March 13, 2013
Vol. 31 No. 11
GOHS, GDA HOLD ROAD SAFETY EVENT IN APPLING COUNTY The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are combining to promote road safety as the planting season gets in full gear, and they held a media event at Branch Farm Supply in Appling County to promote awareness both for farmers and the general motoring public. The event, organized by Appling County young farmer instructor Jim Galvin, drew a crowd of approximately 60 people, including numerous representatives from various law enforcement agencies. “It’s very very critical this time of year, because very shortly the equipment will be traveling the roads,” Galvin said. “We’re getting to the time of year where we’re going to be planting spring crops. We want to make the public aware that this equipment is out there, and it is generally slow-moving.” A similar event was held last fall at the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo, coinciding with harvest time. Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood detailed “Improving Georgia’s Yield Behind the Wheel,” the GOHS program aimed at reducing accidents involving farm equipment. Blackwood noted that while 38 fewer people overall were killed on Georgia roads in 2012 than in 2011, six people were killed in crashes involving farm equipment in 2012, up from five in 2011. Blackwood said Georgia’s 1,198 traffic deaths in 2012 ranked fifth behind Texas, California, Florida and North Carolina in number of overall road fatalities. “We want to make sure that our friends in agriculture have an opportunity to get from field to field safely,” Blackwood said. “Our first goal is to bring that number below 1,000, and one of our first goals also is to bring this number of farm equipment fatalities to zero. We can do that.” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black talked about the importance of being safe on the roads, encouraging farmers to make sure the safety markings on their equipment is visible and to allow passenger vehicles to pass when possible. “If by drawing attention to these important issues we can have a positive impact on one family in the state of Georgia by preventing an accident, then it is worth the effort,” Black said. Luther Hires of the Coastal Area Traffic Enforcement Network spoke about the importance of educating the public about road safety. “We’d rather educate you than arrest you,” Hires said. “What we want to talk about is trying to share the road with this big equipment. It’s springtime, and they’re beginning to get out to the fields.”
Leadership Alert page 2 of 7 KICKOFF EVENT CELEBRATES GEORGIA AGRICULTURE Visitors at the 2013 Ag Day celebration in Georgia on March 12 had the opportunity to sample the products from dozens of exhibitors who offered samples of products made from Georgia commodities, ranging from bees to watermelons. The 10th annual event, held at the Georgia Freight Depot in Altanta, included the recognition of winners in the 2013 Flavor of Georgia Contest. National Ag Week is March 17-23 and National Ag Day is March 19. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black hosted the event, which included 49 exhibits for various commodity groups and agricultural stakeholders. Deal noted that agriculture’s economic impact on the state has topped $65 billion annually, and he said that the Georgia Sunbelt Farmer of the Year would be announced at Ag Day beginning in 2014. Amy Stankus of Chocolate South in Atlanta won the grand prize in the Flavor of Georgia contest with her Peach Tea Bonbons, which also won first place in the confections category. Other category winners: Dairy Products – Ryan Burger of Flat Creek Lodge in Emanuel County; Other Products - Gayla and Kevin Shaw of Gayla’s Grits in Lanier County; Meat Products – Debra and Del Ferguson, Hunter Cattle Company, Bulloch County; Sauces – Margaret and Natalie Keng, Chinese Southern Belle Asian Home Chef Series, Cobb County; BBQ & Hot Sauces – Grant Giddens, Atlanta Bee Company, Atlanta; Jams & Jellies – Mike and Diane Stafford, MiDi Blueberry Farm, Crawford County; Snack Food – Dick Byne, Byne Blueberry Farms; People’s Choice – Troy Bivens and Sherry DiSimone, Georgia Buffalo Inc. MONSANTO OFFERING EDUCATION GRANTS IN 32 GA. COUNTIES Farmers in 32 Georgia counties have until April 15 to nominate a public school district for grants of up to $25,000 from the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education fund, sponsored by Monsanto. The eligible Georgia counties are Appling, Baker, Berrien, Bleckley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Coffee, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Screven, Seminole, Sumter, Tattnall, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth. To be eligible, a county must have a total of 30,000 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and/or vegetables planted per calendar year based on USDA statistics. The program is open to all public school districts in eligible counties. The program provides grants in the amounts of $10,000 and $25,000. One $10,000 grant will be awarded in each eligible crop reporting district (CRD). The grants will be based on merit, need and community support. Nominations are limited to one per farmer. The more farmer nominations a school receives, the more community support is demonstrated. To submit a nomination, visit http://www.growruraleducation.com and click the “nominate your school district” button. The nomination form may also be printed for submission by regular U.S. mail. Entries should be sent to America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, 914 Spruce St., St. Louis, MO 63102; mailed entries must be received by April 15. For more information, call 1877-267-3332. Once nominated, the school will be notified and sent an invitation code to apply for a grant at http://www.MonsantoFund.org. School districts will have until April 20 to submit the grant application.
Leadership Alert page 3 of 7 FDA ISSUES PROPOSED RULE FOR PRODUCE SAFETY ON FARMS The FDA is issuing a proposed rule to establish science-based standards for domestic and foreign farms that grow and store produce. The proposed rule is required by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was passed by Congress in late 2010 and signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011. According to an FDA fact sheet, the proposed rule would apply to farms that grow, harvest, pack or hold most fruits and vegetables when those fruits and vegetables are in their raw or natural or unprocessed state. The proposed rule would not apply to certain produce, including produce that is rarely consumed raw (such as potatoes), produce that will receive processing including a kill-step (with certain documentation), and produce for personal or on-farm consumption. The proposed rule would not apply (or would only partially apply) to farms that have less than $500,000 in annual food sales, the majority of which are sold either directly to consumers or to restaurants or retail food establishments in the same state or within 275 miles of the farm. The FDA is accepting public comments until May 16. To submit a comment, visit http://tinyurl.com/a9rfsz8. As a part of the public comment process for finalizing the rule, the FDA is holding a series of listening sessions, including one at the Georgia Department of Agriculture on March 20 at 1:30 p.m. The Georgia listening session will also be accessible through interactive broadcasts at the Macon State Farmers Market and at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The session will feature presentations from UGA Center for Food Safety Director Dr. Michael Boyle, FDA Acting Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Melinda Plaisier, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael R. Taylor and FDA Senior Advisor for Produce Safety Dr. James R. Gorny. To register to attend the listening session, visit http://tinyurl.com/bp3mb8n. For more information, contact Oscar Garrison, Director of the Food Safety Division at the Georgia Department of Agriculture, at 404-656-3627. NRCS TO REISSUE 1099 FORMS FOR 2012 PAYMENTS The 2012 IRS 1099 forms issued to farmers and ranchers who received NRCS financial assistance are incorrect and are scheduled to be reissued by USDA’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer in March. The IRS forms issued in January may either be in the wrong amount or no 1099 was issued when one should have been. According to the NRCS, important data needed to produce correct 1099 information was left out when a system change took place May 1, 2012, and NRCS financial experts are working with the USDA’s Controller Operations Division to help get the thousands of 1099s to the appropriate people as quickly as possible. At this time there is no guaranteed date by which the 1099’s will be delivered, although they were expected to be released March 8. The USDA is working to ensure a quick turnaround so that the 1099 mailing is expedited. For more information, contact the nearest USDA service center. An online directory of USDA service centers can be found at http://tinyurl.com/cevg9mv.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 7 CHEROKEE COUNTY AG EXPO March 14 Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce 4:30 – 6:30 Canton This event, cosponsored by the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, Cherokee County Extension Office and Chamber of Commerce, is part of the county’s Agriculture Week celebration. The event will feature more than 20 booths highlighting locally grown food, ag products and ag businesses. Samples of grits, honey, jams and locally made bread will be served. The public is invited to attend to learn how agriculture impacts life in Cherokee County daily. For more information or to make a reservation, contact CCFB at 770-479-1481, ext. 0. The Chamber of Commerce office is located at 3605 Marietta Hwy in Canton. MARCH 15 IS DEADLINE FOR GA. AG HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS Nominations for the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame are being accepted until March 15. The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals of impeccable character who have made unusual or extraordinary contributions to agriculture and agribusiness industries in Georgia. For information about the award and the nomination procedure, visit http://tinyurl.com/a6y9f2g. B. FRANK STRICKLAND SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE IS MARCH 15 Applications are being accepted for the B. Frank Strickland Scholarship until March 15. The $500 scholarship will be presented to an entering freshman or rising sophomore from a tobaccoproducing county who plans to attend Abraham Baldwin College (ABAC) for the 2013 fall semester. Entering freshmen applicants should have applied for admission at ABAC. Rising sophomores should be in good standing with the college. The major tobacco producing counties are: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brooks, Berrien, Brantley, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce, Tift, Tattnall and Wayne. The scholarship will be for one academic year and the recipient may apply for renewal, if the recipient remains in good standing with ABAC and maintains a satisfactory academic average. Preference will be given to a student majoring in some area of agriculture. Lanier County farmer B. Frank Strickland was a lifelong advocate of Georgia’s tobacco industry and an active Georgia Farm Bureau member. Applications may be obtained from high school counselors in tobacco producing counties or by contacting the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodities/Marketing Department at 1800-342-1192, ext. 5218.
PEANUT PROUD FESTIVAL March 23 Courthouse Square Blakely This annual celebration of Georgia's peanut industry features the Peanut Proud Parade, a 5K run, a wide variety of arts and crafts, kids games and free entertainment featuring country artist John Berry and Diamond Rio. For more information, visit http://www.peanutproud.com. FILING FOR WOMEN, HISPANIC FARMERS ENDS MARCH 25 The filing period ends March 25 for women or Hispanic farmers alleging discrimination by the USDA in loan application or loan servicing processes between 1981 and 2000. The voluntary claims process, which is offered as an alternative to litigation, will make available at least $1.33 billion for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief to eligible claimants. There are no filing fees to participate. For more information call 1-888-508-4429 or visit https://www.farmerclaims.gov.
Leadership Alert page 5 of 7 WEED MANAGEMENT FIELD DAY April 2 Embry Farm Services 9:15 a.m. – 1 p.m. Eatonton This event will feature presentations by representatives from USDA-NRCS, UGA Cooperative Extension and Chem Nut covering weed identification, herbicide selection, livestock grazing for weed management and sprayer selection and calibration. Embry Farm Services is located at 619 Greensboro Road, about 6 miles NE of Eatonton on Highway 44. Please register for the event before March 27 by contacting the Milledgeville Soil and Water Conservation Commission office at 478-445-5766. The field day is being sponsored by Piedmont Conservation Products, a local non-profit organization that promotes natural resources conservation and education for the citizens and youth in the seven-county Piedmont Soil and Water Conservation District. One hour of pesticide applicator’s credit is available during registration and a barbecue and stew lunch is available for $5/person. DAIRY HEALTH FINANCIAL CHECKUP SERIES March 27 Trinity United Methodist Church Clermont March 28 Pennington Church Annex Madison This series will help dairymen assess their financial health and discover ways to make adjustments, including recognition of a variety of important financial indicators. Meetings are open to dairymen, managers, and employees free of charge and will last from 10 a.m. until noon, ending with lunch. Please preregister for meal by calling 706-310-0020. The series is sponsored by Georgia Milk Producers, Inc., Dr. Curt Lacy, University of Georgia and SARE (Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education) CONFERENCE ON UNMANNED SYSTEMS IN AGRICULTURE March 28-29 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton This conference, cosponsored by the Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Georgia Center of Innovation, is designed to introduce Georgia farmers to the benefits and practical applications of unmanned systems. Speakers include Young Kim, general manager of BOSH Global, John Deere Manager of Field Robotics Stewart Moorehead, UGA Tifton Dean Dr. Joe West and others. The program features live unmanned systems demonstrations and interaction between potential users and manufacturers. To register, visit http://www.ugatiftonconference.org. For more information, contact Karen McIlroy at firstname.lastname@example.org. GEORGIA FORAGES CONFERENCE April 3-4 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Perry For the second straight year, the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention begins with its focus on “Making the Best Better” with the Georgia Forages Conference. On April 3 UGA Extension Forage Specialist Dr. Dennis Hancock will begin the program with a mini-“hay school,” which will cover key steps to making more and better hay. UGA Extension Livestock Economist Dr. Curt Lacy will provide an economic outlook for 2013 and cover some of the new drought insurance products that are on the market. On April 4, specialists from Auburn University and the University of Florida speaking on the opportunity to renovate and improve tall fescue, bermudagrass, and bahiagrass pastures. For more information or to register for the event, visit http://www.gabeef.org/gca or call 478-474-6560. You can also learn more about the Georgia Forages Conference at http://www.georgiaforages.com.
Leadership Alert page 6 of 7 GEORGIA CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION 51ST ANNUAL CONVENTION April 3-6 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Perry This jam-packed four-day event covers all things beef, including a forage conference led by UGA’s Dr. Dennis Hancock, Pfizer Cattlemen’s College seminars on the topics of political/regulatory issues, risk management, nutrition and road safety; a livestock marketing seminar conducted by UGA’s Dr. Curt Lacy; the annual awards banquet; a the GCA general membership meeting; angus, hereford, commercial heifer and club calf sales; the annual Cattlemen’s Ball; and a new products and junior awards luncheon. Visit http://www.gabeef.org/gca/conventionregistration.htm for more information or to register. 2013 GEORGIA WATER RESOURCES CONFERENCE April 10-11 The Georgia Center for Continuing Education Athens The two-day conference features technical presentations, panel discussions and a poster session. Students can attend for free if they assist with conference activities. Student prizes of $150, $100 and $50 will be awarded for the best oral or poster presentations. Discount registration is $110 for both days or $65 for one day before April 9. Discount student registration is $70 for both days or $40 for one day before April 9. To register for the conference, wisit. http://tinyurl.com/amk6e2h. Hotel rooms also may be reserved through this website. The conference, held biennially since 1989, was spurred by a 1984 statewide water forum led by Georgia State University with funding provided by the Georgia Water Research Institute. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.gawrc.org/ or contact Jenny Yearwood at 706-542-0947 or Yearwood@uga.edu. BROAD RIVER BEEF CATTLE & FORAGE FIELD DAY April 17 Moore Cattle Company 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Washington This free event, sponsored by 2 Rivers Resource Conservation & Development, the NRCS, FSA, UGA Cooperative Extension, Wilkes County chapter of Georgia Young Farmers and the Central Savannah River RC&D, will begin with registration at 9 a.m. Topics to be covered are utilizing winter animals, soil health benefits of managed grazing, fly control for beef cattle and low stress handling of cattle. Lunch will be provided. To register, contact Wilkes County Cooperative Extension at 706-678-2332. MOUNTAIN BEEF CATTLE FIELD DAY April 18 Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center Blairsville Georgia cattle farmers will gain useful research-based information at this free event, which is sponsored by AgGeorgia Farm Credit, Pasture Management Systems and Resaca Sun Feeds. The field day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes lunch and refreshments, Topics include pasture ecology, soil and fertilizer management, beef cattle efficiency, weed control in pastures and hay field and fly control. For more information, call 706-745-2655. GEORGIA HERD SALE April 23 Tifton Bull Evaluation Center 12:30 p.m. Irwinville For more information contact Dr. Lawton Stewart at 706-542-1852 or email@example.com or Patsie T. Cannon at 229-386-3683 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Leadership Alert page 7 of 7 NOMINATE A FARM MOM TO WIN $10,000 Nominations are being accepted for the 2013 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year Contest until 11:59 p.m. on April 23. To nominate a farm mom for the award, visit http://www.americasfarmers.com/farmmom/nominate. Complete rules and nomination instructions are available at http://www.americasfarmers.com/farmmom/rules.aspx. Nominations may also be submitted by mail to Osborn & Barr, Attn: America’s Farm Mom of the Year, 914 Spruce Street, St. Louis, MO 63102. Five regional winners will be selected and by a panel of judges from American Agri-Women and Monsanto. Online voting will determine the national winner, which will be announced on Mother’s Day, May 12. Each regional winner will win a $5,000 prize, and the national winner will get another $5,000. 14TH ANNUAL PANHANDLE MULE DAY April 27 Panhandle Mule Farm 9 a.m. Reynolds The heritage of breaking land comes alive at this annual event that provides fun for the whole family. Mule Day features antique engines, tractors and implements on display, mule-drawn plowing and live entertainment. For more information call Steve Montgomery at 478-837-1044. 2013 YOUNG HARRIS/UGA BEEKEEPING INSTITUTE May 9-11 Young Harris College 8 a.m. each day Young Harris This event, one of the most comprehensive beekeeping educational events in the Southeast, offers classes for beekeepers at all levels of experience and the annual honey show. May 9 is dedicated training and certification exams for journeymen and master beekeeper qualifications, as well as the Welsh honey judge training, the first licensing program for honey judges in North America. May 10 and 11 provide training and certification, including individual and colony biology, low-tech beekeeping, occupational safety and much more. Registration fees for 18 and older is $110 for one day and $175 for two days. For ages 11-18, fees are $50 for one day and $80 for two days. Participants are urged to preregister by April 30. On-site registration is allowed on a space-available basis, but classes generally fill up quickly. For more information, visit http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/young-harris/index.html or contact Tabitha Davidson at email@example.com or 770-329-9449. GEORGIA CENTENNIAL FARM NOMINATION DEADLINE IS MAY 1 The Georgia Centennial Farm Program, which recognizes to historic farms and encourages their preservation is accepting nominations for farms to be honored during the Georgia National Fair in October. Each nominee farm must be a working farm with a minimum of 10 acres of the original purchase actively involved in agricultural production and must generate at least $1,000 in annual farm-generated income. In addition, farms must have been continuously farmed by members of the same family for at least 100 years. The Georgia Centennial Farm Program is administered by the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Georgia Farm Bureau Federation; Georgia Department of Agriculture; Georgia Forestry Commission; and the Georgia National Fair and Agricenter. For more information, contact Steven Moffson, Chair of the Georgia Centennial Farm Committee, at 404-651-5906 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The postmark deadline for applications is May 1 of each year. Applications are available online at www.georgiacentennialfarms.org.