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Vol. 80 No. 2


April – May 2018

FARM BUREAU NEWS The Voice of Georgia Farmers


A lesson plan

for consumers

GFB members advocate in ATL & D.C. First Ga. FFA Chapter turns 90

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contents april / may 2018

departments view from the field

A lesson plan for consumers

In the second of our five-part series highlighting issues facing rural Georgia, we look at a topic farmers want Georgia’s education system to address. PAGE 6

GFB Day at the Capitol: members advocate for ag & meet gubernatorial candidates


public policy ag programs update PAGE 5

certified farm market update PAGE12

AITC update PAGE 19

GFB farm insurance update PAGE 20

YF&R update PAGES 26-27

around georgia PAGES 28-29

GFB News staff Andy Lucas Kenny Burgamy Jennifer Whittaker Jay Stone Lillian Davis Michael Edmondson

Director Assistant Director Editor Print/Web Specialist Design/Advertising Marketing Project & Research Manager

For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail

Visit the GFB Web site today! GFB.ORG Georgia Farm Bureau TV: “Like” us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Check us out on Pinterest: Follow us on Instragram:

This group of Carroll County Farm Bureau members met with Rep. Mike Dugan, third from right, during GFB Day at the Capitol. GFB members attending the event also heard from four candidates for governor. PAGES 8-9

GFB delegation discusses EPA regs, farm bill, ag labor & trade in D.C.

An unexpected snow storm didn’t keep county Farm Bureau leaders participating in the annual Presidents’ Trip to Washington, D.C., from visiting Capitol Hill March 21 to discuss issues impacting their farms. PAGES 10-11

Ga. General Assembly passes bills favorable to agriculture Bills that strengthen the ag water metering program while protecting permit holders, improve oversight of the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE), protect livestock producers against false animal cruelty charges, and clarify rules for the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) were among the pro-agriculture legislation the Georgia General Assembly passed this year. PAGE 14

First Ga. FFA chapter turns 90

Georgia’s first FFA chapter was formed at Statham Consolidated High School in 1928. Past and current FFA members in Barrow County recently celebrated the 90th anniversary of this milestone. PAGE 16

Hard work & dedication pays off for Ga. Jr. National Grand Champions

Meet the grand champion winners of this year’s Georgia Junior National Livestock Show and learn how they earned their blue ribbons. PAGES 24-25

GFB Foundation Gala serves up chuckles & chicken

The GFB Foundation for Agriculture highlighted its work to promote ag literacy as supporters gathered for laughs and fellowship at the annual gala. PAGE 30

Celebrate your farm mom

Mother’s Day is May 13. All mothers deserve the recognition they get on this holiday, but there’s something extraordinary about farm moms that deserves a special shout out. Nominate your farm mom for a regional honor and $1,000 prize. PAGE 31

about the cover---------------------------------(Photo by Jesse Fleming) Houston County Farm Bureau member Jesse Fleming en-

tered this photo in the 2016 Georgia Farm Bureau Photo Contest. May 18 is the deadline to enter this year’s contest. Entry info is on page 27.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 3

view from the field

Gerald Long, GFB President

Working toward a vision March 30 marked the end of the Georgia General Assembly’s legislative session which convened back in January. Georgia Farm Bureau has been working to advocate and serve as the Voice of Georgia Farmers on legislative issues. This has been our mission since our organization was founded in 1937. GFB worked to secure the passage of numerous bills that will benefit Georgia farmers based on the policy our voting delegates approved at the 2017 convention. The passage of bills regarding the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program, the ag water metering program, and protection for livestock producers against alleged animal cruelty were our top successes in this year’s General Assembly. House Bill 886, sponsored by Rep. Sam Watson of Moultrie, strengthens the integrity of the GATE program and will help ensure its continuation. The bill raises the annual aggregate sales of ag products a farmer must have to qualify for a GATE card to $5,000. It also replaces annual card renewal with a three-year card and allows the Georgia Departments of Agriculture and Revenue to share information in order to investigate and enforce GATE program rules. Senate Bill 451, sponsored by Sen. Larry Walker III, codifies the responsibilities of the ag water metering program with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). Irrigation permits in the Flint River Basin will no longer have a $250 fee and will automatically be renewed after the 25year term. This bill stipulates the EPD must contract out the reading, maintenance and repair of the irrigation meters. The water metering bill is needed to produce accurate data to defend farmers’ use of water against legal challenges. Farm Bureau thanks Senators Bill Heath and Ellis Black and Representatives Clay Pirkle and Tom McCall for their efforts to address GFB’s priority issue regarding protection for livestock producers accused of animal cruelty. Rep. Pirkle's House Bill 956 included language from a bill Sen. Heath introduced that required government agen4 / April-May 2018

cies investigating farmers for alleged animal cruelty to consult with food animal veterinarians to determine if the allegations are valid. I want to thank all Farm Bureau members who made contact with their state legislators and asked them to support legislation when we needed it. Your support of our public policy initiatives makes a tremendous difference in our success. GFB collaborates with many other organizations and groups to secure passage of beneficial bills. I’d particularly like to thank the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, Georgia Forestry Association, and the Georgia Poultry Federation, but we work with many interests at the Capitol. In my last column, which can be found onlne at, I outlined the Harvest 20 Vision Georgia Farm Bureau is implementing. We need to INSPIRE new leaders and EDUCATE consumers so we can PRESERVE agriculture in Georgia for future generations. An important part of the Harvest 20 Vision is for GFB to step up and fund research grants. GFB has committed funds to help pay for a study by the UGA Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development to consider the feasibility of developing a product line of 100% Georgia Grown Beef. The end goal is to have a system of regional processing plants in our state that specialize in producing and marketing premium Georgia beef products. Right now, this concept is just a proposal being explored collaboratively by GFB, UGA, Farm Credit Bank, the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and others. Beef cattle are raised in every Georgia county, so, a Georgia Grown Beef brand has tremendous potential to impact Georgia’s ag economy. GFB policy supports such a program and it is part of our Harvest 20 Vision.




Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5334.


President GERALD LONG, Bainbridge 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Adrian North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Ringgold South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Alma 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: Lamar Vickers, Nashville; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Dustin Covington, Americus WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Carol McQueen, Locust Grove.


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 Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2018 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

public policy update By Raynor Churchwell

Seed cotton & ginning cost share programs give growers what they need “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might just find, you get what you need,” are popular lyrics from the band, the Rolling Stones. These lyrics could also be used to describe the new seed cotton policy included in the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 that President Trump signed Feb. 9. The BBA brings cotton back as a Title I covered commodity, meaning seed cotton now qualifies for federal assistance. Seed cotton is defined as unginned upland cotton that includes both lint and seed. Cotton producers across Georgia and the U.S. want to be paid a fair price for their commodity. A price that covers seed, inputs, freight and provides a profit. But as the Rolling Stones sing, “You can’t always get what you want.” What farmers need is a reliable support program, a program that supplements their income and allows them to continue producing products when market fluctuations occur. Under the BBA, seed cotton is now eligible for Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) under Title I of the 2014 farm bill for the 2018 crop. Both programs provide support for cotton producers in different ways. ARC provides protection for revenue

losses while PLC provides protection when the price of cotton drops below a previously set reference price. Only one program may be elected for a covered commodity. The new seed cotton program requires each farm to convert previous generic base acres to cotton or other covered commodity acres and to elect ARC or PLC. Farm owners will also have a one-time opportunity to update payment yields. The BBA gives producers 90 days to make farm allocations. The enrollment deadline had not been set when we went to press. Farm owners and producers interested in enrolling in the cotton seed program should contact their local FSA office immediately to meet the sign-up deadline. Farm owners with covered commodities history may allocate generic base to seed cotton base in one of two ways. The first is to take the greater of 80 percent of their generic base or their seed cotton acres planted during 2009 to 2012, not to exceed total generic base acres. The second option is to calculate the ratio of their 2009 to 2012 average of covered commodity acreage to all covered commodities, both including seed cotton. This second option allows producers to allocate generic base acreage to covered commodities other than just seed cotton. Farms that don’t make base allocations

Ga. blueberry, vegetable commissions reaffirmed Georgia blueberry and vegetable growers have extended their current marketing assessments for an additional three years. The vegetable assessment of one cent per marketing unit funds the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Vegetables. The blueberry assessment of $5 per ton of marketed blueberries funds the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Blueberries. Both commissions use the assessment funds for research, education and promotional projects.

The vegetable assessment applies to all producers with more than 50 acres of any or all of the following crops: green beans, bell peppers, specialty peppers, carrots, broccoli, beets, eggplant, cabbage, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, cucumbers, greens, squash and tomatoes. The balloting period for the vegetable marketing order was Feb. 1 to March 2, with 92.5 percent of voters in favor. March 1-30 was the balloting period for Georgia blueberry growers; 89.74 percent of the votes cast favored continuing the commission.

and ARC/PLC elections will default to 80 percent of their generic base acreage being converted to seed cotton acres and autoenrolled in the PLC program. Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) will also be available for the 2018 crop. STAX is the crop insurance product for upland cotton introduced in the 2014 farm bill. Since its introduction, STAX has been universally unpopular. Going back to want vs. need, the want was to get cotton back into Title I status to compensate for an unpopular STAX program. The need is that many cotton producers could find a benefit to STAX for the 2018 crop, since it can be paired with ARC and PLC this season. After the 2018 crop, farms enrolled in ARC or PLC will be unable to purchase STAX.

May 11 deadline to enroll in ginning cost share program On March 3, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the sign-up period for the Cotton Ginning Cost Share (CGCS) program for the 2016 crop will end May 11. This program assists producers with offsetting their 2016 ginning costs and assists with the marketing of cotton. This is a one-time payment based on the producer’s 2016 cotton planted acres reported to the Farm Service Agency multiplied by 20 percent of the average ginning cost for each of the four U.S. cotton production regions. The assistance rate for the Southeast/Georgia is $23.21. CGCS payments will be capped at $40,000 per producer. To qualify for the program, producers must meet conservation compliance provisions, be actively engaged in farming and have adjusted gross incomes not exceeding $900,000. Contact your local FSA office to enroll or for more information. Raynor Churchwell is an agricultural programs specialist in the GFB Public Policy Department. He may be reached at 478-4740679, ext.5288 or

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 5


Farmers swear by country living, yet the very thing most rural Georgians find attractive about country life causes a quandry. What is to be done as the rural population dwindles to the point that quality of life is affected? What can be done to ensure Georgia’s rural communities – where our farmers toil to clothe and feed us – don’t get left behind? The Georgia Legislature set up the House Rural Development Council (HRDC) last year to study rural issues. The HRDC focused its initial report on five key areas: education, general workforce, broadband connectivity, economic development and healthcare.* The council will hold a second round of hearings on these topics later this year. The GFB News is exploring one of these topics in each issue this year. We tackle rural education in this issue. In our last issue we looked at health care.** The HRDC report published in December included recommendations addressing these rural education challenges: additional grant funding for rural counties in the lowest socio-economic levels to educate children ages 5 and under; funding for character education programs; more staffing for Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE); transfer of the CTAE program to the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and a study of the needs for masters and professional degree programs in South Georgia. Because the HRDC report was broad in scope, we wanted to get a farmer’s point of view on rural prosperity. GFB News talked to farmers in different rural areas, HRDC Co-Chair Rep. Terry England and Georgia Dept. of Education Agriculture Education Program Manager Chip Bridges to get their views on what agriculture needs from the education system. *The report may be view at **Visit to read the article.

A lesson plan for consumers By Jay Stone ___________________________________________________________________________

Reading. Writing. Arithmetic. Most Americans agree that proficiency in these three skill areas are the foundation of a good education. To that list, farmers and ranchers suggest adding a fourth: agriculture awareness. GFB News asked farmers across the state: What do they want or need from the education sector? One of the main themes that emerged was the need to develop informed consumers with a better understanding of how and where their food is produced. State Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn), who co-chairs the House Rural Development Council (HRDC), echoed this sentiment. 6 / April-May 2018

A second theme was a skilled workforce, which we’ll address in a future article. “I think we have to make sure we not only educate a workforce, but also educate consumers as to where their food, fiber and shelter comes from,” said England, himself a farmer. “We are now several generations removed from the farm and many of today’s consumers have little understanding of the work that goes into providing them with a safe, healthy and abundant food supply at incredibly low prices compared to the rest of the world. We are losing the battle to help folks understand that dirt, animals, blood, sweat, tears and manure are involved in the whole process.”

































If expanding public knowledge of agriculture entices students into agricultural careers and they choose to live in rural areas when they grow up, so much the better. “I think when you talk about rural prosperity, we’re losing a lot of our students moving to urban areas to seek employment,” said Georgia Agriculture Education Program Manager Chip Bridges, whose department oversees Georgia’s FFA activities. “If our program can get students interested in earning a degree in agriculture, then certainly there’s more opportunity for them in rural areas.”

More informed consumers

County Farm Bureaus have promoted agricultural awareness for years, working to get ag topics into school curriculum through the Ag in the Classroom program and partnering with FFA and 4-H programs to enhance public awareness of agriculture. Burke County Farm Bureau’s (BCFB) work to promote ag awareness includes an annual farm day. Each spring, the county’s third-graders visit the Southeast Georgia Experiment Station in Midville where they see cotton or peanuts being planted and even plant a small plot of their own, BCFB President Lee Webster said. “The idea was that we wanted the kids to know their food comes from the Earth,” Webster said. “We went back as far as the third grade because the teachers we worked with told us that was the age we needed to start with.” If adults serving on school boards don’t understand agriculture, then students in their school system seem likely to end up with the same knowledge gap. Eventually, this can affect farmers’ production practices, according to Terry Bramlett, who serves as Fannin County Farm Bureau vice president and on the Fannin County Board of Education. “There are kids now who don’t know where their food comes from,” Bramlett Georgia Farm Bureau News

Taking ag into the classroom

The trend in recent years toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes presents a unique opportunity for agriculture.

simply math. It’s a chance to learn math by doing something. It’s action-related instead of just going over theoretical practices sitting in the classroom.” Bridges thinks the effectiveness of applied learning got the attention of the Georgia General Assembly and contributed to the passage of Senate Bill 330 during the 2018 session. SB 330, titled the Quality Basic Education Act, was sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Wilkinson (R-Toccoa) and passed unanimously in both chambers. The bill sets up pilot programs to gauge the effectiveness of expanding FFA into elementary schools. As a part of it,

It’s a chance to learn math by doing something. It’s action-related

instead of just going over theoretical practices sitting in a classroom.”

Photo courtesy of Burke County Farm Bureau

said. “It’s important for kids to know where food comes from and understand some of the challenges farmers face. We have people passing regulations who I don’t think fully understand what farmers do and the challenges they face. They expect the grocery stores to be full of beautiful fresh produce and products, yet they want to pass regulations that restrict what we can and can’t do.”

– State Program Manager for Ag Education Chip Bridges

“Most of our STEM classes are centered around agriculture,” Bramlett said. “All of our elementary schools have greenhouses and raised-bed gardens. We have an orchard at one. I think it’s important for kids to know where their food comes from and understand some of the challenges farmers face.” To that end, Bramlett said the Fannin school system is building a $3.2 million ag and environmental science facility. The football field-size facility will have a show barn for FFA livestock shows, along with a technology lab allowing students to pursue agricultural interests. Other counties around the state have similar facilities to give their students firsthand encounters with agricultural practices. According to Bridges, FFA’s use of hands-on teaching dovetails nicely with STEM initiatives. “We can do applied math and applied science and students get the applied learning from academics,” Bridges said. “It’s academics applied. It’s just a lot better way to teach students.” Bridges used planting corn as an example of applied learning. “Laying out the spacing for a row of corn, and how far apart the seeds are, there’s a whole lot of math involved in that,” he said. “Pacing off an area, determining square footage of an area, that’s

the bill will make agriculture certification available to third-grade teachers. FFA is currently limited to middle and high schools in Georgia. “There’s several similar initiatives like the Ag in the Classroom with Farm Bureau. We felt like this was something we could do to help younger children understand where their food comes from,” Wilkinson said. “Whether they grow up on a farm or not, it’s a good idea for everybody to have an idea where their food

Burke County Farm Bureau (BCFB) member Gail Webster talks to students about soybeans during Ag Day at the Southeast Research & Education Center in Midville. BCFB uses the event to increase students’ awareness of agriculture.

comes from and how it’s produced.”

Teach a person to grow tomatoes

Another way schools can enhance public agricultural awareness is by targeting adults through continuing education. UGA Cooperative Extension offers programs with this goal, and some local See CONSUMERS page 18

GFB News Alert: • Free bimonthly newsletter emailed to subscribers • Updates on GFB volunteers, programs, member benefits and current events • Timely news about Ga. commodities and legislative issues important to agriculture and agribusiness • Comprehensive calendar of upcoming ag events around Georgia

To subscribe, visit Brought to you by Georgia Farm Bureau

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 7

Members advocate for ag during GFB Day at the Capitol

Article & photos by Jennifer Whittaker ______________________________________ Georgia Farm Bureau proved it’s the “Voice of Georgia Farmers” as members gathered en masse in Atlanta Feb. 13 for Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol. “We’re working on numerous issues that impact our farms back home. Georgia Farm Bureau is well-respected at the capitol, and that’s because of the work you do back in your counties and the relationships you have with your legislators,” GFB President Gerald Long told members attending the orientation meeting at the Georgia Depot down the street from the capitol. Priority issues GFB addressed during this

GFB President Gerald Long thanks Gov. Nathan Deal for his support of Georgia agriculture. 8 / April-May 2018

Sen. John Wilkinson, front row, second from right, and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, upper right, and other Senate leaders welcomed Georgia Farm Bureau leaders to the Senate Chamber on GFB Day at the Capitol. Visit to see more photos.

session of the Georgia General Assembly included: protection of the integrity of both the Georgia Agricultural Sales Tax Exemption (GATE) and the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) programs; retaining farmers’ access to water; working with regulatory agencies to implement control strategies to protect crops from feral hogs and deer; securing legislation that requires a veterinarian familiar with livestock practices be consulted when animal cruelty charges are filed against a farmer; and addressing economic development issues impacting rural Georgia. “Water continues to be a priority issue as Georgia waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue its ruling on the Florida lawsuit against Georgia. Farm Bureau continues to support legislative efforts to fulfill the original intent of the state agriculture water metering program as a management tool for farmers without infringing on private property rights,” Long said. Thanks to Rep. Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville) and Sen. John Wilkinson (R-Toccoa) resolutions honoring GFB were read in both the House and Senate chambers. President Long and GFB Vice Presidents Robert Fountain Jr., Daniel Johnson and Bernard Sims accompanied Long to each chamber where GFB was recognized. Long addressed each chamber to discuss the contributions agriculture makes to Georgia’s economy. After visiting their legislators at the capitol, GFB members reconvened at the Georgia Depot for lunch with their elected officials.

Gov. Nathan Deal spoke to the group, thanking GFB for what it does as an organization to represent Georgia’s farmers. He applauded the GFB Foundation for Agriculture for its work to teach students how their food is grown. Deal outlined what his administration has done to help the economies of rural Georgia during his eight years in office. “My administration has invested more than 100 million dollars to ensure rural students have access to high speed internet so they are not left behind. In 2017, eighty percent of the economic projects brought to Georgia were outside metro Atlanta. That will provide economic opportunities and employment,” Deal said. The One Georgia Authority has invested more than $100 million in rural Georgia since 2011, Deal said, which has created or retained 25,000 jobs in rural communities. To ensure the vitality and future growth of their rural communities, Deal encouraged GFB members to get involved with their local school systems, to look at the test scores and graduation rates of students and the number of high school graduates getting into colleges and universities. Deal stressed that having a strong school system is key to attracting new businesses to communities. Deal also encouraged Farm Bureau members to mentor bright students and encourage them to come back to their home communities to practice medicine, law or dentistry. Visit to read the entire version of this article. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Ga. gubernatorial candidates address GFB members By Jennifer Whittaker ____________________________________ Georgia Farm Bureau invited the leading candidates for governor from both parties to speak at the annual GFB Day at the Capitol lunch Feb. 13. Scheduling conflicts prevented everyone from attending, but GFB members heard from Stacey Abrams, Hunter Hill, Brian Kemp and Clay Tippins. Each candidate had five minutes to introduce themselves and their platform. Below, in alphabetical order, is a short synopsis of the candidates’ remarks. Visit to read more. STACEY ABRAMS Stacey Abrams, a lawyer, businesswoman and author, represented Georgia House Dist. 84 from 2007-2013 and House Dist. 89 from 2013-Aug. 2017, when she resigned to run for governor. She served as Georgia House Minority Leader of the Democratic Party from 2011 until July 1, 2017. Abrams Abrams said she contacted Reps. Tom McCall & Terry England when she ran for Minority Leader to learn about rural Georgia. “I am a new kind of leader. I understand that the land isn’t Democratic or Republican. We must have leaders who can work across the aisle,” Abrams said. “I understand that the life blood of our state runs through South Georgia and North Georgia and lifts up agriculture.” Abrams said she wants to invest in children through early education programs and supports the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s 20/20 program to see that 20 percent of school meals are grown in Georgia by the year 2020. She voiced support for expanding access to Medicaid saying, “This is important for rural hospitals.” On broadband she said, “We have to be a state where access is equal throughout the state.” Regarding transportation, she said, “Transportation and transit isn’t just an Atlanta issue. We have to think about getting from Talbotton to Columbus.”

HUNTER HILL Hunter Hill is a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Ranger who served three combat tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a business owner and represented Senate Dist. 6 in the Georgia General Assembly from 2013 until Aug. 2017, when he resigned to run for governor. Hill is a licensed real Hill estate professional, who supports private property ownership. “There’s so much more we can be doing to move the conservative agenda and our state forward, but it’s not going to happen unless we elect someone who isn’t a career politician,” Hill said. Hill’s vision for Georgia includes limiting the size of government, eliminating the state income tax and injecting a competitive free market into public K-12 education and giving parents more choice in where their children are educated. “For agriculture I’ll do whatever possible to get government out of your way. I’ll look to protect CUVA and ensure EPD works for you and not against you,” Hill said. We need to ensure agriculture continues to have access to water. My main goal as your next governor is not to have all the answers but to be a willing partner for Georgia agriculture.” BRIAN KEMP Brian Kemp, a small business owner of more than 30 years, served as a Georgia senator from 2003-2007 representing Dist. 46. He has served as Georgia Secretary of State since 2010. “I was a frustrated small business owner tired of high taxes and regulations when I ran to serve Kemp in the Georgia Senate,” Kemp said. “As a small business owner and Republican, I believe in small government.” Kemp said he has saved Georgia taxpayers millions while serving as secretary of state by implementing a new filing system for corporations and a new voter registration system. He said the citizenship check he implemented ensures Georgia has fair elections.

Kemp described his four-point gubernatorial plan as follows: 1. Make Georgia the top state for small business by cutting regulations, streamlining state government and opposing healthcare reform that hurts small businesses. 2. Reforming state government by implementing a spending cap and eliminating wasteful programs and tax incentives based on return on investment to Georgia. 3. Strengthen rural Georgia by bringing high-speed internet and jobs to rural Georgia. 4. Defund sanctuary cities and put needs of Georgia ahead of status quo political interests. CLAY TIPPINS Clay Tippins graduated from the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School and served on Navy SEAL Team One. He has worked for numerous technology companies including BrightStar and Capgemini. “If you look at our government you can make the argument that nothing has improved in the last Tippins 50 years,” Tippins said. “We’re going to have to do something differently if we’re going to survive.” Tippins shared his positions on the following issues: 1. Crime – “We’ve got to address sex trafficking and opioids. Atlanta is the number one city in the U.S. for sex trafficking, and the crime caused by opioid addiction has affected too many lives.” 2. Transportation – “We need to make significant investment in transportation. We need roads that bypass Atlanta.” 3. Education – “Third grade reading is our most pressing problem. Two-thirds of our third graders can’t read at a third-grade level.” 4. State spending – “We need to shave $2-$3 billion off the state budget.” Tippins says this is necessary so Georgia can fight crime, build roads and educate students in the future. 5. Agriculture – “I worked in technology for over a decade. I believe I’m the candidate who has the best experience to see it’s installed in rural Georgia. I will fight to protect water rights in Georgia.”

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 9

GFB delegation discusses EPA regs, farm bill, ag labor & trade in D.C. Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone

A view of the snow-covered U.S. Capitol on March 21. Visit to see more photos from the trip.


nvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said the agency is making progress toward rules that would provide farmers clarity on what constitutes a water of the United States under the Clean Water Act. The new rules would replace the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule developed by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Pruitt spoke to Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members on March 21 during the organization’s annual County Presidents’ Trip to Washington, D.C.

objectively measured. When we make jurisdictional determinations, the objective criteria by which we measure that is important. We don’t want people guessing,” Pruitt told GFB media. GFB has supported repealing the WOTUS rule since it was initially proposed in 2013. Pruitt also addressed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which was enacted to address hazardous waste like heavy metals and toxins entering the

Photo by Jay Stone

"To take that statute (CERCLA) and apply that to a farm, apply that to cattle... it's just wrong-headed." – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

The lawn of the U.S. Capitol was covered with snow on March 21 while GFB members were in D.C. for the organization’s Presidents’ Trip to Washington. 10 / April-May 2018

In accordance with an executive order from President Donald Trump early in 2017, the EPA repealed the WOTUS rule. Pruitt said the agency is nearing the completion of a replacement rule. At the same time, the EPA is delaying compliance requirements to 2020 and beyond. Pruitt said the 2015 rule was so broad that drainage ditches, puddles and prairie potholes would all be considered waters of the U.S. under its jurisdiction. “I think traditionally ‘navigable’ water should mean something. That should be

environment. Pruitt said it wasn’t intended to apply to farms and cattle, but courts have held farmers subject to CERCLA’s emissions reporting standards with respect to emissions from livestock. “To take that statute and then apply that to a farm, apply that to cattle out on a farm, it’s just wrong-headed. I don’t think the statute was intended to address that. So, we’re trying to take steps internal to the agency, through regulatory action, that will provide clarity and protection. At some point, it may be that Congress has to speak to this,” Pruitt said. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jay Stone

Pruitt praised UGA Extension and Georgia row-crop farmers for their efforts to avoid spray drift issues in the application of the herbicide dicamba, the sale and use of which was suspended in other states last year. “Georgia did good work and because of that good work, we’re going to reap the benefit of that this year through certainty and confidence that it’s being used this way,” Pruitt said. “I think sometimes regulators’ first response is prohibit it, and that obviously is not the right approach. The right approach is to identify the problem – is the problem related to the chemical or is it related to practices around it?” More than 100 GFB members and staff

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt spoke to GFB members March 21.

traveled to D.C., to discuss ag issues with the state’s U.S. congressional delegation. Despite a significant snowstorm in Washington, GFB members were able to visit with the majority of the Georgia’s congressmen, sharing the organization’s stance on a variety of topics, including the farm bill, agricultural labor and immigration reform, agriculture’s stake in international trade and regulatory reform. In addition to Pruitt, Trevor White of the House Ag Committee staff and USDA Chief of Staff Joby Young spoke to the group during the breakfast meeting. GFB President Gerald Long visited with Sen. Johnny Isakson to discuss GFB’s priority concerns with Georgia’s senior senator. On March 20, the GFB group received an update on a variety of legislative issues from staff with the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF Executive Director of Public Policy Dale Moore gave an overview of progress on the next farm bill, saying there is strong support to put cotton back in farm bill commodity programs. Moore said AFBF worked with the House and Senate agriculture committees to develop solutions for dairies that will work better for producers than the dairy provisions in the current farm bill. House Agriculture Chairman Rep. Mike Conway (R-TX) introduced the House version of the 2018 farm bill April 12.

Photo by Jeffrey Harvey

Photo by Jay Stone

Sen. Johnny Isakson, left, visits with Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, center, and GFB National Affairs Coordinator Tripp Cofield.

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen (R-12th Dist.), center, chats with GFB members on March 21.

AFBF’s Paul Schlegel updated the GFB group on legislation that, if passed, would create a new agricultural guest worker program that would mirror AFBF policy in key aspects, including being under the jurisdiction of the USDA. The AG Act, part of a broad immigration package, would also establish an agricultural guest worker program. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) included language about the program, H-2C, which Schlegel said aligns with AFBF’s policy on immigration, including placing the agricultural guest worker program under the authority of the USDA. Schlegel said the bill does not prescribe an approach to undocumented workers already in the U.S. The U.S. continues its negotiations with Canada and Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations Dave Salmonsen noted that international trade actions like the Trump administration’s recent announcement of tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum can result in U.S. agriculture being targeted for retaliatory tariffs by other countries. “If your business relies on selling things to those countries, your products could be targeted,” Salmonsen said.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 11

certified farm market update By Kelly Thompson

Finding workers & complying with labor regs is full-time job for farmers In a perfect world, the United States would have a complete labor force satisfied with doing the ag work required to cultivate and harvest crops and bring food to our tables. That, however, is not a reality. Many farmers, such as those who run dairies or grow fruits and vegetables, like sweet potatoes, lettuce or sweet corn, have struggled to find enough dedicated, skilled workers. The H-2A program, as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), was created to provide employers “with a legal workforce when the employer can demonstrate qualified U.S. workers are unavailable to perform the work.” H-2A, which is under the Immigration and Nationality Act, provides a visa for non-immigrant workers or guest workers who come to the U.S. for temporary or seasonal work. More work goes into acquiring foreign labor than most realize.

Getting the ball rolling To apply for H-2A workers, a farmer must first request a temporary labor certification from the DOL. After securing certification, most farmers must mail this with the Form I-129 to the California Service Center of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is imperative that a farmer keep copies of all paperwork and send all documentation in early enough to get processed in time to receive labor at the requested time. This could mean sending in a request months to a year before labor is needed. Before a farmer is approved to have H-2A workers, he must decide how to meet the program requirements. For ex12 / April-May 2018

ample, he must decide how to provide adequate housing, whether he will need to provide transportation from housing to the work site, determine what kind of insurance and surety bond is needed and whether he will supply each meal or provide a kitchen with enough appliances and appropriate food storage for the number of workers living there.

On-farm compliance Based on the farmer’s labor plan, the farm will need to pass an initial housing and transportation inspection and have a water sample tested if providing well water. In addition, the farm must meet the following specifications: need seasonal or temporary agriculture labor, provide full time work with a minimum of 35 hours per week, provide or pay travel for workers to get to the farm and back home after completion of work and guarantee at least 3/4 of the hours called for in the labor contract. Farmers must work in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the labor provisions of the H-2A visa program, and the field sanitation provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. These include but are not limited to providing free water and toilets in the field, posting required educational posters in the field and in provided housing. Farms are subject to multiple inspections without notice. The Wage and Hour Division of the DOL are responsible for making sure these workers are treated in accordance with the law and that U.S. workers aren’t passed over in favor of guest workers. Any farmer found in violation will be fined or could be restricted from acquiring future H-2A contracts. Farmers must keep detailed records of how each job was advertised in respect to U.S. employee recruitment requirements. They must furnish an Hours and Earning Statement to each H-2A worker every payday that occurs at least twice monthly. There are programs farmers can buy online to keep their records.

Unexpected factors affect labor contracts Once the H-2A contract is signed, the labor hours, location, housing, transportation, wages, etc. are guaranteed by the farmer. This is the point where lots of “if” statements can be asked. If an “act of God”, such as an early freeze or other natural disaster, occurs and devastates the crop before H-2A workers arrive, a farmer may try to cancel the contract. If the H-2A workers have already arrived, the farmer will incur costs associated with the program. If warmer than normal temperatures speed up the time a crop should be harvested, a farmer may try to expedite the process to get H-2A workers sooner. A farmer would most likely have to rely on any local labor available or accept a loss by leaving the crops in the field. Any local labor working before H-2A workers arrive will still be employed after their arrival. If rain or cooler temperatures delay a crop’s harvest, a farmer may submit a request to extend the period of employment. Extensions must be due to conditions or factors that could not have been reasonably foreseen. Workers must be paid at least 75 percent of hours originally agreed whether worked or not. If a farmer acquires a new field to work after signing the H-2A contract, the contract must be amended. It is important to note that case by case decisions are based off multiple factors. Labor programs extend past H-2A. H-2B refers to temporary non-agricultural workers. MSPA refers to a protection act for migrant and seasonal agriculture workers. H-2C could be what replaces H-2A. This article provides an overview of H-2A requirements. It is not intended to serve as a legal reference. Visit www.dol. gov/WHD for specific details about farm labor programs or call 866-487-9243. Kelly Thompson is GFB’s Certified Farm Markets Coordinator. She may be reached at or 478474-0679, ext. 5235. Georgia Farm Bureau News

All agriculture-related long-haul drivers have a waiver from congressionally mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs) until June 18 following a waiver extension the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced March 13. “We are mindful of the unique work our agriculture community does and will use the following 90 days to ensure we publish more helpful guidance that all operators will benefit from,” FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez said. An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time for easier and more accurate records. During this 90-day waiver period, the FMCSA will publish final guidance on the agricultural 150-air-mile hours-of-service exemption and personal conveyance. ELDs are intended to ensure truckers observe the FMCSA hours of service limit

Photo by iStock

ELD waiver extended to June 18 for all ag haulers & Sept. 30 for livestock haulers

of 11 hours of driving in a 24-hour period. Drivers can be on duty a total of 14 consecutive hours including the 11 hours of drive time. After 11 hours are reached, drivers must pull over and wait 10 hours before driving again. A provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 President Trump signed March 23 delays enforcement of the ELD mandate for haulers of living livestock and insects until Sept. 30. Livestock, as defined by 49 Congressional Federal Registry 395.2, includes cattle, elk, reindeer, bison, horses, deer, sheep, goats, swine, poultry, fish used for food and

other animals designated by the secretary of agriculture that are part of a foundation herd or offspring. Georgia Farm Bureau and many other ag organizations have urged the FMCSA and Congress to exempt livestock haulers from the hours of service rule since the ELD requirement would force drivers to choose between complying with FMCSA regulations and the safety of the animals being transported. Livestock being hauled long distances are vulnerable to temperature increases and the trailers livestock is hauled in are designed to cool the animals while the vehicle is in motion.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 13

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Legislation that strengthens the ag water metering program and protects permit holders was among the bills the Georgia General Assembly passed this year.

Ga. General Assembly passes bills favorable to agriculture

Compiled by GFB staff ____________________________________ Georgia farmers could benefit from legislation passed in the 2018 session of the Georgia General Assembly, which concluded in the wee hours of the morning March 30. Among them are bills that strengthen the ag water metering program and protect permit holders, improve oversight of the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE), protect livestock producers against false animal cruelty charges, and clarify rules for the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA). Gov. Nathan Deal has 40 days from March 30 to sign or veto all of the bills the General Assembly passed this year.

Ag Water metering

Senate Bill 451, sponsored by Sen. Larry Walker III (R-Perry), codifies the responsibilities of the ag water metering program with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). Irrigation permits in the Flint River Basin will no longer have a $250 fee and will automatically be renewed after the 25-year term. This bill stipulates the EPD must contract out the reading, maintenance and repair of the irrigation meters. The water metering bill is intended to produce accurate data to defend farmers’ use of water against lawsuits.


House Bill 886, sponsored by Rep. 14 / April-May 2018

Sam Watson (R-Moultrie), strengthens the integrity of the GATE program in an effort to ensure its continuation. The bill raises the minimum of annual aggregate sales of ag products a farmer must have to qualify

for a GATE card to $5,000. It also replaces annual card renewal with a three-year card and allows the Georgia Departments of Agriculture and Revenue to share information in order to investigate and enforce GATE program rules.


Other legislation the General Assembly passed regarding ag taxes include Senate Bill 458, introduced by Sen. John Wilkinson (R-Toccoa). This bill will clarify the intent of CUVA and adds accountability for counties that wrongfully restrict access to the program. Wilkinson’s bill also clarifies that farm entities be treated the same as individuals regarding the ability of those age 65 and older to pull out at a reduced penalty rate. Senate Bill 458 includes language from House Bill 373 sponsored by Rep. David Knight (R-Griffin). Knight’s changes specify that a new plat or survey is not required to exclude a residential area. It

also provides accountability by repayment of attorney fees to individuals who are wrongly charged a breach.

Forest Land Tax

House Resolution 51 and House Bill 85, both sponsored by Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla), could end up benefiting the state’s forest landowners. HR 51 authorizes an amendment to the state constitution on the language of HB 85, which would establish a new tax class of timberland and adjust the formula for determining the fair market value of forest land enrolled in the Forest Land Protection Act (FLPA). This legislation would provide flexible options for landowners, if Gov. Deal signs it and at least 50 percent of Georgia voters approve it in a statewide referendum in November.

Livestock Producer Protection

House Bill 956, sponsored by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn), includes language requiring government agencies investigating farmers for alleged animal cruelty to consult with food animal veterinarians before charges are filed. The livestock producer protection in Pirkle’s bill originated with Senate Bill 257 sponsored by Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen). The intention of the bill is to involve food animal veterinarians early in an investigation to protect farmers from false accusations and provide the best care for animals. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo courresy of VOC

R.T. Stanley Jr. and Omar Cruz received top honors at the Vidalia Onion Committee's annual awards banquet Feb. 10. Stanley, the retired president of Vidaliabased Stanley Farms, was inducted into the Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame. Cruz, the longtime agronomist and director of production for Bland Farms LLC, headquartered in Glennville, received the 2018 Grower of the Year award. “Our congratulations to Omar and R.T. on being selected to receive our industry’s top honors,” said Bob Stafford, Vidalia Onion Committee interim executive director. “We enjoyed one of our strongest seasons in 2017, and we are looking forward to a good harvest this year.” Stanley began farming in 1964 as a sharecropper with his uncle. In 1974, Stanley established Stanley Farms with his father. In the late 1970s, the Stanleys began

Photo courresy of VOC

Vidalia Onion Committee honors Stanley & Cruz

Pictured from left, Troy Bland and Bob Stafford induct R.T. Stanley Jr. into the Vidalia Onion Committee Hall of Fame.

Pictured from left, Omar Cruz accepts the Vidalia Onion Committee Grower of the Year Award from Troy Bland and Bob Stafford.

growing Vidalia onions on five acres. They eventually expanded their onion production into more than 1,000 acres. Stanley was recognized for helping form the Vidalia Onion Committee, which administers the onions’ federal marketing order. Stanley served as president of Toombs County Farm Bureau from 1980 to 2012. In 2016 Stanley Farms merged with Coggins Farm and Produce Inc. of Lake Park to form Generation Farms.

Cruz began working in the Vidalia onion industry in 2002 at Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc.’s sweet onion operation in McRae, where he was chief agronomist. Cruz has been farming with Bland Farms in Tattnall County since 2005. Cruz was recognized for hosting numerous onion trials that have yielded valuable information to benefit the Vidalia industry and for sharing his vast knowledge with Vidalia growers in the surrounding counties.


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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 15

First Ga. FFA chapter turns 90 Photo courtesy of LeAnne Akin

By John Holcomb ____________________________________ The year was 1928, the national FFA organization was just getting started in the United States, and it was about to begin in Georgia. The first to take on that challenge in the state was in Barrow County at Statham Consolidated High School. Today, Barrow County has three FFA chapters and hundreds of others have been started across the state. “Now we have 333 chapters in our state. Ninety years later we have nearly 42 thousand members. We’re the thirdlargest state FFA association in the nation,” Georgia FFA Executive Secretary Ben Lastly said. All that’s left of the original FFA chapter is a plaque on the gym of the old school, but its legacy continues. Proof of this was shown at a celebration held Feb. 8 at Statham Elementary, where the consolidated high school used to be. Family members of the first chapter and members of Barrow County’s current FFA chapters attended to celebrate their FFA legacy. Winder-Barrow FFA Vice President

Relatives of the founding members of Georgia’s first FFA chapter in Barrow County and current FFA members celebrated the role their county played in starting the organization in Georgia.

Delaney Parr acknowledged the impact the organization has had on her life and many other Georgians. “Knowing that this [is] where those people [who started FFA in Georgia] walked and went to school, it’s pretty amazing,” Parr said. Many former and current FFA members got the chance to share stories of how FFA has affected and shaped their lives. Boyd McLochlin, the son of a founding member,

is one of those who shared his story. “FFA taught me that, it’s like if a piece of land is not productive, you don’t say, ‘Well I’ve got a non-productive piece of land.’ You go to work, and you make it productive,” McLochlin said. “I got that value of you take things and you work to make them how they’re supposed to be [from FFA]." Visit to view the segment about Georgia’s first FFA chapter that aired on the Farm Monitor.

Fun... Farm Monitor.

Photo courtesy of LeAnne Akin

John Holcomb

An archive photo of Georgia’s first FFA chapter in Barrow County. 16 / April-May 2018


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Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo courtesy of GNFA

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County; Payton Jackson, Banks County; Garrett Griner, Colquitt County; Courtney Conine, Mitchell County; Dawson Adams, Coffee County; and Kylie Whitworth, Madison County. The team will represent the GNFA by serving a one-year term showcasing the livestock and equine industry on site and throughout Georgia. Each member of this

team exhibits livestock at various GNFA shows. The ambassadors will have the chance to learn from some of the best in their respective fields, enabling them to broaden their understanding of agriculture while networking with state leaders, agricultural officials and setting goals toward future educational and career decisions.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 17

Fannin County Farm Bureau leaders were among local agriculture and community leaders who joined FFA members Feb. 7, 2017, to

CONSUMERS from page 7

school systems have taken it up as well. In Burke and Fannin counties, the schools offer continuing education courses on ag topics. Webster said one of the things the Burke County public schools are doing is conducting classes on topics like lawn equipment maintenance and

break ground for the new Fannin County Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Facility being built in Blue Ridge.

growing a garden. In Fannin, Bramlett said the school system is sharing a portion of the land where the agriculture science center is being built with Feed Fannin, which is teaching people to grow vegetables. The system bought and renovated the local cannery building used to teach kids – and sometimes their parents – how to pro-

duce and store their own food. “We have people move into our area who don’t know how to raise tomatoes,” Bramlett said. “I maintain that if you teach somebody to produce home-grown tomatoes, you’ve enhanced their life for the rest of their life. There’s just something magical about being able to grow your own food.”

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18 / April-May 2018

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Janet Hawkins

“There are kids now who don’t know where their food comes from. It’s important for kids to know where their food comes from and understand some of the challenge farmers face.” – Fannin County Farm Bureau Vice President Terry Bramlett

ag in the classroom update Paulding County Farm Bureau (PCFB) received one of seven $1,000 grants the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded to communities across the nation through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program. PCFB is using the grant to fund a worm composting system, irrigation and grow light system for seedlings to be used in the school garden at McGarity Elementary School. The garden will expose stu-

dents in kindergarten through fifth grade, and their families, to Georgia agriculture and ag careers. The AFBF grants are allocated through county Farm Bureaus and used to create new agricultural literacy projects or expand existing agricultural literacy efforts. Criteria for selecting grant winners include: effectiveness in demonstrating a strong connection between agriculture and education; success enhancing learner engagement in

Ga. educators selected for AFBF stem programs

Courtesy Sara Hughes

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture selected seven Georgia educators to participate in “On The Farm” Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professional development events held in Fort Worth, Texas, March 26-28, and scheduled for Portland, Oregon, May 23-25. The training is designed to bring science to life for participants with the help of American beef cattle ranchers, researchers, nutritionists and veterinarians. The Beef Checkoff Program funded development of the On The Farm training and support resources. Georgia teachers selected for the program in Fort Worth were: Jennifer Carroll, Roopville Elementary School, STEM coordinator (Carroll County); Sara Hughes, Oglethorpe County Middle School ag teacher; Nathan Medley, Floyd County Schools instructional technology specialist; Dona Morgan, Floyd County Schools teacher;

Georgia participants attending the “On The Farm” event in Fort Worth were, from left: Sara Hughes, Helen Ward, Jennifer Carrol, Dona Morgan, & Nathan Medley.

Helen Ward, Effingham County STEM coach. Georgia teachers selected for the upcoming Portland event are: Kathryn Brown, Clarke County School District teacher, and Belynda Songer, Museum of Aviation STEM educator for teachers.

Courtesy PCFB

Paulding Co. Farm Bureau receives AFBF grant Paulding County Farm Bureau Office Manager Tracy Grice, left, presents McGarity Elementary School Teacher Stephanie Degenaar with a $1,000 White-Reinhardt grant to fund projects for the school’s garden.

today’s food, fiber and fuel systems; and the processes and timelines for accomplishing project goals. In related news, the AFBF Foundation awarded Sarah Nichols, who works at Mansfield Elementary School in Newton County, one of 10 White-Reinhardt Scholarship to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine, June 26-29. Visit for more information about the AFBF Foundation and its grant and scholarship programs.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 19

GFB farm insurance update GFB file

By Jeff Hancock


Photo by Jeff Hancock

eorgia poultry farmers are improving their farms by building poultry houses with improved construction methods designed to increase profitability. Many new poultry houses are much larger than traditional houses. Some of the earliest commercial poultry houses were small, wood framed chicken coops like those you might find in the yard of today’s hobby farmer. Most modern commercial broiler houses range in width from 40 to 42 feet and in length from 300 to 500 feet. Today’s larger poultry houses are more than 50 feet wide with lengths up to 600 feet. The initial capital outlay to build a new house is a significant investment, but it plays a key role in determining the quality of the flock, which ultimately impacts the profitability of a grower’s poultry operation. According to the UGA Cooperative Extension, it costs about $225,000 to build one new poultry house. This cost includes site prepa-

GFB file

GFB insurance policies follow UGA recommendations to protect poultry farmers’ investment ration, construction, equipment, wiring and plumbing. Growers are usually required to build a minimum of two houses but farms typically have four or more houses. Larger houses cost more to build, but they result in lower production costs per square foot for farmers based on economies of scale. Farmers get a larger return on their initial investment with lower production costs. Large poultry houses require construction methods that maintain the structural integrity of the buildings since their size creates greater weight bearing loads. The Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company has adopted construction recommendations made by the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences that promote the structural integrity of poultry houses. These recommendations include chain-wall foundations, which consist of 4 x 4 wood posts and poured concrete walls. The posts should be treated to resist

UGA poultry house recommendations advise that large poultry houses be built with sufficiently sized knee braces, like these pictured extending from the roof to the house wall. Knee braces should be attached using angle iron and lag bolt connections. Braces should be strong enough to carry the weight of the roof. 20 / April-May 2018

decay and termites and buried a minimum of 36 inches below the soil surface and secured in concrete. Rebar should be used to secure the wood posts to the concrete, and the concrete on the largest houses should extend 18 inches below the soil surface. In addition to having a strong foundation wall, large poultry houses should be built with professionally engineered roof trusses designed to carry the extra weight loads created by a larger roof. It’s crucial the trusses are braced correctly to ensure the trusses remain in a straight and plumb position. Large poultry houses require sufficiently–sized knee braces, which extend from the roof trusses to the house wall, that are strong enough to carry the extra weight loads. UGA recommends that knee braces be attached using angle iron and lag bolt connections instead of 2 x 4 studs. Georgia Farm Bureau stands ready to provide the best insurance protection possible as the poultry community looks for ways to increase the return on growers’ initial investment while cutting the production costs per house for poultry companies. Georgia Farm Bureau’s years of poultry industry knowledge and our desire to provide the best insurance product for Georgia’s farmers make us the best choice to protect your investment. Our agents and field underwriters are always ready to answer any questions regarding construction techniques and insurance coverage provided by a GFB farm policy. Contact your local Farm Bureau office for more information. Jeff Hancock is a member of the GFB Mutual Insurance Company’s Underwriting Department. He is the GFB District 4 Field Underwriter and has been employed with the company for 19 years. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jay Stone

Georgia Equine Champions honored Georgia youth who won state, national or world championships in equine competitions last year were celebrated at the annual Equine Champions Day at the Georgia Capitol Feb. 8. The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Equine hosted the event. The equine champions had the chance to meet Gov. Nathan Deal and visit the Georgia House and Senate at the Capitol. Af-

terward, they enjoyed lunch at the Georgia Freight Depot with tasty treats from The Varsity while hearing from Gov. Deal, Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. Visit to read more. Visit http://gfb. ag/18equinechamps to view more photos from the event.


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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 21

news briefs GFB file

Compiled by GFB staff

Pecans, cotton, beef & soybeans on China's tariff list On April 2 China’s Ministry of Commerce announced new 15 % tariffs on 120 U.S. products, including pecans, and increased tariffs on eight others by 25 % in response to U.S. tariffs on imports of Chinese steel and aluminum. The tariffs in the April 2 announcement went into effect immediately, according to a U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service translation of the announcement. In a separate action on April 4, China announced a 25 % proposed tariff on 33 other U.S. products, including beef, cotton, pork and soybeans. This announcement did not include an implementation date. Georgia is the top pecan-producing state and the second-largest cotton-producing state. While pecans are not named specifically in the April 2 list of targeted products, they fall under the listed category of “other fresh or dried nuts,” according to the U.S. Pecan Growers Council (USPGC). The USPGC said about 20 % of U.S. pecan production is exported to China. In 2017, U.S. pecan producers shipped 30,551 metric tons of in-shell pecans and kernels, valued at more than $197 million. With the increased tariff, Chinese customers will pay 22 % duties on U.S. pecans. According to the National Cotton Council, China has purchased about 2.5 million bales of U.S. cotton during the current 2017 crop year, which ends July 31. China is the second-largest export market for U.S. cotton. In 2017, Georgia cotton growers grew 2.25 million bales according to the USDA. China buys 61 % of all U.S. soybean exports and more than 30 % of total U.S. soybean production, according to the American Soybean Association. In 2017, Georgia growers produced 6.3 million bushels of soybeans. U.S. beef exports returned to China in June 2017 after a 13-year absence over BSE concerns. U.S. Meat Export Federation data shows U.S. beef exports to China totaled 3,020 tons valued at $31 million for 2017. 22 / April-May 2018

Carter named Rural Ga. Deputy Commissioner

Stougaard new CAES Asst. Dean for Research

Amy Carter is now deputy commissioner for rural Georgia at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), Gov. Nathan Deal announced March 7. At the GDEcD, Carter will lead state efforts to help rural Georgia communities become more competitive for economic development projects and identify Carter new strategies for attracting jobs and investment outside the Metro Atlanta region. “Promoting the growth and success of rural Georgia is essential to securing a more prosperous state for generations to come,” said Deal. “Amy’s experience working with students and her time in public service have given her an understanding of the needs facing our educational system. Her background will help her to improve education and workforce development in rural Georgia, two areas proven to be critical in generating significant investment and economic opportunities.” Carter was previously the executive director of stewardship and development for the Technical College System of Georgia. She represented the 175th District in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017.

Robert N. Stougaard has been named the assistant dean of research for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) effective March 1. Stougaard is responsible for the overall supervision of the college’s seven research centers and farms and three major agricultural experiment stations across the state. “We are fortunate Stougaard to have someone with Bob Stougaard’s depth of experience to manage our extensive network of research stations and farms throughout Georgia,” said Allen Moore, UGA CAES associate dean of research. “Our research network is vital to Georgia agriculture and allows us to conduct research that is climate-specific and soil-specific to the numerous growing conditions in a state this size.” Stougaard received a bachelor’s degree in soil science from the University of Wisconsin in 1978 and a master’s degree in weed science from Southern Illinois University in 1983. He earned his doctorate in weed science from the University of Nebraska, where he also minored in microbiology. He joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska in 1987 where he focused on Extension weed science efforts in crops. In 1991, Stougaard moved to Montana State University where he was responsible for weed science research and small-grain cultivar evaluations.

Ga. Forestry Commission appointees named Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed James L. “Jimmy” Allen, Sandie Sparks and Larry Spillers to the Georgia Forestry Commission effective Jan. 26. Allen, who was reappointed, is a former professional golfer and a founder of Allen Pritchett & Bassett LLP. He is a co-owner of Pike Creek Turf, a turfgrass production and installation company and is a member of the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA). Sparks is the sales manager for Sparks Lumber Company and oversees log procurement. She is a former chair of the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturer’s Association and a member of the GFA and the Forest Landowners Association. Spillers, who was reappointed, is the Georgia operations manager of Jordan Forest Products. He is a GFA director and a former chairman of the Georgia Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee. Georgia Farm Bureau News

College students who will be freshmen or sophomores at a Georgia college for the 2018-2019 academic year and is the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee have until May 1 to apply for two $1,500 scholarships coordinated by the Georgia Cotton Women Inc. (GCW) - the John M. and Connie H. Mobley Memorial Scholarship and the GCW Scholarship. Applicants for both scholarships must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and must maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average to receive the scholarship the following term. Applications are available by emailing

2nd Annual Ga. Coyote Challenge underway

Coyotes can be hunted year-round in Georgia, but through Aug. 31, hunters who submit evidence of a coyote killed in Georgia have the chance to win a lifetime hunting/ fishing license in the 2nd Annual Georgia Coyote Challenge. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is conducting the challenge. There will be three drawings for a lifetime license (or the equivalent of $750 of credit for hunting & fishing licenses or a prize of similar value). A drawing will be held the first week of May to cover March & April entries. A drawing the first week of July will cover May & June entries. A drawing the first week of September will cover July & August entries. Participants may submit up to 10 coyotes during each drawing period. To enter, email a photo of the entire, intact carcass of dead coyote with your phone to coyote. You will receive an autoreply providing a link to the entry form. Complete the form and include your email address. You will only receive an autoreply for the first entry. To submit additional entries, reuse the link provided to you I the first autoreply email. Road-kills, spoiled carcasses, coyotes that have been ear-notched and live coyotes are not eligible. Metadata on all photos submitted will be analyzed to determine the date and location of submitted images. For more information call 770-9186400 or visit

Have you responded to Census of Agriculture? Farmers still have time to be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Although the first deadline has passed, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is accepting census information through the spring to get an accurate picture of American agriculture. Federal law requires everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire to complete and return it, even if they are not currently farming. NASS will continue to follow up with producers with mailings, phone calls and personal visits until a response is received. To avoid these additional contacts, farmers and ranchers are encouraged to complete their census online at or by mail as soon as possible. For questions or assistance filling out the census, call toll-free (888) 424-7828. “It is absolutely imperative that farmers complete the ag census because when we [Congress] want to get programs for crops, we have to justify the need for the funding,” U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop told Georgia pecan growers at their annual conference.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 23

GFB Awards $14,000 to Champions

Hard work & dedication pay off for Ga. Jr. National Grand Champions Article & Photos by Jennifer Whittaker ____________________________________________________________


pring sprang a month early for the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held Feb. 21-24 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry. The 1,585 4-Hers and FFA members from across Georgia competing in the annual event enjoyed balmy weather as they groomed their livestock among fully-bloomed Bradford pear trees. Exhibitors showed a total of 2,413 cows, goats, pigs and sheep during the multi-day event as they competed for showmanship and species awards. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) sponsored the grand champion prizes for all species shown for the seventh consecutive year and was a premier sponsor of show. “Georgia Farm Bureau has been a long-time sponsor of the 4-H and FFA programs. We want to encourage kids to show livestock because our organization understands that the kids who are showing livestock today will be Georgia’s future agricultural community,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “Showing livestock is teaching these students responsibility and leadership while they make lifelong friends.” In addition to sponsoring the grand champion prizes, GFB expanded its support of Georgia’s youth by becoming the premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter’s 2017-2018 show season.

Visit to see more show photos. BRAYDEN ADAMS------------------------------------- FFA member Brayden Adams won the $1,000 grand champion breeding ewe prize with a lamb his family raised. The North Forsyth High School sophomore has been showing lambs for seven years. Showing lambs is a family affair for the Adams family. Parents Bud and Annette began raising lambs five years ago for Brayden and his siblings, Kaylie and Cash, to show. When asked what it meant to win the grand prize with a lamb his family raised, Brayden answered, Pictured from left, GFB President Ger- “It’s very rewarding. It ald Long & judge Glen Martin congratu- means our stock is one of late North Forsyth High School FFA the best in the show.” member Brayden Adams. Brayden says what he likes most about showing is working with his lambs to figure out what’s best about them physically and how to show them right to accentuate their best features. 24 / April-May 2018

TAYLOR BARBER-------------------------------------- Bainbridge High School FFA member Taylor Barber earned her third grand champion belt buckle by winning the grand champion market steer prize of $5,000. Barber, an 11th-grader who has shown livestock for 12 years, won the grand champion market barrow award in 2013 and 2017. “I just love working with animals in general,” Barber said when asked the secret to her success. “I’m in the barn from onethirty every afternoon until eight or nine at night. Pictured from left, GFB President My dad pushes me to do Gerald Long & judge Brigham Stewmy best. Showing has art congratulate Taylor Barber, a FFA member from Bainbridge High School. taught me a lot about how to be responsible and time management. It’s helped me form lifelong relationships with other families who show.” The Decatur County student is the daughter of Jeff and Leslie Barber. Georgia Farm Bureau News

TRENT MADDOX-------------------------------------- Jasper County 4-Her Trent Maddox captured the grand champion commercial dairy heifer prize of $1,500. The Jasper County High School freshman began showing dairy cattle six years ago at the encouragement of his former Extension agent Bobby Smith. “I started because showing looked like something that would be enjoyable,” Maddox said. “I like getting to hang out with friends and family doing something I love.” GFB President Gerald Long, left, & Maddox is the son of judge Brian Schnebly congratulate Bryan and Bobbi Maddox Trent Maddox of Monticello. TAYLOR LAYFIELD------------------------------------- Worth County High School FFA member Taylor Layfield took home the grand champion commercial doe award of $1,000. After watching her boyfriend, Chase Roberts, win seven grand championships with his goats, Layfield took up showing for her senior year. “It was easy to learn about goats and showing was easy to catch on to,” Layfield said. “I like the goat R.J. that I showed because of her attitude and the way she worked with me in the ring.” Layfield is the daughter GFB President Gerald Long congratu- of Mac and Carol Layfield of lates Taylor Layfield. Sylvester. BLAZE BEASLEY--------------------------------------- Pelham High School FFA member Blaze Beasley captured the grand champion breeding heifer prize of $2,500. The high school senior won the grand champion market steer award last year and has shown cows for eight years. When asked the advice she’d give other exhibitors for picking out their show cows, Beasley said, “Just pick which one feels right to you. I was looking for something I could use after the show - a cow I Pictured from left, GFB President could put out in the pasGerald Long & judge Harlan Yoacham ture that would be procongratulate Blaze Beasley. ductive. I was looking for

a maternal cow.” Beasley, the daughter of Richard and Laura Beasley of Mitchell County, grew up on a working ranch. She said she and her siblings put their show cows in the herd. Beasley said she was speechless at winning a second grand champion prize, but she quickly added, “It means a lot. It’s a lot of hard work, but the real reward of showing is getting to see your show friends who live across the state.” SAVANNAH PAGE------------------------------------- West Jackson Middle School FFA member Savannah Page won the grand champion market gilt award of $1,500 for the second consecutive year. “I’m speechless,” Page said when asked how it felt to win the award for the second year. “It’s amazing. It took a lot of hard work and dedication. I got my pig in October, and I worked with her every day cleaning her pen, washing her and walking her.” Page, the daughter of Phil and Christy Page of Jackson County, said she GFB President Gerald Long, right, & was looking for a hog that judge Mike Fischer offer their conhad width of base and gratulations to Savannah Page. structural integrity when she helped pick out her pig last fall. “That means how wide they are when standing, which indicates how much muscle they have and how much product they will produce,” Savannah explained. CAROLYNE TURNER----------------------------------- After winning reserve champion market gilt the past two years, Colquitt County FFA member Carolyne Turner took home the grand champion market barrow prize of $1,500 with her crossbred pig, Rico. Turner, a sixth grader at Willie J. Williams Middle School, has shown pigs for nine years. She is the daughter of Richie and Becca Turner. “I like meeting new people and being with different people because you make lifelong friends GFB President Gerald Long, right, & doing this,” Turner said. judge Mike Fischer congratulate Car"Training the pig is the olyne Turner. hardest part about showing. They [pigs] have a mind of their own.” After getting Rico in October, Turner estimates she spent three to four hours a day cleaning out his pen, brushing, walking, washing and feeding him.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 25

young farmer & rancher update

By Erin Nessmith, Young Farmer & Rancher Coordinator

The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee is excited to announceGFB’s annual YF&R Leadership Conference set for July 19 – July 21. June 1 is the deadline to register. Jekyll Island will welcome GFB members ages 18 through 35 years old for a weekend of friendship, education, industry updates and FUN! The annual conference will feature the three state competitive events - the achievement award, excellence in agriculture award and all rounds of the discussion meet. The conference will kick off Thursday with the GFB Foundation golf tournament and continue that evening with an outdoor cookout offering great food, live entertainment, games and activities for the whole family. Friday will be jam-packed! Interviews for the excellence in agriculture award contestants will take place and the first three rounds of the discussion meet competition will be held. A wide array of educational and exciting breakout sessions will run consecutively with the competitive events. Session topics will include financial planning, social media use and advocacy, value-added products, tips for small business development and a Georgia Grown cooking demonstration. The conference will conclude Saturday after the competitive event winners are announced. Join the competitors to see who goes home with the brand-new John Deere utility vehicles. Additionally, attendees will hear a dynamic guest speaker and be the first to hear a special announcement for the Georgia YF&R program. Registration is $75 per YF&R member and children are welcome to attend! Visit to register or contact your county office manager for more details! 26 / April-May 2018

Photo by Sidney Middlebrooks

Head to Jekyll for annual GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference

For the 33rd year, Georgia Farm Bureau sent a group of Young Farmers & Ranchers to Washington, D.C., to discuss ag issues with Georgia’s U.S. Congressional delegation. Visit www.gfb. photos/18YFRDC to see more photos.

GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers take on Capitol Hill, visit Canadian Embassy The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers program took a group of 30 members from across Georgia to Washington, D.C., March 6-9 as part of its annual YF&R to Washington trip. The YF&R members discussed issues including immigration, trade, WOTUS and the farm bill with Georgia’s U.S. congressional delegation. Sen. David Perdue met with the group in the Russell Senate Office Building and discussed several issues facing agriculture. Later the group met with their members of Congress to discuss issues affecting their farms. AFBF President Zippy Duvall met with the group and AFBF staff briefed the young farmers on the priority issues facing agriculture this year. YF&R members also heard presentations from the Global Cold Chain Alliance and the Animal Agriculture Alliance. Both organizations are headquartered near Washington, D.C. and are integral to supporting and promoting current industry trends and needs.

Canadian agriculture ambassadors welcomed the Georgia YF&R delegation to the Canadian Embassy where the ag ambassadors discussed the current climate with NAFTA negotiations and provided a presentation on the power of trade between Canada and the United States. GFB President Gerald Long addressed the young farmers and shared the importance of working with their elected officials to tell the story of Georgia agriculture. “This trip to Washington D.C., is a way for Georgia YF&R members to see how much influence Farm Bureau has in Washington on farm issues,” said GFB YF&R Chairman Dustin Covington. “To see that representatives will listen to us as young farmers, knowing that our voice and vote back home is important to their future service and our industry, is inspiring.” During their visit to D.C., the YF&R members toured Arlington National Cemetery, the Newseum and many Smithsonian exhibits, all of which make Washington, D.C., one of the best places to visit. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Clay Talton

Madison Lynn of Toombs County, GFB’s 2017 Collegiate Discussion Meet winner, competed in February at the 2018 AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference in Reno, Nevada. Registration for the 2018 GFB Discussion Meet is now open! For more information, visit

Ga. delegation attends AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference Members of the Georgia delegation attending the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Reno, Nevada, in February included, pictured from left: GFB Field Services Associate Director Clay and Brittany Talton, GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee members Preston and Kendall Jimmerson,

Dustin Covington, Bonnie Duvall, AFBF President Zippy Duvall, Jesse Patrick, John Douglas Newton, Jamie Hendren and Brandon Wade, Chy and Guill Kellogg, Vicki and Ben Cagle. At the conference, the group attended workshops to help make their farms more

efficient and networked with other young farmers from across the nation. They also heard from motivational speakers and AFBF President Zippy Duvall. Toombs County YF&R member Madison Lynn represented GFB well in the Collegiate Discussion Meet.

GFB accepting photo contest entries until May 18 What does agriculture look like on your farm? The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee is asking GFB members to share their photos of farm life and rural Georgia in its 9th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest. We want to see your planting and harvest shots, farm kids, livestock, vegetable gardens, scenic barns and pastures. This contest is open to all GFB members, including county and state staff, who receive no income from photography. The winner will be featured on the front of the 2019 GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Calendar and the 11 honorable mentions will be inside. Even if your photo doesn’t make the calendar, it might be featured on a cover of a GFB magazine, in a brochure or used on GFB social media platforms. The first-place prize is $150 and the 11 honorable mentions receive $75 each. Only digital photos that are a minimum of 1 megabyte (MB) in file size may be submitted with a limit of three entries per person. All photos must have been shot in Georgia in 2017 or 2018. Photos that have been digitally enhanced will not be judged. All photos become the property of GFB. Digital photos must be sent as a JPEG file attachment via email to by 4:30 p.m. on May 18. If people are included in photos, you must complete a model release form and submit it with the photo. Visit or your county Farm Bureau office for contest rules, entry instructions and the model release form.

GFB contests recognize outstanding Young Farmers Applications due June 1 Applications for the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet are due June 1. These award areas are a great way to recognize the hard work and industry involvement of young farmers and ranchers throughout Georgia. GFB members ages 18 through 35 may apply for the awards, which will be presented at the GFB YF&R Leadership Conference set for July 19-21. To be eligible to apply for the ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, a YF&R member or couple must derive the majority of their income from production See CONTESTS page 29

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 27

around georgia news from county farm bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker

More county Farm Bureau activities are featured on the Friends of Georgia Farm Bureau Facebook group page at Join the group to keep up with county events as they occur!

way Farms on how Christmas trees are grown, a petting zoo with live animals including goats and horses, fire & sheriff department employees safety displays and Dept. of Natural Resources wildlife presentations.

BARTOW COUNTY Bartow County Farm Bureau celebrated National FFA Week, Feb. 17-24, by arranging for local beekeeper Mike Roshaven, center, to visit Adairsville High School FFA students. Roshaven was one of several members of the Bartow County ag community the FFA chapter brought in during the week to teach students about commodities grown in the county. Roshaven discussed how beekeepers care for their hives to produce honey.

BURKE COUNTY Burke County Farm Bureau held a Blessing of the Crops service March 21. Local farmers and members of the ag community attended the early morning event. Rosemont Baptist Church Pastor Wes Lawson said prayers asking God to bless this year’s crops and the farmers growing them. About 50 attendees enjoyed coffee and pastries while visiting.

BUTTS COUNTY Thanks to Butts County Farm Bureau (BCFB), about 300 kindergarten students from three schools in the county have a better understanding of agriculture. BCFB helped organize the county’s annual Farm Day on March 9. Katelin Benkoski, with the Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom visits with, from left, BCFB Directors Terry Smith, Tommy Presley and Danny Meadows. Students rotated through 18 exhibits highlighting various aspects of farming and rural life including a presentation from Ridge28 / April-May 2018

GLYNN COUNTY During Georgia History Day at Oglethorpe Point Elementary School on St. Simons Island, Glynn County Farm Bureau (GCFB) taught fourth graders about the important role honeybees play in pollinating crops. GCFB Corporate Sec./Treasurer Susan Shipman, right, & member Patti LaNeve, left, gave a presentation highlighting how bees came to America and how beekeepers care for their hives. GCFB gave each student a sample of two types of local honey, a pollinator poster and honeybee brochures.

GRADY COUNTY Grady County Farm Bureau (GCFB) held its annual speech contest for local FFA members in February. GCFB Directors awarded the first-place prize of $75 to Julee Whitehead from Whigham Elementary School, the second-place prize of $50 to Diane Gomez from Cairo High School and the third-place prize of $25 to Tanner Norton from Whigham Elementary School. Pictured from left, GCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Donna Powell thanks Gomez, Whitehead, Norton & Hayden Hodges for participating in the contest as GCFB President Sammy Perkins offers congratulations. GWINNETT COUNTY Gwinnett County Farm Bureau (GCFB) recently donated $910 to the Gwinnett County Cooperative Extension to cover the insurance expense for the Farm Friends exhibit the Gwinnett Extension office organizes for the annual 10-day Gwinnett County Fair held in September. The exhibit reaches more than 15,000 fair attendees who spend around 30 minutes viewing fact sheets, petting farm animals, and gaining an understanding of agriculture. This is the second year Georgia Farm Bureau News

Gwinnett County

GCFB has covered the insurance cost of the exhibit. Members of the GCFB Board of Directors are pictured at the 2017 fair exhibit.

HABERSHAM COUNTY Habersham County Farm Bureau highlighted the more than 3,000 jobs the poultry industry provides in the county with its display “How many jobs can a chicken make?” exhibited at the South Habersham Middle School Career Day March 9. Pictured from left, Ann Elrod, Rhonda Williams, Michelle McClain, Sue Brooks, Helen Barrett, & Cheryl Kowalsky, not pictured, visited with about 470 eighth graders during the event.

McDUFFIE COUNTY McDuffie County Farm Bureau (MCFB) held a Farm City Festival March 24 to celebrate Georgia Agriculture Awareness Week. Thanks CONTESTS from page 27 agriculture. Farm Bureau involvement is an important aspect of this application. The top three applicants selected will compete in an interview round, which consists of an onsite farm visit by a panel of judges before the conference. The EXCELLENCE IN AGRICULTURE AWARD is for a YF&R member or couple whose primary income is not derived from farming. Extension agents, FFA advisors and ag lenders are examples of individuals who may apply for this award. Involvement in community, Farm Bureau and other ag organizations is an important component to this award.

to MCFB’s efforts, about 750 local residents who attended the event have a better understanding & appreciation of agriculture and the impact it makes on their daily lives and local economy. Twenty-six vendors showcased different aspects of farming and rural life including: the Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom, Scott Family Farms, Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources and the Security Equine Rescue. During the festival, MCFB held a silent auction to raise money for the MCFB Youth Board, which the county Farm Bureau uses to recruit future members and educate them about McDuffie County agriculture and ag careers. TREUTLEN COUNTY Treutlen County Farm Bureau Office Manager Doris Warnock read “Hi, I’m Billy the Blueberry,” to the pre-K classes at Treutlen Primary during Georgia Agriculture Awareness Week. TCFB gave the students a small container of blueberries and a blueberry coloring sheet.

TURNER COUNTY Turner County Farm Bureau teamed up with the Turner County Young Farmers to read to students at Turner County Elementary School March 9 in celebration of Dr. Seuss Week and Ag Literacy Day. Pictured from left are: Mark Wynn, DeAlva Freeman, Sandra Blue, Dennis Kendrick, Karen McCurdy & Ann Kendrick. The two groups have also donated a large assortment of agriculture-related books for the teacher resource library.

The DISCUSSION MEET competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting where all contest participants actively exchange ideas and information on pre-determined topics. This year’s questions can be found at The state winners of each of the competitive events will be announced at the GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference in July. Interviews for the top three Excellence in Agriculture applicants and all rounds of the Discussion Meet will be held at the leadership conference. For more information on any of these awards or the conference, visit www.gfb.

ag/yfr or your county Farm Bureau office. The Achievement Award winner will win a $500 cash prize and a 4-person John Deere utility vehicle. Runners-up for the achievement award will receive $500. The discussion meet winner will receive a 2-person John Deere utility vehicle and $500 cash with the runners-up receiving $350. The excellence in ag winner will receive a 2-person John Deere utility vehicle and runners-up will get $500 cash. The winners of each contest will receive an expense-paid trip to compete at the American Farm Bureau Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan. 11-16, 2019.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 29

serves up chuckles & chicken Article & Photos by Jay Stone


orth Carolina farmer and comedian Jerry Carroll put a smile on everyone’s face with tales of going fishing, catching a cow, rural transportation and ag commodity slogans during a show at the 4th Annual Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Gala. About 400 people from around the state shared laughs, a meal and fellowship during the event held March 17 at Southern Bridle Farms in Fort Valley. Patrons participated in a silent auction for dozens of unique items, ranging from a Larry Munson bulldog statue to a Big Green Egg cooker. GFB used the occasion to recognize Georgia Junior National Livestock Show grand champions and offer thanks to people and organizations that financially support the foundation. GFB recognized Hall County Farm Bureau’s (HCFB) Growing Real Opportunities With Students (Hall GROWS) program and the 2017 GFB Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Wendy Fuschetti of Banks County. HCFB has placed Ag in the Classroom curriculum in 27 schools in the county through its Hall GROWS program. Fuschetti, a third-grade teacher at Banks County Elementary School, teaches her students and their families the value of growing a garden, the process of planting seeds and growing them to harvest along with the joy of preparing meals from food they grow. GFB President Gerald Long highlighted the organization’s Harvest 20 Vision, 30 / April-May 2018

through which GFB aims to inspire, educate and 12 hours of manure applicator trainand preserve agriculture through efforts to ing,” Carroll quipped before launching keep farming in the public consciousness. into stories about his experiences travel “The GFB Foundation falls effortlessly ing North America, how FFA changed his into this vision,” Long said. “Through life and working on his family’s farm near the year 2020 and beyond, Georgia Farm Raleigh, North Carolina. Carroll’s famBureau aims to increase its efforts to pro- ily grows mushrooms, raises livestock, and mote ag literacy in schools and throughout hosts local school children as an educational Georgia’s communities. We will educate agritourism venue. consumers about the importance of agricul- In between keeping the crowd laughture, and we won’t stop until every citizen ing, Carroll urged the audience to continue of Georgia understands why agriculture is its work on behalf of agriculture. vital to their survival.” “When you’re having a kid on your farm The grand champion winners of the and they see the livestock, the open spaces Georgia Junior National Livestock Shows - we’ve got to do more of that,” Carroll said. were presented commemorative belt buckles for their achievements. Carroll, who has performed at numerous corporate events and provided opening entertainment for musical artists Lyle Lovett, Michael Bolton and Patty Loveless, had the crowd in stitches from the start. “I’m the only Top of page: Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Gala comedian you’ll attendees enjoyed a beautiful spring night at Southern Bridle Farms. hear who has his Visit to see more photos from the gala. pesticide license Above: Southern Bridle Farms. Inset: Comedian Jerry Carroll. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Celebrate your farm mom

By Jennifer Whittaker ____________________________________


hile visiting my parents at Easter, I discovered a poem I wrote about my mom, Catherine, for my third-grade English teacher, Maxine Nabors. The local paper published it and those of my classmates for Mother’s Day years ago. Reading the saved clipping sent me into a fit of laughter and made Mama shake her head. While my classmates waxed poetic about their moms’ beauty and kindness, I took the unorthodox route of starting my poem by admitting my misbehavior sometimes made Mama grouchy. I went on to say I knew Mama loved me because she fed me and made sure I took baths. Finding that poem got me to thinking how God blessed me with a terrific mom. She wasn’t just a mom. She was a FARM MOM. Anyone who has one knows what I mean. Farm moms don’t just multitask like most moms. They multitask on a supernatural level. Mama rose every morning with my dad to cook him breakfast before he headed out to milk the cows. When I was about 10, she assumed the responsibility of raising the replacement heifers for the family dairy. She did at least an hour and half shift before taking me to school and going to her eight-hour “public” job. When we got home about five-thirty each afternoon, we grabbed a quick snack and headed to the barn to mix warm milk bottles for 20-35 hungry, bawling calves. Mama didn’t put her feet up when we returned from the barn. She pulled out pots and pans to “Whip up supper by the time your Daddy gets home.” Growing up, I took Mama’s cooking for granted. It wasn’t until college that I realized all moms don’t cook. I naively thought everyone was chowing down on meatloaf or salmon patties with from scratch mashed potatoes, fried chicken with rice and gravy or spaghetti served with homegrown vegetables. Sure, some nights Mama went the easy

GFB News Editor Jennifer Whittaker with her favorite farm mom, Catherine.

route with Hamburger Helper® or leftovers, but even on those nights, she was cooking with love. Like most farm moms, Mama had a garden every summer. While some moms were hanging out by the pool with their kids, Mama was growing vegetables, then canning and freezing them for the next winter. For farm moms, their “hobbies” are things most women consider chores. They grow gardens, feed cows, check chicken houses, pick up eggs, rake/bale hay, pick up parts for broken farm machinery or keep the farm records. You get the picture. Farm moms are also usually very involved in their churches, communities and kids’ schools. They sing, play piano or organ at church, teach Sunday School/ Vacation Bible School or serve as church clerks/treasurers. They support or serve on their local volunteer fire departments, school boards, or county commissions. They raise money for the football, baseball, softball, soccer, cheerleading or band booster clubs so their kids’ teams have money for new uniforms or to go on field trips. Oh, let’s not forget the hours

they spend helping their kids with 4-H and FFA projects. During my time with Georgia Farm Bureau I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of farm moms across the state. You get in trouble when you name names, but I’m going to risk it and salute a few of the incredible farm moms I know through GFB: Ray Bloser, Wendy Boyd, Heather Cabe, Marcia Callaway, Teresa Chambers, Ellen Chase, Brenda and Terri Cooley, Linda Crumley, Angie Durham, Kim Edge, Lauren Grimes, Janet Gruel, Betty Harris, Kaci Marks, Mandy Moon, Angel Page, Lori Rogers, Melanie Sanders, Neely South, Rabun Waller and Carol Williams. I know there are many more incredible farm moms out there. Georgia agriculture wouldn’t be such a strong community without them. Monsanto is sponsoring a contest to recognize 10 outstanding farm moms nationwide. You’ve got until midnight April 30 to nominate your favorite farm mom to win $1,000 for the charity of her choice. Visit for more information.


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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2018 / 31

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Georgia Farm Bureau News - April / May 2018  

The Georgia Farm Bureau News has been the official publication of Georgia Farm Bureau since 1937. With the motto, “The Voice of Georgia Farm...

Georgia Farm Bureau News - April / May 2018  

The Georgia Farm Bureau News has been the official publication of Georgia Farm Bureau since 1937. With the motto, “The Voice of Georgia Farm...

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