December 19, 2012
Vol. 30 No. 51
MEETINGS GIVE EXPLANATION EPD SUSPENSION OF AG WATER PERMITS Two meetings on Dec. 4 in Camilla and Dec. 12 in Dawson provided agricultural stakeholders an explanation of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s (EPD) suspension on new agricultural water permits earlier this year. On July 30, EPD Director Jud Turner announced the decision to suspend new permitting for agricultural ground water and surface water use in Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Turner and Worth Counties. The suspension also covers applications for surface water withdrawals for parts of Chattahoochee, Clay, Marion, Randolph, Schley, Stewart and Webster counties. Cliff Lewis, who manages EPD’s agricultural operations and permitting program, walked through the reasons behind Lewis the decision and answered questions on how the suspension would apply in various scenarios. “Part of the EPD thinking behind this is to protect the current investments and infrastructure that’s already out there,” Lewis said, noting that the suspension is only for new permits or alterations to current permits that would increase water use. He also emphasized that the suspension will be reassessed in November 2013. One question that came up was whether farmers could apply now for permits to become effective after that time, but Lewis said the EPD is discouraging that approach, pointing out that the application requires a non-refundable $250 fee, and that the application is likely to change, meaning filing an early application is likely to provide no benefit. From 2006 to 2012, Lewis said, thousands of permits were issued. With ongoing drought conditions, the EPD has begun to field inquiries from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division about efforts to protect stream flows in areas where there are federally endangered species and whether or how the resources have been affected by extended drought. Lewis said assessments are needed to answer those questions. Dr. Gary Hawkins of the University of Georgia’s Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department reviewed some ways farmers can be more efficient in their water use, including evaluating various types of irrigation for their specific farming area, looking for leaks and encouraging end-gun shutoffs, use of conservation tillage and soil moisture monitoring. Former state representative Bob Hanner, who was an ex officio member of the Lower FlintOchlokonee Regional Water Council, reviewed the council’s goals and stressed that during the development of the regional water plan, the council continually considered agriculture’s economic impact on the region.
Leadership Alert page 2 of 5 PUGLIESE WINS 2012 GFB QUALITY HAY CONTEST Bartow County Farm Bureau Vice President Harry J. Pugliese (pictured, left) won the 2012 Georgia Farm Bureau Quality Hay Contest. Pugliese, who runs Pugliese Farms in Kingston, submitted coastal Bermudagrass for the contest and earned a relative forage quality (RFQ) score of 135.4. Pugliese has placed in the top 10 in the contest multiple times, including one second-place finish. He grows hay on 200 acres to support his livestock herd of beef cattle and horses. He also sells hay to horse, goat and cattle owners. Pugliese has a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture from Berry College. He and his wife Ellen have been married 46 years. They have two sons, Paul and David, one daughter, Victoria Martin, and five grandchildren. As the top prizewinner in the hay contest, Pugliese receives a year’s use of a Vermeer trailed mower with the option to purchase it at a reduced price at the end of the year. Wes Pope of Troup County placed second with his submission of Russell hay, achieving an RFQ score of 126.7. William Sumner of Laurens County was third, submitting a sample of coastal hay with an RFQ of 124.3. Paul Brodie of Barrow County took fourth with his sample of coastal hay that achieved an RFQ score of 123.9. Jeff Davis County Farm Bureau Director Jamie Tate was fifth, scoring 120.3 with his submission of Alicia hay. The contest, which drew 49 entries from 29 counties across the state, consisted of quality analysis of hay grown by entrants, using the University of Georgia’s RFQ testing method, which measures nutrient content of the hay. Georgia Farm Bureau sponsors the annual contest to encourage superior hay production in the state. Entered samples had to have nitrate levels below 4,500 parts per million to be eligible for contest prizes. The winners were announced during the 2012 GFB Annual Meeting on Jekyll Island. LUCAS ELECTED FOR SECOND TERM AS HOUSE AG COMMITTEE CHAIR The U.S. House Republican Conference re-elected Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) to serve a second term as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee during the 113th Congress. “It is an honor to serve in this leadership position and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers and rural constituents,” Lucas said in a release. “I am proud of the work the committee has completed over the past two years. We have provided valuable oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that our agricultural producers are not burdened with unreasonable and costly regulations.” Lucas is a lifelong farmer and has served on the House Ag Committee since he was first elected to Congress in 1994. The House Ag Committee also indicated in a press release that its Republican members, including Georgia’s Austin Scott, are expected to continue serving on the committee. Georgia Rep. David Scott (R-13th District) is also expected to continue as a member of the committee.
Leadership Alert page 3 of 5 OBAMA SIGNS RUSSIA TRADE RELATIONS BILL On Dec. 14 President Barack Obama signed HR 6156, the Russia Federation and Moldova Trade Act, allowing permanent normalized trade relations (PNTR) with the Russian Federation and Moldova by repealing the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974. The amendment placed restrictions on trade with the thenSoviet Union related to human rights issues. HR 6156 clears the way for increased trade with Russia and Moldova, including exports of U.S. agricultural goods. Russia at one time was a top export destination for U.S. chicken products. The U.S. Senate passed HR 6156, the Russia Federation and Moldova Trade Act, by a 92-4 vote on Dec. 6. The bill passed the House on Nov. 16. Georgia Farm Bureau sent a letter to all members of Georgia’s congressional delegation urging passage of the PNTR bill. In the letter, GFB President Zippy Duvall emphasized the importance of exports to the state’s agricultural economy, noting that Georgia is the nation’s largest exporter of poultry products. With the passage of PNTR, poultry exports to Russia are projected to double to more than $46 million annually. American Farm Bureau also supported PNTR with Russia. Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both voted in favor of the bill, and all Georgia members of the U.S. House also supported it. PNTR will allow more free access to the Russian market for U.S. farmers and reduce applicable tariffs, as making it more difficult for Russia to make unsubstantiated complaints against U.S. sanitary standards for chicken products. Russia, the world’s 11th-largest economy, has 142 million people and a growing middle class. The country gained accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August. DEAL APPOINTS MCLOCKLIN AS JUDGE, BOHN TO VETERINARY BOARD Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed the Hon. Wayne D. McLocklin as Superior Court judge of the Piedmont and reappointed Dr. Harry E. Bohn to the State Board of Veterinary Medicine. McLocklin, a long-time director for Barrow County Farm Bureau, is managing partner in the law firm of McLocklin & Murphy, LLP. He has been active in the Gridiron Secret Society, AGHON Honor Society, Barrow County Chamber of Commerce, the Oconee River Soil and Water Conservation District, and Cattleman’s organizations. McLocklin earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Melanie, live in Statham and have two children. Bohn is a veterinarian at the East Cobb Veterinary Clinic, Inc. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and a charter member of the Cobb Emergency Veterinary Clinic, the Animal Emergency Clinic of Sandy Springs and the Cherokee Emergency Veterinary Clinic. He served as president of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, the Greater Atlanta Veterinary Association and the Cobb Veterinary Medical Society. Bohn is a member of the University of Georgia’s President’s Club and the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce Honorary Commanders. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Cindy, have two sons and two grandsons. They reside in Marietta.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 5 SOUTHEAST REGIONAL FRUIT & VEGETABLE CONFERENCE Jan. 10-13, 2013 International Trade and Convention Center Savannah This annual conference features 12 different crop-specific workshops plus workshops on business operations and food safety. Attendees will also have the chance to receive legislative updates from Washington and Atlanta. For more information or to register, visit http://www.seregionalconference.com. GEORGIA GROWN EXECUTIVE CHEF PROGRAM SEEKS APPLICANTS Georgia Grown and the Georgia Restaurant Association are seeking applicants for the Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program, which promotes the Departmentâ€™s Georgia Grown campaign statewide. The program offers participating chefs a mark of honor and distinction, while increasing awareness for both restaurateurs and consumers about which local Georgia products are available for the cooking season. The application process runs through Jan. 11, 2013. Visit http://www.garestaurants.org/GeorgiaGrown to apply. The selected chefs will be announced at the Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception on Feb. 19, 2013. 2013 GEORGIA DAIRY CONFERENCE Jan. 14-16, 2013 Savannah Riverfront Marriott Savannah This annual conference is designed to provide dairy producers with significant and practical take-home information on topics ranging from economic factors affecting feed prices, lowering somatic cell counts, promotion and agritourism and much more. The conference also features board of directors meetings for the Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk, Georgia Milk Producers Inc., and the Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation. Registration is free for Georgia dairymen. Fees for out-of-state dairymen are $100 per farm for all three days or $50 per farm for two days or less. The Savannah Riverfront Marriott is offering special room and parking rates for those who make reservations before Dec. 13. The hotel may be reached at 912-233-7722 or 800284-0398. Mention Georgia Milk Producers to receive the discounted rate. Reservations may also be made online at www.marriott.com, with group reservation cote gdcgdca. For more information, contact Farrah Newberry at 706-310-0020 or email@example.com. BEEKEEPING SHORT COURSE Jan. 19, 2013 Atlanta Botanical Garden Day Hall 8 a.m. â€“ 4:30 p.m. Atlanta This one-day course will provide everything beginning beekeepers need to know to get started in urban beekeeping. Topics including the life cycle of the honeybee, bee biology, varroa mites, honey harvest and more. The $95 registration fee includes admission to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, a light breakfast, lunch, parking, supplies and presentations. For more information, visit http://www.metroatlantabeekeepers.org/shortcourse.htm. 2013 SOYBEAN/SMALL GRAIN EXPO Jan. 24, 2013 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Perry The Expo will provide soybean and small grain producers with up-to-date marketing projections and the newest production techniques. The event will also feature presentations from UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences professors on kudzu bug control, soybean breeding and the world outlook for southern commodities and others. Pesticide credits are available. For more information, contact the Georgia/Florida Soybean Association at 706-5423793.
Leadership Alert page 5 of 5 2013 AG FORECAST MEETINGS Jan. 25 Ga. Center for Continuing Education Athens Jan. 28 ECO Center Rome Jan. 29 Georgia Farm Bureau Macon Jan. 30 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton Jan. 31 Decatur Co. Livestock Complex Bainbridge Feb. 1 Toombs Co. Agri-Center Lyons UGA economists will give the 2013 ag economic outlook and guest speakers will discuss international trade and how the global economy impacts local businesses. Check-in for all sessions, except Tifton, begins at 9:30 a.m. Seminars run from 10 a.m. to noon followed by lunch. The Tifton event is a breakfast that runs from 7:30 a.m to 10 a.m. Cost is $30 per person or $200 for a table sponsorship, which includes eight seats. Advance registration is required by January 23. For more information or to register, visit http://www.georgiaagforecast.com call 706-583-0347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. These meetings are a UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences program endowed by Georgia Farm Bureau and supported by the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture and Georgia Agribusiness Council. FLAVOR OF GEORGIA FOOD PRODUCT CONTEST The UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development sponsors this annual contest, designed to help Georgia-based food entrepreneurs showcase their products. Contestants may submit as many products as they like. The categories are: barbecue and hot sauces; jams, jellies and sauces; confections; meat products; dairy products and snack foods. Registration is open and runs through Feb. 8, 2013. Finalists will be invited to take part in a final judging on March 11, 2013 and a public tasting on March 12 at Ag Awareness Day in Georgia event, when the winners will also be announced. For more information about the contest, including registration information, visit http://www.flavorofgeorgia.caes.uga.ed or call 706-583-0347. GA PORK PRODUCERS MEETING & PORK ACT DELEGATE ELECTION Feb. 12, 2013 Georgia Farm Bureau Home Office Macon Georgia pork producers will elect delegate candidates as outlined in the Pork Act for the 2014 National Pork Forum at 1:30 p.m. along with a meeting of the Georgia Pork Producers Association Board of Directors. Producers should bring a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and the checkoff was paid to be eligible as delegates or candidates or participate in the election. This meeting will follow the 2013 Georgia Pork Congress that begins with the meeting at 8:30 a.m. For information, contact the GPPA at 229-246-8297.