July 17, 2013
Vol. 31 No. 29
HOUSE PASSES FARM BILL WITHOUT NUTRITION PROVISIONS The U.S. House passed its version of the 2013 farm bill on July 11 by a 216-208 vote. The bill, H.R. 2642 was virtually the same bill that the House voted down on June 20 but with the nutrition title removed. The bill included provisions to repeal 1938 and 1949 permanent laws that required new periodic farm bills. Under those laws, the absence of renewed farm bills would trigger extremely costly programs under which the government would purchase some commodities at preset prices, and there were no provisions for a number of commodities widely produced today. With a few exceptions, the vote was along party lines, with Democrats voting against the bill and Republicans voting for it. Georgia’s delegation voted along party lines, as well, with two exceptions: Republican Phil Gingrey voted against the measure while Republican Paul Broun did not vote. The Obama administration has threatened to veto the House farm bill should it reach the president’s desk. Georgia Farm Bureau opposed splitting the nutrition title from the commodity title in farm bill legislation. “The idea that we’ve come to a place in our country where we separate those two just doesn’t agree with what we stand for in Farm Bureau. I think we’ve taken a step back in separating them,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall, noting that the pairing of nutrition programs and farm programs had worked well for more than 50 years. The bill that was voted down in late June totalled $940 billion, including approximately $744 billion in the food stamp programs. The proposed food stamp spending in that bill represented a cut of $20.5 billion over 10 years. That version of the farm bill failed after the addition of late amendments that would have added requirements for individuals to qualify for food stamps. The next step in the farm bill process is for the House and Senate to appoint a conference committee to resolve the differences between H.R. 2642 and the Senate farm bill, S. 954, which passed by a 66-27 vote on June 10. S. 954 includes nutrition provisions, with approximately $4 billion in food stamp cuts over 10 years. “The important thing now is for the speaker to appoint conferees, get it into conference and come out with a recommendation from both the Senate and the House so we can fulfill the obligation of this country for a safety net, not only for agriculture, but for people who are struggling to maintain their access to food,” Duvall said. GFB was among 532 stakeholder groups that signed on to a July 2 letter urging House leadership not to separate the nutrition provisions from the farm bill.
Leadership Alert page 2 of 6 PLANNING, SERVICE MAIN THEMES AT GFB YOUNG FARMER CONFERENCE Presentations on planning, farm management and service were highlights at the 2013 GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, held July 11-14 on Jekyll Island. The annual event drew 355 participants. In addition to the educational offerings, GFB young farmer families got to enjoy the island activities, including the beach, Summer Waves water park and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. GFB President Zippy Duvall spoke to the conference attendees, sharing his experiences with them and emphasizing that the possibilities are endless. “There are opportunities in this organization and in this program, that you can discover what your Godgiven strengths are that you can excel in,” Duvall said. “You can make anything and everything possible, and along the way while you’re doing that, you’ll be helping your family, your farm, your community and the industry that we love so much.” Educational sessions included a financial and estate planning roundtable discussion with five estate planning experts. They all agreed that while discussing the subject of estate planning can be uncomfortable, communication is crucial. “Communication is the first key to it,” said attorney Will Thompson of James-Bates-BrannanGroover in Macon. “The second key is starting with the basics – starting with a properly drafted will. I tell people that if you haven’t drafted a will, the state of Georgia has drafted one for you. It’s not great. It’s not something you’re going to want to handle your assets if something happens to you.” The conference also offered breakout sessions on risk management, how farmers can serve agriculture and the role of Farm Bureau, the GFB legislative process and agenda and managing flow of agricultural data on the farm. Attendees also had a chance to meet their district representative on the GFB Young Farmer Committee and their GFB field representatives. During the conference, the preliminary rounds of the 2013 GFB Young Farmer Discussion meet were held, and the finalists for the 2013 Young Farmer Achievement Award and the Excellence in Agriculture Award were announced. Attendees also voted in the 2013 GFB Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest, which was won by Anna Raley of Glascock County. Kyle Dekle of Habersham County, Trisha Lastly of Madison County, Ali Merk of Jackson County and Constance Reid of Greene County emerged as the four finalists in the Discussion Meet, which drew 26 contestants from 23 counties. The finals will be held during the 2013 GFB Convention in December. The finalist families for the 2013 GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award are James and Brooke Hitchcock of Washington County, Russ and Mandy Moon of Madison County and Charlie Sanders of Greene County. The GFB Excellence in Agriculture Award is a new award designed to honor contributions of individuals who earn their income in vocations other than farming. The finalists are Lauren Boykin of Screven County, Paul Harris of Pierce County and Clay Talton of Elbert County. The winners of the Young Farmer Achievement Award and the Excellence in Agriculture Award will be announced in December at the GFB Convention. Those who arrived on July 11 had a chance to play in a golf scramble at Indian Mounds Golf Course, and the proceeds were designated to benefit the Harvest for All program. There was also a low-country boil at Great Dunes Park.
Leadership Alert page 3 of 6 RESEARCH SHINES AT EXPO FIELD DAY DESPITE WET FIELDS About 400 farmers attended the Sunbelt Expo Field Day July 11 in Moultrie. Georgia Farm Bureau cosponsored a breakfast with the Georgia Department of Agriculture to start the day. Sunbelt Expo Executive Director Chip Blalock welcomed farmers to the event saying, “This is a sneak peak of what you can see in October. We’re going to show you the latest seed varieties and crop management research. We cut the number of stops on the tour back to a manageable level so we could get folks through in two to three hours. With it being wet farmers couldn’t be out in their fields so they came out to see our research.” GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long thanked the Expo staff for the work they do at the farm to benefit Georgia’s farmers. “One of the greatest partnerships we (Georgia Farm Bureau) have is with Sunbelt and the Georgia Department of Agriculture in sponsoring the Georgia Agriculture Building, which gives us an opportunity to tell our story of how Farm Bureau represents the farmer in Atlanta and D.C. on legislative issues,” Long said. Although rain held off until after the event ended, the Expo Farm is soggy like many Georgia farms. Expo Farm Manager Michael Chafin said the farm has received 37 inches of rain since January, including 6.6 inches from July 1 to July 11 and 1.5 inches on July 10. UGA Entomologist Phillip Roberts attributed an increase in stink bugs to the wet spring and summer. “As cotton begins to bloom, that’s when stink bug scouting needs to be on the minds of growers. We’re observing a high number of stink bugs in corn, and a high population in corn means there will be a high population in cotton and other crops,” Roberts said at the UGA cotton plot. Field day attendees also heard about peanut research, soil moisture meters and using rye as a cover crop to control pigweed. UGA-TIFTON, BAINBRIDGE COLLEGE PARTNER IN AG PROGRAM Representatives from the University of Georgia Tifton Campus and Bainbridge State College signed three memorandums of understanding on June 27 to set up a program that will allow students who graduate from Bainbridge State with an associate of arts degree in an agricultural concentration, with a grade point average of at least 2.8, to gain automatic acceptance into the University of Georgia Tifton Campus to earn a bachelor of science in agriculture. CAES has similar agreements with Waycross College and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural college, according to CAES Dean Scott Angle. Students in the Bainbridge area who want a UGA degree in agriculture will be able to complete their first two years of college much closer to home. Georgia’s flagship institution is giving potential students a “pathway” to follow through Bainbridge State that will increase their chance of successful transfer to UGA’s Tifton Campus, followed by successful degree completion. Bainbridge State is in the process of adding a continuing education series for farm employees and adding one-year certificates and two-year associate programs in agribusiness.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 6 PEANUT STANDARDS BOARD SEEKING NOMINEES The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations for peanut producer and processing organization candidates to serve on the Peanut Standards Board (Board). Nominations are due by July 22. The Board consists of 18 members with representation equally divided between peanut producers and industry representatives. Representation is divided among three regions: the Southeast (Alabama, Georgia, and Florida), the Southwest (Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico), and Virginia/North Carolina. Each region has three producer seats and three industry representative seats with staggered terms. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will appoint one producer and one industry representative from each region to succeed members whose terms expire June 30. The six new members will serve terms ending June 30, 2016. For nominating forms and additional information, visit www.ams.usda.gov/PeanutStandardsBoard. GEORGIA GROWN FARMER SHOWCASE July 27 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta Aug. 10 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta Aug. 24 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta Sept. 14 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta Sept. 28 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta This family-friendly series features dozens of vendors from around the state, offering locally grown fresh Georgia produce and plant sales, meet and greets with local farmers and much more. For more information, visit http://www.georgiagrown.com or call 404-656-3689. INTERNATIONAL AGRIBUSINESS CONFERENCE AND EXPO Sept. 25-26 Savannah International Trade & Convention Center Savannah This inaugural event, sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau, will help farmers and businesses learn how to capitalize on the growing export market. Participants will be provided with information on what markets are open to their products, how to export their goods and what exporting can do for their bottom lines. Participants will attend educational forums and workshops, learning from experts in agricultural importing and exporting and about the latest practices in processing valueadded agricultural products. They also will have a chance to meet with international trade representatives. The conferenceâ€™s main sponsor is Georgia Farm Bureau. For more information about the conferenceâ€™s schedule, see www.iace.us.com. Early registration is $170 and ends July 30. For more information visit http://ceps.georgiasouthern.edu/conted/iace.html. FSA COUNTY COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN The nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees is now open. To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate. Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others, and organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Nomination forms for the 2013 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1. Elections will take place this fall. Members serve three-year terms. FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 4. The voted ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 2. New members and alternates take office on Jan. 1, 2014.
Leadership Alert page 5 of 6 2013 GEORGIA GRAZING SCHOOL Aug. 7-8 Oconee County Civic Center/Campbell Research Center Watkinsville This annual workshop, held this year in conjunction with the Deep South Stocker Conference, will focus on soil fertility, forage crop establishment, plant growth, anumal nutrient requirements and management-intensive grazing. This workshop includes both classroom and field training. Cost of the two-day program is $150. The deadline to register is Aug. 1. For more information, call 706-310-3464 or visit http://tinyurl.com/mfj6zq6. GA EQUINE COMMISSION SEEKS NOMINATIONS The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Equine (ACCE) is seeking nominations to fill the positions of three members whose terms expire later this year â€“ Jim Gibby, Debbie Lanier Guy and Danny Hogan. The positions are for three-year terms. Nomination forms are available at the ACCE website http://www.gaequine.com or by contacting Nathan Wilson by phone at 404-656-3678 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nomination forms and a one-page resume must be submitted to Wilson by August 1 to be considered. NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR FSA COUNTY COMMITTEES The nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees is now open and runs through Aug. 1. To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. UGA STUDENTS TO HOST HORSE OWNER'S SEMINAR Aug. 10 UGA Livestock Arena 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Athens This annual event will include lectures, wet labs and a trade show for horse owners. Seminar topics will include ophthalmology, nutrition, colic, forages and pasture management, equine herpes, manure management, dermatology and acupuncture. The wet labs will be on bandaging, first aid, riding competitively in college and becoming a farrier. Pre-registration for the event ends Aug. 1, and the cost to register is $50 for attendees 18 and older, $25 for children ages 8 to 18 and $10 for children ages 2 to 8. Children under 2 can attend for free. After Aug. 1, a $10 fee will be added. Registration and more information is available online at http://ugahorseowner.wix.com/horse-owner-seminar or payment can be mailed to UGA Horse Owners Seminar, c/o Katy Mayhew, 100 Woodstone Drive, Apt. 20, Athens, Ga., 30605. 2013 AGRICULTURAL ISSUES SUMMIT Aug. 6 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter 10 a.m. Perry This joint meeting conducted by Georgia House Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom McCall and Georgia Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Wilkinson will feature discussions on the new sales tax exemptions for agriculture, immigration reform, regional water planning and the MAP-21 Act, a multiyear transportation bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2012. A sponsored lunch will be provided by Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Agribusiness Council, the Georgia Poultry Federation, the Georgia Urban Agriculture Council and the Georgia Forestry Association. RSVPs are required. To attend, contact Pat Harris at 404-656-5099 or email@example.com or Susan Henry at 404-463-5257 or Susan.Henry@senate.ga.gov.
Leadership Alert page 6 of 6 DEEP SOUTH STOCKER CONFERENCE Aug. 8-9 Athens Theis two-day event, a joint effort between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, features live animal demonstrations and hands-on opportunities on Aug. 8, and educational seminars on Aug. 9. Additionally, the conference will be held in conjunction with Georgia Grazing School (http://www.GeorgiaForages.com). This will give producers an opportunity for up to three days of hands-on, demonstration, and classroom learning opportunities. Registration for each event is separate. Registration will cost $125/person and will cover all seminars, events, meals, and handouts for the two-day event. For more information or to register, visit http://www.deepsouthstocker.com. USDA TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH, EDUCATION GRANTS The USDA is accepting applications for grants of up to $500,000 to provide access to education, training and healthcare resources in rural areas. Funding is authorized through the Departmentâ€™s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. Under this notice, USDA may provide up to $17.5 million in grants. Funds can be used to buy equipment and provide technical assistance. To be eligible, applicants must serve a rural area, demonstrate economic need and provide at least 15 percent in matching funds. Completed applications must be received by Aug. 12. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the notice published on page 38915 of the June 28 Federal Register: http://tinyurl.com/nv62aeq. GEORGIA COTTON COMMISSION SEEKS NOMINATIONS The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) is accepting resumes for two new seats on the commission. These two positions were added to the producer member board by House Bill 298, which the Georgia General Assembly passed earlier this year at the request of the cotton community to increase producer representation from five to seven growers. According to state law, there should be at least twice the number of nominees submitted for consideration as there are vacancies. To receive a nomination form or for more information about the nomination process, contact Nathan Wilson by phone at 404-656-3678 or email at Nathan.firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact your local FSA office or the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodities Department at 1-800-342-1196 for forms. The form is available online at the GCC website http://georgiacottoncommission.org. Aug. 15 is the deadline for submitting nominations. The GCC board currently consists of: Chairman Mike Lucas, Bleckley County; Vice Chairman Wavell Robinson, Brooks County; Lee Cromley, Bulloch County; Bart Davis Jr, Colquitt County and Marvin Ruark, Morgan County. Ex officio members are Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, GFB President Zippy Duvall, Buddy Leger and Russ Moon. UGA CONDUCTING SURVEY ON MOBILE POULTRY PROCESSING As a part of its Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program, UGA is conducting an online survey on the feasibility of establishing a Mobile Processing Unit. (MPU). This survey collects information on production costs and processing costs at a USDA inspected facility and on-farm processing. The information will aid in determining the cost-effectiveness and benefits of using MPUs. The results of the cost-benefit analysis and profitability of using MPUs will be shared with pasture poultry growers and other stakeholders. The 15-question survey should only take about 5 minutes and is anonymous. To participate, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NNXKFN7.