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March 5, 2014

Vol. 32 No. 9

GEORGIA BEEF COMMISSION TO MOVE FORWARD WITH REFERENDUM The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Beef (ACCB) received statements of support during a hearing on Feb. 28 at the Macon State Farmers Market regarding its proposal to establish a $1 per head assessment to fund research, education and promotional efforts for Georgia’s beef industry. Following the hearing, the five-member ACCB board met and chose to move forward with the referendum process. Ballots will be mailed to Georgia beef producers who registered with the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) by Dec. 31 to vote in the referendum. The ballots will be accepted from March 15 to April 15. For the referendum to be valid, a minimum of 25 percent of the ballots issued must be returned and 66.67 percent must vote affirmative for the referendum to pass. Should it pass, the assessment would be in effect for three years beginning July 1. The assessment would be collected when cattle are sold. Cattle that sell for less than $100 per head would be exempt, as would cattle that have been owned for 10 days or less. The hearing, which is required by law, was attended by a total of 31 people and was administered by GDA Legal Services Officer Ashley Short. The hearing began with GDA Commodities Promotion Manager Nathan Wilson introducing documents showing efforts to form the ACCB, beginning with Senate Bill 97, which was passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 2013 and authorized the formation of the ACCB. Six beef cattle industry stakeholders spoke during the hearing, all of them in favor of the assessment. The GDA also accepted written comments until 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 28. “As an industry we need to step up and fund a program that would help not only research but education, and invest in the things that will help our industry move forward. We’ve got to catch up,” said former Georgia Cattlemen’s Association President Steve Blackburn, who compared 1986 prices to the current prices on gasoline, a pound of ground beef, pickup trucks and other consumer items to illustrate the diminished value of the dollar. “I encourage anyone with an interest in the beef industry to vote positively for this referendum.” The state assessment would be used to fund research, promotion and education programs to benefit Georgia beef producers. The current National Beef Checkoff only funds promotional efforts. ACCB Chairman John Callaway said that most other states around Georgia either have their own assessment or are working toward one. “I think this is the way that it’s happening nationally. More and more states are putting it upon themselves to come up with a state assessment,” Callaway said.

Leadership Alert page 2 of 8 FARM BILL ROW CROP PROVISIONS COVERED IN WEBINAR The 2014 farm bill gives Georgia row crop farmers a choice between three crop insurance coverage options, which were reviewed in a webinar session presented by the Georgia Peanut Commission on Feb. 24. The webinar, which was hosted at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center and webcast to a total of 421 people at numerous sites around the state, featured presentations from Georgia Peanut Commission Washington representative Bob Redding and UGA Associate Professor and Extension Economist Dr. Nathan Smith. “It’s my view that this is quite possibly the best peanut program for Georgia producers and Southeastern producers that we have had to date, when you look at the whole package,” Redding said. While noting that numerous details in the commodity portion of the farm bill have to be worked out through the federal government rulemaking process, Smith reviewed the basics of how the commodity program will work. Smith Growers of row crops, with the exception of cotton (which is covered under the Stacked Income Protection Program or STAX), have a choice between Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Agricultural Risk Coverage-County (ARC-C) and Agricultural Risk CoverageIndividual (ARC-I). PLC and ARC-C decisions may be made on crop-by-crop, farm-by-farm basis. ARC-I decisions would apply to all crops on a given farm. PLC and ARC will provide payments using historic base acres without regard to production. Growers who chose PLC may also choose a Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), which covers a portion of the deductible, though this option will not be available until the 2015 crop. PLC provides payments when the price of a crop drops below a reference price. PLC sets the following reference prices for Georgia’s prominent field crops: peanuts, $535 per ton; wheat, $5.50 per bushel; corn, $3.70 per bushel; grain sorghum, $3.95 per bushel and soybeans, $8.40 per bushel. The farm bill commodity title provides landowners with two options for setting base acreage. They may choose to keep their base acreage as it was on Sept. 30, 2013, or take a one-time reallocation to the average planted acreage in the crop years 2009-2012. Farmers who do not make a base acreage election will be placed in the category of retaining their 2013 base acres. The total base acreage cannot be more than the farm’s base acreage on Sept. 30, 2013. Acreage listed as cotton base acres under the 2008 farm bill is listed as generic base in the 2014 farm bill and may be reallocated for planting in other crops. PLC payments will trigger if the reference price is higher than the average market price or the loan rate in a given year. The payment will be determined by subtracting the higher of the average price or loan rate from the reference price, multiplying that by yield times 85 percent of base acres. Smith said payments would not be made for the 2014 crop until after Oct. 1, 2015. Growers will make the decision between PLC and ARC. Smith said all growers on a particular farm will have to agree and sign off on the program decision. Landowners will make the decision on allocation of base acres. For a summary of base acreage guidelines from UGA’s National Center for Peanut Competitiveness, visit

Leadership Alert page 3 of 8 NO DROUGHT DECLARATION FOR FLINT RIVER The Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) announced on Feb. 28 that conditions in southwest Georgia’s lower Flint River Basin do not warrant a severe drought declaration this year. EPD Director Judson Turner said the area has received enough rainfall that stream flows and groundwater levels are generally good, but encouraged citizens to continue to be good stewards and conserve water. The Flint River Drought Protection Act requires a decision from the EPD director by March 1 of each year regarding a severe drought determination. GFC REPORT SHOWS EXTENT OF ICE STORM DAMAGE ON GEORGIA TREES A Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) assessment of damage to trees resulting from February’s ice storm shows more than 70,000 acres impacted, valued in excess of $65 million according to a GFC press release. Most of the permanently affected trees are pine species. Hardwood damage consisted mainly of limb and top breakage, with long-term survival likely. The report details specific damage in hardest hit areas and provides recommendations for assessment, salvage and safety. “A team of GFC foresters surveyed the zone that appeared to have endured the greatest impacts to our forests from the ice,” said GFC Forest Management Chief James Johnson. “About half of Georgia, over 90 counties, experienced some A stand of loblolly pines in form of winter precipitation during this storm. Through field Burke County damaged in observations and geospatial analysis, 20 east-central counties the Feb. 11-13 ice storm. courtesy Ga. Forestry were identified as hardest hit, with many now requiring (photo Commission) salvage operations and management decisions that will determine tree survival.” According to the assessment, tremendous variation in damage amounts was observed, with three categories of intensity recorded: light to moderate, with tree recovery expected; moderate to severe, with more than 25 percent broken limbs and stems that may necessitate salvage operations or be at risk of loss; and severe, with more than 30 percent broken stems and tops and bending of more than 45 degrees, dictating consideration of full salvage operations. Monetary damage estimates focus on the area of greatest impact and are based on timber harvest expectations at 30-plus years. Most of the damage was noted in acres that were recently thinned for the first time, a process that allows for optimal growth on forestland. “Pruning and tree removal can be dangerous, so it’s important to contact a professional to assess the situation before attempting a ‘do-it-yourself’ fix,” Johnson said, adding that icedamaged tree hazards include broken, hanging limbs that may fall unexpectedly. Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency as the storm approached on Feb. 10 and a presidential declaration of emergency was issued as the storm hit Georgia. Ice in amounts ranging from one-tenth of an inch to an inch triggered extensive power outages across the state Feb. 11-13. During and following the event, 40 percent (215 of 530) of the GFC’s workforce provided emergency response assistance to teams throughout the state, serving on chainsaw crews, helping motorists, delivering emergency supplies, conducting law enforcement patrols and supporting other needed missions. The GFC’s “Timber Impact Assessment” of the February 2014 Georgia ice storm, as well as lists of consulting foresters and certified arborists can be viewed online at

Leadership Alert page 4 of 6 AG SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK IS MARCH 2-8. For more information visit TIMBER DAMAGE WORKSHOP March 6 Washington Co. Farm Bureau Office 6:30 p.m. Sandersville Landowners who experienced timber damage during the recent ice storm may want to attend this meeting sponsored by the Washington County Extension and Washington County Farm Bureau. Georgia Forestry Commission staff and other timber experts will discuss options for dealing with storm damage. For more information contact Brent Allen at 478-552-2011or 6TH ANNUAL SOUTHEAST HAY CONVENTION March 11-12 Oconee County Civic Center Watkinsville Web-based registration is now open for this annual event, designed to provide the latest information for both beginning and veteran hay producers. The convention begins at 8:00 a.m. on March 11 and will include two days of learning and interacting with fellow hay producers and university specialists. The registration fee for this year's event is $175 per person ($125 for each extra person from the same farm). Lunch and refreshments on both days are also included in the registration fee. For more information, visit GFB EXTENDS DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS Georgia Farm Bureau will award a total of $14,250 in scholarships to 10 high school seniors who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agricultural field. The deadline to apply has been extended to March 7. The top three students will each receive a scholarship of $3,000. The remaining seven students will each receive a $750 scholarship. Students submitting an application must currently be a Georgia high school senior and plan to enroll in a unit of the University System of Georgia or Berry College during the 2014-2015 academic year. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information or an application. Applications must be approved and signed by the Farm Bureau president of the county in which the applicant resides or attends high school. You may also download a copy of the application by visiting, selecting Programs and then Ag in the Classroom. The Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee sponsor the scholarship program. Winners will be announced in May. QUALIFYING OPEN FOR GSWCC DISTRICT SUPERVISORS The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission has announced that the qualifying period has begun for candidates seeking election as Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors. The deadline to qualify is March 7. More than 100 counties in the state will hold elections to select individuals to represent their county on local soil and water conservation district boards. Those interested in becoming candidates for office must submit a petition to their local election officials containing the signatures of 25 qualified registered voters in their county before the qualifying deadline. A financial disclosure statement must be submitted within 15 days of qualifying. Upon approval of the petition by local election officials, the candidate’s name will appear on the General Election Ballot in November. For information on the counties conducting elections this year, and for more information on the elections process, visit or call the GSWCC at 706-552-4470.

Leadership Alert page 5 of 8 USDA ACCEPTING FY 2014 CIG GRANT APPLICATIONS The USDA is accepting applications for conservation innovation grants (CIG) to develop and accelerate conservation approaches and technologies on private agricultural and forest lands. The deadline to apply for FY2014 CIGs is March 7. About $15 million will be made available nationwide by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). State and local governments, federally recognized For more information on this grant opportunity, visit To apply electronically, visit ADVANCED IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP March 13 The Steakhouse Restaurant 8:30 a.m. Hawkinsville This free workshop is presented by the Ocmulgee River and Central Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Districts. Topics include advanced irrigation scheduling, filtration systems, drip irrigation, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), data science on the farm, a farm bill update and an overview of USDA and NRCS program. A sponsored lunch and CEU credits are available, and a live UAV demonstration will follow lunch. Please RSVP by March 11 by contacting Lance Wyant at 229-995-6001 or GA. DAIRY MANAGERS SERIES: IMPROVING COW CARE AND HANDLING March 11 UGA Tifton Conference Center 10 a.m. Tifton March 12 Preston Williams Conference Center 10 a.m. Montezuma March 13 Burke Co. Extension Office 10 a.m. Waynesboro March 13 Trinity United Methodist Church 7 p.m. Clermont March 14 Pennington Church Annex 10 a.m. Madison This bilingual series, sponsored by Zoetis and GA Milk Producers, will help dairymen and employees improve cow-handling techniques, such as identifying flight zones, herding instincts and avoiding injury. It will also cover calving assistance and the steps needed to evaluate a potentially sick cow. Meetings are open to dairymen, managers, and employees - free of charge and will be held from 10 a.m. until noon, ending with lunch (except for Clermont). Please preregister for meal purposes by calling 706-310-0020. SMALL FARMING: WHERE TO BEGIN March 14 Central Georgia Technical College 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Milledgeville This workshop is presented by the UGA Cooperative Extension offices in Bibb, Bleckley, Houston, Laurens, Peach, Putnam, Taylor and Twiggs counties. It will cover recordkeeping, funding and resources, marketing, grazing systems, poultry, organics, vegetables, beekeeping and pecans. Registration is $40, which includes lunch. For more information call 706-485-4151. USDA/1890 NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGAM March 14 Scholarship Application Deadline The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the nineteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, which include Fort Valley State University in Georgia. The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is implemented under the USDA Fellow Experience Program (FEP). The program awards scholarships to students attending one of the 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines. For complete guidelines or to download the scholarship application, visit

Leadership Alert page 6 of 8 UGA CAES ACCEPTING HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS The UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Alumni Association invites you to make nominations for induction to the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize individuals making unusual and extraordinary contributions to agriculture and agribusiness industries in Georgia. Hall of Fame nominations must be postmarked by March 15. For more information or to make nominations for these awards, visit PECANS IN SCIENCE EXPERIMENT CONTEST March 16 Deadline for entries Jointly sponsored by the Georgia Pecan Commission and the Georgia Pecan Growers Association, this contest gives students in grades 7-12 the chance to win $500 and spend a day with UGA pecan researcher Dr. Ronald Pegg. For contest rules and entry instructions, visit For more information contact Cheryl Miller at 813 251-4242 (ext. 222) or GRAZING AND FORAGE FIELD DAY March 25 Gully Branch Farm, 376 Butts Rd. Cochran This free event will feature presentations on alfalfa interseeded into Bermudagrass, silvopasture and native warm season grasses, cattle working facility setup and multispecies grazing with cattle and sheep. There is also a bus tour, after which supper will be served. Sign-in begins at 2:30 p.m. Seating is limited to the first 60 people who pre-register by March 18. To register, call Paula Dillard at 478-445-5766 or send an email to NATIONAL COTTON COUNCIL FARM BILL INFO MEETINGS March 19 Bulloch County Ag Center 3 p.m. Statesboro March 20 Baxley Church of God 9 a.m. Baxley March 20 UGA Tifton Campus Conf. Center 3 p.m. Tifton March 21 Lions Club 9 a.m. Donalsonville March 21 Main Street Theater 2 p.m. Dawson The National Cotton Council has scheduled these meetings to provide producers, cotton industry firms and agribusinesses with information on the provisions of the new farm bill. For more information contact the Georgia Cotton Commission at 478-988-4235. CHEROKEE COUNTY AGRICULTURE EXPO March 28 Woodstock Recreation Center 4-7 p.m. Woodstock To celebrate National & Georgia Agriculture Awareness Month, numerous Cherokee County organizations, including Cherokee County Farm Bureau, are hosting this free event open to the public. More than 20 exhibitors will display locally grown food, plants, animals and hand-crafted products. Refreshments will be served, and there will be a petting zoo for children. Reservations for booth space will be accepted until March 21. Farmers, gardeners, garden clubs, beekeepers, horticulture nurseries and other businesses related to agriculture are welcome to exhibit. Contact Shirley Pahl at 770-479-1481, ext. 0 or to reserve an exhibit space or for more information about the event. Anyone planning to attend the event is asked to contact Pahl so enough food is prepared for attendees.

Leadership Alert page 7 of 8 6th ANNUAL PEANUT PROUD FESTIVAL March 22 Downtown Square Blakely Come “Celebrate Everything Peanut” during the daylong festival that begins at 8 a.m. with a 5K & Fun Run, followed by a parade at 10 a.m. More than 100 vendors will sell merchandise, and samples of fried peanuts and grilled PB&J sandwiches will be available. Free entertainment will perform during the day including Nashville recording artist Mark Wills. There will also be a kids’ obstacle course. Pre-festival events include the Peanut Proud Beauty Pageant to be held March 9 at 2 p.m. at Early County High School for girls ages 2-20. A Poker Run motorcycle ride will be held March 1 and a Farmers Appreciation Breakfast will be held March 21. For more information please call Marcie Justice at 229-724-7322 or visit or the Peanut Proud Facebook page. SOUTHWEST GEORGIA BEEKEEPERS BEE SCHOOL March 29 Parks at Chehaw 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Albany This workshop, sponsored by the Southwest Georgia Beekeepers Club and the Dougherty County Extension office, will cover the art of beekeeping, hive equipment, honey production and how to manage a hive for pollination. Participants will work with live bees (if they desire) and receive a “My Hive Tool” DVD. The $30 registration fee includes the course, take home materials, lunch and a club membership. Register online at . For more information about the club or the bee school, call 229-336-5952 or send an email AMERICA’S FARMERS MOM OF YEAR CONTEST TAKING NOMINATIONS Nominations are being accepted for the 2014 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year Contest until 11:59 p.m. March 31. To nominate someone for the award, visit and select the Farm Mom icon. Submit a short essay of 300 words or less that explains how the nominated farm mom contributes to her family, farm, community and agriculture. Complete rules and nomination instructions are available at the aforementioned website. Nominations using the form printed from the website may be submitted by mail to Paradowski, Attn: Sue Dillon, America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, 349 Marshall Ave. Ste. 200, St. Louis, MO 63119. Mailed entries must be postmarked by March 31 and received by April 2. A panel of judges from American Agri-Women and Monsanto will select five regional winners around April 11. Online votes cast for the regional winners from April 25 to May 6 will determine the national winner, who will be announced around May 8. Each regional winner receives $5,000, and the national winner gets another $5,000. USB’S A SOYBEAN’S JOURNEY: SEE FOR YOURSELF PROGRAM The United Soybean Board (USB) invites soybean farmers to participate in this program, which provides farmers with the chance to learn about and evaluate specific investment areas of the soy checkoff, such as international marketing, animal agriculture, industrial uses and soybean farmers’ freedom to operate.  All U.S. soybean farmers over the age of 18 can apply now for the seventh annual See for Yourself program. To apply, visit the USB website,, through April 4.  A group of 10 U.S. soybean farmers will first travel to St. Louis to witness firsthand the operations of the checkoff and visit local sites related to domestic uses for soybeans. Then, since about half of the soy produced in the United States is exported, participants will travel internationally to experience how international customers use soy. The program is scheduled to take place Aug. 15-22 and USB will cover all related rooming, meal and travel expenses.

Leadership Alert page 8 of 8 IFYE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR EXCHANGE PROGRAM Young adults age 19 and over are encouraged to apply for the 2014 International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) Program. Individuals who have developed leadership skills in programs such as Young Farmers & Ranchers, 4-H, FFA or similar organizations, as well as those with a background in various agriculture-related fields and consumer sciences are particularly well suited for a primarily rural living experience. Successful applicants will participate in various young adult programs abroad such as Young Farmers, Rural Youth, etc. Participating countries in 2014 may include Austria, Botswana, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Wales. Additional countries may be added. For further information, please contact Alan Lambert, National IFYE Program Director, at 605-366-6107 or by email at Completed applications are due by April 15. Visit the IFYE website at to learn more about the program and obtain an application. GA. HEIFER EVALUATION AND REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT (HERD) SALE  April 22 Tifton Bull Evaluation Center Irwinville Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. For information contact Dr. Jacob Segers at 229-386-3214 or or Patsie T. Cannon at 229-386-3683 or CALHOUN BEEF CATTLE REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP May 27 NW Georgia Research & Education Center Livestock Pavilion Calhoun Workshop begins at 6 p.m. For information contact Dr. Lawton Stewart at 706-542-1852 or or Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or GA. HEIFER EVALUATION AND REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT (HERD) SALE   May 28 NW Georgia Research & Education Center Livestock Pavilion Calhoun Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. For information contact Dr. Lawton Stewart at 706-542-1852 or or Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or EISENHOWER FELLOWS ACCEPTING AGRICULTURE APPLICATIONS Recruitment is currently open and will end on June 13 for Eisenhower Fellowships, the premier international leadership organization chaired by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret). Eisenhower Fellowships is seeking active farmers or ranchers to take part in a unique international opportunity. Since 1993, Eisenhower Fellowships has welcomed 23 farmers and ranchers into its international network of more than 2,000 leaders from all sectors across the globe. The successful applicants receive a custom-designed program overseas for five weeks in one or two countries where he or she will explore agricultural issues in order to enhance their own leadership capabilities in the field of agriculture. In addition to the overseas program, they will attend an orientation as well as a closing seminar in Philadelphia, with a group of 35 Eisenhower Fellows from the US. and throughout the world. If you are a leader in agriculture, and could benefit from international exposure and a world class network to enhance your leadership role, you are invited to apply for an Eisenhower Agriculture Fellowship. For more information, and application materials, visit:

Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - March 5, 2014  

Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - March 5, 2014