Vol. 75 No. 4
FARM BUREAU NEWS
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
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6/7/13 8:54 AM
we, the farmers PAGE 4
legislative update PAGE 5
commodities update PAGE 10
young farmer update PAGE 16
AITC update PAGE 17
around georgia PAGE 20
public relations staff Paul Beliveau Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone Print/Web Specialist Lillian Davis Publications/Advertising Manager Ray D’Alessio Senior Producer/TV Host Rick Treptow Senior Radio-TV Specialist Michael Edmondson Web/Video Manager Mark Wildman Radio-TV Specialist Dean Wood Radio-TV Specialist Damon Jones Radio-TV Specialist Vickie Amos Office Coordinator For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org For questions regarding advertising contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., 1-800-397-8908 Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau
GFB Farm Tour travels through 9th District The diversity of agriculture in GFB’s 9th District was highlighted as tour stops featured pine seedlings, vegetables, row crops, alligators, agritourism and research facilities. Mark Glass, left, tells the tour group about raising alligators during the visit to his farm. PAGE 6
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Excessive rainfall hurting Georgia tobacco crop
The annual Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour highlighted challenges tobacco growers have faced due to excess rains along with research being conducted on Georgia farms. PAGE 8
UGA, GSU hosting International Agribusiness Conference & Expo
Are you a farmer interested in learning how to export your commodities? If so, make plans to attend this conference Sept. 25-26 in Savannah. Attendees will learn what markets are open to their products, how to export their goods and what exporting can do for their bottom lines. PAGE 13
GFB Art & Essay Contest winners named
Enjoy the artwork of the top three winners of the GFB Art Contest and read the winning essay by Abby Cantrell. PAGES 14 -15
CAES animal science programs grow with farm acquisition
The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recently acquired the USDA’s Campbell Research Farm in Oconee County, which is part of the college’s long-term commitment to animal sciences.
Photoby Jay Stone
Meet the state champions of the Georgia High School Rodeo Association’s 2012-2013 season, the new UGA vegetable specialist and Georgia agriculturalists who recently won national awards. PAGE 22-23
on the cover
(Photo by Dwight Wallace) Peach County Farm Bureau member Dwight Wallace won an honorable mention with this photo in the 2012 GFB Young Farmer Photo Contest. He shot the photo at a farm near Marshallville. Visit http://www.gfb.org to see the winning photos from this year’s contest that were just selected at the GFB Young Farmer Conference. We’ll highlight the winners in the September GFB News.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 3
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
farmers Zippy Duvall, GFB President
Showers of Blessings
What a change! We have gone from a long drought to one of the wettest summers in history. Everywhere I travel in the state, I hear farmers say they can’t remember a summer this wet. They also say they are trying not to complain. These are showers of blessings. Our surface ponds and lakes are full, and that is a blessing. Since I visited with you in my last column, Farm Bureau has been going at full throttle this summer to represent Georgia farmers on both the state and national levels. On June 14, GFB organized a tailgate breakfast and farm tour for first-term Georgia Sen. Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge) to give him the chance to meet Farm Bureau leaders in his district and to see firsthand the issues farmers are dealing with on their farms. During the breakfast at Grady County Farm Bureau, UGA Cooperative Extension staff gave Burke an overview of the economic importance of agriculture in his district. I explained how GFB is a grassroots organization that gets its legislative direction from our members through our policy development process. As Georgia continues to face water issues, we planned farm stops to show Sen. Burke what farmers are doing to protect their water supply and use it efficiently. A visit to Monrovia Farms, one of the largest nurseries east of the Mississippi, highlighted how the farm uses constructed wetlands to filter the water and protect water quality. Grady County Farm Bureau President Sammy Perkins showed Sen. Burke how he uses dropped irrigation nozzles on his irrigation system
to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation. Perkins told Burke the dropped nozzles cut evaporation water loss to eight percent compared to the 25 percent evaporative loss high-pressured nozzles may experience. Events like this are important because they give legislators the chance to put faces with issues and give the legislators people they can call when they need more information about future legislation that will impact agriculture. On June 21 and 22, GFB held its annual farm tour in our organization’s 9th District, touring farms, research facilities and agribusinesses in Southwest Georgia. This event gives our members a chance to see the amazing farms and agribusinesses in a different part of the state. The tour showcased the diversity of Georgia agriculture as we toured farms producing vegetables, row crops, alligators, pine seedlings and grapes and hosting agritourism events like weddings. We also toured research facilities studying irrigation efficiency, crop diseases and developing turfgrass varieties. I’d like to thank all of the tour hosts and the Colquitt, Mitchell and Tift County Farm Bureaus for hosting our breakfast and lunch meals. I spent July 8-11 in Washington, D.C., representing Georgia at the AFBF Council of Presidents’ Meeting and visiting with Reps. Sanford Bishop, Doug Collins, Austin Scott and Lynn Westmoreland, key members of Georgia’s U.S. Congressional Delegation on the farm bill and immigration reform. This was the week that the House voted to split the farm bill and nutrition title into two separate pieces of legislation See WE, THE FARMERS page 22
GFB President Zippy Duvall talks to Farm Bureau members attending the organization’s annual farm tour during a dinner hosted by Colquitt County Farm Bureau. 4 / August 2013
FARM BUREAU NEWS
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President ZIPPY DUVALL 1st Vice President/South Georgia Vice President GERALD LONG North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR. Treasurer/Corporate Secretary WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER
DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Wesley Hall, Cumming; Henry J. West, Rydal SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Jim Ham, Smarr SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Dexter; James Emory Tate, Denton SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Bellville; Ben Boyd, Sylvania EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Elmodel; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Daniel Johnson, Alma; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Garrett Ganas, Waycross WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Nanette Bryan, Summerville ADVERTISING POLICY
All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau News. For advertising rates and information, contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 6011, Vernon Hills, IL 60061, 1-800-397-8908. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2013 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
legislative update Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director
Farm CDL changes go into effect Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) requirements for large trucks are changing. As of July 1, the farm CDL exemption now covers the entire state of Georgia and is expanded to apply to other states up to a distance of 150 air miles from a producer’s farm. To qualify for the farm CDL exemption, farmers must go online and register each qualified vehicle as a Covered Farm Vehicle (CFV). During the registration process, farmers will be required to fill out a CFV Designation Form (TR0025). A completed copy of the form must remain in the vehicle at all times for the CDL exemption to be in effect, and each vehicle must have its own specific form. There is no fee for the registration, but effective Jan. 1, 2014, there will be no CDL exemption without having a completed TR0025 in the vehicle. This broader CDL exemption is the result of federal legislation that President Obama signed into law last summer. The legislation, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act”, (MAP-21), is a $105 billion federal surface transportation bill with widespread impacts. Part of MAP-21 made positive changes to farm CDL exemptions. When MAP-21 passed, Georgia Farm Bureau began discussions with the Georgia Department of Public Safety (GDPS) to allow the broader exemptions offered by the federal legislation. The result is a farm exemption that will be more workable for farmers. The GDPS defines commercial vehicles as any vehicle used by a business with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more, and these vehicles require drivers to have a CDL. The GVWR includes the weight of a truck or van and any trailers that might be attached. Vehicles designed to carry 15 or more persons or vehicles hauling hazardous materials are considered commercial regardless of the GVWR and require a CDL. For years, farm trucks have been exempt from CDL requirements if the vehicle was hauling farm products owned by the farmer and the farmer, the farmer’s employee, or family member operated the
vehicle. Without the exemption, farmers would be required to follow all the strict regulations of commercial carriers whose trucks are on the road every day. The exemption, however, had shortcomings. It was only in effect within 150 miles from the farm, which is problematic for a state where distances can be more than 400 miles. Also, the exemption ended at the state line, so farmers living near borders were unable to legally take their farm trucks into neighboring states unless they complied with all the federal CDL regulations. The new law addresses these issues, but there are some additional requirements, too.
General Provisions of the New Agricultural CDL Exemption
vehicle. The form can be accessed on the legislative page at http://www.gfb.org. • CFV operators are exempt from federal regulations including CDLs, drug tests, physical exams, physician certificates and hours of service. • CFV operators are NOT exempt from posted weight and load limits on bridges and roads, size restrictions, fuel taxes, vehicle markings, registration, etc. While exempt from CDLs, farm operators must have the applicable Georgia driver’s license specific to the vehicle operated. MAP-21 is federal law, but states have three years to amend their commercial vehicle safety regulations to conform to the new federal regulations. GFB advocated for early adoption of the CDL provisions, and the Georgia General Assembly adopted the new regulations earlier this year. Not all states have enacted the MAP21 provisions. During this initial period, other states may not immediately adopt or implement the exemptions in the same way. Before operating a CFV in another state, check the regulations in that particular state to make sure the CDL farm exemptions are in effect. For more information visit http:// www.gfb.org/legislative/map21.html. Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Department.
• A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is any business vehicle weighing 10,001 pounds or more. Operators of CMVs must have a CDL unless they qualify as a covered farm vehicle (CFV). •A covered farm vehicle (CFV) is operated by a farm owner, family member, or employee. A CFV is used to haul agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery & equipment or supplies to or from a farm. A CFV cannot be operated for hire, and it cannot be used to carry hazardous materials requiring the use of hazmat placards. • A CFV of 26,000 pounds or less can be legally operated anywhere in the United States without a CDL. • A CFV of 26,001 pounds or more can be legally operated anywhere within the state of Georgia. Such vehicles can be operated across state lines within 150 air miles of the farm. •G eorgia farm operators must identify their vehicles as CFVs by showing law enforcement officers a completed Covered Farm Vehicle Designation form (TR0025) that specifies the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the Form TR0025
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 5
GFB Farm Tour travels through 9th District Photos & article by JenniferWhittaker _____________________________________ eorgia Farm Bureau members got a close look at a variety of farm operations in the organization’s 9th District in Southwest Georgia during the annual GFB Farm Tour held June 22 and 23. International Forest Company (IFCO) in Moultrie was the first tour stop. Owned by the Mobley family, IFCO is the largest grower of container seedlings in the Southeast, raising 60 million pine seedlings a year. The seedlings are used to reforest about 100,000 acres across the Southeast annually. IFCO has worked to improve the genetics of the longleaf, slash, loblolly, shortleaf and Virginia pine seedlings it breeds to ensure its seedlings grow straight and are disease resistant. At the second stop, Courtney Hamilton welcomed the GFB group to Southern Valley, one of Georgia’s largest produce growers. The Hamilton family grows a dozen different crops each year including cucumbers, squash, sweet corn, zucchini, eggplants and peppers. The Colquitt County operation ships its produce to grocery stores along the East Coast, in the Midwest and Canada. During the third stop at the UGA Turfgrass Breeding Station, on the UGA Tifton Campus,
The International Forest Company in Moultrie grows 60 million pine seedlings a year sold to reforest about 100,000 acres across the Southeast each year. 6 / August 2013
GFB members watch Southern Valley employees pack cucumbers to be shipped to grocery stores along the East Coast, in the Midwest and in Canada.
research coordinator Larry Baldree gave an overview of the various types of sod developed at the Tifton facility such as TifSport, TifWay and TifEagle. Baldree said more acres of TifWay have been planted around the world on sports fields than any other sod due to its playability, sustainability and aesthetics. UGA’s Sanford Stadium was recently resodded with TiftWay. TifSport was used to sod the soccer field for the World Cup Soccer Championship in South Africa in 2010. At the UGA Lang-Rigdon Research Farm in Tifton, UGA researchers gave updates on studies being done on cotton, peanuts and soybeans. UGA Extension Entomologist Phillip Roberts discussed UGA research to control the kudzu bug, which has decreased soybean yields by an average of 20 percent statewide over the past three years. Roberts said soybeans planted later, behind wheat,
have less infestation than soybeans planted earlier in the planting season. “Plans are being made to release a parasitic wasp imported from Japan across the state next spring,” Roberts said. “The wasp stings the kudzu bug eggs, and we’re hopeful will provide a natural control.” At Docia Farms in Tift County, the tour group watched just-harvested cantaloupes make their way through the cleaning, grading and packing process before being shipped to grocery stores. The farm ships about 300 semi-loads of melons during the six-to-eight week cantaloupe season that ends by midJuly. The Grimes family also grows cotton, peanuts, green beans, broccoli, corn, wheat and watermelons. Georgia Rep. Sam Watson, who serves on the Ga. House Agriculture Committee, spoke during the Friday night dinner, giving GFB
Research coordinator Larry Baldree, center, gives an overview of the varieties of sod that have been developed at the UGA Turfgrass Breeding Station. Georgia Farm Bureau News
During the stop at the UGA Lang-Rigdon Farm in Tifton, UGA Peanut Plant Pathologist Albert Culbreath, right, discusses research UGA has done to develop peanut varieties resistant to tomato spotted wilt virus and the importance of using fungicides to fight foliar diseases.
members an overview of ag legislation the General Assembly passed this year including legislation to establish a beef commission and a Georgia Grown Commission. Watson and his wife, Emily, serve on the GFB Young Farmer Committee representing the GFB 9th District. The Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camilla was the first stop of the second tour day. UGA manages the 130-acre research facility where scientists study ways to help farmers use water more efficiently.
At Docia Farms, GFB members watch Andrew and Lauren Grimes back a trailer of just-harvested cantaloupes into a sanitizing bath. After the melons are washed, they go through a grading line and are then packed for shipping.
Mark Glass welcomed the GFB tour to his Mitchell County alligator farm where he harvests about 55,000 alligators a year. Glass sells the hides to luxury watchstrap and handbag makers. He sells about 450,00) pounds of alligator meat each year to numerous grocery outlets. At Gin Creek Plantation, GFB members enjoyed walking through the vineyards and riding trams through what has been called the premier wedding destination of the South.
Brothers Richie and Doug DeMott have developed two scenic wedding venues for outdoor weddings and raise wine grapes and muscadines that are bottled off-site for wine sold under their label. The Sunbelt Expo farm was the last stop on the tour. GFB members rode trams through the 600-acre farm to view research being conducted by university and company scientists on seed varieties, crop protection products and growing methods for row crops and forages.
Calvin Perry, superintendent of the Stripling Irrigation Research Park,standing, explains how farmers use moisture meters to measure the moisture level of their fields to determine when they need to irrigate their crops.
During the stop at Mark Glassâ€™ alligator farm, GFB member Chester Yawn shows fellow tour members how to handle a gator when picking it up.
The vineyards and one of two wedding venues at Gin Creek Plantation, a destination wedding site in Colquitt County.
GFB members rode trams through the 600-acre Sunbelt Expo farm to view crop research being conducted by university & company scientists.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 7
Excessive rainfall hurting Georgia tobacco crop
By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________
he disease and pest pressures expected to challenge the 2013 Georgia tobacco crop have been lighter than anticipated, but the state’s growers are facing a new threat: rain. During the 2013 Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour, held June 10-12 in South Georgia and North Florida, participants saw what one farmer called “flop,” the wilting of leaves resulting from excessive water in the soil. “We’ve had too much water,” said
Ricky Tucker, who has 435 acres of tobacco on his Berrien County farm. “It cuts off the oxygen in the soil. When it does, the leaves lay straight down beside the stalk. If you can get some air back to it, it will usually stand back up, but too much water and the plant won’t come back. It’ll just absolutely die.” Dr. J. Michael Moore, the University of Georgia’s lead tobacco researcher, said prolonged periods of soggy soil prevent oxygen and nutrients from reaching the
National Association of Plant Breeders honors Boerma The National Association of Plant Breeders and its Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee have recognized Dr. Roger Boerma, executive director of Georgia Seed Development, with one of the organizations’ most prestigious tributes, the 2013 NAPB Plant Breeding Impact Award. The award honors an individual who has made significant advancements in the field of plant breeding in the area of applied variety and/or technology development, causing a measurable impact on crop production. It also recognizes the individual’s exceptional accomplishments in teaching and collaboration with others. 8 / August 2013
A nationally recognized soybean geneticist and professor emeritus at the University of Georgia, Boerma was instrumental in developing UGA’s Centers for Soybean Improvement and for Applied Genetic Technologies. Since 2011, Boerma has led Georgia Seed Development, an agency that produces foundation plant material and markets seed and plant materials designed to improve crop yields for growers in Georgia and across the United States.
Photo courtesy of NAPB
Photo by Jay Stone
UGA Professor Dr. J. Michael Moore, right, discusses research activities with participants in the 2013 Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour.
upper parts of the plants, causing the leaves to wilt. At the Irwin County farm of Rob Smith, fields had been plowed to aerate soil after heavy rains in hopes of restoring oxygen to the plants. Heavy rain has continued since the tour, and Moore said on July 18 that Georgia producers could lose between 5 and 10 percent of their tobacco acreage due to drowning. Producers may also experience quality issues for portions of the crop that can be harvested. Moore said that pest and disease stresses have been light so far in 2013. “We’ve had very little black shank show up in the crop and there have been low levels of tomato spotted wilt virus,” Moore said. “It has thrown off our predictions.” The tour, which began in Waresboro, Ga., on June 10, made several stops in South Georgia on June 11 and finished up in North Florida on June 12. In addition to highlighting this year’s crop, the tour gave participants a look at research on tobacco genetics, variety tests and trials of new pesticide and fungicide applications. Moore reviewed research into genetic traits that make tobacco resistant to black shank. Among those are a North Carolina State study into tobacco variety NC1071, which has a genetic resistance to black shank fungus (BSF) race 0 but is susceptible to BSF race 1. The genetic studies are part of an effort to minimize the use of chemicals. UGA Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Bertrand discussed studies for treatment of tomato spotted wilt virus on the Tucker farm. At the Black Shank Nursery on the UGA Tifton Campus, UGA researchers continue to study chemical use and variety trials to combat black shank disease.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB leaders meet with Sen. Burke By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________
tate Senator Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge) visited with Georgia Farm Bureau members from his district on June 14 at Grady County Farm Bureau. He was treated to a biscuit breakfast and presented with information about GFB’s organizational structure, the UGA Cooperative Extension and key issues related to agriculture in Southwest Georgia and around the state. UGA Cooperative Extension Southwest District Director Laura Perry Johnson gave an overview of the university’s extension function. In particular she explained that the UGA Cooperative Extension Service gets its funding from a variety of sources, with only 37 percent of its overall budget coming from state funds. “If ag is not strong in South Georgia, nothing is strong,” Johnson said. Grady County Extension Agent Don
Clark gave an overview of the county’s agricultural activities. GFB President Zippy Duvall provided Sen. Burke with a description of GFB’s organization. “We’re a bottom-up organization. I won’t talk to you about anything these guys haven’t given me permission to talk about in our policy book, and we go through a democratic process to develop that policy.” Sen. Burke commended GFB’s legislative staff for its efforts to keep members of the Georgia General Assembly informed about agricultural issues. Burke encouraged the group to maintain contact with him and his office. “It seems like the most vocal people some-
times only represent 10 percent of your population,” he said. “The silent majority many times truly is silent. If you want me to vote your way you’ve got to make your voice be heard.” After the breakfast, Burke visited Monrovia Farms and GCFB President Sammy Perkins’ farm to see the irrigation practices employed there. Monrovia, one of the largest nurseries east of the Mississippi, utilizes an irrigation system that recycles water, taking advantage of land slopes to control where the water goes. Monrovia employees Jerry Lee and Stewart Chandler said the nursery uses constructed wetlands to filter the water at the lowest points on the farm. Bacteria and plants in the wetlands reduce nitrogen levels from between 70 and 100 parts per million to less than 1 ppm.
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Grady County Farm Bureau President Sammy Perkins, center, shows Sen. Burke, right, and GFB President Zippy Duvall dropped irrigation nozzles on a pivot in his corn field. The nozzles disperse water as simulated raindrops reducing the amount of water lost to evaporation. High-pressure irrigation nozzles create mist that drifts away from the targeted plants causing as much as 25 percent of the water to be lost to evaporation. The dropped nozzles Perkins uses reduce the evaporative loss to eight percent.
For more information, or to apply, contact your local Farm Bureau agent today Existing Farm Bureau Bank vehicle loans are excluded from this offer. * Rates disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and are based on automated payments (ACH) and acquiring one of the following collateral protection products: Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) or Major Mechanical Protection (MMP). Additional discounts do apply for purchasing more than one collateral protection product. The advertised APR of 2.99% is effective as of January 31, 2013. Final APR may differ from the loan interest rate due to additional fees (such as a loan documentation fee, which may be applicable). For a $25,050 vehicle loan with a term of 36 months, a 45 day first payment date and a 2.99% APR, the monthly payment will be $727.76. To qualify for the disclosed rate, customer must be a Farm Bureau member. Rates may vary based on the amount financed, term and first payment date. Non-member rates may vary. Finance charges accrue from origination date of the loan. The APR may increase during the term of the loan if automatic payments are discontinued for any reason. Some restrictions apply based on the make and model of vehicle offered as collateral. All loans are subject to credit approval, verification, and collateral evaluation. Other rates and financing options are available. Non-member rates may be 1-3% higher than posted rates. Loans for RVs, motorcycles, trailers, ATVs, watercraft and commercial vehicles may be 0.50% higher. This offer is not available in all states and rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Rates and financing are limited to vehicle models 2004 and newer and subject to change. Farm Bureau Bank does not finance totaled, rebuilt or salvaged vehicles. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank, FSB.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 9
commodities/marketing update Don McGough, Rebecca Brightwell & Glen Raines
AgrAbility in Georgia keeps disabled farmers working Georgia is a diversified agricultural state whose farmers produce a wide variety of commodities. Our farmers spend their lives producing our food and fiber, but when an illness or accident happens they may have difficulty making the transition back to the vocation they love. It is estimated that 25,000 to 35,000 Georgians in agricultural households have some type of disability or chronic health condition that inhibits their ability to farm. When a farm worker falls ill or is disabled, it threatens the continued operation of their business, self-esteem and the financial security of their families. This is where AgrAbility in Georgia can help. AgrAbility is a free program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in partnership with the University of Georgia (UGA) with the mission to promote independence for members of Geor-
gia’s agricultural community who have disabilities. AgrAbility works to support gainful employment in production agriculture. It provides access to appropriate assistive technology needed for work and daily living activities, evidence-based information related to the treatment and rehabilitation of disabling conditions, and targeted support for family caregivers of AgrAbility customers. The program has served more than 1,200 Georgia farm families. The majority of farmers with disabilities are unaware of the assistive technology tools and resources available that could enable them to continue farming. Assistive Technology (AT) items are devices that promote greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks they were formerly unable to accomplish or had great difficulty accomplishing. AT solutions may be commercially made or be adaptations to existing equipment. In addition to directly serving farmers, AgrAbility in Georgia is developing an Agrability Farm in Tifton as a training and demonstration facility for farmers with disabilities and service providers who work with farmers (e.g. occupational/physical therapists, vocational rehabilitation profes-
sionals and students). The Agrability Farm will have areas focused on specific assistive technology tools, such as adapted equipment for livestock handling, gardening, shop work, mobility and agricultural machinery that can make tasks easier. It is believed Georgia’s Agrability Farm will be the only facility of its kind in the world. The farm has been somewhat slow in its development due to lack of funding, however, progress is being made. To date, donors to the project include: UGA, which gave an acre of land, access to conference facilities on adjacent property and a 5000 Ford tractor; John Deere, which donated a fully equipped tractor cab; the Georgia Department of Transportation, which donated fill to level the land; and contributions from individual donors. Donations of money, equipment and other supplies are welcomed and are tax-deductible. The AgrAbility Farm anticipates reaching 2,000-3,000 people annually across Georgia. The farm is positioned to reach a large community due to its location near the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center where large agricultural events are often See AGRABILITY page 21
Photo courtesy of AgrAbility in Georgia
Ga. Cotton Commission seeks nominations
Agrability in Georgia has been working with Richard Stanley, a cattle and hay farmer from Blue Ridge, Ga., since 2009. Stanley, who has Guillain-Barre Syndrome, was able to resume driving his tractor after AgrAbility worked with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Program to adapt Stanley’s tractor with a chair lift. “I hadn’t been able to get up in the tractor seat until I got the lift,” said Stanley. “It was the greatest feeling I ever had.” 10 / August 2013
The ex officio members of the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) are accepting resumes for two new seats on the commission. These two positions were added to the producer member board by House Bill 298, which the Georgia General Assembly passed earlier this year at the request of the cotton community to increase producer representation from five to seven growers. According to state law, at least twice the number of nominees should be submitted for consideration as there are vacancies. To receive a nomination form or for more information about the nomination process, contact Nathan Wilson by phone at 404-656-3678 or email at Na-
email@example.com. You may also contact your local FSA office or the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodities Department at 1-800-342-1196 for forms. You may access the form online at the GCC website http://georgiacottoncommission.org. Aug. 15 is the deadline for submitting nominations. The GCC board currently consists of: Chairman Mike Lucas, Bleckley County; Vice Chairman Wavell Robinson, Brooks County; Lee Cromley, Bulloch County; Bart Davis Jr., Colquitt County and Marvin Ruark, Morgan County. Ex officio members are Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, GFB President Zippy Duvall, Buddy Leger and Russ Moon. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo courtesy of Rep. Johnson’s office
Job swap gives perspective By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ Newton County Farm Bureau President Keith Mitcham and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-4th Dist.) have a better understanding of what the other does for a living thanks to a job exchange the two did earlier this summer. At the invitation of NCFB, Rep. Johnson visited the Mitcham Cattle Company and strawberry farm near Covington on May 29 to learn more about his rural constituents. After Georgia’s U.S. Congressional districts were redrawn in 2012, the 4th District now includes several large rural areas in Rockdale and Newton counties in addition to the cities of Conyers, Decatur, Lithonia and Stone Mountain. “In the past, Newton County Farm Bureau has hosted a legislative farm tour, but we wanted to try something more person-
Newton County Farm Bureau President Keith Mitcham, left, welcomes U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson to the Mitcham farm as part of a job exchange the two did this summer.
able so, we invited Rep. Johnson to visit our farm,” Mitcham said. “I was struck with how receptive Rep. Johnson was to visiting us and learning about agriculture. I think sometimes we think legislators aren’t interested in agriculture, but he and his staff showed a lot of interest in what we do.” While visiting the Mitcham farm, Rep. Johnson picked strawberries and climbed aboard a tractor to get a lesson on baling hay from Keith. “It was great for me and my staff to learn the day-to-day operations of the farm,” said Johnson. “This is my first time being able to
see the true beauty of the new 4th District. It’s a rural area, and I’m just happy to have such an area I can represent.” Mitcham then traveled to Washington, D.C., June 13 to spend a day with Johnson on Capitol Hill. That morning, Mitcham attended the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing for FBI Director Robert Mueller with Rep. Johnson, who serves on the committee and the House Armed Services Committee. In the afternoon, Mitcham attended another hearing with Rep. Johnson regarding the Strengthen & Enforcement Act, also known as the SAFE Act, one of several bills the Judiciary Committee has proposed to address immigration reform. “I got to see the non-farm issues they have to deal with on a daily basis in Washington,” Mitcham said. Mitcham encourages other Farm Bureaus to reach out to their urban legislators. “You never know until you ask. As a result of this exchange, I formed a relationship with the congressman, and I would feel comfortable calling him about any issue.”
If you can’t be there, we can. She’s been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl. But if you can’t be there to see it, you can at least make sure that you’ve planned for her happiness. Farm Bureau Insurance* has a wide range of life insurance policies that can meet your family’s needs. Hopefully you will be there for all of her life’s greatest moments. But if you can’t, Farm Bureau Insurance* will be there to help see her through.
*Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 11
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Ga. ag teachers recognized
Irish agribusinessman visits Ga.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
At the request of American Farm Bureau and GFB, Tift County Farm Bureau hosted a farm tour on May 13 for Irish visitors Peter and Kate Bolger. Peter is president of the Agricultural Science Association, which represents agricultural professionals in Ireland. He is also managing director of John Bolger & Co. Ltd., which supplies seed, fertilizer and chemicals to farmers and manufactures livestock feed. Pictured from left, TCFB President Gary Walker and TCFB Director Bill Brim tell the Bolgers how zucchini harvested at
Lewis Taylor Farms are cleaned before being packed for shipment. Walker told the Bolgers how farmers improve their soil using conservation tillage methods, such as no-till. TCFB Office Manager Lauren Grimes and her husband, TCFB Young Farmer Chairman Andrew Grimes, not pictured, talked to the Bolgers about planting peanuts. Andrew took both Peter and Kate for a ride on his tractor while planting peanuts. The Bolgers were fascinated by the GPS equipment Grimes used to plant the crop.
GFB welcomes FFA officers
The 2013-2014 Georgia FFA officers visited Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, seated, at the GFB home office June 11. Pictured, standing from left, are Georgia FFA Vice Presidents Abbey Gretsch, Levi Davis, and Addie Thomason, Georgia FFA President Andy Paul, Geor12 / August 2013
gia FFA Vice Presidents Ashton Lovett, Jaky Cervantes and Justin Rectenwald and Georgia FFA Secretary Makinizi Hoover. The FFA officers ate lunch with Duvall and learned about GFBâ€™s legislative, commodity, public relations and Ag in the Classroom programs from GFB staffers.
Several Georgia ag educators were honored by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) during its 2012 annual convention last December. Bill Waldrep, agriculture educator and FFA adviser at Mary Persons High School in Monroe County, was one of six teachers nationwide to Waldrep receive the 2012 NAAE Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Award. As the Southeast Region V winner, Waldrep won a two-year lease on a Toyota Tundra. The Effingham County Young Farmer Association (ECYFA) was one of six programs nationwide to receive the 2012 NAAE Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Ag EducaWaltz tion Program Award. An ag educator for 40 years, Freddie Waltz has taught ag mechanics at Effingham County High School and advised the ECYFA for the past 15 years. Waltz also received a two-year lease on a Toyota Tundra. Susannah Lanier, an ag teacher at Southeast Bulloch High School, and Brittany Bearden, an ag teacher at Hahira Middle School, each received one of 39 Teachers Turn the Key Awards. These scholarship awards allow early career ag educators to attend the annual NAAE convention. Both have been teaching since 2009. Georgia Farm Bureau News
UGA, GSU to host International Agribusiness Conference & Expo By J. Merritt Melancon & Casey Jones ___________________________________
With agricultural products being among the state’s top exports, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Georgia Southern University Division of Continuing Education are teaming up to help farmers and businesses learn how to capitalize on the growing export market. The two institutions will host the 2013 International Agribusiness Conference and Expo on Sept. 25-26 in Savannah. The inaugural event will provide participants with information on what markets are open to their products, how to export their goods and what exporting can do for their bottom lines. “As the global economy continues to grow, Georgia producers are posed to take advantage of increasing demand for food and fiber products,” said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Georgia can export poultry and
cotton cheaper than Brazil, providing us a competitive advantage in shipping exports to Europe and China.” In 2012, Georgia exported $37.9 billion worth of goods. Georgia is the top exporter of U.S. poultry, pecans and wood pulp; and peanut exports are on the rise. About 39 percent of the shipments exported through the port of Savannah are agricultural products. “The forest products industry is a major economic engine for Georgia. It contributes nearly $25 billion in economic activity within the state and is responsible for over $13 billion in exports,” said Alexander Koukoulas, president and CEO of the Georgia Southern University Herty Advanced Materials Development Center in Savannah. About one in three acres of farmland in the U.S. is planted for the export market, and an increasing number of smalland medium-sized farmers are looking to augment their incomes with international sales, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Inter-
national Trade Office. Participants at the 2013 International Agribusiness Conference and Expo will attend educational forums and workshops, learning from experts in agricultural importing and exporting and about the latest practices in processing value-added agricultural products. They also will have a chance to meet with international trade representatives. Georgia Farm Bureau is the main sponsor of the conference. A pre-conference farm tour of operations in Southeast Georgia that are producing, processing and packaging ag products for export will be held Sept. 24 from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Cost is $50. A postconference tour of the Port of Savannah will be held Sept. 27 from 9:30–11 a.m. There is a $50 transportation fee that must be paid in advance to Georgia Southern at the time of registration. Registration prior to the conference is $190. On-site registration is $210. For more information about the conference’s schedule visit http://www.iace.us.com.
INTERNATIONAL AGRIBUSINESS CONFERENCE & EXPO
SEPTEMBER 25 — 26, 2013
Pre-Conference Farm Tour - $50 Fee Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Leaving from Savannah, GA in the morning and returning mid-afternoon. The farm tour is a day-long event that includes multiple stops at operations in Southeast Georgia that are involved in producing, processing, and packaging agricultural products for export.
CONFERENCE & EXPO
Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Savannah, GA
Networking Opportunities with International Trade Representatives Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities Available
IMAgine the Possibilities!
Post-Conference Georgia Ports Tour - $50 Fee Friday, September 27, 2013 - 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
There is no charge for the tour but a $50 transportation fee must be paid in advance to Georgia Southern University at the time of registration. Registration information will be provided in advance to the Georgia Ports Authority and you must present a photo id in order to gain entrance to the port facility.
Finding Markets and Buyers for Your Products
Visit the Port of Savannah, and tour the United States’ fourth largest container port, Garden City Terminal. At 1,200 acres, Garden City Terminal is North
Delivering Your Product to Your International Buyer
Pricing Your Product for Export
A COLLABORATION WITH GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
For registration information call toll free 1.855.478.5551 or visit our website at iace.us.com GGAFarmBureau7.125wx4.6875h.indd eorgia Farm Bureau News A ugust6/4/13 2013 12:01 / 13 PM 1
GFB names art contest winners
Glynn County student Chandler Jernigan won the GFB 19th Annual Art Contest for her detailed drawing of shelled and unshelled peanut pods. Jernigan, the daughter of Larry Sowell and Jill Jernigan, was a senior at Glynn Academy when she entered the contest earlier this year. Jernigan received $100 for being the GFB 10th District winner and an additional $350 for being the state winner. Zachary Edds of Whitfield County, GFB 1st District and Melissa Pyle, Early County, GFB 9th District, were named state runners-up in the art contest. Each received $250 cash. SunTrust Bank of Middle Georgia sponsored the contest. The contest, open to any ninth through twelfth-grade student, received 59 entries. Drawings were judged on artistic merit and how well the artwork represented Georgia agriculture. Contest winners were selected from each of GFB’s 10 districts. Other district winners in the art contest were: Wendy Medrano, Habersham County, 2nd Dis-
State winner & 10th District winner, Chandler Jernigan
trict; Justin Moseley, Carroll County, 3rd District; Kristina Karamihalis, Wilkes County, 4th District; Chase Corbin, Pike County, 5th District; Breanna Watkins, Dodge County, 6th District; Holly Coffey, Wayne County, 7th District; and Cherokee Carothers, Wilcox County, 8th District. Each district winner received $100. The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee coordinated the contest on the state level, and county Women’s Committees promoted the contest locally.
Ga. pecan producers vote to continue commission
Georgia pecan producers voted to continue the Georgia Pecan Commission for another three years during a mail referendum held May 1 to May 30. The referendum passed by 93.4 percent with 156 producers voting to continue the commission and 11 against. The commission was established by Georgia pecan producers in 1995 and must be reaffirmed every three years. The commission coordinates promotion, education and research programs for Georgia’s pecan industry. State law requires that at least 66 2/3 percent of the producers voting must vote in favor of continuing the organization. Ballots were mailed to 586 producers. A total of 176 ballots were returned of which nine were invalid. Producers growing 30 or more acres of pecans are eligible to vote in the statewide referendum. Growers are assessed a half-cent per pound for in-shell nuts to finance the commission’s programs. Growers with fewer than 30 acres are not required to participate. The Georgia Pecan Commission Board of Directors consists of producers John Robison, chairman, of Lyons; Thomas Mason, vice chairman, of Kathleen; J.W. Christiansen Jr., of Albany; Mark Cook, of Davisboro and Tom Stone of Thomasville and ex officio members Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black; Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, Buddy Leger and Russ Moon. 14 / August 2013
State runner-up & 1st District winner, Zachary Edds
State runner-up & 9th District winner, Melissa Pyle Georgia Farm Bureau News
Cantrell wins GFB Essay Contest Habersham County student Abby Cantrell is the state winner of the GFB Essay Contest, which drew 72 entries and was open to students in sixth through eighth grades. Cantrell received a $100 cash prize for being the GFB 2nd District essay winner and a $250 cash prize as the state winner. Cantrell, the daughter of Jeff and Holly Cantrell, was a home-schooled sixth-grade student when she wrote her essay earlier this year. Essay contest participants discussed how Georgia agriculture has changed in the last 75 years. Essays were judged on clarity of thought and writing skill. Contest winners were selected from each of the organization’s 10 districts. Other district winners in the essay contest were: Isabelle Riddle, Cherokee County, 1st District; Sarah Katherine Baxter, North Fulton County, 3rd District; Sabrina Rehman, Columbia County, 4th District; Carolyn Gillespie, Upson County, 5th District; Ivey Rowland, Washington County, 6th District; Wilson Boyd, Screven County, 7th District; Susan Baker, Turner County, 8th District; Will Hatcher, Mitchell County, 9th District; and Nikki Leggett, Irwin County, 10th District. Each district winner received $100. The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee coordinated the contest on the state level, and county Women’s Committees promoted the contest locally.
How has agriculture changed in the last 75 years?
By Abby Cantrell Georgia’s agricultural industry has always played an important role in the state’s economy. There have been many changes in this industry in the last 75 years. New innovations in equipment and technology have transformed farming. In addition, farm sizes and numbers have shifted during this period of time. The number one product produced in Georgia, as well as the reasons for farming, has changed. The use of machines has greatly changed farm life. In the past, farmers had to plow with horses and work the field by hand with a hoe. After the 1940s, equipment, such as tractors, began to replace human labor and animal power. In fact,
the number of tractors on farms increased from 10,000 in 1940 to 85,000 by 1955. Seventy-five years ago, cotton was picked by hand which required many workers. Today, machines pick cotton with only one operator driving the equipment. The use of machines has saved the farmer a lot of time over the years. New and improved agricultural developments have made farming much easier. Better irrigation systems have become available for use over the last 75 years. Fertilizers and pesticides have created better crop yields. In addition, improvements in grain, as well as feeding and watering systems, have made animal nutrition more efficient. A chicken house in the 1940s could only hold around 3,500 to 4,000 chickens. Today, they hold 25,000 to 30,000 chickens in one house. This increase is possible because of innovations in equipment and technology. Farmers can now achieve their goals in less time, which allows them to get animals to market quicker. Advances in technology have also changed farming over this time frame. The availability of electricity and indoor plumbing on farms has greatly improved farm life. Farmers have always needed to predict when it will rain. Before the 1940s, there was no reliable method to do this. The invention of the weather radar system (1940s) and the weather satellite (1960s) gave farmers something that made it easier to plan when to water. In addition, other technologies, such as the phone, the radio, the television (1950s), and computers (1990s), have
improved farming through better communication. In the 1940s, chicken houses were managed by hand and were not electric. Today, the houses not only have electricity, but can be computerized so that the temperature in the house can be controlled from a cell phone. Another change in agriculture that has been seen is the number of farms in Georgia. Although the way of farming has gotten better, the number and size of farms has decreased. Georgia remained a farming state until the 1940s. During and after World War II, more and more people began moving to the cities. The number of people living on farms decreased from 85 percent in the early 1900s to 25 percent by 1990. There was a move away from small farms, which grew both plants and animals to larger ones that grew either plants or animals, but not both. In 2002, there were only 50,000 farms in Georgia compared to 226,000 in 1945. In 2004, less than 2 percent of the population in Georgia lived and worked on farms. As you can see, a lot has changed in Georgia farming over the last seven decades. Today, it takes less input by the farmer to get the same amount of output from the farm. Machinery, agricultural developments, and technological advancements have greatly improved the farming environment. Although few in number, efficient farms still contribute over 16 percent annually to Georgia’s economic output and one in seven Georgians still work in agriculture, forestry, or related fields. If the past 75 years have revealed these kinds of changes, one can only imagine what the future of farming will bring.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 15
young farmer update Jed Evans, Young Farmer Coordinator
Food banks seek farm fresh produce donations State & federal laws protect farmers when donating
As farmers, we feed people. Georgia farmers are the best in the world. We grow the safest, most abundant and most affordable food in the world. The GFB Young Farmer Committee is encouraging all Georgia farmers to carry our mission a step further and use our talents to help those in need. Working with the Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA), we can all make a difference in the lives of the citizens of our state who are less fortunate. The GFBA is placing an increased emphasis on the procurement of fresh produce to feed needy families. As farmers, we have a great opportunity to help. We understand the importance of adding fresh fruits and vegetables to our daily diet. As members of the farming community, we can work together to positively impact the lives of thousands of hungry Georgians. Your donation will make a true difference in the life of a hungry child. Millions of pounds of food go to waste each year. To encourage farmers, companies and organizations to donate healthy
food that would otherwise be discarded, the Georgia Legislature passed an amendment to the Good Samaritan Food Laws in 1987 to protect food donors from liability. This law specifically states that “a good faith donation of canned or perishable food fit for consumption will NOT be subject to criminal penalty or civil damages resulting from the condition of the food, unless injury is caused intentionally by the donor. This includes canned or perishable foods not readily marketable due to appearance, freshness, grade, surplus or other considerations.” Nine years later, then-President Clinton signed the federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act to encourage donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. This law makes it easier for anyone to donate by: • Protecting you from liability when you donate to a nonprofit organization. • Protecting you from civil and criminal liability should the product donated
in good faith later cause harm to the needy recipient. • Standardizing donor liability exposure so neither you nor your legal counsel have to investigate liability laws in 50 states. • Setting a floor of “gross negligence” or intentional misconduct for persons who donate grocery products. Gross negligence is defined as “voluntary and conscious conduct by a person with knowledge (at the time of conduct) that the conduct is likely to be harmful to the health or well-being of another person.” All too often, these laws are either misunderstood or misinterpreted. The bottom line is that it is easy and safe to donate fresh fruits and vegetables to any member of the GFBA. Rather than dump excess produce, the Young Farmer Committee urges you to take a moment to contact the GFBA and schedule the pickup of your excess product. For more information concerning the donation of fresh produce, please contact the GFBA at 404-601-2462 or visit their website at www.georgiafoodbankassociation.org.
GFB names scholarship winners
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________ Erin Burnett of Mitchell County, time selecting the top ten Sarah Pate of Houston County and Cas- finalists and top three sidy Sims of Morgan County have been scholarship recipients selected to receive the top 2013 Georgia from the nearly 100 outFarm Bureau Scholarships valued at standing applications $3,000 each. we received,” said GFB The scholarships recognize deserv- President Zippy Duvall. Burnett ing and outstanding young people pur- “These students are the future leaders of suing college degrees in agriculture and Georgia agriculture, and Georgia Farm related fields. Only students who will Bureau is glad to help them prepare for enroll in a unit of the University System this role by offering these scholarships.” of Georgia or Berry College for the 2013- Burnett plans to enter the University 2014 academic year are eligible. of Georgia this fall to pursue degrees in “Based on the quality applications agricultural communications and SpanGeorgia Farm Bureau received for our ish. Pate also plans to attend UGA as a scholarship program, I’m confident in food science major. Sims anticipates ensaying the future of Georgia agriculture tering the University of North Georgia looks bright. Our judges had a tough this fall as a biology major in the pre-
16 / August 2013
veterinary program. In addition to the three top awards, seven other students were awarded $750 each. The other scholarship finalists were Jonathan Barrett of Habersham County, Joseph Branch of Meriwether County, Brooke Helton of White County, Kevin Jones of Madison County, Hannah Porter of Murray County, Megan Powell of Johnson County and Samantha Strickland of Houston County. Georgia Farm Bureau News
ag in the classroom Donna Rocker, AITC Coordinator
The second year of the Georgia Farm Bureau Educator Workshop & Farm Experience program reached 165 teachers in eight workshops hosted by Wilcox, Turner, Colquitt, Coffee, Laurens, Harris, Meriwether, Muscogee, Talbot, Jackson and Oconee counties this past school year. Participating teachers learned about agriculture from county volunteers and GFB Field Services staff, participated in a variety of agriculture activities for the classroom, toured a farm in the host county and received teaching materials valued at $125 per teacher. The materials are easily matched to state standards and provide motivation for the teacher as well as their students. If your county is interested in being a host county for a workshop during 2014, contact your GFB district field representative. If you are a teacher interested in learning about the Ag in the Classroom program, please contact Donna Rocker at dhrocker@ gfb.org or 478-474-0679, ext. 5365.
Photo By Donna Rocker
GFB hosts educator workshops
Teachers who attended the GFB Educator Workshops received seed and soil kits, which include supplies to plant seed with their students and soil samples to teach the primary soil types. Jackson County teachers attending the workshop hosted by Jackson County Farm Bureau investigate the soil kits JCFB President Swayne Cochran, rear, distributed.
GFB Women’s Committee visit First Lady Sandra Deal Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, front row, center, welcomed the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee to the Georgia Governor’s Mansion for tea on June 6. The GFB group visiting Mrs. Deal included: front row, from left, Bonnie Duvall, wife of GFB President Zippy Duvall, committee members Janet Mazurek and Janet Greuel, Mrs. Deal, committee members Brenda Cooley and Linda Crumley and GFB Women’s Committee Coordinator Donna Rocker and back row, from left, committee members Angie Durham, Elaine Avery, Angela Todd, Melanie Raines, Jeannie Tucker and Committee Chairman Nanette Bryan. Mrs. Deal gave the committee members a tour of the mansion sharing infor-
Photo by Governor’s Mansion staff
By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________
mation about the historical significance of paintings and furniture displayed throughout the house. The committee presented Mrs. Deal with a signed copy of the GFB cookbook
“A Legacy of Georgia Cooking.” The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee consists of a representative from each of the organization’s 10 districts and works to promote Georgia agriculture.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 17
CAES animal science program grows with farm acquisition The University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is in the midst of several moves that CAES Dean Dr. Scott Angle says are part of a long-term commitment to animal sciences. CAES has acquired the use of the USDA’s Campbell Research Farm in Oconee County. Angle said that while the college is in the process of selling off its Wilkins Beef Cattle Research Farm in Wilkes County, that with the larger farm at Campbell, CAES has expanded its capabilities for beef cattle research. The cattle at the Wilkins farm will be moved to the Central Georgia Research and Education Center in Eatonton. “I’ve heard a couple of comments here recently that the University of Georgia and the College of Ag may be cutting back their commitment to animal sciences especially as we have talked about selling the Wilkins farm,” Angle said. “When this is all said and done, we’re going to have more animals, and we’re going to have more land support-
Jenkins County Farm Bureau Director Wyndell Bell dies
Wyndell K. Bell, secretary-treasurer for Jenkins County Farm Bureau, died on June 26 after a long illness. He was 65. Bell, of Millen, served as chairman of the GFB Dairy Committee from 1996-2000 and was a committee member in 2001. Born in Charleston, S.C., Bell operated Four Bells Farm in Millen with his son Karlson. He also worked as a mail carrier and was a member of Green Fork Baptist Church. Survivors include his wife, Becky Gay Bell; three sons, Karlson (Kathy) Bell, Whit Bell and Kevan Bell; mother, Mildred H. Bell; sister, Cherdale B. Cross and two grandchildren, Katie Lynn Bell and Kara Leigh Bell all of Millen. 18 / August 2013
ing those animals on more facilities. So it’s actually a growth in this program.” Angle said feedlot research would be moved from the Wilkins farm to the Eatonton farm. UGA took over the operations and management of the Campbell farm last summer and is waiting for Congress to approve a deed transfer for the property, which has a total of 950 acres. CAES has approximately 200 head of cattle on the farm, with plans to move more cattle there. The USDA used the Campbell Farm to study how eroded cotton land could be renovated for other agricultural purposes. The farm was made available when the USDA closed it in the wake of FY 2012 federal budget cuts. “Not much of this land on the Campbell Farm is useful for row crop research,” Angle said. “It happens to be ideal for grass and grazing of beef cattle in particular.” The existing buildings at Campbell have become the new home to the Oconee County Extension Office, and plans for the
facility’s use include studies in sustainable forage management. The location is convenient to UGA’s main Athens campus, a key consideration in the training of students in the school’s animal science program, and it holds the advantage of having a large expanse of land on which to graze livestock. “Obviously our number one mission in the college is to train students, and unless you can get students out in the field to see animals, to handle animals, to see our 4-H systems, they are not going to get the level of education they are entitled to,” Angle said. The CAES has also completed the purchase of the Curtis farm in Oconee and Greene counties, home to the Iron Horse sculpture. Angle said the sale was completed this spring, and CAES is using the farm for plant and crop science research. According to published reports, the Curtis family is allowed an easement for the land on which the Iron Horse stands and for recreation privileges for portions of the farm.
Williams Dairy showcases rotary parlor By Jay Stone ___________________________________
The Williams Dairy in Morgan County installed a rotary milking parlor last fall, and the family opened the dairy to visitors on May 30 to show how the new parlor works. “We had a lot of questions about what went on during the operation and what it was about. We thought we’d have an open house and let everybody come see for themselves,” said Everett Williams, president of Georgia Milk Producers Inc. “The cows really love it. We’ve had some technical concerns, but we seem to be getting most of those worked out. It’s really a neat way to milk cows because they like to get on it.” Everett Williams operates the family dairy, which was started in 1958 by his parents, John and Ossie Williams. Located just south of Madison, the dairy is one of three in the state with a rotary parlor. Williams has 24 full-time employees, including family members, and two part-time employees. The dairy ships 95,000 pounds of milk per day and in 2012
Photo by Jay Stone
By Jay Stone ___________________________________
The view from outside the rotary milking carousel at the Williams Dairy. The carousel has 72 milking stalls and milks the farm’s 1,300 cows in five to six hours.
shipped 29 million pounds (3.4 million gallons). Everett expects to ship 35 million pounds (4.1 million gallons) this year. Before converting to the 72-stall rotary parlor, the family was using two herringSee WILLIAMS DAIRY on next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
Representatives from the University of Georgia Tifton Campus and Bainbridge State College (BSC) signed three memorandums of understanding (MOU) on June 27 to establish a program for BSC students to transfer to the UGA Tifton Campus for an agricultural degree. BSC students who graduate with an associate degree in agriculture with a minimum grade point average of 2.8 will gain automatic acceptance into the UGA Tifton Campus to pursue a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. CAES has similar agreements with Waycross College and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, according to CAES Dean Dr. Scott Angle. Andy Bell, Decatur County Farm Bureau president, said he is glad to see this happening. “It has been a real need for a long time,” Bell said. “We have wanted to get some ag-
Photo courtesy of BSC
UGA-Tifton, Bainbridge College partner in ag program
Dean of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Dr. Scott Angle, seated left, and Bainbridge State College President Dr. Richard Carvajal, seated right, sign memorandums of understanding during a ceremony on June 27. The agreement will allow students who graduate from BSC with an associate of arts degree in an agricultural concentration to gain automatic acceptance to the University of Georgia Tifton Campus to study agriculture. UGA and BSC staff members attended the ceremony along with members of the Bainbridge ag community including retired Extension Agent Tommy Wheeler, far left and Decatur County Farm Bureau President Andy Bell, fourth from left.
ricultural classes and programs at the college. We are happy it’s finally happening.” Students in the Bainbridge area who want a UGA degree in agriculture will be able to complete their first two years of college close to home. Georgia’s flagship institution is giving potential students a pathway to follow through BSC that will increase their chance of successful transfer to UGA’s Tifton Campus to pursue a fouryear agriculture degree.
Ga. land grant schools get new presidents Georgia’s two land grant institutions the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State - are under new leadership. Dr. Jere Morehead took over as the new UGA president effective July 1. The University System of Georgia has named Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith as the new president at Fort Valley State effective July 22. Morehead, UGA’s 22nd president, served as UGA’s senior vice president and provost since 2010. The Georgia Board of Regents named him as the sole finalist for the position in February. Morehead holds a law degree from UGA and has worked as a U.S. attorney for the Department of Justice. He is also the Meigs Professor of Legal Studies in UGA’s Terry College of Business. Morehead has served stints as UGA’s vice president for instruction, vice provost for academic affairs and director of the honors program. Morehead succeeds Michael Adams, UGA president for 16 years who now holds the title of president emeritus.
Griffith, provost and senior vice president at York College of the City University of New York, was named the new president of Fort Valley State University by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The board’s vote was unanimous and the announcement was made June 21. Griffith succeeds Dr. Larry Rivers, who stepped down effective June 30 after seven years in the position. Rivers is headed to Valdosta State, where he will teach history. Fort Valley State is an 1890 Land Grant institution. Griffith has served as provost at York College since 2007. He earned a bachelor of social sciences degree from the University of Guyana, a masters of arts degree in political science and public administration from Long Island University, New York, and both a master of philosophy and doctorate in political science from the City University of New York. He also is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s educational leadership program.
BSC is in the process of adding a continuing education series for farm employees and adding one-year certificates and twoyear associate programs in agribusiness. When BSC begins its baccalaureate program in management in 2014, it will ultimately have a concentration in agribusiness. In the 11 counties served by BSC, agriculture has a farm gate value of more than $1.2 billion annually, representing 9.4 percent of Georgia’s total farm gate value. WILLIAMS DAIRY from previous page bone parlors, one with 16 stalls and one with 14 stalls, to milk about 1,000 cows, a process that lasted 231/2 hours per day according to Everett’s son Daniel. The two milking parlors were five miles apart, presenting management challenges. Even after expanding the herd by more than 200 head, the milking time has been cut to about six hours a day with the same workforce, Daniel said. “It’s very easy to keep a good routine and good milking technique because people stay in one spot and the cows come to them,” Everett said. The building that houses the milking parlor includes a multi-purpose room from which visitors can watch the cows being milked. Everett said the cows picked up the milking process over the span of one day. They get onto the carousel, which rides on rails, have the milkers attached by workers and enjoy a stress-free trip around the circle. When they’re done milking, the milkers detach automatically.
Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 19
News from County Farm Bureaus a “Garden in a Glove.” The students planted one cucumber, pea, green bean, lettuce and dill seed in moistened cotton balls in each finger of their gloves. The clear plastic glove allowed the students to watch the seed sprout and grow as they hung in the class windows. CCFB gave the students soybean coloring books, crayons and candy. CCFB gave the lead teacher Sherlinta Furlow a gift bag of Farm Bureau items, peanuts and soy cookies.
CATOOSA COUNTY The Heritage Middle School and Heritage High School FFA Forestry Teams traveled to Swainsboro to compete in the state FFA Forestry Competition in May thanks to a $500 donation the Catoosa County Farm Bureau made to offset travel expenses. The students stopped at the GFB home office on their way home to take their photo in front of the GFB sign to show their appreciation for the donation. CHEROKEE COUNTY Cherokee County Farm Bureau cosponsored Heritage Days at Free Home School in May to teach students about pioneer and modern agriculture practices. CCFB Young Farmer Molly Childs, pictured center, taught the children about rabbits. CCFB Director Tim Stewart discussed how cowboys used Dutch ovens to cook on campfires. Bob Dixon displayed an antique garden tractor, Carmie Wood spun wool, and Scott Holden taught the children about grinding corn with a gristmill. CLAYTON COUNTY Clayton County Farm Bureau (CCFB) visited The Creative Achievers Learning Academy this spring to teach preschoolers about gardening. CCFB Office Manager Teresa Myers and CCFB Secretary Natalie Carlisle led the 20 students through the activity of planting 20 / August 2013
CRAWFORD COUNTY Crawford County Farm Bureau sends lesson plans that highlight agriculture to teachers in multiple grades at local elementary schools. April Carroll is one of the teachers the county is supporting in her efforts to teach her students about agriculture. After reading a book about the benefits of earthworms for improving soil quality in gardens, the students used their math skills to measure earthworms in centimeters and inches.
HABERSHAM COUNTY During the past school year, the Habersham County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee worked with the teachers and administrative staff of local elementary schools to enhance the schools’ reading programs. Committee members visited six of the county’s eight elementary schools and one private school, visiting preschool to fifth-grade classes. Each visit included a hands-on activity and the reading of an agricultural-themed book, which was donated to the school library. The AG is Awesome Reading Initiative reached more than 700 children and 75 teachers this year. Pictured from left, HCFB Vice President Danny Brooks talks to Cornelia Elementary Principal Renee Pryor about the reading program along with HCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Ann Elrod and HCFB Director Jerry Elrod. Georgia Farm Bureau News
LANIER COUNTY Lanier County Farm Bureau teamed up with Bonnie Plants to hold a cabbage growing contest for local third graders. At the beginning of March, 150 students received cabbage plants and had about 12 weeks to grow them. LCFB recognized a winner in each class and one overall winner for the county. Decklan Griggs was the winner for Lanier County with a cabbage weighing in at 22 pounds that was 4.5 feet wide. Decklan’s cabbage was entered in the state competition for a possibility of winning a $1,000 scholarship.
PEACH COUNTY Peach County Farm Bureau provided refreshments at the Peach County Hospital Road Race May 18 in Fort Valley. PCFB Office Manager Trish Haga and her daughter Gracie distributed water, hand wipes, chapstick, pens and other items to the more than 150 runners. PCFB also made a donation of $250 to the new Medical Center. TALIAFERRO COUNTY Taliaferro County Farm Bureau (TCFB) presented a “Spring Has Sprung” program for pre-K students at the Taliaferro County Library in April. TCFB member Linda Franklin read the book “A Seed Grows,” which describes how plants grow from seeds. After the reading program, each student planted seed in clear plastic cups. They were encouraged to later transplant the seedling into a pot or the ground. TCFB volunteers talked to the students about eating healthy and encouraged them to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. TCFB furnished refreshments, consisting of fresh fruit, veggies, crackers (grain) and cheese. The kids enjoyed eating vegetables from the “skeleton man” tray. TCFB member Leslie Martin, a retired chef, created edible
vegetable art to get the kids excited to taste different vegetables. The kids loved the horse made out of carrots. WALKER COUNTY Walker County Farm Bureau (WCFB) co-hosted a Farm Safety Workshop in March with the Walker County Extension Service at the local ag center. These two groups felt it was important to give farmers a refresher course on farm safety after several farmers were seriously injured in farm accidents last year. More than 60 farmers attended the meeting. Dr. Glen Raines, UGA Extension Engineer, presented a session covering safety tips for ATVs, hay equipment, post hole diggers and other equipment. Walker County Extension Coordinator Norman Edwards presented a session on pesticide safety. WCFB displayed farm safety and membership information. WCFB President Mike Bunn discussed the importance of being a Farm Bureau member. WCFB also provided the refreshments for the break. WALTON COUNTY Walton County Farm Bureau members Jan and Buck Chandler passed out Farm Bureau membership booklets at the Monroe Farmers Market in June. Lucy Walker, granddaughter of WCFB Agency Manager and Office Manager John and Levon Redding, helped pass out the booklets. WCFB is one of the sponsors for the market being held on Saturday mornings on the Monroe courthouse square. AGRABILITY from page 10 held. In addition to the physical farm, work is underway to create a virtual farm disabled farmers may visit from their home computer. Using a free, virtual world platform called Second Life (http://www. secondlife.com), farmers will be able to visit AgrAbility Farm to try adapted equipment and tour different farms. The virtual farm should be completed by Sept. 1. Georgia Farm Bureau serves on the AgrAbility Board of Directors and fully supports its mission of putting disabled farmers back to work. Visit the AgrAbility website at http://www.farmagain.com. Be sure to sign up for their mailing list to stay abreast of their projects and programs. You may also call 1-877-524-6264. Don McGough is director of the GFB Commodities/Marketing Dept. AgrAbility in Georgia staff members Rebecca Brightwell & Glen Raines contributed information for the article.
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USDA issues disaster declaration for Ga. counties The USDA designated Evans, Montgomery, Tatnall and Treutlen counties as primary natural disaster areas on June 19 due to damage and losses caused by excessive rain, high winds and hail that occurred between Feb. 24 and March 24. Farmers in the designated counties may be eligible for emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. An additional 13 counties also qualify for assistance because they are contiguous. Those counties are Appling, Bryan, Bulloch, Candler, Emanuel, Jeff Davis, Johnson, Laurens, Liberty, Long, Toombs, Wayne and Wheeler. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA has a variety of programs in addition to the emergency loans to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for more information on eligibility requirements and the application procedure. Additional information is available online at http:// disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
UGA hires Coolong as vegetable specialist
Tim Coolong started work as the new vegetable horticulturalist at UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Tifton Campus on July 1. Coolong will work with all vegetables, but the majority of his time will be spent on vegetables with the most acreage in Georgia: watermelons, sweet corn, peppers, beans, cucumbers and onions. Coolong previously worked as an associate Extension professor at the University of Kentucky for the past six years. He did graduate work on onions. “The fresh vegetable industry in Georgia is ranked third nationally so there’s a tremendous opportunity to have an impact and work with some really good people,” Coolong said, adding that he plans to develop more variety trials and address fertility issues. Vegetables generated more than $781 million in revenue in Georgia according to the 2011 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report.
Ga. corn, wheat acreage increases Georgia farmers planted significantly more corn and harvested more winter wheat in 2013 than in 2012, according to the crop acreage report released June 28 by the USDA. This year Georgia farmers devoted almost as many acres to corn as to peanuts, planting 500,000 acres of corn, up from 345,000 acres in 2012, a gain of 45 percent. An oversupply of peanuts from the record 2012 crop prompted Georgia growers to scale back peanut acres, which declined 31 percent from 735,000 acres in 2012 to 510,000 acres in 2013. Georgia farmers planted 400,000 acres in winter wheat last fall for the 2013 crop, up from 290,000 acres for the 2012 crop, a gain of 38 percent. The state’s cotton growers expanded acreage 0.8 percent, from 1.29 million acres in 2012 to 1.3 million acres in 2013.
Nationwide, cotton acreage declined from 12.08 million acres in 2012 to 10.03 million acres in 2013. Cotton acreage declined in Alabama and South Carolina and increased by 16 percent in Florida. Georgia farmers planted 260,000 acres of soybeans, up 18 percent from 2012.
Farm Bureau would have preferred the House to have passed legislation containing both the farm bill and nutrition title as the Senate did because we think this would ensure bipartisan support from rural and urban lawmakers in both chambers. Hopefully the House and Senate conference committee will meet soon to hammer out the differences between their two farm bills. GFB is moving forward to make sure the voice of Georgia’s farmers is heard. Everywhere you look you see hay
that needs to be cut, wheat sprouting in fields, low spots in fields too wet to plant or crops turning yellow. It makes you wonder if it is possible to get too much rain. There is one thing for sure and that is God’s promise in Genesis: 9:11: Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth. The beautiful rainbows we have witnessed in the last month remind us of that promise. Thank God for taking care of us because if he left it to us we would surely mess it up!
WE, THE FARMERS from page 4 and passed a stand-alone farm bill by a vote of 216-208. The House version included all titles of the farm bill as amended on the House floor the week of June 17 except the nutrition title. Additionally, the House bill included language to repeal the 1938 and 1949 permanent farm laws, making permanent whatever Title I language is eventually agreed to this year. By contrast, the farm bill the Senate passed in June includes nutrition provisions and maintains the old farm laws. 22 / August 2013
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
University of Georgia Professor Dr. Michael Doyle and Sonoraville High School teacher Dr. Sara Clark received awards given jointly by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation for their work in agriscience. The awards honor scientists, educators and high school students for their contributions to science and research in agriculture. “The American Farm Bureau Federation has a long history of supporting new ideas for delivering efficient solutions to our food and agricultural challenges,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “That is why we are proud to support the work of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation in fostering the advancement of agriscience.” Doyle, who is director at the UGA Center for Food Safety, received the $10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award. Dr. Doyle’s research focuses on food safety and security. He works closely with government agencies, the food industry and consumer groups on issues related
Photo courtesy of AFBF
Georgians receive Excellence In Agriscience Awards
Pictured from left, GFB President Zippy Duvall congratulates Dr. Sara Clark of Sonoraville High School in Gordon County and UGA Regents Professor Dr. Michael Doyle for receiving awards presented on July 8 by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation for their work in agriscience. Dr. Scott Angle, dean of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences also attended the ceremony.
to the microbiological safety of foods. Clark is the recipient of the $5,000 Agriscience Educator Award. As a secondary school teacher for 20 years, Dr. Clark encourages her students to explore
the many fields of agriscience to find something that interests them. She uses methods such as inquiry-based learning, teaching others and self-directed learning to keep students engaged.
200 varieties of fruit, nut and berry plants
Ga. High School Rodeo Champions named
The Georgia High School Rodeo Association held its state finals May 31- June 2 in Perry at the Georgia Agricenter. State awards were presented based on cumulative points earned at sanctioned competitions held since last fall. State winners were eligible to compete at the National High School Rodeo Finals in Wyoming, July 14-20. The 2012-2013 GHSRA State Champions, pictured from left, are Zach Thrift, Champion All Around Cowboy; Ryanne Heath, Champion All Around Cowgirl, Girls Cutting Champion & Breakaway Roping Champion; Tyler Mobbs, Champion Bareback; Buck Bunn, Champion Saddle Bronc; Cole Watkins, Champion Tie Down Roping; Jon-Taylor Etheridge, Champion Steer Wrestling; Adriona Newbern, Champion Goat Tying; Zach Cargle, Champion Team Roping; Ali Ayers, Champion Barrel Racing; John Hutson, Boys Cutting Champion; Lucas Brown, Champion Team Roping; Cassidy Sims, Poles Champion; and Lance Daniels, Bull Riding Champion. Emma Williams, not pictured, was crowned the 2013-2014 GHSRA Queen.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News August 2013 / 23
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