farm Policy, Federal Lands, Food Safety, Water Supply and Quality, Market Structures, Pest and Invasive Species, Public Infrastructure, Technology, Trade, and Organic and Direct Marketing. “We are blessed with farmers who are willing to serve in this capacity and share their knowledge with the IACs,” Long said. “I believe our message was heard and hopefully that we made a difference with our congressional officials. I am grateful for such a great representation on the IACs from Georgia as well as a majority of the board members.”
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 9
Judge Philip Gentry, left, talks with young participants in the hog competition of the Crawford County Livestock Show on Feb. 6. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ccfbshow to see more photos from the show.
Article & Photos by Jay Stone ___________________________________ rawford County Farm Bureau (CCFB) hosted its 65th Annual Crawford County Livestock Show on Feb. 6 in Knoxville, Ga., with dozens of youth showing about 60 cattle and hogs. There was cake, but it wasn’t a retirement party. No presentations of rocking chairs. Just the ever-popular belt buckles. According to long-time CCFB Board Secretary Charlie Frank Harris, the show began in 1951 as part of livestock improvement efforts initiated by vocational/agricultural teacher J.F. Lowery. Lowery helped local farmers battle diseases affecting livestock through a vaccination program and encouraged them to use better bulls and
Show judge Philip Gentry, who teaches ag at Perry High School, chats with contestant Sarah Robinson. While judging the animals and competitors, Gentry gave exhibitors guidance on how to improve their skills. 10 / April-May 2016
boars for breeding. Lowery used the livestock show as a way to get his students involved and provide farmers with motivation to improve their own herds. “If a person can see his neighbor improving his livestock program, then it gives you the opportunity to want to too,” Harris said. “Professor Lowery, he did that.” In addition to furnishing a commemorative cake for attendees, CCFB displayed tri-board exhibits detailing the history of the event, which has promoted agriculture in Crawford County for generations. The Hamlin/Mattox family had four generations present on Feb. 6. Local farmer Bobby Hamlin showed animals in the event, followed by his daughter Angie, her son Sheldon Mattox and his two daughters, Caroline and Chloe Mattox. “I think it’s been a good thing to draw our families together,” Bobby said. “We spend a lot of time together anyway, but I see it bringing other families together. They spend time together there and time with the animals. It’s just been kind of a highlight for us for a number of years.” The show has been held at three different locations. According to Harris, the show was first held at the Roberta depot. A few years in, local farmer C.E. Thaxton donated a corner of his property where the show was held for years. In the late 1950s the show moved to its current location on Hortman Mill Road just south of the Crawford County courthouse in Knoxville. After holding the show in a kennel facility on the property many years, the CCFB built the current barn, which is named for Harris. The show, judged by Perry High School ag teacher Phillip Gentry, had competitors
ages 3-17. For many, it’s their first exposure to livestock shows, and as they advance in age it helps prepare them for bigger shows later in the year. “I really enjoy traveling around the country and building friendships with people I never would have met if I wasn’t showing livestock,” said Eli Smallwood, who showed cattle. Part of CCFB’s activities in support of the show is an annual steak dinner, held to raise money for show prizes. “We have the livestock program because young people are the future of agriculture and if we can encourage, or open a door for any of them to have the opportunity, that’s what we want to support here in Crawford County,” Harris said.
Crawford County Farm Bureau Secretary/Treasurer Charlie Frank Harris checks out tri-board displays detailing the history of the livestock show. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Equine champs honored at state capitol By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ During Equine Youth Champions tatives. They were part of 109 students phoDay at the state capitol, Feb. 2, the Geor- tographed with Gov. Nathan Deal at the gia Agricultural Commodity Commission state capitol and presented certificates durfor Equine (ACCE) hosted more than 100 ing a lunch ceremony at the Georgia Depot. youth who ride in equine competitions. The ACCE also presented its annual Six world champions were honored on Golden Saddle Awards, recognizing indithe floor of the Georgia House of Represen- viduals who have made significant contri-
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Photo by Jay Stone
Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, left, and Gov. Nathan Deal, front row center, with Georgia youth equine champions at the Georgia capitol on Feb. 2.
butions to the equine industry in Georgia. University of Georgia Equestrian Coach Meghan Boenig and former ACCE member John Clements were honored. During the ceremony, the equine group heard from Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, Georgia State Veterinarian Robert Cobb and Boenig. “You have a large responsibility,” Long said. “But with that comes a lot of challenges and a lot of opportunities.” Cobb also spoke about opportunities. “This is an opportunity for you to grow,” Cobb said. “I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. You are our next generation of leaders.” The equine youth also had a chance to interact with exhibitors at the event, including Khaliala Ward of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, representatives of Iron Horse, an equine training and therapy organization in North Fulton County, and a representative from Wesleyan College. For more pictures from Equine Youth Champions Day visit http://tinyurl.com/ equineday.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 11
Photo courtesy of McDuffie Co. Farm Bureau
On Feb. 27, Georgia Farm Bureau Dairy Advisory Committee Chairman Mark Rodgers, center, and his brother, Andy, who run their family’s four-generation dairy farm - Hillcrest Farms - hosted a tour for dairy science students from nine colleges attending the Southern Regional American Dairy Science Association Student Affiliate event held by the UGA Dairy Science Club. Other tour stops included UGA, Harmony Grove Dairy, Birdsville Dairy and lunch courtesy of Southern Swiss Dairy.
Conservation camp offers scholarships, career jumpstart
More than $18,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to students attending the Natural Resources Conservation Workhop June 12-16 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton The camp is for rising 10th, 11th and 12th-grade students interested in learning about Georgia’s natural resources. Experts from universities and local, state, and federal natural resource agencies will provide students with lectures and hands-on activities to enhance their understanding of Georgia’s vital natural resources, including soil, water, air, plants, minerals, and animals. The camp includes back-to-nature field trips, and a true taste of college life. Tuition is $150 per student before May 2 and $175 afterward. The final deadline for all applications is June 1. Tuition is often provided to the students by local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, local businesses, or individuals. The workshop application and information is now available online at www.abac. edu/nrcw. 12 / April-May 2016
GFB presents grand champion prizes at state livestock show Article & Photos by Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________ About 1,550 4-H and FFA members from across Georgia competed in the 2016 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held Feb. 17-20 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. The exhibitors showed about 2,420 head of livestock at the show. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) sponsored the six grand champion prizes for all species shown at the show. “It’s very important that Georgia Farm Bureau support this show because these 4-Hers and FFA students exhibiting animals will be our future leaders tomorrow. It’s great the response and thanks we get for supporting this show,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “It’s unbelievable the dedication and responsibility these young people have to show their animals. It [showing livestock] teaches them there’s no such thing as an eight to five job.” Long also applauded state leaders for building the state-of-the-art Georgia Agricenter where the show has been held since the early 1990s. “We have a facility here that’s as good as any in the nation,” Long said. “Georgia Farm Bureau worked with the late Rep. Henry Reeves to acquire the state funding to build this facility, and we’re still reaping the dividends of that investment.” Jackson County 4-Her Morgan McDaniel won the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer award of $2,500 with her Percent Simmental heifer. McDaniel, a 5th-grader at Gum Springs Elementary School, is the daughter of Wil and Nichole McDaniel of Jefferson. In January, McDaniel won Supreme Champion Heifer with her heifer at the GFB 2nd Dist. Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show. Bella Chandler of Jackson County won the Reserve Grand Champion Breeding Heifer at the Ga. Jr. National, and she also won Reserve Supreme Champion Heifer at the GFB 2nd Dist. Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show. Perry High School FFA member Abby Moore took home the Grand Champion Market Barrow prize of $1,500. Moore, a junior, is the daughter of Scott and Christy Moore of Houston County.
When asked why she would encourage other kids to show, Moore answered, “I think they would learn what hard work really is and that it does pay off.” Colquitt County 4-Her Luke Mobley captured the $5,000 Grand Champion Market Steer award with his Chi, Charolais, Maine Anjou and Angus crossbred steer. A 4th-grader at R.B. Wright Elementary School, Mobley is the son of Mike and Torina Mobley of Moultrie. Mobley’s older brothers, Jonathan won the award in 2007 and Nicholas in 2011. When asked what his daily routine for working his steer was, Mobley answered, “You have to feed them, you have to wash them, and you have to take care of them, and most of all you have to love them.” Coweta County 4-Her Brent Bohannon won the $1,500 Grand Champion Commercial Dairy Heifer prize. He won with a Holstein bred and raised at Windy Hill Dairy, owned by the Butcher family, who are Coweta County Farm Bureau members. Bohannon, a 5th-grade student at Moreland Elementary, is the son of Kate Bohannon. When asked what he likes best about showing, Brent answered, “Getting to go places and meeting other people.” Toombs County 4-Her Britten Herndon took home the $1,500 Grand Champion Market Gilt award. Herndon, a 5th-grader at Toombs Central Elementary School, is the son of Jason and Elizabeth Herndon of Lyons. Both of Herndon’s older sisters showed, which inspired him to show. When asked what he liked about showing, he answered, “It’s pretty good to get trophies, but it’s all about family and the time we spend together.” Hart County 4-Her Jarrett Baldwin captured the $1,000 Grand Champion Breeding Ewe prize in his senior year. Baldwin, who has shown lambs for 15 years, encouraged young people to get involved in showing livestock saying, “I grew up in this program, and there’s nothing I’d rather have done than shown livestock.” Baldwin, who is a student at Shepherds Way Home School, is the son of Todd and Pam Baldwin of Hartwell. Georgia Farm Bureau News
1 GFB President Gerald Long congratulates Jackson County 4-Her
Morgan McDaniel for winning the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer Award with her Percent Simmental heifer at the 2016 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in Perry, Ga., Feb. 19.
2 Perry High School FFA member Abby Moore, center, gets a hug from her mom, Christy, after winning the Grand Champion Market Barrow prize. GFB President Gerald Long, right, waits to present Moore with the cash prize from GFB.
3 GFB President Gerald Long congratulates Colquitt County
4-Her Luke Mobley for having the 2016 Ga. Jr. National Grand Champion Market Steer.
4 Coweta County 4-Her Brent Bohannon accepts congratulations
from GFB President Gerald Long for winning the 2016 Ga. Jr. National Grand Champion Commercial Dairy Heifer award.
5 Toombs County 4-Her Britten Herndon accepts congratulations
from GFB President Gerald Long after winning the 2016 Ga. Jr. National Grand Champion Gilt award of $1,500.
6 GFB President Gerald Long congratulates Hart County 4-Her Jar-
rett Baldwin on winning the Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show Grand Champion Breeding Ewe in his senior year. Visit http://tinyurl.com/16GAJRNational to see more photos.
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016 / 13
Photo courtesy of the Vidalia Onion Committee
Jason Herndon of L.G. Herndon Jr Farms Inc. was named the Vidalia Onion Committee’s (VOC) Grower of the Year and J. Scott Angle, former dean of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), was inducted to the VOC Hall of Fame during the VOC annual awards banquet on Feb. 6. Each year, the VOC recognizes a grower or farm of the year for overall achievement and success as a producer of Vidalia onions with an emphasis on quality production and compliance with the marketing order. Herndon manages L.G. Herndon Farms Inc. for his uncle, Bo Herndon Jr. Herndon Farms is a family farm that has been in business for more than 30 years and averages 500 acres of Vidalia onions each year. Angle was dean and director of the CAES for the past decade, during which he oversaw a period of significant growth in the college’s instruction, research and outreach. He recruited several nationally and internationally recognized researchers to broaden the scope and impact of the college’s research. In 2015, he became presi-
Photo courtesy of the Vidalia Onion Committee
Vidalia Onion Committee presents annual awards
Grower of the Year recipient Jason Herndon, left, from L.G. Herndon Jr Farms and his uncle Bo Herndon.
Vidalia native Fred Stokes, a former NFL Super Bowl Champion, gave an inspirational speech at the banquet.
dent and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center. The awards were presented by VOC Director Susan Waters and Vidalia Onion Business Council Director Bob Stafford. In keeping with Super Bowl weekend, “Team Vidalia” was the theme of the banquet and former National Football League (NFL) player Fred Stokes spoke at the event. Raised in Vidalia, Stokes is a former defensive end who played 10 seasons in the
NFL. He played for the Los Angeles Rams, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints. Stokes played in Super Bowl XXVI with the 1991 Washington Redskins against the Buffalo Bills. After his retirement from football, Stokes wrote an autobiography “The Bridge That Brought Me Over.” In 2007, he established Fred Stokes Foods and has been working with the VOC to develop a new Vidalia sausage product for retail.
By Mark Wildman ___________________________________
Georgia corn producers received tips on how to improve their efficiency by reducing stress on their crops during the annual Georgia Corn Short Course held Feb. 2 in Tifton. “What I am looking for, for all of the producers, is that they are just going to learn a little bit more about not only the crop production aspect of it and the efficiency but really how to prevent stress,” said UGA Extension Grains Agronomist Dr. Dewey Lee. “One of the most important aspects of growing corn in Georgia is simply reducing stress and the effects of stress.” Georgia corn producers have seen a tremendous growth in yields over the years and a large part of that growth can be attributed to the work being done by UGA, the Georgia Corn Growers Association, the Georgia Corn Commission and others. The Corn Short Course is an event through which the research information is shared 14 / April-May 2016
with farmers. A key area of focus is water stress, specifically how much water is delivered to the crop and how well the soil retains water. Iowa State University Corn and Soybean Physiologist Mark Westgate spoke at the conference, praising Georgia corn growers for the advances they’ve made in their yields. “Iowa is blessed with some deep soils and good rainfall, so growing corn is what we are pretty good at there,” Westgate said. “Here in Georgia the growers are challenged with shallow soils, not much water or nutrient holding capacity in those soils, and boy they have a lot of pressures from insects and diseases. So growing a high yielding crop is a major challenge and accomplishment.” Like many other row crops, commodity prices for corn have presented farmers with financial stress to go along with the environmental stresses they face. “Unfortunately last year probably was a
Photo by Mark Wildman
Corn Short Course looks at managing crop stress
UGA Extension Agronomist Dr. Dewey Lee speaks at the Georgia Corn Short Course.
year that asked more questions than we had answers to answer,” said Macon County Farm Bureau Legislative Chairman Donald Chase. “So we have been coming every year and it’s good information, gives us something to think about and hopefully some of those questions we had last year we can answer now.” Georgia Farm Bureau News
CONFERENCE from page 8 ing and further topic training in late spring. County Farm Bureaus will be able to ask the speakers to speak at their county annual meetings or to local civic clubs for a fee and travel expenses. Hall County Farm Bureau Young Farmer Chairman Caroline Lewallen and Mitchell County Farm Bureau Young Farmer Chairman Casey Cox gave examples of speeches members of the GFB Speakers Bureau will make. Both are members of the speakers bureau. Lewallen gave a presentation titled “Shifting Gears” in which she described how she responds to consumers’ questions about GMOs and their food in her job as agritourism coordinator at Jaemor Farms, a GFB Certified Farm Market. She encouraged farmers who encounter consumers critical of agriculture to respond calmly, with integrity, transparency, accuracy and the facts. She stressed the importance of listening to consumers’ concerns and acknowledging you have heard them before calmly correcting their misconception. For instance, instead of saying American farmers produce safe, affordable food, Lewallen recommends using phrases such as “We’re preventing world famine,” and “We’re growing food that doesn’t make you sick.” Cox discussed production practices farmers have adopted to conserve water and the research being conducted at the Stripling Irrigation Center in Camilla, Ga. Cox, who is executive director of the Flint River Soil & Water Conservation District, discussed irrigation techniques she and her father use on their row crop farm and why using drip irrigation and variable rate irrigation technology is important as the Georgia/ Florida/Alabama water lawsuit continues to put farmers’ water use under scrutiny.
Field Services county board training
During the workshop on making county Farm Bureaus more effective, GFB Field Services Director Mike Copeland encouraged county Farm Bureaus to invite the Field Services Department to their county to hold a short training seminar for county Farm Bureau boards to give county directors a refresher course on GFB structure and programs. Copeland said the seminar could be held at night as part of the county’s regularly scheduled county board meeting and
could be held jointly with another county.
Georgia Sen. John Wilkinson, who chairs the Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee, gave an update on the Georgia General Assembly’s 2016 session and bills making their way through the legislature regarding agriculture. He said the state budget that legislators approve for 2017 will probably be about $24 billion. “We live in a state that passes a balanced budget each year, and we have a Triple A financial rating that allows us to get low interest rates when we build construction projects,” Wilkinson said. GFB Legislative Department Director Jeffrey Harvey gave an overview of legislation
GFB is tracking this session including HB 911, which proposes increasing the farm income requirement to qualify for the GATE card from $2,500 annually to a $10,000 annual minimum and moving administrative oversight of the card from the Georgia Department of Agriculture to the Georgia Department of Revenue.
GFB member benefits highlighted
County leaders attending the conference had the chance to visit with representatives of companies that offer discounted benefits and services to GFB members including Farm Bureau Bank, Ford, Air Evac, Six Flags, Wild Adventures, the Agelity Prescription Drug Discount Program and Members Health Insurance.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 15
By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ ore than 100 soybean growers various research projects funded by the and agribusiness owners heard Georgia Soybean Commission. updates on the latest research, Clemson University Extension Econeconomic outlook and legislative issues omist Dr. Nathan Smith provided the being discussed in Washington during economic outlook, noting that while dothe 2015 Soybean/Small Grain Expo, held mestic demand has been consistent, mulFeb. 4 at the Georgia Agricenter in Perry. tiple factors are resulting in diminished About a dozen exhibitors provided in- demand in export markets and conse-
“It’s a really challenging environment for all of our program crops. If you look at net farm income, that farm income in 2015 is down 53 percent from what it was just two years ago. That’s a massive change in fortune for the ag sector. It’s a situation that really tests the mechanisms we have in place now to help farmers deal with these kind of downturns.” – AFBF Economist John Anderson formation about the newest grain-related products, from seed varieties to bin preparation and others, and the University of Georgia presented posters detailing the
quently the commodity prices for small grains are down from previous years. “We’re in what I call kind of a correction cycle,” Smith said. “We’ve had five
Soybeans get Ga. Historical Marker
Photo by Erica Denney
Georgia may not be the largest producer of soybeans but its part in establishing the crop in the U.S. was recognized Jan. 9 when the Georgia Historical Society, Georgia/Florida Soybean Association and the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Soybeans erected a marker on Skidaway Island near Savannah commemorating the introduction of soybeans to North America. Samuel Bowen brought soybeans to the Georgia colony from China in 1764. The first North American soybean crop was planted in the spring of 1765 at Orangedale Plantation on Skidaway Island, land owned
16 / April-May 2016
by then-Georgia Surveyor General Henry Yonge. The Orangedale land is now a part of UGA’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. The marker is on McWhorter drive about one mile from the institute. Bowen later received a patent for the production of soy sauce for export to England. Soybeans were not widely grown in North America until the late 1800s, but since the 1940s have become one of the most widely grown and lucrative cash crops in the U.S. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Georgia growers produced 13.5 million bushels of soybeans in 2015. Soybean industry leaders unveiled a historical marker Jan. 9 recognizing the first soybean crop grown in North America was planted on Skidaway Island in 1765. Participating in the unveiling ceremony were, from left: American Soybean Association President Richard Wilkins, of Greenwood, Del.; Georgia/Florida Soybean Association President Walter Godwin, of Pelham, Ga.; Georgia Historical Society Historical Marker Program Coordinator Elyse Butler, of Savannah, Ga.; and Georgia Soybean Commodity Commission Chairman Greg Mims, of Donaldsonville, Ga.
Photo by Jay Stone
Soybean & grain growers get economic, research updates
Expo attendees had a chance to view posters detailing research projects funded by the Georgia Soybean Commission. Visit http:// tinyurl.com/soybeanexpo for more photos.
years or so of good prices, but production has caught up with demand.” American Farm Bureau Federation Deputy Chief Economist John Anderson gave an update on issues facing agriculture in Washington, including concerns about the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program in the farm bill related to discrepancies between neighboring counties in terms of prices and production. Anderson said that the number of ag issues tackled by Congress will depend heavily on the results of November elections. “This year is going to be dominated by the elections – the election for president and the elections to see who is going to control the House and Senate. Folks in Washington are going to be pretty preoccupied by that,” Anderson said, though efforts to create a national standard for biotech labeling are underway. “In the absence of that what we’re going to get is an unbelievably complicated patchwork of labeling regulations. Not just at the state level or even the county level. Maybe in some cases we’ll even see regulations at the local level where these products are treated differently, and I think that would be a mess.” UGA Associate Professor of Crop & Soil Sciences Dr. Zenglu Li presented the university’s research in soybean breeding. These included improvement of soybean fatty acids, particularly soybeans with high oleic content and improvements in protein quality. UGA Entomologist Dr. Michael Toews presented tips on preparing grain and grain bins for storage to prevent insect infestations. Dr. Christina Cowger of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service presented information about fusarium head blight on small grains. Cowger said fusarium attacks wheat, barley, oats, rye and corn, as well as carnations. Grain plants are particularly See SOYBEAN RESEARCH page 18 Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Ashton Lovett
The ABAC Farm Bureau held its 2nd Annual Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show Jan. 22-23 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. The show was open to 4-H and FFA members from 4th-12th grade and had 72 exhibitors. Landon Tadich of Perry High School FFA won the Grand Champion Heifer Award of $500. Mandee Collins of Perry High School FFA won the Reserve Champion Heifer Award of $400. Abby Moore of Perry High School FFA won the Grand Champion Steer Award of $500. Maddie Dean, a Crisp County 4-Her, won the Reserve Champion Steer Award of $400.
Photo by Ashton Lovett
ABAC Farm Bureau holds 2nd Annual Livestock Show
Pictured from left, show judge Mike McGuire, ABAC Farm Bureau President Charlsy Anesetti and Amanda Murphy, ABAC student and FRM Feeds representative, congratulate Landon Tadich on winning the $500 Grand Champion Heifer Award. Pictured from left, show judge Mike McGuire, ABAC Farm Bureau President Charlsy Anesetti and Amanda Murphy, ABAC student and FRM Feeds representative, congratulate Abby Moore of Houston County on winning the $500 Grand Champion Steer Award.
Monroe County H.E.R.D. Sale on May 7, 2016 • 12:30 p.m. Selling Approximately 85 Bred Heifers Sleepy Creek Farm near Forsyth, GA
• A.I. Breeding & Sire EPDs • Pelvic Area • Frame Score • Disposition Score • Weight per Day of Age • Average Daily Gain All heifers will sell confirmed safe in calf to calving ease Angus Bulls. All heifers will be bred A. I. at least once toTen X, Lightning or Oahe Dam. For more information or to receive a catalogue, call the Monroe County Extension at (478)994-7014. Web info at http://www.ugaextension.com/monroe/ Email at email@example.com type HERD in the subject line
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 17
By Mark Wildman & Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ The Georgia Association of Conserva- 637,211 acres statewide. tion District Supervisors (GACDS) learned “The two things I always try to emphaabout water regulations, invasive species, size are that invasive plant problems are and estate planning and got an update on something we’ve done to ourselves and that the current session of the Georgia legisla- the county foresters are the landowners’ ture during the organization’s annual meet- first line of defense,” Bates said. ing, held Feb. 25-27 on Jekyll Island. GFC Water Quality Coordinator Scott The GACDS, a nonprofit organization Thackston discussed the “Waters of the that works to promote good conservation U.S.” (WOTUS) rule put in place by the practices, has 40 districts around the state EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. and includes approximately 370 district su- “It’s going to extend the reach of fedpervisors according to GACDS President eral control beyond what we historically Dan Bennett of Walton County. thought,” Thackston said. “It’s going to “This is our one time a year that we reach into areas that before haven’t been can get together, we can interact with the under EPA jurisdiction.” Georgia Soil and Water Commission, we Georgia House Majority Leader Jon can interact with each other, learn from Burns gave an update on the current legislaeach other and meet up with our partners, tive session. not only Georgia Soil and Water but the Soil and Water Conservation Districts Natural Resource Conservation Service and throughout the state play a vital role in proseveral others that are here supporting us,” moting and educating the public on ways to Bennett said. improve lives through good conservation Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) methods. Forest Health Coordinator Chip Bates pre- “We are working with cattle producsented information about invasive species ers across the state and row crop producand how to control them. ers on water quality issues,” said Georgia “Cogongrass is the one success story we have in terms of invasive plants. We’re eradicating more than is being introduced Katie Gazda has been named executive in the state every year,” Bates said. While kudzu gets a lot of attention be- director of the Georgia Farm Bureau Founcause it is easily seen along the state’s high- dation for Agriculture. ways, Bates noted that other invasive plants “The GFB Founare much more prevalent, among them dation for Agriculture non-native privet, which in 2013 covered is one of our newer programs and we set it SOYBEAN RESEARCH from page 16 up to fund our agriculsusceptible to it when rain occurs in the two tural education initiaweeks prior to flowering, and the infections tives,” said GFB PresiKatie Gazda occur when flowering begins. She also noted dent Gerald Long. “We that www.scabsmart.org provides growers think Katie fits in well with our organization with a resource for managing the disease in and we look forward to seeing her work with their crops. the foundation.” UGA Extension Agronomist Dr. Jared Gazda, who grew up on her famWhitaker recognized Trey Dunaway of ily’s farm, Gazda Cattle Company, is a 2012 Pulaski County as the winner of the UGA graduate of the University of Georgia, where Soybean Awards contest. Dunaway pro- she received a bachelor’s degree in agriculduced 93 bushels per acre. Billy Sanders tural communication. A 4-Her, she showed of Dooly County took second place in the Angus cattle at the state, regional and naSoybean Awards contest for yielding 87 tional levels. She was crowned Miss Ameribushels per acre. can Angus in 2009.
Photo by Mark Wildman
GACDS annual meeting gives water, invasive plant updates
Dan Bennett, president of the Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors, said face-to-face interaction between conservation partner organizations is a key benefit of the GACDS annual meeting.
Soil & Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) Executive Director Brent Dykes. “We have an agricultural water-metering program that helps us conserve agricultural water use and measure that use for farmers. We are also working on flood control dams across the state to make sure that those dams stay productive and protect folks downstream from down flooding.” Georgia Farm Bureau has supported keeping funding and maintenance of the metering program under GSWCC, though language in the Georgia House budget bill for FY 2017 proposes moving it to the GFC. The Georgia Senate version of the budget bill did not include the proposed move.
GFB names Gazda executive director of foundation
18 / April-May 2016
Prior to joining GFB, Gazda worked as an event planner for UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, and most recently as donor and alumni relations coordinator for North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Georgia agriculture has served as the backbone of my family for generations, and I’m grateful to be able to give back through my work with the GFB Foundation for Agriculture,” Gazda said. “I’m excited to join the Farm Bureau family and look forward to growing the foundation and supporting its four pillars so agriculture can remain a viable industry in the state for generations to come.” In addition to leading the foundation, Gazda will be a programs specialist in the GFB Field Services Department providing support to the GFB Young Farmer, Women’s Leadership Committee and Ag in the Classroom programs. Gazda replaces Jed Evans, who left GFB in December. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Bell & Lee elected to NPB
Andy Bell, a Decatur County Farm Bureau director and member of the Georgia Farm Bureau Peanut Advisory Committee, began a three-year term on the National Peanut Board Jan. 1. Neil Lee, a Terrell County Farm Andy Bell Bureau member, began a three-year term as an alternate member. Gayle White, a farmer from Frederick, Okla., was elected to serve a one-year term as chairman of the 12-member NPB, beginning Jan. 1. The NPB also elected Ed White of Newville, Ala, as vice-chairman; Greg Gill of Walnut Ridge, Ark., as treasurer and Dan Ward of Clarkton, N.C., as secretary. These officers also began oneyear terms Jan. 1.
Ga. Commodity Commissions name new board members Nine of Georgia’s Agriculture Commodity Commissions (ACCs) recently appointed new members. The ex officio committee for the ACCs approved the appointments, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Georgia Farm Bureau 10th District David Lee Directors David Lee of Bacon County and Daniel Johnson of Pierce County received appointments. Lee was appointed to the ACC for Bluberries, while Johnson was appointed to the ACC for Tobacco. Daniel Johnson The other appointees were: Apple – Andy Futch, Gilmer County and Robert Mitcham Sr., Rabun County; Blueberry – Albert Wildes, Bacon County; Corn – Mike Jaros, Peach County and Jerry
Smith, Dawson County; Cotton – Bart Davis, Colquitt County and James Webb, Calhoun County; Equine – Julie Murphy of Brooks County and Dr. Carter Black, Chattooga County. Milk – Phil Harvey, Jasper County and Paul Johnson, Decatur County; Peach - Lawton Pearson, Crawford County and Sean Lennon, Meriwether County; Pecan – Thomas Mason, Houston County, Mark Cook, Washington County and Roy Goodson, Lee County; Tobacco – Wayne McKinnon, Coffee County; and Vegetables - Glenn Heard, Decatur County, Ken Corbett, Echols County, Bill Brim, Tift County and Brett Williams, Toombs County. Appointed members of the commissions serve terms of three years and can be reappointed for additional terms. ACCs are created by acts of the Georgia Legislature and collect assessments from the growers of the commodities under the authority of farmer-approved market orders. These funds are used to support research, education and promotion projects for the commodities.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 19
commodities/marketing update By Brandon Ashley, Commodities/Marketing Specialist
Tax issues affecting agritourism and direct-to-consumer sales Agritourism is a rapidly growing sector of Georgia’s agriculture. According to the 2014 University of Georgia Farm Gate Value Report published by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, ag-based tourism had a farm gate value of $142.3 million in 2013, an 82 percent increase since 2008. Recognizing the growth of agritourism and direct-to-consumer marketing, Georgia Farm Bureau established a Direct Marketing & Agritourism Commodity Advisory Committee in 2015 to help our organization develop and implement policy relating to this specialized area of agriculture. There are many factors responsible for the rapid growth of agritourism. Dealing directly with the public, however, presents unique challenges compared to more traditional farm operations. Liability issues, insurance, food service regulations and staffing are some of the issues that agritourism or farms with direct sales face. Recently, tax issues have been added to the list.
Sales Tax Collections
Across the state, many operators have experienced audits from the Georgia Department of Revenue relating to collections of sales taxes at the farm market or agritourism operation. There was confusion and lack of clarity on some of the laws. Representatives from the Georgia Agritourism Association, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia De-
partment of Agriculture met with officials from the Georgia Department of Revenue last summer to gain clarity on this issue. It is important to know that ALL items are subject to local sales taxes, and the only tax exclusions are from state sales taxes. Farm products that are meant for offpremise human consumption and are not classified as prepared food are the only types of items exempt from the state sales tax, but subject to all local sales taxes. Fresh produce, not sold for on-site consumption, is not considered prepared food, and therefore exempt from the state portion of sales taxes. Prepared food is subject to state sales tax collections. Prepared food is defined as any food product that has two or more ingredients mixed at the seller’s location, is heated or has been heated at one time by the seller at the seller’s location, or is sold with a utensil. Juice, jams, jellies, pies, single serving cups of juice, etc. are considered prepared food.
Sales Taxes on admissions
If an agritourism operation charges admission to participate in its activities, it is required to collect full sales taxes. The only exception is if it is hosting a workshop or educational event at the farm. If the primary intent is educational, you do not have to collect sales taxes. If dealing with a school group, you do not collect sales taxes on the field trip admission. If the school is paying for the teacher, chaperone, parent, etc., then the admission fee is tax exempt. However, if the teacher, chaperone, parent, etc. is paying the admission for themselves, the admission fee is subject to state and local sales taxes.
Photo by Brandon Ashley
Agritourism & GATE
Prepared food sold at agritourism operations is subject to state sales tax collections. 20 / April-May 2016
At the time of this writing, the Georgia General Assembly is considering legislation that would change some aspects of the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) Program. While agritourism is not specifically listed as an allowable use for the GATE card, many aspects of an agritourism operation would qualify you to use the GATE card.
For example, if you qualify for GATE as a strawberry grower, you can use the GATE card for purchasing qualified inputs for a pick-your-own strawberry operation. After the 2016 legislative session concludes, more information on possible changes will be available.
The Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) is arguably the most important program offered to Georgia farmers. Agritourism is an allowable use on a parcel of land enrolled in CUVA, but agritourism operators need to be very careful when planning their initial operations or any expansions. There are many questions about CUVA and agritourism. A simple answer to this complicated issue is this: the best thing an agritourism operator can do is to plan ahead at the time the covenant is made, or when you renew the covenant after the 10-year period, and carve out a small section of land separate from the rest of land. This small area would be subject to property taxes on the fair market value, but it would not jeopardize the rest of the tract to breach penalties. This way, any commercial activity that is not a qualified use will not be penalized on this tract. If this is impractical, the operator should wait until the covenant has expired before doing any sort of expansion.
Agritourism Resource Guide for Tax Issues
Georgia Farm Bureau, along with the Georgia Agritourism Association and other allied organizations, is developing an agritourism resource guide that will offer more details on sales tax collections, the GATE program as it relates to agritourism, and CUVA. This resource guide will be available after the 2016 legislative session, and can be used to help agritourism operators, elected and regulatory officials. This article provides general information about agritourism tax issues. Business owners should consult their attorney or CPA for expert tax advice. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Ag Forecast addresses local tax revenues, crop outlook By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________
UGA Economist Sharon Kane was the keynote speaker for the 2016 Ag Forecast series. Kane shared results of a study she led at the request of GFB in response to claims that the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) resulted in significant reductions in the disbursements counties receive from the state. Visit http:tinyurl. com/16agforecast to see more photos.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
GA economists gave farmers and agricultural stakeholders a peek into what’s expected for the 2016 crop year and an examination of county tax revenues during the Jan. 29 installment of the 2016 Georgia Ag Forecast series held at the Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) building in Macon. GFB President Gerald Long introduced himself and shared how the Ag Forecast series began thanks to an endowment set up by Georgia Farm Bureau. “Farm Bureau and Extension have a long service history together,” Long said. “The purpose of the Farm Bureau endowment was and still is to support a lecture series to provide information to farmers and agribusinesses about the upcoming growing season.” UGA Center for Agribusiness and
Economic Development (CAED) Economist Sharon Kane shared results of a study the CAED did at the request of GFB in response to claims that the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) resulted in significant reductions in the disbursements counties receive from the state. The CAED looked at state tax distribution data published by the Georgia Department of Revenue. “We were receiving a lot of questions from around the state about it,” Kane said. “People were rumbling about GATE and how it was affecting counties.” While many counties saw the sales tax disbursements decline in 2013-2015 compared with 2010-2012, the biggest portion of those declines came in sales taxes on automobiles after the state legislature changed the tax structure in 2013. When the state disbursements of funds for the title ad valorem tax (TAVT) were added to the sales tax revenue, the average county actually saw a six percent increase in its overall revenue. “It’s not like a controlled experiment where you can say something is just caused by one thing or another,” Kane said. “But we think this Department of Revenue report helps to shed some light on what the questions are so we can ask the right question and shed light on what happened before and after these tax changes.” UGA Extension Economist Dr. Don Shurley provided the outlook information on the state’s major row crops. Shurley said the state’s cotton growers are facing serious issues with demand for cotton, which has hovered around 60 cents per pound in recent months. He suggested that cotton farmers be patient and wait for prices in the 68-70 cents per pound range before signing contracts. Shurley said domestic demand for corn is expected to continue to grow despite a leveling off of corn use for ethanol, because with increasing livestock herds the feed demand will increase.
Shurley predicted peanut prices in the $375-$385 per ton range and noted Virginia peanuts could go as high as $425 per ton. UGA CAED Director Kent Wolfe gave the outlook for Georgia meat production and fruits and vegetables. Wolfe said the national and state beef herds are increasing and though beef prices are trending down, some input prices are also declining and beef producers could have another profitable year. The dairy industry is increasing production and lower prices are expected. Poultry prices are expected to be lower in 2016, Wolfe said, in response to increased supplies and export restrictions. Pork production is also increasing and there has been a moderate increase in export demand. Wolfe said prices could rebound in the second and third quarters of 2016. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black gave a brief update on the avian influenza threat and said registration for GATE cards is moving toward an all-electronic process.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 21
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
UGA CAES Associate Dean for Extension Dr. Laura Perry Johnson, podium, joins the panel discussion at the Southern Women’s Agricultural Leadership Summit that included from left, then-USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, entrepreneur Caroline Bakker Hofland, farmer Dr. Cindy Ayers-Elliott, Dr. Caula Beyl, dean of the University of Tennessee College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, and lobbyist Camille Scales Young. To view more photos of this event visit http://tinyurl.com/AgWomenSummit.
Summit looks at women in agriculture
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________ Women from 13 states representing many sectors of agriculture met in Athens Feb. 8 to attend the Southern Region Women’s Agricultural Leadership Summit hosted by the University of Georgia Women’s Leadership Initiative and the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES). The event, which focused on women’s leadership roles in ag, included a panel discussion, a group work session and keynote address by thenUSDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, a native of Camilla, Ga. “The delegates at this summit represent the future of agriculture,” UGA President Jere W. Morehead said in his welcoming remarks. “The work they are doing to shape policies and programs to promote gender equity and women’s leadership development will have a positive impact on an industry that is crucial to our nation’s food security and economic vitality.” Female farmers and women employed by government agencies serving agriculture, the Cooperative Extension System, Farm Bureau and ag-related organizations and businesses comprised the delegate body invited to the summit. Additional women from these sectors also attended as observers. 22 / April-May 2016
UGA CAES Associate Dean for Extension Dr. Laura Perry Johnson started the morning panel discussion by saying, “This is a very far-reaching conversation and this conference has been a long-time coming. I grew up on a South Georgia farm. Agriculture is not just what I do, it’s a huge part of who I am.” Participants in the panel discussion were: then-USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, Caroline Bakker Hofland, Dr. Cindy Ayers-Elliott, Dr. Caula Beyl and Camille Scales Young. Bakker Hofland is a CAES graduate who started CBH International Inc. in 1990, which sells equipment and provides value-added services to the poultry, swine and food industries in Latin American countries. Dr. Ayers-Elliott is chairperson & CEO of Foot Print Farms LLC, a women-owned, 68-acre teaching & production farm for specialty crops, vegetables & livestock that focuses on agritourism for community development in Jackson, Miss. Dr. Beyl has served as dean of the University of Tennessee College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources since 2007 after teaching & researching at Alabama A&M for almost 27 years where she served
as principal investigator or co-investigator on 43 funded research projects. Scales Young began her career with Mississippi Farm Bureau, held a position with USDA, spent 10 years as a government affairs representative with one of the top law firms in Mississippi and is now with a bipartisan public affairs firm. Bakker Hofland told women to be prepared to overcome obstacles when someone says no to you by being knowledgeable about your subject matter. Ayers-Elliott encouraged women to utilize resources available through the USDA and land-grant colleges to benefit their farms saying, “It’s about understanding and coming up with a plan and working the plan and not letting the plan work me. When I don’t know something I bring in the experts. We have to do this because food is a matter of national security.” Dr. Beyl told women not to wait until someone appoints them or asks them to serve but rather when they see a situation that needs to be improved to step up to the plate and do it! Scales Young told young women to be willing to pay their dues, saying when considering job applicants she considers whether they are willing to work at the “little” things. “How many people are willing to sit in the floor and put together goodie bags? You have to be willing to be a servant before you can ever be a leader,” Young said. During the panel discussion, Harden said, “We all know women have been involved in agriculture forever. It is not something that’s new. My mother has signed every single note my daddy ever did. She had just as much at risk. But we don’t recognize it, and we don’t value it [the contributions women make to their family farms]. They may not be the ones driving the tractors, but they’re running around buying equipment parts. We need to embrace each other. We need to encourage each other. I come from a small town in South Georgia, and I understand the conventional roles, but we can do it if we support each other. Sometimes the conversations that start at the kitchen table are much harder than the ones at the board table.” See SUMMIT next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB mourns loss of county presidents ALBERT WARD, 71, who served as the Banks County Farm Bureau president since 2013, died Jan. 6 after a courageous battle with cancer. He previously served as vice president beginning in 2008 and served on the BCFB Board for many years. He also served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Poultry Committee in past years. After serving in the U.S. Army, Ward began farming in Clarke County and then moved to Banks county in 1978 where he owned and operated 4W Valley Farm. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Margie;
daughters Kelli Ward and Tracie Wheeless and son-in-law Kris; and five grandchildren. In addition to his Farm Bureau involvement, Ward was a director and past president of the Banks County Cattlemen’s Association, served on the county Farm Services Agency Committee for 18 years and was the 2015 Banks County Farmer of the Year. He also served on the Banks County Planning Commission and was a member of Blacks Creek Baptist Church. Condolences may be sent to the family at 1894 Fort Lamar Road, Commerce, Ga., 30530.
Ogletree part of ASA DuPont Young Leaders
Spalding County Farm Bureau Vice President Brian Ogletree is a member of the 32nd class of American Soybean Association (ASA) DuPont Young Leaders. The 2016 program began with a training session at DuPont Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, in December. The program is designed to identify new and aspiring leaders and provide them with opportunities to enhance their skills and network with other growers. Representatives from Ogletree 23 states and Canada participated in training that included educational and skillbuilding components. Ogletree grows soybeans and a variety of small grains. He is a former member of the GFB Young Farmer Committee. SUMMIT from previous page
Still striving for equality
While delivering the keynote address at the event lunch, Harden spoke favorably of her father and husband and thanked the men attending the conference saying, “I’m very proud of the enlightened men who are here, whether you had to be or not, because this is a team effort.” Harden spoke frankly about her almost 35-year career in Washington, D.C., as a woman representing agriculture on Capitol Hill, and how she sought out women of substance whose careers she wanted to emulate. In January Harden announced she was resigning as USDA Deputy Secretary - as most senior appointed administrators do before their president’s term ends - effective Feb. 26. On March 2, DuPont announced Harden is its new vice president of public policy and chief sustainability officer. At the conference, Harden shared an interview she had while considering future positions in which an all-male selection committee asked her if she had any management experience. She said she gave
the committee members the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t realize her job as USDA deputy secretary made her the chief operating officer of the department, which has more than 100,000 employees nationwide. She laid out her management qualifications from this position and past jobs. At the end of the interview she asked the committee if they would have asked the same question of a male candidate. “It hurt me to realize that the industry that I love and want to be a part of still has a hint of bias,” Harden said. Harden encouraged the women attending the conference to take the information and messages they gained at the conference back home and replicate it with conferences in their communities and organizations. “If this were about me and it ends when I’m gone [from USDA] what a failure,” Harden said. “Hopefully you’ll go back home and what you learned and heard will motivate you to do your job just a little bit differently.”
TOMMY TERRELL, 85, who served as the McIntosh County Farm Bureau (MCFB) president since 2005, died Feb. 23. He had previously served as MCFB vice president for many years. After serving in the U.S. Army he worked for CSX Railroad as a machinist for 42 years. He moved from Waycross to McIntosh County after retiring. He was a Mason and a member of the First United Methodist Church of Darien. Terrell is survived by his wife, Faye, daughters Phyllis Terrell and Terri Parker and son-in-law Robert; two granddaughters and four great-grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to the family at 1154 Jewel Lane SW, Townsend, Ga., 31331.
County Farm Bureaus win AFBF grants
The Cherokee and Houston County Farm Bureaus have each been awarded $500 grants through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, part of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The grants are allocated through county and state Farm Bureaus and are used to create new or expand existing agricultural literacy projects. Cherokee County Farm Bureau plans to introduce a hydroponics classroom at the Cherokee Charter Academy, while Houston County Farm Bureau plans to extend a poultry project for students at Morningside Elementary School. The foundation is currently accepting applications for the next round of minigrants. The deadline to apply is April 29 for projects to be implemented in the fall. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis with priority given to programs demonstrating a need for financial support. For more information, visit www. agfoundation.org/projects/mini-grantshome or contact Donna Rocker at 478-4740679, ext. 5365 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 23
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Georgia pork producers attending the Georgia Pork Producers Association 2016 Annual Meeting elected officers for the coming year who are, from left, President Rodney Newton of Jenkins County, President-Elect Dr. Steve Healy of Bulloch County, Vice President Tom Meeks of Coffee County and National Pork Congress Delegates Mark Clemmers of Coffee County and Dania Devane of Randolph County and Executive Vice President Charles Griffin. Visit http://tinyurl.com/16GAPork to see more photos.
Ga. pork producers get industry updates at annual meeting
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________
he Georgia Pork Producers Association held its annual meeting in conjunction with the 2016 Georgia Pork Congress Feb. 16 at the Georgia Farm Bureau office in Macon. Pork producers attending the event heard updates on swine research being conducted at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), learned about swine diseases, and heard tips on managing their lagoons and calibrating center pivots to properly apply animal waste on fields. A National Pork Board (NPB) representative provided updates on the promotion and education programs the NPB is conducting to increase consumer demand and educate consumers. Dr. David Reeves, a faculty member of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, discussed the implications of the new federal Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) governing antibiotic use in livestock production effective Jan. 1, 2017. Reeves explained that many drugs livestock producers use will require a VFD from a veterinarian after Jan. 1, 2017, to obtain and use them. For more information visit www.pork.org/antibiotics. Reeves also discussed the new Swine 24 / April-May 2016
Health Information Center that is using real time production data provided by pork production companies to monitor the outbreak of numerous swine diseases. Reeves encouraged producers to visit www.shmp@ umn.edu to access reports compiled for the pork community’s nationwide disease monitoring project. Dr. Robert Cobb, state veterinarian with the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA), addressed concerns producers have with feral hogs being sold at livestock markets and the potential livestock brought into Georgia from other states for breeding or show purposes have for introducing disease into Georgia’s commercial herds. “What I’m proposing is rule changes to change ID rules of exhibition animals in Georgia. These changes would be put into place to help us be better able to trace disease concerns and to trace interstate movement,” Cobb said. In regards to feral swine, Cobb said, “Current laws don’t allow feral swine to go through our livestock markets, but it’s perfectly legal for feral swine to go through a slaughter facility provided they meet inspection requirements. Our inspectors at [livestock] markets are re-
quired to turn away any feral swine that show up at markets. All breeding age swine that go through livestock markets are tagged and tested for pseudorabies and brucellosis.” Cobb acknowledged that some people have skirted enforcement of the current rules intended to keep feral hogs out of the market chain by releasing them when they fail the health tests. He said the GDA is supporting proposed legislation that would help the department enforce the rules by requiring markets and animal dealers to be licensed and bonded. National Pork Board (NPB) Regional Manager Stephen Herring gave an update on NPB activities intended to build consumer trust, drive sustainable pork production and grow consumer demand for pork products. Herring said 2015 was a record year for U.S. pork production thanks to the industry’s swift response to control cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), a virus first confirmed in the U.S. in May 2013 that devastated pork herds in 2013 and 2014. Herring said NPB is working to educate consumers that any antibiotics producers use are regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and that since hormones occur naturally in pigs, there is no such thing as a hormone-free pork product, just products with no added hormones. “Building consumer trust that producers are using antibiotics responsibly is our number one priority,” Herring said. “We are working to shape the dialogue we are having with consumers so they don’t make decisions about their food based on emotions.” Members of the Georgia Pork Producers Association (GPPA) elected officers for the coming year who are: President Rodney Newton of Jenkins County; President-Elect Dr. Steve Healy of Bulloch County; Vice President Tom Meeks of Coffee County; and National Pork Congress Delegates Mark Clemmer of Coffee County and Dania Devane of Randolph County. Outgoing GPPA President Mark Clemmer presented a $25,400 donation on behalf of the organization to the UGA Animal & Dairy Science Department to fund swine research Dr. Mike Azain and Dr. Robert Dove are conducting at the UGA CAES Double Bridges Farm. Georgia Farm Bureau News
DuPont, Dow release details of merger
DuPont and the Dow Chemical Company announced further details Feb. 19 regarding the new ag company the two companies plan to create from their merger first announced Dec. 11. This will be one of three independent, publicly traded companies created following the planned separation of DowDupont. The corporate headquarters for the agriculture company will be in Wilmington, Del., and will feature DuPont in the company’s name following completion of the corporate naming and branding process, according to a release issued by DowDupont. The Wilmington headquarters will include the office of the CEO and key corporate support functions while sites in Johnston, Iowa, and Indianapolis, Indiana, will serve as global business centers with leadership of business lines, support functions, research and development, global supply chain and sales and marketing concentrated in the two Midwest locations. “Our deep presence in Iowa and Indiana will continue the close ties to our customer base and the broader agriculture community, while leveraging the existing coporate infrastructure and expertise we have in Delaware – Dupont’s home for
Georgia Farm & Erosion Control Expo
April 29 • 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. • Marietta Jim Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Rd. This expo, sponsored in part by Cobb County Farm Bureau, provides a hands-on look at the latest in erosion and sedimentation control products. Former Gov. Roy Barnes, who is a cattle producer, will discuss the importance of soil conservation to local and state economies. The event includes live demonstrations and exhibits detailing innovations in erosion control. For more information visit www.cobbswcd.org or call 404-307-2925 or 770-235-5662.
more than 200 years,” Edward D. Breen, chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont said in the release. The planned independent ag company resulting from the Dow-DuPont merger will consolidate the two companies’ seed and crop protection products. Dow crop protection products include the soil fungicide and nematicide Telone, the herbicides Duramax, Durango and Enlist Duo and the insecticide Dursban. DuPont crop protection products include the herbicide LeadOff and Matrix, the insecticides Avaunt, Coragen, and Prevathon, nematicide Vydate and fungicide Tanos. Dow seed brands include Mycogen, PhytoGen and Broadbeck while DuPont offers Pioneer alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, mustard, pearl millet, sorghum, soybean, sunflower and wheat seeds. “The intended agriculture company will be highly focused, stronger, more competitive, more resilient and better equipped to deliver growth and long-term, sustainable value than either DuPont or Dow could deliver on its own,” Breen said in the release. “Both companies have highly respected brands in the agriculture industry, such as Pioneer and Mycogen [seed brands], which we will continue to build and leverage. We intend to bring a broader suite of products to market faster to increase grower productivity and profitability.” A material science company headquar-
tered in Midland, Mich, that features Dow in the company’s name is the second independent company resulting from the merger consisting of Dow’s Performance Plastics, Performance Materials & Chemicals, Infrastructure Solutions, Consumer Care & Automotive Solutions and DuPont’s Performance Materials segment. The third independent company resulting from the intended merger, which is expected to be completed during the second half of 2016, is a specialty products company headquartered in Wilmington, Del., expected to be composed of four businesses including DuPont’s Nutrition & Health, Industrial Biosciences and Protective Solutions businesses along with the integration of DuPont’s Electronics & Communications business with Dow’s Electronic Materials business unit. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the DowDupont agriculture company could result in a 17 percent share of the crop protection business compared to Syngenta’s 21 percent, Bayer’s 20 percent and BASF’s 13 percent. The WSJ also reports the merger could result in the DowDupont agriculture company having 38 percent of the U.S market share for soybean seeds compared to Monsanto’s 28 percent. The merger is expected to give DowDupont 41 percent of the U.S. market share of corn seeds compared to Monsanto’s 36 percent.
Chinese company buys Syngenta
Swiss agricultural company Syngenta announced Feb. 3 that ChemChina has offered to acquire the company for $43 billion plus a special dividend to be paid conditional upon and prior to closing. According to the Syngenta release, the proposed transaction respects the interests of all stakeholders and the Syngenta board of directors is unanimously recommending the offer to shareholders. There is committed financing for the deal and a strong commitment to pursue regulatory clearances. The transaction is expected to conclude by the end of 2016. Syngenta’s existing management will continue to run the company. Since 2011 Monsanto has made several offers to purchase Syngenta, the most recent of which came in 2015, when the U.S. company made an offer reportedly worth between $47 billion and $49 billion. Monsanto dropped the bid in August 2015 after Syngenta expressed concerns over exposure to regulatory problems in multiple countries and claimed the Monsanto offer undervalued the Swiss company.
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 25
AROUND GEORGIA Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker
News from County Farm Bureaus
ATKINSON COUNTY Atkinson County Farm Bureau (ACFB) recently presented $500 donations to both the Atkinson County FFA and 4-H programs. Pictured from left, ACFB President William White thanks Atkinson County Extension Director Tony Barnes for his work while ACFB Women’s Committee Chairman Jenelle Taft presents a donation to Barnes and Atkinson County High School FFA advisor Whit Stewart. ACFB made the donation in appreciation of the dedication the leaders of these organizations have for the youth in the county. The donations will be used to fund projects that are normally underfunded. BANKS COUNTY To celebrate March being Ag Awareness Month, the Banks County Farm Bureau (BCFB) Women’s Committee and the Banks County 4-H Sprouts Garden Club organized a garden activity for students at Banks County Middle School. The students planted corn, green beans and cucumbers in ice cream cones and will watch them grow until April when they will plant them in the school garden. BCFB Women’s Committee member Michelle Cote, right, helps a student plant seeds. Playing in the dirt gave students a creative way to explore agriculture while meeting their Common Core Curriculum for math, science and creative writing. This activity will also be presented at the Banks County Headstart and Pre-K, where parents will be invited to volunteer at the school garden for a day of “Planting for the Future.” BULLOCH COUNTY Thanks to Bulloch County Farm Bureau (BCFB), students at Sallie Zetterower Elementary School in Statesboro have a better understanding of agriculture. BCFB helped sponsor a farm day at the school that reached more than 700 first through fifthgrade students and staff. 26 / April-May 2016
Students rotated through six stations that highlighted different aspects of agriculture including farm equipment, forestry, electricity, bees, goats and chickens. BCFB volunteers read ag books to the students, shot class photos of the students with the farm equipment and did numerous other tasks to pull off the event. BCFB members helping with the farm day included BCFB President Lannie Lee, BCFB Vice President Bill T. Akers, BCFB Sec./Tres. Charles Finch and his wife, Sally, BCFB Women’s Chairman Jane Cason, BCFB Young Farmer Chairman David Cromley, BCFB Legislative Chairman Elliott Marsh, BCFB Director Bobby Joe Cason, and BCFB members Will Ball, Kyle Shedd, Garret Anderson, Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Colson. Cathy Deal with the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission also helped. BCFB President Lannie Lee was celebrating his 95th birthday on Nov. 17 when the event occurred, so the students sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
CLARKE COUNTY To celebrate National Future Farmers of America Week, Feb. 20-27, the Clarke County Farm Bureau arranged for the six FFA Chapters in the county to meet with Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson. FFA students from Cedar Shoals High School, W.R. Coile Middle School, Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School, Hilsman Middle School, Clarke Middle School and Athens Christian School participated in the FFA proclamation signing. DECATUR COUNTY Decatur County Farm Bureau (DCFB) held a reception at its office Jan. 15 to celebrate DCFB Sec./Treasurer Gerald Long becoming Georgia Farm Bureau president. DCFB members, Decatur County business and civic leaders and Farm Bureau Georgia Farm Bureau News
leaders from neighboring counties attended to fellowship with the Long family. GRADY COUNTY Grady County Farm Bureau member Terri Perkins, standing back row, far right, donated a copy of the book “First Peas to the Table,” to the Whigham Elementary School. Perkins was inspired to donate the book after attending the fundraising breakfast for the American Farm Bureau Agriculture Foundation during the 2016 AFBF Convention. The foundation selected the book as its book of the year for its accurate depiction of agriculture. Author Susan Grigsby, who spoke at the breakfast, stressed the importance of getting copies of her book into the hands of children who aren’t growing up on farms. Tracey Champagne (back row, far left), a Grady County Middle School ag teacher, recruited three of her students to read the book to the three, first-grade classes at the school. McDUFFIE COUNTY McDuffie County Farm Bureau (MCFB) hosted an information & refreshment table for more than 90 college students visiting Hillcrest Farms on the Southern Regional American Dairy Science Association Student Affiliate tour. MCFB volunteers manned a booth displaying the benefits of Farm Bureau membership and distributed Young Farmer brochures, member benefit packets, bottled water and peanuts. Pictured from left, MCFB President Skeeter McCorkle talks to MCFB Sec./Treasurer Jay Spears as MCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Patsy Spear puts the finishing touches on the exhibit. Mark Rodgers, chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Dairy Advisory Committee, and his brother, Andy, who run their family’s four-generation dairy farm talked to the students about how they manage their herd at Hillcrest Farms.
MORGAN COUNTY On Jan. 21, Morgan County Farm Bureau (MCFB) co-hosted a Farm Market Conference with UGA Extension and FarmView Market at the new market outside Madison to discuss selling produce at the market. MCFB President Jim Markley, not pictured, welcomed the attendees to the event and shared how his family sells peaches at their C.J. Orchard in Rutledge. UGA Extension specialists discussed management tips for growing produce for a farmers market, addressed economic considerations and answered questions. Cheryl Brady, former manager of the Monroe Farmers Market discussed the structure of a local farmers market. Carolyn Markley, chairman of the MCFB Women’s & Promotion/Education Committees, and MCFB Office Manager Alison Jenkins registered the 65 conference attendees as they arrived. MCFB gave conference attendees gift bags with an assortment of gifts promoting Farm Bureau. SPALDING COUNTY Spalding County Farm Bureau (SCFB) recently awarded a $750 college scholarship to Hunter Jenkins. SCFB President Charles Rucks, right, presents the scholarship to Jenkins, left, who plans to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in the fall and major in forestry management. SCFB also presented a $500 scholarship to Amelia Smith, who plans to attend the University of Georgia next fall to pursue a degree in animal health. WALTON COUNTY Walton County Farm Bureau (WCFB) held a dinner for its Young Farmer members, ages 18-35, Feb. 29 at the WCFB office. WCFB Vice President Ken Boss, standing right, and Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Coordinator Taylor Sills, standing left, talked to the young farmers about Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer activities and the benefits of being a Farm Bureau member.
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016/ 27
Participating in the event were, pictured from left, GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Taylor Sills, Jonathan & Bridget Hitchcock, Washington County; Caroline Lewallen, Hall County; Casey Cox, Mitchell County; William & Tori Faulkner, Coweta County; Chandler Rowe, Irwin County; J.W. Oliver, Wayne County; Josh Howell, Wilkinson County; Clete Nolan, Coffee County; Josh Cammack, Treutlen County; Matt Oliver, Macon County; Michael
By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________ Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) hosted a two-day leadership development program for county Young Farmer Committee chairmen and co-chairs. The inaugural GFB 101
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
GFB hosts event to introduce young farmers to organization
Chafin, Colquitt County; Sam Ingram, Effingham County; Brennan Jackson, Jones County; Caitlin Bennett, Banks County; J.D. Newton, Bulloch County; Christy Bryan, Chattooga County; John McLocklin, Barrow County; GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairmen Heather & Will Cabe, Franklin County; Dustin Covington, Sumter County and GFB First Lady Janice Long & GFB President Gerald Long.
event began Feb. 3 at the GFB office in Macon and continued in Atlanta that afternoon. The event ended with GFB Day at the Capitol on Feb. 4. The event kicked off with an overview of GFB structure and member services. GFB
ABAC Young Farmers visit Ga. Capitol
Photo by Taylor Sills
On Feb. 23, 20 members of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Farm Bureau Young Farmers group visited the Georgia Capitol to learn more about the legislative process and how Georgia Farm Bureau represents farmers in the legislative arena. This was the second year that the ABAC Farm Bureau Young Farmer Program, which began in 2014, visited Atlanta. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Rep. Robert Dickey and Rep. Chad Nimmer spoke to the group at the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The goal of the GFB ABAC Young Farmer program is to prepare ag students to become active Georgia Farm Bureau members by providing leadership, educational and social opportunities.
28 / April-May 2016
President Gerald Long, GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Will Cabe and GFB Federation staff addressed the group. Cabe talked to the county young farmer chairmen about the importance of being involved in the GFB Young Farmer Program and opportunities the program offers. Long thanked the young farmers for being involved in the organization and shared advice he has learned in his years with the organization. “As leaders in your county Farm Bureaus you play an important role in our organization,” Long said. “You get out of life what you put into it and that includes your married life, your farm life and your Farm Bureau life. I know many of you wonder, ‘When will my time come to lead?’ It will come, and I thank you for being patient. As president, it’s my responsibility to meet with our legislators and represent you as farmers, but I will be no better spokesman than you allow me to be by advising me [on ag issues].” Program participants received an overview of GFB programs and services from Field Services Director Mike Copeland, as well as presentations from the GFB Member Services, Public Relations, Commodities and Field Services departments on their areas of responsibility. During the afternoon of Feb. 3 in Atlanta, the young farmers met with GFB legislative staff, toured the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the state capitol. Twentytwo young farmers from around the state participated. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Andy Lucas
For the 31st year, Georgia Farm Bureau sent a group of young farmers to Washington, D.C., to discuss issues impacting agriculture with Georgia’s Congressional delegation. Here the group meets with U.S.
Sen. David Perdue, center. GFB hosts this annual trip to give its future leaders the experience of seeing how their grassroots organization works for them on the national level.
Young Farmers travel to Washington for 31st time
group of 31 young farmers from across Georgia traveled to Washington, D.C., on March 8-11 as part of the 31st Annual Young Farmers to Washington trip hosted by the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee. The young farmers had a chance to tell Georgia’s congressional delegation how critical issues such as immigration and excessive regulation affect their farms. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue met with the group in the Russell Senate Office Building and discussed several issues facing American agriculture. The U.S. House of Representatives was on recess during the visit, but delegates were able to visit with staff of all Georgia congressmen and share the concerns from back home. The group also met with AFBF President Zippy Duvall and were briefed about the programs AFBF offers. The group also traveled to the offices of the European Union Delegation to the United States to talk about the trade partnership with European nations and how trade partnerships affect them as farmers. GFB President Gerald Long addressed the young farmers and shared the importance of working with their elected officials and telling their story. “This is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate the importance of young farmers being engaged, active and assertive in promoting and protecting our in-
dustry. Our nation’s leaders must be made aware that we depend on them and the decisions they make to maintain our way of life and allow our future generations to enjoy agricultural pursuits the way we have,” said GFB Young Farmer Committee Will
Cabe from Franklin County. The young farmers also toured Washington, D.C., and visited with AFBF lobbyists on a number of priority issues including GMO labeling, international trade, federal spending and clean water expansion.
Photo by Taylor Sills
By Taylor Sills _____________________________________
Ga. delegation attends AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference
Pictured from left, Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee members attending the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, were: Molly Childs, Cherokee County; Justin Shealey, Cook County; Becky & Mitchell Pittman, Toombs County; Laura & Russ Wilburn, Barrow County; Committee Chairmen Heather & Will Cabe, Franklin County; and Jan Jones, Decatur County. The theme for the conference held Feb. 12-15 and attended by more than 1,300 young farmers from across the country was “Show Me.” The Georgia delegation participated in leadership development activities and heard several motivational speakers, including AFBF President Zippy Duvall and professional athlete turned farmer Jason Brown. The group also toured some of Missouri and Kansas’ historical landmarks, including Union Station. They also visited Arthur Bryant’s, the birthplace of Kansas City-style BBQ.
Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2016 / 29
Gin, Jason Cobb, who accepted on behalf of Van Hiebert, Jessica Goodman of BCT Gin, Todd Moore, accepting on behalf of Grady Moore, Justin Goodman of BCT Gin, Craig Huckaby of Arabi Gin, producer Joe Sapp, Washington County Extension Agent Brent Allen, producer Tim Crosby, Mitchell County Extension Agent Andy Shirley and Jefferson County Extension Agent Pam Sapp.
Top Ga. cotton growers honored By Jay Stone ___________________________________
Cotton producers, ginners and UGA Extension agents were recognized with 2015 Quality Cotton Awards during the annual Georgia Cotton Commission Meeting Jan. 27. The awards are sponsored by Bayer CropScience and the Georgia Cotton Commission and administered by the UGA Cot-
BWEF keeps 75-cent assessment; GCC renewed
The Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (BWEF) board agreed to keep its assessment at 75 cents per bale during its annual meeting Feb. 16 in Perry. The board also re-elected its officers. Herbert Price will continue to serve as chairman, Billy Sanders as vice chairman and Ronald Lovell as secretary/treasurer. According to the BWEF report, Georgia continues to be weevil free. Georgia cotton farmers voted to renew the marketing order for Georgia cotton by passing the referendum with an 87 percent favorable vote during a referendum held Feb. 8 – March 8. The affirmative vote renews the $1 bale assessment, which funds the Georgia Cotton Commission. The commission is charged by law with providing programs of research, promotion and education on behalf of Georgia cotton producers. Throughout the 50-year history of the Georgia Cotton Commission, millions of dollars have been invested in research, education and promotion of Georgia cotton. 30 / April-May 2016
Photo by Jay Stone
Producers, ginners and Extension agents recognized in the cotton awards program were, from left, Turner County Extension Agent Will Gay, producer James Aultman, producer Isaac NeSmith, Johnny Crawford of South Central Georgia Gin, Rhonda Cook of Sconyers Gin, producers Jerry Whitehead and Allen Whitehead, Rob Evans of Bryant’s Inc., Trevor Cobb, who accepted on behalf of Kevin Cobb, Steve Bullard of BCT
ton Team. Grady Moore of Worth County was honored with the Best Cotton award. Winners in the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards were: Region 1, less than 500 acres – Isaac NeSmith, Turner County; Region 1, more than 1,000 acres – Whitehead Farms, Turner County; Region 2, less than 500 acres – Van Hiebert, Jefferson County; Region 2, 500-1,000 acres – Kevin Cobb, Washington
County; Region 2, more than 1,000 acres – R.J. Evans, Jefferson County; Region 3, less than 500 acres – James Aultman, Tift County; Region 3, 500-1,000 acres – River Bottom Farms, Lanier County; Region 3, more than 1,000 acres – Tim Crosby, Brooks County; Region 4, less than 500 acres – Grady Moore, Worth County; Region 4, 500 – 1,000 acres – Craig Eubanks, Mitchell County and Region 4, more than 1,000 acres – Sapp Brothers Farm, Mitchell County.
May 1 deadline for cotton scholarships College students who will be entering freshmen or rising sophomores at a Georgia college for the 2016-2017 academic year and are the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee have until May 1 to apply for two scholarships coordinated by the Georgia Cotton Women Inc. (GCW). The John M. and Connie H. Mobley Memorial Scholarship is presented to the child or grandchild of an active Georgia cotton producer. The $1,500 scholarship will be payable one-third each quarter or one-half each semester. The GCW Scholarship is presented annually to the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee. This $1,500 scholarship is also payable one-third each quarter or one-half each semester. This scholarship is funded through the sales of the organization’s two cookbooks, Georgia Cotton Heritage Cookbook and the newly-released Cooking in High Cotton. Applicants for both scholarships must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and must maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average to receive the scholarship
the following term. Applications are available at www.georgiacottonwomen.org. For more information, email Nancy Coleman at email@example.com or call 229-941-2930. GCW is a nonprofit organization that educates the general public about cotton and promotes cotton through various activities. It is sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission.
Four Georgians named to Cotton Board
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed eight members, eight alternate members, and three advisors to serve on the Cotton Board. All appointees will serve 3-year terms ending on Dec. 31, 2018. The re-appointed members from Georgia are: Dooly County Farm Bureau President Teel Warbington and GFB 7th District Director Ben Boyd, Sylvania, Ga. Newly appointed alternate members from Georgia are: John M. Ruark, Jr., Bishop, Ga.; Jaclyn Dixon Ford of Berrien County. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
GFB Young Farmer Committee members Ryan and Amber Talton enjoy the low country boil at the 2015 GFB Young Farmer Conference with their daughter Stella.
May 27 deadline to enter YF Contests & register for Leadership Conference The GFB Young Farmer Committee is now accepting applications for the Young Farmer Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet. Registration is also open for the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, which will be held July 13-16 on Jekyll Island. GFB members between the ages of 18-35 may apply for these awards or attend
the conference. Applications for the contests and conference will be accepted through May 27 at 4:30 p.m. and are available at county Farm Bureau offices. The GFB Achievement Award will recognize an outstanding young farmer or couple whose primary income is derived from farming. The GFB Excellence
May 4 deadline to enter GFB Photo Contest
The GFB Young Farmer Committee is accepting entries for its 7th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Photo Contest. This contest is open to any Georgia Farm Bureau member who is an amateur photographer (receives no income from photography). GFB employees may enter as long as they have a current membership. Cash awards will be presented. The grand prize is $150 and 11 honorable mention winners will receive $75 each. The grand prize winning photograph will be featured on the front of the 2017 GFB Young Farmer Calendar. Only digital photos that are a minimum of 1 megabyte (MB) in file size may be submitted with a limit of four photos per person. All photos must have been shot in Georgia during 2015 or 2016, and may not have been entered in any other contest. Photos altered in any way will not be judged. All photos become the property of GFB. Digital photos must be sent as a JPEG file attachment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:30 p.m. on May 4. If children or people are included in photos, you must complete a Model Release Entry Form that must be received by GFB at the time of the deadline. Visit you county Farm Bureau office for contest rules, entry instructions and the Model Release Form, or visit the GFB website at www.gfb.org.
in Agriculture Award will recognize an outstanding individual or couple whose primary income is not derived from farming. Extension agents, FFA advisors and ag lenders are examples of individuals who may apply for this award. The GFB Discussion Meet is a competitive event designed to simulate a committee meeting where young farmers discuss topics relevant to agriculture today and explore solutions to issues facing them as agriculturalists. The state winners of each of the competitive events will be named at the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference in July. All rounds of the discussion meet and presentations for the Excellence in Ag Award will be held at the leadership conference. For more information on any of these awards or the conference, please visit http://www.gfb.org/yf or stop by your county Farm Bureau. The winner of each contest will compete on the national level at the American Farm Bureau Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., Jan. 7-10, 2017. Details on state and national prizes will be available at a later date.
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