News GEORGIA FARM BUREAU
Supreme Court rules for Ga. in water lawsuit
’21 Ga. Legislative Session good for ag & forestry
Vol. 83 No. 2
Ga. cotton part of effort to bring textile jobs back to U.S.
GEORGIA FARMERS WEIGH IN ON DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME
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Contents page 5
Supreme Court rules for Georgia in water lawsuit page 7
Want to subscribe? Join Georgia Farm Bureau to receive GFB News four times a year. Membership means supporting farmers & agriculture while having access to more than 300,000 discounts. Visit gfb.ag/join.
pages 10 & 11
Georgia farmers weigh in on Daylight Saving Time
AFBF seeks ag innovators
pages 20 & 21
McManus brought farm experience to GFB career
Ag & textile leaders collaborate to bring manufacturing back to U.S.
pages 14 & 15
Gov. Kemp signs ag & forestry bills
Sen. Warnock explores Georgia agriculture
Gov. Kemp held two signing ceremonies this spring for ag & forestry legislation showing his support for rural Georgia.
Georgia farmers welcome Sen. Raphael Warnock to their Southwest Georgia farms.
pages 8 & 9
GFB commodity committees discuss ag issues
April storms damage South Georgia farms
GFB News Staff
USDA allocates $330 million for multiple COVID-19 programs
View from the Field
Healthcare workers at 15 hospitals across South Georgia will receive medical scrubs made from Georgia cotton by summers end.
pages 16 & 18
Logan Thomas Photographer
News Reporter Graphic Designer
FOLLOW US ON THESE PLATFORMS @GAFARMBUREAU
On The Cover: Daylight Saving Time means longer days for farmers to get more work done.
pages 26 & 27
Ag in the Classroom page 28
Around Georgia pages 30 & 31
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Ga. Foundation for Agriculture Georgia Farm Bureau News
Summer 2021 3
View from the Field Tom McCall, GFB President
President & Mrs. McCall at home with their grandsons, Wilkes & Winn. It is exciting that more and more of us can meet face to face after months of keeping safe distances. The chance for us to come together is welcome news, and we are looking forward to seeing additional restrictions being lifted in coming months. This spring, it was good to see many county leaders at the annual presidents’ meetings around the districts. We were able to share the plans that are now being made to hold our annual district meetings in person in September, as well as the GFB annual convention on Jekyll Island in early December. Like many of you, there’s nothing I enjoy more than spending time with friends and my family. Less restraints will allow us to do a whole lot more together and get out and visit some of our favorite areas and people. The pandemic and all the precautions taken over the past fourteen months became a driving force for Jane and me to get out and say hello to some mighty good folks that are Farm Bureau members and office employees. Along the way, producers around the state reminded me how proud I am that Georgia Farm Bureau provides a program that has given so much satisfaction to so many. The Farm Passport has brought families together for lots of great memories during uncertain times.
4 Summer 2021
Many of these farm markets are large, open-air environments and it makes it easy to enjoy the U-Pick operations where you can get food directly from where it is grown - straight to your hands. It also provides excellent family education opportunities about Georgia agriculture and farm life. Georgia Farm Bureau’s network of certified markets across the state provides consumers the freshest, locally grown products available. This important platform connects consumers directly with agriculture and the people that make it possible. When someone visits one of these markets and engages a local farmer, it’s a special opportunity to learn when, where, and how our food and clothing is produced. It is also a chance for our members to tell others about joining GFB.
Mr. McCall visits Jake Carter at Southern Belle Farm in Henry Co. Let me take this opportunity to thank the market owners that take part in the program. You did a fantastic job in helping keep families connected in very difficult times. We hope for an excellent growing season with excellent weather and excellent commodity prices for all our producers this year. Thank you for allowing us to serve you, our members.
News GEORGIA FARM BUREAU
OFFICERS President TOM McCALL, Elbert Co. 1st Vice President and South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Pierce Co. Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Emanuel Co. North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Catoosa Co. General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer, Corp. Treasurer & GFBMIC Exec. VP DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Corp. Secretary & Senior Counsel JEANNA FENNELL Asst. Corp. Treasurer & Sr. Director of Accounting RACHEL MOSELY DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Chattooga Co.; Wesley Hall, Forsyth Co.; SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Lumpkin Co.; Russ Moon, Madison Co.;THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carroll Co.; Nora Goodman, Paulding Co.; FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, McDuffie Co.; Marvin Ruark, Morgan Co.; FIFTH DISTRICT: Matt Bottoms, Pike Co.; Leighton Cooley, Crawford Co.; SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Laurens Co.; James Emory Tate, Jeff Davis Co.; SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Evans Co.; Ben Boyd, Screven Co.; EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Turner Co.; Don Wood, Wilcox Co.; NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Baker Co.; Paul Shirah, Mitchell Co.; TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Bacon Co.; Lamar Vickers, Berrien Co.; YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Will Godowns, Pike Co.; WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Heather Cabe, Franklin Co. 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 email@example.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2021 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
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SUPREME COURT RULES FOR GEORGIA IN WATER LAWSUIT Article and Photo by Jay Stone
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Georgia’s favor April 1 in the lawsuit Florida filed over the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. Florida filed the suit in 2013, claiming Georgia overuses water from the two rivers that feed into the Apalachicola River in Florida before emptying into the Apalachicola Bay, where a large portion of Florida’s oyster production occurs.
"The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision is a resounding victory for Georgia..." -Gov. Brian Kemp Florida first blamed Metro Atlanta, which draws water from the Chattahoochee-fed Lake Lanier, and then blamed farmers for using water from the Flint River. Florida asked the court to place severe water use restrictions on Georgia. Florida claimed Georgia’s water use lowered water flows, causing increased water salinity that damaged its oyster industry. Georgia maintained overharvesting caused Florida’s oyster decline. “Georgia Farm Bureau is pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Georgia’s favor. Farmers in Southwest Georgia and their communities could have been devastated by the severe restrictions Florida proposed,” GFB President Tom McCall said. “The state of Georgia and Georgia farmers have implemented numerous water
Georgia Farm Bureau News
conservation measures that minimize the amount of water Georgia farmers use to grow their crops. We think the Supreme Court recognized this with its ruling.” Special Master Ralph Lancaster, who initially tried the case, recommended the court deny Florida’s petition, partly because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which controls the water flow in all three rivers, was not a party to the case. The Supreme Court sent the case back to a second special master, Paul Kelly, and he, too, recommended Florida’s request be denied. Kelly said Florida had failed to prove its case. “The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision is a resounding victory for Georgia and a vindication of years-long effort by multiple [Georgia] governors and attorneys general to protect our water rights,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “Our state will continue to wisely manage water resources and prioritize conservation.” Georgia Farm Bureau supported Georgia’s position in the case. “Georgia Farm Bureau has worked tirelessly for decades to ensure Georgia farmers maintain access to the water required to clothe and feed America and the world. This ruling is an example of the advocacy work Farm Bureau does for farmers and why it’s important that Georgia’s agriculture community support our organization by being a member,” McCall said. “We continue to support Georgia’s farmers as they practice responsible water use and constantly pursue improvements in water-use efficiency.” Visit www.gfb.ag/SCGAFLAH2O to read the ruling.
Summer 2021 5
Public Policy Update
Georgia agriculture wins in ’21 Session By Jake Matthews
Photo courtesy of the Georgia House Georgia lawmakers convened Jan. 11 under the Gold Dome in Atlanta for another historic legislative session. Strict COVID-19 protocols were in place, including frequent testing for legislators. This being the first year of a biennial session, newly elected lawmakers took the oath of office in small groups while wearing masks and social distancing. Despite the slow start to a less than normal 40-day session, Georgia’s agricultural community had many important issues surface at the state capitol. The state budget was among the bills affecting agriculture passed this session. The Amended FY21 budget restored the funding cuts made across the board last year due to the uncertainty of how the pandemic would affect state revenue. The FY22 budget included increased funding for important rural initiatives such as broadband infrastructure and other agricultural programs. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) is blessed to have legislators who are friends of agriculture and work to make life better for those who call farming a way of life. Sen. Lee Anderson worked closely with GFB staff to pass Senate Bill 247 to modernize how Georgia Commodity Commissions notify producers, hold hearings, and vote on new commodity assessments. SB 247 allows notices to be published in the Farmers & Consumers Market Bulletin and online, and allows for online public comment periods, ensuring the target audience of these notices are reached. State statute previously required commodity commissions to advertise
proposed changes in Georgia’s official legal organ - the Atlanta Journal Constitution. This session, Rep. Sam Watson carried House Bill 498, which would allow individual family farms that qualify for an ad valorem tax exemption on farm equipment to maintain the exemption if they merge to form a single entity. The capitalintensive nature of agriculture often requires family farms to go into business together on the more costly purchases needed for their operations. This legislation requires changing the state constitution, so it will be put before Georgia voters on the 2022 ballot as a constitutional amendment. In recent years, the state farmers markets throughout Georgia have experienced issues that lawmakers addressed in House Bill 676. Rep. Penny Houston carried this legislation that creates a legislative oversight committee and funds a third-party consultant that will make recommendations and create a plan to ensure our state’s farmers markets operate properly and profitably. GFB Public Policy staff was present at the capitol each day of the session to monitor the issues important to our members and that affect Georgia agriculture. To learn more about other legislation favorable to Georgia’s No. 1 economic sector, such as right-of-way for farm equipment, designation of the pecan as our official state nut, and updates to Georgia’s hemp program, please read our archived weekly legislative reports at www.gfb.ag/legislativereports .
Jake Matthews is a governmental affairs specialist in the Georgia Farm Bureau Public Policy Department. He may be reached at 478-474-8411, ext. 5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 Summer 2021
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Gov. Brian Kemp signs Senate Bill 247, which updates how Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commissions publicize their notices. Photo by Logan Thomas
Gov. Kemp backs rural Ga. by signing ag & forestry bills By Jennifer Whittaker Gov. Brian Kemp displayed his support of Georgia farmers by holding two bill signing ceremonies this spring for agriculture and forestry legislation. On May 7, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) hosted the second ceremony at its state office in Macon. “Georgia Farm Bureau thanks all of the legislators who introduced these bills and got the Georgia Legislature to pass them,” GFB President Tom McCall said. “We appreciate the support Gov. Kemp has shown Georgia agriculture in the past and continues to show by signing these bills that will help Georgia farmers and timber growers.” Senate Bill (SB) 247, which updates how state commodity commissions can communicate with producers, was one of the bills Kemp signed. Sen. Lee Anderson authored this bill supported by GFB. Kemp also signed House Bill (HB) 336, which aligns Georgia’s hemp laws to match federal standards.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Kemp signed HB 498, which will let Georgia voters decide in the 2022 election if family farms that have merged may have the same ad valorem tax exemption on farm equipment that they had before merging. Rep. Sam Watson introduced this bill supported by GFB and other ag organizations. “There’s no more generational business than a family farm. Marty and I know how important small business is to Georgia’s economy,” Kemp said. “That’s what Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Agribusiness Council are fighting for in the capitol every day.” Forestry legislation Gov. Kemp signed included HB 355, which updates Georgia’s carbon sequestration registry; HB 90, which regards liability for purchases of cut timber; HB 282, which updates the Qualified Timber Property program; and SB 119, which relieves homeowners of having to notify the Georgia Forestry Commission when burning small piles of
backyard debris but does not override local county or city ordinances pertaining to such fires. During a ceremony held April 9, at Ellis Brothers Pecans in Dooly County, Kemp signed SB 222 making the pecan Georgia’s official state nut. Sen. Carden Summers authored the bill. Georgia’s peanut crop was not slighted by establishing the pecan as the state nut since peanuts are a legume and are Georgia’s official state crop, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black assured ceremony attendees. Kemp also signed HB 693 on April 9 giving farm equipment the right-of-way on Georgia roads, specifically when bridges, guardrails or other physical impediments would not safely allow a tractor or other farm equipment to travel on the far righthand side of the road. HB 693 also prevents farm tractors from traveling on U.S. interstates unless the Department of Public Safety has permitted such travel in certain areas of Georgia as deemed necessary.
Summer 2021 7
USDA ALLOCATES $330 MILLION FOR MULTIPLE COVID-19 RELATED PROGRAMS On April 13, the USDA announced more than $330 million is available to help farmers and organizations in the food supply chain recover from financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative launched in March and includes provisions for specialty crops, U.S. textile mills that use U.S. grown cotton and the dairy sector. According to the USDA, these funds are intended to help develop new markets for U.S. ag products, expand the specialty crop sector, and incentivize low-income consumers to buy fruits and vegetables. “I would like to thank [Agriculture] Secretary [Tom] Vilsack and his team at USDA for continuing to roll out the assistance that the Agriculture Committees provided in the FY21 Consolidated Appropriations Act,” House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott said. “These crucial investments will assist the ag sector in recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly bolstering our state agriculture departments’ support for specialty crop producers as well as our cotton mills and dairy processors.” The USDA re-opened the sign-up period for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP2) beginning April 5 for at least 60 days. The USDA also committed to developing new programs or modifications to existing ones that assist producers who had to euthanize livestock or poultry, those who produce biofuels, offsetting costs for organic certification, timber harvesting and hauling, personal protective equipment and other protection measures for farm workers, improving the food supply chain and reducing food waste. For detailed information about the USDA’s COVID-19 assistance programs, visit www.farmers.gov/ pandemic-assistance.
8 Summer 2021
SPECIALTY CROP BLOCK GRANTS USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is distributing $169.9 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to fund innovative projects designed to support the specialty crop food sector and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. Funding includes: • $72.9 million available as part of the annual farm bill funding for the program; • An additional $97 million in emergency funds for applications provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Grant project funding awarded as part of pandemic assistance can also go to organizations to assist farmworkers (e.g., for PPE and vaccination costs), projects to fund farmers, food businesses, and other relevant entities to respond to risks and supply chain disruption. The SCBGP funds are allocated to U.S. states and territories based on a formula that considers both specialty crop acreage and production value. Interested applicants should apply to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. A list of state contacts is available on the USDA website. Applications must be submitted electronically through www. grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET June 11. For more information about grant eligibility, visit the SCBGP website.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE FOR COTTON USERS The USDA will provide approximately $80 million in additional payments to U.S. textile mills impacted by the pandemic that use upland and extra-long staple cotton. Under this one-time payment program, known as the Pandemic Assistance for Cotton Users (PACU) program, USDA will pay $.06 per pound to domestic users based on a 3-year monthly average during 2017 through 2019, covering 10 months in 2020. The program and payment formula were established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Consumption information previously submitted to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service by domestic cotton users as participants of the Economic Adjustment Assistance for Textile Mills (EAATM) and Special Competitive Provisions for Extra Long Staple Cotton (ELS) will be used in determining payment. USDA will send payment certifications for payment issuance to EAATM and ELS program participants. USDA is scheduled to begin issuing payments to domestic cotton users this spring. Businesses that used U.S. cotton between Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2019, but did not participate in EAATM or ELS programs and have documentation to support their claim according to the provisions of the Act, should contact AMS’s Warehouse and Commodity Management Division.
DAIRY DONATION PROGRAM USDA will soon implement the $400 million Dairy Donation Program (DDP) established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. This program will facilitate the donation of dairy products to nonprofit organizations that distribute food to persons in need and prevent/minimize food waste. USDA provided advance notice of the minimum requirements the program will include to encourage the dairy industry to process and donate surplus milk supplies as it moves through the spring surplus milk production season while USDA finalizes the program. Retroactive reimbursements of donations made since Dec. 27, 2020, when the statute was signed, will be made provided the minimum requirements are met: 1) a donation/ distribution plan must be submitted and approved by USDA; 2) the reimbursement will be at least equivalent to the minimum classified value of milk used to make the donated product on the date of manufacturing; 3) records related to donating and receiving products must be maintained and available for
Georgia Farm Bureau News
review or audit; 4) eligibility is open to dairy farmer cooperatives and processors subject to a federal milk marketing order and that donate dairy products to any private or public nonprofit food distribution entity. For more information, visit www.ams.usda.gov/notices.
NUTRITION PROGRAM The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will invest $75 million as directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Active Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) and Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grantees may request funding to allow them to address critical food and nutrition security needs of low-income communities, enhance the resilience of food and healthcare systems impacted by the pandemic, and maximize funds reaching participants in communities in need. The GusNIP COVID Relief and Response grants program (GusCRR) helps low-income communities improve the affordability and consumption of fruits and vegetables by vulnerable participants in communities in need. GusCRR grants will expand the work started last year to provide pandemic relief and respond to community needs in an impactful, timely, and authentic way. NIFA will reach out directly to GusCRR eligible applicants with additional details and a copy of the Request for Applications (RFA). Eligibility to receive a GusCRR grant is limited to organizations with a current active GusNIP nutrition grant, GusNIP produce prescription grant, or FINI grant that began prior to Dec. 27, 2020. An eligible organization may submit only one GusCRR nutrition incentive grant application and one produce prescription application. The USDA encourages applications from smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, veteran producers, and/ or underserved communities. For grants intending to serve these audiences, applicants should engage and involve those beneficiaries when developing projects and applications. The USDA launched the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative in March with $6.5 billion in funding to address shortfalls and disparities in how assistance was distributed in previous COVID-19 assistance packages, with a focus on strengthening outreach to underserved producers and communities and small and medium farms. Compiled by Georgia Farm Bureau
Summer 2021 9
GEORGIA FARMERS WEIGH IN ON DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME By Jay Stone
The Georgia General Assembly addressed twice-yearly time changes by passing SB 100 in its 2021 session. Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law on April 21. The bill, which would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent, is a contingency. While states can establish permanent standard time, they cannot make DST permanent unless Congress enacts legislation authorizing it. Until Congress acts, Georgia will continue the current practice of changing clocks twice a year.
Neither Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) nor the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has policy addressing DST. An informal poll of a dozen farmers around the state asked for their views on DST and the practice of changing clocks twice a year. Eight of the 12 said they preferred DST over standard time. “The hardest thing for a dairy farmer is to develop a life,” said Troup County dairyman Joel Keith. “There’s a routine there that the dairy has got to run. Extra daylight in the
“I’ve heard it said farmers need longer hours to gather things like fruit. Here’s the thing: I’m starting at 11 o’clock in the morning because I have to wait until the dew dries, and then I’ll work until 9 o’clock at night picking them. The dew will dry under standard time at 10 o’clock, and I can be at it from 10 til 8.” -Tim McMillan • Berrien County
10 Summer 2021
afternoons enables the dairyman and his family to have a life outside the farm.” Berrien County fruit and row-crop farmer Tim McMillan disagrees. “I’ve always hated daylight saving time in the summer, because it put me coming in so late,” said McMillan. “I felt like I missed out on some things with my children. It was my choice. I could have quit at 8 o’clock and still had daylight outside, but I felt an obligation to the farm.” McMillan’s wife, Margaret, echoed his sentiments. “Tim and I have been married 40 years and for 40 years I have hated daylight saving time. From a farm wife standpoint of never getting to see your husband, it is the worst thing imaginable. I’ve always hated it, because he was always working later in the summertime,” she said. “There’s nothing good about eating supper at 9:30 at night.” Eight of those interviewed said they do not like changing clocks twice a year. “Having children, having to adjust their schedules and bedtimes, I kind of see it as nonsense,” said Washington County farmer Bridget Hitchcock.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
“I guess I like daylight saving time better. The main thing is just keep something the same year round. That’s what I would like to see them do. I like to go to work when it’s daylight. I don’t like to start when it’s dark. It’s not that big a deal to me. I guess we might get a little bit more done with the late sunlight.” -Chuck Joiner • Carroll County Where clocks and sunshine are concerned, most of the farmers GFB interviewed mentioned family considerations before farm productivity. “Even though we are farmers who care about our crops, we care about our families too,” said Jake Carter of Henry County. “I think that’s one of the things that would allow us to have that quality time with our families.” While the majority fell on the side of DST and not changing clocks, Grady County’s John Harrell offered a cautionary tale on sticking to one time year-round. Harrell, who said he would rather keep the clocksetting schedule the way it is currently, noted that the U.S. went to year-round DST in 1973 and 1974 as the U.S. grappled with oil and gas shortages. “It didn’t get daylight until about eightsomething in the morning in January that year,” said Harrell, who was a student at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College at the time. “It was weird. If you ate breakfast before class, you ate in the dark. If you had an 8 o’clock class, you went in the dark. If school started at 8 o’clock for young’uns, they caught the bus in the dark and they went to class in the dark. They saw the sun come up after they got to school.”
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Georgia is one of at least 28 states that considered DST legislation in 2021, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which also notes Georgia is among 15 states to pass DST bills or resolutions since 2018. Since 2015, at least 350 bills have been introduced in state legislatures. In Congress, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Florida) introduced the Sunshine Protection Act (H.R. 69) on Feb. 2, which would establish DST year-round. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) introduced S. 263 (which is also titled the Sunshine Protection Act) on March 9. The two bills were referred to their chambers’ respective commerce committees. Currently, Hawaii and Arizona (except for the Navajo Reservation within Arizona) maintain standard time year-round.
“[Changing clocks] doesn’t really matter to me. I typically work from daylight til dark, so what the clock says doesn’t matter that much. There are bigger fish in the sea.” -Terry Bramlett • Fannin County The other 48 states employ the “spring forward, fall backward” practice of changing clocks. This current model for changing clocks has been in place since 1966, when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act based on the idea time changes would conserve energy. The dates for resetting clocks have changed, but one thing we can all set our clocks by is that twice a year there is much discussion about the wisdom, or lack of it, in doing so.
A HISTORY OF TIME CHANGE Sundials estimated to be around 5,500 years old have been discovered in ancient Egyptian ruins. So, humans have been measuring time at least that long. Once we realized time could be measured, it may have been inevitable we’d also try to manipulate it. For the last 100 years, that’s essentially what we’ve done using Daylight Saving Time (DST). Setting our clocks an hour ahead in March means daylight ends later.
According to a 2018 article in Smithsonian Magazine, DST was debated in the British Parliament at least as early as the 1880s. In 1916, Germany established DST as a means of conserving energy to support its war effort. Soon after, England adopted DST.
The United States established DST and time changes in 1918, but it was soon repealed after a national outcry. Various cities and states across the country began establishing their own DST policies. By 1965, 18 states had established six months of DST and six months standard time. The next year, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which is still in effect, though there have been changes to the months designated for changing clocks.
Summer 2021 11
McManus brought farm experience to GFB career By Jay Stone By the time Joe McManus began working at Georgia Farm Bureau in 1995, he had experienced the difficulties Georgia farmers face firsthand. McManus, who retired March 31, grew up on a diversified farm in Columbia County and earned a dairy science degree from the University of Georgia. He intended to return home to help run the family’s dairy. By the time he graduated, though, the growth of the Augusta area had made the family’s land more valuable for real estate than farming, and the McManuses sold their dairy cows. So, Joe went to work with Gaines Wilson, an Upson County hog farmer, and eventually the two formed Wil-Mac Enterprises, raising and selling their hogs, frequently using the GFB Grain Desk service to purchase feed or feed ingredients for their herd. After Wil-Mac closed, McManus joined GFB and went to work on the grain desk. He said he never expected to go to a job that required a coat and tie. “I literally worked on a farm my whole life,” McManus recalled. “I worked on the UGA dairy when I was going to school.
12 Summer 2021
That’s how I got through school. I had one tie and one suit that didn’t fit. Polyester pants. They were probably 30 years old. I had to go shopping.”
"Having the direct contact with the farmers was my favorite part. I felt like I was helping them out." -Joe McManus McManus spent 22 years on the GFB grain desk, helping Georgia farmers sell millions of dollars’ worth of crops. “It was one of the few places I could go and stay in agriculture and stick with it,” McManus said. “Honestly, when I came here, I thought I’ll stay a year or two and maybe something will come along, but I liked what I did and stuck it out. It’s been good to me. It’s been a good opportunity.” In 2007, he was promoted to assistant director for the GFB Commodities
Department, and in that role became more involved with the organization’s commodity advisory committees. In 2017, when GFB merged its legislative and commodities departments to form the current GFB Public Policy Department, Joe became assistant public policy director for agricultural programs. “We do whatever it takes, however menial or big. We just pitch in and do it all. Having the direct contact with the farmers was my favorite part,” he said. “I felt like I was helping them out. I hope I was getting them better prices than they could get on their own.” McManus continues to live in Upson County and plans to focus on his 180-acre farm and travel. Joe has two daughters, Jessica McManus and Jamie McCard, and two grandsons, Flint and Clay. After 26 years at GFB, McManus’ wardrobe expanded to around 200 ties. Many of them featured the various Georgia commodities he worked with for Farm Bureau.
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Summer 2021 13
SEN. WARNOCK EXPLORES GEORGIA AGRICULTURE By Jay Stone
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock – Georgia’s voice on the Senate Committee for Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Agriculture – spent a day this spring visiting Georgia farms and immersing himself in farm life. During the extensive tour, Warnock shared that he puts peanuts in his Coke. He marveled at the process cotton goes through to become clothing. He climbed on farm equipment and dined outside. Mostly he listened, hearing from numerous farm stakeholder organizations while touring six Southwest Georgia farms March 31. The ag tour, which Warnock said was his first tour since taking office, allowed producers of a wide array of commodities and from a variety of social backgrounds to share information about their crops and voice concerns about issues they face. At a kick-off breakfast at Fort Valley State University, Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall introduced Warnock to leaders from several Georgia commodity groups, including: the Georgia Milk Producers, Georgia Poultry Federation, Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, Georgia Forestry Association, Georgia Peanut Commission, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Pecan Commission and Georgia Peach Growers. “Farm Bureau has a foot in the door with Sen. Warnock now after meeting with him and all the ag leaders in the state. We let him know that we are ready to work with him,” McCall said. “Since he is on the ag committee, and he is chairman of a
subcommittee that deals with trade and risk management and commodities, it’s a very important thing that we need to be able to get to know him and communicate with him.” Warnock was accompanied by long-time Farm Bureau friend Rep. Sanford Bishop on the tour, which included stops at Minor Farms in Sumter County, Olam Peanut Shellers in Lee County, Lee Cotton Gin in Terrell County, Century Pecan Groves in Lee County, Davis Farm in Colquitt County and Warrior Creek Farms in Worth County.
Photo by Jay Stone
14 Summer 2021
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Produce grower Dick Minor, center, discusses growing cabbage with Sen. Raphael Warnock. | Photo by Jay Stone Warnock said he made a point of lobbying for a seat on the Senate Agriculture Committee. “I wanted the first tour we did to be an ag tour,” Warnock said. “There’s no more important part of our economic viability as a state than the agricultural sector.”
countries, notably European nations, have engaged in practices that decreased the value of U.S. peanuts. At the Davis Farm, Warnock heard how modern tillage practices and Georgia’s large swaths of timber contribute to carbon sequestration and could be a component to overcome climate change. “It means a lot [that Sen. Warnock asked for an ag tour],” said Colquitt County row crop and cattle farmer Louie Perry III. “He’s not from this part of the state, but it’s very refreshing that he wants to be on the ag committee, he understands the importance of agriculture to the state of Georgia, and that he’s here touring farms across South Georgia.” At Warrior Creek Farms in Worth County, Warnock visited with owner Ricky Dollison, a fourth-generation farmer who raises hogs and grows corn, peanuts and vegetables. The Dollisons sell their products to consumers and wholesale through their farm website. Dollison voiced concerns over the costs of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) requirements under federal food safety rules and expenses that make it difficult for small farmers to transport their farm products to their customers.
“There’s no more important part of our economic viability as a state than the agricultural sector.” -U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock At Minor Farms, fruit and vegetable growers discussed international trade, access to labor, estate taxes and broadband connectivity with Warnock, who also sits on the Senate Committee for Commerce. Warnock voiced concerns over closures of rural Georgia hospitals in recent years and said the state’s expansion of Medicaid could have health and economic implications for rural Georgians, including farmers. “We need to make sure a hospital is there when you need it,” Warnock said. Tift County vegetable grower Bill Brim discussed the H-2A program’s Adverse Effect Wage Rate with Warnock, saying the rule inhibits larger operations like his from handling produce from smaller farms because when they do, the workers have to be paid overtime wage rates from the start. At Olam, peanut producers noted 30% of U.S.-grown peanuts are exported, though prices have decreased and other
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Georgia Cotton Commission Chairman Bart Davis, right, and his son Trey, standing left of Warnock, discuss how precision agriculture helps their farm be more cost effective. | Photo by Jay Stone
Summer 2021 15
DOES YOUR FARM DOG HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN $5,000?
Is a loyal dog essential to your farm? Maybe he rounds up cattle; guards your livestock from predators or keeps varmints out of your fields. Maybe she’s therapeutic - makes you laugh, listens to your problems, or gently nudges you at the right moment. Maybe they’ve protected you or a grandchild from harm or sought help like Lassie. Recognize your exceptional four-legged friend by entering it in the 2022 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year Contest supported by Purina. Georgia Farm Bureau members have until July 2 to enter their dogs. The grand prize winner will receive a year’s worth of Purina dog food and $5,000. The winner will be recognized as Farm Dog of the Year at the 2022 American Farm Bureau Federation Convention next January in Atlanta. Regional runners-up from AFBF’s Southern, Northeast, Midwest and Western Regions will each win $1,000. Desired attributes for the AFBF Farm Dog of the Year include helpfulness to the farmer/ farm family, playfulness and obedience. Complete contest rules are available at www.gfb.ag/fdoty along with a video of Bindi, the 2021 Farm Dog of the Year. Judges will select the winner and four regional winners. The top 10 dogs will also compete in a social media contest for the title of People’s Choice Pup. Profiles of the top 10 contestants will be shared on AFBF social media beginning in October, with the public invited to vote. The People’s Choice Pup wins a year’s worth of Purina dog food and bragging rights. Contest is only for Farm Bureau members. If you aren’t a GFB member, visit www.gfb.ag/join or your county office to join. Questions about the contest should be emailed to email@example.com.
AFBF SEEKS AG INNOVATORS Are you an entrepreneur who has created an innovative solution for a problem farmers, ranchers or rural communities face? American Farm Bureau and Farm Credit are looking for 10 such businesses to award a total of $165,000 in startup funds. Applications for the 2022 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge will be accepted until Aug. 20, 11:59 p.m. EDT. The challenge is looking to reward entrepreneurs who are addressing traditional challenges farmers face on their operations, such as access to labor, optimizing yield, or reducing operating costs, or new issues facing agriculture. Prizes will be awarded as follows: $50,000 to the top challenge winner; $20,000 to the challenge runner-up; $15,000 each to two finalists; $10,000 to six semi-finalists; an additional $5,000 to the People’s Choice chosen by public vote (all 10 contestants are eligible). Ten semi-finalist teams will compete at the 2022 AFBF convention in Atlanta in January. The final four teams will give live presentations to compete for top honors. Visit www.gfb.ag/22innovachallenge for complete details and to enter.
16 Summer 2021
Georgia Farm Bureau News
AFBF YF&R prize tractor at work on Nolans’ farm Wayne County Farm Bureau members Jacob and Emily Nolan are enjoying the new CASE IH Farmall 50A tractor they received for winning second place in the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Contest. The Nolans accepted the keys to their new tractor during a ceremony held April 14 at the CASE IH, Tidewater Equipment dealership in Tifton. The AFBF contest was held in January as part of the organization’s annual convention. Jacob and Emily won Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2020 YF&R Achievement Contest last fall. The Nolans are putting their new tractor to good use on their Spring Fever Farm. The couple grows strawberries, satsumas and other citrus, cotton, peanuts and cattle. Tending their strawberry crop, working the family garden, running a grain auger, mowing, and running a feed mill are some of the chores the Nolans plan to tackle with their tractor.
Photo courtesy of CASE IH Tidewater Equipment
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
Summer 2021 17
Sizemore represents GFB in Collegiate DM Photo by Jay Stone
Congratulations to Willie Sizemore, who advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion Meet held March 9-13 as part of the virtual AFBF Fusion Reimagined Conference. Sizemore and contestants from 15 other states competed against each other via Zoom.
Sizemore represented Georgia in the contest after finishing as the top collegiate finisher in the 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet held last fall. Sizemore, a native of Lee County, is a recent graduate of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.
Sizemore is an active member of the UGA YF&R Chapter, which held its inaugural discussion meet March 18 & 19 won by Adam Belflower of Cochran. Belflower will represent the UGA chapter at the ’21 GFB YF&R Discussion Meet to be held in July at the GFB YF&R Summer Leadership Conference.
GFB sponsors FFA Discussion Meet Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Congratulations to Ware County FFA member Colleen Barber! She won the state FFA Discussion Meet held April 24 during the 93rd Annual Georgia FFA Convention in Macon. The top six finalists competing in the final round were, from left: North Murray County FFA member Josh Bruner; Seminole
18 Summer 2021
County FFA member Will Pace; Screven County FFA member Kaden Williamson; Southeast Bulloch County FFA member Whitley Gatch; Ware County FFA member Colleen Barber; Pelham FFA member Jacob Nolan. Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee Chairmen
Charlsy & Will Godowns served as the event timekeeper and moderator. Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the event awarding the winner, Barber, $250. The remaining top five finalists received $100; the other five district participants received $50.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
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Summer 2021 19
Ag & textile leaders collaborate to bring manufacturing back to U.S. By Jennifer Whittaker
The Medical Scrubs Project is simple: use Georgia-grown cotton, mostly processed in Georgia, to clothe Georgia healthcare workers. The project’s long-term goal is revolutionary: bring textile manufacturing using U.S. cotton back to America. Field to Closet (FTC) – an initiative created by cotton seed company Deltapine® and Jernigan Global, a cotton/textile consulting firm - has been working in recent years to spark demand for premium U.S. cotton by retailers and make cotton growers, ginners and millers aware that the quality of U.S. cotton has improved. Last year, FTC launched the project by buying cotton from three Southwest Georgia families to make 100% cotton scrubs: McCleskey Cotton in Bronwood, Mims farms in Donalsonville and Davis Family Farms in Doerun. “I hope this is the beginning of a lot more programs like this. It could benefit all of us in cotton from seed dealers to cotton growers to manufacturers,” said Bart Davis, who farms in Colquitt County with
20 Summer 2021
All photos courtesy of The Big Picture his wife, Paula, sons Trey and Jedd, and daughter, Lakyn. Davis, who also chairs the Georgia Cotton Commission, added “We grow the best quality cotton here in Georgia, and Georgia is the second biggest cotton producer behind Texas. We need to be manufacturing here. We need to get back to being independent.” According to the USDA, about 35% of the cotton grown in the U.S. is exported. In 2019, the cotton lint and seed from the nearly 20 million bales grown in the U.S. had an estimated $7 billion value. In 2019, cotton’s overall economic impact to Georgia’s economy was more than $3 billion and provided about 53,000 jobs, the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) estimates. Cotton ranked as the third most valuable commodity grown in Georgia that year, CAES research shows. Neil Lee and his dad, Ronnie, of McCleskey Cotton, were another of the three cotton farms that sold 10 bales of cotton to the project. Neil said his family didn’t have to alter their production practices to participate in the program.
“Cotton quality is so much better now because of seed improvements that our cotton meets the program requirements for fiber quality,” Neil said. The Lee family plants Deltapine seed for about 90% of its cotton crop, Neil estimates. They primarily grow the 1646, 2055 and 2038 varieties. After being ginned, the cotton was transported to Parkdale Mills in Rabun County where it was spun into yarn that was woven into fabric at Hornwood Inc. in Lilesville, N.C. America Knits in Swainsboro is cutting and sewing the scrubs. “This initiative is exciting. There was a time when an end-to-end U.S. supply chain for cotton garments would have been considered a pipedream,” said America Knits President Steve Hawkins. “This project aligns with our focus on providing prosperity for rural communities and creating quality, environmentally sustainable products in the United States.” Hawkins, who has decades of textile manufacturing experience, and his lifelong friend Dr. David Talton employ about 70 employees at the business they started in 2019.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
“Before NAFTA, there were mills everywhere,” said America Knits co-founder David Talton. “It’s nice to bring it back.” By summer’s end the scrubs will be delivered at no cost to 15 rural Georgia hospitals in Berrien, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Cook, Crisp, Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Emanuel, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Mitchell and Pulaski counties. “It’s been nice being part of this project to get to see the cotton our family grew end up helping nurses in rural Georgia communities,” Neil said. A key component of this project is its Farmer Giveback program, which includes cotton growers in the profit of sold goods made with their cotton. “Field to Closet was founded to work with brands and retailers to increase the use of cotton in products, change the economic distribution of the supply chain to include the farmer, and allow people access to sustainably produced, 100% natural cotton fiber with traceability to farms where Deltapine cotton was grown,” said Ed Jernigan, founder and CEO of Field to Closet.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
In the last 40 years, the U.S. cotton crop has become more environmentally friendly thanks to growers adopting new technologies and production methods developed by researchers. Pesticide use in cotton has become 50% more efficient and growers apply 45% less irrigation water while simultaneously improving the fiber quality of their crop and increasing their crop production on the same amount of acreage, according to Cotton Inc. Other partners in the scrubs project include Helena Agri-Enterprises, Nutrien Ag Solutions, and Georgia’s Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation. To celebrate the project, Georgia’s Rural Center hosted a kick-off event on April 9 at the Georgia Agriculture Museum in Tifton attended by Gov. Brian Kemp. “We want everyone pulling the plow in the same direction to return manufacturing to the United States. This is something we need to do, not only as a state, but as a country,” Kemp said. “One of the things we saw during the pandemic was we were being held up by other countries for Personal Protection Equipment. We need to diversify
“This project aligns with our focus on providing prosperity for rural communities and creating quality, environmentally sustainable products in the United States.” - Steve Hawkins our supply chains in Georgia and the United States.” The governor said the medical scrubs project is an example of the economic development projects and jobs his Rural Strike Team is working to bring to rural Georgia communities. “I’m as positive as I’ve ever been for the opportunities we have in rural Georgia,” Kemp said.
Summer 2021 21
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Look into the Medicare Supplement plans from a name you trust. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FARM BUREAU AGENT TODAY or visit gfb.insure/medsupp to learn more.
22 Summer 2021
Underwritten by Family Life Insurance Company
Georgia Farm Bureau News 8/3/20 1:44 PM
GFB Commodity Committees Discuss Ag Issues By Jennifer Whittaker
Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) held individual meetings this spring for its 20 commodity advisory committees that represent water and the state’s top crops and livestock. Each committee consists of GFB members who produce the commodity their committee represents. Committee members give GFB input on issues affecting their commodities and guide GFB’s legislative position on these issues. County Farm Bureaus nominate committee members. “Implementing the policy that you, our members, develop is the most important thing Farm Bureau does,” GFB President Tom McCall told committee members as they met. Leaders of state commodity organizations working on behalf of their various commodities attended some meetings. GFB’s Vegetable Commodity Advisory Committee heard an update from Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Legislative Director Chris Butts. Georgia Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Dale Sandlin spoke to the Beef Committee. During the GFB Peanut Committee meeting, Georgia Peanut Commission Executive Director Don Koehler reported the GPC is allocating $886,235 to fund 42 research projects during the 2021-22 research budget year to address peanut production issues such as peanut breeding, irrigation/water management, pests, weed and disease management. While speaking to the GFB Cotton Committee, Georgia Cotton Commission Executive Director Taylor Sills encouraged cotton growers to enroll in the U.S. Trust Protocol program - designed to increase the reputation of and demand for U.S.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB Cotton Committee members toured the USDA Cotton & Tobacco Classing Office in Macon where all Georgia cotton is graded. | Photo by Jennifer Whittaker grown cotton by measuring and verifying the sustainability of U.S. cotton. Grower participation includes an on-line selfassessment that asks growers questions about their farming practices, such as tillage and water usage. Individual farm data won’t be shared but will be aggregated to develop a wide picture of U.S. cotton’s sustainability. Cotton leaders hope to enroll 50% of the U.S. cotton crop in the program. Several GFB committees toured facilities close to Macon related to their commodities. Members of the GFB Beef and Goat & Sheep Committees toured Midsouth Packers in Forsyth. GFB Cotton Committee members toured the USDA Cotton & Tobacco Macon Classing Office that grades all cotton grown in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Macon Classing Office Area Director Noah Bell and USDA graders Benjamin Graham and Ieisha Queen discussed the higher presence
of seed coat fragments found in the 2020 cotton crop. Graham showed committee members cotton samples with lots of seed coat fragments so they could see what the classers saw. Graham and Queen explained how trained certified cotton classers manually inspect cotton samples for things such as plant matter, seed coat fragments, plastic, etc. This visual inspection is performed on every cotton sample in addition to the computer test that measures the cotton sample’s color, fineness, fiber strength and length, and trash percent area. Employees of the USDA classing offices go through a four-week training session and must pass a USDA exam to become certified to class/grade cotton samples. Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) Director Tim Lowrimore welcomed the GFB Forestry Committee to the GFC headquarters outside Macon detailing GFC's services.
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24 Summer 2021
Georgia Farm Bureau News
LATE APRIL STORMS DAMAGE SOUTH GEORGIA FARMS By Jay Stone A line of storms that swept through Georgia on April 24 resulted in heavy rainfall, high winds and hail across South Georgia. Farms in multiple counties were hit, in some cases making it necessary to replant. The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed four tornadoes, two in Early County, one in Terrell County and one in Coffee County. The NWS received reports of hail in 22 Georgia counties, and the hail ranged from nickel-size to tennis-ball size.
Cabbage growing at South Georgia Produce suffered hail damage on April 24. Photo by Justin Shealey In Echols County, South Georgia Produce sustained extensive damage, losing large
Georgia Farm Bureau News
quantities of cabbage, bell pepper, squash and eggplant, all of which were ready to be picked, as well as sustaining damage to its packing shed, according to Echols County Extension Agent Justin Shealey. “Really, everybody [in the county] had damage of some sort,” Shealey said. “There was corn snapped off at the stalk and some fields of tobacco will have to be replanted because of damage from the hail.” In the southwest corner of the state, farmers in Baker and Grady Counties reported five inches or more of rain, and the wet conditions will likely result in planting delays for cotton and peanut growers. Hail damage to corn in Grady County was also reported. Grady County Extension Agent Cole Cloud said the bulk of the damage was in the southern part of the county, where hail defoliated young pepper plants, shredded corn leaves and destroyed one farmer’s cabbage. “The farmer had started harvesting,” Cloud said. “It’s still edible, but you can’t market it.” Cloud said not many peanuts had been planted, but some will likely have to be replanted after the heavy rain. Turner and Irwin Counties received heavy rain, prompting concerns that cotton may have to be replanted. In Lowndes County, Extension Agent Jake Price said that because of hail at least one field of cucumbers will have to be
On April 24, hail ravaged a bell pepper field at South Georgia Produce in Echols County. Photo by Justin Shealey replanted, and some tobacco fields sustained 50% losses. Farther east in Ware County multiple equipment sheds sustained damage from high winds, according to Ware County Farm Bureau Agency Manager Wendell Bagley. There were also reports of pecan trees being stripped of leaves by high winds. In Bacon County, the NWS reported damage to at least one farm shelter and a tractor that rolled over from high winds.
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Ag in the Classroom Update
Decatur Co. student wins GFB Essay Contest Trips to apple orchards to pick honey crisps to bake a pie, flashlight nights in corn mazes, and seeing farm animals were some of the experiences district winners in Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2021 Middle School Essay Contest shared in their essays as they addressed the contest topic: How GFB Certified Farm Markets and agritourism benefit farmers and consumers. “Georgia Farm Bureau’s Middle School Essay Contest is where research and creativity meet. We provide a topic, the students do the research, and then they help us tell the story of agriculture,” said GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Heather Cabe. “Tackling a writing prompt outside of assigned classroom curriculum is no small task. It makes me extremely excited to see students going the extra mile for agriculture!” The annual contest, organized statewide by the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee for at least 45 years, encourages sixth through eighth-grade students to consider the importance of agriculture. The 45 county Farm Bureaus that held local contests submitted their top winners to GFB from which 10 district winners and a state winner were chosen.
Decatur County student Walker Elrod won the state prize of $150 and an additional $100 for being the GFB 9th District winner. Elrod was a seventh-grader at Grace Christian Academy when he wrote his essay earlier this year. Other district contest winners were: Molly Hooker, Pickens County, GFB 1st Dist.; Jonathan Felipe, Habersham County, GFB 2nd Dist.; Aarsheya Gunjal, Cobb County, GFB 3rd Dist.; Cameron Rogers, Wilkes County, GFB 4th Dist.; Avery Beverly, Upson County, GFB 5th Dist.; Shyann Evans, Twiggs County, GFB 6th Dist.; Erin Shen, Bulloch County, GFB 7th Dist.; Molly Williford, Turner County, GFB 8th Dist.; and Serenity Pitts, Lanier County, GFB 10th Dist. Each of these students won a $100 prize. The essay contest was open to all public, private and homeschooled 6th, 7th and 8th-grade students statewide. Students were encouraged to explore GFB’s Certified Farm Market and Farm Passport programs in writing their essays. Essays were judged on clarity of thought and writing skill. Elrod’s essay is featured on the next page. Visit www.gfb.ag/21essays to read the essays of all the district winners.
No matter what the future brings... we’ll be there.
26 Summer 2021
Promise Georgia Farm Bureau News
Certified Farm Markets & Agritourism benefit farmers & consumers Decatur County student Walker Elrod won the state GFB Essay Contest prize of $150 and an additional $100 for being the GFB 9th District winner. Elrod was a seventh-grader at Grace Christian Academy when he wrote his essay earlier this year. His essay has been slightly edited to fit the space.
By Walker Elrod
Decatur County Farm Bureau President Justin Long congratulates Walker Elrod for winning the county essay contest. Elrod also won the GFB 9th District & state awards. | Photo by Lisa Green Can you name two of Georgia’s top economic industries? If you said agriculture and tourism, you would be correct. In fact, if you put agriculture and tourism together, you get agritourism. According to Wikipedia, agritourism is when agricultural productions or activities and tourism are linked to bring people to visit, view, or participate in the operation of a farm. Agritourism provides many educational learning experiences. Kids, as well as adults, will get a chance to learn where our food comes from when participating in a hands-on activity. Agritourism has many benefits. The farmer can earn extra income. The community has a chance to show off local products and have educational field trips. The agricultural land is preserved for the environment, and the tourist can get outdoor experiences. A few examples of agritourism include: farm visits, farm stays, U-Pick operations, farm museums, pumpkin patches,
petting farms, corn mazes, Christmas tree farms, hay rides and farmers markets. There may be an admission fee for some of these activities. In the great state of Georgia, farmers have a climate to grow almost anything. Many farmers sell to consumers through their own markets. The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Certified Farm Market (CFM) Program connects consumers with the producers and agriculture. A CFM sells agricultural products that producers have grown and harvested themselves. Consumers are able to purchase fresh produce that is locally grown. One way to discover Georgia is the Farm Passport program. You have to Dec. 31 to get your passport stamped from each CFM you visit. Make sure you submit your stamped passport to GFB by Jan. 7, 2022, to win prizes. There are more than 80 CFMs in Georgia. Twenty-six are located in the south, 24 in the north and 34 in the middle part of Georgia. By traveling to these farm markets throughout Georgia, you can meet the families, help the farmers, enjoy fresh food, learn more about growing our food, experience more outdoor activities, and create family memories. In an interview with Babs Coyle, I found out she has been working many years for a local GFB Certified Farm Market in Bainbridge, Ga. Long’s Produce is a family business that sells local produce and is a member of the Farm Passport Program. Babs feels that agritourism gives children an opportunity to learn about food and how it is grown and cultivated. She also believes it is important to rotate crops, which helps to replenish the nutrients in the soil. I am looking forward to taking a road trip throughout Georgia with my family, so I can create memories and become more educated about Georgia Farm Bureau’s CFM program and Georgia agritourism.
Georgia Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Lauren Goble may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-474-0679, ext. 5135. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you’d like to volunteer with its Ag in the Classroom program.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Summer 2021 27
Around Georgia News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker. More county Farm Bureau activities are featured on the Friends of Georgia Farm Bureau Facebook group page at www.gfb.ag/group
ATKINSON COUNTY Atkinson County Farm Bureau president William White recently presented a $1,000 donation to representatives of the Atkinson County High School FFA Chapter. ACFB also donated $1,000 to the Atkinson County 4-H program. The contributions will help fund the local FFA and 4-H programs’ many activities. ACFB has been a long-time supporter of both programs.
DAWSON COUNTY This spring, Dawson County Farm Bureau Office Manager Tammy Wood visited Black’s Mill Elementary to present a dairy lesson for the Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) lab activity for three, second-grade classes. Wood read the book “Cow to Carton” and taught the students how farmers care for their cows, which includes milking them at least twice a day. She discussed how milk is used to make ice cream, butter, yogurt and cheese. The students learned how liquid milk can be churned into butter by shaking it nonstop in a container. This activity served as the students’ STEM lab to teach them about the different states of matter. DCFB thanks The Dairy Alliance for donating cow masks, coloring books and pencils for the program.
SCREVEN COUNTY COVID-19 safety protocols have kept visitors from physically visiting some schools, but Screven County Farm Bureau has continued to keep ag in the classroom. SCFB has provided multiple ag-themed lesson kits to the Lil’ Scholars Learning Center for its pre-school classes this year. The kits included an accurate ag book and hands-on activities highlighting a seasonal commodity, such as pumpkins, Christmas trees, vegetable soup, apples or farm animals. Lauren Milton is shown teaching her students how to make apple pie filling when the class studied apple production. The class learned about the life cycle of an apple, made mini-apple pies in class and apple pie play dough.
28 Summer 2021
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Mother, daughter duo make memories with Farm Passport
Sarah Gary, left, and her daughter, Angela, are shown at Fritchey’s Farm Fresh Market in Habersham County, one of the mother/ daughter duo’s first stops on their 2020 farm tour. Photos Courtesy of Angela Gary
Angela Gary and her mother, Sarah Gary, of Commerce, visited farms listed in GFB’s Farm Passport the past two years to create memories and support local farmers. They’re already looking forward to their 2021 adventures. Learn more about the program & find participating farms at www.gfb.ag/farmpassport . Passports are available at your local Farm Bureau office or any of the participating farms.
Before you visit a farm, check its social media or call to verify its operating hours & if it has the seasonal crops you hope to buy available.
By Angela Gary My mother and I had so much fun during the first year of Georgia Farm Bureau’s Farm Passport program in 2019 that we decided to do it again. In 2020 we were on the road again - stopping at large and small farm markets to purchase local produce, jams, and honey, and to collect stamps in our farm passport. We visited some of our favorite GFB Certified Farm Markets for the second year as well as a few new farms in the program. We shopped for strawberries in the spring, fresh vegetables in the summer, apples in the fall and Christmas trees at the end of the year.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
You get prizes based on the number of stamps you collect in your passport as you visit farms. We enjoyed visiting the farms more than the prizes themselves. It was fun to meet all of the wonderful people and learn about their farms and taste some of the wonderful products from their hard work. We especially enjoyed visiting a new addition to the program last year that is very close to home for us, O5 farms in Jefferson. We picked blueberries, enjoyed a shaved ice treat and purchased some lovely flowers to brighten the kitchen. Both the Alto and Banks Crossing locations of Jaemor Farms are once again in the passport,
so that makes it easy to get two stamps on the passport close to home, while supporting a local business. We’re fortunate we live close to Ellijay, which has some great apple barns. It’s also fun to venture a little farther from home and discover farms in other areas of the state. You will love discovering where your food comes from, meeting the people who grow it, and seeing our state’s agricultural diversity up close! We’re looking forward to getting on the road in 2021 and going to our old favorites and discovering new farms.
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Georgia Foundation for Ag Update
Foundation for Ag helps students pursue ag degrees A crop of 24 Georgia students will receive a total of $65,000 in scholarships from the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) for the 2021-2022 academic year. The scholarships are awarded to students who have excelled academically and/or with their extracurricular activities. The selected students also intend to pursue or are pursuing degrees in agriculture, forestry or family and consumer sciences at a school that is part of The University System of Georgia, Berry College, Emmanuel College or any accredited college/university in Georgia with an ag program or a Georgia accredited technical college. “The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is committed to investing in the future of Georgia agriculture by offering these scholarships to students who want to pursue a career in agriculture. The foundation is happy to offer scholarships this year to students who plan to become ag teachers, welders, veterinarians, ag mechanics, ag engineers, ag business employees and ag lawyers,” said GFA Board Chairman and GFB President Tom McCall. “Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to support the foundation’s efforts. We look forward to continuing to keep up with these deserving students and their agricultural careers.” The scholarships were awarded to graduating high school seniors headed to college or a technical college next fall, rising college juniors and seniors and students enrolled in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine who plan to care for farm animals. Recipients are as follows.
College Freshman Scholarship for Agriculture Ten students planning to enter college this fall at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC), the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES), or Berry College were awarded scholarships of $3,000 each: John Aultman & Kloie Varnadoe, both of Tift County; Olivia Bellotte, Banks County; Morgan Kitchens, Sumter County; Thomas Maddox, Jasper County; Matthew McNeely, Jefferson County; Ella Jane
Miller, Oconee County; Raymond Pan, Clarke County; Hannah Williams, Telfair County; and Peyton Worsham, Mitchell County. The top three candidates - Maddox, Miller and Williams - received an additional $1,000. These 10 students plan to pursue degrees in ag education, agribusiness, ag engineering, ag & environmental systems, animal science, pre-vet medicine, plant pathology, or forestry/ wildlife management.
Technical College Scholarship for Ag Allie Royston, Franklin County; David Workman, McDuffie County; Jennifer Moss, Gwinnett County; and Kane Pruitt, Stephens County, were selected to receive a $1,500 scholarship to attend Gwinnett Technical College, South Georgia Technical or North Georgia Technical College. These students plan to pursue degrees in horticulture science, agricultural technology, agribusiness or welding.
Rising College JR/SR Scholarships for Ag The foundation awarded eight $2,000 scholarships to these rising college juniors and seniors: Adam Belflower, Bleckley County; Brooke Appelbaum, Chattooga County; Dawson Adams, Coffee County; Edwin Oliver, Harris County; Ellie Clark, Hall County; Joshua Brown, Habersham County; Lauren Pike, Walker County; Teresa Lindstrom, Houston County. The students plan to attend UGA CAES, ABAC and Berry College in the fall and are studying ag education, ag studies, agribusiness, ag communications and animal science.
UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship Katelyn Williams and Lindsey Fenster, both Clarke County residents, will each receive scholarships of $5,000 as they study to become large animal veterinarians at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine.
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture invests in the next generation of ag leaders by supporting higher education for high school and college students. To support ag education for Georgia students, consider giving to GFA’s GROW program. Visit www.gafoundationag.org/OurWork.html to learn more about our plans to support learning outside the classroom. Visit www.gafoundationag.org/joinus.html to make a tax-deductible donation. Instructions for applying for the 2022 scholarships will be posted on the GFA website this fall.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture thanks all who have contributed to its mission during the first quarter of 2021 to prepare the next generation of Georgia leaders for success in agriculture.
Donors - $100 - $249 Nancy M. Altherr Dennis L. Black Mark R. Brose Glenn Heard Jeff Davis Co. Farm Bureau David L. Jolley Justin Long Bradford Marks Jr. Brian Robinson Thomas P. Smith Jr. Walton Co. Farm Bureau Wesley Porter
Contributors - $50-$99 Pillars - $1,000 + Clayton Co. Farm Bureau Wayne Daniel Emanuel Co. Farm Bureau Georgia Association of Conservation Districts Georgia EMC Georgia Farm Bureau Bank Georgia Farm Bureau Inc. Newton County Farm Bureau Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.
Vickie Bagby Kathleen G. Duvall Jason S. Elkins Georgia Power Ambassadors Augusta Chapter Lauren D. Goble Richard L. Hart Brent & Mandy Marable Rachel B. Mosely Amy Parker Robert W. Patton John C. Ryals Jeremy R. Taylor
Growers - $500 - $999 Daniel Johnson Abit Massey William Verner
Friends - $250 - $499 John R. Branch Jon D. Huffmaster Sr. Mark McCann Christa & Ted Steinkamp
Supporters William F. Bohm Deborah M. Carter Kenneth A. Clarke Melanie N. Curenton Brandi Dunham Deborah H. Ellis Jeanna G. Fennell Jeffrey A. Harvey
Pamela K. Hegwood John F. Hilton Karren E. Hoskins Amy J. Jeffries Charmaine Jackson Ronald G. Johnson Charlotte Kitchen Lisa C. Newberry Bobby M. Perry Vicki L. Shepard Megan W. Thompson Sara J. Walker Kimberly A. Whitley Donnella Williams
National Ag Day Support Nancy M. Altherr honoring GFB IT Dept. John R. Branch Brandi Dunham Charmaine Jackson honoring The Cagle Family Mark McCann Brent & Mandy Marable honoring Skeetter McCorkle Amy Parker Walton Co. Farm Bureau Donnella Williams
In Memory of Stanford Day Jeff Davis Co. Farm Bureau Julian Franklin Davis Jr. Georgia Power Ambassadors Augusta Chapter Charlotte Kitchen Robert W. Patton Sara & Henry Verner William Verner
Additional thanks to Facebook fundraisers, supporters of special events & product sales. To donate to the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture please visit www.gafoundationag. org/JoinUs.html
In Honor of GFB Employees Nancy M. Altherr Gerald Long Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co
Growing On GFB'S NEW PODCAST with John Holcomb, Jay Stone, and Katie Duvall
Listen online at GFB.org or on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or Google Play
• Free, bimonthly newsletter emailed to subscribers • Available to anyone • Current news about Georgia commodities & legislative issues • Updates on GFB programs & member benefits • Calendar of Georgia ag events
Visit www.gfb.ag/fieldnotes to subscribe. Georgia Farm Bureau News
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Georgia Farm Bureau News