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Fall 2016 Vol. 21, No. 3



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Contents Fall 2016 • Vol. 21, No. 3

It’s not located in space, but the UGA Future Farmstead House in Tifton would be the envy of the Jetsons because it features cutting edge technology designed to minimize energy costs while maximizing comfort.

departments Photo by Jay Stone


UGA Future Farmstead House: A cooler with windows

6 8 20

North Georgia apple orchards offer apples, entertainment & more

Join us for a taste of fall as we visit six apple orchards in Fannin and Gilmer counties that belong to the Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market Program.

Postcards from the farm

Landscapes are good for the environment

26 iStockphotos

Georgia Gardener Walter Reeves discusses the many benefits a landscaped yard provides.


Since our last issue several of our readers shared photos and stories with us we felt interesting enough to share with everyone. Hope you enjoy these postcards of rural life in Georgia!


Homeowners can help protect pollinators

You’ve probably heard how important honeybees are to the pollination of food crops, but have you thought about other insects that help transfer pollen? Learn about the lesser known pollinators and steps you can take to help protect all pollinators.

Varied paths led Young Farmer Achievement Award finalists to agriculture

Meet three Georgia farm families who took different roads to become farmers and are producing different crops to feed us. Each of these families were finalists in the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Achievement Award Contest.


Truelove celebrates 70 years of GFB membership


GFB Photo Contest spotlights Georgia ag

Meet Roy Truelove, who has been a member of the Hall County Farm Bureau since 1946. He joined Georgia Farm Bureau for the legislative voice the organization gives Georgia farmers and was involved in helping GFB establish an insurance company to better serve its members who couldn’t get the insurance they needed.

It’s time to unveil the winners of GFB’s annual photo contest. These photos capture a broad spectrum of farm life across Georgia in all seasons.

about the cover

(Photo by Cynthia Douglas) Upson County Farm Bureau member Cynthia Douglas shot this photo in the fall of 2014 on her family’s farm. The hot air balloons were participating in a festival being held at the Rock Ranch, which is located near the Douglas farm. She entered the photo in the 2015 GFB Photo Contest. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

View from the field ..................................... 2 Insurance Update ....................................... 10 Member Services Update .......................... 12 Legislative Update....................................... 14 Kids Corner................................................. 18 Meals from the field.................................... 36 You may read the Georgia Neighbors in its entirety online. If you would like to opt out of receiving a printed copy of the Neighbors please send an email to Please provide your name as it appears on your Farm Bureau membership card along with your membership number. When we publish the 2017 spring issue we’ll email you a link to our website.

WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? All Georgia Farm Bureau members will receive the Georgia Neighbors. If you are not a farmer member and you’d also like to receive the Georgia Farm Bureau News, fill in this coupon and send it to: Georgia Farm Bureau News, P.O. Box 7068, Macon, GA 31209. Non-members can subscribe to both publications for $15/year. Send a check made payable to GFB and mail to above address.

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Questions about Member Services? Call 1-800-633-5432.

Regarding editorial content, call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334

Questions about Advertising? For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or


Gerald Long, GFB President

Fall on the farm

Fall is here. The weather is cooling off and the leaves are changing colors. Being a farmer, I mark the change in seasons according to the crops we’re planting or harvesting on our farm outside of Bainbridge. This time of year finds my family harvesting sweet potatoes and fall greens that we sell at our pick-your-own market. I know it’s fall when my wife, Janice, cooks a delicious pot of greens and bakes sweet potatoes. There are other signs fall has arrived on our South Georgia farm, like fresh-dug peanuts drying in the field and white bolls of cotton waiting to be picked. I’ve had the pleasure to travel across Georgia this fall to attend county and district Farm Bureau meetings, and I’ve noticed the signs of fall look a little different in other parts of the state. At the end of September I visited some of the apple orchards in Fannin and Gilmer counties that belong to the Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market Program. The apple orchards were full of red, yellow and green apples that let me know fall has arrived. I also saw plenty of orange pumpkins. While you’ll have to travel to North Georgia to experience an apple orchard, there are plenty of GFB Certified Farm Markets located across the state that sell fresh fall produce and offer family fun in the form of corn mazes and farm tours. Visit the GFB Certified Farm Market webpage at to find a location near you and pick a weekend this fall to make some memories with your family. While farm visits are the best way for kids to experience agriculture, Farm Bureau realizes every child won’t get the chance to visit a farm. That’s why our organization is committed to teaching children how farmers grow their food using programs like Agriculture in the Classroom. Through the GFB Foundation for Agriculture, we are funding numerous programs 2

to increase students’ understanding of agriculture. If you are a teacher or home-school your children, I encourage you to visit the GFB Foundation for Agriculture website where you can find lesson plans for students from kindergarten through 12th grade that meet national education standards to teach students science, social studies and nutrition education using ag as a theme. Visit aitc.html to explore these lesson plans offered by the National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix. Depending on where you live in Georgia, when you drive out in the country this fall, you may notice the impact Mother Nature has had on our farms. Drought conditions have been so bad in much of Georgia this summer that 92 of our 159 counties have received drought designations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Then, as everyone knows, Hurricane Matthew swept along Georgia’s coast and bordering inland counties on Oct. 7 and 8. As we went to press we were still receiving claims reports from GFB members who suffered damage from the storm. As the president of Georgia Farm Bureau, I’d like to express sympathy for any loss our members experienced. GFB’s insurance employees are doing their best to process your claims so you can restore the repairable damage the storm caused. Insurance coverage is one of the many member benefits your GFB membership gives you access to. Unfortunately, it is in the aftermath of storms like Hurricane Matthew that we have the chance to show you why your GFB membership is valuable as you experience the level of customer service we aim to offer. Your county Farm Bureau office can help you file your claim, but we also have a Claims Resource Center that’s open 24 hours/seven days a week at 855-432-2567 through which you can notify us of any loss or issues you may have in settling your claim.


view from the field









Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238.


President GERALD LONG, Bainbridge 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Adrian North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Ringgold Chief Operating Officer WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER


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


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 Neighbors. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or Copyright 2016 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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Photo by Jay Stone

The Future Farmstead House.

UGA Future Farmstead House:

a cooler with windows

By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________


(and the chair lift) designed to accommodate wheelchairs, built with all stages of a farmer’s life in mind. And, the insanely low power bills. The average power bill of the 4,000 square-foot FFH is $40 a month or less ac-

Constructing a cooler

Kvien describes the house as a giant Yeti cooler with windows. “To make a house really energy efficient, the first thing you do is make it so it hardly needs any energy,” Kvien said. The house was built using 10-inch thick See FUTURE HOUSE page 16

Photo by Jay Stone


rom the outside, the only hint that anything about the Future Farmstead House (FFH) is different is the castle-style cylindrical column that houses the wheelchair lift to make the upper floor handicap-accessible inside. It’s easy to envision the house on a farm or nice suburban neighborhood, which is the point. The house, constructed by the University of Georgia Colleges of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and Family & Consumer Sciences, is under the research administration of UGA Tifton’s National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL). The project received support from more than 50 corporations with an interest in real-world use of their products. The purpose is to study ways to maximize energy and water efficiency with minimal impact on the lifestyle of its inhabitants. So what’s different about living there? “It’s really hard to say,” said UGA graduate entomology student Ian Knight, one of three students living in the house, which has been occupied since October 2015. “Living is living. There’s nothing I do here that’s really different. There’s just lots of minor conveniences that are nice but you really don’t think about until you have them.” Those include lights that automatically come on when someone enters the room, motion-sensor faucets, wide doors

cording to Dr. Craig Kvien, the UGA Crop and Soil Sciences professor who chairs NESPAL’s executive committee. The university pays 27 cents per kilowatt of power it buys from Georgia Power and generates solar power through thinfilm strips on its roof. That power is sold to Georgia Power for 4 cents per kilowatt. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average power bill in Georgia in 2014 was $134 per month, using an average home size of 2,400 square feet and average consumption of 1,152 kilowatt-hours. In addition to the FFH, UGA also built a home in Tifton’s historic district. That home, occupied by a private homeowner, is 1,600 square feet and averages $9 a month for electricity, Kvien said. The FFH’s low bill is made possible by two major factors incorporated into the design – solar power and insulation.

Dr. Craig Kvien, left, and UGA graduate student Ian Knight display efficiency-enhancing materials used to build the Future Farmstead House. At left is an insulated concrete mold, two sections of foam between which concrete is poured. This type wall was installed in the garage/carriage house. At center is a section of wall, with yellow closed cell foam layered beneath Ultratouch recycled denim insulation. In front of Knight is a sample showing how the roof is put together. The dark section at the bottom is an 18-inch wide strip of thin film, a peel and stick sheet on which photovoltaic emulsion has been printed. The emulsion absorbs heat from the sun and converts it to electricity. The orange tubes are part of a radiant tubing system, which carries a water/glycol mixture that absorbs heat used to warm the house’s water supply. Behind that is a heat-reflecting sheet on top of the roof decking. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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orchards, and they frequently buy and sell apples and other products among themselves to meet customer demands. Like Mercier’s, R&A Orchards in Ellijay has a café and bakery. The pies, donuts, apple bread and other items are complemented by a sweet-tooth selection of chocolates under a sign: “Chocolate Understands.” At Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay, the market is the jumping-off point for a carnival of agriculture-based educational activities and entertainment, including pig races, a chance to hand-milk a cow, a petting zoo and an apple museum. The orchard hosts school groups, teaching students about agriculture in general and providing them lots of detailed information about apple production. In the Hillcrest Apple Museum, tour guides tell schoolchildren about Johnny Appleseed, explaining the process of grafting limbs onto apple trees and how farmers care for their orchards. The apple museum has numerous question and answer flip boards containing information about various aspects of apple production. See ORCHARDS page 22

Kids visiting Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay take their turn at milking Buttercup, the Jersey Cow. Above: Mercier packing barn.

Bags of apple slices on display at B.J. Reece Apple House.

Photo by Jay Stone

how the apples are grown. “Each one is unique,” Long said. “At the same time, you can see that they have many things in common with other types of farms around the state.” In all, there are 11 GFB CFMs that offer Georgia apples. Visit to find one near you. Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge has a full-service café and bakery, selling more than 1.4 million fried pies a year. Operator Tim Mercier also runs a packing facility where a variety of apple products, from apple juice to applesauce, are prepared for shipping to commercial outlets. Mercier has a line of hard ciders and wines, as well. Mercier said the orchard employs around 200 people. “We just want to make sure that no part of the apple is wasted,” Mercier said, noting that apples that fall on the ground can’t be sold for human consumption, but they can be processed into cider. Mercier said the major North Georgia orchards work together in a variety of ways. His processing facility serves other

Photo by Jay Stone

his time of year North Georgia is known for its crisp mountain air, beautiful fall foliage and apples. Georgia’s apple industry is centered in Gilmer and Fannin counties, where a handful of orchards produce the vast majority of the state’s commercially grown apple crop, which is as crisp as that mountain air and oh, so sweet. Many of the orchards operate Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets (CFM) selling apples and much more directly to the public. Visitors revel in the chance to pick their apples straight from the tree, and while they’re doing it, the apple orchards give them the opportunity to learn about agriculture, enjoy ag-based entertainment and sample farm-fresh products from fried pies to a seemingly endless variety of jams and jellies and fresh, locally-grown produce. Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long recently visited six GFB Certified Farm Markets run from apple orchards in Fannin and Gilmer counties. He toured orchards, packing facilities and the markets, learning about their business practices and

By Jay Stone

Photo by Jay Stone

North Georgia Apple Orchards offer apples, entertainment & more


Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016


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Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016


By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker ______________________________________________________________________


Kidding around





In July we received this photo of Bibb County Farm Bureau (BCFB) Director Calvin Minchew, center, with kid goats born on his farm. Minchew named the goats after the BCFB Office Manager Pat Steed, left, and BCFB Secretary Arlene Collins. Minchew said he named the goats after Pat and Arlene because they keep the BCFB office running so smoothly.







210 31


We received several emails and calls this summer with interesting news tips about our Farm Bureau members. They made us smile so we thought we’d share them with our readers. If you have an interesting anecdote or news tip you’d like to share, send an email and or photo to More postcards are on page 24.

Literary toddler loves Georgia Neighbors

This photo from Oconee County Farm Bureau members Chris and Tiffany Groskreutz of their son, Aubrey, proves the Georgia Neighbors has readers of all ages! Chris, who is the state public affairs specialist for the Georgia office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, shared this adorable photo that Tiffany texted him on May 26, when he checked in with her to see how things were going at home. We’re not sure which article Aubrey, who turned two in September, was reading, but it seems to have gotten his attention!




2 01



17-year-old Maybelle with her latest calf.


Photo by Marsha McKay-Jones


3 52 0


Habersham Senior Cow still producing calves

Habersham County’s Billy Jones bought Irish Shorthorn heifer Maybelle in March of 2001 along with her 21/2-month-old calf, and 15 years later she’s still producing calves. In June 2016, Maybelle, now 17 years old, gave birth to her 13th calf. “Usually about the time a cow is 12 she’s done,” said Jones, who keeps a half-dozen cows and calves. “They say they get where they can’t graze when they get that old because they lose their teeth. She’s just as round and plump as she’s been all these years I’ve had her.” Jones feeds his cows a coffee can measure of 10 percent horse feed every day, though he couldn’t say if that was the secret to Maybelle’s longevity and fruitfulness. Jones, who bought Maybelle at the Eastanolee cow sale, said 11 of her 13 calves have been bulls. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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Insurance UPDATE

By Ross Goodman

GFB Insurance gets social with Facebook Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance is “Always the Home Team.” From supporting ag awareness activities to sponsoring the local high school football game, Georgia Farm Bureau insurance agents are your neighbors and are rooted in local communities across the state. Because our insurance agents live in your community, they have the same concerns and passion you do for the future growth and success of your community. Because more and more people rely on social media for information, the GFB Insurance Company has created a Facebook page ( GeorgiaFarmBureauInsurance) to highlight our presence across the state and provide useful insurance information, safety tips and fun posts to see you through the day. Facebook was the obvious choice for us to establish a social media presence because it has more than 1.71 billion Facebook users worldwide and is growing at a rate of five new profiles every second. Facebook gives us an opportunity to deliver important and

helpful information quickly to our members and inform non-members of who we are. On the GFB Insurance Facebook page you’ll find information about the products we offer, safety tips, life hacks (life efficiency tips) and a link to locate your local Farm Bureau insurance agent. On Wednesdays, you can test your knowledge of landmarks across the state by participating in the #WhereWednesday post to guess where the featured photo is located. We have also created Facebook pages for our county Farm Bureau offices that have opted to participate. You can locate the Facebook page for your county by doing an internet or Facebook search phrased name of your county, Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance. For example: Houston County, Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance. The county page is where you will find content for your local community. Some of the local content may include local high school players of the week, county ag awareness activities, and helpful notifications, such as the local college offering a free driver education course.

GFB member benefits include reward program


Newton County Farm Bureau member Jack R. Smith, second from right, received two $1,000 checks this summer for reporting two instances of metal theft from a neighbor’s property. Participating in the reward presentation were, from left, Newton County Farm Bureau (NCFB) Vice President Charles Berry, NCFB Insurance Agent Bill Calder and NCFB Agency Manager Jimmy Edgeworth. The crimes took place in 2010 and were just prosecuted. GFB does not encourage anyone to put himself in harm’s way to try to stop a criminal act or collect information that might lead to a criminal’s arrest. Photo by Andy Lucas

As a Georgia Farm Bureau member, your property is eligible for protection from theft, arson or criminal damage under our Property Protection Program. Learn more about this free member benefit and conditions that apply at w w w. g f b. or g / benefits/prop_ protect.html. The program gives a $1,000 reward to the first person who furnishes information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who commits felony theft, arson or criminal damage on property owned or rented by a GFB member that is posted with an official GFB sign advertising the program.

Local content is determined by submissions from your county Farm Bureau. We hope you will find, like and follow our GFB Insurance page and your county Farm Bureau page. We intend to provide you with information that will help you and your family. We encourage conversation and support through your likes, comments and shares of the local players of the week and all the community events you might find on the local pages. We are always looking for new ways to make communication easier and are glad to have Facebook as a platform to make that possible between neighbors. You may also keep up with Georgia Farm Bureau Federation news at www. Ross Goodman is a sales training & communication specialist in the GFB Insurance Sales Department.

GFB Mutual Insurance Company Annual Meeting of Policyholders The annual meeting of the policyholders of the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2017, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building, 1620 Bass Road, Macon, Georgia, 31210. GFB Mutual Insurance Company Annual Meeting of Directors The annual meeting of the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company Board of Directors will be held immediately following the annual meeting of the policyholders, which begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building, 1620 Bass Road, Macon, Georgia, 31210. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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Member Services UPDATE



According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft was the second-most reported complaint in 2015, increasing 47 percent from 2014 due to a massive increase in complaints about tax identity theft from consumers. The 2016 Javelin Identity Fraud Study shows there were 13.1 million identity theft/fraud victims in the U.S. in 2015. That means more than four percent of the U.S. population was a victim of identity theft or fraud. Scary, huh? Here’s a few more alarming statistics: • In 2014, the IRS paid $5.8 billion in fraudulent tax refunds (Forbes). • Each year, thieves steal the identities of 2.5 million deceased Americans ( • More than 2.3 million Americans have

3rd Annual GFB Foundation for Agriculture Gala Saturday, March 11, 2017 Southern Bridle Farms Fort Valley, Ga. Make plans to join us “down on the farm” as we go back to our roots to celebrate the support of our donors and highlight the achievements the foundation made this year to increase ag literacy through the four pillars of the foundation: Ag in the Classroom, scholarships, educational outreach & leadership development. Entertainment will be provided by Post Monroe

Follow GFB Foundation for Agriculture on Facebook for the foundation’s latest news! For more information, contact

KATIE GAZDA Executive Director

Phone: 478-474-0679 ext. 5230 E-mail:


been a victim of Medical Identity Theft (Ponemon Institute). • It is estimated between 140,000 to 400,000 children become a victim of identity theft every year (Huffington Post). As you can see, identity theft is not simply a case of someone stealing your credit card number and using it without your knowledge or permission. The crime can take many forms and is a very serious issue. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, it may take others months to repair the damage to their good names and credit files. In fact, the average victim can expect to spend 30 hours resolving an identity theft crime. Who has time for that? This is where the good news begins! As part of the many benefits included with your Georgia Farm Bureau membership, you have access to identity theft consultation and restoration services* offered by the id experts® company. All eligible** family members in your household are covered and the service is included in your annual membership dues. How does the program work? • If you suspect your identity has been stolen, call 1-800-633-5432 (option 1) to report the identity theft event to a trained GFB member service specialist. • A thorough assessment of your unique situation will be performed to determine the nature and extent of the identity theft event. • Once a verification has been made that your identity has been stolen, you will be assigned a personal recovery advocate with id experts® and a case file will be opened. • Utilizing a Limited Power of Attorney, the personal recovery advocate will work on your behalf to restore your identity to pretheft status. • The personal recovery advocate will remain assigned to you for as long as it takes to restore your identity to pre-theft status. • The case file is kept for three years in the event additional issues arise from the original identity theft event. Obviously, we hope you never have

Photo by Lili Davis

GFB membership includes identity theft restoration service

to use this service. But as identity theft continues to grow like an epidemic in America, isn’t it a relief to know that your Farm Bureau Membership is there for you if you do? *Program is not identity theft protection, an insurance product nor credit monitoring. **GFB member, spouse, children under the age of 19, or 24 if a full-time student .

GFB Online Buyer’s Guide matches buyers & sellers of ag-related products

Georgia Farm Bureau has again partnered with Strategic Value Media - a leading nationwide provider of print and digital media solutions – to produce the 2016 GFB Buyer’s Guide. The guide provides users with an efficient way to browse for ag-related goods and services and offers agribusinesses exceptional visibility by showcasing their products and services to a targeted, industry-specific buyer group.  To browse the guide, visit www.  Agribusinesses interested in advertising, should click on “Contact” within the guide.  Jay Murdock is director of the GFB Member Services Department. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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Legislative UPDATE


Jeffrey Harvey

The Georgia/Florida water battle continues

Photo by Jay Stone

On Oct. 29 the University of Georgia and University of Florida the cost farmers will bear if the lawsuit plays out in favor of Florida. football teams will meet and play in one of the country’s largest and Because this case is an equitable apportionment case, its structure longest rivalries. Fans have enjoyed this event for more than 100 years, will be different than most U.S. Supreme Court cases. The chief justice dating back to 1915. As the popularity of the meeting grew, in 1933 of the Supreme Court appoints a special master to serve as an arbigame organizers moved it to a neutral location in Jacksonville, Florida, trator of the proceedings. The special master’s determinations will be in an effort to remove “home-field” advantage for either team.   sent to the U.S. Supreme Court for review and final approval. An ap For many of us, our love for college football runs deep. In the South, peal to the special master’s ruling is allowable but not likely. the sport is as much a staple as sweet tea and pecan pie.  It’s something Florida has requested that the special master restrict Georwe identify as part of our cultural heritage and take pride in. gia’s consumptive use to 1992 flow levels. If this extreme request is On  Oct.  31  another  battle  with Florida will  come to a granted, not only would future growth opportunities for agriculture head.  This conflict won’t be resolved be stymied, but our existing operations on a football field but in a courtroom would be restricted to consumption in Portland,  Maine. The referee will rates of 25 years ago. not wear  pinstripes; instead, he will Fortunately, for the sake of Georwear a black robe and be referred to as gia’s economy, Florida will have to prove special master. that Georgia’s water use has caused sub Instead of fighting for field posistantial injury or damage to its interests. tion, Georgia will fight for the most preProving this level of damage is more cious resource God has blessed us with difficult than it may seem. The nature of - water. The outcome of this case will this attack has left many in Georgia feelhave consequences far greater than just ing as if we have everything to lose and On Oct. 31 a special master assigned by the U.S. Sufootball bragging rights. This case will preme Court will begin hearing arguments in the lawsuit Florida has everything to gain. affect the future of Georgia’s agricultural Florida has filed against Georgia Regarding water allo- Because Georgia agriculture deeconomy.   cation levels in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint pends so heavily on access to water The water conflict between our states River Basin. This photo of the Chattahoochee was shot resources to grow the crops that feed has a long history. Disagreements  over on the border of Carroll and Coweta counties. and clothe us, the decision made by the allocation levels  from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) special master will have a tremendous impact on our state for generaRiver Basin  have been ongoing  for decades. During the summer of tions to come. Considering agriculture is Georgia’s largest economic 2013, the issue was elevated to a new level. Florida Gov. Rick Scott an- sector with a total economic contribution of $74.3 billion to the state nounced Florida’s intention to file a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit against economy in 2014, the implications will be felt, not only by farmers, but Georgia, contending that our water use had increased salinities result- throughout the entire state. ing in the collapse of oyster beds in the Apalachicola Bay.   The risks associated with this case are abundantly clear. Even in Georgia argues that the issues experienced in the oyster industry the face of these claims, Georgia has a very impressive story to tell. are the result of over harvesting after the 2010 BP oil spill and not Our defense to these accusations will be the fact that we have been poor water management practices. To further complicate things, good stewards of our water resources. Georgia farmers have volunGov. Scott’s announcement came on the heels of a historic two-year tarily adopted practices to conserve water for more than two decades. drought and in the middle of a very contentious gubernatorial race Practices like water withdrawal permits, mandatory irrigation effiScott was struggling to win.   ciency standards, water meters, statewide water management plan To many people, this threat was viewed as campaign rhetoric. But ning, regional water councils, the Flint River Drought Protection Act, to those in the Florida panhandle who were experiencing losses in and the simple fact that running an irrigation system is very expenoyster production, Gov. Scott’s promise was welcome news. On Oct. sive, and only used when necessary, should prove Georgia agriculture 1, 2013, Scott delivered on his campaign promise by asking the U.S. isn’t abusing our water resources. Supreme Court for permission to sue Georgia for equitable appor- Without a doubt, this is one of the fiercest opponents agriculture tionment of the waters in the ACF Basin. has ever faced. Instead of the 60 minutes of play it takes to decide the This is only the 142nd time in our nation’s history that one state winner of a football game, it will take about two months, and without has sued another in federal court. By taking this action, years of ne- the luxury of a scoreboard for the stakeholders. gotiations came to a halt and the legal fees began to accumulate for Regardless of who wins the Georgia/Florida game in Jacksonville both states. Since the lawsuit was filed, the state of Georgia has racked this year, it’s more important that Georgia’s position come out on top up approximately $21 million in legal expenses just to fight Florida’s in Portland, Maine.   claims. These expenses are substantial, but they pale in comparison to Jeffrey Harvey is director of the GFB Legislative Department.


Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016


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Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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sors that allow power usage to be monitored. With a glance at a “dashboard” display on a monitor in the electrical closet or pulled up on a computer monitor or TV screen elsewhere in the house, Kvien can see how many kilowatts are being used at that moment, the areas of the house in which the power is being used, and an average daily cost.

Expanded-range WIFI

To overcome often-limited internet access in rural areas, the house has a souped-up WIFI system that extends five miles by using lower-frequency transmission channels. “The reason we wanted that was the off-the-shelf WIFI stuff is pretty inexpensive because it’s a consumer commodity,” Kvien said, noting that a farmer might use internet connectivity to access sensors in a field or poultry house, and he would not have to be in the house to do it. “Any time you can take a consumer commodity and make it into an agricultural tool or use them in agriculture, your cost per unit

“Living is living. There’s nothing I do here that’s really different. There are just lots of minor conveniences that are nice but you really don’t think about until you have them.” – UGA graduate entomology student Ian Knight is going to go way down. The big trouble with WIFI is how do you get it to spread out to a farm, maybe over a county or two? You can do it with cellular, but that’s spotty and it’s expensive. So what we got

Photo by Jay Stone

roof is also insulated in the same layered fashion as the upper-floor walls, resulting in attic space that is roughly the same temperature as the living areas of the house. The house is also equipped with sen-

Included in the edible landscape are frost-tolerant tangerine trees developed on the UGA Tifton Campus.


Photo by Jay Stone

FUTURE HOUSE from page 4 reinforced concrete on the ground-floor walls. The windows are all double-paned windows and have argon between the panes with insulated shades. The windows that open are casement windows with gaskets around the edges to make them airtight. The upper floor walls have a layer of closed-cell foam insulation between the studs and are insulated with Ultratouch denim insulation made from recycled blue jeans that have been treated to be flameretardant and insect-resistant. Then there’s the roof. On the southfacing side are 1/8-inch thick solar strips - sheets of film covered in a photovoltaic emulsion that are less expensive than standard crystalline solar panels. The peeland-stick strips are mounted on the tin roof and are much less noticeable than standard solar panels. Beneath the roof decking is a radiatorlike array of pipes carrying a mixture of water and propylene glycol. The pipes absorb the heat from the roof and then are used to heat the water in the home. The

This display, shown on the TV in the living room of the Future Farmstead House, provides a glimpse of power consumption and costs.

was a super WIFI that uses the old TV bands that are lower frequencies.”

Landscape & appliances contribute to house sustainability

The yard has been landscaped with the idea of it contributing to the occupants’ self-sustaining lifestyle. The edible landscape features more than 40 plants developed at UGA Tifton, including frosttolerant tangerines and lemons, several varieties of peanuts, chili peppers and others, as well as a 2-acre pond stocked with fish. The house has an all-in-one washerdryer laundry unit, which uses the process of condensation to dry the clothes rather than heated air. The unit runs on standard 110volt power and does not need an exhaust vent. Lint is rinsed out rather than blown out. “It’s crazy cheap to run,” Kvien said, noting that the unit costs around $15 a year to operate. Using the washer-dryer unit takes about three hours per load, Knight said, and because it’s all-in-one, laundry time management has to be adjusted. Knight said the adjustments to living in the house are mostly positive. “One thing that is a little weird is how big this place is,” Knight said. “Most grad students don’t have the kind of space we enjoy. It’s like living in a real house. It’s the biggest and nicest place I’ve ever lived.” To view more photos from the Future Farmstead House visit ffhphotos. For more information about the house, visit Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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By Donna Rocker, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator 478-474-0679, ext. 5365 or

Plenty of poultry!

Poultry: /pol-tre/ This is a term used to describe birds that are domestic, not wild, raised for products we use including meat, eggs, and feathers. The most common examples in the U.S. are chickens, turkeys, and ducks. Poultry is Georgia’s #1 commodity and has a significant economic impact on the state’s economy. Want to learn more? Match these poultry vocabulary words with their definitions and then find the words in the Word Search. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Fowl Rooster Chick Hen Comb Gizzard

7. Flock 8. Pullet 9. Brooder 10. Broiler 11. Layer 12. Litter

A. A chicken raised for meat. Georgia ranks #1 in the U.S. in the production of these. B. A male chicken C. This is a technique that uses light to examine the contents of an intact egg. D. The fleshy and usually red outcrop of skin on a chicken’s head

D P M A B P E R N T D S C G G M I N H E N 18





13. Candling 14. Incubate 15. Hatchery 16. Air Cell 17. Table eggs 18. Shell

19. Albumen 20. Yolk 21. Nutrient Dense 22. Protein

E. A female chicken that has begun laying eggs. F. A baby chicken G. The white of the egg H. These are the eggs you buy at the store. They are laid by hens whose eggs are not fertilized. I. A portion of a bird’s digestive tract with thick muscular walls

G L B E B I N P N Q R E A P G U I A I R C E L L L J G F R P O L R A C J I U J E M S D O N L H T F H A T C H E R U E Q P U E U S L L B D B C H E U L X Q A C S H I K C D T N X E L E R W E O D G M F B D H I B E R E T S O O R R R N M Y F Q O P E J F N R Y O L L D N A C N D E M E V S Q Y E Y L E E G G S R M Y B L Z Z N R T M H A V E F A I Answer key on page 31







that crushes and grinds the food it eats J. An adult female chicken K. Chicken is a good source of this nutrient which is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. L. To apply the required conditions (heat and humidity) to fertilized eggs to allow embryos to develop and chicks to hatch out M. A group of poultry N. A female chicken under one year of age O. Domestic birds generally raised for food P. A device used to provide warmth to young chicks Q. Outer covering of the egg, composed largely of calcium carbonate, that provides protection to the rest of the egg R. Eggs are said to be this type of food because they contain a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories. S. A place where eggs are incubated and chickens are hatched T. The round yellow mass in an egg that provides nutrients for the developing embryo U. Material spread on the floor of a poultry house to absorb moisture and manure (also called bedding) V. The air space between the two shell membranes, usually at the large end of the egg Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

How to Be Cut Off From Civilization When it’s you against nature, there’s only one tool you need: the stainless steel River Canyon Bowie Knife—now ONLY $49!


ou are a man of the wilderness. The only plan you have is to walk up that mountain until you feel like stopping. You tell your friends that it’s nothing personal, but this weekend belongs to you. You’ve come prepared with your River Canyon Bowie Knife sheathed at your side. This hand-forged, unique knife comes shaving sharp with a perfectly fitted hand-tooled sheath. The broad stainless steel blade shines in harmony with the stunning striped horn, wood and bone handle. When you feel the heft of the knife in your hand, you know that you’re ready for whatever nature throws at you. This knife boasts a full tang blade, meaning the blade doesn’t stop at the handle, it runs the full length of the knife. According to Gear Patrol, a full tang blade is key, saying “A full tang lends structural strength to the knife, allowing for better leverage ...think one long steel beam versus two.” With our limited edition River Canyon Bowie Knife you’re getting the best in 21st-century construction with a classic look inspired by legendary American pioneers. What you won’t get is the trumped up price tag. We know a thing or two about the hunt–– like how to seek out and capture an outstanding, collector’s-quality knife that won’t cut into your bank account. This quintessential American knife can be yours to BONUS! Call today and you’ll use out in the field or to display as the art piece it also receive this genuine truly is. But don’t wait. A knife of this caliber leather sheath! typically cost hundreds. Priced at an amazing $49, What customers are saying we can’t guarantee this knife will stick around for about Stauer knives... long. So call today!  Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Feel the knife in your hands, “First off, the shipping was fast wear it on your hip, inspect the craftsmanship. If you don’t feel like we and the quality is beyond what cut you a fair deal, send it back within 60 days for a complete refund I paid for the knife. Overall I of the sale price. But we believe that once you wrap your fingers around the River Canyon’s handle, you’ll be ready to carve your own am a satisfied customer!” — D., Houston, Texas niche into the wild frontier.

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Landscapes are good for the By Walter Reeves

Reeves, known as “The Georgia Gardener,” offers down-home gardening advice on his weekly radio show every Saturday from 6:30 a.m.-9 a.m. on Atlanta’s WSB 750 AM & 95.5 FM. Visit for more gardening tips.

During the summer I ran my air conditioner in the middle of the day. And I didn’t turn my car off at the gas pump when there was a smog alert. Once or twice I let the water run in the kitchen sink while I washed dishes. You can see I’m not a perfect custodian of the environment, even though I try to do the best I can. While I may be lacking in some areas, I’m better in others. I have a landscape and landscapes definitely benefit the environment in several ways. Landscapes keep us cool. Leaves evaporate water and the evaporation causes a cooling effect around it. Leaves also absorb sunlight before it hits the soil. So anything under the plant stays cooler and less heat is reflected back into the environment. In one test, it was ten degrees cooler in a shaded area compared to an area out in the open. But leaves do more than that. They accumulate dust that would otherwise make our surroundings miserable. Hairs on the leaves collect dust from the wind and rain and then deposit the dust on the ground beneath. Think of how dusty it would be if we did not have plant leaves filtering the air around us! Plant roots do a great job of benefiting the environment, too. Roots stabilize soil before it can erode. Roots absorb nutrients before they run off into streams. Roots, along with fungi in the soil, detoxify chemicals that fall from the sky. Think about this: you’re not the only animal that landscape plants benefit. Birds and other creatures use your trees and shrubs for shelter, food and places to build their homes. 20

I’ve listed some of the ways a landscape benefits our physical environment but what about our psychological well-being? Landscapes provide privacy. You can walk around in tattered gardening clothes all you like with only the birds to judge. Greenery makes an attractive space for entertaining and relaxing. Landscapes promote an active lifestyle, whether walking on a path in your backyard or playing sports on the lawn of your front yard. Green plants reduce stress and are psychologically soothing.

As I’ve become older I’ve found that absolutes don’t suit me very well. Balance does. Although I try to eat healthy meals, a candy bar once in a while is not going to kill me. Likewise, I don’t worry if I am a perfect custodian of the environment. I plant new shrubs, I care for my trees, and I plant flowers every season to give beauty. I balance my occasional poor stewardship with my landscape efforts. You can do the same, remembering that every plant is a benefit to your environment!

Best plants to attract birds to your landscape Below is a list of plants Walter Reeves recommends homeowners plant in their landscape to attract birds. • Winterberry, Ilex verticillata  Only the female winterberry bears fruit, so a male ‘Jim Dandy’ or ‘Apollo’ should be planted nearby. •  Possumhaw holly, Ilex decidua: has orange-red fruit. • Gallberry, Ilex glabra: has black fruit in late fall. • Yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria: has red fruit and grows vigorously in wet or dry sites. • Cherry laurel, Prunus caroliniana: is evergreen and makes a nice screen. • Eastern red cedar, Juniperus virginiana: makes an excellent nesting site. • Redbud, Cercis canadensis: has eyecatching spring flowers. •  Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana: has purple berries birds enjoy in fall.

I confess.

Above: Hermit thrush. Below: Cardinal on redbud branch.

Photo by Heather Pitman


Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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Photo by Jay Stone

ORCHARDS from page 6

Photo by Jay Stone

The market at Mack Aaron Apple House includes a display of vintage lunch boxes hanging from the ceiling.

Each apple house offers its own unique experience. At B.J. Reece Apple House in Ellijay, visitors can shop with the aid of a customized little red wagon. At Mack Aaron Apple House, also in Ellijay, the décor includes an extensive collection of old school lunchboxes. Diverse product offerings were one common thread between the five apple houses, which all offer numerous apple products for sale along with other farm products, like jams and jellies (there’s even one made with Georgia Moonshine), honey, sweet potatoes and a variety of vegetables, as well as the always-popular boiled peanuts. Mack Aaron’s roadside sign boasts 11 different kinds of pies, including blackberry, blueberry, peach, apple and sweet potato. Inside, Gina Aaron said the market actually produces 18 different varieties of pies and makes sure to have 11 to choose from at any given time. At R&A, workers could be seen in the orchard harvesting the current variety of apples. Rome Beautiful, Granny Smith, Mushtu, Gala and Red Delicious are readily available well into October at all of these CFMs. Those with a taste for Pink Ladies will have to wait another month or so, but there are still apples for most any taste. At Red Apple Barn, operator Marvin Pritchett operates Little Bend Orchard, where his family developed the Pritchett Golden apple variety. Red Apple Barn has added a hilltop event venue, a small barn to host weddings and other occasions. Visit to locate other GFB CFM apple orchards or markets offering other fall produce and fun.

Photo by Jay Stone

Above: The market at Red Apple Barn. Below: The apple orchard at R&A Orchards.


Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

King Solomon’s Secret Treasure: FOUND Ancient beauty trapped in mines for centuries is finally released and available to the public!


ing Solomon was one of the wealthiest rulers of the ancient world. His vast empire included hoards of gold, priceless gemstones and rare works of art. For centuries, fortune hunters and historians dedicated their lives to the search for his fabled mines and lost treasure. But as it turns out, those mines hid a prize more beautiful and exotic than any precious metal: chrysocolla. Prized by the wisest king of the Bible. Known as the “Wisdom Stone,” chrysocolla was considered a powerful talisman of healing and calming energy. Ancient rulers of the Biblical era relied on it for guidance and now this legendary treasure can be yours with our stunning Earth & Sea Chrysocolla Necklace. Call today to bring home 325 carats for ONLY $49! Nothing like it on Earth. The mesmerizing swirls of color in chrysocolla come from a unique combination of elements found in the rich mineral deposits of copper mines. When miners find a vein of blue-green, all digging stops so that the delicate chrysocolla can be extracted by hand. Masterpieces of natural art. Our Earth & Sea Chrysocolla Necklace features a strand of polished, enhanced chrysocolla ovals—and silver-colored beads—that meet at a gorgeous teardrop pendant. Every chrysocolla is unique, showcasing a canvas painted by Mother Nature herself. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. Wear the Earth & Sea Chrysocolla Necklace for a few weeks. If you aren’t convinced that it’s one of nature’s most elegant creations, simply send it back within 60 days for a full refund of your purchase price. But once you experience this gorgeous gemstone for yourself, we’re betting that you’ll want to share King Solomon’s secret with the world!

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3 PM


Five-year-old Russell Hale uses his tractor and sprayer to water the shrubs.

Summer restoration project


GA 30 PM

4 81

AUG 06 2016 AFTER

Photos by Edith Allen



Before: The John Deere 4240 before Pete Allen went to work on it. After: Pete Allen, right, and son, Kevin, pose with their handiwork along with Kevin’s sons Brenner (left) and Barrett. Not pictured is Pete’s third grandson, Blake.


Columbia County farmer Pete Allen has had newer tractors, but had an affinity for John Deere models from the 1970s and 1980s. So he looked around and found a 1981 Deere 4240 in South Georgia listed in the Farmers & Consumers Market Bulletin. With his mechanic along for the ride, Allen went and bought it, knowing right away it was going to need a lot of work. “I’ve always liked that vintage of tractor,” said Allen, a Columbia County Farm Bureau director. With assurances from his mechanic that the drive train was in good condition, Allen completed the purchase, spending around $8,000. Back on his farm in Harlem, Allen went to work sanding, beating out dents, making mechanical repairs and refurbishing the cab. It had problems with steering, he said, and needed a new radiator and alternator. The side screens that keep debris out of the radiator had to be replaced, as did a couple of tires. All the while, Allen, who simply wanted another work tractor, was paying attention to costs. “I was raised conservative because I didn’t have anything,” he said. “Economics usually rule which way you’ve got to go. Any time I can save a few pennies and get a quality piece of material, I’m going to do it.” All told, Allen said he spent around $5,000 on parts and paint – gotta have the green and yellow paint for a John Deere – so he’s spent between $13,000 and $14,000. The 4240 sold for around $40,000 new, according to Pete’s son, Kevin, did the painting, following the original color scheme. They even got replacement decals. “We did everything we could to get it as close to showroom finish as we could,” Pete Allen said. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016




Five-year-old Russell Hale is on his second pedal tractor, and he’s amassing an impressive array of equipment to pull behind it. Russell’s father, Oconee County farmer Carlton Hale, started out bending a piece of flat sheet metal into into a box scraper. Then, with help from his brother-in-law Jon Zuck, he fitted it with a hitch to connect to Russell’s tractor. The collection has grown from there. Hale, a third-generation dairy farmer, followed that project by building a toy bush hog. This time, he drew up a rough design and took it to a friend who created a blueprint and then cut sheet metal to the right size to pair with the pedal tractor. Some bending and welding resulted in a two-foot-wide bush hog. Hale added aluminum fittings to keep the weight down acknowledging Russell’s limited, but growing, horsepower. The bush hog has stainless steel chains and an aluminum blade. Next was a fully functional miniature boom sprayer. “I was going to take the easy way out and just make it boomless,” Hale said, “but the most fun part of the sprayer is folding and unfolding the boom, so we added booms.” Hale and Zuck are working on a pull-type dump wagon as a Christmas gift. “He’ll be able to push a button and it will dump,” Hale said. Now, it seems, all Russell needs is some land to work. Hale chuckled at the suggestion. “I have a front yard big enough for him to work in,” he said.

Photo courtesy of the Hale family

Pedal power!

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Homeowners can help protect pollinators

Here are a few ways you can help with minimal effort.

By Jennifer Berry _________________________________________________________ ollinators come in all shapes and sizes. Honeybees, bumblebees, sweat bees, mason bees and butterflies transfer pollen from one flower to the next. But did you know that certain types of beetles, wasps, ants, flies, moths, bats, lizards and hummingbirds are also classified as pollinators? All of these insects and animals are essential for providing the beauty in our landscapes and more importantly, the food on our plates. When you walk into a grocery store and see all those different fresh fruits and vegetables, remember that produce is there because of the hard work of pollinators. Honeybees, are re- A honeybee collects pollen from a salvia plant. sponsible for one out of every three bites we eat. If you’ve turned on the news, read a magazine or newspaper in recent years, then you probably know pollinator populations, especially honeybees, are in decline. There are many reasons honeybee populations are dwindling. Pesticide exposure and habitat destruction are often cited, yet the primary reason is a parasite called Varroa destructor, or more commonly known as the varroa mite. These mites were introduced into the United States in the late 1980s. Since then, bees and beekeeping have changed forever. Our European honeybee, Apis mellifera, did not evolve with varroa mites, therefore they have no natural defense against them. Varroa mites feed on the adult honeybee, and the developing young by sucking the hemolymph or bee blood. This compromises the health of the bees, but the viruses the mites spread to the bees are worse. These viruses not only weaken the bees but eventually kill them. A strong, healthy colony of bees can succumb to varroa mite infestation in less than a year, which is why the wild population of honeybees have all but disappeared. Only managed honeybees survive because beekeepers use a variety of integrated pest management procedures to reduce the mite populations. For more information on how you can protect pollinators visit the UGA Honey Bee Program website at Jennifer Berry manages the UGA Honeybee Lab & Apiary.

Photo by Jennifer Berry



1. Eliminate or reduce the use of pesticides used in your landscape or garden. Pollinators can be greatly affected by all kinds of pesticides. Pesticides kill pests such as insects (insecticides), weeds (herbicides) and fungus (fungicides). Yes, insects are not weeds or fungus, but they can still be killed or injured when exposed to these products, especially if they are exposed directly. 2. Before applying any insecticide, find out what kind of bug is causing the damage. Most insects are benign and beneficial by feeding on pests and once removed from the area, the “bad” bug populations explode. Your local UGA Extension agent can identify most common pests and may be able to recommend some non-chemical methods for curtailing their damage. 3. If you use a pesticide in your landscape or garden, apply in the evening. Most of your pollinators are foraging during the day, so once the sun has set they have gone home, especially in the case of honeybees. If you apply pesticides at this time, more than likely you will not expose honeybees or other pollinators to a toxic chemical. Also, avoid applying pesticides to the flower bloom, since this is where pollinators will land to gather pollen and/or nectar. 4. Use pesticides in your landscape or garden that degrade rapidly. There are several classes of pesticides that will break down quicker than others so they won’t be as toxic to pollinators or other beneficials. One insecticide the UGA Bee Lab recommends is Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt), a biological pesticide that works well against caterpillars without harming beneficial insects or pollinators. Don’t use a pesticide that is applied as a dust such as Sevin® since the dust particles resemble pollen grains. Bees will carry the dust back to their nests and feed it to the developing young which is extremely detrimental to their health. 5. No matter what type of pesticide is used, always follow pesticide label instructions. Using more of a pesticide or using it more often than recommended won’t necessarily get rid of the pests and may cause more serious issues down the road. 6. If aerial sprays are being conducted in your area for mosquito control, contact your local government authorities and ask for spraying to occur at dusk. This will hopefully ensure bees and other pollinators will not be affected. If there are hives in the area, cover them with damp sheets while aerial sprays are occurring. This will keep the bees inside and the spray from covering the hives. Uncover the hives immediately after the spraying has ceased so the colonies don’t overheat. 7. Provide habitat for pollinators. Plant a wide variety of flowering plants, shrubs and trees around your home to provide pollinators with a food source and a home throughout the growing season. Southern magnolias, red buds, zinnias, purple coneflower and sunflowers are just a few that attract pollinators. 8. Become a beekeeper and/or support Georgia beekeepers by buying local honey. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

Farmers’ Almanac holding farmer of the year contest Farmers’ Almanac, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, is searching for three farmers or ranchers to be recognized as “Farmers’ Almanac Farmer of the Year.” The contest seeks to recognize and share the dedication, hard work and contributions farmers make to our world and society. “We’re looking for farmers and ranchers who have figured out how to keep their centuries-old, family-run farms alive and thriving, as well as newcomers who may have just started out in farming or ranching,” said Farmers’ Almanac Managing Editor Sandi Duncan. “The people who work in agriculture are vital to our everyday life, and we’d like to honor them in the pages of the Farmers’ Almanac.” AFBF President Zippy Duvall added, “Farmers and ranchers have long used their ingenuity and tireless work ethic to preserve natural resources and build up local communities while producing food, fiber and fuel for consumers here at home and around the world. We’re pleased to join the Farmers’ Almanac in launching the Farmer of the Year program.”

Nominations must highlight, in 300 words or less, the following criteria: • Supporting the Tradition: How long has the nominee been in their field? How did he or she get involved in agriculture and why? • Innovation in Agriculture: How has the nominee embraced technology or new ways of farming and ranching? • Community Involvement: How has the nominee engaged his/her community to support agriculture and/or teach more about farming overall? • Inspiration: How is the nominee a true leader in agriculture and why does he/she deserve to be recognized? All nominations must be received by Jan. 31, 2017, and must be submitted online at Three winners will be announced in the 2018 Farmers’ Almanac and will be offered reimbursement for a one-year membership to the Farm Bureau in their county of residence and a lifetime subscription to the Farmers’ Almanac. Each of their stories will be featured in the 2018 Farmers’ Almanac and on

UGA researchers conducting wild pig survey

Researchers from the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources are collecting information about wild pigs killed in Georgia since January 2015. Farmers and landowners are being asked to complete a 12-question survey for each county in which they harvested wild pigs in this time frame. Questions pertain to characteristics of the pigs, method of harvest and how many were killed. UGA Associate Dean of Service and Outreach Dr. Mike Mengak is leading the survey, which is voluntary. Survey participants must be 18 years or older. To take the survey visit Responses are anonymous and will provide valuable information to help understand the wild pig problems in Georgia. The website also contains information about wild pigs (commonly referred to as feral hogs), the damage they cause to crops and property, health concerns for other animals and the human public, control methods and other resources. A field guide to wild pig management can also be accessed on the website.

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Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016



Varied paths led Young Farmer award finalists to agriculture By Jay Stone _____________________________________________________________________________

Photo by Taylor Sills

he three finalist families in the 2016 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Achievement Award contest took different paths to agricultural success. Thomas and Alicia Harrell started from scratch. Jonathan and Bridget Hitchcock were part of a family farm reboot. Brian and Melissa Ogletree joined a family farm operation that was up and running. They face many of the same challenges and have many common experiences, and they’ve found support in other farmers their age through Georgia Farm Bureau and other ag organizations. The Harrells raise broiler chickens and grow hay on their Madison County Farm, coming to agriculture from other backgrounds. The Hitchcocks, who won the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award, grow row crops and raise cattle. Jonathan’s family was always involved in farming but got out for a time in the 1990s when the farm economy was bad. The Ogletrees joined the family operation, growing grains and operating a seed-cleaning plant. They all say the support they’ve received from Farm Bureau has been invaluable, from the organization’s legislative efforts to the friendships they’ve made by interacting with other GFB members around the state and nation. Here’s a look at the three finalist families.

The Hitchcocks Bridget, Jonathan and Andie.

The Hitchcocks WASHINGTON COUNTY – For Jonathan and Bridget Hitchcock, being successful in farming has been about seizing opportunity, capitalizing on resources and getting their hands dirty. “Farming is all I’ve ever done,” Jonathan said. “My great-granddaddy farmed, my granddaddy farmed and my daddy farmed. That’s really just all I’ve ever done is farm.” Likewise, Bridget grew up doing farm work. She tried another direction, but came back to it. “I just kind of had a hidden love for it,” said Bridget. “I went to college, never could figure out what I wanted to do. I ended up getting a degree in marketing, I came out of school and had a job, you know, an office job, and I just hated it. When Jonathan and I met and got married, farming was what was going on with him, and I just fell right into it.” Jonathan farms with his father, Waylon, brother, James, and sister, Jennifer, growing cotton, corn, peanuts, soybeans and cattle. The couple has an agritourism venue, hosting farm-themed weddings and other events. Bridget sells farm produce at area farmers markets and through online channels. She’s not skipping out on the field work, though. “I’m one of those crazy people that loves hard work,” Bridget said. “I’ll get out there and

work with the boys and do just about anything they do, except for turning a wrench. I’m not a wrench turner. But the hard work, I love it.” Jonathan and his siblings went into farming with their eyes open to the realities of it. Waylon lost almost all of the family farm in 1999 and 2000, and they’ve worked to reacquire almost all of it, using hard work and USDA first-time farmer loans and drawing heavily on Waylon’s experience. “It’s been real good having him by our side because he’s been through all of it, the ups and down of prices, bad weather and storms,” Jonathan said, noting that advancing technology has given the farm options that his dad didn’t have. “There’s a lot of stuff now that’s not like it was when he was farming. Technology and bigger equipment and that kind of stuff that takes some of the risk out of it.” Both Jonathan and Bridget marvel at the planting and harvest cycle and relish their involvement in it. “It’s amazing to me to take a seed, put it in the ground and watch it grow,” Jonathan said. “I get up every morning and walk fields, study the plants and study the crops. It’s something different every day. You don’t ever get up in the morning and do the same thing you did yesterday. If you do, it’s in a different spot or a different field.” Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

MADISON COUNTY – Thomas and Alicia Harrell’s farm in western Madison County is called Over Jordan Farm, a reference to the River Jordan and the Israelites’ promised land. For the Harrells, who both came to agriculture from other backgrounds, the farm represents just that – a promised land on which they make their living and, more to the point, their life. Thomas grew up in Lawrenceville, an Atlanta suburb in Gwinnett County. His exposure to farming in his formative years was limited to helping a neighbor raise a dairy calf on a yard inside a chain-link fence. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to prompt his career choice. It was solidified on a fishing trip to South Georgia, where he helped work cattle. “I thought, ‘This was fun. I want to do this,’” Thomas said. “I knew I wanted to do something in agriculture, and when I went to UGA I kind of ruled out vet school, and then I ruled out Extension. I decided I wanted to farm.” At first, he worked on a farm. Then his grandparents helped him finance the land for Over Jordan Farm. Now, the family has eight poultry houses, grows hay on 216 acres, has a

small herd of cattle and runs a metal fabrication shop specializing in farm equipment. There’s enough to do that Thomas spends the majority of his time on the farm. “Sometimes I’ll go a week or more without leaving,” he said. “I guess what I like best about farming is being my own boss, not having to rely on someone else.” That self-sufficiency comes with satisfaction. “Our success or failure depends on us and our hard work,” said Alicia, who handles the farm accounting and pitches in wherever else she’s needed. “It’s a nice thing.” The Harrells launched Over Jordan Farm in 2008, and in 2009 they got their introduction to Farm Bureau, taking the GFB Young Farmer Trip to Washington, D.C. They had been involved with other ag organizations, but found great value in GFB. “It’s pretty obvious when you go to Washington,” Thomas said. “It just kind of grabbed me that Farm Bureau is doing more for agriculture than the other ones.” “It’s good to see somebody out there lobbying for the causes and problems we were seeing firsthand every day,” Alicia said. “We were looking for something to make an impact on our day-to-day lives.”

Photo by Jay Stone

The Harrells

The Harrells Thomas, Alicia, Augusta, Annabelle, Abigail and Luke.

SPALDING COUNTY – Spalding County grain farmer Brian Ogletree has been fascinated by farming since he was little. The giant farm equipment was the stuff of dreams. “Growing up I just wanted to drive big tractors and big trucks,” he said. “That’s what I wanted to do. I loved watching stuff grow.” Now, he and his wife, Melissa, have a growing farm operation, three growing children – twin sons, Logan and Mason, and daughter, Olivia – and growing prospects. “He and I started dating when I was 16. He farmed. He was combining and planting and all that when he was 16 years old. We got married when we were 19. It’s always been that way,” Melissa said. Brian farms with his father, Bobby, producing wheat, brown top millet, sericea lespedeza, hay, soybeans, canola, winter peas and red clover on 2,000 acres. The family also maintains a small herd of cattle and run a seed conditioning warehouse, where unwanted material is removed from the grain. It’s hard work with long hours, but they enjoy the lifestyle. “The harvest is what I enjoy the most, just Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

being able to reap what you’ve worked for half the year and sometimes all year,” Brian said. “It’s family,” said Melissa. “You come to work with family. To me it’s a simple life. He’s here all the time. The kids can go out and see him if he’s in the barn or go ride with daddy in the combine.” Brian, who serves as vice president of Spalding County Farm Bureau (SCFB), has served on the GFB Young Farmer Committee, including a year as vice chairman in 2012. He and Melissa have been heavily involved in SCFB’s farm advocacy efforts as well as those of Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB). They said the relationships the organization has allowed them to develop have been invaluable. “We’re suburban Atlanta,” Melissa said. “From my perspective there’s nobody here that has the lifestyle we have, so Farm Bureau is really an outlet to meet other people who are your age and engage with them.“ “I know folks scattered across the entire country and still talk to them,” Brian said. “Things are a lot different in Georgia than, say, Nebraska, but it’s nice to be able to call and see what they’re doing.”

Photo by Jay Stone

The Ogletrees

The Ogletrees Brian, Melissa, Logan (left), Mason (right) and Olivia (top). 29

Photo by Jay Stone Photo by Jay Stone

The finalists for the GFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award, from left, are Troy Windham of Laurens County, Matthew and Kimberly London of White County (with daughters Madilynn and Kori) and Bennett and Rebecca Jacobs of Polk County (with daughter Aubrey and son Nolan).

The Final Four contestants in the GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet, from left, are Rachel Patrick of Walton County, Caroline Lewallen of Hall County, Newt Gilman of Jackson County (the top collegiate finisher in the competition) and winner Skye Gess of Hancock County.

GFB names Young Farmer competitive event winners

By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ Jonathan and Bridget Hitchcock, Skye County, Caroline Lewallen of Hall County Gess and Bennett and Rebecca Jacobs and Rachel Patrick of Walton County. claimed the top prizes in the 2016 Georgia Gess received a Polaris all-terrain vehicle Farm Bureau Young Farmer competitive courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurevents, which were completed during the ance and a $500 cash award courtesy of GeorGFB Young Farmer Leadership Confer- gia Farm Bureau. The three runners-up each ence, held July 13-16 on Jekyll Island. received $350 courtesy of SunTrust Bank. Gess, who is the Hancock County Farm All rounds of the GFB Discussion Meet Bureau vice president, won the 2016 GFB were held during the conference. During Young Farmer Discussion Meet, emerging the preliminary rounds, the topics were how from a field of 28 competitors. The other farmers and ranchers can take leadership three finalists were Newt Gilman of Jackson on management of natural resources, how 30

farmers can control their intellectual and proprietary data and how to ensure consumers understand food labels and gain confidence in the safety and quality of their food. During the final round, Gess and the other finalists discussed how to shape national immigration policy that ensures farmers have access to labor. Bennett and Rebecca Jacobs of Polk County won the GFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award, given for young farmers who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. Bennett, a Polk County Farm Bureau director, teaches agriculture at the Carroll County College and Career Academy. He and Rebecca have a small herd of beef cattle and raise pastured hogs. The Jacobses received a Polaris all-terrain vehicle sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. Runners-up Matthew and Kimberly London of White County, who competed as a tandem, and Troy Windham of Laurens County received $500 courtesy of Georgia Farm Bureau. The Hitchcocks won the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award, given to recognize young farmers who earn the majority of their income from production agriculture. Jonathan and Bridget farm with Jonathan’s brother, James, sister, Jennifer, and father, Waylon, producing corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, wheat and canola. They also raise a small herd of beef cattle, sell vegetables from the farm and operate an on-farm special events venue. As the state winner the Hitchcocks received a Polaris all-terrain vehicle courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life and a $500 cash prize courtesy of AgSouth Farm Credit. Each of the state winners also receive an expense-paid trip to the 2016 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention, where they will compete for national honors. The AFBF convention will be held Jan. 6-10 in Phoenix, Arizona. The AFBF Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture Award winners each receive their choice of a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierrra pickup courtesy of Chevrolet and paid registration to the 2017 AFBF FUSION Conferenced in February. The national finalists in each of the three contests receive a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor courtesy of Case IH, as well as $2,500 cash and $500 in STIHL merchandise courtesy of STIHL. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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Has had GFBMIC auto insurance for 57 years

Truelove celebrates 70 years of GFB membership By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

Photo by Justine Palmer

H Roy Truelove, center, has been a Georgia Farm Bureau member for 70 years. He was one of the farmer members who worked to start the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. He went on to work for the company for 25 years, first as an agent in Hall County and then as a district sales manager. Truelove visits with Hall County Farm Bureau Agency Manager Kirk Adams, right, and Customer Service Representative Kenny Anderson.

all County Farm Bureau (HCFB) member Roy Truelove is Georgia Farm Bureau through and through. Truelove first joined HCFB in September 1946 after returning home from serving a year in Italy with the U.S. Army as part of the occupation forces. This fall marks his 70th anniversary as a GFB member. Truelove, 92, grew up on a farm and married his wife, Grace, in 1944. They raised broilers and cattle. He was deferred from military service until 1945 because the U.S. government valued the contribution he was making to the war by feeding the nation, proving how essential the men and women who grow our food are to the U.S. national defense. Truelove says he was drafted in 1945 as the war drew to an end and food supplies were secure. After returning from Italy, Truelove

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resumed farming and became active in the HCFB. He served as the HCFB president from 1958 to 1963 during the years Farm Bureau decided to form an insurance company to offer its members coverage as a member benefit. He served as the GFB North Georgia Vice President for one term from 1963-1964. “Farm Bureau was the spokesman for farmers in Atlanta and Washington,” Truelove said. “While I was serving as the North Georgia Vice President I was expected to be in Atlanta during the 40 days of the General Session keeping an eye on legislation that affected farmers.” He recalled working with his representative to defeat a proposed bill that would have required farmers to buy licenses to use their trucks to haul their commodities or loan them to other farmers to do the same. “We got the bill taken off the calendar. It was the strength of the organization that did it,” Truelove said. Truelove worked with other Farm Bureau members across the state to secure the 300 policy applications and $300,000 capitol required to start the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (GFB MIC) and county offices. In December 1958, Truelove filled out an application for an auto insurance policy. The policy went into effect in March 1959 after the GFBMIC was officially incorporated. This year marked his 57th year of being insured with GFBMIC. “The farmers who belonged to Georgia Farm Bureau decided to start an insurance company because we didn’t have adequate farm liability coverage,” Truelove said. “We wanted something that was ours, and other states were doing well with their insurance programs.” Truelove says he paid $11 for six months of coverage on his 1956 Dodge car. He liked the insurance product GFB was offering so much that he became a GFB insurance agent in 1964 and then a GFB MIC district sales manager in 1968. He stopped poultry farming at that point and See TRUELOVE next page Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

GFB Ag Foundation offering $60,500 in scholarships Application deadline is Feb. 3, 2017 By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Foundation for Agriculture is offering up to $60,500 in scholarships to Georgia students pursuing degrees related to agriculture, veterinary medicine, family and consumer sciences or related fields. Since 1959, GFB has awarded scholarships to students entering college with plans to pursue a career in agriculture or family and consumer sciences. In 2016, the GFB Foundation expanded the scholarship program to offer scholarships to rising college juniors and seniors, technical college students and veterinary college students. In 2017 the GFB foundation will award scholarships in the following four categories: • Scholarship for Agriculture This scholarship is for high school students who plan to enter a college that is part of the University System of Georgia, Berry College or Emmanuel College during the 2017-2018 academic year to pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and TRUELOVE from previous page only raised cattle during his GFB career. “A lot of people who became agents were former farmers, and a lot of teachers became agents,” Truelove said. “It wasn’t just about the money. There was the prestige of being of service to the members of our organization.” Truelove served as the GFB District 2 sales manager for 15 years working the northeast corner of the state. Under his leadership, District 2 became the first GFB district to have an insurance agent in every county. From September 1983 until he retired in 1989, he served as the GFB District 4 sales manager, working a territory from Winder to Augusta. Today, he and Grace, who have been married 72 years, still live in Hall County on part of their original farm. The couple has three living children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His nephew, Jerry Truelove, who operates a dairy with his sister, Dixie, is continuing the family Farm Bureau tradition by serving as the HCFB president. Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

consumer sciences or a related agricultural field. The GFB Foundation will award five scholarships of $3,000 each and seven scholarships of $1,500 each. • Technical College Scholarship for Agriculture This scholarship is for high school students who plan to enroll in a Georgia accredited technical college who will be majoring in an area of agriculture or agriculturally related field of study. The GFB Foundation will award 10 scholarships of $1,000 each. • Rising College Junior/Senior Scholarship for Agriculture This scholarship is for college students who have at least two semesters of college work remaining to receive an undergraduate degree from a unit of The University System of Georgia, Berry College or Emmanuel College and are majoring in agriculture and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agriculture field. The GFB Foundation will award 10 scholarships of $2,000 each. • UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship This scholarship

is for students currently enrolled in the UGA Veterinary Medicine program specializing in large animal/food animal practice. The GFB Foundation will award two scholarships of $2,500 each. “Agriculture needs young people to become equipped with the skills that a technical college or college education provides to meet agriculture’s growing technology and research needs,” said GFB President Gerald Long, who chairs the GFB Foundation for Agriculture’s Board of Directors. “Georgia Farm Bureau wants to financially help students pursuing a career in agriculture who will be the future workforce and leaders of Georgia agriculture.” The deadline to apply for all of the scholarships is Feb. 3, 2017. Applications and scholarship eligibility requirements may be obtained from county Farm Bureau offices across Georgia or downloaded at the GFB Foundation for Agriculture website at Scholarship recipients will be announced in spring 2017, and the scholarships will be distributed in the summer of 2017.

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GFB Photo Contest spotlights Georgia agriculture By Jennifer Whittaker




Photos are numbered for i.d. purposes and do not indicate contest rankings.



6 34


arlier this year, Georgia Farm Bureau asked our members to send us photos depicting a scenic aspect of Georgia agriculture. We received 183 entries to our 7th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Photo Contest coordinated by the GFB Young Farmer Program. Walton County Farm Bureau members Cody and Grace Martin took the grand prize with a photo of their son, Brody, titled “Follow My Lead.” As the first-place winners the Martins won $150. Their photo will be featured on the cover of the 2017 GFB Young Farmer Calendar and as the January photo. Calendars are available at most county Farm Bureau offices. The calendar also features the photos of the 11 honorable mention winners. Honorable mention prizes of $75 were awarded to the following: Gracie Boss, Walton County; Debra Johnson, Decatur County; Amber Tull, Grady County; Jean Dykes, Henry County; Sam Ingram, Effingham County; Lauren Boykin, Screven County; Linda Lutrell, Harris County; James Johnson, Jackson County; Bonnie Hand, Berrien County; Kelli Ward, Banks County; and Teresa Fountain, Gilmer County. A group of judges selected 12 photos from all the entries, and GFB members attending the organization’s Young Farmer Conference in July selected the grand prize winner by casting a vote for their favorite photo. GFB plans to hold the contest again next year. Contest details will be available next spring on GFB’s website and at county Farm Bureau offices. If you are interested in submitting a photo to the 2017 contest, contact your county Farm Bureau and ask the staff to notify you when it receives contest details. 1 Grand Prize Winner “Follow My Lead” Cody & Grace Martin, Walton County Most little boys form an attachment to the family dog, but Brody Martin has a much larger fourlegged friend named Coco. Brody was 16 months old in April when his mom, Grace, shot this photo. “Brody’s first word was ‘Coco’. He has loved the horse since he first saw him and wakes every morning saying ‘Coco.’ He leads anyone who will follow to the barn to feed him first thing in the morning,” Grace said. Coco, who is a five-year-old Quarter Horse, seems to return Brody’s affection. “Coco is a very calm horse, but especially aware and careful with Brody,” Grace said. The Martins have a small beef cattle operation.

2 Honorable Mention “Sharecropper’s Solitude” Gracie Boss, Walton County Boss shot this photo of a cabin built in the

1820s on the farm of her grandfather, Kenneth Boss, in Walton County. She said the cabin is made of hand-carved, square logs that the family covered in tin to protect from the weather. Sharecroppers lived in the house for many years growing cotton and corn. In the early 1950s Boss’ grandfather established a dairy that the family operated until 1987. Today, the Boss family has a beef herd of about 300 head and grows fescue/Bermudagrass hay. 3 “Snack Time” Debra Johnson, Decatur County If you’ve ever spent any time around dairy cows, you know they can be just as nosy and comical as cats. “Cows are very curious animals, and as I was taking the photos, Number 2565, kept wanting to check out my camera. She kept trying to lick it and catch hold of it with her mouth and swinging her head,” said Johnson, who captured these bovine beauties eating their evening ration of silage, corn, soybean meal, cottonseed and citrus pulp. The photo was shot at Providence Dairy, a 1,200-head operation owned by Johnson’s brother-in-law Dr. Paul Johnson, who is a veterinarian. Johnson’s husband, Gary, plants the crops grown on the farm to feed the herd, including the corn and rye grass silage crops. Paul’s son, Matthew, also works at the dairy. “They all keep it going and it’s a 24 hour/ seven-day a week job,” Johnson said. The cows are milked three times a day, approximately every eight hours. 4 “Man-Made Rain” Amber Tull, Grady County Tull shot this photo at a farm on Highway 33 outside Moultrie, Ga., one afternoon after picking her kids up from school. “I couldn’t resist the “rain” from the irrigation system and the young corn plants,” Tull said. “I wanted to capture a part of farming many people don’t get to witness every day.” 5 “Red Barn in the Morning” Jean Dykes, Henry County Dykes, who is the Henry County Farm Bureau office manager, shot this photo of a flowering crab apple tree at the farm where she and her husband, Johnny, have lived for 15 years. While she isn’t certain how old the barn is, Dykes said the tax records of their farm show the farmhouse they live in was built in 1902. “I know they grew sugarcane and ground it near the barn,” Dykes said. “We are a hobby farm. We have a vegetable garden and grow corn, okra, squash, tomatoes and green beans. We have sevGeorgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

6 “The Forager” Sam Ingram, Effingham County Effingham County Farm Bureau member Sam Ingram captured this bee gathering pollen in a field of canola at the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research & Education Center in Watkinsville, Ga. Ingram, who was a UGA Cooperative Extension agent in Effingham County before moving to North Carolina earlier this year to pursue his doctorate degree in animal science at North Carolina State, said the canola was grown as a dual-purpose crop to feed grazing cattle during the winter. The cattle were pulled off the field in the spring and then the crop was harvested for its seed. 7 “Harvest Time in the South” Lauren Boykin, Screven County Boykin shot this photo of the 2015 cotton harvest on her family’s farm late in the afternoon one day toward the end of October. Her husband, Stuart, is a third generation farmer and the family grows between 2,500 to 3,000 acres of row crops, she said. This year they just grew cotton and peanuts but usually also grow corn and wheat. “We have two children, Lila Rose and Perry William and both of the kids love to be around the farm, especially in harvest season,” Boykin shared. During planting and harvest seasons, a farmer’s job doesn’t end at five o’clock. In the spring you’ve got to keep running the tractor to get the crop planted before a rain storm comes in so the seed will germinate. In the fall farmers run their harvesters late into the night to get the crop out of the field before a rain or a frost. So, it’s a common occurrence for farm wives to load the kids up in the SUV and take supper out to the field to spend time with dad. Some wives also help with the harvest because it’s all hands on deck. “While their dad is picking cotton, you can most likely find them playing in the cotton near the module builders or riding with whoever is driving the dump-cart,” Boykin said. “Tractor drivers can sometimes make the best baby sitters!” Boykin is the Screven County Extension Agent in charge of the 4-H program. She also serves as the Screven County Farm Bureau secretary/treasurer. 8 “A Summer’s Day” Linda Luttrell, Harris County Harris County Farm Bureau Office Manager Linda Lutrell says she always keeps her camera on her backseat where it is handy in case she rides by a scenic shot. “I was just driving down a dirt road in Harris County one afternoon last July [2015] and saw this field of sunflowers,” Harris said. “Amazing what you can find down an ‘ol dirt road! We have several farmers in our area who have sunflower fields. They are spectacular and my favorite!” Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

9 “Sorghum at Sunset” James Johnson, Jackson County Johnson, who is working on his doctorate degree in wildlife ecology and management at the UGA Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, shot this photo last summer on a plantation in Southwest Georgia where he was conducting research on white-tailed deer. “After coming across this field with the sun setting, I pulled over and took the shot from a tripod placed on top of my truck with me standing on the toolbox,” Johnson said. He said he’d been given permission to shoot and use photos from the properties he does research on, but some landowners wish to remain anonymous, so we aren’t disclosing the location or property owner. We’re grateful to the landowner for letting Johnson take photos and that he entered this in the GFB contest so we could also enjoy it! 10 “Rural South Georgia Sunrise” Bonnie Hand, Berrien County Hand shot this photo on the 100-acre farm that has been in her husband, Gary’s, family for three generations. “This picture is the view from my front porch each morning,” Hand said. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else but South Georgia.” Hand’s “front yard” is a 25-acre hay field where the family grows hay sold to a local dairy and to feed their horse. In addition to this hay field, the Hands also cut more than 300 acres of hay for other landowners to supply the same dairy. The Hands have a 50-acre pecan orchard. Hand said she shot this photo early in the morning as the sun came up as the fog was lifting. 11 “Old Mill Charm” Kelli Ward, Banks County Ward shot this photo of the Ragsdale Mill located on Mt. Olivet Road in Homer, Ga., during a farm tour in November 2015. According to the Banks County Historical Website, Rev. Francis Ragsdale built the mill during the Civil War in 1863. The millstones were quarried in France and brought to Savannah by blockade runners who had to slip past U.S. Navy ships guarding the port. Doc and Nan Sisk own the mill today. The Sisks have also restored the Miller Homestead located next to the mill and share this historical area with the community as a location for special events. 12 “Snowy Mountain Barn” Teresa Fountain, Gilmer County Teresa Fountain, mother of Gilmer County Office Manager Candra Frady, shot this photo when she and her friend Judy Smith, were out riding around after a snow in January. Frady told us the barn was originally the Garland Barn and was most likely built in the 1950s. It’s now known locally as the Ike Reece Barn. We appreciate these two ladies braving a cold winter’s day to capture this beautiful shot for us all to enjoy!




10 Photos are numbered for i.d. purposes and do not indicate contest rankings.

en sheep that are used for live nativities at churches around the county at Christmas.”


12 35


Photo by Ray D’Alessio

oesn’t matter how your favorite football team is playing this season, these Georgia Chicken Cups are easy to make (especially if you use an all-ready cooked rotisserie chicken). They are guaranteed to be a hit at your next Friday night or Saturday afternoon tailgate! Our candy apple recipe can be made for church festivals, tailgates or Halloween.

Caramel Apples

Photo by Ray D’Alessio

6 Georgia apples, stems removed 6 wooden sticks 1-14 oz. package of caramel candy, unwrapped 2 tbsps. water

Georgia Chicken Cups 11/2 lbs. cooked chicken, shredded (rotisserie chicken works well) 1 cup ranch dressing 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 2 tbsps. taco seasoning mix 24 wonton wrappers Salsa, optional Combine chicken and dressing in a

bowl and set aside. Combine cheese and taco seasoning in a bowl and set aside. Place wonton wrappers in muffin cups and brown lightly at 350˚ F for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture in each wonton cup and sprinkle with cheese mixture. Return to oven and bake 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through.

Insert wooden sticks into stem end of apple and place on a cookie sheet lined with oiled, waxed paper. Combine caramels and water in a microwave-safe bowl; heat on medium for about 2 minutes stirring every 15 seconds until melted and smooth, do not overheat. Gently dip apples in caramel and place on cookie sheet. Chill until ready to serve. For more recipes featured in “Meals from the Field,” the monthly cooking segment that airs on GFB’s “Georgia Farm Monitor” TV show, visit GFB produces the cooking segment in partnership with the Georgia Department of Agriculture to highlight Georgia commodities.




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Paulson Stadium • Statesboro 7:30 p.m. There will be pre-game activities highlighting Georgia agriculture. For more information, go to Georgia Neighbors • Fall 2016

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Plain Answers about IBS, Constipation, Diarrhea, Heartburn, Ulcers, and More!

(By Frank K. Wood) If you suffer from bloating, abdominal cramps, chronic constipation or diarrhea, varicose leg veins, digestive spasms, fatigue, or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you need The Complete Guide to Digestive Health, an informative new book just released to the public by FC&A Medical Publishing® in Peachtree City, Georgia. Intestinal problems? Learn about important new research discoveries that identify which foods are your allies and which foods are your enemies, including information about what you should avoid drinking. Discover what you can do to clean out your intestines, ease stress, and calm your digestive system. And find out how you can soothe an irritable bowel just by sipping this beverage. The authors provide many health tips with full explanations.  Two-cent colon cleanser!  Make these simple changes and be rid of gas!

 Eat this kind of cereal daily, and help prevent constipation, colon cancer ... even weight gain!  Belching and bloating — they could be warning signs of up to 7 hidden health problems.  Constipation? Discover a natural cure that’s better than fiber!  Simple (and free) way to slash your heart attack risk in half!  Lower blood pressure ... fewer ulcers ... less colitis ... just some of the benefits of letting yourself do this.  12 ways to ease stress and calm digestion.  Sweep artery-clogging cholesterol out of your body with this type of super-absorbent fiber.  Put a stop to constipation with as little as one tablespoon a day of this mystery food.  Vitamins and minerals may keep you from getting colon cancer, even if this awful killer runs in your family. TO ORDER A COPY The Complete Guide to Digestive Health for $9.99. See coupon. ©FC&A 2016


 Astonishing healing with vinegar, honey, olive oil, and more!  Rebuild your joints and relieve arthritis pain naturally.  The nutrients your brain needs for memory. Don’t let it deteriorate!  Trick your body into losing weight! Melt fat off safely, naturally, easily.  Super vitamin protects vision; fights infection; keeps skin, bones, and cells healthy; plus fights many diseases!  Lacking energy? This vitamin will cause a wonderful change in your energy level ... and attitude!  Ward off bugs, mosquitoes, yellow jackets, and more without repellant coating. TO ORDER A COPY The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia for $9.99. See coupon.

©FC&A 2016

Learn all these amazing secrets and more. To order your books, just return this coupon with your name and address and a check for $9.99 per book, plus $3.00 shipping and handling to: FC&A, Dept. 4581, 103 Clover Green, Peachtree City, GA 30269. You get a notime-limit guarantee of satisfaction or your money back. FREE SHIPPING if you order two or more books! You must cut out and return this coupon with your order. Copies will not be accepted! IMPORTANT — FREE GIFT OFFER EXPIRES DECEMBER 5, 2016 All orders mailed by December 5, 2016, will receive a free gift, Get Well and Stay Well, guaranteed. Order right away! Name__________________________________________________ Address_________________________________________________ City_______________________State__________Zip____________  Quantity____ BISS

The Complete Guide to Digestive Health

 Quantity____ B2QS High Blood Pressure Lowered Naturally: Your Arteries Can Clean Themselves  Quantity____ BPFS The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia: Olive Oil, Vinegar, Honey and 1,001 Other Home Remedies 4581

Farm Bureau's Georgia Neighbors - Fall 2016  

Farm Bureau’s Georgia Neighbors Magazine, Fall 2016 Issue. The Georgia Farm Bureau News has been the official publication of Georgia Farm...

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