Vol. 81 No. 3
6 ENTER GFB HAY CONTEST 14 BY OCT. 31 UGA TEACHES FARMERS TO SAVE WATER 1 6 BY SCHEDULING IRRIGATION GEORGIA JEAN 18 ISWRANGLER'S GREEN
GFB YF&R PROGRAM CULTIVATES GROWTH
FARM BUREAU MEMBERS RECEIVE
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* Farm Bureau Ford Bonus Cash $500 offer exclusively for active Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Must be a Farm Bureau member for 30 consecutive days prior to purchase and take new retail delivery from dealer by January 2, 2020. Offer is valid through 1/2/2020 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2018/2019/2020 model year Ford vehicle. Program 37264: Additional $500 Conquest Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Farm Bureau members valid for a purchase or lease from 7/2/19 through 9/30/19 of an eligible new 2018/2019/2020 model year Ford vehicle. Customer must have a registered 1995 or newer non-Ford/Lincoln/Mercury vehicle in their name for at least 30 days, to be eligible for this additional $500 incentive. Not available on Shelby GT350ÂŽ, ShelbyÂŽ GT350R, Mustang BULLITT, Ford GT, Focus RS, and F-150 Raptor. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. Limit one Bonus Cash and Conquest offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Visit FordFarmBureauAdvantage.com or see your authorized Ford Dealer for qualifications and complete details. Ford Dealers please claim #36816 for Farm Bureau Program and #37264 for additional $500 Conquest Bonus Cash in Smart VINCENT.
8/14/19 4:04 PM
departments View from the Field Farmers are sustainable.....................4
Public Policy Update Lawmakers help ag recover...............5
Around Georgia............26-27 Ag in the Classroom Update National AITC Conference Attendees enjoy Agventure...............28
GFB YF&R Conference Cultivates Mental Health Growth
Between ongoing trade disputes & Hurricane Michael, Georgia farmers have had a stressful year. Workshops and speakers at GFB’s marquee YF&R event focused on dealing with stress. PAGES 6-7
Meet the winners & finalists of GFB YF&R Contests
Learn who took home the top awards & prizes in Georgia Farm Bureau’s annual YF&R competitions. PAGES 8-9
GFB Commodity Conference covers gamut of ag issues, honors Patsie Cannon
Disaster aid, livestock issues, feral swine control & EPA regulations are on farmers’ minds these days. Learn what experts said about these topics & more. PAGES 10-11
Depression: Common for Farmers
Recognizing that farming comes with physical & emotional stress, GFB News unveils a new column we hope our readers find helpful. Dr. Mike Rosmann, a psychologist and part-time farmer in Iowa, has been writing his syndicated column for years. PAGE 12
Use of Vermeer mower top prize in GFB Hay Contest GFB members who grow Bermudagrass hay should submit entries by Oct. 31 to have a shot at winning GFB’s annual contest. PAGE 14
UGA teaching farmers to save water by scheduling irrigation
The UGA Agricultural Water Efficiency Team is helping farmers use irrigation scheduling tools to conserve water by planning irrigation based on crop water needs. PAGE 16
GFB News staff
Kenny Burgamy Jennifer Whittaker Jay Stone Lillian Davis
Director Editor News Reporter Design/Advertising
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Visit the GFB Web site today! GFB.ORG Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau www.gfb.ag/group Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/gafarmbureau
Wrangler’s Georgia jean is green
Wrangler’s new Rooted Collection™ showcases the sustainable practices cotton farmers use to grow their crop. The Georgia jean is made with cotton from Calhoun County’s McLendon Acres.
This peach didn’t fall far from the tree
Meet Robert Dickey III, Georgia’s representative in the annual Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Contest. PAGE 20
UGA-Tifton Campus turns 100
For a century, UGA scientists have been conducting groundbreaking agricultural research at the UGA-Tifton Campus that has benefited Georgia farmers and the world. PAGE 30
about the cover--------------------------------------------
Nicole Duvall of Greene County won the 2019 GFB Picture Agriculture in Georgia Photo Contest with her adorable photo of Sawyer Powell, daughter of Cody and April Powell of Crawfordville. Check out the 12 top winners on PAGES 24-25.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 3
view from the field Gerald Long, GFB President
FARM BUREAU GEORGIA
Farmers are sustainable As farmers, farming is not only our livelihood, it’s a way of life for those of us who make our living off the land. As farmers, we have a responsibility to protect the land we have for our kids and our grandkids to provide the food, fiber and fuel for our nation and the world. Farmers work to protect the soil, air and water on their farms. The crops we grow and livestock we raise are only as healthy as the environment we produce them in. The majority of Georgia’s farmers use conservation tillage methods to grow their crops because it puts organic matter back into the soil, prevents soil erosion and helps keep water in the ground. Another benefit of plowing less is that it means we’re running our tractors fewer times across the fields, so less fuel is being used and fewer fumes go into the air. Every farmer in Georgia knows water is our most precious commodity. Regardless of whether you farm in North or South Georgia, farmers must have access to water to quench the thirst of our livestock and poultry and to raise our crops when we don’t get enough rain at the time our crops need it. In drought years, Georgia agriculture would dry up if farmers didn’t have access to water to irrigate our crops. But farmers aren’t going to waste water. It costs us too much to irrigate our crops and water our livestock to waste a drop. Georgia farmers are fortunate the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) has invested so much time and effort developing irrigation technology that allows us to irrigate so efficiently. As Calvin Perry, superintendent of the UGA CAES Stripling Irrigation Research Park likes to say, “We’re getting more crop per drop.” The commodity commission checkoff dollars Georgia farmers have invested in water management/irrigation research are paying off. UGA researchers have devel4 / August–September 2019
oped management strategies, tools and technology to help farmers irrigate as efficiently as we possibly can. Through the years we’ve learned to use automatic end gun shutoffs on our center pivots. We’ve also installed drop and low-pressure nozzles to get water to our crops more directly to save water. Researchers have taught us to adopt the practice of variable rate irrigation so that we apply different amounts of water to different areas of our fields based on what soil moisture monitors say is needed. Farmers have known for years that every field has varying soil types and topography that affects how the soil retains or drains water. Researchers have given us the means to measure soil moisture and tailor the amount of water we apply to the crop in different areas of a field based on the temperature, crop stage and field section. In July, a group of Georgia ag organizations, including Georgia Farm Bureau, worked together to celebrate Smart Irrigation Month. You may have seen social media posts about the efforts farmers make to conserve water and resources to help us do so. To learn how farmers are irrigating smartly, visit www.smartirrigationgeorgia.com If you haven’t seen the short video “Conservation Through Innovation,” I encourage you to watch it at www. gfb.ag/SmartIrrigationfilm . I commend the Flint River Soil & Water Conservation District and Mitchell County Farm Bureau for leading this project. I thank the Colquitt, Dougherty, Miller, Mitchell and Thomas County Farm Bureaus for the financial support they provided along with GFB and many other ag organizations and businesses. Georgia farmers have a great story to tell of how we are conserving water and this video tells it!
Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5334.
President GERALD LONG, Bainbridge 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Adrian North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Ringgold South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Alma General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treas. GFBMIC Executive Vice President DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Sec. JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Corp. Sec. & Senior Counsel JEANNA FENNELL Asst. Corp. Treas. & Sr. Dir. of Accounting RACHEL MOSLEY
DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Wesley Hall, Cumming SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Matt Bottoms, Molena SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Dexter; James Emory Tate, Denton SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Bellville; Ben Boyd, Sylvania EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Newton; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Lamar Vickers, Nashville; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Ben Cagle, Ball Ground WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Nancy Kennedy, Devereux
All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau News. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or email@example.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2019 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
public policy update By Jeffrey Harvey
Lawmakers help ag recover As Hurricane Michael hit Georgia last October, many farmers were harvesting what appeared to be one of the best crops in years. Farmers were calling it a “get right” year - a year when weather conditions are optimal, prices hold, and yields are higher than normal. Within an eight-hour period of the hurricane crossing the Georgia line from Florida, everything changed. Almost immediately, optimism turned to despair, and the only thing on most farmers’ minds was: How do we recover from this? Will we recover from this? The University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences conducted an economic impact study immediately after the storm. The study showed nearly $2.5 billion in direct and indirect losses to Georgia’s agricultural economy. Georgia leads the nation in the production of poultry, peanuts, pecans and forestry, which recorded losses of $28 million, $20 million, $560 million and $933 million, respectively. The thought of losing 2.4 million acres of forestland, some of which took decades to produce, is hard to fathom. As a result of these losses, many farmers have dealt with an increased debt load, emotional stress and even mental health issues. Farmers make a physical and emotional investment in the land every day. To have their life’s work taken away in the blink of an eye would test even the strongest of individuals. Much has been done to help affected farmers move forward. Georgia’s agricultural leaders were successful in obtaining assistance at the state and national levels and through private fundraising efforts. Georgia Farm Bureau’s Hurricane Relief Fund collected over $650,000 in donations that have been distributed directly to
farmers who sustained losses. The recovery process was initiated by the state legislature. On Nov. 13, 2018, then Gov. Nathan Deal convened the Georgia General Assembly for a special session to determine how the state could stabilize the negative impact. The resulting package of about $275 million provided relief in clean-up and replanting efforts. Another $55 million (eventually $75 million after the 2019 session of the General Assembly) was housed in the Georgia Development Authority (GADA) for the Georgia Department of Agriculture to provide low-interest loans to producers through the SAFETY 21 program. Between Dec. 1, 2018, and May 1, GADA approved, closed and funded 276 loans. Many farmers said the fast action of Georgia’s Legislature and Department of Agriculture made the difference between going out of business and farming another year. In addition to direct loans, the Georgia legislature allotted $200 million in tax credits for landowners to replant timber and pecan trees. The signup period for this program expires the end of December. Visit www.gfb.ag/timbertaxcredit to learn more. Credits are limited to $400/ acre. The program covers a 28-county region including: Baker, Bleckley, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Laurens, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Randolph, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth. The legislature also appropriated funds for the Forest Debris Management Program (FDMP) which provides 80% cost-share opportunities for landowners’ clean-up. On June 3, the U.S. Congress approved H.R. 2157, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019 by a vote of 354-58.
All members of Georgia’s congressional delegation voted for the bill. The federal disaster package provides just over $3 billion in funding for ag losses in 2018 and 2019, with the money to be divided between the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) and block grants to states. We anticipate money should begin flowing through WHIP by sometime in September. The block grant option will take longer, as Georgia and USDA continue negotiations over the parameters of the program. The federal block grant option provides promise for many producers who have been impacted, but for whatever reason, are not eligible for federal WHIP funds. Currently, we aren’t sure if funds will be available, but this isn’t because Georgia’s request hasn’t been made. Under the leadership of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, the Georgia Agricultural Recovery Task Force was formed and has submitted a proposal to the USDA that includes recovery estimates by commodity and production formulas that would readily distribute any block grant funds obtained. The proposal also includes a matching funds request for the Safety 21 Loan Program and an insurance supplement grant. If there is a silver lining with Hurricane Michael, it’s that this adversity has shown that Georgia has many great leaders who work tirelessly for our industry – far too many to name individually. These leaders have not and will not stop until the assistance farmers need is provided. These leaders are special and deserve our support in return. Even in the wake of devastation, agriculture remains truly blessed. Jeffrey Harvey is director of the GFB Public Policy Department.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 5
GFB YF&R Conference Break the stigma
Speaker Wiley Bailey encouraged farmers to help each other through hard times.
Article & Photos by Jay Stone ______________________________________
few days at the beach is widely viewed as a prescription for stress. The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference - held July 17-20 on Jekyll Island – was just what the doctor ordered as the young farmers learned tips on managing the stress that comes with farming and how to communicate with consumers. Several speakers addressed the pressures farmers face daily and encouraged the ag community to openly discuss mental health issues and look out for each other.
Closing session speaker Marshal Sewell shared his experiences in farming and coping with the loss of his father, who committed suicide during Sewell’s senior year in high school. Harvest was nearing on the family’s strawberry farm, when disease wiped out the entire crop. Adding insult to injury, the farm’s forklift broke down as they were taking delivery of hay for their cattle. “I imagine he was elbow-deep in grease, cussing and fussing, worried about checks that weren't going to be coming in and thinking about bills that would be coming in,” Sewell said. “Whatever it was, whatever my dad was concerned about that particular day, he made the ultimate decision that this world no longer needed him in it.” Sewell, now an area sales manager in Florida with Seminis Seeds, called mental health issues in farming the metaphorical elephant in the room. He encouraged young farmers and ranchers to be selfaware and to look out for the emotional
6 / August–September 2019
Recognize life comes with risks
Former Army Ranger Jon Jackson, who started Comfort Farms in Baldwin County after leaving the Army, talked about his experience with depression, his farm work and his efforts to offer crisis support for veterans through agriculture. Farmers, Jackson said, have always been closely connected to soldiers. Both occupations come with risks, but he said the risks are worth it. “One of the things we tell our veterans is that growth happens outside our comfort zone,” Jackson said. “When you step outside your comfort zone, you start to really develop traits you need to survive.” Jackson encouraged young farmers and ranchers to take risks to develop new markets to help their farms grow and prosper. “We have to take risks. Risks are important,” Jackson said. “With risks there are great rewards.”
Surviving difficult conversations
Be the Third Man
While strumming the banjo and sharing humorous stories, Wiley Bailey, an area director with the Alabama Farmers Federation, urged the GFB group to “be the third man,” a reference to the Good Samaritan in the Bible. Just as the Good Samaritan stopped to help a man who was robbed and left for dead by the road, Bailey encouraged the young farmers to be willing to help those in need when others don’t. “We all know when someone is struggling,” Bailey said. “Become the third man. Maybe you can save a life.” Wiley said studies show farmers are five times more likely to commit suicide than other Americans.
well-being of those around them. “It’s something that deserves to be talked about,” Sewell said, noting that approximately one fourth of Americans will battle some sort of mental health issue at some point in their life. “Folks, those are stiff odds, and we’ve got to do a better job of fighting this. We need to do a better job of breaking down that stigma that it’s not all right to not be all right.”
Speaker Marshal Sewell talked about losing his father to suicide after a bad day on the farm.
In a workshop with UGA Communications Professor Dr. Barry Croom, participants engaged in group juggling by tossing a tennis ball as a metaphor for the communications process. Croom provided methods for navigating difficult conversations, whether they’re with consumers or people in positions of authority. One scenario he presented involved the use of “mirroring” in conversations with conflict. Mirroring, Croom said, is repeating back what the other person says, beginning with the phrase, “It seems that …” This can prompt the other person to get to what is really bothering them or what they really want. As an example, he shared an experiGeorgia Farm Bureau News
Cultivates Mental Health Growth ence early in his career, when he was an ag teacher in North Carolina. During the winter, mice had gotten into the electronic irrigation controls in the school greenhouse, shorting out the circuitry and shutting it down. The pipes froze and ruptured, resulting in water on the greenhouse floor. Croom went to the school principal and said, “I’m mad.” The principal responded with, “I see that you’re mad.” Croom said, “That greenhouse conked out on me again.” The principal responded, “Your greenhouse has conked out on you.” The conversation continued this way until the principal identified the problem and proposed a solution. “You have to have integrity with the person,” Croom said. “Establish trust. Approach them with an attitude of wanting to resolve the conflict. If you’re there to yell, to point fingers, it’s not going to get solved. It’s just going to make everybody angry.”
Elvis (Jeff Barnes) visited with GFB YF&R Committee Chairmen Ben & Vicki Cagle before performing.
Make interacting with consumers less stressful
One stressful scenario for farmers is interacting with consumers. The conference offered workshops and a keynote address to provide guidance for those conversations. Opening session speaker Paige Pratt discussed varying marketing approaches for different generations. For example, the Baby Boomers (those ages 56-73) talk to people face-to-face, they trust print ads and they’re on Facebook to keep up with their grandchildren. By contrast, Millennials (ages 24-41) trust their friends’ and family’s recommendations on where to go and what to do but are largely unresponsive to traditional marketing practices. Pratt, a motivational speaker who raises cattle in Virginia, suggested that marketing efforts focus on customers’ reason for action. UGA’s Dr. Ashley Yopp led a workshop on community engagement, noting that taking a hard-line approach – i.e., “no farms, no food” – might not be as effective as searching for common ground with consumers. “We have to tell our story,” Yopp said. “Tell the good and the bad in an authentic way. Invite people into your experiences. Create experiences that make them a part of your world.”
Future YF&R members kick up their heels at the conference.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 7
Meet the winners & finali with trailer, a yearâ€™s use of a Kubota M Series tractor and an expense-paid trip to the AFBF convention. The runners-up received $500 cash. The Jimmersons grow row crops and vegetables and raise cattle. The Greens raise poultry and cattle and grow hay, as well as selling and spreading chicken litter. The Pittmans grow watermelons, a variety of vegetables and row crops, and operate a roadside market.
Hobbs heads to AFBF collegiate event
The finalist families for the GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award were, from left: Preston & Kendall Jimmerson of Colquitt County; Mitchell & Becky Pittman of Toombs County; and Steven & Tara Green of Spalding County.
YF&R Achievement Award honors top farmers Articles & Photos by Jay Stone _________________________________________________________________________________
The achievement award recognizes YF&R members for their farming operations and leadership activities. Preston & Kendall Jimmerson won the award and will represent Georgia as they
compete for the American Farm Bureau YF&R Achievement Award in January at the AFBF convention in Austin, Texas. As the state winner, the Jimmersons received $500 cash, a four-seat John Deere ATV
Sadie Hobbs of White County was the highest-placing collegiate competitor in the GFB Discussion Meet. She won an expensepaid trip to the 2020 AFBF YF&R Conference March 13-17, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky, where she will represent Georgia in the AFBF ColHobbs legiate Discussion Meet. Hobbs is a rising senior in the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences where she is studying agricultural communication.
YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes ag professionals Finalists for the GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Excellence in Agriculture Award, were: Becca Creasy of Bulloch County; Rachel & Jason Kinsaul of Morgan County; and Melissa Mathis of Monroe County. This award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. The Kinsauls won the competition and will represent Georgia as they vie for the national award at the American Farm Bureau Convention in January. Rachel is an agriculture teacher in Morgan County while Jason works as an agricultural lender for Rabo Agrifinance. As the state winners, the Kinsauls received $500 cash, a two-seat John Deere ATV with trailer and an expense-paid trip to Austin for the 2020 AFBF convention. Creasy and her husband, Jarrod, raise cattle and operate a custom meat and butcher business. Mathis operates two farm and pet supply stores, raises black angus cattle and grows hay with her husband, Bobby. 8 / August-September 2019
Finalists for the GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Excellence in Agriculture Award, were, from left: Becca Creasy of Bulloch County; Rachel & Jason Kinsaul of Morgan County; and Melissa Mathis of Monroe County.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
ists of GFB YF&R Contests YF&R Discussion Meet finalists can talk ag
The final four contestants in the 2019 GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet were, from left: Newt Gilman of Greene County, Cleve Jackson of Floyd County, Marcus Pollard of Newton County and Kaitlyn Marchant of Morgan County.
The YF&R discussion meet simulates a meeting where participants talk about an issue and explore possible solutions. The final four round, held July 20 during the GFB YF&R Leadership Conference, focused on how Farm Bureau can collaborate with other organizations to combat crises like opioid addiction and emotional health issues. Twentyfive contestants from 22 counties competed in the event. Kaitlyn Marchant, an ag teacher at Morgan County High School, won the competition. She will represent Georgia in the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet at the AFBF Convention in Austin, Texas. As the state winner, Marchant received $500 cash, a two-seat John Deere ATV with trailer and an expensepaid trip to the 2020 AFBF Convention. The runners-up each received $350 cash. Jackson is a sales representative for Bayer Animal Health and runs a commercial cow/calf operation. Gilman raises hair sheep and works as a farm loan officer with the USDA. Pollard teaches agriculture courses in Newton County, is a certified beekeeper and raises Charolais show cattle.
YF&R Member of the Year promotes ag This is a new award for Georgia’s YF&R program this year. It recognizes the diverse ways YF&R members can have an impact by participating in county, district and state-level events and working to encourage, educate and lead other young farmers and ranchers. YF&R conference attendees viewed videos of the three finalists describing their activities to promote agriculture and then voted to determine the winner. Walt Pridgen, who manages 11 poultry houses, grows hay and raises cattle, won the award and $250 cash. In addition to serving as the Coffee County Farm Bureau YF&R Chairman, he is president of South Georgia Cattlemen, speaks to other organizations to promote agriculture and volunteers as a judge for area FFA events. Will Cabe raises beef cattle, broilers and club goats. He serves as Franklin County Farm Bureau YF&R Chairman and is active in the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association, Georgia Young Cattlemen’s Council and the AgGeorgia Farm Credit Advisory Board. Chy Kellogg grows vegetables, selling them at farmers markets, and does contract work for the Georgia Association of Con-
Pictured from left, finalists for the GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Member of the Year Award were: Will Cabe of Franklin County, Chy Kellogg of Cobb County and Walt Pridgen of Coffee County.
servation Districts. As chairman of the Cobb County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, Kellogg teaches Ag in the Classroom lessons at local schools and at various farms. Cabe and Kellogg each won $150 cash.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August-September 2019 / 9
GFB Commodity Conference covers rules and accept comments for 30 days. Black said the final rules likely won’t be complete until after Nov. 1. Black also discussed federal disaster aid, which included $3 billion for ag losses nationwide in 2017 and 2018, including those from Hurricane Michael. The disaster aid will be issued through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) and stateadministered block grants. Black led the Georgia Agricultural Recovery Task Force in submitting a proposal to the USDA that included recovery estimates by commodity and production formulas for distributing any block grant funds obtained. “There is no doubt that the disaster we had is still a disaster for some of us. But in order for us to begin to get over this, we need to focus on recovery,” Black said. “So, the plan we have submitted for block grants is a recovery plan.” Once the state knows when it will receive the block grant money, Black hopes to give two weeks’ notice before the signup period, which he expects to last 15 days.
By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________
While attending Georgia Farm Bureau’s annual commodity conference Aug. 8, members of the organization’s 20 commodity advisory committees heard updates on state & federal legislation, livestock issues, feral swine control and Environmental Protection Agency regulations. During committee meetings, members reviewed GFB’s policy for Georgia’s 20 major commodities. “Georgia Farm Bureau is working on initiatives to make lives better on our farms,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “For us to accomplish our goals in Atlanta and Washington, we must first understand what’s happening back on the farm. We appreciate you taking the time to come and carefully review Farm Bureau’s policies pertaining to your commodities.”
Technology an advantage for ag
UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) Dean Sam Pardue noted that roughly 75 percent of patent royalties generated by UGA originated with CAES research. With the variety of challenges facing agriculture, Pardue said developing ag technology becomes more important. “I’m grateful because technology is one of the few advantages we have. That new variety that comes forward, that new method that is developed, is the only thing that gives us an advantage,” he said.
Right to Farm
GFB State Affairs Coordinator Alex Bradford discussed ag-related bills the Georgia General Assembly considered this year. Bradford said the Right to Farm Bill (House Bill 545), which would enhance right-to-farm protections, is eligible for further consideration during the 2020 session. Although the Georgia House and the Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bill, it did not make it to the Senate floor. Bradford noted that a federal precedent has been set with verdicts in North Carolina, where trial lawyers recruited 541 plaintiffs and filed 26 class-action lawsuits against hog farmers and their integrators, resulting in more than $574 million in damages awarded to the plaintiffs. Georgia’s current right-to-farm law is similar to the one in North Carolina. Georgia is a prime target, Bradford said, because of commodities produced here. “We know that trial lawyers are shopping these cases around the state,” Bradford said. He asked GFB members to reach out to legislators and explain why farmers need HB 545.
Black gives hemp, disaster updates
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black reviewed rulemaking for the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, which legalizes growing industrial hemp in Georgia. The comment period for proposed rules ended Aug. 12. If any changes are made to the rules, the Georgia Department of Agriculture must republish the revised
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
GFB President Gerald Long, center, congratulates the recipients of the Georgia Farm Bureau 2019 Harvest 20 Research Grants on Aug. 8. GFB awarded $94,000 in grants for studies tackling production issues affecting Georgia farms. Recipients are, from left: Dr. Lawton Stewart (beef research); Dr. Govindaraj Dev Kumar (produce research); Dr. Angelita Acebes (fruit/pecan orchards); Dr. Sudeep Bag (cotton); Dr. Jonathan Oliver (blueberry); and not pictured: Dr. Bhabesh Dutta (snap beans) & Dr. Mark Freeman (soybeans). Read more at www.gfb. ag/19Harvest20grants. 10 / August-September 2019
GFB National Affairs Counsel Tripp Cofield discussed trade issues. Cofield noted the U.S. has completed a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico; has a trade deal on the horizon with Japan; and ongoing negotiations with the United Kingdom and European Union. In July, the USDA announced a $16 billion support package for agriculture in recognition of the adverse effect the China trade dispute is having on farmers. The package includes $14.5 billion going directly to farmers under the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). The remaining $1.5 billion will fund the purchase of surplus commodities affected by the trade dispute and market development programs. Farmers may sign up at local FSA offices through Dec. 6. Cotton, dairy, peanuts and pecans are among the eligible crops for MFP. The pecan payment is set at $146 per acre, while the Georgia Farm Bureau News
dairy payment is set at 20 cents per hundred pounds. Producers of other eligible commodities, such as cotton and peanuts, will receive payments based on a county rate determined by the USDA. County rates may range from $15 to $150/acre depending on the impact of trade retaliation in that county. MFP payments will be divided into three installments. The first is expected to be made by September. If needed, the other installments are expected in November and January.
Farmer engagement crucial
GFB Advocacy & Policy Development Coordinator Katie Duvall stressed the importance of farmers remaining engaged in the lawmaking process – by interacting with legislators and voting. Duvall noted the total number of registered voters in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties offsets voters in 87 rural counties. “You, as our commodity advisory committees, have the ability to impact every district. That means collectively we at Farm Bureau with our 158 county offices can impact every legislative district in the state,” Duvall said. Duvall encouraged GFB farmer members to register with the organization’s Advocacy Action Center, which provides legislative updates according to farmers’ interests throughout the year. To sign up, text “GFB Action” to 52886.
EPA working with ag
One of the Environmental Protection Agency’s priorities under the Trump Administration is to engage more effectively with agriculture, EPA Region 4 Chief of Staff Blake Ashbee said. While the agency remains committed to protecting air, soil and water, the EPA intends to do so while remaining faithful to the rule of law and working within its authority. “There’s no better example of the administration’s efforts to rebalance power at the EPA than our efforts on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule,” Ashbee said. “This is an area that created real uncertainty for land owners under the previous administration.” The latest WOTUS proposal the EPA put forth aims to end the patchwork approach to implementing the rule and instead create uniformity and clarity for landowners, Ashbee said. The EPA also recognizes farmers’ need for effective herbicides to control invasive weeds. “We’ve heard from many of you that access to dicamba is important,” Ashbee said. EPA extended dicamba’s registration for two years last fall. The herbicide will be up for registration review in December 2020. Regarding glyphosate, Ashbee said, “The EPA continues to find it’s not a carcinogen and is safe to use when used according to label.” EPA’s independent evaluation of scientific data on glyphosate included a more extensive and relevant dataset than the IARC study that described the herbicide as “probably carcinogenic.”
Support pro-ag candidates
U.S. Rep. Austin Scott (R-Dist. 8), who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, encouraged farmers to support candidates, who understand and support agriculture, with their time and donations to ensure See CONFERENCE on page 23
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
gamut of ag issues
Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, left, presents the 2019 Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award to Patsie T. Cannon, who is accompanied by her husband, Carroll.
GFB Commodity Award presented to Cannon Patsie T. Cannon received the 2019 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Commodity Award given to individuals who support Georgia agriculture. “Patsie has served Georgia’s beef sector for more than 35 years in a variety of roles,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “Patsie has been a blessing to cattle producers across Georgia through her work with numerous University of Georgia beef production programs, announcing cattle shows, and her volunteer work with cattle organizations. Her dedication is evident by the long-lasting relationships and the many lives she has touched across the state.” Cannon taught business classes at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for seven years before pursuing fulltime work with Cannon Marketing, the family business dedicated to marketing purebred cattle throughout the Eastern United States and Canada. She later served 16 years at the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Tifton Campus. During her time with UGA, Cannon worked with the college’s Georgia Beef Challenge, Bull Evaluation Program, and the Heifer Evaluation and Reproductive Development (HERD) Program. Cannon is an active member of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association (GCA) and Georgia Cattlewomen’s Association (GCWA). She serves on the GCA Nominating Committee and the Junior Advisory Board and supports all GCWA activities. Since the 1990s, Cannon’s melodious voice has announced the names and placings of 4-H and FFA exhibitors competing in cattle shows at the Georgia National Fairgrounds. After retiring from UGA in 2015, Cannon continues to support Georgia’s beef industry through the family business. Cannon and her husband, Carroll T. Cannon, live near Ty Ty. They have one adult son, Patrick.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August-September 2019 / 11
Depression: Common for Farmers By Dr. Mike Rosmann ___________________________________________________________________________
Depression is a very real problem for many farmers. Usually farmers and ranchers don’t like to talk about feeling depressed except when joking around. Like, “These prices sure make me depressed.”
Types of depression Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, occurs in about one percent of the general population, studies show. It is characterized by mood swings between highs, called manic or hypomanic episodes, and lows, called depressive episodes. Bipolar disorder seems to occur at about the same frequency in the agricultural population as the general population. The most common kind of depression is major depressive disorder. It occurs in varying degrees in about six percent of the U.S. population annually, accord-
ing to the National Institute of Mental Health. Major depression is the deep funk that includes five or more of the following symptoms: depressed mood, change in sleeping patterns (either too much or too little), change in weight or appetite, slowed movements, inability to experience pleasure, withdrawal from family and friends, fatigue or loss of energy, trouble concentrating, feelings of hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide. Research shows major depressive disorder is more likely to occur among people in agricultural occupations (fishing, farming, ranching and lumber harvesting) than any other major occupational group. Both bipolar disorder and major depressive illness have an inherited predisposition. Manic bipolar episodes often occur during the spring and summer and the
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lows predominate during the shorter days, but not all bipolar episodes have a seasonal component. Unlike bipolar disorder, major depressive illness is more likely to occur at any time of the year and to have clearer causal connections to stress that set the process in motion. Why does major depression ocRosmann cur more often in people involved in agriculture? Several contributing factors have been identified. Agriculture is one of the most stressful occupations. Farmers are subjected to stressful conditions that affect their success or failure, such as the uncertain weather, fluctuations in market prices and input costs, disease outbreaks, machinery breakdowns and government policies that regulate agriculture. Farmers have little control over these “make or break” factors. Many of these factors have a financial impact that can threaten the ability to hang onto the land and resources needed to farm. Environmental conditions can impact the health and safety of the farm operators, such as exposures to hazardous chemicals, air and water contaminants that affect the nervous system. Manufacturers have done much to make machinery safer, so that farming-related injuries and fatalities have decreased during the past two decades, but little has been done to make farming psychologically less strenuous. The suicide rate of farmers has always been higher than non-farmers and is not improving. The personality traits of successful farmers may contribute to proneness for depression. These traits include: willingness to take risks, very high conscientiousness about work, great capacity to persevere in the face of adversity and self-reliance. When stress occurs, most farmers work harder and keep their problems to themselves instead of reaching out for support. Continued on next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
Continued from previous page The people engaged in farming have experienced multiple generations of selection that has yielded a remnant population of survivors. During the past 150 years, the percent of the U.S. population engaged in farming has declined from 50 to 2 percent. Now that’s intensive selection! Farmers’ forebears passed along their skills, their personality traits and when they could, the assets needed to carry on agricultural enterprises, such as the land, farming equipment and breeding stock. New immigrant farm workers are similar to the remaining farm families. Whenever possible they strive to purchase plots of land to feed their families first, then their communities and eventually to sell their produce for income. All farmers are imbued with a strong drive to acquire the land and resources necessary to produce.
Managing stress It is particularly important that farmers manage stress. Instead of working
harder, we should work smarter when the going gets rough. We have to take the time to sleep sufficiently. Instead of keeping things to ourselves we should talk about concerns with trusted family members and advisers. We should recreate sufficiently during busy times so that perspective is restored. We should pray and share our worries with God or what we believe is a higher power. We should ask for help from others around us who are in a position to offer assistance. That includes professionals such as physicians, pastors, farm consultants as well as family and employees. Treatment of depression with medication and professional counseling leads to improvement in most cases. Dr. Rosmann is a psychologist and part-time farmer in Harlan, Iowa. He has dedicated his career to providing mental and behavioral health services to farmers and rural residents. He has written a syndicated column since 2012 and may be reached at email@example.com.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 13
OCT. 31 ENTRY DEADLINE
By Jeremy Taylor ____________________________________
For 28 years, Georgia Farm Bureau has annually held its Quality Bermudagrass Hay Contest to recognize GFB members who grow outstanding hay. The GFB Hay Committee started the contest in 1992 to promote quality, Georgia-grown Bermudagrass hay. Higher quality hay leads to higher quality livestock, which means higher profits for Georgia farmers.
Why enter the contest?
A benefit of entering your hay in the GFB contest is it will be tested by the University of Georgia’s Feed & Environmental Water Lab. By entering the GFB Hay Contest, you receive the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) of your hay. It’s a good management practice to test your hay after baling. RFQ and other analytical data provided by a certified lab can help you manage potential problems with moisture, nitrates or poor digestibility, especially in years with adverse weather. RFQ is the best method to compare forages. RFQ provides a number that gives hay producers an idea of how much digestible nutrients a hay sample may contain. Take a look at the chart below for an idea of the RFQ score various livestock
Photo by Jay Stone
se of Vermeer U mower top prize in GFB Hay Contest
Congratulations to Telfair County Farm Bureau member Marty Knowles, center, winner of the 2018 Georgia Farm Bureau Quality Bermudagrass Hay Contest! Knowles is receiving the use of a Vermeer baler courtesy of Vermeer and Perfect Equipment in Houston County. Pictured with Marty, from left are: Danny Perfect of Perfect Equipment, Vermeer Territory Sales Manager Brad Stewart, Marty’s parents Floyd & Donna Knowles, Vermeer Regional Sales Manager Bryan Setzer & Georgia Farm Bureau Ag Programs Specialist Jeremy Taylor.
classes need. Farmers who have their hay tested every year can see the improvements they make in managing their hay fields by looking at multi-year analysis. Contestants will receive a detailed copy of their RFQ hay analysis and may choose to have a free listing in the online 2019/20 GFB Hay Directory. The top five winners will receive prizes. The grand prize winner of the 2019 contest will receive a year’s free use of a Vermeer TM1200 Trailed Mower with the option to purchase at a reduced price.
RFQ scores can set hay price
If a producer sells his hay based on its RFQ, he can ask a higher price for higher quality hay. Livestock owners are more likely to pay more for high quality hay since it will yield more gains and require
FORAGE QUALITY AND NEEDS OF LIVESTOCK LIVESTOCK TYPE
Source: NC State Extension
DAIRY (FIRST 200 OF LACTATION) DAIRY CALF DAIRY (LAST 200 OF LACTATION) HEIFER, 3-12 MO. NURSING MARE HARD-WORKING HORSE HEIFER, 12-18 MO. LACTATING BEEF COW BROOD MARE WORKING HORSE DRY COW IDLE HORSE
RELATIVE FORAGE QUALITY (RFQ) 14 / August–September 2019
feeding fewer supplements. Fully mature alfalfa is given a base point of 100. Since the base price for hay sales and auctions in many parts of the world is the value of poor-quality alfalfa, RFQ provides a mechanism for indexing quality to value. RFQ scores for Bermudagrass hay grown in Georgia typically ranges from 75 to 120 or higher.
The GFB Hay Contest is open to all GFB members to enter Bermudagrass hay. The deadline to enter is Oct. 31. Entry forms outlining all contest rules may be picked up at your county Farm Bureau office or downloaded at www. gfb.ag/HayContest. There is a $20 fee for each entry to cover the cost of the lab test. Checks should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Hay entered in the contest must have been grown in Georgia on a field with at least 25 days of maturity or regrowth. Samples should be naturally dried in the field and taken with a hay probe from the center of at least five different bales (rolls or squares) that come from the same field. Producers may enter more than one sample and will receive RFQ analysis for all samples submitted. Contestants submitting multiple samples, however, may only place in the contest’s top five for the sample with the highest RFQ score. Continued on next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo courtesy of Vermeer
GFB accepting listings for hay directory
The first-place winner of the 2019 GFB Quality Hay Contest will receive the free use of a Vermeer TM1200 Trailed Mower for one year with the option to purchase at a reduced price. The first-place prize is compliments of the Vermeer Manufacturing Company, which has supported GFBâ€™s contest for the past 19 years.
Previous first-place winners are not eligible to win any prizes in the contest for three years after winning. Previous first-place winners may still enter their samples to have their hay analyzed. GaFarmBureau_AD.pdf 1 6/19/19 Contest winners will be announced at
the 2019 GFB Convention in December on Jekyll Island. Jeremy Taylor is an ag programs specialist in the GFB Public Policy Department. He may be reached at 478-4749:33 PM 0679, ext. 5212 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Farm Bureau members with hay for sale or offering custom harvesting or sprigging services are invited to list in the 2019/20 GFB Quality Hay Directory published on the GFB website. Because this directory is now offered exclusively online, hay can be listed or removed from the site according to your inventory. To participate, please complete a submission form available at your county Farm Bureau office or online at www.gfb.ag/hay. Please send a $10 check made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau for each listing of hay, custom harvesting or custom sprigging. Hay producers who enter the GFB Quality Hay Contest receive a free listing in the GFB Hay Directory, if they so choose. Multiple listings are allowed.
GEORGIA EST. 1990
GEORGIANATIONALFAIR.COM Georgia Farm Bureau News Augustâ€“September 2019 / 15
UGA teaching farmers to save water by scheduling irrigation By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________________________________
Phone apps & soil sensors set schedules Smartphone irrigation apps and soil moisture sensors are the scheduling tools the team has been training farmers to use with center pivot irrigation systems. Agents are working with growers to utilize the tools to schedule irrigation in their fields and then compare results with the producer’s standard irrigation method. When the project started in 2017, the team had participating farmers in Burke, Bulloch, Coffee, Jenkins and Jeff Davis counties (located in Extension’s Southeast District) and Colquitt, Decatur, Irwin, Miller, Sumter and Terrell counties (located in Extension’s Southwest District) using both tools. The first was the SmartIrrigation Cotton App for Android and Apple smartphones developed by UGA Precision Ag Expert George Vellidis. The Cotton App (www. smartirrigationapps.org) uses an evapotranspiration-based model to estimate when irrigation is necessary and provides the user with an estimate of how much water should be applied. It doesn’t require any sensors, sends the user notifications when action is needed and is free. A disadvantage is it requires accurate daily precipitation data to perform optimally. Farmers near one of Georgia’s statewide weather network stations can link to the station in the app. 16 / August–September 2019
The second scheduling tool farmers were asked to use is the Trellis soil moisture sensing system (www.mytrellis.com). It consists of three probes and wireless telemetry allowing the data to be viewed online from any internet-capable device. The three probes, each with two soil moisture sensors placed at 6 and 14 inches deep, were installed in different soil or topographic areas of each field to demonstrate how infield variability impacts irrigation. This helps agents and farmers learn to make targeted irrigation scheduling decisions based on how different parts of a field retain water. The advantage of the soil moisture sending system is that it directly measures soil moisture in the field, which provides farmers with more confidence than the evapotranspiration model the cotton app runs on. Disadvantages of the soil moisture system are its initial expense, recurring costs, the need to install after planting and remove before harvest, and that each sensor only measures soil moisture in a narrow radius around the probe.
Photo courtesy of UGA AgWET
Since 2017, the University of Georgia Agricultural Water Efficiency Team (UGA AgWET) has been working to help farmers adopt advanced irrigation scheduling tools that allow them to conserve water by scheduling their crop irrigation based on crop water needs. The team – made up of 16 UGA faculty with expertise in irrigation, water quality and quantity, social science and youth education – has been working together to execute this project. The on-farm portion of this project has focused on training county Extension agents in smart irrigation strategies for the agents to teach farmers.
A soil moisture sensor system is installed in a Grady County peanut field as part of the UGA AgWET project.
Phase 2 of AgWET In 2018, county agents continued working with farmers to use the Cotton App and Trellis soil moisture system. The project added a social science component of surveys, focus groups and interviews to discover the agents’ and farmers’ beliefs, opinions and behavioral changes related to perception and adoption of the scheduling tools before and after using. Counties involved in the 2018 were: Appling, Burke, Bulloch, Jenkins, Jeff Davis and Ware counties (located in Extension’s Southeast District) and Colquitt, Irwin, Macon, Mitchell, Sumter, Terrell and Turner counties (located in Extension’s Southwest District).
Expanding AgWET This year, AgWET has entered Phase 3 of the project. In Southwest Georgia, UGA Extension is partnering with the Flint River Soil & Water Conservation District (FRSWCD) to fund the project for the next two years in the following counties: Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Miller, Mitchell, Sumter, Terrell and Thomas. FRSWCD received funding from the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) and the National Fish & Wildlife foundation to carry out their side of the project for the next three years. Counties that will be funded for the next three years include: Calhoun, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Seminole and Terrell. Calhoun, Early, Grady, Randolph and Seminole counties will use the Irrigator Pro irrigation scheduling app for peanuts instead of the Cotton App. The FRSWCD portion of the project also includes seven peanut fields in North Florida and Southeast Alabama located in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. Irrigator Pro is an irrigation scheduling tool for peanuts, corn and cotton developed by the USDA National Peanut Research Lab. Irrigator Pro is designed to See IRRIGATION page 19 Georgia Farm Bureau News
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Wrangler’s Georgia jean is green Conserving water
By Jennifer Whittaker ____________________________________
Photo courtesy of Wrangler
Calhoun County cotton farmer Adam McLendon has always worn Wranglers. So, it’s fitting the iconic American jean company picked the McLendon Family’s farm to grow cotton for the Georgia jean that’s part of its limited Wrangler Rooted Collection™. The Georgia jean is one of five statethemed jeans made from cotton grown in each state. Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are the collection's other featured states. Wrangler selected McLendon Acres, which Adam farms with his dad, Marty, because the family has made sustainable production practices a priority. Wrangler aims to source all of its cotton from farms using best soil health practices by 2025.
Keeping the soil healthy
18 / August–September 2019
Photo courtesy of Wrangler
The McLendons strive to maintain their farm’s soil health by rotating the fields in which they grow their cotton, peanut and corn crops to prevent nutrient depletion and pest infestation. Conservation tillage is a big part of the family’s effort to maintain healthy soil. “The benefit of no-till is it gives us good organic matter that builds the soil up. No-till and planting a cover crop after we harvest our crops prevents soil and water run-off during the winter,” Adam said. “We may sometimes have to conventionally till due to weed pressure, but we try to no-till as much as we can.” Planting crops with no-till also saves fuel and cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions as it requires fewer tractor trips around a field. The McLendons run soil tests on their fields multiple times throughout the year and apply nutrients based on the test results. “Understanding how much water the fields can hold and knowing which nutrients are in the fields or need to be added, depending on the crop we’re growing, is important,” Adam said.
To conserve water, the McLendons rely on the latest irrigation technology. They’ve installed soil moisture probes in their fields that relay data, indicating how much moisture is in different parts of a field, to a computer system. This technology allows the McLendons to tailor the amount of water they apply to the crop according to its growth stage and other factors such as the soil and air temperature and the type of soil and terrain found in different zones of the field. “This allows us to put out the right amount of water for the crop as it needs it,” Adam explains. “Variable rate irrigation and remote monitoring of our irrigation systems has allowed us to be better stewards of our land.” The family has also equipped their irrigation pivots with end gun shutoffs to prevent water from being wasted. “We were extremely proud that we’ve been recognized for growing a sustainable cotton crop,” Adam said. “We work really hard to be as proactive as we can about conserving water, soil and other resources on the farm. Farmers in general have sustainability at their core. Farmers know the land is how we make our living, and we have the desire to care for the land to continue our way of life. ”
The Georgia jean in Wrangler’s Rooted Collection was made with cotton grown by Adam McLendon, pictured, and his dad, Marty.
The McLendons were recommended to Wrangler by their Stoneville cotton seed representative. The family completed a verification process with Wrangler to vet their sustainability practices through a series of meetings and conference calls, Adam said. “I was super excited when I found out we were picked. I think it’s great what Wrangler is doing. I think most farmers welcome the chance to connect with the consumer. We want people to realize how hard we work and what we’re doing to take care of the land. Farmers understand this is the way markets are moving. Field to Continued on next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
Continued from previous page––––––––– table and field to store,” Adam said. The McLendons supplied 88 bales to Wrangler from their 2017 crop. Adam said they set aside a 180-acre field for the Wrangler project and then hand-picked the bales they sold Wrangler based on fiber quality, fiber color and mic content (the air permeability of cotton that determines how easily cotton can be processed). Hurricane Michael wiped out most of the farm’s 2018 crop, so they weren’t able to sell cotton to Wrangler last year.
Not only are Wrangler’s Rooted jeans considered green because they are made with 100% sustainable, locally-sourced cotton, but each jean is milled, cut and sewn in the U.S. The denim fabric for the jeans was made in Trion, Ga., by Mount Vernon Mills. The jeans are cut and sewn by Excel Manufacturing in El Paso, Texas. The Wrangler Rooted Collection is available at www.wrangler.com. The collection also includes two Georgia t-shirts made with cotton grown in Tennessee.
IRRIGATION from page 16––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– provide irrigation recommendations based gia continue to work with farmers in on scientific data intended to conserve Appling, Bulloch, Burke, Irwin, Jeff Dawater while maintaining high yields. vis, Jenkins and Jefferson counties. Since The FRSWCD project in Calhoun, there was no dedicated funding to look at Early, Grady, Randolph and Seminole specific crops, agents and farmers were counties focused on peanut irrigation will free to choose the crops and scheduling only use one soil moisture probe per field tools they used. All of the agents opted to instead of three. Each of the probes will use the soil sensors and some decided to be equipped with three sensors located use them with Irrigator Pro. Some agents at depths of 8, 16 & 24 inches. The soil and farmers are using the scheduling moisture probe is equipped with a soil tools with their corn and pecan crops. thermometer and a rain gauge. While soil moisture systems can cost The Irrigator Pro app collects soil farmers about $1,500 to buy (includes moisture sensor data and temperature sensor station, base station and a 6-month data wirelessly through the cloud from data subscription), the Irrigator Pro and the Trellis probe. The data is then sent to SmartIrrigation Cotton Apps are free to the app, which will issue an irrigation rec- download and use through the Apple ommendation based on the soil moisture Store or the Google Play Store. While the readings and crop development stage. SmartIrrigation apps are for use on Apple This summer, county agents or crop and Android smartphones only, Irrigator consultants are also working with farmers Pro may be accessed via the Internet for in Dooly, Decatur, Miller, Mitchell and use on personal computers. Terrell counties on using the Cotton App Southwest District Extension Water in their cotton fields and the Irrigator Pro Agent Cale Cloud and Dr. Wes Porter, app in their peanut fields. members of the UGA AgWET project, Extension agents in Southeast Geor- contributed information to this article.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 19
This peach didn’t fall far from the tree By Jay Stone _________________________________________________________
Robert Dickey III was six or seven years old when he went to work in the family’s peach packing shed. “Of course, somebody was with me. I think I was putting labels on the baskets or something like that or working in the attic where they were putting the baskets down the chute,” said Dickey, the 2019 Sunbelt Expo Georgia Farmer of the Year. While he’s lived farming all his life, he said it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that growing and selling peaches would be his ultimate career choice. His father, Robert Dickey Jr., encouraged him to get a business degree, so Dickey went to the University of Georgia and earned a degree in finance. While in Athens, Dickey was in the Air Force ROTC and had other career options. “I had an uncle in the banking business,” Dickey said. “So, I wasn’t sure farming was going to be what I wanted to do. I’d seen all the good side of it, but you have a lot of challenges, as
well. You take the good with the bad. I love it. It’s something different every day.” After graduating from UGA in 1976, Dickey returned to the family’s Crawford County farm and hasn’t looked back. “I didn’t want to do anything else,” he said. “My wife [Cynde] loved it as much or more than I did. She’s a very integral part of the farm, doing all the detail work in the office.” Dickey Farms has approximately 1,000 acres in peaches and another 3,000 in pine timber. The farm is adding pecan trees. The Dickeys have been growing peaches since the 1890s. The farm’s historic packing house in Musella includes a market offering a variety of peach and Georgia-grown products. The market was added to capitalize on customers already coming to the packing house to buy peaches. Robert said Cynde has worked to grow the market into a thriving business where visitors can get their fill of delicious peach ice cream, buy fresh fruits and vegetables and sit in Continued on next page
20 / August–September 2019
Mark your calendars for Expo! Oct. 15-17
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
ttending Sunbelt Ag Expo is a fall tradition for many farm families. The three-day event – set for Oct. 15-17 in Moultrie – offers something of interest for everyone. Expo may be best known for its displays of shiny new farm equipment spread over the 100-acre show site and daily harvest demonstrations of row crops and hay in the adjoining 600-acre research farm, but it offers much more! Stop by one of the more than 300 educational seminars Expo offers in the beef, dairy, equine, forestry, goat, poultry and pond exhibit areas to learn how to better care for your animals and land from industry leaders and university specialists. Expo works with 22 different education sponsors to host the daily seminars and demos. Daily cooking demonstrations in the Family Living Building and the building’s Georgia Grown Marketplace are always a hit with food enthusiasts. Dog lovers can watch the American Grand Finals Stock Dog Trials each day while antique tractor aficionados enjoy the daily tractor parade. As the Expo Spotlight State this year, North Carolina will exhibit its agricultural diversity ranging from the
Equine demonstrations are among the more than 300 educational seminars Expo offers. For a schedule of this year’s event visit www.sunbeltexpo.com.
Smoky Mountains to the sea. Georgia Farm Bureau staff look forward to visiting with you in the Georgia Agricultural Building at the main gate. Drop in to learn about GFB programs, member benefits and how GFB repre-
sents farmers and rural Georgia in Atlanta and D.C. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. daily. Admission at gate is $10 per person. Discount tickets may be purchased at www.sunbeltexpo.com.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
the open-air store’s in the Georgia House rocking chairs enof Representatives. joying the breeze He has served since from overhead fans. taking office in 2011. Dickey said seeFinding the time to be ing customers ena part-time lawmaker joy what the family is tough, Dickey said, has grown is one of but his family’s suphis favorite things port and the seasonal about farming. nature of his operation “I really like allow for it. growing a product “I’ve been enthat people love to couraged,” he said. eat and love to en“The time I’ve been joy multiple ways, there, I’ve seen a lot whether it’s freshmore support for agsliced, in a cobbler riculture. I’ve sensed or ice cream. I just that urban legislators, love growing a people from the city, great, useful prodreally have come to Robert Dickey III is the Sunbelt Expo Georgia Farmer of the Year. uct,” Dickey said. appreciate the value It takes a combination of more than 100 seasonal and per- of strong agriculture, a plentiful supply of safe food.” manent employees to run the farm, Dickey said, including Rob- Dickey and the other nine state farmers of the year are ert’s son, Lee and his wife, Stacy. competing for the Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Dickey indicated his ability to continue farming is worth pro- Farmer of the Year. The winner will be announced during the tecting, which is why he ran in 2010 to represent District 140 Sunbelt Expo on Oct. 15.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 21
CROSSROADS Change in Rural America
This exhibit explores the past, present & future of rural Georgia. Rural communities have always been vital to our state. Georgians built businesses, schools, churches & transportation hubs at the crossroads of rural communities. State officials, entrepreneurs and education, sports & military leaders have grown up in rural Georgia. Much of our food, fuel & fiber comes from rural Georgia, and agribusiness remains Georgia’s leading industry. Census demographers classify 124 of Georgia’s 159 counties as rural, yet only 17% of the state’s 10 million residents live in rural counties. Crossroads will encourage conversations about local history, explore the joys & challenges of rural life, examine how change has impacted rural communities and prompt discussions of future goals. For more information about the exhibit visit www.gfb.ag/crossroads or call Arden Williams at 404-523-6220 ext. 117.
Crossroads is presented in Georgia by Georgia Humanities, the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, Georgia EMC, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The exhibit is part of Museum on Main Street, a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution that provides small and rural communities access to Smithsonian traveling exhibitions.
Schedule 1 Thomaston
Aug. 24 to Oct. 4 Thomaston-Upson Arts Council
Oct. 12-Nov. 23 Telfair Center for the Arts
Dec. 7, 2019 to Jan. 11, 2020 Monticello-Jasper Visitor’s Center
Jan. 18, 2020 to Feb. 29, 2020 Andrew College on the Square
22 / August–September 2019
6 Blue Ridge
March 7, 2020 to April 18, 2020 Historic Summerville Train Depot
April 25, 2020 to June 6, 2020 The Art Center
Georgia Farm Bureau News
CONFERENCE from page 11 that farmers continue to have a voice in Congress. “I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican. What I do care about is that when we go to the polls in a November election that we have someone who can support agriculture. In some cases, we’re getting two candidates to the ballot who don’t understand or support agriculture,” Scott said. “Let’s make sure we’ve got pro-ag Democrats and pro-ag Republicans on the ballot.” Scott expressed concern that agriculture and rural America are losing support overall in Congress. He wants farmers to understand the importance of electing candidates who understand and support rural issues.
Swine flu, lab-grown protein
U.S. poultry producers are likely to see the biggest benefit from the world’s decreased pork supply caused by the outbreak of African Swine Flu (ASF) in China and Eastern Europe, American Farm Bureau Economist Michael Nepveux said. U.S. beef and pork producers may see increased demand for their product, but poultry should see more demand since it’s cheaper to raise, and chicken can be raised in six weeks. Nepveux said Rabobank estimates 30 to 50% of China’s pig herd will be gone by the end of the year. China raised half of the world’s pigs before ASF hit the country, Nepveux said. Nepveux also discussed the development of lab-grown protein products. “Currently companies are trying to mimic mushy meat prod-
ucts such as ground beef, chicken nuggets and foie gras, but companies are working on developing products that resemble muscle meat,” Nepveux said. “It’s hard to say when these labgrown products will reach the market, but it will be sooner than you think. The cost of production for these products is coming down and becoming less of an issue.” The Food & Drug Administration has regulatory authority over cell collection and the growth process in the lab. The USDA can regulate the harvest of the cells, processing and product labeling.
Controlling feral hogs
Matt Ondovchik of USDA Wildlife Services discussed efforts to control feral hogs. “Eradication is not feasible with the tools we currently have. Our goal and our objective in Georgia is to manage the damage these animals cause,” Ondovchik said. Large-scale trapping is the most effective control method currently available, Ondovchik said. He tries to persuade producers not to use small cage traps. He recommends trapping large groups of pigs rather than two or three at a time. Ondovchik said the 2018 farm bill includes feral swine control funding. In the near future, the USDA plans to test using sodium nitrite, which is toxic to swine, as a bait for depopulating. “This won’t be the silver bullet but rather another tool in the toolbox,” he said.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 23
GFB Photo Contest puts farm life in focus
Farms provide endless opportunities for great photos as the 81 contestants who submitted 199 photos in our 10th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest proved. Congratulations to Nicole Duvall of Greene County for winning the contest and $150 grand prize! Her photo “Farmer’s Daughter,” will be featured on the cover of the 2020 GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers calendar available at most county Farm Bureau offices this fall. The calendar also features the 11 honorable mention winners, who each received a $75 prize. A panel of judges selected 12 photos from all entries. GFB members attending the organization’s YF&R Leadership Conference in July voted for their favorite photo to select the winner. Thanks to all GFB members who entered the contest. The YF&R Committee plans to hold the contest again next year. Look for contest details next spring on GFB social media and at county offices. If you’re interested in entering the 2020 contest, ask your county office to notify you when it receives contest details. “Farmer’s Daughter” 7 1 Nicole Duvall Greene County
“The Three Amigos” Hollyn Batchelor Telfair Co
8 “Summer Farm” on the
“Soybean Sunset” Susan Daniels Sumter County “Winds of Time” Jesse Fleming Houston County “Waves of Grain” Ariel Holland Johnson County “Hay Cutting Time” Kim Little Madison County
Amy Meeks Coffee County
“Peace & Pecans” Christie Montford Toombs County
“Fruit of the Vine” 10 Justine Palmer
“Spring Fling” 11 Susie Short
“Counting Cattle” 12 Lauren Smith
24 / August–September 2019
“The Gift of Spring” Miranda McCarty Elbert County
4 Georgia Farm Bureau News
Georgia Farm Bureau News Augustâ€“September 2019 / 25
around georgia news from county farm bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker
More county Farm Bureau activities are featured on the Friends of Georgia Farm Bureau Facebook group page at www.gfb.ag/group. Join the group to get county news as it happens!
BLECKLEY COUNTY--------------------------------- Preschoolers attending the 2019 Bleckley Pre-K Farm Day had a chance to plant green bean seeds at the Bleckley County Farm Bureau (BCFB) booth. BCFB and Twiggs County Farm Bureau Office Managers Karen Adams and Kathy Manning along with GFB 6th Dist. Field Rep. Heather King taught 175 students that seeds need soil, water and light to grow. BCFB gave each student tractor coloring sheets and an ag sticker. CHEROKEE COUNTY-------------------------------- About 185 fifth graders at Indian Knoll Elementary School learned how farming has changed through the years thanks to Cherokee County Farm Bureau & Cherokee County Cooperative Extension cosponsoring a Heritage Day for the school. Tim Byess, pictured, demonstrated how to shoe a horse and displayed different types of horse shoes and tools he uses. Yanmar Tractor employees discussed how modern farmers use tractors to prepare their fields for planting instead of plowing with mules. The students also learned about lambs, chickens, honeybees and how worms break down compost. They also learned that materials like wool and cotton come from farms.
CLAYTON COUNTY--------------------------------- Clayton County Farm Bureau hosted a library program for 26 / August–September 2019
preschoolers at the Jonesboro Smith Street Library. CCFB Office Manager Teresa Myers read the book “Seed, Soil, Sun: Earth’s Recipe for Food.” Afterward, the students made seed necklaces by planting Siberian Kale seeds in a moist cotton ball placed inside a plastic pouch that serves as a greenhouse for the seed to germinate. COLUMBIA COUNTY------------------------------- U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, third from left, visited with members of the Columbia County Farm Bureau Board of Directors in April. During a lunch meeting, Rep. Hice gave the directors an update from Washington, D.C. Welcoming Hice to Columbia County were, pictured from left, CCFB Vice President Mike Anderson, Pete Allen, Chuck Anderson, Gene Knox & Bob Anderson. GRADY COUNTY------------------------------------ Grady County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chairman Lisa Pollock, standing, used the new Destination Ag Traveling Peanut Trunk to teach first-graders at Whigham School about peanuts. After reading the book “From Peanut to Peanut Butter,” she led the students in an activity using the different food groups to teach students peanuts are a source of protein. The students also learned the different parts of the peanut plant. County Farm Bureaus interested in using the trunk should contact their district Georgia Farm Bureau Field representative. MARION COUNTY---------------------------------- About 600 elementary students in Marion County have a better understanding of farming thanks to Marion County Farm Bureau (MCFB) partnering with the Marion County High School FFA to host a Farm Day in May. Pre-K through fifth-grade students had the chance to see & touch live farm animals as they Georgia Farm Bureau News
rotated between stations about pigs, goats, sheep, cows & chickens. MCFB member Tony Crowden discussed how timber is grown and cut and the many products made from trees.
MUSCOGEE COUNTY------------------------------- Muscogee County Farm Bureau recently met with Georgia Sen. Randy Robertson (Dist. 29) to discuss agriculture and rural issues the Georgia General Assembly addressed in the 2019 session. Pictured from left are: MCFB Vice President Milton Anthony, Sen. Robertson, MCFB President Jim Wooldridge, MCFB Office Manager Christie Boelman & MCFB Director Leon Beall, Director Wayne Biggs, Director Tom Findley & Cliff Bowden. TOOMBS COUNTY---------------------------------- Throughout the 2018-19 school year, Toombs County Farm Bureau used its Cultivate a Class Program to partner with three teachers and provide their classes with special activities, speakers and projects that complemented the teachers’ lessons. Planting school gardens and watching eggs hatch in incubators were among the activities TCFB provided. Teacher Jaime Aaron, pictured with students at Lyons Primary, was one of the participating teachers along with Ann Murphy at Lyons Upper Elementary and Heidi Peterson at Robert Toombs Christian Academy. TCFB is offering the program again this year to all seven primary/elementary schools in the county. WARE COUNTY------------------------------------- More than 500 Ware County kindergarteners were introduced to agriculture during the Farm Fun Day Ware County Farm Bureau (WCFB) held in May! The WCFB Women’s Committee spearheaded the project with cooperation from
the WCFB Board of Directors & office staff, the Ware County FFA, Ware County Cooperative Extension, and numerous community agribusinesses and organizations. Jarred Aldridge, kneeling, told the students about the equipment he uses as a farmer. WHITE COUNTY------------------------------------ White County Farm Bureau visited J.P. Nix Elementary School and taught 80 students about the life cycle of plants. Women’s Committee Chair Tina Nix, left, and White County Program Specialist/Office Manager Denise Loggins prepared a display to use in their presentation. Students placed sliced tomatoes in potting soil to grow seedlings and recorded their growth in daily journals. The students also made seed necklaces.
GFB News Alert is now GFB Field Notes Georgia Farm Bureau’s agricultural bimonthly electronic newsletter, formerly known as GFB News Alert, began publishing as GFB Field Notes in July. We think the new name better represents our coverage of stories important to Georgia’s ag community. The newsletter has also been redesigned to improve reader experience on mobile devices. • Free, bimonthly newsletter emailed to subscribers • Available to anyone • Current news about Georgia commodities & legislative issues • Updates on GFB programs & member benefits • Calendar of Georgia ag events Visit www.gfb.ag/fieldnotes to subscribe.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 27
Photo by Corey Goble
Teachers, Farm Bureau volunteers and office managers from Georgia traveled to Arkansas for the National Agriculture in
the Classroom Conference in June. Everyone picked up new ag activities to use in their counties!
National AITC Conference attendees enjoy Agventure Georgia had the second largest delegation at the annual National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference (NAITCC) held June 18-21 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Georgia’s delegation of 37 included members of the Georgia Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee, office managers, county Farm Bureau volunteers and teachers sponsored by their local Farm Bureaus. During the conference, appropriately themed “Agventure in the Natural State,” Georgia delegates attended workshops that showed teachers how to use agriculture to teach core subjects and gave Farm Bureau volunteers ideas for their Ag in the Classroom (AITC) programs. Conference attendees also visited nearby farms and USDA research facilities to learn about aquaculture, cotton, rice, world agriculture, ag industry leaders, trees, bees and gardens. Justin McDowell from Hamilton Elementary in Colquitt County was one of 14 teachers nationwide to receive a White-Reinhardt Educator Scholarship of $1,500 to attend the conference. The AFBF Foundation for Agriculture recognized McDowell and the other teachers at the conference. Georgia also had four of the 40 teachers (kindergarten through 12th grade) who received scholarships from the CHS Foundation to attend the conference. Jennifer Carroll, Roopville Elementary, Carroll County; Diana Cole, Statham Elementary, Barrow County; Karen Garland, Clark Creek Elementary, Cherokee County; and Gayla Singletary, Taylor County High School. These teachers were 28 / August–September 2019
selected for their desire to learn innovative ways to use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and other subjects. CHS Inc. is the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company. Visit www.agclassroom.org to view more highlights of the 2019 conference. You may access lesson plans on the Curric-
ulum Matrix on this website. Lessons are matched to national education standards. The 2020 conference, “Agriculture Elevated,” will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 23-26. Lauren Goble is GFB’s Ag in the Classroom/Women’s Program coordinator. Contact her at email@example.com of 478-474-0679, ext. 5135 for more information about either program.
Decatur & Hall Farm Bureaus host Ag Educator Workshops Decatur and Hall County teachers had the chance to learn about the Agriculture in the Classroom Program and how agriculture can be used to teach science, technology, engineering, arts and math curriculum when they attended Ag Educator Workshops in their counties. Hall County Farm Bureau (HCFB) hosted a workshop on May 15 and Decatur County Farm Bureau (DCFB) hosted its workshop June 25. GFB Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Lauren Goble spoke at both work- Decatur County Farm Bureau Director Dr. Paul Johnson, shops, introducing back row, hosted a field trip to his dairy farm for local teachers the variety of activities attending the Ag Educator Workshop DCFB held June 25. and resources available for teachers to use that meet curriculum standards. After the class portion of the workshops ended, the teachers visited local farms. The Hall County teachers visited Jaemor Farm where HCFB Young Farmer Chairman Caroline Lewallen discussed the variety of produce the farm grows and how weather impacts the fruit and vegetables they sell to the public. The Decatur County teachers visited Long Farms U-Pick where Justin and Kellie Long told the teachers about the produce, row crops and cattle they grow. The Decatur County teachers also visited Providence Dairy where DCFB Director Dr. Paul Johnson discussed how he cares for his herd of dairy cows and explained what it takes to produce a gallon of milk. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Lisa Green
By Lauren Goble _____________________________________
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
GFB Land & Leadership Advocate participants enjoyed a day of advocacy training and fellowship at Southern Belle Farm this summer. Visit www.gfb.photos/LLApicnic to see more photos.
Land & Leadership Advocates learn to promote agriculture By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________
Studies show consumers want farmers, not public relations professionals, to answer their questions about how their food is grown. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) is using its new Land & Leadership Advocates (L&LA) Program to prepare farmers to interact with consumers. Launched in December, the L&LA Program is providing leadership and advocacy activities for farmers and those who work in agriculture between the ages of 36-50. “The idea for this program came to me as I was attending American Farm Bureau board meetings and we talked about developing future leaders for Farm Bureau and keeping members involved after the Young Farmers & Ranchers Program,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “We need this age group to be involved with Farm Bureau and tell the story of agriculture. At some point in time, this age group will have to step up to the plate and lead our organization.” The American and Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers programs are for members ages 18 to 35. GFB saw a need to offer programs geared specifically for the 36 to 50-year age group. In June, a group of GFB members interested in the L&LA program attended a picnic lunch with Long at Southern Belle Farms in Henry County. They had the chance to learn more about the program and receive advocacy training from Mississippi Farm Bureau member Julie White, who is a farmer and Mississippi State Extension specialist. “Why do we [farmers] only talk about farming with our families and friends? We
need to advocate because we don’t want other people telling our story. It needs to be us telling our story,” White said. White says farmers can advocate for agriculture by striking up conversations with consumers in the grocery store, visiting schools to read books and talk to students about farming, or by using social media. “Whether you use social media, talk to someone in the grocery store or talk to kids, tell your story about your farm and why what you do is important to agriculture,” White said. “Figure out what your niche [for advocating about agriculture] is and use it! ” "We need to advocate because we don’t want other people telling our story." – Julie White White says it’s easy for farmers to use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to teach others about farming. She recommends sharing a photo of someone on the farm baling hay, feeding cows, planting row crops or caring for a sick animal to let consumers see how farmers go about their daily tasks. “Look at the last five posts you put on social media. I would hope that in some of these you shared something about farming and why you’re doing what you’re doing. It can be as simple as one picture with ten words,” White said. White encourages farmers to post the hard stuff, like calves dying or struggling crops, along with the good stuff like cute calves and pretty cotton. “Be willing to share it all. Explain what makes a bad day on the farm,” White said. After sharing that her farm had stillborn twin calves, a week later White post-
ed that her family was able to pair a couple of orphan calves with the cow that lost the calves to nurse. Realizing that farmers and their spouses are busy, White explained that you don’t have to share the work shots on the day they are taken as long as they are seasonal while the activity is going on. Whatever avenue farmers use to advocate for agriculture, White said, the most important thing is that they be themselves and let their personality show. White County Farm Bureau member Nathan Nix, who is also a pastor, has been involved with Farm Bureau for about 25 years. He first served as the county YF&R chairman and is now a county director. He and his wife, Tina, want to get involved with GFB’s L&LA Program to learn how to educate the public about how food is raised and how to answer questions they are asked. The Nixes raise commercial laying hens, sheep, for meat, and honey. “Society’s conception of farming is so misconstrued. This is why I’m such a proponent of this program,” Nathan said. “We hear a lot about antibiotics and hormones being the reason chickens are growing so large these days. Antibiotics and hormones have been outlawed in chicken production for a while now. We teach people the genetics of the birds are the reason they grow bigger.” The Nixes are also often asked about nutrition. “We’re constantly having to explain how we raise chickens,” Tina said. “Some people think eggs from free range chickens are better for you or that brown eggs are better for you than white eggs.” To learn more about the program, visit www.gfb.ag/LandLeadershipAdvocates.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August–September 2019 / 29
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
The UGA-Tifton Campus, formerly known as the Coastal Plain Experiment Station, was created in 1919 to conduct research for the improvement of Georgia farms. During an event to celebrate the campus’ centennial, UGA President Jere Morehead talked to UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Science graduate students Lauren Perez and Nick Hurdle about research they are conducting for their master’s degrees.
UGA-Tifton Campus turns 100 By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________________________________________________
The UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) is marking a major milestone this year as the UGA-Tifton Campus turns 100. Georgia agriculture has benefited greatly from the groundbreaking research the college has conducted in Tifton since 1919. The UGA-Tifton Campus was originally known as the Coastal Plain Experiment Station. After the Georgia Experiment Station was established in Griffin in 1888, farmers saw the need for a similar research farm in South Georgia that could address the warmer climate and sandier soils farmers south of the “fall line” deal with. Captain Henry Harding Tift, the founder of Tifton, was a major advocate for the Georgia Legislature establishing an experiment station to conduct ag research and share the results with farmers to improve South Georgia agriculture. He donated 206 acres north of Tifton for the experiment station to be built on and $25,000 to finance it. The Georgia Legislature passed an act to create the Coastal Plain Experiment Station (CPES) in August 1918. In May 1919, the CPES Board of Trustees chose Tifton as the site for the experiment station over Baxley, Savannah, Sylvester and Waycross. UGA administrators, faculty, staff 30 / August–September 2019
and members of Georgia’s ag community gathered at the UGA-Tifton Campus Conference Center May 3 to mark the anniversary. “Agriculture is Georgia’s number one industry, and the UGA-Tifton Campus has played a vital role in helping our farmers build this industry and sustain its success,” UGA President Jere Morehead said. Other speakers included Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, UGA CAES Dean Sam Pardue, UGA-Tifton Assistant Dean Joe West and USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture Director Scott Angle. “Of all the things we do in Washington, nothing is more important than protecting our nation’s food supply. If a nation can’t feed itself it can’t defend itself,” Scott said. “The science and education that comes from this campus promotes food security and peace around the world.” Glenn Burton (forages & grasses), Bill Branch (peanut cultivar breeder) W.T. Brightwell (blueberry cultivar breeder), Frank McGill (peanuts), Wayne Hanna (turf grasses) and Peggy Ozias-Akins (peanut genome mapper) are some of the world-renowned scientists who have worked at the UGA Tifton Campus. Angle, who served as CAES dean
from 2005-2015, shared he has learned, while traveling the world, that the UGA Tifton campus is known globally as the research home of Glenn Burton and Wayne Hanna. Burton is frequently referenced as one of three fathers of the Green Revolution, Angle said. Hanna is known for developing turf grass varieties used at many significant sports venues worldwide. “He [Burton] is known for the pearl millet and forage grasses he developed to feed animals. Burton’s research has probably saved hundreds of millions of lives,” Angle said. “One hundred years - you can get a lot of work done in that amount of time. The amount of work this campus has accomplished boggles the mind. That’s why the Tifton campus is known around the world, and I know great things are yet to come.” UGA-Tifton graduated its first class of students in 2004. The campus offers undergraduate programs of study in agribusiness, ag education, agriscience and environmental systems and biological science. Master’s degrees are available in agricultural & environmental education and plant protection & pest management. “The staff and faculty here at this campus get up each day to do research in cutting edge science that has been a tradition at this campus. Our scientists continue to lead the way with greater discoveries,” Pardue said. The UGA-Tifton Campus is also home to the Future Farmstead, which opened in 2015. This energy independent home/lab is dedicated to developing and demonstrating technologies for net-zero energy homes and sustainable gardening. The farmstead highlights an array of wireless internet control systems, cameras and other sensors can help farmers remotely manage livestock, distant fields, irrigation systems. To mark the centennial anniversary, the campus planted a formal garden behind the H.H. Tift Building using plant and shrub varieties UGA CAES researchers developed. UGA-Tifton also published a hardback pictorial book, “A Century of Impact: From Experiment Station to Campus.” The book is available at www. ugaextensionstore.com for $33, which includes shipping and tax. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Stories, photos & funds sought for Georgia Cattle History Book
he Georgia Cattlemen’s Foundation is working to publish a hardback book that chronicles the history of Georgia’s cattle industry – both beef and dairy. The steering committee for the project is asking all Georgia beef and dairy families to share their photos, especially old ones, and the stories of their family farms or experiences with the cattle industry. “We want this book to reflect the whole history of Georgia’s cattle industry, not just the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association,” explained John Callaway, co-chair of the book committee. “We’re looking to include information about sale barns, projects and programs the University of Georgia, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture have conducted through the years to improve and support our cattle industry. We also want the stories of Georgia 4-H and FFA members who have been involved in dairy and beef cattle projects and showing cattle.” The intent of the book, Callaway said, is for it to serve as an educational tool that preserves the history of Georgia’s cattle industry but also looks toward the industry’s future. Plans are for the book to be unveiled at the 60th Annual Georgia Cattlemen’s Convention in April 2021. Anyone with stories or photos illus-
trating Georgia’s cattle history may submit them to be considered for inclusion in the book by sending them to Michele Creamer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mailing them to the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association P.O. Box 27990, Macon, Ga, 31221. Photos will be returned. Please adhere a post-it-note to the back of all photos submitted with your name, address and phone number. The Georgia Cattlemen’s Foundation is also accepting donations to finance the project. Gifts in honor or memory of loved ones who have contributed to the cattle industry are encouraged. All donations to the foundation are tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to the Georgia Cattlemen’s Foundation and designated for the “History Book.” Checks should be mailed to the same address as photos. Contributors should include a note with their name, address, phone number, email address, donation amount and the name of the person they are making the tribute donation in honor or memory of. If the donor belongs to a local cattlemen’s chapter or county Farm Bureau, please include the chapter/county name. The foundation will recognize the top
Photo courtesy of Ga. Cattle History Book Committee
three groups that raise the most funds for the book. The foundation is encouraging GCA chapters, county Farm Bureaus, breed associations, Young Farmer chapters and other ag organizations to compete for recognition as a top fundraiser for the book. Donors who give $1,000 or more will be recognized in the book for their contribution and will receive hard copies of the book.
STORY OF GEORGIA AGRICULTURE
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2019 August-September GFB News