Vol. 77 No. 1
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
$500 Bonus For Georgia Farm Bureau Members Georgia Farm Bureau members get $500 Bonus Cash* toward the purchase or lease of any eligible 2014/2015/2016 Ford vehicle. Enjoy valuable savings on your choice of vehicles from our comfortable and capable lineup – like the all-new 2015 F-150 with best-in-class towing and payload** and improved fuel efficiency.
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*Program #32010: $500 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/6/2015 through 1/4/2016 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2014/2015/2016 model year Ford vehicle including Hybrids and Final Pay Units. Incentive not available on Mustang Shelby GT/GT500, Mustang Boss 302, Mustang Special 50th Anniversary Edition, F-150 Raptor. Offer is subject to change based on vehicle eligibility. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 30 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $500 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Ford Dealer for complete details and qualifications. **Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR.
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*Program #32055: $750 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/6/2015 through 1/4/2016 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2014/2015/2016 model year Lincoln vehicle including Hybrids and Final Pay Units. Offer is subject to change based on vehicle eligibility. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 30 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $750 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Lincoln Dealer for complete details and qualifications.
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contents february-march 2015
we, the farmers PAGE 4
legislative update PAGE 5
commodities update PAGE 14
women’s committee update PAGE 20
young farmer update PAGE 24
public relations staff Andy Lucas Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone Print/Web Specialist Lillian Davis Publications/Advertising Manager Michael Edmondson Web/Video Manager Ray D’Alessio Senior Producer/TV Host Kenny Burgamy Co-Anchor/Reporter Mark Wildman Senior Radio-TV Specialist Dean Wood Radio-TV Specialist Damon Jones Radio-TV Specialist Vickie Amos Office Coordinator For questions regarding advertising, contact Lili Davis at 478-474-0679, ext. 5126 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau
Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB 77th Annual Convention Highlights
Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Sen. David Perdue spoke at the convention. GFB presented state awards to individuals and volunteers. Voting delegates approved GFB’s 2015 policy and re-elected GFB President Zippy Duvall for a fifth, two-year term. PAGES 6-8
Habersham Vo-Ag program thriving thanks to local Farm Bureau
For the past 10 years Habersham County Farm Bureau has worked to secure a vo-ag program in the public middle schools and expand the existing high school program. PAGE 9
GFB shines at AFBF Annual Meeting
Georgia was well-represented in the young farmer competitions at the annual AFBF meeting in San Diego, and GFB received six AFBF Awards for Excellence for its 2014 programs. Meeting speakers included former U.S. Navy SEAL Reserve Commander Rorke Denver and U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. PAGES 10-11
Chambliss reflects on congressional career
Former Sen. Saxby Chambliss sat down with GFB media in December before leaving Washington to discuss his 20-year congressional career. PAGE 12
Drone use, agritourism, hot topics at produce conference
Fruit and vegetable growers attending the Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference heard about the potential use of drones in agriculture. GFB representatives discussed the organization’s Certified Farm Market program and how agritourism can grow business. PAGE 16
Call to feed the hungry began on a farm
Since 2004 Georgia Farm Bureau has collected food or cash to support the Georgia Food Bank Association. GFB staff recently interviewed Bill Bolling, who is credited with starting Georgia’s first food bank to see where his passion for feeding the hungry began. PAGE 18
GFB forms Foundation for Agriculture
Georgia Farm Bureau has formed a non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation to raise tax-exempt donations to fund activities and programs designed to increase consumers’ awareness and understanding of agriculture. GFB will officially kick off its fundraising efforts with a gala headlined by keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who has performed with many of today’s top recording artists. PAGE 21
Peanut farm show provides industry updates
Growers attending the 39th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show heard updates from UGA researchers, saw displays of the latest equipment and celebrated industry contributors. PAGE 22
UGA/GA Tech ag tech research outlined at Ag Forecast meetings
The statewide 2015 Georgia Ag Forecast series ran from Jan. 14-23 providing attendees with an economic outlook and the chance to learn about new ag technology research UGA and Georgia Tech are conducting. PAGE 31
on the cover
(Photo by David Cromley) GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman David Cromley shot this sunset photo on his family’s Bulloch County farm last year in February while he and his wife, Jamie, were walking. He entered it in the 2014 GFB photo contest. GFB will accept entries for the 2015 contest from March 24-May 6. Visit the GFB website www.gfb.org or contact your county office in late March for complete details. February-March 2015 / 3
farmers FARM BUREAU GEORGIA
Photo by Jay Stone
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
Zippy Duvall, GFB President
Be an AGvocate!
You didn’t misread the headline for my column. I’m encouraging you to be an AGvocate, one who advocates for agriculture. Georgia Farm Bureau has a strong corps of volunteers who faithfully interact with their legislators to discuss how legislation and regulations impact their farms and who visit local schools to teach kids how food is grown. I’m grateful for these volunteers and say thank you and keep up the good work! But I’m putting on my coach’s hat and recruiting new members to our AGvocate team. I know how busy you are when you farm and how hard it is to do anything besides caring for your livestock or tending your fields. I understand you may not be able to attend a Farm Bureau meeting or event, but thanks to modern technology we’ve got new ways you can AGvocate without leaving the farm. GFB has adopted a new advocacy tool – VoterVoice- that we’ve incorporated into our website and are using to send out our legislative newsletters and alerts via email. The system allows us to educate GFB members about issues, and then, with the click of a button, you can contact your elected officials. The first step to using VoterVoice is to sign up. If you have already provided Farm Bureau with an email address, you should be enrolled in the system and should be receiving the GFB Legislative Report. The report comes out each Friday while the Georgia General Assembly is in session and provides a synopsis of legislative activities pertaining to agriculture for the week. We’ll also send out legislative alerts about federal issues as
the need arises using this system. Our legislative emails will sometimes include a red “Take Action” button that will take you to our “Action Center” for more information on how to contact your legislators. It shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to respond. If you’re not getting our legislative reports and advocacy alerts, sign up at www.gfb.org/legislative/action.html. This program is intended to make it easier and more efficient for our members to contact their elected officials on important issues. Another way you can stay informed on ag issues is by signing up for our weekly electronic newsletter GFB News Alert. This newsletter is free and available to all Farm Bureau members. Our GFB print team works hard each week to provide a synopsis of breaking ag news that covers a variety of commodities and ag issues. If we have your email in our system you should already be receiving it. Look for an email each Wednesday titled GFB News Alert from Georgia Farm Bureau. If you want to subscribe to the newsletter visit www.gfb.org, look for the burgundy message at the top of the home page inviting you to subscribe and click on the Subscribe button. The newsletter is available to anyone interested in Georgia agriculture, so feel free to forward it to your farming friends, even if they aren’t a GFB member. Our hope is after they read a few issues they will see how hard Farm Bureau is working for them, and decide to become a member. See WE, THE FARMERS page 16
While speaking at the Georgia Cotton Commission’s Annual Meeting Jan. 28, GFB Zippy Duvall shared the importance of being involved in organizations that represent farmers and government bodies with jurisdiction over agriculture. “If you’re not there, someone else will be, and they may not be mindful of what’s best for farming,” Duvall said. 4 / February-March 2015
SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President ZIPPY DUVALL 1st Vice President/South Georgia Vice President GERALD LONG North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR. Treasurer/Corporate Secretary WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Asst. Corporate Secretary JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY
DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Wesley Hall, Cumming SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Jim Ham, Smarr SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Dexter; James Emory Tate, Denton SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Bellville; Ben Boyd, Sylvania EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Elmodel; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Daniel Johnson, Alma; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: David Cromley, Brooklet WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Janet Greuel, Fayetteville 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 Lili Davis, 478-474-0679, ext. 5126, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2015 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
PRINTED WITH SOY INK
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director
Keep GSWCC The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) was formed in 1937 to help farmers and landowners conserve soil and water resources. Farm Bureau strongly supports maintaining GSWCC as a stand-alone government entity, but the agency has been under fire the last two years. Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2016 recommended budget proposes moving GSWCC into the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Some members of the Georgia General Assembly are suggesting even greater changes. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) is working with all interested parties to maintain GSWCC as a stand-alone agency while addressing the concerns being raised. GFB members have discussed this issue for more than a year. During our policy development process last fall, 23 counties
submitted resolutions about the GSWCC. Every submission urged that it remain a stand-alone agency, and GFB voting delegates approved policy supporting this. There are many reasons for this support. Participation in GSWCC programs is voluntary, and the agency works toward practical solutions to protect soil and water. Farmers and landowners trust commission employees and representatives to provide options and assistance. Landowners invite GSWCC onto their property. In contrast, most other government departments or agencies are regulatory in nature. There is a need for regulation, but most citizens are understandably dubious of inviting employees of a regulatory agency onto their property. Moving the GSWCC under the authority of any other depart-
Georgia members of 114th Congress take office Georgia’s U.S. Congressional delegation took office Jan. 6, as the 114th Congress began. Vice President Joe Biden swore in the Senate members while Speaker of the House John Boehner delivered the oath of office in the House of Representatives. New members of Georgia’s delegation include U.S. Sen. David Perdue, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Dist. 1), Rep. Jody Hice (R-Dist. 10), Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Dist. 11) and Rep. Rick Allen (R-Dist. 12). Carter replaces Jack Kingston; Hice replaces Paul Broun and Loudermilk replaces Phil Gingrey. Kingston, Broun and Gingrey ran to replace former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, rather than for their congressional seats. Allen defeated former Rep. John Barrow. Returning members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation include U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-Dist. 2); Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Dist. 3); Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Dist. 4); Rep. John Lewis (D-Dist. 5); Rep. Tom Price (R-Dist. 6); Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Dist. 7); Rep. Austin Scott (R-Dist. 8); Rep. Doug Collins (R-Dist. 9); Rep. David Scott (D-Dist. 13) and Rep. Tom Graves (R-Dist. 14). Sen. Isakson is chairing the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics; he is the only senator to chair two committees in the 114th Congress. Sen. Perdue will represent Georgia on the U.S. Senate Ag Committee and is chairing the Ag Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources. He is serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chairing a subcommittee. Georgia Reps. Austin Scott (R-8th District), David Scott (D-Dist. 13) and Rick Allen (R-Dist. 12) will serve on the House Agriculture Committee. Rep. Austin Scott will chair the House Ag Committee Subcommittee for Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit, and Rep. David Scott is the ranking member of this subcommittee, which oversees the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Rural Development, lending institutions and ag credit and loan operations within the Farm Service Agency. Visit www.gfb.org/legislative/directory.html to access a directory of Georgia’s Congressional delegation including contact information.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
ment will, over time, change the role and mission of GSWCC. The current structure of GSWCC allows local farmers and landowners to have direct input into the agency. All of Georgia’s 159 counties have at least two supervisor representatives on a District Board of Supervisors. The GSWCC consists of five supervisors from different regions of the state who are appointed by the governor. Attending the state GSWCC meeting is like attending a GFB meeting. Most of the district supervisors are involved in Farm Bureau to some degree, and many serve on county Farm Bureau boards. This local involvement of farmers ensures the goals of GSWCC receive farmer input. Moving the GSWCC into another state agency will eventually change that. GSWCC supports several of the same issues as GFB such as the farm bill and its funding. GSWCC shares GFB’s belief that overreaching, mandatory federal regulations are counterproductive and cautions against expanding EPA’s jurisdiction over water. GSWCC makes a good case for deepening the Savannah Port, and its website explains how GMOs help farmers produce more food with fewer resources. To Farm Bureau members, GSWCC just makes good sense. Some people may have a legitimate grievance with a state agency, and GSWCC is not immune to this, but Farm Bureau believes those concerns should be addressed in a direct and forthright manner. If it is decided that changes are necessary, those changes can be made within GSWCC’s current structure. Georgia’s governor has authority over GSWCC in its current structure, which allows proper oversight without undermining a state agency that has been assisting farmers and landowners for three generations. GSWCC must be doing something right. Just think about it. When was the last time you heard of citizens being worried they might lose a government agency? Jon Huffmaster is GFB Assist. Corporate Secretary & GFB Legislative Dept. Director. February-March 2015 / 5
Gov. Deal, Sen. Perdue speak at GFB 77th annual convention By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________________________________________________ About 1,500 Georgia farmers and agribusiness leaders met on Jekyll Island Dec. 7-9 for the Georgia Farm Bureau 77th Annual Convention. The three-day event included a trade show and commodity conferences providing farmers updates on policy and production issues impacting Georgia’s major Deal commodities. During the general session on Dec. 8 convention attendees heard from Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Sen. David Perdue.
Deal discusses budget recovery, Port of Savannah & water issues
Georgia’s economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, Deal told GFB members saying, “We had some difficult economic times we’ve had to come through, but I’m pleased to tell you that we’ve been coming out of the Great Recession. We’ve continued to see revenue grow month over month and year over year and that’s good for agriculture.” Deal discussed the economic contributions the Port of Savannah is making to Georgia’s economy and how Georgia farmers will benefit from the deepening of the port. “Georgia is the gateway to the Southeast and Eastern coast and that is particularly true because of the Port of Savannah. It is one of the very important economic hubs of our state. We are very well on our way to deepening the port, which will allow further expansion of agriculture exports,” Deal said. “Not only do the Chinese like our pecans, the world has discovered Georgia peanuts and blueberries. The European Union has discovered the availability of chipped wood for the satisfaction of their requirement for renewable fuel.” Deal also discussed the lawsuit pending in the U.S. Supreme Court that Florida filed against Georgia in 2013 over access to water, from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers, that flows into the Apalachicola Bay. Florida has long contended that too much water is taken from the Chattahoochee to meet the demands of the Atlanta area. In early November the Supreme Court an6 /February-March 2015
nounced it would hear the case and in midNovember appointed Maine attorney Ralph I. Lancaster Jr. to serve as a special master for the case. Lancaster will call witnesses, issue subpoenas, take evidence and submit reports to the Supreme Court. As special master, Lancaster does not have the authority to rule, only to recommend outcomes to the justices. Deal praised Georgia’s farmers for steps they have taken to reduce and increase the efficiency of their water use in raising crops. “Georgia agriculture has shown it is willing to be responsible for the water you use through the irrigation metering program and your support of the Flint River Drought Protection Act. All of these are positive indications of our willingness to be accountable for our resources,” Deal said. “In a lawsuit this is the best evidence we have that our state is acting in good faith.”
Perdue pledges to grow nation’s economy; return U.S. to founding principles
U.S. Sen. David Perdue gave his first public address after being elected in November at the GFB convention saying, “I wanted my first public speaking engagement to be with Georgia Farm Bureau because I’m lobbying to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee. Agriculture is the backbone of our state Perdue and the backbone of our country.” Perdue was appointed to the committee after the convention. Perdue said he will focus on taxes, regulatory and energy reforms in an attempt to grow the nation’s economy. “I’ve never seen a government more cumbersome and obstructive to businesses,” Perdue said. “We’ve got to get these regulators off our backs. Perdue also stressed the need for Congress to address the nation’s debt crisis, pointing out that the national debt has gone from $6 trillion in 2000 to $18 trillion today. “This debt crisis doesn’t get the attention that it needs to have. It affects us in ways we can’t imagine. We’ve got to stop spending
and borrowing what we spend,” Perdue said. He suggested eliminating redundant federal agencies as a way of trimming the national debt. Perdue said the U.S. must get back to its founding principles including economic opportunity, fiscal responsibility, limited government and individual liberty. “I’m not going to be the most popular person in Washington because I’m going to Washington to fight for these four principles,” Perdue said. “I’m going up to make some noise and try to change the direction of our country. I think we have awakened to the reality that we can and we must make our country a bastion for freedom around the world.”
Duvall says GFB advocates for farmers
While delivering his annual address, GFB President Zippy Duvall shared how the organization served to be the “Voice of Georgia’s farmers” last year. Duvall recounted how GFB stepped up to defend private property rights in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Duvall Army Corps of Engineers proposing a rule commonly called “Waters of the U.S.” that would expand the agencies’ authority to regulate water on private property. GFB conducted a statewide “Ditch the Rule” campaign that resulted in 15,558 comments being submitted to the EPA urging the agencies to withdraw the proposed rule during the public comment period that ended Nov. 14. “We must continue to step up and hammer home the point that we, the farmers, are tied to our land, and we, the farmers, will not just sit back and accept additional erosion of our private property rights,” Duvall said. Despite federal budget challenges, GFB worked diligently to secure passage of the new farm bill that provides options for multiple types of farmers to remain economically viable. Realizing that the new crop insurance aspect of the farm bill is different from previous programs, GFB co-sponsored a series of 10 meetings across Georgia in mid-December with UGA Extension to educate farmers about programs in the new bill and decisions they must make regarding their farms if they wish to participate in any farm bill programs. Visit http://tinyurl.com/farmbillmeetings for information from the meetings. Georgia Farm Bureau News
State awards presented at convention The best of Georgia Farm Bureau’s volunteers and county chapters were recognized during the GFB 77th annual convention on Jekyll Island. The state award winners were honored for the programs they conducted last year to promote agriculture. GFB named a McKemie Award winner – the highest honor given to a county in recognition of its overall member programs - from each of its three membership categories. Bacon County Farm Bureau received the McKemie Award for the small member division. Cook County Farm Bureau won the McKemie Award for the medium member division. Newton County Farm Bureau received the award in the large member division. Finalists in the McKemie competition, listed in alphabetical order, for the 0 to 1,299-member division were: Crawford, Hancock, Jasper, Macon, Screven, Turner, Upson and Wilcox counties. Finalists for the 1,300 to 2,179-member division were: Franklin, Greene, Harris, Monroe, Pike, Polk, Toombs, Troup and Washington counties. Finalists in the 2,180 plus-member division were: Carroll, Cherokee, Elbert, Habersham, Henry, Jackson, Madison, Stephens and Walker counties. Drew and Shelly Echols of Hall County were named the GFB Young Farmer Achievement winners. The Echolses grow fresh fruit Georgia Farm Bureau News
and vegetables with Drew’s family at Jaemor Farms. Drew has been instrumental in starting and expanding the agritourism activities Jaemor offers at its Alto location. The Echolses received a $500 cash prize, courtesy of GFB, and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention to compete for national honors. They also received a Polaris rough-terrain-vehicle, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance (SFBLI). The finalists in the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Contest were Matt and Melissa Bottoms of Pike County and Chris and Lori Rogers of Jefferson County. The finalists each received a $500 cash award, courtesy of GFB. Brittany Ivey of Stephens County won the Young Farmer Discussion Meet and received an expense-paid trip to compete at the AFBF Convention in San Diego and a $500 cash award courtesy of GFB and a Polaris all-terrain-vehicle courtesy of SFBLI. Discussion meet finalists included Heather Brannen of Bulloch County, Cleve Jackson of Floyd County and Constance Reid of Greene County. The contestants discussed how U.S. policy should balance concerns about food insecurity against concerns regarding the safety and environmental impact of modern ag technologies along with the role
Photo by Lili Davis
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Georgia Farm Bureau honored county Farm Bureaus for promoting agriculture and individual members for personal achievement during the organization’s 77th annual convention. GFB President Zippy Duvall (back row, far right) congratulates the 2014 GFB award recipients (front row seated, L-R): GFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award winner Trisha Lastly, Madison County; GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet Award winner Brittany Ivey, Stephens County; Sandi Mitcham, GFB Promotion & Education Committee Award, Newton County; Lori Johnson, GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Award, Bacon County; GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award winners Shelly, Cohen, Drew and Chloe Echols, Hall County and (back row, from left) Clay Wilson, GFB Young Farmer Committee Award, Madison County; Andy Garland, GFB Legislative Committee Award, Henry County; Ross Kendrick, GFB Membership Excellence Award for the 0 to 1,299 member division, Turner County; David Lee, GFB McKemie Award for the 0 to 1,299 member division, Bacon County; Derry Bennett, GFB McKemie Award for the 1,300 to 2,179 member division, Cook County; Michael Thomason, GFB Membership Excellence Award for the 1,300 to 2,179 member division, Franklin County and Charles Berry, GFB McKemie Award and the GFB Membership Excellence Award for the 2,180-plus member division, Newton County.
farmers should have in discussing these issues with society and lawmakers. Trisha Lastly of Madison County won the Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award. GFB presents this award to recognize young farmers who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. Lastly teaches agriculture at Madison County High School. Lastly won $4,000 courtesy of SFBLI and an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Convention courtesy of GFB. Iris Peeler Barham of Floyd County and Justin Shealey of Cook County were the Excellence in Agriculture Award finalists. Barham is the dairy supervisor in Berry College’s Agricultural Operations Department. Shealey is the Echols County Extension Coordinator for Agriculture and grows cotton, wheat and Angus beef cattle on 110 acres. The finalists each received a $500 cash award courtesy of AgSouth Farm Credit. GFB presented a Membership Excellence Award to a county from each of its three membership categories in recognition of the counties’ membership campaigns. Turner County Farm Bureau received the GFB Membership Award for the small member division. Franklin County Farm Bureau won the award for the medium member division. Newton County Farm Bureau received the award in the large member division. Katy Seagraves, Clarke County Farm Bureau office manager, received the GFB Outstanding Office Manager Award. She was recognized for her work to promote agriculture and Farm Bureau in her local community. Seagraves has been employed with Clarke County Farm Bureau since 2005.
Katy Seagraves, Outstanding Office Manager, Clarke County, with GFB President Zippy Duvall.
February-March 2015 / 7
Photo by Andy Lucas
The 2015 GFB Board of Directors are: front row, from left, Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr., North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims, GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long, GFB President Zippy Duvall, Corporate Treasurer/Secretary Wayne Daniel, General Counsel Duke Groover, Asst. Corporate Secretary Jon Huffmaster, Asst. Treasurer David Jolley; middle row, from left, Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Janet Greuel, GFB 10th Dist. Director David Lee, GFB 4th Dist. Director Skeetter McCorkle, GFB 8th Dist. Director Scotty Raines, GFB 4th Dist. Director Marvin Ruark, GFB 3rd Dist. Di-
rector Nora Goodman, GFB 5th Dist. Director Ralph Adamson, GFB 9th Dist. Director Lucius Adkins, GFB 6th Dist. Director James Malone, GFB 8th Dist. Director Don Wood, GFB 1st Dist. Director Wesley Hall, GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman David Cromley; back row, from left, GFB 2nd Dist. Directors Bobby Gunter and Randy Ruff; GFB 1st Dist. Director Bill Bryan, GFB 7th Dist. Director Ben Boyd, GFB 6th Dist. Director James Emory Tate, GFB 9th Dist. Director Paul Shirah, GFB 10th Dist. Director Daniel Johnson, GFB 7th Dist. Director Gary Bell and GFB 5th Dist. Director Jim Ham.
GFB elects 2015 board
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________
GFB voting delegates re-elected Zippy Duvall of Greene County to his fifth, twoyear term as president of the state’s largest general farm organization. Bernard Sims of Catoosa County, who ran unopposed, was re-elected to his third, three-year term as North Georgia vice president. GFB voting delegates re-designated Gerald Long of Decatur County as the organization’s 1st vice president. Robert Fountain Jr. of Emanuel County begins the third
year of his second consecutive three-year term as GFB Middle Georgia vice president. In contested district director races, Wesley Hall of Forsyth County was elected to a two-year term as a GFB 1st District director. Randy Ruff of Elbert County was reelected as a GFB 2nd District director. Don Wood of Wilcox County was re-elected as a GFB 8th District director. The following were re-elected unopposed to serve two-year terms on the Geor-
Power receives GFB Ag Educator Award
Cherokee County teacher Carmen Power received Georgia Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Educator Award during the organization’s 2014 convention in December. She is pictured accepting the award from GFB President Zippy Duvall. Power, who teaches fourth and fifth-graders at Free Home Elementary School in Canton, was recognized for incorporating information and activities in her classroom curriculum that teach her students about agriculture and how it impacts their daily lives. As the award winner, Power received a $500 award and an expense-paid trip to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Louisville, Ky., in June 2015. She will also be invited to present a workshop on her teaching methods at the Georgia Farm Bureau Educational Leadership Conference in March. Power is a Cherokee County Farm Bureau member and has worked closely with the organization in recent years to provide real-world opportunities for her students to learn about farming in their local community. 8 / February-March 2015
gia Farm Bureau Board of Directors: Nora Goodman of Paulding County, 3rd District; Skeetter McCorkle of McDuffie County, 4th District; Jim Ham of Monroe County, 5th District; James Emory Tate of Jeff Davis County, 6th District; Ben Boyd of Screven County, 7th District; Lucius Adkins of Baker County, 9th District and Daniel Johnson, of Pierce County, 10th District. David Cromley of Bulloch County was named chairman of the GFB Young Farmer Committee. Janet Greuel of Fayette County was named chairman of the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee. Both will serve a one-year term as committee chairmen on the GFB Board of Directors.
GFB committees get production, economic info
By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ Georgia Farm Bureau’s Commodity Committees held meetings during GFB’s annual convention that featured speakers offering economic, research and promotion updates on Georgia’s major commodities. Topics covered included the 2014 peanut growing season and the upcoming 2015 peanut market , the 2015 cotton market outlook, status of the water lawsuit Georgia faces in the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential for getting water from the Tennessee River. The Georgia Department of Agriculture See COMMITTEES next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
By GFB Staff ___________________________________
en years ago the ag education program in Habersham County had a student enrollment of about 275 students with two ag teachers. After ending the middle school ag program in the late 1990s, the local board of education turned down state funds to reinstate the program in 2005. That’s when Habersham County Farm Bureau (HCFB) began a campaign to reinstate the middle school vo-ag program. “Agriculture is important to our county. We continually rank in the top ten out of Georgia’s 159 counties in Farm Gate Value. That’s why Habersham County Farm Bureau organized a collaborative group including those in the ag community, the Chamber of Commerce and several service organizations to encourage our board of education to reinstate a vo-ag program at the middle, ninthgrade and high school levels,” said HCFB Director Gilbert Barrett, who recently ended an eight-year term on the school board. “Over the last nine years, the program has grown, and we have added three middle school programs and a ninth-grade program.” Student enrollment in the ag programs has increased from 250 students in 2005 to about 1,200 students today, and the program went from having two ag teachers to six, Barrett said. “Since Georgia’s State Department of Education now requires students to select a career pathway by the eighth grade, the Habersham Board of Education has the goal of providing career exploration opportunities,” Barrett said. “Because one out of every seven Georgians works in an ag-related industry, it’s important that vocational agriculture be incorporated into the instructional curriculum. Many of our students are earning science credit hours because of the hands-on instructional experiences that vo-ag provides.” Barrett said perseverance was key to getting the vo-ag program reinstated. “When we made that first initial contact with the school system, we were told that kids in Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Andy Lucas
Habersham Co. Vo-Ag program thriving thanks to local Farm Bureau
On Dec. 16, 2014, Habersham County education, business and ag leaders joined local FFA members to cut the ribbon for the new Agri-Science Center located at Habersham Central High School in Mount Airy.
Habersham County didn’t want to get their hands dirty and that most of our vocational classes were going towards a more business education mode,” Barrett recalled. “We said, ‘Ag is an economic engine here and we want to make sure it continues to be, and we need to make sure our students in this county understand the importance of agriculture.’ ” On Dec. 16, 2014, HCFB members were on hand to witness another milestone for the county ag education program. That’s when county education, business and ag leaders gathered with FFA members to cut the ribbon for the new Agri-Science Center located at Habersham Central High School in Mount Airy, 75 miles northeast of Atlanta. The new center measures 17,600 square feet, about half of which is enclosed for classes and community meetings while the other half is a covered, open shed. “This multi-purpose facility, which was funded by SPLOST dollars as well as contributions from the community and the county Farm Bureau, will allow students to take their learning outside the classroom as it will soon be equipped with the latest technology,” said Jonathan Stibling, Habersham County School System Technical & Ag Education Director. “There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to increase enrollment in our program. I say that knowing enrollment is strong now, but we look for nothing but growth from our program from a countywide perspective.” Several HCFB leaders served on the committee established to develop the building plans for the $750,000 agri-center including HCFB President Danny Brooks, Barrett and HCFB member and ag teacher Kyle Dekle. The committee raised funds from Fieldale Farms, Springer Mountain Farms, Ag Georgia Farm Credit and other
local businesses to furnish the center with equipment needed for students to participate in hands-on instructional labs in animal and vet science, agronomy, horticulture, forestry and wildlife. “This building is actually a laboratory. While it will be used as a venue for livestock shows, it’s going to be used every day in instruction,” Barrett said. “We’re teaching an animal science and a vet science pathway at the high school, so it will be hands-on instruction where students will be able to come in.” Prior to the center being built, HCFB donated $35,000 to construct a 40’x60’ pole barn that the ag program used from 2011 when the high school was constructed until the center was completed. HCFB donated another $33,000 to provide a show ring and livestock tie-out equipment. Thanks to HCFB deciding to fight for the vo-ag program in its school system, students in Habersham County have the opportunity to learn about agriculture. Damon Jones, Andy Lucas & Jennifer Whittaker contributed to this report. COMMITTEES from previous page provided an overview of how the Georgia Commodity Commissions work and beef producers heard a status update of the newly formed commission that started collecting $1 per head of cattle sold last July. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inpsector said farmers should contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service Office before converting woody wetlands to fields to determine if the land conversion will require a permit from EPA or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For a more detailed report of the updates provided at the commodity meetings visit http://tinyurl.com/commodities14 . February-March 2015 / 9
GFB young farmers shine at AFBF Annual Meeting Articles & photos by Jay Stone _____________________________________________________________________________
all County Farm Bureau Director Drew Echols and his wife, Shelly, were named to the top 10 in the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Contest, highlighting Georgia Farm Bureau activities during the 96th AFBF Annual Convention, held Jan. 10-14 in San Diego. The Echols family runs Jaemor Farms, a farm, roadside market and agritourism operation in Alto and Commerce. Drew and Shelly competed against winners from other states, making presentations on Jan. 10. Brittany Ivey of Stephens County advanced to the Sweet 16 Round in the Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet, competing against other state winners. During the first round the competitors discussed how the condition of government-
Stephens County Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chairman Brittany Ivey makes her opening statement during the Sweet 16 Round of the AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet. 10 /February-March 2015
managed lands might change if they were managed privately. During the second round the topic was whether a safety net for livestock producers should be developed and what provisions it might include. In the Sweet 16 round the discussion centered on how U.S. policies should balance concerns over food insecurity against safety and environmental impact of modern agricultural practices. Trisha Lastly of Madison County competed in the Excellence in Agriculture contest, also competing against other state winners. The Excellence in Agriculture competitors made presentations before judges on Jan. 10 and 11. More than 150 GFB leaders attended the meeting, which offered a variety of informational sessions and the IDEAg trade show at the San Diego Convention Center.
Hall County Farm Bureau Directors Drew and Shelly Echols.
On Jan. 9, the GFB group had breakfast aboard the USS Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier that is now a museum. The breakfast was followed by a tour of the ship that served as the planning center for U.S. naval operations during Operation Desert Storm. Crawford County Farm Bureau President Leighton Cooley spoke during the Leadership Luncheon on Jan. 11, discussing his passion for farming and his leadership training through Farm Bureau. Cooley, one of six farmers featured in the documentary film “Farmland,” also talked about his family’s decision to be a part of the movie. GFB received AFBF Awards for Excellence in education and outreach, leadership development, member services, membership initiatives and public relations and communications. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman gave his annual address during the opening session on Jan. 11, recognizing host state California and military veterans while lauding the perseverance of farmers. Stallman discussed challenges from government, including the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule and AFBF’s “Ditch the Rule” campaign. “I have two more words for the EPA and Corps: That’s Enough,” Stallman said. Stallman talked about AFBF’s GO (Grassroots Outreach) Team, a group of Farm Bureau volunteers who perform advocacy for agriculture. He also spoke of AFBF’s efforts to help push ag-friendly legislation through Congress. “I’ll make one promise to you:
Madison County Farm Bureau member Trisha Lastly.
Outgoing AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Chairman Jake Carter, a Henry County Farm Bureau Director, was recognized for chairing the AFBF YF&R Committee in 2014. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Farm Bureau has your back.” During the Jan. 12 general session, Henry County’s Jake Carter was recognized for his service as chairman of the AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Committee last year. U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Rorke Denver spoke during the Jan. 12 general session at the convention. Denver talked about leadership and the value of training. He drew a connection between farming and military service. “I’ve been to every hot spot in the world, and I can tell you that when people are hungry, they start killing each other. So when you do your job, I don’t have to do mine,” Denver said. “I mean this sincerely: Thank you for what you do for this country.” For more photos of GFB activities in San Diego, visit http://tinyurl.com/AFBF2015.
AFBF approves GFB policy recommendations
GFB President Zippy Duvall, center, and other state Farm Bureau presidents were recognized for the AFBF Awards for Excellence their states received. GFB was recognized for the following program areas: education and outreach, leadership development, member services, membership initiatives, and public relations and communications.
Photo by Donna Rocker
A group of Georgia Farm Bureau members tour the flight deck of the USS Midway, permanently docked at San Diego. The Midway was capable of housing and maintaining as many as 137 aircraft during its more than four decades of service. GFB member Dick Esco of Lamar County shared his experience of serving on the USS Midway during the Vietnam War as an authentication specialist.
GFB members who served as voting delegates at the Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Women were: seated, from left, Janet Sims, Elaine Avery and Janet Greuel; second row, from left, Melanie Raines, Bebe Ruark, Deloris Ruff, Melanie Sanders, Jill Adkins, Pam Lee and Rhonda Williams; back row, from left, Patricia Johnson, Doris Jean Malone, Betty Sue Tate, Janice Long and Doris Gunter. Bonnie Duvall also participated. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Nine policy submissions from Georgia Farm Bureau were approved by American Farm Bureau Federation voting delegates during the final policy deliberations at the 2015 AFBF Convention. AFBF policy establishes the organization’s stance on issues important to agriculture on the national level. The approved GFB submissions covered a variety of topics ranging from restraints on federal regulatory authority to support of U.S. coal-fired energy. On regulatory review and reform, AFBF delegates approved Georgia language to support budget cuts and sanctions against government agencies that expand their authority against the will of Congress and U.S. citizens, as well as language that would bar employees of government agencies from making unsolicited comments on proposed changes during public comment periods. AFBF supports using the national seasonal average price to calculate Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for peanuts under the 2014 farm bill, rather than the current national seasonal weighted average price. AFBF also approved policy supporting a price for forfeited peanuts being set at a level to move freely in the world market. Other GFB policies approved included support for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) remaining under the USDA and acting as a non-regulatory mediator on behalf of producers in environmental compliance disputes with regulatory agencies. AFBF adopted GFB’s suggested support of the National Beef Checkoff and opposition of any new agency-mandated beef checkoff without a producer referendum. The national organization also accepted GFB’s policy calling for quarterly reviews of bonding requirements for livestock dealers and packers under the Grain Inspectors, Packers and Stockyards Act. AFBF approved GFB’s recommendation voicing support for curtailment of efforts to impose international standards on coal power plants until another form of reliable and efficient energy is found to operate U.S. power plants. AFBF also adopted policy to support continued use of neonicotinoid pesticides for agricultural and horticultural crops. February-March 2015 / 11
By Kenny Burgamy ___________________________________
When the 114th Congress convened Jan. 6, Johnny Isakson became Georgia’s senior U.S. senator, and David Perdue became Georgia’s new junior senator. These changes came after Saxby Chambliss decided not to seek re-election last year. The retiring statesman sat down with Georgia Farm Bureau media on Dec. 11, the day after he gave his nine-minute farewell speech on the U.S. Senate floor. The GFB interview focused on the eight years he served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the 12 years he served in the Senate. The former senator, 71, said he is happy for the new leadership that is about to take shape in the Senate, and he’s excited about David Perdue’s role as a senator. “My replacement, David Perdue, is a great friend, a great man, and he’s going to do a good job, and I’m happy for him,” Chambliss said. “Johnny Isakson, my dear friend of 52 years, is going to be a committee chairman of a major committee. Wow.” Isakson has been tapped to chair the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee, the only senator to chair two committees. When the conversation turned to agriculture, Chambliss bragged on the position Georgia finds itself in when it comes to production. “We’re number one in the production of broiler chickens, pecans, peanuts, and we’re right at the top in production of cotton. People like our cotton better than other parts of the country because of our staple. So, Georgia agriculture is in good shape.” Chambliss pointed to work he and his staff did on four farm bills while he was in Congress as a major boost to help farmers and producers in the U.S. overcome a dependency on the federal government. “We gradually changed the market opportunities for farmers. I have never met a farmer who didn’t want to get a stream of income out of the market place versus any out of Washington. Now, thanks to the last two farm bills, we’re seeing that opportunity for farmers and ranchers across America.” 12 / February-March 2015
Even though Chambliss was optimistic about the future of the ag industry and Georgia’s contribution, he shared concerns, specifically about the nation’s controversial immigration policies. “Immigration is a key issue and changes to the system have to be made,” he said. “When it comes to agriculture, we did modify the H-2A (certification) program in the latter years of the Bush Administration. Elaine Chao, former secretary of labor, made changes to make the (visa) program more easily navigated by our farmers. Unfortunately, when the Obama Administration came in, they threw out those rules and we’re back to the old system.” Before Chambliss left his office to cast one of his final votes, he said that he’d be working closely with the intelligence community once he relocates to Atlanta and joins the DLA Piper Global Law Firm. The firm will help him stay engaged with work and contacts he’s already established around the world. “I’ve been blessed that the folks in the Intel world recognize that we’ve made real efforts in trying to make the world a safer place, and I think that when my grandchildren go look at my papers one of these days, maybe they won’t be too bored reading about some of the things I did.”
Photo by Andy Lucas
Chambliss reflects on Congressional career
Saxby Chambliss sat down with Georgia Farm Bureau media in his D.C. office Dec. 11 to discuss his 20 years of service in Congress.
DLA Piper has 4,200 lawyers in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The firm’s clients range from multinational, Global 1000 and Fortune 500 businesses to emerging companies and government and public sector bodies. Jennifer Whittaker contributed to this article.
Boddiford, Burch Re-Elected to GPC
By Jay Stone _______________________________________________________________________ Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) District 1 Director Tim Burch of Baker County and District 3 Director Joe Boddiford of Screven County will each serve another three-year term beginning Jan. 1. Burch and Boddiford were renominated without opposition during meetings held in December. The District 1 meeting was held Dec. 16 at the Miller County Extension office. District 1 includes Baker, Calhoun, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell and Seminole counties. The District 3 meeting was held Dec. 15 at the Emanuel County Farm Bureau. District 3 includes Appling, Bacon, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Washington and Wayne counties. Georgia Farm Bureau conducted the meetings at the request of the GPC. The Georgia peanut production area is divided into five districts based on acreage distribution and geographical location with one board member representing each district. Each nominee must produce peanuts and live within the district for which he is nominated. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Laura Perry Johnson became the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) Associate Dean of Extension beginning Jan. 1 according to an announcement issued by CAES. “We are confident Laura will take UGA Extension in new and Johnson exciting directions,” CAES Dean Dr. Scott Angle said. “Her wealth of experience and deep understanding of the state and the needs of those we serve will be invaluable.” Perry Johnson previously served as the district extension director for Southwest Georgia, where she managed faculty, staff and UGA Extension programs for 41 counties. She has been with the CAES for 25 years, serving as a graduate teaching and research assistant, laboratory technician, youth livestock specialist and district 4-H program development coordinator before becoming district director in 2012. Perry Johnson has bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in animal and dairy science from CAES. She holds the rank of Senior Public Service Associate within the UGA Public Service Faculty system. “When I went to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as a student in 1983, I had no idea where that would lead me,” Perry Johnson said. “But it’s my belief in this organization and the work we do that has kept me here. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help continue to move the organization forward and enhance our reputation as one of the premiere Extension organizations in the nation.” Perry Johnson succeeds Dr. Beverly Sparks, who retired June 30. Assistant Dean for Extension Steve Brown served as acting associate dean of Extension from July 1 until his retirement in December. UGA Extension is a statewide network of agriculture and natural resources, 4-H and youth development, and family and consumer sciences experts, with offices in 157 of Georgia’s 159 counties. Extension’s mission is to deliver the knowledge and research from the CAES and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences to Georgia residents. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Bradford joins GFB legislative team
Alex Bradford has joined Georgia Farm Bureau as the newest member of the Legislative Department, where he will serve as a legislative specialist. Bradford previously worked for a public affairs firm where his responsibilities included providing public relations and advocacy services in Georgia and across the southeast. Bradford also served as the legislative liaison to the president of the Georgia State Bar. Drawing from his background of policy, Bradford advocacy, and grassroots experience, Bradford will assist in the development and implementation of GFB policy at both the state and national level. “I am proud to begin my career with an organization that has such a rich history and provides a voice for Georgia’s most crucial industry. I am eager to serve as a steward of our farmers’ interests in the legislative arena and to foster a healthy environment for the agriculture industry’s continued growth,” Bradford said. Bradford graduated from the University of Georgia with dual degrees of political science and international affairs. He is active with the School of Public and International Affairs, for which he is past president of its alumni board of directors.
Photo by Lili Davis
Johnson named UGA Extension Director
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For more information, or to apply, contact your local Farm Bureau agent today. Existing Farm Bureau Bank loans are excluded from this offer. *Rate disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and based on exceptional credit. Some restrictions may apply based upon the make and model of equipment offered as collateral. Up to 90% financing for new and 85% for used equipment. Loans subject to credit approval. Rates are accurate as of 09/13/13. Rates and financing are limited to farm equipment model years 2003 or newer and are subject to change without notice. A down payment may be required for new or used equipment purchases. Financial information required for loan requests over $50,000. Commercial vehicles and trailers may be subject to an additional documentation fee. Farm Bureau Bank does not provide equity or cash-out financing on commercial vehicles and equipment. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank FSB. Farm Bureau, FB, and the FB National Logo are registered service marks owned by, and used by Farm Bureau Bank FSB under license from, the American Farm Bureau Federation.
February-March 2015 / 13
commodities/marketing update Don McGough, Director of Commodities/Marketing Dept.
GFB names commodity committee chairmen
14 / February-March 2015
producing locally grown food. Committee members were selected from GFB members who offer agritourism activities at their farms or own farm markets that sell directly to consumers. Each committee chairman serves on the GFB Policy Development Committee. The GFB Commodity Committee chairmen make an important contribution to Farm Bureau by providing knowledge of their commodity and leadership for their committee. The input the committee chairmen provide is an important link back to the farm and helps maintain GFB’s strong grassroots representation. During the upcoming spring committee meetings, the committees will discuss and make recommendations on policy implementation. The committees will meet again on Aug. 13 during the GFB Commodity Conference. For a complete list of the 2015 commodity committee members visit http:// bit.ly/gfbcommittees15.
AFBF restructures advisory committees GFB members appointed On the national level, American Farm Bureau Commodity Advisory Committees have served Georgia well over the years, providing much needed input developing and implementing national agricultural policy. Recognizing that issues on the national level tend to cross commodity lines, especially with topics such as water, immigration reform and farm programs, AFBF is modifying its commodity advisory committees to an issue-based structure. The new Issue Advisory Committees (IAC) will focus on basic issues that are important to all of agriculture. These committees are comprised of members with knowledge and direct involvement of issues important to U.S. farmers and ranchers. The IACs will help develop policy and make recommendations to the AFBF pres-
ident and board of directors. This year AFBF will have 14 IACs: Ag Labor, Animal Care, Budget and Economy, Energy, Environmental Regulations, Farm Policy, Federal Lands, Food Safety, Irrigation, Market Structures, Pest and Invasive Species, Public Infrastructure, Technology, and Trade. Georgia Farm Bureau is well repChase resented on the AFBF IACs. We are proud to have eight representatives serving. We are especially proud that Donald Chase will chair the Energy Committee. GFB members serving on the AFBF IACs are: • John Mixon, Pike Co., Federal Lands • Mark Masters, Dougherty Co., Irrigation • Andy Bell, Decatur Co., Market Structures • Michael Williams, Bleckley Co., Pests and Invasive Species • Randy Branch, Appling Co., Public Infrastructure • Chris Hopkins, Toombs Co., Technology • T.E. Moye, Baker Co., Trade • Donald Chase (Chair), Macon Co., Energy These new committees will take a more direct and fresh approach in tackling the issues farmers and ranchers face every day. The first meeting will take place in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 23, in conjunction with the retooled AFBF Advocacy Conference. We look forward to a productive session and an innovative way to represent Georgia’s farmers. Don McGough is director of the GFB Commodities/Marketing Department. Photo by Andy Lucas
Agriculture and the dynamics of farming are constantly changing. New technology, marketing strategies, infrastructure and policy changes dictate that agriculture must adapt. Farm Bureau is faced with many challenges as we represent those who produce our nation’s food and fiber. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has 20 commodity advisory committees that we utilize to stay connected with the farmers facing these changing issues. From aquaculture to peanuts, these committees represent the diversity of Georgia agriculture, and they advise GFB President Zippy Duvall, the GFB Board and GFB staff on issues the organization needs to address. GFB has named the chairmen of its 2015 commodity advisory committees. Each committee meets several times during the year to address issues related to its commodity and assist with GFB’s policy development process. Chairmen of the 2015 GFB Commodity Committees are as follows: Aquaculture, Terry Bramlett, Fannin County; Beef Cattle, Sammy Perkins, Grady County; Cotton, Eddie Green, Dooly County; Dairy, Bud Butcher, Coweta County; Direct Marketing/Agritourism, Jake Carter, Henry County; Environmental Horticulture, Matt Bottoms, Pike County; Equine, Gary Walker, Tift County; Feedgrain/Soybeans, James Gaston, Sumter County; Forestry, John Mixon, Pike County; Fruit, Bob McLeod, Wilcox County; Goats & Sheep, Greg Phillips, Whitfield County; Hay, Farrell Roberts, Tift County; Honeybees, B.J. Weeks, Cherokee County; Peanuts, John Harrell, Grady County; Pecans, Garrett Ganas, Ware County; Poultry, Wade Castleberry, Forsyth County; Swine, Terry Danforth, Berrien County; Tobacco, Jerry Wooten, Jeff Davis County; Vegetables, Brad Calhoun, Turner County; and Water, Bubba Johnson, Mitchell County. This year GFB formed a new Direct Marketing/Agritourism Committee in response to the growing number of farmers marketing directly from the farm and
Georgia Farm Bureau News
USDA abandons pursuit of second beef checkoff By Jay Stone _______________________________________________________ Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will not pursue a second beef checkoff, according to multiple reports published in December. This announcement comes after Vilsack said in September the USDA would establish a second beef checkoff under the Commodity Promotion and Information Act of 1996 in an attempt to increase funding to advance beef industry causes. The appropriations bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 16 prevents the USDA from implementVilsack ing a new beef checkoff program. Dozens of beef organizations and beef industry supporters, including the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, voiced opposition to the proposed second checkoff, which under the 1996 law would likely have had a different organizational structure and higher operational costs than the National Beef Checkoff, which was established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The second checkoff Vilsack was proposing would not require a producer referendum before being established.
Georgia Farm Bureau delegates passed policy during the 2014 GFB Convention in December opposing “any new government agency-mandated beef checkoff without a prior producer referendum.” In comments submitted to the USDA on Dec. 10, GFB expressed support for the existing National Beef Checkoff with an assessment to be increased to as much as $2 per head. GFB recommended that any new checkoff be structured the same as the existing one. The Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group, which includes the American Farm Bureau, American National Cattlewomen, Inc., Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board, Federation of State Beef Councils, Livestock Marketing Association, Meat Importers Council of America, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers Union, National Livestock Producers Association, National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, is developing a memorandum of understanding on proposed changes to the 1985 Beef Checkoff. The working group is expected to meet in March. The National Farmers Union was originally a part of the working group but withdrew last fall.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
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February-March 2015 / 15
Drone use, agritourism, hot topics at Fruit & Vegetable Conference By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
More than 3,200 fruit & vegetable growers from across the Southeast attended the 2015 Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference held Jan. 8-11 in Savannah. The event included a trade show and educational programs covering blackberries, blueberries, organic production, peaches, roadside markets, vegetables and food safety. One of the popular topics at the con-
ference was potential use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, in agriculture. UGA researcher Dr. Harold Scherm, Roderick Gilbert, senior coordinator with the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, and Georgia Tech Principal Engineer Associate Director Gary McMurray gave peach growers an overview of a collaborative project that representatives of UGA, Georgia Tech,
Barry Pritchett, an apple producer from Ellijay whose family’s Red Apple Barn is a member of the Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market Program, spoke at the Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference Jan. 9.
WE, THE FARMERS from page 4 Another way I’d like to encourage you to AGvocate is by supporting the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. GFB has formed this non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation to receive tax-exempt donations from individuals and businesses for the purpose of funding Ag in the Classroom programs, scholarships and other events to increase ag literacy. We’re kicking off our fundraising efforts with a gala on March 7 at Stone Mountain. We’re thrilled to announce keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who is also a tree farmer and GFB member, is providing the entertainment. We’d love for you to attend the gala, but if you can’t, please make a donation. Any amount is welcome and will make a difference in our efforts to AGvocate for agriculture. 16 / February-March 2015
The Bible tells us to go tell the good news and let your light shine. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let our light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your God in heaven.” The good news is that God gave his Son to save each of us. He also gave farmers the responsibility to till the land and have domain over all livestock. We are honored to have this responsibility. My dad always told me, “If you take care of the land and the animals God put in your care, they will take care of you.” Farmers care about the food they produce, and we care about the families that consume it. Let’s be AGvocates and tell the good news about God and the good things we, the farmers, do every day.
Middle Georgia State College and the University of Florida are conducting to evaluate the needs and opportunities for drone use in specialty crops. The researchers are seeking input from specialty crop producers on ways they would like to use drones in their production practices and plan to develop a road map outlining future drone research and use of drones in agriculture. Producers who would like to offer suggestions for possible use of drones in specialty crop production should contact Dr. Scherm at email@example.com by the end of March. Barry Pritchett, an apple producer from Ellijay whose family’s Red Apple Barn is a member of the Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market Program, spoke during the Roadside Markets Conference, sharing how his family has incorporated agritourism activities such as hayrides, you-pick, a pumpkin patch and a wedding venue to grow their business. “The thing that’s changed most in the last five years for us is agritourism. It’s been the best cash crop for us,” Pritchett said. “The recent recession hurt our business, but offering agritourism activities turned it around.” Pritchett said families thinking about offering agritourism activities should identify the thing that will bring people to the farm and capitalize on that. Brandon Ashley, coordinator of the See CONFERENCE next page
Blueberry referendum ends Feb. 20
Georgia blueberry growers who produce one ton or more of blueberries commercially packed and marketed have until Feb. 20 to return ballots in the statewide referendum to determine if they will continue the Georgia Blueberry Commisison and its research, education and promotion activities. If you are an eligible grower and didn’t receive a ballot contact the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture at 404-586-1405. Georgia Farm Bureau News
CONFERENCE from previous page GFB Certified Farm Market program, told event attendees about the program. Visit http://tinyurl.com/gfbcfm or call 1-800342-1196 for more information about the program, which promotes farmer-owned roadside markets that sell the commodities they grow straight to consumers and/ or offer agritourism activities. GFB promotes the markets through its media and a brochure distributed statewide. During the conference, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) unveiled its new Produce Food Safety Services (PFSS) program, formerly known as the Georgia Good Agricultural
Practices Food Safety Program. “The newly named Produce Food Safety Services program provides participating operations with the expertise, professional resources and assurances that will give them peace of mind,” said Beth Bland Oleson, director of education and food safety for GFVGA and director of PFSS. PFSS will provide clients with affordable options for developing all aspects of a customized food safety program such as mock audits for farm, harvest and facility operations, HACCP plans and microbiological plans.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
coming referendum to re-establish the commission. “Unfortunately, during the reauthorization balloting of the marketing order in 2014, we did not mobilize our growers. With very few growers participating, the voting failed by only four percent,” said Hart, president of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association. “As growers, we have seen our input costs continue to escalate. We must find ways to help reduce these dramatic increases in our input costs. It is only through applied agriculture research that we can accomplish this. Since
the passage of the original marketing order in 2009, this commission has committed over $700,000 to research projects that are helping our growers. The use of the assessment funds for research is critical to the long-term growth of the vegetable industry in Georgia.” Dr. Scott Angle, dean of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, testified that state and federal budget cuts make producer-funded research a necessity. “As time has gone on, it’s been more and more difficult to fund research as state and federal research funds have declined. It’s unlikely that we’ll see more funds in the future. You have a very strong and influential way to address your industry’s research needs by passing this referendum to collect an assessment to support your industry,” Angle said. “As producers you can identify the problems you need addressed, instruct us to address them, fund the research, and we’ll address them.” Bo Herndon, who grows numerous vegetables on his Toombs County farm and has served as chairman of the Georgia Vegetable Commission since 2006 when the commission was first formed, explained the commission’s purpose. “We believe the marketing order we are bringing forth is fair and will provide an avenue for growers to help themselves through research, promotion and education. This commission has been able to address production issues for our growers such as soil fumigants, fungus and bacteria disease prevention, pest management systems and irrigation efficiencies.”
While testifying at the public hearing held Jan. 6 by the Georgia Department of Agriculture regarding the proposed Georgia Vegetable Commission marketing order, Dr. Scott Angle, dean of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, at podium, said reduced state and federal funds for research makes it important that producers fund research for their commodities.
Ga. Vegetable Commission sets referendum for March 1–31
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________
he Georgia Department of Agriculture held a public hearing Jan. 6 at the Macon State Farmer’s Market to receive public comments on a proposal by the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Vegetables to re-establish a marketing order authorizing the collection of an assessment to fund activities to promote Georgia vegetables. After receiving written comments from interested persons Dec. 5 through Jan. 5 and comments made at the hearing, members of the Vegetable Commission voted to hold a mail ballot referendum from March 1-March 31 to allow vegetable producers to determine if they will pay to fund research, promotion & education activities coordinated by the commission. The commission is proposing to establish a marketing order for bell peppers, specialty peppers, beans, broccoli, beets, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, greens, squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Growers who produce 50 acres or more of the vegetables listed above would pay an assessment of not more than 1 cent per marketing unit for each vegetable. During the public hearing, Charles Hart, president of Fresh Plants Inc., based in Sumter County, encouraged Georgia vegetable producers to vote yes in the up-
Georgia Farm Bureau News
February-March 2015 / 17
Call to feed the hungry began on a farm Since 2004 Georgia Farm Bureau has collected food or cash through its annual Harvest for All Campaign to support the Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) and its eight regional food banks across the state (see Harvest for All article on page 19). The primary function of the GFBA food banks is to centralize the collection of donated food, sort the donated products and then distribute the food to people in need through soup kitchens, shelters, missions and churches. According to the GFBA, 18.9 percent of Georgians are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where they will find their next meal. Consider that the national average is 15.9 percent. More than 700,000, or 28.1 percent, of Georgia’s children live in food insecure households, according to the GFBA. More than 200,000 of Georgia’s food insecure children are from working families whose household income is above poverty level, which is defined as $23,850 for a family of four. The food banks attempt to assist in serving this need. Have you ever wondered how the food banks in Georgia began? According to GFBA Executive Director Danah Craft, the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) was the first food bank established in Georgia, which led us to Bill Bolling, director of the ACFB. Bolling is credited many times with starting the food bank vision in the 1970s in Georgia, but he is quick to say it came more from a calling to help the needy in Atlanta than a vision of where it would go. Bolling was raised on a family farm in Denton, N.C. “We all learn from our parents, grandparents and the communities we grow up in,” Bolling said. “For my family, we grew our own food by planting fruits, vegetables and raising livestock.” Bolling’s grandfather leased more land than he needed so he could grow extra pro18 / February-March 2015
Photo by Andy Lucas
By GFB Staff ___________________________________
Bill Bolling, director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, is pictured in his office handling the paperwork that comes with distributing 60 million pounds of food annually and managing 20,000 volunteers.
duce to give away to his extended family, friends and neighbors. His grandfather’s generosity taught Bill a valuable lesson and introduced him to the food bank concept. “My grandfather was the first food bank I ever knew,” Bolling says. When Bolling reflects on his childhood memories from his grandfather’s farm in N.C., he remembers food as nature’s way of building communities and transforming lives. Watching his grandfather grow food to give away influenced him to become a person who now helps others through his daily work providing leadership to the ACFB and other Georgia food banks. Bolling joined the Air Force at age 17 and spent almost two years in Vietnam working on C-130s’ airborne navigation systems. He left the Air Force in 1969 after four years of service, and worked “a thousand jobs,” give or take a few, working at different times as a carpenter, surveyor, salesman and carpet cleaner. He went to college at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., on the GI Bill, then moved to Georgia in 1974 for graduate school at West Georgia College in Carrollton where he studied Humanistic Psychology. At West Georgia he met his wife, Haqiqa, and received a call from God to serve others, which set in motion his feeding the needy. In 1975 Bolling began feeding people at Piedmont Park in downtown Atlanta. He had little money, which led him to volunteer at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church where he discovered his love of making soup and his love for working with volunteers. Within a year or so, St. Luke’s made Bolling its director of com-
munity ministries. Many of the people Bolling served were homeless Vietnam Veterans and many were mentally ill. For about four years, Bolling helped run a community kitchen and developed his vision to serve more people by increasing resources at a hub, which eventually would be called a food bank. To assist more people and start his food bank, Bolling began speaking to church leaders about opening their doors to feed the hungry. During these meetings, he promised the congregations all the food they needed if they would just “open up their church” and help the homeless and the needy. When the first church said yes, he realized he didn’t have the food or a place to store it, but he found a way. Today, the ACFB distributes 60 million pounds of food annually and works with more than 20,000 volunteers. The ACFB leverages the dollars it receives to purchase food at wholesale prices and then uses the funds to distribute the food. “I just can’t tell you how important they [the donated dollars] are because we can leverage those dollars. We can go out and buy wholesale or get things donated and use those dollars to distribute the food,” Bolling said. “Just at our food bank, we get over $9 worth of food out the door for every dollar invested.” Bolling summed up his success in developing the ACFB this way, “Stay faithful to the call. Show up everyday. Put one foot in front of another and invite your family and friends to join you.” Damon Jones, Andy Lucas & Jennifer Whittaker contributed to this report. Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB presents Harvest For All check at convention By Jay Stone ___________________________________
For the fifth consecutive year Georgia Farm Bureau collected cash during its annual Harvest For All campaign to provide food for Georgians struggling to put food on the table. Georgia’s 158 county Farm Bureau chapters and home office contributed a combined $20,000, which was presented to Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) Director Danah Craft during Georgia Farm Bureau’s 77th Annual Convention in December. Craft said on average the GFBA leverages each donated dollar into $7 worth of food. “For example, we might pay $750 to rent a refrigerated truck to pick up 40,000 pounds of donated carrots,” Craft said. “The funds are needed to get those carrots to families in need. That is real leverage.” The GFBA also uses donated dollars to purchase high-protein, low-cost foods like chicken and peanut butter and to offset the costs of various outreach programs like mobile pantries, Manna drops and backpack programs. The GFB Young Farmer Committee coordinated the 10th Annual Harvest For All Campaign. The committee held a golf scramble and an auction during the GFB
YF Conference last July raising $1,700 for the donation. “Our hearts go out to all the people around the state who have difficulty putting food on their tables,” said 2014 GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Matthew London. “The Harvest For All program, which involves cooperation from our county Farm Bureau chapters, has been an important part of our work on the Young Farmer Committee.” Craft added that the relationship between GFBA and GFB has increased farmers’ direct donations of fresh produce to the GFBA, which in 2014 launched the Farm to Foodbank program to facilitate direct food donations from farmers. “We were hoping to get 2 million pounds of No. 2 product, fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise have been thrown back in the field,” Craft said. “So far this year we’ve gotten more than 10 million pounds. That’s 250 tractor-trailer loads of product that is aesthetically imperfect, but nourishing and absolutely essential to add to the diets of the one in five families in Georgia that need assistance.” Using Feeding America’s standard of 1.2 pounds of food per meal, that 10 million pounds of donations translates to 8.3 mil-
lion meals that Craft attributes to GFBA’s affiliation with GFB. The GFBA distributes the GFB donation to its food banks across the state including America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia in Savannah, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank (Food Bank of Northwest Georgia), Feeding the Valley in Columbus, the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia in Athens, Golden Harvest in Augusta, the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank in Macon and Second Harvest of South Georgia in Valdosta. Together the eight food banks distribute more than 130 million pounds of food annually to about 2,600 partner congregations and food pantries in their seven regions. Since 2004, GFB has coordinated nine Harvest For All campaigns through which GFB members across the state donated about 49,000 pounds of staple food items and more than $120,000 in cash donations distributed to the food banks located throughout Georgia affiliated with Feeding America.
200 varieties of fruit, nut and berry plants
Photo by Lili Davis
Grow Half-Dollar Size Muscadines and Blackberries
Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chair Matthew London, left, and GFB President Zippy Duvall present a check for the proceeds of the 2014 Harvest For All campaign to Georgia Food Bank Association Executive Director Danah Craft during the 2014 GFB Annual Convention on Jekyll Island Dec. 7. Georgia Farm Bureau News
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February-March 2015 / 19
The 2015 Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee members are: front row, from left: Nichelle Stewart (1st Dist., Cherokee County); Rhonda Williams (2nd Dist., Rabun County); Committee Chairman Janet Greuel (3rd Dist., Fayette County); Melanie Sanders (4th Dist., Oglethorpe County) and standing from left, Brenda Cooley (5th Dist., Crawford County); Sue Powers (8th Dist., Wilcox County); Angie Durham (9th Dist., Early County) and Ray Bloser (10th Dist., Cook County). Also serving are Kim Thompson (6th District, Treutlen County) and Angel Page (7th Dist., Bryan County).
GFB Women’s Committee to host education/leadership conference March 6-7
By Donna Rocker __________________________________________________________ The purpose of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Program is to promote agriculture through education and to expand participation in all phases of agriculture to build leadership and achieve a more effective organization. “Our committee places much of its focus on agricultural literacy. We offer the Educational Leadership Conference as a venue for our Farm Bureau volunteers to learn new ideas and skills to bring the agriculture story to their communities across Georgia,” GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Janet Greuel said. “We also recognize the need we, as farmers, have for information and skills that will benefit us personally and professionally. Each year this conference provides at least one workshop to address this area as well.” The GFB Educational Leadership Conference will be held March 6-7 at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott in Stone Mountain. On Friday night there will be a time for fellowship with other Farm Bureau volunteers. Saturday will include workshops to provide volunteers with materials and activities to be more effective in their counties and on their farm. Carmen Power, a teacher at Free Home Elementary in Cherokee County and the 2014 winner of GFB’s Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Educator Award, will lead a workshop highlighting activities she uses in her classroom. Chris Fleming of Tennessee Farm Bureau will conduct a workshop on how to connect the classroom to the farm through special internet programs. GFB District 2 Field Representative Clay Talton will lead a workshop on how to effectively use iPads and 20 / February-March 2015
By Donna Rocker ________________________________________________ Eight female agricultural scientists from Pakistan visited the United States in early December through the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Georgia was the first state the group visited. The Georgia Council for International Visitors asked Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) to host a leg of the group’s visit so the Pakistani scientists could learn about GFB’s Women’s Leadership program and Georgia agriculture since Pakistani farmers grow cotton, peanuts, canola, wheat and sesame – some of the major crops grown in Georgia. During their visit to Tifton, the group spent time at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the UGA Tifton Campus where they learned about ag research projects. The group then toured the aquaculture facility at Fort Valley State University where they met up with GFB staff to learn about Farm Bureau and met some Georgia farmers. The group then traveled to Jones County where they visited with Jones County Farm Bureau President Judd and Teresa Chambers on their dairy farm. The Georgia ag tour ended with a visit to GFB’s Macon office where the group learned about GFB and the organization’s women’s leadership and agricultural literacy programs.
Photo By Donna Rocker
Photo By Jennifer Whittaker
GFB hosts Pakistani ag scientists
Jones County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chairman Teresa Chambers, left, tells a group of Pakistani ag scientists how she raises calves when they visited the Chambers’ dairy farm in early December. Chambers also discussed how Farm Bureau teaches kids about farming through its ag literacy program.
cameras to capture your county activities and to do the type of outreach Chris Fleming will discuss in his workshop. Attorney Will Thompson will offer a workshop that addresses the topic of ensuring a solid progression of your farm to the next generation. Check with your county Farm Bureau for registration information and additional workshops. A fundraising gala for the GFB Foundation for Agriculture will be held Saturday evening. Read the article on page 21 for more details. Donna Rocker coordinates the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee & Ag in the Classroom Program. Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB forms ag foundation to fund ag awareness efforts By Jed Evans ___________________________________
Photo by Lili Davis
or many years Georgia Farm Bureau has used its Ag in the Classroom, scholarship, educational outreach and leadership development programs to
achieve our mission of being the Voice of Georgia Farmers. These four programs will serve as the pillars of the newly created GFB Foundation for Agriculture. As we work to secure a prosperous future for Georgia agriculture, we are excited to use the founda-
Cobb County Farm Bureau (CCFB) President Stan Kirk, left, presented GFB President Zippy Duvall with a $10,000 contribution to the just-announced GFB Foundation for Agriculture on behalf of CCFB during the GFB Convention in December. The foundation will use donations to fund activities and programs to educate consumers and students about agriculture. The GFB 2nd District raised almost $800 for the foundation during a silent auction held at the district’s annual cattle show in January. All donation amounts are welcome and will make a difference in GFB’s efforts to increase ag literacy.
tion to set and achieve goals that will create a stronger agriculture sector and healthy communities across Georgia while educating consumers about agriculture. The GFB Foundation for Agriculture was formed to extend the impact of Georgia agriculture from an educational perspective. The foundation will focus on building awareness, understanding and a positive public perception of agriculture through youth and adult education. Donations to the foundation will allow ag advocates to create greater dialogue with consumers, teachers, children and policy makers. The GFB Foundation for Agriculture is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation, and donations are tax exempt under IRS Section 170. Through publicly and privately collected funds, the foundation will focus on creating agriculturally literate citizens by putting farmers and agriculturalists in a position to tell the wonderful story of agriculture. Please plan to be a part of the foundation as we work to grow the future of Georgia agriculture. All donation amounts are welcome and will make a difference in GFB’s efforts to increase ag literacy. Donations may be made on the foundation website after March 7 or checks made payable to the GFB Foundation for Agriculture may be mailed to the foundation care of GFB Field Services at P.O. Box 7068 Macon, Ga. 31209.
Chuck Leavell to perform at fundraising gala March 7 GFB will officially kick off its fundraising efforts for the GFB Ag Foundation March 7 with a gala at the Evergreen Conference Center in Stone Mountain Park at 6:30 p.m. Chuck Leavell, who has played piano and keyboard for many singers and bands including Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes and The Allman Brothers Band, will perform at the gala. A GFB member and timber farmer from Middle Georgia, Leavell is a respected authority on forestry and conservation. In 1999 the American Forest Foundation named Leavell and his wife, Rose Lane, the National Outstanding Tree Georgia Farm Bureau News
Farmers of the Year. In 2001, Leavell penned “Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest.” Leavell also wrote a children’s book called “The Tree Farmers” that has won several top awards including the “Book of the Year” award from American Farm Bureau. Tickets are $100 individual or $750 for a table of eight. We look forward to a great celebration and invite you to join us for our kickoff event. For more information on the gala please contact your county Farm Bureau. Jed Evans is the GFB Young Farmer Coordinator & Program Manager of the GFB Foundation for Agriculture.
February-March 2015 / 21
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
One of the highlights of the annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show is the presentation of awards to individuals and organizations for contributions made to Georgia’s peanut industry. Pictured from left, Georgia Peanut Commission Chairman Armond Morris congratulates Andrew Grimes of Tift County for being named the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer. Other award recipients were: Media Award presented to radio station WKZZ 92.5, The Farm, accepted by Becky Davis; Distinguished Service Award presented to Birdsong Peanuts for serving the peanut industry for 100 years through its shelling plants and support of the Peanut Genomics Initiative and humanitarian efforts, accepted by Charles Birdsong, VP of Birdsong operations & procurement; Debbie Cannon, recognized for working on behalf of Georgia’s peanut farmers during her 20-year career as a legislative aide for Saxby Chambliss; Georgia Peanut Special Award to Peanut Proud, for getting peanut products to those in need through its humanitarian relief efforts abroad and in the U.S., accepted by Gregg Grimsley; Georgia Peanut Special Award to Steve Spooner, for developing the Monosem twin-row peanut planter. Not pictured is Dr. Steve Brown, recently retired UGA Assistant Dean for Extension, who received the Research & Education Award. The Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmer of the Year Award, was presented to individuals representing each of the commission’s five districts. Recipients, not pictured, were : Dist. 1, Wayne Carr, Jakin; Dist. 2, Ralph Underwood, Moultrie; Dist. 3, Olin Boyd, Sylvania; Dist. 4, James Warbington, Vienna; Dist. 5, Jimmy Curry, Shellman. Visit http:// tinyurl.com/pnutshow to see more photos from the event.
Peanut farm show provides industry updates, recognizes peanut friends By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________ Georgia peanut growers attending the annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show & Conference held by the Georgia Peanut Commission Jan. 15 heard marketing and research updates from members of the UGA Peanut team during educational seminars and had the chance to view equipment, services and products displayed by more than 100 vendors. Members of the UGA Peanut Team gave marketing updates and production tips during the UGA Peanut Production Seminar. UGA Extension Economist Dr. Nathan Smith said he expects Georgia farmers to increase their peanut acreage 20 percent in 2015 while peanut acreage will increase 15 percent across the U.S. Smith cautioned growers not to overplant as too many peanuts will drive down prices. He said peanut prices will be influenced by 22 / February-March 2015
the amount of peanuts farmers plant on generic base acres under the new farm bill. Visit http://agecon.uga.edu/extension to see the slides Smith presented including a comparison of 2015 estimated net returns for the major row crops grown in Georgia. UGA Extension Agronomist Dr. Scott Monfort compared growing peanuts in 2014 to riding a roller coaster due to the fluctuation in weather from a wet planting season that turned into a dry growing season. He warned growers to brace for a continuing rocky ride the next couple of years as acreage may increase under the new farm bill, causing price instability. To survive the roller coaster, Monfort told growers to select peanut varieties that offer the best yield potential and disease resistance for the conditions the crop will be grown in - irrigated or dry land. He urged growers to wait to plant peanuts until soil
temperatures are at least 68 degrees for three consecutive days with warm weather forecast for a week after. Monfort urged growers to maintain their equipment, stressing the importance of calibrating planters to ensure correct seeding rates and calibrating sprayers for proper application of chemicals. UGA Plant Pathologist Bob Kemerait announced an app has been developed for iPhone and Android smart phones, called Peanut Rx, that will help growers determine the risk soil-borne diseases pose to their crops and compares chemical options to pick the best solution. Contact your county Extension agent for more information about the app. UGA Entomologist Mark Abney said 2014 weather conditions provided perfect conditions for pests such as thrips, burrower bugs, lesser cornstalk borers and spider mites. “Current prices make optimizing insect management more important than ever before,” Abney said. “The only way to know you’re putting insecticides out in a timely manner is to scout your crop for insects.” Speaking during the lunch program, Bob Parker, president & CEO of the National Peanut Board, said the NPB will continue to work to increase consumer understanding that peanut allergies don’t require a total ban of peanut products from schools. The NPB will also continue to work with the American Peanut Council to increase peanut exports. Parker said the NPB had spent close to $30 million on production research to benefit growers and has budgeted $1.6 million for production research this year. Bob Redding of the Redding Firm in Washington, D.C., provided a legislative update to growers. “We’re very pleased with the peanut provisions in the new farm bill. We think by the time everyone has figured it out, you’ll tell us you want an extension of it when it’s time for a new farm bill,” Redding said. Redding said securing pro-trade legislation will be a top priority for the industry in the new Congress. “We’ve got a lot of peanuts and we want to sell them.” Visit http://tinyurl.com/peanutshow15 to read a longer version of this article with more research and marketing info. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
GFB holds orientation for new county presidents
Georgia Farm Bureau held an orientation for new county Farm Bureau presidents Nov. 11 at its Macon office. GFB President Zippy Duvall, far right, welcomed the new county leaders to GFB’s home office. Pictured from left are: Wilcox County President Bob McLeod, Habersham County President Danny
Brooks, Washington County President Sidney Law, Wilkerson County President Charlene Stuckey, Columbia County President Jim Steed, Oglethorpe County President Dale Brubaker, Madison County President David Whitehead and Vice President Thomas Harrell. Other new county presidents not pic-
tured are: Ray Fowler, Barrow County; John Archer, Gwinnett County; Brent Galloway, Newton County and Lavanda Lynn Tattnall County. County Farm Bureau leaders attending the orientation got an overview of Farm Bureau programs and how the state office works with county Farm Bureaus.
By Jay Stone ___________________________________
Virginia’s David Hula. Dowdy said the key was taking preventative measures to remove yield-robbing stressors before they occur. “It’s just understanding what stress is,” said Dowdy, who planted his irrigated plots with as many as 52,000 plants per acre. “You have to be more proactive than reactive. You discover what has taken yield away from you in the past and be proactive to make sure that doesn’t continue.” Dowdy won the Georgia Corn Growers High Yield Contest in both the irrigated and non-irrigated categories. His non-irrigated average yield was 353 bushels per acre. He also won the prize for irrigated production efficiency, producing the record yield at an average of $2.63 per bushel. David Stafford of Murray County won the production efficiency award for non-irrigated land, averaging 86 cents per bushel.
The Corn Short Course included sessions on maximizing inputs, losses due to diseases and nematodes, weed control, fertilizing, nutrient management, the value of Bt corn, stored corn management, fumigation and an economic update. In the stored corn management session, UGA’s Dr. Michael Toews discussed pest control and temperature management within grain bins. He recommended completely emptying the grain bins, including removing the augurs, and sweeping and vacuuming them out, followed by pesticide applications. This allows a clean start for storage of the next crop. To manage the temperature, Toews suggested leveling the stored grain to permit uniform airflow and ventilation to maintain moderate temperature and minimize moisSee CORN SHORT COURSE page 31
Dowdy record, research highlight Corn Short Course Georgia corn growers received information on the latest production and storage practices and Brooks County farmer Randy Dowdy was recognized for his world-record yield during the 2015 Corn Short Course and Georgia Corn Growers Association meeting at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center on Jan. 20. Dowdy’s irrigated yield of 503.7 bushels per acre in 2014 surpassed the previous world record of 454 bushels per acre set in 2013 by
Photo by Jay Stone
Monsanto offers grants to public schools
Brooks County Farmer Randy Dowdy, left, was presented with the awards in the Georgia Corn Growers High Yield Contest by Georgia Corn Growers Association Executive Dr. Dewey Lee during the Corn Short Course in Tifton on Jan. 20. Dowdy won awards for irrigated high yield, irrigated production efficiency and dry land high yield. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Farmers in 34 Georgia counties have until midnight April 1 Central Time to nominate a public school district for grants of up to $25,000 from Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Fund. Nominated school districts have until midnight April 15 CT to submit applications. Eligible counties are Appling, Baker, Berrien, Bleckley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Screven, Seminole, Sumter, Tattnall, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth. Visit http://www.growruraleducation.com and click the “Farmers Nominate Now” button or call 1-877-267-3332 to submit a nomination. Complete rules and eligibility requirements are posted on the aforementioned website.
February-March 2015 / 23
Photo by Jay Stone
The 2015 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee, pictured from left are: Will & Heather Cabe, Franklin County, 1st District; Thomas & Carmen Strickland, Henry County, 3rd District; Josh Pennino & Skye Gess, Oconee County, 4th District; Chairmen David & Jamie Cromley, Bulloch County, 7th District; Troy & Rebecca
Windham, Laurens County, 6th District; Winston & Lori Brogdon, Berrien County, 10th District; Vice Chairmen Darren & Wendy Hembree, Colquitt County, 9th District; Jason & Kimberly Witt, Gordon County, 1st District; Wayne & Becky McInvale, Crawford County, 5th District and Ryan & Amber Talton, Houston County, 8th District.
2014 GFB Young Farmer Committee named, sets calendar By Jed Evans ___________________________________ The 2015 GFB Young Farmer Committee has been named and is looking forward to a great year! The committee elected David and Jamie Cromley to chair the 2015 committee and Darren and Wendy Hembree to serve as vice chairmen. David will serve a one-year term on the GFB Board of Directors as the committee chairman. Competitive events are one of the highlights of the GFB Young Farmer program. Three young farmer competitive events will be offered in 2015: Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet. Applications for each of these events will be made available in March. Check with your county Farm Bureau to learn more about these contests. The Young Farmer Committee encourages all young farmers to save the dates of July 15-18 for the annual GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference to be held on Jekyll Island. This event includes the preliminary rounds of the Discussion Meet and will offer a number of social and educational opportunities for farmers between the ages of 18-35. Stop by your county Farm Bureau to reserve your spot! The deadline to register is May 29. One of the highlights for our volunteers is the annual GFB Young Farmer Photo Contest. The committee will release details of this event on March 24 24 / February-March 2015
and will accept photos through May 6. We encourage any amateur photographer to share their photos. The top 12 pictures will be featured in the 2016 Young Farmer Calendar. Visit the GFB website www.gfb. org or contact your county office in late
March for complete details. Check with your county Farm Bureau for more information about any of our Young Farmer programs or visit www.gfb. org/yf to make sure you donâ€™t miss any of the exciting events taking place in 2015!
ABAC students form FB chapter
Last fall students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College established a Farm Bureau chapter at their school. Founding members of the chapter are, front row, from left, Addie Thomason, secretary; Ashton Lovett, treasurer; Abbey Gretsch and back row, Johnathan Barrett, president; Andy Paul, Jaky Cervantes, Charlsy Anesetti, vice president and Justin Rectinwald. The chapter held its first meeting Oct. 6, attended by about 65 students, during which Barrett and GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans gave an overview of GFBâ€™s legislative mission and member benefits, and GFB Young Farmer activities in which the students may participate. The chapter held an inaugural Young Farmers Steer And Heifer Show Jan. 23-24 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry for 4-H and FFA members from across Georgia in grades 4-12 to prepare them for the upcoming Georgia Junior National Livestock Show. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Farm-City celebrations held statewide
County Farm Bureaus across Georgia held Farm-City Week events throughout November to celebrate the partnership between farmers and the businesses and workers who help prepare, transport and market the commodities farmers grow for consumers. Farm-City Week was officially Nov. 21-27, but counties held events as their schedules allowed throughout November. COBB COUNTY Cobb County Farm Bureau (CCFB) held its Farm-City Week ceremony at Dobbins Air Force Base on Nov. 7, which included remarks from Sen. Johnny Isakson and Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. CCFB President Stan Kirk welcomed visitors to the event. CCFB Vice President Luke Mayes, right, introduced Sen. Johnny Isakson to the podium. GILMER COUNTY Gilmer County Farm Bureau (GCFB) hosted a Farm-City breakfast on Nov. 14 for its local community. During the breakfast, Gilmer County Commission Chairman J.C. Sanford and Ellijay Mayor Al Hoyle signed a FarmCity Week proclamation. Pictured during the Farm-City Week proclamation signing are: front row, left to right, Gilmer County Commission Chairman J.C. Sanford, GCFB President Darrell Jones; Ellijay Mayor Al Hoyle and back row, from left, GCFB Office Manager Candra Frady; GCFB Director Billy Stillwell and GCFB Secretary Linda Evans. GREENE COUNTY On Nov. 19, the Greene County Farm Bureau (GCFB) Women’s Committee held a drop-in lunch for its agribusiness friends to celebrate Farm-City Week. More than 75 attended this annual event. Pictured from left, GCFB Women’s Committee members Bonnie Duvall, Martha Copelan, Beth Crumbley and Emily O’Neal prepare the meal. Georgia Farm Bureau News
HARALSON COUNTY Haralson County Farm Bureau teamed up with the local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office to host a Farm-City Tour of four farms in the county Nov. 14. Among the tour group of 25 local business leaders were Haralson County Commission Chairman Allen Poole, Ga. Sen. Bill Heath, Ga. Rep. Kevin Cooke and Amy Turner from U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office. The group is pictured at Trillium Vineyard owned by Bruce and Karen Cross. JONES COUNTY Jones County Farm Bureau (JCFB) celebrated Farm-City Week by hosting a member appreciation lunch on Nov. 25. Jones County Commission Chairman Preston Hawkins, left presents JCFB President Judd Chambers with the Farm-City Week proclamation he signed. The lunch gave JCFB leaders an opportunity to discuss agriculture with its non-farming members. Attendees received GFB membership brochures and Ag in the Classroom information was available. Barnes Auto Glass and ServPro provided the meal. POLK COUNTY Polk County Farm Bureau (PCFB) met with its city commissioners on Nov. 10 for a Farm-City Week proclamation reading and signing. Cedartown City Commission Chairman Dale Tuck, center, presents the proclamation to PCFB President James Casey and PCFB Office Manager Sue Cuzzort. February-March 2015 / 25
AROUND GEORGIA News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker BANKS COUNTY The Banks County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee participated in the Colonial Days Celebration held at a local elementary school. Women’s Chairman Ann Gordon, standing left, showed the 250 students participating in the event how to make butter and shared her knowledge and experience of churning butter. While each student shook his container, Women’s Committee Member Thelma Hart, right, read the inspirational story “The Frog in the Milk Pail.” The students enjoyed eating the delicious soft butter they made.
BIBB COUNTY Bibb County Farm Bureau (BCFB) teamed up with Jay’s Hope, a foundation for children with cancer, to offer a “Day on the Farm” at Elliott Farms last fall for cancer patients and their families. The children and families visiting the farm enjoyed games, picnic lunches, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, picking pumpkins and a hayride, all while learning about agriculture. Helping with the event were, from left, BCFB Agency Manager Jason Elkins, Penny Elkins, BCFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Russell Elliott, Dr. Shannon Elliott, BCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Debra Elliott, Russ Elliott, BCFB Agent Brent Worley, Kaley Worley, Mandy Elliott and Andrea Worley. BRANTLEY COUNTY Brantley County Farm Bureau (BCFB) was one of the sponsors for the Forestry Field Tour and Seminar held in the county last fall. BCFB Director Barry Chesser set up a 26 / February-March 2015
table with information about Farm Bureau memberships and services on it at the event. BULLOCH COUNTY Bulloch County Farm Bureau (BCFB) helped sponsor Ag Night on the Square, an event aimed to educate the public about agriculture in the Statesboro community. The BCFB booth featured cotton and peanut plants ready for harvest and a sandbox filled with corn kernels for children to play in. Attendees participated in the “Guess How Many Peanuts are in the Jar” challenge, as well as the Young Farmer Yeti raffle drawing. More than 250 people attended the event despite rainy conditions.
CHATTOOGA COUNTY Chattooga County Farm Bureau joined forces with Mount Vernon Mills, the Chattooga County Cooperative Extension and Hurley Farms to host the annual Cotton Patch Day at Hurley Farms last fall. More than 330 fifth-grade students from five different schools in the county attended the event. The students traveled to six different stations around the farm where they learned how cotton is grown, harvested and used. Local FFA teacher Barry Bailey, center, told the students how farmers grow cotton as CCFB President Wayne Hurley, red jacket, right, was on hand to answer any questions about how he grows cotton and CCFB Director John Leslie, left, guided his group to the different stations. Jonny Martin from Mount Vernon Mills told students how cotton is made into denim. The kids also saw cotton being picked in the field. CLARKE COUNTY On Dec. 10, the Clarke County Farm Bureau (CCFB) Young Farmers met for their Christmas dinner. The group of 15 took a break from studying for finals and met at the Four Towers building Georgia Farm Bureau News
on the UGA campus. CCFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Callie Fowler, second from left, helped organize the event. COFFEE COUNTY Coffee County Farm Bureau (CCFB) recently hosted an Ag in Classroom event at its county office for a group of first-grade students. CCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Kem McKinnon read the book “Who Grew My Soup?” The students enjoyed seeing the model hot air balloon displayed at the CCFB office that is shaped like a tomato and based on the book illustrations. McKinnon used a display of tissue paper vegetables to discuss the many types of vegetables used to make soup. After the lesson, CCFB served the students soup and sandwiches for lunch. COLUMBIA COUNTY About 300 FFA students from Columbia County high schools learned what goes into producing a gallon of milk while visiting the dairy farm of Columbia County Farm Bureau President Jim Steed Dec. 2. CCFB members grilled hotdogs for the students and served lunch. Helping with the event were, front row, from left, CCFB Vice President Mike Anderson, GFB 4th District Field Rep. Rick Hubert, CCFB Office Manager Patty Odom, CCFB Director Jimmy Young, CCFB President Jim Steed and CCFB Young Farmer Chairman Kevin Allen and top row from left, CCFB Director Chuck Anderson, CCFB Secretary Crystal Dye and CCFB Director Pete Allen. EVANS COUNTY Evans County Farm Bureau (ECFB) participated in the Evans County Centennial Parade with a float titled “Puttin’ in Tobacco,” that celebrated the county’s heritage of growing tobacco. The float depicted what harvesting tobacco was like years ago. ECFB member Ross Greene provided the tobacco plants for the float. ECFB & GFB 7th Dist. Director Gary Bell pulled the float with his 1950 B-John Deere tractor. ECFB President Donny Jones, Georgia Farm Bureau News
ECFB Office Manager Karon Anderson and ECFB Secretary Kelli Spence and her children rode the float.
GLYNN COUNTY Members of the Glynn County Farm Bureau Beekeepers’ Committee participated in the 20th Annual CoastFest hosted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division at its Brunswick headquarters in October. The GCFB committee manned an exhibit featuring honeybee observation hives that showed bees working inside a hive. GCFB volunteers also offered honey tastings of three types of local honey. This was the fourth year the committee participated in CoastFest. An estimated 9,500 people attended the event designed to highlight Georgia’s unique coastal environment. GWINNETT COUNTY Gwinnett County Farm Bureau Office Manager Julie Woods visited a local elementary school in November and talked to 450 kids at the school from kindergarten through second grade about ag careers in Georgia. Woods told the students about the different commodities farmers grow in Georgia, such as poultry, produce, cotton and peanuts, and the different jobs created by harvesting, transporting and processing the commodities. Since Georgia is the leading poultry producing state, Woods took a live chicken for the students to see, and a representative from AG Pro in Dacula brought a John Deere Tractor and talked about the farm equipment manufacturing and sales jobs in Georgia. HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Farm Bureau visited a local elementary school with the Georgia Dairy Mobile Classroom last fall to let the more than 450 students at the school learn how dairy farmers milk their Continued on next page February-March 2015 / 27
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cows. Pictured from left HCFB President Gilbert Andrews, HCFB Office Manager Linda Luttrell, HCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Elaine Cone and Mobile Dairy Instructor Nicole Karstedt introduced Butterfly, the Holstein cow standing in the mobile dairy parlor, to the students. RICHMOND COUNTY Richmond County Farm Bureau had a booth at the GeorgiaCarolina State Fair last fall promoting Farm Bureau membership benefits such as the Ford discount and Farm Bureau Bank services. President Tommy Rider, right, talks to visitors about Farm Bureau’s Ditch the Rule campaign. After hearing about the proposed rule that would expand regulatory authority from just navigable water to all water, many visitors completed postcards expressing their opposition. Visitors were given a GFB Young Farmer calendar, Georgia Neighbors magazine, bookmarks, pencils and pens. RCFB also held a drawing for a YETI cooler. SUMTER COUNTY Sumter County Farm Bureau (SCFB) participated in the second annual Ag Day the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce hosted last fall for local students. SCFB educated students from kindergarten to fourth grade on the many products made from cotton, peanuts, soybeans, and corn. SCFB Secretaries Amanda Brown and Bentley Dupree also helped the students plant collard greens to take home to grow as a visual to help them tell their parents what they learned at Ag Day. TREUTLEN COUNTY The Treutlen County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee braved the cold, windy weather of Nov. 1 to host a booth at the Million Pines Arts and Crafts Festival in Soperton. The committee distributed Georgia Farm Bureau tote bags with information on the benefits of GFB membership and the Ditch the Rule Cam28 / February-March 2015
paign. TCFB also held a drawing for a turkey fryer. TCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Laurie Anne Pullen, left of table, and TCFB Agency Manager Becky Griner, right, visit with festival attendees at the TCFB booth. WALKER COUNTY Walker County Farm Bureau (WCFB) helped with a Farm Safety Day at a local middle school in November. WCFB Young Farmer Chairman James Burton, standing, left, and WCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Sonia Butler, standing right, talked to the kids about the importance of wearing helmets while riding bikes and ATVs. About 600 students attended the event. The WCFB volunteers did a demonstration for the students with a Jello “brain” in a helmet and a Jello “brain” without a helmet to demonstrate how helmets protect the brain during accidents. WASHINGTON COUNTY Gov. Nathan Deal spoke to about 150 members of the Washington County Farm Bureau (WCFB) and Washington County Cattlemen’s Association (WCCA) at the invitation of the WCCA. Gov. Deal, center, speaks with WCCA President & WCFB Director Bobby Brantley, left, and WCFB President Sidney Law. Gov. Deal, a native of Washington County, spoke fondly of his youth in Washington County, showing livestock and the importance of agriculture to Georgia’s economy. Former WCFB President Sandy Mercer spoke to the group about Farm Bureau’s Ditch the Rule campaign and encouraged landowners to submit comments opposing the rule proposed by the U.S. EPA that would expand its regulatory authority over water. WILCOX COUNTY Wilcox County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee members welcomed Shelly Patton, the new Wilcox County High School Georgia Farm Bureau News
FFA advisor, to their county. The committee presented Patton with a GFB tote and other items. Pictured from left, WCFB Women’s Committee members Donnell Stubbs, Committee Chairman Sue Powers, Janet Barefoot, welcome Patton, along with committee members Karen Crawford and Joan Boozeman. The group discussed projects and activities they will work on during the school year.
GFB mourns loss of former leaders Alvin Chambers----------------------------------------------
Alvin Chambers, 87, who served on the Carroll County Farm Bureau Board for more than 30 years and as county president in 2013, died Dec. 6. He served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Beef Committee from 1997 to 2008, including six years as chairman. Chambers served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture at the University of Georgia. Chambers began his teaching career at East Coweta High School be- Chambers fore serving in the Korean War. He received an educational administration certification and six-year certification from Auburn University. He was Principal of Western High School in Coweta County and later returned to Carroll County to serve as principal of Roopville Elementary until retiring in 1988. Chambers was an active member of Victory United Methodist Church. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Virginia, and son, George and daughter-in-law Candi and two grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to 1665 Victory Church Rd., Bowden 30108
Irwin Co. uses AFBF grant to donate ag books to local school
Irwin County Farm Bureau (ICFB) recently presented a barn bookcase filled with 33 books about agriculture to the Irwin County Elementary School (ICES). Last year ICFB received a $500 grant from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture for its proposal to create an Agriculture Reading Corner at ICES with books that accurately portray farming. Pictured from left during the bookcase presentation are: ICES Librarian Christie Copeland, Irwin County High School FFA member Clair Johnson, ICHS FFA member Ellis Douglas, ICHS FFA member Jayden Jankiewics, ICHS FFA member Christian Meadows, ICFB Office Manager Betty Metts, ICHS FFA member Drew Tucker and ICES Principal Holly Tucker. Copeland selected the books based on state learning standards for all grades at the school. As ICFB talked to ICHS FFA Metals Class teacher Ira Tucker about making the bookcase, he offered to donate reclaimed wood from a mule barn that belonged to Aubry Childs, who served as ICFB president from 1958-1964 and as a ICFB director from the 1950s to 1980s. Using the wood from Childs’ barn allowed ICFB to honor his Farm Bureau contributions while creating a unique bookcase that will draw attention to the ag books. Childs is the grandfather of Ira’s wife, ICES Principal Holly Tucker. ICFB opted to leave the bookcase unpainted to reflect the way most barns look in the South. Georgia Farm Bureau News
George W. Dudley, 92, who served as Muscogee County Farm Bureau president since 1984, died Dec. 6. Dudley served in the United States Army during World War II fighting in the Battle of the Bulge with the 394th Infantry’s 99th Division Company A. He attended St. Luke United Methodist Church and was a member of the Lions Club. After the war, he worked on oil rigs in Louisiana and Texas before Dudley returning home to work at the family lumber businesses in Seale, Al., and in Columbus. He also raised cattle, timber and various crops on the family farm in Seale. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Wilda; two daughters, Anne Dudley Lee (Steve) and Nancy Dudley Gordy (George) of Columbus; three grandchildren and two great-granddaughters, He was preceded in death by his two sons, Brad Richards Dudley and George Williams Dudley Jr. Condolences may be sent to 4909 Armour Rd., Columbus, Ga., 31904.
Harry B. Odom, 84, who served as Coweta County Farm Bureau (CCFB) president from 1971 to 2012, died Dec. 20. Odom served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956 when he returned home to farm growing row crops, small grains, cattle and vegetables. He also worked with his father at Odom’s Grocery in Turin, where he worked until 2010. CCFB dedicated its building to Odom in 2012 as he was instrumental in the growth of CCFB memberOdom ship. Odum’s Farm Bureau involvement spanned more than 50 years during which time he served on the GFB Policy Development Committee and several of GFB’s Commodity Advisory Committees. He is survived by his wife, Katie, children Charlotte Jo Vanderhoff, Charles Cunningham and Constance Shepherd, two grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchlld. Condolences may be sent to Box 31 Turin, Ga., 30289. February-March 2015 / 29
2nd District cattle show promotes GFB, supports youth
Farmland available via On-Demand
Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll’s feature length documentary, “Farmland,” is now available for rent and purchase via On Demand platforms – providing more people with the opportunity to view the film from their own homes and digital devices. “Farmland,” which features Crawford County Farm Bureau President Leighton Cooley, is available for digital download via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, Sony PlayStation, Vudu.com, Xbox and YouTube. The cost to download and own the film ranges from $14.99 to $19.99 for high definition and $12.99 to $14.99 for standard definition format. Online rental will cost approximately $4.99 to $7.99 for high definition and $3.99 to $6.99 for standard definition format. “Farmland” is also available to traditional satellite and cable television subscribers via their respective Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View platforms. DirecTV and DISH subscribers also have access to “Farmland” through their Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View channels. The film is also being made available to companies that deliver Video-on-Demand (VOD) or Pay-per-View (PPV) content to ATT U-Verse, Verizon Fios, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. Viewers are encouraged to check their local VOD/ PPV channels on their respective cable and satellite television providers for details. Films purchased online via download are sold for home use only and should not be used for public viewings per copyright laws. Visit www.farmlandfilm.com for more information. 30 / February-March 2015
County; Angus Champion – Bella Brooke Chandler, Jackson County; Angus Reserve Champion – Ellie Clark, Hall County; Charolais Champion – Sarah Cantrell, Habersham County; Charolais Reserve Champion – Madison Abbs, Jackson County; Chi-Influenced Champion – Paycee Jackson, Banks County; Chi-Influenced Reserve Champion – Heidi Seagraves, Jackson County; Limousin Champion – Josh Franklin, Jackson County; Limousin Reserve Champion – Jackson Schieszer, Jackson County; Simmental Champion – Kellie Keener, Stephens County; Simmental Reserve Champion – Casadi Smith, Stephens County; Other Breeds Champion Sydney Arnold, Madison County; Other Breeds Reserve Champion Haley White, White County; Commercial Heifer Champion – Payton Jackson, Banks County; Commercial Heifer Reserve Champion – Wyatt Chandler, Jackson County.
Photo by Mandy Williams
Kellie Keener and Bella Brooke Chandler of Jackson County won the top prizes in the 2015 GFB 2nd District Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show, held Jan. 17 at the White County Agriculture Center. Chandler won the $300 prize for Supreme Champion Heifer with her Angus heifer. Keener won the $300 prize for Grand Champion Steer with her Shorthorn steer. A total of 63 students competed and approximately 250 attended the 6th annual event, designed to help cattle exhibitors continue developing their showmanship skills between the Georgia National Fair in October and the Georgia Junior National Livestock show in February. Each of the students who competed received a GFB membership brochure, a GFB Young Farmer calendar and a souvenir tshirt designed by Franklin County Young Farmer Heather Cabe. The prizes for the show awards were funded by donations from 2nd District county Farm Bureaus, county presidents and insurance agents. The district uses the show to promote Farm Bureau membership and the GFB
Young Farmer program in hopes of encouraging students to get involved with their county Young Farmer Committees when they turn 18. The show’s silent auction raised $779 for the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. Wyatt Chandler of Jackson County received the $200 prize for Reserve Champion Steer with his Charolais steer. Payton Jackson of Banks County won the $200 prize for Supreme Reserve Champion Heifer with her commercial heifer. Jackson County’s Allie Duck won the 12th Grade Showmanship Award with her percent Simmental heifer. Other showmanship winners were: 11th Grade – Logan Clark, Hall County; 10th Grade – Whitney Dale, Jackson County; 9th Grade – Janna Anderson, Elbert County; 8th Grade, Wyatt Chandler, Jackson County; 7th Grade – Casadi Smith, Stephens County; 6th Grade – Josh Franklin, Jackson County; 5th Grade – Ethan Dalton, Banks County; 4th Grade and under – Trey Chafin, Hart County. In breed heifer classes, winners were: Percent Simmental Champion – Whitney Dale, Jackson County; Percent Simmental Reserve Champion – Kellie Keener, Stephens
Kellie Keener of Stephens County, right, won Grand Champion Steer with her Shorthorn Steer at the 6th Annual GFB 2nd District Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show. Daryl Freeman, left, presents the award.
Photo by Mandy Williams
By Clay Talton, GFB 2nd Dist. Rep. ___________________________________
Bella Brooke Chandler of Jackson County, pictured with her Uncle, David Farmer, center, and show Judge Mike McGuire, won Supreme Champion Heifer with her Angus heifer at the 6th Annual GFB 2nd District Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
By Jay Stone ___________________________________
A crowd of 175 people heard updates from UGA economists and learned about a series of joint ag research projects being done by Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia on Jan. 23 in Macon during the last installment of the 2015 Georgia Ag Forecast series. The series ran from Jan. 14-23 in six venues, ending with the one in Macon at Georgia Farm Bureau. New UGA Associate Dean for Extension Dr. Laura Perry Johnson welcomed attendees to Macon. “It’s no secret to us that ag is big business in Georgia,” Perry Johnson said. “Ag is the largest driver of the Georgia economy.” She said that the state is well positioned for a growing role in feeding the world, due to geography, climate and natural resources while enjoying a unique access to both a leading land grant university in UGA and a leading technological university in Georgia Tech. Dr. Douglas Britton, program manager for Georgia Tech’s Agricultural Technology Research Program, outlined a number of collaborative projects his department is conducting with UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The GT/ UGA partnership has three key strategic areas: poultry processing and production, food safety sampling and sensing, and agrirobotics. The poultry processing and production research included “intelligent deboning,” a mechanized way to remove the meat from poultry carcases. The food safety research
is focusing on ways to separate live bacteria from dead bacteria in food products, while the agricultural robotics research includes a variety of potential uses, including robotic field mapping to the extent where stresses can be identified for individual plants, using robotic scouts. The ag robotics team is in the early stages of developing audio monitoring for poultry flocks. Britton said he repeatedly heard from poultry growers that they could tell from the sound of their flocks if there were problems without entering the poultry houses and from there developed the idea of an automated way to monitor flocks. UGA Extension Economist Dr. Curt Lacy gave the forecast for Georgia’s producers of animal products and timber. Poultry production is expected to increase, though there are concerns regarding exports, particularly to Russia and China. Lacy predicted poultry prices would be slightly lower but that factor would be offset by lower feed prices and poultry producers should enjoy another profitable year. Lacy said supplies of beef would continue to decline and U.S. pork production could surpass U.S. beef production for the first time in decades. Lacy expects the prices milk producers receive to decline from $27 per hundredweight in 2014 to around $21 per hundredweight in 2015. UGA Extension Economist Dr. Nathan Smith gave the economic outlook for row crops. Smith said early peanut contracts are being offered for $400 per ton and he predicted that price level would not go up
CORN SHORT COURSE from page 23 ture within the bin. The leveling tactic prevents the stored grain from forming cone or funnel-shaped tops in the bin. Because air will seek the path of least resistance, Toews said it will travel to the lowest point of the surface of stored grain. If the top of the grain is cone-shaped, this results in higher temperatures and moisture at the center. “The grain is a living organism, and problems develop with elevated temperature and moisture,” Toews said. UGA Plant Pathologist Dr. Bob Kemerait discussed diseases that cause yield loss
in corn, particularly southern corn rust, which showed up early in 2014. “It was the worst year we had in 15 years,” Kemerait said. “Southern corn rust could have taken a fourth of our yields if we hadn’t protected against it.” When the rust develops early, it has longer to get established, Kemerait said, noting that the early arriving rust misses application of fungicides, which farmers often wait to use until the corn plants form tassels. Kemerait stressed the importance of timing in the use of fungicides and said disease control is improved with a second application.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
UGA/Georgia Tech ag technology research outline during Ag Forecast meetings
Georgia Tech Program Manager for Agricultural Technology Research Dr. Douglas Britton outlined several projects his department is working on in collaboration with UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, among them more efficient ways to debone chickens, advanced ways to screen food products for diseases and a variety of uses for robots in agriculture.
much, adding that peanut prices will likely be influenced by programs in the 2014 farm bill. He noted that the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payment rate was $105 per ton in 2014 and goes up to $120 per ton in 2015. Smith said cotton prices most likely would be in the 65-75 cents-per-pound range, and that PLC and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) payments could be a factor on planting decisions on generic base acres. “It’s tough to predict what’s going to be planted in generic base acres in the first year under the new farm bill,” Smith said. For corn, livestock feed demand is expected to increase though U.S. and foreign corn production is expected to decline. Georgia prices, he said, would likely be between $4 and $4.50 per bushel. After an excellent year for soybean production nationwide in 2014, including a record year in Georgia, soybean stocks are no longer tight, but soybean utilization is also strong, keeping the demand stable. For more on the Ag Forecast meetings, visit http://tinyurl.com/15agforecast.
Farm Bill deadlines
Feb. 27 is deadline to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres. March 31 is deadline for producers to make one-time election of Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for the 2014 -2018 crop years. Beginning in mid-April ARC and PLC contracts will be available for producers to sign. For more information, contact your local USDA Service Center. February-March 2015 / 31
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