Georgia Neighbors Fall 2022

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fall 2022 vol. 28, no. 2 AGRICULTURE + LIFESTYLE GFB.ORG SEASONAL DÉCOR FARM-PICKED FRESH FIXINS BBQ CHARCUTERIE AGRITOURISM HELPS BUILD BONDS DOUBLE DUTY father + son team unite
*Farm Bureau Exclusive Cash Reward is exclusively for active Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. $500 Exclusive Cash Reward on the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2021/2022/2023 Ford Maverick, Ranger, F-150 or Super Duty. This incentive is not available on F-150 Lightning™, F-150® Raptor®, F-650 and F-750 Super Duty. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. Must be a Farm Bureau member for 30 consecutive days prior to purchase or lease and take new retail delivery from an authorized Ford Dealer’s stock by January 3, 2023. Visit FordFarmBureauAdvantage.com or see your authorized Ford Dealer for qualifications and complete details. Note to dealer: Claim in VINCENT using #38326 For details on this exclusive offer visit, fordfarmbureauadvantage.com fordfarmbureauadvantage.com FORD F-150 FORD SUPER DUTY *Farm Bureau Exclusive Cash Reward is exclusively for active Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. $500 Exclusive Cash Reward on the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2021/2022/2023 Ford Maverick, Ranger, F-150 or Super Duty. This incentive is not available on F-150 Lightning™, F-150 Raptor®, F-650 and F-750 Super Duty. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. Must be a Farm Bureau member for 30 consecutive days prior to purchase or lease and take new retail delivery from an authorized Ford Dealer’s stock by January 3, 2023. Visit FordFarmBureauAdvantage.com or see your authorized Ford Dealer for qualifications and complete details. Note to dealer: Claim in VINCENT using #38326 We value our long-standing partnership with Farm Bureau and are proud to offer this exclusive members reward. ON AN ELIGIBLE NEW MAVERICK ™ , RANGER ® , F-150 ® OR SUPER DUTY ® EXCLUSIVE CASH REWARD* FB22_Gen_F150-SD_8.5x11_D.indd 1 5/25/22 5:08 PM

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CONT

VIEW FROM THE FIELD

Thank you for 85 years of continued support

FUNKY FRESH Wreaths inspired by ag products

HOLLY JOLLY JAMISONS

One family shares their favorite holiday tradition

PRODUCTS WE LOVE

Georgia-grown items make thoughtful gifts

DOUBLE DUTY

When farming is not your day job

JUST JUICE

Freshly-squeezed and straight from the farm

22

LIFE-LONG COW MAN

Joe Eason lives his dreams at Circle F Farms

GROWING FAMILY TRADITIONS

Agritourism helps families connect

ALWAYS THE HOME TEAM GFB agents honor high school athletes

GIRLS CAN ‘CUE TOO Sisters open barbecue restaurant honoring their grandpa

FRESH FIXINS

Charcuterie boards get a ‘cue re-do

Christmas trees at Sandy Creek Christmas Tree Farm | Bibb County, Georgia
2 GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022
CONT 04 10 12 18 26 28 06 08 21
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ENTS ENTS

GEORGIA FARM BUREAU

Georgia Farm Bureau is the premier voice for agriculture in Georgia. We work earnestly to support a safe and abundant food supply that not only feeds Georgians, but the growing world as well. Georgia Neighbors Magazine is a nod to that genuine sentiment – it’s an opportunity to discover the people, the places and the impact of ag in our great state.

Want to subscribe? Become a Georgia Farm Bureau member to receive Georgia Neighbors twice a year. Membership means supporting farmers and agriculture while having access to more than 300,000 discount offers. Visit gfb.ag/join.

For content inquiries or comments, please contact Information/Public Relations Director Kenny Burgamy at 478-474-0679, extension 5285, or email kdburgamy@gfb.org.

ANNUAL MEETING OF POLICYHOLDERS

ANNUAL MEETING OF DIRECTORS

ON THE COVER

Blake Poole and his father, Allen Poole, at their family cattle farm in Haralson County, Georgia.

The annual meeting of the policyholders of the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2023, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building, 1620 Bass Road, Macon, Georgia, 31210.

FOLLOW US

GFB.ORG

3GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022 The annual meeting of the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company Board of Directors will be held immediately following the annual meeting of the policyholders, which begins at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building, 1620 Bass Road, Macon, Georgia, 31210.

VIEW FROM THE FIELD

Tom McCall, GFB President

any Georgia farmers and residents appreciate that a group of dirt farmers got together in 1937 to start the organization we know now as Georgia Farm Bureau.

This past June, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) celebrated its 85th anniversary. That was a significant milestone in our history.

During our 85-year history, Georgia Farm Bureau has played an important role in the success of agriculture in our state.

Those 50 humble farmers who gathered in Bartow County in 1937 wanted to expand modern conveniences to Georgia’s rural areas. Those services included electricity and better roads for farmers to have more reliable access to markets. They knew that if they were going to succeed in improving our rural areas, it would take a united voice in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

GFB has contributed more to Georgia’s ag community than just our advocacy efforts and providing a valuable insurance product. GFB holds a special place in the lives of our many volunteers, board members and employees because of the leadership development and

fellowship opportunities it gives us.

Because there are now more than 250,000 members of our organization from all areas of the state, we’ve been able to accomplish a lot to protect the rights of farmers and the rural lifestyle. Readers just like you have realized how important it is to have Georgia Farm Bureau fighting to maintain a safe and abundant food supply.

You don’t have to have insurance with us to support our efforts. An annual membership is only $35. That is a small investment to ensure the ag community has a voice in the halls of the Capitol. At $35 per year, you can enjoy many member benefits, from hotel savings to rebates offered through Ford Motor Company.

Many of you already are members, and we thank you. For those who aren’t, if you wish to help us protect Georgia agriculture, become a member now by going to gfb.ag/join or scan the QR code at the bottom of this page.

Thank you for helping us celebrate 85 years of remaining true to the mission of being the voice of Georgia farmers and for supporting the rural way of life.

OFFICERS

President & CEO

TOM MCCALL, Elbert Co. 1st Vice President and South Georgia Vice President

DANIEL JOHNSON, Pierce Co. Middle Georgia Vice President

RALPH CALDWELL, Heard Co. North Georgia Vice President

BERNARD SIMS, Catoosa Co.

General Counsel

Chief Financial Officer, Corp. Treasurer & GFBMIC Exec. VP

DAVID JOLLEY

Chief Administrative Officer

JEFFREY HARVEY Corp. Secretary & Senior Counsel

JEANNA FENNELL

Asst. Corp. Treasurer & Sr. Director of Accounting

DIRECTORS

FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Chattooga Co.; Wesley Hall, Forsyth, Co.; SECOND DISTRICT: Gilbert Barrett, Habersham Co.; Russ Moon, Madison Co.; THIRD DISTRICT: Brad Marks, Newton Co. Nora Goodman, Paulding Co.; FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, McDuffie Co.; Russ Wilburn, Barrow Co.; FIFTH DISTRICT: Leighton Cooley, Crawford Co.; Matt Bottoms, Pike Co.; SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Laurens Co.; James Emory Tate, Jeff Davis Co.; SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Evans Co.; Ben Boyd, Screven Co.; EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Turner Co.; Don Wood, Wilcox Co.; NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Baker Co.; Paul Shirah, Mitchell Co.; TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Bacon Co.; Lamar Vickers, Berrien Co. YOUNG FARMER

CHAIRMAN: Walt Pridgen, Coffee Co.

WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Melissa Mathis, Monroe Co.

GEORGIA NEIGHBORS

Director: Kenny Burgamy

Art Director: Nicollette Boydstun

Photographer: Logan Thomas Contributors: Renee Corwine & Coleman Fisher

Consulting Copy Editor: Renee Corwine

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 Neighbors. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or mcfarlandadvantage@ gmail.com. Georgia Farm Bureau Neighbors was established in 1996. Copyright 2022 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall shares a laugh with GFB member Jake Carter.
GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022
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FUNKY FRESH

Melanie Anderson’s unique take on wreaths is inspired by her family farm

GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 20226

hen Melanie Anderson gets to work on one of her well-known sympathy wreaths, there’s more than one guiding force — there are three, in fact. Her own talented fingers are led by God’s hands and the vivid memories of the specific person for whom she’s creating.

“This is a gift that I cannot explain. Whenever I start to create, I trust that God is showing me what I need to do,” she said. “People tell me things about their loved ones like, ‘He was an avid farmer who grew peanuts and cotton.’ I learn about the person and I take it from there.”

From the time she was in high school, Anderson knew she wanted to work with flowers. Although she’d been involved in FFA, when she married her high school sweetheart, Reid Anderson, agriculture took on a whole new significance in her life.

“He’s a fourth-generation farmer and has farmed his entire life,” she said. “I came into it when we got married in 2005 and took on life as a farmer’s wife.”

The couple now have three daughters who are being raised at Anderson Farms. With the farm playing such a huge role in her family’s livelihood, Anderson soon realized that her creative talents lay in designing wreaths and arrangements out of farm-fresh products.

And fresh they are! In addition to cotton, dried peanuts and tobacco leaves, she’s been known to use fresh asparagus, brussels sprouts, peanuts on the vine, broccoli and okra in her arrangements.

“One of my tricks that’s really off the wall, that makes my wreaths recognizable as my own creations is that I use okra in almost everything. My sister grows it and what they don’t harvest I get to use. I love the texture of it,” said Anderson, owner of The Funky Flower Lady and Leaf Lenders.

Peanuts are another wreath and décor favorite and are frequently requested for folks with a connection to peanut farming. One such wreath was the one she created upon the death of her father-in-law, Tommy Anderson.

“He had a heart the size of Texas and he loved his grandkids more than life itself. You couldn’t have met a more loving and kind-hearted man. In that, I’m so fortunate that my husband is a lot like his daddy,” she said. “My father-in-law loved peanuts. He would eat boiled peanuts, shell and all, if it was soft. That’s where the inspiration came from.”

His sympathy wreath featured peanuts and white roses.

“Masculine and classy,” she said.

After making the wreath for her father-in-law, another special wreath served to validate how Anderson feels called by God to create these beautiful remembrances.

“It was the tobacco one,” she said with certainty. “We had land that we leased out to a tobacco farmer and one day I decided I really wanted to harvest some tobacco to dry to use in a wreath. A year passed since I hung it to dry, then another local tobacco farmer died and the family wanted a wreath with tobacco in it. It was humbling knowing God had already put forth me doing that, and showed me His hand in my work. I am just the potter and I mold what He’s telling me to do and touch other people with these gifts He’s given me.”

Using her gift to share joy with others, she hopes that her wreaths stand out and are recognizable as her own unique arrangements. Incorporating agriculture products on wreaths, in flower arrangements and even holiday décor keeps her family’s farming legacy at the forefront.

“I even have peanuts made into angels on my Christmas tree,” she said.

Her tips for others who have been inspired by her out-ofthe-box thinking are simple: Pick produce for arrangements first thing in the morning, don’t be afraid to try something weird and source ingredients straight from the farm.

“Ag products heavily influence my work,” she said. “It’s a big part of who we are. We eat, breathe and live agriculture — sun up to sun down.”

7GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

HOLLY JOLLY

JAMISONS

The family’s Christmas traditions always include choosing a fresh tree

GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 20228

hen Micheal and Jennifer Jamison became parents, they knew they wanted to create special Christmas traditions for their twin daughters, Mildred and Samantha. And so, for the last seven years, the family has headed out on a Saturday before Christmas to find the perfect tree.

“I like a thinner tree, one’s that not too bushy. I personally like the ‘Charlie Brown’ style and find a skinny tree endearing,” Jennifer said. “That first year we picked out a tree together, it was such a sweet moment to have that time with the girls. It’s just a little part of what makes Christmas so special. Every year we have the same tradition of picking out the tree and going out to eat afterward at the same restaurant.”

Now a family of five with their nearly 3-year-old son, John Micheal, the family also enjoys driving around and looking at Christmas lights, as well as making a few trips to the Main Street Christmas Light Extravaganza in downtown Macon.

Jennifer said she likes to put their tree in the front window of their home so that others driving by can enjoy the twinkling lights. She uses the tree’s fresh clippings in other décor around her home.

“We don’t have a mantel, but I take the clippings and add them to vases around the house. I also fill a big trifle bowl with clippings and leftover ornaments for decoration,” she said. “I love having that fresh scent in our home.”

FRESH TREES FROM CERTIFIED FARM MARKETS

Berry’s Christmas Tree Farm

70 Mount Tabor Road

Covington, GA

770-786-5833

Berrystreefarm.com

Osage Farm Market

5030 Hwy 441 North Rabun Gap, GA 706-746-7262 Osagefarm.com

Sleepy Hollow Farm

628 Sleepy Hollow Road Powder Springs, GA 30127 770-880-8846

Sleepyhollowtrees.com

Southern Belle Farm

1658 Turner Church Road McDonough, GA 770-288-2582 Southernbellefarm.com

Spring Brook Farm

1520 Mandeville Road Carrollton, GA 770-861-5333 Springbrooktrees.com

Yule Forest

3565 Hwy 155 North Stockbridge, GA 770-954-9356 Yuleforest.com

GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022
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products we love

CLAXTON FRUIT CAKE

Claxton Bakery, Inc. Claxton, GA 1-800-841-4211 claxtonfruitcake.com

Looking for the perfect gift? Georgia-grown and locally hand-crafted items make thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list.

BIRDIE’S BUNS CINNAMON ROLLS

Morning By Morning Coffee Company Perry, GA 478-224-3880 morningbymorningcoffee.com

LARGE LEATHER CARTRIDGE BAG

Kingfisher Leatherworks Macon, GA 478-697-9403 kingfisherleatherworks.com

CHILE LIME PRETZELS

Knotty Pretzels Atlanta, GA 404-957-9900 knottypretzels.com

THE ELF ON THE SHELF

The Lumistella Company Atlanta, GA 877-919-4105 elfontheshelf.com

GOURMET MIXED NUTS

Watanut Augusta, GA 1-855-928-2688 watanut.com

GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022
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October 8 | Trick or Treat Trail

Geology

No tricks, just treats join us for a night hike along a festively decorated trail and of course, candy! November 12 |
Explore the Museum of Natural History and learn about the hidden world of rocks, minerals, and fossils All ages welcome! $5/person Times vary To register, or for more information, email caitlin.may@uga.edu or call (706) 484-4838. 2022 Community Programs Ison’s Nursery P.O. Box 190 • Brooks, GA 30205 1-800-733-0324 www.isons.com Grow Half-Dollar Size Muscadines and Blackberries 200 varieties of fruit, nut and berry plants FREE Color Catalog Buy Direct from the Grower Since 1934 Tifton, TGA ifton, GA Pinehurst, PGA inehurst, GA Camilla, CGA amilla, GA Brooklet, BGA rooklet, GA Byron, BGA yron, GA Smithville, SGA mithville, GA Live Oak, LFL ive Oak, FL Enterprise, EAL nterprise, AL 8 locations throughout the Southeast • Insurance Credit • Expert Installation • Stop Leaks • Increase Home Value • Lower Electric Bill • Lifetime Warranty • Energy Star Certified STEEL MOBILE HOME ROOFING ROOFOVER.COM 800.633.8969 Discover Georgia Today! GFB.Ag/Passport

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12 GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

Allen and Blake Poole balance working with the governor and running their family cattle farm.

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uring the day, father and son team of Allen Poole and Blake Poole are both busy with full-time jobs at the Georgia State Governor’s Office. When the work day is over, like most folks, they head home. Unlike most folks, their home is a working cattle farm. And when their Atlanta work day is done, it seems another begins in Haralson County.

Poole Farms has been in the family since the late 1950s. Allen’s father was a sharecropper and Allen grew up on the farm, which at that time grew row cops, garden vegetables, along with a few cows and pigs.

As a young adult, Allen worked as a trooper for the Georgia State Patrol. When he retired, he ran for office and was elected to the Haralson County Board of Commissioners, where he served four consecutive four-year terms as chair. When Brian Kemp was elected Georgia governor, he asked Allen to be the director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, where Allen still works to educate people about how to be safer while driving on Georgia’s roads.

“It’s a very full-time job. But I love that we get the opportunity

to help prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities, as opposed to when I used to go investigate them as a state trooper,” he said.

It can be stressful, but as Allen makes the 45-mile commute home each week day, he can feel that stress melting away as he looks forward to getting home to the farm, which he said is the balance to his busy day job.

“The farm keeps me grounded,” he said. “I go to Atlanta every day. I see all different groups of people there and everyone is in a rush, but everything slows down on the farm.”

When he arrives home, Allen begins watering and feeding the 45 head of cattle and checking the farm to make sure everything is operating well. He also takes a minute to pause and reflect on the beautiful countryside that surrounds him.

“I just love seeing the wide-open spaces and the green grass, which we try to keep pretty and manicured,” he said. “To me, that’s enjoyable. After a long day in Atlanta I can sort of let my hair down — well, when I used to have hair, anyway. I walk around, and it’s a time of tranquility and peace of mind for me.”

Once you commit to something, you have to put your whole heart into it. I’m committed to this farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Poole with their son, Blake.
GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 202214

A self-described “country boy,” Allen is one of 14 siblings — seven girls and seven boys. One of Allen’s sisters still lives on the family farm, and one brother helps out as well.

Allen and his wife, Mandy, live on the farm with their son Blake, now 32. Following in the family tradition of working for the Georgia Department of Transportation was what Blake always thought he wanted to do.

But after graduating from Auburn University, he took a job working as an aid on the campaign trail for now Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black. After the election, he worked for a few years at the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association in Macon. All the while, Blake felt the farm calling him back home.

“I took a leap of faith, mainly because I wanted to be near my cows,” Blake said. “I just always loved farming, and feel at home around the cows. Being from a small town and farm, you’ll always be drawn back home. After all, home is where the heart is. I love the small-town feel, and have always said that the best type of friends you can have are true county friends.”

Based happily at home on the farm, Blake found he could balance a full-time job along with his farm duties. Like his dad, Blake works for the governor’s office. As a field representative for Gov. Kemp, Blake serves as a liaison for the governor in multiple counties across Georgia.

“It’s tough because I cover so many counties and travel so much. Once I get back home, it may be dark, rainy and cold, but I still have to feed the cows and check the fence,” he said.

Living and working on the family farm have taught Blake discipline, commitment and to pay close attention to details — all of which serve him well at his day job.

“Once you commit to something, you have to put your whole heart into it. I’m committed to this farm. These cows can’t feed themselves. I feed them. Discipline is imbedded in my life and when I’m on my farm, I run a tight ship,” he said. “At work, I’m a people person. I put people first. I listen to people and pay attention. If I’m speaking with someone on behalf of the governor, you just have to listen, let them talk and then work it out.”

15GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

Like his dad, Blake finds that the farm balances out a stressful workday.

“I cope with the stress by knowing who I am and what I want to do. I have an end goal for everything. My end goal for the farm is to raise the best heifers in this area, have real nice grass and get kids out here so we can teach people where their food comes from,” he said. “Educating our young people about farming is so important. I wish more people would take the time to stop by a farm, get a tour and learn about the benefits of being a farmer. I wish more people would just take the time to talk to a farmer.”

Allen wholeheartedly agreed.

“We need to let young people know where their food comes from — that food is grown on a farm and not in a grocery store,” Allen said. “We’re seeing more programs for young people to teach them how to grow vegetables, and young people are beginning to invest in small farming operations.”

As for the young people who may have dreams of trading their stressful city jobs for wide-open spaces, the father and son team have a bit of advice.

“Start when you’re young and broke,” Blake said with a laugh.

But in all seriousness, he stressed patience.

“Be patient; it’s a process. Don’t try to look down the road too far. Look at what you’re doing right now for your farm. Be patient, diligent and steady as she goes. Don’t get down. You may have a bad year, but it’s a process. Pray about it and know that the sun’s gonna rise again,” Blake said.

Echoing the need for patience, Allen said you “can’t get rich off of farming, but you can make a decent living. It’s a lot of hard work, but I think it’s gratifying.”

Adding that because agriculture is one of Georgia’s largest economic engines, Blake said it’s import to keep an ear out for what’s going on in the ag industry.

“Educate yourself on farm policy and know what’s going on. Get involved in local and state government. Understand farm policy and why people do what they do when it comes to farm policy,” he said. “Most important, get off the sidelines and speak up. Be bold and be courageous.”

Educate yourself on farm policy and know what’s going on. Get involved in local and state government.
16

JustJuice

Cool and refreshing, just like Autumn. That’s what we think of when we think about freshly-pressed juice sold straight from the farm. Georgia’s climate is perfect for fruit trees and muscadine vines. Instead of buying citrus and squeezing them yourself, make it a family outing and explore what local growers have ready to be served. Check out any one of Georgia’s Certified Farm Markets to locate these items and more at gfb.ag/CFM.

Merry Muscadine

Paulk Vinyards Wray, GA

GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 202218
229-468-7873 paulkvineyards.com

Satisfying Satsuma

Raisin’ Cane Valdosta, GA 229-259-2000 raisincanevaldosta.com

Hillside Orchard Farms Lakemont, GA 706-782-2776 hillsideorchard.com

All-Star Apple
GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022 19
Georgia Farmers Ask for Support at the Polls 69.4 BIL$ $ 0.16 GEORGIA COMMODITIES AGRICULTURE’S ECONOMIC IMPACT ON GEORGIA 42,439 FARMS IN GEORGIA LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ISSUES AT STAKE AT IFARMIVOTEGA.COM SAVE THE DATE: FIRST DAY OF EARLY VOTING IS OCTOBER 17 AMOUNT FARMERS RECEIVE PER DOLLAR SPENT Georgia Farm Bureau asks you to consider farm families and the Georgia-grown products you love while at the polls this November. Agriculture is the #1 industry in our state, and by electing leaders who understand and support agriculture, we can help Georgia farmers continue to produce safe and wholesome commodities for your family. The purpose of the “I Farm. I Vote.” initiative is to provide Georgians with information on where candidates stand on issues that affect our agriculture industry. Learn more at ifarmivotega.com. GA CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS STATE REPRESENTATIVES STATE SENATORS 1 bale of cotton 1 dairy cow 1 acre of peanuts 249 bed sheets 8 gallons of milk per day 35,000 pb&j sandwiches

LIFE-LONG

COW MAN

As manager of Circle F Farms, Joe Eason lives out his childhood dreams

orses have always been a big part of Joe Eason’s life, and from the time he was a teenager, he knew he wanted to be a cow man.

“My grandpa was a cow man and my uncles are still in the cow business. I spent a lot of time with my uncles on horseback in the woods,” he said. “A big part of my life has been horses. Horses kept me out of trouble and on the right path.”

For the last 22 years, that path has been alongside Woody Folsom and his family at Circle F Farms in Baxley, where Eason is the manager.

“Me and Woody just clicked together. When I came here, Woody turned me loose; he had confidence in me. And that’s what I needed. It’s a good combo, me and him,” said Eason, now 58. “Woody’s big on family. I have a 10-yearold grandson who helps me work. Taking my grandboy out checking cows and learning the trade, that means a lot to me.”

The 2,100-acre farm has nearly 1,700 head of cattle. Of those, 400 head are registered Brahman cattle and the rest are F-1 heifers out of Hereford and Angus bulls. Eason’s days on horseback consist of checking on the cattle, making sure they have water, that their fences are sound and performing any necessary vaccinations. He said most people don’t realize that being a cow man is a seven-day-a-week job.

“If you’re dedicated and you do it like you should, it’s a full-time job, and this weather doesn’t slow us down. If it’s hot, cold or stormy, you still have to see about your animals,” he said. “There’s more work involved than what people see on TV.”

Eason said he’s thankful to have gotten to live his childhood dreams of being a cow man.

“I know this place wouldn’t be here if the Lord hadn’t blessed Woody through his hard work. As far as I’m concerned, all my talents and good things come from above. I’ve been married to Penny for 33 years, and without the Lord, I wouldn’t be nothing.”

HORSES KEPT ME OUT OF TROUBLE AND ON THE RIGHT PATH.

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Growing Family Traditions

GFB members Joel and Rebecca Buck from Atlanta enjoy the Southern Belle experience.
GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / spring 202222 GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall22

It’s our mission to educate our urban community about agriculture. - Jake Carter

or a fifth-generation farmer, it’s not surprising that Jake Carter is living proof of the family bonds that can be forged on a farm. For his parents and grandparents, that meant growing up on Southern Belle Farm in Henry County. For Carter and his own family, that means using that very same farm as a way for other families to learn and grow traditions of their own.

Started as a dairy farm by J.A. Carter in 1938, Southern Belle Farm has continued to change with the times, meeting the demand for dairy, then cattle and now operating mainly as an agritourism farm.

“Growing up on the dairy farm, I always wanted to follow in the footsteps of my dad and grandad. I wanted to be a farmer,” said Carter, who now serves as president of the farm.

When he graduated from college and moved back home in 2003, the farm was under threat from subdivision development in rapidly growing Henry County. Carter knew they needed to diversify their focus to stay relevant in changing times.

“We decided in 2005 to shift gears to provide an educational opportunity to this community in the form of agritourism,” Carter said. “We opened in 2006 with a fall corn maze and other activities.”

In 2008 they added you-pick strawberries, then peaches, other berries and flowers.

“We have something for all seasons for folks to come out and enjoy. Our goal is to provide a unique experience where families come to spend time together,” he said. “One of the special things that you can see here is the diversity of people who come out. On any day, you can hear five languages being spoken. While you may not have anything else in common with the other folks out here, the one commonality is the shared experience of spending time with your family. We are all here for the same purpose.” Fields of blooming zinnias and sunflowers and a popular fall pumpkin patch make for great family photo opportunities and a farm market offers branded treats and take-home goodies. There’s a dairy demo where children learn about where milk comes from and an animal barn that houses chickens, goats, horses and more.

The common theme among Southern Belle Farm’s offerings is that they operate with the intention of educating families about agriculture. “That’s still our primary goal. About 30,000 elementary school kids each year come to the farm. Many of them come here and learn about agriculture for the very first time. It’s our goal and mission to educate our urban community about agriculture,” Carter said. “Part of our tagline is ‘we grow family traditions,’ and that gets to the core of what we’re about.”

23GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / spring 2022
23GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

ALWAYS THE HOME TEAM

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PLAYER OF THE GAME ATHLETE?

Team sports, especially football, are such an important part of American culture. To be named Player of the Game means that an individual player had an outstanding performance that helped lead their team to victory.

In high school football, athletes tend to have positions on both offense and defense, and sometimes special teams, too. Many times, the Player of the Game makes big contributions in multiple phases of the game. It might be a touchdown pass from the quarterback, a big catch for a late first down by a receiver, or even a crucial block that springs a big run by an offensive lineman, but all of those individual plays can make the difference for the whole team and earn an athlete the title of Player of the Game.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE PLAYER OF THE GAME?

Choosing a Player of the Game can be difficult, especially when you have a team that is well coached and has multiple athletes making big plays each week. When multiple players fit the mold of what we look for in Player of the Game honors, we turn to the team’s coaching staff for advice on who had a profound impact that week.

The award can be a huge motivational tool for a player who has been working hard and feeling unnoticed, but finally has a breakthrough individual performance. It will ultimately make them work even harder and contribute to their team’s success on a greater level!

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance agents highlight standout high school athletes each week through the Player of the Game program.
GFB agent Coleman Fisher honors MJ Marable from George Walton Academy in Monroe, Ga.
24 GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

GIRLS CAN

‘CUE TOO

Dolan Brown’s legacy inspired his granddaughters to open a barbecue restaurant

azar Brown Oglesby and Mary Beth Brown credit their grandfather for instilling in them a love for food, family and friendship that’s carried over into all aspects of their adult lives. The sisters are the owners of Dolan’s Bar-BQue and Honey Catering, located in Statesboro.

The restaurant is named after their grandfather, Dolan Edward Brown Jr.

“Growing up, our family celebrated any and every occasion with food and fellowship. We didn’t even need a reason to gather together and enjoy a great meal,” said Lazar. “In starting Dolan’s BarB-Que, we wanted to turn those happy memories into a career. Our happiest times are still spent in our Granddaddy Dolan’s kitchen at Brown Farms.”

Dolan’s opened in Millen in 2015. In 2021, the restaurant moved and expanded to a location in Statesboro. The restaurant serves up old school barbecue with a modern twist.

“We wanted to dive into the world of a predominately

male profession and bring our own style and creativity. We love combining flavors to create something unexpected,” said Lazar, who is famous nationwide for her cheesecakes.

Both Honey’s and Dolan’s use locally-grown produce and local vendors whenever they can. It’s something their granddaddy, who grew row crops such as corn, cotton and peanuts, would have been proud of.

Brown, who died in 2006, was known as a leader in Georgia agriculture. He served as state director of Georgia Farm Bureau for 40 years, as chairman for the Georgia Cotton Commission and as president of the National Cotton Growers Association.

“Granddaddy was known and admired by so many because of his generosity. He loved helping others succeed,” said Mary Beth. “It was an inspiration to watch him make sure that others lived up to their full potential. He instilled in us a love for food, family and friendship that’s unwavering.”

26 GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022
27GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

FRESH

28 GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

FIXINS

Created by chefs Lazar Brown Oglesby and Mary Beth Brown with Dolan’s Bar-B-Que in Statesboro.
29GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

BAR-B-QUE

CHARCUTERIE BOARD

Chopped pork, ribs, smoked chicken, brisket and sausage

Pickled okra

Sweet pickles Assorted sauces Crispy pork skins Dolan’s Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese (see recipe below)

SMOKED GOUDA PIMENTO CHEESE

1 1 2 2

1 1

cup shredded sharp cheddar cup shredded monterey jack cups shredded smoked gouda cups Duke’s mayonnaise cup minced onion cup minced pickled jalapeno teaspoon granulated garlic teaspoon chili powder

For this recipe and more, visit gfb.ag/Neighbors.

¼ ¼
30
GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022
31GEORGIA NEIGHBORS / fall 2022

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