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FARM BUREAU

Vol. 78 No. 1

GEORGIA

NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers

GFB transitions into new leadership

February/March 2016


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table of

contents february/march 2016

departments

view from the field PAGE 4

legislative update PAGE 5

commodities update PAGE 16

young farmer update PAGE 20

women’s committee update PAGE 21

around georgia

PAGE 26

public relations staff Andy Lucas Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone Print/Web Specialist Lillian Davis Publications/Advertising Manager Michael Edmondson Web/Video Manager Ray D’Alessio Senior Producer/TV Host Kenny Burgamy Co-Anchor/Reporter Mark Wildman Senior Radio-TV Specialist Dean Wood Radio-TV Specialist Damon Jones Radio-TV Specialist Vickie Amos Office Coordinator For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or mcfarlandadvantage@gmail.com For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail jawhittaker@gfb.org Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Duvall elected AFBF president, Long leading GFB Zippy Duvall became the first Georgian elected president of the American Farm Bureau Federation on Jan. 12. Under GFB bylaws, former GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long became GFB president and GFB directors designated GFB Middle Georgia President Robert Fountain the new GFB 1st vice president. PAGES 6 & 7

GFB holds 78th annual convention Gov. Deal and Saxby Chambliss spoke at the convention. GFB presented its state awards and voting delegates approved GFB’s 2016 policy and elected the GFB Board. PAGES 8 & 9

Goble wins GFB teaching award Meet Lauren Goble, a Jones County elementary teacher, who is expanding her students’ horizons using Ag in the Classroom curriculum. PAGE 11

GFB members launch 2016 at AFBF convention Georgia took a delegation of 320 to the 97th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., where attendees attended educational workshops, Young Farmer contestants represented Georgia in the national contests, and GFB won six Awards of Excellence for its 2015 programs. PAGES 12 & 13

Diversification key to Long Farm Travel with us to Decatur County to learn more about GFB President Gerald Long’s farm and family. PAGE 14

GFB Ag Foundation awards grants & sets gala The GFB Foundation for Agriculture awarded $4,500 in grants to 13 counties to fund ag literacy projects. Make plans now to attend the foundation’s 2nd annual fundraising gala April 16. PAGE 19

Peanut farm show & conference provides industry updates The 40th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show gave growers legislative and production updates and the chance to see equipment and ag products. PAGE 23

GFB 2nd District holds annual cattle show Pardue named UGA CAES Dean

PAGE 24

Samuel Pardue, from North Carolina State University, has been selected as the new dean of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. PAGE 28

Cottonseed designation & trade key topics at cotton meeting Talk at the annual Georgia Cotton Commission meeting was about efforts to get the USDA to classify cottonseed as an “other oilseed” to make the seed eligible for commodity protection under the 2014 farm bill’s Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). PAGE 31

about the cover-------------------------------------------------

(Photo by Andy Lucas) Former Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, right, was elected for a two-year term as American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) president by the voting delegates at the 97th AFBF Annual Convention on Jan. 12, in Orlando, Fla. Gerald Long, who was serving as GFB 1st vice president, assumed the responsibilities of GFB president that day under a succession plan outlined in the GFB bylaws. The GFB Board of Directors designated GFB Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr. as GFB 1st vice president. Read more about Duvall’s election on page 6 and the new GFB leaders on page 7. February-March 2016/ 3


view from the field Gerald Long, GFB President

Let me introduce myself

Many of you reading this know Farm Bureau and other ag organizame, but I’d like to introduce myself to tions and with our legislators. I’m those of you who don’t. committed to continuing this so Geor My wife, Janice, son, Justin, and I gia Farm Bureau remains an effective run a diversified family farm in Deca- advocate for Georgia agriculture. tur County near Bainbridge, Ga. I’m I believe in communicating, so if the third generation of my family to you have ideas or questions, please call farm it, and my oldest son, Justin, is my office at 478-474-8411 or shoot me the fourth. Our second son, Jared, an email at glong@gfb.org. I also beworks for the National Beef Packing lieve in hard work and am considered Company, and our daughter Jeanie a workhorse. I expect everyone around works for Texas A&M University. me to do their jobs. If we do, Farm We raise about 500 head of cows, Bureau will be successful. There’s no grow about 280 acres of peanuts and doubt in my mind about that. normally grow about 600 acres of cot- I’m a person who believes in honton, but due to low cotton prices last esty and integrity. I think that’s very year we shifted that acreage into cows. important. I believe as a leader I will We also grow more than 50 different va- be called on to step up and sometimes rieties of vegetables on about 120 acres draw a line in the sand. I know there that we sell through the U-pick opera- will be times when I have to make tion we’ve run for 31 years. hard, difficult decisions. As your pres I’ve been a Farm Bureau mem- ident, I’m willing to do that. ber since 1970 and The most imstarted out serving portant thing you “United we stand. on my county board need to know about of directors. Then me is I’m commitDivided we fail.” I began serving on ted to Georgia Farm the GFB Beef Cattle Bureau. That’s why Committee and the vegetable commit- I’m excited to serve as your president tee. In 1999, my Decatur County Board until this term ends Dec. 6, and why of Directors encouraged me to run for I’ve decided to run for GFB president the state board to represent GFB’s 9th in December. District. In 2006 I had the opportunity When I met with our home office to run for South Georgia vice presi- employees on my first day, I told them dent, and in 2008 the GFB voting del- my motto is “United we stand. Dividegates designated me as the organiza- ed we fail.” tion’s 1st vice president. We have a dedicated team of em I’ve seen Farm Bureau grow during ployees at our state office, but I’m askthe 46 years I’ve been involved, and ing each one of them to do better toI’ve been proud to help lead an organi- day than they did yesterday and better zation that has repeatedly gone to bat tomorrow than today. I’d like to ask in Atlanta and Washington represent- our volunteer members to join us on ing Georgia’s farmers on hard issues the county level with your county prolike tax exemptions and immigration. grams to do the same. Let’s work to Our former president did a won- gether to promote our livelihood and derful job of building bridges between ensure GFB’s future is bright. 4 / February-March 2016

FARM BUREAU GEORGIA

NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers

SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President GERALD LONG 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN, JR. North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Chief Operating Officer WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER

DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Wesley Hall, Cumming SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Matt Bottoms, Molena SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Dexter; James Emory Tate, Denton SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Bellville; Ben Boyd, Sylvania EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Newton; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Daniel Johnson, Alma; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Will Cabe, Carnesville WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Melanie Sanders, Stephens ADVERTISING POLICY All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau News. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or mcfarlandadvantage@ gmail.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2016 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News


legislative update By Jeffrey Harvey, Legislative Director

Omnibus good for farmers Few things in life turn out well when we wait until the last minute. We are taught to complete our work early to ensure we produce our best product. This theory holds true in almost every situation, except government. A looming deadline is often the sole motivation for the wheels of government to start turning. It’s not impractical when you stop to think about it; if two parties can’t agree on an issue, it’s usually debated until both parties are forced to make a decision. The fear of a federal government shut down or the final day of the legislative session often drives negotiations through difficult sticking points. This is frustrating to most people, but it is not uncommon for government. The political process has always worked this way. Tough decisions deserve an adequate amount of discussion and debate, and often deliver a product in the 11th hour. The federal omnibus spending bill is an example of how this process has been successful. Passed on Dec. 18, 2015, H.R. 2029 authorized funding for the federal government through September 2016 and prevented a government shutdown. Both of Georgia’s senators and 12 of the state’s 14 representatives voted in favor of the package. Of particular interest were the positive items included for agriculture. The permanent extension of Section 179, the authorization of marketing certificates, the repeal of policies non-compliant with trade greements, and funding for the USDA-ARS Poultry Laboratory in Athens are just a few of the benefits farmers will receive through the adoption of H.R. 2029. The passage of this legislation gives farmers more certainty in addressing many of their tax related business decisions. The permanent extension of Section 179 has been a priority for Georgia Farm Bureau for many years. This section of the IRS tax code provides small businesses the ability to expense the cost of Georgia Farm Bureau News

qualified property in the year purchased rather than depreciating the equipment over time. Before this extension was made permanent, farmers had little certainty in addressing purchasing decisions. The expensing limit is now permanently set at $500,000 per year, indexed to inflation. This is particularly important for farmers considering the significant investments made in farm equipment. Low commodity prices have negatively impacted row crop producers across the country. One avenue to assist producers is through the use of generic marketing certificates. This provision was included in the omnibus package and authorizes USDA to make these marketing tools available to producers. Generic certificates will provide flexibility to farmers in making important marketing decisions for this year’s crop. The omnibus bill also addressed Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the COOL guidelines violated WTO standards. The mandatory COOL labeling requirements were put in place by previous farm bills and have received criticism from many of our trading partners since being implemented. After filing formal complaints with the WTO, Canada and Mexico received retaliatory rights from the WTO to impose more than a billion dollars in tariffs on U.S. products. H.R. 2029 repeals the mandatory labeling requirements for beef and pork making our existing COOL statues consistent with the WTO and prevents tariffs on other exported products. The USDA-ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) in Athens is a world leader in developing research solutions to the world’s deadliest poultry diseases, such as the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI). The omnibus legislation provided the full funding needed for the facility’s reconstruction.

With the heightened threat HPAI poses to our state’s economy, securing this funding is a victory for poultry producers. Eradication of HPAI is critical to protecting the investments and livelihoods of our state’s poultry farmers. Poultry accounts for nearly half of all farm income in Georgia, and it is important we have the ability to prevent poultry diseases or identify them in a timely manner. Unfortunately, a provision to stop the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule was left out of the omnibus package. Farm Bureau supported language to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing and funding the rule. The issue is critical not only to farmers but for private landowners across the country. Inclusion of such a provision would have been consistent with the will of Congress. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732 in May 2015 by a vote of 261155. Similar legislation received 57 votes in the Senate. The House and Senate also passed S.J. Res. 22, which would require withdrawal of the WOTUS rule. President Obama, however, vetoed the resolution on Jan. 19. It is clear that the majority of Congress believes the EPA has overstepped its legal authority. We are disappointed our efforts were not successful, but eliminating the WOTUS rule will remain a top priority for Farm Bureau. Overall, the passage of the omnibus legislation is a huge success for farmers all over the country. Please take time to express your appreciation to those elected officials who worked to make this a reality – U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and U.S. Reps. Rick Allen, Sanford Bishop, Buddy Carter, Doug Collins, Tom Graves, John Lewis, Barry Loudermilk, Tom Price, Austin Scott, David Scott, Lynn Westmoreland and Rob Woodall. Jeffrey Harvey is director of the GFB Legislative Department. February-March 2016/ 5


Becomes first Georgian to hold office By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________

Z

Former AFBF President Bob Stallman, left, hands the gavel to newly elected AFBF President Zippy Duvall. Stallman did not seek re-election after serving as AFBF president for 16 years. Visit http://tinyurl.com/DuvallelectedAFBFpres to see more election photos.

Rogers of Arizona and Don Villwock of Indiana also sought the position. The election process began on the afternoon of Jan. 12 with state Farm Bureau leaders nominating candidates from the floor. Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach nominated Duvall for the position. “Zippy Duvall will work to bring all segments of agriculture together to work for agriculture. This organization under Zippy’s leadership will availeth much,” Veach said. When addressing the AFBF voting delegates as a candidate for president, Duvall said, “This election is not about policy - you make that road map. This election is about

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

ippy Duvall became the first Georgian elected president of the American Farm Bureau Federation when voting delegates at the organization’s 97th annual convention in Orlando, Fla., elected him for a two-year term on Jan. 12. Duvall succeeds Bob Stallman, who served 16 years as AFBF president. Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas, announced last July that he would not seek reelection as president of the nation’s largest general farm organization. This marked the first time in 30 years that the incumbent president did not seek re-election. Barry Bushue of Oregon, Kevin

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Duvall elected AFBF president

The Duvall Family with Michelle & Scott VanderWal, center right, after the election. Zippy Duvall and South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal will serve together as AFBF president and vice president. 6 / February-March 2016

leadership. I bring a style of leadership that builds bridges, and if you elect me, I will hold true to our common cause and values so we can move forward to solve problems for our farmers.” Duvall received a majority of votes to win the office on the third round of balloting. Rogers was eliminated on the first vote; Bushue on the second; and Villwock on the third round. “I am so humbled and thankful for your support and belief in my leadership for AFBF president. I will continue to represent all farmers and ranchers across the states. May God bless each of you as AFBF moves forward,” Duvall said after his election. Duvall pledged to work hard as AFBF president so that those who didn’t vote for him will next time. “I’m going to wake up every morning and work for these (holding up his hands) – the working hands of the American farmer and rancher,” Duvall said. “I will not forget where the strength of this organization is. It’s in those hands. We are the strength and the hope for the people in this country and all around this world because we are the ones that are going to provide the nourishment they need.” Duvall, a broiler, cattle and hay producer from Greensboro, Ga., becomes AFBF’s 12th president. He served as GFB president from Dec. 2006 until he resigned Jan. 12 to serve as AFBF president. Following Duvall’s election, AFBF voting delegates elected Scott VanderWal, See DUVALL page 16 Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Andy Lucas

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) President Gerald Long, right, and GFB 1st Vice President Robert Fountain Jr. are now leading the organization.

Long new GFB president; Fountain designated GFB 1st VP By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________________________________________________

G

erald Long, a diversified farmer who raises cattle and grows peanuts, vegetables, corn, cotton, hay, small grains and timber with his family on their farm in Decatur County, became the 12th president of Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) on Jan. 12, after former GFB President Zippy Duvall resigned to serve as American Farm Bureau president. The GFB bylaws provide a succession plan for the organization’s 1st vice president to fill the office of president if it is vacated. Following Long becoming the new GFB president, the GFB Board of Directors designated Robert Fountain Jr. of Emanuel County, who has served as the GFB Middle Georgia vice president for a total of 15 years, to serve as the organization’s 1st vice president. Under GFB bylaws, both Long and Fountain will serve in their respective offices until Dec. 6, when GFB voting delegates will elect the next GFB president and designate the next GFB 1st vice president at the organization’s annual convention. “Georgia Farm Bureau is an organization that represents all of Georgia agriculture. We communicate with our elected officials on the local, state and national level to voice the needs of agriculture and advocate for the farmer,” Long said. “ While I served as 1st

Georgia Farm Bureau News

vice president I had the opportunity to represent all of Georgia and travel all over the state and meet county Farm Bureau leaders in their respective counties. Even though we may grow different commodities, we pretty much have the same issues. Serving as 1st vice president gave me an opportunity to see those issues and work through them to try to make it better for the farmers back on the farm. I will continue to do this as Georgia Farm Bureau president.” Long was first elected to the GFB Board of Directors in December 1999 as a GFB 9th District director representing 14 counties in Southwest Georgia. In 2006, GFB voting delegates in the 53 counties in GFB’s South Region elected Long as GFB South Georgia vice president. GFB voting delegates statewide have designated Long to serve as GFB 1st vice president each year since 2008. A Farm Bureau member since 1970, Long currently serves on the Decatur County Farm Bureau Board of Directors as secretary/treasurer and is a past president and vice president of the Decatur County Farm Bureau. Long and his wife, Janice, have three adult children: Justin and daughter-in-law, Kelli; Jared and daughter-in-law, Lori; and Jeanie and son-in-law, Diego Izurieta; and two grandchildren. The Longs are members of the First Baptist Church of Bainbridge

where Mr. Long has served as a deacon and on numerous committees. In addition to his Farm Bureau leadership, Long is a member of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and serves on the board of the Decatur County Cattlemen’s Association. He represents GFB on the Georgia Beef Board and serves as treasurer of the board. Long was a founding board member of both the Georgia Peanut Producers and the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, and the Flint River Water Planning Policy Center. He also serves on the Decatur County Industrial Development Authority. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where he majored in crop science and animal science. He then served six months of active duty in the Georgia Army National Guard and six years of reserve duty.

Fountain serving as GFB 1st VP

In addition to serving as GFB 1st vice president, Fountain will continue to represent the 56 counties in the organization’s Middle Georgia region on the GFB Board of Directors. Fountain has served as GFB Middle Georgia vice president since 2009 and previously held the position from 1997 to 2006. He has served as the Emanuel County Farm Bureau president since 2004 and previously served as vice president and county director. Fountain is the third generation to own his family’s farm located in Emanuel and Johnson counties where he raises cattle, hay, timber, small grains and pecans. In addition to Farm Bureau, Fountain is an active member of numerous other agricultural organizations including the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, for which he served as president from 2001-2002. Since 2002 Fountain has represented GFB on the Georgia Beef Board. He is currently serving a third, three-year term on the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) at the appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He is also a member of the CBB Executive Committee and has served on numerous committees for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Fountain earned his B.B.A. in management and agricultural economics and his M.B.A. in management and finance. Fountain is a member of Adrian United Methodist Church where he teaches Sunday school and serves as treasurer and chairman of the church administrative board. February-March 2016 / 7


GFB holds 78th annual convention By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________

About 1,550 Georgia farmers and agribusiness leaders met on Jekyll Island Dec. 6-8 for the organization’s 78th annual convention. The three-day event included a trade show and commodity conferences providing farmers updates on policy and production issues impacting Georgia’s major commodities. During the general session on Dec. 7, attendees heard from Gov. Nathan Deal and former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

pursue degrees at technical colleges will get a one hundred percent scholarship through the HOPE Scholarship Program.” Deal said he has appointed an Education Reform Commission that will be working with the General Assembly during the 2016 session to pass their recommendations for education reform. “I’d like to see us come up with something to keep our best teachers in the classroom so they don’t feel they have to move up to being an assistant principal to get a pay raise,” Deal said.

Gov. Deal discusses ag & education initiatives

Chambliss reflects on Congressional career

While addressing GFB members, Deal discussed efforts his administration is making to support Georgia agriculture. Noting the important role Georgia’s poultry industry plays to the state economy, Gov. Deal said, “The state of Georgia is being vigilant Deal about monitoring for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and preparing for a potential outbreak so we can keep our number one poultry industry in Georgia.” The USDA estimates that an outbreak of HPAI in the Midwest last year caused about 10 percent of the U.S. poultry meat and egg supply to be destroyed causing egg and turkey prices to rise. Deal said he signed House Bill 475, passed by the Georgia General Assembly this year, to give property owners, farmers and hunters a better opportunity to deal with wildlife nuisances, such as feral hogs, that destroy crops. Deal also outlined education initiatives the state is making to attract businesses to Georgia. “We have to make sure our young people are being trained and given skills to get good jobs,” Deal said. “We’ve identified 11 areas where there are not enough people to fill job needs ranging from drivers with commercial drivers licenses, practical nurses, precision manufacturing, film industry, computing technology and welding. Students who 8 / February-March 2016

Saxby Chambliss, a faithful advocate of farmers during the 20 years he served in Congress – first in the U.S. House and then the Senate – received a warm welcome from GFB members when he took the stage at the general session. Chambliss thanked Chambliss the GFB members for their support during his years in Washington and reflected on his work on four farm bills. “It’s hard to believe it was 21 years ago we started out in this world of politics. There wasn’t a county I went to where I didn’t have members of the Farm Bureau show up just to be there and show support for me,” Chambliss said. “I know a lot of it was because you knew that I understood commodity products or understood the farm bill. I didn’t have to be educated on the peanut and cotton and tobacco programs. But you were there for other reasons too. You were there because we shared values, values of commitment to family, commitment to our country, commitment to conservative principles and for a strong faith.” GFB General Counsel Duke Groover presented Chambliss with a framed proclamation approved by the GFB board of directors. Chambliss served first on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee from 19952002 and then the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, which he chaired from 2005-

2007 and served as the ranking member of the committee from 2007-2011.

Duvall discusses GFB growth & efforts for farmers

While delivering his annual address, then-GFB President Zippy Duvall congratulated members and county staff who worked last year to increase the organization’s membership. “We had a membership gain of nearly 7,500 members for a total of 309,378 members statewide,” Duvall said. “We not only reached quota, but we were awarded the American Farm Bureau Federation Navigator Award for significant growth in membership. I cannot tell you how pleased I am at this accomplishment. All of our members and staff worked so hard to get to this point!” Duvall pledged Farm Bureau’s continued support of two state tax programs important to the economic stability of Georgia agriculture - the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) program, and the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program. CUVA allows farmers to have their land assessed on its farm use rather than at its potential for development. GATE allows farmers to buy some items used to produce their commodities without a sales tax. “Protecting the integrity of CUVA is a major Farm Bureau priority,” Duvall said. “Farm Bureau has also worked to educate our members about the proper use of the GATE card. We will continue to support the proper use of the GATE card by farmers.” One of the biggest long-term challenges agriculture faces is the gradual loss of private property rights, Duvall said, adding that GFB continues to defend private property rights in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enacting a rule in August commonly called “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) that greatly expands the agenParrish cies’ authority to regulate water on private property. The agencies are temporarily prohibited from enforcing the rule under an order from the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

The Georgia Farm Bureau Federation honored county Farm Bureaus for promoting agriculture and individual members for personal achievement during the organization’s 78th annual convention. Then-GFB President Zippy Duvall (standing, far right) congratulates the 2015 award recipients (front row seated, L-R): Charles Elliott, GFB Outstanding Promotion & Education Committee Award, Henry County; Ross McQueen, GFB McKemie Award in the 2,151-plus member division, Henry County; Sidney Law, GFB McKemie Award in the 1,275-2,150 membership division, Washington County; Linda Leslie, GFB Outstanding Women’s Leadership Committee Award, Chattooga County; GFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award, Stephanie Butcher, Coweta County; GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award winners

GFB names state winners

Melissa, Matt and Abigail Bottoms of Pike County and (back row, from left) Clay Wilson, GFB Outstanding Young Farmer Committee Award, Madison County; GFB Hay Contest Winner Paul Kelly, Jasper County; David Lee, GFB McKemie Award in the 0 to 1,274 membership division for Bacon County; Jimmy Jordan, GFB Membership Excellence Award in the 1,275-2,150 membership division, Bibb County; Mike McLendon, GFB Membership Excellence Award in the 0 to 1,274 membership division, Macon County; Derek Pridgen, GFB Membership Excellence Award in the 2,151-plus member division, Coffee County and Len Cagle, GFB Outstanding Legislative Committee Award, Cherokee County Farm. Not pictured is GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet Award winner Kyle Dekle, Habersham County.

American Farm Bureau Senior Director of Regulatory Relations Don Parrish gave an update on WOTUS praising GFB for its efforts in opposition to the rule. “Farmers and ranchers support sustainability and support clean water. Our crops, our livestock, our families depend on it,” Parrish said. “This rule, however, is about much more. It’s about the EPA pushing its tentacles out into private property.” Parrish urged Farm Bureau members to contact the House and Senate leadership and ask them to defund enforcement of the rule through the appropriations process. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Andy Lucas

G

eorgia Farm Bureau honored the best of its volunteers and county chapters during its 78th annual convention on Dec. 6. Award winners were honored for programs they conducted last year to promote agriculture and Farm Bureau. Georgia Farm Bureau named a McKemie Award winner - the highest honor given to a county in recognition of its overall member programs - from each of its three membership categories. Bacon County Farm Bureau, whose president is David Lee, received the McKemie Award for the 0 to 1,274-member division. Washington County Farm Bureau, whose president is Sidney Law, won the McKemie Award for the 1,275 to 2,150-member division. Henry County Farm Bureau, whose president is Ross McQueen, received the award in the 2,151 plus-member division. The McKemie Award is a memorial to one of the organization’s former presidents, W.J. McKemie. See WINNERS page 29

Henry County Farm Bureau Office Manager Jean Dykes accepts the Outstanding Office Manager Award from then-GFB President Zippy Duvall.

Black talks HPAI & fair

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black thanked county Farm Bureau leaders with concentrated areas of poultry production for inviting department of agriculture staff to their counties last fall to educate poultry producers about highly pathogenic avian influenza. “We’ve done about 100 training meetings,” Black said. “This is essential to putting proper biosecurity measures into place.” He also discussed his vision to use the Georgia National Fair to educate consumers

about agriculture, saying, “We don’t have a better tool than the Georgia National Fair to reach out to educate Georgians about agriculture.” Black said he proposes a $1.9 million expansion of the Georgia Grown Building at the fairgrounds that will inBlack clude a livestock birthing center to showcase live births of numerous species during the fair. February-March 2016 / 9


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker Photo by Andy Lucas

Gov. Nathan Deal presented Polk County Farm Bureau President James Casey with a plaque for 50 years of service as PCFB president.

Casey honored for 50 years GFB elects 2016 board of directors of service 2016 GFB Board of Directors

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) voting delegates elected the organization’s 2016 board of directors Dec. 8 during the 78th Annual GFB Convention. GFB members in the organization’s Middle Georgia Region re-elected Robert Fountain Jr. of Emanuel County to represent their region on the GFB Board of Directors for another three-year term. The GFB Middle Georgia Region is comprised of 56 counties in the mid-part of the state running from the Alabama to the South Carolina state lines. Fountain has served as Middle Georgia vice president since 2009 and previously held the position from 1997 to 2006. Bernard Sims of Catoosa County, is beginning the second year of his third, three-year term as North Georgia vice president. Sims, who was first elected in 2008, represents 49 counties in north Georgia. Matt Bottoms of Pike County was elected to the GFB Board representing the organization’s 5th District for a one-year term to fill a seat vacated this fall. Bottoms, who is the Pike County Farm Bureau vice president, grows a variety of fruit plants, vines and trees that he sells wholesale and via the Internet and also grows wheat, soybeans and canola. The following were re-elected to serve two-year terms on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors: Bill Bryan of Chattooga County, 1st District; Bobby Gunter of Lumpkin County, GFB 2nd District; George Chambers of Carroll County, 3rd District; Marvin Ruark of Morgan County, 4th District; Ralph Adamson of Lamar County, 5th District; James Malone Jr. of Laurens County, 6th District; Gary Bell of Evans County, 7th District; Scotty Raines of Turner County, 8th District; Paul Shirah of Mitchell County, 9th District; and David Lee of Bacon County, 10th District. GFB directors beginning the second year of the two-year term they were elected to in 2014 are: Wesley Hall, Forsyth County, 1st District; Randy Ruff of Elbert County, 2nd District; Nora Goodman of Paulding County, 3rd District; Skeetter McCorkle of McDuffie County, 4th District; James Emory Tate of Jeff Davis County, 6th District; Ben Boyd of Screven County, 7th District; Lucius Adkins of Baker County, 9th District and Daniel Johnson, of Pierce County, 10th District. Will Cabe of Franklin County was named chairman of the GFB Young Farmer Committee. Melanie Sanders of Oglethorpe County was named chairman of the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee. Both will serve a one-year term as committee chairmen and will sit on the GFB Board of Directors. 10 / February-March 2016

At the end of his speech at the 78th Annual GFB Convention, Gov. Nathan Deal presented Polk County Farm Bureau President James Casey with a plaque recognizing Casey for serving as the PCFB president for 50 years. Casey began serving as PCFB president in December 1965 when he was 29 years old. His first order of business was to help the county organization acquire its own building after having a small space in the former Polk County administrative building that is now occupied by Grace Baptist Church. During Casey’s presidency, PCFB has developed local political forums to engage candidates on agricultural topics and farm days for school children. In the late 1980s PCFB was the first county in Georgia to receive a satellite dish that was part of a nationwide American Farm Bureau communications system. “I can’t tell you what it has meant to me to be involved with this organization,” Casey said in remarks after being honored. “I don’t know if most of you realize what Georgia Farm Bureau has done for agriculture and the farmers in this state, but I’m thrilled to see the young people take part in this organization and continue the tradition.” Georgia Farm Bureau News


GFB to award college scholarships

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Contact Contact your your county county Farm Farm Bureau Bureau office for more information office for more information or or an an appliapplication. The is better what thedeadline farmers face and cation.understand The application application deadline is FebFebruary 21, Applications be aphow our state is,” Goblemust said. “I ruarydiverse 21, 2014. 2014. Applications must becan’t approved and signed by the Farm Bureau wait to see much grow proved andhow signed by my the students Farm Bureau president of in the apin their agricultural literacy between president of the the county county in which which thenow applicant resides or attends high school. and the resides end of the year. They grown plicant or attends highhave school. You aa copy of so much, and Ialso havedownload parents telling me that You may may also download copy of the application by visiting http://www. they are going home with so much excitethe application by visiting http://www. gfb.org, selecting Programs and ment about what we are doing.” gfb.org, selecting Programs and then then Ag Ag in the Classroom.   in the When accepting the award, Goble, who Classroom. The Georgia Bureau Muis the of long-time Thegranddaughter Georgia Farm Farm Bureau Jones Mutual Insurance Company and the GFB County Farm Bureau members Wanda tual Insurance Company and the GFB Women’s sponand RalphLeadership Crumley, Committee said visits to her Women’s Leadership Committee sponsor the scholarship program. grandparents’ farm impacted her as a child sor the scholarship program. will be in andWinners have inspired to teach her students Winners will her be announced announced in May May 2014. about farming. Goble has taught elemen2014. tary school for eight years.

ThinkstockPhoto by Jennifer Whittaker Thinkstock

Goble wins GFB teaching award

Georgia Georgia Farm Farm Bureau Bureau will will award award aa total of $14,250 in scholarships total of $14,250 in scholarships to to 10 10 high school seniors who plan to pursue By Jennifer Whittaker high school seniors who plan to pursue ___________________________________ an an undergraduate undergraduate degree degree in in agricultural agricultural and environmental sciences, family Jones County teacher Lauren Gobleand reand environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agriculceived Georgia Farmor Bureau’s 2015 Georconsumer sciences a related agricultural field. gia Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher tural field. The top three students each of the Year Award thewill organizaThe top three during students will each receive a scholarship of $3,000. tion’s annual convention in receive a scholarship ofDecember. $3,000. The The remaining seven students will re Goble, who teaches first-graders at Matremaining seven students will each each receive a $750 scholarship. tie Wells Elementary School in Gray, was ceive a $750 scholarship. Students applicarecognized incorporatingan Studentsforsubmitting submitting aninformation application must currently be a Georgia and activities in her classroom curriculum tion must currently be a Georgia high high school senior and to in that teach her students agriculture school senior and plan planabout to enroll enroll in aa unit of the University System of Georand how it impacts their daily lives. unit of the University System of Georgia College during the 2014 or As the award winner, Goble gia or Berry Berry College during thereceived 20142015 academic year. $500 and an expense-paid trip to the Na2015 academic year. tional Ag in the Classroom Conference in Litchfield Park, Ariz., in June. She will also present a workshop on her teaching methods at the GFB Educational Leadership Conference in March. Each week Goble’s class virtually visits one of 32 farms she is partnering with across the state. The students learn about eanut daily the crop or livestock thatfans the have farmaagrows, eanut fans have daily chance to win a vacaprepare a recipe featuring commodity chance the to win a vacaand hundreds of and discuss how thetion farmer the crop tion andgrows hundreds of other prizes until Nov. 30. or livestock. other Students learn the geography prizes until Nov. 30. destination of GeorgiaVacation by locating the featuredchoices farm of Vacation destination choices include California, Colorado, the week on a state map and discussing how include California, Colorado, New York or Florida. Visit far away the farm is from Jones County and New York or Florida. Visit http://www.EnergytoBurn.org the direction they would travel to visit the http://www.EnergytoBurn.org register for a chance to win. farm. Theto students also write a class letter to register for a chance to win. particito the farmerAfter askingregistering, questions about the After registering, participlay a game called “Crack farm and pants the crops he grows. pants play a game called “Crack the for to “My students are virtually traveling all the Peanut” Peanut” for aa chance chance to win win prizes like peanut and across ourinstant state. We are able to talk about instant prizes like peanut and peanut butter packs, iPods and cards. why peaches better in Middle peanut buttergrow packs, iPods and gift giftGeorgia cards. IfIf crack three peanuts that match, butyou apples grow better in North Georgia. you crack three peanuts that match,I then you’re an winner! am able to tie the different topographical then you’re anininstant instant winner! it comes to getting an and“When geographical regions of our state so they “When it comes to getting through through an early morning or long day, everyone wins early morning or long day, everyone wins with with peanuts. peanuts. At At seven seven grams grams per per servserving, peanuts have more energy-boosting ing, peanuts have more energy-boosting protein protein than than any any nut, nut,”” said said Bob Bob Parker, Parker, president and CEO of the National president and CEO of 19 the National PeaPeaMarch nut “Through the to Blakely, Ga. Downtown Square nut Board. Board. “Through the Energy Energy to Burn Burn sweepstakes we’re able to the sweepstakes we’reevent able kicks to celebrate celebrate This all-day off withthe a power of peanuts and help re-energize power ofFun peanuts andends helpwith re-energize 5k and Run and a street Americans with fun vacation. ”” Americans with aathe funday vacation. dance. During enjoy a parade,is The “Energy to Burn” sweepstakes, Thethan “Energy to Burn”a sweepstakes, more 100 vendors, kids’ zone andis sponsored by Peanut sponsored by the the National National Peanut Board Board free entertainment. Visit www.peanutand co-presented Hampton Farms, and co-presented by by Hamptondetails.  Farms, proudfestival.com for complete Planters Planters and and Skippy. Skippy.

Lauren Goble accepts the 2015 Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award from then-GFB President Zippy Duvall at the 2015 GFB Convention.

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GFB members launch 2016 at AFBF

Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet, competing against 15 other state winners. Dekle teaches agriculture at Habersham Central High School. Chris Van Vlack of Virginia won the Discussion Meet. Coweta County’s Stephanie Butcher competed in the AFBF Excellence in Agriculture contest for young farmers and ranchers who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. Michael Miron of Michigan won the overall award. Outgoing AFBF President Bob Stallman gave his final address during the Jan. 10

GFB members who served as voting delegates at the Annual AFBF Women’s meeting were, pictured from left: Betty Sue Tate, Janice Long, GFB Women’s Leadership Committee 3rd Dist. Rep. Carol McQueen, Doris Jean Malone, Jill Adkins, Janet Sims, Bebe Ruark, Delores Ruff, GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Melanie Sanders, GFB Women’s Leadership Committee 1st Dist. Rep. Nichelle Stewart, GFB Women’s Leadership Committee 5th Dist. Rep. Melissa Bottoms; Angie Durham, Carol Baker-Dunn, and GFB Women’s Leadership Committee 6th Dist. Rep. Kim Thompson. 12 / February-March 2016

opening session. After serving 16 years as the organization’s president, Stallman bid AFBF farewell and reviewed key AFBF programs and issues facing agriculture. “I believe that Farm Bureau can and will continue to defend our ability to work the land for future generations,” Stallman said. “As long as we have a national, unified voice of agriculture, farmers and ranchers will have a force to ensure that we maintain our agricultural strength and security.” GFB won AFBF Awards of Excellence in Education and Outreach, Leadership Development, Member Services, Membership Initiatives, Policy Development & Implementation, and Public Relations & Communications. Paulding County Farm Bureau was recognized by AFBF in the County Activities of Excellence program. PCFB coordinated its farmers market with a local high school, getting FFA students and faculty involved in the market. During the Jan. 11 closing session, Shark Tank personality Barbara Corcoran gave the keynote address, sharing her life experiences and focusing on how she’s built her brand. “One of the most valuable lessons I learned early on in business is that perception creates reality,” said Corcoran, who started

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Astronaut Bob Springer answers questions from Grady County Farm Bureau members Jeremy and Mincie Huskey as they tour the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at Kennedy Space Center on Jan. 8. Visit http://tinyurl. com/GFBKSC to see more photos.

Photo by Donna Rocker

About 320 Georgia Farm Bureau members and organization representatives attended the 97th American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention, held Jan. 8-13, in Orlando, Fla. The meeting offered 26 workshops on a variety of farm-related and personal development topics and the IDEAg Trade Show at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel. On Jan. 8 GFB members visited Kennedy Space Center on nearby Cape Canaveral for a tour of the complex and lunch with astronaut Bob Springer, who flew missions aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 1989 and Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1990. Another highlight of the convention was watching GFB members competing in the Young Farmer & Ranchers competitions. GFB 5th District Director Matt Bottoms and his wife, Melissa, advanced to the top 10 in the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award contest. The Bottomses run Bottoms Nursery, producing a variety of fruit plants, vines and trees that they sell wholesale and on their website. As Top 10 finalists they made their final presentation on Jan. 10 competing against nine other state winners. William and Cala Tabb of Mississippi won the Achievement Award. Habersham County’s Kyle Dekle advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the AFBF

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________

Paulding County Farm Bureau (PCFB) was one of 28 county Farm Bureaus nationwide recognized by AFBF through the County Activities of Excellence Awards (CAE) program. PCFB displayed a booth about their project at the AFBF IDEAg Trade Show. Pictured from left, Cindy Cassell, of Ohio, talks to PCFB Young Farmer Chairman Matt Townson, PCFB President Nora Goodman & PCFB Office Manager Tracey Grice about their farmers market, which earned them the award. Georgia Farm Bureau News


During the final policy deliberations of the 2016 American Farm Bureau Convention on Jan. 12, voting delegates approved nine policies Georgia Farm Bureau submitted. The approved GFB submissions covered a variety of topics ranging from restraints on federal regulatory authority to USDA including cottonseed with other oilseeds for farm program eligibility. AFBF policy establishes the organization’s stance on issues important to agriculture. On regulatory review and reform, AFBF delegates approved Georgia language to bar the Legal Services Corporation from soliciting cases at a farmer’s field or work as well as language that would recognize agritourism as a viable agricultural enterprise by all federal and state agencies. AFBF supports FSA utilizing generic commodity certificates for repaying cotton and peanut loans, a practice that was approved by Congress at the end of 2015. AFBF also passed GFB’s recommended policy that the USDA raise the moisture level it uses to See AFBF page 22 Georgia Farm Bureau News

Habersham County’s Kyle Dekle competed in the first three rounds of competition in the AFBF Discussion Meet.

Photo by Jay Stone

Coweta County’s Stephanie Butcher makes her presentation for the AFBF Excellence in Agriculture Award.

Chambliss receives AFBF award

AFBF presented its Distinguished Service Award to former Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Mike Johanns on Jan. 10 during the opening session of the convention. AFBF established the award to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to serving agriculture. Georgia Farm Bureau nominated Chambliss and Nebraska Farm Bureau nominated Johanns. A national Farm Bureau committee named them both as winners. “Each and every one of you represent the very best there is about the United States of America,” Chambliss said while thanking AFBF for the honor. “You are all hard-working. You’re God-fearing. You’re strong family people. You are the kind of people that I thoroughly enjoyed being associated with during my years in Washington and you’re one of the very few things I miss about not being here.” As chairman and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Then-AFBF President Bob Stallman, right, Chambliss was a key author on four presents Saxby Chambliss with the AFBF Disfarm bills, crafting market-oriented tinguished Service Award. Visit http://tinyurl. programs and securing a valid safety com/GFBphotos to access all of the photo alnet for farmers and ranchers through bums from the event. updated commodity titles and federal crop insurance. In addition to his work on farm bill programs, Chambliss tried to reform the nation’s immigration laws to provide a legal and stable workforce for agriculture, and served on key congressional committees dealing with national security and intelligence gathering. “Saxby Chambliss has led the way on some of the most pressing and complex issues facing agriculture with his courage and straight talk,” then-AFBF President Bob Stallman said. “For 20 years, he was one of the best friends that farmers and ranchers had in Washington, D.C.” Johanns served America’s farmers and ranchers as Nebraska governor, as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and as a U.S. senator. Johanns’ dedication to the interests of farmers and ranchers has protected and enhanced the cause of agriculture across the country.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

AFBF OKs Ga. policy recommendations, Long elected to board

Pike County’s Matt and Melissa Bottoms were recognized during the closing session as one of the top 10 finalists for the AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award.

Photo by Jay Stone

her first business with a $1,000 loan and built it into a billion-dollar empire. “It’s up to business owners to take a proactive approach to change their image and increase credibility with customers.” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack answered questions from AFBF members during a town hall meeting held at the AFBF/ IDEAg Trade Show.  When asked about the possibility of cottonseed being included in the USDA oilseed program, Vilsack said the USDA wants to help cotton producers by doing this but said the agency may be prohibited from doing so by statutory language. If this is the case, Vilsack said USDA will ask Congress to repeal the statutes.  “We want to help, but it may take a partnership between USDA and Congress to fix the situation. We know the situation is tough, but in helping [cotton producers] we don’t want to hurt other commodities. We don’t want Brazil to reopen the WTO cotton case.”

Photo by Jay Stone

convention

February-March 2016 / 13


Photo by Andy Lucas

Gerald & Janice Long at their roadside market.

Diversification key to Long Farm

Compiled from staff reports __________________________________________________________________________

GFB President Gerald Long checks on his cattle. 14 / February-March 2016

of about 500 Angus-Simmental crossbred brood cows. The Longs had been growing about 600 acres of cotton but are using that land for cattle production due to low cotton prices. They also grow corn, hay, small grains and timber. Long’s paternal grandfather, William “Nudie,” started the farm, followed by his father, Woodrow. Gerald began farming after attending ABAC and serving six months of active duty in the Georgia Army National Guard. His son, Justin, is the fourth generation on the farm. After Gerald returned home, the Longs started growing vegetables with commer-

Photo by Andy Lucas

Photo by Andy Lucas

Gerald Long, GFB’s new president, believes in diversification. “I think diversification is very important, particularly in these times with erratic commodity prices,” Long said. “I’m willing to expand my operation, and I’m willing to carry that over into this organization, to be able to expand this organization however we can do it, to better represent the membership.” On the Long farm, which turns 100 this year, diversification looks like this – about 120 acres of more than 50 varieties of vegetables sold at their you-pick roadside market, about 280 acres of peanuts, and a herd

cial production. “I saw that was not going to work for me, so we started the you-pick operation some 31 years ago,” Long said. “Our opening day is Mother’s Day weekend each year. We start off with little red Irish potatoes, squash and snap beans. Then we move right on into the summer and normally close up in that second week of July because of the heat. Then we start back with vegetables the first week of September with our fall crops.” Long describes his family’s farm as a, “hands-on, family-run farm. Either Justin or myself has done all the planting. We don’t expect other people to do the work for us.” Justin will assume more responsibility for the farm now that Gerald is GFB president, but Long will still be actively involved with the operation. Long is quick to point out that the success of his farm takes the whole family. He credits his wife, Janice, and daughter-inlaw, Kelli, for running the roadside market today and thanks his son, Jared, and daughter, Jeanie, for the work they put into the farm growing up. “I’ve told several people that thought they wanted to get into the you-pick vegetable business that you better have a willing, strong wife and family that will support you, because it takes her working at the market, managing the retail sales part, managing the customers as we’re managing the crops in the field.”

Gerald and Justin Long discuss farm plans. The Longs’ other son, Jared, works for the National Beef Packing Company, and their daughter, Jeanie, works for Texas A&M University. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Georgia Farm Bureau held an orientation for new county Farm Bureau presidents Jan. 20 at its Macon office. County Farm Bureau leaders attending the meeting received an overview of Farm Bureau programs and services the state office offers county Farm Bureaus. Pictured from left, GFB President Gerald Long welcomes Lincoln County President Dalton Tankersley, Rockdale/DeKalb County President Ed Young, Morgan County President Jim Markley, Clay County President Joe King, Pulaski County President Chris Martin, Lanier County President Harold Simpson, and Floyd County President Jerry Mull to GFB’s home office. Other new county presidents not pictured are: Tony Lewis, Evans County and Skeetter McCorkle, McDuffie County. “Y’all have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders back in the county. Our county offices are what this organization is all about,” Long said when addressing the group. “As you move into this position, re-

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

New county presidents attend GFB orientation

member we’re here to help you. We have a great staff, so feel free to call on our federation staff to help y’all as you serve as presidents. Please feel free to call me because I’m

here to represent you.” After taking a crash course in GFB operations, the county presidents toured the GFB building.

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commodities/marketing update By Don McGough, Commodities/Marketing Director

GFB names commodity committee chairmen for 2016 It is amazing the amount of change we see in agriculture as we work to move this industry forward. New technology, marketing strategies, trade and policy changes require that we must continue to work hard representing farmers’ interests. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has 20 commodity advisory committees that represent farmers facing these changing and challenging issues. From aquaculture to vegetables, these committees represent the diversity of Georgia agriculture. They provide insight on issues the organization needs to address to GFB President Gerald Long, the GFB Board and GFB staff. GFB has named the chairmen of its 2016 commodity advisory committees. Each committee meets several times during the year to discuss issues related to its commodity and assist with GFB’s policy development process. Chairmen of the

2016 GFB Commodity Committees are as follows: Aquaculture, Terry Bramlett, Fannin County; Beef Cattle, Sammy Perkins, Grady County; Cotton, Jason West, Candler County; Dairy, Mark Rodgers, McDuffie County; Direct Marketing/Agritourism, Jake Carter, Henry County; Environmental Horticulture, Mark Porter, Fayette County; Equine, Gary Walker, Tift County; Feedgrain/ Soybean, James Gaston, Sumter County; Forestry, John Mixon, Pike County; Fruit, Tim McMillan, Berrien County; Goats & Sheep, Greg Phillips, Whitfield County; Hay, Farrell Roberts, Tift County; Honeybees, B.J. Weeks, Cherokee County; Peanuts, John Harrell, Grady County; Pecans, Garrett Ganas, Ware County; Poultry, Russ Moon, Madison County; Swine, Terry Danforth, Berrien County; Tobacco, Jerry Wooten, Jeff Da-

AFBF names issue advisory committees

On the national level, the American Farm Bureau has named those serving on its Issue Advisory Committees (IACs). The IACs are in their second year and will focus on basic issues important to all of agriculture. These committees are comprised of members with direct involvement on issues important to U.S. farmers and ranchers. The IACs will help develop policy and make recommendations to the AFBF president and board of directors. Georgia Farm Bureau is well represented on the AFBF IACs. We are proud to have eight representatives serving. Donald Donald Chase Chase, of Macon County, will chair the Energy Committee. GFB members serving on the AFBF IACs are: Member County AFBF IAC John Mixon Pike Federal Lands Mark Masters Dougherty Environmental Regulations Andy Bell Decatur Market Structures Michael Williams Bleckley Pests and Invasive Species Randy Branch Appling Public Infrastructure Tim McMillan Berrien Farm Policy T.E. Moye Baker Trade Donald Chase (Chair) Macon Energy These committees will focus on tackling issues farmers and ranchers face every day. The first meeting will take place in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22, in conjunction with the AFBF Advocacy Conference. 16 / February-March 2016

vis County; Vegetables, Brad Calhoun, Turner County; and Water, Bubba Johnson, Mitchell County. The GFB Commodity Committee chairmen make an important contribution to Farm Bureau by providing leadership to their committee and knowledge regarding their commodity. Committee chairmen involvement provides that important link back to the farm and helps maintain GFB’s strong grassroots representation. During the upcoming spring committee meetings, the committees will discuss and make recommendations on policy implementation. The committees will meet again on Aug. 4th at the GFB Commodity Conference in Tifton. Each committee chairman will serve on the GFB Policy Development Committee in the fall. Don McGough is director of the GFB Commodities/Marketing Department. DUVALL from page 6 a third-generation family farmer from Volga, South Dakota, AFBF vice president. VanderWal and his wife, Michelle, raise corn, soybeans and do custom cattle-feeding and some custom harvesting. VanderWal has served as South Dakota Farm Bureau president since 2004. Duvall began his Farm Bureau journey as a volunteer with his local Greene County Farm Bureau, where he still serves on the board of directors. In 1982, he and his wife, Bonnie, won the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Achievement Award and went on to win the AFBF award in 1983. Duvall chaired the GFB Young Farmer Committee in 1985, and in 1987, he served as chairman of the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and on the AFBF Board. As GFB president, Duvall has served on the AFBF Board of Directors since 2007, including recent roles on the AFBF Trade Advisory Committee, International Trade Mission and Finance Committee. The Duvalls have four adult children and three grandchildren. Georgia Farm Bureau News


By Jay Stone ___________________________________ Jasper County Farm Bureau member Paul Kelly won the 2015 Georgia Farm Bureau Quality Hay Contest. The award was announced during the 2015 GFB Convention on Jekyll Island Dec. 6. As the top prize winner in the hay contest, Kelly receives a year’s use of a Vermeer TM1200 trailed mower with the option to purchase it at a reduced price at the end of the year. The contest analyzed the quality of the hay grown by entrants using the University of Georgia’s Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) testing method, which measures nutrient content of the hay. GFB sponsors the annual contest to encourage superior hay production in the state. Entered samples had to have nitrate levels below 4,500 parts per million to be eligible for contest prizes. The contest, for GFB members only,

Photo by Jay Stone

Kelly Wins GFB Hay Contest

Paul Kelly, center, won the 2015 GFB Hay Contest. He will receive a year’s use of a new Vermeer trailed mower. With Kelly are GFB Hay Committee Chairman Farrell Roberts, left, and then-GFB President Zippy Duvall.

drew 39 entries from 21 counties. The average RFQ score among the 2015 contest entries was 114.66. Kelly’s sample of Coastal Bermuda hay had an RFQ score of 142.3. A.J. Bacon of Jeff Davis County took second place with his Coastal Bermuda that had an RFQ of 141.8. Eddy Turner of Washington County placed

third with his Tift 44 that had an RFQ of 138, while William Sumner of Johnson County came in fourth with his Coastal Bermuda that had an RFQ of 136.2 and Dene Channell of Greene County placed fifth with his Coastal Bermuda that had an RFQ of 134.5. The average RFQ score for all samples submitted for the contest was 114.66.

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February-March 2016/ 17


Barnett named GM of GFB Insurance Co. Al Barnett was appointed General Manager of the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (GFBMIC) and its wholly owned affiliates effective Dec. 18, 2015. Barnett has worked in the insurance industry for 38 Barnett years. Prior to joining the GFBMIC staff in 1987 as a field claims representative, Barnett worked as an independent adjuster. Barnett became a GFB district claims manager in 1999 and in 2005 was promoted to director of claims. Barnett became GFBMIC operations manager in 2006 and served in that capacity until becoming interim general manager in October of 2015. Barnett and his wife, Cheryl, have been married 40 years. They have two adult children - daughter, Heather, son, Rem, and daughterin-law Megan. The Barnetts are members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Macon. A native of Eastman, Ga., Barnett attended Middle Georgia College and served a tour of duty in the United States Navy. He serves as president of the Georgia Arson Control Board, is a director and treasurer of the Georgia Association of Property & Casualty Insurance Companies, a director of the Georgia Underwriting Association, a director of the Farm Bureau Alliance Insurance Company, and a director of the Georgia Insolvency Pool for which he serves on the organization’s investment and audit committees.

18 / February-March 2016

Dupree joins GFB Commodities/Marketing Dept. Nathan Dupree joined the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodities/Marketing Department Dec. 21 as a marketing specialist. His primary responsibility will be buying and selling grains for GFB members and working with GFB programs related to feed grains. Dupree Dupree graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) Dec. 10 with a Bachelor of Science in diversified agriculture. While attending ABAC, Dupree worked at Branch

& Branch Farms in Chula, a cotton and peanut farm. He also interned two summers for Premium Source Ag, managing irrigation systems for the company’s potato farms in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. While at ABAC, Dupree attended First Baptist Church in Tifton and was a member of the agriculture fraternity Alpha Gamma Rho, for which he served as vice president for three years. A native of Chatsworth, he is the son of Roger Dupree and Dawn Dupree. He was an active member of the Murray County High School FFA Chapter competing in dairy and horse judging, ag mechanics and ag communications projects.

Saxon joins GFB Legislative Dept. Jenna Saxon joined the Georgia Farm Bureau Legislative Department Dec. 28. An Oglethorpe County native, Saxon will work as a legislative specialist. In this role she will serve as an advocate for GFB’s policy positions with state elected officials and agencies. Saxon graduated from the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences in 2012 with a degree in agricultural communications. She worked the past three years at the Georgia Department of agriculture, most recently as director of constituent services and served an internship with the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association prior to working at the GDA.

“We are very excited about Jenna joining our staff and know she will be a valuable asset to the organization,” GFB Legislative Director Jeffrey Saxon Harvey said. Saxon, who grew up on a broiler poultry farm, showed livestock through 4-H and FFA in high school. She worked as a student assistant for Georgia 4-H while in college. She was the 2011 Georgia Watermelon Queen and finished as first runner-up for National Watermelon Queen.

GFB 1st Dist. counties hold legislative dinner

The Walker, Catoosa, Chattooga and Dade County Farm Bureaus held a joint legislative meeting the evening of Jan. 5 at the Walker County Ag Center. The more than 90 people attending heard from state elected officials. Georgia Sen. Jeff Mullis, Georgia. Reps. Steve Tarvin and John Deffenbaugh spoke and answered questions about the 2016 General Session. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black was the keynote speaker. Georgia Farm Bureau News


GFB Foundation for Ag awards first grants

Ga. & Fla. pursue mediation in water case

Georgia and Florida have agreed to seek mediation in the suit Florida filed with the Supreme Court in 2013, court documents show. Florida alleges Georgia’s use of water from the Chattahoochee River has reduced water flow into the Apalachicola River, which feeds the Apalachicola Bay, and has caused increased salinity levels harming oysters in the bay. Georgia noted in a Nov. 6, 2015, case report that it had reached out to Florida and suggested mediation following June meetings between Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Florida Gov. Rick Scott. In the report, Georgia asserted the best way to advance the case is to find a mediator acceptable to both sides and move toward settling the dispute. The two states sought guidance from Special Master Ralph Lancaster on selecting a mediator. Lancaster, appointed by the Supreme Court to manage the case, has repeatedly urged the two states to reach a settlement, saying the two states’ taxpayers are footing the bill for what he called astonishing expenses for the litigation. Georgia Farm Bureau News

buying an egg incubator to show students how eggs hatch (1), buying red worms and an observation chamber to teach students how the worms turn yard and food scraps into nutrient-rich soil (1), buying iPads to give students virtual farm tours and create video clips about farming that will be shown to classes (2); purchasing beehives and equipment to teach students how bees pollinate crops (2); buying Learn About Livestock banners from AFBF (1); covering the registration costs of high school teams to compete in the Ga. Envirothon that tests students’ knowledge of soils and forestry (1). The foundation is accepting applications from county Farm Bureaus until June 30 for its summer/fall grants. A maximum of 20 grants, up to $350 each, will be awarded to county Farm Bureaus. Counties that

received grants in the fall/winter cycle may not apply for this round of grants. Recipients will be notified by July 30 and funding will be issued by Aug. 15. Grant applications and guidelines may be accessed on the GFB Foundation for Agriculture website at www.gfbfoundation.org. Selected projects are required to submit a follow-up report, including at least two photos within 30 days of finalization of the project supported by the grant. The GFB Foundation for Agriculture is a non-profit charitable foundation that funds projects and scholarships to increase the public’s understanding of agriculture. For more information about the foundation or to make a donation, visit www. gfbfoundation.org.

2nd Annual Ag Foundation Gala set for April 16 The 2nd Annual Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Gala will be held April 16 at the Crown Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta. Members of the renowned Georgia 4-H Clovers & Company, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary, will provide entertainment. Dr. Roger C. “Bo” Ryles will serve as master of ceremony. Clovers & Company members showcased at the gala will perfom a medley of songs sure to bring down the house. Jennifer Nettles got her start in this group, so you may get to see a rising star! Make plans to join us for this special evening that raises funds for the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. The event begins with a reception at 5:15 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $100/ person or $1,000 for a table of 10. Space is limited. Dress is black tie optional. Please mail checks payable to the GFB Foundation for Agriculture to: GFB Foundation for Agriculture, P.O. Box 7068, Macon, Ga. 31209. Tickets will be sent upon receipt of check. Your support of this event allows the foundation to provide agricultural scholarships, grants in support of county Farm Bureau ag literacy projects, host educator

Photo courtesy of Ga. 4-H

S

tudents and communities in 13 counties are going to become better acquainted with agriculture thanks to ag literacy projects their local Farm Bureaus are coordinating, funded in part by grants from the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The foundation is awarding a total of $4,500 in grants to the following county Farm Bureaus: 1st Dist. – Catoosa, Chattooga & Cherokee; 2nd Dist. – Franklin, Madison & Rabun; 3rd Dist. – Henry, Newton & Rockdale/DeKalb; 4th Dist. – Clarke; 5th Dist. – Harris; 8th Dist. – Houston and 9th Dist. – Decatur. These counties are recipients of the foundation’s inaugural winter/spring grants for which the deadline was Dec. 15. Grants will fund a variety of projects including: building raised beds to grow school gardens (4), buying children’s books about agriculture to read in schools (1),

Clovers & Company members will perform at the GFB gala.

workshops and provide ag literacy materials to children and schools across Georgia. For more information, please contact your local county Farm Bureau office or you may contact the GFB office in Macon at 478-474-0679 ext. 5231. February-March 2016/ 19


Photo by Jay Stone

The 2016 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee, pictured from left are: Becky & Mitchell Pittman, Toombs County, 7th Dist.; Tom & Carmen Strickland, Henry County, 3rd Dist.; Molly Childs, Cherokee County, 1st Dist.; Russ & Laura Wilburn, Barrow County, 4th Dist.; Chairmen Heather & Will Cabe, Franklin

County, 2nd Dist.; Vice Chairmen Becky & Wayne McInvale, Crawford County, 5th Dist.; Justin Shealey, Cook County (not pictured – Mandi Shealey), 10th Dist.; Jan Jones, Decatur County, 9th Dist.; Amber & Ryan Talton, Houston County, 8th Dist.; and Rebecca & Troy Windham, Laurens County, 6th Dist.

2016 GFB Young Farmer Committee named, sets calendar By Taylor Sills ___________________________________ The 2016 GFB Young Farmer Committee has been named and is looking forward to a great year! The committee elected Will and Heather Cabe to chair the 2016 committee and Wayne and Becky McInvale to serve as vice chairmen. Will is serving a one-year term on the GFB Board of Directors as the committee chairman. Competitive events are one of the highlights of the GFB Young Farmer program. Three young farmer competitive events will be offered in 2016: Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet. Applications for each of these events will be made available in March. Check with your county Farm Bureau to learn more about these contests. The Young Farmer Committee encourages all young farmers to save the dates of July 13-16 for the annual GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference to be held on Jekyll Island. This event includes the preliminary rounds of the Discussion Meet and will offer a number of social and educational opportunities for farmers between the ages of 18-35. Stop by your county Farm Bureau to reserve your spot! The deadline to register is May 27. 20 / February-March 2016

One of the highlights for our members is the annual GFB Young Farmer Photo Contest. The committee will release details of this event in mid-March and will accept photos through May 5. We encourage any amateur photographer to share their photos. The top 12 pictures will be featured in the 2017 Young Farmer Calendar. Visit the GFB website www.gfb.org or contact your

county office in late March for complete details. Check with your county Farm Bureau for more information about any of our Young Farmer programs or visit www.gfb. org/yf to make sure you don’t miss any of the exciting events taking place in 2016! Taylor Sills is the GFB Young Farmer Coordinator.

Monsanto offers grants to public school districts

Farmers in 34 Georgia counties have until April 1 to nominate a public school district for grants of up to $25,000 from Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Fund. Nominated school districts have until April 15 to submit applications. The grants are intended to help school districts fund math and science projects to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum and prepare students for technology-driven careers. Eligible counties are Appling, Baker, Berrien, Bleckley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Screven, Seminole, Sumter, Tattnall, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth. Visit www.growruraleducation.com and click the “Nominate Now” link or call 1-877-267-3332 to submit a nomination. Complete rules and eligibility requirements are posted on the aforementioned website. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo By Jennifer Whittaker

National Ag in the Classroom Conference set for June

The 2016 Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee members are: seated, from left: Nichelle Stewart, Cherokee County, 1st Dist.; Rhonda Williams, Rabun County, 2nd Dist.; Carol McQueen, Henry County, 3rd Dist.; Committee Chairman Melanie Sanders, Oglethorpe County, 4th Dist.; Melissa Bottoms, Pike County, 5th Dist. and standing, from left: Kim Thompson, Treutlen County, 6th Dist.; Sue Powers, Wilcox County, 8th Dist.; Wendy Hembree, Colquitt County, 9th Dist.; and Ray Bloser, Cook County, 10th Dist. Not pictured is Angel Page, Bryan County, 7th Dist.

GFB Women’s Committee to host Educational Leadership Conference March 18-19

By Donna Rocker __________________________________________________________________________ The purpose of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Program is to promote agriculture through education and to expand participation in all phases of agriculture to build leadership and achieve a more effective organization. “The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee is deeply committed to bringing agricultural literacy to Georgia’s students and the general public. We offer the Educational Leadership Conference as a venue for our county Farm Bureau volunteers to learn new ideas and skills to bring the agriculture story to their communities across Georgia,” GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Melanie Sanders said. “We also recognize the need that we all have as farmers for information and skills that will benefit us personally and professionally. Each year this conference provides at least one workshop to address this area as well.” The GFB Educational Leadership Conference will be held March 18-19 at the Augusta Marriott. On Friday night there will be a time for fellowship with other Farm Bureau volunteers. Saturday will include workshops to provide volunteers with materials and activities to be more effective in their counties and on their farm.  Georgia Farm Bureau News

Dr. Wayne Parrott, a professor of plant breeding and genomics at the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, will deliver the keynote address. Parrott will discuss the truth versus rhetoric of biotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to help us better understand and communicate its importance in feeding a growing world population. Lauren Goble, a teacher at Mattie Wells Elementary in Jones County and the 2015 winner of GFB’s Ag in the Classroom Educator Award, will lead a workshop highlighting activities she uses in her classroom. Other workshops will include ag literacy activities presented by state committee members, biotechnology in the classroom, and ideas for county Farm Bureaus to raise funds for the GFB Foundation for Agriculture, which funds Ag in the Classroom activities and scholarships. March 4 is the deadline to register for the conference. The registration fee is $90. Check with your county Farm Bureau office to register and for additional information about the conference. Donna Rocker coordinates the Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom program and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee.

By Donna Rocker _________________________________ “Agriculture Blooming in the Desert” is the theme for the 2016 National Ag in the Classroom Conference to be held in Litchfield Park, Ariz., June 22-24, with pre-conference events on June 20-21. This conference combines teachers, classroom volunteers and professional staff from across the U.S. who will offer new ideas and dynamic resources to develop or enhance ag literacy programs in your community. It is an excellent opportunity to develop or broaden your ag literacy network. The conference begins on June 22 with traveling workshops in the morning. There will be several rounds of workshops, a series of mini-workshops, and traveling workshops during the three-day event which ends on June 24. The conference will feature dynamic keynote speakers, an exhibit hall with a wide range of program resources, a silent auction and live auction to raise money for the National Ag in the Classroom program. The conference will be held near Phoenix at the historic Wigwam Resort. The room rate is $95 per night plus taxes. Early bird registration by April 15 is $435 which includes the traveling workshops. Attendees can opt out of the traveling workshops for a lower registration fee. Pre- and post-conference tours will be available for an additional fee. For more information and to register for the conference, visit the website at http://naitcconference.usu.edu. Contact Donna Rocker at dhrocker@ gfb.org for more information about the conference or Georgia’s AITC program.

February-March 2016/ 21


Roadside stands, fumigants key topics at Fruit & Vegetable Conference

GFB Certified Farm Market member Howard James discussed his roadside market at the Southeast Region Fruit and Vegetable Conference Jan. 8.

More than 3,000 producers from multiple states attended the 2016 Southeast Region Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, which included a variety of seminars, a trade show and networking opportunities. The conference, held Jan. 7-10 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, featured more than 350 vendors and educational sessions focusing on nine fruit and vegetable commodities

Check presented to Georgia Food Bank Assoc.

Photo by Jay Stone

Photo by Damon Jones.

By Damon Jones & Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________

2015 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chair David Cromley, left, and then-GFB President Zippy Duvall present a check for the proceeds of the 2015 Harvest For All campaign to Georgia Food Bank Association Executive Director Danah Craft during the 2015 GFB Annual Convention on Jekyll Island Dec. 6. Since 2004, GFB has coordinated 11 Harvest For All campaigns through which GFB members across the state donated about 49,000 pounds of food and more than $140,000 in cash donations benefitting Georgia food banks. AFBF from page 13 grade farmer stock peanuts as SEG2’s from 2.49 percent to 3.49 percent. AFBF adopted GFB’s suggested policy regarding federal assistance to poultry growers impacted by an outbreak of avian influenza or other infectious diseases through the USDA’s Risk Management Agency or other disaster programs. AFBF also accepted GFB’s suggested language calling for the improvement of 22 / February-March 2016

GPS and land-based, wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) transmitters. GFB President Gerald Long was elected to the 20-member AFBF Board of Directors on Jan. 12 after Zippy Duvall was elected AFBF president. Long will represent the AFBF Southern Region, which includes Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Miss., N.C., Okla., Puerto Rico, S. C., Tenn., Texas and Va.

plus roadside markets, business operations and food safety. The always-popular roadside markets session provided tips on selling produce directly to the public, allowing them to eliminate the middlemen and build relationships within their communities. “We need to get the general public back in connection with the farm itself,” said Howard James of Jibb’s Vineyards in Dooly County. “They need to have an experience with farms. Give [customers] more than what they buy. It tends to lead people back a second time. It doesn’t cost your business; you actually increase in that sense.“ James’ market is a Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market. James shared how the program helped him reach customers who wouldn’t normally know about his market. In the Vegetable Conference, a presentation by UGA Extension Agronomist Stanley Culpepper provided information on fumigant options with the phase out of methyl bromide. “We have good, effective fumigant systems that can be used to replace methyl bromide,” Culpepper said. “We just have to be a little better managers and a little more timely, and the focus points are helping these growers adopt these alternatives and really not miss a beat as we transition out of methyl bromide into new and more environmentally friendly alternatives.” The information offered at the conference on pest control alone makes the SEFVGA Conference a must-attend event for fruit and vegetable growers. “Over the last nine years, we’ve brought 30 new herbicide labels to our vegetable growers and if you don’t come to meetings like this, a lot of times you miss out,” Culpepper said. “And when you get a new herbicide in a vegetable crop, that’s a big deal because it could save you hundreds of dollars per acre on hand weeding and improve your production practices.” The conference is an annual chance to get off the farm and swap ideas face-to-face with growers from other states. Georgia Farm Bureau News


By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

M

ore than 1,400 Georgia peanut growers traveled to Tifton, Jan. 21 for the 40th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show & Conference held at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The Georgia Peanut Commission sponsored the event in cooperation with the UGA Tifton Campus and the Southeastern Peanut Farmer. Show attendees had the chance to view the products and services of more than 100 agribusinesses and equipment companies displaying their products and services. During the lunch, attendees received legislative updates from U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott and Washington lobbyist Bob Redding, met new Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) President Gerald Long, got a state update from Georgia Commissioner Gary Black and heard from National Peanut Board staffer Cathy Johnson. “You need to be active politically on peanut issues,” said Rep. Scott, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee. Scott identified securing federal estate tax reform, defending the use of biotechnology in agriculture and maintaining national security as his three top priorities. Bishop, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, said fewer members of the U.S. House represent rural areas, which makes it harder to garner support for ag programs. “Ag programs are under attack by people who don’t understand where groceries come from.” Redding said issues the peanut industry should watch this year are: amendments proposed by members of Congress to the appropriations bill that impact peanut programs, especially funding for crop insurance or the inclusion of generic commodity certificates for repaying cotton and peanut loans included in the 2016 Omnibus bill in December. Redding said his firm is also closely following international trade agreements, Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Peanut growers get industry updates at peanut farm show & conference

Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) Chairman Armond Morris, far left, congratulates winners of the GPC’s annual awards presented during the 40th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show. Accepting awards, second from left to right, were: Jerry Chandler, CEO of McCLeskey Mills, Distinguished Service Award; Sam Smith, retired WALB/Associated Press photographer, Media Award; Randy Wind accepting for the Cairo Messenger, Media Award; GFB President Gerald Long, who accepted the GPC Special Award on behalf of American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall; Dr. Nathan Smith, former UGA Extension economist and current Clemson University professor & Extension economist, Research & Education Award; and Trey Dunaway, winner of the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award. Not pictured is Stephanie Grunenfelder, senior vice president of the American Peanut Council, Export Award. Visit http://tinyurl.com/peanutshow16 to see more photos.

which could help provide more markets for U.S. peanuts. In an interview with Georgia Farm Bureau media, Redding discussed efforts underway to get the USDA to raise the moisture level it uses to grade farmer stock peanuts as SEG2’s from 2.49 percent to 3.49 percent. GFB policy supports this effort and the organization got policy approved by American Farm Bureau supporting the effort. “It would be nice if we could just go to the USDA and say we want to make the change, but it requires data to back up our request,” Redding said. “Stanley Fletcher (peanut economist) is compiling data for Georgia, which will be ready in about a month, but we also have to collect data for the national peanut belt, which will take longer.” Redding says he’s hopeful the change might be in place for grading the 2016 crop but cautioned, “We’re months away from having the national data.” He expects the National Peanut Standards Board to approve classification changes for sheller stock peanuts before the change is made for farmer stock peanuts because, “They [shellers] started the process [of seeking a classification change] before growers and they’re further along.” Long pledged that under his leadership as GFB president, the organization will continue to represent the interests of Georgia’s peanut farmers.

“I look forward to serving in this position and to representing Georgia agriculture,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “I make a promise to the Georgia Peanut Commission that we will continue to work with y’all.” Commissioner Black urged farmers to only use their GATE cards to receive sales tax exemptions on eligible purchases. “We’ve got to make sure the GATE card is used as it’s supposed to be used. If we abuse it, we can count on losing it.” Black discussed the 20/20 Vision program the Georgia Department of Agriculture is launching in cooperation with the Georgia Dept. of Education. The goal of the program is to guarantee that a minimum of 20 percent of every meal served in Georgia schools is Georgia grown. “This can provide a strong market for Georgia’s farmers,” Black said. Johnson, a National Peanut Board (NPB) Marketing & Communications specialist, talked about promotion efforts the NPB is making to increase consumer demand for peanuts. Since being established in 2001, the NPB has funded 900 research & promotion projects totaling $21 million. On Jan. 4 the NPB launched a Twitter campaign designed to dispel misconceptions the millennial generation (ages 21-35) has about peanuts. Check it out at https://twitter.com/PeanutsHere February-March 2016/ 23


Heaton, McDaniel take top prizes in 2nd District Steer & Heifer Show

24 / February-March 2016

Landon Heaton, of Elbert County, won Grand Champion Steer with his Crossbreed Steer at the 7th Annual GFB 2nd District Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show. Heaton, second from right, is pictured with his dad, Nathan, far right, show judge, Dr. Jacob Segers, and his mother, Kerri.

Photo by Caroline Lewallen

Landon Heaton of Elbert County and Morgan McDaniel of Jackson County won the top prizes in the 2016 GFB 2nd District Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show, held Jan. 16 at the Habersham County Agriculture Center. The show also included a silent auction that raised $1,100 for the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. A total of 71 students competed and approximately 300 attended the 7th annual event, designed to help cattle exhibitors continue developing their showmanship skills between the Georgia National Fair and the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show. The GFB 2nd District, which includes 14 counties in Northeast Georgia, uses the show to promote Farm Bureau membership and the GFB Young Farmer program to encourage students to get involved with their county Young Farmer Committees when they turn 18. Each of the students who competed received a GFB membership brochure, a GFB Young Farmer calendar and a souvenir t-shirt designed by Franklin County Young Farmer Heather Cabe. The prizes for the show awards were funded by donations from 2nd District county Farm Bureaus, county presidents and insurance agents. McDaniel won the $300 prize for Supreme Champion Heifer with her Percentage Simmental heifer. Heaton won the $300 prize for Grand Champion Steer with his crossbreed steer. Samantha Neal of Franklin County received the $200 prize for Reserve Champion Steer with her crossbreed steer. Bella Chandler of Jackson County won the $200 prize for Supreme Reserve Champion Heifer with her Percentage Simmental heifer. Hart County’s Leanne Chafin won the 12th Grade Showmanship and a $250 scholarship. Other showmanship winners were: 11th Grade – Tucker Carlan, Banks County; 10th Grade – Parker Sheridan, Banks County; 9th Grade – Adam Tawzer, Franklin County; 8th Grade, Casadi Smith, Stephens County; 7th Grade – Madyson McDaniel, Jackson County; 6th Grade – Bella Chandler, Jackson County; 5th Grade – Morgan McDaniel, Jackson County; 4th

Photo by Caroline Lewallen

Compiled from staff reports ___________________________________

Morgan McDaniel, far right, of Jackson County, won Supreme Champion Heifer with her Percentage Simmental heifer at the 7th Annual GFB 2nd District Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show. McDaniel is pictured with show judge, Dr. Jacob Segers, and Cindy Cooper of C & C Farms.

Grade and under – Trey Chafin, Franklin County. In breed heifer classes, winners were: Percent Simmental Champion – Morgan McDaniel, Jackson County; Percent Simmental Reserve Champion – Bella Chandler, Jackson County; Angus Champion – Logan Clark, Hall County; Angus Reserve Champion – Trey Chafin, Hart County; Charolais Champion – Parker Sheridan, Banks County; Charolais Reserve Champion – Ethan Dalton, Banks County; Shorthorn Champion – Kayley Edwards, Jackson County; Shorthorn Reserve Champion

– Kayley Edwards, Jackson County; Limousin Champion – Keely Schultz, Jackson County; Limousin Reserve Champion – Tanya Anderson, Elbert County; Simmental Champion – Madyson McDaniel, Jackson County; Simmental Reserve Champion – Casadi Smith, Stephens County; Other Breeds Champion Sydney Arnold, Madison County; Other Breeds Reserve Champion – Kylie Whitworth, Madison County; Commercial Heifer Champion – Wyatt Chandler, Jackson County; Commercial Heifer Reserve Champion – Madison Franklin, Jackson County. Georgia Farm Bureau News


County Farm Bureaus celebrate Farm-City Week County Farm Bureaus held Farm-City Week events to celebrate the partnership between farmers and businesses that gets food from the farm to consumers’ tables. Farm-City Week was officially Nov. 20-26, but counties held events as their schedules allowed in October and November.

“Thank you who are in agriculture because what you do allows the rest of us not to have to worry about feeding our families,” Sen. John Kennedy said.

CAMDEN COUNTY As part of its 2015 Farm-City Week celebration, Camden County Farm Bureau (CCFB) donated $500 to Southeast Community Church’s “Backpack for Kids” ministry. Pictured from left, CCFB President Jim Godley presents the donation to “Backpack for Kids” leader Dawn Taylor, with assistance from CCFB Director Greg Moore and CCFB Vice President Bob Merck. “Backpack for Kids” is an organization that donates food to school children in the Camden area over weekend and holiday breaks. The ministry makes sure that no child goes hungry.

COOK COUNTY Cook County Farm Bureau (CCFB) held a tailgate lunch Nov. 9 at Chase Daughtrey’s Farm to kick off Farm-City Week. CCFB Legislative Committee Chair Chad Sumner welcomed nearly 150 farmers, business leaders, elected officials and GFB representatives to the event. Attendees enjoyed a barbecue lunch prepared and served by the CCFB Legislative Committee. Distinguished guests included former Gov. Sonny Perdue, U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, Georgia Reps. Penny Houston and Jason Shaw, Georgia Sens. Ellis Black and Tyler Harper and Cook County Commissioner Michael Dinnerman. The CCFB Board of Directors and guests joined CCFB President Derry Bennett, seated, center; Cook County Commission Chair Jeff Lane, seated, left; and City of Adel Mayor Buddy Duke, seated, right, in signing the Farm-City Week Proclamation. CRAWFORD COUNTY Crawford County Farm Bureau held a Farm-City Week Legislative Breakfast Nov. 24 at the Roberta Civic Center. Local government and business leaders attended the event along with local farmers. Georgia Rep. Robert Dickey and Sen. John Kennedy, whose districts include Crawford County, spoke at the event. CCFB President Leighton Cooley welcomed everyone to the breakfast. Georgia Farm Bureau News

GILMER COUNTY Gilmer County Farm Bureau (GCFB) celebrated Farm-City Week with a breakfast attended by local farmers and government leaders. During the event, local leaders signed a proclamation recognizing Nov. 20-26 as Farm-City Week. Participating in the proclamation signing were, seated from left: Ellijay City Mayor Al Hoyle, GCFB President Darrell Jones and Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris and pictured standing from left: Southern Farmer’s Association President Mark Holden, Gilmer County Commissioner Travis Crouch, GCFB Director Billy Stillwell, GCFB Director Wayne Holt and GCFB Secretary Linda Evans. GREENE COUNTY The Greene County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee held its annual Farm-City lunch Oct. 28 at the GCFB office.  More than 50 of GCFB’s agribusiness friends were treated to a home-cooked lunch. GCFB President Larry Eley, head of table, right, visits with guests. LAURENS COUNTY Nearly 200 Laurens County business leaders, government officials and farming community members attended the Laurens County Farm-City Week Luncheon on Nov. 24. U.S. Rep. Rick Allen was the guest speaker, and retiring Chamber President Willie Paulk received the Laurens County Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award. Laurens County Farm Bureau has co-hosted a Farm-City Luncheon the Tuesday before Thanksgiving for more than 30 years with the Laurens County Extension Service and Dublin-Laurens Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee. See FARM-CITY page 27 February-March 2016/ 25


AROUND GEORGIA Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker

News from County Farm Bureaus

BROOKS COUNTY Brooks County Farm Bureau (BCFB) donated one of the educational kits “Cotton: The Story,” produced by the Georgia Cotton Commission, to the Brooks County Middle School (BCMS) Echoes Program last fall. BCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Sandra McDonald, not pictured, presented the kit to BCMS teachers Christine Hiers and Wesley McDade, who taught a unit on cotton to their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) enrichment class. Students learned the history of cotton, how the crop is planted, grown and harvested, and the many products made from cotton. The class also learned how much cotton is grown in Brooks County and used cotton grown in the county for class activities during their learning experience. The students are pictured in front of the bulletin board they made.

HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Farm Bureau (HCFB) is working with the fourthgrade gardening club at New Mountain Hill Elementary School to teach the students how to grow vegetables. HCFB built two raised beds for students to plant winter vegetables. The garden club meets after school each month to work in the garden and learn how to prepare the soil, weed, mulch and water their garden. HCFB Office Manager Linda Luttrell, far right, is pictured with the garden club members and teacher Margaret Williamson, far left. HEARD COUNTY Heard County Farm Bureau (HCFB) held a meeting Nov. 9 at Ephesus Community Center to educate local poultry producers about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), commonly called bird flu. HCFB President Ralph Caldwell, standing center, welcomed the farmers to the meeting as guest speaker Gary Kelley, inspector general for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, right, prepares to speak.  The meeting gave attendees the latest informa26 / February-March 2016

tion on HPAI and covered issues producers will face if the disease is diagnosed in Georgia. Georgia is preparing for the possibility that HPAI could be brought to Georgia by migratory birds. The virus may also be spread by trucks, trailers, clothing, equipment, and airborne transmission. Visit http://www.gfb.org/avianflu to learn more about HPAI. HOUSTON COUNTY Houston County Farm Bureau (HCFB) participated in the Lake Joy Elementary Farm Day Nov. 18, along with Perdue Farms, the Georgia Beef Board, Dept. of Natural Resources, Houston Lake Pecans and other ag businesses. Pictured from left, HCFB Insurance Agent Kristy Silcox, HCFB member A.C. Talton, HCFB Office Manager Lisa Hall and GFB 8th Dist. Field Rep. Ken Murphree talked to the third, fourth and fifth-grade students attending the event about cotton, corn and soybeans – the three main row crops grown in the county. These volunteers talked to the students about various uses of each commodity and showed the students items we use every day that contain at least one of the crops. The students walked away from the Farm Bureau station having learned that farmers are important because they provide us with food and crops that are made into items we use every day. PAULDING COUNTY From Oct. 19 - Nov. 19, Paulding County Farm Bureau (PCFB) partnered with students at five local high schools to collect non-perishable food for local food bank Helping Hands of Paulding County. PCFB Young Farmer Chairman Matt Townson, far left, back row, led the county’s 2015 Harvest for All campaign, which is Georgia Farm Bureau’s annual effort to raise money for the Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) and food items for local food banks. Using the theme, “A Community in Unity to Feed Paulding County,” PCFB worked with student clubs at East Paulding, HiGeorgia Farm Bureau News


ram, North Paulding, Paulding County and South Paulding High Schools to collect the donated food and $515. The Paulding County donation is enough to provide about 2,000 meals, according to the Georgia Food Bank Association. Townson and PCFB Office Manager Tracy Grice, far right, are pictured with all of the food that the club leaders and their advisors collected during the local food drive. TALIAFERRO COUNTY Taliaferro County Farm Bureau was one of the local businesses, clubs and churches that participated in the Christmas light display at A.H. Stephens State Park. The displays were open to the public every weekend from Nov. 27 through Dec. 27. Taliaferro County Farm Bureau members put up the county’s Christmas display on Nov. 14. This is the second year TCFB participated in the event.

TATTNALL COUNTY Tattnall County Farm Bureau (TCFB) hosted an Ag Awareness Day at Tattnall County High School Nov. 19 attended by about 350 second-grade students from the three public elementary schools in the county. Students rotated between stations that highlighted various livestock including hogs, dairy cows, rabbits and sheep, electrical safety and ATV safety. The Georgia Forestry Commission, Canoochee EMC, and local 4-H & FFA students helped with the event. Georgia Forestry Commission staff member Richard Lynn and Smokey Bear were on hand to teach students about fire safety. The second graders enjoyed a live milking demonstration courtesy of the Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom. TCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Shirley Jarriel, center, left, talked to the kids about dairy nutrition. WALKER COUNTY Walker County Farm Bureau participated in the county’s annual Farm Safety Day last fall at the Walker County Ag Center in Georgia Farm Bureau News

Rock Spring. The event was attended by students from three middle schools in the county. WCFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman James Burton, standing, center, talked to students about safety precautions to follow when riding ATVs or bicycles. WCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Sonia Butler, WCFB President Mike Bunn and WCFB Office Manager Kyla Compton helped Burton conduct a demonstration to illustrate the importance of wearing helmets when riding ATVs & bikes. The Farm Bureau volunteers placed jello, which represented the brain, in a Ziploc bag and then placed it in a helmet and dropped the helmet on the ground to show the students how wearing a helmet protects one’s head in an accident. The volunteers also dropped the jello without the protection of a helmet to illustrate the impact a crash can have on a head not protected by a helmet.  FARM-CITY from page 25

Pictured from left are: Randy Jackson, chairman of the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce; Willie Paulk, retired president of the Dublin-Laurens Chamber; Laurens County Farm Bureau President James Malone, Rep. Rick Allen and Laurens County Extension Director Raymond Joyce.

UPSON COUNTY To teach local students about Farm-City Week and the collaborative partnership between farmers and urban residents that gets food from the farm to the table, Upson County Farm Bureau (UCFB) Office Manager Alison Stephens, standing, visited Westwood Christian Academy Nov. 16 & 17 where she spoke with pre-K through fifth-grade students about agriculture. UCFB Promotion & Education Committee member Annie Johnston helped arrange for Stephens to visit the school. Stephens talked to pre-K, kindergarten, first-grade and second-grade students about where milk comes from and how milk gets from the cow to the carton. Stephens spoke with third – fifth graders about the importance of dirt and soil to our environment. February-March 2016/ 27


GDA urges sheltering outside poultry flocks after new AI cases detected Compiled by staff reports _______________________________________________________________________________ In response to the January confirmation of avian influenza (AI) in Indiana, Georgia State Veterinarian Robert Cobb is urging owners of backyard and free range poultry to move their flocks inside. In a memorandum to Georgia’s poultry producers whose flocks have outside access, Cobb said all poultry with outside access must be moved into biosecure housing until further notice. In cases where doing so is not possible, Cobb wrote, the Georgia Department of Agriculture should be notified immediately. Cobb instructed poultry producers to implement strict biosecurity on these premises and to notify their employees, growers and service personnel of the increased risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). He emphasized the importance of preventing flocks from coming into contact with wild waterfowl or

their droppings. In addition, he urged growers to monitor their flocks for increased death or clinical signs consistent with HPAI and report any concerns immediately. For information about HPAI visit www.ga-ai.org or call 855-491-1432. On Jan. 15 the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana. This is a different strain of HPAI than the strains that caused the 2015 outbreak On Jan. 17 APHIS announced that eight of nine H7N8 cases See HPAI next page

Pardue named UGA CAES Dean & Director

Samuel Pardue, a noted poultry science researcher and administrator at North Carolina State University, will begin serving as dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences March 14. He is currently associate dean and director of academic programs at N. C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “His [Pardue’s] academic background and professional experience are ideal for leading the college at a very exciting time in its history and working with key stakeholders and alumni who are critical to our future success,” said UGA President Jere Morehead. Since 2012, Pardue has overseen academic programming in the N.C. State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ 16 departments. Prior to that, for seven years he was head of the N.C. State poultry science department, which under his leadership ranked in the top 10 in five research publications and citation criteria among departments of animal and poultry science. Pardue served as the co-principal investigator on a USDA grant to increase the multicultural diversity of agriculture students and was a founding member of the college’s Diversity Council. He has conducted his research with $2.5 million in ex28 / February-March 2016

ternal funding, holds three patents and has published nearly 100 journal articles, book chapters and abstracts. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with UGA’s outstanding administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and Georgia’s dynamic agricultural community,” Pardue said. “The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has played a significant role in growing Georgia’s No. 1 economic sector. It is a college with a long and honored history.

I look forward to an even brighter future for CAES.” Pardue earned his bachelor’s degree in poultry science and Pardue his master’s and doctoral degrees, both in physiology, from N. C. State. He completed his postdoctoral training in genetics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and began his academic career at Texas A&M University.

Applegate to lead UGA Poultry Science Dept. Todd Applegate, former associate head of the animal sciences department at Purdue University, began chairing the UGA Department of Poultry Science Jan. 8. Applegate, who was a poultry researcher at Purdue since 2000, has a strong background in the Cooperative Extension System, research Applegate and instruction. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from Iowa State University and his doctoral degree in animal science from Ohio State University in 1999. He will replace Mike Lacy, former de-

partment head, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at UGA. As head of the UGA Poultry Science Department, Applegate says he wants to focus on recruiting and building teams of researchers who will support Georgia’s poultry industry and the research that will help feed the world as the global population grows. The UGA Department of Poultry Science has 17 full-time faculty members who study a range of topics, from nutrient management and chicken physiology to genetics and flock health. The department is seen as an international leader in poultry research, hosting hundreds of international visitors every year for workshops and collaborative projects. Georgia Farm Bureau News


HPAI from previous page detected in Dubois County on Jan. 16 have been confirmed as low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). The pathogenicity of a virus refers to its ability to produce disease. Birds with low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) often show no signs of infection or only have minor symptoms.  HPAI viruses spread quickly and cause high mortality in domestic poultry.  H7 LPAI viruses have mutated into HPAI viruses in the past. No human infections associated with H7N8 have ever been reported. The proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165o F kills bacteria and viruses. Biosecurity self-assessment and educational materials can be found at http:// www.uspoultry.org/animal_husbandry/ intro.cfm. All bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to the state veterinarian’s office at 855-491-1432. Georgia Farm Bureau News

reau; Outstanding Women’s Leadership Committee Award presented to Chattooga County Farm Bureau; Outstanding Legislative Committee Award received by Cherokee County Farm Bureau; and Outstanding Young Farmer Committee Award won by Madison County Farm Bureau. Matt and Melissa Bottoms of Pike County were recognized as the GFB Young Farmer Achievement winners. The Bottomses operate a nursery where they grow a variety of fruit plants, vines and trees that they sell wholesale and on their website. They also grow wheat, soybeans and canola. The Bottomses received a $500 cash prize, courtesy of GFB, and an expensepaid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention in Orlando, Fla., to compete for national honors. They also received a Polaris rough-terrainvehicle, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. Kyle Dekle of Habersham County was recognized as the GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet winner and received an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Convention to compete for national honors, courtesy of GFB. Dekle received a $500 cash award, courtesy of GFB, and a Polaris all-terrainvehicle (ATV) courtesy of Southern Farm

Bureau Life Insurance. Stephanie Butcher of Coweta County won the Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award. GFB presents this award to recognize young farmers who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. Butcher is the Coweta County Extension coordinator. She and her husband, Kirk, live in Senoia and work the family’s dairy. Butcher won a Polaris 4x4 ATV courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, and an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Convention in Orlando to compete for national honors, courtesy of GFB. Jean Dykes, Henry County Farm Bureau (HCFB) office manager, received the organization’s Outstanding Office Manager Award. She was recognized for her work to promote agriculture and Farm Bureau in her community. A graduate of Clayton College & State University, Dykes has been employed with HCFB since 2013 following a 24-year career in banking. She and her husband, Johnny, live on a small farm in McDonough.

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WINNERS from page 9 Finalists in the McKemie competition, listed in alphabetical order, for the 0 to 1,274-member division were: Crawford, Jasper, Macon, Treutlen, Turner, Upson and Wilcox counties. Finalists for the 1,275 to 2,150-member division were: Cook, Greene, Houston, Monroe, Pike, Polk, Spalding, Stephens and Toombs counties. Finalists in the 2,151 plusmember division were: Banks, Cherokee, Coffee, Habersham, McDuffie, Madison, Newton, Walker and White counties. Georgia Farm Bureau presented a Membership Excellence Award to a county from each of its three membership categories in recognition of the counties’ membership campaigns that resulted in membership growth. Macon County Farm Bureau, whose president is Mike McLendon, received the GFB Membership Award for the 0 to 1,274-member division. Bibb County Farm Bureau, whose president is Jimmy Jordan, won the award for the 1,275 to 2,150-member division. Coffee County Farm Bureau, whose president is Derek Pridgen, received the award in the 2,151 plus-member division. Other state awards presented included: Outstanding Promotion & Education Award won by Henry County Farm Bu-

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GFB commodity conferences provide issue updates By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________

HPAI

Julie McPeake, chief communications officer for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, gave poultry producers tips for handling media inquiries should highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) be diagnosed in Georgia. “The key message producers should stress is that currently avian influenza is not a human health or food safety concern but a huge economic concern for the Georgia poultry industry and state of Georgia as a whole,” McPeake said. “However, the department of public health is currently monitoring the situation.” Dr. Martin Smeltzer with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services said biosecurity measures, like using disinfecting footbaths before entering a poultry house, are the most important aspect to preventing HPAI. Smeltzer called the 2014-2015 outbreak of HPAI in the Midwest the worst animal disease disaster in U.S. history, noting that the USDA has spent more than $1 billion on control measures and cleanup of dead birds. If a farm tests positive for HPAI, Smeltzer said the farm will first be quarantined, then all birds on the farm will be depopulated to prevent the virus from spreading. The birds must be disposed of within 24 hours, and then the farm must go through a cleaning and disinfectant process before the farm can be repopulated with birds. “If the U.S. government approves the depopulation of birds for disease control, producers will get paid for the depopulated birds but not for birds that die on their own from the disease,” Smeltzer explained. Indemnity also covers the cost of euthanasia, cost of disposal and the cost of cleanup and 30 / February-March 2016

disinfecting the poultry houses.

Antimicrobial use in livestock

Dr. Brent Credille, associate director of the food animal health and management program at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, presented information on antimicrobial use in livestock and new federal regulations. Credille discussed FDA Guidance 209 and Guidance 213. The new rules require veterinarians to be licensed in the state in which the animals are housed and sets in motion establishment of the veterinary feed directive for antimicrobial drugs. Credille encouraged livestock producers to develop relationships with veterinarians and begin focusing on stewardship of antimicrobial medications, including decisions on whether non-antibiotic alternatives exist and selecting antibiotics that have been proven safe for a specific purpose.

Water

UGA Water Resource Management and Policy Specialist Dr. Gary Hawkins discussed water activities in UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, including assisting in the development of the state’s regional water plans. Mark Masters of the Georgia Water Planning & Policy Center at Albany State University provided an overview of current and predicted ag water use. Masters noted that acreage is the biggest driver of ag water demand and said more complete information is available now than when an assessment was done in 2009 and 2010. The demand assessments include detailed acreage mapping of the Flint and Ogeechee Watersheds, a desktop survey and a review of source assumptions that were made in the previous assessment.

Peanuts

T.E. Moye, president and chief financial officer of the Georgia Federal-State Inspection Service (FSIS), said his agency provides farmers a valuable service by grading pea-

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G

eorgia Farm Bureau members heard numerous ag experts discuss topics related to Georgia’s 20 major commodities during meetings held Dec. 7 at the GFB Convention. Highlights of some are below.

Dr. Brent Credille, associate director of the food animal health and management program at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, discussed antimicrobial use in livestock at the GFB Convention.

nuts as an unbiased party. Moye said the FSIS is in the process of developing a more modern grading system and will be working with Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, the Agricultural Research Service and LMC to develop a computerized system that grades peanuts using a camera to take photos of the peanuts. George Lovatt, president of the peanut brokerage firm Lovatt & Rushing Inc. credited 2015’s 19 percent increase in peanut acreage to lower corn and cotton prices. He stressed that growers need to secure warehouse storage for their 2016 crop to secure a marketing assistance loan. “The scary part about the peanut program is the lack of availability of warehouses in Georgia and north Florida. Space will be hard to come by due to the carryover from this year’s crop,” Lovatt said. “In Texas they will have a surplus of warehouses. South Carolina and North Carolina may not have warehouse problems because of the floods that destroyed a large part of their crop.” Georgia Peanut Commission Executive Director Don Koehler said growers should be excited about the market potential China and Japan present. Koehler said he thinks China is set to become a bigger importer of peanuts in the long-term because China has a hard time getting young people to return to the farm and a larger population than America. “The millennials in China are ordering their food online, so we’re looking for ways to sell peanut products online,” Koehler said. “We also have peanuts being exported to China to be crushed for oil.” Georgia Farm Bureau News


By Jay Stone ___________________________________

With cotton prices hovering around 60 cents per pound, both the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) and the National Cotton Council (NCC) are working to get the USDA to classify cottonseed as an “other oilseed” and make the seed eligible for commodity protection under the 2014 farm bill’s Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Georgia Farm Bureau is also working to achieve this goal. The oilseed classification effort, the federal budget and international trade issues were key topics of presentations at the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) 9th Annual Meeting and UGA Cotton Production Workshop on Jan. 27 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. Officials with national cotton organizations thought they had a strong case for the oilseed designation. “The positive thing so far is we think, given all the Congressional pressure, pressure from the industry, and just the ability to highlight for the USDA the severe economic situation in the cotton industry,” said National Cotton Council Vice President of Washington Operations Reece Langley. “We think Secretary [Tom] Vilsack and others have recognized that something has to be done to help the industry in the short term.” However, according to published reports on Feb. 3, Vilsack said in a speech to the National Association of State Departments of Ag-

GCC holding referendum

Georgia cotton farmers have the opportunity to vote in a referendum on whether to renew the $1 bale assessment that funds the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC). The commission is charged with providing programs of research, promotion and education on behalf of Georgia cotton producers. Ballots from cotton producers will be accepted through March 8. Growers should receive a ballot for voting in the mail. They must sign the back of the ballot envelope for the ballot to be valid. Unsigned ballot envelopes will not be counted. If a grower does not receive a ballot, please contact the GCC office in Perry at 478-988-4235, or the Georgia Department of Agriculture in Atlanta at 404-586-1405. Georgia Farm Bureau News

riculture that the 2014 farm bill does not grant him the authority to make such a designation and Congressional appropriations language prevents the USDA from using the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide the assistance to farmers or cotton gins. Other international trade issues are placing pressure on the domestic cotton industry. In particular, government subsidies provided to cotton growers in China and India have affected demand for U.S. cotton. Langley said China is subsidizing its cotton growers with as much as $1.40 per pound and India is making a price support guarantee of between 70 and 80 cents per pound. “We have to insist that since they are part of the WTO, they need to be transparent in how they’re operating these programs and if they’re not in compliance then they need to be held accountable,” Langley said. Cotton Incorporated President and CEO Berrye Worsham reviewed promotional efforts, including a change in the industry slogan from “The Fabric of our Lives” to “It’s your favorite for a reason.” “We’ve got to get people used to checking

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Cottonseed designation key topic at meeting

Reece Langley, vice president of Washington operations for the National Cotton Council, discussed efforts being made to persuade the USDA to classify cottonseed as an “other oilseed,” and make it eligible for farm bill programs.

the label before they buy again,” Worsham said. Cotton Incorporated has also partnered with retail website RueLaLa, which agreed to offer only cotton products at four events throughout the year. Worhsam said if those events do well, Cotton Incorporated can then approach other retailers with proposals for similar events. The event also featured workshops on economics and marketing, plant fertility, variety testing, weed science and other topics to help growers enhance their productivity.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News - February / March 2016