December 8, 2010
Vol. 28 No. 49
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU HOLDS 72nd ANNUAL CONVENTION Change was a common theme of speeches given by Gov.-elect Nathan Deal, A.D. Frazier, chairman of the Special Council on Tax Reform & Fairness for Georgians and Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall during the organization’s 72nd annual convention on Jekyll Island. Deal, who is set to become Georgia’s 82nd governor Jan. 10, gave the keynote address of the convention on Dec. 6, speaking to a crowd of about 1,400 farmers and agribusiness leaders from across the state who met on Jekyll Island Dec. 5-7. Deal, who represented Georgia’s 9th Congressional District in the U.S. Congress before resigning earlier this year to run for governor, pledged to work with the state constitutional officers and members of the Georgia General Assembly for the betterment of the state. Deal, a fiscal conservative, said his transition team is evaluating state government in an effort to eliminate duplication of services and consolidate similar services to save money. Deal said he would also work to eliminate state regulations that hinder new businesses from opening in Georgia once recruited to the state, and that operating the state on a balanced budget will be a priority. “I think voters want us to ask the hard questions in providing goods and services to our families and for businesses in our community,” Deal said. Frazier, who is chairing the 11-member tax council created by the Georgia General Assembly during its 2010 session for the purpose of studying Georgia’s tax revenue structure and making recommendations to make the state’s tax structure more modern, simple, fair and businessfriendly, said the council realizes the importance of agriculture to Georgia’s economy and will not recommend changes to the state’s tax code that would hurt the industry. “One of the things Georgia has done in the past is to exempt inputs to agriculture production. The message I heard all over the state was don’t mess it up, so we’re not,” Frazier said. While delivering his annual address to Georgia Farm Bureau members, GFB President Zippy Duvall acknowledged the reality of change Georgia and its number one industry, agriculture, are set to experience as new state leaders and agency heads take office in the coming year. “Since the beginning of our organization, our mission has been to be the voice of Georgia farmers. Georgia Farm Bureau will continue to work to develop relationships with our state leaders so that the concerns of Georgia's farmers are heard. We must continue to be aggressive in promoting agriculture and addressing issues by contacting legislators and expressing our concerns. The key to our success is our member involvement. Nobody can speak for a farmer better than a farmer. Farm Bureau is the vehicle that gets you there to speak your concerns.”
Leadership Alert page 2 of 4 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU RE-ELECTS DUVALL Zippy Duvall of Greene County was re-elected as president of the state’s largest general farm organization during the 72nd Annual GFB Convention. Duvall enters his third, two-year term. In addition to serving as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation and its affiliate companies, Duvall is a member of the board of directors of the American Farm Bureau Federation and of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company. His 30 years of community service also include graduating from the Georgia Agri-Leaders Program and serving as chairman of the Greene County Board of Commissioners. He is a member of Gov. Perdue’s Ag Advisory Committee and was recently appointed to the Georgia Development Authority. In other elections, voting delegates selected their state board of directors and officers for 2011. Gerald Long of Decatur County was re-elected to his second, three-year term as South Georgia vice president and was designated the organization’s 1st vice president. The following were reelected unopposed to serve two-year terms on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors: Henry J. West of Gordon County, 1st District; Randy Ruff of Elbert County, 2nd District; Nora Goodman of Paulding County, 3rd District; William Hutchins of Barrow County, 4th District; Jim Ham of Monroe County, 5th District; James Emory Tate of Jeff Davis County, 6th District; Ben Boyd of Screven County, 7th District; Don Wood of Wilcox County, 8th District; Lucius Adkins Jr., of Baker County, 9th District and Daniel Johnson, of Pierce County, 10th District. Bernard Sims of Catoosa County begins the third year of the three-year term as GFB North Georgia vice president to which he was elected in 2008. Robert Fountain Jr., of Emanuel County begins the second year of his three-year term as GFB Middle Georgia vice president to which he was elected in 2009. GFB PRESENTS STATE AWARDS Newton, Greene and Pike counties each were honored with the prestigious 2010 McKemie Award - the highest award given to a county for its outstanding member programs - during the GFB Convention. Newton County, whose president is Brent Galloway, won for the over 3,000 member division. Greene County, whose president is Dene Channell, won for the 1,801 to 3,000 member division, and Pike County, whose president is Thomas Lacy, won in the 0 to 1,800 member division. Finalist counties in the McKemie competition for the 0 to 1,800 member division were Bacon, Cook, Heard, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Monroe, Upson and Wilcox counties. Finalists in the 1,801 to 3,000 member division were Berrien, Bibb, Floyd, Harris, Jones, Polk, Spalding, Stephens and Washington counties. Finalists in the 3,001-plus member division were: Barrow, Chattooga, Cherokee, Coweta, Emanuel, Habersham, Henry, McDuffie and Madison counties. Steven and Tiffany Metcalf of Turner County won the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award. The Metcalfs grow peanuts and cotton and tend a herd of approximately 40 beef cattle. Jonathan Fordham of Bleckley County won the Young Farmer Discussion Meet. Christy Bryan of Chattooga County, Jessica Bryant of Jackson County and Will Godowns of Pike County were the other Discussion Meet finalists. Other state awards presented were Newton County (Outstanding Legislative Award, Outstanding Young Farmer Committee and Outstanding Women’s Committee), and Cherokee County (Outstanding Promotion & Education Award). Rockdale/DeKalb County Farm Bureau Office Manager Susanne Bell won the Outstanding Secretary Award. Former GFB President Bob Nash and his wife Betty, of Upson County, received the GFB Distinguished Service Award. This award is the highest honor GFB gives to one of its volunteer leaders and is designed to recognize volunteer Farm Bureau leaders who have made an outstanding contribution to the organization and agriculture over a long period of time.
Leadership Alert page 3 of 4
GFB VOTING DELEGATES APPROVE 2011 POLICY Georgia Farm Bureau voting delegates approved the organization's official 2011 policy the guidebook for Farm Bureau's legislative positions - Dec. 7 during the annual convention. The new policy GFB delegates approved addresses numerous issues including taxes, the Grain Inspection Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) and research/control efforts of glyphosate resistant pigweed. GFB delegates approved policy that encourages the U.S. Congress to keep the capital gains tax rate at 15 percent instead of the 20 percent that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2011, unless Congress acts and encourages Congress to repeal the new form 1099 for businesses scheduled to take effect in 2012. Policy pertaining to GIPSA related to livestock and poultry production expresses support for tournament-style production contracts and calls for more fairness for growers related to required capital expenditures. Other policy calls for increased research funding to private entities and Cooperative Extension researchers to combat the invasive pigweed threatening Georgia cotton and peanut production. Media covering the convention chose to highlight Farm Bureau policy addressing immigration that states GFB opposes “Any immigration law that discriminates against the farm worker and puts the farmers of Georgia at a disadvantage to farmers in other states.” Georgia Farm Bureau maintains that immigration is a federal issue, not a state or local issue and comprehensive reform needs to come from the federal level. Farm Bureau urges consideration of the impacts to agriculture by immigration proposals. “Agricultural interests must be considered when immigration legislation is debated because it is vital to our national security that we're able to grow our own food,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “Our policy states that legislators should consider farmers' needs for a reliable labor source when writing immigration legislation, and that's been our position for many years. Media reports that Farm Bureau opposes Arizona-style immigration legislation are taking our position out of context.” The only changes voting delegates made to the proposed ag policy the GFB Policy Development (PD) Committee presented to them pertained to eminent domain and commodity promotion boards. The voting delegates added policy that states commodity checkoff boards should be made up of active producers who derive a substantial portion of their income from production of the commodity a board governs and should not be based on other nonrelated criteria. Voting delegates also passed a motion to add mineral rights to the list of assets landowners should be compensated for in the advent their private property is condemned under eminent domain. GFB voting delegates’ action on policy ended a four-month policy development process that began in late July when GFB's 20 commodity advisory committees reviewed the organization's existing policy pertinent to their commodities. The process continued through late summer as county Farm Bureaus across the state submitted more than 350 resolutions to the GFB PD Committee, which is composed of 30 county presidents, the 20 GFB commodity advisory committee chairmen and 25 members of the GFB Board of Directors. In October and November the GFB PD Committee reviewed the submitted resolutions and compiled the proposed 2011 policy, which voting delegates discussed and made slight amendments to before approving Dec. 7.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 4 CALHOUN PERFORMANCE TESTED BULL SALE Dec. 10 NW Ga. Research & Education Center Livestock Pavilion Calhoun Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. Contacts are Ted Dyer at 706-624-1403 or email@example.com and Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARDS DEADLINE APPROACHING Dec. 17 is the deadline to apply for the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusinessâ€™ 2011 Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Award, which is designed to recognize agricultural producers who are exceptional caretakers of the environment. For more information, contact Sara Cook at email@example.com or 229-391-6882. SOUTHEAST REGIONAL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONFERENCE Jan. 6-9, 2011 International Trade and Convention Center Savannah Conference workshops will cover a variety of topics including organic production, food safety and roadside markets. More than 85 hours of commodity-specific training will be offered. The North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association will also hold its annual meeting in conjunction with this conference. For information or to register visit http://www.gfvga.org or call 706-845-8200. Register before Dec. 15 for early bird discounts. GEORGIA/FLORIDA SMALL GRAIN/SOYBEAN EXPO Jan. 13, 2011 Georgia National Fairgrounds/Agricenter Perry Program topics will include the 2011 world outlook for southern commodities, soybean pest and disease issues. For more information contact Terry Hollifield at 706-542-2351. NRCS ALTERNATIVE FARMING WORKSHOP Jan. 13, 2011 Macon State Farmer's Market 8:30 a.m. Macon This free workshop will cover topics related to alternative farming for farmers in Baker, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Cook, Colquitt, Crisp, Crawford, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Harris, Houston, Lee, Marion, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Muscogee, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Steward, Sumter, Tift, Talbot, Taylor, Terrell, Thomas, Turner, Twiggs, Webster and Worth counties. For information, contact Naomi Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478836-4564. GEORGIA PEANUT FARM SHOW Jan. 20, 2011 Albany Civic Center 8:30 a.m. Albany More than 65 exhibitors will display the latest in peanut equipment and technology. Event includes production and seed seminars and numerous door prizes. For more information call Rebecca Whitehead at 229-386-3502 or E-mail at: Rebecca@gapeanuts.com. The Georgia Peanut Commission is accepting nominations for the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, which will be announced at the show. Any active Georgia peanut farmer who is 45 years of age or younger, as of the end of 2011, is eligible to apply. The award is based on an applicantâ€™s overall farm operation, environmental and stewardship practices, leadership, civic, church and community service activities. The award application is available at the GPC Web site www.gapeanuts.com or by contacting Joy Carter at 229-386-3690 or email@example.com. Applications must be received by Jan. 3, 2011. Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association Short Course Jan. 22 Atlanta Botanical Garden Atlanta Registration is underway online for this short course. The registration fee is $95 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, parking and presentations from educators and urban beekeepers. For the agenda or to register, visit http://www.beekeepingshortcourse.com.