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FARM BUREAU

Vol. 78 No. 6

GEORGIA

NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers

from Georgia Farm Bureau

Nov/Dec 2016


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contents

table of november/december 2016

Awards, elections, policy on tap at 2016 GFB Convention......................................................... PAGE 6

departments

PSB votes to change Seg 2 peanut standard............ PAGE 8

view from the field

American Pecan Council members selected.............. PAGE 8

PAGE 4

legislative update

Hurricane Matthew slams Southeast Georgia farms

commodities update PAGE 7

GFB Foundation update PAGE 24

Photo by Betty Anne Lewis

PAGE 5

around georgia

PAGES 26-29

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

Sunbelt Expo shows off what farmers do A plow cuts through the soil during a tillage demonstration held at the Expo Research Farm. .......................................... PAGE 12

Ga. Revenue Dept. offers guidance on sales tax collection.............................................................PAGE 14 Ga. farms honored for 100 years of farming.............PAGE 16 Are U.S. & Cuban trade relations ready to move forward? Photo by Jennifer Wittaker

PAGE 25

Photo by Jay Stone

field services update

At Sapelo Farms, owned by Glynn County Farm Bureau President Betty Anne Lewis’ family, Hurricane Matthew flooded vegetable plots, ripped the plastic siding from the hoop house frames and damaged the greenhouse roof........................ PAGE 10

GFB News Editor Jennifer Whittaker was among the group of ag journalists belonging to the American Agricultural Editors’ Association who traveled to Cuba Sept. 19-23 to learn about Cuban agriculture and trade opportunities.The U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, left, reopened in July 2015, after 54 years. ................. PAGE 18

Georgia National Fair sets record attendance........PAGE 21 GFB celebrates agriculture at Ga. Southern University football game..................PAGE 31

about the cover.................................................................

(Photo by Andy Lucas) This festive photo of red and white poinsettias was shot during a 2014 visit to Windham Greenhouses in Laurens County. The greenhouses are owned and operated by Larry Windham and his son, Troy, who is a member of the GFB Young Farmer Committee. November-December 2016/ 3


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

view from the field Gerald Long, GFB President

GFB is the voice of Georgia farmers. Will you speak up for GFB?

This year passed faster than usual since I began serving as your Georgia Farm Bureau president in January. Although I’ve been an active GFB leader since 2006 when I was elected GFB South Georgia vice president and then GFB 1st vice president in 2008, it’s a whole different ballgame serving as president. It’s been an exciting year. I’ve gotten to know more of the dedicated home office employees and challenged them to evaluate where we are as an organization. After identifying the strengths and struggles of our organization, we charted the course for our future and rolled up our sleeves to implement it to ensure both parts of our organization - federation and the insurance company – are doing what we need to do for us to succeed. I enjoyed meeting with the county Farm Bureau leaders during the series of leadership meetings I held from May to September in each district. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to come get to know me, voice your opinions and hear my plan for leading us into the future. GFB, like most state Farm Bureaus across the country, has struggled to retain and gain members since the 2008 recession. We’ve tried numerous promotions to boost our membership, and we’ll continue to try new things, such as the FFA & ABAC membership drive we implemented this fall (see page 25). The goal of the student membership programs is long-term. We’re introducing Georgia’s next generation to Farm Bureau while they’re in high school and college so they’ll learn how our organization works for Georgia agriculture and the benefits membership offers, in hopes we’ll gain lifelong members for the future. GFB can roll out endless membership programs, but I’m convinced the most effective way to gain new members is for our in-

vested members to go into recruiting mode. Grassroots, door-to-door, farmer-to-farmer invites are how our membership was built in the beginning of our organization. I’m challenging everyone involved with Georgia Farm Bureau to start talking up the good things about Farm Bureau and ask someone to join. Tell someone at church about the discount you received on a hotel stay or a car rental that saved you the cost of your membership. Tell fellow farmers how GFB’s work has helped lower property taxes through the Conservation Use Value Assessment program. Tell a parent or grandparent whose kid shows livestock at the Agricenter in Perry that GFB was instrumental in securing the funding for that facility. Farm Bureau helps farmers by telling their story and serving as their voice. The most recent example of this was in October after Hurricane Matthew struck the coast and bordering counties. GFB 7th District Director Ben Boyd called me up, told me about the crop damage farmers in his area suffered and said they needed help. I talked to Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, we set up a tour, and GFB media got the story out (see page 10). It’s important for all of Georgia’s farmers to be members of our organization so Farm Bureau can be there for them in times like this. Nationally, GFB has been working to ensure farmers continue to have access to water. On Oct. 21, GFB filed a friend of the court brief in the water lawsuit Florida filed against Georgia that’s currently being heard by a special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Georgia Farm Bureau is working hard to serve as the voice of Georgia farmers. Won’t you serve as the voice of GFB?

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

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.

Above: GFB President Gerald Long, standing right of truck, spoke to farmers at the pecan orchard of Carl Huggins in Screven County on Oct. 12 as Long and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black toured farms in the 7th District that suffered crop damage from Hurricane Matthew. U.S. Rep. Rick Allen (R-Dist. 12) is on tailgate. 4 / November-December 2016

Georgia Farm Bureau News


legislative update By Jeffrey Harvey, Legislative Director

Federal Veterinary Feed Directive goes into effect Jan. 1: Are you prepared?

As farmers finish the fall harvest, they are making preparations for the new crop year. Soon, business plans will be developed that determine which crops and how many acres of each farmers plant. Those with livestock will consider growing, maintaining or reducing their herd sizes. It’s likely these discussions are already taking place around breakfast tables across Georgia. Factors like market prices, weather conditions, and new government policies will play an important role in determining the business plan farmers present to their lending institutions. Without a doubt, 2016 has been a challenging year for Georgia’s farmers. A debilitating drought has scorched most of the state leaving farmers with poor yields and little hay to feed livestock. Along our southern border and coast, Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew twisted pines and pushed pecan trees to the ground. It’s an unfortunate fact, but most farmers understand this is how farming works – we have good years and we have bad years. Even with years like 2016, farmers are extremely resilient. They approach an upcoming year with optimism and hope. When producers begin making preparations for an upcoming year, it’s very important to be aware of new rules and regulations. Every January, numerous state and federal laws take effect. Often, these laws were passed years earlier. Laws with delayed start dates can easily be forgotten and leave you feeling blindsided when regulators show up on the farm. A law that livestock producers need to pay close attention to is the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). This rule went into effect in October 2015 but had an implementation grace period until January 2017. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the VFD will be fully enforceable. Georgia Farm Bureau News

The rule requires that all feed-grade or water-soluble drugs important for human health be listed under the Veterinary Feed Directive. Products that were once approved for pre-emptive treatment, growth promotion and feed efficiency in livestock will no longer be available for those purposes, and access can only be gained if prescribed by a veterinarian to treat or prevent infection.

Why is this change being made?

In an effort to preserve antibiotics important for human medicines, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has discontinued the use of over-thecounter antibiotics in feed or water for food producing animals. This action is part of the FDA’s National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. The FDA’s concern is these antibiotics may no longer be effective for human health without discerning use. According to University of Tennessee Beef Extension Specialist Dr. Jason Smith, there has never been a documented case of antibiotic resistance attributed to antibiotic use in animal agriculture. “This is a proactive preventative step to make sure that when producers are using antibiotics they are used when they need to be,” Smith said during a seminar on VFD given at Sunbelt Expo in October.

What is a Veterinary Feed Directive for Medicated Feed?

A Veterinary Feed Directive is a signed and written form issued by a licensed veterinarian. It essentially establishes a relationship between the farmer, his veterinarian and feed distributor. All three parties must maintain these records. The required information on the form includes farm locations, veterinary contact information, livestock description, herd size, medica-

tion dosages and duration.

What drugs require a Veterinary Feed Directive?

The VFD does not apply to over-thecounter injectable antibiotics. The rule only applies to medically important antibiotic drugs used in feed and water for mass distribution. Most pharmaceutical companies have already adjusted labels and removed the ability to use the products for improved performance. Some of the most common antibiotics that will require a VFD include chlortetracycline, hygromycinB, lincomycin, oxytetracycline, penicillin, sulfadimethoxine, tylosin or virginiamycin.

How can you prepare?

Be proactive! If you anticipate needing feed containing antibiotics in early January begin talking to your veterinarian and feed supplier. Some feed stores may not continue to carry traditionally purchased products because these stores will now be required to register as a pharmacy with the state of Georgia. Some feed companies are designing VFD forms to use with your veterinarian. If you don’t have access to a veterinarian in your area, contact your local extension agent for further assistance. Some veterinarians may be hesitant to issue VFDs due to liability concerns. Veterinarians who provide VFD forms will require an established veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR). According to Georgia Code 43-50-15, an established VCPR exists when a licensed veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making medical decisions regarding the health of the animals. Furthermore, sufficient knowledge of the animal is gained by virtue of personal examination of the animal or medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal is kept. As you prepare your farm for 2017, make sure to take the steps necessary to treat your animals in a timely fashion. Contact the GFB Legislative Department for additional information and resources on the Veterinary Feed Directive at 478-474-8411. November-December 2016/ 5


Photo by Jay Stone

GFB Convention attendees will have opportunities to visit and learn about the latest agricultural practices and GFB projects.

Awards, elections, policy on tap at 2016 GFB Convention

By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________

G

eorgia Farm Bureau will set its 2017 policy, elect officers and recognize members’ achievements during the 79th Annual GFB Convention Dec. 4-6 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Convention activities kick off with a memorial service at 11 a.m. Dec. 4. The GFB Trade Show will open at noon, coinciding with a GFB Certified Farm Markets/ Georgia Grown drop-in reception hosted by GFB President Gerald Long and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee will host a Celebrating Agricultural Literacy event at 2 p.m., and the GFB Policy Development Committee will consider changes to organizational policy during a session beginning at 3:15 p.m. Sunday’s activities

will conclude with the annual awards program, which begins at 4:30 p.m. To view a list of all the GFB district award winners visit http://bit.ly/16GFBdistawards. Dec. 5 convention activities begin at 7 a.m. with the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture breakfast. Tickets are $25 per person and proceeds support the foundation’s ag literacy projects. GFB President Gerald Long will give his first address and members will hear from Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Dean Sam Pardue during the Dec. 5 general session, which will also feature the popular GFB Young Farmer Raffle Drawing. The an-

nual County Presidents’/Secretaries’ Lunch begins at noon. GFB’s 20 commodity committees will hold conferences beginning at 2 p.m. On Dec. 6 the annual membership breakfast begins at 6:45 a.m., followed by the organization’s annual business session at 8:15 a.m., during which voting delegates from each county Farm Bureau will finalize GFB policy for 2017. Following the business session, delegates will break into district caucuses to elect members of the GFB Board of Directors. Dennis Miles (Towns County) and incumbent GFB 2nd District Director Randy Ruff (Elbert County) are running for the district seat. Lamar Vickers (Berrien County) is running for the 10th District seat previously held by Daniel Johnson. Incumbent directors running unopposed are Wesley Hall (1st District), Nora Goodman (3rd District), Skeetter McCorkle Jr. (4th District), Matt Bottoms (5th District), James Emory Tate (6th District), Ben Boyd (7th District), Don Wood (8th District) and Lucius Adkins Jr. (9th District). A caucus to elect a South Georgia vice president is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wes Shannon of Tift County, Ricky Tucker of Berrien County and Daniel Johnson of Pierce County are vying for the seat, which became vacant in January when Long succeeded Zippy Duvall as GFB president. Long is running unopposed for re-election as GFB President.

GFB to finalize organizational policy at convention The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Policy Development Committee will finalize its work on changes to GFB policy for 2017 during a Dec. 4 meeting at the GFB Convention on Jekyll Island. GFB policy outlines the organization’s stance on issues important to agriculture. GFB voting delegates will vote on the final version of policy during the morning business session of the convention Dec. 6. The committee met at the GFB headquarters in Macon on Oct. 3 and Nov. 7 to review the organization’s current position on ag issues and to consider the 275 resolutions submitted by 72 county Farm See POLICY page 22 6 / November-December 2016

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jeffrey Harvey ___________________________________

GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims addresses the organization’s Policy Development Committee on Nov. 7. The committee considered 275 resolutions submitted by county Farm Bureaus. Georgia Farm Bureau News


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

2016 GFB Annual Meeting Commodity Conferences An important part of Georgia Farm Bureau’s annual meeting occurs on Monday, Dec. 5 when convention attendees can hear 33 speakers deliver updates on Georgia’s major commodities at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The commodity meeting speakers will address a variety of agricultural issues. If you want to hear some of the latest agricultural news and information, plan to attend these informative meetings. All meetings will be held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Meeting room assignments will be listed in the convention program available at registration in the exhibit hall. Convention attendees are encouraged to attend these meetings to hear the latest updates regarding their specific commodity interests and Georgia agriculture. 

Feedgrain/Soybean

• Economic Outlook Dr. Adam N. Rabinowitz

Forestry

• Activity at the Ga. Forestry Commission Bob Farris

Hay

• Making Quality Hay for Horses Dr. Dennis Hancock • Capturing More Rainfall with Better Management Dr. Dennis Hancock • Ventilating Poultry Houses to Maximize Performance Dr. Brian Fairchild

3:30 P.M. CONFERENCES

Aquaculture

Beef Cattle

• UGA Aquaculture Research Programs Dr. Gary Burtle

• Improving Grazing Systems Dr. Dennis Hancock

• UGA Marine Extension Programs Bryan Fluech Lindsey Parker

• Ga. Beef Board Program Update Kaytlyn Malia

Cotton

• Ag Industry Update Dr. Doug Rushing

Dairy/Swine/Water

• Georgia EPD Updates Richard Dunn Jac Capp

Direct Marketing/Agritourism

• Ga. Agritourism Association Update Beth Oleson • Sales Tax Issues for Direct-to Consumer Sales & Agritourism Randy Nichols

• Increasing Sales through E-Commerce Richie Knight Austin Suggs Georgia Farm Bureau News

Goat and Sheep

• Meeting the Forage Needs of Small Ruminants Adam Speir

• Getting to Know Farm Bureau Bank Jason Smith Ginger Parks

Honeybee

Poultry

2 P.M. CONFERENCES

• Nematode & Disease Management in Cotton Dr. Bob Kemerait

Equine

• Making Strides with the Ga. 4-H Program Heather Shultz Dr. Julia McCann

• Georgia Beef Commission Update Jeff Duncan

Environmental Horticulture & Fruit/Vegetable

• GATE Card Compliance Q&A Bo Warren

• Farm Worker Compliance Issues Larry Benjamin • Plant Licensing & Out-of-State Sharing Brent Marable

• Florida Apiary Program Update David Westervelt • Clemson Honeybee Programs Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda

Peanut

• Peanut Disease Management: What to Expect in 2017 Dr. Bob Kemerait • Peanuts & Politics Tyron Spearman

Pecan

• 2016 Production Summary Dr. Lenny Wells

Tobacco

• 2016 Crop Review Dr. J. Michael Moore • GAP…After 3 Years (Video Conference) Jane Chadwell

Ga Cotton Commission Annual Meeting & UGA Cotton Workshop Jan. 25, 2017 • UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center • Tifton This event begins at 8 a.m. For more information call 478-988-4235 or visit http://www.georgiacottoncommission.org .

Ga. Peanut Farm Show

Jan. 19, 2017 • UGA Tifton Conference Center • 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  More than 100 exhibits, nearly $10,000 in door prizes to be awarded and educational sessions. Call 229-386-3470 or visit www.gapeanuts.com for more information. November-December 2016/ 7


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Peanut Standards Board votes to change Seg 2 peanut standard By Jay Stone __________________________________

During a Sept. 1 conference call, the Peanut Standards Board (PSB) voted to recommend raising the grading score used to classify farmer stock peanuts as Segregation (Seg) 2 from 2.49 percent damaged kernels to 3.49 percent damaged kernels. The recommendation was sent to the USDA. Georgia Farm Bureau and eight other peanut stakeholder organizations wrote in July to PSB Chairman Marty McLendon requesting the change. In the letter it was noted that handling requirements for Seg 2 peanuts have not changed from the old quota system, which stipulated that farmer stock peanuts classified as Seg 2 had to be crushed. The conference call included a summary of analysis by UGA Professor Emeritus Stanley Fletcher, who noted that the loan value for Seg 2 peanuts generally ranges $200 per ton less than Seg 1 peanuts. Seg 2 peanuts typically account for less than 1 percent of the U.S. peanut crop, but an individual producer who has his entire crop graded Seg 2 could face financial ruin. “Georgia Farm Bureau is grateful the Peanut Standards Board recommended ad8 / November-December 2016

justing the percentage used to grade incoming farmer stock peanuts as Segregation 2. This change will create a more accurate value for growers when their peanuts grade Segregation 2,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long. “We urge USDA to move forward with the Peanut Standards Board request.” With new technology, damaged peanuts can be conditioned and resold at market value without affecting the quality of

peanuts delivered to consumers. The PSB is authorized under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and has 18 members representing the peanut growing regions of the U.S. The USDA consults with the board to establish or change quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. The Georgia Peanut Commission also applauded the move. “A farmer having a majority of their crop graded as Segregation 2 is an economic devastation which could lead to bankruptcy while the true value seems to be significantly higher,” said Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “Based on the tonnage of the peanut crop, potential value and current use of Segregation 2 peanuts in the edible market, a re-examination of what constitutes a Segregation 2 peanut and the associated loan value is prudent.” The recommendation from the PSB will now be taken under consideration by the USDA. On Oct. 17, Georgia Farm Bureau joined with nine other ag organizations from Southeast peanut producing states to send a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking him to approve the PSB recommendation. The letter was signed by American Farm Bureau, the Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina Farm Bureaus, the Georgia Peanut Commission and peanut organizations from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.

American Pecan Council members selected By Jennifer Whittaker & Jay Stone __________________________________ Six Georgia pecan growers and four Georgia pecan shellers have been appointed by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator Elanor Starmer to represent the Eastern Region of the newly established American Pecan Council (APC). The APC Eastern Region includes Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. All of the newly appointed council members were nominated and selected by fellow pecan growers in the Eastern Region to represent their peers during a nomina-

tion and election process held in September and October. Buck A. Paulk of Ray City and Trent Mason of Fort Valley were selected to represent large pecan growers who produce pecans on 176 acres or more. Angie S. Ellis of Vienna was named Paulk’s alternate and Randy Hudson of Ocilla was named Mason’s alternate. Molly Willis of Albany was selected to represent small growers who produce pecans on less than 176 acres. Claire Powell of Bainbridge was named Willis’ alternate. Jeff Worn of Valdosta was selected to See PECAN COUNCIL page 15 Georgia Farm Bureau News


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Hurricane Matthew slams Southeast By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________

G

eorgia farmers along the coast and in bordering inland counties have been cleaning up pecan tree debris, fixing fences and assessing damage to row crops since Hurricane Matthew blasted Georgia’s coast as a Category 3 storm the night of Oct. 7 and in the early morning hours of Oct. 8.

Assessing the damage

Pecan orchards decimated

Huggins estimated he had 350 mature pecan trees suffer some type of damage in his 350acre orchard. He had planned to start harvesting his pecans on Oct. 10 before Matthew blew through. He said some of his damaged trees would have made 400 to 500 pounds of pecans. “It’s just one of those things in life. It could have been worse. We’re just going to say we

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

On Oct. 12 Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black toured farms in Tattnall, Evans and Screven counties that sustained damage typical of that suffered by many farms in the multi-county area impacted by Matthew. “My heart goes out to all of the farmers affected by this storm. This is following behind low commodity prices and will impact the local economy,” Long said. “Farm Bureau will continue to work with the department to do anything we can to assist these farmers.”  Hurricane Matthew’s most visible damage in the multi-county area was apparent in pecan orchards where the storm left pecan trees uprooted, leaning or broken. Many of the felled trees were 30 years old or more. Cotton fields that farmers had defoliated but weren’t able to finish picking before Matthew struck were ravaged by the heavy winds and rain, leaving cotton lint littering the ground or hanging tenuously from burrs in sagging strips. Peanut damage is still being determined

and will vary depending on whether nuts had already been dug and were above ground where they were able to dry out in the week after the storm. Peanuts that were still in the ground when Matthew hit may experience more damage as farmers were delayed in digging them a week or more due to wet soil. Georgia Farm Bureau 7th District Director Ben Boyd asked Long and Black to visit GFB’s 7th District to get a firsthand look at the crop damage farmers in the area suffered from Hurricane Matthew. Long and Black spoke with about 50 farmers and agribusiness leaders from Screven and Bulloch Counties who turned out to talk about storm damage during a stop at a pecan orchard owned by Screven County pecan producer Carl Huggins. Long and Black also visited the farm of Tattnall County farmer Robert Dasher. GFB 7th District Director Gary Bell arranged a stop at the farm of Evans County farmer Del Beasley. “It can be hard to quantify damages in situations like these. The losses that occur are not always clear-cut,” Black said.

Uprooted pecan trees at Carl Huggins’ orchard in Screven County. This photo could have been shot at countless pecan orchards across Southeast Georgia after Tropical Storm Hermine hit Sept. 2 followed by Hurricane Matthew Oct. 7-8. 10 / November-December 2016

were blessed and move on,” Huggins said smiling. “We all got up the morning after the storm came through, and we’ve all got our health. You have to keep a good mindset and look at the positives.” Screven County Farm Service Agency Director Julia Sharp said 1,600-1,700 pecan trees were blown down in the county. Thousands of pecan trees were blown over in Tattnall County, Extension Agent Chris Tyson said. “It is not uncommon to find orchards that have lost anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of their trees,” Tyson said. “Another factor to consider is nuts that were blown from the trees that did not fall. This is hard to gauge because some of these pecans could still be harvested, but some nuts that fell were too immature to be harvestable.” Newman Pryor and Kyle Sommer, who grow about 700 acres of pecans in Screven, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham and Jenkins counties, had around 400 damaged trees in their orchards. “A good percentage of our crop will be lost. It could be as much as half,” Pryor said. “The trees that had the best crop on them got destroyed because the limbs were the heaviest. The better orchards were really broken up.” While most pecan producers have crop insurance on the nuts the trees produce, crop insurance for the trees isn’t available. The loss of the trees is a huge setback because it can take more than 10 years for a young tree to come into production and young trees don’t produce the volume of pecans that older, mature trees do, several pecan growers said. “It’s not just this year’s crop that’s going to be impacted,” Sommer said. “Our children are going to feel the impact of this disaster years from now.” Evans County farmer Del Beasley estimates Matthew damaged 160 trees in a 65-acre orchard on his farm. Many of Beasley’s trees weren’t completely uprooted but were pushed to the ground with the trunks still in the soil. Beasley said he’s talked to a pecan specialist and a veteran pecan producer who both advised against trying to salvage the trees. They told him attempts to do so by producers after past storms didn’t yield good results. “These trees at 30 years old were at their absolute prime,” Beasley said. “They stay in their prime for about 25 years. The last, best part of their life is gone, and it will take 12 to Georgia Farm Bureau News


Ga. farms

15 years for the new trees to start turning a profit.” Damage to pecan orchards in Bulloch County ranged from 10 to 40 percent, depending on the orchard, Bulloch Extension Agent Bill Tyson said. Pecan growers in Thomas, Berrien and Screven counties also experienced tree loss from Tropical Storm Hermine Sept. 2, UGA Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells said. Some growers in Berrien County had more than 1,000 trees to fall during Hermine. While tree damage numbers are still being tallied, Wells estimates the percentage of trees damaged from both storms to be 10-30 percent in the area running from Appling County up through Tattnall into Screven County.  Despite the hit pecan orchards took from both storms, Wells estimates they only reduced the state crop yield by 10-15 percent. He expects the total yield for Georgia’s 2016 crop to be a little more than 100 million pounds.

Cotton blown out

Other crops hurt, too

Bulloch County satsuma grower Joe Franklin said he had to straighten and stake about 200 of his young orange trees that were pushed over by Hurricane Matthew. Franklin, who

was about three weeks away from beginning his harvest when Matthew struck, estimated he lost about two percent of his crop due to damage from broken limbs and fallen fruit. Glynn County Farm Bureau President Betty Anne Lewis experienced a variety of storm damage at her family’s Sapelo Farms located just east of I-95 where they grow vegetables and raise goats and beef cows they sell to the public and local restaurants. “After carefully watching weather predictions we felt relatively calm with our decision to remain,” Lewis wrote in an account of the storm she provided GFB News. “For us staying with the livestock was and remains our duty as farmers.” Hurricane Matthew dumped more than 9 inches of rain on Sapelo Farms in 72 hours flooding the large garden plots of vegetables the family sells to the public through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription service. “We had hoped to start our CSA on Oct. 10. Filet beans were ready to pick, and we also lost our Thanksgiving crop of green beans. No time to replant them,” Lewis said. “We lost plantings of direct-seeded crops like arugula, turnips, carrots and more. We waited for several weeks to see if our plantings of broccoli, colored cauliflower, kales and cabbages survived the wind damage and the rains.” By 9 p.m. on Oct. 7 the storm had already felled several big pecan trees, ripped plastic on their large hoop greenhouse and plexiglass from another greenhouse. Their sugar cane crop was also blown down. You may read Lewis’ article at www.gfb. org/matthew.

The green leaves on the cotton plants camouflage the severity of yield loss in this cotton field grown by Bulloch County Farm Bureau member Lee Cromley. Visit http://bit.ly/Matthewdamage to see more photos of Hurricane Matthew crop damage. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by David Cromley

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Cotton damage was more readily apparent in fields defoliated just before the storm struck. Fields that had yet to be defoliated also suffered crop loss, as did fields defoliated earlier this fall that had experienced regrowth of plant leaves due to residual fertilizer in the fields and rain from Tropical Storm Hermine Sept. 2. On Oct. 12 GFB News visited with Bulloch County farmer Lee Cromley in a 300-acre cotton field where the green leaves of regrowth camouflaged the lint laying on the ground un-

til you walked the rows. “We had about seven inches of rain with constant wind about 50 miles per hour for about 12 hours,” Cromley said. “It really was just too much. It beat a lot of the cotton out [of the burrs]. The storm hit at the most vulnerable time it could hit for this crop because the cotton was fluffed out ready to be picked.” On Nov. 8 Cromley estimated Hurricane Matthew cost him 46 percent of his crop yield in the 300-acre field. He estimated yield loss on most of his other cotton acreage between 15-20 percent with quality damage that could cost him an additional 8-10 percent price reduction. In Evans County Del Beasley had a 50-acre field of dryland cotton where Matthew left cotton stalks leaning southwest with fiber sagging from the burrs and strewn on the ground. On Nov. 9 Beasley estimated he suffered a yield loss of 200 pounds per acre on all of his cotton acreage across the board. Beasley said he got between 11 and 12 inches of rain from Matthew according to an electronic rain gauge in one of his fields. Further south in Pierce County, Extension Coordinator James Jacobs estimates cotton growers lost 150 to 300 pounds/acre in yield on about 450 acres of cotton that was defoliated when Matthew struck. He said most of the nondefoliated cotton in the county had little to no loss but affected nondefoliated fields probably had a loss of 100 pounds/acre or less.

The crop damage to this field of defoliated cotton on Bulloch County Farm Bureau Director David Cromley’s farm is readily apparent. November-December 2016 / 11


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Sunbelt Expo shows off wha By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________

GOHS, GDA stress road safety

While speaking at a press conference regarding accidents involving farm equipment and motorists held at Sunbelt Expo Oct. 19, Decatur County Farm Bureau Director Andy Bell encouraged farmers to always wear their seatbelts when driving tractors or trucks. Bell, who was hit by a log truck 20 years ago while driving an open tractor towing a sprayer, credits wearing a seatbelt with saving his life. “The ten-wheel truck carrying lumber going 65 miles an hour would have thrown me off that open tractor if I had not been wearing a seat belt,” Bell said. “I was blessed that day. People don’t normally walk away from accidents like that.” The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) and Georgia Department of Agriculture held the press conference to remind motorists to look for farm vehicles when driving on Georgia’s rural roads and to remind farmers of safety precautions they should take. As a result of his accident, Bell says he always wears his seatbelt whether he’s riding in his truck or on a tractor. He and his brother also keep multiple sets of magnetic blinking lights in their trucks to attach to whatever piece of farm equipment they need to move from one field to another. They also attach Slow Moving Vehicle signs to the back of their equipment. The GOHS and GDA reminded motorists to never pass farm equipment on solid lines nor if any traffic is coming from the opposite direction. 12 November-December 2016

Photo by Jay Stone

While speaking at a highway safety press conference held at Expo Oct. 19, Decatur County Farm Bureau Director Andy Bell, at podium, encouraged farmers to always wear their seatbelts when driving tractors or trucks on highways. Visit http://bit.ly/16GFBExpo2 to see more photos of the GFB exhibit at Expo.

T

he 39th Annual Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition kicked off Oct. 18 in Moultrie giving 83,000 attendees a look at the latest in ag research and technology along with farm techniques present and past. As always, a vast array of farm machinery was on exhibit at Sunbelt. Patrons were able to watch demonstrations in hay tedding and raking, then walk among the windrows to examine them up close. Tillage demonstrations gave visitors a chance to walk the field and see furrows created by the newest tilling equipment. There was also a touch of the old. Georgia Museum of Agriculture blacksmith Ben Willis fired up his forge and fashioned various items from iron as visitors watched. South Carolina was the 2016 Sunbelt Expo Spotlight State. The exhibit highlighted the diversity of S.C. agriculture as the S.C. Department of Agriculture showcased products from their

state. There were also booths spotlighting S.C. Farm Bureau, Clemson’s famous blue cheese and hands-on ag simulators that gave kids a chance to virtually experience cotton, peanut and grain harvests via video. “In sports we’re all trying to beat each other,” Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock said during the ribbon cutting for the South Carolina exhibit. “The rest of the year we’re working together.” Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) carried its message to Sunbelt where it again shared the Georgia Agriculture Building with the Georgia Department of Agriculture. GFB representatives distributed souvenirs and information about the organization’s member benefits and activities that promote ag. The UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences used its building as the venue for an agriculture facts scavenger hunt, while Fort Valley State University’s College of Agriculture, Family Sciences & Technology presented items derived from its small ruminant research, including goat milk soap and ice cream made using goat milk.

Blacksmith Ben Willis of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture gave blacksmithing demonstrations. Visit http:bit.ly/16GFBExpo1 to see more photos from Expo’s opening day. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo courtesy of Justin & Kelli Long

At the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) building, visitors were treated to a roping demonstration by ABAC student Wayne Manning and music from student Tyler Hogan. ABAC also announced that it has received approval from the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents to add a bachelor’s degree program in agricultural education. “The state of Georgia has had a deficit of vocational agriculture teachers for 30 years,” said ABAC President Dr. David Bridges. “Thanks to the positive vote from the Board of Regents, we are now in a unique position to provide a solution to that problem.” Screven County Farmer John McCormick was recognized as the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition Georgia Farmer of the Year during the annual Willie B. Withers Luncheon. Arkansas diversified farmer David Wildy was named the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. The luncheon also featured speeches from Clemson University President Dr. Jim Clements and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long and his grandson, Wyatt, visit with Georgia Dept. of Agriculture Chief Communications Officer Julie McPeake, left. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

hat farmers do

At the Hoss Sustainable Living Center, Lisa Mason Zeigler, a cut-flower farmer from Virginia, talked to cousins Kate Becker and Neil Holdeman about growing zinnias and how beneficial insects like ladybugs help protect the flowers from harmful pests. Visit http://bit. ly/16GFBExpo4 to see more exhibits and demos from Expo.

Mitchell new Expo Research Farm manager

New hands are guiding the Sunbelt Exposition’s Research Farm in Moultrie. Cody Mitchell, a native of Tifton, who has worked at the farm since March 2015 as assistant farm manager, is now making the plowing, planting and picking decisions at the Expo Farm. Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock announced Mitchell’s promotion at the Sunbelt Farmer of the Year Lunch on Oct. 18. “In the short time that Cody was tasked with being our interim farm manager, he took the bull by the horns and demonstrated great leadership Mitchell and people skills that made it easy to name him farm manager of the Expo Research Farm,” Blalock told Georgia Farm Bureau Media. “These skills combined with Cody’s agronomic knowledge, coupled with the farming and people skills of farm crew team members Cali Mendoza and Eric Bryant make for an excellent team as we move into the 2017 growing season.” Mitchell, who grew up on a farm, graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 2014 with a degree in turf grass management. While in college, Mitchell

worked for UGA’s Dr. Stanley Culpepper as a student worker planting the vegetable, cotton and watermelon crops Culpepper used for his weed research. “I’ve been around farming my whole life. I really got my feet wet when I started out here, but I planted crops, did spraying and fertilizing for Dr. Culpepper’s research plots while I was in college,” Mitchell said. During the year and a half he’s worked at the Expo Farm, Mitchell has gotten a handle on the seasonal rhythm of his job. “Once Expo is over, more than ninety percent of our crops are out of the field. Then it’s time to get our soil samples, plant cover crops and get ready to have a good winter. In the winter we work on equipment and do maintenance chores like making sure harrows are in tip-top shape,” Mitchell explained. “From March to the beginning of May we plant our row crops. By the end of July we start picking corn. Then we’re getting the farm cleaned up for Expo.” Mitchell credits Mendoza and Bryant for the contributions they make to the farm. “The guys I work with out here on the farm are outstanding and very dedicated to what they do,” Mitchell said. “They are a vital part of the farm’s success.” Mitchell, who attends the First Baptist Church of Chula, is the son of Jeff Mitchell and April Markham. November-December 2016 / 13


Ga. Revenue Dept. provides guidance on sales tax collection By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ The Georgia Department of Revenue underpaid, up to 36 months. This should (DOR) has issued a notice to growers pro- also be done by Dec. 30. Growers should viding guidelines to follow to comply with send an email to the DOR (farmer.registrasales tax rules. tion@dor.ga.gov) notifying the department Growers are required to collect sales tax they are a local grower. when they sell directly to the public through Growers selling directly to the public roadside stands or farmers markets. Most could be selected for audits if they do not direct-to-public sales are exempt from the file and pay the correct taxes by Dec. 30; 4 percent state tax, but are not exempt from audits may cover periods of time older local option taxes. than 36 months. By Dec. 30, growers selling to the public The DOR has a series of online training are required to register with the DOR and videos for the most common Georgia Tax get a Sales and Use Tax account number. Center actions: This can be done online at https://gtc.dor. • Visit http://dor.georgia.gov/videos/ ga.gov, where users can set up a username new-business-registration to register for and password, register for the account Sales and Use Tax account number; number and file up to 36 months of returns. • Visit http://dor.georgia.gov/videos/ Businesses unable to pay the full amount signup-online-access-business to create a may apply for a payment plan. GTC logon; Growers who are already registered but • Visit http://dor.georgia.gov/videos/ have not been paying the correct tax should how-file-simple-sales-tax-return to file a go to the website and file for amended re- simple sales and use tax return; turns for periods during which sales tax was • Visit https://dor.georgia.gov/videos/

how-file-amended-st3-return to amend a sales and use tax return; • Visit http://dor.georgia.gov/videos/ how-make-quick-payment-paymentnumber-business-taxes to make a payment; • Visit http://dor.georgia.gov/videos/ how-request-payment-plan-quote to request an installment payment plan quote. Those with questions should call the Department of Revenue at 912-389-4079 or send an email to farmer.registration@ dor.ga.gov. Georgia Farm Bureau has published a resource guide to assist farmers who sell directly to consumers. The GFB resource guide can be accessed at http://www.gfb. org/TaxGuide/.

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has published a guidance document to promote proper use of the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE). The GATE program was established under Georgia House Bill 386 in 2012 and went into effect in 2013, extending and expanding previous farm input tax exemptions. GATE provides sales tax exemptions to farmers for purchases of items needed for production agriculture, like seed, livestock feed, fertilizer and other inputs. GFB strongly supported passage of HB 386 and now is urging GATE cardholders to use it properly. “It’s extremely important that our farmers who use the GATE program do so in a lawful way,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “It’s a valuable exemption when used properly, but if we abuse it we very well could lose it. We ask all our farmers around the state to please respect the program by following the rules.” The Georgia Department of Agriculture

chased using the GATE card include machinery and equipment used for ag production, plants grown from cuttings, irrigation equipment, livestock sold for breeding purposes, and energy, fuel and freight in certain situations. The guide provides an extensive list of items that can be purchased for farm use under the GATE program. Equally important, shoppers need to be aware of items that are not eligible for the exemption. These include, but are not limited to: clothes, boots and other apparel; food and drinks for human consumption; concrete pads, barns, greenhouses, metal buildings and other buildings that are considered real property. To view the GFB guidance document visit http://bit.ly/GFBGateguide. To ask questions about the GATE card contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 1-855-327-6829. For questions about item exemptions, contact the Georgia Department of Revenue at 1-877423-6711.

Guidance document for GATE compliance available

14 / November-December 2016

and Department of Revenue have placed emphasis on compliance with GATE rules. Both agencies have begun conducting audits of retailers and purchasers to ensure cardholders are using the program for its intended purpose. Misuse of the GATE card may result in taxes, penalties and interest. To qualify for the GATE card, a farmer

must produce a minimum of $2,500 worth of agricultural products per year, provide a minimum of $2,500 worth of agricultural services, or produce a long-term agricultural product with the potential to produce $2,500. The cards must be renewed annually. The fee to register for a GATE card is $20 for an online application. Some of the items that can be pur-

Georgia Farm Bureau News


Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Brandon Ashley

PECAN COUNCIL from page 8 represent large shellers who handle more than 12.5 million pounds a year. Brandon Harrell of Camilla was named Worn’s alternate. Lawrence Willson of Albany was selected to represent shellers who handle less than 12.5 million pounds a year. Kenny Tarver of Glennville was named Willson’s alternate. All of the APC members will serve through Sept. 30, 2020. Pecan growers selected by their peers in the APC’s Central Region (Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas) are Mike Adams of Texas, Michael Spradling of Oklahoma and Billy Scott Landgraf of Oklahoma. Alternates are Jennifer Ivey of Texas, Lalo Medina of Texas and Mike Montgomery of Louisiana. Growers from the APC’s Western Region (Arizona, California and New Mexico) selected to represent their peers are Louie Salopek, G.L. Straley and Phillip Arnold, all of New Mexico. Alternates are Frank Salopek of New Mexico, Leslie Daviet II of Arizona and John Heuler of California. Pecan shellers selected for the Central Region are Daniel Zedan of Texas and William York Jr. of Arizona with alternates Helen Watts of Texas and Rickey Jones of Texas. Shellers representing the Western Region will be Bruce Caris of Arizona and Sonja Roeder of New Mexico with alternates Deborah Walden-Ralls of Arizona and Blake Houston of California. The APC is tasked with developing marketing and promotion programs and handling regulations for the U.S. pecan crop. The APC had its first meeting Nov. 16-17. The APC will be funded by an assessment on pecan growers who produced an average of 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans the last four years or have 30 pecan acres or more. The APC Board will recommend the assessment amount, and the USDA will confirm it after the proposal is published in the Federal Register. According to the American Pecan Board (APB), the assessment on the 2016 crop is expected to be retroactive to Oct. 1, 2016. The APB indicated on its website earlier this fall that the likely assessment rate for the 2016 crop will be two cents per inshell pound on native, seedling and substandard pecans and three cents per inshell pound on improved pecans.

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For more information, or to apply, contact your local Farm Bureau agent today. Existing Farm Bureau Bank loans are excluded from this offer. *Rate disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and based on exceptional credit. Some restrictions may apply based upon the make and model of equipment offered as collateral. Up to 90% financing for new and 85% for used equipment. Loans subject to credit approval. Rates are accurate as of 01/01/2016. Rates and financing are limited to equipment model years 2006 or newer and are subject to change without notice. A down payment may be required for new or used equipment purchases. Financial information required for loan requests over $75,000. Commercial vehicles and trailers may be subject to an additional documentation fee. Farm Bureau Bank does not provide equity or cashout financing on commercial vehicles and equipment. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank FSB. Farm Bureau, FB, and the FB National Logo are registered service marks owned by, and used by Farm Bureau Bank FSB under license from, the American Farm Bureau Federation.

November-December 2016/ 15


Photo courtesy of Historic Preservation Division, Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources

Recipients of the 2016 Georgia Centennial Farm Awards presented Oct. 7.

Ga. farms honored for 100 years of farming

T

he Georgia Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Natural Resources honored 22 farm families during the 24th Annual Georgia Centennial Farm Awards Ceremony held Oct. 7 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry. Farm owners and their historic properties were recognized in an event hosted by the Georgia Historic Preservation Division, Georgia Farm Bureau Federation, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Forestry Commission and the Georgia National Fair and Agricenter, with support from Georgia EMC and the GFB

Newberry elected director of Holstein Assoc.

Peach County Farm Bureau member Benjamin Newberry, of Lizella, is serving on the 2016-17 Holstein Association USA, Inc. Board of Directors. Delegates attending the 131st Annual Meeting of the Holstein Association USA elected Newberry July 1 to represent the board’s Region 4, which includes Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida. Newberry is serving the first year of a three-year term. Newberry Holstein Association USA is the world’s largest dairy breed organization, composed of members who have an interest in breeding, raising and milking Holstein cattle. Headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, the association is a nonprofit membership organization. Newberry farms in partnership with his father, Donald, and youngest brother, Luke. The family’s farm milks a herd of 100 registered Holsteins in a grazing operation. Benjamin shares in milking responsibilities, and is in charge of breeding decisions and cattle registrations. He is a past president, vice president and board member of the Georgia Holstein Association. Benjamin is a licensed and ordained minister at the Calvary Baptist Church. Benjamin attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Fort Valley State University. He and his wife, Ashley, have three children.  16 / November-December 2016

Women’s Leadership Committee. Farms may be recognized with one of three awards. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are listed in the national Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Farm Award doesn’t require continuous family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Family Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that aren’t listed in the National Register of Historic Places. More than 500 farms have been recognized through the Centennial Farm Program since it began in 1993. Farm owners interested in applying for the award in 2017 should visit www.georgiacentennialfarms.org to download an application or contact Allison Asbrock at 770-389-7868 or allison.asbrock@dnr.ga.gov. Applications must be postmarked by May 1.

2016 Georgia Centennial Family Farm Award recipients

Avera-Roberts Family Farm..........................................Berrien County Hogan Orchards...............................................................Berrien County Rowe McClellan “Romac” Farm.................................. Berrien County Sikes Farm..........................................................................Berrien County J&W Farms......................................................................Bleckley County William E. Harrell Farm...............................................Colquitt County Honey Oak Farms ......................................................Columbia County Davis Family Farm.............................................................. Crisp County Foster Farms..........................................................................Early County B. Ryal Morgan Homeplace.....................................Effingham County Cowart Farms.................................................................Emanuel County Johnson Hill Farm.............................................................. Evans County Johns Cattle Farm............................................................Gordon County Maxwell Heritage Farms LLC.........................................Grady County Taylor Farm.........................................................................Grady County W.M. Prince.........................................................................Grady County Dr. Samuel Locklin & Alice Stanley Hinton Farm.... Gwinnett County McCorkle Farm............................................................... Marion County Broach Family Farm, LLC............................................ Morgan County Beckham Family Farm......................................................... Pike County Swann Family Farm....................................................Randolph County Wauhu Springs............................................................Randolph County

Georgia Farm Bureau News


Georgia FFA wins 20 national awards The Georgia FFA Association’s trip to the 89th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis was highlighted by 20 national winners and the retirement of Athens Christian FFA member Abbey Gretsch as National FFA vice president. Among Georgia’s national winners were three team Career Development (CDE) winners, a national 1st place CDE individual, seven national proficiency award winners, seven national Agriscience Fair winners, the nation’s Outstanding Middle School chapter and the national winner in the Hall of States. The Madison County Middle School (MCMS) FFA chapter was named the nation’s Outstanding Middle School chapter as part of the National Chapter Award program. MCMS was one of five national finalists for the award, including Jefferson Middle, Pelham Middle and West Jackson Middle all of Georgia. The Winder-Barrow FFA chapter represented Georgia in the national Hall of States display at the national convention

and bested 25 other entries to be named the national winner. Nineteen Georgia FFA chapters received a national 3-star ranking, the highest ranking offered in the National Chapter Award program. A total of 102 Georgia FFA members received the prestigious American FFA Degree, the highest degree offered to an active FFA member. These students spent years developing their Supervised Agricultural Experience programs to reach this honor. The Georgia FFA Association was recognized as a membership growth state.

This marks the 18th consecutive year that the Georgia FFA has increased its membership. Georgia was represented in Indianapolis by 25 official voting delegates and more than 1,500 local FFA members, advisors and alumni from across the state. The Georgia Association has more than 41,000 members, making it the thirdlargest association in the nation. To view a complete list of Georgia’s national FFA winners visit http://bit. ly/16GAFFAwinners.

Farmer’s Almanac Farmer of the Year Contest Jan. 31, 2017 • Deadline for entries

Farmers’ Almanac, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, is searching for three farmers or ranchers to be recognized as “Farmers’ Almanac Farmer of the Year.” The contest seeks to recognize the dedication, hard work and contributions farmers make to society. Nominations must highlight, in 300 words or less, how the farmer supports agriculture tradition, how he or she has embraced technology, the farmer’s involvement in the community and ways in which the famer has demonstrated leadership. For more details or to make a nomination visit www.FarmersAlmanac.com/FarmeroftheYear.

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November-December 2016/ 17


Are U.S. & Cuban trade relations EDITOR’S NOTE: GFB News Editor Jennifer Whittaker traveled to Cuba Sept. 19-23 with the American Agricultural Editors Association. The trip gave the U.S. ag journalists a first-hand look at Cuban culture and agriculture. The group also met with Cuban trade and agricultural officials to learn about trade opportunities that might come from normalized relations with Cuba. The trip proved timely as President Obama issued a presidential policy directive Oct. 14 that impacts the status of U.S./Cuban trade relations. The second installment of this article will appear in the Feb./ March GFB News. Note that all statements quoted were made through translators. By Jennifer Whittaker ______________________________________

I

was only three weeks back from Cuba, still processing everything I saw and heard there, when President Barack Obama issued a presidential policy directive Oct. 14 that could bring the U.S. and Cuba closer to normalizing trade and diplomatic relations. The directive brings our countries closer than we have been since 1960 when the U.S. first imposed an embargo against Cuba’s then-new communist government. The date of Obama’s announcement has historical significance; Oct. 14 marked the 54th anniversary of the start of the 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis that led to the U.S. implementing a second, stricter naval embargo against Cuba after it was discovered to have Soviet nuclear missiles. All that the mainstream media reported about Obama’s directive was that U.S. tourists may now bring more than $100 of Cuban rum and cigars back to the U.S., but it also includes

significant implications for U.S. agriculture.

What does Obama’s Cuban Policy Directive mean for ag?

So what does Obama’s directive and the regulatory changes issued by the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Commerce mean for agriculture? American-owned companies may now sell ag inputs like farm equipment, seeds or crop protectants to Cuba and extend the Cuban government credit to pay for it. The regulatory changes did not alter existing payment terms for commodity exports, such as poultry, corn and soybeans, to Cuba. As required by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) of 2000, Cuba must still buy commodity and food items by paying with cash in advance or using third-country financing. The Obama Administration said Congressional action is necessary to change the TSRA requirements. Cuba’s need for credit was the main mes-

sage Cuban trade and agriculture representatives stressed repeatedly during a series of meetings with representatives of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) on Sept. 20-22. “The most important priority would be to access the agricultural market and to buy from that market with credit under normal conditions. The U.S. market is, of course, the natural market of choice for us,” Enrique Valdes Cardenas, deputy director of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade & Investment’s North America Trade Policy Division, said while speaking to the AAEA group. “In addition to being able to buy, we would also like to be able to export our own products such as cigars, rum and pharmaceutical products.” The regulatory changes that went into effect Oct. 17 also lift a previous restriction that prohibited foreign ships from entering a U.S. port to load or unload freight for 180 days after calling on a Cuban port. Obama’s directive doesn’t allow for commercial importation of cigars and rum, but the regulatory changes lift the $100 combined total U.S. citizens were previously limited to bringing back as souvenirs. Now the same duties used for other countries will apply to Cuban products brought home for personal use. The regulatory changes also make it possible for Cuba to sell pharmaceutical products, such as diabetes medicine, in the U.S. pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Does Cuba have a need for U.S. ag inputs?

An employee at the Organoponico Vivero (Nursery) of Alamar prepares a small field at the organic cooperative. The urban organic farm on the outskirts of Havana uses oxen to plow its gardens, but it has irrigation systems and electricity. 18 / November-December 2016

The Cuban representatives were clear: While Cuba wants raw ag products produced in the U.S., they also want the U.S. to teach their farmers how to become better farmers so Cuba is less dependent on food imports. “Our main priority is production, so we can substitute imports in order to increase production,” Cardenas said. When asked what Cuban farmers need to increase production, Cardenas answered, “We need absolutely everything. Chemicals, equipment, seeds.” One of the things the AAEA delegation learned about Cuban agriculture is that most farming is done organically because the embargo, or blockade as Cubans refer to it, prevents Georgia Farm Bureau News


ready to move forward?

What’s the current status of U.S. ag exports to Cuba?

A meeting with officials from Cuba’s Grupo Empresarial del Comercio Exterior (GECOMEX) gave AAEA members a better understanding of how the country imports and exports ag commodities. GECOMEX is comprised of 18 companies that handle more than 36 percent of goods imported to Cuba and 16 percent of its exports. GECOMEX General Manager Aurelio Mollineda Martinez said some of the companies under the GECOMEX umbrella are government investment and some are independent. Martinez said GECOMEX imports powdered milk, frozen chicken meat, vegetable oil and the wheat used to make bread along with raw materials for animal feed, such as soybeans and corn. Martinez said GECOMEX exports Cuban sugar, honey and vegetable coal. GECOMEX officials said the U.S.’s proximity to Cuba allows American companies to beat the price other countries charge for ag commodities due to lower shipping costs. Cuba wants U.S. ag products because of the high quality, lower shipping costs and faster shipping times. GECOMEX company Alimport imports raw ag commoditites from the U.S., including chicken meat, soybeans and wheat. Alimport Chairman & CEO Alejandro Mustelier Zamora said about 80 percent of the chicken meat Cuba imports comes from the U.S. The rest comes from Brazil or Canada. Most of the Georgia Farm Bureau News

chicken Cuba imports is leg quarters due to the lower cost of dark meat compared to breasts. According to figures from the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), Cuba imported 123,013 metric tons of broiler meat from the U.S. in 2015 worth $127.8 million in U.S. dollars. Of this, USAPEEC estimates 18,392 metric tons with a value of $19.1 million came from Georgia. USAPEEC figures show that since 2001, the largest amount of broiler exports to Cuba came in 2012 when the U.S. exported 150,922 metric tons of broiler meat valued at $157.4 million with 22,331 metric tons valued at $23.3 U.S. million coming from Georgia. Zamora acknowledged recent declines in Cuban purchases of U.S. poultry. “The main reason is because we have no access to financing sources, and so we’ve turned to other countries,” Zamora said. “Last year the purchase of chicken from the U.S. decreased significantly because of bird flu.” Ministry of Agriculture Ambassador Juan Jose Leon Vega said that Cuba is importing about 700,000 tons of soybeans and corn to feed its livestock. Vega and Dr. Miguel Perez Ruano, who teaches veterinary medicine at the Havana Agriculture University, both said Cuba produces table eggs using an intensive production system raising laying hens in enclosed

Photo by Jim Patrico

the country from having a steady supply of herbicides and pesticides to fight weeds and insects. “Either we produce organic food or we die,” said Miguel Angel Salcines Lopez, president of an urban organic cooperative in Havana. “The blockade has made Cuban farmers more independent and inventive in ways.” Lopez, who recently visited California to see how American organic farmers are growing crops, said the trip made him realize “Cuban farmers are almost as prepared as Americans (for growing organic food).” Cuba has been receiving some ag inputs such as pesticides from China and tractors from Brazil. AAEA reporters got the impression these resources are used at the stateowned farms and at larger cooperatives the group didn’t have a chance to visit.

housing, mostly on state-owned farms. Ruano said pork is also raised on state-owned farms in intensive housing. Vega said grain used to feed the country’s 8 million laying hens is imported from the U.S. and Brazil. The U.S. exported $59.37 million worth of soybean meal and $44.08 million worth of soybeans to Cuba from 2012-2014, according to a report prepared by Bryce Cooke with the USDA Economic Research Service. The same report shows Cuba bought $72.87 million of U.S. corn from 2012-2014. The Oct. 5 GFB News Alert included Whittaker’s first installment about her trip. That article detailed her travels to Havana, cultural observations, explanation of Cuba’s economy, history behind the tense relationship between our countries and a look at young Cubans who are the face of change in their country. Visit http:// bit.ly/WhittakerCuba1starticle to read “Getting ready to trade with Cuba.” GFB News Alert is a free bimonthly electronic newsletter that covers Georgia Farm Bureau events, Georgia ag events and government ag policy. Visit http://bit.ly/Newsalertsignup to subscribe. A future article in the GFB News will examine Cuban agriculture and its farm system. To view more photos of Havana & Cuban agriculture visit: http://bit.ly/CubaGFBNews1 http://bit.ly/CubaGFBNews2 http://bit.ly/CubaGFBNews3 http://bit.ly/CubaGFBNews4 http://bit.ly/CubaGFBNews5

GFB News Editor Jennifer Whittaker, second row, third from right, was among the group of ag journalists belonging to the American Agricultural Editors’ Association who traveled to Cuba Sept. 19-23 to learn about Cuban agriculture and trade opportunities. The AAEA group met with officials from Grupo Empresarial del Comercio Exterior , which is comprised of 18 companies that handle more than 36 percent of goods imported to Cuba and 16 percent of its exports. Pictured from left, front row are Alejandro Mustelier Zamora, chairman & CEO of Alimport, a GECOMEX company that imports raw ag commodities and Gecomex General Manager Aurelio Mollineda Martinez. November-December 2016 / 19


GFB Foundation sponsors grand champion prizes for Ga. Junior National Market Goat Show

Article & photos by Jay Stone ______________________________________________________________ Worth County FFA member Chase Roberts, Banks County 4-Her Paycee Jackson and Elbert County 4-Her Gantt Ruff claimed the top prizes in the 2016 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat Show, held in Perry at the Georgia National Fair. The show featured more than 900 goats and 300 lambs The Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture sponsored the grand prizes for the Market Goat and Market Lamb competitions. “We’re really proud to be able to provide this support for our state’s youth through 4-H and FFA programs,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long said. “An important part of our purpose is to ensure that agriculture continues to be a vital and thriving industry in the future. We’re happy to Chase Roberts with Grand Champion Market Wether support farm families and families who are interested in agriculture.” Roberts was named grand champion for the sixth straight year in the Market Wether competition. Roberts, the son of Michael and Anita Roberts of Sylvester, is a senior at Worth County High School, where he has received guidance from WCHS agriculture teacher Blaize Bridges. He has been showing goats since 2005. “I don’t know that you could say we figured it out, but the competition has really put us on our toes and made us do better,” Roberts said. “It’s good to see it pay off.” Chase plans to farm with his father after graduation. “It just takes dedication,” he said. “A lot of people spend lots of money, but it’s not all about how much money you spend. It’s about coming out here and having fun, meeting new people.” Banks County 4-Her Paycee Jackson won the Grand Champion Market Doe Award, including the $1,500 grand pize. Jackson, the daughter of Laura and Kipp Jackson of Commerce, is a fifth-grader at Banks County Elementary School. She has been showing goats for seven years. Paycee Jackson with Grand Champion Market Doe “My dad’s an ag teacher. My sister shows and I really like the animals,” Jackson said. “You get to meet new people and it teaches us responsibility.” A member of the Banks County 4-H, she’s received guidance from Banks County Extension Coordinator Bob Waldorf. Paycee’s older sister Payton, a past grand champion, won reserve champion with one doe and fourth place with another. Ruff won the Grand Champion Market Lamb Award, which included the $1,000 prize. Ruff, the son of Greg and Shannon Ruff of Dewy Rose, is a fifth-grade student at Georgia Cyber Academy and receives guidance from Elbert County Extension Agent Lauren Macias-Dye. His older sisters Ansley and Anna showed lambs in previous years and both won state awards. “My sisters did it and when they quit I wanted to do it,” Gantt said. “I saw what they won and I wanted to do it.” Greg feeds the show animals in the mornings and Gantt feeds them in middle of the day, then at night the family makes it a group activity. “I don’t think this rattled him at all,” Greg said. “He handled it pretty well.” Gannt Ruff with Grand Champion Market Lamb 20 / November-December 2016

Georgia Farm Bureau News


By Jay Stone ___________________________________ The 2016 Georgia National Fair drew 536,840 attendees during its 11-day run Oct. 6-16, surpassing the 2015 attendance by seven percent. The 2015 attendance of 501,528 was the previous overall attendance record. On Oct. 15, when Lynyrd Skynryd was the featured musical act, the fair drew 93,000, the highest single-day attendance in the fair’s 27-year history. The Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority (GAEA), organizers, and staff attribute the success to a combination of excellent weather, planning, leadership, and the welcoming atmosphere exemplified in all aspects of the Georgia National Fair. “We were blessed with beautiful weather here in Perry, despite the weather that hit our coastal counties and neighbors, we were blessed not to be affected by the storm during this fair season,” said Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Executive Director Stephen Shimp. “Along with wonderful weather we also shared our event with many school system fall break schedules, which allowed students, teachers, and families time off to come and en-

Photo by Jay Stone

Georgia National Fair experiences record attendance Members of the Georgia House and Georgia Senate compete in the final drive of the Legislative Livestock Showdown held Oct. 8 at the Georgia National Fair. Georgia 4-H and FFA students who show dairy heifers gave the legislators a crash course in showing dairy cattle before the legislators competed. Rep. Scott Turner (R-Holly Springs), far left walking heifer towards line, won top individual honors. The Georgia House bested the Senate in the team competition. Visit http://bit.ly/16GNFGFBNews to see more photos.

joy the festivities together.” Livestock competitions, the Georgia Living Program, the Georgia Grown Building, school groups, rallies, and the Midway rides and food vendors all offered a unique perspective to those who visited the fairgrounds. Georgia Farm Bureau staff hosted an exhibit in the Georgia Grown Building throughout the fair promoting membership and GFB programs. On Oct. 9, the GAEA dedicated the Foster Rhodes Beef & Dairy Arena in honor of Rhodes, a long-time authority member and current vice-chairman. Rhodes has been an integral part of the GNFA decision-making since 1985. He has served on the board of directors since July 1, 1985, and has helped create the mission of the fairgrounds. “He has given over three decades of his

life to this project and his dedication and leadership have helped create one of the finest facilities in this country,” said Chairman James Sutherland. “The Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter is a wonderful asset to the state, community, and agricultural industry, and I am humbled to be able to serve in a capacity to help promote such an outstanding facility and staff,” Rhodes said. The 28th Annual Georgia National Fair is scheduled for Oct. 5-15, 2017, in Perry. For more information visit www.georgianationalfair.com.

Quality, Choice, and Savings

2017 Ag Forecast meetings set

Jan. 18 • Macon Ga. Farm Bureau

Jan. 23 • Tifton UGA Conference Center

Jan. 26 • Waynesboro Burke Co. Office Park

Jan. 19 • Marietta Cobb Co. Civic Center

Jan. 24 • Bainbridge Decatur Co. Ag Center

Jan. 20 • Carrollton Carroll Co. Ag Center

Jan. 25 • Lyons Toombs Co. Ag Center

Jan. 27 • Athens Ga. Center for Continuing Education

The keynote topic for the Jan. 18, 23, 24, 25 and 26 meetings will be a farm bill update given by Bob Redding. The keynote topic for the Jan. 19, 20 and 27 meetings will be the Veterinary Feed Directive, given by Dr. Brent Credille of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. Check-in for all of the meetings, except Tifton, begins at 9 a.m. with seminars starting at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. Check-in for the Tifton event starts at 7 a.m., breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. followed by the seminar from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Cost is $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://www.georgiaagforecast.com, call 706583-0347 or email carlam@uga.edu. Follow the meetings on Facebook.com/UGACAES or on Twitter @UGA_CollegeofAg and join the conversation with #AgForecast. This annual series is supported by an endowment from Georgia Farm Bureau with support from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. November-December 2016/ 21


Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, seated, signs a proclamation declaring Nov. 18-24 Farm-City Week in Georgia. Joining Long for the signing were, GFB 1st & Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr., right, and GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims. County Farm Bureaus have been celebrating Farm-City Week (FCW) throughout October and November with activities designed to increase awareness of agriculture in their communities as their schedules allowed. In keeping with the Thanksgiving season during which FCW is celebrated each year, GFB encouraged county Farm Bureaus to arrange for farmers to visit local PreK thru 5th-grade classes to tell the students what they grow on their farms and how they farm. If farmers weren’t available to visit schools, county volunteers were encouraged to read a book to the class that accurately portrays agriculture to give the students an idea of what farmers do each day. The students were given a poster template with space on top to draw a picture illustrating what they learned about farming and space below the picture to write a thank you note to a farmer. All participating counties will receive a $25 credit for Ag in the Classroom materials available in the Field Services Department. After counties have submitted their posters and documenting material on Dec. 9, a drawing will be held from participating counties to award three counties an additional $75 credit for AITC materials.

GFB to phase out FRM program Georgia Farm Bureau is phasing out its Farm Record Management (FRM) program, the organization announced in a memo sent to county Farm Bureau presidents Oct. 5. The GFB Board of Directors unanimously decided to discontinue the FRM program in its Sept. 22 meeting. GFB began offering its record keeping service in 1964, providing accounting and tax preparation services to assist farmers with their agriculture-specific business needs. “Our Farm Record Management program has kept up with the times, but farmers now have access to accounting services online and locally,” GFB President Gerald Long wrote in the memo. “Participation in our program has declined over the last decade, making it a wise business decision to

22 / November-December 2016

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Thank a Farmer theme of Farm-City Week

stop offering the service.” Long emphasized that the decision was not made in haste and that GFB leaders have discussed the best course of action to take concerning its FRM program for years before making this decision. GFB will continue to do payroll, taxes and other bookkeeping services for county Farm Bureau. This change only pertains to the preparation of individual tax returns, farm business returns, bookkeeping, and related tax advice. Letters were sent to all FRM customers informing them of the change. “We appreciate the past support of our members who have trusted us to keep their books and ask for their understanding as we make this business decision,” Long said.

POLICY from page 6 Bureaus in September. “This process started in August when our commodity committees met and reviewed our policy,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “Policy Development is how we determine the organization’s legislative direction. It is an example of pure democracy in action, and no other organization allows more open discourse than we do in Farm Bureau.” The GFB PD Committee consists of 30 county presidents (three from each district), the chairmen of each of the 20 GFB Commodity Advisory Committees and the GFB Board of Directors. Also included in this year’s PD Committee were the eight Georgia members of the American Farm Bureau Issue Advisory Committees. The resolutions submitted by county Farm Bureaus cover a wide range of topics including issues related to livestock, environmental regulations, tax compliance, wildlife and national farm programs. There were more policy recommendations about taxes than any other topic. Additional concerns were raised regarding the threat of screwworm flies, which have been detected in deer in the Florida Keys and pose a serious threat to livestock if they spread, and maintaining access to aerial application of chemicals. On the federal level, resolutions were received regarding the 2018 farm bill. Lower commodity prices and a struggling farm economy have sparked much discussion about the design of upcoming legislation. The committee urged Congress to revisit various farm bill commodity programs and provide growers with a stronger safety net. On the state level, preservation of the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program is a major concern. GATE gives qualified producers a sales tax exemption on commonly purchased inputs such as seed, feed, fertilizer and chemicals. Numerous submitted resolutions supported the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) program, which reduces property taxes for farmers who pledge not to develop their qualifying lands. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Bayer to acquire Monsanto in merger agreement On Sept. 14 Bayer and Monsanto announced a merger agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto for $128 per share in an all-cash transaction. Monsanto’s Board of Directors, Bayer’s Board of Management and Bayer’s Supervisory Board have unanimously approved the agreement, according to a joint press release from the two companies. The merger will pair Monsanto’s seed and traits technology with Bayer’s crop protection products in one global company. While the companies assert that growers will benefit from a broad set of agricultural solutions, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) cautioned that such mergers can create a significant impact on tools available to farmers and ranchers. AFBF Chief Economist Bob Young testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 20, noting that the market for seeds, chemicals and crop nutrients is poised to shrink from six major companies to three. Dow AgroSciences and DuPont announced a planned merger earlier this year. “This deal between Monsanto and Bayer comes close on the heels of the proposed

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Dow DuPont merger,” Young said. “Farm Bureau believes the Department of Justice should undertake a close review of the overall business climate that has encouraged these combinations, rather than evaluating them in isolation. Consumers must continue to have fair access to the best technologies.” Meanwhile, another merger involving Monsanto has drawn attention from the Justice Department (DOJ), which on Aug.

31 filed a civil antitrust suit to block the sale of Monsanto subsidiary Precision Planting LLC to Deere & Company. The lawsuit alleges that the transaction would combine the only two significant U.S. providers of high-speed precision planting systems. The acquisition would deny farmers throughout the country the benefits of competition that has spurred innovation, improved quality and lowered prices. 

Culpepper appointed to EPA Science Advisory Board University of Georgia Extension Weed Scientist Dr. Stanley Culpepper has been appointed to a three-year term on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) beginning in October. Culpepper Culpepper, an associate professor in UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences’ Crop

and Soil Science Department, has more than 20 years of service to agriculture, with expertise in advancement of farming practices and agricultural sustainability. The SAB gives the EPA a mechanism to receive peer review and other advice designed to enhance the agency’s production and use of science. It reviews the quality and relevance of scientific and technical information used by the EPA or proposed as the basis for agency regulations.

November-December 2016/ 23


$60,500 IN SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

Feb. 3 deadline to apply for GFB Foundation scholarships

The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Foundation for Agriculture is offering up to $60,500 in scholarships to Georgia students pursuing a degree related to agriculture, veterinary medicine, family and consumer sciences or a related field. In 2017 the GFB Foundation will award scholarships in the following four categories. Scholarship for Agriculture – This scholarship is for high school students who plan to enter a college that is part of the University System of Georgia, Berry College or Emmanuel College during the 2017-2018 academic year to pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related ag field. The GFB Foundation will award five scholarships of $3,000 each and seven scholarships of $1,500 each. Technical College Scholarship for Agriculture – This scholarship is for high school students who plan to enroll in a Georgia accredited technical college who will be majoring in an area of agriculture or

3rd Annual

Gala

Post Monroe Featuring:

an agriculturally related field of study. The GFB Foundation will award 10 scholarships of $1,000 each. Rising College Junior/Senior Scholarship for Agriculture – This scholarship is for college students who have at least two semesters of college work remaining to receive an undergraduate degree from a unit of the University System of Georgia, Berry College or Emmanuel College and are majoring in agriculture and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agriculture field. The GFB Foundation will award 10 scholarships of $2,000 each. UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship - This scholarship is for students currently enrolled in the UGA Veterinary Medicine program specializing in large animal/food animal practice. The GFB Foundation will award two scholarships of $2,500 each. “Agriculture needs young people to become equipped with the skills that a technical college or college education provides to

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

Post Monroe

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

KATIE GAZDA Executive Director

Phone: 478-474-0679 ext. 5230 E-mail: kngazda@gfb.org www.gfbfoundation.org

24 / November-December 2016

meet agriculture’s growing technology and research needs,” said GFB President Gerald Long, who chairs the GFB Foundation for Agriculture’s Board of Directors. “Georgia Farm Bureau wants to financially help students pursuing a career in agriculture who will be the future workforce and leaders of Georgia agriculture.” The deadline to apply for all of the scholarships is Feb. 3, 2017. Applications and scholarship eligibility requirements may be obtained from county Farm Bureau offices across Georgia or downloaded at the GFB Foundation for Agriculture website at www. gfbfoundation.org. The scholarship recipients will be announced in spring 2017, and the scholarships will be distributed in the summer of 2017. The GFB Foundation for Agriculture is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation. GFB is using the foundation to finance activities and educational materials designed to increase the agricultural literacy of Georgia residents.  Donations are tax-exempt and may be made on the foundation website at www. gfbfoundation.org or with checks made payable to the GFB Foundation for Agriculture mailed to the GFB Foundation care of Katie Gazda at P.O. Box 7068 Macon, Ga. 31209.

GFB Foundation receives USDA grant

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service recently awarded the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture a Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG). According to GFB Foundation Executive Director Katie Gazda, the foundation will use the grant to promote specialty crops through GFB’s Ag in the Classroom program, including a Specialty Crops Ag Mag and a three-day tour for teachers, giving them a firsthand look at specialty crop farms in Georgia. The teachers who attend the tour will be tasked with developing lesson plans for specific specialty crops following the tour. These lesson plans, along with the Ag Mag, will be field-tested as soon as they are complete and then shared at teacher workshops beginning in 2018. Georgia Farm Bureau News


GFB works with Ga. FFA to build membership By Mike Copeland ___________________________________

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has a long history of supporting Georgia FFA. Our county Farm Bureau chapters have always understood the need to partner with FFA as a way to develop and cultivate our future agricultural leaders. FFA has many distinguished alumni who have made their mark in service to agriculture and our state. Some of these include Gov. Nathan Deal, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and GFB President Gerald Long. Recognizing the importance of FFA, GFB developed a two-phase project to enhance the relationship between our organizations. In Phase 1 in August, county Farm Bureaus statewide joined with local ag teachers to offer high school FFA juniors and seniors a one-year complimentary Farm

Bureau membership. More than 5,000 students took advantage of this unique opportunity. As an incentive to participate, each county FFA chapter received $5 per membership. By inviting these students to become Farm Bureau members, GFB now has the privilege of sharing our organizational mission with these future agriculture leaders. While many of our county leaders already enjoyed a strong working relationship with their local FFA chapter, this activity has helped to strengthen our partnership. GFB is grateful to all the ag teachers who stepped up to facilitate this “non-traditional” activity. Phase 2 will be a yearlong project that began in September and will run through Aug. 31, 2017. During this period, FFA chapters may enlist their students to sell a Farm Bureau membership. This will serve as a fundraising opportunity for each chap-

McMillian new GFB 4th Dist. Field Rep. Josh McMillian began serving as the field representative for Georgia Farm Bureau’s 4th District Sept. 26. Josh and his wife, Carmen, live in Barrow County. “We are excited to have Josh join our Field Services Department and the 4th District leadership team,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “We’re confident he will be a valuable asset to our farmers.” McMillian succeeds Rick Hubert, who retired in August. McMillian was employed with Dow AgroSciences for the past five years. While working with Dow, he managed a four-state terri-

tory as a range and pasture specialist and sales representative. McMillian also worked as a research technician with UGA Forage Specialist Dr. DenMcMillian nis Hancock. He graduated with honors from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 2007 and earned a master’s degree in plant protection and pest management in 2009.

Dec. 15 deadline for county Farm Bureaus to apply for GFB Foundation grants

The Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is accepting applications from county Farm Bureaus until Dec. 15 for its winter/spring grant cycle to fund projects coordinated by county Farm Bureaus that increase agricultural literacy. A total of 20 grants in amounts up to $350 will be awarded. Counties that received grants in the summer/fall cycle may not apply. Recipients will be notified by Jan. 15, 2017, and funding will be issued by January 31. Grant applications and guidelines may be downloaded at the GFB Foundation for Agriculture website at www.gfbfoundation.org. Recipient counties 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.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

ter. FFA chapters will get $5 per member they sign up. As an additional incentive, for every 50 members written, the FFA chapter will be entered into a drawing for a pickup truck retired from the GFB fleet program. One truck drawing will be held for each of Georgia's three FFA regions. We recently came across a letter written in 1946 by then Columbia County Farm Bureau President Joe Means announcing Columbia County’s annual meeting. In this letter, Means writes, “This is going to be the biggest day Columbia County farmers have ever had. We will have more than 1,000 people present, including our 4-H boys and girls, FFA boys and FHA girls. Let’s be on hand 100 percent to show these boys and girls that we are backing them up in our program. They are our future Farm Bureau Leaders.” Seventy years later, Georgia Farm Bureau continues to see the need to focus on the next generation of leaders. Mike Copeland is director of the GFB Field Services Dept.

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November-December 2016/ 25


AROUND GEORGIA Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker

News from County Farm Bureaus groups, made a craft entitled “Give Me Five” and played the food group relay game. Each student received a bag with a MyPlate bookmark, coloring sheet and information on the five food groups to take home and share with their family.

BULLOCH COUNTY Children attending the Statesboro Recreation Summer Camp have a better understanding of how food is grown after attending the 3rd Annual Bulloch County Farm Bureau Farm (BCFB) Day held June 24 at Nellwood Farm. BCFB volunteers taught the campers about various aspects of agriculture and served a pizza lunch at the end of the visit. BCFB members David & Jamie Cromley hosted the event.

CHEROKEE COUNTY Cherokee County Farm Bureau (CCFB) and CCFB member Liz Porter held a Farm to Fork Day in July for local 4-H’ers at Porter’s Buckeye Creek Farm. The 4-Hers experienced a day on a working farm, where they learned about some of Georgia’s top commodities and the diseases and pests that can impact crops. The students learned about water quality by testing the water from the stream and pond on Porter’s farm and determined both are healthy water sources. The 4-Hers also learned how to make strawberry preserves. COFFEE COUNTY Coffee County Farm Bureau (CCFB) recently visited Kim Brown’s kindergarten class at Citizens Christian Academy. CCFB Office Manager Carla Palmer, pictured, taught the students about USDA’s MyPlate program, which encourages people to eat a balanced diet with recommended servings from all five food groups daily. The students completed a worksheet about the five food 26 / November-December 2016

EARLY COUNTY Congratulations to Early County Farm Bureau for winning 1st place in the BlakelyEarly County Chamber of Commerce Fall Decorating Contest on Oct. 7! ECFB kept the decorations up at its office through the month of November.

GRADY COUNTY Grady County Farm Bureau (GCFB) recently announced the winner of its scrapbook contest, which centered around the theme “My Plate is Georgia Grown.” Ms. Lee’s  fourth grade homeroom class at Whigham Elementary School won the contest.  The class was rewarded with a pizza party on Oct. 26.   The winning scrapbook reflected the students’ creativity and shared interesting facts about local farming. GCFB volunteer Terri Perkins, standing back row, visited with the class during the pizza party.

GREENE COUNTY Greene County Farm Bureau (GCFB) held its annual Legislative Steak Supper Aug. 22 for elected officials on the county, state and national levels. More than 50 people attended the event, which included updates by U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (R-Dist.10) and Ga. Rep. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Trey Rhodes (R-Dist. 120). This event allows GCFB to show its appreciation to current elected officials while also meeting candidates for local races. Members of the GCFB Board of Directors, Young Farmer & Women’s Committees prepared the meal for the event.

importance of reducing the national debt and the importance of promoting job growth while delivering the keynote speech. Numerous door prizes were awarded including a John Deere D110 riding lawn mower from the John Deere dealership in Barnesville.

HALL COUNTY In August, Hall County Farm Bureau (HCFB) began its “Hall Grows,” Ag in the Classroom partnership with Annie Reece’s third-grade class at Sugar Hill Elementary School. Each month, a HCFB representative visits Reece’s class to read a book that explores some aspect of agriculture and conduct a hands-on activity corresponding to the book. After reading the book “How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?” HCFB Secretary Tonia Irvin helped students make a dip for fruit and vegetable items typically served for a school lunch. Irvin talked to the students about commodities grown in Hall County. HCFB Secretary Justine Palmer, not pictured, also helped with the event.

HOUSTON COUNTY Thanks to Houston County Farm Bureau, local elementary students have a better understanding of the importance of bees for pollinating crops and how they are kept. Local beekeepers C.J. Holmes, pictured, and Jackie DeFore recently presented separate programs at Morningside and Eaglesprings Elementary Schools. Holmes, owner/operator of FlyBy Bee Yard in Cochran, spoke to kindergarten and second-grade students at Morningside Elementary. DeFore with the Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Association spoke to third graders at Eaglesprings Elementary.

HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Farm Bureau (HCFB) Women’s Committee Chairman Elaine Cone, left, and HCFB Office Manager Linda Luttrell greeted more than 600 students preparing to return to school during the Back-to-School Bash on July 28. Cone and Lutrell discussed healthy eating habits and explained HCFB’s two-bite club with parents as students picked up pencils, bookmarks, crayons, and Max the Sprout activity booklets. HENRY & CLAYTON COUNTIES The Henry & Clayton County Farm Bureaus held their annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner Aug. 16 attended by more than 300 members. Attendees enjoyed a barbecue dinner and received an update on Farm Bureau activities from GFB President Gerald Long. U.S. Sen. David Perdue, pictured, provided an update from Washington, D.C., discussed ag issues, the Georgia Farm Bureau News

JEFF DAVIS COUNTY Jeff Davis County Farm Bureau (JDCFB) hosted a farm tour for the Jeff Davis Middle School 4-H Club Oct. 21. Tour stops at a peanut shelling plant, peanut field, cotton field and cotton gin allowed the 4-Hers to see how the crops are grown, harvested and processed. The tour ended with lunch at the JDCFB office. JDCFB President James Emory Tate, far right, is pictured with the 4-Hers during the stop at Wayne Herndon’s cotton field. NEWTON COUNTY Newton County Farm Bureau (NCFB) celebrated June being National Dairy Month by giving free ice cream to NCFB members as they visited the office. NCFB used its office sign to announce the promotion. Helping distribute ice cream were, pictured from left, Emily and Molly Nichols with NCFB Office Manager Anna Glover and NCFB Secretary Mary Nichols and Megan Nichols. Continued on next page November-December 2016/ 27


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PEACH/TAYLOR COUNTIES The Peach & Taylor County Farm Bureaus held their annual legislative breakfast Sept. 22 at the Peach County Farm Bureau office. Farm Bureau leaders from both counties heard from Georgia Rep. Robert Dickey and staff representatives of Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue. Ga. Rep. Robert Dickey, center left, speaks with Farm Bureau members attending the event.

RICHMOND COUNTY Richmond County Farm Bureau (RCFB) President Tommy Rider is pictured manning the RCFB display table at the Georgia-Carolina State Fair held Oct. 14-23 by the Augusta Exchange Club. Rider greeted about 300 visitors during the week as he passed out Agriculture in Georgia posters, peanut, beef, soybean and USDA MyPlate bookmarks, fire safety coloring books, peanuts and pencils. The display theme was “Reach for a Career in Agriculture” and brochures about ag careers were given to visitors. RCFB sponsored the Georgia–Carolina State Fair Livestock Show donating $1,200 to the Augusta-Richmond County Cooperative Extension to buy belt buckles for the winners of the beef cattle, dairy, swine and goat shows. TATTNALL/TOOMBS COUNTIES The Tattnall and Toombs County Farm Bureaus cohosted a legislative dinner Aug. 18 for their community leaders. Ga. Sen. Jack Hill (R-Dist. 4), Ga. Rep. Bill Werkheiser (R-Dist. 157), U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, pictured, and Blake Tillery, who ran uncontested to represent Ga. Senate Dist. 19, formerly held by Tommie Williams, all spoke to the group and presented legislative updates. 28 / November-December 2016

TROUP COUNTY Troup County Farm Bureau (TCFB) arranged for the Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom (GMDC)  to visit Hillcrest Elementary School Sept. 7. GMDC Coordinator Nicole Karstedt, back row, left, showed the 410 students how dairy farmers milk cows, and TCFB Young Farmer Chairman Joseph Keith, who is a dairy farmer, was on hand to answer questions. Each of the pre-K through fifth-grade students at the school received a cow fan. UPSON COUNTY Upson County Farm Bureau (UCFB) conducted several Ag in the Classroom activities this fall at Westwood Christian Academy (WCA). Thanks to the lessons UCFB provided, third graders at WCA have a better understanding of how dairy products are produced, WCA first graders know how pumpkins are grown, and WCA fourth graders understand the science behind leaves changing color. WCA students Khloe Peacock and Cannon Murphy enjoy “quick” pumpkin pie made by UCFB Office Manager Alison Stephens. WALKER COUNTY Middle school students in Walker County have a better understanding of the importance of wearing helmets when riding bicycles and ATVs thanks to Walker County Farm Bureau (WCFB), which gave a 15-minute demonstration on the topic at Farm Safety Days held at Rossville Middle School on Oct. 7 and at the Walker County Ag Center Oct. 13. About 900 students were reached through the two events combined. Other booths at both events covered plant, animal, gun and farm equipment safety. WCFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Justin Smith, right, and WCFB YF Committee Co-Chairman James Burton, left, talk to middle school students about the importance of wearing helmets when riding bikes and ATVs. Georgia Farm Bureau News


County Farm Bureaus honor first responders

WHITE COUNTY White County Farm Bureau (WCFB) was the main sponsor for the 9th Annual Agri-Fest Country Market held at Freedom Park in downtown Cleveland Sept. 24. The market buzzed with people of all ages visiting an array of vendor booths, looking at farm animals and enjoying festival fare. During the Agri-Fest, WCFB and London Farms teamed up to host a milking booth where market attendees of all ages could try their hand at milking Lulabelle, a Jersey Cow provided by London Farms.  WCFB Young Farmer Chairman Matthew London is pictured showing a child how to milk a cow.

WORTH COUNTY On Sept. 8 Worth County Farm Bureau (WCFB) hosted Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Underwriting employees Bobbi Haviland, farright, and Brenda Chester, far left, through the GFB Mutual Insurance Company Underwriting Department’s Walk-A-Mile in My Shoes Program. After shadowing WCFB Agency Manager Bob Peacock in the morning, GFB Farm Case Underwriter Haviland and GFB Underwriting Project Manager Chester visited WCFB Vice President Johnny Cochran’s farm. Worth County Farm Bureau Office Manager Connie Melton, second from left, arranged the farm visit for Chester and Haviland to WCFB Vice President Johnny Cochran’s farm. After discussing farm equipment, Cochran, second from right, showed the GFB employees a cotton and a peanut field on his farm and discussed how the crops grow. Georgia Farm Bureau News

PAULDING On July 29 Paulding County Farm Bureau (PCFB) held a cookout for the first responders of Paulding County to show its appreciation for the heroic jobs they do daily. PCFB invited the Paulding County Fire and Rescue, Metro Atlanta EMT’s, Dallas City Police, Hiram City Police, Paulding County Marshall Service, Paulding County 911 and Paulding County Sheriff’s Department. The GFB Insurance Company, Serve-Pro of Paulding/Polk County, Jiffy Glass Service, Service Master Restoration, and Ingles of Dallas made donations and contributions for the event. WALTON The Walton County Farm Bureau hosted a “Back the Blue Day” Aug. 10 at its office during which it served lunch for all police and sheriff officers and firefighters in Walton County. BIBB On Aug. 19 the Bibb County Farm Bureau hosted a complimentary drop-in lunch for area police officers, firefighters and other first responders to show the organization’s appreciation for everything these men and women do to protect and serve their communities. COWETA Coweta County Farm Bureau held a First Responders Appreciation Day Sept. 30. CCFB office staff and volunteers cooked hamburgers and hot dogs and gave away door prizes to more than 150 local police, firefighters and EMS workers throughout the day. BARROW In honor of National Fire Safety/Fire Prevention Week Oct. 9-15, Barrow County Farm Bureau (BCFB) held a First Responder Lunch on Oct. 12. More than 85 Barrow County First Responders attended along with BCFB directors, office staff and Farm Bureau staff.  BCFB volunteer Doug Garrison and BCFB Agency Manager Ted Pender grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for the lunch. November-December 2016/ 29


Ag Educator Workshops introduce teachers to farming By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________

Photo by Donna Rocker

WARE COUNTY The 15 teachers representing six schools who attended the Educator Workshop & Farm Experience hosted by Ware County Farm Bureau Sept. 30 visited the dairy farm of WCFB President Lanis Moody and the diversified row crop farm of WCFB 30 / November-December 2016

member Z.A. Music where they saw peanuts harvested. Pictured from left, Ware County Extension Coordinator Joe Slusher drove the Extension bus for the tour, Matthew “Kager” Moody talked to the teachers about his family’s farm and WCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Mary Alice Aldridge, second from right, helped arrange the workshop.

Photo by Donna Rocker

This fall the Haralson, Walker and Ware County Farm Bureaus held Ag Educator Workshops in their counties for local teachers. The county Farm Bureaus organized and hosted the workshops. Polk and Carroll County Farm Bureaus sponsored teachers to attend the workshop in Haralson County. Teachers at each workshop learned about agriculture in Georgia and their county. They did hands-on activities relating to soil and plants designed for them to use in their classes including “Garden in a Glove,” which places moistened cotton balls instead of soil in a clear plastic glove so the students can see seeds germinate. After the classroom portion of the workshops, the teachers toured local farms. The GFB Foundation for Agriculture supported the workshops and GFB Field Services provided the program, which told teachers how they can use agriculture as a tool to teach math, language arts and social sciences to meet core curriculum standards. All of the teachers attending the workshops received $100 of resource material for their classrooms. For more information about hosting a workshop in your county contact Georgia Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Donna Rocker at dhrocker@gfb.org or 478-4740679,ext. 5365.

HARALSON COUNTY The 15 teachers representing six schools from Haralson and Polk counties and Carrollton who attended the Educator Workshop & Farm Experience hosted by Haralson County Farm Bureau (HCFB) Oct. 10 visited Beech Creek Orchards, a fruit and vegetable farm owned by HCFB member Brian Heatherington, far right. Helping with the event were HCFB Office Manager Kim Hindmon, back row, second from right; Polk County Office Manager Sue Cuzzort, back row, third from right; GFB 3rd Dist. Field Rep. Ricky Lane, front row, far left; and Carroll County Office Manager Brandi Few, front row, second from left. WALKER COUNTY The 28 teachers from 10 elementary schools across Walker County who attended the Educator Workshop & Farm Experience hosted by Walker County Farm Bureau (WCFB) Aug. 30 visited Huntland Farms where Charles and Betts Berry raise beef cattle and hay. Helping with the event were WCFB Office Manager Kyla Compton and GFB 1st Dist. Field Rep. Roby Murray. WCFB President Mike Bunn welcomed the teachers to the event.

Feb. 1 deadline to apply for Monsanto scholarships

The Monsanto Fund is offering $1,500 college scholarships to students nationwide through its America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders scholarship program. The National FFA Organization is administering the program, but students are not required to be FFA members to be eligible for the scholarship. Eligible students must be under the age of 23; be high school seniors or fulltime college students, meet the FFA-published criteria for eligibility listed at www. FFA.org/scholarships and have a permanent address in one of the following Georgia counties: Appling, Baker, Berrien, Bleckley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Screven, Seminole, Sumter, Tattnall, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth. Each of these counties planted at least 30,000 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and/or vegetables based on USDA numbers. Eligible students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA and be pursuing or intending to pursue a degree in an ag-related field listed on the Grow Ag Leaders website at www.GrowAgLeaders.com from a two or four-year school or trade school. Students have until Feb. 1, 2017, to complete the application available at www.FFA.org/scholarships. Two farmers who live or farm in any of the eligible counties must endorse an applicant. Farmers and applicants do not have to live in the same county. Students will receive an application ID number when they start an application that they will provide to the farmers. Farmers must visit the Farmer’s Endorsement Database at www.FFA.org/ scholarships or call 1-877-267-3332 before Feb. 1, 2017. Farmers do not have to be a Monsanto customer and may endorse their children or other family members. For more information about the scholarships visit www.americasfarmers.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News


GFB celebrates agriculture at GSU game By Damon Jones and Michael Edmonson ___________________________________

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Andy Lucas

T

he worlds of agriculture and college football came together Oct. 27 as Georgia Southern University welcomed Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) and members of the local ag community to its campus in Statesboro for the first-ever Celebrate Georgia Agriculture Game. The event, which received national coverage as GSU played Appalachian State University, paid tribute to the state’s largest economic sector and the thousands of men and women who work in it. GFB joined forces with the Bulloch, Effingham and Toombs County Farm Bureaus, Blanchard Equipment Company and area 4-H and FFA students joined forces to host a Fan Fair outside GSU’s Paulson Stadium featuring a variety of ag-related activities. “The whole reason we decided to do this is because there are 25,000 kids who are now at Georgia Southern, and I guarantee you that not 10 percent of those kids realize where their food and fiber come from,” said GFB 7th District Field Representative Todd Faircloth. “People ride by tractors, ride by fields all the time and they really have no idea where it [food] comes from.” The event allowed GSU students to realize agriculture might provide a job for them when they graduate. “[This event allows] our students to understand that despite the fact that we don’t have an agriculture program per se, that students who are graduating in business, students who are graduating in communications studies, engineering, can have an impact in agribusiness and the agricultural workforce, said GSU President Jaimie Hebert. “By having these opportunities to show those students that they can take what they’re learning in higher education and apply it in those agricultural fields and have impact back home in rural Georgia, I think it’s an extremely important connection that we can make between what we do in higher educa-tion and what exists for them back home.”

Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long and Ga. Rep. Jan Tankersley (R-Dist. 160), represented agriculture during Celebrate Agriculture festivities at the Georgia Southern University football game against Appalachian State Oct. 27. Tankersley serves on the Georgia House Agriculture Committee.

In addition to educating GSU students about agriculture, the event also allowed GSU fans to gain an appreciation for the people who feed them. Besides GFB exhibits, the fan fair included booths from the Georgia Beef Board, the Georgia Peanut Commission and others. Nicole Karstedt with the Georgia Milk Producers’ Mobile Dairy Classroom gave three milking demonstrations. The GFB tents featured giveaway items such as pom poms and fans and drawings for a Yeti cooler and a total of $350 in cash donated by the GFB 7th District counties. Blanchard Equipment displayed four large pieces of agricultural equipment, including a tractor that led GSU football players to the stadium during the “Eagle Walk” with Eagles mascot GUS riding on the tractor. During the pregame festivities, pedaltractor races were held for smaller children. The winners of these races competed in a final race on the GSU field during a first quarter time-out. GFB President Gerald Long took place in the festivities and helped spread the word about farming. “It is very exciting to see this, to see Farm Bureau and agriculture being recognized by a major college in the state,” Long said. “I hope other colleges in the state will look at this because this is a great opportunity not only for Farm Bureau, but for agriculture to show themselves to the public.

At halftime, the 23,474 fans attending the game saw a video played inside the stadium featuring Farm Bureau leaders and farmers Ben Boyd, Will and Wendy Boyd, Screven County; Tim Garrett, Emanuel County; Ga. Cattlemen’s Association President Kyle Gillooly, Jefferson County; Lannie Lee, Bulloch County; and GFB President Long, Decatur County.

Congratulations Georgia Farm Monitor for 50 years! To watch the Monitor's 50th anniversary show, visit: http://bit.ly/Monitor50.

Ray D’Alessio (left) and Kenny Burgamy, anchors

Join us each week! Find the Monitor on your local station: go to www.gfb.org/monitor November-December 2016/ 31


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Georgia Farm Bureau News - November / December 2016