Fall 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau News

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Fall 2020


West Georgia partnership model for rural broadband



COVID-19 cancels Georgia fairs & Sunbelt Expo

Vol. 82 No. 3

GFB Photo Contest winners capture beauty of farm life


Farm Bureau members receive



Our valued partnership highlights the great movement that we have together, and how farming and trucks have gone together for over 100 years.

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Contents pages 6 & 7

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pages 20 & 21

Peanut genome mapping speeds research

CDC, DOL release COVID-19 guidance for ag workers

Sunbelt Expo cancels 2020 show

pages 8 & 9

Recommendations ag employers can adopt to protect ag workers from COVID-19.

There’s still positive news: Nunn named Ga. Expo FOY; Expo has $16.7 million impact.

West Georgia partnership seen as possible model for rural broadband

pages 14 - 17

page 23

GFB celebrates 30th Annual Ga. Jr. National Livestock Champions

Farm Bureau awards Rep. Bishop Golden Plow Award

FCC survey shows 80.3% of rural Georgians have access to high-speed internet compared to 97.9% of urban Georgians.

page 18

GFB Hay Contest offers chance to win use of Vermeer baler Oct. 31 deadline to enter GFB Hay Contest.

page 10

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Seaton retires from GCC; Sills & Snider take new positions

State ag budget takes cuts, but it could have been worse


GFB News Staff

page 4

Kenny Burgamy

View from the Field

Jennifer Whittaker

page 5

Jay Stone

Public Policy

Director Editor

News Reporter

Each vote makes a difference

Payton Butler

pages 26 - 29

Logan Thomas


Graphic Designer Cover Photo

Young Farmers & Ranchers page 30

Ag in the Classroom page 31

Ga. Foundation for Agriculture

For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-6529080 or mcfarlandadvantage@gmail.com 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 jawhittaker@gfb.org

View from the Field Gerald Long, GFB President The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate the news, and it has impacted Farm Bureau at the local, state and national level. This will probably go down as one of those times when our children and grandchildren look back and ask, “Do you remember when we had to cancel everything?” As most of you know by now, our Georgia Farm Bureau schedule has been changed in a big way. Our traditional events have been significantly altered including our commodity conference, the district annual meetings and our annual GFB Convention on Jekyll Island. This is not the way I wanted to finish my time as your president, but I thank you for your understanding as we push through it. We are working to ensure the important functions of the organization take place even if we are forced to do it a different way. We all miss

our traditional meetings, but the safety of our members and employees comes first. We will not take unnecessary risks with their health. Many things have changed, but farmers will find a way to do what needs to be done. Farm Bureau continues to promote agriculture whether it is on social media or Zoom or whatever form it takes. Our local leaders are still farming in spite of the coronavirus challenges. Our members continue to feed and clothe the world, and as farmers, we can all be proud of that. One day we are going to turn the corner on this virus, and all of us will be glad of that. In the meantime, let’s learn what we can from the situation, stay safe and be optimistic. Things are going to get better.


SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5334. OFFICERS President GERALD LONG, Decatur Co. 1st Vice President and South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Pierce Co. Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Emanuel Co. North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Catoosa Co. General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer, Corp. Treasurer & GFBMIC Exec. VP DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Corp. Secretary & Senior Counsel JEANNA FENNELL Asst. Corp. Treasurer & Sr. Director of Accounting RACHEL MOSELY DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Chattooga Co.; Wesley Hall, Forsyth Co.; SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Lumpkin Co.; Randy Ruff, Elbert Co.; THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carroll Co.; Nora Goodman, Paulding Co.; FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, McDuffie Co.; Marvin Ruark, Morgan Co.; FIFTH DISTRICT: Matt Bottoms, Pike Co.; Leighton Cooley, Crawford 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: Will Godowns, Pike Co.; WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Heather Cabe, Franklin Co. 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 Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or mcfarlandadvantage@gmail.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2020 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

Photo by Sidney Middlebrooks

4 Fall 2020

Public Policy Update

Each vote makes a difference By Katie Duvall

My first opportunity to cast a ballot in an election was my freshman year in college. It was a presidential election, so, bulletin boards across UGA’s campus and at football tailgates were plastered with candidate stickers and political propaganda. Athens’ streets were adorned with yard signs promoting candidates. I left the polling booth that crisp November morning wearing my Georgia peach “I Voted” sticker with pride. On election night, I stayed up with the rest of America to see who won.

Jones County dairy producer Judd Chambers understands the importance of voting. | Photo by Payton Butler After the election, I returned to my old self: uninspired and uninvested in politics until the next election rolled around. Back then, I didn’t fully grasp the significance of voting and how instrumental a role the names on the ballot would play in my future. Until I began working in policy, I never truly comprehended the significance of voting and the impact my one vote could have on an election and my family’s livelihood - agriculture. In 2018, Georgia Farm Bureau’s I Farm. I Vote. campaign showed me that when many individual votes come together, big results can happen.

2020 is an important election year. This November, Georgians will elect the president of the United States, two U.S. senators, 14 U.S. representatives and 236 state legislators. Georgia’s elected officials shape state and federal appropriations, decide which bills pass the legislature, and determine the health and well-being of our state, particularly agriculture. As we enter full speed into the last leg of this election cycle, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) needs your help. We are encouraging our members to engage in the I Farm. I Vote. campaign. This initiative was created to encourage GFB members and Georgia’s agricultural community to engage in the electoral process. Centered around voter registration, candidate education, and encouraging Georgians to vote, the campaign targets not only Georgia farmers but every citizen impacted by agriculture - the state’s No. 1 industry. Farm Bureau’s large membership can significantly impact the outcome of these elections if we are actively involved so our collective voices are heard. Georgia Farm Bureau is offering resources to help you make the most informed decision possible when you vote. On our I Farm. I Vote. website - ifarmivotega.com - you will find an interactive Election Guide that highlights all of the races on November’s ballot. Please visit this guide to learn the candidates’ positions on issues important to Georgia agriculture. The website can also help ensure you’re registered to vote, locate your polling place, and find key dates/deadlines for this year’s elections. As farmers, you have the unique opportunity to serve as a resource to friends and family who may not be as well-versed in issues affecting agriculture. We hope our website, and the I Farm. I Vote. campaign will be a valuable asset in casting your ballot. As you head to the polls this fall, take pride in the impact that your vote and others like it can have on the future of Georgia agriculture.

Visit www.ifarmivotega.com to learn candidates’ position on issues, register to vote & locate your polling place.

Katie Duvall is the Georgia Farm Bureau Advocacy & Policy Development Coordinator. She may be reached at kgduvall@gfb.org or 478-474-0679, ext. 5217.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Fall 2020 5


For peanut growers, leaf spot isn’t the most front-of-mind challenge to growing a crop. Tools to control leaf spot are readily available and are quite effective. The fungal disease and its prevention are simply part of the cost of doing business. Still, that cost is significant.

UGA researcher Dr. Juliet Chu, left, and USDA’s Dr. Corley Holbrook discuss a breeding sample tray used in the process of markerassisted selection. Each peanut in this tray is from a breeding line in the leaf spot study. A part of each peanut will be shaved off to extract and analyze DNA for presence or absence of certain traits.| Photo by Jay Stone “It is a concern,” said Georgia Peanut Commission Director Tim Burch, who grows peanuts and cotton on his Baker County farm. “Last year it didn’t hit as hard, but the previous two years it was a big issue. I used a

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donor parent*

50% identical to donor parent

50% identical to elite parent

elite parent

75% identical to elite parent

donor parent

25% identical to original donor parent

F1 Progeny

Backcross #1

full [fungicide] program. In ’18 I threw some more money at it late trying to stop it, but I had little success.” The mingling of fungal diseases with peanut plants is inevitable without intervention, so much so that the UGA 2018 Peanut RX disease risk index refers to peanuts and fungal diseases as “an unavoidable union.” Farmers might call it an unholy union. UGA Professor of Plant Pathology Bob Kemerait said there are five fungal diseases in the U.S. that every peanut farmer should be aware of - early leaf spot, late leaf spot, white mold (also referred to as Southern stem rot), rhizoctonia limb rot and schleratinia blight. Among those, leaf spot poses an everpresent threat. “Every single field of peanuts in the U.S., even organic fields - and they would have lesser tools - every single one of them has to protect against leaf spot,” Kemerait said. Leaf spot cost Georgia peanut growers an average of $34.6 million per year from 2005 to 2009 according to one UGA study. Left untreated, leaf spot can cut peanut crop yield by as much as 70%.

can take 10 years or more before the desired combination of traits is achieved. Backcross breeding entails taking a plant variety with a primary desirable trait and breeding it with another variety that has a different desirable trait. In Holbrook’s study, this involves crossing a high-yielding variety (TifNV-High O/L) with a breeding line variety resistant to a specific crop stressor, like the fungus that causes leaf spot. Unfortunately, this cross does not produce acceptable yields. A high-yielding peanut variety crossed with one that doesn’t yield well but is resistant to leaf spot results in a 50/50 distribution between the two varieties. Then, the original high-yielding variety is bred again, this time with the product of the first pairing, which expands the genetic contribution of the high-yield variety to 75%. This is the first backcross. Successive backcrosses increase the genetic contribution of the high-yielding variety by half each generation. In the case of leaf spot, Holbrook said the first or second backcross could produce a leaf spot-resistant variety with outstanding yield and grade. Until the last decade, the process was limited by the growth cycle of the plant; in peanuts this meant growing crossbred plants to maturity. Then the new variety was replanted, grown to maturity and tested. Then the entire cycle started over for the next-generation backcross.

Is there a way to reduce or eliminate leaf spot costs? Dr. Corley Holbrook is working to find one. Holbrook, a peanut breeder with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Tifton lab, has been crossbreeding peanuts for 35 years. Variety development, using a technique called backcross breeding,

Georgia Farm Bureau News

* ELITE PARENT = elite parent

87.5% identical to elite parent

highyield variety * DONOR PARENT = leaf spot resistant variety

donor parent

12.5% identical to original donor parent

elite parent

93.75% identical to elite parent

Backcross #2

Mapping the Peanut Genome In 2004, the American Peanut Council (APC) authorized the Peanut Foundation to set up a coordinated research effort to cut production costs while improving yield and quality. At the same time, researchers were tasked with reducing the time it took to develop new peanut varieties, which at that time was 12 to 15 years. This effort resulted in the establishment of the International Peanut Genome Initiative (IPGI). Peanuts were struggling to compete with other crops, particularly corn, cotton and soybeans, all of which were, at the APC’s estimate, 6 to 10 years ahead of peanuts in variety development. Peanut breeders by 2010 had identified about 6,000 DNA molecular markers (fragments of DNA associated with specific traits). Not many were related to desired traits like drought tolerance or disease resistance. More than 100,000 useful DNA markers had been identified in corn and soybeans. “We knew these tools would need to be applied to peanut, as well, to keep peanut improvement moving at the pace of other crops, so that it keeps peanut competitive and makes use of the newest breeding technologies,” said Dr. Peggy Ozias-Akins, director of the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL) on the campus of UGA-Tifton. According to Ozias-Akins, who co-chaired

Georgia Farm Bureau News

donor parent

6.25% identical to original donor parent

Backcross #3

the IPGI executive committee along with Holbrook, there were scattered peanut genome-mapping studies being done before, but the research was extremely costly and no large-scale genome studies were underway. IPGI has already developed a suite of DNA markers for nematode resistance, as well as the variety TifNV-High O/L, which Holbrook developed in partnership with Ozias-Akins. Collectively, these markers along with others could be used to combine, or stack, multiple traits. This process is referred to as breeding with marker-assisted selection, and it was one of three possible genetic research processes suggested for IPGI’s work. The other two, genetic modification (GMO) and mutation breeding, came with what the Peanut Foundation referred to as “significant drawbacks.” The IPGI arranged a collaborative effort that included 135 researchers at 79 institutions in 20 countries. The APC and the Peanut Foundation provided $6 million over five years for the research. Using the Genome Map Using information from the genome, Holbrook and his cooperators at the ARS and UGA labs in Tifton only have to grow enough plant material to extract DNA. “In the past we would make a cross and then allow it to self-fertilize for a few years to produce progeny to test to see which one should be used in a backcross.” Holbrook said.

elite parent

96.875% identical to elite parent

donor parent

3.125% identical to original donor parent

Backcross #4

The peanut genome map allows researchers to develop new varieties faster by using genetic markers for the traits they want in a process called marker-assisted selection. “You may be three or four years down the road before making a backcross. Now we can immediately begin the backcross because we have molecular markers.” So now the process of a cross and three backcrosses only takes around five years, making nonchemical solutions for disease control available faster. For leaf spot-hating peanut farmers, faster solutions to their crop challenges are welcome news. “It could cut our costs $50 an acre probably,” Burch said. “It would definitely reduce it.” Leaf spot was among the crop stressors the APC originally identified for targeted research, but it was not the only one. “You know, there’s a lot of discoveries that are just waiting to be made in terms of disease resistance, but other traits like quality and even more complex traits in peanut, like flavor, that we don’t know a whole lot about, at least genetically, at this point,” Ozias-Akins said.

Fall 2020 7

West Georgia partnership seen as possible model for rural broadband By Jay Stone

As early as 2021, SyncGlobal Telecom workers will hang cable in Heard and Carroll counties to improve broadband access to these counties. | Photo courtesy of SyncGlobal Telecom When Heard County Farm Bureau President Ralph Caldwell considers what he can do with the limited internet access he has, the disparity between his area near the Alabama line and Georgia’s urban areas is hard to ignore. “I feel poor,” Caldwell said. Caldwell has 17 poultry houses, raises cattle and grows row crops; the spotty internet access he does have is a barrier to efficiently running his farm. “I would like to connect all of my chicken houses to here,” he said, noting that highspeed internet would allow him to monitor conditions in the chicken houses from his home. “With the access we have, that just isn’t feasible.” He buys and sells cattle via online video auctions, but again, if his internet shuts down, it poses a challenge, whether he’s bidding on cattle or confirming sales. Caldwell recently purchased land bordering

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his farm with a house on the property. He tried to get his son Colton to move his family from his home in nearby Franklin to the new property. Colton declined, Caldwell said, because of the poor internet.

Cut off in the country In 2018, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) survey measured internet connectivity across the country using the Ookla Speed Test (www.speedtest.net). The survey showed 80.3% of rural Georgians have access to fixed terrestrial broadband internet service (home or office), defined by the FCC as at least 25 megabits per second (mbps) download speed and 3 mbps upload (expressed as 25/3 mbps). By comparison, 97.9% of Georgians in urban areas have access to 25/3 internet. The survey results showed 100% of the state has 5/1 mobile LTE access. In rural areas, 82.3% of Georgians

Heard County Farm Bureau President Ralph Caldwell has run into multiple issues stemming from poor internet service. | Photo by Ann Caldwell have access to 10/3 internet while 98.1% of the state’s urban residents have 10/3 access. The levels of 25/3 and 5/1 access vary widely. The survey showed 18 Georgia counties, all of them rural, where fewer than 50% of residents had 25/3 fixed and 5/1 mobile access. In five counties, less than 10% of the population had 25/3 and 5/1 access. In Heard County, where the Caldwells live, 58.8% of the residents have 25/3 fixed and 5/1 mobile access. In terms of access percentage, Heard ranked 135th of Georgia’s 159 counties in the FCC survey.

Fiber to the premises On June 25, the USDA awarded a $12.5 million grant to Carroll EMC (CEMC), which provides power to much of Heard County, and SyncGlobal Telecom under the department’s Rural ReConnect program. Through the partnership, areas of southern Carroll County

Georgia Farm Bureau News

and northern and western Heard County will gain high-speed internet access. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black called the event a celebration of a breakthrough to improve rural internet service. It was made possible when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation in 2019 authorizing EMCs to provide rural broadband service. “The need we’re hearing about is real,” CEMC CEO Tim Martin said. “Two-thirds of our members do not have access to broadband. We really believe that this project is going to be a springboard for future projects for West Georgia, and it can be a model, I think, for this state and around the country.” SyncGlobal executives said the construction phase of the expansion could begin early in 2021. The company is in the early stages of the Rural Utilities Service pre-construction process. The project will include fiber optic cable strung on EMC poles, extending the ability to take “fiber to the premises.” SyncGlobal will be the internet service provider, offering internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), as well as managed Wi-Fi, network security, parental controls and home phone service. According to USDA, the expanded network will allow high-speed broadband internet access to 7,348 people, 121 farms, 15 businesses, four fire stations and one elementary school.

Caldwell, who responded to a broadband access survey by CEMC in 2019, is optimistic that his will be one of the farms.

As vital as rural electrification For Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the pursuit of rural internet access dates back at least to his first campaign for governor of Georgia in 2002. “It is a transformative infrastructure,” Perdue said. “It has the ability to bring people together. That’s what we’re trying to do.” The funding is part of $100 million in grant funding made available for the ReConnect Pilot Program through the CARES Act passed by Congress in March. That money was in addition to $1 billion designated for rural internet projects previously authorized by Congress. The proliferation of rural high-speed internet access is being compared to the 1930s expansion of the rural electrical grid. It will open opportunities to use data-driven technology in precision row crops, livestock management and many other applications. “We think of broadband not only as what runs our equipment out on the farm,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, noting that one in four rural Americans lack broadband access. “It also returns data back to our farms from that machine so we can make decisions of how to plant, what to plant and where to plant.”

Gov. Kemp said recent events have underscored the necessity of remote connections, as U.S. residents have grappled with the spread of COVID-19 and sought ways to access healthcare, continue education and carry out jobs in ways that slow the spread of the virus that causes the disease. Caldwell’s wife, Kim, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late July; initially she utilized telehealth services to seek care. Telehealth depends on videoconferencing, though, and is hampered by low internet speeds. “I think it’s pretty clear that we all have a commitment to help increase rural broadband access for economic growth, educational opportunities and, more importantly now than ever, health care access,” Kemp said. Some government functions prove difficult with the connectivity issues facing rural Georgians. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said that earlier this year, when implementing the block grant program for farmers devastated by Hurricane Michael, tasks like uploading documents were barriers to completing the grant application process. USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for Rural ReConnect grants and loans. For more information about the ReConnect program, visit https:// www.usda.gov/reconnect.

97.9% of urban households have broadband

80.3% of rural households have broadband access Source: Federal Communications Commission

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Fall 2020 9


Georgia’s agriculture-related state agencies sustained some budget cuts, but they weren’t alone. Most state agencies took a hit as a result of sharply diminished state revenue as businesses closed their doors and thousands of Georgians lost jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The total state budget Gov. Brian Kemp signed on June 30 came in at $26 billion, down from the more than $28 billion spending plan the legislature initially approved before the session was suspended in March.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long & GFB Public Policy staff host GFB’s “Digging In” webinar July 30 during which Rep. Terry England & Sen. Blake Tillery discussed ag funding in the final state budget. Photo by Jay Stone It could have been worse, Rep. Terry England and Sen. Blake Tillery told Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members during the first installment of “Digging In,” an occasional webinar series hosted by the GFB President Gerald Long and the GFB Public Policy Department on July 30. “Sometimes you look at our state budget and realize that the best you can hope for is to

10 Fall 2020

stay where you were and not go backward, or not go far backward,” said England, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee. Despite reduced revenue, England said the budget provides the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with funding to address key functions. GDA was allotted funding for food safety inspectors. Tillery, the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman, detailed the challenges – both physical and fiscal – the Georgia Legislature faced in a session interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We tried to provide some certainty where we could in a lot of uncertain times,” said Tillery, who took over the chairmanship following the death of long-time Sen. Jack Hill in April. The biggest cuts at the GDA were in the agency’s Marketing & Promotion Division, where a $2.49 million cut included reduction of personnel funding for five positions and part-time assistance ($1.353 million) and cuts to marketing, auditing, call center services and gardening ($820,000) and operations ($341,284). The GDA budget includes $200,000 for the development of the Georgia Hemp Program, but a $461,858 fund cut for operations and contracts. Funds were eliminated for the Macon and Augusta state farmers markets, but the Cordele, Thomasville and Savannah state farmers markets received $120,000 for operating expenses. The GDA also received

$620,000 for marketing activities at the Georgia National Fair, Sunbelt Expo and other activities. The GDA budget includes a $361,490 cut to the Athens and Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic Labs and a $100,000 reduction in operating expenses for the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority, which oversees the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter.

“WE TRIED TO PROVIDE SOME CERTAINTY WHERE WE COULD IN A LOT OF UNCERTAIN TIMES.” -SEN. BLAKE TILLERY The Georgia Department of Education’s Agricultural Education funding for the Area Teacher Program, Extended Day/Year, Young Farmers, and Youth Camps was cut by $842,878. The UGA Cooperative Extension budget was slashed by more than $6.2 million, the biggest reductions coming in funds for vacant and temporary positions, operations and travel ($4.8 million). The Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation budget was cut by $237,449. Funding for the Food Animal Veterinarian Forgiveness Program was trimmed by $105,000. The DNR budget includes $200,000 for two marine biologists to help develop the emerging oyster farming sector off the Georgia coast.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

UGA weed science experts weigh effects of dicamba ruling By Jay Stone Cotton and soybean growers can no longer use dicamba weed control products following the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ June 3 ruling vacating federal approval of dicamba. UGA weed science experts Stanley Culpepper and Eric Prostko provided analysis of the court decision and offered alternative weed control suggestions. “The dicamba decision impacts nearly every farmer in the state,” Culpepper said. “In Georgia, we have all worked so hard to steward every pesticide and we should collectively be proud. However, this is a wakeup call in several ways. First, we must work together even harder generating sound science to preempt this type of situation in

the future. Second, for those few growers who have downplayed the importance of using all pesticides wisely, what a wakeup call.” In a blog post soon after the ruling, Culpepper laid out weed control options farmers could use. Culpepper emphasized that farmers should use only labeled products and follow all label directions and restrictions. He said Tavium registration was not affected by the court ruling. Since farmers can no longer use dicamba after July 31, only one of Culpepper’s original recommendations is still applicable - Scenario Three: large pigweed with no dicamba available. Sequential Liberty applications will be the best approach, per Culpepper,

whose blog can be read at www.gfb.ag/ culpepperdicambablog . Georgia obtained a new state label for Liberty shortening intervals between sequential applications, which will improve control, according to Culpepper. Learn more at www.gfb.ag/libertylabel . Prostko estimated that 75% of the soybeans planted in Georgia are dicamba tolerant. “Growers do not have a choice in many cases,” Prostko said. “Unlike dicamba-tolerant cotton, current dicamba-tolerant soybeans are not tolerant to Liberty (glufosinate) so this herbicide cannot be used on Xtend soybeans.” Prostko’s recommendation: the next best POST option would be Roundup + Reflex.

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CDC, DOL release COVID-19 guidance for ag workers Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker In June the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Labor jointly released guidance for agriculture workers and employers. The recommendations outline a template of action ag employers can adopt to protect ag workers from COVID-19. The guidance covers the following topics: exposure risks among ag workers & employers; how to create COVID-19 assessment & control plans; screening & monitoring workers; managing sick workers; addressing return to work after worker exposure; cleaning, disinfection & sanitation recommendations; personal protective equipment (PPE); considerations for shared worker housing & transportation; special considerations for children & other topics. To access the complete guidance, visit www.gfb.ag/cdccovid19guidance.

Highlights of the recommendations include:

• Conducting work site assessments to identify COVID-19 risks & infection prevention strategies for employer-furnished shared worker housing, transportation vehicles & work settings.

• Adopting prevention practices such as proper sanitation, cleaning, disinfection & providing PPE.

• Putting workers in small groups to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace by minimizing the number of individuals who come into close contact with each other over the course of a week. This could include having farmworkers who live together ride in the same vehicles for work transportation and work in the same groups to limit exposure.

• Providing COVID-19 information & training to workers in languages they understand.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News


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Photo courtesy of Terri Bushey

GFB celebrates 30th Annual Ga. Jr. National Livestock Champions By Jennifer Whittaker

Although the 2020 Georgia National Fair is canceled, the Georgia 4-H and FFA livestock shows held at the fair are expected to go on – as of press time. To comply with COVID-19 recommendations set by Georgia and the Centers for Disease Control, the shows will be held as private events open only to exhibitors, their immediate families and project support staff. No general admission spectators will be allowed on the fairgrounds. The shows will be livestreamed on Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) and Farm Monitor Facebook pages.

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The last three competitions of the 2020 Georgia 4-H and FFA Livestock Shows - the Market Goat-Doe, Market Goat-Wether and Market Lamb - will be among the numerous livestock events held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter (GNFA). GFB will sponsor the grand champion awards for these three species for the ninth year. As Georgia youth prepare for the fall shows, let’s celebrate the six exhibitors who won grand champion species awards during the 30th Annual Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in February at the GNFA in Perry.

About 1,500 Georgia 4-H and FFA members competed in the show. These students brought some 1,185 hogs, 804 cattle, 232 goats and 201 sheep to exhibit during the multi-day event. GFB awarded the coveted grand champion belt buckles and a total of $13,000 in prizes to six exhibitors whose animals livestock judges deemed to be the best of their species. Visit www.gfb.ag/20GAJRNatLivestockShow to see more photos from the GJNLS.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Georgia National Fair canceled

Commercial Dairy Heifer Michael Bushey Michael Bushey was a sixth grade FFA member at Clear Creek Middle School in Gilmer County when he won the grand champion commercial dairy heifer with his red Holstein “Sassy.” The son of Michael and Terri Bushey, of Ellijay, this was the second year Bushey showed dairy heifers. “I worked with Sassy every day for about forty to forty-five minutes - walking her around, setting her up (positioning the animal to best showcase its physical structure),” Michael said. “She was pretty hard to halter break.” Michael’s winning heifer is the daughter of a red Holstein, Sally, that belongs to his

By Jennifer Whittaker

Joining Michael for the awards presentation were, from left, his Agriculture teacher Nick Cantrell, GFB President Gerald Long presenting the $1,500 prize check & show judge Craig Padgett. Photo courtesy of Terri Bushey older sister, Octavia, a rising junior who has shown dairy heifers for seven years. Both Sally and her calf, Sassy, are descended from the red Holstein herd the Bushey siblings’ grandfather, Homer, once milked in Champlain, N.Y.

Breeding Doe Casey West White County High School FFA member Casey West earned a $1,000 prize for his grand champion commercial doe (female goat) “Benny the Jet Rodriguez.” West, a junior when he won the award, has shown livestock for eight years. He also shows beef cows and pigs. The son of Clay and Dedra West, of Cleveland, Casey says what he likes most about showing is meeting new people and making new friends. “I worked with my goat every day about 45 minutes,” Casey said. “I rinsed it, walked it, practiced bracing it (positioning the animal to show off its muscle). I was hoping she would win and she did!”

GFB President Gerald Long presents the $1,000 prize to Casey while show judge Chase McPhaul presents the silver cup. Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

For the first time since the Georgia National Fair began in 1990, the event has been canceled. The Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority (GAEA) made the decision to cancel the 2020 fair on Aug. 12 after determining that it would not be possible to host a fair that abides by Georgia and Centers for Disease Control safety recommendations for COVID-19. “We have looked at every factor that plays a part in what makes the Georgia National Fair great. From the rides, vendors, concessionaires, live entertainment and concerts, it is nearly impossible to make our event safe for all members involved due to the recent COVID outbreak,” GAEA Chairman Foster Rhodes said in a released statement. “We feel there is no “halfway” to producing a fair like what we are used to hosting, and because of that we have reached this unforeseen decision to cancel.” Foster said the authority held off making a decision as long as possible but could wait no longer because vendors need a 60-day window to plan for the event that would have been held Oct. 8-18. Many of the estimated 300 parttime employees that the fair hires every October informed fair staff that they would not be able to work the event due to health concerns, GNF Executive Director Stephen Shimp said. As of Aug. 14, only five other states had not cancelled their fairs according to the International Association of Fairs & Expositions. Many other fairs across Georgia have also been canceled.

“It’s not just the winning. It’s more about people you meet and the lessons you learn. Like learning how to take care of things, learning how to lose gracefully and win humbly.” Carolyne Turner 2020 Georgia Junior National Market Gilt Grand Champion

Market Barrow Brock Weaver Brock Weaver, a member of the Colquitt County High School FFA, collected a $1,500 prize with his grand champion market barrow (male pig raised for meat).

Photo by Jay Stone

16 Fall 2020

Brock, center, accepts congratulations from judge Miles Toenyes, left, and the $1,500 prize from GFB President Gerald Long. When asked what it takes to win a grand championship, Brock shared how he trained his winning hog. “I’m up at 6 o’clock every morning. Staying in the barn until 11 o’clock, 10:30 at night. Always washing, feeding,” Brock

said. “It takes a bunch of effort.” The son of Jason and Kimberly Weaver of Norman Park, Brock, has shown livestock for seven years and shows cattle in addition to hogs. The rising junior says, “being around a bunch of people I know,” and “being always on the move - staying out of trouble, basically,” are what he likes most about showing livestock. GFB News Reporter Jay Stone contributed information for this profile.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Market Gilt Carolyne Turner

Photo by Jay Stone

Colquitt County FFA member Carolyne Turner captured the grand champion market gilt (young female) prize. The daughter of Richie and Becca Turner, of Moultrie, Carolyne has focused on showing hogs for 11 years. This is the second grand championship she’s won at the Ga. Jr. National having won the 2018 grand champion barrow award.

Pictured from left, Carolyne accepts the silver cup from judge Miles Toenyes and the $1,500 prize from Haley Darby with the GFB Field Services Department. “It’s not just the winning. It’s more about people you meet and the lessons you learn.

Like learning how to take care of things, learning how to lose gracefully and win humbly,” Carolyne said when asked what she likes most about showing. “I think this is probably the best thing that people can do.” Carolyne admits she began showing due to her mom’s prodding but then fell in love with showing. “She made me do it for the first few years. Then I just developed a passion for it, and 11 years later here I am. I’m the boss of a 280-pound animal,” Carolyne said. GFB News Reporter Jay Stone contributed information for this profile.

Beef Heifer Austin Ertzberger After showing livestock for 12 years, winning the grand champion breeding heifer award was a dream come true for Franklin County FFA member Austin Ertzberger, who won with his 23-month bred Limousin heifer “Loretta the Limi.”

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

From left, GFB President Gerald Long presents the $2,500 prize while judge Josh Elder offers congratulations to Austin. The son of Wayne and Carrie Ertzberger of Carnesville, Austin was a senior at Franklin County High School when he won the award.

Austin put in long hours to get to the winner’s circle with his heifer. “I head out to the barn anywhere from five-thirty to six every morning and then work with my show calves twice each afternoon,” Austin said. Judging by the long line of well-wishers who offered congratulations on his win, Austin earned more than just money and belt buckles from showing. “I’ve made my best friends doing this [showing],” Austin said.

Market Cattle Tanner Norton

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

Grady County 4-Her Tanner Norton made show history by winning the first Ga. Jr. National Livestock Market Beef Cattle Show, in which exhibitors showed their market steers or market heifers. Previously only market steers competed for the grand champion market prize. Tanner won the show with a Maine-Chi-Angus crossbred steer that he says he picked for his heavy muscling and deep body.

Georgia Farm Bureau Field Services Associate Director Clay Talton presents the $5,000 prize to Tanner as show judge Jirl Buck offers congratulations.

Tanner, the son of Clay and Cindy Norton of Cairo, is no stranger to the winner’s circle. This is the fourth Ga. Jr. National grand championship he has won. He won the 2018 grand champion market doe and market lamb awards and the 2019 grand champion market wether. Tanner has shown livestock for nine years. He began showing cattle four years ago. “It’s harder to prepare steer [for showing],” Tanner answered when asked which species he found the hardest to show. He was a freshman at Cairo High School in February.

GFB Hay Contest offers chance to win use of Vermeer baler Oct. 31 entry deadline By Jeremy Taylor

The GFB Hay Contest winner receives free use of a 604R baler for a year with the option to buy it at a reduced price.| Photo courtesy of Vermeer Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) and Vermeer are teaming up again to help Georgia hay producers make a better crop. GFB’s annual Quality Bermudagrass Hay Contest encourages quality hay production, which leads to higher quality livestock and more money for Georgia hay producers. Vermeer is providing the winner of the 2020 GFB Hay Contest free use of a 604R baler for one year with the option to purchase it at a reduced price. A benefit of entering GFB’s hay contest is that hay entries will be tested by the University of Georgia’s Feed & Environmental Water Lab to determine the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) of the hay. Producers who submit samples will be able to compare their RFQ to other submitted hay. Producers who have their hay tested every year can see improvements

they make in managing their hay fields by looking at multi-year analysis. RFQ is the best method to compare forages. RFQ provides a number that gives producers an idea of how much digestible nutrients their hay contains. Fully mature alfalfa is given a base point of 100. Since the base price for hay sales and auctions in many parts of the world is the value of poor-quality alfalfa, RFQ provides a mechanism for indexing quality to value. The RFQ for Bermudagrass in Georgia typically ranges from 75 to 120 or higher. If a hay producer sells based on RFQ, a higher price can be demanded for the higher quality. Livestock producers are more likely to pay these premiums as this hay will yield higher weight gains and require fewer supplements. With quality in mind, it is a good man-

agement practice to test your hay after baling. RFQ and other analytical data can help you manage potential problems with moisture, nitrates or poor digestibility, especially in years with adverse weather.

How to enter Entry forms outlining the contest rules may be picked up at your county Farm Bureau office or downloaded from the GFB website www.gfb.ag/HayContest . There is a $20 fee for each entry to cover the cost of the lab test. Producers may enter more than one sample. Checks should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Contest participants will receive a detailed copy of their hay analysis and may choose to have a free listing in the ’20/’21 GFB Hay Directory. The deadline to enter is Oct. 31.

Jeremy Taylor is an ag programs specialist in the GFB Public Policy Department. He may be reached at 478-474-0679, ext. 5212 or jrtaylor@gfb.org .

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Georgia Farm Bureau News

GFB mourns loss of Childs, former Farm Bureau leader By Jennifer Whittaker

Longtime Georgia Farm Bureau leader Donald Childs of Jackson County died July 24 at age 87. During the 64 years he was a Farm Bureau member, Childs inspired many to follow his example of service to agriculture and the organization.

Childs was preceded in death by his wife, Edna Merle, and son, Steve. He is survived by his son, Jerry, and brother, Sammy, both of Commerce; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Childs grew up on his family’s farm, helping to grow wheat, soybeans, hay and other crops along with chickens and beef cattle. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and resumed farming after returning home. He began serving on the Jackson County Farm Bureau (JCFB) Board of Directors when he joined Farm Bureau in 1956. Through the years, Childs served several terms as county president and vice president and was a county director when he died. Childs was elected to the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 1979 as a GFB

2nd District Director and held this position until 1984 when he was elected as one of the organization’s three vice presidents. In 1994 GFB voting delegates designated Childs to serve as the organization’s 1st vice president, a position he held until he stepped down in 2008. “Georgia Farm Bureau is a better organization thanks to the dedication and service Donald Childs provided as a county and state leader,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “I was always impressed with the thoughtfulness with which he considered the issues and the dignity he brought to a room.” Childs worked for years with the GFB Hay Advisory Committee to help acquire Vermeer hay equipment as first-place prizes for the organization’s annual hay contest.




Georgia Farm Bureau News

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Sunbelt Expo Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker

Sunbelt Expo cancels 2020 show

Shiny new equipment. Border Collies herding sheep. Tractors pulling trams of people past row crops being harvested. These are a few of Sunbelt Ag Expo’s offerings we won’t see this year. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sunbelt Board of Directors voted in July to cancel the 43rd annual show originally set for Oct. 20-22. This is the first time Expo will not be held since it began in 1978. Sunbelt officials said the Expo staff worked diligently during the months leading up to the July decision to put together an action plan to enable a safe and successful show, but concluded that a safe blend of networking,

commerce and education could not be done while maintaining the rich history of Expo. Additionally, the board’s decision to cancel the 2020 show was made out of concern for attendees’ and exhibitors’ expenses and need to plan. Sunbelt asks its loyal attendees to follow its social media channels this fall as it continues promoting education and implementation of the latest ag technology, research and equipment. The Sunbelt Ag Expo looks forward to greeting visitors again Oct. 19-21, 2021.

Photo courtesy of Sunbelt Ag Expo

Study: Expo has $16.7 million economic impact Last year, the Sunbelt Ag Expo board and staff began developing a strategic plan to guide the organization in the next decade. UGA’s Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development (CAED) completed an economic impact study and Georgia’s Rural Center (GRC) helped Expo formulate its strategic plan. The annual Sunbelt Ag Expo, held in Moultrie, attracts attendees from across the Southeast, with some even traveling from across the country. CAED faculty collected quantitative data during the 2019 Expo for the economic

20 Fall 2020

impact study. Data revealed that Expo has a $16.72 million annual economic impact in a 20-county region within a 50-mile radius of the show. The study revealed Expo generates $5.10 million in income for employees and proprietors in these 20 counties. Together, this accounts for about 187 part-time and full-time jobs in the region and a $1.1 million impact on state and local tax revenue. The GRC completed the strategic plan to accompany the economic impact assessment. GRC staff interviewed key Expo stakeholders to gain a clear vision of the show’s future plans while outlining short, mid and long-term fu-

ture goals with objectives to help reach those goals which include: increase external communication with stakeholders and the public; engage exhibitors with the show as more than just an exhibitor/sponsor; increase local confidence and optimism; utilize strategic communication and marketing efforts for better internal communication; and create an enjoyable, engaging and educational experience for attendees and exhibitors at Expo. To learn more about the results, visit www. gfb.ag/Sunbeltimpactplan .

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Nunn named Ga. Expo Farmer Morgan County row crop farmer Lee Nunn is Georgia’s 2020 Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition/ Swisher Sweets Southeastern Farmer of the Year (FOY). Gov. Brian Kemp recognized Nunn as the Georgia FOY during a private ceremony in the governor’s office July 7. Nunn is a past president of the Morgan County Farm Bureau and currently serves as its corporate secretary/treasurer. Nunn grows wheat, soybeans, field peas, corn and cotton on more than 1,500 acres. While Nunn grew up visiting and helping at his grandfather’s Morgan County row crop and dairy farm, it wasn’t a given that he would go into farming, and he doesn’t farm any land his family owned. More than 12 years ago, Nunn planted his first wheat crop on 50 rented acres. He realized he loved farming and began renting more land and diversified into more crops. “I was very humbled and shocked [to be selected], but I appreciate the honor,” said Nunn, who also owns a custom farm services business, agricultural construction and trucking businesses. “I’m on the farm all day every day,

doing what I love. I’ve been thrilled to be able to do it every day.” Morgan County’s Cooperative Extension Agent Lucy Ray nominated Nunn for the award, which is coordinated by the UGA Cooperative Extension. Some of Nunn’s notable production achievements include a 30% reduction in pesticide use, a 75% increase in conservation tillage with no-till or minimum till cropland and improved soil fertility using local poultry litter. Nunn and his wife, Sally, have two children, Claire and Mason. In addition to his Farm Bureau activities, Nunn chairs the local Farm Service Agency Committee and serves on the county’s Extension advisory board. Events related to the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year have been pushed back to 2021. Nunn and his counterparts from nine other states will host judges next year and a winner will be unveiled at the 2021 Expo. State winners will not be selected in 2021. Visit www.gfb.ag/20ExpoFOYNunn to read more about Nunn.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, right, congratulates Georgia Sunbelt Farmer of the Year Lee Nunn. Photo courtesy of UGA Extension

Drive-by field day Due to COVID-19, farmers attending Sunbelt Ag Expo’s Field Day on July 23 took in the agronomic research and newest technology being utilized at Expo’s 600-acre research farm from the comfort and safety of their vehicles. Expo introduced a new driving tour format for the annual event that allowed attendees to view pre-recorded videos featuring university researchers and company vendors. Attendees were able to pull aside at stops they were especially interested in to visit with the researchers. Visit www.gfb.ag/ExpoFieldDayvideos to view all of the field day videos.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo courtesy of Sunbelt Ag Expo

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Introducing a Medicare Supplement with an exclusive feature: THE FARM BUREAU NAME. There are a lot of Medicare Supplement plans out there — but only one that’s offered exclusively by Farm Bureau. Our new plan helps with health care costs that Medicare alone doesn’t cover. And just like you’d expect, it comes with competitive rates, no waiting period for pre-existing conditions, and plan options that fit your needs and lifestyle.

Look into the Medicare Supplement plans from a name you trust. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FARM BUREAU AGENT TODAY or visit gfb.insure/medsupp to learn more.


INTPROD-38726-GFB_MedSup-Ad-8_5x11_v5.indd 1

22 Fall 2020

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Georgia Farm Bureau News

Farm Bureau presents Rep. Bishop Golden Plow Award Rep. Bishop, center, accepts the award from AFBF President Zippy Duvall, right, and GFB President Gerald Long, left. Photo by Logan Thomas

By Jennifer Whittaker The American Farm Bureau Federation presented U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga. 2nd Dist., with its Golden Plow Award during a presentation at the Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) office in Macon Aug. 4. This award is the highest honor AFBF gives to sitting members of Congress in recognition of recipients’ representation of farmers and ranchers. GFB nominated Bishop for the award because of his exemplary work on behalf

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Georgia Farm Bureau News

of U.S. agriculture and his commitment to addressing the needs of his constituent farmers in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District and their counterparts across the nation. Bishop is a long-time member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee and chairs the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. He was first elected to Congress in 1992 and is the senior member of Georgia’s U.S.

Congressional delegation. In nominating Bishop for the award, GFB said the congressman has prioritized “what the farmers need” from disaster relief to agriculture research funding, since his early days in Washington and been a leader on a range of issues including labor reform, taxation, trade and farm bill implementation. To read more visit www.gfb.ag/ BishopAFBFAward .

Commodity Commissions to continue In mail referendums conducted this spring and summer, Georgia beef, corn, pecan and tobacco growers voted to continue assessments on their respective crops to fund the agricultural commodity commissions (ACC) for each crop. Georgia corn growers approved the continuation of a one cent per bushel assessment on corn for the Georgia Corn Commission with an 87.95% favorable vote. With a 91.67% favorable vote, Georgia tobacco growers opted to continue a 50 cents per hundred pounds assessment on their crop for the Georgia Tobacco Commission. Georgia pecan growers voted by 83.5% to continue a one cent per pound assessment

on pecans grown by producers with more than 30 acres to fund the Georgia Pecan Commission. Georgia beef producers will continue to pay a $1 per head assessment for beef cattle after producers returned a 79% favorable vote. The market order for each ACC requires producers to vote every three years to continue or disband the commissions. The ACCs use the assessments to conduct research, education and promotion activities for the respective commodities. Visit www.gfb.ag/crnpcntobreferendums & www.gfb.ag/beefreferendum to read more about the work these ACCs do.

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Richey Seaton | Photo by Jay Stone

Taylor Sills | Photo courtesy GCC

Caroline Snider | Photo courtesy GCC

Seaton retires from GCC; Sills, Snider take new positions Former Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) Executive Director Richey Seaton, who led the organization since 1994, retired Aug. 1. Taylor Sills has been promoted from GCC director of public affairs to replace Seaton. Caroline Snider is the new GCC education and outreach specialist. “Richey’s 26 years of service to Georgia’s cotton farmers and nearly 50 years of service to agriculture will not be forgotten. Richey’s support for Georgia’s cotton industry has been unwavering,” said GCC Chairman Bart Davis, a cotton farmer from Colquitt County. “On behalf of Georgia’s 3,500 cotton farmers, I want to publicly thank him for his service.” During Seaton’s tenure, he reestablished the GCC office and staff and ushered the GCC’s programs to new heights as Georgia’s cotton

acreage increased in the past 26 years. Prior to joining the GCC, he worked for the Georgia Department of Agriculture as director of the Commodities Promotion Division. Sills previously worked at Georgia Farm Bureau from 2012 to 2017 as a commodity specialist and GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers coordinator before joining the GCC in 2017. He is a native of Eatonton and received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, where he majored in agricultural & applied economics. Sills received an associate degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in agribusiness & agricultural economics. After graduation, Sills worked for the Georgia Federal-State Inspection Service before going to GFB. He

and his wife, Jessica, live in Macon. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Taylor as we build on the foundation that Richey has built and continue our tradition of service to cotton farmers,” said Davis. Washington County native Caroline Snider joined the GCC in July. Snider earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Georgia College and State University along with a master’s degree in instructional technology. She also served as a graduate assistant in the GCSU Athletic Department. The GCC, funded by Georgia cotton growers, has been coordinating research, promotion and education programs to benefit Georgia’s cotton sector since 1965. For more information about the GCC call 478-988-4235 or visit www.georgiacottoncommission.org.

"Richey’s 26 years of service to Georgia’s cotton farmers and nearly 50 years of service to agriculture will not be forgotten. Richey’s support for Georgia’s cotton industry has been unwavering," BART DAVIS, GCC Chairman

24 Fall 2020

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Salter named GFB 10th District Federation Manager By Jennifer Whittaker Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has hired Ben Salter as the federation manager for its 10th District, which includes Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Glynn, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce and Ware counties. Salter, who fills the position previously held by Michael Purvis for nine years, started his new job with GFB July 15. Purvis resigned in May, effective June 1, to begin a new role with Georgia Farm Bureau as an insurance training agent in Irwin County. “Georgia Farm Bureau appreciates everything Michael did for our county Farm Bureau offices on the federation side and wish him well as he transitions to our insurance company,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “We’re excited to have Ben join our GFB 10th District team and think his agricultural background and love of agriculture will help him serve our county offices well.”

Georgia Farm Bureau News

A native of Tift County, Salter grew up on a diversified row crop and commercial cattle farm. He graduated from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in crop and soil science.

“I am passionate about agriculture and its direct role in the community for both sustainability and financial stability,” Salter said. “I am excited about the opportunities to further agriculture through Georgia Farm Bureau and the people I will be working with.” After graduating from UGA, Salter was employed for eight years with Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton as the farm greenhouse, farm and nursery manager overseeing production and nursery crops and pine seedlings. He has also been operating his own farm since 2012, raising commercial beef cattle and growing row crops, vegetables and cereal grain grasses for grazing/cattle feed. Salter also operates a land management business. Salter is a graduate of the Advancing Georgia in Agriculture and Forestry Class of 201719. He and his wife, Bailey, have two young children: son, Grey, and daughter, Harlow.

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YF&R Update

GFB Photo Contest winners capture beauty of farm life Agriculture provides endless opportunities for great photos as the 53 contestants who submitted 104 photos in the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers 11th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest proved. Congratulations to Amber Smith of Screven County for winning the contest and $150 grand prize! Her photo “Pivot at Sunset,” will be featured on the cover of the 2021 GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers calendar available at most county Farm Bureau offices this fall. The calendar also features the 11 honorable mention winners, who each received a $75 prize. The 16-member GFB

YF&R Committee judged the submitted photos and narrowed them down to the top 12. From the top 12, votes were cast to select the 2021 contest winner - a unanimous decision. The YF&R Committee thanks all GFB members who entered the contest. The committee plans to hold the contest again next year. Look for contest details next spring on GFB social media and at county offices. If you’re interested in entering the 2021 contest, ask your county office to notify you when it receives contest details.

First Place

“Pivot at Sunset” Amber Smith Screven County

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Georgia Farm Bureau News

Honorable Mentions

“Fast & Effective” Cason Anderson Houston County

“A Young Farmer Overseeing His Cattle” Leighton Cooley Crawford County

“Little Farm Chick” Tara Green Spalding County

Georgia Farm Bureau News

“Sunny Field” Tara Green Spalding County

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Honorable Mentions Cont.

“Peepin’ into Spring” Ariel Holland

“Harvest Time” Ariel Holland

“Crop Dustin” Amy Meeks

“The Bean Flower” Amy Meeks

Johnson County

Coffee County

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Johnson County

Coffee County

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Honorable Mentions Cont.

Georgia Farm Bureau YF&R Coordinator Erin Nessmith may be reached at ennessmith@gfb.org or 478-474-0679,ext. 5232 for more information. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you’d like to get involved with your local YF&R program.

“Golden Harvest” Amy Simpson Greene County

“Home Sweet Home” Sandi Williams Monroe County

Georgia Farm Bureau News

“The Beginning” Dawn Spradley Crisp County

Fall 2020 29

Ag in the Classroom Update

Art students illustrate bounty of Georgia agriculture First Place

Abigail Montgomery of Twiggs County won the GFB Art Contest. Visit www.gfb.ag/20artcontest to see the artwork of all district & honorable mention winners.

Georgia high school students across the state used their artistic talent to illustrate the beauty of Georgia agriculture as they created entries for the 26th Annual Georgia Farm Bureau High School Art Contest. The 67 county Farm Bureaus that held local contests submitted their top winners to GFB from which 10 district winners were chosen. “Georgia Farm Bureau’s Art Contest encourages high school students to express their creativity and showcase their artistic ability through black and white media,” said GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Heather Cabe. “The students’ knowledge and perspective of Georgia agriculture comes to life on paper as they sketch different commodities and the farming lifestyle that is so beloved in our state.” Abigail Montgomery of Twiggs County sketched the first-place winning picture. Kaylee Brackett of Cherokee County and Arwyn Kovach of Lee County were named the state runners-up. Montgomery won $250 as the state winner and $100 as the GFB 6th District winner. Brackett and Kovach each won $150 for being runnersup and $100 each for being the GFB 1st and 8th District winners respectively. Other district winners in the art contest were: Brooke Gooch, Banks County, GFB 2nd Dist.: Jordan Haynes, Cobb County, GFB 3rd Dist.; Shania Hobbs, McDuffie County, GFB 4th Dist.; AnnaBella Alderman, Crawford County, GFB 5th Dist.; Tony Hernandez, Evans County, GFB 7th Dist.; Jay Granger, Miller County, GFB 9th Dist.; Kaiyah Cook, Glynn County, GFB 10th Dist. Contestants were instructed to create a black, white and gray drawing using graphite, charcoal, pastel, chalk, colored pencil, ballpoint pen or mixed media appropriate for printing. Drawings were judged on how well the artwork represents modern agriculture in the student’s county or Georgia and artistic merit. The winning artwork from each district will be featured in GFB’s 2021 Ag in the Classroom calendar along with the drawings of Raine Ansley of Greene County and Highland Roberts of Upson County, who were selected as honorable mention winners.

Georgia Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator Lauren Goble may be reached at ldgoble@gfb.org or 478474-0679,ext. 5135. For the latest news about AITC & for resources you can use at home or in a classroom setting to teach children about how their food is grown & the natural resources they depend on, visit www.gfb.ag/AITC.

30 Fall 2020

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Georgia Foundation for Ag Update

Georgia Foundation for Agriculture names new directors

Will Bentley

Joel L. McKie

The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) has elected five new members to its board of directors: Will Bentley, Joel L. McKie, Abit Massey, Christa Steinkamp and Bill Verner. Each director will serve a threeyear term and is eligible for one additional three-year term. The GFA is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to preparing the next generation of Georgia agricultural leaders for success. The GFA works with Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) and other agricultural and educational organizations throughout Georgia to achieve its mission. The foundation is governed by a board of directors comprised of farmers, educators and Georgia agricultural leaders. To achieve its mission, the GFA is developing a pipeline for Georgia’s next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders. GFA pro-

Abit Massey

Christa Steinkamp

grams provide a structured path that fosters growth and sparks passion in agriculture during a student’s educational journey through early exposure to agriculture, classroom learning, higher education, farm-based mentorship and professional learning. Bentley is president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council. McKie is a partner at Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (HBS), where he leads the law firm’s food and agriculture group. Massey is president emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation (GPF), for which he served as executive director for 49 years. Steinkamp is curriculum & technology director for the Georgia Agricultural Education program. Verner is executive vice president of the Georgia EMC. To learn more about the new GFA directors visit www.gfb.ag/GFAnewdirectors .

Bill Verner

Other members of the GFB 2020 Board of Directors include officers: Gerald Long, GFA Board of Directors chairman, GFB president; Wayne Daniel, GFA treasurer; Matt Greer, GFA secretary; Truist Greater Georgia Region market president; and Robert Fountain Jr., GFA Governance Committee chairman; GFB Middle Georgia vice president. Other directors include: Jon Huffmaster, GFB chief administrative officer & corp. secretary; David Jolley, GFB chief financial officer & corp. treasurer; Daniel Johnson, GFB 1st vice president & South Georgia vice president; Bernard Sims, GFB North Georgia vice president; and Will Hileman, Farm Bureau Bank president & CEO.

Visit www.gafoundationag.org or contact GFA Executive Director Lily Baucom at 478-405-3461 or lrbaucom@gfb.org to make a tax-deductible donation or learn more about the foundation.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Fall 2020 31

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