January 13, 2017
Vol. 35 No. 1
GFB MEMBERS REPRESENT STATE AT AFBF CONVENTION Almost 200 Georgia Farm Bureau members had access to presentations on topics important to agriculture during the 98th Annual American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention, held Jan. 8-10 in Phoenix, Arizona. The convention featured AFBF’s Young Farmer & Rancher competitive events, training sessions and networking opportunities and forecasts for the agricultural economy. “I just hope they realize the important roles the county Farm Bureau, state Farm Bureau and American Farm bureau play,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “For us it all goes back to our everyday lives on the farm.” Long encouraged Georgia’s farmers to join with Farm Bureau in its advocacy for agriculture. “They’ve got to participate,” Long said. “If they participate in one of these conventions, go to the breakout sessions, go to the events they’re having, I think they’ll see the importance of being involved and how it relates back to your farm and your county and your state.” The GFB contingent had access to 64 workshops on a variety of topics important to agriculture, from labor to GMO crops to forging a path for communication with consumers. The GFB group also took 10 policy recommendations for consideration by the AFBF delegate GFB President Gerald session. Long carries the Of those 10 recommendations addressed by the voting delegates, Georgia flag. Georgia secured AFBF’s support for commodity programs, ginning assistance, and establishing cotton as a program crop in the next farm The next issue of bill. Georgia also successfully added changes to AFBF policy on the GFB News Alert EQIP program to better serve poultry producers and smaller rain fall comes out index quadrants for the Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage Insurance on Jan. 25. Program. These policies will guide AFBF’s lobbying efforts for the upcoming year. During the Leadership Luncheon held on Jan. 8, Bulloch County Farm Bureau President Lannie Lee was recognized for his many years of service as a county Farm Bureau leader. Lee, 96, joined Farm Bureau in 1947 after returning home from serving in World War II. He served as president of the Brooklet Farm Bureau Chapter in his community in the 1950s and served as a director of the Bulloch County Farm Bureau for a number of years. He served as BCFB vice president from 1973 until 2007 when he became president and – continued on next page
GFB News Alert page 2 of 12 Continued from previous page continues to serve in that position. Most of the GFB group chose to participate in a two-day trip to Sedona, Arizona, and the Grand Canyon prior to the convention, during which they learned about Arizona’s history, culture and economy. During his first annual address on Jan. 8, AFBF President Zippy Duvall urged farmers to continue telling their story while highlighting farmers’ concerns over regulatory reform, agricultural labor and immigration, and expanding agricultural trade. “If it’s difficult for those of us within agriculture to understand all types of farming and ranching across the country, just imagine how difficult it is for the general public that does not have any direct connection to agriculture,” Duvall said. “That’s why it is so important that we farmers and ranchers tell our story.” On labor and immigration, Duvall emphasized that farmers need a sustainable supply of farm workers, noting that during spring 2016 farmers in more than 20 states saw delays in getting their applications for H-2A workers approved. Some federal workers who would normally handle those applications were pulled away to assist with reducing a backlog of H-2B applications from hotels and other business sectors, and this was compounded that the applications were being handled by regular mail. Long said a workable migrant labor program is crucial to agriculture’s ongoing success. “We’ve got to have a guest worker program that will work for each entity,” Long said. “That’s going to be the challenge for Congress, to figure out how we’re going to be able to do that.” Duvall noted that farmers across the country have expressed frustration over difficulties accessing laborers. “Many of the farmers I’ve talked with say that if we don’t fix our ag labor issues, none of the other issues will matter,” Duvall said. “Without a legal supply of labor, too many farmers face lost crops and they can’t compete on the world market.” In his first year as AFBF president, Duvall has seen the impacts of regulatory overreach, particularly with respect to the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule. During the course of his address, Duvall had attendees take out their phones and send emails to their congressmen requesting help to rein in federal government regulatory overreach. The exercise generated more than 1,500 comments being submitted to Congressional offices in Washington. During the closing general session on Jan. 9, members were treated to a panel discussion featuring Peyton and Archie Manning, who each shared their experiences playing professional football and from their lives outside football. The AFBF Convention also featured the IdeAg trade show, featuring hundreds of exhibitors from across the country, including farm equipment manufacturers, commodity groups and a variety of agribusinesses. The Georgia Peanut Commission handed out packs of peanuts and peanut butter snack bars to trade show patrons. The 2018 AFBF Convention will be held in Nashville, Tennessee.
GFB News Alert page 3 of 12 GFB YOUNG FARMERS SHINE IN PHOENIX Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members advanced to the final round of competition in all three of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmer & Rancher competitive events, held Jan. 7-10 in Phoenix, Arizona, during the AFBF Annual Convention. Hancock County Farm Bureau Vice President Skye Gess earned a spot in the final four of the AFBF Discussion Meet. Washington County Farm Bureau members Jonathan and Bridget Hitchcock advanced to the top 10 in competition for the AFBF Achievement Award. Polk County Farm Bureau members Bennett and Rebecca Jacobs advanced to the top 10 in competition for the AFBF Excellence in Agriculture Award. All three were 2016 Georgia state winners in their respective events. “They’ve done a super job representing Georgia and addressing the issues that were put before them,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “I’m Skye Gess really proud of them.” Gess finished as one of three runners-up to event winner Matt Niswander of Tennessee. During the final round of competition, which also included Jessica Jones of Virginia and Amanda Sollman from Michigan, the panelists discussed how they would craft national immigration programs that would provide farmers access to labor while at the same time securing U.S. borders. “We have a great state-level competition where you can get started,” Gess said. “There are lots of people who want to give advice and want to help. I wouldn’t be where I am without all those people who have cheered me on and coached me throughout this process. So, certainly give it a shot. I’m willing to help anybody who wants to do it. It’s a great Rebecca and experience and you learn so much.” Bennett Jacobs Gess, an assistant district attorney in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, raises cattle and hay with her husband, Josh Pennino. After two roundrobin discussion sessions, she won her spot in the final four after her third round in the Sweet 16 against Kirby Green of Kentucky, Rocky Brown of North Dakota and Marc Silva of New York. Gess was Georgia’s first final four contestant in the Discussion Meet since Polk County’s Chad Carlton made the final four in 2008. In preliminary rounds, contestants from 38 states discussed how Farm Bureau can ensure that farmers and ranchers, not government agencies, are driving the management of natural resources and how farmers and ranchers can maintain ownership of their intellectual and proprietary information generated through big data, unmanned aerial vehicles or Bridget and unauthorized videos. Johnathan Hitchcock As a finalist, Gess receives a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor courtesy of Case IH, a $2,500 cash prize and $500 worth of Stihl merchandise courtesy of Stihl. The Hitchcocks made the top 10 in the Achievement Award Competition, which was won by Grant and Kristen Strom of Illinois. The Hitchcocks farm with Jonathan’s brother James, sister Jennifer and father Waylon, growing corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, wheat and canola on a total – continued on next page
GFB News Alert page 4 of 12 Continued from previous page of 2,400 acres, as well as raising a small herd of beef cattle. They also have an on-farm special events venue and sell vegetables from the farm. The Achievement Award recognizes farmers between the ages of 18 and 35 who earn the majority of their income from farming. The Jacobses made the top 10 in GFB’s fourth year of placing an entry in the contest for the Excellence in Agriculture Award, which was won by Sarah Scyphers of Virginia. Bennett teaches agriculture at the Carroll County College & Career Academy. He and Rebecca farm 350 acres of family land in Rockmart, raising beef cattle and pastured pigs, as well as harvesting timber. Bennett chairs the Polk County Farm Bureau (PCFB) Young Farmer Committee and Rebecca chairs the PCFB Promotion & Education Committee. The Excellence in Agriculture award recognizes young farmers who earn the majority of their income from something other than farming. GFB BOARD APPROVES 2017 PRIORITY ISSUES The Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors approved the organization’s priority issues for 2017 during its monthly meeting on Dec. 16, 2016. The priorities are related to water, taxes/budget, animal agriculture and general agriculture issues. The approval of priority issues does not limit GFB’s interest in other issues. “Our organization will continue to be involved with any issues that affect farmers,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “However, these priority issues have surfaces as having particular interest within our membership.” Long noted that local involvement is an important factor in GFB’s success on legislative initiatives. On water, GFB seeks to ensure that water legislation and regulations do not hinder private property rights or adversely affect agriculture. The organization also seeks to preserve the integrity of the state’s agricultural water metering program, protect agricultural water access while supporting conservation efforts, give legislative support to agencies that provide water and natural resource services to farmers and continue active involvement with the state’s regional water councils and the Metro Water District. On taxes/budget, GFB seeks to preserve sales tax exemptions for farm inputs by maintaining the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program, protect the integrity of the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) from changes that undermine its intent, advocate for funding of agricultural institutions and programs to meet industry needs and to serve as an educational resource for farmers navigating tax regulation and programs. On animal agriculture, GFB will pursue liability protection for livestock owners who provide educational opportunities and access to their farms, support and promote biosecurity practices to minimize exposure to disease and other threats, limit regulation of animal agriculture at the farm level and to educate consumers about animal agriculture. General agriculture issues include safeguarding private property rights, ensuring that new technologies continue to be available and responsibly used, controlling nuisance wildlife and strengthening rural communities by advocating for adequate infrastructure and industry resources.
GFB News Alert page 5 of 12 SURVEY GIVES INSIGHT ON HOW FARMERS CAN TALK TO CONSUMERS Have you ever wondered why consumers are more interested in how their food is produced than ever before and why agriculture production practices are under increased scrutiny? Charlie Arnot, chief executive officer of The Center for Food Integrity (CFI), answered these questions and gave tips on how farmers can engage with consumers during a presentation he delivered at the 2017 American Farm Bureau Convention on Jan. 8. Arnot shared insights from the 2015 report the CFI issued based on a three-year survey of 6,000 consumers regarding their attitudes towards meat, milk and eggs. While consumers once made their food purchases based on cost, convenience and taste, today they are more likely to base their food purchases on the following four factors: 1) how the food will impact their health/wellness; 2) the safety of the food; 3) the impact the Charlie Arnot production of the food had on the environment; and 4) the experience they had buying, preparing or eating the food, Arnot said. The agriculture community has assumed that consumers don’t agree with us on how we raise animals because they don’t understand or have enough information, Arnot said, but the CFI survey showed consumers place three to five times the importance on knowing farmers share their values over knowing the facts and science behind why farmers produce their commodities the way they do, Arnot said. "Our new reality is consumers make decisions based on feelings, not just the facts," Arnot said. He stressed the importance of farmers engaging with consumers and answering their questions about agriculture saying, "Consumers want to talk to a farmer, not an expert." “Consumers don’t want to hear that we raise animals inside barns because science says its okay and good for production. They are asking ‘Just because you can do it, should you?’ ” Arnot said. “What we need to explain to them is that raising animals inside barns protects them from predators.” The consolidation, integration and industrialization of agriculture has caused consumers to think of agriculture as an institution and have less trust in farmers, Arnot said. There has also been a social shift during the last 40 years regarding authority, how information is communicated to the public, social consensus and society’s attitude about progress. Authority was once granted by the office or position you held but today the public grants authority to people based on their relationships, Arnot said. Social consensus was once driven by white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant men, but today, a single social consensus has been replaced with great diversity and many voices. While the public once received its news formally via three major TV networks, today communication is informal and direct thanks to the internet and social media. “We’re all looking for information that’s specific and relevant to each of us,” Arnot said. “This makes it difficult to have a shared conversation about a topic.” Society’s changing perspective on progress has also shaped the public’s view of agricultural production practices. “Society once viewed progress as inevitable, but today consumers question what constitutes progress,” Arnot said. Arnot stressed the importance of farmers being engaged with consumers. – continued on next page
GFB News Alert page 6 of 12 Continued from previous page “Social media has allowed people who don’t know anything about agriculture to talk about it,” Arnot said. “Agriculture needs to use digital and social media to share what we do with consumers and assure them that although how we farm has changed, our values haven’t.” Arnot explained that you must start with active listening when talking with consumers or any group to whom you are trying to sell your point of view. Farmers should understand that the fact they are farmers who are raising livestock and producing crops is as important to consumers as the information they know as farmers. “Communicating the shared values you as a farmer have with the consumer makes the technical information you try to share more relevant and accessible to a consumer,” Arnot said. “Tell them you, too, are concerned about the safety and quality of the food your family eats and that you care about the welfare of your livestock.” Arnot encouraged farmers to embrace the skepticism consumers have. “It’s not personal. It’s a social condition,” Arnot said. When talking to consumers use language they can understand instead of academic or agriculture jargon. “The public wants information from academics but not in the language of academics,” Arnot said. The main point Arnot stressed is that transparency is no longer optional in the digital age in which we live. “Open the digital door to today’s agriculture. Find ways on social media to make what you do transparent and to illustrate your commitment to do what’s right,” Arnot said. GFB LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT PROMOTES VOTER VOICE PROGRAM The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Legislative Department recently announced the winners of its VoterVoice Sign-up Contest. VoterVoice is an email communications tool that the legislative staff uses to reach members and connect members to their elected officials. The technology allows members to contact their legislator directly via email, giving them a voice in the legislative process. The GFB legislative staff also uses VoterVoice to send out weekly updates during the legislative session and other important information throughout the year. The purpose of the contest was to create awareness of this important GFB member benefit. The county in each district with the highest percentage increase in sign-ups will be recognized at GFB Day at the Capitol. The district winners are: District 1 - Rhonda Cawood, and Shannon Smith, Catoosa County; District 2 - Tammy Carter, Lisa Free and Beth Giaquinta, Habersham County; District 3 - Tracy Grice and Krista Wilkes, Paulding County; District 4 - Shannon Lyons and Gale Robertson, McDuffie County; District 5 - Linda Luttrell, Harris County; District 6 - Mary Morris, Jennifer Daniels and Tammy Lane, Laurens County; District 7 - Heather Burke and Sharon Hilderbrandt, Jenkins County; District 8 - Katina Fields, Schley County; District 9 Connie Melton, Worth County and District 10 - Valerie Watson and Denise Coleman, Ben Hill County. Members can sign up for VoterVoice by calling the GFB Legislative Department or by visiting http://www.gfb.org/legislative/action.html and going to the “Quick Sign Up” section at the bottom of the page.
GFB News Alert page 7 of 12 VETERINARIAN PROVIDES INFORMATION ON FOOD ANIMAL ANTIBIOTIC USE Livestock owners have fretted over the Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) for quite some time. During the 98th Annual American Farm Bureau Federation Convention, Dr. Jennifer Wishnie reviewed the reasons the VFD was adjusted, some of the science related to antibiotic use in food animals and how antibiotic use in food animals will be monitored moving forward. “There’s a growing interest, or pressure, or even a misunderstanding on the consumer side,” Wishnie said. “We’ve had a lot of interaction with consumers – a lot of questioning and surveys with consumers – and it points out in many of those cases that consumers just don’t understand how we use antibiotics on the farm and why they’re important. They also don’t understand that veterinarians are also involved in antibiotic use, and that there’s medical or veterinary Jennifer Wishnie oversight, and that producers work very closely with their veterinarians.” She noted regulatory activity at the federal and state levels over the past two years, as well as pending legislation, focused on antibiotic use on the farm. Wishnie, a veterinarian who worked as the National Pork Board’s Director of Producer and Public Health, said food animal livestock farmers have come under increased scrutiny the past 510 years as a new generation of consumers has become more interested in the origins of their food and its effect on human health. Specifically, she addressed the issue of antibiotic resistance, where a microbe can grow in the presence of an antibiotic that would normally kill it or limit its growth. “It is a global issue. When we use antibiotics, be it in animal agriculture, in animal health, in human health, every time we use an antibiotic it has the potential to develop resistance,” Wishnie said. “So it’s important that we all use them appropriately and responsibly, and that there is a collaborative effort toward combating antibiotic resistance.” Wishnie pointed out that antibiotic residues - traces of antibiotic drugs that remain in the meat from animals treated with antibiotics - are not the same as antibiotic resistance. Over time, she said, residues dissipate. Residues are only a problem if their quantity exceeds levels the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers unsafe. To avoid residue issues, Wishnie advised livestock farmers to follow medication product labels, which include established withdrawal periods to allow residues to dissipate. The animal must not be used for consumption until after that withdrawal period has passed. Each antibiotic made available for on-farm use goes through a rigorous approval process with the FDA to establish that it is safe for humans, the environment and the animal before approval. State pharmacy boards have authority over veterinary prescriptions. There are four ways an antibiotic can be used: disease treatment, disease control, disease prevention and growth promotion. According to Wishnie, the FDA, the World Organisation for Animal Health, and the American Veterinary Medical Association, treatment, control and prevention are all considered therapeutic uses of antibiotics. Other groups, particularly public interest groups and activist groups, only consider disease treatment as therapeutic use. Medically important animal antibiotics are those that are in the classes as drugs that are used – continued on next page
GFB News Alert page 8 of 12 Continued from previous page to treat humans. “The issue is they are concerned that any resistance developing from use in the animal will therefore make it ineffective because it is used as a human antibiotic,” Wishnie said. “Many of the antibiotics that are approved for use in animal feed are in medically important antibiotic classes.” The VFD regulations that went into effect on Jan. 1 address on-farm antibiotic use in foodproducing animals, specifically the removal of growth promotion or nutritional efficiency uses of medically important antibiotics. The remaining uses – treatment, control and prevention of disease – require veterinary oversight. The regulations also require a documented veterinarianclient patient relationship (VCPR). If the antibiotics are used in feed, both the farmer and the veterinarian have to follow allowable uses listed on the product label to be compliant with VFD rules. Vishnie said this resulted in farmers losing access to some antibiotics. “The new rule will certainly require more time and more cost, because now a veterinarian has to write the veterinary feed directive or they need to write a prescription which will result in more cost and a lot of recordkeeping by the feed mill, by the producer and by the veterinarian,” Vishnie said, noting that it is very important to document the treatments being given to the animals. These records are subject to inspection by the FDA. While communicating with the public, Vishnie suggested placing emphasis on antibiotics being one of multiple animal health tools being used on the farm, along with housing, veterinary care, nutrition as well as programs like Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Pork Quality Assurance Plus. In addition to the on-farm practices, Vishnie also noted the other safeguards throughout the food supply chain. For instance, while the FDA regulates human and animal antibiotics, the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) monitors and tests meat at the processing stage to ensure there are no harmful residues in the food supply. Antibiotic use in food animals, along with other production practices is monitored by the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), which conducts national studies about the health and management of livestock, poultry and farmed aquatic animals produced in the U.S. These studies are collaborative efforts and are done by species. NAHMS provides information to producers and to the public about disease occurrence, exposure to disease agents and management practices (including antibiotics), productivity and knowledge gaps. NAHMS monitors trend information that can be used to develop trade, research and production practices. To view the reports generated under NAHMS, visit http://bit.ly/NAHMSinfo. “Antimicrobial resistance is a complex, multi-faceted issue with diverse inputs,” Wishnie said. “Using antibiotics responsibly and in a way that minimizes the development of resistance is very important, no matter what sector they’re being used in.”
GFB News Alert page 9 of 12 TOURS OFFER LOOK AT ARIZONA AGRICULTURE, DESERT LANDSCAPE Farm Bureau members attending the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention took trips into the countryside surrounding Phoenix for a peek at how Arizona farms overcome the hot, dry climate to produce their crops. One of the tours visited the Fort McDowell Tribal Farm, Fort McDowell Adventures and the Orange Patch, all just east of Phoenix. Forth McDowell Tribal Farm Manager Harold Payne led the AFBF tour of the farm, which the Yavapai Nation started in the early 1990s. The farm produces pecans, citrus, barley and alfalfa on about 2,000 acres on the Yavapai reservation. It is one of eight businesses run by the tribe to support its economy. The farm produces barley and alfalfa on six-acre plots that are laser-leveled to be flat. They're surrounded by levees to facilitate irrigation by flooding, accessing water from the canal in the foreground. Because of the intense Arizona heat, Payne said about 30 percent of the water is lost to evaporation. The Fort McDowell Tribal Farm is allocated a consistent quantity of water on a monthly basis. The water is drawn from the Verde River, part of the Salt River Project (SRP) that manages water resources in the Phoenix area. Payne said he requests water from the SRP, which allows water to flow through the area’s system of canals into the farm’s own canals. Payne floods the fields using gates in the levees. The farm’s pecan and citrus trees are watered with fine mist sprays. The Fort McDowell Tribal Farm uses wind machines to circulate air over the citrus trees, said Payne, during cold temperatures to invert the cold air close to the ground and the warmer air higher up. By inverting the various temperatures of air and covering the canopy with burlap, the farm can prevent fruit in the citrus trees from freezing. “They actually can save the crop,” Payne said. “We’ve saved the crop several times using those machines.” At Fort McDowell Adventures, a group of Farm Bureau members took a horse-drawn wagon ride in the Arizona desert, learning about local plant and animal life and the desert landscape, featuring a wide variety of cactus plants. These included the teddy bear cholla, the staghorn cholla and the Sonoran Desert’s signature saguaro cactus. The teddy bear cholla is also referred to as the jumping cactus because its bolls will detach from the plant and become attached to whatever brushes against it. At the Orange Patch, farm owner Allen Freeman grows and sells navel oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruit as well as seedlings for other orchards. The tour stop there gave the group a chance to shop at the farm’s roadside market, which offers oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and lemons in addition to a variety of nuts and other items. Freeman presented the tour group with information about citrus production, from seedling to harvesting the fruit. The Orange Patch has more than 6,000 citrus trees.
GFB News Alert page 10 of 12 CROP INSURANCE DEADLINE NEARS FOR TOMATOES, PECANS Georgia tomato and pecan growers have until Jan. 31 to apply for crop insurance coverage or make changes to their existing coverage. Crop insurance provides protection against a loss in production due to natural perils, such as drought or excessive moisture. Coverage is available for fresh market tomatoes in Colquitt, Decatur, Grady Mitchell and Seminole counties. Coverage is available for pecans in eligible counties. Growers are encouraged to visit their crop insurance agent soon to learn specific details for the 2017 crop year. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers by visiting the RMA agent locator at www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html. Growers can use the RMA cost estimator at bit.ly/rmacost to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at www.rma.usda.gov. BOARD OF REGENTS APPROVES SALE OF UGAâ€™S WILKINS FARM After two years of taking bids on the Wilkins Beef Cattle Research Farm the University of Georgia received approval to sell the farm to a private bidder. The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the sale in a vote on Jan. 11. The 865-acre farm, which is located on U.S. Highway 78 on the Oglethorpe County-Wilkes County line, was formerly a cattle research center, but in a consolidation effort that began in 2013, the cattle there were moved to the Central Georgia Research and Education Center in Eatonton. The winning bid of $2.185 million was submitted by Wilkes Barnett, according to a story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
GFB News Alert page 11 of 12 2017 AG FORECAST MEETINGS Jan. 18 Georgia Farm Bureau Macon Jan. 19 Cobb County Civic Center Marietta Jan. 20 Carroll County Ag Center Carrollton Jan. 23 UGA Conference Center Tifton Jan. 24 Decatur County Ag Center Bainbridge Jan. 25 Toombs County Ag Center Lyons Jan. 26 Burke County Office Park Waynesboro Jan. 27 Georgia Center for Continuing Education Athens This annual series is supported by an endowment from Georgia Farm Bureau with support from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. The keynote topic for the Jan. 18, 23, 24, 25 and 26 meetings will be a farm bill update given by Bob Redding. The keynote topic for the Jan. 19, 20 and 27 meetings will be the Veterinary Feed Directive, given by Dr. Brent Credille of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. Check-in for all of the meetings, except Tifton, begins at 9 a.m. with seminars starting at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. Check-in for the Tifton event starts at 7 a.m., breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. followed by the seminar from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Cost is $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://www.georgiaagforecast.com, call 706-583-0347 or email email@example.com. Follow the meetings on Facebook.com/UGACAES or on Twitter @UGA_CollegeofAg and join the conversation with #AgForecast. 41ST ANNUAL GEORGIA PEANUT FARM SHOW AND CONFERENCE Jan. 19 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center 8:30 a.m. â€“ 2:30 p.m. Tifton The one-day show is free and open to all farmers and industry representatives to attend. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with more than 100 agribusinesses and organizations in the peanut and agricultural industry. Farmers will be able to earn private and commercial pesticide applicators' certification, as well as learn about cutting-edge research and developments during the University of Georgia Peanut Production Seminar and industry-wide sponsored Peanut Seed Seminar. The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with OneBlood, will host a blood drive from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. during the show. At the close of the day, there will be nearly $10,000 in door prizes presented to farmers, as well as a grand door prize, vendor products, certificates and equipment. For more information on the show, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission office at 229-386-3470. Information is also available online at www.gapeanuts.com. 2017 CORN SHORT COURSE Jan. 24 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center 8 a.m. Tifton This annual education event, sponsored by the Georgia Corn Growers Association (GCGA), includes sessions on managing nematodes and diseases, irrigation strategies, fertilizer sources, stand establishment and ear count, and an industry lunch with exhibitors, during which the High Yield Awards will be presented. The GCGA will hold its business meeting after lunch. Registration is $5 until Jan. 19 and $10 at the door. To register online visit www.ugatiftonconference.org. For more information contact your county Extension office or the UGA Tifton Conference office at 229-386-3416.
GFB News Alert page 12 of 12 GA COTTON COMMISSION ANNUAL MEETING & UGA COTTON WORKSHOP Jan. 25 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton This event begins at 8 a.m. and features presentations from key industry stakeholders as well as the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards. For more information call 478-988-4235 or visit http://www.georgiacottoncommission.org. OLD SOUTH FARM MUSEUM HOG KILLING DEMONSTRATION Feb. 11 Old South Farm Museum, 8750 Manchester Hwy. Woodland This event will demonstrate how hogs were once harvested and the products made from them. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. and includes a meat-curing class and demonstrations on making various pork products. Observers may attend and receive sausage for $12 per person. Workshop participants receive a hands-on experience and between 10 and 15 pounds of pork products for $35 per person. Deadline to register is Jan. 28. For more information or to register, contact Paul Bulloch at 706-975-9136 or visit http://www.oldsouthfarm.com. FARMERS ALMANAC FARMER OF THE YEAR CONTEST Jan. 31 deadline for nominations Farmers' Almanac, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, is searching for three farmers or ranchers to be recognized as â€œFarmers' Almanac Farmer of the Year.â€? The contest seeks to recognize and share the dedication, hard work and contributions farmers make to our world and society. Nominations must highlight, in 300 words or less, the following criteria: Supporting the Tradition - How long has the nominee been in their field? How did he or she get involved in agriculture and why? - Innovation in Agriculture: How the nominee has embraced technology or new ways of farming and ranching; Community Involvement - How has the nominee engaged his/her community to support agriculture and/or teach more about farming overall; and Inspiration - How the nominee is a true leader in agriculture and deserves to be recognized. All nominations must be received by Jan. 31, 2017, and must be submitted online at www.FarmersAlmanac.com/FarmeroftheYear.