Georgia Farm Bureau News Fall 2022

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News Vol. 84 No.3Fall 2022 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU PreventpoisoningpesticideYF&R Conference develops leaders, recognizes achievers Beagle Brigade sniffs out threats to U.S. ag STATEWIDE STUDY FARMHIGHLIGHTSSTRESS

The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture supported this study that looks at Georgia farmers’ mental well-being. Ga. native named AFBF executive vice president page 15 pages 10 & 11

Beagle Brigade sniffs out threats to U.S. agriculture Public Policy page pages524 & 25 Ag in the Classroom

Harts, Fleming & Sizemore win GFB YF&R competitive events page 19 page 20 page 21 page pages2230 & 31

Brundage takes helm as ABAC FarmtasticpresidentDay! Families had fun at Pittman’s Family Farm learning about agriculture. GFB honors Georgia Jr. National Livestock Champions Meet the hard-working 4-H and FFA members who showed the top animals at the state show. County Farm Bureaus celebrate GFB’s 85th Anniversary page 18

Invasive tick new to Ga. confirmed in three counties Livestock producers are encouraged to be on the lookout for the Asian Longhorned Tick.

Want to subscribe? Join Georgia Farm Bureau to receive GFB News four times a year. Membership means supporting farmers & agriculture while having access to more than 300,000 discounts. Visit pages 8 & 9

Enter GFB Hay Contest by Oct. 31

GFB News Staff page 26 YF&R Program page 27 Women's Leadership Program pages 28-29 Ga. Foundation for Agriculture View from the Field page 4 Kenny Burgamy Director


Jared McGukin Graphic Designer Logan Thomas Photographer page 14

Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone News Reporter FOLLOW US ON THESE PLATFORMS @GAFARMBUREAU

YF&R Conference focuses on how to break barriers Young Farmers & Ranchers attending the GFB Summer Leadership Conference received tips to overcome adversity, share their stories and break down barriers. Departments

Use of Vermeer 604R baler for one year with option to buy at a discounted rate is top prize. page & 7

On The Cover:

Rising fuel costs complicate higher farm expenses pages 16 & 17 Mercer University study gauges farmers’ stress levels

For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-6529080 or For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail

The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture supported Mercer University's study exploring farm stress. Photo by Whitney Sheppard

Fall 2022 3Georgia Farm Bureau News Contents

Prevent pesticide poisoning It’s important to safely store pesticides to protect the people and animals on your farm and the environment.

Someone asked me recently why I love the fair so much. I told them, “It’s all about the young people.” I truly believe this, and hope you make a special effort to support these young folks at the livestock shows at Georgia’s National Fair.

JEFFREY HARVEY Corporate Secretary & Senior Counsel

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Preparation is also underway for next month’s Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie. Your GFB team will be well represented Tuesday, Oct. 18 through Thursday, Oct. 20. We’ll celebrate Scotty and Melanie Raines for being named Georgia’s Sunbelt Expo Farmer of the Year. I always have fun at the Southeast’s largest farm show. Getting to see you and your families is a special time for Jane and me as we catch up with so many new and longtime friends.

FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Chattooga Co.; Wesley Hall, Forsyth Co. SECOND DISTRICT: Gilbert Barrett, Habersham Co.; Russ Moon, Madison Co.THIRD DISTRICT: Nora Goodman, Paulding Co.; Brad Marks, Newton Co. FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, McDuffie Co.; Russ Wilburn, Barrow Co. FIFTH DISTRICT: Matt Bottoms, Pike Co.; Leighton Cooley, Crawford Co. SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Laurens Co.; James Emory Tate, Jeff Davis Co. SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Evans Co.; Ben Boyd, Screven Co. EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Turner Co.; Don Wood, Wilcox Co. NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Baker Co.; Paul Shirah, Mitchell Co. TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Bacon Co.; Lamar Vickers, Berrien Co. YOUNG

WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CHAIR: Melissa Mathis, Monroe Co.

Also, we’re excited about the start of the 33rd Annual Georgia National Fair, Oct. 6-16. It will be held, as it has been since Oct. 1990, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. It is one of my favorite times of the year because this event puts emphasis on the young people across Georgia who have enthusiastically worked so hard to show their livestock.

RALPH CALDWELL, Heard County General Counsel

FARMERS & RANCHERS CHAIR: Walt Pridgen, Coffee Co.

Tom GFB President News

Georgia Farm Bureau’s 85th year has been full of positive momentum, and I ask you to assist us in keeping the energy going. You are a very important part of helping your Georgia Farm Bureau continue to protect and enhance agriculture and our quality way of life. Thank you!

View from the Field OFFICERS

President TOM McCALL, Elbert Co. 1st Vice President and South Georgia Vice President




DANIEL JOHNSON, Pierce Co. North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Catoosa Co. Middle Georgia Vice President


All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau News. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2022 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

Asst. Corp. Treasurer & Sr. Director of Accounting RACHEL MOSELY

Tom & Jane McCall, center, visit with longtime friends Ken & Mona Howard at last year’s GFB convention. / Photo by Logan Thomas As farmers, the work we do on our farms is never finished. The same is true with the work we do as an organization. Our goal is to foster prosperity for your farm and family. Since most of our member meetings have returned to pre-pandemic schedules, it has been a very busy year inside and out of Georgia Farm Bureau. As I write this column, the GFB staff is working on a number of upcoming events. Planning includes the 85th annual convention that will be held Sunday, Dec. 4 through Tuesday, Dec. 6 on Jekyll Island. If you haven’t had a chance to attend your convention the last several years, I encourage you to come this year. This will be our 10th year holding our convention in the beautiful Jekyll Island Convention Center, which always makes for a great setting for the sessions and trade show that we have planned for you.

Jane and I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these important gatherings.

Tom McCall, GFB President


DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer, Corp. Treasurer & GFBMIC Exec. VP DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer

When you head to the polls this November there will be more than just names of candidates for office on your ballot. There will also be a proposed change to our state constitution that has the potential to provide Georgia farmers some relief from today’s increased input prices and the large amounts of capital they must invest in agriculture to grow our food and fiber. House Bill 498, passed during the 2021 state legislative session and authored by Rep. Sam Watson of Moultrie, provides for a constitutional amendment to be included on the 2022 ballot, asking Georgia voters if they support expanding the ad valorem tax exemption currently offered to family farms across the state.

Vote “Yes” in November to Support Merged Family Farms

These days many family farms are going into business with one another to purchase large pieces of equipment or even to share a herd of cattle. This lowers farmers’ upfront costs and allows them to purchase the things they need for their daily operations. Right now, when two of these independently qualifying family farms merge to form one entity, they can no longer receive the tax exemption they previously had.

Whether you’re enjoying fresh food on your table, clothes on your back, or a roof over your head, a family farm is usually to thank for these necessities of life.

Jake Matthews is a governmental affairs specialist in the GFB Public Policy Department. He may be reached at or 478-474-8411, ext. 5286

Photo by Logan Thomas

This fall when you head to the polls, thank a farmer by voting to support this greatly needed change that will play a small role in helping lower the financial burden on both farmers and consumers.

By Jake Matthews

Many family farms merge to buy expensive equipment together. Georgians are encouraged to expand an existing tax exemption for single farms to merged farms.

Georgia Farm Bureau News Public Policy Update

If Georgia voters pass this constitutional amendment with a majority “Yes” vote in November, Georgia tax code would be amended to allow a farm entity made up of two people, who individually qualify for this ad valorem exemption, to remain eligible once they have merged. This would reflect the way many farms are currently structured.

This will not only benefit the farm families who grow the things we rely on every day, but it will also greatly benefit all Georgia consumers who depend on the products farmers provide by lowering production costs. It will especially help beginning farmers seeking to enter agriculture with the major investment required to get started.

“Shall the Act be approved which expands a state-wide exemption from ad valorem taxes for agricultural equipment and certain farm products held by certain entities to include entities comprising two or more family-owned farm entities, and which adds dairy products and unfertilized eggs of poultry as qualified farm products with respect to such exemption?”

The question on the ballot will read as follows:

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“We’re all put here on this Earth with talents and abilities,” Nielsen said. “We need to share them.”

Nielsen encouraged the young farmers and ranchers to maintain a positive mindset, work hard and surround themselves with supportive people.

“When life puts a scar on you, it’s giving you a legacy to leave in life,” he said. “Hard work will never cheat you.” T

YF&R Conference focuses on how to break barriers.

Speak Up, Don’t Give Up


Nielsen was slammed against the chute railing when the bronco he was riding bucked as the gate opened during a 2017 rodeo. He sustained multiple spinal fractures and was left paralyzed from the waist down. Nielsen tracked his course of rehabilitation therapy over several months, noting that incremental improvement over time can result in big Throughoutchange.his presentation, Nielsen emphasized using available resources, wowing the GFB crowd with his auctioneer voice and his turkey call as he walked around the stage.

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Photo by Logan Thomas he 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Summer Leadership Conference, held July 13-16 on Jekyll Island, offered participants ways to overcome adversity, share their stories and break down barriers. They also had time for visiting the beach and the island’s other attractions, lessons in the Georgia Ag Experience Mobile Classroom and lots of fellowship. A total of 343 YF&R members, their children, and guests attended.

Keynote speakers offer encouragement

By Jay Stone Utah cowboy Braxten Nielsen offered mindset tips to accomplish big goals.

Utah cowboy Braxten Nielsen shared his journey from a debilitating rodeo injury to walking again.

• What is the most historical event of your lifetime?

Fall 2022 7Georgia Farm Bureau News TikTok sensation Will Brinkley, the “Tarheel Farmer,” discussed how to leverage social media’s reach in agriculture’s favor. Brinkley has more than 318,000 followers on the video sharing app, where his humorous clips put farm life on display. He noted statistics that show a ratio of 258 people for every farm in Georgia. He praised Farm Bureau for its work in support of “Ifagriculture.Ihadtogo try to reach all those people, I wouldn’t get much farming done,” said Brinkley. “We’re farmers and we’ve got to advocate for our own products and our own markets, and we’ve got to do a better job for the next generation and give everybody a voice. We don’t have to reach everybody. We just have to get it out there and let it spread. And maybe we can get our voice. A lot of us have a voice now.” Brinkley said it is important to share benefits derived from agriculture.“You’vegot to be positive about ag and farm life. Positivity is the number one thing,” he said.

• Which leader or famous person impacted your generation?

The conference also offered educational sessions on marketing your farm, running for public office, accessing H-2A laborers, regenerative bioscience, building county YF&R programs and debunking agricultural myths. In the marketing your farm session, Jessica Akins of Oak + Willow Creatives, Tara Green of GreenGate Farm and Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets Coordinator Kelly Henry offered tips on using web-based tools, questions to consider when marketing farm products, use of social media and other“Youtopics.areyour brand,” Akins said. “We are walking billboards for our farms. Think about how you want to be marketed to, and whether you should take the approach to educate [customers] rather than sell.” In the regenerative agriculture session, Herb Young of Squeeze Citrus in Thomas County talked about the process of restoring soil ecosystems and microbes with nutrition, inoculants and cover crops to provide nutrients for the crop and, in the case of his orange grove, nutrient-dense fruit.

• How did this experience affect you then, and how does it still affect you today?

understand … they didn’t experience it the same way. That’s one of the things you need to always remember is how it continues to impact you.”

Lori Tiller, a public service associate with UGA’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, led the GFB group through exercises to help bridge generational communication gaps. She discussed how individual perspectives are shaped by historical events, culture and societal developments that occur during a person’s formative years from ages 14-21. One generation’s first mobile communication device might have been a flip phone, while another started with a smart phone. Or, one generation might say the 9/11 attacks are the historical event that had the greatest impact on them, while another might say the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion.“Whenwe’re talking about those formative years, that 14-21, we know that’s a time in life where there is drama every single day,” Tiller said. “So, those things that stick, we’ve got to figure out what those are for that to be considered that event that changed their life.”Tiller suggested that communication barriers between generations can be overcome by engaging others with questions about their memories from those formative years, including:

Will Brinkley, known as the “Tar Heel Farmer,” urges farmers to tell their ag stories online.

Farm/Business••• operations

A key way to approach this is to use sentences that begin with “I” instead of sentences that begin with “You,” Justice said.

In a breakout session titled “Handling Sticky Situations,” presenter Sharon Justice from the Executive Farm Management Program, offered by multiple southern Extension services, defined sticky conversations as those where outcomes are important, viewpoints differ and emotions run high. Justice advised using simple language, sticking to facts and resisting overgeneralization.

Photo by Logan Thomas


“There are societal events that cross all generations – where people were, what were they doing when that happened?” Tiller said. “For it to have an impact on you, you have to remember what it was like prior to that event. The younger you were for 9/11, while 9/11 may have impacted you, those of us that traveled a lot before 9/11, the stark change in how to get around the country before and after 9/11 is something you’re never going to forget. So, when you’re in one generation and another generation doesn’t

The Harts live in Royston and have five children: Jolee, Briar, Sage, Laila and Trace. As the Achievement Award winners, the Harts received a John Deere ATV with trailer, $500 cash and a farm sign sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Georgia and Lasseter Tractor. The other finalist families were Cason and Audrey Anderson of Houston County and Ilana Richards of Morgan County. The runners-up each received $500 cash sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. The Andersons grow pecans and sweet corn, and Cason provides custom hire farm work. Richards grows vegetables, flowers and herbs.

From left, Achievement Award finalist Ilana Richards, award winners LeAnna & Colt Hart with their son, Trace; Audrey & Cason Anderson; and Zach Murphy, representing award sponsor Farm Credit Associations of Georgia. / Photo by Logan Thomas

By Jay Stone

Colt and LeAnna Hart of Franklin County won the GFB Achievement Award, which recognizes young farmers who earn the majority of their income from production agriculture.

From left, Excellence in Agriculture Award winner Brian Fleming and finalists Addie Tucker and Spencer Highsmith. / Photo by Logan Thomas

Colt is a fourth-generation farmer who farms approximately 1,000 acres. He maintains a herd of approximately 600 cattle and raises broilers and goats. He also grows millet, ryegrass, Bermudagrass and wheat while providing a chicken litter service for other farmers. The Hart Family has hosted the Franklin County Championship Rodeo for 29 years.

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The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Young Farmers & Ranchers Competitive Events highlighted the 2022 YF&R Summer Leadership Conference, held July 13-16 on Jekyll Island. YF&R members competed for state titles in the Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet competitions. All three contests are open to GFB members between the ages of 18 and 35.



Congratulations to state winners Colt and LeAnna Hart, Brian Fleming and Willie Sizemore for taking top honors in the three contests. These state winners will represent Georgia in national competition at the 2023 American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in January in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Colt is chairman of the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. He and LeAnna represent GFB’s 2nd District on the GFB YF&R Committee. Colt also serves as a volunteer firefighter. LeAnna homeschools the couple’s children and assists with day-to-day farm operations.


YF&R Achievement Award Finalists

Brian and his wife, Nicole, live in Canon with their two children, Deklyn and Sloane.

From left, Discussion Meet winner Willie Sizemore & finalists Ian Bennett, Josh Daniel & Whitney Murphy.

As the state winner, Fleming receives $500 from Georgia Farm Bureau and a John Deere ATV, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and Lasseter Tractor.

YF&R Discussion Meet finalists Lee County Farm Bureau member Willie Sizemore won the GFB Discussion Meet. As the state winner, Sizemore receives the top prize of $500 from Georgia Farm Bureau and a John Deere ATV, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and Lasseter Tractor. Sizemore, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 2021 with a degree in agricultural communication, is a student at the Mercer University Law School. The other finalists were Ian Bennett of Cook County, Josh Daniel of Madison County and Whitney Murphy of Bulloch County. The runners-up received $500 cash sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau.

Fleming, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emmanuel College, works as operations manager for PTL Agriculture, the family farm owned by his father, Bobby. The Flemings produce soybeans, wheat, oats, milo and corn on approximately 1,000 acres, along with maintaining a small herd of brood cows and growing hay. Brian also runs a small seed-cleaning operation that serves area farmers.

YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award Finalists

Brian Fleming of Hart County won the GFB Excellence in Agriculture Award, which recognizes Farm Bureau members who are agricultural enthusiasts but do not earn a majority of their income as a farm owner.

Photo by Logan Thomas

The other finalists were Addie Tucker of Wilcox County and Spencer Highsmith of Coffee County. The runners-up each received $500 cash sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. Tucker teaches agriculture at Wilcox County Middle/High School. Highsmith is the young farmer advisor at Coffee High School.

Fall 2022 9Georgia Farm Bureau News

Brian has chaired the Hart County Farm Bureau YF&R Committee since 2014 and grew the county’s YF&R program from just himself to its current membership of about 35. He served on the GFB YF&R Committee from 2019 to 2021 and regularly visits local schools to teach students about agriculture.

“To the dogs, it’s a big game of hide and seek,” said CBP Agricultural Supervisor Amabelle Gella. “If they find something, they get a treat.”

“They are very smart dogs, and they’re willing to work all day for treats,” Gella said.

The little girl, minutes off her family’s flight from South Africa, squealed. “Oh look! It’s a doggy!”


In their initial training at the USDA’s National Detector Dog Training Center in Newnan, the beagles are taught to alert handlers when they smell apples, oranges, mangoes, beef or pork.

The dogs work in the federal inspection site, which for purposes of international travel is the U.S. border. The “border” includes customs and passport checks, international baggage claim, a secondary inspection area, the plane itself and the area where cargo is handled.

At baggage claim, brigade member Candie detected an apple in a passenger’s luggage and sat down, looking expectantly at her handler, who instructed the passenger to visit the secondary inspection area.

In this area, passengers are encouraged to declare any ag products in their possession. As long as passengers are honest with their declaration, they aren’t subject to any penalties, Gella said. If they don’t declare ag products later found in their luggage, they’re subject to fines of up to $1,000.

Once they begin working at the airport, they add contraband items to their nasal repertoire.

The beagles’ most important asset is their nose. Beagles have 225 million olfactory receptors, giving them an extensive catalog of items they can detect. Humans only have about 400 olfactory receptors.

All of the beagles are rescued from shelters. For operational security reasons the agency doesn’t publicize the number of dogs deployed, CBP Spokesman Rob Brisley said.

Another family, returning from South Korea, had numerous bags of Korean pork rinds in their luggage to give as souvenirs, but Beagle Brigade Inspector Mox sniffed them out.

Candie sniffs a bag of pork rinds found in a passenger’s luggage. on what travelers can bring into the U.S.,

For guidance



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Mookie is one of the dogs in the Beagle Brigade that the CBP uses at 328 U.S. international points of entry, including airports

The dog, Mookie, guided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialist Marko Collins, nimbly stepped around the girl and her family, sniffing them and their bags, tail wagging. The girl and her parents waited for the rest of their baggage to arrive on the carousels in the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. They watched Mookie, more enamored than concerned. Within a minute, he’d moved on.

Beagles are less threatening than larger breeds, like German shepherds, used to detect drugs, guns or explosives. Beagles also have what Gella calls “a high food drive.”

Beagle Brigade sniffs out threats to U.S. agriculture Photos and story by Jay Stone

The dogs seek out unauthorized plant and animal products that, left unchecked, might result in biosecurity breaches on U.S. farms, ultimately causing crop damage or livestock loss and financial harm to American farmers.


“They learn to generalize. Through the course of a beagle’s career, they can learn to recognize 50 or more odors. Hundreds, even,” Gella said. Beagles were also chosen for this purpose because of their agreeable disposition and size, Gella said. Inspecting an airport baggage claim area requires them to fit into tight spaces and move around lots of people and luggage.

CBP has a kennel on site where the dogs rest between flights. When their shift is over, the dogs are housed at a secure off-site location near the airport. The dogs begin their careers between the ages of one and three years and retire at nine. In general, they work with the same handler all the time. When a beagle retires, its handler has the option to adopt it as a personal pet.

Candie inspects a passenger’s luggage. Fall 2022 11 Beagle Brigade member Biskit.

South Africa, a popular international destination for big-game hunters, is known to have foot and mouth disease (FMD). The virus that causes FMD can live in soil, which hunters can pick up on their boots. As part of hunters’ entry process, the CBP must spray disinfectant on the shoes they wore hunting.



The dogs can pick up scents of many types of food, fruit, meat, plants and more. Some of the more exotic items they’ve detected include African gazelle jerky, Peruvian groundcherries and Nigerian weeds. They’ve also detected a small non-human primate arm and rare orchids.

Prohibited products vary according to the passenger’s country of origin. For instance, pork from countries that have had outbreaks of African Swine Fever is prohibited. If detected, the prohibited items are confiscated and incinerated on “Agriculturalsite.detector canines are effective, efficient, and friendly protectors of America’s agriculture and natural resources,” said Dr. Mark L. Davidson, Deputy Administrator of the USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program. “They can sniff out prohibited agricultural items in passenger baggage, mail and express courier packages, which prevents devastating invasive plant pests and animal diseases from entering our country.

“The beagles are one of our most efficient tools to screen international travelers entering the United States,” Gella said. “They’re our first line of defense against invasive species arriving in the United States.”

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service determines which products need to be stopped. Multiple federal agencies are involved in preventing entry of invasive threats to agriculture. When a detected item is under the jurisdiction of an agency other than the USDA, those items are kept for that agency to further inspect.

According to the CBP, one beagle can clear a flight of 120 people and their luggage in less than 30 minutes. In an eight-hour day, one dog can inspect 10-15 flights at the Atlanta international terminal.

Photo courtesy of U.S. C.B.P

Then, because invasive pests and diseases are ever-present threats, another dog noses in.

Use of Vermeer Baler Top Prize in GFB Hay Contest

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Georgia Farm Bureau is calling all members who grow any variety of Bermudagrass hay to enter its annual hay contest. Hay entered in the 2022 GFB Quality Hay Contest will be tested at the UGA Feed & Environmental Water Lab using the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) Test, which provides an analysis of the nutritional value of the hay. Winners will be determined by the RFQ analysis and announced in December at the GFB Convention. Prizes will be presented to the top five producers.

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

How to enter Entry forms outlining complete contest rules may be picked up at your county Farm Bureau office or downloaded from the GFB website . There is a $20 fee for each entry to cover the cost of the lab test. Producers may enter more than one sample. Checks should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Contest participants will receive a detailed copy of their hay analysis and may choose to have a free listing in the ’22/’23 online GFB Hay Directory. Producers must be a GFB member to enter the contest or list hay for sale in the hay directory. The deadline to enter contest is Oct. 31. The cost to list hay in the directory alone is $10 and may be submitted at any time.

The GFB Hay Contest winner receives free use of a 604R baler for a year with the option to buy it at a reduced price. Entry deadline is Oct. 31. /Photo courtesy of Vermeer Manufacturing Company

GFB’s annual hay contest encourages quality hay production, which leads to higher quality livestock and more return to Georgia hay producers. Producers who have their hay tested every year can see improvements they make in managing their hay fields by looking at multi-year analysis.

RFQ for Bermudagrass in Georgia typically ranges from 75 to 120 or higher. If a hay producer sells their hay based on its RFQ, a higher price can be demanded for the higher quality. Livestock producers are more likely to pay these premiums as this hay will yield higher weight gains and require fewer supplements. With quality in mind, it is a good management practice to test your hay after baling. RFQ and other analytical data can help you manage potential problems with moisture, nitrates or poor digestibility, especially in years with adverse weather.

RFQ is the best method to compare forages. RFQ provides a number that gives producers an idea of how much digestible nutrients their hay contains. Fully mature alfalfa is given a base point of 100. Since the base price for hay sales and auctions in many parts of the world is the value of poor-quality alfalfa, RFQ provides a mechanism for indexing quality to value.

Fall 2022 13Georgia Farm Bureau News

In April, the cost of diesel, the primary fuel option for farmers and ranchers, consisted of four parts – 49% based on crude oil, 28% refining, 12% was costs associated with distribution and marketing, and 11% taxes, which varies by state.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration


Costs That Make A Gallon of Gasoline & Diesel 100%90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0% Taxes - 12% Distribution & Marketing - 11% Refining - 17% Crude Oil - 60% Regular Gasoline Taxes - 11% Distribution & Marketing - 12% Refining - 28% Crude Oil - 49% Diesel 14 Fall 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau News

Fuel prices have risen sharply since Russia invaded Ukraine, and high fuel prices continue to add to the conversation of high input prices for all agricultural producers. In 2020, fuel represented about 3% of total on-farm expenditures. Since 2013, fuel has increased as a farm production expenditure cumulatively by 3%.

To read the entire Market Intel report,

The U.S. supply of weekly crude oil stocks, similar to ending stocks of corn or soybeans, was at its lowest point since 2004. The U.S. is behind its normal domestic production of crude oil and limited imports are causing supplies to be short as domestic and global demand is rising.

Farmers’ input costs were already rising, and then the price of fuel spiked in the spring. Farmers, like many other Americans, felt the Duringsqueeze.thespring planting season and into late June, gasoline and diesel fuel prices soared, prompting growers’ concerns about the availability and delivery of diesel fuel when they need it most, especially as they faced delayed planting in many areas across the U.S. The window to plant crops this year was smaller than usual, so fuel delivery needed to be timely, but it also was very expensive. In its June 28 Market Intel report, the American Farm Bureau explored some of the contributing factors. Gasoline prices hit a new high, rising above $5.01 in June, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Diesel prices rose to $5.72 per gallon in June, up $2.43 per gallon, or 74%, compared to $3.29 per gallon in June 2021. The high price of diesel in late June was more than two times the price paid before 2020. Looking back to the end of February, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the price of diesel jumped by $1.15 per gallon in two weeks.

The Aug. 1 Farm Production Expenditures report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows Georgia’s 2021 total farm expenditures were $8.16 billion, up 14% from 2020, when farm production costs totaled $7.16 billion for Georgia farmers.TheUSDA estimates that the cost of fuel, lube and electricity combined will increase 34% in 2022 compared to 2021. The USDA estimates the price of fuel may decrease about 18% in 2023 but there is significant uncertainty.

As executive vice president, Young will serve in a chief of staff role at AFBF, managing departments and working closely with state Farm Bureaus. It’s a familiar role for Young who previously served in the same capacity at USDA and in Congress.

“I’m honored to join the talented team at the American Farm Bureau Federation,” Young said. “Having worked alongside the Farm Bureau community nationwide throughout my career, there is no better team to work with and no better mission than to serve America’s farm families and rural communities.”

Young, who grew up on a 90-acre horse farm at the Carroll and Douglas County line, said he looks forward to his new role.

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Georgia Young named Executive Vice President

“Joby is going to be a fantastic addition to our team at Farm Bureau,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “He has more than a decade of experience in food and agriculture policy, from the halls of Congress to the highest levels of the executive branch. The Farm Bureau family will be well-served by his strong leadership skills.”


Fall 2022 15Georgia Farm Bureau News

Prior to joining AFBF, Young was a partner at Horizons Global Solutions LLC, a consulting firm where he advised clients in the food and agriculture sectors. Young holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and communications from UGA.

Joby Young, a native of Douglas County, stepped into the role of American Farm Bureau Federation executive vice president July 11 following the retirement of Dale Moore.


“Challenges creating significant stress for farmers have drawn increasing attention in recent years, and the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture was happy to partner with Mercer and the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center to find out just how widespread the issues are,” GFA Executive Director Lily Baucom said. “While we all agree more examination is needed, we hope this study will help us find ways to improve the landscape for farmers’ mental well-being.”

“Farmers lay awake at night worrying about weather, paying back loans, paying back all these inputs that are going sky high, and commodity prices not necessarily following,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall said. “That’s the mental stress of it. And then when you work seven days a week, there’s a physical stress that goes along with it.” McCall said that when stress prompts farmers to leave the profession society suffers.

The public needs to understand how important food security is. If we lose our producers, we’re going to lose our national security. " “

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The study shows that 42% of all farmer workers, owners and managers had thought of suicide in the past year and 29% reported thinking of suicide at least once a month. Among firstgeneration farmers, 61% said they had suicidal thoughts in the past year compared to 10% of generational farmers – those who grew up on a farm and continue to farm.

Mercer studygauges farmers’ stress levels

The study quantifies what many in agriculture have long known – farming, with so many factors outside the farmer’s control, comes with extraordinary stress.

Georgia Foundation for Agriculture partnered in survey his summer researchers at the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center (GRHIC) at Mercer University, with assistance from the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA), released their study, “Farmer’s Mental Well-Being Project: Statewide Survey Report.”

SUICIDE HOTLINE • CALL OR TEXT 988 FOR 24/7 SUPPORT Counselors available to help with any mental health challenges you are experiencing. GA CRISIS & ACCESS LINE Call 800-715-4225 for 24/7 support. Services offered via text & chat through the My GCAL app available in the Apple App Store & Google Play

“The public needs to understand how important food security is. If we lose our producers, we’re going to lose our national security,” said McCall. “If you have to import all of your food, you’re in a vulnerable state.”

Why the study matters

Story by Jay Stone

The survey, conducted from Jan. 1 to April 30, drew 1,651 responses. All but two of Georgia’s 159 counties had at least one person respond.

The principal investigators were Mercer University PhD candidate Stephanie Basey and Dr. Anne Montgomery, a biostatistician with the GHRIC. The GFA, affiliated with Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB), aided in promoting the study and collecting data. Each of GFB’s 10 districts, 14 to 17-county regions across the state, had at least 100 survey respondents.

The survey showed 96% of farmers are either moderately or highly stressed. In addition, 40% of farmers felt lonely at least once in the last month, 49% felt sad or depressed and 39% felt hopeless.

20%40%60%80%0% 22% 75% 88% 7% 3% 5% LOW STRESS MODERATE STRESS HIGH STRESS Perceived Stress for First Gen vs. Generational Farmers: Generational First Gen 9.1% 22.8%14.4% 14.3% 80.2% 39.4% 8.3% 5.6% 5.2% First Generation Generational Never 1-4 times a year At least 1 per month At least 1 per week Daily Suicidal Ideation by Generational Farming Time Spent Worrying30% 39% 19% 7% 3% 2% 1 hour or less 1 - 3 hours 4 - 6 hours More than 6 but less than 12 More than 12 hours I worry when I am awake

Visit to access the final report and the results of a 2021pilot study.

Exploring farm stress

“The bulk of our study was to develop an inventory of stressors and coping mechanisms among farmers,” Montgomery said. “We were hoping to develop some tailored interventions to improve mental well-being of farmers and we will be working on that.”

Montgomery said the group wanted to generate data to help explain the alarming rate of farmer suicides noted in 2018 documentation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which counted 50.7 suicides per 100,000 farmers, more than triple the rate (14.9 per 100,000) measured in all“Thereindustries.was a scarcity of literature, and what literature there was focused mainly on suicide,” said Basey, a PhD candidate in the Mercer University School of Medicine’s Rural Health Sciences program. In addition to suicidal thoughts, the survey measured sources of stress, activities farmers use to cope with stress, and access to professional help for mental well-being.

Fall 2022 17Georgia Farm Bureau News

The respondents were asked to identify the ways they manage their stress. The most common, noted by 39% of respondents, was exercise or walking, followed by talking to family or friends (31%), engaging in a hobby (28%), drinking alcohol (27%), watching TV or reading (27%), and sleep (22%). In addition to drinking alcohol, survey participants said they use cannabis (5%), other illicit drugs (4%) and over-the-counter drugs (2%).

Only 4% identified talking to a counselor as a way they manage stress. In a section of the study where participants were asked about healthcare access, 48% of survey participants said they had visited a mental health professional: 28% once or twice and 20% for at least a month.

First generation farmers participating in the study had higher stress scores than generational farmers and reported using different coping mechanisms, which may explain why they feel more stressed on“Long-termaverage. exposure to stress negatively impacts physical and mental health, and in turn this leads to development of stressrelated disease and disorders,” Montgomery said. Stress stats Survey participants were presented a wide array of stressors and asked to identify which ones affected them. The two most common were home/work life balance and weather. For each of those, 61% said they were moderately worried, worried a lot or extremely worried. Following those stressors were COVID-19 impact on income (59%), saving for retirement (59%) and unexpected financial burdens (59%).

“In the months leading up to this research, we heard about things like farmer-specific trainings and mental health trainings for farmers, but there’s no real data to show what that training needs to look like, and so we thought to inventory our farmers to find out what is going on,” said Basey, “What are the stressors that impact them directly or maybe even in their community? That was the base of this, with the hope to, working with the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, develop that farmer-specific training with the input of our farmers.”

WHERE TO STORE PESTICIDES • OUT OF REACH of children & pets in LOCKED metal or plastic cabinets that can be cleaned • In WELL-VENTILATED room/shed • AWAY FROM food, animal feed, medical supplies or personal protection equipment • FAR AWAY from an ignition source (a vehicle, farm & yard equipment) • NOT in flood-prone places nor where chemicals may spill or leak into wells, drains, ground or surface water HOW TO STORE PESTICIDES • In ORIGINAL containers with labels that list ingredients & first aid steps in case of poisoning • NEVER TRANSFER pesticides to a beverage bottle with its original label or to other unlabeled containers. Someone may mistakenly drink it. • Store dry pesticides above/ away from liquid to prevent spillage/leakage/contamination • Safely dispose of any unknown or expired pesticides by following EPA recommendations at TIME IS CRITICAL FOR ANY PESTICIDE POISONING! IMMEDIATELY GET HELP FROM: • Local hospital • Physician or call Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 SYMPTOMS OF ORGANOPHOSPHATE/ CARBAMATE PESTICIDE POISONING* • Sweating • Nausea and diarrhea • Headache • Fatigue • Salivation • Spit present in mouth • Tears • Moist membranes • Possibly small pupils • Slow pulse • Central nervous system depression • Loss of coordination • Confusion • Coma (can't waken) *Source: National Pesticide Information Center Prevent poisoningpesticide UGA Extension pesticide educational resources available at: Farmers use pesticides to protect their crops from insects and weeds. It’s important to store them safely. Photo courtesy of USDA.

National Farm Safety & Health Week will be observed Sept. 1824. Farmers often use chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, defoliants) approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to produce their crops. It’s important to safely store pesticides on your farm to protect the people and animals on your farm and the environment. In the interest of preventing an accidental poisoning, please observe these safety tips from the EPA and specialists.

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Fall 2022 19Georgia Farm Bureau News

How to report a suspected infestation

Livestock producers should work with their veterinarian and/or Extension agent to fight any tick infestations. “Right now, all of your normal tick control products are going to work on controlling the Asian Longhorned Tick,” Hennebelle said. Visit and scroll down to the section on ticks for a list of pesticides UGA Extension recommends to treat livestock for ticks. All treatment should be done in consultation with a veterinarian to ensure proper withdrawal times are observed and that a product is not overused to prevent product resistance.

Producers should at least mow the edge of their pastures along tree lines since woods are a prime ALHT habitat.

“Going from summer to fall may be an important time to decrease vegetation when female ticks are laying eggs,” Hinkle said.

According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a severe infestation of ALHT could potentially kill an animal from excessive blood loss. ALHT can transmit the pathogen Theileria orientalis Ikedia (TOI) to cattle causing theileriosis. Cattle with TOI infections may exhibit weakness, reluctance to walk, abortion, pale mucus membranes, high fever, and elevated heart and respiratory rates with death in up to 5% of infected cattle, the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine reports. Cattle that recover can become Theileria carriers.


The Asian Longhorned Tick (ALHT), an invasive species with the potential to cause severe anemia and tick fever in livestock, has been found on cattle in three north Georgia counties according to the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL).ALHT was confirmed on a cow in Habersham County on June 17 and on multiple cattle at one Hall County farm on April 29, NVSL public records show. The first confirmation of ALHT in Georgia was made Sept. 20, 2021, on a Pickens County cow. “The Asian Longhorned Tick looks very similar to other ticks in Georgia. One distinctive aspect of Asian Longhorned Ticks is they tend to occur in large numbers. If an animal has one tick it's probably our common Lone Star Tick,” UGA Entomologist Dr. Nancy Hinkle said. “If an animal shows up with hundreds of ticks on it, we're going to be very suspicious that we're looking at an Asian Longhorned Tick infestation.” Since 2017, the ALHT has been identified in 17 states, ranging from lower New England to Georgia along the Atlantic Coast and as far inland as Arkansas and Missouri.“Wewant folks to be on the lookout. It is likely that the tick will be identified in additional Georgia counties,” Georgia’s State Veterinarian Dr. Janemarie Hennebelle said.


By Jennifer Whittaker

What is risk to animals?

How to control ALHT

To date, TOI has not been detected in the ALHT found in Georgia.

Livestock producers are encouraged to help track the presence of ALHT in Georgia by monitoring their animals and wildlife for large infestations of ticks.

“I want folks to take a step back and not just think about cows. Any warm-blooded animal is a potential host,” Hennebelle said. “In other states, the No. 1 species this tick is being found on is dogs.”

Anyone who finds large infestations of ticks on one animal should preferably call their veterinarian and report it to the GDA at 404656-3667. Visit for tips to properly collect tick samples and report to the GDA if you don’t have a veterinarian.

“No amount of pesticides will eliminate all ticks,” Hinkle said. “We recommend a combination of wise pesticide use with pasture mowing.”

Georgia Department of Agriculture information on ALHT in Georgia may be accessed at

Visit and scroll down to the section on ticks for a list of pesticides UGA Extension recommends to treat livestock for ticks. All treatment should be done in consultation with a veterinarian to ensure proper withdrawal times are observed and that a product is not overused to prevent product resistance.

When you can’t step away from the farm to visit us, let us come to you

As Keystone’s president, Brundage managed a $27.5 million budget while restructuring debt and reorganizing the college’s administration to realize an anticipated net surplus for fiscal year 2022.

Our Production Medicine team is committed to providing your animals with quality care wherever you are. From general primary care to full herd health, we are ready to support you in all that you do. VISIT

Under her leadership, Keystone College placed 94% of its students in jobs and met the needs of its students by expanding experiential learning opportunities and adding high-demand, career-based programs to help meet regional workforce needs.

Brundage takes helm as ABAC president

2200 College Station Road, Athens, GA 706.542.3221

20 Fall 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau News

Dr. Tracy L. Brundage became president of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) Aug. 1. Brundage succeeds Dr. David Bridges, who retired July 31 after serving as ABAC president for 17 years. She is the 11th president in ABAC’s 114-year history and the college’s first female president. “I am very excited and look forward to working with the entire ABAC community,” Brundage said. “ABAC has a long and distinguished history of educational service in Georgia, and I am proud to have a chance to be a part of that legacy.

Brundage was president of Keystone College, a private institution with more than 50 fields of study located in La Plume, Pennsylvania, from 2018 until coming to ABAC. Previously, Brundage served as Keystone’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Tracy Brundage/Photo courtesy of ABAC

A native of Scranton, Pa., Brundage holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gettysburg College and both a master’s degree in education training/development and a doctorate in workforce education/development from Penn State University. Prior to joining Keystone, she served as vice president of workforce development at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, was a faculty member at Penn College and Harrisburg Area Community College, and was director of continuing education at Penn State – York. ABAC offers its more than 4,000 students a wide range of four-year degrees through its Schools of Arts & Sciences, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Nursing & Health Sciences and Stafford School of Business.

Life at the farm doesn’t stop.

Tidewater Equipment Company Want more info? Contact one of our locations Tifton: (229) 472 5732 Smithville: (229) 924 3671 Camilla: (229) 336 8780 Enterprise: (334) 475 7001 Pinehurst: (229) 645 3331 Byron: (478) 654 5320 Brooklet: (912) 839 2532 Live Oak: (386) 678 6001 View all listings on our website www tidewaterequip com Fall 2022 21Georgia Farm Bureau News Farmtastic Day!

Pittman’s Family Farm was buzzing on June 10 as it hosted the 2nd Annual Farmtastic Family Fun Day organized by the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture and Georgia Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Program. The event centered around the children’s book, “How to Grow a Monster.” Authored by Kiki Thorpe, this book introduces children to vegetable gardening, especially growing zucchini. Families attending enjoyed a variety of hands-on activities such as making creative paper monsters and colorful flowers; planting zucchini seeds; mixing up a yogurt ranch dip; taste-testing blueberries, strawberries and watermelons; and viewing an observation beehive Mitchell Pittman, second from right, gave guests a tour of a zucchini patch on the farm where he discussed how his family raises zucchini, squash and sweet corn for their on-farm market along with larger acreage of cabbage, Vidalia onions, and watermelons sold to grocery stores. Pittman discussed how bees pollinate crops and encouraged the families to buy produce grown in the U.S./Photo by Jennifer Whittaker

The grand champion exhibitors are as follows: Beef Heifer - Morgan McDaniel, Jackson Co.; Breeding Doe - Morris Lee, Madison Co.; Breeding Ewe - Mac Heuer, Greene Co.; Commercial Dairy Heifer - Camden Huff, Oglethorpe Co.; Market Barrow - Matthew Ferrell, Brooks Co.; Market Doe – Mallory Lee, Madison Co.; Market Gilt - Raegan Denton, Houston Co.; Market Lamb – Tanner Norton, Grady Co.; and Market Wether – Cheyne Norton, Grady Co.

The Ga. Jr. National is open to Georgia 4-H and FFA members from across the state. The show is the culmination of the two youth programs’ livestock projects, which give students a chance to learn how to care for beef cattle, dairy heifers, hogs, goats and lambs for months, train them to be shown, and then compete for state honors as having the best animal in various species categories.

Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) celebrated the latest group of Georgia Junior National Livestock Show grand champion exhibitors during its Evening of Champions dinner, June 24. GFB was thrilled to resume holding the event at its state office in Macon after the COVID pandemic prevented large gatherings the last two years.

GFB sponsored the custom belt buckles made for each grand champion exhibitor and a total of $13,000 in prize money awarded to the students.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall, far right, congratulates the 2021 fall and 2022 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show Grand Champions! Front row, from left are: Morris Lee, Mallory Lee, Camden Huff and Raegan Denton. Back row, from left are: Morgan McDaniel, Matthew Ferrell, Mac Heuer, Tanner Norton and Cheyne Norton. Morris and Mallory Lee are siblings. Tanner and Cheyne Norton are first cousins./Photo by Logan Thomas By Jennifer Whittaker

22 Fall 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau News

Goat Shows held at the Agricenter last October while the 2021 Georgia Jr. Market Lamb show drew 192 exhibitors who showed 363 lambs.

“Tonight, we celebrate your hard work and dedication in the show ring,” GFB President Tom McCall said. “Showing livestock gives you confidence, teaches you patience, teaches you that everything in life isn’t about you, teaches you to be a humble winner and a gracious loser, and teaches you the reward of investing your time and money into doing something that brings you joy.”

Visit to read more about each exhibitor.

GFB Honors GA Junior National Livestock Champions

This is the 11th consecutive year GFB has sponsored the cash prizes and belt buckles awarded to the Ga. Jr. National Livestock grand champion species exhibitors.

About 1,960 Georgia 4-H and FFA students from across the state showed 2,834 animals as they competed in the 2022 Ga. Jr. National Livestock Show Feb. 23-26 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. About 320 4-H and FFA members showed 576 goats in the 2021 Georgia Jr. Market

Murray receives National AITC Award

Natalie Murray is one of eight teachers to receive the 2022 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award. Photo courtesy of Natalie Murray

Douglas County teacher Natalie Murray received national honors at the 2022 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference held June 28-July 1 in Saratoga Springs, New York. Murray was one of eight teachers from across the country honored with the 2022 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award for using ag topics in their lessons.Murray teaches music to kindergarten through fifth-grade students at Mirror Lake Elementary in Villa Rica using a large garden program to teach weekly lessons in agriculture, conservation, environmental stewardship and healthy living. She received Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2021 Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award.The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Farm Credit partner each year to honor teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade (Pre-K-12) for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, technology, engineering and the arts. Through the activities of county Farm Bureau volunteers in their local communities and through teacher training courses held statewide, the Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom program works to increase agricultural literacy among children and the public. The program provides tools for more effective teaching about agriculture and to assist Georgia educators in implementing the instruction of ag-related concepts in the classroom. For more information about Georgia Ag in the Classroom and to access educational resources using ag topics visit

Fall 2022 23Georgia Farm Bureau News

24 Fall 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau News

Ag in the Classrooom Update

This marks the 28th year GFB has held its annual art contest for ninth through twelfth-grade students. This is the first year GFB coordinated a contest for sixth through eighth graders to design a bookmark, replacing the essay contest.

“Georgia Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Art Contests encourage students to explore agriculture and then create a piece of art inspired by what they learned,” said GFB President Tom McCall. “Students who might not otherwise think about agriculture learn about the variety of crops and livestock Georgia farmers raise as they create their drawings.”

Jaden Addison of Grady County won state honors in the middle school bookmark contest for colorfully depicting the variety of GeorgiaAddisonagriculture.received $150 for winning the state middle school bookmark contest and $100 as the GFB 9th District winner.

Zhao won $250 as the state high school art contest winner and $100 as the GFB 3rd District winner. Miller won $150 for being the runner-up and $100 for being the GFB 1st District winner.

Gwinnett & Grady County students win Ag in the Classroom Art Contests

Zihan Zhao of Gwinnett County sketched the first-place winning drawing of a family with dairy calves in the high school art contest. Lincoln Miller of Gordon County was named the state runner-up for his mountain farm scene of a hay barn and chickens.

GFB received entries for its high school art contest from 61 county Farm Bureaus and entries from 68 county Farm Bureaus for its middle school art contest. GFB district winners for each contest were picked from all county entries submitted from each district.

GFB posted the district winners’ artwork for each contest on its Facebook page the first week of May to allow Georgia’s ag community to select the state winners of each contest. For the high school contest, the drawing with the second-most votes was named runner-up.

Agriculture makes a great subject for art, which the winners of the 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau Middle School and High School Ag in the Classroom Art Contests prove.

The middle school contestants were given a blank bookmark and asked to create a design illustrating Georgia agriculture.

Jaden Addison of Grady County won the GFB Middle School Bookmark Contest. Visit to see the other district winners’ creations.

Contestants in the high school contest were instructed to create a black, white and gray drawing using graphite, charcoal, pastel, chalk, colored pencil, ballpoint pen or mixed media appropriate for printing. Drawings were judged on how well the artwork represents agriculture in the student’s county or Georgia and for artistic merit.

GFB 2nd Dist. Arianna Ramirez Habersham Co.

GFB 6th Dist. Olivia Durden Dodge Co.

GFB Middle School Bookmark Contest District Winners

GFB 1st Dist. Kimberly Torres-Perez Whitfield Co.

GFB 2nd Dist. Emily Mavis Hall Co.

GFB 5th Dist. Eli Fry Upson Co.

High School Art Contest District Winners

GFB 7th Dist. Selena Sanders Effingham Co.

GFB 10th Dist. Avery Adkins Lowndes Co.

GFB 1st Dist. Lincoln Miller Gordon Co. State runner-up

GFB 3rd Dist. Alexandra Dimitrova Paulding Co.


GFB 8th Dist. Marquis Diaz Turner Co.

Georgia Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Lauren Goble may be reached at or 478-474-0679, ext. 5135. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you’d like to volunteer with its Ag in the Classroom program. Zihan Zhao of Gwinnett County won the GFB High School Art Contest with this drawing. Visit to see all of the district winners’ artwork.

GFB 10th Dist. Emma Giddens Berrien Co.

GFB 5th Dist. Jazmin Muniz Harris Co.

GFB 4th Dist. Maya Funderburk Oglethorpe Co.

GFB 4th Dist. Mary Claire McCommons Greene Co.

GFB 3rd Dist. Zihan Zhao Gwinnett Co. State winner

GFB 8th Dist. Rosa Vasquez Wilcox Co.

GFB 9th Dist. Jaden Addison Grady Co. State winner

GFB 9th Dist. Addison Weiss Thomas Co.

Fall 2022 25Georgia Farm Bureau News

GFB 6th Dist. Gage Holloway Laurens Co.

GFB 7th Dist. Savana Lair Evans Co.

GFB photo contest captures farm life

YF&R Update

Sheppard’s photo will be featured on the cover of the 2023 GFB YF&R calendar available at most county Farm Bureau offices in January. The calendar will also feature the 11 honorable mention winners, who each received a $75 prize.

Whitney Sheppard earned first place honors with this photo of her dad, Lindy Sheppard, a long-time Screven County Farm Bureau member.

Congratulations to Whitney Sheppard of Screven County for winning the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers 13th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Photo Contest grand prize of $150!

26 Fall 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau News

GFB thanks the more than 100 contestants who submitted more than 230 photos. The GFB YF&R Committee narrowed the submissions down to a group of 20. Voting to choose the overall winner and the honorable mentions was held via Facebook in mid-July.

Honorable mention winners are: Megan Branch, Appling County; Greta Collins, Colquitt County; Caitlyn Crispell, Tattnall County; Julie Hardy, Thomas County; Betty Harris, Crawford County; Jessica Lance, Madison County; Denise Lane, Dawson County; Lorene Parker, Polk County; Haley Scruggs, Bibb County; Cody Seagraves, Madison County; and Emily West, Taliaferro County.

Georgia Farm Bureau Leadership Development Coordinator Breanna Berry may be reached at or 478-474-0679, ext. 5232. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you are interested in becoming involved with the YF&R Program.

Visit to see all the winning photos.

WLC MEMBERS PLANT POLLINATOR GARDEN GFB Women’s Leadership Committee members planted a pollinator garden at the Foxfire Museum this summer. From left, Kathy Sanders, Chairwoman Melissa Mathis, Andrea Sims, Patsy Spear, Vickie Brown and Stephanie Branch.

Make plans to attend Women in Ag Leadership Summit

The Georgia Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Committee (WLC) had a busy summer! Committee members spent a weekend in June planting a pollinator garden at the Foxfire Museum in Rabun County and planning for the upcoming GFB Women in Ag Leadership Summit set for Nov. 4-5 in Peachtree City. The Women in Ag Leadership Summit is a new conference GFB is offering its female members and non-members interested in agriculture. The conference will have an emphasis on personal and professional development through sessions on education/outreach, advocacy and leadership. Conference information is available at county Farm Bureau offices and registration opened online Sept. 1. Registration cost is $75 for GFB members and $135 for non-members with a GFB membership included. All Georgia ladies are welcome and encouraged to attend this time of growth, networking, and development for women in agriculture! Throughout this summer, GFB District WLC Chairwomen continued to host meetings for the ladies in their districts to fellowship, learn about GFB programs and Ag in the Classroom activities. These meetings were held at a farm or agritourism destination in each district to highlight a unique aspect of agriculture in the area. At press time, meetings had been held in GFB’s 1st through 7th Districts. Attendees have enjoyed touring these venues: Dist. 1 – Rosemary and Thyme Creamery at TAG Line Farms in Walker County where attendees toured the sheep dairy and learned about making cheese; Dist. 2 – The Foxfire Museum in Rabun County where Appalachian history is displayed and a Georgia Ag Experience STEM Challenge winner discussed their project; Dist. 3 – Southern Belle Farm in Henry County where participants enjoyed a tour of the strawberry fields and farm; Dist. 4 – White Hills Farm in McDuffie County where attendees learned about growing lavender and other herbs; Dist. 5 - Cooley Farms in Crawford County where guests learned about poultry production; Dist. 6 – Sonrise Farms and Windham Greenhouses in Laurens County where participants learned about growing blackberries, pecans and plants grown for garden centers; and Dist. 7 – WilMor Farm in Candler County where guests toured seedling greenhouses/ flower beds and made wildflower bouquets.

GFB Leadership Programs Coordinator Breanna Berry may be reached at or 478-474-0679, ext. 5232. Contact your county Farm Bureau to become involved with its Women’s Leadership Committee.

Photo by Breanna Berry

Women’s Leadership Update

Teachers interested in participating in the “Be in the Know, Conserve H20” STEM Challenge may visit for more information and to register for the program. Once teachers register their classes, they will receive access to all the resources needed for the students to participate in discovering practices to conserve water in our gardening spaces.

The purpose of the challenge is to encourage elementary teachers and students in grades 3-5 to explore aspects of Georgia agriculture by applying their STEM skills to solve real-world problems that farmers face in producing our food and fiber. Participating classes will be asked to use their STEM skills to answer a real-life question pertaining to water conservation and gardening spaces and create a video presentation highlighting what they learned.

The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to preparing Georgia agriculture’s next generation of leaders. The foundation offers scholarships to students pursuing agricultural careers, manages the Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom, funds leadership development programs and projects that increase students’ and the public’s understanding of agriculture. Visit to make a tax-deductible donation or learn more about the foundation and its programs. For more information contact Lily Baucom at or 478-405-3461.

STEM CHALLENGE OPEN TO GRADES 3-5 NOV 18 ENTRY DEADLINE Khrista Henry’s (middle adult) 2021/22 fifth-grade class, at Norris Elementary School in McDuffie County, won its grade division of the Great Georgia Pollinator Protector STEM Challenge held last spring.

Almost 40 classes registered for the Spring ’22 Soil Pollinator STEM Challenge, which the GACD sponsored. Winners were announced in CongratulationsMay.

28 Fall 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau News Georgia elementary classes in third through fifth grades are encouraged to put their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to work to explore how they can improve gardening spaces while using water conservation practices.

Elementary teachers and their students may enter the Fall ’22 “Be in the Know Conserve H20” STEM Challenge by Nov. 18 for the chance to win a prize package totaling $350 for their class. The top grade-winner from the third, fourth and fifth-grade entries will win a prize package. Winners will be announced in late November. The Georgia Association of Conservation Districts (GACD), a non-profit organization that works with the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts to promote the conservation of natural resources, is partnering the statewide competition, which is being coordinated by the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA).


Photo by Angie Roberts

to Greene County Primary School’s “GCPS Pollinator Protectors”, Rabun County Elementary School’s “Mrs. Dill’s Team,” and Norris Elementary Schools’ “NES QUEST Problem Solvers.” Teachers of each winning class received a $250 classroom supply grant and an educational conservation resource kit donated by GACD.

Each class that participated in the spring STEM Challenge answered the question, “How can we improve water conservation in our garden spaces?” To view the video presentations of the three spring grade winners, visit: (3rd-grade winners), (4th-grade winners); (5th-grade winners).

Virginia Fulwood is an educational programs assistant with the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture. She travels the state with the foundation’s Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom introducing elementary students in grades 3-5 and consumers to Georgia agriculture. Those with questions about the STEM Challenge may contact Fulwood at or 478-258-2079.

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AGRICULTURE DAY SPONSORS Georgia Peanut Commission – 5 days Georgia Pecan Commission – 2 days North Fulton County Farm Bureau – 1 day Pulaski County Farm Bureau – 1 day FARMTASTIC FAMILY FUN DAY SPONSOR Georgia EMC Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Pittman Family Farms & Country Market . YF&R MINI

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The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) thanks everyone who contributed to its mission during the second quarter of 2022 ending June 30. GFA is grateful to its major sponsors listed below and to the Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company for their ongoing support. Visit to make a tax-deductible donation or learn more about the foundation’s programs. For more information contact GFA Executive Director Lily Baucom at or 478.405.3461. To sponsor a GFA program contact GFA Development Associate Jennifer Farmer at or 478.405.3463

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Fallwww.circleffarms.comSaleOctober15,2022at Circle F Sale Arena, 70 Prentiss Rd Baxley, Georgia 31513

Fall 2022 29Georgia Farm Bureau News


County Farm Bureaus marked Georgia Farm Bureau’s 85th anniversary in various ways between June 17 and July 31 – the dates in 1937 when GFB founders held meetings to establish our organization.


Celebrated June 17 with a hamburger & cake lunch open to the community.

30 Fall 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau News

Hosted an ice cream social June 17 serving homemade vanilla and peach ice cream to beat the heat.

BACON COUNTY Held a reception on June 17.


County Farm Bureau leaders celebrated in style with festive glasses.


Fall 2022 31Georgia Farm Bureau News

HENRY COUNTY Rain stopped in time for the concert held at Claude Gray Park July 30. HCFB President Ross McQueen’s Wildwood Bluegrass Band performed. Strickland Farms sold wildflower bouquets and displayed a 1937 John Deere tractor. Southern Belle Farm provided strawberry ice cream.

SPALDING COUNTY Held a drawing for a gift basket of items from local Nu Sunrise Farms. SCFB 19-year member Annie Walker, center, accepts the prize from Agency Manager Matt Murray and then-agent Deborah Ellis.


Celebrated June 17 with a hamburger & cake lunch open to the community.

GREENE COUNTY Hosted a hotdog cookout prepared by young farmer & women’s committee members. GCFB President Dene Channell thanks Beverly Copelan (left), widow of Charles Copelan, & Myrtle Copelan, widow of Frazier Copelan, for being Farm Bureau members since the mid-1940s.

TELFAIR COUNTY These jolly lawn decorations greeted members who attended Telfair’s June 17 Chick-fil-A lunch. Door prizes were awarded throughout the day including a Yeti cooler won by Denise & Edwin Haley, pictured.

MACON COUNTY Lane Oliver enjoyed cake & ice cream at a drop-in reception June 30.

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