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April 30, 2014

Vol. 32 No. 17

GEORGIA BEEF ASSESSMENT PASSES In a referendum held March 15 - April 15, Georgia beef cattle producers approved a $1 per head assessment to support education, research and promotion efforts for beef and beef products. The assessment, for which collection will begin July 1, will be in addition to the National Beef Board checkoff. A total of 1,386 ballots were mailed in March and 935 cattlemen submitted their votes, a return rate of 67.46 percent. Of those, 714 (76.4 percent) voted in favor and 221 voted against. Under state law, 25 percent of the mailed ballots must be returned and 66.7 percent must vote in favor for a referendum to pass. The assessment, which under state law must be put to a reaffirmation vote every three years, will be collected at the time of the first sale. Cattle that sell for less than $100 per head are exempt and order buyers are exempt from paying the assessment on cattle owned for 10 days or less. The process of creating the assessment originated with the Georgia Farm Bureau Beef Cattle Committee along with the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, Georgia Milk Producers and Georgia Livestock Marketing Association. Representatives of the four organizations began meeting in 2012 to explore ways to fund research and promotion activities. With declining herds and growing costs, funding for Georgia activities under the National Beef Checkoff had become increasingly limited. The National Beef Checkoff could only be used for promotion and post-slaughter research. The Georgia beef assessment will allow pre-slaughter research. For instance, if cattlemen experience fly control issues in their herds, assessment funds could be used to seek solutions. The beef stakeholder groups went to the Georgia General Assembly and requested legislation authorizing a referendum. State lawmakers passed Senate Bill 97 during the 2013 legislative session, creating the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Beef (ACCB) and authorizing a referendum to be held. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) accepted ballot requests last fall and held a public hearing on Feb. 28 as required under the Georgia Commodities Promotion Act. The GDA also accepted written comments. Following the hearing the commission chose to move forward with the referendum. Georgia Farm Bureau Beef Cattle Committee Chairman John Callaway of Troup County is also the chairman of the ACCB. Other commission members are Vice Chairman Ernie Ford of Calhoun County, Jeff Duncan of Madison County, Kenneth Murphy of Meriwether County and Allen Wiggins of Turner County. GFB President Zippy Duvall and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black are ex officio members of the ACCB.

Leadership Alert page 2 of 7 FORMER GFB PRESIDENT ROBERT NASH DIES Robert L. Nash, who served as Georgia Farm Bureau’s president from 1978 to 1988, died on April 25. He was 90. Nash and his late wife Betty, who died in 2011, received the GFB Distinguished Service Award in 2010, the highest honor the organization gives to its volunteer leaders. The Nashes moved to Georgia in 1957 and served Farm Bureau at the county, district, state and national levels. Nash also served as county Farm Bureau president in multiple counties. He was a GFB director from 1974 to 1978. Both of the Nashes grew up on farms in Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in animal nutrition. Mr. Nash served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II. “This is an extremely sad time for us at Georgia Farm Bureau,” said Nash current GFB President Zippy Duvall. “At the same time, Mr. Nash’s contributions to Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia agriculture are worthy of celebration. Much of what our organization is today is the result of his leadership. He and Betty were a shining example for what a farm couple should be, and those who knew them were better for it.” As GFB president, one of Mr. Nash’s biggest concerns was membership - both improving member services and increasing membership. He was instrumental in the development and construction of Georgia Farm Bureau’s current state office in Macon and worked to expand the organization’s commodity department. Mr. Nash served on the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors for 10 years and participated in AFBF trade trips to Japan, China, Switzerland and England. He served on the U.S. Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee on Trade for Poultry and Eggs from 1981 to 1988. In addition to his work with Farm Bureau, Bob Nash worked to establish the Georgia Cattlemen’s and Cattlewomen’s Associations and supported the state’s 4-H and FFA programs. The Nashes held various leadership positions in the Georgia Cattlemen’s and Cattlewomen’s Associations and numerous cattle and livestock organizations. They served as 4-H volunteer leaders for more than 50 years and opened their farm to numerous 4-H and FFA events. The Nashes were members of the Thomaston-Upson Chamber of Commerce and in 2009 the organization presented them the Thomaston-Upson Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award. Nash is a member of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame and was named Progressive Farmer Magazine’s Man of the Year in Service to Georgia Agriculture in 1985. The Nashes were members of Barnesville First United Methodist Church where they both held numerous administrative positions and Mrs. Nash taught Sunday school for many years. Nash is survived by three children: daughter, Cynthia and son-in-law, Steve Douglas of The Rock, son Clifford and daughter-in-law Laverne Nash of Moultrie and son Charles and daughter-in-law Alexis Nash of Chicago, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Nash owned Nash Cattle Farm located at The Rock, Ga. The funeral was held April 28 at Barnesville First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Barnesville First United Methodist Church Building Fund, 375 Thomaston Street, Barnesville, Ga. 30204; the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association Building Fund, P.O. Box 27990, Macon, Ga. 31221; the Georgia 4-H Foundation (Livestock Program), Athens, Ga., or local county 4-H; or the organization of the donor’s choice.

Leadership Alert page 3 of 7 USDA REQUIRES REPORTING OF SWINE VIRUSES The USDA announced on April 19 that it will require reporting of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) and Swine Delta Coronavirus in order to slow the spread of this disease across the United States, according to a department press release. USDA is taking this latest action due to the devastating effect on swine health since it was first confirmed in the country last year even though PEDv it is not a reportable disease under international standards. PEDv only affects pigs and does not pose a risk to people and is not a food safety concern. To date, no cases have been diagnosed in Georgia, but more than 5,500 cases have been confirmed in 30 states since the first case was confirmed in the U.S. last year, according to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. In addition to requiring reporting of the PED virus, the USDA will require tracking movements of pigs, vehicles, and other equipment leaving affected premises; however, moving pigs would still be allowed. USDA is also working with industry partners to increase assistance to producers who have experienced PED virus outbreaks in other critical areas such as disease surveillance, herd monitoring and epidemiological and technical support. As part of USDA’s coordinated response, USDA’s Farm Loan Programs is working with affected producers to provide credit options, including restructuring loans, to help with their losses. The disease has caused millions of dollars in damage due to loss of pigs and poor feed conversion. In conjunction with the pork industry, state and federal partners, the USDA is working to develop appropriate responses to the PEDv and Swine Delta Coronavirus. For more information please visit: GEORGIA PEANUT COMMISSION INCREASES FUNDING FOR RESEARCH The Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) board of directors approved $293,780 in new research project funding for the 2014-2015 research budget year during the commission’s March board meeting. The research projects approved include 28 project proposals submitted from the University of Georgia and USDA Agricultural Research Service. Georgia’s peanut growers invest $2 per ton annually toward GPC programs which include research, promotion and education. Research accounts for 22 percent of available funds in the commission’s budget. The state average yield per acre in 2013 was the second highest in history, behind 2012 by only a few hundred pounds. A national study conducted by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service shows overall peanut yields increasing 23 percent from 2008 to 2012. All other major row crops were between 2 percent and 4 percent. The research programs primarily focus on peanut breeding for higher yield and improved quality, economics, conservation methods, irrigation and water management, pests, weed and disease management, and peanut allergy research. GPC is stepping up its efforts by funding research on the development and evaluation of new cultivars with an emphasis on disease resistance genetic markers and using long-range internet connectivity to improve farm management. For more information and a complete list of the research projects funded by the Georgia Peanut Commission, visit

Leadership Alert page 4 of 7 FARMLAND PUBLIC SCREENINGS May 1 Landmark Midtown Art Cinema 7 p.m. Atlanta May 2 & 3 Douglass Theatre 7 p.m. Macon Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Moll’s new feature length documentary, Farmland, offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of six young farmers and ranchers across the U.S. during much of 2013. Georgia Farm Bureau member Leighton Cooley and his family are among the featured farmers. The Cooleys raise cattle, poultry and hay on their Crawford County farm. Visit for additional information about the film and to watch the trailer. For more information about the Atlanta showing visit or call 404-879-0160. Tickets for the Macon showing are $7 and may be purchased in advance by phone at 478-742-2000 or online at GEORGIA CENTENNIAL FARM NOMINATION DEADLINE IS MAY 1 The Georgia Centennial Farm Program, which recognizes historic farms and encourages their preservation, is accepting nominations. To qualify, farms must: be a working farm with a minimum of 10 acres actively involved in ag production, generate at least $1,000 in annual farm income and include 10 acres of the original farm purchase. Farms must have been continuously farmed for at least 100 years. Visit to download an application or contact Charlie Miller, Centennial Farm Awards Committee chairman at 404-6515287 or by email at must be postmarked by May 1. Selected farms will be honored during the Georgia National Fair in October. NORTHEAST GEORGIA BACKYARD POULTRY WORKSHOP May 1 Comer Travel Museum 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM Comer The UGA Cooperative Extension Service is offering this workshop, which covers breed selection, housing and nutrition as well as egg sales and prevention of disease and parasites. Cost is $10 per person, including dinner and class materials. For more information visit or contact the Madison County Extension office at 706-695-2281 or PUTNAM COUNTY DAIRY FESTIVAL/ANTIQUE TRACTOR SHOW June 7 Streets around Putnam County Courthouse Eatonton This celebration of the Putnam County dairy industry features road races, entertainment, barbecue and introduction of the Dairy Family of the Year. The antique tractor parade begins at 10 a.m. at Putnam County Elementary School, and the tractor exhibition begins at noon at Farmers & Merchants Bank. Deadline to enter a tractor in the exhibition is May 2 and the entry fee is $10. For application and other event information contact Glenda Ridley at 706-4730763 or MONROE COUNTY HERD SALE May 3 Sleepy Creek Farm 12:30 p.m. Forsyth This sale will feature 85 bred heifers. Data available on the heifers includes A.I. breeding and sire EPD’s, pelvic area, frame score, disposition score, weight per day of age and average daily gain. For more information contact the Monroe County Extension office by phone at 478-9947014 or by email at Information about the sale may also be found online at

Leadership Alert page 5 of 7 BEYOND THE FARM GATE SOCIAL MEDIA SEMINAR May 5 UGA CAES Four Towers Building 8:45 a.m. – 5 p.m. Athens This free workshop, funded through a USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Grant, will help farmers gain the skills they need to establish and maintain an effective online presence to meet their online marketing needs. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited so register soon! Visit to register. Contact Chris Morgan at 706-542-7102 or for more information. GFB ACCEPTING ENTRIES FOR PHOTO CONTEST Georgia Farm Bureau is accepting entries for its 5th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest open to any GFB member who receives no income from photography. Cash awards will be presented in two categories – Farm Bureau Members and Farm Bureau Employees. All photos must have been shot in Georgia in 2013 or 2014. Photos altered in any way will not be judged. All photos become the property of GFB. Digital photos must be sent as a JPEG file attachment via email to by 4:30 p.m. on May 6. If children or people are included in photos, you must complete a Model Release Entry Form that must be received by GFB at the time of the deadline. Visit your county Farm Bureau office for contest rules, entry instructions and the Model Release Form or visit the GFB website at RURAL COMMERCE OUTREACH INITIATIVE CONFERENCE May 6-7 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton This conference includes workshops covering a variety of topics to assist in the development of rural businesses. Included are Agri-Women in the South, Future Farmers of Southwest Georgia, marketing, pursuing farm loans and USDA program. For more information contact the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission at 229-522-3552 or visit IMPOUND HORSE AUCTION May 17 Mansfield Impound Barn 10 a.m. Mansfield The horses may be inspected at the facility beginning at 10:00 a.m., and the sale will start at approximately 11:00 a.m. A list with brief descriptions of the horses is on the department’s website at If you have any questions, contact the department’s Equine Health Office at 404-656-3713. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 2013 YOUNG HARRIS/UGA BEEKEEPING INSTITUTE May 15-17 Young Harris College 8 a.m. each day Young Harris This event, one of the most comprehensive beekeeping educational events in the Southeast, offers classes for beekeepers at all levels of experience and the annual honey show. May 15 is dedicated training and certification exams for journeymen and master beekeeper qualifications, as well as the Welsh honey judge training, the first licensing program for honey judges in North America. May 16 and 17 provide training and certification, including individual and colony biology, low-tech beekeeping, occupational safety and much more. Registration fees for 18 and older is $120 for May 16, $100 for May 17 and $199 for both days. For ages 11-17, fees are $59 for May 16, $49 for May 17 and $99 for both days. Two-day registration and additional fees apply for advanced courses and exams on May 15. Participation is capped at 175 people, and classes generally fill up quickly. For more information, visit

Leadership Alert page 6 of 7 NRCS TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR KEY CONSERVATION PROGRAMS The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from Georgia farmers and ranchers for specific initiatives under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications are due by May 16. EQIP is a voluntary program that funds conservation practices based on state identified natural resource concerns. The specific initiatives being funded under this sign-up are on-farm energy, seasonal high tunnels, organic operations, working lands for wildlife and longleaf pine. Interested producers should visit their local NRCS office for information on this sign-up period. Applications are taken on a continuous basis but only those applications received by the cutoff will be considered for this sign-up. For more information about EQIP or other technical or financial assistance programs offered by NRCS, please contact your local service center: NRCS WATER QUALITY INITIATIVE Eligible producers in four Southwest Georgia watersheds (Lower Deep Creek, in Turner County; Upper Piscola Creek, Middle Piscola Creek and Lower Piscola Creek, in both Brooks and Thomas Counties) must apply by May 16 for FY 2014 funding under the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s National Water Quality Initiative. The producers will invest in voluntary conservation actions to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities. Using funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS will provide funding and advice to producers to install conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips and terraces in watersheds with impairments where the federal investment can make a difference to improve water quality. For more information about NRCS’ programs, initiatives and services in Georgia, visit TEAM AG GEORGIA SPRING WORKSHOP May 29 Central Square Complex 8 a.m. Douglas This free one-day workshop, which includes a complimentary lunch, is for small, beginning and limited-resource farmers. Workshop sessions run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a farm tour. Topics include organic/naturally grown certification, small farm financing, olive production, an update on USDA programs, timber and wildlife management and much more. Registration is required and the deadline to register is May 19. To register online visit For more information contact Neal Leonard at or 706-546-2207. NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION WORKSHOP DEADLINE Rising 10th, 11th and 12th grade students have until May 24 to apply to attend a one-week residential camp the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission is offering June 8-12 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. Natural resource experts will give lectures, guide field trips and lead hands-on activities to enhance students’ understanding of Georgia’s natural resources during the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop (NRCW). The camp focuses on the value and protection of Georgia’s wildlife, forestry, soil, water and mining resources. More than $18,000 in college scholarships will be awarded during the event. Tuition is $150 per student but scholarships are available for students who have not previously attended the event. Visit to download the camp application and more information. Contact Luke Crosson at or 229-995-6001 for more information.

Leadership Alert page 7 of 7 CALHOUN BEEF CATTLE REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP May 27 NW Georgia Research & Education Center Livestock Pavilion Calhoun Workshop begins at 6 p.m. For information contact Dr. Lawton Stewart at 706-542-1852 or or Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or GA. HEIFER EVALUATION AND REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT (HERD) SALE Â May 28 NW Georgia Research & Education Center Livestock Pavilion Calhoun Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. For information contact Dr. Lawton Stewart at 706-542-1852 or or Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or 2014 CORN SILAGE AND FORAGE FIELD DAY May 29 Univ. of Fla. Plant Science Unit 8 a.m. Citra, Fla. This free event, a collaborative event between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, includes a sponsored lunch. Topics covered include agronomic issues, soil fertility and forage production and grazing management. Also included are tours of variety test plots. Visit for more information or to register. GFB ACCEPTING ENTRIES FOR YOUNG FARMER CONTESTS Georgia Farm Bureau is accepting applications for its Young Farmer Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet. . GFB members between the ages of 1835 may apply for these awards. Applications are available at county Farm Bureau offices Finalists for each of the competitive events will be named at the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference to be held July 10-13 on Jekyll Island. Applications for each contest and the leadership conference will be accepted through May 30 at 4:30 p.m. The preliminary rounds of the discussion meet will be held at the leadership conference. For more information on these awards or the conference, please visit or stop by your county Farm Bureau. The GFB Achievement Award will recognize an outstanding young farmer or couple whose primary income is derived from farming. The GFB Excellence in Agriculture Award will recognize an outstanding individual or couple whose primary income is not derived from farming. Extension agents, FFA advisors and ag lenders are examples of individuals who may apply for this award. The GFB Discussion Meet is a competitive event designed to simulate a committee meeting where young farmers discuss topics relevant to agriculture today and explore solutions to issues facing them as agriculturalists. The state winner of each award will be announced during the GFB convention in December. The winner of each contest will compete on the national level at the American Farm Bureau Convention in San Diego, Calif., Jan. 11-13, 2015. Details on state and national prizes will be available at a later date. UGA CAES ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR TRANSFER SCHOLARSHIPS June 1 Deadline for submitting applications The CAES Alumni Association awards two non-renewable scholarships to the most outstanding transfer students from two- and four-year colleges who will be enrolling full-time at The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Selection is based on the student's ability to make significant contributions to the academic and co-curricular campus environment. Application forms may be accessed at

Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - April 30, 2014  

Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - April 30, 2014