Vol. 73 No. 4
FARM BUREAU NEWS
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
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Take advantage of this special $500 offer today by visiting www.fordspecialoffer.com/farmbureau/ga * Program #33466: $500 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Georgia Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 4/2/2011 through 1/3/2012 for the purchase or lease of a new eligible 2010/2011/2012 model year Ford or Lincoln vehicle excluding Mustang Shelby GT/GT500, Edge SE AWD, F-150 Raptor and Taurus SE. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Farm Bureau member for at least 60 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $500 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Association member during program period. See your Ford or Lincoln Dealer for complete details and qualifications. ** EPA estimated 16 city/23 highway/19 combined MPG 3.7L V6 4x2. *** Class is full size pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR, non-hybrid.
contents july 2011
we, the farmers PAGE 4
legislative update PAGE 5
commodities update PAGE 10
public relations staff Paul Beliveau Jennifer Whittaker Lillian Davis Jay Stone Denny Moore Rick Treptow Michael Edmondson Mark Wildman Dean Wood Damon Jones Vickie Amos
Director Editor Publications/Advertising Manager Print/Web Specialist TV Producer/Anchor Senior Radio-TV Specialist Web/Video Manager Radio-TV Specialist Radio-TV Specialist Radio-TV Specialist Office Coordinator
For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org For questions regarding advertising contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., 1-800-397-8908 Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Farmers voice concerns over H-2A program & Ga. immigration law Georgia farmers expressed their frustration over limited access to farm workers during a listening session with U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-1st Dist.) on June 30 in Homerville. PAGE 6
FSA: More counties likely to receive disaster declarations On June 28, the USDA issued disaster declarations for 22 Georgia counties that suffered crop losses this spring. An additional 26 counties bordering those were named contiguous disaster counties. More Georgia counties are expected to qualify for disaster designations as crop loss assessment reports are filed this summer. We also take a look at how the drought is impacting Georgia farmers. PAGE 8
SE Georgia experiences historic wildfire season The wildfires in Southeast Georgia this year have charred more than 340,000 acres in and around the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, including more than 40,000 acres on private land. Georgia Forestry Commission Director Robert Farris says the 2011 fires are worse than those in 2007.
New buyer, research updates highlight annual tobacco tour The emergence of a new buying company made the mood of the annual GeorgiaFlorida Tobacco Tour upbeat. Tour participants visited private farms in south Georgia and north Florida along with UGA research farms in Tifton to see research on disease and pest control and variety trials. PAGE 12
Demand for pecans raises prices, acreage Pecan growers are enjoying higher prices thanks to increased demand for their crop in the U.S. and abroad. Emerging foreign markets, especially in China, are leading growers to plant new orchards to meet the growing demand for their crop. PAGE 14
GFB Art & Essay contest winners announced Enjoy the artwork of the top three winners of the GFB Art Contest and read the winning essay by Lynlee Poppell. PAGES 16 & 17
Stock Horse of Ga. holds inaugural event
More than 30 Georgia stock horse enthusiasts from across Georgia and Alabama perfected and showed off their skills during the inaugural Stock Horse Versatility Event in April at the Quercus Cattle Company Arena in Gay, Ga. PAGE 19
on the cover
(Photo by Jay Stone) These tantalizing peaches were shot in June at Pearson Farms in Peach County. “The peach crop is surprisingly good for the drought that we’ve had,” said Lawton Pearson. “We’ve had excellent quality, excellent sugar because they’re so small. The trees are coming out of it. I feel like we’re going to have a good year, and that’s saying something with an April and May drought, which we’ve never seen before.” July 2011 / 3
Photo by Jay Stone
farmers Zippy Duvall, GFB President
Stand together or be divided and fall
As this great country continues to move forward and mature, it is experiencing growing pains. Our leaders from the president of the United States to Congress, from our state legislators to our local government - are wrestling with the many challenges our nation faces that have to be dealt with or they will consume us. We are one nation, under God. We have to work toward being united together for the good of all. That is easy to say, but difficult to accomplish. Just take issues like drought, water use, immigration and taxes as examples. Does drought affect everyone? Sure it does, even if some think it doesn’t. Drought affects crop production, which affects food prices - therein touching everyone. Even small businesses in rural Georgia hurt because of the lack of cash flow on the farm. Georgia Farm Bureau has tried to help farmers battling the drought by ensuring they have the resources they need. Your organization made the University of Georgia drought management webinars available for farmers to watch in their local Farm Bureau offices. We have educated the general public by featuring drought stories on the Georgia Farm Monitor and providing updates in our weekly Leadership Alert newsletter. The Georgia Farm Bureau Public Relations Department has worked with the other media to help them understand drought issues and arranged interviews with farmers around the state. Thanks to the farmers that took time out of their busy schedules to do these interviews because it is important that we tell our story. Water issues are important to all our
lives, on and off the farm. That is why we have worked so hard with the farmers who have given of their time to serve on the 10 regional water councils across the state. All of the 10 councils have submitted plans, and the public comment period has just ended. Farm Bureau submitted comments on several issues of concern as well. The councils did a great job and on behalf of Georgia Farm Bureau, I thank them all for their continued service to the people of Georgia. Our fears regarding the immigration law Gov. Deal signed this spring are now becoming reality. A lot of migrant labor bypassed Georgia this summer due to fear of being racially profiled. We are hearing reports of labor shortages across Georgia making this a very difficult season. This is not only affecting our farms, but the small businesses in our rural communities are also hurting because the migrant workers are not spending money in the communities where they usually work and live. Realizing that the agricultural community must have objective numbers from a credible source to be effective in securing a solution to the labor problem we’re facing, Georgia Farm Bureau is joining forces with other state agricultural organizations to help fund a study that will quantify the direct and indirect economic impacts of the labor shortages Georgia farmers are facing. Dr. John McKissick, an economist at the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, will conduct the study, which will be released this fall. The labor issue has set off a chain reaction - it hurts farmers, the small busiSee WE, THE FARMERS page 19
GFB President Zippy Duvall spoke at the listening session about farm labor Rep. Jack Kingston held in Homerville June 30. “The bottom line is farmers can’t operate without a stable workforce,” Duvall said. “If E-Verify becomes law without a workable guest worker program, farmers are going to be hurting in rural Georgia and rural America.” 4 / July 2011
FARM BUREAU NEWS
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
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DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Henry J. West, Rydal SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Marvin Ruark, Bishop; William Hutchins, Winder FIFTH DISTRICT: Jim Ham, Smarr; Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville SIXTH DISTRICT: James Emory Tate, Denton; James Malone, Dexter SEVENTH DISTRICT: Ben Boyd, Sylvania; Gennis Folsom, Glennville EIGHTH DISTRICT: Phil Redding, Bluffton; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Paul Shirah, Camilla; Lucius Adkins, Elmodel TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Alma; Daniel Johnson, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Wesley Hall, Cumming WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Donna Powell, Pelham ADVERTISING POLICY All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau News. For advertising rates and information, contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 6011, Vernon Hills, IL 60061, 1-800-397-8908. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2011 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
legislative update Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director
Farmers need guest worker program reform
eorgia passed immigration legislation this year, and as Georgia Farm Bureau warned Georgia legislators when they were considering the bill last winter, there have been negative consequences for farmers who employ immigrant labor. There are widespread reports of crops being left in the field because of an insufficient number of workers for harvest. In June, Gov. Nathan Deal released a report conducted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture that showed 11,000 farm jobs were unfilled. Mechanical harvesting works fine for field crops like cotton, wheat and soybeans that are dry and destined for further processing. But for many Georgia crops, such as peaches, blueberries, strawberries, melons, cucumbers, squash and others, mechanical harvesting is either impossible or results in a less marketable product. When subjective measures like ripeness and color are important, there is no substitute for human touch. Farm jobs are often temporary and require long hours under arduous conditions. Migrant workers generally move from state to state following crops as they develop in different regions of the country. Most Americans are not willing to do this, and as a result, the vast majority of farm workers are immigrants. Farmers need immigrant workers and so do consumers. American Farm Bureau economists published a study in 2006 outlining possible impacts to agriculture if immigrant labor were restricted. The report concluded that Georgia could
expect to lose more than $200 million of annual farm production without migrant labor. That number has grown larger since the report was published. Nationally, the numbers are staggering. The Farm Bureau economists estimated that $5 to $9 billion of annual production would be at risk if migrant labor were not available. Farmers follow employment laws. They complete I-9 forms, withhold state and federal payroll taxes, remit those taxes to the government and comply with current guidelines. Farmers are the ones who are prohibited, under penalty of being sued, from questioning the validity of documents they are given if the documents appear genuine. Farmers know the current system is broken. This is why more than 100 farmers showed up to express their concerns about migrant labor and the H-2A program at a listening session held by U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA 1st District) on June 30 in Homerville. GFB President Zippy Duvall was invited to speak, and he called for a reworked agricultural guest worker program. Duvall outlined problems with the current H-2A program and provided a list of items needed for reform. H-2A is an expensive and complicated proposition. Farmers must purchase visas and pay transportation costs for workers to get to the farm (about $600 per worker). When the workers arrive, farmers must provide workers’ housing and transportation. H-2A also mandates an inflated minimum wage, the Adverse Effect Wage Rate
Sept. 30 deadline to submit policy
Georgia Farm Bureau’s annual policy development process is underway. Sept. 30 is the deadline for county Farm Bureaus to submit policy recommendations to the GFB Policy Development Committee. The state committee will meet this fall to consider the recommendations submitted by county Farm Bureaus and GFB’s commodity advisory committees. Contact the GFB Legislative Department for more information.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
(AEWR). The federal government annually sets the rate, and it varies from state to state. The 2011 AEWR for Georgia is $9.12 per hour. “An average farmer who needs 50 workers to harvest a crop cannot afford to use H-2A,” Duvall said. Key elements proposed by Farm Bureau in agricultural guest worker reform include: • All types of farmers who need labor, seasonal or year-round, should be accommodated. The H-2A program only allows workers to remain in the country 10 months. • Workers should receive a renewable, multi-year work visa. • Eliminate excessive or duplicative government bureaucracy • Consider changing the administration of the program to the USDA and require the USDA to support the goals and purpose of the program. It is a widespread belief among farmers that the U.S. Department of Labor does more to hinder than help farmers. • Abolish the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) in favor of an average agricultural wage prevailing in a particular region. • Eliminate the H-2A program’s “50 percent rule,” whereby farmers must hire any and all domestic workers who apply for a job, even if it means a contracted guest worker sits idle. State employment agencies should verify the employment eligibility of an applicant before making referrals to an employer. There must be recognition that farm jobs require certain levels of skill and expertise. • Farmers should not be required to provide housing and transportation for guest workers. • A new guest worker program should have sufficient resources to assure workers are available when farmers need them. • Allow undocumented workers alSee LEGISLATIVE update page 6 July 2011 / 5
Farmers voice concerns over H-2A program & Ga. immigration law By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________
authorization system. He said that number was likely to grow, and states without such laws were becoming “sanctuary states” for undocumented workers, giving those states a competitive advantage. Earlier in June, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) introduced legislation to the U.S. House that would make E-Verify mandatory nationwide. Kingston and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-3rd Dist.) cosponsored it. Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall spoke during the session with Kingston, saying farmers need help in the form of federal legislation to reform the H-2A program, which many farmers feel is too cumbersome to provide them with the workers they need. “We need a workable guest worker program,” Duvall said. “We need it now, because if we activate E-Verify nationwide before we have a guest worker program, it will be disastrous not only to agriculture but to a lot of small businesses nationwide.” Duvall outlined points for improvement of the guest worker program, saying
Photo by Jay Stone
mid published reports of produce being left to rot on Georgia farms because of lack of available labor, south Georgia farmers expressed their frustration over limited access to farm workers during a listening session with U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-1st Dist.) on June 30 at the Homerville City Auditorium. The farmers specifically discussed government bureaucracy, the effects of Georgia’s new immigration law and the viability of the H-2A guest worker visa program. Similar concerns were shared with Georgia Reps. Jason Shaw (R-Lakeland) and Ellis Black (R-Valdosta) during a lunch meeting the same day at the Lanier County Farm Bureau office that drew a crowd of 70 farmers. Shaw spoke at both meetings, outlining efforts in the Georgia General Assembly to minimize HB 87’s effects on agriculture. The meetings included discussions of national solutions to immigration issues. Kingston noted that 17 states currently have laws requiring employers to use E-Verify, the federal government’s online work
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (right) told farmers attending a farm labor listening session, which he hosted in Homerville on June 30, that immigration reform should be accompanied by welfare reform. 6 / July 2011
it should accommodate all agricultural producers, address needs for those that use seasonal help and those that need workers year-round. He also stressed that the guest worker program should be simple, placed under the supervision of one government department and include a program so workers currently in the U.S. can apply for work visas. Kingston informally polled the crowd of more than 100 people, asking questions about their experiences using H-2A and E-Verify. Kingston said the agriculture industry has opportunities to form coalitions with the hotel/motel industry and the construction industry to create a larger voice on immigration issues. He also stressed that immigration reform should be accompanied by welfare reform. “If you’re on welfare right now it’s probably a $20,000 package,” Kingston said. “For somebody to go out in a hot field versus sitting around and getting free medication, food, housing and medical assistance, why would you want to do the work?” Dan Bremer of Agworks Inc. reviewed the requirements of the current H-2A program, noting that the use of undocumented workers is a declining option in states where E-Verify laws are in effect, leaving those states at a competitive disadvantage with states lacking such laws. “You have a responsibility to tell your elected officials what you want to have done,” Bremer said. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE from page 5 ready in the country to apply for a work visa provided they are otherwise admissible under the Immigration & Naturalization Act. • The use of E-Verify by agricultural employers should not be mandated before a fully functional guest worker program is developed, which is capable of providing sufficient numbers of workers on a timely basis. • Farmers who use the program should not be harassed by lawsuits. “The bottom line is this,” concluded Duvall, “Farmers cannot operate without a stable work force. Without a workable guest worker program, farmers will be hurt.” Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Department. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
Ag groups commission study to measure value of ag labor
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________
eorgia Farm Bureau is among a coalition of Georgia ag organizations commissioning a study to evaluate the economic impact that labor used in Georgia’s fresh produce industry has on the state’s economy. The study will also address the economic impact of lost wages and crop sales the industry suffered this year as a result of labor shortages farmers experienced after the passage of Georgia’s new immigration legislation House Bill 87. The study is intended to quantify the produce industry’s losses and impact on rural economies to educate lawmakers considering future immigration legislation and support efforts to improve the national guest-worker program, said Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA), which initiated the study. “We know our growers had a need for labor during the spring crop. We’re just trying to quantify what happened and how the labor shortage affected the harvest of the spring crop and affected rural communities,” Hall said. “We’ve estimated we had $200 to $300 million in lost crops, but we want to know for sure.” Dr. John McKissick and Sharon Kane, economists with the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, will conduct the study, which will be completed on or before Oct. 1. “We’ve heard reports from Georgia farmers that House Bill 87 has created a labor shortage and negatively impacted their harvests,” Georgia Farm Bureau President
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Zippy Duvall said. “Georgia Farm Bureau supports this study, because in order for Georgia agriculture to be effective in finding a solution to the labor problem we’re facing, we need objective, quantifiable numbers that show the economic impact the labor shortage has had on agriculture and the economies of rural Georgia.”
In addition to the GFVGA and GFB, other groups funding the study are the Georgia Peach Council, Georgia Vegetable Commission, Georgia Blueberry Commission, Georgia Watermelon Association and the Vidalia Onion Business Council, Hall said. Surveys have been sent to Georgia fruit and produce growers identified by the participating organizations and Cooperative Extension to evaluate the Georgia produce crops impacted and to measure the acreage of produce not harvested due to a shortage of labor. Another study conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in late 2007 showed that 67 percent of the Southeast farmers surveyed in the study indicated they have had difficulty hiring workers. According to Cesar Escalante, the UGA economist who conducted the study of organic and conventional farmers in the Southeast, family labor has always been the source of reliable farm workers and even the offer of higher wage rates and benefits can not attract workers willing to perform on-farm tasks.
July 2011 / 7
FSA: More counties likely to receive disaster declarations On June 28, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued disaster declarations for 22 Georgia counties suffering crop losses documented in April loss assessment reports. An additional 26 counties bordering those were named contiguous disaster counties. While that accounts for 30 percent of the state’s 159 counties, it prompted questions about why more counties did not receive the declaration. A Farm Service Agency (FSA) official explained that the number of counties had to do with the timing of loss assessments and predicted that more counties would receive disaster declarations after additional assessments are performed this summer. “It was all a timing issue,” said Clark Weaver, the FSA’s Georgia section chief for price support, conservation and compliance. “We did the loss assessment reports back in the middle of April, and at that point in time we only had so many counties that were in that drought situation, not like it is today. So that’s why we only had 22 counties.” Weaver said another round of loss assessment reports (LARs) started in mid-July, and he expects many more to qualify for disaster declaration. The FSA State Emergency Board was scheduled to meet Aug. 4 to review those assessments. “Just about every county in Georgia probably will be eligible for a designation the way it looks unless they get a big rain between now and then,” Weaver said. “A lot of crops, even if they do get rain, they may not recover.” Weaver said the agency was aware of drought monitoring data in April and asked counties in the southern half of the state to conduct LARs. A county is eligible for a disaster designation when it has a 30 percent loss in one crop, and procedure calls for the governor to request disaster declaration from the secretary of agriculture. He urged farmers to report crop losses to the county FSA office for consideration in the next set of LARs. 8 / July 2011
The 22 counties declared primary disaster areas are: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Chatham, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Dodge, Effingham, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce, Telfair, Thomas, Wayne and Wheeler. The 26 contiguous counties are Berrien, Bleckley, Bulloch, Camden, Charlton, Clinch, Echols, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Laurens, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pulaski, Screven, Tattnall, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Turner, Ware, Wilcox and Worth. Weaver, who has worked with the FSA for more than 30 years, said the early season drought was the worst he has seen. Producers in counties that receive a disaster declaration may be eligible for loans and other assistance from the federal government. Contact your FSA office for more information.
Photo by Jay Stone
By Jay Stone _________________________________________________________________________
Without sufficient rain to bring up their cotton plants, some Georgia growers opted to replant, like this Atkinson County farmer.
Drought impacting Ga. farmers By Jay Stone _________________________________________________________________________
This spring and summer, Georgia’s farmers throughout most of the state have faced worsening drought conditions along with extremely hot weather. The continuing drought conditions across central and south Georgia hit many farmers in the wallet as the weather drove them to alter their planting schedules and use more irrigation to keep existing plants alive, resulting in greater energy and irrigation maintenance costs. “We’ve had to pump a lot of water,” said Wayne County Farm Bureau Director Franklin Burch, who grows 400 acres of tobacco. “We’ve got all of our tobacco under pivots, and we’ve been able to keep it watered down. Maybe, if Mother Nature keeps working with us, we’ll have a crop of tobacco.” In response to the lack of rain, livestock owners have had to make adjustments in how they operate. “We’re purchasing more grain to offset the lack of grass the cows are going to be
grazing,” said GFB Dairy Commodity Committee Chairman Judd Chambers. “There’s no way to offset the additional feed costs. We just have to figure out a way to handle it.” Livestock producers whose supply of forages and hay has been diminished by the drought received some guidelines during a workshop on June 20 at the UGA Tifton Campus. The event was also webcast, and Farm Bureau offices in Washington, South Fulton and Haralson counties held meetings to let their members view the webcast. UGA Extension Economist for Livestock Dr. Curt Lacy gave tips on how to minimize the financial impact drought can have on livestock operations. Lacy advised livestock owners to consider the yearly price cycles for various types of cattle and recommended selling first–and second–calf heifers, open cows, and unprofitable cows before selling proContinued on next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
USDA to resume labor survey
The USDA announced July 1 that the department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will resume its Agricultural Labor Survey in July after the U.S. Department of Labor agreed to pay survey costs. The NASS discontinued the survey in April due to budget constraints. The Agriculture Labor Survey provides information on the number of agricultural workers, hours worked and wage rates at both national and regional levels. Prior to the survey suspension, the NASS interviewed nearly 12,000 farmers and ranchers every quarter. The department of labor uses the survey information for its H-2A temporary worker program. The labor department relies on the Agriculture Labor Survey to analyze the farm labor supply and demand and establish the need for additional certifications. The data from the July survey will be published on Aug. 18 in the Farm Labor Report. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
Continued from previous page ductive cows four to seven years old. The workshop also covered tax implications of culling herds and strategies for forage and feeding management. Georgia State Climatologist David Stooksbury outlined the development of the drought conditions, which began with lower-than-normal levels of late-summer rainfall in 2010. The ground water levels have not returned to normal levels, Stooksbury said, and he predicted conditions warmer and drier than normal through the summer months. Clyde Fraisse of the University of Florida detailed a drought monitoring system he has developed with data being collected at a number of stations in Florida and Georgia, including locations in Plains, Tifton and Vidalia. For more drought management information on the web, visit: http://www.caes.uga.edu/commodities/fieldcrops/forages/events/drought/ DroughtMtg11.html http://www.georgiaforages.com/ http://www.agroclimate.org/
A field of peanuts in Turner County, where the rows have not grown in due to drought.
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July 2011 / 9
commodities/marketing update Don McGough
10 / July 2011
GFB employees get an up-close look at a Holstein on display in the Georgia Milk Producers’ mobile dairy classroom during GFB’s annual Dairy Day in June. Nicole Karstedt (back to camera) showed GFB employees how cows are milked.
Photo by Jay Stone
Georgia is uniquely positioned geographically and has the climate to produce many different farm commodities. These days it seems almost everyone has a keen interest in where their food comes from, and commodity promotion is a good way to answer their questions. Promoting Georgia agriculture is an ongoing effort of Georgia Farm Bureau and our Commodities/Marketing Department. Our staff members work to promote Georgia commodities throughout the year using numerous programs and activities. GFB’s Certified Farm Market Program works year-round to publicize the wonderful array of fresh fruits, vegetables, pecans, horticulture products and other commodities produced locally in communities across the state. We annually publish a brochure listing all participating markets that is distributed to consumers statewide. We make an effort to promote commodities as they come in season by featuring different markets on our website and sending press releases to media statewide. With more than 500 employees, the GFB home office is the perfect place to educate consumers about Georgia commodities. On June 29 we celebrated June Dairy Month by holding our annual Dairy Day to promote the many nutritional benefits of dairy products. Thanks to the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association and Georgia Milk Producers for their support of this event. To celebrate the fall harvest of Georgia’s peanut crop, we host an annual peanut boil in September for GFB employees with the help of the Georgia Peanut Commission and the National Peanut Buying Points Association. Our department also promotes Georgia’s peanut industry yearround by distributing canned peanuts and 3/4 ounce bagged peanuts within Farm Bureau. Throughout the year, commodities staff work closely with each of the state commodity commissions to assist them with their promotion programs that are
Photo by Jay Stone
Promoting Georgia agriculture
In June, GFB President Zippy Duvall (right) toured some of the GFB Certified Farm Markets that grow and sell peaches. During a stop at Dickey Farms, Duvall talked to Robert (left) and Bob (center) Dickey about peach promotion.
funded by the producers of each specific commodity. We attend numerous commodity meetings and work with our GFB media to inform our members of the commodity news they need to know. We also work with GFB’s 20 commodity advisory committees on special projects, such as the GFB Hay Directory and Hay Contest, to promote Georgia commodities. Our department also provides marketing opportunities for grains, soybeans and
corn, and other feed ingredients to help ensure that our members have access to the best prices available. You can even receive daily futures information sent directly to your cell phone through our Futures At A Glance messaging service. Visit http://www.gfb.org for more information about your GFB Commodities/ Marketing Department. Don McGough is director of the GFB Commodities/Marketing Dept. Georgia Farm Bureau News
SE Georgia experiences historic wildfire season By Jay Stone ___________________________________
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
Georgia Forestry Commission Director Robert Farris, (left) reviews fire maps for Sen. Saxby Chambliss (center).
Photo by Jay Stone
eorgia is experiencing a historic wildfire season, according to Georgia Forestry Commission Director Robert Farris. As of mid July, multiple fires had charred 340,713 acres in and around the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, including more than 40,000 acres on private land, much of which was awaiting timber harvest. During the first six months of 2011 forest fires have caused more than $30 million worth of damage to timber in the state. Combined with the damage from the April tornadoes, Georgia has suffered more than $100 million in timber damage. The fires, compounded by severe drought conditions, are being combated by personnel from the Georgia Forestry Commission, its equivalent agency in Florida, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Farris gave U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss a briefing and tour of the Okefenokee fires on June 25. Given the thorny federal budget environment, Chambliss said the prospect of aid to private landowners affected by the fires is difficult to predict. “There’s going to be significant private property loss,” Chambliss said. “How we’re going to deal with that going forward is going to be very, very difficult because we’re out of money in Washington right now. I’m not sure what the answer is going to be.” Farris said this season would likely exceed the damage caused by the Okefenokee fires in 2007, but because fires have been widespread across the South the manpower and firefighting resources available then are not all available now. “After living through 2007 I thought that was a once-in-a-lifetime event, that we wouldn’t see fire like that again for
This firebreak stopped the Race Pond Fire, one of several fires in and around the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. On the left is unaffected forest and on the right is scorched timber.
years to come,” Farris said. “It’s very likely, with the way things are going this year, our fire season in 2011 is going to be worse than what we encountered in 2007.” The vast majority of the land within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has burned, and the Okefenokee Swamp Park has been closed for an extended period. While Farris noted that fire is a natural part of the swamp’s ecosystem, the difficult part is containing it within the refuge’s boundaries and keeping it off private land. Farris said that the fires in the swamp are extremely difficult to extinguish, par-
ticularly under the drought conditions the southern part of Georgia is experiencing, and a large-scale rain event would be required to put them out completely. “Sometimes the peat bogs will start burning for feet underneath the ground, and they’ll burn for extended periods,” Farris said. “We had one fire in a bay that started back in November that was started by an arsonist, and [the fire] actually escaped [the swamp] in March. So, even with the winter rains we had, that bay kept burning. In that situation, when it’s drought conditions, you just simply can’t put those fires out.” July 2011 / 11
Photo by Jay Stone
One of the stops on the 2011 Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour was this tobacco field under irrigation at the farm of Wayne County Farm Bureau Director Franklin Burch.
New buyer, research updates highlight annual tobacco tour By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ New approaches to disease and pest control, variety tests and the emergence of a new buying company highlighted the 2011 Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour, which visited the UGA Bowen and Black Shank farms in Tifton along with 13 private farms in south Georgia and north Florida. GFB 10th District Director Daniel Johnson shared an overview of his operation in Pierce County, including the addition of U.S. Growers Direct, which has begun buying tobacco from several states, including Georgia, for distribution to Asian markets. “It has come together, and I hope it works for the tobacco industry,” said Johnson. “If it does, it’s going to be one of the best things that ever happened to the industry.” Tour organizer Dr. J. Michael Moore, a UGA Extension agronomist for tobacco, said the state’s tobacco acreage might have dipped as low as 9,000 acres if U.S. Grow12 / July 2011
ers Direct hadn’t stepped in. With the company’s contracts, the state’s growers planted 11,000 acres in 2011 according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, virtually the same acreage as in 2010. Moore said that more than half the Georgia and U.S. tobacco crop is exported, either in leaves or as processed cigarettes. “Considering that we’ve had very little rain since transplanting, we have an outstanding crop,” Moore said during the tour. “It’s fortunate that much of the Georgia crop and the Florida crop is irrigated. I think that will cause us to have a high quality, good-yielding crop. Rainfall would help us tremendously.” The growers on the tour got information on pesticide trials, research to control tomato spotted wilt virus and variety trials. At the 400-acre farm of Wayne County Farm Bureau Director Franklin Burch, the tour participants viewed the results of vari-
ety trials, and Burch said rising input costs have posed a challenge, particularly with the constant need to irrigate. “The products we have had to purchase have gone up, equipment, the whole nine yards,” Burch said. “All the input costs just kind of went out the roof.” At the farms of Kenneth Williams and Jerry Wooten in Jeff Davis County, the tour looked at test results on methods of applying Coragen to control budworms. Moore said the key portion of the test was the timing of application, noting that budworm moths often don’t arrive in the fields until three weeks after planting. Because Coragen remains effective for approximately 49 days, the trial aimed to see if delaying application to more closely coincide with the moths’ arrival would enhance the chemical’s effectiveness in combating the worms. Part of the trial in the unirrigated field at the Williams farm involved covering the chemical with soil, and because of the hot, dry temperatures Georgia has had in 2011, Moore said the chemical application was not as effective as in 2010, when the soil moisture was different. For more information about research on tobacco production in Georgia, visit http://www.georgiatobacco.com.
Court rules in favor of Georgia in tri-state water dispute The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on June 28 ruled that one of the intended purposes of Lake Lanier was to supply water to the metro Atlanta region, overturning a 2009 U.S. District Court ruling by Judge Paul Magnuson in an ongoing legal battle between Georgia, Alabama and Florida over access to the water from the lake. According to published reports, Alabama plans to appeal the Circuit Court ruling. Magnuson’s ruling gave the states until July 2012 to reach a water–sharing agreement. Without an agreement, metro Atlanta’s access to water from Lake Lanier was to revert to 1970s levels.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
University of Georgia Research Professor Dr. Andrew Paterson is one of two research winners of the 2011 Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation (CCFF) Agriscience Awards, given jointly by the Christopher Columbus Foundation, which is supported by the federal government, and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Paterson is studying genome mapping for important agricultural crops, including cotton, peanuts, and Bermuda grass in an effort to determine where specific inheritable traits are located on the genetic sequence of a DNA strand. The awards, presented on July 12, honor distinguished scientists, educators and high school students for exemplary innovation in the field of agricultural science. Paterson and Dr. Randall Prather, University of Missouri professor of re-
Photo courtesy of AFBF
UGA researcher wins agriscience award
University of Georgia Research Professor Dr. Andrew Paterson (center) accepts the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation Agriscience Scientist Award from the Foundation’s Acting Chairman Jim Herring (left) and American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman (right).
productive biotechnology, each received a $25,000 cash award and up to $25,000 in research funding. Paterson is a distinguished research professor and director of the Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory, part of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmen-
tal Sciences. He is jointly appointed in the college’s crop and soil science, plant biology and genetics departments. Paterson’s research uses genomic tools to study crop improvement, plant biodiversity and molecular evolution. He is also researching biofuel production efficiency.
If you can’t be there, we can. She’s been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl. But if you can’t be there to see it, you can at least make sure that you’ve planned for her happiness. Farm Bureau Insurance* has a wide range of life insurance policies that can meet your family’s needs. Hopefully you will be there for all of her life’s greatest moments. But if you can’t, Farm Bureau Insurance* will be there to help see her through.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
*Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS
July 2011 / 13
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
A recent UGA study shows Georgia pecan growers have planted more than 2,000 new acres of pecan trees.
Demand for pecans raises prices, acreage By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________
ast year Georgia pecan producers received record prices for their crop. Thanks to the industry’s ongoing efforts to expand their markets abroad and domestically, growers hope high prices are here to stay. “2010 was probably the best year any of us have ever seen, not only from a price standpoint but from a demand standpoint,” said Georgia Pecan Commission Chairman Duke Lane. “It was a win-win situation for everybody. We’ve never seen prices start out at a decent price and then go up.” In Georgia, the average price per pound for pecans from last year’s crop was between $2.25 and $2.30 a pound, according to University of Georgia Pecan Specialist Lenny Wells. 14 / July 2011
The initial good price growers received for their 2010 crop may be credited to the fact that last year was the “off” year of the two-year production cycle pecan trees follow. But USDA reports show the 2010 crop yielded more poundage than most “off” years and still prices rose. The last production report USDA issued for the 2010 crop estimated Georgia’s production at 65 million pounds compared to the 100 million pounds Georgia produced in 2009. The USDA won’t release final production numbers for 2010, which some say could be as high as 70 or 75 million pounds, until September. “Last year was a record price for pecans, but all indications are we stand to see pretty good prices this year as well,” Wells said.
Increased demand driving prices
So what’s driving prices and demand for pecans? Expanding markets, domestic and foreign, which was the hot topic of the annual meeting of the Georgia Pecan Growers Association held March 30 at the
Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. Lane told growers the Georgia Pecan Commission (GPC) is creating a twominute video this summer that will be shown on Delta flights in November. “This will be an in-flight video featuring Georgia pecan growers and our crop - how we grow it, harvest it and shell it,” Lane said speaking to the growers at the annual meeting. “We hope to reach two and a half million people with this video.” Lane said the video resulted from similar videos the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association did with Delta to promote Georgia’s blueberry, Vidalia onion and watermelon crops. The commission continues to work with the public relations firm Sahlman Williams to promote Georgia pecans through national media and sponsorships of sporting events such as the Mind, Body, & Spirit Fitness Games held last September in New York. The event attracted 7,000 runners who learned that pecans are the top nut to eat for antioxidants. “We’ve continued to spread the word Georgia Farm Bureau News
that Georgia pecans are fit for all reasons for all seasons,” John Williams, president of the Tampa-based firm said.
Chinese demand a major factor
U.S. demand for pecans has increased since the mid-1990s when the GPC formed and started its promotion efforts, but Wells said it is China’s demand for pecans that are driving price and causing growers to plant more acres of trees. “We did a survey a year ago to look at the number of acres going into pecans. The survey showed a little over 2,000 new acres being planted in pecans, and I think that’s a conservative estimate. It’s probably a good bit more than that,” Wells said. “The biggest thing driving the new acreage is the excitement behind the price, which is being driven by the amount of pecans going to China.” Meanwhile, the National Pecan Growers Council (NPGC) continues efforts to find new markets for pecans overseas. “Five years ago the port of Savannah was exporting zero pecans. Today we’re exporting fifty percent of our crop,” said Hilton Segler, NPGC executive director. “The efforts we’ve generated overseas to increase exports have put an extra dollar per pound in growers’ pockets for inshell nuts.” The NPGC is promoting pecans in Canada, Dubai, India, the European Union and China using $326,000 in funds it received from the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Market Access and Emerging Markets Programs, Segler said. The U.S. produces 80 percent of the world’s pecan supply, Segler said, followed by Mexico with 10 percent and the remaining 10 percent produced by Australia, Brazil and Peru. Jeff Worn, a pecan sheller with the South Georgia Pecan Company in Valdosta, recently traveled to India with the NPGC to promote the crop. Nuts play a big role in the Indian diet, Worn says, but the Indian walnut and California almonds and pistachios currently fill this need of the Indian diet. “The Indian people see U.S. products as being a quality product. They see the potential in pecans, but we have to create Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Pecan producers attending the annual Georgia Pecan Growers Association meeting, March 30 in Perry, listen to a sales representative talk about Air-Fan’s 1,000–gallon engine-driven sprayer.
a market for it,” Worn said. “Once they start to find out how much better for you pecans are than these other nuts, then I think pecans will really start to take off.” Worn cautions that pecan growers may have to wait five to 10 years to see India grow as an export market. “I think the almond industry has been there almost 20 years, and they are just starting to scratch the surface of the potential India offers as an export market. Pistachios have been there eight to 10 years,” Worn said. “It’s going to take marketing samples of pecans and a whole lot of patience, but I’ve got people on the ground in India who are willing to do the promotion for us.”
Are higher prices here to stay?
“Five years ago we could grow an acre of pecans for $500 an acre. Now it costs us close to $1,800 an acre. We can no longer survive in this business selling for
low prices,” Segler said. “There’s a certain segment of people that buy on price, and we’ll probably lose some of those customers, but other customers buy on health benefits and nutrition and those are the customers we’ll supply.” Lane, who says he was still taking calls from buyers wanting pecans in February, says he doesn’t see supply catching up with demand in the near future. “A lot of trees have been planted all over the state of Georgia, but with the continuation of promoting pecans domestically and in the export markets I just don’t see supply catching up with demand,” Lane said. “I think demand will be good for years to come. It’s caused the price to go up, but who can apologize about that? With the increased input costs we’re experiencing with diesel fuel, insect and disease control and labor, we’ve got to see an increase in the price of our commodity.” July 2011 / 15
GFB art contest winners named
Jay Jones of Decatur County won the 17th Annual Georgia Farm Bureau Art Contest. Jones won the contest’s top prize of $250 with his pencil drawing of a farm landscape of a barn, tractor and pickup truck. Jay, the son of Angela Jones, was an 11th-grade student at Bainbridge High School when he entered the contest earlier this year. He also won $100 for winning the GFB 9th District contest. The contest was open to all high school students in Georgia and drew 58 entries statewide. Jose Lopez of Monroe County, GFB 5th District, and Aaron Bruce of Lanier County, GFB 10th District, were runners-up in the art contest. They each received $150 in addition to the $100 district prize. Other district winners in the contest 1st Place: Jay Jones of Decatur County were: 1st District, Kira Ray, Cherokee County; 2nd District, Nick Maysonet, Jackson County; 3rd District, Nathan Trippe, Carroll County; 4th District, Ashton McKettrick, Columbia County; 6th District, Brianna Watkins, Dodge County; 7th District, Kaidy English, Emanuel County; 8th District, Layla Lewis, Lee County. The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee annually coordinates the contest in conjunction with county Farm Bureau Women’s Committees for the purpose of encouraging Georgia high school students to creatively explore Georgia agriculture. The contest is open to any student in 9th-12th grade.
Ag video contest seeks entries
The CropLife Ambassador Network is accepting entries in its YouTube-style video contest. Participants are asked to create a video of five minutes or less depicting how modern agriculture is one of the following: important to everyone, cutting edge, sustainable or a way of life. The videos will be used by CropLife volunteers to educate elementary students about agriculture. The contest is open to all persons active in modern crop production. Awards for the contest are as follows: 1st place $500, 2nd place $300 and 3rd place $200. Submissions are due by 12:59 p.m. Nov. 1. The person submitting a video may work as part of a team with others, but only one person can submit the official entry. Visit http://ambassador. maca.org/video-contest/ for complete contest guidelines and entry instructions. 16 / July 2011
Runner-up: José Lopez of Monroe County
Runner-up: Aaron Bruce of Lanier County Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB announces essay contest winner
Lynlee Poppell of Grady County won the 2011 GFB Middle School Essay Contest. She was an 8th grade student at Whigham School when she wrote her essay earlier this year. Poppell claimed a $150 cash prize for winning the state contest and also received $100 for winning the GFB 9th District contest. She is the daughter of Gary and Julie Poppell. The essay contest was open to all Georgia students in 6th through 8th grade and drew 63 entries statewide. Students were asked to discuss the theme, “Agriculture Counts: The Importance of Agriculture in Georgia to Me, My Community, My State and the World.” The essays were judged on clarity of thought and creativeness. Other district winners were: 1st District, Hunter Young, Chattooga County; 2nd District, Lea Presley, Stephens County; 3rd District, Conner Muse, Carroll County; 4th District, Maddison Wilkes, Oconee County; 5th District, Morgan Tillman, Jasper County; 6th District, Harley Robertson, Jones County; 7th District, Wyatt Colley, Candler County; 8th District, Rachel Minick, Sumter County; 10th District, Kade Moore, Coffee County. The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee annually coordinates the contest in conjunction with county Farm Bureau Women’s Committees.
USDA announces claims process for Hispanic, women farmers The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced the establishment of a process to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans. Those wishing to register to receive a claims package or to request more information can visit www.farmerclaims. gov or can call the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429. USDA cannot provide legal advice to potential claimants. Persons seeking legal advice may contact a lawyer or other legal services provider. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Agriculture Counts: The Importance of Agriculture in Georgia to Me, My Community, My State and the World By Lynlee Poppell------------------------- Agriculture plays an important role in the economy of every community, state, country, and the world. The meaning of agriculture is the practice of farming the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock. Agriculture is an important part of our everyday lives. It allows people to make a living and provides needed food for others. It is very important to everyone. Agriculture is important to me because it provides some of my family and friends with jobs and money for expenses, and also a variety of foods to eat. We rely on farmers to produce certain crops so we can eat different foods. People also rely on agriculture for a living such as farmers. By planting and harvesting crops, farmers are able to sell their crops and make money. We, as the consumers, buy the product, which helps the farmer. Agriculture has been around for a long time. Lots of our great-grandparents and grandparents lived off the land, and that is special to me. In our community in Grady County, we have a lot of farmers. They grow crops such as corn, tobacco, peanuts, and soybeans. Our farmers also raise a lot of livestock such as hogs and cattle. Agriculture in our community is used for profit and for providing our families with food. We also have a lot of backyard farmers who grow summer gardens and share with their neighbors. Farming is a very hard job and sometimes you take a lot of risks. Agriculture in our community is responsible for providing us with what we need to survive. Georgia’s agricultural industry plays a major role in the state’s economy. Georgia ranks first in the production of chickens, peanuts, and pecans. Agriculture has been around for a very long time in the state of Georgia. As an 8th grade Georgia history student, I have learned this year how even the earliest Indians cultivated maize, pumpkins,
and beans. Cotton and tobacco were the major crops in Georgia after the American Revolution, and Georgia cotton soon got the name King Cotton after the Civil War. Georgia is known for lots of good agricultural products that help bring in lots of money for our state. Not only is agriculture important to Georgia, but to the entire United States as well. Almost every state depends on agricultural products as a source of income. The United States differs in some areas that have better farmland. Farmers in the United States plant crops that will grow well in that particular area. For example, fruit crops grow well in Florida, and wheat and grain grow well out west. Agriculture is a good source of income for our country. We help each other out when there is a need for certain foods. A lot of families in the United States are still involved with farming and raising livestock even though things are a lot different now. A good balanced agricultural industry provides the world with food security. Most countries of the world depend on agriculture as a way to make money and survive. Larger farms may hire farmhands to harvest the crop and take care of the animals, so sometimes farming can provide jobs. We depend on other countries for different food crops. Since South Georgia is not good for growing bananas and coffee, we import these items from other countries. Every nation seems dependent on each other and this is helpful in promoting agriculture. Agriculture is important to me in my community, the state of Georgia, the United States, and the world. Without agriculture we would not have the many things we have and use today. We are lucky to have the ability to grow crops we need or to ship them to other countries that need them. Agriculture is a way of life that is very much needed for all people and places.
July 2011 / 17
Farm Bureau mourns loss of Cagle & Martin
GFB members attend AITC Conference
Photo by Jay Stone
Georgia sent a 30-person delegation to the 2011 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference held June 22-25 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Georgia was second only to Florida, the host state, in number of participants. Georgia’s delegation consisted of teachers, Farm Bureau volunteers and personnel from Ft. Valley State University. The conference included 76 workshops, mini-workshops, roundtables and make-and-take sessions that covered all grade levels and subjects. There was also a day of traveling workshops that spotlighted area agriculture. Stephens County Farm Bureau sponsored two teachers from their county, Dana
and James Horton, to attend the conference. “James and I are still talking about how much fun we had at the conference and marveling over what we learned. I’m already looking forward to August to begin sharing with our local teachers,” Dana said. “It truly was a wonderful experience, and while I have a background in agriculture, James does not, and his outlook is forever changed!” Make plans now to attend or sponsor a teacher to attend the 2012 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference. It will be held June 19-22 in Loveland, Colorado. Contact Donna Rocker at dhrocker@gfb. org or 478-474-0679,ext. 5365 for more information.
FFA officers visit GFB
The newly elected Georgia FFA state officers visited with GFB President Zippy Duvall (seated) June 16. Pictured standing, from left are: Georgia FFA Vice Presidents Edward Moore, Ryan Powell and Cassidy Gilliard, FFA Secretary Jake Todd and FFA Vice Presidents Joey Temperly, Brittney Gunter and Newt Gilman. Georgia FFA President Ben Bennett was unable to attend. 18 / July 2011
Georgia Farm Bureau is mourning the loss of former Butts County Farm Bureau President Mary Lee Martin and former GFB Women’s Committee member Bernese Cagle. Martin, who was 93, died June 20. She was preceded in death by her husband George Martin Noah Martin Jr., who died in 1989. Martin served as president of BCFB from 1989 to 2010, and at the time of her death was the BCFB vice president. During World War II she was the only woman member of the Jackson National Guard and was a charter member of the Jackson Business and Professional Women’s Organization. The Butts County Chamber of Commerce inducted Martin into the Butts County Hall of Fame in 1997. Martin is survived by her daughter Mary Ruth Watson and son-in-law Ralph, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Those wishing to honor her may make donations to the Butts County Farm Bureau Scholarship Fund. Condolences may be sent to the family at 733 Covington Street, Jackson, Ga. 30233. Bernese Cagle of Cherokee County, a former member of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and a member of the GFB Aquaculture Committee, died June 22. She was 71. Cagle played a leading role in the orCagle ganization of the Centennial Farm Heritage Program in Georgia and served on the board of the North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Albert Cagle, son Scott Cagle and his wife Laurie, son Mark Cagle, son Len Cagle and his wife Teresa, son David Cagle and his wife Angela, 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to the family at 150 Stringer Rd., Canton, Ga. 30115. Georgia Farm Bureau News
WE, THE FARMERS from page 4 nesses in their communities, and everyone will pay more to feed their families - there are no real winners. This is why we are looking forward to the debate on the national level. Farm Bureau believes the immigrant labor issue can only be solved in Congress. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced a bill (HR2164) to make E-verify mandatory nationwide. This could be disastrous to Georgia agriculture if it becomes law before we work on a workable, affordable guest worker program. On pages 5 and 6 you can read more about the testimony I gave at a town hall meeting Rep. Jack Kingston held in Homerville, Ga., June 30. Georgia tax reform is another issue Georgia Farm Bureau continues to address. GFB’s volunteer leaders and staff have spent countless hours working with our legislators and the Special Council for Georgia Tax Reform. As you know, the legislature did not act on this in 2011, so in May, I
met with Gov. Deal and Lt. Governor Cagle about the possibility of moving this issue forward. We had a great visit on this matter along with immigration and water issues. Drought, water and tax reform are just a few of the issues affecting farmers and all of Georgia’s citizens in one way or another. For this reason, we have to unite and stand together. Remember, we are one people, under God. In Mark 3: 24-25 the Bible says, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand”. Georgia Farm Bureau is the voice of Georgia’s largest industry, and it would be wise for us to heed God’s word and stand together - growers of all different commodities, standing side-by-side, growing our state by helping Georgia’s largest industry and Georgia’s family farms. God Bless.
Photo by Amanda Johnson
Winners of the April 3 competition were: Open All-Around Champion - Stephen Freeman riding Mecom Doc Blue; Non-Pro All-Around Champion - Sarah South riding JAG Dynamite Hickory; Non-Pro Ltd.
All-Around Champion - Sally Ratliff riding Doc T Abbie; Novice All-Around Champion - Joy Brigham riding Smart Smokin’ Jewel; Green Horse All-Around Champion - Susannah Fay riding Olenas Tuff N Nuff and Youth All-Around Champion - Sunnie Wynn riding Just Been Mooned. Landreth, who serves on the Georgia Farm Bureau Equine Committee, and his father Harrell Landreth, Troup County Farm Bureau president, operate Little Creek Quarter Horses where they breed, raise and train quality performance quarter horses that can work cattle or compete in shows. The Landreths joined forces with Amanda Johnson, a quarter horse trainer, to start the SHoGA. “The mission of the American Stock Horse Association is to help people ride a better horse, and the purpose of the Stock Horse of Georgia is to extend the American Stock Horse mission into Georgia by conducting clinics and competitions,” Darryl said. The Landreths and Johnson organized the April event, and TCFB Director Henry Jones provided the cattle the horses worked in the clinics and competition. The SHoGA will host another clinic/ show Aug. 27-28. Sumrall and Dr. Dennis Sigler, ASHA vice president, of College Station, Texas, will serve as clinicians. Visit http://www.littlecreekquarterhorses.com or call 706-302-5117 for more information.
Pictured clockwise from right, Stock Horse of Texas President Brian Sumrall shows Patti Rosene, of Newnan, Connor Landreth of LaGrange and Paul Keith of Hogansville, how to flex a horse during a horsemanship clinic held at the inaugural Stock Horse Versatility Event in April.
Stock Horse of Ga. holds inaugural event
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________
ore than 30 Georgia stock horse enthusiasts from across Georgia and Alabama polished and showed off their skills during the inaugural Stock Horse Versatility Event, April 2-3, at the Quercus Cattle Company Arena in Gay, Ga. On Saturday, event attendees participated in American Stock Horse Association (ASHA) clinics led by ASHA President B.F. Yeates, of College Station, Texas and Stock Horse of Texas President Brian Sumrall, of Daisetta, Texas. On Sunday, participants competed in four classes - working cow horse, reining, ranch trail and ranch pleasure - during the event organized by the Stock Horse of Georgia (SHoGA), an affiliate of the ASHA. “This event was an excellent start for the Stock Horse of Georgia as it was educational and included a competition that was fun and challenging. Competitors were judged individually in each class and received a score that provided useful feedback to the rider,” explained event organizer Darryl Landreth. “We were very fortunate to be able to hold this event on a working ranch and to have Mr. Yeates and Mr. Sumrall serve as clinicians and judges.”
Georgia Farm Bureau News
July 2011 / 19
AROUND GEORGIA News from County Farm Bureaus BERRIEN COUNTY Berrien County Farm Bureau Director Wayne Nash (left) and BCFB Office Manager Phyllis Boyd (right) welcomed artist Jack Deloney (center) to the BCFB office this spring for a showing of his beautiful water paintings. Deloney, of Ozark, Ala., exhibited many of his agricultural and wildlife themed paintings for sale. Deloney’s paintings preserve the memories of how agriculture used to be.
BIBB COUNTY Bibb County Farm Bureau volunteers who helped with the 3rd Annual St. Jude Benefit Antique Tractor Ride May 7 included: (pictured left to right) Seth Scruggs, Haley Skipper, Jacob Skipper, Debby & Neil Skipper, BCFB Agent Tracey Green, Harriett & Doug Skipper, Whitney Scruggs and Tylor Tanner. The BCFB would like to thank everyone who made a donation or volunteered their time and services to make this ride a success!
CHATTOOGA COUNTY CCFB sponsored a Farm Day at Trion City Schools in May during which members of the CCFB Women’s, Promotion & Education and Young Farmer Committees taught the students about farming. The program began with CCFB Women’s Chair 20 / July 2011
Nanette Bryan reading “The Cow Loves Cookies.” Then the classes rotated through sessions about each animal mentioned in the story. Approximately 300 students, pre-K through third grade participated along with teachers and other faculty. CCFB also participated in the Ag Day Program at Chattooga High School. CCFB Directors Greg Hurley and Eddie Massey talked to the students about the different types of equipment used on farms and about safety around equipment.
COBB COUNTY In April, the Cobb County Farm Bureau Board of Directors awarded scholarships to five local students. Pictured from right are CCFB President Clarence McCollum, CCFB Vice President Luke Mayes, Mark Zenoble, CCFB Director Sarah Carnes Brown, Robert Wooditch and CCFB Director Stan Kirk. Wooditch, who is a student at ABAC, received the first place $5,000 scholarship. The second place $2,500 scholarship went to UGA student Matthew O’Meara (not pictured). Zenoble, who will enter ABAC this fall, won the third place $1,250 scholarship. Taylor Jordan (not pictured), a UGA student, received the fourth place $750 scholarship, and Emily Webb (not pictured), a Ga. Tech student, received a $500 scholarship.
CRAWFORD COUNTY The Crawford County Farm Bureau held its annual steak supper in March. CCFB awarded hoodies, trophies and prize money to its 60th annual livestock show participants from money raised with the supper. All of the CCFB committees pitched in to make this a successful event. CCFB P&E Chair Crystal Smallwood created a display of GFB member services and solicited new mem(Continued) Georgia Farm Bureau News
(Continued from previous page) berships. Anyone who joined Farm Bureau during the supper became eligible to win the gift basket containing a copy of GFB’s “Legacy of Georgia Cooking” cookbook along with other gifts. CCFB also offered free blood pressure screenings to everyone attending the supper.
and how to work with the equipment. MCFB Women’s Committee Chair Judy Stephenson and committee member Mary Smith served lunch following the workshop. Dr. Glen Rains, with the University of Georgia, is pictured discussing the dangers of a power take–off shaft. JASPER COUNTY The Jasper County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee hosted a Farm Day event for the fifth grade at Washington Park Elementary School to educate the students about agriculture and to promote commodities produced in Jasper County. Each of the students received gift bags that included beef coloring books, poultry brochures and Georgia peanuts. Thanks to Cal-Maine Foods, the Georgia Beef Board and Osborn-Barr for providing items for the bags. LAURENS COUNTY Around 200 kindergarten students at Northwest Laurens Elementary learned about the variety of agricultural enterprises in their county during the Agricultural Awareness Day held May 10. The students rotated through eight stations, which included a display of farm equipment and a bread making demonstration. Laurens County Farm Bureau Director Buddy Mercer is pictured talking to the students about calves. In addition, the students had a chance to see chickens, pigs and rabbits. The Georgia Forestry Commission provided an equipment display and discussed the importance of forest fire prevention. The day was a huge success thanks to the cooperation of the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, Laurens County Young Farmers Association and the Georgia Forestry Commission. MADISON COUNTY The Madison County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and the Madison County Extension Service sponsored a Farm Equipment Extrication Workshop this spring. Forty emergency personnel and farmers attended the event held at the farm of Keith & Lauren Lord. The attendees learned how responding to an emergency situation on a farm can present unique difficulties Georgia Farm Bureau News
MACON COUNTY The Macon County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, chaired by Kim Brown, served refreshments to participants in the St. Jude’s Tractor Benefit Ride in May as they gathered at the farm of Macon County Farm Bureau member Charles Hughes before starting the ride. Pictured from left are: Marilyn McClendon, Patsy Newberry, Kaye Poole and Ellen Chase.
TURNER COUNTY In June, the Turner County Farm Bureau held a pizza lunch for the Turner Alternative Services Center, which is a state-funded organization that teaches mentally challenged individuals to perform daily activities and interact with society. The center clients participated in a lesson to learn that pizza ingredients come from the farm. A special emphasis was placed on beef, GFB’s new commodity of the year. The group enjoyed doing worksheets, answering trivia questions, playing Pizza Bingo and drawing for door prizes. All of the participants were given miscellaneous beef promotional items. TCFB Office Manager Karen McCurdy (far left) is pictured with the TASC group and TASC Health Instructor Kayla McDaniel (far right). See AROUND GEORGIA page 22 July 2011 / 21
Antique tractor enthusiasts gathered at the farm of Charles Hughes in Marshallville May 7 to participate in the 3rd Annual St. Jude Benefit Antique Tractor Ride. Ride participants drove 10 miles from Hughes’ farm to Yoder’s Deitsch Haus, east of Montezuma. Bibb County Farm Bureau President Neil Skipper and GFB 6th District Director/Jeff Davis County Farm Bureau President James Emory Tate organized the ride, which raised $3,170 for the children’s hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The parade included 41 registered participants who drove antique Allis Chalmers, Farmalls, Fords, John Deeres and Massey Fergusons. The oldest tractor in the parade was a 1935 John Deere A. The largest tractor was a 1030 Case, and the smallest tractor was a Farmall Cub Lowboy. AROUND GEORGIA from page 21
Africanized honeybees destroyed in Bainbridge
Entomological tests have confirmed that a suspect feral colony of honeybees found and destroyed in Bainbridge in May was the Africanized honeybee strain, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Another colony of Africanized bees were destroyed in Dougherty County last fall. Visit http://www.agr.georgia.gov for tips on dealing with Africanized honeybees. WALTON COUNTY In May, the Walton County Farm Bureau held a lunch to celebrate May being national strawberry, egg and beef month. About 100 WCFB members attended the event and enjoyed hot dogs and pizza. Local radio personality David Malcom (center) of station WMOQ interviews WCFB President Nathan Malcom (right) and WCFB Agency Manager John Redding (left) about the importance of agriculture. WCFB displayed an educational exhibit about beef and brochures about strawberries and eggs that event attendees were encouraged to take along with Farm Bureau membership information. 22 / July 2011
Boll weevil eradication board sets 2011 assessment
The Georgia Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation Board of Directors met March 16 to review operations, approve the program’s operational budget and set the 2011 assessment. The board of directors set the 2011 crop year assessment at 50 cents per bale. The assessment was based on a projection of 1.5 million acres of cotton. The gins will collect and remit the assessment to the boll weevil program in the same manner as it was for the 2010 crop year. For information about the boll weevil program or assessment, call Executive Director Jim Wilson at 229-263-9366.
Photo by Don Giles
Farm Bureau rides for St. Jude
Ga. Peanut Commission approves budget
The Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) board of directors in June approved a $1.25 million budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, which began July 1. This budget provides funding in the areas of promotion, education, communication and research. Georgia peanut growers invest $2 per ton for commission activities. Decreases in acreage and declines in estimated production due to drought prompted the board to decrease the budget by $380,000 from last year. “The board and advisory board members reviewed the budget and approved several cuts throughout all areas of the commission activities,” said GPC Chairman Armond Morris. “It is going to be a slim year but we are focused on doing what we can to obtain the most for every dollar spent on our programs of work and maximizing our exposure through partnerships with other organizations and businesses.” The budget was set based on an estimated 625,000 tons of production for the 2011 crop. This was a decrease from the $1.63 million approved in the fiscal year 2010-2011. The commission eliminated funding for the Peanut Circus, after nearly 30 years of reaching millions of children across the U.S. Another relatively new promotion targeting major markets in the Midwest was also eliminated. One national promotional effort coordinated by the state check-off organizations in the Southeast, the Southern Peanut Growers, was cut by $20,000 in its program of work. Throughout the budget, cuts were made in all areas of promotion, education and communication. The research portion of the budget, approved in March, was not cut. Visit http://www.gapeanuts.com for more information on activities of the Georgia Peanut Commission. Georgia Farm Bureau News
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