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February 26, 2014

Vol. 32 No. 8

COUNTY FARM BUREAU PRESIDENTS MEET, HEAR SENATE CANDIDATES During the 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau Presidents’ Conference county Farm Bureau Presidents heard campaign speeches from five candidates running for the U.S. Senate and attended workshops pertaining to Farm Bureau activities. The conference, held Feb. 19 and 20 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education on the UGA campus in Athens, opened with the Senate Candidates Forum. Republicans Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Karen Handel, Jack Kingston and David Perdue each presented his or her case to succeed Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is stepping down at the end of the year. Democrat Michelle Nunn was invited but could not attend because of a scheduling conflict. GFB Legislative Director Jon Huffmaster spoke during the Feb. 20 opening session, outlining key provisions in the recently passed farm Morehead bill, noting that numerous rules and regulations under the bill have to be worked out. He also discussed bills in the Georgia General Assembly. He and GFB President Zippy Duvall urged the county presidents to contact lawmakers to express their views on laws affecting agriculture. “We want to tell our county presidents how important they are to the process,” Duvall said of GFB’s work to get farm-related laws passed. “With them coming in and backing up what we say, sharing their own stories from their farms, that puts credibility to what our policy says. It puts credibility to what our people who work for us say. It just makes the whole process come together.” Duvall also recognized his administrative assistant Ginger Huff, who is retiring this spring. Huff received a standing ovation from the county presidents. Duvall also introduced new Associate Director of Field Services Dennis Black. UGA President Dr. Jere Morehead spoke at lunch on Feb. 20, emphasizing the importance of expanding the university’s ag research activities. He noted that the work done by UGA researchers benefits people and communities across the state and beyond. “It’s important not just because we’re a land-grant institution but also because we’re a research institution,” Morehead said. “We need to push the envelope as far as possible.” The workshops centered on membership recruitment, forming and maintaining partnerships with local 4-H and FFA chapters and management tools available to county presidents. GFB Field Services Director Mike Copeland and 3rd District Field Representative Ricky Lane led the workshop on increasing membership, also noting what the organization does for farmers. Georgia Agricultural Education Program Manager Chip Bridges gave an overview of the state’s agricultural education programs and suggested ways county Farm Bureaus can support ag education. State 4-H Leader Arch Smith discussed the missions and successes of the 4-H program.

Leadership Alert page 2 of 8 GFB PRESENTS GRAND CHAMPION PRIZES AT STATE LIVESTOCK SHOW About 1,600 4-H and FFA members from across Georgia competed in the 2014 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry Feb. 19-22. The exhibitors showed more than 2,000 head of cattle, hogs and lambs in showmanship and species competitions. For the third year Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the six grand champion species prizes awarded at the show. “Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to sponsor these awards because these children are developing life skills by taking care of their show animals,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “We’re glad to be able to give back to our youth programs that are developing agriculture’s future leaders.” Colquitt County FFA member Lakyn Davis won the Grand Champion Breeding Heifer Award of $2,500 with her registered Angus heifer. Davis, a senior at Colquitt County High School, has been showing since she was eight and is the daughter of Bart and Paula Davis. Houston County 4-Her Abbi Rainwater won $1,500 with her cross-bred hog as the Grand Champion Market Barrow Award winner. Rainwater, a fourth-grader at David Perdue Elementary, is the daughter of Brian and Natalie Rainwater and has been showing for four years. For the second consecutive year, Jeff Davis County 4-Her Chanleigh Underwood won the Grand Champion Market Gilt Award of $1,500 with her crossbred hog. Underwood, a fifthgrader at Jeff Davis Elementary, is the daughter of Chad and Autumn Underwood. Decatur County 4-Her Bo Bailey won the Grand Champion Market Steer Award of $5,000 with his crossbred steer. Bailey previously won the award in 2012. A junior at Robert F. Munroe Day School, he is the son of Dr. Cliff and Cindy Bailey. Houston County FFA member Jacie Babb won the Grand Champion Dairy Heifer Award of $1,500 with a Holstein. Babb, a senior at Houston County High School, has been showing for four years and is the daughter of Johnnie and Paula Babb. Morgan County 4-Her Ben Porter won the Grand Champion Breeding Ewe Award of $1,000. A sophomore at Gatewood School, Porter has been showing since he was in first grade and is the son of Chip and Shannon Porter. UEP CUTS TIES WITH HSUS; MISSOURI SUES CALIFORNIA With the passage of the 2014 farm bill, which did not include a provision for national housing standards for egg-laying hens, United Egg Producers (UEP) has announced it will not extend its agreement with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), according to published reports. Georgia Farm Bureau opposed such legislation. Bills were introduced in both houses of Congress based on recommendations from the UEP and HSUS but failed to gain enough support for passage as stand-alone bills or amendments to the farm bill. In a related development, the state of Missouri has filed suit against California over the egglaying hen housing issue. California enacted a law known as Proposition 2 in 2008, imposing minimum standards on cages for egg-laying hens in California. In 2010 California enacted a related law that prohibits the sale of eggs not complying with Proposition 2 standards, which would include those produced in other states. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, argues that the 2010 law violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and encroaches on Missouri sovereignty.

Leadership Alert page 3 of 8 GA PECAN GROWERS TO VOTE ON ASSESSMENT INCREASE Georgia pecan growers will vote on a proposal to increase the assessment they pay to fund the Georgia Pecan Commission (GPC) during a mail referendum to be held from March 1- March 30. Pecan producers growing 30 or more acres of pecans currently pay a half-cent per pound on in-shell nuts at time of sale to finance the commission’s promotion, education and research programs. Pecan industry leaders are proposing that the assessment be increased to one-cent per pound for in-shell nuts. “We started the commission in 1995 at a half cent per pound. A half-cent didn’t buy a lot back then, and it buys even less now. Over a million new trees have been planted in Georgia, and in about seven years those trees are going to come into production,” said J.W. Christiansen, a GPC member from Albany who chairs the GPC Assessment Committee. “With another 50 to 70 million pounds of production we’re going to have to promote harder and come up with new markets. We need all the funds we can get, and we’ll still be way behind our competitive nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios.” Christiansen said the commission’s marketing efforts include maintaining a website to answer consumer and media requests for recipes and nutrition information, promoting the health benefits of pecans at food industry meetings and working to secure export markets. The commission also funds research that addresses growers’ production issues such as insect control, tree diseases and new varieties. The Georgia Pecan Growers Association unanimously supports increasing the assessment, GPGA president Randy Hudson said when speaking at a public hearing held in Tifton Feb. 11 regarding the proposed increase. “We’re asking all growers in Georgia who are eligible to vote for this assessment. We’re sure it will pay great dividends in the future,” Hudson said. Producers growing 30 or more acres of pecans are eligible to vote in the statewide referendum being conducted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA). The GDA is mailing ballots to eligible producers this week. Eligible producers who do not receive a ballot by March 1 should contact Nathan Wilson at or 404-656-3678. State law requires that 25 percent of the mailed ballots must be returned to the GDA for the ballots to be counted. At least 66 2/3 percent of the producers voting must vote in favor of the assessment increase for it to pass. 2012 AG CENSUS PRELIMINARY REPORT RELEASED The number of farms in Georgia fell by 11.6 percent but the market value of the state’s agricultural products grew by 30 percent according to the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary report, which was released on Feb. 21. The Ag Census, conducted every five years, showed a decline to 42,257 farms in the state in 2012, down from 47,846 in 2007. The census data also showed 529,969 fewer acres of farmland in Georgia, though the average farm size grew from 212 acres in 2007 to 228 in 2012. The market value of Georgia ag products grew from $7.1 billion in 2007 to $9.26 billion in 2012. The average age of farm operators increased from 57.8 years in 2007 to 59.9 years in 2012. The full report from the 2012 Census of Agriculture is scheduled to be released in May.

Leadership Alert page 4 of 8 BEEF REFERENDUM HEARING Feb. 28 Macon Farmers Market 10 a.m. Macon This is a public hearing regarding the proposed marketing order for the Georgia Beef Commission. Anyone may make comments. Participants at the hearing are required to register on arrival. Individuals may also submit written comments concerning the proposed marketing order by mail or email to: Nathan Wilson, Commodities Promotion Manager, Ga. Dept. of Agriculture, 19 MLK Jr. Dr. S.W., Room 324, Atlanta, Ga. 30334 or via email to Written comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 in order to be considered. The proposed marketing order would assess cattle owners $1 per head to be collected when cattle are sold. Cattle that sell for less than $100 per head would be exempt from the assessment. Order buyers would be exempt from paying $1 for cattle owned for 10 days or less. RESCHEDULED GEORGIA AG FORECAST MEETINGS Feb. 28 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton March 7 Clarence Brown Conference Center Cartersville These two installments of the Georgia Ag Forecast Meetings were postponed because of the winter storm that occurred the last week in January. For the Tifton meeting, check-in begins at 7 a.m., followed by breakfast at 7:30 and the program at 8. The Cartersville meeting begins with check-in at 9 a.m. followed by the program at 10 and a networking luncheon at 11:30. UGA economists will give the annual ag economic outlook and guest speakers, including experts on farm succession planning. For more information, visit to register, call 706-583-0347 or send an email to Follow the meetings on Twitter @GaAgForecast and join the conversation with #agforecast. 37th ANNUAL FARM, HOME AND MINISTERS CONFERENCE March 8 Fort Valley State University Pettigrew Center Fort Valley This annual event sponsored by the FVSU Cooperative Extension Program, starts at 9 a.m. and runs through 3 p.m. Topics include the affordable care act, community gardens, after school and summer feeding programs, starting a farm or home business and mental health. The event is open to the public and lunch will be provided. Registration deadline is Feb. 28. To register online, visit For more information, contact E. Jean Willis at 478-825-6269 or 6TH ANNUAL SOUTHEAST HAY CONVENTION March 11-12 Oconee County Civic Center Watkinsville Web-based registration is now open for this annual event, designed to provide the latest information for both beginning and veteran hay producers. The convention begins at 8:00 a.m. on March 11 and will include two days of learning and interacting with fellow hay producers and university specialists. The registration fee for this year's event is $150 per person ($100 for each extra person from the same farm) if attendees register by March 1. The fee covers the cost of a 400+ page Southeast Hay Convention notebook, a weed identification book, and many other reference materials. Lunch and refreshments on both days are also included in the registration fee. For more information, visit

Leadership Alert page 5 of 8 PECANS: THE BRAIN FOOD POSTER CONTEST March 2 Deadline for entries Jointly sponsored by the Georgia Pecan Commission and the Georgia Pecan Growers Association, this contest is open to students in grades K-6 at public and private schools in Georgia. Entries must focus on the nutritional health benefits of pecans and the brainpower the nut provides. Each of the 10 schools will receive a $500 cash award to fund a school need. For complete contest rules and entry instructions visit content/article/115. For more information contact Cheryl Miller at 813-251-4242 (ext. 222) or SUSTAINABLE AG WORKSHOP March 6 Kiwanis Center 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Griffin The UGA Cooperative Extension in Spalding County will host a spring workshop focusing on how to maximize production on small, sustainable farms and gardens and how to tap into local markets. Registration for the class is $5 and includes instruction, class materials and lunch. The course is designed for both gardeners who want to grow produce for their home use and those who want to sell their harvest. Preregistration is required by March 3 by calling 770-4674225 or emailing TIFTON BEEF CATTLE SHORT COURSE March 4 Tifton Bull Evaluation Center Irwinville Registration starts at 9 a.m. For more information contact Dr. Jacob Segers at 229-386-3214 or or Patsie T. Cannon at 229-386-3683 or TIFTON PERFORMANCE TESTED BULL SALE March 5 Tifton Bull Evaluation Center Irwinville Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. For more information contact Dr. Jacob Segers at 912-386-3214 or or Patsie T. Cannon at 229-386-3683 or TIMBER DAMAGE WORKSHOP March 6 Washington Co. Farm Bureau Office 6:30 p.m. Sandersville Landowners who experienced timber damage during the recent ice storm may want to attend this meeting sponsored by the Washington County Extension and Washington County Farm Bureau. Georgia Forestry Commission staff and other timber experts will discuss options for dealing with storm damage. For more information contact Brent Allen at 478-552-2011or GFB EXTENDS DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS Georgia Farm Bureau will award a total of $14,250 in scholarships to 10 high school seniors who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agricultural field. The deadline to apply has been extended to March 7. The top three students will each receive a scholarship of $3,000. The remaining seven students will each receive a $750 scholarship. Students submitting an application must currently be a Georgia high school senior and plan to enroll in a unit of the University System of Georgia or Berry College during the 2014-2015 academic year. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information or an application.. You may also download a copy of the application by visiting, selecting Programs and then Ag in the Classroom. The Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee sponsor the scholarship program. Winners will be announced in May.

Leadership Alert page 6 of 8 QUALIFYING OPEN FOR GSWCC DISTRICT SUPERVISORS The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission has announced that the qualifying period has begun for candidates seeking election as Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors. The deadline to qualify is March 7. More than 100 counties in the state will hold elections to select individuals to represent their county on local soil and water conservation district boards. Upon approval of the petition by local election officials, the candidate’s name will appear on the General Election Ballot in November. For information on the counties conducting elections this year, and for more information on the elections process, visit or call the GSWCC at 706-552-4470. USDA ACCEPTING FY 2014 CIG GRANT APPLICATIONS The USDA is accepting applications for conservation innovation grants (CIG) to develop and accelerate conservation approaches and technologies on private agricultural and forest lands. The deadline to apply for FY2014 CIGs is March 7. About $15 million will be made available nationwide by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). State and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental and educational organizations, private businesses and individuals are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to applications that relate to nutrient management, energy conservation, soil health, air quality, climate change, wildlife, economics, sociology, environmental markets, food safety, historically underserved groups, or assessments of past CIG projects. For more information on this grant opportunity, visit To apply electronically, visit GA. DAIRY MANAGERS SERIES: IMPROVING COW CARE AND HANDLING March 11 UGA Tifton Conference Center 10 a.m. Tifton March 12 Preston Williams Conference Center 10 a.m. Montezuma March 13 Burke Co. Extension Office 10 a.m. Waynesboro March 13 Trinity United Methodist Church 7 p.m. Clermont March 14 Pennington Church Annex 10 a.m. Madison This bilingual series, sponsored by Zoetis and Georgia Milk Producers, will help dairymen and employees improve cow-handling techniques, such as identifying flight zones, herding instincts and avoiding injury. It will also cover calving assistance and the steps needed to evaluate a potentially sick cow. Meetings are open to dairymen, managers, and employees free of charge and will be held from 10 a.m. until noon, ending with lunch (except for Clermont). Please preregister for meal purposes by calling 706-310-0020. USDA/1890 NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGAM March 14 Scholarship Application Deadline The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the nineteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, including Fort Valley State University in Georgia. The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is implemented under the USDA Fellow Experience Program (FEP). The program awards scholarships to students attending one of the 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines. For complete guidelines or to download the scholarship application, visit

Leadership Alert page 7 of 8 PECANS IN SCIENCE EXPERIMENT CONTEST March 16 Deadline for entries Jointly sponsored by the Georgia Pecan Commission and the Georgia Pecan Growers Association, this contest gives students in grades 7-12 the chance to win $500 and spend a day with UGA pecan researcher Dr. Ronald Pegg. To enter, students must submit an experiment, investigation and/or invention, which highlights Georgia Pecans. The contest is open to public, private and homeschooled students throughout Georgia. For contest rules and entry instructions, visit For more information contact Cheryl Miller at 813-251-4242 (ext. 222) or GRAZING AND FORAGE FIELD DAY March 25 Gully Branch Farm, 376 Butts Rd. Cochran This free event is presented by the Georgia Grazing Lands Conservation Coalition in partnership with the Central Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District, the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the NRCS, the UGA Cooperative Extension Service, the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors and Pine Country RC&D Council. The event features presentations and a bus tour, after which supper will be served. Sign-in begins at 2:30 p.m. Seating is limited to the first 60 people who preregister by March 18. To register, call Paula Dillard at 478-445-5766 or send an email to NATIONAL COTTON COUNCIL FARM BILL INFO MEETINGS March 19 Bulloch County Ag Center 3 p.m. Statesboro March 20 Baxley Church of God 9 a.m. Baxley March 20 UGA Tifton Campus Conf. Center 3 p.m. Tifton March 21 Lions Club 9 a.m. Donalsonville March 21 Main Street Theater 2 p.m. Dawson The National Cotton Council has scheduled these meetings to provide producers, cotton industry firms and agribusinesses with information on the provisions of the new farm bill. CHEROKEE COUNTY AGRICULTURE EXPO March 28 Woodstock Recreation Center 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Woodstock To celebrate National & Georgia Agriculture Awareness Month, numerous Cherokee County organizations, including Cherokee County Farm Bureau, are hosting this free event open to the public. More than 20 exhibitors will display locally grown food, plants, animals and hand-crafted products. Refreshments will be served, and there will be a petting zoo for children. Reservations for booth space will be accepted until March 21. Contact Shirley Pahl at 770-479-1481, ext. 0 or to reserve an exhibit space or for more information. Anyone planning to attend is asked to contact Pahl for meal planning purposes. 6th ANNUAL PEANUT PROUD FESTIVAL March 22 Downtown Square Blakely Come “Celebrate Everything Peanut” during the daylong festival that begins at 8 a.m. with a 5K & Fun Run, followed by a parade at 10 a.m. Free entertainment will perform during the day including Nashville recording artist Mark Wills. There will also be a kids’ obstacle course. The festival ends with a street dance that begins at 7 p.m. featuring music by the band “The Atlanta Allstars.” For more information please call Marcie Justice at 229-724-7322 or visit or the Peanut Proud Facebook page.

Leadership Alert page 8 of 8 SOUTHWEST GEORGIA BEEKEEPERS BEE SCHOOL March 29 Parks at Chehaw 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Albany This workshop, sponsored by the Southwest Georgia Beekeepers Club and the Dougherty County Extension office, will cover the art of beekeeping, hive equipment, honey production and how to manage a hive for pollination. Participants will work with live bees (if they desire) and receive a “My Hive Tool” DVD. The $30 registration fee includes the course, take home materials, lunch and a club membership. Register online at For more information about the club or the bee school, call 229-336-5952 or send an email USB’S A SOYBEAN’S JOURNEY: SEE FOR YOURSELF PROGRAM The United Soybean Board (USB) invites soybean farmers to participate in this program, which provides farmers with the chance to learn about and evaluate specific investment areas of the soy checkoff, such as international marketing, animal agriculture, industrial uses and soybean farmers’ freedom to operate.  All U.S. soybean farmers over the age of 18 can apply now for the seventh annual See for Yourself program. To apply, visit the USB website,, through April 4.  A group of 10 U.S. soybean farmers will first travel to St. Louis to witness firsthand the operations of the checkoff and visit local sites related to domestic uses for soybeans. Then, since about half of the soy produced in the United States is exported, participants will travel internationally to experience how international customers use soy. The program is scheduled to take place Aug. 15-22 and USB will cover all related rooming, meal and travel expenses. IFYE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR EXCHANGE PROGRAM Young adults age 19 and over are encouraged to apply for the 2014 International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) Program. Individuals who have developed leadership skills in programs such as Young Farmers & Ranchers, 4-H, FFA or similar organizations, as well as those with a background in various agriculture-related fields and consumer sciences are particularly well suited for a primarily rural living experience. Successful applicants will participate in various young adult programs abroad such as Young Farmers, Rural Youth, etc. Participating countries in 2014 may include Austria, Botswana, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Wales. Additional countries may be added. For further information, please contact Alan Lambert, National IFYE Program Director, at 605-366-6107 or by email at Completed applications are due by April 15. Visit the IFYE website at to learn more about the program and obtain an application.

Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - February 26, 2014  

Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - February 26, 2014

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