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March 22, 2018

www.gfb.org

Vol. 36 No. 6

EPA ADMINISTRATOR PRUITT TO GFB: WATER UPDATE NEAR COMPLETION Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said the agency is making progress toward rules that would provide farmers clarity on what constitutes a water of the United States under the Clean Water Act. The new rules would replace the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule developed by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In accordance with an executive order from President Donald Trump early in 2017, the EPA repealed the WOTUS rule, and Pruitt said the agency is nearing the completion of a replacement rule. At the same time, the EPA is delaying compliance requirements to 2020 and beyond. Pruitt said the 2015 rule was so broad that drainage ditches, puddles and prairie potholes would all be considered waters of the U.S. under its jurisdiction. “I think traditionally ‘navigable’ water should mean something. That should be objectively measured. When we make Scott Pruitt jurisdictional determinations, the objective criteria by which we measure that is important. We don’t want people guessing,” Pruitt told Georgia Farm Bureau media after he spoke to GFB members on March 21 during GFB’s Annual County Presidents’ Trip to Washington, D.C. Georgia Farm Bureau has supported repealing the WOTUS rule since it was initially proposed in 2013. Pruitt alsoaddressed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which was enacted to address hazardous waste like heavy metals and toxins entering the environment. Pruitt said it wasn’t intended to apply to farms and cattle, but courts have held farmers subject to CERCLA’s emissions reporting standards with respect to emissions from livestock. “To take that statute and then apply that to a farm, apply that to cattle out on a farm, it’s just wrong-headed. I don’t think the statute was intended to address that. So we’re trying to take steps internal to the agency, through regulatory action, that will provide clarity and protection. At some point it may be that Congress has to speak to this,” Pruitt said. -continued on next page


GFB News Alert page 2 of 13 Continued from previous page Pruitt praised UGA Extension and Georgia row-crop farmers for their efforts to avoid spray drift issues in the application of herbicide dicamba, the sale and use of which was suspended in other states last year. “Georgia did good work and because of that good work, we’re going to reap the benefit of that this year through certainty and confidence that it’s being used this way,” Pruitt said. “I think sometimes regulators’ first response is prohibit it, and that obviously is not the right approach. The right approach is to identify the problem – is the problem related to the chemical or is it related to practices around it?” A group of more than 100 GFB members and staff made the trip, which is set up to give county Farm Bureau presidents and other key members of the organization an audience with the state’s U.S. congressional delegation. Despite a significant snowstorm in Washington, GFB members were able to visit with the majority of the state’s members of Congress, sharing the organization’s stance on a variety of topics, including the farm bill, agricultural labor and immigration reform, agriculture’s stake in international trade and regulatory reform. In addition to Pruitt, Trevor White of the House Ag Committee staff and USDA Chief of Staff Joby Young spoke to the group during the breakfast meeting. GFB President Gerald Long visited with Sen. Johnny Isakson, discussing GFB’s priority concerns with Georgia’s senior senator. On March 20 the GFB group received an update on a variety of legislative issues from staff with the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF Executive Director of Public Policy Dale Moore gave an overview of progress on the next farm bill, saying there is strong support to put cotton back in the farm bill commodity Title. More said AFBF is working with the House and Senate Agriculture committees to develop solutions for dairies that will work better for producers than the dairy provisions in the current farm bill. He said it will probably be after Easter before the chairmen's drafts of the new farm bill would be unveiled. AFBF’s Paul Schlegel updated the GFB group on legislation that, if passed, would create a new agricultural guest worker program that would mirror AFBF policy in key aspects, including being under the jurisdiction of the USDA. The Ag Act, part of a broad immigration package, would also establish an agricultural guest worker program. Schlegel said the bill's language about the program, H-2C, aligns with AFBF's policy on immigration, including placing the agricultural guest worker program under the authority of the USDA. The U.S. continues its negotiations with Canada and Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement. AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations Dave Salmonsen noted that international trade conflicts like the Trump administration’s recent announcement of tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, can result in U.S. agriculture being targeted for retaliatory tariffs.


GFB News Alert page 3 of 13 GFB YOUNG FARMERS & RANCHERS VISIT WASHINGTON Georgia Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers visited congressmen, received briefings on ag issues and familiarized themselves with Washington, D.C., during their annual trip to the nation’s capitol March 6-8. “We as young farmers want to have a voice up here because everything that we do is taking over the next generation of farming or business,” said GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee Chairman Dustin Covington. “What we need to say should be heard and I feel like this is a trip for us to be heard on.” The group visited Sen. David Perdue and Reps. Austin Scott, David Scott, Rick Allen, Jody Hice and Sanford Bishop, presenting them with GFB’s position on a variety of issues, including the farm bill, ag labor, trade and regulatory reform. During the issues briefing, AFBF Executive Director of Public Policy Dale Moore presented an overview of the process of drafting the next farm bill. The 2014 farm bill expires at the end of September, and Moore indicated the new bill could be completed quickly. “One of the things we know is they’ve got a good handle on how they’re going to work with the policy and how they’re going to meet the budget challenges they’re going to have to work with,” Moore said. In the visit with Sen. Perdue, the group discussed improvements on infrastructure and agriculture’s dependence on international trade. Perdue assured them that the Trump administration would consider ramifications for agricultural trade as it moves forward with its trade agenda on topics like the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “The president knows now the relationship the Ag community has in the NAFTA agreement, and so he’s going to be very careful with that,” Perdue. ‘What we’re trying to do is protect American workers, American industries, and at the same time, develop closer working and trading relationships with our trading partners like Mexico and Canada.” The GFB group also heard from American Farm Bureau Federation staffers and a representative of the United States Trade Representative, the Animal Agriculture Alliance and the Global Cold Alliance. The group also visited the Canadian Embassy to discuss NAFTA. GA VEGETABLE GROWERS APPROVE CONTINUED ASSESSMENT Georgia vegetable growers have extended their current marketing assessment for an additional three years. The assessment of one cent per marketing unit applies to all producers with more than 50 acres of any or all the following crops; green beans, bell pepper, specialty pepper, carrots, broccoli, beets, eggplant, cabbage, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, cucumbers, greens, squash and tomato. The balloting period for the market order was conducted from February 1 through March 2, with 92.5 percent of the eligible ballots returning a yes vote. The Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Vegetables utilizes funds for vegetable research, education and promotional projects. The Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Vegetables was established by the Georgia State Legislature in 2006 and has continued to support important projects for Georgia vegetable growers. The majority of the funds are committed to research projects on whiteflies, fumigants, insects, disease management and weed control.


GFB News Alert page 4 of 13 GFB FOUNDATION GALA ATTENDEES HAVE A GOOD LAUGH North Carolina farmer and comedian Jerry Carroll put a smile on everyone’s face as approximately 400 people from around Georgia shared a meal and fellowship during the 4th Annual Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Gala, held March 17 at Southern Bridle Farms in Fort Valley. The event featured a silent auction for dozens of unique items, ranging from a Larry Munson bulldog statue to a Big Green Egg cooker. GFB used the occasion to recognize the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show grand champions and offer thanks to people and organizations that provide financial support for the foundation. Photos from the Gala may be viewed online at http://gfb.photos/2018GFBGala. Jerry Carroll GFB recognized the Hall County Farm Bureau “Hall GROWS” program and GFB Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Wendy Fuschetti of Banks County. Hall County Farm Bureau has placed Ag in the Classroom curriculum in 27 schools in the county through its Hall Growing Real Opportunities with Students (GROWS) program. Fuschetti, a third-grade teacher at Banks County Elementary School, teaches her students and their families the value of growing a garden, the process of planting seeds and growing them to harvest along with the joy of preparing meals from food they grow. GFB President Gerald Long highlighted the organization’s Harvest 20 Vision, through which GFB aims to inspire, educate and preserve agriculture in an effort to keep farming in the public consciousness. “The GFB Foundation falls effortlessly into this vision,” Long said. “Through the year 2020 and beyond, Georgia Farm Bureau aims to increase its efforts to promote ag literacy in schools and throughout Georgia’s communities. We will educate consumers and our employees about the importance of agriculture, and we won’t stop until every citizen of Georgia understands why agriculture is vital to their survival.” The grand champion winners of the Georgia Junior National Livestock Shows were presented commemorative belt buckles for their achievements. Carroll, who has performed at numerous corporate events and provided opening entertainment for musical artists Lyle Lovett, Michael Bolton and Patty Loveless, had the crowd in stitches from the start. “I’m the only comedian you’ll hear who has his pesticide license and 12 hours of manure applicator training,” Carroll quipped before launching into stories about his experiences traveling North America, how FFA changed his life and working on his family’s farm near Raleigh, North Carolina. Carroll’s family grows mushrooms and raise livestock, as well as hosting local school children as an education agritourism venue. In between keeping the crowd laughing, Carroll urged the audience to continue its work on behalf of agriculture. “When you’re having a kid on your farm and they see the livestock, the open spaces - we’ve got to do more of that,” Carroll said.


GFB News Alert page 5 of 13 GFB AWARDS $14,000 TO GA JR. NATIONAL GRAND CHAMPIONS Spring sprang a month early for the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show (GJNLS) held Feb. 21-24 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry. The 1,585 4-Hers and FFA members from across Georgia competing in the annual event enjoyed balmy weather as they groomed their livestock among fully-bloomed Bradford pear trees. Exhibitors showed a total of 2,413 cows, goats, pigs and sheep during the multi-day event as they competed for showmanship and species awards. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) sponsored the grand champion prizes for all species shown for the seventh consecutive year and was a premier sponsor of the show. “Georgia Farm Bureau has been a long-time sponsor of the 4-H and FFA programs. We want to encourage kids to show livestock because our organization understands that the kids who are showing livestock today will be Georgia’s future agricultural community,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “Showing livestock is teaching these students responsibility and leadership while they make lifelong friends.” In addition to sponsoring the grand champion prizes, GFB expanded its support of Georgia’s youth by becoming the premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter’s 2017-2018 show season. GFB has sponsored many prizes given to participants through the years. Of the seven grand champion prizes awarded at the Georgia Junior National, three went to students who had either previously won the same prize or another grand champion award. Bainbridge High FFA member Taylor Barber earned her third grand champion belt buckle by winning the grand champion market steer prize of $5,000. Barber, an 11th grader who has shown livestock for 12 years, previously won the grand champion market barrow award in 2013 and 2017. “I just love working with animals in general,” Barber said when asked the secret to her success. “I’m in the barn from one-thirty every afternoon until eight or nine at night. My dad pushes me to do my best. Showing has taught me a lot about how to be responsible and time management. It’s helped me form lifelong relationships with other families who show.” Future exhibitors are watching Barber. While she was being interviewed, two-year old Conner McQuaig walked up to the Decatur County FFA member to check out her show stick. Barber had never met the son of South Habersham ag teacher Shelly McQuaig, but she took the time to kneel down to Conner and help him hold the stick she used to calm and setup her prize-winning steer. That’s the kind of thing that has to make her parents, Jeff and Leslie, especially proud. West Jackson Middle School FFA member Savannah Page won the grand champion market gilt award of $1,500 for the second consecutive year. “I’m speechless,” Page said when asked how it felt to win the award for the second year. “It’s amazing. It took a lot of hard work and dedication. I got my pig in October, and I worked with her every day cleaning her pen, washing her and walking her.” Page, the daughter of Phil and Christy Page of Jackson County, said she was looking for a hog that had width of base and structural integrity when she picked out her pig last fall. “That means how wide they are when standing, which indicates how much muscle they have and how much product they will produce,” Savannah explained. Page, who has been showing for seven years, even shared the skin care regiment she used for her gilt, Dora, which included using conditioner and a special pre-show moisturizer to prevent the pig’s -continued on next page


GFB News Alert page 6 of 13 Continued from previous page skin from being scaly. Pelham High School FFA member Blaze Beasley captured the grand champion breeding heifer prize of $2,500. The high school senior won the grand champion market steer award last year and has shown cows for eight years. When asked the advice she’d give other exhibitors for picking out their show cows, Beasley said, “Just pick which one feels right to you. I was looking for something I could use after the show - a cow I could put out in the pasture that would be productive. I was looking for a maternal cow.” The high percent Simmental breed Beasley won with is known for its mothering ability. Beasley, the daughter of Richard and Laura Beasley of Mitchell County, grew up on a working ranch. She said she and her siblings put their show cows in the herd. Like Page, Beasley said she was speechless at winning a second grand champion prize, but she quickly added, “It means a lot. It’s a lot of hard work, but the real reward of showing is getting to see your show friends who live across the state.” FFA member Brayden Adams won the $1,000 grand champion breeding ewe prize with a lamb his family raised. The North Forsyth High School sophomore has been showing lambs for seven years. Showing lambs is a family affair for the Adams family. Parents Bud and Annette began raising lambs five years ago for Brayden and his siblings Kaylie and Cash to show. When asked what it meant to win the grand prize with a lamb his family raised, Brayden answered, “It’s very rewarding. It means our stock is one of the best in the show.” Brayden says what he likes most about showing is working with his lambs to figure out what’s best about them physically and how to show them right to accentuate their best features. After winning reserve champion market gilt the past two years, Colquitt County FFA member Carolyne Turner took home the grand champion market barrow prize of $1,500 with her crossbred pig, Rico. Turner, a sixth grader at Willie J. Williams Middle School, has shown pigs for nine years. She is the daughter of Richie and Becca Turner. “I like meeting new people and being with different people because you make lifelong friends doing this,” Turner said. After getting Rico in October, Turner estimates she spent three to four hours a day brushing, walking, washing, feeding him and cleaning out his pen. “We just make sure everything is running smoothly in the barn. Training the pig is the hardest part about showing. They [pigs] have a mind of their own.” Jasper County 4-Her Trent Maddox captured the grand champion commercial dairy heifer prize of $1,500. The Jasper County High freshman began showing dairy cattle six years ago at the encouragement of his former Extension agent Bobby Smith. Maddox is the son of Bryan and Bobbi Maddox of Monticello. “I started because showing looked like something that would be enjoyable,” Maddox said. “I like getting to hang out with friends and family doing something I love.” Maddox acquired his heifer from a dairy in Montezuma and said he knew she was special when he first saw her. “She’s always been really flashy and great in the ring.” Worth County High FFA member Taylor Layfield took home the grand champion commercial doe award of $1,000. Layfield is the daughter of Mac and Carol Layfield of Sylvester. “It was easy to learn about goats and showing was easy to catch on to,” Layfield said. “I like the goat R.J. that I showed because of her attitude and the way she worked with me in the ring.”


GFB News Alert page 7 of 13 HERLONG HEADLINES GFB EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Humorist and author Jane Jenkins Herlong is the featured speaker at the 2018 Georgia Farm Bureau Educational Leadership Conference, set for April 13 and 14 at the Augusta Marriott. Herlong, a former Miss South Carolina, is bound to have attendees laughing hysterically with her home-spun humor and stories. She’ll provide the keynote address at the conference opening session on April 14. The conference begins April 13 with a reunion of past and present GFB Women’s Leadership Committee members at 6:30 p.m., followed by social time at 7:30 for all conference attendees. Activities on April 14 include the opening session, a silent auction and four concurrent workshops. GFB Women’s Committee members Melissa Bottoms of Pike County and Heather Cabe of Franklin County and Harris County Farm Bureau Office Manager Linda Luttrell will share how they plan visits to local schools throughout the year. Ag in The Classroom Teacher of the Year Dr. Wendy Fuschetti of Banks County will share ideas and hands-on activities that can be used in classrooms. Justine Palmer and Caroline Lewallen of Hall County will share details about the Hall Grows program developed by Hall County Farm Bureau. GFB Field Representatives Rebecca Jacobs (3rd District) and Lauren Goble (6th District) will present a new approach to agriculture books and reading in the classroom. During lunch, GFB President Gerald Long and GFB Foundation for Agriculture Executive Director Katie Duvall will give remarks. The conference will be held at the Augusta Marriott April 13 and 14. For registration forms, contact your county Farm Bureau office manager (contact information can be found at http://www.gfb.org/about-us/contact-us.cms. The deadline to register is March 23. FMCSA EXTENDS AG WAIVER FROM ELD RULE The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extended a temporary waiver for agriculture-related transportation from its electronic logging devices (ELD) rule, according to an FCSA press release. The agency said it provided additional guidance to assist in the implementation of the ELD rule, which is mandated under a federal transportation law passed in 2012. FMCSA granted an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD rule for agriculturerelated transportation, starting from the day the waiver appeared in the federal register. During this time period, FMCSA said it will publish final guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hoursof-service exemption and personal conveyance. FMCSA will continue its outreach to provide assistance to the agricultural industry and community regarding the ELD rule. Georgia Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural groups opposed the ELD rule for agriculture-related transportation. In particular, ag groups maintained that the rule’s hours-of-service limitations conflict with animal welfare needs. In a November letter to the U.S. Senate, Georgia Farm Bureau noted that many livestock operations are located in remote, rural areas and routinely require long hauls to transport animals, which are vulnerable to fluctuations in temperature. In warmer weather, livestock industry guidelines stipulate that drivers avoid stops while hauling livestock, in part because livestock trailers are designed to cool the animals while in motion. For more information on ELDs please visit: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/eld.


GFB News Alert page 8 of 13 GFB TAKING ENTRIES FOR 2018 PHOTO CONTEST Georgia Farm Bureau is now accepting entries for the 2018 Picture Agriculture in Georgia Photo Contest. The contest, administered by the GFB Young Farmer and Rancher Committee, gives GFB members an opportunity to showcase agriculture and encourage appreciation of rural Georgia. The contest is open to any Georgia Farm Bureau member who receives no income from photography. All photos must have been taken in 2017 or 2018 and may not have been entered in any other contest. Photos will be judged on the use of angle, lighting, balance, color, contrast, viewpoint and technical ability. Photos altered in any way will not be judged. Individuals may submit up to three photos. Photos must be in JPG digital format. To enter, email entry forms and photos as attachments to yf@gfb.org, with “Photo Contest� in the subject line. Entry forms may be accessed on the GFB website at http://gfb.ag/PhotoContest. The deadline for entries is May 18. All photos become the property of GFB and may be used for any purpose, such as being published in the Georgia Farm Bureau News and Georgia Neighbors magazines, posts on the GFB website or social media channels, reproducing it for Farm Bureau use or selling it. The grand prize is $150 and 11 honorable mention prizes of $75 each will be awarded. The grand prize winner will be featured on the cover of the 2019 Young Farmer and Rancher Calendar, and the 11 honorable mention winners will be featured in the calendar. Please note: If people appear in your photo, you must complete a model release entry form. Visit http://gfb.ag/PhotoContest to download a copy. This form must be completed and received by fax at 478-405-3422 or by email at yf@gfb.org, or by U.S. mail by May 18. The mailing address is Georgia Farm Bureau, Attn: Field Services Department, P.O. Box 7068, Macon, GA 31209. SEVEN GEORGIA EDUCATORS SELECTED FOR AFBF STEM PROGRAM The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has announced participants selected for On the Farm Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professional development events in Fort Worth, Texas, March 26-28, and Portland, Oregon, May 23-25. The training is designed to bring science to life for participants with the help of American beef cattle ranchers, researchers, nutritionists and veterinarians. Nearly 350 applications were received for 40 spots in Fort Worth, 30 spots in Philadelphia and 40 spots in Portland. Applications closed Jan. 1 and participants were notified of acceptance for the On the Farm STEM events. Georgia teachers selected for the program in Fort Worth are: Jennifer Carroll, Roopville Elementary School, STEM Coordinator (Carroll County); Sara Hughes, Oglethorpe County Middle School, Ag Teacher; Nathan Medley, Floyd County Schools, Instructional Technology Specialist; Dona Morgan, Floyd County Schools Georgia, Teacher; Helen Ward, Effingham County, STEM Coach. Georgia teachers selected for the Portland event are: Kathryn Brown, Clarke County School District, Teacher; Belynda Songer, STEM Educator for Teachers at Museum of Aviation.


GFB News Alert page 9 of 13 AGRIBUSINESSES ASKED FOR INPUT ON FUTURE STAFFING NEEDS Agricultural employers are asked to provide information about their future full-time staffing needs in a survey conducted by Agcareers.com. The survey is on behalf of the Agricultural Summit Initiative, of which Georgia Farm Bureau is a partner. “Our organization has been supporting agriculture for more than 80 years,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “For this great industry to continue to grow, it is vital to know the projected career demands for the future. Participation in this survey will provide insights for the continued growth of agriculture.” Those who respond to the survey will get a first look at the results and will be entered in a drawing for one of two Yeti coolers. The first 150 respondents will also receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Individual responses will be kept confidential and only aggregate results will be shared with participating organizations. To take the survey visit http://www.agcareerssurvey.com/ga/. FARMERS, NOMINATE A LOCAL SCHOOL FOR MONSANTO EDUCATION GRANT To help K-12 educators enhance their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum and excite their students about these fields, the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is giving farmers the opportunity to nominate their local public schools for the chance to receive $10,000 or $25,000 grants. Because farmers know the needs of their communities, they kick off the Grow Rural Education program by nominating a local school to apply for one of the grants. Farmers can nominate their local school by visiting GrowRuralEducation.com. The process takes less than five minutes and has made a lasting impact in countless classrooms. Farmers can nominate their school district until April 2. After the school district receives a nomination, the Monsanto Fund will notify the district and encourage administrators and teachers to design a grant that enhances STEM education for their students. Nominated school districts have until April 15 to submit a grant application describing their project. An advisory council composed of farmer leaders then reviews finalist applications and selects the winning school districts. Since 2011, more than $14 million has been awarded to school districts through the Grow Rural Education program. More information about the program can be found at GrowRuralEducation.com and facebook.com/AmericasFarmers.


GFB News Alert page 10 of 13 FORMER STATE REP. CARTER NAMED TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POST Amy Carter is serving as Deputy Commissioner for Rural Georgia at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), Gov. Nathan Deal announced on March 7. At GDEcD, Carter will lead state efforts to help rural Georgia communities become more competitive for economic development projects and identify new strategies for attracting jobs and investment outside the Metro Atlanta region. “Promoting the growth and success of rural Georgia is essential to securing a more prosperous state for generations to come,” said Deal. “Amy’s experience working with students and her time in public service have given her an understanding of the needs facing our educational system. Her background will help her to improve education and workforce development in rural Georgia, two Amy Carter areas proven to be critical in generating significant investment and economic opportunities.” Carter was previously the executive director of stewardship and development for the Technical College System of Georgia. She represented the 175th District in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017. SE GEORGIA EMC GETS USDA LOAN FOR ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE On March 13 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $276 million in loans to improve rural electric infrastructure. “Investing in our nation’s electric infrastructure is fundamental for rural economic growth,” Secretary Perdue said. “USDA’s longstanding partnerships with rural electric cooperatives help ensure that rural areas have affordable, reliable electric service. These investments also increase efficiency and productivity for businesses and residents, and support the quality of life in rural America.” USDA’s $276 million investment will build nearly 1,000 miles of line and improve 733 miles of line to meet current and future needs of rural businesses and residents. It will also support $65 million in smart grid technologies to help rural electric utilities reduce outages and integrate new systems. Smart grid includes technological enhancements such as metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications and geospatial information systems. Investments are being made in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia. The loan guarantees are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, which is the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration. Excelsior Electric Membership Corporation in Southeast Georgia was awarded a $16.5 million loan, which will be used to build 69 miles of line, improve 120 miles and make system improvements. The loan amount includes $25,000 for smart grid projects. Excelsior serves 20,741 residential, nearly 1,370 commercial and 311 irrigation consumers in Bryan, Bulloch, Candler, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins and Tattnall counties. Five of these eight counties are designated as poverty counties. For more information about the electric program visit http://bit.ly/ruralelecpgms.


GFB News Alert page 11 of 13 GFB TAKING LISTINGS FOR HAY DIRECTORY Farm Bureau members with hay for sale or offering custom harvesting or custom sprigging services are invited to list in the GFB Quality Hay Directory published on the GFB website. Because this directory is now offered online, hay can be listed or removed from the site as your inventory dictates. To participate, please complete a submission form available at your county Farm Bureau office or online at http://www.gfb.org/membership/hay.cms. Please include a $10 check made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau for each listing of hay, custom harvesting or custom sprigging. Multiple listings are allowed. GEORGIA BLUEBERRY GROWERS VOTING ON COMMISSION Georgia blueberry farmers who grow and commercially market 2,000 pounds or more in a single season are eligible to vote on whether to continue the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Blueberries in a referendum being held March 1-30. Blueberry growers pay $5 per ton of marketed blueberries to fund research, education and promotion programs that advance the blueberry sector. Eligible growers who have not received a ballot via mail should contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) at 404-586-1405. WATER MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS April 3 Decatur County Extension Office Bainbridge April 4 Cook County Extension Office Adel April 5 Bulloch County Extension Office Statesboro April 23 Pierce County Extension Office Blackshear April 24 Terrell County Extension Office Dawson April 25 Turner County Extension Office Ashburn May 15 Appling County Extension Office Baxley May 16 Fort Valley State Ag Technology Center Fort Valley May 29 Ashantilly Center Darien This series of workshops will explain the efficiencies of impact sprinklers, drip irrigation systems and how to develop an irrigation water management plan. Registration is $15 per person to help cover instructional materials and a meal. To register online visit www.tinyurl.com/CRSSWater or contact your local UGA or Fort Valley State Extension agent or NRCS conservationist. GEORGIA CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION MEETING & BEEF EXPO April 5-7 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Perry There is something for everyone at this annual event that presents all things beef! The GCA will award approximately $15,000 in scholarships. The theme of this year's convention is “Georgia Grown.” There will be a session on marketing local beef on April 6 and Georgia Grown products will be showcased throughout the convention. Other events include the annual silent auction to support the Georgia Cattlemen's Foundation and the Cattlemen’s Ball. Visit http://bit.ly/18GCAConvention to register. For more information call 478-474-6560.


GFB News Alert page 12 of 13 GEORGIA FORAGES CONFERENCE April 5 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Perry This annual event, held in conjunction with the Georgia Cattlemen’s Beef Expo, features presentations on cow/calf vs. stocker cattle on summer and winter pasture varieties, supplementation strategies in pasture-based systems, grazing alfalfa for profit and more. Registration for the Georgia Forages Conference is $40 per person, which covers the program, instructional materials and lunch. For more information or to register, visit www.georgiacattlement.org or call 478-474-6560. GROWMARK FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS April 13 deadline to apply The GROWMARK Foundation offers a $1,500 scholarship program for students in the United States and Ontario, Canada, pursing two- or four-year degrees or trade school certification in an agriculture-related field. Applicants must complete an online application which includes academic information, community service and leadership activities and essay questions regarding agriculture and cooperatives. Applications will be judged by a panel of agribusiness professionals. High school seniors or students at any level of higher education may complete the application, which can be found at www.growmark.com/scholarship. GEORGIA COTTON WOMEN SCHOLARSHIPS May 1 deadline to apply College students who will be entering freshmen or rising sophomores at a Georgia college for the 2018-2019 academic year and are the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee may apply for two scholarships coordinated by the Georgia Cotton Women Inc. (GCW). The John M. and Connie H. Mobley Memorial Scholarship is presented to the child or grandchild of an active Georgia cotton producer. The $1,500 scholarship will be payable one-third each quarter or one-half each semester. The Georgia Cotton Women Scholarship is presented annually to the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee and who is the child or grandchild of a GCW member. This $1,500 scholarship is also payable onethird each quarter or one-half each semester. Applications are available by emailing georgiacottonwomen@gmail.com. GEORGIA CENTENNIAL FARM PROGRAM ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS May 1 application deadline Applications are now open for the 2018 Georgia Centennial Farm awards. To qualify, a farm must be a working farm with a minimum of 10 acres actively involved in agricultural production, and produce $1,000 in annual farm-generated income. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Family Farm Award recognizes farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are not listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Farm Award does not require continual family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. To apply for recognition in 2018, visit http://georgiashpo.org/centennialfarms to download an application or contact Sarah Love at 770-389-7856 or sarah.love@dnr.ga.gov.


GFB News Alert page 13 of 13 SYNGENTA AGRIGULTURE SCHOLARSHIP May 25 Deadline to apply Syngenta invites eligible university students to apply to its annual Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship program. University students currently pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in crop-related disciplines are eligible to compete for $20,000 in scholarship awards. Applicants must be U.S. residents enrolled as of spring 2018 in an accredited agriculture program at an eligible university. Syngenta will award scholarships to a bachelor’s and master’s level national winner, selected from a pool of 4 regional winners in each category. Scholarship recipients will be announced in the fall. For more information about the scholarship, including official rules, prize amounts, essay topic, eligible universities and application guidelines, please visit www.syngentaus.com/scholarships. REGISTRATION OPEN FOR YF&R LEADERSHIP CONF., COMPETITIVE EVENTS Georgia Farm Bureau is now accepting registration for the 2018 Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference, to be held July 19-21 on Jekyll Island. GFB is also accepting entries for its 2018 Young Farmer and Rancher Competitive Events. The deadline is June 1 to register for the conference or enter the competitive events – the Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture and the Discussion Meet. The winners in all three contests will be honored at the GFB Convention in December and will qualify for national competition, to be held at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in New Orleans next January. For more information or to register for the Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference visit http://gfb.ag/18YFRconference. To enter the Discussion Meet, contact your county Farm Bureau office manager or GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Erin Nessmith at ennessmith@gfb.org or 478474-0679, ext. 5232. DAUGHTERS OF AMERICAN AGRICULTURE SCHOLARSHIPS June 1 deadline to apply The American Agri-Women (AAW) Foundation is taking applications for Daughters of American Agriculture Scholarships – the Jean Ibendahl Scholarship and the Sister Thomas More Bertels Scholarship. These two scholarships are available to any farm, ranch, or agribusiness woman or her daughter to pursue accredited courses in agriculture leadership, communications, rural sociology, medicine, or any other courses directly related to agriculture. The Ibendahl Scholarship is available to high school graduates and women ages 18 – 23. The Bertels Scholarship is available to women who are returning students in agriculture and are 24 years or older. Both scholarships are for $1,000. Applications must be postmarked by June 1. Applications are available at http://bit.ly/aawschollys.

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - March 22, 2018  

In this week's GFB News Alert... EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says his agency is making progress on writing rules to replace the Waters of...

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - March 22, 2018  

In this week's GFB News Alert... EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says his agency is making progress on writing rules to replace the Waters of...