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Vol. 80 No. 4

GEORGIA

July/August 2018

FARM BUREAU NEWS The Voice of Georgia Farmers

Inside: FARMERS' DISCONNECT: SLOW, NO INTERNET CONSTANT HEADACHE GFB YF&R PROGRAM GAINING GROUND OCT. 31 DEADLINE TO ENTER GFB HAY CONTEST COUNTRY GOES TO TOWN GFB PHOTO CONTEST SHOWCASES SCENIC GEORGIA


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contents July/August 2018

departments View from the Field PAGE 4

Public Policy Update PAGE 5

GFB Farm Insurance Update

Farmers’ disconnect: Slow or no internet a constant headache

In the fourth installment of our Rural Prosperity Series, we look at the problems farmers are having due to the lack of broadband in rural Georgia. PAGE 6

GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers gain ground at annual conference

Speakers at the annual conference told young farmers how to gain ground in the areas of business, advocacy, education and policy. The winners of the three YF&R competitive events were announced. PAGE 8

Determination & crop diversity key to GFB Achievement finalists’ success

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The GFB Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award finalists have succeeded as farmers due to their determination and crop diversity. Learn about the farms of finalists Elton Baldy, Mitchell & Becky Pittman and winners Will & Heather Cabe. PAGE 10

Certified Farm Market Update

GFB Hay Contest 1st place prize is use of Vermeer baler for a year!

Around Georgia

Georgia Farm Bureau members who produce Bermudagrass hay have until Oct. 31 to enter our annual hay contest. GFB is also accepting listings for its online hay directory. PAGE 14

Ag in the Classroom Update

Travel with us to Newnan to see a collection of farm animals displayed on the town’s Court Square through May 2019. PAGE 18

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PAGES 24-25 PAGE 26

Country goes to town Georgia news briefs

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 mcfarlandadvantage@gmail.com For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail jawhittaker@gfb.org

Learn about new education programs available at ABAC & UGA, Georgians appointed to national peanut boards and the state Equine Commission. PAGE 20

GFB Photo Contest showcases scenic Georgia

Congratulations to Haley Anderson for winning the 9th Annual GFB Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest! Find out who the 11 honorable mention winners are. PAGE 28

Don’t miss Sunbelt Expo! Vaughn representing Georgia

Mark your calendars for Oct. 16-18 to attend Sunbelt Expo. Monroe County farmer James Vaughn is representing Georgia in the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Contest. PAGE 31 CORRECTION: We misidentified the young lady on our June cover as Jessica Lee. Her name is Jessica Bell. We apologize for the error.

Visit the GFB Web site today! GFB.ORG Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau www.gfb.ag/group Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau Follow us on Instragram: www.instagram.com/gafarmbureau

Georgia Farm Bureau News

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

GFB YF&R Conference attendees picked the cover photo Haley Anderson shot of her son, Slade, to win the GFB photo contest. Anderson won the 2012 photo contest with a similar photo of her husband, Garrett. We’ve printed both photos so you can enjoy the matching set. July–August 2018 / 3


view from the field

Gerald Long, GFB President

Carrying out the Vision

Georgia Farm Bureau continues to implement the Harvest 20 Vision I introduced at our annual convention last year. As you’ll recall, the three goals of the vision are to INSPIRE Georgia’s ag community, EDUCATE our members and consumers so we can PRESERVE Georgia agriculture for future generations. One way GFB is working to inspire Georgia’s ag community is by funding grants for ag research to address production issues impacting Georgia farmers. In April, GFB announced we were accepting proposals to fund research conducted this year. A review committee selected these five research projects to receive GFB grants: Identification & Documentation of Invasive Whitefly Species on Georgia Farms, principal investigator Michael Toews; Understanding the Interaction of Forage Quality & Quantity & the Best Supplementation Strategies to Maximize Beef Cattle Efficiency, principal investigator Lawton Stewart; Evaluating Snap Bean Cultivar & Germplasms for Resistance/ Tolerance to the Cucurbit Leaf Crumple Virus, principal investigator Bhabesh Dutta; Effect of Cover Crops on Stubby Root Nematodes, principal investigator Abolfazl Hajihassani; and Evaluating the Effects of a Supplemental Feed Area on Early Bird Performance & Health in a Commercial Broiler House, principal investigator Brian Fairchild. GFB is awarding almost $42,000 in funds in varying amounts to these projects. The grant recipients have been invited to present their research results in a poster session at the 2018 GFB Annual Convention in December. I’m looking forward to seeing the research findings presented at convention and the positive impact the research will have when farmers apply it on their farms. The annual GFB Young Farmer & Rancher Conference is another way GFB has worked to INSPIRE and EDUCATE our members this summer. I wasn’t able to attend as my wife, Janice, was recovering from knee replacement surgery, but I’ve heard nothing but positive reports. This event serves as a way to introduce our younger members to how our organization works for Georgia’s farmers and the programs 4 / July–August 2018

we offer. It’s also designed to encourage them in their careers as farmers or related ag fields and equip them to advocate for agriculture. Congratulations to the winners of the YF&R contests. I know you’ll represent GFB well at the AFBF convention in January. You can read more about the conference throughout this issue. GFB has always worked to PRESERVE agriculture through our legislative efforts. With the low commodity prices farmers have seen recently and the uncertainty of how agriculture will be impacted by the U.S. raising trade tariffs on other nations, it’s more important than ever that Congress pass the pending farm bill. Your GFB Public Policy staff continues to talk to the officials and staff in D.C. who will be ironing out the details of the bill now that it has gone to conference committee. We all know water is essential for preserving the future of Georgia agriculture. Farm Bureau had hoped the Supreme Court would accept Special Master Ralph Lancaster’s 2017 recommendation to reject Florida’s request to limit Georgia’s use of water from the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. Now that the court has sent the case back to the special master, these questions must be answered: What amount of water flow will benefit Florida? Did Georgia cause any harm? If so, what could be done to fix it? Can the harm be fixed by a cap without including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers? It’s worth noting the court reserved the right to issue the final decision of the case and the court concluded that “Florida will be entitled to a decree only if the benefits of apportionment substantially outweigh the harm [to Georgia] that might result.” In writing the dissenting opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that Georgia’s portion of the ApalachicolaChattahoochee-Flint River Basin accounts for 98 percent of the basin’s population and 99 percent of the economic production of the basin. Let’s pray this weighs in Georgia’s favor in the next go-round.

FARM BUREAU GEORGIA

NEWS

SUBSCRIPTION RATES

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

OFFICERS

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.

ADVERTISING POLICY

All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau News. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or mcfarlandadvantage@gmail.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2018 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

Georgia Farm Bureau News


public policy update By Tripp Cofield Getty Images

American farmers need a win with the farm bill.

Can a divided Congress deliver it? It can be difficult these days to imagine any substantive piece of legislation moving forward in Congress. It seems as though every few minutes a politically divisive news alert pops up on our television screens or smart phones that fans the flames of partisanship making it more difficult for members of Congress from different political parties to come together on any bill. The fact that 2018 is a mid-term election year creates a recipe for gridlock in Washington for the rest of the year. For farmers, gridlock in Congress is not an option in 2018. The current farm bill – which was signed into law in 2014 – is set to expire Sept. 30. Commodity prices remain historically low; farm income continues to decline; and American trade policy is uncertain to say the least. American farmers and other members of the agriculture community have gone to Capitol Hill in force this year to let their representatives know that getting a farm bill done on time is an absolute must. The good news is - as of mid-July it seems as though that message is being heard loud and clear in Congress.

WHERE WE ARE

Both the House and Senate have passed their versions of the 2018 farm bill. The House moved first by advancing H.R. 2, the “Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018,” on June 21 by a vote of 213-211. The Senate followed a week later by passing its 2018 farm bill with a vote of 86-11. On July 17, the House moved to send the farm bill to conference committee. House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed a total of 47 representatives from their respective parties to serve on the committee to reconcile the two bills. Reps. Austin Scott Georgia Farm Bureau News

(R-Dist. 8) and David Scott (D-Dist. 13) are among the 23 representatives from the House Agriculture Committee named to the conference committee. Rep. Rick Allen (R-Dist. 12) is serving on the committee as a member of the House Education & Workforce Committee. At press time the Senate had not named its conference members.

are very similar, the farm bill conferees should be well on their way to reaching an agreement on a unified 2018 farm bill by the time formal negotiations begin. However, the two bills are very different in many key areas, and the farm bill conferees have their work cut out for them - particularly on the nutrition and conservation titles.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

HOW DO THE HOUSE & SENATE BILLS COMPARE?

The House and Senate will work to produce a unified 2018 farm bill that can pass both chambers. This important work is already underway at the staff level and could very well continue behind the scenes for several weeks. It is not uncommon for House and Senate committee staff, with approval and oversight from committee chairman, to prenegotiate noncontroversial portions of legislation. There are many provisions of the House and Senate farm bills that are very similar and reaching an agreement on those sections in advance of convening a conference committee will help speed the process along. Once the staff members have addressed the noncontroversial sections of the two farm bills, the Farm Bill Conference Committee will begin formal negotiations and iron out the remaining differences between the two versions. Because the two pieces of legislation

Both the House and Senate farm bills are more than 1,000 pages long and consist of multiple titles covering everything from commodity support programs and crop insurance to nutrition and conservation. Language authorizing federal funding for things like agriculture research, trade promotion efforts, rural development and ag scholarship programs are also included in each bill along with many other policy priorities. While each title of a farm bill has its own constituency, the commodity and crop insurance titles are usually the ones most closely studied by farmers and their advocates. Under the commodity titles, both bills reauthorize Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage County (ARC-CO) and offer producers an opportunity to select which will better suit their needs for the crop years 20192023. The Senate farm bill also reauthorizes ARC Individual while the House bill eliminates it. For producers who do not select PLC or ARC, the Senate bill would auto-enroll them into ARC-CO. The House bill makes PLC the default option for those producers. Both bills maintain the PLC reference prices of the current law, but the House bill provides a mechanism to allow PLC reference prices to rise as See FARM BILL page 17 July–August 2018 / 5


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recommendations are on page 5 of the report. “What we want is some semblance of reliable and some semblance of high speed, something that’s up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year on a predictable basis,” said RDC Co-Chairman Terry England (R-Auburn). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers download speeds of 25 megabits per second as high speed. That’s fast enough to stream multiple high definition programs and have multiple people using the internet connection without interruption. The RDC noted that the Georgia Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMCs) could be a major part of any expansion of internet service. England said it’s unclear what role EMCs can have in providing broadband to customers. Cable and telecommunications providers, England said, oppose allowing EMCs to offer broadband, viewing that approach as unfair competition because of EMCs’ access to lowinterest loans. “The EMCs in the state run a wire into every building in rural Georgia,” England said. “Why would they not be the ultimate partner, then, to be the one to provide that high-speed broadband Service?” The RDC recommended the establishment

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From September 2016 to May 2017, the Georgia Broadband Center, part of UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, surveyed more than 12,000 Georgians to gauge their access to high-speed internet to a fixed location like a residence. Of those, 61 percent said they were unable to purchase the broadband speed they need. Sixteen percent responded that they could not get wireline service. More than 96 percent said they felt broadband access is important to quality of life, and more than 80 percent indicated broadband access is important to earn a living. The Georgia House Rural Development Council (RDC), charged with searching for ways to stem the movement of people from rural to urban areas, concluded that access to broadband – “always on” internet with faster transmission speeds than dialup – is one of the key points of improvement needed to promote rural prosperity. In its 2017 report, the RDC noted, “building out [broadband] infrastructure is fundamental to all other issues challenging rural Georgia and may partially provide solutions … for businesses to compete and respond in a global market.” To view the RDC’s recommendations, visit http://bit.ly/HRDCreport. The broadband

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of a relationship with the EMCs pertaining to broadband access in statute. In addition to the RDC’s recommendations, there is legislative movement at the state and federal level to address the scarcity of broadband access in rural areas: • In May, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 402 (http://bit.ly/GASB402) into law which provides for planning, deployment and incentives of broadband services statewide. • In January, President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to promote growth of rural broadband access. • The Senate farm bill includes a provision that would prioritize funding for broadband development to areas that have no existing residential broadband service. • In 2017, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins introduced the Gigabit Opportunity Act (H.R. 2870; http://bit.ly/CollinsGOAct), which would provide tax incentives for investments in highspeed internet in low-income communities. This is the fourth installment in a five-part series on rural prosperity in Georgia. Previous installments centered on healthcare (www. gfb.ag/ruralmed), education (www.gfb.ag/ lessonplan) and workforce (www.gfb.ag/ agworkforce).

The farmers’ disconnect:

Slow or no internet a constant headache

By Jay Stone ____________________________________ A radio commercial from the early 2000s centered on two grandparents downloading a picture of their grandchild. Grandma remarks how cute the child is. Grandpa points out all they can see is the top of the baby’s forehead, the result of a glacial download speed. Exasperated, he says, “I’m going to take a nap. Wake me up when the kid’s got a neck.” In some ways, rural America is still waiting for the kid’s neck to show up. Internet usage has spread into virtually all aspects of life, and residents of rural Georgia are feeling the pain of lack of broadband 6 / July–August 2018

access. Farmers are emphatic this needs to change because it is hurting their bottom line. “This is the rural electrification issue of our time,” said Chris Paulk, who runs Paulk Nurseries with his father, Irwin County Farm Bureau President Gary Paulk. “It’s an absolute necessity.” The Paulks grow muscadines and blackberries that must be harvested by hand, which means they have to hire migrant laborers. Under Georgia law, they are required to check the immigration status of every worker they employ using the federal E-Verify system that matches workers’ information with records at the Social Security Administration and the

Department of Homeland Security. The Paulks and other farmers in rural areas hit a roadblock before they can log into E-Verify: Slow or nonexistent internet. “You can’t do E-Verify without the ‘E,’” Chris said, noting that the farm needs workers in the field when the fruit is ready to pick. “It could be a couple hundred people that week that you need to verify, and you don’t have six months to do it. You’ve got about six hours to process all these people.” So, Chris goes into town, finds an establishment with Wi-Fi and camps out for hours while working on the E-Verify documentation. And that’s just one task that hinders farmers whose internet connection – if Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Jay Stone

Graphic by Lili Davis

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they have one – cannot handle the data. For farmers, a few of the activities limited by internet connectivity and capacity include sales and inventory, centralized control of machinery, using remote cameras to monitor crops/livestock, and attending educational webinars. The Paulks are in eastern Irwin County 15 miles from the county seat, Ocilla. They were able to get the local internet service provider, WindStream, to run a dedicated line from Ocilla to their farm office. Chris said it is slow – usually around 3 megabits per second (mbps) – and that capacity is divided among all the connected devices in the office. Using broadband-enabled smartphones is cost prohibitive because of the cellular service providers’ billing structure based on data usage. Even if it weren’t, the cellular coverage on the Paulk's farm is spotty. Because the Paulks sell fruit for human consumption they have to comply with federal food safety regulations. Those workers have to be trained on food safety practices during harvest, and providing that training through web-based video would be ideal, if the Paulks could do it. They can’t. Another thing they can’t do because of their extremely limited internet capability is process credit or debit card transactions at their roadside market. “We can only take checks and cash,” Gary said. “I have to tell them, ‘We can’t run your card.’” Georgia Farm Bureau News

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Photo by Jay Stone

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1 In Irwin County, Gary (left) and Chris Paulk of Paulk Vineyards search for a signal. 2 In McDuffie County, McCorkle Nurseries IT Manager Denise Jordan with a communications control box on one of the nursery’s farms. 3 Kyle & Caroline Lewallen.

Direct-to-consumer challenges

Jaemor Farms in Hall County has also faced challenges with internet connectivity. According to Jaemor Agritourism & Marketing Coordinator Caroline Lewallen, high-speed fixed internet ends a couple of miles away, leaving the farm to conduct its online activities using a series of cellular wireless hot spot devices. Those, she said, can be affected by weather. “Any type of size of agribusiness not having reliable internet is certainly a big issue if you’re doing online marketing,” Lewallen said. “Not to mention any online sales or just answering customers’ questions. If I don’t have reliable internet, I can’t be a resource to our customers. I can’t do any scheduling that needs to be online with school systems to get them to the farm. No internet can be a real headache.” Jaemor’s on-farm store also faces issues with processing credit or debit card payments to complete direct-to-consumer sales. “We have a back-up,” Lewallen said. “We can put it into our phone lines, but that makes it extremely slow. On a busy Saturday in October, we need as fast a checkout line as we can have.” Lewallen faces a double whammy of internet challenges. She and her husband, Kyle, are starting an online direct-toconsumer beef business. This fall, they plan to have a trial run, selling their beef online and making it available for customer pickup

at various drop spots. Their plan calls for marketing through social media, and they’ll accept payments through an online portal. Their farm is in rural Habersham County where the internet access options are limited to the point that they asked about paying to have a fiber optic cable run to their farm. The price tag? More than $100,000. “We just bought the land and the equipment,” Lewallen said. “The last thing we need is another expensive bill.” The Lewallens settled for using a satellite connection at $250 a month. It presents the possibility of outages during inclement weather. “We’re frustrated because we wanted to farm, we have the opportunity to farm,” Lewallen said. "We’ve taken all these steps, and yet in order for us to get a sale, win a customer, if we don’t have the internet, we may have to throw the business plan out the window and start something else. Rural America deserves better.”

Internet of things

An emerging trend in internet applications is the “internet of things,” which gives users the ability to control devices in a distant location. For residential users, it might mean using their smartphone to adjust the thermostat at home, answer the door or turn an appliance off. See BROADBAND page 30 July–August 2018 / 7


Photo by Sidney Middlebrooks

GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Gain Ground at summer conference By Jay Stone _______________________________________________________

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or Georgia farmers, “gaining ground” might mean acquiring more land, advancing the cause of agriculture, increasing knowledge or meeting new friends. All that and more was discussed at the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference held July 19-21 on Jekyll Island. The conference itself gained ground, with registration swelling to about 400 people, who were treated to a variety of educational sessions, social gatherings, competitive events and thought-provoking discussions on reaching consumers who have no connection to farming. The young farmers and ranchers also advanced their cause through charitable giving. Conference attendees brought in change collected at county Farm Bureau offices in the “Calf’s Weight in Change” fundraiser for the Georgia Food Bank Association. The drive resulted in donations of $2,958.06. Farm Bureau Bank committed to matching the donations, so the total raised was $5,916.12. Laurens County Farm Bureau won the awards for total weight of change collected (145 pounds) and total dollar amount collected ($491.53). The GFB 6th District donated the highest total weight in change (186 pounds) and the total dollar amount collected ($845). Educational sessions led by GFB staff and experts from public and private organizations that support agriculture covered business, advocacy and education/policy topics.

SOCIAL ADVOCACY

“Farm Babe” Michelle Miller gave the keynote speech during the morning general session on July 21, discussing social advocacy for agriculture. “You can use social media to bridge the gap between people like you and people out there who don’t know about agriculture,” Miller said. She named a number of information outlets that spread inaccurate or misleading information about farming and advised the YF&R crowd to smarten up their social media news feeds and to check sources of articles they see before sharing them. “Fear sells. At the end of the day, fear is Michelle Miller a new way for people to make profit, whether it’s food or healthcare. There’s a lot of different avenues where fear sells,” Miller said. “Fear is easy. Science is hard. People don’t always know where to go for trusted information.” She recommended consulting with veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare experts, dietitians or plant breeders for fact-based information. Armed with that, Miller urged agriculturalists to be kind and have empathy when interacting with those outside agriculture. “We need to reach out and talk about the science-based evidence behind agriculture,” Miller. “There is no wrong platform. Just find your voice and personality.” 8 / July–August 2018

Pictured from left, Screven County Farm Bureau members Knapp Boddiford, Shelby Mains & James Woods catch up with Josh Brannen of Candler County at the GFB YF&R Conference. For more photos from the YF&R Leadership Conference, visit www.gfb.ag/18yfconfpics.

GENERATIONAL DIVIDE

American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Organization Development Elise Stoddard examined how the experiences of various generations – Traditionals, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials – shape their worldview. She covered identifying characteristics of each generation, including their culture and technology, and what they offer in support of the YF&R program. Traditionals – generally those born between the early 1920s and the mid-1940s – have experienced extremely hard times and have a wealth of experience that makes them a Elise Stoddard valuable resource to younger generations. Baby boomers – those born between the mid-1940s and mid1960s – are some of the YF&R program’s biggest supporters. “They really and truly believe that what we’re doing here is meaningful,” Stoddard said. Stoddard urged the young farmers and ranchers to embrace Generation Xers – generally, those born between the 1960s and early 1980s. Stoddard said millennials learned how to shake things up from Generation X. “We do need to know that they’re speaking a different language,” Stoddard said. “Every generation makes up slang. Every generation is like the crazy, rebellious ones until they get a little bit older.”

FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE

Podcaster and AgGrad owner Tim Hammerich gave the closing keynote address about the future of agriculture while examining clues left by successful people. Hammerich said highly successful individuals ask the right questions and do not give up when the answers are tough. The questions: What’s really happening today that has the potential to impact agriculture in the future? What problem do I want to solve? And, how will the right people know that I’m solving it? “Everybody I talk about who’s made their mark in agriculture seem to be asking different questions than the rest of us,” Hammerich said. Tim Hammerich Hammerich talked about leaders of agricultural companies that he has interviewed on his podcast. “They become passionate if not borderline obsessive about the problem they want to see solved,” Hammerich said. “They’re thinking about some sort of problem. It could be anything, but the more specific, the better. I want you to ask yourself what problem you solve.” Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Sidney Middlebrooks

The Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet Final Four: from left, Marcus Pollard, event winner Becca Creasy, Kelcie Barnes and Kylie Bruce, who was the top collegiate finisher in the contest and will compete in the 2019 AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet.

Cabes, Creasy, Lewallen win YF&R competitive events By Jay Stone ___________________________________________________________________________ Will and Heather Cabe, Becca Creasy and Caroline Lewallen claimed the top prizes in the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) competitive events during the 2018 GFB Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island. The state winners of the three contests will receive expense-paid trips to the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, in January to compete for national honors. The Cabes, from Franklin County, won

the GFB Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award, given to recognize young farmers who earn the majority of their income from production agriculture. The Cabes raise cattle, broiler chickens, show goats and hay on their farm in Carnesville. Elton Baldy of Colquitt County and Mitchell and Becky Pittman of Toombs County were the other finalists for the Achievement Award. See pages 10 and 11 for profiles of the Achievement Award finalist families.

Creasy, of Bulloch County, won the YF&R Discussion meet, which featured 28 competitors from 25 counties. Creasy received an ATV courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and $500 cash from SunTrust Bank. The other finalists in the Discussion Meet were Kelcie Barnes of Greene County, Kylie Bruce of Franklin County and Marcus Pollard of Newton County. Each received $350 from SunTrust Bank. In the final round, the discussion centered on how Farm Bureau can protect farmers’ access to production technology in the face of rapid dissemination of often inaccurate information about agriculture. Bruce, a student at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, was the top collegiate finisher among the Discussion Meet contestants, earning a trip to the 2019 AFBR Young Farmer & Rancher Conference to compete in the AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet. Lewallen, from Hall County, won the YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award, which recognizes agriculturalists who earn the majority of their income from something other than farming. Lewallen is the agritourism and marketing director for Jaemor Farms. She received an ATV courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and $500 cash from Georgia Farm Bureau. Melissa Mathis of Monroe County and Justin Shealey of Cook County were finalists for the Excellence in Agriculture Award. Each received $500 cash courtesy of Georgia Farm Bureau.

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The three finalists for the YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award, from left: Melissa Mathis, Justin Shealey and winner Caroline Lewallen.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

www.gfb.ag/newsalert July–August 2018 / 9


10 / July–August 2018

Determination & crop diversity key to GFB Achievement finalists’ success By Jennifer Whittaker ______________________________________

COLQUITT COUNTY Elton Baldy started farming in 2000 at 16 with an FFA garden and 100 head of goats. The next year he bought a tractor and planted 30 acres each of cotton and peanuts on leased land. He continued to farm while earning an ag education degree from the UGA Tifton Campus, taught a year in Brooks County, then worked for Bayer CropScience for six years. Along the way, Baldy learned the importance of diversity. His 700-acre crop mix includes traditional crops like cotton, peanuts and soybeans, but he has branched out into fresh peas, butter beans, winter greens, okra and tomatoes. Baldy also grows dried peas and field corn for wildlife food and oats, has planted 10 acres of pecans, and has small herds of goats, pastured pork and some chickens. “The condition of row crop prices, that’s why we’re looking at diversity,” Baldy said. “We’d rather grow a higher-value crop on fewer acres. The diversity of crops is a key part of my business. I feel like the pea business is a mainstay of our operation.” Baldy began growing just a few acres of peas on the edges of his row crop fields, but high demand for fresh peas led him to increase his pea acres. “We were overrun with people who wanted peas. Looking at the demand, I recognized an opportunity,” Baldy recalled. Peas do well on dryland, so they fit well in his crop mix since 70 percent of his fields are dryland. The crop also provides cash flow at a By Jennifer Whittaker ______________________________________ FRANKLIN COUNTY Will & Heather Cabe know farming poultry, cattle and hay is a successful formula because they both grew up on this type of farm. Now the Cabes are using the knowledge and work ethic they learned as farm kids to farm in partnership with Will’s parents, Chan and Lou. Will, who is the fourth generation of his family to farm, is responsible for the bulk of the

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

T

he Georgia Farm Bureau 2018 Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award recognizes farmers between the ages of 18-35 who make the majority of their income from farming. Finalists Elton Baldy of Colquitt County, Will and Heather Cabe of Franklin County and Mitchell and Becky Pittman have worked determinedly to build their farms and each made a point to diversify the crops they grow to succeed. You can read about their farming operations in the following features. The finalists had on-farm visits with contest judges July 12 and 13. The Cabes were announced as the winners July 21 during the 2018 GFB Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island. The Cabes received a side-by-side off-road vehicle courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, $500 cash from AgSouth Farm Credit and an expense-paid trip to New Orleans in January to compete for national honors at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention. Baldy and the Pittmans each received $500 cash sponsored by AgSouth Farm Credit.

Tabitha, Henry & Elton Baldy check out a field of their soybeans. They are expecting their second son in October. Visit www.gfb.ag/ baldyphotos to see more photos.

time when row crops don’t. Baldy says more people don’t grow peas because there are challenges to growing the crop, such as insect pressure and finding labor to hand harvest the fresh peas. Baldy began selling his fresh peas at the Moultrie Farmers Market and then opened a retail store there to sell his produce and that of other farmers. In the past year he sold the See BALDY page 30 farm’s management/decision making, and he’s working to expand the farm to ensure future generations can continue the family tradition. “The cows are my number one passion, but the diversity of the farm is what has allowed us to stay in business as long as we have,” Will said. “We have lived through some adverse cattle markets, and if not for poultry, we may have been run out of business.” The Cabes grow broilers for Fieldale. Continued on top of next page Georgia Farm Bureau News


Heather, who grew up in Madison County, plays an active role on the farm, walking the farm’s broiler houses every morning to check

on the birds and make sure that the

feeders and water lines are operating correctly. She also rakes and fluffs hay and drives hay wagons as needed. “I like the fact that I can be here. I don’t have to clock in and out somewhere,” Heather says. “If there’s anything I need to help out with I can do it with my kids in tow.” The Cabe family began their goat herd to produce meat. As market goat shows grew in popularity, the Cabes transitioned into raising show goats. From 2007 until last year, the Cabes held a sale on their farm to sell their goats, but they are now selling the goats through private treaty or online. Will expanded the farm’s hay crop from only harvesting dry hay to wrapping wet hay to have a higher quality forage to feed the cattle during peak production times. He offers custom hay harvesting and wrapping services to other farmers as time allows.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Will, who showed registered Angus growing up, began farming in 2002, at 17, building a small herd from his show cows and a herd of goats. He graduated from UGA with an ag education degree in 2008 but opted to farm full time. Will used his show cows to transition the farm’s small commercial cow-calf herd into a seedstock herd of registered Angus and Simangus cattle to produce herd sires and show heifers. He acquired registered cows with the genetics he wanted and bred them to quality bulls with a focus on economically important traits. Six years ago, when the Cabes’ first son was born, Will decided to transition the herd back into a commercial cow-calf operation because of the time required to manage donor and recipient cows in a seedstock herd. Their current herd is about 225 head of Angus/Simangus.

Will & Heather Cabe with kids, from left, Teller, Deacon & Emersyn. To see more photos visit www.gfb.ag/cabephotos.

By Jay Stone ______________________________________ TOOMBS COUNTY There is a lot to see in Pittman’s market near U.S. Highway 1 south of Lyons. Jams, jellies, a produce section that would please the pickiest of shoppers and a collection of 257 brands of glass-bottled sodas. Take your selections to the checkout area and it’s likely a Pittman family member will ring you up. Mitchell and Becky Pittman are more than happy to work in this environment. As they were growing up, though, it was far from a foregone conclusion that “Pittmanville” – the area where their family’s collection of houses are situated near the market and its surrounding fields – was their career destination. “Growing up, my granddaddy and daddy would always say, ‘You’re smart. Go try to find something else to do that’s more predictable than farming. It’s too unpredictable,’ ” Mitchell said. “So that’s what I kind of had in mind, going to do something else. When I got to be a senior in high school and had to really think about what career I wanted to follow, I decided that farmer wasn’t that bad of a career. Daddy said I had to go to college first, so I ended up going to Georgia, majoring in ag business. I came back once I graduated and started working full time.” Becky, meanwhile was hopping around in the life of a military brat. Her father was in the Georgia Farm Bureau News

U.S. Air Force, and the family made stops in South Carolina, Virginia, Germany and finally Warner Robins, where she graduated from Houston County High School. “We moved around. I went from moving around to never moving again,” Becky said. “You can’t move a farm, so this is pretty much where I’ll be. I enjoyed moving around, but I also like the stability, you know, of being in one place and the kids getting to experience all this. I’m experiencing it with them.” The Pittmans run the family farm and market with Mitchell’s father, Timmy, and brothers, Jonathan and Kyle. On approximately 1,200 acres, they grow a wide variety of vegetables along with watermelons sold through the family store and to larger retail customers. The family also grows cotton and peanuts and has a small herd of cows. Becky pitches in when needed. “I can drive a forklift and turn off irrigation pumps,” she noted. The Pittmans host school farm tours and while they’re pursuing success in the farm business, they are seeking out opportunities to share the story of agriculture. “There’s stuff taught that a farmer plants a seed, he waters it, it grows, it makes your food,” Mitchell said. “That’s simple. They don’t realize now all the different types of diseases out there that could affect your crop, or being able to water so you make max produc-

Photo by Jay Stone

Visit www.gfb.ag/Cabes to read more.

The Pittmans: Becky (holding Milo) & Mitchell with daughter Braylin & son Tatem. Visit www. gfb.ag/pittmanphotos to see more photos.

tion. You need to be able to tell these people that yeah, these are important things. Yes, you go to the grocery store and boom your food is just there, but they don’t realize the struggle it takes to get there.” Visit www.gfb.ag/Pittmans to read more. July–August 2018 / 11


GFB farm insurance update By Rawlings Maige

The Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (GFBMIC) insures more than 1,300 poultry farms. Each operation Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) insures is important to us and we strive to properly insure every farm. To determine the correct value and coverage for each policyholder, GFB considers many factors such as, how poultry houses are constructed, their age and upgrades made to the houses after construction. Our GFB agents, field underwriters and farm risk managers inspect the poultry farms we insure every few years. These regular inspections allow us to stay up-to-date with improvements made to the poultry houses, values on structures, and values on equipment. Visit www. gfb.ag/poultryhouseinspections to learn more about the inspections GFB staff conduct and how they benefit our insured poultry growers. No two farms are alike, which is why GFBMIC offers endorsements to our standard poultry house insurance policies to offer our insureds coverage that best suits their needs. An endorsement is a change to an insurance policy that offers additional coverage for a specific set of circumstances. For example, the Farm Package Policy (FPP)-435 endorsement GFB offers adds replacement cost to the poultry houses and equipment. In the event of a partial or a total loss, the FPP-435 provides loss settlement with no depreciation as long as the damage is repaired or replaced. If you are a policy holder, it is vital that you communicate with your agent regularly regarding any changes or upgrades so your GFB policy is current with a true replacement cost value. The FPP-435 is designed for poultry houses 10 years old or less. As poultry houses age, policies transition from replacement cost to agreed value, which GFB covers with our FPP433 endorsement. This enables GFB to help poultry growers insure their houses and equipment at the highest possible 12 / July–August 2018

value by using a decelerated depreciation scale. The agreed value endorsement is designed for houses 10 to 20 years old. Partial losses are paid with no depreciation. In the case of a total loss, the policy holder can apply the agreed value to rebuilding, or take the agreed value without the obligation of replacing the damaged property. The agreed value endorsement gives policy holders added flexibility by providing coverage for major improvements poultry growers may make to their poultry houses that increase house values. Substantial equipment replacement, chain wall conversion, or solid wall conversion can all increase poultry house values. Another important endorsement GFB offers is the FPP-416. This endorsement provides coverage for the poultry houses and equipment for damage caused by the weight of ice and snow. This coverage is very important in parts of Georgia likely to have snow and freezing precipitation. GFB also offers coverage for business income. Business income and extra expense coverage is provided under the Commercial Package Policy, which

protects against loss of income if covered damage occurs to poultry houses. It also applies to loss of income and extra expenses during the period of restoration. This can be a vital coverage while a poultry house or houses are inoperable due to a covered loss. Georgia Farm Bureau’s goal is to properly cover the poultry farms we insure by staying current with all equipment and building improvements. That’s why it’s vital our insured poultry growers regularly stay in touch with their agent to assure GFB makes any coverage changes and policy adjustments needed. Georgia Farm Bureau believes the relationship between our agents and poultry growers, and the ability to meet face-to-face with your local agent is what makes GFB special. If you have any questions regarding GFB poultry house policies and the endorsements we offer, please contact your local agent today. Rawlings Maige is a member of the GFB Mutual Insurance Company’s Underwriting Department. He is the field underwriter for the GFB 9th District and has been employed with the company for 19 years.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

GFB file

GFB uses endorsements to tailor insurance coverage for each poultry farm's needs

Georgia Farm Bureau News


Supreme Court sends Fla.-Ga. water lawsuit back to special master In a 5-4 decision announced June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court sent the Florida-Georgia water lawsuit back to Special Master Ralph Lancaster to reconsider the recommendation he issued Feb. 14, 2017. In the majority opinion written by Justice Stephen Breyer, the court said Lancaster “applied too strict a standard” in his recommendation to deny Florida’s petition for capping Georgia water use because Florida failed to demonstrate the Supreme Court could reach a fair ruling. “Georgia Farm Bureau had hoped that the Supreme Court would accept the recommendation to reject Florida’s request to have limits placed on Georgia’s use of water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “It is our hope that the continued litigation will serve to demonstrate that Georgia’s farmers practice responsible water use and continue to pursue efficient application of this most valuable of our natural resources.” The court reserved judgment for the ultimate disposition of the case, addressing only the narrow “threshold” question the special master addressed - whether Florida

has shown that its injury can “effectively be redressed by limiting Georgia’s consumptive use of water from the Basin without a decree binding the Corps.” The court found Florida showed an effective remedy is possible. Lancaster, whom the Supreme Court appointed in November 2014 to manage the case, said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers controls the flow of the Chattahoochee and Flint with a series of dams. Because the Corps of Engineers was not part of the lawsuit, Lancaster indicated he could not order it to alter the stream flows. Florida filed the suit in 2013, claiming excessive water withdrawals from Georgia users, including farmers, caused insufficient stream flows that resulted in harm to the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay on the Florida’s coast on the Gulf of Mexico. Florida asserted that excessive withdrawals from Lake Lanier to meet Metro Atlanta’s civic water needs combined with withdrawals from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers by farmers to irrigate their crops, caused diminished stream flows. The Chattahoochee and Flint flow into Lake Seminole, which feeds into the Apalachicola

River in Northwest Florida. Georgia argued that the oyster issues in the bay were the result of Florida’s oyster industry overharvesting the oysters in the bay. GFB filed an amicus brief to the court in 2016. In its brief, GFB pointed out the economic ramifications of drastic reduction or elimination of irrigation in Southwest Georgia. GFB noted water use has a $2.5 billion impact on the economy of Southwest Georgia. Half the counties in the Flint River Basin are designated by the USDA as “persistently poor” counties that depend on farming. In writing the dissenting opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas noted Georgia’s portion of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin has a population of more than five million and accounts for about $283 billion in gross production a year while Florida’s portion of the basin has a population of less than 100,000 and generates about $2 billion in gross product per year. Thomas also noted that Georgia’s water use amounts to just four percent of basin flows in an average year and eight percent in a dry year leaving 92-96 percent of basin water for Florida.

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Photo by Jay Stone

This hay season, Washington County Farm Bureau member Eddie Turner, second from left, has been using a Vermeer VR 1224 rake with 2-wheel center splitters. Turner received use of the rake from Vermeer for winning the 2017 GFB Quality Bermudagrass Hay Contest. On hand to present the rake to Turner were, from left, Washington County Extension Agent Brent Allen, GFB Public Policy Assist. Director for Ag Programs Joe McManus, Vermeer Regional Manager Byan Setzer, Vermeer Territory Manager Brad Stewart, and Crosby Equipment Company Territory Manager Walt Pridgen.

Oct. 31 entry deadline

GFB Hay Contest 1st place prize is use of Vermeer baler for a year! By Jeremy Taylor _____________________________________________________________________________ Walking down the grocery aisle it’s easy to distinguish the quality between potted meat and a choice cut of steak. Most consumers can make this decision based on visual cues alone. Choosing quality hay, however, is not so easy. A trained eye can spot some differences in hay such as grass species or a more mature cutting, but never the actual nutritional quality of the hay. Potted meat has its place as an occasional part of the human diet, but just like humans,

livestock perform better when consuming a diet with high nutrition value.

Hay will be analyzed by RFQ test A benefit of entering your hay in the GFB contest is that it will be tested by the University of Georgia’s Feed & Environmental Water Lab. The lab uses the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) Test. RFQ is the best method to compare

forages because it provides a number that gives producers an idea of how many digestible nutrients any sample may contain. Take a look at the chart on the next page to see what the various livestock classes need in each RFQ range. It’s a good management practice to test your hay after baling. RFQ and other analytical data provided by a certified lab can help you manage potential problems with moisture, nitrates or poor digestibility, especially in years with adverse weather. Contest participants will receive a detailed copy of their RFQ hay analysis for all samples submitted. Contestants can compare their RFQ values to what other (Continued on next page)

Farm Bureau members with hay for sale or who offer custom harvesting or custom sprigging services are invited to list in the 2018/19 GFB Quality Hay Directory published on the GFB website. Because this directory is now offered exclusively online, hay can be listed or removed from the site as your inventory dictates. To participate, please complete a submission form available at your county Farm Bureau office or online at www.gfb. ag/hay. Please include a $10 check made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau for each listing of hay, custom harvesting or custom sprigging. Multiple listings are allowed.

14 / July–August 2018

Photo courtesy of Vermeer

GFB accepting listings for hay, harvesting & custom sprigging services

The first-place winner of the 2018 GFB Quality Hay Contest will receive the free use of the latest 6 ft x 4 ft baler from Vermeer for one year with the option to purchase at a reduced price. The first-place prize is compliments of the Vermeer Corporation, which has supported GFB’s contest for the past 18 years.

Georgia Farm Bureau News


Mature alfalfa is given a base point of 100. Since the base price for hay sales and auctions in many parts of the world is the value of poor quality alfalfa, RFQ provides a mechanism for indexing quality to value. Bermudagrass in Georgia typically ranges from 75 to 120 or higher. Hay producers can demand a higher price for quality hay with a higher RFQ score. Livestock producers are more likely to pay these premiums as quality hay will yield more gains and require fewer supplements.

How to enter Vermeer and Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) promote our annual Quality Bermudagrass Hay Contest to encourage quality hay production. Higher quality hay leads to higher quality livestock that yield more profit for Georgia producers. The GFB Hay

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RELATIVE FORAGE QUALITY (RFQ) Advisory Committee sponsors the Quality Bermudagrass Hay Contest each year. The contest is open to all GFB members to enter Bermudagrass grown in Georgia. Entry forms outlining the contest rules may be picked up at your county Farm Bureau office or downloaded from the GFB website at www.gfb.ag/HayContest. There is a $20 fee for each entry to cover the cost of the lab test. Producers may enter more than one sample. Checks should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Contest participants will receive a detailed copy of their

hay analysis and may choose to have a free listing in the 2018/19 GFB Hay Directory. The deadline to enter is Oct. 31. Contest winners will be announced at the annual GFB Convention in December on Jekyll Island with prizes presented to the top five winners. Jeremy Taylor is an agricultural programs specialist in the GFB Public Policy Department. He works with GFB’s Advisory Committees for hay, livestock, poultry, aquaculture, forestry and honeybees. He may be reached at 478-474-0679, ext. 5212 or jrtaylor@gfb.org.

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FORAGE QUALITY AND NEEDS OF LIVESTOCK LIVESTOCK TYPE

(Continued from previous page) farmers are producing to see how their hay stacks up. Farmers who have their hay tested annually can see the improvements they make in managing their hay fields by looking at multi-year analysis.


You grow produce:

Photo from Getty Images

Does the Food Safety Modernization Act apply to you? By Kelly Thompson

T

he Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is intended to address food safety concerns and prevent/ limit food-borne illnesses. There are seven primary rules of the FSMA signed into law by President Obama in 2011. They are: 1. Produce Safety Rule (PSR) which includes Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption 2. Preventative Controls for Human Food 3. Preventative Controls for Animal Food 4. Foreign Supplier Verification Program 5. Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/ Certification Bodies 6. Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food 7. Prevention of Intentional Contamination/Adulteration Many farms that grow food that may be consumed raw will have to comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, and some farms are beginning to be held accountable to this law. Large operations that sell more than $500,000 per year of produce (a 3-year average adjusted for inflation) were required to comply by Jan. 26 this year. Medium operations that sell between $250,000 and $500,000 of produce must comply by January 2019. Small operations with produce sales between $25,000 to $250,000 must comply by January 2020. There are some exemptions for complying with the federal law. Visit www.gfb.ag/FDAFSMAguide to 16 / July–August 2018

determine if your produce farm must comply with the PSR.

GDA offers classes & mock inspections Farms subject to FSMA rules must send a supervisor to a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training to meet one of the educational requirements of the rule. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is holding these classes around Georgia. The class runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and class cost ranges from $0 to $20 depending on lunch costs. Once the farm supervisor completes the grower training, the farm will receive a certificate to verify the training requirement has been met. It’s important to note the certification is tied to the supervisor who attends the class. At any point the trained supervisor is no longer in their certified role, the farm is required to send a new supervisor through the training. In addition to the training, farms must pass inspection by the GDA Food Safety Division. Farms are encouraged to take advantage of the free On-Farm Readiness Reviews the GDA is currently offering. The GDA will inspect farms that participate in this voluntary mock review and give the farms feedback on any changes they need to make to become compliant with FSMA. GDA promises all notes taken during a readiness inspection will be confidential and left with the farm operator. Once official inspections begin, GDA will work with farms to fix violations before taking

legal or other actions. Inspections may occur multiple times per year depending on safety risk. Unlike restaurants, which receive a numerical grade at the end of an inspection, farms are classified as “in terms of in compliance” or “what must be done to comply.”

Call to Action The GDA is expected to hold multiple Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings this fall. Classes have been set for Aug. 16 in Tifton and Sept. 6 in Macon. Visit www. gfb.ag/GDAFSMAinfo to sign up for either training class, to see future training dates or schedule an On-Farm Readiness Review. Future training dates will be posted to the aforementioned GDA webpage as they are scheduled. To read about the FSMA in greater detail, look up the Code of Federal Regulation PART 112 Standards For The Growing, Harvesting, Packing, And Holding Of Produce For Human Consumption at www.gfb.ag/FSMAFedCode. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration website is another good source. If you have questions, you may contact GDA Farm Safety Program Manager Brad Bush at John.bush@agr.georgia.gov or 229386-3488 or GDA Farm Safety Education and Outreach Coordinator Maggie Hart Brown at Maggie.hart@agr.georgia.gov or 229-386-3488. Kelly Thompson is GFB’s Certified Farm Markets Coordinator. She may be reached at kathompson@gfb.org or 478474-0679, ext. 5235. Georgia Farm Bureau News


FARM BILL from page 5 high as 115 percent of the statutory level. Both bills seek to improve the manner in which ARC yields are determined, albeit in different ways. The House bill calls for the use of Risk Management Agency yield data and separate calculations for irrigated and non-irrigated commodities. The Senate bill permits the use of multiple sources of yield data, increases the transitional yield from 70 to 75 percent, and requires the use of a trend-adjusted yield factor, to name few reforms. For dairy producers, both the House and Senate farm bills replace the Margin Protection Program established by the 2014 farm bill. Though each chamber’s dairy proposal has a different name, the policies underlying each are very similar in many instances with a general theme of increasing benefits for producers while keeping costs down. Both bills would provide Tier 1 coverage of up to $9 per hundredweight while reducing premiums by as much as 80 percent. By some estimates, the dairy proposals in the House farm bill could result in a

net benefit of $41,000 for the average producer who purchases such coverage. There are differences in the dairy proposals, and the farm bill conferees will have work to do in this section of the bill. When it comes to crop insurance, neither bill deviates much from current policy heeding what the House Agriculture Committee says was the call from the American heartland to “do no harm to crop insurance.” During committee and floor consideration of each chamber’s farm bill, several amendments, which could have negatively impacted the crop insurance program for producers, were defeated and ultimately left out of the bills. The toughest task for the farm bill conferees is likely to be reaching an agreement on the nutrition title, as both bills have taken starkly different approaches in this important area. The House farm bill would impose stricter work requirements on certain able-bodied adults who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and make changes to eligibility requirements. These reforms were supported by President Donald

Trump but staunchly opposed by House Democrats. The Senate farm bill does not include similar SNAP reforms. Another area of heavy disagreement between the two chambers lies in the conservation title. The House bill reduces overall conservation funding and eliminates the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which provides payments to agriculture producers for maintaining or improving conservation efforts. The Senate bill, however, reauthorizes CSP with five-year renewals. The two bills also take different approaches on the Conservation Reserve Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, among other things. Though reaching a consensus on nutrition policy reforms may ultimately prove the most difficult task, conferees will have to work hard to reach an agreement on conservation policy as well. Tripp Cofield is the national affairs coordinator in the GFB Public Policy Department. He may be reached at 478474-0679 ext. 5404 or mtcofield@gfb. org.

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Jacob Bustillo reacts to one of the mules displayed in Newnan. More photos at www.gfb.photos/Newnanfarmanimals.

Abbey Knight, left, takes a picture of one of the pigs as her mother, Carrie, looks on.

Country goes to town I

by Jay Stone

Farm animal sculptures adorn Newnan’s Court Square

n mid-June, Newnan resident Carrie Knight and her daughters Abbey and Bree found themselves on the town square, where they encountered hand-painted fiberglass farm animals on the sidewalks around the courthouse and the sidewalks on the other sides of the four streets that make up the city’s Court Square. Abbey stopped and whipped out her phone to take pictures of a pig adorned with flowers, planets and other colorful designs. “It just makes me happy,” said Abbey, 13. “It reminds me of a farm,” said Bree, 9. The collection, titled “Newnan: A Storybook Town,” a fundraiser for the Children Connect Museum, debuted the first week in June. “It brings some life to downtown,” mom Carrie said. “It brings art. It’s unique, and everybody seems to like them, because when you drive through you see a lot of people walking around looking at them.” Four-year-old Jacob Bustillo didn’t have a phone, but his reaction was similar. After accompanying his parents, Jose and Yesenia Bustillo, to the courthouse to pick up a document, Jacob beamed at the “Two Good Mules” piece, which was inspired by a local story about the wife of an area farmer who wanted to get a chandelier for the family home. The farmer remarked that he could get two good mules for the cost of the chandelier. All these years later, the mules on Court Square have chandeliers painted on them. There are 28 fiberglass statues featuring pigs, chickens, cattle and mules displayed in downtown Newnan. The farm animal theme is a celebration of Coweta County’s agricultural heritage, with inspiration from the children’s book, “Lilly and Billy Visit the Farm,” by author Susan Mayer Davis and illustrator Janet Burns. In the book, the characters Lilly and Billy 18 / July–August 2018

Story & photos

Elizabeth Rupple, senior Carnegie assistant with the Carnegie Library in Newnan, poses with a sculpture depicting the collection title of 28 farm animals displayed in Newnan as a fundraiser for the local children’s museum. The sculpture collection, titled “Newnan: A Storybook Town,” was inspired by a children’s book that tells the story of how farming is a key part of Coweta County history. Georgia Farm Bureau News


tour the farm of their grandfather meeting his animals named after key figures in the county’s history, which dates back to the 1820s. Coweta is the name of one group of native Americans in the Creek Indian Nation, which occupied the area before the area was settled by pioneers. “I wanted to do a children’s museum in Newnan,” said Pamela Prange, who coordinated the sculpture project and serves on the museum board. “In an effort to come up with fundraisers, my youngest son went to Brevard in North Carolina where they were doing bears and all kinds of stuff. I thought, ‘What a great project.’ So, I worked on it for four years trying to get it to Newnan, and people just couldn’t see the vision. Finally, we got it here.” About two years ago, in a nod to her mother, who was a librarian, Prange came up with the concept of basing a collection of sculptures to be displayed in Newnan on a children’s book. Newnan’s Carnegie Library oversaw selection of the book, and Davis’ and Burns’ book was selected from submissions. According to Senior Carnegie

Assistant Elizabeth Rupple, the book contest drew entries from 10 authors and eight illustrators. “It was just children coming to meet their grandpa, who named the animals after well-known figures,” Davis said. “I didn’t know how else I could present it. I studied the [county] history first, looking for names I was interested in, and then tried to figure out a way to connect that to a farmyard animal. I was kind of interested in learning more about Newnan. We’ve only been here for three years, and I wanted to write something children would enjoy, not too elevated in its language.” Once the book was selected, the animal sculptures were chosen. Organizers solicited sponsors and worked with the Newnan-Coweta Art Association to recruit artists to paint the animals. After sponsorships were secured, the animals were ordered and began arriving in March. Local car dealership Southtowne Motors applied clearcoat to the finished animals to help the sculptures withstand the weather. See SCULPTURES page 25

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Georgia News Briefs USDA announces programs to protect farmers from trade war

President Donald Trump has authorized the USDA to spend up to $12 billion in programs to give U.S. farmers short-term relief from anticipated loss of sales due to retaliatory tariffs being placed on U.S. ag products as the president renegotiates trade policy with multiple countries. “The President promised to have the back of every American farmer and rancher. He knows the importance of keeping our rural economy strong,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement announcing the programs on July 24. “America’s hard-working agricultural producers have been treated unfairly by China’s illegal trading practices and have taken a disproportionate hit when it comes to illegal retaliatory tariffs.” The USDA says retaliatory tariffs on U.S. ag products are estimated to have an $11 billion impact on agriculture. Higher tariffs have been levied on soybeans, sorghum, milk, pork, many fruits, pecans and other nuts and specialty crops. The USDA will use the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), Food Purchase & Distribution Program (FPDP) and Trade Promotion Program (TPP) to aid farmers. The Farm Service Agency will administer the MFP to provide incremental payments to soybean, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hog producers. The Agricultural Marketing Service will use the FPDP to buy surplus of affected commodities to distribute to food banks and nutrition programs.

The Foreign Agriculture Service will administer the TPP with the private sector to develop new export markets for U.S. ag products.

students who complete bachelor’s degrees in other areas to return to ABAC for two semesters to obtain certification in ag education.

ABAC Ag Education Program Certified

UGA CAES launches Ag Data certificate program

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission accredited the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) agricultural education program in May. “Having our Agricultural Education program approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission as an educator preparation provider and educator preparation program is a major accomplishment for ABAC,” Dr. Mark Kistler, dean of the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said. “Our students can now be certified to teach agricultural education at the middle and high school level in Georgia.” ABAC received approval from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to offer the Agricultural Education bachelor’s degree in 2016 and began the program. About 140 students are enrolled in the degree program according to ABAC Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Darby Sewell. She expects 27 ABAC students to be ready for student teaching duties in January 2019 and that ABAC will award its first bachelor’s degrees in ag education at its May 2019 commencement ceremony. Kistler said the Georgia Professional Standards Commission also approved a certification–only option that will allow

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From remote moisture sensors that produce a real-time feed of soil conditions to drones that spot plant disease, the next green revolution will be fueled by new streams of data. Putting precision agriculture strategies into practice requires agricultural scientists who are equipped to interpret the data that these sensors generate. This fall, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) will launch an interdisciplinary Certificate in Agricultural Data Science to equip CAES graduate students with the data analysis expertise that they will need to capitalize on this data revolution. “In other disciplines — business and health care — programs that are focused on data science have already taken off,” said Harald Scherm, professor and head of UGA’s Department of Plant Pathology. “But there is no such formal program in agricultural data science. We think there is a need for that.” CAES’ certificate program will be one of the first of its kind in the nation. Scherm worked with colleagues in the UGA statistics and computer science departments and in the UGA College of Engineering to develop the certificate program. Through the certificate, current and future CAES graduate students will plan a schedule of courses to complement their research and teach them the principles and practices of data analysis. The certificate program will be open to all graduate students at UGA but will be most helpful to those studying agriculture or environmental sciences, Scherm said. Elective courses will be drawn from the CAES, Franklin College of Arts & Sciences, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, and Family & Consumer Sciences and the Georgia Informatics Initiative and Institute of Bioinformatics.

Murphy & Vaughn named to Ga. Equine Commission

Julie Murphy of Brooks County and Jordan Vaughn of Monroe County have been Georgia Farm Bureau News


appointed to serve three-year terms on the Georgia Agriculture Commodity Equine Commission by the Ex Officio members of the equine commission – Tom Kerlin, Harry Thompson, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long. The Georgia Legislature created the equine commission to oversee promotion, education and research activities to benefit Georgia’s equine industry. The commission is funded from the sale of Georgia Equine specialty license plates. Murphy has raised quarter horses for 27 years. She is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), is an AQHA registered breeder, and is a member of the Southern Junior Rodeo Association. Vaughn manages the horse and cattle divisions of Vaughn Farms in Monroe County where he trains and markets horses for cutting and ranch work. He belongs to the AQHA and is a director for the National Cutting Horse Association’s (NCHA) Area 18.

Georgians serving on national peanut boards

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has named four Georgians to serve on two different national peanut boards. Martin L. McLendon of Leary, Ga. and Elizabeth K. Smith were tapped to serve on the Peanut Standards Board (PSB). Andy Bell of Climax, Ga. and Donald Chase of Oglethorpe were appointed to the National Peanut Board (NPB). The PSB, established by the 2002 farm bill, provides the USDA with guidance on setting the quality and handling standards for the federally mandated inspection and grading of peanuts grown in the U.S. and imported peanuts. On May 17, Perdue appointed McLendon to represent peanut growers and Smith, who works for Golden Peanut Company LLC, as a peanut industry representative. Both will represent the PSB Southeast Region until June 30, 2020. The NPB, established in 2000, is a farmer-funded national research, promotion and education check-off program. On July 12, Perdue appointed Bell to serve as the producer member from Georgia and Chase to serve as the alternate member. Both will serve three-year terms running from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2021.

New peanut assessment rate in effect for ‘18 crop

A change in the National Peanut Board

Georgia Farm Bureau News

(NPB) assessment rate computation went into effect July 16 that will apply to the 2018 crop. The new rule changes the basis for the assessment peanut growers pay to the NPB from value per ton to volume. The new computation will be flat rates of $3.55 per ton for farmers stock peanuts graded Segregation 1 and $1.25 per ton for farmers stock peanuts graded Segregation 2 or 3. The assessment was previously 1 percent of the sales value per ton of peanuts sold. The rule also updates the definition of

“fiscal year” from a 12-month period beginning August 1 of any year and ending July 31 the following year to a 12-month period beginning Nov. 1 of any year and ending Oct. 31 the following year. The NPB Board of Directors unanimously recommended this action to provide more predictable funding for NPB programs. For more information contact USDA Marketing Specialist Jeanette Palmer 202720-9915; or email Jeanette.Palmer@ams. usda.gov.

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Goble named GFB Women’s Program/AITC Coordinator

Lauren Goble has been named coordinator of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and Ag In The Classroom program. She began her new role June 4. A native of Jones County, Goble joined the GFB staff in July 2016 as the GFB 6th District field representative. Goble previously taught elementary school for eight years in Bibb and Jones counties. “Lauren has helped the counties in GFB’s sixth district develop and revive their Ag in the Classroom programs durGoble ing her time as a district field rep.,” said Dennis Black, director of the GFB Field Services department. “Her background as a teacher will serve her well as she coordinates the Ag in the Classroom program and works with GFB’s Women’s Leadership Committee.” Goble received the 2015 Georgia Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award from Georgia Farm Bureau and was one of seven teachers nationwide to receive the 2016 Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award sponsored from the USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture and the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization. She has served as a member of the Jones County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. “I am excited about this wonderful opportunity to drive a program I was passionate about as a teacher, and then later as a field representative,” Goble said.  “Ag In The Classroom provides teachers and students with an exciting look into agriculture, and I hope to expand and grow this program to new levels across Georgia.” Goble holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Georgia College & State University and a master’s degree in early childhood education from Wesleyan College. She and her husband, Corey, live in Jones County.

King named GFB 6th District field rep. Heather King is the new field representative for Georgia Farm Bureau’s 6th District effective July 16. King is responsible for coordinating member programs for the 16 county Farm Bureau offices in the district and will serve as a liaison between the county offices and the organization’s home office in Macon. Prior to joining the GFB staff, King served as the education program specialist at the Camp John Hope FFA-FCCLA Center in Fort Valley. In her former position, King was responsible for arranging summer camp King programs, leadership programs, coordinating facility reservations and working with interns. She previously served as a summer intern at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center in Covington. “We’re excited to have Heather join our Field Services Department and the 6th District leadership team,” GFB Field Services Director Dennis Black said. “We believe her experience with the FFA-FCCLA centers will be an asset in guiding the counties in her district.” GFB’s 6th District includes Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Dodge, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Laurens, Montgomery, Telfair, Treutlen, Twiggs, Washington, Wheeler and Wilkinson counties. A native of Martin in Stephens County, King grew up on a poultry farm operated by her grandparents, Carter and Betty Chastain, and her late father, Richard Chastain. Her mother, Melissa Hall Chastain, lives in Waco, Texas. King was an active member of the Stephens County Middle and High School FFA Chapters during which time she won the state parliamentary procedure competition in 2008. She graduated from Fort Valley State with a degree in ag economics. She was a member of the Perry Lions Club while working at Camp Hope. “I’m looking forward to meeting the Farm Bureau members of the 6th District and getting to see different aspects of agriculture that I’m not as familiar with,” King said. “Farm Bureau is well-known as a supporter of agriculture, so I’m excited to become part of the team.” King and her husband, Trey, who is a systems analyst at Navicent Health, live in Macon.

Duvall transfers to GFB Public Policy Dept. Katie Gazda Duvall is now serving Georgia Farm Bureau members in a new position. On June 4 Duvall began working as a public policy specialist in the organization’s Public Policy Department where she is responsible for coordinating and managing GFB’s Policy Development process and will provide support for the GFB Commodity Advisory Committees. “We’re pleased Katie has joined our department,” said Jeffrey Harvey, director of the GFB Public Policy Department. “Katie brings a working knowledge of Farm Bureau and agriculture that allows her to hit the ground running as we begin our policy development season.” Duvall joined the GFB staff in 2016 as the executive director of the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. Prior to joining GFB, Duvall was the donor and alumni relations coordinator for North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture 22 / July–August 2018

and Life Sciences. She was an event planner for UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences between graduating from UGA in 2012 and working at N.C. State. “I’ve enjoyed working with our county Farm Bureau volunteers the past two years as I worked in the Field Duvall Services Department to support GFB’s ag literacy efforts,” Duvall said. “In my new role I’m looking forward to working with our members to develop GFB’s policy, which determines the position we take on legislative issues.” Duvall, who grew up on her family’s farm, Gazda Cattle Company in Clarke County, is married to Zeb Duvall. The couple live on their beef farm in Morgan County. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Nathan Dupree

Cherokee & Newton Farm Bureaus educate teachers about ag

Photo by Sarah Nichols

By Jennifer Whittaker ______________________________________________________________________ While school was out this summer, Cherokee and Newton County Farm Bureaus held workshops to introduce teachers in their counties to the concept of using agriculture to teach their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math During the Farm to School Workshop Cherokee (STEAM) curriculum. Cherokee County Farm Bureau (CCFB) teamed up with the Cherokee County County Farm Bureau held for local teachers, Cherokee Extension Agent Josh Fuder discussed how peaches are Extension, Cherokee County School Nutrition Department (CCSND) and the grown as the teachers toured Buckeye Creek Farm. Cherokee County Farm to School Committee to hold a Farm to School Workshop on May 31 for 16 teachers at Buckeye Creek Farm, owned by CCFB members Liz and Randall Porter. After the teachers toured the farm, a local chef taught the teachers how to make a strawberry vinaigrette with their students in the classroom. Linda Dettrich with the CCSND discussed how teachers and lunchroom managers can work together to serve food grown in school gardens to students. CCFB Office Manager Shirley Pahl told the teachers about the Ag in the Classroom resources Farm Bureau offers and the ways CCFB participates in the school system by donating garden beds, participating in career days and providing speakers to visit classrooms to talk about agriculture. CCFB Women’s Chairman Jeannie Ross gave the teachers the presentation she delivers to students about honeybees and demonstrated how to roll candles from beeswax. Newton County Farm Bureau (NCFB) used a grant it received from the Georgia Making butter was among the hands-on activities NewFarm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture to present workshops at the Newton ton County Farm Bureau introduced to teachers attending County Summer Academy held for 76 local teachers June 12-13. NCFB used the the Newton County Summer Academy as a way to teach grant money to give the teachers classroom resources to replicate the lessons and students science, technology, engineering, arts and math. hands-on activities in their classes. GFB 3rd District Field Representative Rebecca Jacobs and NCFB Women’s Chairman Sarah Nichols and NCFB Office Manager Mary Nichols taught a workshop outlining how educators can teach their STEAM curriculum using Georgia fruits with the and vegetables as the class topic. NCFB introduced the teachers to the GFB Stainless Steel Specialty Crop Ag Mags and gave each teacher a set of the magazines for their classes along with My Plate is GA Grown ™ Bookmarks and Georgia Ag Commodity Maps, a cutting board, plastic knife and list of holiday specialty crop activities. Jacobs and the Nichols also taught a PERFECT FOR: session “Discover Ag through Literature,” • Sensitive financial documents which introduced teachers to the • All burnable household waste* Agriculture Book Club and three hands-on • Old leaves and branches activities such as making edible compost, butter and pumpkin pie that complement STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION is lightweight, durable, and the lessons the books teach. No more portable (it folds for easy storage). UNSAFE and Jacobs also taught a workshop, “Soil! PERFORATED LID and sidewalls maximize airflow and trap embers. UNSIGHTLY 1600° TEMPERATURES mean more thorough burning with less ash. It Isn’t Just a Dirty Word!” which covers rusty barrel! types of soil and land use. Jacobs led * Always check local ordinances before burning. Original the teachers in making “greenhouses” NEW BurnCage™ XL Call Today for FREE Information Kit, by placing soil in one clear plastic cup, MAX Pricing and Factory Direct Coupon! planting a seed in the soil, and topping 2X TOLL it with a second clear plastic cup. NCFB FREE Now Available in 3 Sizes! gave the teachers the materials to make BurnCage.com greenhouses with their classes.

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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 www.gfb.ag/group. Join the group to get county news as it occurs!

beef hamburgers and hot dogs and ice cream for dessert. Various brochures highlighting the nutritional benefits of beef & dairy products, grilling tips & recipes were available for attendees to pick up along with promotional notepads, keychains and bracelets provided by the Georgia Beef Board and The Dairy Alliance. ECFB members and local FFA members helped cook and serve the meal for more than 100 attendees. CHATTOOGA COUNTY------------------------------ The Chattooga County Farm Bureau (CCFB) recently teamed up with the Chattooga Chapter of the Georgia Young Farmers (GYF) to present a program on soils and soil conservation to first through sixth graders at the Chattooga County Library’s Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math (STEAM) Camp that is part of the library’s summer reading program. CCFB Women’s Committee members Linda Leslie, Joy Phelan & Donna Sausville taught the students how farmers take care of their farmland. Dr. Barry Bailey, the advisor for the Chattooga County GYF Chapter, gave a demonstration showing how pastures and cover crops prevent water runoff and soil erosion. The presentation ended with the students playing a game that taught them how trees prevent water runoff and soil erosion.

DOUGHERTY COUNTY------------------------------ Dougherty County Farm Bureau (DCFB) held a Farmer Appreciation Lunch to honor its farming community. Farmer members were treated to a BBQ lunch with all the trimmings and peach cobbler. The top three winners in the DCFB Middle School Essay Contest were recognized at the event.

EFFINGHAM COUNTY------------------------------- Effingham County Farm Bureau (ECFB) held a First Responders Appreciation Cookout in June. ECFB promoted ag-awareness in the community while showing its appreciation for the county’s first responders. To celebrate May being National Beef Month and June being National Dairy Month, ECFB served 100 percent 24 / July–August 2018

HARALSON COUNTY-------------------------------- Haralson County residents have a better understanding of composting and how it enriches soil after attending the summer reading program Haralson County Farm Bureau (HCFB) hosted at the local library. HCFB Office Manager Kim Hindmon, far right, read the book, “Compost Stew,” and showed program attendees how to make an edible “compost” snack using cereal, chocolate chips, dried fruit, pretzels & gummy worms. Each ingredient represents something that can be added to a compost pile.

HOUSTON COUNTY--------------------------------- Houston County Farm Bureau (HCFB) supported the Reading with Rabbits program Bonaire Middle School (BMS) FFA held at Warner Robins Library this year. HCFB donated ag-related books for the BMS FFA members to read kids attending the reading program. After reading an ag book, the FFA members allow children to pet their show rabbits and talk about being an FFA member. IRWIN COUNTY------------------------------------- Thanks to Irwin County Farm Bureau (ICFB) and the Middle South Georgia Soil & Water Conservation District (MSGSWCD), about 240 students taking ag classes at the Irwin County High School and Middle Schools will learn how drones are used in agriculture. ICFB secured a $780 grant from the MSGSWCD to purchase a DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter for the county’s Center of Agricultural Study & Excellence (CASE) Farm used by the local high and middle school ag students & FFA programs. MSGSWCD Supervisors Donald McWhorter, far left, and Bob Georgia Farm Bureau News


Irwin County

Screven County

Martin, far right, present the drone to Irwin County Young Farmer Advisor/Ag Educator Wesley Paulk and ICFB Office Manager Betty Metts. Paulk and Martin also serve as ICFB directors.

Local members enjoyed a picnic lunch of hotdogs with all the fixings and had the opportunity to talk to members of the GFB Member Services Department to learn about Farm Bureau member benefits. Members of the Screven County Fire Department also attended the lunch in appreciation for their service to the community.

LUMPKIN COUNTY---------------------------------- Lumpkin County Farm Bureau hosted an Ag Safety Meeting in May in conjunction with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Department. Farm Bureau Members and residents of the community heard from the Georgia Department of Public Safety, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension. Office Manager Kathy Anderson and LCFB President Bobby Gunter discussed slow moving vehicle signs. MONROE COUNTY---------------------------------- The Monroe County Young Farmer committee held a farm tour for staff members of their U.S. Congressional delegation and Ga. Rep. Robert Dickey to highlight conservation programs funded by the farm bill that help farmers protect soil & water on their farms. The tour included stops at Vaughn Farms, Sleepy Creek Farms and Wesley Ham’s poultry/ alligator farm. A lunch buffet was served at the Talmadge Place. The MCFB Young Farmer committee consists of Wesley Ham, Cody Ham, Melissa Mathis, Jordan Vaughn, Kris Vaughn & Caitlin Jackson. Committee member Jordan Vaughn, standing closest to water trough, told the tour group visiting his family’s farm how the Environmental Quality Incentives program has helped his family protect the soil & water on their farm. SCREVEN COUNTY---------------------------------- Screven County Farm Bureau held an open house/member appreciation day at its new office July 11. SCFB members and local community leaders turned out for the event to celebrate the chapter’s move – its first in 59 years. SCFB President Joe Boddiford and county directors were joined by local Chamber of Commerce representatives for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Georgia Farm Bureau News

TELFAIR COUNTY------------------------------------ Telfair County Farm Bureau participated in Telfair Elementary’s Farm Day. More than 700 students were able to see farm animals, take a hay ride, plant seeds and much more! The students pictured here learned about pine trees and used resources provided in the traveling trunk. WILKINSON COUNTY---------- Wilkinson County Farm Bureau held a summer library reading program May 31 highlighting dairy cows and dairy products. The kids learned how cows produce milk, made butter and planted corn in milk cartons. SCULPTURES from page 19 “The guys over there treated them like their own children,” Prange said. “They were really excited every time we took the animals in, and they did a fantastic job.” Prange said the fiberglass animals were purchased from Cow Painters in Chicago. Between 75 and 100 volunteers – along with hundreds of local students – worked on the latest project. Each statue was sponsored by a local business, organization or individual. The animals will be exhibited on the Newnan square for 12 months. Then, the sponsors will have the opportunity to move them to a location of their choosing. Prange said there are other local artists who would like to paint, so there is a possibility of more statues going up around town. “We could have had a lot more pieces, so we’re looking at the possibility of extending this project if we have a sponsor and an artist, because it all goes to the children’s museum,” Prange said. July–August 2018 / 25


Ag in the Classroom update

Cherokee County teacher Ashley Rivers made a new BFF during one of the nine traveling workshops offered during the NAITC Conference.

Georgia shines at AITC Conference

Georgia had the third largest delegation to the annual National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference (NAITCC) held June 26-29 in Portland, Maine. Georgia’s delegation of 29 included members of the Georgia Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee, office managers, county Farm Bureau volunteers and teachers sponsored by their local Farm Bureaus. Only Tennessee and New York had more attendees. During the conference, themed “Ag for ME on Land & Sea,” Georgia delegates attended workshops that showed teachers how to use agriculture to teach core subject areas and gave Farm Bureau volunteers ideas for their Ag in the Classroom (AITC) programs. Conference attendees visited nearby farms and university research facilities to learn about ag careers, aquaculture, farm animals, agriculture practices, school gardens, transportation, and the Portland food scene. Sarah Nichols from Mansfield Elementary in Newton County was one of 10 teachers nationwide to receive a White-Reinhardt Educator Scholarship of $1,500 to attend the conference. The AFBF Foundation for Agriculture recognized Nichols and the other teachers at the conference. Georgia also had four of the 40 kindergarten through 12th grade teachers who received scholarships from the CHS Foundation to attend the conference. Adrienne Bickel, Northside Elementary School, Houston County; Sherry Crown, Union Grove High School, Henry County; Bradley Hall, Claxton High School, Evans County; and Ashley Rivers, Etowah High School, Cherokee County were selected for their desire to learn more innovative 26 / July–August 2018

ways to use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and other subjects. CHS Inc. is the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and is a global energy, grains and foods company. Georgia delegates also presented three of the workshops the conference offered. Jennifer Carroll, an elementary teacher from Carroll County, presented a workshop titled “Ag in the Classroom: A Win for All,” in which she discussed how to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) using ag topics. Carroll shared how her school has partnered with local high school students to teach STEM subjects by tying in ag education concepts into the lesson. Carroll also discussed how her school used the agricultural pathway to obtain its STEM certification. Hall County Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chairman Caroline Lewallen and HCFB Office Manager Justine Palmer presented a workshop detailing its AITC program - Hall Growing Real Opportunities with Students (GROWS). Lewallen and Palmer shared how they have marketed their program to local teachers to reach at least 3,300 Hall County residents since the program was established in 2016. The duo discussed the Forestry Traveling Trunks available to Georgia’s county Farm Bureaus

through the Destination Ag program and the Harley Langdale Jr. Foundation. As GFB’s AITC Coordinator, I presented a workshop titled ‘Every State Has an “Ag-cent” which taught attendees how to teach students about their states’ unique ag commodities. I shared how when I was a kindergarten teacher, I took my students on virtual field trips across Georgia to explore different geographic regions and learn about the ag commodities produced in different areas of the state. I explained how we “meet” the farmers via video and then used their commodities to make a no-cook recipe or craft with the commodity. We then thanked the farmers by writing a letter to them telling them what we learned. Visit www.agclassroom.org to view more highlights of the 2017 conference. You may access lesson plans on the Curriculum Matrix on this website. Lessons are matched to national education standards. The 2019 conference, “Agventure in the Natural State,” will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas June 18-21. Lauren Goble is GFB’s Ag in the Classroom/Women’s Program coordinator. Contact her at ldgoble@gfb.org or 478474-0679, ext. 5135 for more information about either program.

Photo by Corey Goble

Photo courtesy Ashley Rivers

By Lauren Goble

A group of teachers, volunteers and office managers from Georgia traveled to Maine to attended the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in June. Everyone brought home many new ag activities to implement in their community! Georgia Farm Bureau News


LCYFFL0418

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Top photo: County Farm Bureau volunteers from GFB’s Dist. 4 learned how Robert & Suzanne Curry and staff grow mushrooms during a tour of Sparta Mushrooms in Hancock County. Bottom photo: Farm Bureau members attending the GFB 3rd Dist. meeting toured the Atlanta State Farmers Market and the Collins Brothers’ refrigerated distribution center, which ships a variety of produce from the market. After the tour, attendees learned how to take Ag in the Classroom into school lunchrooms and classes with school gardens. Visit www. gfb.photos/distwyfrpemeetings to see more photos & details about the meetings.

Photo by Rebecca Jacobs

An apiary, mushroom farm, the Atlanta Farmers Market and Chehaw Wild Animal Park are among the places county Farm Bureau volunteers and staff have visited while attending a series of district meetings that began in March and will end in the fall. County office staff, teachers, and members of local Women’s, Promotion/ Education and Young Farmer & Rancher Committees attended the district events designed to highlight farms/agribusinesses in the districts while providing Ag in the Classroom training attendees and giving participants a chance to visit. GFB has coordinated the events with each district Women’s & YF&R Committee Chairman and field representative to highlight an aspect of agriculture unique to their part of Georgia.

Photo by Carol McQueen

Volunteers enjoy ag tours/ training at GFB district meetings

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GFB Photo Contest showcases scenic Georgia Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker _______________________________________________________

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ute farm kids, funny farm animals, majestic sunrises and sunsets – these are just some of the 254 terrific shots Georgia Farm Bureau members entered in our 9th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest. Congratulations to Haley Anderson of Screven County for winning the contest and grand prize of $150. The photo of her son, Slade, will be featured on the cover of the 2019 GFB Young Farmer Calendar available at most county offices. Anderson won the 2012 contest with a similar photo of her husband, Garrett, printed on page 3. The calendar also features the photos of the 11 honorable mention winners, who each received a $75 prize. A panel of judges selected 12 photos from all entries. GFB members attending the organization’s Young Farmer Conference in July voted for their favorite photo to select the contest winner. Thanks to all the GFB members who entered this year’s contest. GFB plans to hold the contest again next year. Contest details will be available next spring on GFB’s website and at county Farm Bureau offices. If you are interested in entering the 2019 contest, contact your county Farm Bureau and ask the staff to notify you when it receives details.

Corn Holland 1 Ariel Johnson County

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Longhorn Jonathan Smith Telfair County

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Life Cycle Caleb Brandt Bacon County

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Morning Glory Justine Palmer Hall County

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Cooling It Cheryl Harrell Early County

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Dug Peanuts Laura Griffeth Webster County

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Ladies in Waiting Debbie Henry Miller County

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You Can Buy Me a Goat Justin & Lauren Smith Walker County

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Pedal Farmer’s Sunset Haley Anderson 11 Screven County

Corn Harvest 2017 Monique Daniels Sumter County

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Rustic Roots Hudson Folsom Cook County

Spring Lace Susie Short Lee County

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BALDY from page 10 store and took his produce on the road. He now sells his produce wholesale to several farmers markets and at about 47 markets for senior citizens and Women, Infant & Children participants in Southwest Georgia. “This program has opened my eyes because we go into some of the most rural agricultural counties, but they don’t have access to fresh produce,” Baldy said. Baldy credits the role his wife, Tabitha, has played in the farm. “Without Tabitha none of this would be possible,” Baldy said. “Family support is the key to all of it.” Tabitha, who is a district administrator with the local school system, was more 30 / July–August 2018

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Exhibitors compete in the Market Doe grand championship drive of the 2017 Ga. 4-H & FFA Market Goat Show. As the premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter, GFB will sponsor the grand champion prize for this show and other shows during the 2018/2019 show season.

GFB continues partnership with Ga. National Fairgrounds

Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to announce it is the premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter (GNFA) for the 2018-2019 season. GFB and the GFB Foundation for Agriculture have sponsored grand championship prizes for the cattle, goat, sheep and swine competitions that are part of the Georgia Junior National Show held at the fall fair and in February. As the premier livestock sponsor, GFB will also sponsor many other prizes given to livestock show participants. Make plans to attend the Georgia National Fair Oct. 4-14! Enjoy livestock shows and numerous free entertainment options with fair admission. Don't forget the midway rides and famous fair food! New this year is the Georgia Grown Baby Barn next to the clock tower which will showcase the live birth of a dairy calf each day of the fair and the delivery of five litters of pigs throughout the 11–day fair. Visit www.georgianationalfair.com for complete fair details.

Photo by Sidney Middlebrooks

BROADBAND from page 7 In a business setting, the ability to use distant devices from a computer or phone is a powerful time management tool. At McCorkle Nurseries in McDuffie County, the constraints of the farm’s internet service limit what tasks can be done. Information Technology manager Denise Jordan would like to have cameras on all of the nurseries’ 1,000 acres of production so one person could monitor them from the office rather than spending hours riding around the property to see if plants need water or are being damaged by insects or disease. The nursery has multiple irrigation pumps. One of the pumps can be controlled remotely, but Jordan would like to control all of them remotely to save the labor of turning them on and off by hand. Keeping track of the nursery’s inventory – tens of millions of plant pots - is another massive job Jordan would like to make automated. “You have to have wireless connections to be able to get those kind of counts,” Jordan said. “A lot of the software packages we’re looking at upgrading to have those capabilities, but a lot of them want some form of cloud integration. As soon as I hear that word, I’m like, ‘OK, never mind.’ ” McCorkle’s has offices in Cobb County, Gwinnett County and Piedmont, South Carolina, where sales staff meet face-to-face with potential customers. It’s a great help for a sales person to be able to show the plants in real time. “It is an awesome sight when this place starts blooming,” Jordan said. “I’d like to get some cameras out to some of our nursery beds, so that when this bed of whatever kind of flowering plant is in bloom, our salesmen can show that.”

GFB welcomes Ga. FFA officers

The 2018-2019 Georgia FFA officers visited Georgia Farm Bureau June 21. Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, center, met with the officers pictured from left: Central Region Vice President Brittany Braddy, Montgomery County FFA; North Region Vice President Doster Harper, Newton County College & Career Academy FFA; North Region Vice President Ava Jane Teasley, Eastside FFA; State FFA President Bryce Roland, Perry FFA; Central Region Vice President Thomas Maddox, Veterans FFA; South Region Vice President Emily Leonard, Echols Co. FFA; and South Region Vice President Dawson Adams, Coffee Co. FFA. During their visit to the GFB home office, the FFA officers learned about GFB’s Public Policy, Young Farmer, Ag in the Classroom, Public Relations and Member Services programs. involved with the daily work of the farm before the birth of the couple’s son, Henry. Now she manages the farm books and helps move equipment. Growing up the daughter of small business owners in Albany prepared her for

farm life. “I get that it takes a whole family to make a business run,” Tabitha said. “I knew what I was getting into because he was farming when we were dating.” Visit www.gfb.ag/Baldy to read more. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Don’t miss Sunbelt Expo! Oct. 16-18

Georgia Farm Bureau News

The harvest demonstrations are always a big draw at Sunbelt Expo. For details on this year’s show, visit www.sunbeltexpo.com.

Vaughn is Ga. Expo farmer contestant James Vaughn of Monroe County is representing Georgia in the annual Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Contest. After practicing law in Savannah, Vaughn returned to Monroe County to take over the farm his father established in the 1950s with a small herd of registered Angus cattle. Under his leadership, Vaughn Farms has grown from a 500-acre cattle farm to a 5,590-acre diversified farm. Working as a team, Vaughn and his wife, Beth; sons Matthew, Jordan and Benjamin, grow Bermudagrass hay for local and wholesale markets, raise cattle for the specialized beef market, sell bred heifers and registered bulls, grow 4,000 acres of timber and train cutting horses. The Vaughns’ daughter, Jennifer Hickson, is an equine veterinarian assistant in South Carolina and shows the farm’s cutting horses. James Vaughn Vaughn received the 2018 Georgia Farmer of the Year Award during a ceremony held in Atlanta in March. He was nominated for the award by Caitlin Jackson, the Monroe County UGA Cooperative Extension agent. Vaughn will be recognized along with the Expo State Farmers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia during a lunch on Oct. 16 at Sunbelt Expo when the winner is named.

Photo courtesy of UGA

Some folks head to Sunbelt Expo to check out the latest equipment and farm products. Many go for the educational seminars. Watching the hay and row crop harvest demonstrations is a highlight for others. All this and more will take center stage at the 41st Annual Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition, Oct. 16-18, in Moultrie. When you enter the main gate, stop by the Georgia Agriculture Building to visit with Georgia Farm Bureau staff to learn about GFB programs, member benefits and how GFB represents farmers and rural Georgia on ag issues in Atlanta and D.C. Kentucky is the Expo Spotlight State this year and its exhibit will showcase the state’s agricultural commodities and ag history along with its cultural diversity and places of interest. New to Expo this year is a day of Youth Educational Challenges on Oct. 16. Students in 6th to 12th grade from any state are invited to compete in these events – tractor driving, lawn mower driving, floral design, horticulture i.d. forestry i.d., wildlife i.d. and animal science i.d. Awards, sponsored by Country Financial, will be given to the top three contestants in the junior and senior divisions for each challenge, to the club or chapter with the best overall finish, and to the state with the best overall finish. Visit www.sunbeltexpo.com to sign up for the challenges. More than 1,200 exhibitors will display at the 100-acre show site and more than 300 seminars and demonstrations covering beef cattle management, horses, goats and sheep, dairy, aquaculture, poultry, electrical safety, backyard gardening and sustainable living will be offered during the three-day event. Other daily events include the antique tractor parade, American Grand Finals Stock Dog Trials and equine demonstrations including a presentation by Julie Goodnight from the Horse Master RFD-TV show. Admission at gate is $10 per person/ day. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. daily.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

By Jennifer Whittaker ____________________________________

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Georgia Farm Bureau News -July / August 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 -July / August 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...