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spring 2019 vol. 24, no. 1

GFB.ORG

A G R I C U LT U R E + L I F E S T Y L E from crops to pops

KING OF POPS FRESH FIXINS AFTERNOON TEA MILK MYTHS DEBUNKED FARM DOGS LEND A HELPING PAW


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C O N T Blackberries at Southern Roots Farm | Powder Springs, Georgia

04 06

VIEW FROM THE FIELD

Recovering from Hurricane Michael

GROWING MY COMMUNITY Meet Chy Kellogg, Cobb County volunteer

08 10

PRODUCTS WE LOVE

13

KING OF POPS

2

Items with major bragging rights

LET’S BE FRANK Certified Farm Markets know how to dress a dog

A farm that turns crops into pops

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BEING DIFFERENT MATTERS

20 23 24 28

MILK MYTHS

Insurance that uniquely supports agriculture and farmers in Georgia

Tall tales of dairy – debunked

FIVE PRESSING ISSUES IN AG Hear from the Rural Georgia Initiatives team

FRESH FIXINS

Pinky up, it’s time for afternoon tea

FARM DOGS

Farm is a four-legged word

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E N T S G E O R G I A FA R M B U R E A U Georgia Farm Bureau is the premier voice for agriculture in Georgia. We work earnestly to support a safe and abundant food supply that not only feeds Georgians, but the growing world as well. Georgia Neighbors Magazine is a nod to that genuine sentiment – it’s an opportunity to discover the people, the places and the impact of ag in our great state. Want to subscribe? Become a Georgia Farm Bureau member to receive Georgia Neighbors twice a year. Membership means supporting farmers and agriculture while having access to more than 300,000 discount offers. Visit gfb.ag/join. For content inquiries or comments, please contact Information/Public Relations Director Andy Lucas at 478-474-0679, extension 5237, or email ralucas@gfb.org.

ON THE COVER King of Pops co-founders Nick and Steven Carse at their farm in Winston, Georgia.

FOLLOW US GFB.ORG

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s p r i n g 2 01 9

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VIEW FROM THE FIELD Gerald Long, GFB President pring is always a time of renewal for farmers. As the warm sun shines down and brings new life to our land, we make plans for what we hope is a better year than the last one. We might wish for more production from one crop, less disease pressure in another, and hopefully a little better price for our livestock or commodities. No matter how good or bad the previous year might have been, spring offers the prospect of something better. I don’t know if that’s ever been truer than it is in 2019. Last October, Georgia agriculture was dealt a catastrophic blow from Hurricane Michael. Some farmers lost entire crops, along with equipment and buildings, and many homes were damaged or destroyed. My heart goes out to all of our producers who were impacted by the storm. In Bainbridge, we took the full force of the hurricane as it passed through. And, like so many others, we had considerable damage on our own family farm. The magnitude of damage across the state was devastating, and its impact will be felt for years. Both then and now, we pledge to do everything in our power to help our state’s farmers in their recovery. Following the storm, our insurance representatives moved in swiftly to assist our members, and our Federation began working

with President Donald Trump, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and lawmakers to address the crisis at hand. Governmental assistance, along with insurance, will aid some farmers in their recovery. However, the need far exceeds those funding sources. To that end, we established the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund to raise funds and disperse additional aid to producers in need. The generosity of our fellow Georgians has been inspiring, and we are very thankful to the thousands of individuals, businesses and organizations that have donated. One hundred percent of the donations will be presented to farmers and ranchers across the state who have been affected by the hurricane. While this cannot make every farmer whole, it’s one step we knew would help ease the burden for some. Every spring we look forward to the promise of a new growing season. I believe that promise holds a different meaning in 2019. The greatest sign of renewal this year won’t be new crops sprouting or calves nursing. It will simply be the sight of our farmers doing what they do best – working the land and moving our great industry forward.

GEORGIA

NEIGHBORS OFFICERS President GERALD LONG, Bainbridge 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Adrian North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Ringgold South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Alma General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER 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; Matt Bottoms, Molena 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, Newton; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Alma; Lamar Vickers, Nashville; YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Ben Cagle, Ball Ground WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Nancy Kennedy, Devereux GEORGIA NEIGHBORS Director: Andy Lucas Assistant Director: Kenny Burgamy Editor-in-Chief: Lauren Lin Art Director: Nicollette Boydstun Photographer: Sidney Middlebrooks Contributors: Lanier Dabruzzi, Richard Hart, Chy Kellog Consulting Copy Editor: Renee Corwine ADVERTISING POLICY All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau Neighbors. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or mcfarlandadvantage@gmail.com. Georgia Farm Bureau Neighbors was established in 1996. Copyright 2019 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

Standing strong for Georgia agriculture. 4

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growing my

COMMU

How my local Farm Bureau inspired me to get involved with agriculture. sto r y by : CH Y KEL L O G

s a child growing up in an urban environment, I had no connection to where my food and fiber were coming from. Though both my maternal grandfather and paternal great-grandfather were farmers, neither of my parents farmed. While I’ve always been a customer at various farmers markets, I first learned about Georgia Farm Bureau through the Cobb County Farm Bureau Farmers Market, where I was a vendor selling freshly baked goods. This is where I began my journey into the extensive world of agriculture, and where I developed a passion for agricultural literacy and an affinity for agricultural policy. Being a member of Georgia Farm Bureau means that I am an advocate of agriculture on national, state and county levels. Spending so much time at the weekly market gave me a glimpse of the hard work and dedication farmers put into their work every day. It also opened my eyes to the huge disconnect between consumers and growers – especially youth. Knowing something had to be done to educate my community about local produce, I started formally introducing market customers to farm vendors in hopes of building relationships between the two. When I was appointed as the Cobb County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chair, my mission was to promote Georgia agriculture and to help consumers get a better understanding of the food misconceptions they may have heard through social media. Our committee immediately took action and started teaching Agriculture in the Classroom lessons throughout Cobb County schools. From 2017-2018, my husband and I served on the Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee, where we were able to gain leadership experience with trips to Washington, D.C., speaking to our legislators regarding issues farmers face in Georgia. Through my appointments within Georgia Farm Bureau, I have been able to develop my networking capabilities, public speaking skills and my ability to advocate. Along with promoting farmers, I also seek to promote nontraditional farming. With the voice of Georgia Farm Bureau, I believe that we can do more to educate and advocate for all forms of farming that exist in Georgia. My involvement with Georgia Farm Bureau, and interactions with its members, have encouraged my husband and I to create our own garden. We grow corn, melons, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables, berries and a very young peach tree. By growing food in my own garden, I am able to see what our farmers see – although on a much smaller scale. Last year in my garden, I faced issues such as squash bugs, tomato hornworms and blossom-end rot. By understanding the issues that our farmers experience, I am able to speak to students and to consumers about the work required to bring food to their tables. 6

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When I speak to students who may not know where their food comes from, who say they don’t have a green thumb, or who have a stereotypical image in mind about what a farmer looks like, I get excited to help them. I don’t look like a traditional farmer, but when I tell students I farm and that they can farm, their reactions are priceless. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than empowering students to grow their own food, and helping them understand that as long as they have all the right ingredients – seed, soil, sun, water and love – a green thumb is not required. I believe in Georgia Farm Bureau. It has opened my eyes to a world that always surrounded me, but one I never paid any attention to. It is an organization that supports agricultural education and is highly involved with UGA Extension offices across the state, 4-H, FFA, commodity groups and so many more organizations. It is a family that exists primarily for education and advocacy in agriculture. As much as we should support and thank farmers for the food on our plates, I believe we also should support and thank Georgia Farm Bureau for advocating for farmers, assisting them with being able to continue to put food on the plates of our communities.

UNITY

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Visit gfb.ag/contact to connect with your county Farm Bureau.

I believe in Georgia Farm Bureau.

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PRODUCTS WE LOVE We’ve scoured the state to find Georgia-based items worthy of major bragging rights.

BEESWAX HAND CREAM

Savannah Bee Company Savannah, GA 800-955-5080 Savannahbee.com

GEORGIA COMMODITIES STATIONARY Kari Waltz Macon, GA 478-335-8740 Kariwaltz.com

SOUTHERN PECAN TOFFEE Ganas Pecan Company Waycross, GA 912-284-9599 Gapecan.com

“JOHN DEERE, THAT’S WHO” Tracy Nelson Maurer AFBF 2018 Book of the Year 800-443-8456 Agfoundation.org

FROZEN DOG TREATS King of Pups Atlanta, GA 678-732-9321 Kingofpops.com

COCA-COLA GEORGIA PEACH Coca-Cola Atlanta, GA 800-520-2653 Us.coca-cola.com

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PEACH SALSA Lane Southern Orchards Fort Valley, GA 800-277-3224 lanesouthernorchards.com

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LET’S BE Certified Farm Markets know how to dress a dog! Gussied up hot dogs can turn humdrum backyard grilling into a smashing soiree. Mountain Valley Farm’s all-pork franks pair perfectly with any bun of your choosing, creating a canvas ready for creativity. Check out any one of Georgia’s Certified Farm Markets to locate these items and discover more at gfb.ag/CFM. MOUNTAIN VALLEY FARM Ellijay, GA | 706-889-0999 Grassfedgeorgia.com

UP & AT ’EM COUNTRY GARDENS FAMILY FARM Sunny-Side Up Egg with Bacon, Green Onion, Everything Bagel Seasoning Newnan, GA | 770-251-2673 Countrygardensfarm.com

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OL’ FAITHFUL DICKEY FARMS Mild Chow Chow with Yellow Mustard Musella, GA | 478-836-4362 Gapeaches.com

TWO PIGS IN A BLANKET THOMPSON FARMS Pulled Pork with Crispy Onions Dixie, GA | 229-263-9074 Thompsonfarms.com

BLAZIN’ BRITCHES JAEMOR FARMS Hot Pepper Jelly with Cream Cheese and Candied Jalapeños Alto, GA | 770-869-3999 Jaemorfarms.com

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GEORGIA AGRICULTURE Saturdays: 8 a.m. Sundays: 6 a.m.

Ray D’Alessio

Kenny Burgamy

Thursdays: 6 p.m. Sundays: 11:30 p.m.

Farm-Monitor.com 12

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KING OF

When word sprouts up that the world’s first popsicle farm was planted, grown and cultivated in Georgia, you lend a listening ear and a curious green thumb.

Pops G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s p r i n g 2 01 9

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GROWING ROOTS IN GEORGIA The company’s belief system and sunny disposition is an extension of the people they are and who they surround themselves with. The Carse brothers want to make people happy, want to provide a delicious sourceconscious product and want to evoke change in their home state of Georgia. “Early on, we wrote a vision for our company. One of the things that we landed on when we were going through that process was that we wanted to be an influencer in the local food scene, and also know and be a part of our community. We had aspirations to grow but wanted to do so with intention and meaningfulness,” Steven said. “We, as a company, want our impact to be realized by being positive food influencers, relentless community supporters and most importantly a generator of unexpected moments of happiness.” With roots firmly embedded in Georgia, Steven and Nick knew it didn’t make sense to unleash their dream anywhere else. “It was never really a question as to where we wanted to base the business or where we wanted to be spending our time. Being in our home state was obvious,” Steven said. “Our first cart location was about a half mile from where Nick lived and another half mile from where I was living at the time. We are intimately familiar with the area. We knew the folks that ran the businesses and the neighbors. I think sometimes people forget how 100 or 200 people who are trying to help you out can make such a huge difference when you’re starting something. That was really valuable.” The growth of King of Pops has been inherently grassroots. From asking customers for flavor ideas, to having their parents put in sweat equity and giving summer jobs to their friends’ kids, what came next was an all-hands-on-deck operation.

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inherently grassroots

efore King of Crops was even a seedling of an idea in the minds of co-founders Steven and Nick Carse, these brothers started a business that evolved from kismet dreams and serious innovation. “King of Pops started in 2010, however the idea dates back a little further,” Steven Carse explained. “My oldest brother is an anthropologist, and at that time he was doing his field work in Latin America. When I would go down to visit him, which was pretty regularly, we took a liking to paletas, which is basically the Spanish word for popsicle. They had these incredibly interesting flavors and were made of fresh ingredients, typically native to wherever we were. We would go out of our way to find paletas and so I kind of fell in love with the product during college.” As time passed, the sweet and savory notes of these imaginative localized ice pops crept back into Steven’s mind and he began day dreaming about a business that could be. “I got laid off from my job in the corporate world, and decided to give the popsicle idea a shot. One of the reasons I hadn’t done it before is because it seemed too risky, but losing my job turned into the most incredible opportunity to take a chance and be all in,” Steven said. Within just a few months, Nick left behind suits, courtrooms and his life as a lawyer to join Steven as the second employee at King of Pops.

GROWING CROPS FOR THEIR POPS Just four years after starting the business, King of Pops wanted to experiment with growing produce and farming. They were already sourcing their ingredients from the southeast region, primarily Georgia, but wanted to be part of the process by following their product from crop to pop. “We started King of Crops for a couple of reasons. The most straightforward is that we wanted to grow some amazing produce for our pops. That’s still the focus out there today. Along with that, we feel like we had an opportunity and bit of a responsibility to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to local farming. We talk about it a lot in sustainability. We wanted to be a part of that movement so we could talk about it firsthand.” G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / sprin g 20 19


Stephen Dobek, left, Nick Carse, center, Steven Carse, right.

Basil plant.

“Lastly ... we have a fun brand. When you have a fun brand, you can talk about things that others might not be as receptive to. For example, if we talk about composting with a group of third graders and show them how your food waste can make this amazing compost that will then help grow strawberries to make popsicles – it’s a powerful story,” Steven explained. Nestled between Ga. 166 and Post Road in Winston, about 30 miles west of Atlanta, a new idea became a reality when the brothers purchased about 70 acres of farmland, which had previously been operated as a nursery. Now, with a plan in motion, hiring a farmer was the next step.

FROM OFFICE WALLS TO OPEN SPACES Stephen Dobek is a New York-native turned Chicago transplant whose insatiable curiosity for farming brought him down south. Currently, he’s the managing farmer at King of Crops. “I was living in Chicago at the time just working in an office, and became more interested in agriculture by simply going to farmers markets, buying food and talking to people. I started reading books, doing research and then basically fell down the rabbit hole. It was really about having physical things that you can point to or touch on a daily basis that you’ve worked on, having that yardstick to measure your progress. ... It’s very fulfilling to have that, and I think a lot of people lack that in their jobs now,” said Dobek.

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Clockwise from the top: Grapefruit Mint Strawberry Lemonade Blueberry Lemonade Salted Lemonade Banana Puddin’ Raspberry Rosewater Chocolate Sea Salt Strawberries n’ Cream

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Wanting to leave behind the bustle of a large city, in 2012 Dobek decided to follow his parents, who had recently retired to South Carolina. What began as general labor on one farm quickly transitioned into a yearlong internship on a 300-acre diversified family farm. From there, Dobek moved to Louisiana to manage livestock, and then to Morgan County, Georgia, to raise cattle, grow vegetables and plant a fruit orchard. A few more farms and a stint in South Georgia ultimately led Dobek to overseeing King of Pops’ farm operation in March 2018. As manager of the farm, Dobek has a hand in it all – from ordering and budget worksheets, to land rotation selection and even feeding the chickens. Most of all, it involves recognizing and utilizing the farmland’s potential. “The farm is still relatively young for us, and we’re tapping into the true potential it can have and deciding the smartest ways to make use of the

land, given our mission of producing crops for popsicles. We’re clearing a lot of new land for long-term growing – plum trees, blackberries, muscadines, blueberries and goji berries, to name a few. Basically, we’re working to make production match up more with what the popsicle end of things can utilize with each changing season,” said Dobek. Dobek is working to determine a handful of crops that can be grown annually to yield the highest number of popsicles. The main component to doing so is understanding the land. “With any land, there’s intricacies and uniqueness, specifically from a standpoint of learning about soil composition and the necessary tests that go along with it. For me, when I became a part of King of Crops, it was about being adaptable and understanding we’re in the far outskirts of a major city. It’s an exciting part of the job, learning what you’ve got and figuring out how to strategically work with the land,” Dobek said.

MORE THAN JUST POPSICLES The Carse brothers place great emphasis on how their endeavor can do more than just produce a quality product. “Our vision for the farm continues to expand with each new project. We’re able to show how business and environmental stewardship can benefit from one another. We’re collaborating with Compost Wheels, called King of Compost, where they bring food waste from all over the city for us to compost here at the farm. We’re delving into agritourism by hosting school field trips, eventually becoming an event space and even hosting a farm stay at our tiny house on Airbnb. It’s truly evolving every day,” Steven said. Owning a farm and a growing business, Steven said he has a new appreciation for agriculture, the state’s leading industry, and what it means for him and his employees. “Owning a farm, you look at produce completely differently – that goes for me, but it also goes for our employees,” he said. “When we bring them out there, they just have a different appreciation for all the work that goes into the ingredients that we’re using and also just the things they are eating at home. That in itself is invaluable.” To learn more or shop online, visit KingofPops.com.

good stewardship

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BEING DIFFERENT

M AT T E R S

STORY BY : Richard Hart, Director of Sales Training – Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance

ave you noticed that there are insurance agents everywhere? Advertising for insurance companies is found on every television channel just about every hour of the day. There are uncounted numbers of insurance agencies in almost every community in Georgia. With so many options to choose from, why choose to work with a Georgia Farm Bureau insurance agent? That was my question before starting to work for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance. Now, having worked here for some years, I can say with confidence that it’s different here. These differences matter to us – and they should matter to you.

BUT WHAT ARE THEY? Georgia Farm Bureau’s primary goal is to provide resources to protect and preserve agriculture and farming in our state. We’re not about corporate profits or shareholder equity; we’re about supporting agriculture and farmers in Georgia. GFB insurance agents are local residents just like our policyholders. We’re involved in local schools and communities and are dedicated to supporting both through programs like Ag in the Classroom and our sponsorship of Georgia High School Association athletics.

All of our agencies in Georgia are affiliated with local County Farm Bureau organizations – a unique partnership of agriculture advocacy and community involvement unlike other insurance organizations. At our heart, we are a grassroots organization, and this shows in how we treat our members.

All of the agents and customer service representatives working for GFB Insurance are employees of Georgia Farm Bureau, right here in our great state. Like a family, we care for one another while we care for our communities and customers.

At Georgia Farm Bureau, all of our insurance premiums stay right here in the great state we call our home. Our claims payments benefit policyholders only in Georgia. The money spent here stays here and benefits the people here.

Here at Georgia Farm Bureau, our faith is reflected in what we say, what we do and how we do it. We’re about something bigger than ourselves; about more than corporate profits; about more than building large institutions. We’re folks from Georgia protecting families in Georgia while supporting agriculture in Georgia. Come and see the difference for yourself at your local Georgia Farm Bureau office.

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MILK MYTHS

he variety in the dairy case has expanded tremendously in the past decade, and with so many choices, it’s no wonder that Americans are overwhelmed and confused. Everyone from hairdressers to health gurus have something to say about the foods you eat – and with that comes many myths. To help you make the best decisions for you and your family, let’s tackle a few of the most common myths about milk and dairy foods.

WHY CHOOSE DAIRY? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the basis for diet recommendations to consumers, and includes information about why dairy foods are important. The diets of most Americans fall short when it comes to four key nutrients: calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber. Dairy foods provide three of these: calcium, potassium and vitamin D. According to research, by consuming milk and other foods rich in these nutrients, your risk decreases for heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and some cancers.

Lactose Intolerance Lactose intolerance is one of the leading reasons people cut dairy foods from their diets. However, those with lactose intolerance can still consume dairy foods using these strategies: • Reach for lactose-free milk or ice cream. • Enjoy yogurt. The live, active cultures help break down the lactose. • Choose natural cheeses, such as Cheddar or Swiss, which have little lactose. • Incorporate milk into meals. Whether as a drink or as an ingredient, milk with food will help slow digestion and give your body more time to digest the lactose.

Plant-Based Beverages Consumers are choosing plant-based beverages over real cow’s milk due to the perception that plant-based beverages are healthier. The reality is that there is no alternative to real cow’s milk when it comes to nutrition. Plant-based beverages do not provide the amount of protein or package of healthy nutrients – calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin – found in real cow’s milk. One 8-ounce glass of almond milk only provides 1 gram of protein, compared to 8 grams of protein per 8-ounce serving of dairy milk. Additionally, the essential nutrients in cow’s milk are difficult to replace. For example, you would have to eat 38 cups of raw kale and 15 sardines to get the same amount of calcium and vitamin D, respectively, in just three glasses of cow’s milk.

Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD Senior Manager of Food and Nutrition Outreach for The Dairy Alliance

20

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / sprin g 20 19


Flavored Milk While nutrition experts recommend limiting added sugar in the diet, it’s important to look at the full nutrient package when selecting a food or beverage. Research shows that flavored milk, which provides the same nutrients as plain milk, contributes just 3 percent of added sugars to kids’ diets versus sodas and fruit drinks, which account for nearly half of the added sugar and deliver far less nutritional value. Research also indicates that children who drink flavored milk meet more of their nutrient needs, do not weigh more and do not consume more added sugar, fat or calories than non-milk drinkers.

Hormones All foods – plant and animal – naturally contain hormones. Milk is no different in that all types of milk contain very small amounts of hormones, even organic milk. While some dairy farmers use a hormone called rbST to help their cows increase milk production, its safety has been affirmed and reaffirmed by leading national and international health organizations during the past 15 years.

Antibiotics When cows become ill, farmers and veterinarians may need to treat them with antibiotics, just as people sometimes need medication when they are sick. The cow is removed from the herd, treated, and the milk that is produced during this time is discarded. The cow is not placed back into the herd until all antibiotics have cleared her body. All milk is strictly tested for antibiotics on the farm and at the processing plant. Any milk that tests positive cannot be sold to the public. The farmer is responsible for any milk that tests positive and required to pay for the full truckload.

Raw Milk Raw milk does not provide any more health benefits than pasteurized milk, and raw milk can pose serious health risks, such as exposure to E. coli, listeria and salmonella, according to the Food and Drug Administration and other health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Organic vs. Conventional There is no scientific evidence concluding that organic dairy products are safer or healthier than conventional dairy products. Strict government standards ensure that both conventional and organic milk are wholesome, safe and nutritious. Both products contain the same combination of nutrients – calcium, vitamin D and potassium – that make dairy an important part of a healthy diet.

Don’t let myths cause you to miss out on milk’s true nutrient package. For information about dairy farms, recipes and more, visit TheDairyAlliance.com. Cookies by: Brittany Talton | Monroe County G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s p r i n g 2 01 9

21


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1

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5

IT STAYS GREEN IN SPITE OF HEAT AND DROUGHT “The hotter it gets, the better it grows!” Plug-in Zoysia thrives in blistering heat, yet it won’t winter-kill to 30° below zero. It just goes off its green color after killing frosts, and begins regaining its green color as temperatures in the spring are consistently warm.

3

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22

We ship all orders the same day the plugs are packed and at the earliest planting time in your state.

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / sprin g 20 19


05 PRESSING ISSUES IN AG Amy Carter, deputy commissioner, Rural Georgia Initiatives | Georgia Department of Economic Development ince our inception, the Rural Georgia Initiatives team has traveled the state visiting with rural community leaders and conducting community meetings with farmers, businessmen, city and county officials, community leaders and school administrators. One thing that is evident from the start of every meeting is that agriculture is the number one industry in almost every rural county. As you may have heard before, as agricultures goes, so does rural Georgia. You can’t separate the two; rural Georgia is heavily affected by the agricultural industry, and the state of the agricultural industry reflects heavily on the state of rural Georgia. The information we’ve gathered from our meetings has been critically important as our team works to help rural Georgia communities become more competitive for economic development projects, and identify new strategies for attracting jobs and investment. Here are five key areas of concern we’re hearing from our meetings.

01 W O R K F O R C E The most pressing issue in rural Georgia is the need for more human capital. This need takes several names in the economic development world. Workforce development, “the brain drain,” leadership, millennials, these are just a few of the terms we hear referring to the need for more human capital in rural Georgia. The future of rural Georgia depends on retaining and attracting our future workforce.

02 H E A L T H C A R E Healthcare is another common issue raised when we meet with community leaders. This ranges from lack of access to healthcare in a rural community to lack of support for the existing healthcare providers in the community. This is a tough issue that hits close to home, as we are all aware that several hospitals in rural communities have closed in the last decade.

03 H O U S I N G The housing issue in rural Georgia is easily split into two camps: aging housing infrastructure in rural southern Georgia, and lack of affordable housing in rural northern Georgia. South Georgia community leaders have said they simply don’t have the population growth to justify new housing starts, therefore lending the market to an aging housing infrastructure. Northern rural communities, on the other hand, have indicated that it is difficult for middle-income families to afford many of the houses being built in their communities. Anecdotally, we’ve heard that an influx of high-income retirees is driving up the housing prices in some rural northern communities.

04 I N T E R N E T A C C E S S The need for broadband access is mentioned in almost every meeting. Most of the communities say that the “last mile” is the main issue. “Last mile” refers to having broadband access in parts of the community, but difficulty in finding an internet service provider (ISP) willing to provide internet down the last mile of a remote dirt road, or to a farm that is not on a main highway. While the “last mile” encompasses much of what we love about rural Georgia – the remoteness and calmness provided from not being in a densely populated area – the downside is that an ISP can’t justify the infrastructure associated with a low concentration of customers in these rural areas.

05 IN F R A S T R U C T U R E Another common theme we’ve heard is infrastructure. Infrastructure is the framework of a community – from water and sewer to roads, bridges and government buildings. Many community leaders have said their local communities do not have the tax base to make investments in infrastructure improvements. Other communities have found the money to re-develop dilapidated buildings in their downtowns, but still can’t financially undertake repaving roads or upgrading their aging water and sewer infrastructure. G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s p r i n g 2 01 9

23


h s Fre s n i x i F W I T H G E O R G I A - B A S E D C H E F, R E B E C C A E G S I E K E R

With help from our Certified Farm Markets, Chef Rebecca Egsieker of The Dairy Alliance shares recipes that’ll have your guests exclaiming, “I do declare!” and clamoring for a proper Southern afternoon tea — pinky in the air.

24

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s prin g 20 19


s

SWEET PEA

Crostini INGREDIENTS:

1

French baguette, ½-inch slices

1

cup fresh sweet peas, shelled

4

oz. feta cheese, divided

½

cup whole-milk cottage cheese

2

tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

1

tbsp. garlic, chopped

1

tsp. kosher salt

¼

tsp. black pepper

6

slices Mountain Valley Farm cooked bacon, chopped Olive oil for coating of bread

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baguette slices on baking sheet, brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove bread from oven, let cool. Add the peas to a medium pot of well-salted boiling water. Boil the peas for about 30 seconds. Shock the peas in an ice bath for about 1 minute, then remove from ice bath and set aside in strainer to drain. In the bowl of a food processor, place about three-quarters of the feta cheese, cottage cheese, blanched peas, mint, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. To serve, spread each crostini with sweet pea mixture, approximately 1 heaping tablespoon per slice. Top with bacon crumbles and sprinkle with remaining feta cheese. Place crostini on serving platter. If making ahead of time, place in air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s p r i n g 2 01 9

25


ASPARAGUS & RICOTTA

Rustic Tart INGREDIENTS:

26

1

tbsp. butter

1

medium red onion, thinly sliced

1

cup cow’s milk ricotta cheese

1

cup shredded gouda cheese

1

tbsp. minced garlic

½

tsp. herbs de Provence

¼

tsp. sea salt

¼

tsp. black pepper

1 20-22 1 3-4

sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions fresh asparagus stalks, ends trimmed Country Gardens Family Farm egg, lightly beaten slices thin prosciutto, torn into pieces Fresh basil, for garnish Parmesan cheese, for garnish

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / sprin g 20 19


DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onion and cook until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In medium mixing bowl, combine cheeses, garlic and spices. Mix together thoroughly; set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, unroll puff pastry and gently roll out to about 10-by-15 inches. Place on prepared baking sheet. Use a paring knife to score a line around the perimeter of the pastry, about 1 inch from the edge, then prick the center with a fork several times to keep it from puffing up. Spoon the cheese mixture over the dough inside the scored edges, spreading out to an even layer. Top with caramelized onions in a uniform layer. Lay asparagus stalks side-by-side over the cheese and onions, pressing down gently into mixture. Brush edges with egg wash. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until crust is golden and edges are puffed up. Remove from oven and top with torn pieces of prosciutto. Garnish with fresh basil. Cut into 12 squares. Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese if desired. G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s p r i n g 2 01 9

27


FA R M dogs From guard duty to herding livestock, canine companions play an integral role in daily farming operations.

JAKE Age 2 | Stephens County Border Collie Can’t pass up a game of tug o’ war. Diligently feeds and works the cows.

28

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / sprin g 20 19


LUCY Age 8 | Houston County Mixed Lab Loves eating pecans. Keeps squirrels out of the shop and away from the orchard.

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s p r i n g 2 01 9

29


CHARLIE Age 7 | Monroe County English Springer Spaniel Known for checking on the cows. Head greeter at the country store.

30

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / sprin g 20 19


CREED Age 4 | Franklin County Australian Shepherd Loves riding in the tractor. Helps herd cattle from pasture to pasture.

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / s p r i n g 2 01 9

31


SANDIE Age 8 | Crawford County Great Pyrenees Spends all day snoozing. Guards the farm from foxes at night.

32

G E O R G I A N E I G H B O R S / sprin g 20 19


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Profile for Georgia Farm Bureau

Georgia Neighbors Spring 2019  

Georgia Farm Bureau is the premier voice for agriculture in Georgia. We work earnestly to support a safe and abundant food supply that not o...

Georgia Neighbors Spring 2019  

Georgia Farm Bureau is the premier voice for agriculture in Georgia. We work earnestly to support a safe and abundant food supply that not o...

Profile for gafarm