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April 18, 2018

www.gfb.org

Vol. 36 No. 8

GFB ACCEPTING PROPOSALS FOR AG RESEARCH GRANTS As part of its Harvest 20 Vision, Georgia Farm Bureau is accepting proposals for agricultural research projects until May 18. GFB will award five grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 each. Grants will cover research conducted from June 1 – Dec. 31. Proposed research topics should focus on applied agricultural issues such as: water quality/management; new/emerging insects, diseases or weeds; crop varieties; fertilizer efficiency/effectiveness; post-harvest management practices; livestock management (i.e. feed efficiency, pest management); marketing/risk management. Other ag research topics are welcome for consideration. “The three components of the Harvest 20 Vision I announced at Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2017 convention are inspire, educate and preserve,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “Awarding these grants to support ag research that will benefit Georgia’s farmers is part of our goal to inspire Georgia agriculture. The success of Georgia agriculture depends on research that addresses production issues our farmers currently face, such as whitefly control in crops, water use efficiency or animal nutrition.” Proposals will be considered on their individual merit, potential success and funding availability. Proposals should be limited to three pages and include the following information: Project title and investigator(s) names; need for research in Georgia; potential benefit/impact of research; objectives; procedures and research location; budget (include requests of funds for personnel services and operating costs). Grant recipients will be invited to participate in the trade show at the 2018 GFB convention set for Dec. 2-3 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Researchers will be asked to present their findings in a poster display during the trade show. The expense of one night’s hotel stay and trip mileage will be paid to one project presenter. Grant recipients will be asked to formally submit their research findings to GFB by Dec. 31. Proposals may be submitted by email to Clay Talton at cstalton@gfb.org or by mail to: Georgia Farm Bureau, Harvest 20 Research Committee, C/O Clay Talton, P.O. Box 7068, Macon, Ga. 31209. Talton may also be contacted at 478-474-0679 extension 5128.


GFB News Alert page 2 of 16 GFB PLANTS SEEDS FOR HARVEST 20 VISION AT EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE "Planting Seeds for the Harvest 20 Vision" was the theme of Georgia Farm Bureau's annual educational leadership conference held April 13-14 in Augusta. About 200 GFB members and county staff participated in four hands-on workshops designed to help them implement the components of GFB's Harvest 20 Vision Inspire, Educate & Preserve - in their local communities. Keynote speaker Jane Herlong set a positive tone for the conference with her humorous motivational speech on Saturday morning. Herlong, who is also a published author, shared four principles she learned growing up on her parents’ tomato farm on Johns Island near Charleston. Principle One: Never say never. “What I’ve learned is, if you’re in agriculture, you have to be positive and you have to never say never,” Herlong said. Principle Two: Find your shine. “I learned picking tomatoes that you’ve got to find your shine. What do you do best? Find it and shine at it. Shiny starts on the inside,” Herlong shared. Jane Herlong Principle Three: Cull whatever is holding you back. “If you’re going to be successful you have to get rid of whatever is holding you back,” Herlong recommended. “Don’t settle for second best.” Principle Four: Plow up the bad or plow through it with a sense of humor. “When you have a bad crop are you going to plow it up or plow through it? My daddy did both. I’ve seen him plow up a bad crop and replant it, and I’ve seen him plow through a tough crop. Having a sense of humor will see you through either way. “Trying it again when things go wrong is the spirit of agriculture. You have to be the person God made you to be. Shine, cull and plow to get there,” Herlong said. After laughing until their sides ached, conference attendees broke into four groups and rotated through four workshops focused on presenting agriculture in the classrooms of their local schools. “The success of Farm Bureau’s agricultural literacy efforts in our classrooms is a direct result of our volunteers,” GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Carol McQueen said. “They chose to come to this conference to better their programs. Each workshop was designed to help our volunteers and inspire them.” “Planning Your Classroom Visits” was the topic of the workshop Harris County Office Manager Linda Luttrell and GFB Women’s Leadership Committee members Heather Cabe and Melissa Bottoms led at the conference. Luttrell shared how she got into the Harris County Schools to teach about agriculture and the format she uses for her lessons. Luttrell said she got her foot in the door to visit Harris County elementary schools by meeting with the county school superintendent and sharing her plan for talking to students about agriculture. “He loved the idea because it was free and met curriculum standards,” Luttrell said. “You can also start by meeting with a principal or start with a teacher you know. Most schools have a -continued on next page


GFB News Alert page 3 of 16 Continued from previous page volunteer program you could sign up for to get your foot in the door.” Once you have gained access to a teacher’s classroom, Luttrell recommends that county Farm Bureau representatives meet with the teacher(s) when they are planning their yearly curriculum so you can match your ag lessons to their schedule and the class objectives they teach. “Almost all of my lessons are about Georgia agriculture. I want students to be proud they’re from Georgia,” Luttrell said. She encouraged Farm Bureau volunteers to serve fruit & vegetables grown in Georgia to the classes they visit. “Students can relate if you give them something to eat. I ask them to take at least three bites. The first bite may be the yuck bite. Then I ask them to try it two more times. If they still don’t like it after the third bite, then that’s ok,” Luttrell said. “Parents are now calling teachers wanting to know why their kids want broccoli or fresh peaches.” Bottoms and Cabe discussed resources Farm Bureau volunteers can take into classes to talk about farming. Bottoms led workshop participants in making a fact box about fruit and vegetables using the GFB Ag Mag about Georgia Specialty Crops. Cabe discussed the Forestry Traveling Trunks the Destination Ag program makes available to county Farm Bureaus through a grant from the Harley Langdale Jr. Foundation. County Farm Bureaus can obtain the forestry trunks from their GFB district field representatives. GFB Field Representatives Lauren Goble, 6th District, and Rebecca Jacobs, 3rd District, presented a workshop, “Reading is Awesome!” introducing a new approach to reading ag books to classes. Goble and Jacobs suggested Farm Bureau volunteers do a hands-on activity with students to reinforce the information the book presents. Activities and lessons to accompany accurate ag books, which volunteers can use to promote 18 Georgia commodities or ag topics, are being developed and will be posted on the GFB Foundation for Agriculture website at www.gfbfoundation.org later this spring. Reading workshop attendees had the chance to do four hands-on activities including making edible compost using cereal, chocolate chips, dried fruit, pretzels and gummy worms. Each ingredient represents something that can be added to a compost pile. Other hands-on activities included making butter, no-bake pumpkin pie and honey fruit dip. Dr. Wendy Fuschetti, Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2017 Agriculture Teacher, presented a workshop sharing how she uses agriculture and gardening to teach science, math and social studies in her third-grade class. Fuschetti, who teaches at Banks County Elementary School, said how she uses bird houses built in different geometrical shapes to teach her students about squares, triangles, octagons, etc. “I’ve always grown vegetables for my personal use and so used gardening as my theme for incorporating hands-on learning before I attended this GFB conference for the first time last year,” Fuschetti said. “I gained a new perspective on the contributions agriculture makes to our daily lives and to Georgia’s economy, so I shifted the focus of my class from gardening to farming,” Fuschetti has had her classes plant school gardens for many years. For the past two years, Banks County Farm Bureau has partnered with her to support the project. Students learn measuring skills by laying out the garden beds before planting them. The vegetables grown in the garden are used to feed the school during the Feed My School event in May. -continued on next page


GFB News Alert page 4 of 16 Continued from previous page Hall County Farm Bureau (HCFB) Young Farmer Committee Chairman Caroline Lewallen and HCFB Office Manager Justine Palmer gave an overview of their Ag in the Classroom program, Hall Grows Real Opportunities with Students (GROWS). Lewallen shared how her county Farm Bureau went about branding their Ag in the Classroom (AITC) program to make it more relatable to their local community. “As of two years ago Hall County had never had an Ag in the Classroom program. We branded our program as Hall GROWS to try to open doors of our local schools to us,” Lewallen said. “We try to highlight commodities grown in our county to keep the program local.” Since HCFB began its program in August of 2016, it has reached 3,300 Hall County residents. Palmer said she continues to cultivate relationships with Hall County business and civic leaders to build support for and awareness of the Hall GROWS program. “We started attending all sorts of meetings to get Hall County Farm Bureau’s name out there and the message that we do Ag in the Classroom programs,” Palmer said. “Cultivating these relationships is something that I think is very important for reaching our goals together. The point is to reach 17,000 students in our community, and we can’t do it alone.” HCFB has hosted several Ag Educator Workshops offered by the GFB Field Services Department to introduce teachers to the AITC program. After the teachers complete the workshop, HCFB stays connected with them through an email newsletter. GFB Foundation for Agriculture Executive Director Katie Duvall discussed how county Farm Bureaus can set up an account within the foundation so local businesses can make tax deductible donations to support ag literacy efforts in their county. “This is actually why the foundation started. A county had a business that wanted to make a donation but the county wasn’t tax exempt,” Duvall said. “This is a statewide initiative to build relationships between the foundation and counties to help you fund Ag in the Classroom programs in your counties.” GFB President Gerald Long addressed attendees during lunch. “We are rapidly moving along with implementing the Harvest 20 Vision,” Long said. “Today we are planting the seeds that will lead us to a bountiful crop for our Harvest 20 Vision. When we talk about planting the seeds of our Harvest 20 Vision, our state and county women’s committees are right at the top of the effort.” GEORGIA BLUEBERRY GROWERS VOTE TO CONTINUE ASSESSMENT Georgia blueberry growers overwhelmingly voted to extend the assessment of five dollars per ton of marketed blueberries for an additional three years—89.74 percent of the eligible ballots returned voted yes. The balloting period for the market order was conducted March 1-30. The Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Blueberries utilizes funds for blueberry research, education and promotional projects. The Blueberry Commission was established in 2008 by the Georgia legislature and has continued to support important projects for Georgia blueberry growers, with the majority of the funds committed to research projects on fertility, variety evaluation, insects, disease management and weed control.


GFB News Alert page 5 of 16 HOUSE AG COMMITTEE RELEASES FIRST DRAFT OF FARM BILL On April 12 U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway introduced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, the first draft of the proposed 2018 farm bill. The committee passed the bill on April 18. The bill, H.R. 2, would replace the 2014 farm bill, which is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30. Conaway (R-Texas) said the bill maintains and strengthens agricultural commodity programs at a critical time for farmers. “The farm bill keeps faith with our nation’s farmers and ranchers through the current agriculture recession by providing certainty and helping producers manage the enormous risks that are inherent in agriculture,” Conaway said. According to an AFBF review of the bill synopsis by Congressional Budget Office released, the 641-page bill would increase spending on crop insurance, conservation and commodity programs over 10 years. Total spending for the farm bill would decrease by $88.7 billion over 10 years. According to a committee summary, the bill would allow Price Loss Coverage (PLC) reference prices to adjust when markets improve and would allow farmers affected by long-term exceptional drought to update their yields. The Agricultural Risk Coverage-County (ARC-County) crop insurance plan would use actual yields collected by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency by counting irrigated acres and dryland acres separately and by using the physical county in which the farm is located when determining ARC-County benefits. “We’re pleased that the House Agriculture Committee has moved forward with the process of drafting the new farm bill,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “No bill of this magnitude is ever perfect, but we’re encouraged that the commodity and crop insurance programs would be maintained and in some cases increased under this bill, providing much-needed help for farmers struggling to maintain financial sustainability. We’re hopeful that Congress can complete this bill before the current farm bill expires and we look forward to assisting Georgia’s members of Congress as they move through the process.” Included in the ARC/PLC program is a provision for seed cotton, referring to unginned cotton and seed. The seed cotton reference price – the commodity price below which farm bill programs would provide assistance for growers – is set at 36.7 cents per pound in the House bill. The reference prices for other major Georgia crops: peanuts, $535 per ton; corn, $3.70 per bushel; soybeans, $8.40 per bushel; wheat, $5.50 per bushel. According to the committee summary, the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) would be renamed the Dairy Risk Management (DRM) program, and would make the first 5 million pounds of milk production eligible for higher coverage at lower premiums. Milk production not covered under DRM would be fully eligible for a comparable crop insurance policy. The bill would increase funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to $3 billion per year and increases acreage in the Conservation Reserve Program to 29 million over the life of the bill. It also includes $100 million toward a pilot program to address feral hog issues.


GFB News Alert page 6 of 16 MAY 1 DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR GFB FOUNDATION GRANTS County Farm Bureaus and local 4-H and FFA chapters have until May 1 to apply for grants from the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture to fund projects that increase consumer awareness of agriculture, enhance leadership growth or promote overall ag literacy. The foundation is offering a total 17 grants to county Farm Bureaus: three grants of $1,000; six grants of $750; eight grants of $500. Grants must support classroom education, consumer awareness and/or leadership development. The foundation is offering four grants of $500 each to local 4-H and FFA chapters to support ag literacy projects. Beginning with this grant cycle, the foundation is moving to awarding grants once a year. This will be the ONE set of grants the GFB Foundation offers in 2018. Grants are offered to county Farm Bureaus on a competitive basis with priority given to programs demonstrating a need for financial support. Grant recipients will be notified by May 15 and funds will be dispersed by June 1. Twenty-five percent of grant funds will be withheld until the project is completed and a report is submitted to the foundation. Counties have one calendar year to complete their projects. Visit www.gfb.ag/18gfbfoundationgrants for guidelines, suggested projects and application forms for both county grants and 4-H/FFA chapters. All applications must be made online at the above address. AMERICUS LIVESTOCK SALE BARN REOPENS APRIL 30 The renovated livestock sale barn in Americus is under new management and is scheduled to reopen on April 30 after being closed for a year and a half. The facility, owned by Sumter County, has been renovated, and Sumter County Stockyard LLC will manage its operation. “The barn served about 13 counties. When it closed, anybody that wanted to sell a cow had to travel 60 miles or more to do it,” said Sumter County Stockyard LLC co-owner Sam Steele. “When it closed, it was felt by livestock owners really fast.” Steele is partnering with Dr. LeAnna Wilder, a Macon County veterinarian who treats large animals in several surrounding counties. “When the barn closed it was devastating to the cattle industry in the area, and it was devastating to the local community,” Wilder said. “When these cattlemen come to Americus they’ll be buying gas and feed and seed and other things. It’s just going to be a real asset to the community. To begin with, the plan only includes weekly cattle sales, but Wilder hopes other livestock species will be added later. The barn, located at 505 Southerfield road in Americus, will begin receiving cattle on Sundays between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sales will take place on Mondays beginning at 1 p.m. For information visit http://sumtercountylivestock.com/index.html.


GFB News Alert page 7 of 17 BABY BARN WILL OFFER COW AND SOW LIVE BIRTHS AT GA NATIONAL FAIR Dairy cows bred in January and sows that will be bred 114 days before they farrow will be the star attractions at this year’s Georgia National Fair. Fairgoers who have never seen a cow or sow give birth will be able to watch the miracle at the Georgia Grown Baby Barn. Members of Georgia’s livestock community, Georgia National Fair Board directors and state officials gathered April 11 for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility being built at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. “It’s a ginormous undertaking because we’re dealing with live cows and swine,” Spruill said of the plans to have one live cow birth each day of the 2018 Georgia National Fair and five live sow births. Spruill said the fair plans to offer fair attendees an app they can download to their phones to receive push notifications when a birth is imminent. “We get asked ‘What time do I come see the babies being born?’” Spruill said. “The answer is ‘Lord only knows!’ ” Spruill said the GDA opted to spotlight the live births of dairy calves and piglets after visiting the Minnesota State Fair, which has had a birthing center for a number of years. “Mama cows delivering a baby calf score a 10 with the crowd in Minnesota while a sow is a seven,” Spruill said. “It surprised me that sheep only score a two or three. So, the obvious choice was to have cows and sows.” The GDA will feature dairy cows in the birthing center since they have daily interaction with people in the milking barn and are less likely to be spooked by the crowd of fairgoers expected to gather round to watch them calve. The cows will come from a Middle Georgia dairy. Spruill said the sows will give birth in farrowing crates. “I grew up in the hog business,” Spruill said. “There’s nothing more disheartening than to have a sow lay on her piglets. There is no livestock producer who doesn’t care for and love their livestock because the animals are their livelihood.” The baby barn is expected to have bleacher seating for up to 300 people, Spruill said, but standing room and a projection screen will accommodate up to 800 people. The baby barn will be staffed with veterinarians at all times to monitor the animals and assist with births if needed. “I wasn’t completely sold on this barn until I visited the fair in Minnesota and saw their [birthing] barn,” Georgia National Fair Executive Director Stephen Shimp said. “When the first calf dropped and I heard the crowd erupt like the [UGA] stadium in Athens, I was sold.” The Georgia General Assembly approved legislation in 2017 that cleared the way for the $2.4 million birthing center to be financed by bonds. “Georgia is incredibly fortunate to have legislators who support Georgia agriculture. We are also fortunate to have Gov. Nathan Deal in office due to his support of Georgia agriculture,” Black -continued on next page


GFB News Alert page 8 of 16 Continued from previous page said. Morgan County dairy producer Everett Williams was among the Georgia livestock leaders who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony. “People are curious about what happens on farms,” said Everett, who serves as president of the Georgia Milk Producers Inc. “I think it’s great this barn will give so many people who don’t realize what goes on on a farm a chance to see a live birth this close.” Georgia House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Tom McCall was part of the Georgia delegation that visited the Minnesota State Fair to see its birthing center. McCall said Minnesota fairgoers started lining up at 9 a.m. when the fair opened to get into the birthing center. “The whole purpose of this place [Georgia Agricenter] is to educate kids and teach them about agriculture,” McCall said. “That’s why it’s important the Georgia legislature funded this barn to let kids and parents who have never had the chance to see a live farm birth have this experience.” McCall compared the atmosphere in the Minnesota fair birthing center to that of a football game. “When that baby calf hit the ground, it’s like a touchdown has been scored at a Georgia/Georgia Tech game,” McCall said. “Those people took up to four hours out of their day at the fair to watch a live birth. It’s a big deal. Georgia National Fair Board Vice Chairman Foster Rhodes said the opening of the baby barn is another example of the fair board staying true to its mission of serving the young people of Georgia. “I can remember in the late 1980s when we had a groundbreaking for this facility. I’ve been here over 30 years and I’m as excited about this groundbreaking as I was the first,” Rhodes said. “If you can’t be anywhere else the first Thursday in October when the fair opens, please come and be part of the grand opening of this facility.” Visit www.gfb.photos/babybarngrndbreaking to view photos from the ground breaking ceremony. GEORGIA COTTON COMMISSION APPROVES 2019 RESEARCH FUNDING The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) Board of Directors approved $697,802 in research for the 2019 crop year during its April 11 meeting, an increase from the $665,196 approved for 2018. This money will fund 21 research projects that will be conducted by researchers from the University of Georgia and the University of West Georgia. These projects include studies by the UGA Cotton Team ranging from precision ag research to the marking and treatment of root-knot nematode resistant genes in cotton, and many more. The goal of this producer-funded research is to help cotton producers’ bottom lines by conducting studies can either raise yields, promote efficiency, or open new markets. All projects are vetted by the GCC Board of Directors, made up of cotton producers from across the state, and the commission’s research review committee, which is made up of researchers, crop consultants, and County UGA Ag Extension agents. For more information about the Georgia Cotton Commission call 478-988-4235 or visit www.georgiacottoncommission.org.


GFB News Alert page 9 of 16 USDA LAUNCHES RURAL BROADBAND GRANT PROGRAM On April 13 the USDA announced it is accepting applications for grants to use broadband eConnectivity to improve access to health care and educational services in rural communities. USDA is awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program. Grants can finance projects such as those to provide job training, academic instruction or access to specialized medical care. For more about the DLT program visit http://bit.ly/USDADLTLM. Proposals for projects whose primary purpose is to provide opioid prevention, treatment and recovery will receive 10 priority points when applications are scored. USDA is approaching the opioid misuse crisis with a dedicated urgency because it impacts the quality of life, economic opportunity and rural prosperity. USDA also will provide priority points for grants that offer access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses. Grants are available to most state and local governmental entities, federally recognized tribes, nonprofit groups and for-profit businesses. The application deadline is June 4. Applications can be submitted via paper or electronically. For details on how to apply, see page 14245 of the April 3 Federal Register at http://bit.ly/FR14245. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community services such as schools, public safety and health care, and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. In Georgia, contact the Rural Utilities Service Telecom General Field Representative for information and to apply: Andrew Hayes, 9838 Old Baymeadows Road, #165, Jacksonville, FL 32256; andrew.hayes@wdc.usda.gov or (770) 312-7073. AMS SEEKS COMMENTS ON PROPOSED PEANUT ASSESSMENT CHANGE In the March 30 issue of The Federal Register, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published notice of a proposed change in how the producer assessment is calculated for the National Peanut Board. Currently, the assessment, which growers pay at the point of first sale, is set at 1 percent of the peanuts’ loan value. At the time the notice was published, loan values averaged $355 per ton, resulting in an average assessment of $3.55 per ton. Because values fluctuate, assessment rates also fluctuate. The National Peanut Board, seeking to make its revenue stream more predictable, recommended converting to a straight per-ton rate instead of attaching the assessment rate to loan values. The proposed rate for Segregation 1 peanuts would be $3.55 per ton. The proposed rate for Segregation 2 and Segregation 3 peanuts would be $1.25 per ton. The AMS is seeking public comment on the proposed change. April 30 is the deadline to make comments, which may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov or by mail at Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, D.C., 20250-0244. All comments should reference the document number (AMS-SC-16-0115), the March 30 issue of Federal Register and page number 13700. For more information, contact Jeanette Palmer at 202-720-9915 or Jeanette.Palmer@ams.usda.gov.


GFB News Alert page 10 of 16 TRANSPORTATION, TRACEABILITY DRAW CATTLEMEN’S ATTENTION The anxiety over the Veterinary Feed Directive has settled down, but new Georgia Cattlemen’s Association President Kristy Arnold has plenty of challenges to keep her busy. Arnold, a third-generation rancher from Wayne County, said the organization is focusing more attention on transportation, animal traceability and attracting younger producers into the industry. “I think the dust has settled on VFD,” Arnold said. “I think everybody that really needed that information has gotten it and knows what to do with it now.” Transportation poses challenges in multiple ways. First, there is the electronic logging device mandate for tractor-trailer drivers, who are subject to hours-of-service rules that conflict with animal welfare practices; livestock, for instance are susceptible to heat stress if kept in a stationary trailer. Agricultural haulers have a temporary waiver that runs through Sept. 30. “It’s going to be an issue for us and it’s something we’re continually working on,” Arnold said. At least we get through the summer, the hot part of it.” Even if the trips aren’t cross-country, many producers around the state have to move their cattle significant distances to sales or slaughter. The greater the distance, the greater the expense, trimming already thin profit margins. Looking to alleviate transportation needs while capitalizing on the consumers’ growing tendency to seek locally grown products, Georgia’s beef producers are considering pursuing a collection of regional slaughter facilities. “I think there are some really strong benefits that come out of that, but I think there are some really deep holes that we’re going to have to try to fill,” Arnold said, noting the need for consistency of product quality and developing production to the point where such facilities can be profitable. During a panel discussion at the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association Convention on marketing local beef, Joe Hall of Grady County posed the question: A similar approach has worked for cotton and peanut producers in cooperative ventures; why not beef? Hall joined Keith Kelley of Kelly Products, Adam Bruuck of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Steve Whitmire of Brasstown Beef to discuss local marketing. Bruuck pointed out that a group of ag stakeholders including Georgia Farm Bureau, Farm Credit and EMCs are funding a UGA feasibility study on the regional slaughter model. Arnold, GCA’s second female president, said the organization’s aging membership is a concern. “Most of our cattle producers are 55 or older, so that’s one thing I really want to try to focus on this year, trying to find routes that get some of these younger producers more involved in our organization so we can help them help themselves,” Arnold said. The 57th Annual GCA Convention featured the 21st Annual Georgia Beef Expo as well as the Georgia Forages Conference. GCA members heard from National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Executive Director of Producer Education Josh White, preacher/humorist/motivational speaker Van McCall, Texas A&M researcher Dr. Monte Rouquette Jr. and University of Arkansas researcher Dr. Paul Beck.


GFB News Alert page 11 of 16 NASS STILL ACCEPTING RESPONSES TO CENSUS OF AG Farmers still have time to be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Although the first deadline has passed, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is accepting census information through the spring to get an accurate picture of American agriculture. Federal law requires everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire to complete and return it, even if they are not currently farming. NASS will continue to follow up with producers with mailings, phone calls and personal visits until a response is received. To avoid these additional contacts, farmers and ranchers are encouraged to complete their census online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail as soon as possible. For questions or assistance filling out the census, call toll-free (888) 424-7828. GFB TAKING LISTINGS FOR HAY DIRECTORY Farm Bureau members with hay for sale or offering custom harvesting or custom sprigging services are invited to list in the GFB Quality Hay Directory published on the GFB website. Because this directory is now offered online, hay can be listed or removed from the site as your inventory dictates. To participate, please complete a submission form available at your county Farm Bureau office or online at http://www.gfb.org/membership/hay.cms. Please include a $10 check made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau for each listing of hay, custom harvesting or custom sprigging. Multiple listings are allowed. NRCS, FLINT RIVER DISTRICT CLIMATE RESILIENCY APPLICATIONS April 20 deadline to apply This multi-state project was selected for funding through last fiscal year’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The project area is the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, Flint and Ochlocknee river basins in each respective state. The 62 Georgia counties include Banks, Calhoun, Carroll, Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Clay, Clayton, Cobb, Colquitt, Coweta, Crawford, Crisp, Dawson, Decatur, Dekalb, Dooly, Dougherty, Douglas, Early, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Grady, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Harris, Heard, Henry, Houston, Lamar, Lee, Lumpkin, Macon, Marion, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Muscogee, Paulding, Peach, Pike, Quitman, Rabun, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Spalding, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Terrell, Towns, Troup, Turner, Webster, White, Worth, Union and Upson counties. Farmers in these Georgia counties looking to improve water use efficiency, energy efficiency and soil health on cropland; mitigate wildfire risk, increase carbon sequestration, and enhance wildlife habitat on forestland; enhance soil health, manage nutrients and improve water quality on grazing land as well as animal feeding operations, should visit their local USDA Service Center and submit their Conservation Program Application (NRCS-CPA-1200) before the April 20 deadline. The Flint River SWCD, based in southwest Georgia, will lead this multi-state project that begins in the headwaters of northeast Georgia, heading southwest to the Gulf of Mexico. More information on NRCS conservation programs can be found at http://www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov under the programs tab.


GFB News Alert page 12 of 16 “STARTING A NEW FOOD BUSINESS IN GEORGIA” WORKSHOP May 1-2 Irwin Street Market, 660 Irwin St. NE Atlanta This workshop, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, is geared toward individuals who want to become food entrepreneurs and get their specialty barbecue sauces, baked goods or artisanal bacon into the market. The workshop is great for beginners with no prior knowledge of where to start in the food industry. Individuals who'd like to attend the event must preregister by April 20. Registration is $150, and includes workshop materials, as well as lunch and break refreshments for both days. A block of rooms will be held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, located at 165 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303. Food industry experts, including representatives from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will share the basics that every food entrepreneur needs to know and answer questions. To register visit extension.uga.edu/calendar/event.html?pk_id=13478. For more information or questions about the workshop, contact the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology at (706) 542-0529. WATER MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS April 23 Pierce County Extension Office Blackshear April 24 Terrell County Extension Office Dawson April 25 Turner County Extension Office Ashburn May 15 Appling County Extension Office Baxley May 16 Fort Valley State Ag Technology Center Fort Valley May 29 Ashantilly Center Darien This series of workshops will explain the efficiencies of impact sprinklers, drip irrigation systems and how to develop an irrigation water management plan. Registration is $15 per person to help cover instructional materials and a meal. To register online visit www.tinyurl.com/CRSSWater or contact your local UGA or Fort Valley State Extension agent or NRCS conservationist. UGA SOUTHEASTERN TURFGRASS CONFERENCE April 26 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tifton At the conference, UGA Cooperative Extension researchers will provide updates on turfgrass breeding, muscadine trees and pesticides. Drought-tolerant turfgrass varieties like Bermuda, zoysia and centipede grasses, along with technological advancements, like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and sensors, will be discussed. Researchers will also address the decline in the bee population and the steps necessary to protect these important pollinators. On-site registration begins at 7 a.m. Presentations will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and end with an optional field tour of the turfgrass research plots. For more information or to register for the event, visit www.caes.uga.edu/campuses/tifton/conference-center.html.


GFB News Alert page 13 of 16 FARM MOM OF THE YEAR April 30 deadline for nominations Monsanto once again plans to recognize inspiring farm moms, and is accepting nominations for its 2018 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest. This year, 10 outstanding women, each representing a different region in the U.S., will be recognized as Farm Mom of the Year. Each winner will select a non-profit in their local community to receive $1,000. Nominations are open through April 30. Entries will be accepted online or through the mail. Ten regional winners will be chosen and announced in May. Anyone can nominate his or her favorite eligible farm mom by submitting a short essay of 150 words or less, why their nominee should be named Farm Mom of the Year. Nominees will be evaluated based on her role in her farm’s success, her engaging the community, her advocacy for modern agriculture and of course, how she handles her responsibilities as a parent. For complete contest rules or to submit a nomination visit https://farmmom.americasfarmers.com/. CHEROKEE COUNTY CANDIDATE FORUM/MEET & GREET May 1 Cagle’s Family Farm, 5267 Conn’s Creek Rd. 6 p.m. Ball Ground This event, sponsored by Cherokee County Farm Bureau, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and Cagle’s Family Farm, invites all local, state and national candidates running for office in 2018 to attend. Each candidate will have the opportunity to speak if they have opposition. Those candidates with no opposition will be introduced. Questions from the audience will follow. Current elected officials will also be introduced. Everyone will have time to meet & greet the candidates before and after the event. Homemade ice cream will be served by Boy Scout Troop #465. Soft drinks, water and peanuts will be provided by Cherokee County Farm Bureau. Please RSVP by April 27 to the Cherokee County Farm Bureau Office at sfpahl@gfb.org or 770- 4791481 ext. 0. GEORGIA COTTON WOMEN SCHOLARSHIPS May 1 deadline to apply College students who will be entering freshmen or rising sophomores at a Georgia college for the 2018-2019 academic year and are the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee may 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 and who is the child or grandchild of a GCW member. This $1,500 scholarship is also payable onethird each quarter or one-half each semester. Applications are available by emailing georgiacottonwomen@gmail.com.


GFB News Alert page 14 of 16 GEORGIA CENTENNIAL FARM PROGRAM ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS May 1 application deadline Applications are now open for the 2018 Georgia Centennial Farm awards. To qualify, a farm must be a working farm with a minimum of 10 acres actively involved in agricultural production and produce $1,000 in annual farm-generated income. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Family Farm Award recognizes farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are not listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Farm Award does not require continual family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. To apply for recognition in 2018, visit http://georgiashpo.org/centennialfarms to download an application or contact Sarah Love at 770-389-7856 or sarah.love@dnr.ga.gov. GEORGIA FOOD ANIMAL CONFERENCE May 4 Callaway Resort & Gardens 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Pine Mountain Farmers, ranchers and cattle producers are invited to join food animal veterinarians for this oneday conference. The general session will focus on greater productivity, efficiency, health and welfare, with an emphasis on better outcomes, better profits and better beef. This session is for producers, veterinarians and the entire production team. Registration for non-veterinarians is $50. To register, visit https://gvma.memberclicks.net/gfac-2018#/ and use special code GFAC25 to receive the discounted rate. For more information visit www.gvma.net/georgia-food-animalconference/. UGA EXTENSION FARM TAX WORKSHOPS May 15 Carroll County Ag Center 9 a.m. – noon Carrollton May 16 Oglethorpe County Extension Office 9 a.m. - noon Lexington May 17 Colquitt County Extension Office 9 a.m. - noon Moultrie May 18 Bulloch County Extension Office 9 a.m. - noon Statesboro The UGA Cooperative Extension will host this series of tax law workshops, where farmers and landowners will learn tax planning techniques and review how to correctly report income. The workshops will cover individual tax changes like standard deductions, business tax changes and comparisons of corporation tax statuses. All of these workshops will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, and a networking lunch will follow the program. Registration is $20 and preregistration is available online through May 10. Limited walk-up registration will be available. The workshops will be conducted by Robert Tufts, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System farm management specialist emeritus and attorney. To register, visit: https://events.attend.com/f/1383784328 for the Carroll County event; https://events.attend.com/f/1383784330 for the Oglethorpe County event; https://events.attend.com/f/1383784331 for the Colquitt County event or https://events.attend.com/f/1383784348 for the Bulloch County event. For more information about the workshops, contact Regina Fitzpatrick at 706-542-5046 or email regina@uga.edu.


GFB News Alert page 15 of 16 2018 PICTURE AGRICULTURE IN GEORGIA PHOTO CONTEST May 18 deadline to enter Georgia Farm Bureau is now accepting entries for the 2018 Picture Agriculture in Georgia Photo Contest. The contest, administered by the GFB Young Farmer and Rancher Committee, gives GFB members an opportunity to showcase agriculture and encourage appreciation of rural Georgia. The contest is open to any Georgia Farm Bureau member who receives no income from photography. To enter, email entry forms and photos as attachments to yf@gfb.org, with “Photo Contest” in the subject line. Entry forms and complete contest rules may be accessed on the GFB website at http://gfb.ag/PhotoContest. The deadline for entries is May 18. 5TH ANNUAL MADISON COUNTY GOAT SALE May 19 Brush Creek Farm 9 a.m. Colbert The sale is a platform for Madison County FFA members to sell show quality goats. Viewing begins at 9 a.m. followed by lunch at 11 a.m. and the sale at noon. Brush Creek Farm is located at 1631 Moriah Church Road in Colbert. For more information contact Madison County Middle School FFA Sponsor John Lastly at 706-783-2400 ext. 1228 or jlastly@madison.k12.ga.us. SYNGENTA AGRIGULTURE SCHOLARSHIP May 25 Deadline to apply Syngenta invites eligible university students to apply to its annual Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship program. University students currently pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in crop-related disciplines are eligible to compete for $20,000 in scholarship awards. Applicants must be U.S. residents enrolled as of spring 2018 in an accredited agriculture program at an eligible university. Syngenta will award scholarships to a bachelor’s and master’s level national winner, selected from a pool of 4 regional winners in each category. Scholarship recipients will be announced in the fall. For more information about the scholarship, including official rules, prize amounts, essay topic, eligible universities and application guidelines, please visit www.syngentaus.com/scholarships. GFB YOUNG FARMER & RANCHER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE July 19-21 Jekyll Island Convention Center Jekyll Island This can’t-miss even for GFB farmer members between the ages of 18 and 35 is a great opportunity to meet members from around the state, attend educational workshops in areas such as leadership development, financial planning, advocacy, urban agriculture, and current industry trends Attendees will learn first-hand how our YF&R members are “Gaining Ground” in our industry and in our organization. Registration is $75 per person. The deadline to register is June 1. For more information or to register for the Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference visit http://gfb.ag/18YFRconference.


GFB News Alert page 16 of 16 FB YOUNG FARMER & RANCHER COMPETITIVE EVENTS June 1 deadline to enter Georgia Farm Bureau is accepting entries for the Young Farmer & Rancher competitive events the Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture and the Discussion Meet. Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years old. The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who earn the majority of their income from production agriculture. The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. The Discussion Meet is a series of committee-style discuss topics important to agriculture. The winners in all three contests will be honored at the GFB Convention in December and will qualify for national competition, to be held at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in New Orleans next January. To enter the competitive events, contact your county Farm Bureau office manager or GFB Young Farmer & Rancher Coordinator Erin Nessmith at ennessmith@gfb.org or 478-474-0679, ext. 5232. DAUGHTERS OF AMERICAN AGRICULTURE SCHOLARSHIPS June 1 deadline to apply The American Agri-Women (AAW) Foundation is taking applications for Daughters of American Agriculture Scholarships – the Jean Ibendahl Scholarship and the Sister Thomas More Bertels Scholarship. These two scholarships are available to any farm, ranch, or agribusiness woman or her daughter to pursue accredited courses in agriculture leadership, communications, rural sociology, medicine, or any other courses directly related to agriculture. The Ibendahl Scholarship is available to high school graduates and women ages 18 – 23. The Bertels Scholarship is available to women who are returning students in agriculture and are 24 years or older. Both scholarships are for $1,000. Applications must be postmarked by June 1. Applications are available at http://bit.ly/aawschollys.

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - April 18, 2018  

In this week's GFB News Alert... Georgia Farm Bureau is accepting proposals for ag research grants, complete coverage of the 2018 GFB Educat...

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - April 18, 2018  

In this week's GFB News Alert... Georgia Farm Bureau is accepting proposals for ag research grants, complete coverage of the 2018 GFB Educat...