March 23, 2011
Vol. 29 No. 12
AG DAY EVENT CELEBRATES GEORGIA’S TOP INDUSTRY Georgia agriculture took center stage in downtown Atlanta March 22 during the 8th Annual Georgia Ag Day event at the Georgia Freight Depot. The event, hosted by Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, drew 4-Hers and FFA students from across the state along with state officials, their staff members and representatives from Georgia’s many ag organizations. Exhibits manned by 52 ag organizations and agencies showcased the diversity of Georgia agriculture. “We have a great opportunity to tell everyone how important Georgia agriculture is today,” said Black. “Agriculture and commerce is what our state was built on dating back to 1776.” Deal spoke directly to the 4-Hers and FFA students attending the event, encouraging them to be part of agriculture’s future success. “You are honing your talents and learning skills you will need for being a part of keeping Georgia the number one agriculture state,” Deal said. “Agriculture is going to change as you grow up, and I want to encourage you to be willing to adapt to the changing horizon.” Deal and Black recognized Everett and Carol Williams of Morgan County as the state winners of the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award. The Williams operate a 1,900-cow dairy farm and were selected for the conservation measures they have adopted such as conservation tillage and implementation of a manure management system that recycles water and sand flushed out of the barns and uses manure solids for fertilizer on their silage crops. Other district winners included Andy Futch of Gilmer County, Will Harris of Early County, Jeff Herrin of Habersham County and Cecil Stafford of Long County. All of the stewardship winners are Farm Bureau members. Emily Myers and Gina Bodell of Dunwoody won the grand prize in the 5th Annual Flavor of Georgia Contest for their Emily G’s Pear Honey Jam. Lauri Jo Bennett of Norman Park won the people’s choice award for her Blueberry Pepper Jelly. The contest, designed to promote Georgia entrepreneurs producing food products made with Georgia-grown commodities, drew 89 entries from which 21 finalists were selected to compete in the contest. Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall delivered the closing remarks, reiterating the economic contribution agriculture makes to the state economy. “If you look around the world no one else can produce agriculture like we do,” Duvall said. “When you look at the economic crisis we have been going through it is agriculture that has carried us through.”
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HARRIS CO. FARM BUREAU PRESIDENT HARVEY WELDON PASSES AWAY Long-time Harris County Farm Bureau President Harvey Weldon died on March 19. He was 77. Weldon is survived by his wife Chloris, daughters Glenda Jones of Seneca, S.C., and Jan Carter of Fayetteville, Ga., son Pete Weldon, brothers Charles Suber and William A. Suber and sister Donna Braun. Weldon had 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was a Mason for more than 50 years, served as president of HCFB for more than 19 years, sat on the Harris County Planning and Zoning Board for more than 13 years as well as serving as a regional representative of the National Safety Council. “We at Georgia Farm Bureau were deeply saddened to learn of Harvey’s death,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “His service as a county president and his work on Georgia Farm Bureau’s Aquaculture Committee was invaluable, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Weldon family.” Condolences may be sent to 611 Denney Road, Cataula, Ga., 31804. GEORGIA WEATHER NETWORK GETS TEMPORARY FUNDING The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) have each allocated funding to extend the operations of the Automated Environmental Monitoring Network (AEMN) for an additional two months. The AEMN, a network of 81 stations across the state that record a variety of weather and environmental conditions and makes the data available online, was on a course to be shut down and dismantled by July 1 because of budget limitations and personnel changes. The network, which costs more than $300,000 a year to operate, will receive an additional $50,000 in funding. Half of it is from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and CAES will use $25,000 from its horticulture department. Dismantling of the AEMN was to begin April 15. The additional funding will allow CAES time to pursue permanent funding sources. BAYER OPTS NOT TO RESUME METHYL ISOCYANATE PRODUCTION Bayer CropScience announced on March 18 that it would not resume production of methyl isocyanate (MIC), a key ingredient in aldicarb, which is marketed under the trade name Temik and used to fight insects numerous crops, including cotton and peanuts. Bayer had already stopped MIC formulation at its plant in Woodbine, Ga., the shutdown of which cost Camden County approximately 300 jobs. Last summer the company voluntarily agreed to phase out production of aldicarb by Dec. 31, 2014. According to published reports, Bayer had shut down its MIC production plant in Institute, W.Va., for a reconfiguration. A lawsuit by a group of residents near the plant resulted in a temporary restraining order barring the company from resuming production until a courtappointed expert could conduct a safety examination of the facility. Bayer CropScience said in a March 18 press release that uncertainty about further delays in the case prompted the company to conclude that it could not expect to resume production in time for the 2011 growing season.
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PRODUCE GROWERS WRESTLING WITH FUMIGANT REQUIREMENTS Fumigant management plan requirements placed in effect Jan. 1 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are proving troublesome to Georgia’s fruit and vegetable growers. The EPA rules targeting the use of methyl bromide, chloropicrin and other chemicals used on farms require growers to have a detailed fumigant management plan in place, and workers handling soil fumigants are required to be outfitted with a personal self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), medically cleared for use of the SCBA and have the SCBA fitted. In Georgia, compliance with the fumigant rules is being overseen by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The rules apply to handlers of dazomet and metam sodium/potassium in addition to chloropicrin and methyl bromide. Some growers are concerned these requirements will make it too costly for them to continue producing their crops. Earlier this month, Joyce Calhoun, of Calhoun Produce, wrote Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black on behalf of the Georgia Strawberry Growers Association asking that the SCBA requirements be removed. “For the small producers, the cost is going to outweigh the benefits,” said Brad Calhoun of Calhoun Produce. “There’s no gain on my part. There’s just going to be a cost and no gain.” Costs for the SCBA, which includes a mask and a strap-on oxygen tank, start around $1,500 and can run $5,000 or more, while the medical clearance can run $100 or more per worker. The clearance process includes a 7-page Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) questionnaire, measurement of vital signs and respiratory function tests conducted by medical personnel. Once medical clearance is obtained, the test to fit the respirator mask is conducted. Growers are also required to conduct air monitoring and employ buffer zones around the field on which the fumigants are applied. The air monitoring generates additional expenses, and the buffer zones in some cases can reduce the amount of land available for cultivation. APPEALS COURT RULING IN CWA CASE FAVORS LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on March 15 that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot require livestock producers to apply for Clean Water Act (CWA) permits unless their farms actually discharge manure into U.S. waters and that the agency does not have jurisdiction over potential discharges, only actual ones. In a suit filed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Pork Producers Council and other agricultural organizations, the court ruled, “The CWA provides a comprehensive liability scheme and the EPA’s attempt to supplement this scheme is in excess of its statutory authority.” The court also ruled that concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) cannot face separate liability for failure to apply for permit coverage. Instead, the CWA imposes liability only for discharges that occur from the unpermitted CAFO. “We are pleased that the federal courts have again reined in the EPA’s unlawful regulation of livestock operations under the Clean Water Act. The court has affirmed that EPA, like other federal agencies, can only regulate where it has been authorized by Congress to do so,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 5 3rd ANNUAL PEANUT PROUD FESTIVAL March 26 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Courthouse Square Blakely The theme for this year’s event is Proud-N-Peanut Country. Join the fun with a 5K Run, peanut parade, food vendors, recipe contest, educational exhibits, antique farm equipment display, arts and crafts and a street dance featuring the Fabulous Expressions from 6-10 p.m. A beauty pageant will be held March 19. Applications to participate in the pageant, parade or to be a vendor are available at www.peanutproud.com along with more information about the event or call 229-723-2802. 2011 Southeast Hay Convention March 29-30 GA Farm Bureau Building Macon Formerly known a the Hay Production School, this event will begin at 8 a.m. on March 29 and will include two days of learning and interacting with fellow hay producers and University specialists. The registration fee is $125 per person and $50 for each extra person from the same farm. Registration fee covers the convention notebook, a weed identification guide and many other reference materials. Lunch for both days is included in the fee. Conference is limited to 100 participants. Early registration is recommended. Visit http://www.georgiaforages.com for more information or to register or contact your local Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1. BOLL WEEVIL ERADICATION FOUNDATION DIST. 5 NOMINATION MEETING March 30 Emanuel County Farm Bureau Office 10 a.m. Swainsboro This meeting is intended to fill the District 5 seat on the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (BWEF) of Georgia held by Farris “Buddy” Wren until his recent resignation. Each nominee and person making a nomination must grow cotton and reside within the BWEF District 5, which includes the following counties: Appling, Bacon, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Chatham, Dodge, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Montgomery, Screven, Tattnall, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Twiggs, Wayne, Wheeler and Wilkinson. For more information about the foundation or the nomination meeting call Don McGough at 1-800-342-1196. GEORGIA PECAN GROWERS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE March 30 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Perry Event begins at 8 a.m. and runs to 5 p.m. Event includes a trade show and research presentations from pecan experts and promotion updates from the Ga. Pecan Commission. To register visit http://www.georgiapecan.org or contact Janice Dees at 229-382-2187. GEORGIA SMALL FARM CONFERENCE March 31-April 1 The Foundry Park Inn & Spa Athens Conference begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday and ends at noon on Friday. The event includes two farm tours and discussions about farm planning and marketing, livestock and fruit and vegetable production. For more information or to register, visit http://www.areg.caes.uga.edu. Call Robert Amos at 706-552-4479. 50th ANNUAL GA CATTLEMEN’S ASSOC. CONVENTION & BEEF EXPO March 31-April 2 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Perry The Georgia Cattlemen’s Association will celebrate 50 years of success with more than 60 trade show vendors, five Pfizer sponsored Cattlemen’s Colleges, CattleWomen meetings, junior cattlemen contests and events and a Friday night Cattlemen’s Ball. Pre-registration is required for meals at http://www.gabeef.org/gca/conventionregistration.htm or by contacting the GCA office at 478-474-6560. LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP April 1 UGA Research and Education Garden 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Griffin This workshop will cover site analysis and bed preparation, plant selection, fertilization and irrigation, and troubleshooting. Participants will also learn the basics of landscape equipment selection. Commercial and private pesticide credit in category 24 will be awarded. The program costs $30. To register or for more information, contact Val Schott at 770- 233-5598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leadership Alert page 5 of 5 GEORGIA EGG COMMISSION RECIPE CONTEST ENTRY DEADLINE APRIL 1 Recipes must be an original creation, include a minimum of four whole eggs, serve at least four people and have a preparation time of 60 minutes or less. Recipes must be typed and include the entrant’s name, address, home, cell and office phone numbers. First prize is $2,000, second prize is $850 and third prize is $650. Send recipes to: Egg Recipe Contest, Georgia Egg Commission, P.O. Box 2929, Suwanee, Ga 30024 or by e-mail to email@example.com. GEORGIA EGG COMMISSION HALL OF FAME NOMINATION DEADLINE APRIL 1 The Georgia Egg Commission is accepting nominations for a person to be inducted into its hall of fame. The award is presented once every three years and is intended to recognize a living person of older age who has rendered outstanding and unselfish service to Georgia’s egg industry. Priority will be given to Georgia residents. Nomination forms are available by e-mailing the Egg Commission office at firstname.lastname@example.org. FARMERS MARKET WORKSHOP April 6 Exhibition Hall of Atlanta State Farmers Market Forest Park Registration begins at 9 a.m. with training sessions running from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Workshop sessions will cover eligibility requirements for accepting WIC vouchers, EBT (food stamp) benefits, keeping markets compliant with state regulations and food safety issues. National Farmers Market Coalition President Sharon Yeago will deliver the keynote address at lunch. For more information or to register contact Jerome Brown with the Upper Ocmulgee River RC&D Council at Jerome.Brown@ga.usda.gov or 770-339-6071. GEORGIA WATER RESOURCES CONFERENCE April 11-13 Ga. Center for Continuing Education Conference Center Athens This biennial event is an open forum to discuss current water policies, research, projects and water management in Georgia. The conference will feature oral discussions, poster presentations, panel discussions, workshops and field trips. Panel topics include: sustainable infrastructure, water planning and management at regional and state levels, resource assessments, stormwater management and mitigation, flooding response and impacts, drought occurrences and impacts, and water use estimation and efficiency. To register or for more information, visit http//:www.gawrc.org. STARTING A NEW FOOD BUSINESS IN GEORGIA SEMINAR April 15 Food Science Bldg., UGA Campus 9a.m. -4 p.m. Athens Interested in marketing your family recipe for barbeque sauce, but don't know what’s required by the USDA/FDA, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, or the health inspectors, etc., to get started? This one-day seminar is co-sponsored by the UGA Food Science Extension Outreach Program and the UGA Center for AgriBusiness Development, and features speakers from the food industry as well as entrepreneurs who have started their own food businesses. Registration cost is $100, which includes lunch, workshop materials and a notebook. The deadline to register for this workshop is April 4. To register online with a credit card, go to the CALENDAR link at www.EFSonline.uga.edu and look for the Starting a New Food Business brochure and online registration links. Call 706-542-2574 or email EFS@uga.edu for more information. UGA CAES ALUMNI G-DAY TAILGATE April 16 Connor Hall, UGA Campus 10 a.m. Athens The University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Alumni Association is hosting a tailgate for alumni, friends and students before the annual spring G-Day game. The G-Day game kicks-off at 1 p.m. Admission is free! The CAES Alumni Association will provide hamburgers, hotdogs and drinks while supplies last. Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs and other tailgate supplies. Tailgate games will be available for kids of all ages! To help us plan more appropriately, please RSVP to the CAES Alumni Office at email@example.com or call 706-542-3390.