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Vol. 75 No. 2


April 2013


The Voice of Georgia Farmers

2013 Ford Fusion

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2013 Ford EXPLoRER

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*Program #34216: $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 1/03/2013 through 1/2/2014 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2012/2013/2014 model year Ford or Lincoln vehicle. Not available on Mustang Shelby GT/GT500, Mustang Boss 302, Focus EV, Focus S, Fiesta S, Focus ST, Edge SE AWD (12MY), F-150 Raptor, Taurus SE and 13MY MKZ including Hybrid. 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 60 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 or Lincoln Dealer for complete details and qualifications.

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april 2013


we, the farmers PAGE 4

legislative update PAGE 5

commodities update PAGE 10

young farmer update PAGE 16

around georgia PAGE 20

public relations staff Paul Beliveau Jennifer Whittaker Jay Stone Lillian Davis Ray D’Alessio Rick Treptow Michael Edmondson Mark Wildman Dean Wood Damon Jones Vickie Amos

Director Editor Print/Web Specialist Publications/Advertising Manager Senior Producer/TV Host Senior Radio-TV Specialist Web/Video Manager Radio-TV Specialist Radio-TV Specialist Radio-TV Specialist Office Coordinator

For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail For questions regarding advertising contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., 1-800-397-8908 Visit the GFB Web site today! Georgia Farm Bureau TV: “Like” us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Check us out on Pinterest:

GFB Day at Capitol spotlights ag issues More than 450 Georgia Farm Bureau members traveled to Atlanta Feb. 12 for Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol where the organization was recognized in the Senate, and GFB members met with their legislators to discuss ag issues. Gov. Nathan Deal spoke to the group at lunch. PAGE 6

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker


Ga. cotton growers optimistic despite industry challenges

Georgia cotton growers expressed a positive outlook even though they were presented with a number of challenges during the Georgia Cotton Commission’s annual meeting. New leadership for the state commission was also announced. PAGE 8

International trade key topic at Ag Forecast meetings

Farmers attending the 2013 Ag Forecast meetings learned how the Georgia Department of Economic Development is working to expand export opportunities for Georgia agriculture. PAGE 12

DOR issues GATE guidelines

The Georgia Department of Revenue has released a list of items that are and are not eligible for sales tax exemptions under the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program. Farmers are encouraged to use their GATE cards responsibly to protect the integrity of the program. PAGE 14

4-H & FFA members learn life skills competing in Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show

Almost 1,600 Georgia 4-H and FFA members braved wet, rainy conditions to compete in the 2013 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held Feb. 20-24 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the six grand champion prizes and is proud to introduce you to the winners. PAGE 18

Tornado devastates Gordon County farms At least three Gordon County farms sustained major damage in the Jan. 30 tornado that ripped through five North Georgia counties, destroying hundreds of homes and causing at least one death. These poultry houses at the farm of Jeff Shick were among the losses farmers in the county sustained. PAGE 22

on the cover

(Photo by Charlie Harris) Crawford County Farm Bureau member Charlie Harris won an honorable mention in the 2012 GFB photo contest with this photo titled “Pretty in Pink.” The photo of blooming peach trees was shot at Dickey Farms in Musella about a mile from Harris’ house. GFB is accepting entries for the 2013 photo contest until 4:30 p.m. April 26. More information about the contest is on page 17.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 3

Photo by Jay Stone

table of

we, the Photo Harvey Photo by by Jeffrey Jay Stone

farmers Zippy Duvall, GFB President

We, the farmers, will persevere!

Thanks to one of the rainiest Februarys on record, Georgia farmers are entering the planting season with refilled irrigation ponds and renewed optimism. Although most of Georgia is still classified as being in a drought, the severity of our drought conditions has been downgraded from exceptional and extreme to severe, moderate and abnormally dry, with the least severe classification making up the largest portion of our drought classification. Drought conditions in the upper north quarter of the state have been completely wiped out. Some farmers have had to wait to prepare their fields for spring planting, but the wait has been made easier knowing we’re going into the growing season with more water than we had last year. GFB has been working hard representing farmers in the Georgia General Assembly. Our priority issues include allowing cattle producers to vote in a referendum to decide whether to create a Georgia Beef Commission, funding for the state veterinary diagnostic labs, working to update commercial drivers license (CDL) regulations to allow farmers to take advantage of new federal CDL exemptions, and being engaged in legislation to amend the Flint River Drought Protection Act to make sure farmers’ needs are addressed. GFB also offered language to make sure farmers who hire immigrant workers are not accidently included in legal definitions to combat human trafficking. We had another terrific turnout for our annual Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol in February during which your organization was honored to have Gov. Nathan Deal speak to our members at

our legislative luncheon. When I read accounts of legislative action in other states, it reminds me that Georgia is fortunate to have a General Assembly whose members are willing to listen to Farm Bureau and carefully consider agriculture’s point of view. Gov. Deal is a longtime supporter of agriculture and it was in this spirit that he cautioned Georgia farmers to use the new Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program wisely so that potential critics of the program have no grounds to call for the program’s repeal. Everyone is still learning about this program as it just went into effect Jan. 1. The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) issued their guidance documents on the program in late January. Now that we have DOR guidance as to what does and doesn’t qualify for sales tax exemptions, it is imperative that Georgia’s farmers only use their GATE cards to get exemptions on eligible ag inputs. Farm Bureau and Georgia’s ag community worked too hard for too many years to get a uniform sales tax exemption program for us to lose it. See page 14 for a summary of the DOR eligibility guide. Share this information with your farming neighbors because it is in everyone’s best interest that all of Georgia’s farmers are well-informed about this program. GFB often works with other farm organizations to promote agriculture to the General Assembly. On March 1, GFB was proud to be a sponsor of Peanut Butter & Jelly Day at the Capitol, which is hosted annually by the Georgia Peanut Commission and the National See WE, THE FARMERS page 23

GFB President Zippy Duvall, far right, joined members of the Georgia Peanut Commission and other peanut leaders in promoting Georgia peanuts to members of the Georgia General Assembly during the annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Day at the Capitol March 1. 4 / April 2013



The Voice of Georgia Farmers

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

DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Wesley Hall, Cumming; Henry J. West, Rydal SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Marvin Ruark, Bishop; Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing FIFTH DISTRICT: Jim Ham, Smarr; Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville SIXTH DISTRICT: James Emory Tate, Denton; James Malone, Dexter SEVENTH DISTRICT: Ben Boyd, Sylvania; Gary Bell, Bellville EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Paul Shirah, Camilla; Lucius Adkins, Elmodel TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Alma; Daniel Johnson, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Garrett Ganas, Waycross WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Nanette Bryan, Summerville 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 Hurst and Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 6011, Vernon Hills, IL 60061, 1-800-397-8908. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2013 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.


Georgia Farm Bureau News

legislative update Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director

Supreme Court considers seed patent case On Feb. 19, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case between an Indiana soybean farmer and Monsanto on whether the farmer infringed on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready (RR) patent rights. The ruling could impact agriculture for years to come, no matter how it turns out. The case revolves around the RR genetic seed trait patented by Monsanto, which allows plants to tolerate application of the broad-spectrum herbicide, glyphosate. The value is that farmers can control weeds by simply spraying the entire field with glyphosate. Farmers have widely adopted this biotechnology. About 80 percent of the corn and virtually all cotton and soybeans planted in the U.S. are RR. When farmers buy the genetically modified seed, they are required to sign a contract stating they cannot save or sell seed for replanting. The particular case before the Supreme Court is Bowman v. Monsanto. Vernon Bowman is a 75-year-old Indiana farmer who grows 300 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat. He uses RR seed for his spring planting of soybeans. Bowman plants soybeans behind his wheat crop later in the summer. This second crop, which Bowman’s petition refers to as “wheat beans,” produces lower yields, so he was looking for a way to reduce his costs. In May 1999 Bowman wrote the first of several letters to Monsanto asking the company by what authority it could prohibit him from planting commodity beans purchased from an elevator. A month later, Monsanto responded saying the company considered it patent infringement. In 1999 Bowman bought a small load of soybeans from the local grain elevator straight out of the bin and no biotechnology contract was signed. Bowman planted those soybeans behind wheat, applied glyphosate, harvested the crop, and saved a portion of the crop as “wheat bean” seed. Correspondence between Bowman and Monsanto continued for several years. In one of these letters, Bowman asked, “Does

federal law prevent this or is it your purchase agreement,” pointing out that “there are millions of patented products made in America and resold legally.” In October 2007 Monsanto sued Bowman for willful patent infringement. Bowman argued that since there was no contract agreement associated with the purchase of the beans from the elevator, he was under no obligation to abide by it. The district court disagreed and ordered Bowman to pay Monsanto $85,000 in damages. The federal circuit court agreed with that ruling in September 2011, and Bowman, whose legal fees were being provided by others, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. During the oral arguments before the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts immediately went to the heart of the matter when he asked, “Why would anybody spend any money to try to improve the seed if, as soon as they sold the first one, anybody could grow more and have as many of those seeds as they want?” Bowman’s attorney argued the company could protect its interests by contract. Justice Elena Kagan called that answer “peculiarly insufficient,” pointing out that since seeds can replicate themselves, a single seed escaping a contract would render all other contracts worthless. Monsanto’s attorney compared the seed technology to other types of technology. “I can purchase (computer) software, and one reasonable use would be to make a dozen copies to give to my friends or sell on eBay - it’s a reasonable use, but it’s an infringing one,” she concluded. The implications of this case for agriculture are considerable, and many different groups have offered legal briefs on the issues surrounding it. The Center for Food Safety (CFS), an environmental group, urged the court to reverse the lower courts’ decisions and find Bowman did not infringe on Monsanto’s patent. In its brief, the CFS commented, “the intellectual property environment of transgenic crops has spurred the privatization and concentration of the world’s seed

supply.” CFS argued that overturning the decision would not seriously harm Monsanto but would slow the rate of seed supplier concentration and would “further the financial interests of the agricultural sector as a whole.” A completely different point of view was expressed in a brief prepared by the American Soybean Association and other commodity groups. Their brief pointed out that “without the protection of intellectual property afforded by the U.S. legal system, seed and biotechnology companies would not have undertaken the expensive and time-consuming research necessary to improve existing plant technology.” Neither American Farm Bureau nor any state Farm Bureau submitted a brief in this case. GFB supports farmers being allowed to save and replant genetically modified seed so long as they do not sell that seed to others, and GFB generally opposes seed company mergers. On the other hand, Farm Bureau’s biotechnology policy calls for “strong patent support to encourage these new technologies.” The Supreme Court will issue its decision by summer. Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Department.

Equine virus warning

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is urging horse owners who may have participated in the Horse Shows in the Sun held this winter in Ocala, Fla., to watch their horses for signs of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), a contagious virus that affects horses and can result in neurological disease, respiratory disease, abortion and neonatal death. The virus is spread by horse-to-horse contact via nasal secretions or contact with physical objects contaminated with the virus. The virus does not affect humans. The GDA asks Georgia’s equine community to report suspected cases of EHV-1 by calling 404-656-3671 or 404656-3667.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 5

GFB Day at Capitol spotlights ag issues By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker


Gov. Nathan Deal addressed GFB members during the GFB Day at the Capitol luncheon.

“As I told rural legislators recently, we have to be careful that we do not abuse the provisions of this [GATE] legislation. We can’t afford abuses because if it becomes apparent that they are happening then we will

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

eorgia Farm Bureau members traveled to Atlanta Feb. 12 for Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol where the organization was recognized in the Senate, and GFB members met with their legislators to discuss ag issues. “Today you showed the people in Atlanta the strength of Georgia agriculture and the strength of Georgia Farm Bureau. You bring the heart and soul of rural Georgia to Atlanta,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “Thank you for giving up your time to do such an important thing as coming to talk to your legislators.” Gov. Nathan Deal discussed the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program, budget allocations he has made for agriculture, and the Flint River Drought Protection Act (FRDPA) while speaking at the luncheon GFB hosted for its members, state officials and legislators at the Georgia Freight Depot.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, back row, far right, and other Senate leaders welcomed Georgia Farm Bureau leaders to the Georgia Senate on Feb. 12. Pictured front row, from left are: Sen. Tyler Harper, vice chairman of the Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee; Bonnie Duvall, GFB President Zippy Duvall and GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long; back row, from left, GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims, Sen. Jeff Mullis, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee; GFB Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr.; Sen. Burt Jones, vice chairman of the Senate State Institutions & Property Committee; and Sen. John Wilkinson, chairman of the Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee. 6 / April 2013

see action, I think, to retract what has been done on a good faith basis. It will require all of us to act in good faith to make sure the system is not abused,” Deal said. The Georgia Department of Revenue has released a list of ag inputs eligible for sales tax exemptions. See page 14 for more information about what qualifies for the exemption. Deal also outlined funding he included in the fiscal year 2014 budget proposal he presented to the General Assembly in January. Deal’s budget includes $500,000 to support the implementation of local water plans proposed by the regional water councils; a $25 million bond package for water supply projects, mostly in the form of reservoirs; $2.85 million in funding for the veterinary diagnostic labs in Athens and Tifton and significant money for the new veterinary school being built at the University of Georgia. Deal mentioned work the Environmental Protection Division is doing to reform the FRDPA including studies to improve stream flow and protect the river while providing adequate water for farmers. “I think if we all work together towards this common goal good things will happen,” Deal said. GFB members also heard about Senate Bill 97, which would allow Georgia beef producers to hold a referendum to decide if they want to create a state agricultural commodity commission for beef. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Sam Zamarripa, with The Essential Economy Council, gave Farm Bureau leaders an overview of work the council is doing to show the importance of manual labor jobs to Georgia’s economy.

During workshops at the Presidents’ Conference, Farm Bureau leaders learned how to recruit new members, strengthen their legislative efforts and build stronger overall county chapters.

GFB county leaders hear GATE & labor updates By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________


ounty Farm Bureau leaders attending the Georgia Farm Bureau Presidents’ Conference in Macon Jan. 31 got an update on the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program and heard about a year-long study The Essential Economy Council (TEEC) commissioned that shows 966,046 Georgians working manual labor jobs contributed $114.8 million in sales tax in 2011 and contributed $49 billion to Georgia’s Gross Domestic Product in 2010, about 12 percent of the state’s total GDP. “The Essential Economy Council is studying issues we need to consider about the state’s workforce so the Georgia General Assembly can discuss labor issues in a constructive way,” said Sam Zamarripa, TEEC co-founder and co-chairman. The Essential Economy includes laborintensive jobs such as crop harvesters, landscape crews, poultry processing workers, cooks, dishwashers, housekeepers, janitors and nursing home aides. Zamarripa said the four biggest threats to this segment of Georgia’s economy are: 1) an aging demographic, 2) young people not wanting to work in the segment as they aspire to better jobs due to the difficulty of the work 3) cost of increasing government regulations and 4) immigration issues. “If we’d had this data for House Bill 87 we would have had a much more moderate discussion about immigration,” Zamarripa said.

The EEC officially released its study Feb. 13 and study results may be viewed online at The Georgia Institute of Technology conducted the research utilizing state and federal data from 2003-2011. Jack Spruill, Georgia Department of Agriculture Marketing Division director, encouraged farmers who have not signed up for their GATE card to do so through the GDA website or by calling 1-855-FARM TAX (1-855-327-6829) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Since Jan. 1, farmers must show retailers a GATE card to receive sales tax exemptions on farm machinery and replacement parts, inputs such as seed, fertilizers, chemicals, fencing materials, feed and energy used to produce a commodity. Spruill also cautioned farmers to not abuse the GATE program so there is no ammunition for

ending the exemptions. “Per the Georgia Department of Revenue (GDR), it’s the responsibility of the GATE card holder to use the exemption correctly. Every purchase you make is not tax exempt. If you have a doubt that something is tax exempt demand to the retailer that you pay tax on it,” Spruill said. Things such as work clothes, on-road vehicles, office equipment/paper and materials used to build barns are not tax exempt according to preliminary information released by the GDR. See page 14 for more information about GATE. County leaders also heard details of GFB’s Spring Membership Contest, which runs Feb. 1 - April 1. One county from each of GFB’s districts will win prizes for having the highest combined total of percentage increase in membership and electronic fund transfers during the contest.

Cotton referendum passes

Georgia cotton growers reapproved the Georgia Cotton Commission for another three years with a 93 percent affirmative vote during the mail referendum held Feb. 4 through March 5. The commission promotes Georgia’s cotton crop through research, education and promotion activities. The commission also works as a liaison between Georgia cotton growers and the National Cotton Council and the Southern Cotton Growers Association, which represent the interests of Georgia producers in Washington, D.C. For more information about the commission contact Georgia Cotton Commission Executive Director Richey Seaton at or 478-988-4235.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 7

Ga. cotton growers optimistic despite industry challenges Lucas elected GCC chairman

By Jay Stone ___________________________________ oming off two extraordinary yield years, Georgia cotton growers are holding a positive, if guarded, outlook, even though they were presented with a number of challenges during the Georgia Cotton Commission’s annual meeting, held Jan. 30 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. “I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Dooly County grower and ginner Matt Coley. “The futures price for next year is hovering around 80 cents. There’s a lot of talk about some grain going in, but I still think cotton is going to be a competitive option for growers.” Cotton Inc. Vice President for Agricultural Research Dr. Kater Hake reviewed a number of programs the organization has implemented to aid growers, including a cotton irrigation guide, which can be viewed at, and cotton yield maps that help farmers employ precision application of inputs. The yield monitor/maps information can be seen at Southern Cotton Growers President

Photo by Jay Stone


Cotton Inc. Vice President for Agricultural Research Dr. Kater Hake told cotton growers attending the annual Ga. Cotton Commission meeting about an irrigation guide and yield maps that help farmers plan inputs.

Mike Tate emphasized the importance of building relationships with members of Congress, particularly those in their first terms and those in new committee positions. Cotton Council International Executive Director Kevin Latner emphasized

the importance of China in the world cotton market, noting that China has recently purchased more than 14 million bales of domestic cotton and has a stockpile of approximately 25 million bales in reserve, prompted by the Chinese government’s belief that the 2011 price run-up was the result of thinning stocks. National Cotton Council President Mark Lange discussed the factors affecting farm bill legislation. Lange said members of Congress are wrestling with the possibility of making five years of cuts on four years of farm programs. He expressed concern over the timetable of farm bill deliberations, which he said could stretch through the summer. “You may be almost getting ready to harvest this crop and still be uncertain as to what the rules are for the following crop,” Lange said. “We all anticipate that at some point, most likely for 2014, the farm programs that you operate under will be substantially different from the programs that you’ve seen essentially since 2002.” The growers had access to eight different presentations from UGA scientists in the Georgia Cotton Production Work(Continued next page)

The Georgia Quality Cotton Awards were presented Jan. 30 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The awards program is co-sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission and Bayer CropScience and administered by the University of Georgia Cotton Team to recognize producers and ginners of high-quality cotton fiber and to identify their management practices for the benefit of other growers. The producers and their gins each received a plaque, and the winning growers received a $500 cash award. The awards are based on loan value and premiums. Ronnie Courson of Lanier County won the Best Cotton Award as well as Category 1 in Region 3. The other winners: Region 1 - Category 1 (less than 500 acres), David Thompson (Pulaski County/Arabi Gin); Category 2 (500-1,000 acres), David Young and Marty Young (Turner County/Sconyers Gin, Turner County); Catetory 3 (more than 1,000 acres), Gary Oliver & Ben Shivers of SOS Farms (Turner County/Arabi Gin). Region 2 - Category 1, Van Hiebert (Jefferson County/Midville Warehouse Inc.); Category 2 Herbie Dixon (Burke County/Midville Warehouse Inc.) Region 3 - Category 2, Kevin Shaw of Riverbottom Farms (Lanier County/BCT Gin); Category 3, Greg and Glyn Register (Lanier County/BCT Gin). Region 4 - Category 1, Billy Grant (Seminole County/Clover Leaf Gin); Category 2, Brad Thompson of Thompson Family Farms (Seminole County/Clover Leaf Gin); Category 3, Parker Heard of Heard Family Farms (Decatur County/Clover Leaf Gin). 8 / April 2013

Photo courtesy of Ga. Cotton Commission

Ga. Quality Cotton Award winners named

Ronnie Courson of Lanier County received the 2012 Best Cotton Award for growing cotton with the highest loan value of 57.134 cents/lb. and a premium of 5.134 cents/ lb. amongst the cotton recognized in the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards program.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

(Continued from previous page) shop, held simultaneously with the GCC annual meeting, ranging from economics and marketing to insect and pest management and new varieties. The GCC board also met on Jan. 30 and elected Mike Lucas of Bleckley County as chairman. Lucas, who is the Bleckley County Farm Bureau president, replaced Louie Perry as chairman of the GCC. Perry’s term expired in 2012. Wavell RobinLucas son of Brooks County was elected vice chairman, and Bart Davis Jr. of Colquitt County was appointed to the board to fill the seat vacated by Perry. The other GCC board members are Lee Cromley of Bulloch County and Marvin Ruark of Morgan County. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall are ex officio members.

Nominate a farm mom to win $10,000

Nominations are being accepted for the 2013 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year Contest until 11:59 p.m. on April 23. To nominate someone for the award, visit http:// nominate. Complete rules and nomination instructions are available at http://www. aspx. Nominations may also be submitted

by mail to Osborn & Barr, Attn: America’s Farm Mom of the Year, 914 Spruce Street, St. Louis, MO 63102. A panel of judges from American Agri-Women and Monsanto will select the five regional winners. Online voting will determine the national winner, who will be announced on May 12. Each regional winner receives $5,000, and the national winner gets another $5,000.

Specialty Crop Grants applications available The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is accepting applications for the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grants to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. A list of all eligible crops is available at AMSv1.0/scbgp Georgia is receiving about $1.13 million for the grants from the USDA contingent on federal funding availability. Grants are expected to range from $10,000 to $150,000 per project and will be awarded for up to three years. GDA’s intent is to fund projects

that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to specialty crop producers, in relation to each dollar spent. Grant applications must be received by GDA by April 15 at 4:30 p.m. Please refer to the links on the GDA grants webpage located at for the grant application and guidelines. For more information contact GDA Director of Grants Development & Compliance Jeanne Maxwell by phone at 404657-1584 or by email at Jeanne.Maxwell@

Grow Your Agriculture Business Purchase or refinance the agricultural equipment you need today to grow your business for the future. Plus take advantage of your membership with dedicated service, special rates, flexible terms and payment plans up to seven full years. We make financing easy!

Contact your local Farm Bureau agent to apply today Existing Farm Bureau Bank equipment loans are excluded from this offer. *Rate disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and based on exceptional credit. Some restrictions may apply based upon the make and model of equipment offered as collateral. Up to 90% financing for new and 85% for used equipment. Loans subject to credit approval. Rates are accurate as of 01/25/2013. Rates and financing are limited to farm equiment model years 2003 or newer and are subject to change without notice. A down payment may be required for new or used equipment purchases. Financial information required for loan requests over $50,000. Commercial vehicles and trailers may be subject to an additional documentation fee. Farm Bureau Bank does not provide equity or cash-out financing on commercial vehicles and equipment. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank FSB. EQUAL HOUSING


Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 9

commodities/marketing update Don McGough, Joe McManus, Taylor Sills

Wheat season just around the corner

This is another exciting year to grow wheat in Georgia. With volatile swings in the price of wheat on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the drought situation in the Midwest, there are still uncertainties about the wheat market. This year, Georgia has planted 410,000 acres of wheat, up significantly from the 280,000 acres planted last year. Yield in Georgia was 49 bushels per acre last year, in spite of dry weather. This year, plentiful rains have Georgia’s wheat crop looking extremely good, though it is not out of the dark yet. Nationally, acreage is only three percent above last year, despite higher prices, due to poor planting conditions in the Midwest. Prices for wheat have fallen significantly

in the past few months, but are still better than past years. This year, wheat prices are being dictated by the drought in the Midwest and export demand. If the drought in the grain belt continues, prices will bounce back to some of their recent high levels, but if the drought recedes, prices will drop to near traditional levels. Basis levels for this crop started off above the market, but have since fallen off with some buyers more than a dollar under the CBOT. The Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity/Marketing Department is dedicated to working for our farmer members. The best avenues for grain may not be the most obvious. It is always best 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, please call us at 800342-1196. Taylor Sills is a marketing specialist in the GFB Commodities/Marketing Department. Joe McManus is assistant director of the department. Both manage the grain desk.

The Georgia Boll Weevil Eradication Program (BWEP) has made much progress over the years and has helped establish Georgia as the second cotton producing state behind Texas. Program costs have dropped dramatically with the 2013 assessment remaining 50 cents per bale, the same rate as 2012. The weevil has been pushed across the U.S. and is now largely contained to the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. The growers in that area have been battling the weevil for years and face several major obstacles. Obviously, the drug cartels in that area make it a dangerous place to work and run an effective program. This area is also sub-tropical and volunteer cotton appears with regularity in many fields. Most winters are not cold enough to kill the plants, and since cotton is a perennial, the plants keep growing. Cotton growing year-round makes it difficult to control the boll weevil. The National Cotton Council’s Boll Weevil Action Committee has put together a plan to involve all states in maintaining that very important buffer zone. The proposal is to assess up to 75 cents 10 / April 2013

Photo courtesy of USDA, ARS

Ga. Boll Weevil Eradication Program makes progress

per acre on each acre of cotton grown in areas of the U.S. where the weevil is eradicated. Through the 2012 crop year, Georgia cotton farmers have paid more than $143 million since the inception of the eradication program. This huge investment is simply too valuable to risk on possible reinfestation, which could occur if the Texas situation goes unchecked. As a result, the Georgia BWE Foundation voted unani-

mously to support the council’s proposal. The Georgia Farm Bureau Cotton Advisory Committee is also unanimously endorsing the foundation’s position. While no one wants to pay an additional fee, 75 cents per acre is a small price to pay to keep the weevil away from Georgia. This additional assessment would take effect with the 2014 crop. Don McGough is director of the GFB Commodities/Marketing Department. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Capitol ceremony, luncheon held to celebrate equine youth champions More than 150 youth equine champions were honored for their accomplishments at the Georgia State Capitol on Feb. 5. The group was recognized in the Georgia Senate, where a proclamation sponsored by Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee Chairman John Wilkinson was read declaring the day Youth Equine Champions Day in Georgia. As a part of the event, the Georgia Farm Bureau Equine Committee sold chances to win a saddle and raised $1,375 for the Georgia 4-H Foundation. The event featured a luncheon at the Georgia Depot, where the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

Youth equine champions met Gov. Nathan Deal (front row center) during their visit to the Georgia Capitol on Feb. 5.

Equine presented each youth champion with a certificate. The group included eight world champions, numerous world championship qualifiers and numerous national qualifiers across a wide range of competitive disciplines. “The most important thing about this is honoring these kids and getting them in front of their legislators, to let them know

that they have constituents in the equine industry who are important to them and understand the impact they have in their various areas,” said Equine Commission Chairman Jim Gibby. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black also spoke during the luncheon, stressing the importance of direct interaction with legislators.


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Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 11

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

International trade key topic at Ag Forecast meetings By Jay Stone ___________________________________

Falls encouraged the audience to investigate how agriculture might benefit. “A downturn in one economy is offset by a boom in another,” said Falls, who has worked in international trade with the DEcD for 27 years. “I have seen more interest in exporting in the past three years than I’ve seen in the other years. A lot of that has to do with the downturn in the U.S. economy. Folks are looking overseas for other opportunities.” The state’s exports in 2011 totaled $34.7 billion. At the port of Savannah, the second-largest U.S. container port for exports, (Continued next page)

With the expectation that Georgia farmers could have opportunities to expand their business through international exports, the 2013 Ag Forecast Meetings highlighted global trade. Kathe Falls of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (DEcD) provided the keynote address, outlining what her department does to facilitate exports of Georgia commodities. Falls noted that international trade provides more than 187,000 jobs for Georgians, and the DEcD provides a variety of export-related services.

Kathe Falls, director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development International Trade Team, discussed the importance of ag exports to Georgia’s economy during the Ag Forecast meeting held at Georgia Farm Bureau Jan. 29. Georgia leads the nation in exports of wood pulp, poultry, pecans, aluminum, minerals/ores and textile floor coverings, Falls said, and 39% of the exports at the Port of Savannah are ag commodities.

Farmers encouraged to drive safely during planting season

12 / April 2013

Photo by Jay Stone

As the planting season gets underway, farmers are reminded to take safety precautions as they drive farm equipment between fields on public roads. To promote road safety during planting season, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety held a media event March 7 at Branch Farm Supply in Appling County. The event, organized by Appling County young farmer instructor Jim Galvin, drew a crowd of about 60 people, including representatives from various law enforcement agencies. “We’re getting to the time of year where we’re going to be planting spring crops. We want to make the public aware that this equipment is out there, and it is generally slow-moving,” Galvin said. Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood detailed “Improving Georgia’s Yield Behind the Wheel,” the GOHS program aimed at reducing accidents involving farm equipment. Blackwood noted that while 38 fewer people were killed overall on Georgia roads in 2012 than in 2011, six people were killed in crashes involving farm equipment in 2012, up from five in 2011. “We want to make sure that our friends

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

The orange triangles on the harrow and the tractor indicate a slow-moving vehicle. Farmers should ensure that these signs are clearly visible on their equipment to warn drivers of passenger vehicles to reduce their speed.

Appling County Farm Bureau President Randy Branch, red shirt, points out safety features on his tractor to Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood during a safety event held at his farm supply business.

in agriculture have an opportunity to get from field to field safely,” Blackwood said. “One of our goals is to bring this number of farm equipment fatalities to zero. We can do that.” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black talked about the importance of being safe on the roads, encouraging farmers

to make sure the safety markings on their equipment are visible and to allow passenger vehicles to pass when possible. “If, by drawing attention to these important issues, we can have a positive impact on one family in the state of Georgia by preventing an accident, then it is worth the effort,” Black said. Georgia Farm Bureau News

(Continued from previous page) 39 percent of the exports were agricultural commodities in FY 2012. Falls pointed out that 97 percent of exporters are smallto-medium-size companies and many of them export to diversify their risk. For more information about the department’s services, visit or call 404-962-4122. Overall, 2013 is expected to be a favorable year for agriculture according to UGA Economist Dr. Curt Lacy, who spoke Jan. 29 in Macon at the third installment of the forecast series. The seminars were held in six locations around the state and drew more than 850 attendees. Lacy said crop prices are expected to remain firm, in general, both nationwide and in Georgia, but rainfall in the Midwest and the U.S. economic recovery would be key factors in agriculture’s success in 2013. Input costs are expected to continue rising. Meat supplies are expected to decline in 2013 after remaining the same from 2011 to 2012, and Lacy said prices for steers and slaughter cows could rise slight-

ly in 2013 and 2014, attributable largely to drought conditions in the Midwest, which affect feed supplies and prices and drive herd decisions by livestock owners. “When you’re looking at these grain markets and some of these livestock markets, you really don’t need an economist,” Lacy said. “What you need is somebody who’s a fortune teller, somebody who can tell you whether it’s going to rain or not. That’s what’s going to make the difference this year in whether we have $5 [per bushel]

corn or $8 corn.” Lacy said that commodity prices for corn, sorghum, soybeans and wheat are all expected to increase, while those for cotton and peanuts are expected to decline. Peach County pecan and peach grower Al Pearson shared his experiences exporting both of his major crops, saying exports were going very well for pecans with the expansion of the market in China since 1998, but exporting peaches had presented many more hurdles.

GFVGA, Muscadine Association install new officers

The Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association named new leadership during the Southeast Region Fruit and Vegetable Conference in January. Jamie Brannen of Statesboro was named the new GFVGA president, replacing outgoing president Dick Minor. Brannen is a salesman for Sweet Vidalia Farms, a subsidiary of Curry & Company Produce of Oregon. Greg Ison was elected president of the Georgia Muscadine Association. Ison, the 2000 winner of the GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet, is president of Ison’s Nursery & Vineyard in Spalding County.

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Sydgen Trust 6228 (CED +9, BW -0.8, WW +54, YW +89, Milk +29). For more information or to receive a catalogue, call the Monroe County Extension at (478) 994-7014. Web info at • Email; Type HERD in the subject line.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 13

DOR issues GATE guidelines

Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ In late January the Georgia Department of Revenue released a bulletin that includes lists of items eligible and not eligible for sales tax exemptions under the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program. As of Jan. 1, 2013, to receive sales tax exemptions on eligible farm input costs, farmers must obtain a GATE certificate from the Georgia Department of Agriculture that they must show merchants when purchasing items eligible for the tax exemption. The GATE certificate replaces the DOR Agricultural Certificate of Exemption (Form ST-A1) that farmers previously used to receive tax exemptions. GATE expanded the scope of ag inputs eligible for tax exemptions and made the exemptions uniform for all types of farmers as long as they meet production qualifications. To qualify for a GATE certificate, an applicant must meet one of the following qualifications: 1) produce a minimum of $2,500 of ag products annually 2) provide a minimum of $2,500 worth of ag services annually 3) maintain orchards, timber or other multi-year products with the longterm capacity to produce $2,500 annually or 4) own property that qualifies for the Conservation Use Value Assessment or Forestland Protection Act. GATE cards are not transferable to other parties not listed as purchasers on the card. Based on the DOR bulletin, key points GATE cardholders should consider are: 1) Farmers aren’t exempt from all sales tax. Exemptions only apply to inputs used in ag production. 2) If a farmer receives an exemption that is later denied through an audit, the farmer is responsible for the unpaid taxes and applicable penalties. 3) Inputs are exempt based on whether they are used as an input for agricultural production. Fertilizer spread on pasture or cropland is exempt. Fertilizer spread on a personal garden or yard isn’t. 4) Equipment used for production agriculture more than 50 percent of the time is exempt from sales tax; otherwise it isn’t. 5) Building materials are generally not exempt from sales tax under GATE. 14 / April 2013


• M  achinery & Equipment used in qualifying ag operations: – Tractors & tractor attachments –M  achinery & equipment used to clean & maintain poultry houses & premises • Hand tools & chainsaws • Employee safety equipment (even if typically considered a consumable supply) • Off-road equipment & related attachments • All non-motorized trailers used to haul ag products, including livestock trailers & trailers used on public roads to haul finished products • ATVs & UTVs • Repair & Replacement parts: – For tractors & other farm machinery & equipment, including tires, batteries, spark plugs, motor oils, oil filters, greases, lubes & hydraulic fluids • Ag inputs when used in a qualifying ag operation • Seed, seedlings, plants grown from seed, cuttings or liners • Fertilizers, insecticides & fungicides

• L  ivestock & poultry feeds, drugs & instruments to administer drugs • Fencing materials • Animal feed • Cattle, hogs, sheep, equine, poultry or bees for breeding purposes • Ice & other refrigerants used to process for market or chill ag products in storage facilities or delivery trucks • Materials, containers, labels, sacks & bags used to pack ag products • Energy used in a qualifying ag operation: – Dyed diesel used to power off-road machinery & equipment – Electricity to power irrigation machinery (To qualify for the GATE exemption, energy used in ag production must be metered separately from energy used for non-ag purposes, unless the energy used for the non-ag purpose represents 10% or less of total energy supplied by the meter. A meter supplying energy to a personal residence doesn’t qualify for GATE exemption even if the meter also supplies energy for an ag use.)


• Motor vehicles: – Any motorized vehicle designed for on-road use • Replacement parts for on-road motor vehicles • Real Property Power lines & electrical wiring Real property & fixtures to real property • Materials used by a contractor • Machinery & Equipment • Administrative machinery & equipment • Consumable Supplies: – Readily disposable chemicals & detergents used for cleaning • Animals & Animal Management: – Tangible personal property & services used for the feeding, breeding or management of domestic pets (e.g., dog food) • Energy – On-road motor fuels & aviation gas Energy used to power a personal residence

– Energy used for administrative activities The above list is reprinted from the DOR bulletin SUT-2013-01-28 and is intended to provide general guidance. It is not all inclusive and doesn’t guarantee the tax treatment of any particular transaction. Contact the DOR for guidance or assistance on what items are tax exempt at 877-423-6711 or via email at taxpayer. There is no deadline to apply for the GATE card; the application process is ongoing. Certificates will expire each year on Dec. 31 and must be renewed annually. Applications may be completed online at the Georgia Department of Agriculture website http://www.agr. Call 1-855-FARM TAX (1855-327-6829) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays for assistance with the application process. Georgia Farm Bureau News

Soybean Expo examines RR patents, kudzu bugs Ga./Fla. Soybean Association elects officers

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

Photo by Jay Stone


he 2013 Georgia/Florida Soybean/ Small Grain Expo, held Jan. 24 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter, gave Georgia soybean growers insights into what will happen when the patents for Roundup Ready soybean seeds expire and how to control kudzu bugs. With the Roundup Ready patent for soybean seeds in the U.S. expiring in 2014, Georgia seed Development Center Executive Director Dr. Robert Boerma told growers that while the expiration of the patent means they’ll no longer have to pay technology fees to Monsanto for the Roundup Ready trait, most seed varieties have multiple patents governing their use. Roberts also presented information on controlling kudzu bugs, an invasive pest that consumes the stems and leaf stalks of soybean plants, though not the pods. Roberts said they typically have greatest impact at field edges and populations tend to be higher in early-planted soybeans. Roberts noted that kudzu bugs are easy to kill with contemporary pesticides. The Georgia/Florida Soybean Association also presented its production and extension awards during the meeting. Spalding County farmers Bobby and Brian Ogletree won the dryland production award, yielding 68 bushels per acre. Washington County’s Glenn Waller won the irrigated category, producing 77.6 bushels per acre. Effingham County Extension Coordinator Bill Tyson and UGA Professor of Entomology Dr. Phillip Roberts

Winners of the 2012 Georgia/Florida Soybean Association Production Awards are, from left, Bobby and Brian Ogletree of Spalding County and Glenn Waller of Washington County. The Ogletrees won the dryland category, yielding 68 bushels per acre. Waller won the irrigated category, producing 77.6 bushels per acre.

were presented with 2013 Extension Awards. The association also elected its 2013 officers and board members. Walter Godwin of Mitchell County was elected president. Joe Moore of Gordon County was elected vice president, and Steve Yoder Jr. of Calhoun County, Fla., was elected secretary/ treasurer. Grower members are Thomas Kessler of Effingham County, Lanair Worsham Jr. of Mitchell County and Brian Ogletree of Spalding County. UGA professors Dr. Roger Boerma and Dr. Jared Whitaker were appointed as directors for education. Lane Morrell of Mitchell County and GFB Marketing Specialist Taylor Sills were appointed as directors for industry. Godwin will represent the association on the United Soybean board and Moore

will be the American Soybean Association representative. On Jan. 23, the Georgia Agricultural

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 15

young farmer update Jed Evans, Young Farmer Coordinator

Photo by Andy Lucas

Young Farmers travel to D.C.

Sens. Saxby Chambliss, pictured far left, and Johnny Isakson, pictured far right, met with the GFB Young Farmers visiting Washington, D.C., in the Senate Agriculture Committee Room on March 6.


raving snow flurries and ice from a winter storm, a group of 31 young farmers from across Georgia traveled to Washington, D.C., March 5-8 as part of the 28th annual trip hosted by the GFB Young Farmer Committee. After AFBF and GFB legislative staff briefed the group on priority issues, the young farmers met with Georgia’s congressional delegation to discuss the farm bill, farm labor and immigration, climate

change and livestock regulations. Rep. Austin Scott joined the group for breakfast on March 7 and encouraged the young farmers to work with their elected officials to ensure sound agricultural policy is set in place. A number of Congressmen working through the inclement weather met with the group. GFB President Zippy Duvall also addressed the young farmers, sharing the importance of meeting with their elected officials and

AFBF YF&R National Leadership Conference

Pictured from left, Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers attending the AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., were: BJ & Kaci Marks, Newton County; Matt & Ivy Oliver, Macon County; Chris Rogers, Jefferson County; GFB YF Coordinator Jed & Shanna Evans; Committee Chairmen Garrett & Nydia Ganas, Ware County; Committee Vice Chairmen Jacob & Emily Nolan, Wayne County; AFBF YF Committee members Jake & Jennifer Carter, Henry County; Marcus & Neely South, Upson County; Matthew London, White County and Earnest Nichols, Newton County. 16 / April 2013

telling their story. In addition to visiting Capitol Hill, the young farmers had the chance to tour D.C. For many, it was their first visit to our nation’s capitol. “This trip is a great chance for young farmers to visit Washington, D.C., meet with our elected officials and share how these issues affect us as producers,” said GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Garrett Ganas from Ware County.

The theme for the conference held Feb. 8-11 and attended by nearly 1,000 young farmers from across the country was “Celebrating Tradition, Embracing Change.” The Georgia delegation participated in leadership development activities and heard several motivational speakers. Mark Mayfield, a former corporate lobbyist turned humorist, gave a great speech called “The Glass Ain’t Half Empty, It’s Just Too Big!” during which he encouraged young farmers to be creative as they cope with change on their farms and in their lives. Former Navy Commander Michael Abrashoff shared his “Leadership Roadmap” with the group. The group also toured some of Arizona’s farmland and helped judge the AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet. Georgia Farm Bureau News

The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee is accepting entries for its 4th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest - 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 and 11 Honorable Mentions - $75 each. The winner of the member category will be featured on the front of the 2014 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 two entries per person. All photos must have been shot in Georgia in 2012 or 2013. Photos altered in any way will not be judged. All photos be-

come the property of GFB. Digital photos must be sent as a JPEG file attachment via email to by 4:30 p.m. on April 26. If children or people are included in photos, you must complete a model release entry form that must be received by GFB by 4:30 p.m. April 26 via fax or U.S. mail. Visit your county Farm Bureau office for contest rules, entry instructions and the model release form or visit the GFB website at http:// Contest winners will be posted on the

GFB website in early August and featured in the fall issue of GFB’s Georgia Neighbors magazine.

May 10 deadline for YF Achievement & Excellence in Ag Awards GFB is accepting applications for the Young Farmer Achievement Award and the new Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award. GFB members between the ages of 18-35 may apply for

YF Discussion Meet, Leadership Conference deadline May 31

The preliminary rounds of the 2013 GFB YF Discussion Meet will be held during the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island July 1214. The four finalists will compete for the state title at the GFB Convention Dec. 8. May 31 is the deadline to enter the contest and register for the conference. The state discussion meet winner will receive an Arctic Cat 500 ATV and an expense-paid trip to the 2014 AFBF Convention in San Antonio, Texas, to compete for national honors. The AFBF winner will receive a 2014 Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck. Visit your local Farm Bureau office for more details about the contest or conference.

these awards. The Achievement Award will recognize an outstanding young farmer or couple whose primary income is derived from farming. The Excellence in Agriculture Award will recognize an outstanding individual whose primary income is not derived from farming. Extension agents, FFA advisors and ag lenders are examples of individuals who may apply for this award. The deadline to enter these contests

is May 10. Applications are available at county Farm Bureau offices. Three finalists will be named for each contest at the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island July 12-14. The state winner of each award will be announced during the GFB convention in December. Winners will compete at the AFBF Convention next January for the chance to win a 2014 Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 17

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April 26 deadline to enter GFB Photography Contest

4-H & FFA members learn life National Livestock Show Almost 1,600 Georgia 4-H and FFA members braved wet, rainy conditions to compete in the 2013 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held Feb. 20-24 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. After months of preparing their animals for the big show they didn’t let bad weather keep them out of the ring. “Some of the students competing in the show grew up on farms and some did not. This may be some of the students’ only exposure to agriculture,” said Ben Lastly, Georgia FFA executive secretary. “Participating in this event means they have to care for a life other than their own. They’ve gotten up when it’s cold and broken ice to make sure the animals had water and fed them before school and before dark.” The exhibitors showed more than 2,000 head of livestock in showmanship and species competitions. Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the grand champion prizes for all species shown. “Georgia Farm Bureau is dedicated to helping the 4-H and FFA programs in this state because what these programs do for the youth of Georgia is important. The young people who compete in this show learn a work ethic and sense of responsibility they can carry with them throughout their lives to make them successful when they get a job,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. Decatur County FFA member Hannah Bius won the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer Award of $2,500 with her Shorthorn

crossbred heifer. Bius, a junior at Bainbridge High School, has shown cattle since she was eight. She is the daughter of Martin and Denise Bius. Decatur County 4-Her Taylor Barber won the Grand Champion Market Barrow prize of $1,500 with her crossbred hog. Barber, a sixth-grader at Hutto Middle School, is the daughter of Jeff and Leslie Barber, and has shown five years. Echols County FFA member Cody Corbett won the Grand Champion Market Steer Award of $5,000 with his Chi-influenced steer. Corbett, a junior at Echols County High School, has shown cattle eight years. He is the son of Stanley and Angie Corbett. His twin, Clay, also competed in the grand champion round, placing fourth in the competition. Jasper County 4-Her Lawton Harris won the Grand Champion Commercial Dairy Heifer Award of $1,000 with her Jersey. Harris, a sixth-grader at Piedmont Academy, is the daughter of Hal and Amy Harris. This is her second year showing dairy cattle. Jeff Davis County 4-Her Chanleigh Underwood won the Grand Champion Market Gilt Award of $1,500. Underwood, a fourthgrader at Jeff Davis Elementary School, has shown four years. She is the daughter of Autumn and Chad Underwood. Gordon County FFA member John Romero won the Grand Champion Breeding Ewe Award of $1,000. A junior at Gordon Central High School, Romero is the son of Jose Romero and Rosa Gonzalez, and has shown two years.

Decatur County FFA member Hannah Bius, second from right, won the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer Award with her Shorthorn crossbred heifer at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 22. Pictured from left, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall presents the $2,500 prize check to Bius as fitters Raymond Gonnet, Jerrod Arthur and calf procurer Clint McCauley join judges Wes Henderson and Jack Ward in congratulating parents Martin and Denise Bius, Hannah, and her brother Will.

Decatur County 4-H member Taylor Barber won the Grand Champion Market Barrow with her crossbred hog at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 22. Pictured from left, GFB President Zippy Duvall presents the $1,500 prize check to Barber as judge Travis Platt congratulates her.

Article & Photos by Jennifer Whittaker _________________________________________________________

18 / April 2013

Georgia Farm Bureau News

skills by competing in Ga. Jr. Georgia 4-H Livestock Program Coordinator Heather Schultz acknowledges that showing animals requires a team approach with support from family, friends, 4-H agents or FFA advisors. “It takes a village to walk one of these animals into the ring,” Schultz said. “Whether it’s support going out and selecting a proj-

ect animal or finding the right nutritional program and exercise program.” GFB will host a celebration dinner for the grand champion winners, their parents and 4-H agent or FFA advisor on March 29 at the GFB office in Macon.

Jeff Davis County 4-Her Chanleigh Underwood, holding trophy, won the Grand Champion Market Gilt Award with her hog, Tootsie, at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 23. Pictured from left, GFB President Zippy Duvall presents the $1,500 prize check to Chanleigh’s mother, Autumn, and sister, Jaci, as judge Travis Platt and father Chad Underwood offer congratulations.

Echols County FFA member Cody Corbett, far right, won the Grand Champion Market Steer Award with his Chi-influenced steer at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 23. Pictured from left, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall presents the $5,000 prize check to Corbett as members of his show team offer congratulations including Danny Mauldin, Andy Carter, Linda Gray, Bob Corbett, Stanley and Angie Corbett, Shelby Corbett, Clay Corbett, show Judge Wes Henderson (not part of show team) and Steve Gray.

Gordon County FFA member John Romero, second from right, won the Grand Champion Breeding Ewe Award at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 24. Pictured from left, GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans presents the $1,000 prize check to Romero as judge Ryan Mortvedt and James Woodard, Georgia Junior Livestock Foundation director, offer congratulations.

Jasper County 4-H member Lawton Harris won the Grand Champion Commercial Dairy Heifer Award with her Jersey calf at the 2013 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Feb. 23. As the grand champion, Harris won a $1,000 prize sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. GFB President Zippy Duvall, left, presents the prize check to Harris and her mother, Amy.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 19


News from County Farm Bureaus

ATKINSON COUNTY The Atkinson County Farm Bureau recently donated $500 to both the Atkinson County FFA and the Atkinson County 4-H programs. ACFB President Henry McKinnon, center, presents the checks to Atkinson County FFA advisor Jordan Rowland, right, and to Atkinson County Extension Agent Mark Von Waldner, left. ACFB is pleased to be able to help the future farmers and future leaders of its community.

BROOKS COUNTY Brooks County Farm Bureau (BCFB) celebrated Valentine’s Day with an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for their new office. Pictured from left, BCFB President Andrew Thompson, BCFB Director  Larry Lodge, BCFB Director  Carter McDonald, GFB President Zippy Duvall, Quitman-Brooks County Chamber of Commerce (QBCCC) President Lauren Basford, BCFB Director Clint Webb, and QBCCC Directors Chris Cunningham and Patrick Stalvey cut the ribbon.  After the ribbon cutting, BCFB served attendees a lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs. BCFB President Thompson noted that multiple years of discussions went into the decision to build the office, which he said was constructed without BCFB incurring any debt or suspending its support of local livestock shows and scholarships for local students. CHARLTON COUNTY Charlton County Farm Bureau sponsored the local FFA/4-H Hog Show held at the Charlton County High School Barn Feb.18. The show had 16 exhibitors who showed a total of 26 hogs.  Several of the winners went on to compete at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in Perry Feb. 20-24. CCFB has sponsored the local FFA/4-H Hog Show for several years and donated $1,500 of the $6,000 in prizes awarded at this year’s show. 20 / April 2013

Charlton County

CHEROKEE COUNTY Cherokee County Farm Bureau (CCFB) staff and volunteer members served as judges for the Northwest Georgia FFA Discussion Meet Career Development Event held this winter at Etowah High School in Woodstock. Pictured from left are, CCFB Office Manager Shirley Pahl; Molly Childs, CCFB Young Farmer Committee member; Liz Porter, CCFB Women’s Committee member; Lesia Higgins, CCFB Women’s Committee member; and Matt Roper, CCFB Young Farmer Committee chairman. CRAWFORD COUNTY Crawford County Farm Bureau President Edd Harris recently visited Andrea Seagraves’ kindergarten class to talk to the students about dairy farming. Harris and CCFB member Daryl Baxley built a wooden model of a dairy cow so the students could experience milking a cow. The “udder” is made of four calf bottles placed upside down in a shelf running between the two sides of the cow. To milk the cow, kids pull the bottle nipples. The bottles were filled with milk diluted with water and a garbage bag was placed under the milk bucket to protect the class floor from milk that didn’t make it into the bucket. Harris, seated at right, read the book “Out and About at the Dairy Farm” to the students.   Georgia Farm Bureau News

DOUGHERTY COUNTY Dougherty County Farm Bureau hosted a farmer appreciation lunch in December attended by more than 33 local farmers, their spouses and members of the local agribusiness community. Attendees enjoyed their choice of a fish fry lunch with all the trimmings or chicken. Door prizes, including two $25 Tractor Supply gift cards, were awarded. GFB 9th District Field Rep. Jeff Nunnery gave the farmers an overview of the new Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program and explained how to apply for the GATE card that’s now required to get sales tax exemptions on farm inputs.

Appreciation Day last fall. OCFB advertised the event with an ad in the local paper. Members attending the event enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs cooked by OCFB Secretary/Treasurer David Williams and member Randy Wilkes along with chips, cookies, brownies and granola squares made with soybeans to promote Farm Bureau’s commodity of the year. A soybean display educated members about products that contain soybeans or soybean derivatives, such as soy milk, soy oil and ground soy. OCFB also distributed brochures with soybean facts. Three lucky members won door prizes of a FB cooler, t-shirt and hat.

HANCOCK COUNTY HCFB participated in a countywide cleanup Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Left to right is Women’s Committee Chairman Nancy Kennedy, Mallory and Lillie Webster and their mom, HCFB Office Manager Kellie Webster.

TROUP COUNTY Troup County Farm Bureau recently presented 220 Georgia AGtivity Books to a local elementary school’s pre-K, kindergarten and first grade classrooms. The AGtivity book, which helps promote agricultural awareness, is titled “Following Food from the Farm to the Fork”. Troup County Farm Bureau Office Manager Tina Yearta, back row, right, presents the books to kindergarten teacher Angela Branch and some of the students who will enjoy the books.

HART COUNTY Hart County Farm Bureau donated a 24-foot cattle trailer to the Hart County FFA to be used by middle and high school FFA members traveling to livestock competitions. Participating in the presentation were, pictured left to right, front row: HCHS FFA Teacher Anna Smith, Hart County FB President Larry Haley, HCMS FFA Teacher Robin Wall, FFA students Brett Breedlove, Lee Ayers, Cody Fleeman, Alyssa Myers and HCFB Women’s Committee Chair Kay Cleveland; back row, l-r: HCFB Directors Ed Roberts, Nick McGee, Brian McGee, William Cothran, Bobby McLane, Aaron Isbell, Scott Senkbeil, Jerry Fleming and Ralph Kotal. OCONEE COUNTY Oconee County Farm Bureau held its 2nd Annual Member

WALKER COUNTY Walker County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chairman Louise Smith, far right, back, WCFB Office Manager Kyla Compton, far right, kneeling, and WCFB Customer Service Representative Andrea Maddox, left, kneeling, visited three Walker County schools to teach students about soybeans, the commodity Georgia Farm Bureau is promoting this year. The WCFB volunteers taught the students how farmers grow and harvest soybeans and discussed the many products made from soybeans. The volunteers read a book about soybeans and helped the students make soybean necklaces.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 21

Gordon County farms devastated by tornado At least three Gordon County farms sustained major damage in the Jan. 30 tornado that ripped through five North Georgia counties, destroying hundreds of homes and causing at least one death. Gordon County Farm Bureau Vice President Gerry Weaver, who runs a horse and cattle operation east of Calhoun, lost his home, horse barn, garage, about 4,000 feet of fencing and had equipment damaged. The barn provided storage for Weaver’s tack and feed supplies that support his stable of 65 horses and herd of 60 beef cattle. Weaver, who was traveling to Macon for the GFB County Presidents’ Conference when the storm hit, received a call from his wife Carolyn informing him of the damage, prompting his return to Calhoun. Weaver said seven stallions were in the barn when the tornado rendered it a haphazard pile of boards and debris. The animals survived with nothing more than cuts and bruises, he said. “You just wonder why,” said Weaver, whose farm sustained lesser damage from another tornado in December 2011. “Things happen. You’ve just got to work your way through them and start over, I guess.” Weaver said he plans to rebuild both

Watch the Georgia Farm Monitor!

Photo by Jay Stone

By Jay Stone ___________________________________

Gordon County Farm Bureau Vice President Gerry Weaver looks over what’s left of his horse barn following a Jan. 30 tornado.

his house and the barn. His stallions have been housed at another area ranch while he rebuilds his barn. Six weeks after the storm, he said he was about halfway through the cleanup process. Two Gordon County poultry farmAlbany (HD) WALB - NBC 10.1 WALB - ABC 10.2 Sunday / 6:30 am AUGUSTA WJBF - CH. 6 Saturday / 6:30 am atlanta wpxa - ch. 14 Thursday / 6:30 am Saturday / 7:30 am

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22 / April 2013

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ers - Jeff Shick and Donnie Darnell - lost a total of seven chicken houses. Shick, who raises broilers for Pilgrim’s Pride, had about 90,000 two-week-old birds in four houses. The side walls of the houses were blown out and the roofs dropped to ground level. Much of the tin roofing and insulation was also torn away. The storm also damaged a stackhouse next to the four chicken houses. Shick said he is not planning to rebuild the houses. “Cost of chicken houses has gone up quite a bit from when I built those,” said Shick, who is using materials and equipment from the destroyed houses to upgrade poultry houses on another farm he owns. “It would more than double my payment for the same amount of income.” Shick said Pilgrim’s Pride had representatives on his farm the day after the tornado. They caught about 50,000 of the birds and relocated them to another operator. He gave away approximately 2,000 birds and estimated more than 30,000 died. Both Weaver and Shick said cleanup efforts have been hampered by rainy, cold and windy weather. Georgia Farm Bureau News

The Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors inducted John Redding of Walton County into its hall of fame during its annual meeting Feb. 1. Redding has been part of the Walton County Soil and Water Conservation District Board since 1978. He currently serves as district community relations coordinator for the district. He is a past president of the National Association of Conservation Districts and received that organization’s dis-

SOYBEAN from page 15

Commodity Commission for Soybeans met to review grant applications from UGA research scientists and research professionals. The commission awarded eight grants totaling $156,800 for research and an additional $30,200 to the Georgia/Florida Soybean Association, Georgia Farm Bureau’s Georgia Farm Monitor TV program and the Southern Soybean Research Program. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary

WE, THE FARMERS from page 4 Peanut Buying Points Association. Legislators enjoyed grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and other peanut products. The event showcases that Georgia produces about half of the nation’s peanut crop and that the peanut industry provides more than 50,000 jobs in Georgia. For the second year Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the grand champion awards for the six species of livestock shown during the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in February. About 1,600 4-H and FFA students competed in this event during some of the coldest and wettest weather we had all winter. But that’s what the 4-H and FFA programs are all about – teaching our future ag leaders to persevere even when the going gets tough. It was a pleasure to meet the young people who won these awards and hear them talk about how they have been working with their animals to prepare for the show. GFB honored these kids, their parents, Extension agents and FFA advisors with a celebratory dinner on March 29. Farm Bureau is dedicated to helping the 4-H and FFA programs in this state because what these programs do for the youth of Georgia is important. Life is full of challenges that we face in every season of life, such as weather, government regulations, family and financial

tinguished service award last year. Redding has served as the Walton County Farm Bureau agency manager since 1978. He grew up in Clay County on a row crop farm, which he owns and on which cotton, peanuts and pine trees are grown. Visit or call 706552-4470 to learn more about the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission. Black spoke during the association luncheon noting that the Georgia Department of Agriculture, like many state agencies, had to cut 3 percent of its budget, or approximately $1 million. Among the cuts to the GDA budget were two agricultural labor representative positions that were authorized and hired last year. According to published reports, Black indicated that the results of the program did not meet expectations.

problems or bad health. The Apostle Paul said it best in Philippians 4:6 when he prescribed the Philippians church the perfect plan to persevere: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made to God. For we, the farmers, our instructions are clear: don’t worry, be confident in our faith, humble ourselves in prayer about everything and ask God for what we need with a heart of thanksgiving. We, the farmers, must persevere. The men, women, and children of this world are depending on us to feed and clothe them.

Irrigation motor rebates

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority is providing farmers with a maximum rebate of $10,000 to replace diesel irrigation engines with electric irrigation motors through the Agricultural Irrigation Motor (AIM) program. The rebates will cover 25 percent of eligible costs, including expenses associated with connecting the electric engine to the power meter, three-phase converters and variable frequency drives. Rebates must replace in-service diesel engines that are at least 10 years old. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. April 15. For complete rules or to apply online, visit

Photo courtesy of VOC

Redding honored for conservation work

Pictured from left, Danny Ray of Ray Farms accepts the Vidalia Onion Committee Grower of the Year Award on behalf of his family from Committee Chairman Kevin Hendrix.

Vidalia Onion Committee presents awards The Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) inducted two industry leaders into its hall of fame and announced its grower of the year during its annual awards banquet Feb. 16. Ray Farms of Glennville, Ga., was named the 2012 Grower of the Year. Avon and Annette Ray started the farm in the 1950s. Their sons Danny and Gary and their wives Patsy and Rhonda took over the farm in the late 1970s. Vidalia onions are the farm’s main crop, but the Rays also grow cotton, corn, peanuts, watermelons and peas. Buck Sherman and the late Gerald Dasher were inducted into the VOC Hall of Fame. Sherman has devoted nearly 40 years to serving the industry, first as the owner of a fertilizer business where he developed a custom blend of fertilizer to help growers maintain the onion’s sweet, mild flavor. Since 1994, Sherman has worked with seed breeders to develop varieties that are now among the leading varieties planted, such as the Sapelo. Dasher was remembered as one of the pioneer growers and marketers of Vidalias. In the early 1970s, Dasher began traveling across the U.S. and internationally to promote the onion. He and his brother, Robert, were the first growers to package Vidalias in the boxes that are still widely used today.

Georgia Farm Bureau News April 2013 / 23

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Georgia Farm Bureau News - April 2013  

Georgia Farm Bureau News - April 2013