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FARM BUREAU

Vol. 77 No. 2

GEORGIA

NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers

April-May 2015


$500 Bonus For Georgia Farm Bureau Members Georgia Farm Bureau members get $500 Bonus Cash* toward the purchase or lease of any eligible 2014/2015/2016 Ford vehicle. Enjoy valuable savings on your choice of vehicles from our comfortable and capable lineup – like the all-new 2015 F-150 with best-in-class towing and payload** and improved fuel efficiency.

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*Program #32010: $500 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/6/2015 through 1/4/2016 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2014/2015/2016 model year Ford vehicle including Hybrids and Final Pay Units. Incentive not available on Mustang Shelby GT/GT500, Mustang Boss 302, Mustang Special 50th Anniversary Edition, F-150 Raptor. Offer is subject to change based on vehicle eligibility. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 30 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $500 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Ford Dealer for complete details and qualifications. **Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR.

$750 Savings, reserved just for Georgia Farm Bureau Members Georgia Farm Bureau members get $750 Bonus Cash* toward the purchase or lease of any eligible intelligently designed 2014/2015/2016 Lincoln vehicle. Enjoy exclusive savings on your choice of vehicles from our luxurious Lincoln lineup – including the 2015 Lincoln MKC with an all-new 2.3L EcoBoost® Powertrain and Electric-Power Assisted Steering.

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*Program #32055: $750 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/6/2015 through 1/4/2016 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2014/2015/2016 model year Lincoln vehicle including Hybrids and Final Pay Units. Offer is subject to change based on vehicle eligibility. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 30 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $750 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Lincoln Dealer for complete details and qualifications.

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table of

contents april-may 2015

departments

we, the farmers PAGE 4

legislative update PAGE 5

commodities update PAGE 14

young farmer update PAGE 24

around georgia

PAGE 26

ag in the classroom update PAGE 29

public relations staff Andy Lucas Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone Print/Web Specialist Lillian Davis Publications/Advertising Manager Michael Edmondson Web/Video Manager Ray D’Alessio Senior Producer/TV Host Kenny Burgamy Co-Anchor/Reporter Mark Wildman Senior Radio-TV Specialist Dean Wood Radio-TV Specialist Damon Jones Radio-TV Specialist Vickie Amos Office Coordinator For questions regarding advertising, contact Lili Davis at 478-474-0679, ext. 5126 or email ladavis@gfb.org

Agriculture shines during GFB Day at Capitol

Farm Bureau members from across the state braved frigid temperatures to meet with their legislators and discuss ag issues during the annual GFB Day at the Capitol. Gov. Nathan Deal and Ag Commissioner Gary Black spoke at the event. PAGE 6

Presidents’ Conference provides legislative updates & program tips

County Farm Bureau leaders attending the annual GFB Presidents’ Conference in Columbus heard state and federal legislative updates, learned about GFB programs and received tips for managing county Farm Bureau offices. PAGE 8

GFB invests in future of Georgia ag by sponsoring grand champion livestock prizes

For the fourth year, Georgia Farm Bureau awarded the grand champion prizes presented to the six species champions at the annual Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held Feb. 18-21. PAGE 10

Permitting, feral hog control key issues for Georgia pork producers

New rules for nutrient management permitting and a discussion on the control of feral hogs highlighted the 2015 Georgia Pork Producers Association Annual Meeting held Feb. 17. PAGE 12

UGA Vet school opens new medical center in Athens

As of March 25, Georgia livestock and pet owners have a new state-of-the-art facility where their animals may be treated at the University of Georgia. The public got a first look at the UGA Veterinary Medical Center during an open house and dedication ceremony Feb. 13. PAGE 16

GFB well-represented at FUSION Conference

Members of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership and Young Farmer Committees attended the first FUSION conference American Farm Bureau hosted. Workshops covered a wide range of topics to equip volunteers to advocate for agriculture. PAGE 18

First PEDv cases detected in Georgia

Two pigs at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held in Perry in February tested positive for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv). Since the show, an additional five cases scattered across Georgia had been confirmed as of March 17. Anyone raising or showing hogs is encouraged to follow biosecurity measures recommended by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. PAGE 21

Industry updates, awards & GCC 50th anniversary highlight cotton meeting

For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432.

The Georgia Cotton Commission celebrated its 50th anniversary, gave growers a chance to hear from national cotton experts and presented the 2014 Quality Cotton Awards during its annual meeting. PAGE 22

For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail jawhittaker@gfb.org

GFB holds gala to kickoff its Foundation for Agriculture

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

Georgia Farm Bureau celebrated the creation of its Foundation for Agriculture with a gala that included entertainment by Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell and a live auction that raised $5,500 for the foundation. PAGE 31

on the cover

Stephens County Farm Bureau member Clay Black shot this photo while loading hay at sunset on his family’s farm last May. He entered it in the 2014 GFB photo contest.  GFB will accept entries for the 2015 contest until May 6. Visit the GFB website www.gfb.org or contact your county office for contest details.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 3


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

we, the

farmers FARM BUREAU GEORGIA

NEWS

The Voice of Georgia Farmers

Zippy Duvall, GFB President

Good works & integrity

On March 7 Georgia Farm Bureau held a gala to celebrate the creation of the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. This foundation is going to give us the ability to partner with people involved in agriculture to educate people outside of agriculture as to how we grow their food and protect our natural resources. We appreciate every donation that has been made to this point. If you can’t make a donation you can contribute by contacting Jed Evans with names and numbers of your feed, seed and fertilizer dealers. We feel certain these agribusinesses want to join us in educating consumers about ag to ensure farming has a future. GFB was created to represent Georgia’s farmers in the legislative arena. I think our founders would be proud to know we still operate from grassroots directives, carrying our members’ concerns straight to our state and national legislators. The most recent legislative victory GFB earned started with a Jenkins County Farm Bureau member calling our legislative department to point out that while Congress had extended a federal tax provision allowing farmers to expense up to $500,000 in new equipment for the 2014 tax year, Georgia tax code was reverting back to a $25,000 limit down from its previous $250,000 deduction maximum. GFB legislative staff immediately began working with state legislators to rectify this. I’d like to thank Reps. David Knight of Griffin and Jay Powell of Camilla for seeing the importance of updating the state tax law to complement the federal code. We were just aiming

to maintain the $250,000 state exemption for the 2014 tax year, but when Knight and Powell’s bill reached the Senate, the state exemption was increased to $500,000 to mirror the federal code. I’m proud to say Gov. Deal signed this bill into law March 6. You can read more about this on page 14. The power of this organization lies with you, our members. Because one member brought this important matter to our attention, all of Georgia’s farmers are going to reap the tax benefit. Speaking of tax benefits Georgia farmers are enjoying thanks to GFB’s efforts, let’s talk about the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) program. Recently the program has come under fire from county governments concerned about decreased tax revenue and from mainstream media alleging the program is being abused. Last fall GFB asked the UGA Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development to study the impact GATE is having on county tax revenue. I’m happy to report that the UGA study shows GATE isn’t responsible for the decline in county tax revenues. You can read a detailed summary of the report on page 5. As for alleged abuse of the GATE program, it’s up to each of us who have a GATE card to act with integrity and only use the card to get sales tax exemptions on qualifying items. If you have questions about which items do or don’t qualify visit https://forms.agr.georgia.gov/gate. If we misuse this program, we will lose it, so See WE, THE FARMERS page 21

The Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Board of Directors includes, pictured from left, GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims, GFB Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr., GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long, GFB President Zippy Duvall, Farm Bureau Bank President Will Hileman, 2014 GFB Young Farmer Chairman Matthew London, GFB Corp. Secretary/Treasurer Wayne Daniel and GFB Asst. Corp. Secretary Jon Huffmaster. Other directors not pictured are GFB Asst. Corp. Treasurer David Jolley and 2014 GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Elaine Avery. 4 / April-May 2015

SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President ZIPPY DUVALL 1st Vice President/South Georgia Vice President GERALD LONG North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR. Treasurer/Corporate Secretary WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Asst. Corporate Secretary JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY

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; Jim Ham, Smarr 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, Elmodel; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Daniel Johnson, Alma; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: David Cromley, Brooklet WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Janet Greuel, Fayetteville 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 Lili Davis, 478-474-0679, ext. 5126, or email: ladavis@gfb.org. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2015 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

PRINTED WITH SOY INK

Georgia Farm Bureau News


legislative update

Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director

UGA study shows GATE not hurting counties The Georgia General Assembly passed major tax reform in 2012 because of steep declines in state revenue in 2008 and later years. Georgia tax collections dropped from $22 billion in 2007 to less than $17 billion by 2009. At the time, lawmakers gave serious consideration to eliminating or suspending all sales tax exemptions in Georgia, including those for farm input costs. Farm Bureau and the UGA Cooperative Extension Service worked together to show legislators that many family farms in Georgia would end up paying additional sales taxes of $25,000 to $50,000 annually if the exemptions were lost. Such a move would have also increased layers of taxation; inputs being taxed in addition to the final taxes paid by consumers. The legislature worked diligently to avoid such imbedded taxation. The eventual result was passage of House Bill 386 (HB 386) in 2012. It offered qualified farmers a sales tax exemption on farm inputs such as seed, feed, fertilizer, chemicals and equipment. The vast majority of the inputs had been sales tax exempt for decades. The biggest change was that farmers were required to apply for a card to qualify for the exemptions. This new card was administered under the Georgia Department of Agriculture as the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) card. Prior to GATE, farmers simply signed a form (ST-A1) that retailers kept on file. The GATE card went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. In October 2014 a widely distributed report compared county 2012 sales tax revenue with 2013 sales tax revenue. The report showed that almost every county in Georgia experienced precipitous drops in sales tax revenue. Many people pointed to the GATE program as the cause of the decline. There were also charges that rampant abuse of the GATE card was breaking the budgets of local governments.

But those accusations did not really make sense. The GATE card created very few new sales tax exemptions for farmers. Most farm inputs covered under GATE had been tax exempt for decades. How could a continuation of mostly current exemptions lead to such a dramatic decline in county revenue? As for GATE cards leading to abuse, the prior system had no qualification requirements at all. Farmers and other businesses simply signed form ST-A1, and the retailer kept it on file. The actual form never left the store. How could the GATE card, in and of itself, cause additional abuse?

GFB took these questions about the GATE program very seriously because the sales tax exemptions are important to farmers’ profitability. Farm Bureau posed these questions to Dr. Kent Wolfe and Sharon Kane with the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development (UGA CAED). In February 2015 the UGA CAED published their report on sales tax distributions to Georgia counties from 2011 – 2014. The analysis did not answer every question about sales tax declines in counties, but it answered one very important question. It showed the GATE program was not a significant cause of sales tax revenue declines in Georgia counties.

Highlights of the UGA CAED Analysis

When the General Assembly passed HB 386 in 2012, the legislation did more than simply create the GATE program. It did away with the annual ad valorem tax assessed on vehicle owners when they

purchased their vehicle tags each year. The tax had to be paid during the vehicle owner’s birth month, so it was called the “birthday tax.” HB 386 also eliminated sales taxes on motor vehicles and instituted a new tax, the “Title Ad Valorem Tax” (TAVT). The TAVT is essentially a title transfer fee. Whenever a vehicle title is transferred to another person, the TAVT is assessed. The revenue is split between the state and local government. Local governments also receive an administrative fee for handling the tax. The UGA CAED analysis compared the percent change in total sales tax distributions to counties before and after the passage of HB 386 and the implementation of GATE. Comparing the 24-month period before GATE (January 2011 – December 2012) to the 24-month period after GATE (January 2013 – December 2014) showed that 134 of Georgia’s 159 counties showed a decline in sales tax revenue. The average county experienced sales tax revenue declines of about eight percent. Since HB 386 repealed sales taxes on motor vehicles, a decline in sales tax revenue was expected. When the revenue received from the new TAVT is added back to the total, 126 counties actually had a revenue increase. Only 33 counties experienced a decline, and the average revenue increase was 5.9 percent per county. The bottom line is that while local governments might have difficult budget issues, the problem is not the GATE program. The UGA CAED analysis provides a factual basis for that conclusion. To see the entire “Sales Tax Distribution Analysis Presentation” developed by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, visit http://www.caed.uga.edu. Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Dept. and GFB Asst. Corporate Secretary.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 5


Agriculture shines during GFB Day at Capitol

Article & photos by Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________

G

eorgia Farm Bureau members from across the state braved record cold temperatures Feb. 19 to attend the organization’s annual GFB Day at the Capitol. Members met at the Georgia Freight Depot at Underground Atlanta for an orientation session that morning before walking up to the Capitol to meet with their legislators. GFB President Zippy Duvall thanked GFB members for traveling to Atlanta

despite the frigid conditions. “I can’t tell you how important this day is. You’ll walk across the street to meet with your legislators at the capitol and visit with them during lunch, but the real importance of the day is that we can bring together this many people in one day. It shows Georgia Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization and it puts the faces of our members we’ve been telling the legislators we represent in front of them.”

Feb. 19 was Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the state capitol. GFB officials were recognized in the Georgia Senate. Pictured front row from right, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Sen. John Wilkinson (R-Dist.50) presents a resolution recognizing GFB as the state’s largest general farm organization to GFB President Zippy Duvall who was joined by his wife, Bonnie, John Haven Stalvey and Sen. Tyler Harper (R-Dist. 7) and second row, from left: Sen. Dean Burke (R-Dist. 11), GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long, GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims, Sen. Burt Jones (R-Dist. 25), Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and top row, GFB Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr., left, and Sen. John F. Kennedy (R-Dist.18). 6 / April-May 2015

Gov. Nathan Deal addressed GFB members and state officials attending the GFB Day at the Capitol lunch held at the Georgia Freight Depot.

Duvall, his wife, Bonnie, and GFB’s three vice presidents – GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long, North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims and Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr. visited the Georgia Senate where Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Sen. John Wilkinson recognized GFB as being the state’s largest general farm organization. Gov. Nathan Deal spoke at the event luncheon GFB held at the Georgia Freight Depot attended by more than 500 GFB members and state officials. Deal discussed the pending lawsuit that Florida has filed against Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court over water. Deal thanked Georgia farmers for their willingness to install meters on their irrigation systems that measure the amount of water the farmers use. “Florida’s main complaint is that Georgia uses too much of the water that flows through our state into their state. They don’t care whether the utilization is due to more homes in metro Atlanta or for irrigation in South Georgia. They just say Georgia is using too much water,” Deal said. “I have to compliment agriculture in regards to [irrigation] metering. It has allowed us to dispute exaggerated claims of irrigation use. It has allowed us to document your

Georgia Farm Bureau News


water usage and it’s not just somebody guessing.” Deal said he is proposing that the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission be administratively attached to the Georgia Department of Agriculture to meet zero-based budgeting requirements. “Last year the Soil and Water Conservation Commission was one of the agencies that went through the zero-based budget process, and the recommendation that came out of the analysis was that we could save money if the commission was put under the Environmental Protection Division and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Farm Bureau opposed that last year and it didn’t get done, and we left things as they were. This year we’ve had another proposal to administratively attach the commission to the Georgia Department of Agriculture and everything else will be left as it is. We cannot jeopardize the future of this state by having regulations and rules that contradict themselves. It will

Georgia Farm Bureau members met at the Georgia Freight Depot at Underground Atlanta for an orientation session before walking up to the Capitol to meet with their legislators.

get us involved in lawsuits all over the state. I hope you can support this new version of the proposal.” Deal said he understands the importance of the GSWCC and local GSWCC supervisory boards, saying, “I will continue

to be a supporter of agriculture in our state.” Changes addressing the GSWCC State Board structure and the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual are expected.   To see more photos from the event visit  http://tinyurl.com/GFBCapitol15 .

Deal appoints 31 to Regional Water Planning Councils By Jay Stone ___________________________________

On Jan. 30 Gov. Nathan Deal appointed 31 members of the state’s Regional Water Planning Councils (RWCP). The RWPCs operate as part of the Georgia Comprehensive Water Management Plan adopted by the state legislature in 2008. “Farmers know that water is a required resource for them to continue to produce crops that feed and clothe all of us, and we appreciate Gov. Deal including agricultural representatives in his appointments to the Regional Water Planning Councils,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. Deal’s appointees are: Middle Ocmulgee Regional Water Planning Council - Elmo Richardson (reappointment) Bibb County; John Bembry (reappointment), Pulaski County; Jerry Davis (reappointment), Pulaski; Marcie Seleb, Butts County; Sam Hart, Bibb County; Thomas Wicker, Bibb County; Mike Bilderback, Monroe County; Peter Banks, Lamar County; Tom McMichael, Houston County; Keith Ellis, Newton County. Savannah–Upper Ogeechee Regional Water Planning Council - Jerry Boling  (re-

Flint River

appointment, nominated by Georgia Farm Bureau), Banks County: Patrick Goran (reappointment), Hart County; Thomas Jordan (reappointment), Jefferson County; Ron Cross (reappointment), Columbia County; Charlie Newton (reappointment, nominated by Georgia Farm Bureau), McDuffie County; John Bradshaw, Rabun County; King Rocker, Jenkins County; Richard Brown, Lincoln County; Larry Walker, Rabun County; Wade Johnson, Lincoln County. Upper Flint Regional Water Planning

Council - Harold Fallin (reappointment, nominated by Georgia Farm Bureau), Upson County; Charles Leger (reappointment), Crisp County; Lamar Perlis (reappointment), Crisp County; Hays Arnold (reappointment), Upson County; Beth English (reappointment), Pulaski County; Terrell Hudson (reappointment, nominated by Georgia Farm Bureau), Dooly County; Beth Neely, Meriwether County; Rod Wilson, Pike County; Jem Morris, Sumter County; Bryan Upson, Spalding County; Willie James, Macon County.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 7


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

GFB Presidents’ Conference provides legislative updates & program tips

County Farm Bureau leaders attend one of the workshops offered at the GFB Presidents’ Conference that provided state and federal legislative updates, information about GFB programs and tips for managing county Farm Bureau offices.

By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

C

ounty Farm Bureau leaders from across Georgia attended the Georgia Farm Bureau Presidents’ Conference Feb. 3 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. Event attendees heard state and federal legislative updates, learned about GFB programs and received tips for managing county Farm Bureau offices. GFB President Zippy Duvall welcomed county Farm Bureau leaders to the conference saying, “We realize that all of the work and projects across the state gets done because of your leadership. We appreciate you coming to this meeting to learn more about our programs and tips for executing them.” American Farm Bureau Senior Director of Regulatory Relations Don Parrish gave an update on the status of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed last April. The proposed rule would expand the definition of navigable water and the agencies’ jurisdiction over water and land under the Clean Water Act. Parrish said the agencies received more than one million comments during

8 / April-May 2015

the comment period that ran from April 21 to Nov. 14, 2014, but the agencies had only posted 18,000 of the comments as of early February. Parrish applauded GFB for rallying its members to submit more comments than any other state Farm Bureau, almost 16,000, opposing the rule. If the EPA & Corps of Engineers opt to move forward with implementing their proposed rule, Parrish said AFBF will fight the rule through legislative, regulatory and litigation efforts. “This fight is far from over,” Parrish said. “We’ve got a lot of bullets left in the magazine, and we’re going to do our best to make sure you retain the right to use your land.” President Obama is expected to veto any stand-alone legislation Congress might pass addressing WOTUS, so AFBF is exploring the potential of attaching an amendment to “must-pass” legislation. Opportunities to do this will be limited, Parrish said, as Congress is expected to vote on few “must-pass” bills this year. AFBF also plans to pursue regulatory options for thwarting WOTUS by focusing on the interagency review process of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Defense, Energy and Small Business Administration.

“The USDA has rolled over on this proposal,” Parrish said. “We’re going to be talking to members of the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committees to leverage the USDA to legitimize agriculture’s concerns.” If legislative and regulatory avenues for preventing the EPA from implementing its WOTUS rule fail, then AFBF will pursue a litigation strategy focused on showing WOTUS exceeds Congress’ original intent under the Clean Water Act, limiting EPA regulatory reach and defining explicit regulatory process. Dr. Lisa Benson, AFBF director of rural development, discussed AFBF’s new programs designed to help rural and ag businesses gain access to needed capital to help their businesses succeed. Visit http:// www.strongruralamerica.com to learn more about the program. Benson also discussed AFBF’s commitment to support military veterans interested in farming. Visit http://www.farmvetco.org to learn more about this program. GFB 6th District Field Rep. Don Giles reviewed results of a survey of county Farm Bureau presidents taken last fall. The survey showed county leaders have a strong overall level of satisfaction with Continued next page Georgia Farm Bureau News


GFB farm signs available for members Georgia Farm Bureau members interested in marking the boundaries of their farms and showing their Farm Bureau pride may now do so with new gate signs GFB is offering its members. The aluminum signs measure 12 inches X 18 inches and have holes in each corner that may be used to secure the sign to a gate, post or wall. “I’m very excited about the farm signs Georgia Farm Bureau is offering its members,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “This is a great opportunity for landowners to mark the entrances to their farms, and let their neighbors know they’re proud Georgia Farm Bureau members. Each sign features the GFB logo on one side and may be personalized with the name of the Farm Bureau member’s farm, up to 18 characters. Signs are $12 each. “We are only charging what it costs to make the signs, which are being made by a Georgia company, so each pur-

Photo by Andy Lucas

Continued from previous page GFB. Maintaining volunteer participation and surfacing younger volunteers was the most common concern survey participants voiced. The survey also showed that most county Farm Bureaus spend the

Pictured from left, GFB President Zippy Duvall welcomes Dr. Lisa Benson, AFBF Director of Rural Development, and Don Parrish, AFBF Sr. Director of Regulatory Relations, to the GFB Presidents’ Conference held Feb. 3 in Columbus. Both addressed GFB leaders during the conference.

chase will help support Georgia jobs,” Duvall said. There is no limit on the number of signs a member may order. Contact your county Farm Bureau office to

majority of their volunteer time on ag literacy activities in schools and working to increase consumers’ understanding of agriculture and awareness of Farm Bureau. As a result of the survey, GFB will hold district training workshops for county directors and officers in the coming year to educate them about Farm Bureau programs and equip them to promote Farm Bureau and agriculture. GFB General Counsel Duke Groover discussed procedures county Farm Bureau offices should follow to better protect members’ personal information against identity theft. Jeff Thompson, a lawyer who specializes in employment law, discussed the Fair Labor Standards Act and suggested ways county Farm Bureau boards could become more effective and efficient with their employment practices. GFB Legislative Assistant Director Jeffrey Harvey gave an update on the pressing issues GFB’s legislative staff is

place an order. After placing an order, members should allow four weeks for signs to be completed and returned to their county Farm Bureau office where signs will be delivered.

addressing during the General Session including working to protect the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission and working to educate legislators that the GATE program isn’t the main cause of declining tax revenues rural counties are experiencing. GFB Legislative Specialist Matthew Smith gave an overview of the Voter Voice program GFB is using to keep its members informed on current legislative issues and make it easy for them to contact their legislators to comment on proposed legislation. Farm Bureau members may visit www.gfb.org/legislative/action.html to sign up to receive GFB legislative updates. Jed Evans, GFB Young Farmer Coordinator & Executive Director of the GFB Foundation for Agriculture, shared how the organization plans to use its new nonprofit 501(c)3 foundation to raise taxdeductible donations to fund activities to educate students and consumers about agriculture.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 9


State Livestock Show

GFB invests in future of Georgia agriculture by sponsoring grand champion prizes Articles & photos by Jennifer Whittaker _________________________________________________________

T

he record cold weather that hit Georgia in mid-February didn’t deter the more than 1,500 Georgia 4-H and FFA members who competed in the 2015 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held Feb. 18-21 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. The participants soldiered through record cold temperatures that dipped below freezing several nights of the show to care for more than 2,500 head of livestock exhibited at the show. Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the six grand champion prizes for all species exhibited at the show. “These children competing at this show are the future of agriculture in our state. To be able to see these children come out with their families and compete is great,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “To watch them interact and compete is inspiring. Even if they don’t win they’re happy for the other kids that win. Showing teaches them responsibility and things you need to be a productive adult. It instills a work ethic in them. Nothing that’s good in life comes easy. They work to get here.” FFA member Jacob Collins from Houston County won the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer Award of $2,500 with his registered Percent Simmental. Collins, a junior at Perry High School, is the son of Bryan and Shelley Collins of Perry. He has been showing livestock for the past four years. Another Houston County FFA member, Gavin Wright, won the Grand Champion Market Barrow prize of $1,500 with his crossbred hog. Wright, a freshman at Veterans High School, is the son of Jimmy and Jackie Wright of Bonaire. This is his first year showing. Crisp County 4-Her Maddie Dean won the Grand Champion Market Steer Award of $5,000 with her Shorthorn. A fourth-grader at Crisp County Elementary School, Dean is the daughter of Rick and Dia Dean of Cordele and has been showing for two years. Wilcox County 4-H member Monica Schaapman won the Grand Champion Commercial Dairy Heifer Award of $1,500 with her commercial Holstein bred and raised on her family’s dairy farm. Schaapman, a senior at Wilcox County High School, is the daughter of Harry and Ailene Schaapman of Abbeville. She has been showing since she was eight years old. Coffee County FFA member Jessie Youngblood won the Grand Champion Market Gilt Award of $1,500 with her crossbred hog. Youngblood, a senior at Coffee County High School, is the daughter of Jimmy and Lisa Youngblood. She has been showing livestock for 12 years. Elbert County 4-Her Ansley Ruff won the Grand Champion Breeding Ewe Award of $1,000. Ruff, the daughter of Greg and Shannon Ruff of Elberton, is a junior at Georgia Cyber Academy and has been showing lambs for six years.

10 / April-May 2015

Perry High School FFA member Jacob Collins, second from right, won the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer Award at the Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show Feb. 20. As the grand champion, Collins, of Houston County, won a $2,500 prize sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. Pictured from left, show judges Dr. Clint Rusk and Blake Nelson, both of Oklahoma, offer congratulations as Collins’ father Bryan Collins and GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans hold the prize check. Collins’ mother, Shelley, is pictured far right.

Veterans High School FFA member Gavin Wright, far right, won the Grand Champion Market Barrow at the Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show Feb. 20. As the grand champion, Wright, of Houston County, won a $1,500 prize sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. Pictured from left, GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans presents the prize check as show judge Andy Rash offers congratulations. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Crisp County 4-Her Maddie Dean won the Grand Champion Market Steer Award at the Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show Feb. 21. Pictured from left, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall presents the $5,000 prize sponsored by GFB to Dean as show judge Dr. Scott Schaake offers congratulations.

Coffee County FFA member Jessie Youngblood, center, won the Grand Champion Market Gilt Award at the Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show Feb. 21. Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, left, presents Youngblood with the $1,500 prize sponsored by GFB as judge Andy Rash offers congratulations.

Elbert County 4-Her Ansley Ruff won the Grand Champion Breeding Ewe Award at the Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show Feb. 21. On behalf of Georgia Farm Bureau, GFB 2nd District Field Representative Clay Talton, left, presents the grand champion $1,000 prize to Ansley while show judge Dr. Mark McCann offers congratulations.

Photo by Damon Jones

Wilcox County 4-Her Monica Schaapman won the Grand Champion Commercial Dairy Heifer Award at the Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show Feb. 21. As the grand champion, Schaapman won a $1,500 prize sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. GFB President Zippy Duvall presents the prize check to Schaapman.

Photo courtesy of BCFB

Conservation camp offers scholarships, career jumpstart

Berrien County Farm Bureau supported the Berrien County Livestock Show Team that participated in the 2015 Georgia Jr. National Livestock Show by providing food for the students to eat while they were showing. BCFB Director Parrish Akins, at grill, and BCFB member Jock Taylor and Berrien County Extension Coordinator Patrick Willis, not pictured, grilled hamburgers for the students.

More than $18,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to students attending the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop June 7-11 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. The camp is for rising 10th, 11th and 12th-grade students interested in learning about Georgia’s natural resources and the opportunities and responsibilities these resources provide. Classes will focus on the value, protection and conservation of Georgia’s wildlife, forestry, soil and water resources. Tuition is $150 per student who registers by May 1 and $175 for those who register after May 1. The deadline to register is May 28. In many cases tuition assistance is available through local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, businesses and individuals. Georgia natural resource experts will lead classroom and field trip activities to help students learn the basic principles and responsible use of natural resources. For more information, including camp application, visit www.abac.edu/nrcw or contact a local office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division or UGA Extension Service.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 11


Permitting, feral hog control key issues for Georgia pork producers By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________

N

ew rules for nutrient management permitting and a discussion on the control of feral hogs highlighted the 2015 Georgia Pork Producers Association (GPPA) Annual Meeting, held Feb. 17 at the Georgia Farm Bureau office in Macon. Georgia Department of Agriculture Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Manager Courtney Canterbury provided an update on requirements for hog producers to have discharge permits for their farms. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is issuing permits in 2015. Canterbury noted that farmers holding National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits will see those permits transition to a large (LAS) Land Application System permit. Those who already have LAS permits will have either a large or medium LAS designation depending on the size of their operation. The application process involves filling out a termination of the old NPDES permit and applying for the new LAS permit. Canterbury also noted that producers with nutrient management plans (NMPs) that were signed prior to March 15, 2011, will be required to write a new NMP. Georgia State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb led a discussion on ways to control feral swine, which carry diseases and destroy crops. Cobb said that while Geor-

12 / April-May 2015

gia’s commercial hog populations are free of brucellosis and pseudorabies, those are among the diseases carried by feral hogs. “There’s no way we’re going to kill all the feral pigs in the state of Georgia. There’s too many of them here, so we’re going to be stuck with feral swine in some fashion from here on,” Cobb said. “What we have to do is find a way to control them.” Domestic hogs that are kept outside can come in contact with feral hogs and become exposed to disease. The larger issue, Cobb said, is when hogs are released into the wild. While the Georgia legislature enacted a law to prohibit the practice, enforcing it has been extremely difficult. Cobb noted that a number of stakeholder organizations have

Photo by iStock

Photo by Jay Stone

Georgia State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb led a discussion on ways to control feral hogs.

formed a Feral Swine Working Group to generate potential legislative solutions to empower law enforcement agencies with tools to more effectively deal with the issue of feral swine. GFB belongs to the group. The GPPA heard a review of diseases threatening commercial hogs from Dr. David Reeves of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as a presentation from Stephen Herring of the National Pork Board (NPB). Herring discussed the NPB’s new strategic plan using the slogan “People, Pigs and Planet.” “The focus is on transparency,” Herring said. “We’ve placed a lot of emphasis on biosecurity, and when people see signs that say ‘keep out’ they wonder what we’re trying to hide. So we’ve got to create more transparency on the farm.” Herring said the NPB has developed a common industry audit to relieve farmers of being required to have an audit done for each packing company. The common audit covers record-keeping, facilities, animals and caretakers. The NPB is also making the Safe Pig Handling Tool available at no charge to farmer. The tool is a series of training videos, with both English and Spanish versions, covering pig behavior, working with sows, working with boars and more. The NPB put the videos on flash drives so no internet connection is required to watch them. “It’s a really good tool you can use for new employees in the orientation process,” Herring said, noting that the videos can be shown to individuals or used in slide presentations for group settings. To order the Safe Pig Handling Tool call 800-456-7675.

Georgia Farm Bureau News


UGA to sell Wilkins Farm By Jay Stone ___________________________________ The University of Georgia is selling the 865-acre Wilkins Farm, a cattle farm in Oglethorpe and Wilkes counties east of Athens, according to a UGA press release. The sale is one of the final steps in a plan to reorganize the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ (CAES) properties near UGA’s main campus. The Wilkins Farm, named for John J. Wilkins III, has been owned by UGA since the early 1960s, when it was purchased from Wilkins. CAES has used the farm for beef cattle research, and the UGA police department has utilized approximately 35 acres of the property for a shooting range. In 2012, CAES Dean J. Scott Angle began a strategic realignment of the college’s Athens-area farm properties that led to the step of selling the Wilkins Farm.  “These decisions were driven by difficult economic conditions, reduced budgets for maintenance expenses, and an opportunity to sell a valuable 522-acre farm,” Angle said, referring to the former Plant Sciences Farm in Oconee County, which was sold in 2013. “The college had a prime opportunity to consolidate and streamline our property holdings and farm operations to become leaner and more efficient in our research facilities.” The beef cattle research previously conducted at Wilkins has been moved to the J. Phil Campbell Farm near Watkinsville, which UGA received from the USDA in 2013. Proceeds from the sale of the Wilkins Farm will be used to improve and update CAES’ other farms. According to Angle, CAES liked the Campbell Farm’s proximity to UGA’s Athens campus. The drive from Athens to the Wilkins Farm is almost an hour. “The sale of this farm will allow us to continue our streamlining and efficiency efforts to make the college more productive and our properties more cost effective as we strive to serve Georgia’s growing agriculture industry and the people of Georgia,” Angle said.

Former GFB President Bill Lanier dies

Bill Lanier, 88, who served as Georgia Farm Bureau President from 1964 to 1970, died March 17. Lanier served as the Candler County Farm Bureau president from 1988 to 2009. He served six terms in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1950-1962 and chaired the House Agriculture Committee from 1954 -1958. Lanier introduced a bill that helped eliminate the disease Vesicular Exanthema from Georgia swine herds and authored an amendment to the state constitution that led to the Boll Weevil Eradication Program. Lanier left his position as GFB president to work for the USDA where he held numerous positions including director of the USDA Peanut/Tobacco Division and assistant administrator of the Agriculture Stabilization Conservation Service. Surviving Lanier are his wife, Jean; children William L. Lanier Jr., John Lanier and Melodie Mobley and four grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to the family at 278 Milton Rd. Quitman, Ga.  31643. Memorial donations may be made to The Guido Evangelistic Association, P.O. Box 508, Metter, Ga. 30439.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 13


commodities/marketing update Taylor Sills, Marketing Specialist

Wheat challenges for the year ahead As usual for this time of year, Georgia’s wheat producers are busy preparing their crop for the 2015 harvest. Lower prices, weather concerns and lingering marketing concerns from the previous year’s harvest are becoming more and more common as the years go by. In the late fall and early winter, Georgia’s producers planted 320,000 acres of wheat, up 20,000 acres from last year. National acreage is up by 600,000 acres at 56.82 million acres. Georgia’s yield was down to 49 bushels per acre last year, and about 70,000 acres of wheat in Georgia went unharvested. Georgia is projected to have more acres of unharvested wheat this year as it seems that a larger portion of the wheat crop was planted for cover crop. Cover crops can help prevent erosion and add organic matter back to the soils. Wheat is not the only crop planted for cover. Many producers plant rye and oats for the same reason, but both rye and oats were in short supply this year. Farmers who would have planted rye as cover instead bought more wheat

to plant for cover. The 2014 wheat harvest was a problem for many growers, as test weights were down, creating more discounts and mill rejections due to lower quality and other issues. Growers who stored wheat until August and September probably had the best luck with ease of delivery and price. As expected because of a record U.S. corn crop in 2014, there was little opportunity for a feed wheat market, and that expectation continues for 2015. Compared to a year ago, prices for the July contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) for Soft Red Wheat are down about 25 percent, a significant price decrease. Because exports are a huge driver for U.S. wheat prices, the improving domestic economy and subsequent increase in the strength of the U.S. dollar has driven wheat prices down. There is some potential for the wheat market to rise, with the extreme winter in the Midwest. One good point about the local market is that local basis is now

positive for harvest time at flour mills, currently as high as 15 cents per bushel above CBOT prices. The Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity/Marketing Department is dedicated to working for our farmer members. The best avenues for grain marketing may not be the most obvious. It is always beneficial to look at all of your alternatives and understand the advantages of each to gain the most benefit. We keep a close eye on market conditions and can show you opportunities to market your grain. This can be done with a cash contract, forward contract or basis contract. Transportation can be arranged to get your grain to market in a timely manner and GFB guarantees your payment. Your GFB Commodity/Marketing Department has the knowledge, experience and many points of contact to aid you with your grain marketing and feed ingredient needs. For more information call us at 800-342-1196. Taylor Sills is a marketing specialist in the GFB Commodities/Marketing Department.

Farmers allowed to expense $500,000 in capital purchases for 2014 By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

In December 2014 the U.S. Congress passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which reinstated more than 50 tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 for tax year 2014. Federal Tax Section 179, which allows farmers and small businesses to expense capital purchases in the first year instead of depreciating them over several years, was among the extended tax provisions. Under Section 179, farmers may immediately expense a maximum of $500,000 worth of business assets, such as new equipment, instead of depreciating them over time. Georgia tax law has recognized the exemption up to $250,000 in recent 14 / April-May 2015

years. The exemption was set to revert back to $25,000 for the 2014 tax year until Georgia Farm Bureau began working with members of the Georgia General Assembly to get the state exemption reinstated to $250,000 for 2014. Rep. David Knight (R-Griffin) and Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) introduced House Bill 292 to extend the state’s $250,000 asset exemption for tax year 2014. The Georgia House passed the bill in mid-February. The Senate passed the bill the first week of March, increasing the 2014 state exemption to $500,000 to mirror the federal law. Gov. Deal signed it into law March 6. Because there was uncertainty about what the Georgia business asset deduc-

tion would be for 2014, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) issued a statement Feb. 25 giving farmers and fishermen until April 15 to file and pay estimated tax payments that would have been due March 2. According to the DOR, affected taxpayers should check the underpayment of estimated tax penalty exception box on Form 500 and attach a completed Form 500-UET, following the instructions for a farmer or fisherman as if the tax was paid and the return was filed by March 2. Any farmer or fisherman who is assessed a penalty and believes he did not receive due consideration regarding the intended penalty relief, needs help with the form, or has questions, should call the DOR at 1-877-423-6711. Georgia Farm Bureau News


By Jay Stone ___________________________________ Georgia equine champions were honored during ceremonies at the Georgia Capitol Feb. 3. About 250 champions were recognized, including 16 world champions, who were introduced in the Georgia Senate. The champions and their families were served a catered lunch from The Varsity and heard remarks from Gov. Nathan Deal. The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Equine (ACCE) hosted the event. ACCE Chairman John Clements and Commission member Ann Jones visited the well of the Georgia Senate, where they were presented with a resolution proclaiming the day as Georgia Youth Equine Champions Day. “Most of these kids don’t get to come to the capitol,” Clements said, noting that

Photo by Jay Stone

Equine champions celebrated at state capitol

Gov. Nathan Deal, center front, welcomed the Georgia youth equine champions to the state capitol on Feb. 3.

it’s important for the students to have firsthand interaction with elected officials. Deal spoke to the equine champions, expressing the state’s pride in their accomplishments and emphasizing lessons they learn from their pursuits with horses.  Georgia Farm Bureau conducted a raffle for a saddle, won by Brian Laughhunn of

Bartow County, that raised $1,485, which will be used to help kids attend the 4-H equine school this summer. Clements announced the ACCE will host its first Trial Ride and Chuck Wagon Cookoff in August. For more information contact Clements at 478-298-0347 or tiejc@bellsouth.net.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 15


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

UGA held an open house Feb. 13 for its new veterinary medical center, which will treat large and small animals. Visitors tour the holding area between the green padded rooms where large animals will receive anesthesia and the operating rooms, not pictured, to the right.Visit http://tinyurl.com/UGAVetMedCenter to view more photos of the new center.

UGA Vet school opens new medical center in Athens By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________

As of March 25, the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine is treating its four-legged patients out of a new, state-of-the-art medical center that rivals the nicest hospital. The 300,000 square-foot UGA Veterinary Medical Center is located on College Station Road in Athens. The center includes a teaching hospital for small and large animals, clinical labs to support the hospital and an education center that houses classrooms and an auditorium. The teaching hospital is roughly 140,000 square feet and includes facilities for small and large animals. UGA held a dedication ceremony Feb. 13 for the center that included self-guided tours of the facility. Planning for the new center began during the administrations of former Gov. Sonny Perdue and past UGA President Michael Adams. UGA President Jere Morehead thanked Gov. Nathan Deal for continuing support of the center and making it a top priority. 16 / April-May 2015

“This world-class facility will support our College of Veterinary Medicine and will facilitate student learning and provide outstanding patient care,” Morehead said in remarks at the dedication ceremony. “This facility will have a transforming presence not only in Athens but across our state and beyond. This center is honoring our great land-grant tradition at the University of Georgia.” Gov. Deal thanked the Georgia General Assembly for approving the $65 million in state funds that helped build the $97 million facility and the alumni and stakeholders who financed the remaining costs with private donations. “One of the things that makes a project go further and got our attention was that there was a private funding component,” Deal said. “Most of us know and we say we’re proud of the fact that agriculture is still the number one industry in our state. What we are doing here is an important part of continuing to grow this segment of

our economy. Veterinarians inspect meat, they treat large animals and they treat small animals. They do the things that protect our quality of life.” The hospital includes a 24-hour, pullthrough breezeway for large animal emergencies and a hydraulic chute system to be used with cattle designed to keep them calm during treatment. The large animal surgery center will provide 24-hour surgical care and treatment for horses, cattle and small ruminants. This area of the hospital features four operating rooms and was designed to minimize stress on the animals and maximize animal safety with an extensive hoist system, catwalk access between padded anesthesia rooms and recovery stalls and wide hallways. Dr. Sheila Allen, dean of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, thanked former Gov. Perdue for seeing the value in building the medical center for the veterinary college and investing in veterinary medicine education. “This medical hospital represents a huge investment. The return on this investment can be found when you crack an egg or pour a glass of milk for breakfast, when you watch birds flying through the air, or when you come home after a stressful day and pet your dog or cat,” Allen said. “When you {citizens of Georgia} ponder whether this investment is worth it, I hope you’ll agree we are well worth it.” According to vet school officials, third and fourth-year students will study at the new medical center. First and second-year vet school students will remain on the main UGA campus along with the majority of the vet college’s basic science departments and administrative offices. Construction on the vet medical center began in spring 2013. The five-building complex includes a covered arena that will be used to evaluate equine performance and lameness. The arena, funded by the UGA Athletic Association, includes different surfaces on which to examine horses, two exam rooms and an area for farriers to examine horseshoes and shoe horses. Once vacated, the current teaching hospital, built in 1979 on the main UGA campus, will be repurposed for research space to support first and second-year student instruction, according to a release issued by the vet school. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Ashton Lovett

The ABAC Farm Bureau chapter held its inaugural Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show Jan. 23 - 24 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. The show was open to all 4-H and FFA members in Georgia from fourth to 12th grades and had 57 participants. GFB Young Farmer Committee members helped with the event. Lizzi Neal of Houston County won the Grand Champion Heifer Award prize of $500. Harrison Bell of Colquitt County won the Reserve Champion Heifer Award of $400. Megan Greeson of Colquitt County won the Grand Champion Steer Award. Jessica White of Monroe County won the Reserve Champion Steer Award of $400. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ABACShow to see more photos from the show.

Photo by Ashton Lovett

ABAC Farm Bureau Chapter holds livestock show

Pictured from left, show judge Tyler Wilson, ABAC Farm Bureau President Johnathan Barrett and ABAC Farm Bureau Vice President Charlsy Anesetti offer congratulations and a $500 award to Lizzi Neal for winning the Grand Champion Heifer.

Pictured from left, show judge Tyler Wilson, ABAC Farm Bureau President Johnathan Barrett and ABAC Farm Bureau Vice President Charlsy Anesetti offer congratulations and a $500 award to Megan Greeson for showing the Grand Champion Steer.

Monroe County H.E.R.D. Sale on MAY 2, 2015 • 12:30 p.m. Selling Approx. 85 Bred Heifers Sleepy Creek Farm near Forsyth, GA Data Available: • A.I. Breeding & Sire EPD’s • Pelvic Area • Frame Score • Disposition Score • Weight per Day of Age • Average Daily Gain All heifers will sell confirmed safe in calf to calving ease Angus Bulls. All heifers will be bred A.I. at least once to GAR Anticipation, Deer Valley All In or GAR Sunrise. For more information or to receive a catalogue, call the Monroe County Extension at (478) 994-7014. Web info at http://www.ugaextension.com/monroe/ Email uge2207@uga.edu; type HERD in the subject line. Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 17


GFB well-represented at FUSION Conference ample and the importance of having the people “on your right and on your left” working together to accomplish a goal. Arkansas native Paul Vitale gave a rousing speech about the significance of optimism, having a strong work ethic and how vital it is to place focus on personal and professional growth. AFBF presented awards for Harvest for All, spearheaded by the YF&R program, during the conference. Since Harvest for All was launched in 2003, Farm Bureau families nationwide have gathered more than 147 million pounds of food, logged more than 97,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $4.8 million in donations. Combined, the food and money donations are the equivalent of more than 166 million meals. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) was recognized as one of the top states for its efforts to raise awareness and funds for Harvest for All. The GFB Young Farmer program received a $500 check to fund Harvest for All projects in Georgia. ABAC student Addie Thomason competed in the Collegiate Discussion Meet held at the event and placed in the Sweet Sixteen out of 47 contestants. Jake Carter, 2013 GFB Young Farmer chairman and the outgoing AFBF YF&R

GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Janet Greuel, right, and GFB 8th Dist. Committee Chairman Sue Powers attended the FUSION conference.

Committee chairman, provided leadership to the conference and gave an inspirational retirement address at the YF&R dinner banquet. Carter encouraged young farmers to be active advocates for agriculture through Farm Bureau on the local, state and national levels. Young Farmer members attending included Marcus and Neely South, Will and Heather Cabe, Ryan and Amber Talton, B.J. and Kaci Marks, Darren and Wendy Hembree, David and Jamie Cromley, Josh Pennino and Skye Gess, Troy and Rebecca Windham, Winston and Lori Brogdon, Wayne and Becky McInvale, and Jake and Jennifer Carter. Staff attending were Jed Evans and Donna Rocker. Donna Rocker is GFB Ag in the Classroom Coordinator.

Photo by Shana Evans

In February, members of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership and Young Farmer Committees attended the FUSION conference held by American Farm Bureau in Nashville, Tenn. The FUSION Conference, which stands for “Farmers United: Skills, Inspiration, Outreach and Networking, was designed for Farm Bureau members serving on county Young Farmer, Women’s Leadership and Promotion & Education committees. More than 1,300 Farm Bureau members from across the U.S. attended the event. This is the first time AFBF has combined all programs in one conference. There were numerous opportunities for networking and learning within specific program areas as well as across generations and programs. Conference workshops were divided into several tracks covering advocacy, business, collegiate, communication, education, leadership, rural development and technology. Keynote speaker Keni Thomas, a combat veteran of the 7th Ranger Regiment who was involved in the firefight recounted in the book and movie “Blackhawk Down,” gave a dynamic presentation on his experience of working on a team. Thomas stressed leading by ex-

Photo by Donna Rocker

By Donna Rocker _________________________________________________________________________

Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers attending the American Farm Bureau FUSION Conference were, pictured from left, Marcus & Neely South, Jake & Jennifer Carter, Will & Heather Cabe, Ryan & Amber Talton, McKenzie McInvale, Kaci & B.J. Marks, Dar18 / April-May 2015

ren & Wendy Hembree , Addie Thomason, David & Jamie Cromley, Josh Pennino & Skye Gess, Keagan, Wayne & Becky McInvale. Others attending but not pictured were Troy & Rebecca Windham, Winston & Lori Brogdon. Georgia Farm Bureau News


The Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) announced its Grower of the Year, Hall of Fame inductee and the new Service Excellence Award recipient during its annual banquet on Feb. 7. Approximately 250 people attended the “Denim and Diamonds” themed banquet at the Hawks Point Golf Club in Vidalia. The 2014 Grower of the Year was awarded to McLain Farms. McLain Farms is a 2nd generation family farm, owned and operated by brothers, Brett and Rusty McLain. McLain Farms began growing Vidalia onions in 1985 with just 12 acres and built their first cold storage in 1994. McLain Farms has continued to expand and now grows more than 375 acres of onions. Derek Levy, a local account manager for Bayer CropScience, was awarded the committee’s first Service Excellence Award. This award was established to recognize dedication and diligence to the Vidalia Onion industry. During the banquet, Georgia Sen. Jack Hill was inducted into the Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame for his work in establishing the Vidalia Onion Research Center. Sen. Hill was instrumental in solidifying the collaboration between the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Forestry Commission and the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Photo courtesy of the VOC

McLain Farms named Vidalia Onion Grower of the Year

Brothers Rusty McLain, left, and Brett McLain received the Vidalia Onion Committee Grower of the Year Award.

38th Annual Vidalia Onion Festival April 23-26

Events include a carnival, cooking contest, concert by Lonestar, air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels & arts & crafts show. Visit www.vidaliaonionfestival.com for complete details.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 19


May 1 deadline to apply for cotton scholarships

The new 2014 farm bill requires farmers to have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD1026) on file with the Farm Service Agency by June 1 to be eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance. A revised form AD1026 is available at USDA Service Centers and online at http://tinyurl. com/fbconsform. For more information, visit:  www.usda.gov/farmbill or contact your local FSA office.

Photo by Jay Stone

Farm bill conservation compliance forms due June 1

UGA Crop and Soil Sciences Specialist Dr. Jared Whitaker, left, recognizes Effingham County farmer Mark Waller, right, who won the Dryland Production Award in the 2014 Soybean Production Contest. Not pictured are Randy Dowdy of Brooks County, who won the Irrigated Production Award, and UGA’s Dr. Nathan Smith, who won the Research and Extension Award.

Soybean/Small Grains Expo features updates, awards

By Jay Stone _________________________________________________________________________

Georgia farmers are expected to increase soybean acreage in 2015 according to one economist who spoke at the 2015 Georgia/ Florida Soybean & Small Grains Expo, held Feb. 5 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter. The expo featured recognition of the 2014 Soybean Production Contest winners, and more than 100 attendees heard research updates and state and national market projections at the annual event. University of Georgia Extension Economist Nathan Smith gave a market outlook, noting several key factors that will affect prices farmers receive for the soybeans. “We’ve gone from a really tight situation to where we’ve built up stocks quite a bit and we don’t really have to worry about carrying over soybeans to the next year,” Smith said. Smith predicted that Georgia farmers would plant around 320,000 acres of soybeans this year. Georgia’s harvested soybean acreage in 2014 was 290,000, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. While consumption of soybeans by 20 / April-May 2015

beef cattle is trending downward, pork consumption has remained steady and poultry consumption is trending upward. China’s growing population is increasing its consumption of protein; China is a key driver in the soybean market, importing 75 percent of the world’s soybeans. U.S. exports to China have historically been strong, but U.S. producers are facing growing competition from Argentina and Brazil. Smith said soybean prices are projected at around $9.50 per bushel. “In 2015 you could actually see soybean acres outnumber corn acres in the U.S.,” Smith said. American Farm Bureau Federation Deputy Chief Economist John Anderson gave an update on issues in Washington with the new Congress and talked about the progress of programs under the 2014 farm bill. Anderson said the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) crop insurance plan functions essentially the same way as the Counter-Cyclical See EXPO page 23

College students who will be entering freshmen or rising sophomores at a Georgia college for the 2015-2016 academic year and are the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee have until May 1 to apply for two scholarships coordinated by the Georgia Cotton Women Inc. (GCW). The John M. and Connie H. Mobley Memorial Scholarship is presented to the child or grandchild of an active Georgia cotton producer. The $1,500 scholarship will be payable one-third each quarter or one-half each semester. The Georgia Cotton Women Scholarship is presented annually to the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee. This $1,500 scholarship is also payable one-third each quarter or one-half each semester. The GCW scholarship is funded through the sale of the organization’s two cookbooks, Georgia Cotton Heritage Cookbook and the newly-released Cooking in High Cotton. Applicants for both scholarships must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and must maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average to receive the scholarship the following term. Applications are available at www.georgiacottonwomen.org. For more information about the scholarships or joining the GCW, email Nancy Coleman at georgiacottonwomen@gmail.com or call 229-941-2930. GCW is a nonprofit organization that educates the general public about cotton and promotes cotton through various activities. It is sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission.

Georgia Farm Bureau News


Graphic courtesy of Ga. Dept. of Agriculture

First PEDv cases detected in Georgia By Jay Stone ___________________________________

Two pigs at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show (GJNLS), held Feb 18-21 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter (GNFA), tested positive for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), a highly contagious virus that causes widespread swine mortality and loss of production. PEDv only infects pigs, not other livestock or humans, and is not a food safety concern. “It is not a public health issue. It is a swine production issue,” said Georgia State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb, who discussed PEDv with the Georgia Farm Bureau Swine Committee on March 12. These are the first known animals in Georgia to test positive for PEDv. The disease, first detected in the U.S. in 2013, has been confirmed in more than 30 states according to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Information Service. According to Cobb, two pigs in the event showed symptoms consistent with PEDv and manure samples were collected from those pigs and sent for tests, which came back positive on Feb. 27. There were 1,338 hogs from approximately 90 counties in the show, and Cobb said all of them were potentially exposed. Under a federal order issued last year, producers, veterinarians and diagnostic labs are required to report all cases of PEDv to the USDA or state animal health officials. Since the livestock show, an additional five cases had been confirmed in the northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast areas of the state from between 35 and 40 test samples, as of March 20. All of the positive tests were from animals that were in Perry for the GJNLS. At press time none had been confirmed in the state’s commercial herds. “The point I really want to get across is that PED is here in Georgia,” Cobb said. “We’re not going to be able to eliminate it in Georgia. If you are taking your pig and

Two pigs at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held in Perry in February tested positive for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv). All of the hogs at the show from 90 counties across the state were potentially exposed to the virus. Since the show, an additional five cases scattered across Georgia had been confirmed as of March 20. Anyone raising or showing hogs is encouraged to follow biosecurity measures recommended by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which may be found at http://tinyurl. com/gapedvinfo

attending any congregation of pigs, always remember biosecurity.” Cobb sent a letter to Georgia swine producers, markets and exhibitors, emphasizing that strict adherence to biosecurity measures is the key to preventing the spread of the disease. This includes limiting travel and commingling with swine from other herds. PEDv is spread by pig-to-pig contact and by contaminated equipment, chutes, trailers, vehicles,

clothing and personnel. According to Cobb, the GNFA swine facility has been disinfected twice since the close of the GJNLS. The Georgia Department of Agriculture has updated its animal health website with key information about PEDv treatment and prevention. The site, which can be accessed at http://tinyurl. com/gapedvinfo, includes links to numerous biosecurity resources.

WE, THE FARMER from page 4 I urge you to only use the card for qualified items used to produce your commodities. We, the farmers, are the faces of Georgia’s largest industry, and we must set the example that this great way of life deserves. In Titus 2:7, Paul tells Titus to be a good example of a mature believer. Titus 2:7 says: In all things showing

yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility. We, the farmers, have a responsibility to set the example and make sure we use our GATE cards responsibly with integrity. We are God’s people and he takes pleasure in our good works.

Ga. blueberry growers vote to continue assessment

Georgia blueberry growers agreed to continue the assessment they pay on their crop during a referendum held Jan. 21 - Feb. 20. The blueberry marketing order passed with 77.45 percent of eligible grower ballots cast voting to continue the assessment at a rate of $5 per ton of marketed blueberries. Funds received from the grower assessment on blueberries can be spent on research, education and promotion of blueberries. The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Blueberries determines which projects to fund with assessment dollars. Funded projects for 2015 include research on antioxidant and nutritional values for Georgia blueberries, herbicide programs, disease management, nutrient management and variety development. Georgia ranked first in the production of blueberries in the United States in 2014.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 21


Photo by Jay Stone

Some of the cotton producers, ginners and UGA Extension agents recognized with 2014 Quality Cotton Awards during the annual Georgia Cotton Commission Meeting were, pictured from left, Glenn Sapp, Craig Huckaby, Rhonda Cook, Mark Thompson,

Willis Collins, Haden Lovinggood, George Gray, Jarrell Sapp, Brad Griffin, Mel Kirk, Dean Johnson, Rob Evans, Jacob Sandeford, Steve Bullard, Jason Cobb, Sawyer Wider, Andrew McBryde, Justin Goodman and Stephanie Hollifield.

Industry updates, awards & GCC 50th anniversary highlight cotton meeting By Jay Stone ___________________________________

T

he Georgia Cotton Commission celebrated its 50th anniversary, gave growers a chance to hear from national cotton industry experts and presented the 2014 Quality Cotton Awards during its 8th Annual Meeting on Jan. 28 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. UGA cotton specialists gave growers production tips during the UGA Cotton Production Workshop held in conjunction with the meeting. National Cotton Council Senior Vice President John Maguire gave an overview of important dates and information for cotton growers who are considering using the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) under the 2014 farm bill. He stressed that payments made under STAX would be combined with other farm payments, and the overall payment limit is $125,000. Maguire also reviewed changes in the political landscape in Washington and some key issues the NCC will be working on in 2015. Cotton Incorporated Senior Vice President Mark Messura discussed the organization’s continuing efforts to maintain cotton’s image with consumers, manufacturers and retailers. One initiative, called

22 / April-May 2015

Cotton LEADS, is a collaborative project between the U.S. cotton industry and the cotton industry in Australia. Messura gave several examples of advertising from synthetic fiber manufacturers where cotton production is shown in a negative light. Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall spoke during lunch, sharing his views on leadership and the importance of being involved in organizations that represent agriculture’s interests or government bodies that have jurisdiction over agriculture. Georgia Cotton Commission Board Member Steven Meeks presented a crystal carving of the U.S. Capitol dome to Debbie Cannon, who worked on the staff of Sen. Saxby Chambliss and served as farmers’ first point of contact in their interactions with Chambliss’ office. Van Hiebert of Jefferson County won the Best Cotton Award, the top award given in the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards to the Georgia cotton producer with highest loan value and premium. Hiebert had a loan value of 57.55 cents/lb and a premium of 5.55 cents/lb. The awards were presented at a luncheon during the GCC Annual Meeting. Other winners in the Quality Cotton

Contest: Region 1 – Less than 500 acres: Mark Thompson, Pulaski County, Arabi Gin, with agent Mark Freeman; 500-1,000 acres: Brad Griffin, Turner County, Sconyers Gin, with agent Josh Gravitt; More than 1,000 acres:Willis Collins, Turner County, Arabi Gin, with agent Josh Gravitt. Region 2 – Less than 500 acres: Van Hiebert, Jefferson County, Midville Gin & Warehouse with agent Pam Sapp; 500-1,000 acres: Alton Walker, Burke County, Bryant’s Inc., with agent Peyton Sapp; More than 1,000 acres: Dean Johnson, Burke County, Midville Gin and Warehouse/Bryant’s Inc., with agent Peyton Sapp. Region 3 – Less than 500 acres: Sawyer Wider, Brooks County, BCT-Quitman, with agent Stephanie Hollifield; 500-1,000 acres: River Bottom Farms, Lanier County, BCT-Quitman, with agent Jeremy Taylor; More than 1,000 acres: Dewitt Farms, Brooks County, BCTQuitman, with agent Stephanie Hollifield. Region 4 – Less than 500 acres: Charles and Percy Tolbert, Early County, Clover Leaf Gin, with agent Brian Creswell; 500-1,000 acres: North American Farms, Seminole County Clover Leaf Gin, with agent Rome Ethredge; More than 1,000 acres: Sapp Brothers Farm, Mitchell County, BCTBerlin, with agent Andy Shirley. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Ga. growers tour Cotton Inc. Headquarters Each year Cotton Incorporated invites cotton producers from across the country to tour its headquarters located in Cary, N.C., to get updates on efforts the organization is making to increase the profitability and marketing of cotton products. A group of Georgia farmers and Georgia Farm Bureau media staff were among the more than 100 cotton producers from across the country attending this annual event Feb. 15-16. Cotton Inc. is responsible for “The Fabric of Our Lives” advertising campaign and its research has resulted in many developments that have benefited growers, such as the cotton module builder. Georgia cotton producers who traveled to North Carolina to tour the Cotton Inc. headquarters were: Alex Apperson of Sylvester, Ryne Brannen of Statesboro, Bart Davis of Doerun, Jed Davis of Doerun, Trey Davis of Doerun, Ben and Ashley Grimsley of Weston, Preston Jimmerson of Doerun, John and Tamie Ruark of Bostwick, Caleb and Amber Stephens of Richland, Austin and James Warbington of Vienna. During a tour of the Cotton Inc. facility, the Georgia producers met the organization’s staff and learned of the hundreds of on-going projects Cotton Inc. oversees to increase cotton demand and profitability ranging from on-farm production, fiber processing, dyeing and finishing, product development and testing, and market analysis and advertising. Cotton Inc. President & CEO BerEXPO from page 20 Program under the 2008 farm bill. “I don’t expect big payments out of this program,” Anderson said. Under the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) County plan, farmers should review their yield histories to see if their losses typically occur when countywide losses occur. Dr. Jared Whitaker of the UGA Department of Crop & Soil Sciences announced

Photo by Andy Lucas

By Andy Lucas ___________________________________

Georgia cotton producers who traveled to Cary, N.C., to tour the Cotton Inc. headquarters Feb. 15-16 were front row, from left: Alex Apperson of Sylvester, Ryne Brannen of Statesboro, Bart Davis of Doerun, Jed Davis of Doerun, Trey Davis of Doerun, Ben and Ashley Grimsley of Weston and back row, from left: Preston Jimmerson of Doerun, John and Tamie Ruark of Bostwick, Caleb and Amber Stephens of Richland, Austin and James Warbington of Vienna.

rye Worsham, Mark Messura, Cotton Inc. Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain Marketing, and Monty Bain, Southeast Regional Communications Manager of the Cotton Board, were among the staff who spoke to the cotton growers. Cotton Inc.’s mission is to increase the demand for cotton and the profitability of growing cotton through research and marketing promotion. At the request of cotton growers, Congress passed the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966, establishing the assessment check-off and setting up money and plans for cotton to regain its place in the market. The Cotton Research & Promotion Act of 1966 established The Cotton Board to administer and oversee the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. The act also directed The Cotton Board to contract with a separate organization - Cotton Incorporated, which was created in 1970 - to conduct the actual research and promotion activities for U.S. producers and importers of cotton. The Cotton Board, based in Memphis, Tenn., collects the assessment that Effingham County’s Mark Waller as the winner of the Dryland Production Award. Waller planted Pioneer P54T94 and achieved a yield of 83.2 bushels per acre. Randy Dowdy of Brooks County won the Irrigated Production Award at 116.5 bushels per acre. UGA’s Dr. Nathan Smith was announced as the winner of the Research and Extension Award.

funds the Cotton Research & Promotion program from the buyers of U.S. upland cotton and from importers of cotton products. The assessment is $1 plus half a percent of a bale’s value. Cotton Incorporated is funded by check-off dollars assessed on each bale of cotton marketed in the U.S. Jennifer Whittaker contributed information to this article.

200 varieties of fruit, nut and berry plants

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 23


Photo by Andy Lucas

2015 marks 30th anniversary of GFB YF to Washington Trip By Jed Evans _____________________________________

A group of 35 young farmers from across Georgia traveled to Washington, D.C., on March 10-13 as part of the 30th Annual Young Farmers to Washington Trip hosted by the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee. The young farmers had a chance to tell Georgia’s congressional delegation how critical issues such as immigration and excessive

regulation affect their farms. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue met with the group in the Russell Senate Office Building and discussed several issues facing American agriculture. The U.S. House of Representatives was on recess during this week, but delegates were able to visit with staffers of all Georgia congressmen and share the concerns from back home. GFB President Zippy Duvall also ad-

dressed these young farmers and shared the importance of working with their elected officials and telling their story. “This is a tremendous opportunity for young farmers to visit Washington, D.C. and tell our great story as we work together to make sure that American agriculture is protected on the federal level,” said GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman David Cromley from Bulloch County. The young farmers also toured Washington D.C. and visited with AFBF lobbyists on a number of priority issues including the recently passed farm bill, farm labor and immigration reform, Environmental Protection Agency regulations and genetically modified crops.

Photo by Andy Lucas

“Farmland” available on DVD at Walmart

For the 30th year, Georgia Farm Bureau sent a group of young farmers to Washington, D.C. to discuss issues impacting agriculture with Georgia’s Congressional delegation. GFB hosts this annual trip to give its future leaders the experience of seeing how their grassroots organization works for them on the national level. 24 /April-May 2015

“Farmland,” the documentary by director James Moll is now available on DVD at Walmart and Walmart.com. The film offers a firsthand glimpse inside the world of farming by showcasing the lives of six young farmers and ranchers in their twenties, including Crawford County Farm Bureau President Leighton Cooley. The documentary is also available to rent on DVD from Netflix and to purchase on Amazon, with continued availability for rent and purchase via digital download on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On-Demand, Sony PlayStation, Vudu.com, Xbox and YouTube. During its theatrical debut in 2014, “Farmland” was shown in more than 170 theaters across the country. Moll’s Allentown Productions produced “Farmland” with the generous support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. Check out the movie trailer and more information about the feature length documentary at www.farmlandfilm.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Pulaski County Farm Bureau Director Christopher Martin and his wife, Ginger, were one of four couples named National Outstanding Young Farmers for 2015 by the Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity (OFA) during the National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress held Feb. 12-15 in Cherry Hill, N.J. After serving as a crop consultant for years, Christopher and his wife, Ginger, began farming 12 years ago. They grow cotton, corn, wheat, peanuts, and rye on 3,400 acres near Hawkinsville. Along with raising their two children, Grantson, 19, and Wellsley, 17, Christopher and Ginger have engaged in many com-

munity and agricultural organizations. The Martin farm has hosted extensive research, development and plot testing for state agencies and private companies. The studies include a “rolling rye” pilot program through the NRCS with an objective to provide sunlight-blocking ground cover to diminish the germination of pigweed during primary crop planting. The Martins were selected from a group of 10 finalists for the award based on their progress in an agricultural career, extent of soil and water conservation practices, and contributions to the well-being of the community, state and nation. Others receiving

Photo courtesyof OFA Fraternity

Pulaski County couple wins national honor

Christopher and Ginger Martin, 2015 National Outstanding Young Farmer.

the honor were Chad and Ravelle Garone of California, Randal and Kristi Melvin of North Dakota and Ryan and Misty Bivens of Kentucky.

May 29 deadline to enter YF Contests & register for Leadership Conference

The GFB Young Farmer Committee is now accepting applications for the Young Farmer Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet. Registration is also open for the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, which will be held July 15-18 on Jekyll Island. Applications will be accepted through May 29 at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available at county Farm Bureau offices. Finalists for each of the competitive events will be named at the Young Farmer Leadership Conference. GFB members between the ages of 18-35 may apply for these awards.

The preliminary rounds of the discussion meet will be held at the leadership conference. For more information on any of these awards or the conference, please visit http://www.gfb. org/yf or stop by your county Farm Bureau. The GFB Achievement Award will recognize an outstanding young farmer or couple whose primary income is derived from farming. The GFB Excellence in Agriculture Award will recognize an outstanding individual or couple whose primary income is not derived from farming. Extension agents, FFA advisors and ag lenders are examples of indi-

viduals who may apply for this award. The GFB Discussion Meet is a competitive event designed to simulate a committee meeting where young farmers discuss topics relevant to agriculture today and explore solutions to issues facing them as agriculturalists. The state winner of each award will be announced during the GFB convention in December. The winner of each contest will compete on the national level at the American Farm Bureau Convention in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 9-12, 2016. Details on state and national prizes will be available at a later date.

The GFB Young Farmer Committee is accepting entries for its 6th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest. This contest is open to any Georgia Farm Bureau member who is an amateur photographer (receives no income from photography). Cash awards will be presented in two categories – Farm Bureau Members and Farm Bureau Employees. Prizes for the member category are: 1st Place $150; 11 Honorable Mentions - $75 each. The winner of the member category will be featured on the front of the 2016 GFB Young Farmer Calendar. Prizes for the employee category are: 1st Place- $100; 2nd Place- $75; 3rd Place- $50. Only digital photos that are a minimum of 1 megabyte (MB) in file size may be submitted with a limit of four entries per person. All photos must have been shot in Georgia in 2014 or 2015. Photos altered in any way will not be judged. All photos become the property of GFB. Digital photos must be sent as a JPEG file attachment via email to yf@ gfb.org by 4:30 p.m. on May 6. If children or people are included in photos, you must complete a Model Release Entry Form that must be received by GFB at the time of the deadline. Visit your county Farm Bureau office for contest rules, entry instructions and the Model Release Form or visit the GFB website at http://www.gfb.org.

iStock

May 6 deadline to enter GFB Photo Contest

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 25


AROUND GEORGIA News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker

ATKINSON COUNTY Atkinson County Farm Bureau (ACFB) presented $500 checks to both the Atkinson County 4-H and Atkinson County FFA programs at the recent county 4-H/FFA Hog Show. Pictured from left, ACFB President William White presents the $500 donation to Atkinson County Extension Director Tony Barnes while Atkinson County FFA High School Agriculture Teacher & FFA Advisor Whit Stewart accepts a $500 donation from ACFB Agency Manager Larry Morris. ACFB recognizes that FFA and 4-H run deep in the county’s past and supports the programs’ efforts in molding future Atkinson County leaders.

COLQUITT COUNTY Colquitt County Farm Bureau recognized several members of its board of directors who retired from the board last fall after many years of service. Pictured from left, CCFB President Stanley Bass presented Guy Hart, Sandra Mercer (accepting on behalf of Milton Mercer), Erline Cannon and Donald Horne with gifts of appreciation for their service. Hart served on the CCFB Board for 28 years. Milton Mercer served on the CCFB Board for 13 years. Cannon served on the CCFB Board for 8 years, and Horne served 32 years on the CCFB Board (11 years as vice president and 12 years as president). CCFB welcomed new board members Michael Chafin and Nathan Lane (not pictured). DECATUR COUNTY Kathleen Ketterer, center, dean of Health Sciences & Professional Studies at Bainbridge State College (BSC), spoke at the Decatur County Farm Bureau (DCFB) January board meeting, providing an update on the BSC Agribusiness Studies Program beginning 26 / April-May 2015

this fall. DCFB President Alan Davis, right, and DCFB Director Andy Bell, left, welcomed Ketterer to the meeting. Bell has worked closely with Ketterer to develop the program. DCFB Directors Dr. Paul Johnson, Bell and Kim Rentz volunteered to help Ketterer with the interview process to select the instructor for the BSC Ag Program.

DODGE COUNTY Dodge County Farm Bureau donated $2,500 as the main sponsor of the Dodge County 4-H/FFA Livestock Show held Feb. 16. DCFB also provided prize money for the grand champion and reserve champion hog and beef cattle competitions. DCFB awarded a $300 prize to the grand champion hog winner Katelin McCranie and a $200 prize to reserve hog champion winner Clay Lee. Dalton Barlow won the $300 grand champion and $200 reserve beef cattle prizes. The 4-H and FFA members who competed in the show are pictured above. ELBERT COUNTY The Elbert County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee hosted their annual Ag Corner during a festival held in downtown Elberton. Manning the Farm Bureau booth  were from left, Stephanie Hewell, Haley Black, Janet  Mazureck and Helen Lyman. The corner promoted several commodities including dairy, beef, soybeans, cotton and peanuts. Antique tractors, horse rides and “tater digging” were just a few of the attractions ECFB sponsored at the festival. Georgia Farm Bureau News


GORDON COUNTY Gordon County Farm Bureau (GCFB) recently partnered with a local elementary school to provide the students a unique learning experience. GCFB Young Farmer Chairman Kim Witt, right, and GCFB Program Coordinator Elizabeth Arnold, left, presented a program about poultry farming and the life cycle of a chicken to second-grade students. All students were able to visit the media center daily for 21 days to watch as baby chicks were hatched using an incubator provided by GCFB. Students used a provided calendar to see what stage the eggs were in each day until the chicks hatched. Eight baby chicks hatched on Feb. 16.

HALL COUNTY Hall County Farm Bureau helped second-grade students at Centennial Arts Academy celebrate Christmas. The students raised money to buy a dairy cow for a needy family through World Vision, an organization that provides livestock to people in thirdworld countries to help them become self-sufficient farmers. After learning of the students’ efforts, HCFB Director Sammy Smith, far right, contacted HCFB President Jerry Truelove, left, and his sister, Dixie, center, who own Truelove Dairy, and arranged for the Trueloves to bring one of their Holsteins to the school. Smith, who also serves on the Gainesville City School Board, introduced the Trueloves and “Rosie” to the students. On behalf of HCFB, Jerry presented the students with a check for $123.60 to help them meet their goal of $650 to donate a cow through World Vision. This was the first time many of the students had seen a live cow. HOUSTON COUNTY Houston County Farm Bureau (HCFB) recently visited the Morningside Elementary Horticulture Club to help the students construct a worm garden for their classroom. HCFB Women’s Committee

Chairman Carol Baker, left, talked to the students about how worms are beneficial to building healthy soil. The worm garden will help the students learn about decomposition and other related ag topics.     LAURENS COUNTY The Laurens County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee recently teamed up with a local elementary school to help first-grade students plant vegetable boxes. The students prepared the boxes by pulling weeds from them. LCFB Office Manager Mary Morris, with the Women’s Committee, pictured right, showed the students how to make garden rows using a hoe. Then, teacher Shernetta O’Neal, second from right, and her students planted peas, carrots and broccoli. MACON COUNTY Macon County Farm Bureau Director Donald Chase, standing, visited a kindergarten class at a local school in November to teach the students how he grows peanuts. He read the students a book about peanuts and showed them how to make peanut butter from peanuts. The students received coloring pages about peanuts to help them remember what they learned. MONROE COUNTY Monroe County Farm Bureau (MCFB) is a proud sponsor of the Mary Persons FFA. At the February MCFB board meeting, MCFB President Butch Copelan, standing, presented Mary Persons FFA President Jessica White a $250 check to help cover the expense of competing in the state livestock show. Other FFA officers attending the event were Tia Chastain, Abby Sims, Wyatt Stovall and Rebekah Simpson.  MCFB also recognized FFA member Caroline Waldrep for being the 2015 Mary Persons Star Student. Caroline is the Georgia FFA Area 3 President and the daughter of Bill and Sarah Waldrep. Bill serves as vice chairman of the GFB Swine Commodity Committee. Continued on next page

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 27


Continued from previous page NEWTON COUNTY Newton County Farm Bureau hosted a delegation of Chinese feed producers on Jan. 29 attending the International Poultry Expo in Atlanta. NCFB President Brent Galloway welcomed the group to the NCFB office, telling the group about agriculture in the county and Farm Bureau. NCFB took the group on a tour of area agribusinesses at the request of AG Georgia Inc. During a stop at Godfrey’s Feed in Madison, Weyman Hunt, far left, tells Galloway and the Chinese delegation about his family’s feed mill business. RABUN COUNTY Rabun County Farm Bureau (RCFB) partnered with the Northeast Georgia Farm to School program to build a garden that will be used by the county primary, elementary, middle and high schools. RCFB directors and members helping with the garden were, pictured from left: RCFB member Tammy Kilby, member Neal Williams, RCFB Women’s Chairman & GFB 2nd District Women’s Chairman Rhonda Williams, RCFB Director Steve Cabe, RCFB Director Cliff Fisher, RCFB Office Manager Cindy Turpin, and member Isaac Williams and Rabun County School Nutritionist Cindi Dean. All of the Rabun County schools are positioned together on Wildcat Hill, providing the perfect opportunity for a centrally located garden to be shared among the schools. The garden features an outside classroom, arbor, muscadine trellis and raised garden beds.

served homemade vegetable soup with a choice of sandwich or crackers and milk.  An assortment of vegetables were displayed on the table, and students were asked to identify the veggies in their soup. Canned vegetables that might be used in making soup were included in the display as was a can of Campbell’s tomato soup to show students canned soup contains vegetables. Each student received a gift bag containing a soybean place mat, coloring pages of vegetables and information for parents/guardians about the importance of vegetables in our diet. TURNER COUNTY The Turner County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee surprised the staff at a local elementary school with a Valentine’s Day treat.  The committee distributed 87 Valentine-themed bags of popcorn to the teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, cafeteria staff and custodians.  Brenda McKinney, pictured, a TCFB member and a member of the school’s office staff, helped deliver the Valentine’s Day treats. WORTH COUNTY Worth County Farm Bureau raised money for the Ronald McDonald House by selling raffle tickets for a Valentine-themed gift basket. WCFB Office Manager Connie Melton, left, presents the basket to winner Diane Singletary, who is a WCFB member. Singletary’s family also happens to be one of the many families the Ronald McDonald House has served by providing a home away from home while their children are in the hospital.

April 15 deadline to vote in GPC referendum

TALIAFERRO COUNTY Taliaferro County Farm Bureau hosted a reading program and lunch for local pre-K students. TCFB Promotion & Education Committee Chairman Linda Franklin is shown reading the book “Who Grew My Soup?” After story time, students were 28 / April-May 2015

Georgia peanut growers have until April 15 to cast their ballots and determine if they will reaffirm the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC). Peanut producers are assessed $2 per ton to fund the GPC and its research, education, promotion and communication programs. State law mandates a referendum be held every three years to give growers the chance to determine if they will continue the GPC. Peanut producers who have questions about the referendum or did not receive a ballot should contact GPC Executive Director Don Koehler by email at don@gapeanuts.com or call 229-3863470. The GPC asks anyone who receives a ballot but is no longer farming to write, “no longer producing” on the ballot envelope and return it to the commission so it may update its mailing list. Georgia Farm Bureau News


ag in the classroom update Donna Rocker, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator

National Ag in the Classroom Conference Announced If you want to learn about the “Unbridled Possibilities” the Ag in the Classroom program offers your county Farm Bureau to teach students about farming, make plans to attend the 2015 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference June 17-19 in Louisville, Ky. This conference combines teachers, classroom volunteers and professional staff from across the U.S. who will offer new ideas and dynamic resources to develop or enhance ag literacy programs in your community. It is an excellent opportunity to develop or broaden your ag literacy network. The conference begins on Wednesday, June 17 with a luncheon. There will be six rounds of workshops, a series of mini-workshops and traveling workshops during the three-

day event which ends the evening of June 19. The conference will feature dynamic keynote speakers, an exhibit hall with a wide range of program resources, a silent auction and live auction to raise money for Ag in the Classroom. The conference will be held at the historic Galt House. The room rate is $125 per night plus taxes. Early bird registration by April 15 is $360 for basic registration. The traveling workshop and post-event tours are an additional cost. For more information and to register for the conference visit http://www.agclassroom.org/ conference2015/index.htm. Contact Donna Rocker at dhrocker@gfb.org for more information about the conference or Georgia’s AITC program.

AFBF awards grants to 6 county Farm Bureaus for ag literacy projects Six Georgia county Farm Bureaus recently received White-Reinhardt minigrants from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA). The grants are awarded through the foundation’s White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program. The grants are allocated through county and state Farm Bureaus and are used to create new ag literacy projects or expand existing ag literacy efforts. “The fact that Georgia had six out of the 23 grants awarded nationally is a testament to the caliber of projects our county Farm Bureaus are developing in partnership with local teachers and schools,” said Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Janet Greuel. “We grow ag literacy through the creativity and dedication of our volunteers in the counties,” Greuel said. The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a project of the foundation in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee. The fund honors two former committee chairwomen, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were trailblazers

in early national efforts to expand the outreach of agricultural education and improve agricultural literacy. Criteria for selecting winners included: the effectiveness of demonstrating a strong connection between agriculture and education; how successfully the project enhances learner engagement in today’s food, fiber and fuel systems; and the processes and timelines for accomplishing project goals. The six counties and their projects are as follows. Butts County Farm Bureau Building a greenhouse to engage students in community outreach and teach them about environmental responsibility and sustainability. Cherokee County Farm Bureau Building a raised garden bed to allow physically disabled children to plant vegetables and learn. Crawford County Farm Bureau Purchase of accurate ag books to further enhance classroom activities and Ag in the Classroom lessons in local communities. Harris County Farm Bureau A library of ag books to be used in

elementary school classrooms with Ag in the Classroom commodity lessons taught each month. Taliaferro County Farm Bureau Creation of a lending library for grades pre-K - third. The library will have “Ag in a Bag” which consists of accurate ag books and lesson plans for supporting activities available for checkout. Walker County Farm Bureau Establishment of two ag literacy mini-libraries for kindergarten-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade. The libraries will be used for farmer school visits and classroom instruction. April 15 is the deadline to apply for the next round of mini-grants for fall implementation from the AFBF Foundation. Mini-grants are offered to state and county Farm Bureaus in amounts up to $500 for classroom ag literacy programs for grades K-12. Mini-grants are awarded on a competitive basis with priority given to those programs demonstrating a need for financial support. For more information, visit http://www.agfoundation.org/projects/mini-grants-home . Donna Rocker is the Georgia Ag in the Classroom Coordinator.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 29


By Jennifer Whittaker

30 / April-May 2015

Stevens to teach her students the types of produce that grows above and below ground. She brings samples of various produce into the classroom for the students to sample. Power uses agriculture to teach her students the scientific method by answering the question “Can you use part of a plant to grow a new plant?” Power has her students conduct a science experiment to compare how vegetable plants grow and develop when grown from seeds versus rooting cuttings of vegetables. Chris Fleming, Ag in the Classroom coordinator for Tennessee Farm Bureau, discussed how farmers can use technology such as FaceTime available on iPhones and iPads or Skype to give students a virtual tour of their farm and teach how they grow their crops. Fleming said these are more affordable options than mobile classroom labs used by some state Farm Bureaus that cost as much as $100,000 for the lab and an additional $100,000 for its annual upkeep. Elbert County Farm Bureau Director

Mandy Williams, who is an avid photographer, shared her tips for taking great photos that tell a story. She stressed the importance of backing up digital photos from a computer to external hard drives and encouraged her audience to use the rule of thirds when composing photos so there is something of visual interest in each third of the photo. GFB 2nd Dist. Field Rep. Clay Talton gave GFB volunteers a crash course on using their iPhones and iPads to take photos. Attorney Will Thompson encouraged farm owners to begin the process of planning who will take over the family farm or agribusiness when the current owners are gone. Thompson said honest communication between generations and all family members is crucial to successful planning. He stressed the importance of parents teaching their children why they made the business choices that they did. For more information on estate planning, Thompson may be reached at wthompson@jamesbatesllp.com or 478-749-9903.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

T

he almost 300 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) volunteers and staff members who attended the organization’s annual Educational Leadership Conference held at Stone Mountain March 6-7 gained skills to take their ag promotion efforts to new heights. “It’s important to engage in ag literacy activities because while the general public trusts farmers, agriculture is a target for activist groups that don’t understand how we grow our food and fiber,” GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Janet Greuel said. “We have to reach new heights in how we talk about agriculture and what we do on the farm.” Madison County Farm Bureau member Trisha Lastly, the 2014 GFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture winner, delivered the keynote speech at the opening session. Lastly shared the presentation she gave at the American Farm Bureau Convention in January while representing Georgia in the national competition. Lastly, who grew up on a row crop farm in Tift County and has taught agriculture for almost nine years, shared her passion for inspiring the next generation of farmers and agribusiness leaders. She shared her motto for her hands-on teaching method, which is “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I’ll understand.” Lastly pairs her students with local Farm Bureau members to let the students learn about production agriculture. Carmen Power, the 2014 GFB Georgia Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award recipient, shared activities she uses to teach her fourth and fifth-grade students about agriculture. Power discussed how she uses the book “Tops & Bottoms” by Janet

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

GFB members gain ag promotion tools at Stone Mountain conference

Carmen Power, standing, a teacher at Free Home Elementary School in Cherokee County, shared her lesson plan for teaching students which vegetables grow above ground and which ones grow below ground using the children’s book, “Tops & Bottoms.” Visit http://tinyurl.com/GFBEducConf15 to view more photos from the event. Georgia Farm Bureau News


Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who also grows timber and is a GFB member, performed at the inaugural GFB Foundation for Agriculture Gala held March 7 at Stone Mountain. Visit http://tinyurl.com/GFBGala to view more photos from the event.

Carroll County Farm Bureau has pledged a five-year $25,000 contribution to the foundation of $5,000 per year in memory of the late Alvin Chambers, a long-time CCFB leader. Pictured from left, GFB 3rd Dist. Director George Chambers and his son, Caleb, accept a plaque from Jed Evans in recognition of the memorial donation.

you in this room for what you do no matter what type of agriculture you’re in.” Telfair County auctioneer Neil Stanley took the stage after Leavell and motivated gala attendees to “Buy with their hearts, not their heads,” as they bid on a variety of items raising $5,500 for the foundation. The foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation. Donations are tax exempt. GFB will use the foundation to finance activities and educational materials designed to increase the agricultural literacy of Georgia residents. As of March 7, the foundation has received more than $125,000 in donations, according to Jed Evans, executive director of the foundation. Cobb County and Paulding County Farm Bureau were recognized for having made $10,000 donations each. Carroll County Farm Bureau has pledged a five-year $25,000 contribu-

tion to the foundation of $5,000 per year in memory of the late Alvin Chambers, who was a long-time CCFB leader. “We live in a culture that more than ever is asking questions about how their food is grown. We have to be ready to answer their questions. Rather than looking at it as a curse we need to look at it as an opportunity and be ready to tell our story,” said Will Thompson, who helped emcee the gala as an associate with James-BatesBrannan-Groover law firm. Donations may be made on the foundation website at http://www.gfbfoundation. org or checks made payable to the GFB Foundation for Agriculture may be mailed to the foundation care of GFB Field Services at P.O. Box 7068 Macon, Ga. 31209. For more information about the foundation contact Evans at jcevans@gfb.org or 478474-0679, ext. 5230.

By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ Georgia Farm Bureau members and members of Georgia’s ag community from 75 counties across the state enjoyed a festive evening March 7 as the organization held its inaugural gala for the GFB Foundation for Agriculture at the Evergreen Marriott Resort in Stone Mountain. GFB President Zippy Duvall thanked gala attendees for their support of the organization’s new foundation and outlined the foundation’s mission, saying, “This foundation is going to give us the ability to partner with people involved in agriculture to educate people outside of agriculture. It’s going to allow us to tell our story and educate them so they understand we have their best interests at heart. I believe in an America that understands agriculture and believes in our goal to make sure every child has food to eat.” Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who grows timber with his wife, Rose Lane on their Middle Georgia farm, performed at the event. Before sitting down at the piano, Leavell, who is a GFB member, spoke of his passion for conservation. “I’m here tonight as a musician, but I’m really here tonight because I’m a tree farmer and I believe in conservation and the purpose of what you are doing with your foundation,” Leavell said. “My hat is off to you for starting this foundation and to all of

Photo by Andy Lucas

GFB holds gala to kickoff its Foundation for Agriculture

The Paulding County Farm Bureau delegation enjoying the gala. PCFB recently made a $10,000 donation to the foundation.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April-May 2015 / 31


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Georgia Farm Bureau News - April / May 2015