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February 8, 2017

Vol. 35 No. 3


Georgia Farm Bureau held its annual County Presidents’ Conference Feb. 1 at the Marriott Macon City Center. County leaders attended a series of workshops covering leadership styles, key players in the federal and state legislative arenas and Farm Bureau organizational issues. “I want to thank each of you for taking time to come today. Our goal is to provide you with information that will help you in your role as county leaders,” GFB President Gerald Long said in his welcome to the 265 county Farm Bureau leaders attending the event. Lee Ellis, president and founder of Leadership Freedom & FreedomStar Media, delivered the keynote speech, “Leading with Honor,” in which he shared leadership lessons he learned during the Vietnam War while spending five years as a prisoner of war at the Hanoi Hilton - a maximum security POW camp in North Vietnam. The first step in being an effective leader, Ellis said, is to know your own personality strengths and struggles and to own up to these rather than Lee Ellis pretending you’re perfect. Effective leaders guard their character, Ellis said. The next issue of “Guarding your character is the biggest thing. It always has been since GFB News Alert Adam and Eve. You have to believe in what you say you stand for. If the comes out people you are charged with leading were around you 24/7 what would they Feb. 22. see? Would they see commitment and courage?” Ellis also stressed the importance of leaders communicating their message with employees and volunteers. “You can’t over communicate your message. Spend time every day communicating with your volunteers and staff. Communicate to clarify your message, collaborate and support your team.” It’s equally as important that leaders listen to their team as talk to them, Ellis said. “Listening makes a difference. It helps you connect at a heart level, “ Ellis said. “Stay positive because emotions are contagious. When you experience adversity be resilient.” During a workshop at the conference, Ellis discussed the “Leadership Squeeze” leaders face in which they must balance the need to achieve results with the need of maintaining positive relationships with their employees or volunteers. “A good leader finds a way to get employees or volunteers to put their heart into it,” Ellis said. “When people feel valued they get energized.” Raellyn Kovich, a corporate executive coach with Leadership Freedom & FreedomStar Media, led county Farm Bureau leaders in an activity in which they discussed traits of good and bad -continued on next page

GFB News Alert page 2 of 11 Continued bosses. During the legislative workshop, GFB Legislative Director Jeffrey Harvey gave county Farm Bureau leaders an overview of the key players in the Georgia General Assembly and issues GFB is advocating for this session. While monitoring all legislation being considered by the Georgia General Assembly that might impact Georgia farmers, GFB is paying special attention to the topics of water, taxes/budget and animal agriculture. GFB Assistant Legislative Director Tas Smith gave county Farm Bureau leaders an overview of Georgia’s U.S. Congressional Delegation and the committees Georgia’s representatives and senators serve on, and the nominees for President Trump’s cabinet who oversee federal agencies pertinent to agriculture. Long, GFB Senior Counsel Jeanna Fennell, GFB Mutual Insurance Company General Manager Al Barnett, & GFB Mutual Insurance Sales Director Johnny Hightower and GFB Field Services Director Mike Copeland discussed steps management is taking to insure the company’s future profitability. Katie Gazda, executive director of the GFB Foundation for Agriculture, gave county Farm Bureau leaders a status report of foundation activities. Gazda said the foundation recently awarded grants of $350 to 16 county Farm Bureaus to fund projects that will promote agriculture. Later this year the foundation will award up to 34 scholarships totaling $60,500 to students pursuing an ag related field of study at an eligible college or technical college. Gazda also encouraged county Farm Bureaus to buy their tickets for the foundation’s gala on March 11, which will be held in Fort Valley at Southern Bridle Farms and feature entertainment by the up and coming country band Post Monroe. GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LAUNCHES AUXIN USE WEBSITE The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the supplemental labels for in-crop use of Monsanto's XtendiMax with VaporGrip Herbicide, BASF's Engenia Herbicide and Dow AgroSciences's Enlist Duo with COLEX-D TECHNOLOGY on soybeans and cotton. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) has implemented the requirement for applicators and growers to attend Using Pesticides Wisely training by submitting a 24c (Special Local Need) label for XtendiMax with VaporGrip, Engenia and Enlist Duo with COLEX-D TECHNOLOGY to the EPA. Using Pesticides Wisely training is a collaborative effort between the University of Georgia, the GDA, Monsanto, BASF and Dow AgroSciences. The training focuses on precise pesticide applications and how to mitigate off-target drift. As is the case with all other 24c pesticide registrations, growers must have a copy of the entire product label in their possession before using the product. Although these products are not classified as Restricted Use Pesticides, anyone selling these products should make every effort to ensure the user has attended one of the Using Pesticides Wisely trainings held in 2015, 2016 or one of the six training sessions scheduled in 2017. The website provides users with a one-stop location for Using Pesticides Wisely training dates/locations, verification of applicator training, and product labels. For further assistance, call the GDA at 404-656-4958 or your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension County office. See the GFB News Alert calendar of events below for a list of remaining training sessions.

GFB News Alert page 3 of 11 CHANDLER, SHULTZ WIN TOP PRIZES AT GFB 2ND DISTRICT CATTLE SHOW Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2nd District held its 8th Annual Young Farmer Steer & Heifer Show Jan. 28 at the Habersham County Agriculture Center. About 300 people turned out to watch 69 students compete in the event, which helps cattle exhibitors in the district continue developing their showmanship skills between the Georgia National Fair in October and the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in February. The district uses the show to introduce exhibitors to Farm Bureau and the GFB Young Farmer program in hopes of encouraging students to get involved with their county Young Farmer Committees when they turn 18. Wyatt Chandler of Jackson County and Keely Shultz of Jackson County won the top prizes in the show. Shultz won the $300 prize for Supreme Champion Heifer with her Limousin heifer. Chandler won the $300 prize for Grand Champion Steer with his crossbreed steer. Ethan Dalton of Banks County received the $200 prize for Reserve Champion Steer with his Limousin cross steer. Casadi Smith of Stephens County won the $200 prize for Supreme Reserve Champion Heifer with her Percentage Simmental heifer. Each of the students who competed received a GFB membership brochure, a GFB Young Farmer calendar and a souvenir t-shirt 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. Heidi Seagraves of Jackson County won the $250 academic scholarship given by the GFB 2nd District Young Farmer Steer and Heifer Show Committee. This was the first year the scholarship has been offered to 12th-Grade show participants. Jackson County’s Madison Abbs won the 12th Grade Showmanship Award and a $250 prize. Other showmanship winners were: 11th Grade – Janna Anderson, Elbert County; 10th Grade – Wyatt Chandler, Jackson County; 9th Grade – Casadi Smith, Stephens County; 8th Grade – Grace McClain, Habersham County; 7th Grade – Ethan Dalton, Banks County; 6th Grade – Ashlyn Floyd, Hart County; 5th Grade – Keely Shultz, Jackson County. In breed heifer classes, winners were: Percent Simmental Champion – Casadi Smith, Stephens County; Percent Simmental Reserve Champion – Janna Anderson, Elbert County; Angus Champion – Wyatt Chandler, Jackson County; Angus Reserve Champion – Wyatt Chandler, Jackson County; Charolais Champion – Ethan Dalton, Banks County; Charolais Reserve Champion – Tyler Sheridan, Banks County; Shorthorn Champion – Luke Fulcher, Jackson County; Shorthorn Reserve Champion – Janna Anderson, Elbert County; Chi Influence Champion – Madison Abbs, Jackson County; Chi Influence Reserve Champion – Chloe Boling, Banks County; Simmental Champion – Shelby Dalton, Banks County; Simmental Reserve Champion – Tanner Freeman, Franklin County; Other Breeds Champion – Keely Shultz, Jackson County; Other Breeds Reserve Champion – Sydney Arnold, Madison County; Charolais Record Champion – Madison Abbs, Jackson County; Charolais Record Reserve Champion – Ethan Dalton, Banks County; Commercial Heifer Champion – Peyton Puckett, Jackson County; Commercial Heifer Reserve Champion – Madison Abbs, Jackson County. For photos of the top winners visit

GFB News Alert page 4 of 11 TORNADOES LEAVE PATH OF FARM DESTRUCTION The tornadoes that ravaged South Georgia on Jan. 22, killing 16 people and leaving many others picking up the pieces of their homes, also left a trail of significant damage to farms in 16 South Georgia counties. According to representatives from major irrigation system manufacturers, more than 300 irrigation pivots were damaged or destroyed in a stretch from Baker and Calhoun counties in the southwest corner of the state to Wilcox County just east of I-75. Representatives from Valley Irrigation, Reinke Irrigation and Zimmatic Irrigation indicated repairs or replacements of the damaged pivots could be completed by early April. In Cook County, in addition to the eight fatalities attributed to the storm, 21 greenhouses operated by Valdosta Plant Company were damaged or destroyed. Tens of thousands of acres of forestland were affected, resulting in damaged timber valued at more than $41 million. Gov. Nathan Deal issued an executive order to temporarily lift restrictions on logging trucks using state maintained roadways to facilitate removal of storm-damaged timber. Poultry houses were destroyed in multiple counties, including six at the Carpenter Farm in Worth County, where an estimated 150,000 birds were housed at the time of the storm. Pecan orchards in at least eight counties sustained downed trees. In Turner County, Ryan Ireland’s farm just north of Ashburn took a direct hit, destroying a shed covering his large equipment, some of which was damaged, destroying a barn built by his family in the 1930s and an adjacent 3,500-bushel grain bin. It also took down his two irrigation pivots, destroyed fences and blew out windows on tractors. The twister destroyed his family’s home. “It’s heart-breaking,” said Ireland, 24. “I’m a beginning farmer trying to get started. I didn’t have much and now it feels like I’m having to start over.” Farther northeast in Turner County, beekeeper Alan Odom was in his shop at Odom Apiaries working just minutes before the tornado reached his farm. Odom said he left his shop and drove to his home a quarter-mile away. He saw the tornado on the ground approaching the house and he went inside, where he and his wife Mary Jac hid in a closet while the twister pelted the house with debris and pebbles from an adjacent field, blowing out windows, overturning a propane tank outside and damaging the roof. “There was a point in there where I thought I was going to die,” Odom said. “It’ll take us some time to recover from this. We’re just doing what we can to keep operating.” The storm left extensive damage to his shop, ripping off portions of the roof and exposing his equipment to rain, and ravaging more than 300 honey boxes. His beehives, placed on surrounding farms, escaped damage from the storm. Farmer Dan King, who farms land in multiple counties, had eight downed pivots, four tractors that sustained extensive damage and a block house at the edge of one of his fields completely destroyed. In Wilcox County, GFB 8th District Director Don Wood lost six pivots, while Wilcox County Farm Bureau member Ricky Whittle sustained severe damage, losing five grain bins, seven pivots two houses and some of his livestock. In light of what occurred in other counties, Wilcox County Sheriff Robert Rodgers said the county was fortunate. “We had eight houses destroyed and 25 others damaged,” Rodgers said, “but we were really blessed we did not have the first reported injury. There is some serious destruction, but we were extremely fortunate to not have any deaths in the county.” To view photos of some of the storm damage visit

GFB News Alert page 5 of 11 GA COTTON COMMISSION HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING, PRESENTS AWARDS During the 2017 Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting, state and national cotton industry officials told Georgia cotton growers about efforts to make the farm bill work better for cotton, both in the short term under the current farm bill and long-term under the next farm bill. Georgia cotton growers also received the latest research findings during the meeting, held Jan. 25 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. GCC Executive Director Richey Seaton reviewed the organization's activities over the past year, noting that the commission was reaffirmed through a referendum with an 87 percent approval. Seaton said the Georgia field print calculator, which measures the environmental impact of cotton production revealed that in all measures except energy use Georgia cotton growers performed better than the state and national averages for all farms. The GCC’s outreach programs reached more than 14,000 students in 2016 through events at schools and at cotton gins, and the organization continued to support Georgia Public Broadcasting’s high school sports programming. The GCC has also updated its educational kit, Cotton, The Story, which will be sent to agriculture and science teachers upon request. Reece Langley, vice president of Washington operations for the National Cotton Council, provided an overview of the changes in Congress since the November elections. Langley noted that in the Senate, there are no Democratic members from cotton-growing states, which he said could present challenges in the process of crafting a new farm bill. He said the NCC's priorities for 2017 are securing economic assistance for cotton producers related to cottonseed, whether it's through legislation or secretarial designation, as well as strengthening the cotton safety net in the next farm bill. Cotton Council International Executive Director Bruce Atherley discussed international trade and exporting cotton. The U.S., he said, is the top cotton exporter, accounting for 30 percent of all cotton exports worldwide. Atherley noted that the industry needs to find ways to reduce contamination in cotton bales. “We’re working to create a compelling story about U.S. cotton sustainability,” Atherley said. “What you guys do here in Georgia is terrific work, but nobody knows about it.” National Cotton Council Vice Chairman Ronnie Lee implored his fellow growers to continue working to eliminate foreign materials, particularly plastic, in cotton. During the luncheon, UGA Extension Cotton Agronomist Don Shurley announded the 2016 Quality Cotton Awards. Jacob Sandeford of Burke County won the Best Cotton Award, with loan value of 57.52 cents per pound and a quality premium of 5.52 cents per pound Sandeford also won the Quality Cotton Award for producers growing les than 500 acres in Region 2. Other winners were: Region 1 - Less than 500 acres, Delmer and Scott Bullington of Turner County, Sconyers Gin and Warehouse with Extension agent Will Gay; 500 to1,000 acres, Steven Metcalf of Turner County, Sconyers Gin and Warehouse, with agent Will Gay; greater than 1,000 acres, SOS Farms of Turner County, Arabi Gin Company, with agent Will Gay. Region 2: 500 to 1,000 acres, Trevor Cobb Farms of Washington County, Midville Warehouse, with Extension agent Brent Allen; greater than 1,000 acres, Smith Farms of Jefferson County, Farmers Gin and Warehouse, with Extension agent Pam Sapp. Region 3: Less than 500 acres, William and Tracey Edmonson of Brooks County, BCT GinQuitman, with Extension agent Stephanie Hollifield; 500 to 1,000 acres – Ben Strickland of Lanier County, BCT Gin-Quitman, with Extension agent Jeremy Taylor; greater than 1,000 acres, Dewitt Farms of Brooks County, BCT Gin-Quitman, with agent Stephanie Hollifield. Region 4: Less than 500 acres, Ken Hall Farms of Worth County, Omega Gin Company, with Extension agent Blake Crabtree; 500 to 1,000 acres, Garrett Bridges Farms of Seminole County, Clover Leaf Gin; greater than 1,000 acres, Sapp Brothers Farm of Mitchell County, BCT GinBerlin.

GFB News Alert page 6 of 11 PAKISTANI GROUP VISITS GEORGIA FARM BUREAU A delegation of government officials and university researchers from Pakistan met with Georgia Farm Bureau leaders on Jan. 30 at the GFB office in Macon. During the meeting the visitors heard from GFB President Gerald Long, UGA Associate Dean for Research Dr. Robert Shulstad, GFB Legislative Director Jeffrey Harvey, Georgia Cotton Commission Communications Director Chris Chammoun and GFB Commodities/Marketing Director Don McGough. The Pakistani group, on a five-day visit in Georgia, heard about GFB, the state's agriculture industry and issues faced by Georgia farmers. It was an opportunity for them to seek information about U.S. agriculture. They were interested in how the Cooperative Extension works, what GFB’s role is and the organization’s stance on GMOs and organic foods. Pakistan official The group visited a middle Georgia peach farm and attended the Jamil Ahmed International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta. BILL WOULD MOVE ADMINISTRATION OF H-2A PROGRAM TO USDA A bill introduced by Reps. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) would move the H2A agricultural visa program from the Department of Labor to the USDA. According to a joint release, the Family Farm Relief Act of 2017 (H.R. 281) would allow visa applicants to fill out H-2A applications on paper or online, requiring a user-friendly online system, and ending burdensome requirements on advertising and prevailing practice surveys. The two representatives said the current H-2A visa program is unworkable, especially for dairy farms. The H-2A visa program does not currently provide a category for year-round livestock workers, including dairy. This has caused difficulties for dairy farms that need employees yearround. This legislation addresses this oversight by creating an H-2A category for these workers. The bill would also allow farm cooperatives and other agricultural associations to apply for workers for their members, makes the program more workable for dairy and other livestock operations, and requires reporting to Congress if delays occur in the H-2A Visa application process. BILLS INTRODUCED IN HOUSE AND SENATE TO REPEAL FEDERAL DEATH TAX Bills to repeal the federal death tax were introduced in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate on Jan. 24. In the House, Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) introduced the bipartisan Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017 (H.R. 631) to fully and permanently repeal the death tax. According to a Joint Economic Committee report, the death tax has removed more than $1.1 trillion in capital from the economy while causing family businesses and others to reduce savings and limit growth. “I have always believed that the death tax is politically misguided, morally unjustified, and downright unAmerican,” said Bishop. “It undermines the life work and the life savings of farmers and jeopardizes small- and medium-sized businesses in Georgia and across the nation.” In the Senate, Georgia’s Johnny Isakson cosponsored companion legislation (S. 205) to the House bill. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) was the original sponsor of the bill.

GFB News Alert page 7 of 11 GEORGIA DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE OPENS SPECIALTY CROP BLOCK GRANTS The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) has opened the competitive solicitation process to award the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass/sod, nursery and greenhouse crops, including floriculture. Please see the specific listing of all eligible crops at The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will make grant funding available, with Georgia’s share being approximately $1 million this year. AMS rules state that grant funds will NOT be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. Single organizations, institutions and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners with eligible entities. “Concept Proposals will be accepted for review until February 24 and by March 3, those who have the strongest Concept Proposals will be invited to submit a full application. Once finalized, each application will be carefully reviewed and evaluated by a Review Committee sometime in June,” said Jeanne Maxwell, director of grants for GDA. “Then, all Department-approved projects will be combined and written as one grant submission to the USDA/AMS. Upon approval from USDA, we will notify applicants of their status, which we expect to be in October 2017.” Please refer to the links available on the GDA grants webpage located at for the Concept Proposal/pre-application form and additional information. For additional questions please contact Jen Erdmann at or 404-586-1151. RMA OFFERING PECAN TREE INSURANCE PROGRAM A Pecan Tree Insurance Program has been officially approved and implemented by the USDA Risk Management Agency and will be available to growers starting with the 2018 crop year, which begins on July 1. Growers have been able to insure their pecan crop for several years and now they can also insure their trees to protect them from losses incurred in situation like we have seen with the recent storms. To learn more about the program visit to learn more about the program. Interested growers will need to visit with their crop insurance agents before the May 15 sales closing date if they wish to participate in the program for the upcoming crop year.

GFB News Alert page 8 of 11 AG WATER ISSUES UPDATE LUNCHEON Feb. 10 Cloud Livestock Facility Noon Bainbridge This meeting will provide the latest information on issues affecting agricultural water use in Southwest Georgia. Speakers include Georgia Senate Ag Committee Chairman John Wilkinson, Senate Ag Committee Member Dean Burke, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long and industry experts. If you would like to attend or receive more information, contact Lisa Green at Decatur County Farm Bureau at 229-246-1692 or AUXIN HERBICIDE CLASSROOM TRAINING Feb. 13 Pierce County Extension 9 a.m. Blackshear RSVP to 912-449-2034 Feb. 15 Moby Dick restaurant 1 p.m. Colquitt RSVP to 229-758-4106 Feb. 17 Houston County Extension 9 a.m. Perry RSVP to 478-987-2028 March 7 Olin Tatum Ag Building 1 p.m. Cartersville RSVP to 770-387-5142 March 14 Elbert County Extension 1 :30 p.m. Elberton RSVP to 706-283-2037 Cotton and soybean varieties with tolerance to auxin herbicides (2,4-D or dicamba) are being commercialized. Prior to making applications of dicamba to dicamba-tolerant cotton/soybean or 2,4-D to 2,4-D-tolerant cotton/soybeans in Georgia, growers will be required to attend the training “Using Pesticides Wisely�. The training will focus on helping applicators/growers make wise decisions when applying not only 2,4-D and dicamba but all pesticides. Growers are strongly encouraged to bring their applicators with them. Attendance is suggested for all on-farm applicators to confirm that they provide the best management practices when applying all pesticides. Growers who attended 2015 or 2016 trainings, as long as they registered, are not required to attend the meeting again. However, they are welcome to attend as many times as they like. For more information please contact your local county extension office. GEORGIA FARM BUREAU DAY AT THE CAPITOL Feb. 15 Georgia Depot and State Capitol 9:30 a.m. Atlanta Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol is a chance for Farm Bureau members to meet with legislators and other government officials. Orientation begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Blue Room of the historic Georgia Railroad Freight Depot, located next to Underground Atlanta. Free secure parking will be available at the Ramada Plaza Atlanta Capitol Park Hotel's parking deck, with shuttle bus service running from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information contact the GFB Legislative Department at 1-800-342-1192 or your local county Farm Bureau office.

GFB News Alert page 9 of 11 GEORGIA PORK PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING Feb. 21 Georgia Farm Bureau 2 p.m. Macon The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2018 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body will take place at this meeting in conjunction with the Georgia Pork Producers Board of Directors meeting. All Georgia pork producers are invited to attend. Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of the state and has paid all assessments due may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible producers are encouraged to bring with them a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and the checkoff deducted. For more information, contact the Georgia Pork Producers Association, P.O. Box 1566, Bainbridge, Ga., telephone 1-229-246-8297. 2017 GEORGIA/FLORIDA SOYBEAN/SMALL GRAIN EXPO Feb. 21 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Perry The Soybean/Small Grain Expo provides up-to-date market projections and information on the newest production techniques, as well as the latest research from Extension Specialists from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). 2017 Expo topics include: Ultra late soybean production; smart irrigation; world outlook for commodities; 2018 farm bill preview; fusarium head blight control in wheat and an update from CAES Dean Dr. Sam Pardue. To register or for more information, please contact the Georgia/Florida Soybean Association at 706-542-3793. 
 2017 FVSU FARM, HOME AND MINISTERS CONFERENCE Feb. 21 C.W. Pettigrew Center 9 a.m. Fort Valley This annual conference features free workshops about farming, health, wellness and technology. Breakout session topics include: Aeroponics/vegetable production; solar panel drone systems; diversified farming; credit repair/creditworthiness; making of FVSU goat products; gardening, food and nutrition; a 2017 ag outlook; egg candling and more. For more information about the 2016 FHM conference, contact Terralon Chaney at 478-945-3391 or or Charlie Grace at 478-235-7091 or FARM LABOR SEMINAR Feb. 23 Decatur Co. Ag Center 8:30 a.m. - noon Bainbridge This free seminar features presentations from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Georgia Department of Labor covering requirements under the Migrant and Season Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) and the H-2A program. For more information, contact Rachel Mast at or 678-237-0540.

GFB News Alert page 10 of 11 AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT TRANSPORTATION & SAFETY SEMINAR Feb. 23 Jaemor Farms Barn 6 p.m. Alto The Hall County Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee is hosting this seminar to educate farmers about safety precautions they should follow to prevent accidents involving farm equipment and farm chemicals. Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Michael Wheeler, Hall County UGA Extension coordinator, will be the guest speakers. They will discuss updated laws, rules & regulations for highway and off-road ag equipment; Commercial Drivers License (CDL) requirements pertaining to ag; how to properly tag and light ag equipment driven on highways; weight limits and pesticide handling and safety precautions. Attendees can earn 1 hour credit towards their pesticide license. All farmers in the GFB 2nd District are invited to attend this seminar. A free dinner will be provided. Anyone who wishes to attend should RSVP by Feb. 17 to Justine Palmer at 770-536-3461 or via email to Door prizes and a drawing for an ARCTIK cooler will be held. Jaemor Farms is located at 5340 Cornelia HWY. Alto, Ga. 30510. The barn is the second building on the right once you pull into the driveway. 2017 AGAWARE WORKSHOPS Feb. 24 AgGeorgia Farm Credit Headquarters Perry March 17 Greene County Farm Bureau Greensboro Aug. 25 Burke County Office Park Waynesboro AgSouth Farm Credit and AgGeorgia Farm Credit are hosting a series of informative workshops to give farmers a better understanding of how to approach their finances. Topics covered in the program include: balance sheets; income statements; family finance & family budgeting; risk management; accrual income; applying for financing and preparing a business plan. Bonus videos on recordkeeping, marketing and technology will be available for continued education. To register visit GEORGIA AGRITOURISM ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE Feb. 27-28 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton The Georgia Agritourism Association opens its annual meeting with a tour of South Georgia farms on Feb. 27. Stops include Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets Southern Grace Farms near Tifton and Rutland Farms in Tifton. On Feb. 28, educational session topics include connecting with customers, diversifying through ecommerce, agritourism liability, sales taxes and more. Fullconference registration is $220 for members and $240 for non-members. For more information or to register, visit SMALL VEGETABLE FARM WORKSHOP Feb. 28 Stuckey Center, UGA Griffin Campus 8 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Griffin This program is for individuals working with small market vegetable farming and will benefit seasoned farmers as well as those interested in getting started. Topics of discussion include interpreting soil samples, soil health, troubleshooting vegetable problems, increasing pollinators for better production, integrated pest management and more. Cost is $20 per person, which covers instructional materials, lunch and refreshments. To register online, visit https://T.UGA.EDU/2UH. For more information please contact Beth Horne at 770-228-7214 or by e-mail

GFB News Alert page 11 of 11 2017 PEANUT PROUD FESTIVAL March 25 Downtown area Blakely This annual event features free concerts all day, the Peanut Proud Parade, arts & crafts, a 5K road race, kids’ peanut obstacle course, a street dance and much more. For more information visit Festivities begin at 9 a.m. JOURNEYMAN FARMER CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Small Farm Business Planning March 31-April 1 Gwinnett County Government Annex Lawrenceville UGA Extension is launching this program to provide comprehensive training for beginning farmers. Training is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days. This session covers small farm business planning and is the first part of a three-part program to receive the certificate. Deadline to register is March 24. Cost is $50 per person and checks should be made payable to Gwinnett Extension/4H. Note: There will be no onsite registration. For more information, contact Tim Daly at 678-3774011 or Small Fruit and Vegetable Production June 15-17 Gwinnett County Government Annex Lawrenceville The second session, Small Fruit and Vegetable Production, will be June 15-17 beginning at 8 a.m. each day. Lunch will be served on Thursday and Friday only. The cost for this session is $75 per person and the registration deadline is June 7. Georgia Organics and the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association will coordinate hands-on training. For more information, contact Tenisio Seanima at USDA VALUE ADDED GRANT WORKSHOP April 10 Georgia Farm Bureau 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Macon This free workshop is presented by USDA Rural Development, The University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, and The Center of Innovation for Agribusiness with support from Georgia Farm Bureau. The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of biobased, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program. Independent producers, farmer or rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and producer-owned business ventures, including non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. The workshop will cover tips from successful grant writers, feasibility studies and services provided by the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness. While there is no cost to attend, pre-registration by April 5 is required to guarantee lunch. To register visit

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - February 8, 2017  

In this week's GFB News Alert... recent tornadoes in South Georgia left a path of on-farm destruction, a former POW shared his story while...

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