Vol. 73 No. 3
FARM BUREAU NEWS
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
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contents may/june 2011
we, the farmers PAGE 4
legislative update PAGE 8
women’s committee update
commodities update PAGE 16
young farmer update PAGE 18
public relations staff
Paul Beliveau Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor
Lillian Davis Jay Stone Denny Moore Rick Treptow Michael Edmondson Mark Wildman Dean Wood Damon Jones Vickie Amos
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 email@example.com For questions regarding advertising contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., 1-800-397-8908 Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org
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GFB members hear of budget woes, trade opportunities during trip to D.C.
A group of 106 county Farm Bureau and GFB leaders traveled to Washington May 4-6 to meet with the Georgia congressional delegation. PAGE 6
Budget cuts force CAES to cut 18 jobs, sell farm
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has terminated 18 employees and put a 522-acre research farm on the market due to the latest round of budget cuts. PAGE 10
Georgia farms sustain widespread damage from April tornadoes This Bartow County irrigation pivot belonging to Aubrey Corporation was among the many losses sustained by Georgia farmers from the tornadoes that struck central and north Georgia in late April.
GCA celebrates golden anniversary
Members of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association (GCA) celebrated the organization’s 50th anniversary during their annual convention March 31-April 2. PAGE 19
Vidalia Onion museum opens
The Vidalia Onion Committee and Toombs County business leaders cut the ribbon during the grand opening of the Vidalia Onion Museum April 29. PAGE 21
Deal signs ag bills
Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a number of bills related to agriculture in May.
County Farm Bureaus celebrate Ag Week
In March, county Farm Bureaus celebrated National Agriculture Week with a variety of activities, and Georgia agriculture took center stage in downtown Atlanta March 22 during the 8th Annual Georgia Ag Day event. PAGE 24
GFB mourns loss of volunteers
Georgia Farm Bureau lost several current and former volunteer leaders this spring. Join us in recognizing these dedicated volunteers. PAGE 28
on the cover
(Photo by Anna Wilson) Grace Wilson, daughter of Franklin County Farm Bureau members Anna and Jason Wilson, helps her dad check the moisture content of his hay to see if it’s ready to be baled. Grace was one and a half last year when Anna shot this photo in May. Anna won an honorable mention in the 2010 GFB Photo Contest, and the photo is featured as the November picture in the photo contest calendar. Look for the winners of this year’s photo contest to be announced later this summer.
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 3
Photo courtesy of Aubrey Corporation
farmers Zippy Duvall, GFB President
Hope for the Home Place
It seems our country’s landscape is consumed with destruction and devastation. April 2011 will be remembered for a long time. Tornadoes ripped our country apart from the Midwest through the South and in our own neighborhoods. Floods up and down the Mississippi ran people out of their homes and businesses, flooding 3.5 million acres of farmland. May’s droughts have a gridlock on farmland from Texas to Georgia. On my farm, for the first time I can remember, we started feeding hay to our cows in May. Normally, spring ryegrass should still be plentiful. One might ask, “What is going on and what will we do?” Many times we look to our government to step in during times of trouble. These kinds of trials warrant the government stepping in and lending a helping hand. That’s what we expect from our nation. Unfortunately, there are times when the government oversteps its bounds, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to expand its regulatory authority by expanding the definition of “waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act. During Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2011 County Presidents’ Trip to Washington, our delegation took the opportunity to thank our friends in Congress who signed onto a letter expressing opposition to this unwarranted expansion of federal authority. Thank you Congressmen John Barrow, Sanford Bishop, Phil Gingrey, Austin Scott, David Scott and Lynn Westmoreland. Farmers were the first conservationists, and we will continue to be with pride. Speaking of friends in Congress, I’d like to recognize the members of Georgia’s U.S. Congressional delegation who received the Friend of Farm Bureau
Award for 2010 from the American Farm Bureau Federation. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and Reps. Barrow, Gingrey, Jack Kingston and former Rep. Jim Marshall voted with Farm Bureau at least 60 percent of the time on key agricultural issues. Thank you for your constant and continuous support of Georgia’s largest industry – agriculture. AFBF Executive Director of Public Policy Mark Maslyn and I presented the award to Sens. Chambliss and Isakson during the Presidents’ Trip, and our county leaders presented the award to Reps. Barrow, Gingrey and Kingston during their constituent meetings. As our county leaders met with their representatives, they discussed a number of issues, including the need for federal immigration reform rather than leaving it up to states to address the issue, concerns about the next farm bill, the need for permanent estate tax reform, the importance of free trade agreements to agriculture and our concerns about attempts by the U.S. EPA to expand its regulatory reach. You can read more about this trip on page 6. Another federal issue GFB has voiced concern about is the need for the EPA to reregister aldicarb, the active ingredient in Temik, a granular pesticide used to control a variety of pests in row crops, including cotton and peanuts. Due to EPA pressure, Bayer CropScience agreed to phase out production of aldicarb by the end of 2014 and cease all remaining uses of the pesticide by August 2018. As cotton and peanut producers are having difficulty finding a replacement for Temik, Ag Logic, a North Carolina company, has applied to register a pesticide containing aldicarb for use on cotton, peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes, dry See WE, THE FARMERS page 9
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (pictured above, center) accepts the Friend of Farm Bureau Award from Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall (right) and American Farm Bureau Executive Director of Public Policy Mark Maslyn (left). 4 / May-June 2011
FARM BUREAU NEWS
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President ZIPPY DUVALL 1st Vice President/South Georgia Vice President GERALD LONG North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN Jr. Treasurer/Corporate Secretary Wayne Daniel General Counsel DUKE Groover
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
Photo by Jay Stone
Gov. Deal requests disaster declaration for drought
Pictured from left, GFB Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain Jr., Washington County Farm Bureau members Rabun and Glenn Waller and GFB 6th District Director James Malone were among those praying for favorable weather for agriculture during the service held at Georgia Farm Bureau June 2.
GFB holds prayer service to ask for favorable ag weather
By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________
dverse weather conditions from storms this spring and drought conditions have played havoc with Georgia agriculture, so on June 2 Georgia Farm Bureau hosted a prayer service to ask for favorable agricultural conditions. Many areas of the state have gone as long as two months without significant rainfall, affecting planting decisions and prompting worries of crop losses. “This whole year has been dry. We have no surface water reserves whatsoever, and our ground water is lower than it’s been at this time of the year in recorded history. I’ve got irrigated crops that I’ve got up but without rain I won’t be able to carry them through harvest with irrigation,” said Baker County Farm Bureau Treasurer Tim Burch. Birch intended to plant more of his peanut crop in dryland this year because he planted more cotton in his irrigated acreage to take advantage of high prices. “I’ve got a good bit of dryland peanut acres this year and I haven’t planted them. I’m waiting until the promise of rain. I’ll wait the month of June. I don’t want to do that. Last year [peanuts] planted the first of June were affected by frost, so I’m certainly going to be at great risk planting after this date. We’ve got to hope that we are going
to get rain and get it soon enough that I can get those peanuts planted.” Birch said if he can’t plant his dryland acreage in peanuts he may plant it in cotton. The drought conditions were the biggest focus of the prayer service, which drew approximately 100 people to the auditorium at the GFB home office. Berrien County Farm Bureau held a separate observance at its office in Nashville, Ga. “It’s very, very severe for this particular point in the growing season,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, who encouraged the staging of the prayer service. “We’re having many, many producers that are having to water a crop in just to get a stand. Certainly there are expense issues involved there. It’s just not viable long-term. You use irrigation to nurture a crop. You do not use irrigation to produce a crop. The dry land has come under significant stress.” In addition to the drought, forest fires and late-April tornadoes destroyed nearly 400 square miles of timberland and caused damage to chicken houses, hay barns, irrigation pivots, fencing and other ag assets across north Georgia. According to Georgia Farm Service See PRAYER page 14
Gov. Nathan Deal wrote to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack June 3 reuesting a secretarial disaster designation for 22 Georgia counties based on FSA evaluations in mid-April. In a follow-up letter, members of the Georgia U.S. Congressional delegation wrote Vilsack June 9 urging him to consider designating those counties as disaster areas. In that letter, Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson noted that as much as 54 percent of the state has been documented as suffering from extreme drought conditions by the U.S. Drought Monitor through June 2. Reps. Jack Kingston (R-1st Dist.), Sanford Bishop (D-2nd Dist.), Austin Scott (R-8th Dist) and John Barrow (R12th Dist.) also signed the letter. Noting that Georgia farmers have already experienced extensive losses to numerous crops, Deal asked for designations for 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 counties. According to Deal’s letter, the USDA’s County Emergency Boards have prepared loss adjustment reports, which have been reviewed by the USDA State Emergency Board (SEB). The SEB agreed with the loss data reported and has recommended the secretarial disaster declaration, which would make farmers in those counties eligible to apply for assistance, including emergency loans and benefits under the 2008 farm bill. Georgia FSA Director Hobby Stripling has also submitted the 22 counties for secretarial disaster designation, the next-to-last step in the process and says it is possible that the SEB, which meets monthly, could recommend other counties in Georgia for secretarial disaster declarations due to drought conditions. To qualify for a secretarial designation, a county must have a minimum 30 percent production loss in at least one crop due to a natural disaster.
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 5
GFB members hear of budget woes, trade opportunities during D.C. trip Article & photos by Jay Stone _____________________________________ group of 106 Georgia Farm Bureau county leaders and state directors met with the Georgia U.S. Congressional delegation during a trip to Washington, D.C., May 4-6. During visits to the offices of all 13 of the state’s representatives, the GFB members voiced the organization’s concerns about the 2012 farm bill, permanent estate tax reform, free trade agreements, immigration reform and attempts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to expand its regulatory reach. “This is the most important meeting as far as national policy we have outside of our policy development meeting,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “After we develop our policy, trying to get it implemented is the next stage of what we do. For our people to come and present our policies on the issues we’re facing to our representatives and our senators at this time of year is very important.” Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss spoke at a breakfast meeting with the GFB group, during which American Farm Bureau Executive Director of Public Policy Mark Maslyn gave an outlook on
Farm Bureau’s key issues. While the national budget poses great challenges for the ag industry, the news was not all bad. Mike Dwyer of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service discussed factors likely to affect ag trade in the coming years, chief among
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (center) accepts the Friend of Farm Bureau Award from Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall (right) and American Farm Bureau Executive Director of Public Policy Mark Maslyn (left).
GFB Middle Georgia Farm Bureau Vice President Robert Fountain Jr. (center, left) and GFB members from Rep. John Barrow’s district presented Barrow (center, right) with the AFBF Friend of Farm Bureau Award during their constituent visit.
6 / May-June 2011
Pictured from right, Haralson County Farm Bureau Vice President Joe Griffith and GFB 3rd District Director Nora Goodman present Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) with the Friend of Farm Bureau Award along with GFB 3rd District Director George Chambers.
Photo by Mike Copeland
them the rapidly growing demand for food in developing countries experiencing growth in their middle class populations. “The situation in American agriculture has never looked better than it does today,” Dwyer said. “Much of that prosperity is due to booming demand around the world for
Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB 10th District Director David Lee (left) presents Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) with the Friend of Farm Bureau Award.
what we have to sell.” He added that while a short-term dip in commodity prices is likely, the USDA is expecting the nation’s net farm income to remain in the $80 billion -$95 billion range for the next 10 years. In addition to hearing Farm Bureau’s priority issues, congressmen uniformly warned of difficult financial times ahead as Congress grapples with the national debt. Chambliss said the U.S. is on the way to financial collapse, a track similar to those experienced by Ireland, Greece and Portugal. Chambliss said those countries “are truly in dire financial straits. That’s how important it is that we do something about this.” Chambliss, who sits on the Senate Ag Committee, said the 2012 farm bill will have less money and more sectors competing for it. Multiple congressmen said the estate tax is unlikely to go away completely, but that the chances are good that the current $5 million per person exemption with a top tax rate of 35 percent, which expires at the end of 2012, would be made permanent. “Eliminating it totally is what I’d prefer, but the problem is you’ve got all these super-wealthy people that are getting out of it, and then you get into the political questions there,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-1st Dist.). “I’ve always felt like if you could just do [the exemption] in the $5 to $10 million range with inflation, then you take care of 97 percent of the American people, and then it would be fine.” Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-3rd Dist.) said the federal approach to immigration reform would not change under the current administration. He said the borders need to be sealed and the identification process improved.
Michael Reed, senior policy advisor for Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-2nd Dist), told GFB members that the Obama administration plans to initiate discussions on the issue of immigration. “From our perspective, regionally we’re very interested in trying to figure out how to deal with H-2A visas and being able to make sure that we have a consistent migrant policy that supports our workers in a fair manner,” Reed said. The GFB delegation presented American Farm Bureau Federation Friend of Farm Bureau awards to Sens. Chambliss and Isakson, Reps. John Barrow, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston. This award is based upon voting records on AFBF’s priority issues, number
Mike Dwyer of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said the prospects for agricultural international trade look good over the next 10 years.
of bills that a member has sponsored and cosponsored, specific leadership role for Farm Bureau on priority issues and how accessible and responsive that member is to Farm Bureau members and leaders.
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-3rd Dist., second from right) talks with (from left) GFB District 3 Director Ralph Adamson, Harris County Farm Bureau President Gilbert Andrews and his wife Susan, Henry County Farm Bureau President Ross McQueen, Pike County Farm Bureau President Thomas Lacey and Meriwether County Farm Bureau Director Kenneth Murphy (behind desk).
U.S. Blueberry Council holds referendum
The USDA will conduct a referendum July 5-26 asking blueberry growers if they want to continue the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Under the marketing order, the USDA is required to conduct a continuation referendum of the national research and promotions program every five years. The USDA will mail ballots directly to blueberry growers and importers in late June. If you do not receive a ballot by July 5, contact the USDA or the Highbush Blueberry Council at firstname.lastname@example.org. The results will be based on a simple majority of the number voting and a majority of the volume voted.
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 7
legislative update Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director
The United States Supreme Court recently upheld the mandatory E-Verify provisions in the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007. The decision is important because it impacts similar provisions included in Georgia’s immigration law passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. Georgia’s new law includes language mandating the use of E-Verify by private employers. E-Verify is the free federal online database program that checks whether a person is authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify does not check immigration status, but it cross-checks a name with a Social Security number. If there is a match, the person is authorized to work. The case Chamber of Commerce of United States of America v. Whiting was decided May 26 in a 5-3 decision. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion and was joined in the decision by Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The minority included Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader-Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself because she had worked on the issue in the Obama Administration before being appointed to the court. At issue was whether the Arizona law, which became effective in 2008, was preempted by federal law regarding the use of E-Verify. The federal Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA) makes it a violation to knowingly hire illegal immigrants but also restricts actions of states regarding immigration law. The IRCA expressly preempts “any state or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ ... unauthorized aliens.” The phrase “other than through licensing and similar laws,” was the crux of the argument before the Supreme Court. The federal E-Verify program is voluntary. The Arizona law makes E-Verify mandatory. Arizona’s enforcement of the law is based on withholding 8 / May-June 2011
Supreme Court upholds mandatory E-Verify
or revoking licenses for violation and “license” is defined so broadly in Arizona law as to include “any agency permit, certificate, approval, registration, charter or similar form of authorization.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce argued that the IRCA reflected Congress’ careful balancing of several policy considerations: deterring illegal alien employment, avoiding burdens on employers, and guarding against employment discrimination. The chamber characterized Arizona’s effort to revoke business licenses and articles of incorporation as a “business death penalty” and contended this was counter to congressional intent. Chief Justice Roberts disagreed. In writing the majority opinion, he stated that “even if a law regulating articles of incorporation, partnership certificates, and the
The bottom line is the United States Supreme Court has ruled that states can require employers to use the federal E-Verify program. like is not itself a ‘licensing law,’ it is at the very least ‘similar’ to a licensing law.” Roberts also noted that in a federal system of government, a certain amount of variance between states is to be expected. Justices Breyer, Bader-Ginsberg and Sotomayor all expressed concern the Arizona law provides incentives for employers to discriminate against persons of Hispanic ancestry. “How will employers behave,” asks Breyer, “when erring on the side of discrimination leads only to relatively small fines, while erring on the side of hiring unauthorized workers leads to the ‘business death penalty’?” The majority responded that employers are in no danger if they simply follow the law. “The most rational path for employers is to obey the law - both the law barring the employment of unauthorized aliens and the law prohibiting discrimination - and there is no reason to suppose
that Arizona employers will choose not to do so,” wrote Justice Roberts. The bottom line is the United States Supreme Court has ruled that states can require employers to use the federal E-Verify program. Georgians were closely following this ruling because Georgia’s new immigration law also contains provisions for mandatory E-Verify being tied to business licenses. Had the court ruled differently, it could have affected the Georgia law. Another Arizona law, SB 1070, is currently making its way through the court system. Passed in 2010, it was challenged by the Obama Administration and was struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that previously upheld the E-Verify challenge. That law involves questions about local law enforcement checking a person’s immigration status during routine traffic stops, etc. The Supreme Court could hear that case as early as next year. The outcome of that case could also have ramifications for the Georgia law. Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union and several civil rights groups challenged Georgia’s immigration law in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The suit questions the constitutionality of some provisions in the Georgia law. Meanwhile, Congress may soon revisit the issue of mandatory E-Verify. U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) plans to introduced federal legislation June 15 that would require E-Verify of all employers in every state. While the Supreme Court has upheld the legality of mandatory E-Verify, Farm Bureau continues to question the wisdom of it. Requiring small businesses and farmers to navigate yet another layer of federal bureaucracy will only increase costs and reduce efficiency. What America really needs is effective border enforcement and a workable guest worker program for agriculture. Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Department. Georgia Farm Bureau News
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WE, THE FARMERS from page 4 beans and sugar beets. I submitted comments to the EPA in April urging the agency to reregister aldicarb. I explained that Georgia farmers have relied on this effective pesticide for more than 40 years and that aldicarb reduces a grower’s need for additional foliar pesticide sprays during the growing season as a single application at planting provides control of nematodes and insects for up to six weeks. At home in Georgia, with the state’s new immigration bill set to go into effect July 1, the fears we pointed out to our legislators are already coming true. In our statement released at Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol, we warned the legislators that our seasonal workers may choose to skip over Georgia and move to other states to work. We are receiving reports of just that. On the organizational front, we have been saddened by the loss of too many good Farm Bureau leaders this spring. J. Louis Hunt served as a state board member for 32 years and as president of the Walker County Farm Bureau for more than 40 years. Betty Nash, a true woman of Georgia agriculture and wife of past president Bob Nash, spent many years volunteering for Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Cattlewomen. Danny Page was president of Bryan County Farm Bureau and was a strong supporter of his local 4-H and FFA programs. Joe Harry Rowland served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors from 1982-1987 and as Johnson County Farm Bureau president from 2001-2009. Lex Strickland served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors from 1963–1992, was an Evans County Farm Bureau director and was an active cattlemen’s association member. Harvey Weldon was president of the Harris County Farm Bureau and a dedicated member of the Georgia Farm Bureau Aquaculture Commodity Advisory Committee. Our condolences go out to all of these families along with heartfelt thanks for the contributions these leaders made to our organization. You can read their obituaries on pages 28–29 This spring, our farm families have suffered losses of all kinds - drought, tornadoes, floods, and the loss of lives. Always remember, there is hope for the home place. In Psalm 107:41, the Bible says, “He sets the poor on high, and makes their families like a flock.” In times like these, our farm families flock together to praise God for His blessings and offer up to him our faithfulness. May God bless you and your home place.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 9
Photo by Sandy MacKay, UGA
The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is accepting bids on its 522-acre Plant Sciences Farm in Watkinsville where variety testing and development research has been conducted on cotton and grain production for north Georgia. The college is selling the farm and eliminated 18 staff positions in May due to budget cuts.
Budget cuts force CAES to cut 18 jobs, sell farm
By Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________
In the latest round of downsizing due to the ongoing state budget crisis, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has terminated 18 employees and put a 522-acre research farm on the market. All 18 of the positions eliminated were staff, according to CAES Dean Dr. Scott Angle, who said he was not allowed to lay
off faculty. Most of the positions cut were technical positions on farms and about one-third were administrative, secretarial support positions. Angle said three of the 18 employees have found ways to stay employed by having their salaries funded by contracts or grants. Angle said the college administration worked hard during the past three budget
cycles to avoid laying off employees, but the latest cut to the college’s budget, set to go into effect for the new fiscal year beginning July 1, required layoffs. “The second half of the story is we’ve lost about 340 of our faculty and staff over the last couple of years through natural attrition and incentives to retire. Overall, we’re looking at 355 individuals who were around a couple of years ago that are not around today,” Angle said. The college is closing its peach research program at the USDA peach research facility in Byron, Ga., and eliminating the support positions for the pecan pest management program in Tifton. Other staff layoffs included positions on the Griffin and Athens campuses and the secretaries in the Crawford, Dade and Talbot County Extension Offices. The elimination of the office staff in these county Extension offices means these counties have been reclassified from Tier 2 to Tier 1 counties in the tier ranking system UGA Cooperative Extension adopted last fall to best utilize the reduced staff and resources it has been left with due to repeated budget cuts. Tier 2 counties have a core 4-H program and a county Extension office with an office manager to help residents access diagnostic services and Extension resources. A county extension Continued on next page
GDA labor survey shows farmers need 11,080 workers
[Agriculture] Commissioner [Gary] Black By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ to review the current situation and offer Georgia farmers need 11,080 work- possible options. Commissioner Owens ers to fill jobs available in the state’s ag has indicated that there are 100,000 probaindustry, according to a survey recently tioners statewide, 8,000 of which are in the conducted by the Georgia Department of southwest region of the state and 25 percent Agriculture (GDA) at the request of Gov. of which are unemployed.” Nathan Deal to assess the current ag labor According to Deal’s office, Commissituation in the state. Survey participants sioner Owens is working with Commissionindicated that the duration of the jobs er Black and other state agencies to connect range from one day to a year. unemployed probationers, especially those “The agriculture industry is the num- in the southwest part of the state, and others ber one economic engine in Georgia, and who are preparing to re-enter the workforce it is my sincere hope to find viable and law to employers who are seeking labor. abiding solutions to the current problem “I believe this would be a great partial our farmers face,” Gov. Deal stated in a re- solution to our current status as we continlease summarizing the survey issued by his ue to move towards sustainable results with office June 14. “I asked Department of Cor- the legal options available,” Deal said in his rections Commissioner Brian Owens and released statement. 10 / May-June 2011
Deal asked Commissioner Black to conduct the study in late May. The GDA conducted the survey for 15 days and sent the results to Deal June 10. A total of 233 producers from 76 counties, who grow a wide variety of Georgia commodities, responded to the survey. “Responses suggest a degree of unmet labor needs this season. The spring vegetable harvest is rapidly drawing to a close,” Black wrote to Deal in the letter and survey summary he submitted. “The purpose of this study is to explore trends regarding the availability of agricultural workers in Georgia. In the interest of time, a non-scientific survey was developed and administered to various agricultural commodity commissions and agricultural–based trade asSee SURVEY page 12
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Continued from previous page coordinator from another county serves as administrator. Tier 1 counties do not have an Extension office but have a basic 4-H program offered in the school system through an employee supervised by an agent in another county. In addition to Crawford, Dade and Talbot counties, Chattahoochee and Taliaferro counties are also classified as Tier 1 counties. “These positions were eliminated in counties where we currently don’t have a county agent. We didn’t want to close these county offices, but our resources have been cut, and we’re having to prioritize positions,” explained Northwest District Extension Director Greg Price. “ We hope this is a temporary move. Our hope is to be able to come back with a county agent when the budget allows us to, but until that time, Extension will be operating in these counties with part-time staff and with the support of volunteer leaders.” The college is also accepting sealed bids on its 522-acre Plant Sciences Farm in Watkinsville, Ga., where variety test-
ing and development research has been conducted on cotton and grain production specific for north Georgia. “We need that research to be done up in that part of the state because it’s location testing. We’re going to move some of it to the horticulture farm, which is just a few miles away. We’re going to move some of it to a farm we have in Eatonton, which is about 25 miles away,” Angle said. Bids will be accepted for the Plant Sciences Farm until June 27. “If we don’t get any bids that we consider to be adequate, then we’ll stop the process and it won’t be sold. We’ll either continue to use it as we are or rent it out to someone.” The CAES previously accepted bids on its Redbud Farm in north Georgia but ended up leasing it rather than selling it, Angle said, and a parcel of about 100 acres that the CAES owns in Griffin is under negotiation. “We have downsized in a way that I think will allow us to continue with areas where we’re strong but frankly we’ve had to give up a few things,” Angle said. “We’re going to have to look at the next couple of
years to try to enhance our budget, not to where we used to be, but try to get some of it back to continue to try to do some things that are pretty important to the state.” Meanwhile, there’s a possibility UGA might be interested in acquiring the USDA J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center in Watkinsville if it closes as expected this year. On June 16, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed the 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill for the USDA and related agencies, that did not include funding for the Campbell center. The appropriations bill includes a provision that would allow UGA, as a land grant university, to acquire the 1,100-acre property as long as it uses the land for agriculture or research for at least 25 years. “It is entirely too early for anyone to be talking about UGA taking over the research center,” cautioned UGA CAES Public Affairs Director Faith Peppers. Now the funding bill must be agreed to by the Senate and signed by President Obama.
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Take advantage of your member benefits today! Contact your local Farm Bureau agent to apply. Rates subject to change without notice. *Rate disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and is based on automated payments (ACH) and acquiring one of the following collateral protection products: Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP), Debt Cancellation (DC) or Major Mechanical Protection (MMP). Additional discounts do apply for purchasing more than one collateral protection product. The advertised APR of 3.99% is effective as of 6/7/2011. Final APR may differ from the loan interest rate due to additional fees (such as a loan documentation fee) which may be applicable. Suppose you borrow $19,000 and there is a $50 documentation fee for a total loan of $19,050, with an interest rate of 3.99%, the calculated APR for a 60 month loan with a 45 day first payment date would be 4.09%, with payments of $351.39. To qualify for the disclosed rate, customer must be a Farm Bureau member. Existing Farm Bureau Bank vehicle loans are excluded from this offer. Finance charges accrue from origination date of the loan. Rates and financing are limited to vehicle models 2004 and newer. All loans are subject to credit approval, verification, and collateral evaluation. Other rates and financing options are available. Non-member rates may be 1-3% higher than posted rates. Loans for RVs, motorcycles, trailers, ATVs, watercraft and commercial vehicles may be 1.5%-2% higher. This offer is not available in all states and rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank, FSB. Farm Bureau Bank, FSB is a service to member institution that provides banking services to Farm Bureau members. Services are not available in AL, IL, MI, MO, MS, OH or WY and may not be available in some counties or parishes. Farm Bureau, FB and the FB National Logo are registered service marks owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation and are used under license by FB BanCorp and its subsidiaries, including Farm Bureau Bank FSB. 0511_GA VL ad.indd 1
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Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 11
Photo by Jay Stone
Spalding County Farm Bureau President Charles Rucks looks over the damage done to his hay barn by the April 28 tornado.
Georgia farms sustain widespread damage from April tornadoes By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________
he rash of tornadoes that struck central and north Georgia on April 27 and 28 destroyed chicken houses, damaged barns and fences and left some producers without power for extended periods of time. The tornadoes killed more than 300 people across the Southeast, including 15 in Georgia. The EF3 tornado that moved through Spalding County crossed Georgia Highway 16 at the farm of Spalding County Farm Bureau President Charles Rucks, destroying a house on the property occupied by one of Rucks’ employees. The tornado destroyed
one of Rucks’ hay barns, tore the roof off another and downed approximately two miles of fencing. The storm also felled between 150 and 200 trees on his farm. “We were blessed,” Rucks said. “It left our house. It did minimal damage. We got through it good because we didn’t lose our house.” Some of the damage around the state included: In Bartow County, farmers Roger Rutledge, James Huskins, Cu Van Lam and Michael Howren had chicken houses damaged or destroyed. Irrigation pivots on a cornfield owned by Aubrey Corporation
SURVEY from page 10 sociations in Georgia. I believe the methods utilized - though not thoroughly scientific - have generated sound, honest and clearly reported data.” According to the survey summary, the most survey responses came from Bacon County followed by Appling, Coffee, Brooks and Clinch counties. Georgia crops represented in the study included cotton, blueberries, corn, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, watermelons, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash and pecans. Cotton has become more labor intensive in recent years as farmers hire workers to hand pull pigweed. “We urged farmers to participate in this survey because it’s important to know the full extent of the labor problems farmers
face,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “We hope this data will help state officials more clearly see the predicament farmers are in.” Most survey participants currently employ 25 or fewer employees. Survey participants indicated that they have 6,307 farm jobs available paying an hourly wage between $7.25-$8.99; 3,236 farm jobs that pay $9-$11 an hour; 1,368 jobs available that pay $12-$15 an hour and 169 available jobs that pay $16 or more an hour. The survey summary shows that 47.7 percent of the survey participants do not offer any additional benefits beyond an hourly wage or salary while 36 percent offer workers compensation. Housing is offered by 22.5 percent of the respondents and transporta-
12 / May-June 2011
were destroyed, and Bartow County Farm Bureau President Dean Bagwell sustained damage on eight different farms, including destroyed hay barns and downed fences. In Catoosa County, at least three farmers had damage to their barns, and three more farmers in Polk County sustained damage to their farm facilities. Dade County Farm Bureau Office Manager Brenda Croft and Secretary Connie Blevins were in the DCFB office when it was hit by a tornado. They were unhurt other than a minor cut to Blevins’ hand. DCFB operated out of a tent temporarily and on May 2 moved into a rental building. Lamar County Farm Bureau Director Clay Allen’s Honeywood Farm lost most of its fencing, a hay barn, an office and pole barns, while his neighbor and LCFB member Jim Adams lost four chicken houses. According to Georgia Farm Service Agency statistics, chicken producers in Bartow, Floyd, Lamar and Pickens counties lost 638,000 chickens. Nearly 1,500 farm dwellings, service buildings and farm structures across the state were either damaged or destroyed. The tornadoes also damaged or destroyed more than 290,000 acres of timber, fruit and nut trees and vineyards across the state. President Barack Obama approved a federal disaster declaration for 25 Georgia counties. Local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in those counties are eligible for federal funds to help offset 75 percent of the cost of debris removal and emergency protective measures. Residents and business owners in BarContinued on next page tion is offered by 19.8 percent. Health insurance is offered by 7.7 percent of the survey participants. A majority of the survey participants (41.4 percent) use farm labor contractors to recruit farm employees; 32.3 percent use word-of-mouth to recruit workers; 18.8 percent use the Georgia Department of Labor as a recruitment source and 7.5 percent use the federal H-2A program. According to the survey summary, the GDA will continue to review the survey results and incorporate the findings into a comprehensive, scientific study that will explore the labor issue in a detailed manner as delegated to the department by Georgia House Bill 87, which goes into effect July 1. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo courtesy of GFB Information Technology Network Dept.
Continued from previous page tow, Catoosa, Cherokee, Coweta, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Greene, Habersham, Harris, Heard, Jasper, Lamar, Lumpkin, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Spalding, Troup, Upson, Walker and White counties who sustained losses are eligible for federal assistance and are eligible for grants to help with home repairs, temporary housing and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration will also be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance. The disaster declaration makes all counties in the state eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which gives aid to state and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. To apply for federal assistance visit http:// www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7565 (TTY) between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The Dade County Farm Bureau office in Trenton took a direct hit with Manager Brenda Croft and Secretary Connie Blevins inside. The roof was damaged and windows blown out.
Pfizer Animal Health offers storm relief Pfizer Animal Health is helping veterinarians and livestock owners in the Southeast treat livestock impacted by the April tornadoes. Vouchers worth $100 are being offered to reimburse vets to cover consulting fees for assessing livestock impacted by the storms. Cattle owners who have suffered tornado damage need to watch their cattle for signs the animals may have ingested metal storm debris, are experiencing respiratory distress or are developing
the bacterial infection Clostridium chavoei, commonly known as “blackleg”. Pfizer is also making its long-acting antibiotics (Draxxin, Excede and LA-200) available at no cost to vets who are treating affected animals. In addition, Pfizer will replace its cattle products for clinics damaged or destroyed by the storms. This program will be in place until September. Vets who are interested in participating in the program should call 1-800-366-5288.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 13
women’s committee update Donna Rocker, Field Services Program Specialist
Photo by Donna Rocker
GFB Women’s Leadership Committee attends AFBF Leadership Conference
Five members of the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee attended the American Farm Bureau Federation’s National Women’s Leadership Conference in Baltimore, Md., April 15-19. Pictured from left are committee members Melanie Raines, GFB 8th District, Turner PRAYER continued from page 5 Agency statistics, chicken producers in Bartow, Floyd, Lamar and Pickens counties lost 638,000 chickens, and nearly 1,500 farm dwellings, service buildings and farm structures across the state were either damaged or destroyed. The prayer service featured brief speeches from Black and GFB President Zippy Duvall, music from Johnny Prettyman of Mabel White Baptist Church in Macon and a message from Rev. David Sharpton. Sharpton, the minister of education & evangelism at Maysville Baptist Church, delivered the main message. “Ask God to rain down on us spiritually,” Sharpton said, “but also to heal us physically by providing rain.” Prettyman led the gathering in singing the hymns “Amazing Grace” and “Showers of Blessings”. Black and Duvall each urged those gathered to pray without ceasing, stressing the widespread need for rain “Before it will mean anything to God, it has to mean something to us,” Duvall said. “This means a lot to us.” 14 / May-June 2011
County; Londa Champion, GFB 5th District, Jasper County; Linda Crumley, GFB 4th District, Barrow County; Charlotte Ward, GFB 2nd District, Elbert County and Committee Chairman Donna Powell, GFB 9th District, Grady County. The theme was “Changing Perceptions,
Unlimited Possibilities” and included workshops on working with the media, working with activism issues, women’s health, rural development and agricultural literacy. The conference ended with an inspirational speech by Patrick Henry Hughes, a young man who was born without eyes and unable to walk, but still managed to become an accomplished musician and even march in the University of Louisville Marching Band. The Hughes family has been featured on ABC’s “Extreme MakeOver Home Edition,” “ABC World News Tonight” and on ESPN. Patrick has written a book, I Am Potential, Eight Lessons on Living, Loving & Reaching Your Dreams with the help of his dad, Patrick John Hughes and Bryant Stamford. Visit Patrick’s website at http://www.patrickhenryhughes.com to learn more about this incredible young man and his family.
GFB names scholarship winners Mary C. Cromley of Bulloch County, Nicollette Poole of Glascock County and Kollin Pyle of Early County have been awarded the top Georgia Farm Bureau 2011 Scholarships for Agriculture, valued at $3,000 each. The scholarships are intended to recognize and assist deserving and Nicollette Poole outstanding young people who are pursuing college degrees in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or related agricultural fields. Eligibility is limited to students who plan to enroll in a unit of the University System of Georgia or Berry College for the 2011-2012 Mary Cromley academic year. “Each of these students is to be congratulated on the accomplishments they
have achieved during their high school careers,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “It’s a pleasure to help these students pursue their dreams as they take the next step in beginning a career in agriculture.” Poole plans to attend the University of Georgia and study animal Kollin Pyle science. Cromley plans to study agricultural and applied economics at the University of Georgia, while Pyle intends to study agricultural engineering at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. In addition to the three top awards, seven other students were awarded $750 each. The other scholarship finalists were Ben Bennett of Cook County, Emilee Brinton of Coweta County, Ashley Dalba of Henry County, Davis Roper of Oconee County, Kendall Singleton of Upson County, Kaylee South of Franklin County and Jessica Still of Early County. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Chambers is Southeast Farm Mom Teresa Chambers, Jones County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee chairman, was named the Southeast regional winner of Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Mom of the Year Contest held this spring. One of five regional winners, Chambers was selected by judges from Monsanto and the American Agri-Women in recognition of the contributions she makes to her family, farm community and agriculture. JCFB Office Manager and friend Barbara Bridgers nominated Teresa. Teresa and her husband, Judd, who is the JCFB president, operate Chambers’ Dairy. In addition to their cattle, the family also raises hay, sorghum and ryegrass. The couple has three sons Maine, 17, Bailey, 14, and Justin, 13. “I wasn’t aware that Barbara nominated me for the honor, so I was surprised to receive a phone call telling me I had been selected as the Southeast Farm Mom of the year,” Teresa said. “I am certainly no more special than any other mom out there, but
I do appreciate the recognition and the opportunity to increase public awareness of agriculture. Next to God and my family, agriculture is the main focus of my life. My livelihood depends on it.” In her application nominating Teresa, Bridgers wrote, “Teresa works on one of the last operating dairy farms in Jones County, Ga., with her husband, Judd. She works daily with her husband in all the work and production at the dairy. She is also active in Ag in the Classroom, taking time to share ag with elementary school children. On World School Milk Day she dresses as a dairy cow and shares information on milk and dairy with the kids. She is always willing to be involved with ag events at schools and the “Mini Farm Day” for the county pre-k, where she brings one of her calves for the kids to pet. She welcomes and encourages field trips to the dairy farm for a firsthand experience for children and teens to see a working dairy. This remarkable young woman who balances home, farm
and community is a wonderful candidate for “Farm Mom of the Year.” Teresa won $5,000 as the regional winner. Bette Lu Lerwick from Albin, Wyo., was named the 2011 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year winner based on an online voting competition held May 18-26. Lerwick represented the northwest region. Visit http://www.monsanto.com/americasfarmers/Pages/farm-mom-vote-form.aspx to read more about the contest. Congratulations, Teresa!
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Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 15
Joe McManus, GFB Commodities/Marketing Dept. Assistant Director
ost Americans have never spent time on a modern working farm. Everybody wants an abundant, safe and nutritious food supply, yet most do not understand the complicated farming practices of today’s livestock operations. They simply take it for granted. Farmers and ranchers provide the food supply we all want, while taking great care of their animals and the land. They realize that the well-being and comfort of their livestock is in their best interest. Healthy living conditions, nutritious diets and good veterinary care are among the many animal welfare practices routinely used by farmers and ranchers. Proper care of animals leads to healthy, calm and content animals that will produce high-quality meat, eggs and milk. The livestock industry has several programs available for producers designed to help producers use best management and care practices and to help them market their livestock. Such high regard for animal care is evident by the species-specific animal welfare guidelines that each industry has embraced. The Beef Quality Assurance Program incorporates animal welfare issues in its curriculum. This program sets guidelines and standards for producers to care for their animals. Producers can get updates on advancements and changes in the industry to make decisions based on sound production practices and consideration of the animals’ well-being. The swine industry has a program called Pork Quality Assurance Plus. This is an onfarm program focusing on quality assurance, professionalism, social responsibility and high-quality production practices. It is a certification program that is credible and affordable to pork producers to assure food safety and animal care. This assures consumers that they are purchasing the highest quality and safest product possible. The dairy industry works closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state regulatory officials to establish safety regulations and practices such as the 16 / May-June 2011
Photo by Gloria Kerlin
Animal welfare is farmer’s highest priority
Farmers take care of their animals 24/7, 365 days a year, even in extreme weather. Fayette County Farm Bureau Director Tom Kerlin is pictured feeding his cattle hay during a snowstorm last year.
Pasteurized Milk Ordinance and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Point System. The National Milk Producers Federation has a comprehensive animal care guide called the National Dairy FARM Program developed by veterinarians and animal care experts. American milk is routinely tested and dairies are regularly inspected to make our milk and dairy products the safest in the world. Producers are constantly tracking air, water and ground quality to ensure they are meeting with EPA regulations and ensure the safety of their animals. Poultry is the largest agriculture industry in Georgia with a farm gate value approaching 5 billion dollars. Egg farmers have a program called United Egg Producers Certified. It assures retailers and food service professionals as well as consumers that eggs originate from farms that follow responsible science-based production methods. Producers are audited through an independent certification program to ensure standards are being met. The National Chicken Council developed Animal Welfare Guidelines to ensure the proper care, management and handling of broiler chickens and broiler breeders. These guidelines are specific and encompass all aspects of the bird’s physi-
cal and mental needs throughout their life. Companies use an Animal Welfare Audit Checklist to validate performance. Poultry companies also have their own animal welfare audits in addition to the national guidelines that farmers must monitor. Although animal abuse is not representative of farms in America there are some cases. Mistreatment of animals should not be tolerated on the farm, processing plant or in the home. Abusers should be held accountable. Some animal rights extremists take advantage of the rare cases that do happen. Extremists often infiltrate livestock operations and record mistreatment of animals. Not reporting the abuse should also be punishable. Animal rights extremist have become organized, well-funded and aggressive. Some of these groups stand out as unscrupulous and are very accomplished at manipulating public opinion. One such organization calls itself the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Countless Americans confuse HSUS with their local pet shelter when in fact less than 1 percent of the donations made to HSUS actually go to pet shelters. Instead, See COMMODITIES UPDATE page18 Georgia Farm Bureau News
WTO panel rules against U.S. COOL requirements perishable commodities. The use of COOL for beef, pork and lamb was first enacted under the 2002 farm bill. Requirements for fish and shellfish were added in 2005 and the program was
Photo by Don Giles, Forestry Committee Secretary
Photo by Don McGough
In a preliminary ruling in May, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel agreed with Canada and Mexico in a case over U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules for meats and
expanded in the 2008 farm bill to include fresh nuts, fruits and vegetables. Those requirements went into effect in 2009, and both Canada and Mexico filed complaints in December 2009. The U.S. has maintained that the concepts of COOL have been in practice by other countries since before the WTO was formed. The USDAâ€™s Agricultural Marketing Service is responsible for administration and enforcement of COOL. Canada and Mexico argued that the COOL requirements resulted in imported cattle and pork being treated less favorably in the U.S. than cattle and pork produced domestically, constituting a technical barrier to trade. They further argued that the U.S. COOL requirements act as a protectionist barrier and unfairly distort competition between imports and domestic cattle and pork, resulting in lower prices for cattle and pork produced in their countries. The panel is expected to issue its final ruling this summer. After it is made public, the U.S. will have 60 days to appeal.
GFB Forestry, Pecan Committees take tours The Georgia Farm Bureau Forestry Advisory Committee (top photo) held its spring meeting in Barnesville to review the organizationâ€™s forestry policy. Committee members toured the Jordan Forest Products LLC timber mill and a Rayonier timber operation. Pictured from left are GFB Commodities/Marketing Director Don McGough and committee members Ben Hudson of Cedartown, Scotty Dumas of Jasper County, Gary Bell of Evans County, committee chairman John Mixon of Pike County, GFB District 3 Director Nora Goodman of Paulding County, Willie Tyson of Houston County, William Tanner of Johnson County, Steve Collins of Mitchell County, Jimmy Kennedy and James Gaskins of Berrien County. The Georgia Farm Bureau Pecan Ad-
visory Committee (bottom photo) held its spring meeting in Tifton at the University of Georgia Campus where the committee toured the research orchards and saw research being conducted by Dr. Jim Dutcher and Dr. Patrick Conner. Pictured from left are committee members Danny Brooks of Habersham County, Mike Lamb of Tattnall County, UGA researcher Dr. Patrick Conner, committee chairman James Exum of Brooks County, committee members Elliot Ellis of Dooly County, Vinson Griffin of Berrien County, UGA researcher Dr. Jim Dutcher, committee members Lanair Worsham of Mitchell County, GFB 8th District Director Don Wood of Wilcox County and GFB 8th District Field Rep. Ken Murphree, who serves as committee secretary.
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 17
young farmer update Jed Evans, Young Farmer Coordinator
he Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee hosted the 2011 FFA Discussion Meet during the 2011 FFA State Convention held in Macon in April. Twelve area winners competed in the state competition held April 30. Samantha Floyd of White County won the contest and $250 courtesy of GFB. “Georgia Farm Bureau has been a long-time sponsor of this contest as a way to support Georgia’s FFA program and to increase the students’ awareness of our organization,” said GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Wesley Hall. “We’d love to have these students continue their involvement in agriculture by joining Farm Bureau and participating in our young farmer programs.” During the first two rounds of competition, contestants discussed two topics. The first topic was: Has technology become essential for American farmers? Should Farm Bureau influence and encourage all generations of farmers, ranchers and agriculturalists to embrace technological opportunities? The second topic discussed was: Farm Bureau is the leading voice for agriculture but not the only voice. How do we encourage other agricultural groups to work together for the common good of our industry? After the first two rounds, the final four contestants were named. Other contestants competing in the final round with Floyd were Alisha Mikell, Golden Isles Career Academy; Matthew Reid, Putnam County and Jacob Schindler, Lowndes County. Each of the three runners-up received a $100 prize from GFB. During the final round, participants discussed this question: Given recent challenges, such as volatile food prices and limited world food supplies, do American consumers adequately appreciate the importance of U.S. produced food? Will American consumers consider American agriculture important to our security in the future? COMMODITIES UPDATE from page 16 HSUS donations are mostly spent on lobbying, salaries and funding board members’ retirement accounts. An analysis of the HSUS 2009 federal tax return by Animal People News showed that HSUS spends nearly half of every dollar donated on fundraising and other overhead costs, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) reported in December. CCF, which is funded by food companies and restaurants as well as consumers, conducted its own analysis and found that fewer than one percent of HSUS donations from the public go to animal shelters. Bottom line, HSUS is NOT a pet shelter umbrella group! The true goal of this organization is to eliminate all livestock production, hunting and fishing and to promote a strict veganism lifestyle. That means not a trace of milk, cheese, eggs, meat or fish in a person’s diet. Some people are comfortable with that lifestyle but that should be an individual choice. The leaders of this group have never had contact with livestock yet their agendas include promoting laws that govern how livestock are treated. Appropriate parties 18 / May-June 2011
Photo by Jed Evans
GFB sponsors FFA Discussion Meet
GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Wesley Hall (center) congratulates (pictured from left) Jacob Schindler, Samantha Floyd, Matthew Reid and Alisha Mikell for making it to the final round of the Georgia FFA Discussion Meet held April 30. Floyd, of White County, won the competition.
Other area winners competing in the competition were: Timothy Hubbard, Gordon Central High School; Alex Cole, Temple High School; Katelin Benkoski, Morgan County; Alexis Albertie, Northside Warner Robins; Sam Whitaker, Southeast Bulloch High School; Ashley Buchan, Bryan County; Reese Giddens, Turner County; Hillery Reeves, Irwin County. Each of the area winners received $50 from GFB. Floyd was raised on a horse farm, where her love for agriculture flourished and her participation in FFA began. She is a dualenrolled student at North Georgia College and hopes to continue learning through FFA and Georgia Farm Bureau. Congratulations to all participants in the 2011 FFA Discussion Meet! such as veterinarians and the farm community should make decisions about animal care, not extremist groups. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is another group that uses the same tactics and has the same agenda. Ever since these organizations started aggressive fund raising, local humane societies have suffered. People who donated money believe the local shelter was being helped. Both organizations have huge budgets but their intentions are wrong, grossly misdirected and they mislead consumers. If you want to help homeless animals, make a donation to your local shelter rather than the HSUS or ASPCA. Caring for animals is something farmers and ranchers take pride in. These animals are domestic animals but are livestock and not pets and certainly should not be considered to have a higher value than people. Some people want to equate animals with humans, but the calves in my pasture don’t compare to my grandchildren. Georgia Farm Bureau News
By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________
Members of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association (GCA) celebrated the organization’s 50th anniversary during their annual convention held March 31-April 2 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. Workshops highlighted the history of the state’s cattle industry, the national Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program and the importance of exports along with other management and marketing issues. According to UGA Extension Livestock Economist Dr. Curt Lacy, the three major events that shaped Georgia’s cattle industry were: the invention of the fence and a state law passed in the 1940s that eliminated open range (most counties had previously passed fencing laws after the Civil War); the development of feed yards which led to the rise of auction markets; and the adoption of federal feeder cattle grades, which made the grades used to describe the muscling and size of cattle uniform across the country. “As we got into fencing that’s when we started seeing improved genetics, and farmers had to make a profit off of their land,” Lacy said. As for changes facing the industry, Lacy predicts the trend of providing consumers information about their beef will continue. “I wouldn’t be surprised if in years to come consumers will be able to scan the bar code on a beef product and learn where and on whose ranch the product was grown.” Although a large percentage of consumers can’t afford to buy locally produced beef, Lacy predicts that the growing interest consumers are showing in purchasing beef straight from the producer is a trend and not a fad. And while feedlots are interested in being able to control the quality and uniformity of the final beef product, Lacy thinks feedlots will do this through contracts that specify how producers raise their cattle rather than adopting a true form of vertical integration such as the poultry industry uses. “We (buyers) want uniform cattle –
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
GCA celebrates golden anniversary
Outgoing GCA President Bill Bryan welcomes GCA members to a workshop on the Beef Quality Assurance Program, a voluntary program designed to help cattle growers produce the highest quality, safest product possible through a certification process that can be used to assure consumers of the quality of the beef they purchase.
same size, grown using the same health program,” said Dell King, owner of King Livestock Company and a livestock order buyer since 1968. “Lack of uniformity results in discounts.” Because of the distance cattle have to travel from the Southeast to the Midwest feedlots, shipping healthy cattle is crucial to establishing and maintaining a good reputation for your cattle. “Give your agents all of the details on your health program – what you’ve given them, how much and when,” King said. “The larger feedlots may get as many as 50 loads of cattle from all over the country in one day, and they need to know the cattle’s history.”
King also sang the praises of the BQA Program, saying, “It’s one of the most gratifying things I’ve been involved with. I think it’s helping prices and has helped with exports, which have kept our prices up.” Georgia native and former GCA intern Maggie Hodge O’Quinn told producers about the work she is doing to increase beef exports as an executive account manager with Certified Angus Beef. According to O’Quinn, U.S. beef consumption grew 4.4 percent in 2010 but increased 17 percent in the rest of the world last year. “Exports are what’s driving your bottom line. That’s what’s driving your future. See CONVENTION page 29
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 19
The proposed increase in the checkoff assessment for the Georgia Peanut Commission from $2 a ton to $3 a ton did not receive sufficient votes for passage in the referendum of peanut growers held March 15-April 15. Ballots were certified and counted May 5 by Allen Pritchett & Bassett Accounting Firm in Tifton. A total of 1,124 ballots were counted with 56.2 percent voting in favor of the increase. According to Georgia law, at least 25 percent of the state’s peanut farmers had to vote in the referendum and of those voting, at least 66.67 percent had to vote in favor of the increase for it to pass. “We are disappointed that we only received four ballots over the 25 percent needed to count the ballots,” said GPC Executive Director Don Koehler. “We had 75 percent of the growers that did not vote.” The proposed assessment increase would have helped peanut farmers by funding additional peanut research, according to the GPC. The GPC has been allocating about $254,000 annually to research projects. Cuts in research funding and other commission programs are expected due to farmers planting fewer peanut acres this year and the proposed assessment increase failing, the commission said in the release it issued announcing the referendum results. “We appreciate all of the support we received,” GPC Chairman Armond Morris said. “However, we are disappointed that this rejection will hamper future opportunities to expand peanut research, which is one core focus of the commission. We’re going to do everything in our power to continue the best research possible with the dollars that we have” The peanut assessment has not been increased since 1980, when it went from $1 per ton to $2 ton.
20 / May-June 2011
Photo by Jay Stone
Peanut growers reject assessment increase
Budget cuts cost NPRL researchers By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________
unding for the National Peanut Research Laboratory (NPRL) in Dawson was cut by 20 percent with the elimination of earmarked funding from the federal budget approved in April. The lab will have its staff of Ph.D. scientists reduced from 12 to eight. The scientists lost are Dr. Ling Zhang, plant physiologist; Dr. Charles Chen, breeder and geneticist; and agronomists Dr. Wilson Faircloth and Dr. Russell Nuti, plus related support technicians and student workers. The cuts will affect research projects on irrigation, sustainable production, genetics and physiology. Overall, the NPRL lost $1.08 million in earmarked funding for the water efficiency aspects of those projects. The largest portion was a cut of more than $600,000 from a study on peanut irrigation management. The genetics and physiology study had more than $320,000 cut and the sustainable production study lost $135,000. NPRL Research Leader Marshall Lamb said the affected projects were ongoing projects, and that because of the uncertainty surrounding the federal budget, the lab did not plant test plots of peanuts for those studies this year. Lamb emphasized that much of the NPRL’s work continues. “We still have scientists in our lab,” Lamb said. “We’re still doing our best to
answer the questions that peanut producers have.” In March, GFB President Zippy Duvall sent a letter to Dr. Edward B. Knipling, administrator of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, urging the agency to support measures that would save the lab from spending cuts. The letter was also sent to Reps. Sanford Bishop, Jack Kingston, Austin Scott, David Scott and Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson seeking their support. “These are difficult times and difficult decisions must be made,” Duvall wrote. “However, it is important to recognize that research is the key to our future in agriculture. The USDA/ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory has been very responsive implementing and conducting research that is vital to our competitiveness.” Georgia Farm Bureau News
By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ Vidalia onion growers, members of Georgia’s agricultural community and community leaders celebrated the grand opening of the Vidalia Onion Museum at 100 Vidalia Sweet Onion Drive in Vidalia on April 29. “It’s a dream come true to be able to have something that shows off our industry and have something to let the public know what we do,” Toombs County Vidalia onion grower R.T. Stanley said. Housed in the same building as the Vidalia Onion Committee, Vidalia Onion Business Council and Vidalia Area Convention & Visitors Bureau offices, the 1,300-square foot museum consists of interactive exhibits that outline the sweet onion’s history, its growing process and rise to fame in culinary and pop culture circles. A hands-on kids room introduces children to Yumion, the Vidalia mascot, and lets them turn the wheel of a grading machine that uses balls instead of onions. “The Vidalia onion has such a colorful story,” said Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee. “There was a need for this museum because
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Vidalia Onion museum opens
Guests attending the grand opening of the Vidalia Onion Museum enjoyed learning about the industry.
we had people coming off of I-16 and driving 20 miles to learn more about the Vidalia onion. When you’re coming from Montana or New York City just having a few pamphlets and a poster doesn’t fit the bill.” Guests can even see Vidalia onions growing in the smallest registered Vidalia onion field in flower beds in front of the museum. After the speeches and ribbon cutting, celebrity chefs treated guests to signature dishes featuring Vidalias. “I want to commend the growers and
everyone involved in this project for putting this museum together,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said. “This is a great promotional tool for our state vegetable that has a $115 million production value and is sold worldwide.” The museum’s regular operating hours will be Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. with Saturday hours available for tours by appointment. For more information visit http://www.vidaliaonion.org or call 912-537-1918.
USDA seeks comments on Leafy Greens Agreement By Jay Stone _______________________________________________________
Stakeholders wishing to comment on the USDA’s proposed National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (NLGMA) have until July 28 to submit them. The NLGMA would authorize the development and implementation of production and handling regulations (audit metrics) to reflect the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) good agricultural practices and good manufacturing practices and USDA good handling practices. The NLGMA covers lettuce, spinach, cabbage and similar plants. The program would be voluntary and would cover both imported leafy greens and those grown domestically. It would be financed by assessments collected from first handlers. A board appointed by the secretary of agriculture with USDA oversight would administer the NLGMA. In 2010, Georgia Farm Bureau signed onto a brief expressing support for a marketing agreement for leafy greens along with other agricultural groups.
Visit http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=AMSFV-09-0029-0150 to view the entire agreement. Visit http://www.regulationsgov/#!submitComment;D=AMSFV-09-0029-0150 to read the proposed agreement or submit a comment.
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 21
Gov. Deal signs ag bills
By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ Gov. Nathan Deal has signed into law bills addressing sustainable agriculture, deer hunting, feral hogs and the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter, as well as HB 87, an immigration bill. HB 225, which Deal signed on May 6, establishes definitions of “sustainable agriculture” and “sustainable agricultural practices,” which Deal said would promote responsible agriculture and best practices. It also establishes promotion of sustainable agriculture as state policy. “Growing Georgia’s economy through sustainable agriculture is critical to ensure that we have a viable future for Georgia’s No. 1 industry,” Deal said, emphasizing that one in seven Georgians work in agriculture or related fields and that agriculture is a $65 billion industry in the state. HB 277, also signed into law on May 6, allows hunters of deer or feral hogs to bait privately owned land in south Georgia. The governor noted that provisions in HB 277 would enhance Georgia’s status as the nation’s top destination for hunting while controlling deer populations. According to a press release from the governor’s office, deer hunting is responsible for an estimated 10,000 jobs statewide. HB 277 also expands the options for farmers combating feral hogs. “People come from all over the world to hunt our prized deer population, and
the sport is an economic engine for many rural parts of Georgia,” Deal said. “HB 277 also helps address a growing problem in Georgia as it expands hunters’ options for going after feral hogs. The cost of crop damage from feral hogs is tremendous, and this legislation helps Georgia farmers protect their livelihood.” HB 125, signed into law on May 11, places the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter (GNFA) in a position to receive its state allocation from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, rather than the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The GNFA has been attached to the DNR since its opening in June 1990. According to published reports, GNFA was also allocated $1.1 million for the renovation of its older barns. The bill adds the commissioner of agriculture as an ex officio member of the board of the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority, which operates the GNFA. Also on May 11, Deal signed HB 485, which makes it illegal to release feral hogs into the wild and enacts penalties for those who do. On May 13, Deal signed HB 87, which gives police authority to check immigration status in certain situations and places immigration status verification requirements on employers. Farm Bureau opposed the provision in HB 87 making employers’ use of E-Verify mandatory.
Callaway appointed to Ag Exposition Authority
Gov. Nathan Deal has named John Callaway, who chairs the Georgia Farm Bureau Beef Cattle Commodity Advisory Committee, to the board of the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority (GAEA). The GAEA is a nine-member board appointed by the governor that presides over the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter. Owner of Callaway Cattle Company, he is a past president of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and serves on the Troup County Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Callaway is retired from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, where he worked for 29 years in Clarke and Haralson counties. He and his wife Marcia live in Hogansville.
22 / May-June 2011
Ga. House establishes committee to study horse racing
Before the 2011 session of the Georgia General Assembly adjourned, the Georgia House passed a resolution (HR 643) to create a committee to study the benefits of developing Georgia’s equine industry to include pari-mutuel betting and training and racing horses at tracks in the state. A bill to allow a statewide referendum on pari-mutuel wagering on horse races, HR 18, was sent to the House Committee on Regulated Industries. The six-member committee is to be comprised of three members of the House of Representatives, two citizens of the state and one person who is involved in the horse racing industry. HR 643 calls for the committee to publish the results of the study and any recommendations by Dec. 31, 2011. Farm Bureau policy supports allowing voters to decide the issue of pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.
2011 Sunbelt Expo Field Day July 7 • Spence Field • Moultrie
This free event lets attendees view the latest in modern agriculture. Topics include GPS navigation, irrigation technology, test plots for switchgrass and miscanthus, organic peanuts, variety tests on cotton, corn, peanuts and soybeans and tractor technology. Shuttles to the field start at 8:30 a.m. A free lunch will begin at 12:15 a.m. with door prizes. Register before 8:15 a.m. for a chance to win a $100 early bird cash prize. For more information, call 229-985-1968 or visit http://www.sunbeltexpo.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Court delays effective date of NPDES rules The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion March 29 to delay enactment of pesticide permit rules under the Clean Water Act until Oct. 31. On January 7, 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 2006 Clean Water Act rule relating to pesticide use (National Cotton Council v. EPA). The rule in question had exempted pesticides applied near or into water from NPDES permits if those permits were applied in accordance with the label and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). As a result of the ruling, discharges to waters of the U.S. from the application of pesticides will require NPDES permits when the court’s mandate takes effect. According to EPA’s website, the ruling will affect 365,000 pesticide applicators nationwide that perform 5.6 million pesticide applications annually. Without congressional remedy, these EPA regulations will expose farmers to litigation
from activist groups seeking to thwart all pesticide use. NPDES reporting will add recordkeeping and reporting requirements and preempt the science-based ecological review of pesticides and label requirements for uses regulated under FIFRA. Pesticide users who are not eligible for coverage under an NPDES general permit will be at risk of citizen or EPA enforcement action for pesticide application without a permit. In the 62 years of FIFRA and 38 years of the Clean Water Act, the federal government has never required such permits to apply pesticides. Congress chose not to include pesticides in 1972 when it enacted the Clean Water Act NPDES program, and despite major rewrites since, never looked beyond FIFRA for pesticide regulation. The House of Representatives is considering H.R. 872, which would amend FIFRA to clarify Congress’ intent regarding permits for the use of pesticides.
Forest forecast released
On May 17, the U.S. Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters released a report identifying areas forest managers will focus on to maintain southern forests in coming decades. The Southern Forest Futures Project used computer models and expert analysis to develop the report, which will serve as a guide to forest service personnel seeking to maintain the vitality and efficiency of forests in the South. According to the report, urbanization, bioenergy use, weather patterns, land ownership changes and invasive species will alter the South’s forests between now and 2060, by which time it is projected that as many as 23 million acres of southern forest land could be lost. The study found that population growth will bring more runoff from roads, buildings and parking lots as well as increased pollution, impacting supplies of clean drinking water and the quality of aquatic habitats. The quantity and severity of forest fires is expected to increase, presenting challenges to community and forest wildfire organizations. The stated goal of the project is to “inform forest management choices, policy discussions and science programs with the best possible understanding of the long-term implications of changes in southern forests,” according to a forest service press release. The technical and summary reports complete phase one of the two-phase project and begin a 60-day public comment period. To submit a comment, visit the Futures Project website at http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/futures.
IRS Form 1099 requirements repealed On April 14 President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 4, which repeals the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099 requirements included in the national health care law passed last year. Sponsored by Rep. Daniel Lungren (RCalif.), the law does away with the requirement that small businesses file a 1099 for all non-employee suppliers of goods and services with whom they have $600 or more in transactions during a calendar year. Rental payments were included in the reporting requirement, but payments made to corporations were generally excluded. H.R. 4 cancels the 1099 requirement, which was set to go into effect in 2012. Farm Bureau supported the passage of H.R. 4, maintaining that agricultural producers were already overburdened with tax paperwork and reporting obligations. Farm Bureau contended that the 1099 reporting requirement created an overwhelming administrative burden to small businesses, particularly agricultural producers, without improving the nation’s health care system. On April 5 the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 4, 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011, by an 87-12 vote. Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both voted for the bill. The bill passed the House in early March by a 314-112 vote. In January, the House passed H.R. 2, a bill to repeal the entire health-care law that was referred to the Senate subcommittee on health in early February. Chambliss and Isakson co-sponsored similar legislation in the Senate (S. 192).
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 23
County Farm Bureaus celebrate Ag Week
ounty Farm Bureaus across the state celebrated National Agriculture Week, March 13-19, and Georgia Agriculture Day, March 22, with a variety of activities that educated their communities about the state’s most important industry. Visit GFB’s Facebook page at http://facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau to view all of the county photos. CATOOSA COUNTY Catoosa County Farm Bureau partnered with their county Cooperative Extension office to create an exhibit showcasing Georgia agriculture that was displayed during Agriculture Week at the Georgia Visitor’s Center located in Ringgold on
I-75 South at the Georgia/Tennessee state line.
FRANKLIN COUNTY Franklin County Farm Bureau volunteers Joyce Manus, Bev Parsons and Beverly Stroud (pictured) gave a presentation on peanuts at Royston Elementary School to four first-grade classes, reaching 72 students. The volunteers read and acted out “The Case of the Mysterious Peanut” and “Let’s Make a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich.” They also showed the students the various stages of a peanut plant and gave each student a peanut coloring book and recipe for making peanut butter at home. (Continued on next page)
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 24 / May-June 2011
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
By Jennifer Whittaker _______________________________________________________
Pictured from left, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Carol and Everett Williams, Gov. Nathan Deal and Donnie Smith, director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, are pictured with the sign the Williams received for being named the 2011 state winners of the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award.
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 Georgiagrown 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.” Georgia Farm Bureau News
(Continued from previous page) McDUFFIE COUNTY McDuffie County Farm Bureau celebrated Ag Day on March 22 by throwing a pizza party for the fifth-grade students at Briarwood Academy. MCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Avis McGahee, pictured handing out peanuts, showed the students GFB’s “Without Farmers, Georgia Can’t Grow” video, talked to them about where the ingredients for pizza come from and handed out Ga. ag maps, and pencils. For a class assignment, the students wrote essays reporting what they learned about agriculture. MITCHELL COUNTY Mitchell County Farm Bureau hosted an Ag Day event for third-grade students attended by more than 200 students. MCFB Young Farmer Chairman Lanair Worsham is shown talking to the students about the many hats farmers wear and the global positioning system farmers use on their tractors to help plant their crops. Mitchell EMC employees talked about farm safety, MCFB member Cheryl Powell talked to the students about horses, care of animals and gave a barrel racing demonstration. GFB 9th District Women’s Chair Donna Powell gave a presentation about Georgia’s peanut industry. PIERCE COUNTY Pierce County Farm Bureau joined forces with the PC Extension Service to hold an Ag Day event attended by about 600 students from three county elementary schools. PC High School 4-H students gave presentations on Georgia commodities including cotton and peanuts. PCHS 4-Her Maikala McGauley (center) holds a Holstein calf for the students to pet. PCFB President Daniel Johnson and PCFB Office Manager Dolly
Yeomans served ice cream to all of the students. TOOMBS COUNTY Toombs County Farm Bureau and the TC FFA Alumni Association held a Lawn & Garden Expo for the community to increase awarenesss of agriculture. In addition to co-hosting the event, TCFB manned an exhibit showcasing member benefits, the GFB cookbook and showed the GFB ag video. The event was attended by Farm Bureau members from five counties. TROUP COUNTY Troup County Farm Bureau celebrated Ag Awareness Day by donating 25 cases of Georgia grown and processed peanut butter to the local Boys and Girls Club of West Georgia. TCFB President Harrell Landreth is pictured presenting the healthy snack to club members on behalf of the TCFB. TCFB Vice President Joel Keith and past TCFB President Lewis Shelton joined Landreth in presenting an additional 25 cases of peanut butter to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Pineland Youth Home. WILCOX COUNTY The Wilcox County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee (Janice Clark, Jennifer Clark, Karen Crawford, Sue Powers and Donnell Stubbs) visited the Wilcox Elementary School numerous times during March to celebrate the month being National Peanut Month and observed Agriculture Day. The committee did different activities educating students in kindergarten, first and second grades about peanuts. To celebrate Ag Day, the entire student body was entertained by Goose the Peanut Circus Clown. Committee members Jennifer Clark (left) and Karen Crawford are pictured teaching students to make homemade peanut butter.
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 25
AROUND GEORGIA News from County Farm Bureaus
BAKER COUNTY In celebration of Arbor Day, the Baker County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee planted a Bosque elm tree, donated by Oak Pond Nursery, on the grounds at Baker County School. BCFB Women’s Committee member Frances Deese spoke to the students about trees and their importance to the earth’s ecosystem. She also discussed the “National Audubon Society Regional Guide to the Southeastern States,” a book that the Women’s Committee donated to the school’s library. Pictured from left, BCFB Women’s Committee member Frances Deese, Women’s Committee Chairman Jill Adkins and Committee member Evera Moye are pictured with some of the students who participated in the event. BROOKS COUNTY Friends and family of Bill Lanier, who served as Georgia Farm Bureau president from 1964-1970, celebrated his 84th birthday on March 16 during a party at the Presbyterian Home in Quitman. Pictured from left, Brooks County Farm Bureau President Andrew Thompson visits with Bill and Jean Lanier during the party. A native of Candler County, Lanier served as president of the Candler County Farm Bureau from 1988-2010. The Laniers moved to Brooks County, Mrs. Lanier’s native home, last year. Anyone who would like to send a note to the Laniers may send it to the following address: Bill & Jean Lanier P.O. Box 407 Quitman, GA 31643. COLUMBIA COUNTY The Columbia County 4-H held a contest for its 4-Hers to come up with recipes for peanut butter in four categories: “Most Unusual,” “Most Nutritious,” “Most Ingredients” and “Messiest.” CC Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chair Wanda Anderson (pictured) and CCFB Secretary Tori Knox judged 26 / May-June 2011
the event. There were more than 200 initial entries. CCFB volunteers read through each recipe and selected seven in each category to compete for the contest. The winners had to prepare their recipe for it to be judged by Anderson and Knox. Each student was awarded a certificate for participation. DOUGLAS COUNTY In April, the Douglas County Farm Bureau participated in the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce trade show at the local mall. DCFB used its booth to promote Farm Bureau membership and Georgia’s beef producers. Pictured from left are: DCFB Director Joey Rainwater, DCFB Agents Matt Murray, Amanda Slay and Joel McGraw with son Grayson, DCFB Office Manager Stephanie Parson, DCFB President Travis Henry and his wife, Emma. Other volunteers, not pictured, who helped with the event were Lisa Rainwater, Jaci Rainwater, Kay Green and Terry Cowan. EARLY COUNTY Early County Farm Bureau Director Mike Newberry, a fourth generation Arlington farmer, was honored as the Early County Ag Producer of the Year at the 2nd Annual Peanut Proud Farmer Appreciation Banquet March 25. Mike served as the grand marshall of the Peanut Proud Parade March 26. Mike, his wife Sherrie (right) and daughter Michealyn, are pictured leading the parade on his 4020 (Continued) Georgia Farm Bureau News
(Continued from previous page) John Deere Tractor. Mike owns and manages Hillside Farms, which includes 2,000 acres of row crops, pasture and timber and a 100-head brood cow herd. ELBERT COUNTY Elbert County Farm Bureau displayed an exhibit in its office to promote peanuts. The display included recipes and peanut facts and coloring books for members to take home. A wash tub was filled with roasted peanuts for members to enjoy while visiting the office or to take with them. Members had a chance to win a basket of peanut products by guessing the number of peanuts in a jar. Amanda Wansley, who won the contest, is pictured with her basket.
HENRY COUNTY Henry County Farm Bureau members were informed and entertained by fifth grader Savannah Simpson at their spring quarterly Family Night Dinner. Savannah, who lives on a cattle farm, gave a very interesting presentation about beef to the more than 100 members who attended the meeting. Savannah’s speech won 1st place at the 4-H Northwest District competition at Rock Eagle and was very timely for Farm Bureau’s upcoming beef promotion. Savannah is the daughter of David and Kellie Simpson.
EVANS COUNTY Evans County Farm Bureau won second place for its float promoting peanuts in the Claxton Rattlesnake Roundup parade held March 12. ECFB Women’s Co-Chair Nancy Clark (left) and ECFB Women’s Chair Angela Todd made the float come to life by dressing as Mr. Peanut and handing out packs of peanuts.
JONES COUNTY The Jones County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee served lunch to the teachers at Gray Elementary School during an inservice day in February. They served 68 teachers and staff a lunch of sandwiches and homemade soups. JCFB used this as an opportunity to educate the teachers about Ag In the Classroom and promoted the Ag in the Classroom workshop that will be held this summer for teachers. Pictured from left are JCFB Office Manager Barbara Bridgers, Women’s Committee Chair Teresa Chambers and JCFB Directors Harold and Pat Daniels and Betty and Lonnie Smith.
GREENE COUNTY On April 16 Greene County Farm Bureau participated in Greensboro’s Southland Jubilee. More than 100 vendors and exhibitors and more than 1,000 visitors filled the streets of Greensboro during the day. Greene County Farm Bureau President Charles Crumbley (left) and GCFB Director Larry Eley are pictured manning the GCFB booth, which highlighted Farm Bureau membership and the many segments of Georgia agriculture including Georgia’s peanut and beef industries.
RICHMOND COUNTY Richmond County Farm Bureau Women’s Chairman Marsha Rider (standing, right) is pictured speaking to the Betty Lamp Georgia Homemakers group at the Mann Memorial Methodist Church. She discussed the different varieties, names and uses of the peanut. The club members traded peanut recipes. On behalf of RCFB, Rider gave each member a GFB gift bag filled with a peanut butter spreader, peanut bookmark and different peanut items.
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 27
GFB mourns loss of volunteers Obits compiled by Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker __________________________________________________________________________
eorgia Farm Bureau has lost several current and former volunteer leaders since March. We gratefully recognize the years of service they gave our organization. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of each.
J. Louis Hunt--------------------------
Georgia Farm Bureau 1st District Director Louis Hunt, 84, died May 10 from medical complications following a farm accident on April 30. Hunt, who grew hay, rye, soybeans and wheat straw on his farm, was president of Walker County Farm Bureau for 44 years and served as a GFB J. Louis Hunt 1st District director since 1979. He also served on numerous state commodity advisory committees for Georgia Farm Bureau and represented the organization as a voting delegate to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Hunt served in the U.S. Army in Japan from 1945-1946. He was a graduate of West Georgia College and the University of Georgia where he obtained a bachelor of science degree in botany and agronomy. His wife Opal, who died in 1999, preceded Hunt in death, as did one grandson. His sons, Charles Louis “Buster” Hunt and John W. Hunt; daughter Jo Ann Hunt Bell and son-in-law Frankie Bell; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren survive him. He was a member of East Armuchee Baptist Church. He was the son of the late Joseph U. and Georgia Ward Hunt. Condolences may be sent to the family in care of Walker County Farm Bureau, 101 S. Cherokee Street, LaFayette, Georgia 30728.
Betty Nash, 85, wife of former Georgia Farm Bureau President Bob Nash and a lifelong champion of agriculture, died April 4 after battling cancer. In addition to her husband, their daughter Cynthia and her husband Steve Douglas 28 / May-June 2011
of The Rock; son Clifford Nash and his wife Laverne of Moultrie; and son Charles Nash and his wife Alexis of Chicago, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren survive Nash. Nash was a member of Barnesville First United Methodist Church. Nash earned a bachelor’s degree Betty Nash in home economics from Oklahoma A&M University. She and Bob were married for 64 years and worked side-by-side for more than 50 years at every level of the Farm Bureau organization. The couple worked to establish the Georgia Cattlemen’s and CattleWomen’s Associations and supported 4-H and FFA. Nash was named Georgia CattleWoman of the Year in 1990 and is a past recipient of the American National CattleWomen’s Educator Award. The Nashes received the 2010 Georgia Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor Georgia Farm Bureau gives its volunteer leaders. Condolences may be sent to the family at 5416 Barnesville Hwy., The Rock, Ga., 30285.
Danny Page ---------------------------
Bryan County Farm Bureau President Danny Page, 52, died April 3 after a brief illness. Page, who was elected as Bryan County Farm Bureau president in 2008, was trained as an EMT and later as a nationally registered paramedic and flight Danny Page paramedic. He returned to work on his family’s farm in 1997 and also served as coroner of Bryan County for 8 1/2 years. Bryan County 4-H and the Bryan County High School Future Farmers of America recognized him for his contributions to their organizations. He was a member of Ellabell United Methodist Church.
His father Hughlynn Page preceded him in death. His son Shaun and daughterin-law Angel of Ellabell; his mother Marian Edwards Page of Ellabel; his sister Patti Newman of Ellabell; and his fiancée Tania Barker of Ellabell survive him. Condolences may be sent to the family at 770 Page Rd., Ellabell, Ga., 31308.
Joe Harry Rowland-------------------
Joe Harry Rowland, 74, of Johnson County, died March 13 at his residence. Rowland served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors from 1982-1987. He served as the Johnson County Farm Bureau president from Oct. 2001-2009. In addition to being a farmer, Rowland was the former owner of Rowland’s Joe Harry Rowland Gin and Bonded Warehouse, Parker Fish Company and the Wrightsville Oil Company. He was a member of First Christian Church of Wrightsville, served in the Georgia National Guard, was an Eagle Scout and was a former director of the Exchange Bank of Wrightsville. Rowland is survived by his wife, Barbara P. Rowland; two sons, Joe Allen (Al) Rowland and William Jason Rowland; three grandchildren: John Allen Rowland, Eli Rowland and Josey Rowland. All of Rowland’s family live in Wrightsville He was preceded in death by his son, John Robbie Rowland. He was the son of the late Harry and Vennie Oliver Rowland. Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 25 Wrightsville, Ga., 31096.
Lex W. Strickland, 77, of Claxton, died May 5. Strickland served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors from 1963-1992. He was an Evans County Farm Bureau director and served as county president from 19621964. Strickland is surLex Strickland vived by his wife Continued on next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
Michael Purvis of Ocilla has been named the new field representative for Georgia Farm Bureau’s 10th District. His first day was April 25. “We are excited to have Michael join our Field Services Department as he Michael Purvis provides support for all counties in the district,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. Purvis graduated from Valdosta State University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and has a strong agricultural background. Since 2005, he has worked with the Coffee County Gin and the Irwinville Peanut & Grain Companies as a field representative, working with producers in many of the counties in District 10. Continued from previous page JoAn; son, Lex W. Strickland, Jr., of Decatur; daughter, Suzanne Tippins and son-inlaw Brad and their three sons of St. Mary’s; and three brothers, Gerald L. Strickland and Daniel M. Strickland of Claxton and Dr. James E. Strickland of Glennville. He was the son of the late E.W. and Rubeye Durrence Strickland. Strickland was a graduate of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the University of Georgia where he earned a degree in agricultural engineering. After serving in the U.S. Army for two years, he returned home to Evans County where he farmed and operated several businesses including Claxton Grain & Elevator and Claxton Tobacco Warehouse. In 1985 he began a business building and repairing farm ponds and preventing erosion on farmland. He was a member of Daisy United Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to the family at 581 Lex Strickland Rd., Claxton, Ga., 30414.
Harris County Farm Bureau President Harvey Weldon, 77, died March 19. Weldon served as the HCFB president for 19
Gilmer County hosts GFB tailgate lunch
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
GFB names Purvis 10th District field rep
Gilmer County Farm Bureau hosted a tailgate lunch for Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and county Farm Bureau leaders from GFB’s 1st District at R&A Orchard in Ellijay May 9. GCFB members Andy and Roger Futch sell fresh apples, peaches and produce grown on their farm at their roadside market year-round. Duvall gave an update on the 2011 session of the Georgia General Assembly and action state legislators took on issues
impacting agriculture such as immigration, tax reform and water. Duvall also gave a report of the organization’s annual Presidents’ Trip to Washington, May 4-6, when county presidents and leaders from across the state visited Georgia’s Congressional delegation. Attendees enjoyed a delicious barbeque lunch with fried apple pies for dessert catered by R & A Orchard. R&A Orchard is a member of the GFB Certified Farm Market program.
years and also served on the GFB Aquaculture Commodity Committee for more than 10 years, including several as committee chairman. Weldon is survived by his wife Chloris; daughter Glenda and son-in-law Ed Jones of Seneca, S.C.; daughter Jan and son-in-law Harvey Weldon Tim Carter of Fayetteville, Ga.; son Pete Weldon and daughterin-law Cindy of Cataula, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; two brothers Charles Suber and William A. Suber and one sister Donna Braun all of Fla.. He was the son of the late Hugh Ernest Weldon and Sarah Lucille Hundley. Weldon served in the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer U.S.S. John Hood, was a Mason for more than 50 years, sat on the Harris County Planning and Zoning Board for more than 13 years and served as a regional representative of the National Safety Council. He was a member of Bethesda Baptist Church. Condolences may be sent to the family at 611 Denney Road, Cataula, Ga., 31804.
CONVENTION from page 19 Our growth and our profitability lies outside of our borders,” O’Quinn said. In 2003, exports contributed $136.46 per head to the value of slaughtered cattle, O’Quinn said. By 2010 the value of exports had increased to $153.09 per head. “Parts of the cow we don’t consume here are highly-valued outside the U.S.,” O’Quinn said. Eygpt buys most of the beef liver exported from the U.S. and pays 65 cents per pound for it. Japan likes U.S. beef tongues and pays $2.30 per pound. Continuing GCA’s quest to increase its membership is the organization’s top priority, said incoming GCA president Steve Blackburn of Waynesboro. “We’re launching a new program called ‘Just Ask’ for our current members to ask a friend or relative to join us,” Blackburn said. “My quest is to get every member to ask just one person to join. That would increase our membership to 9,000. Our second issue is bringing some more young people into beef production. We’re an aging industry, but we’re trying to do our best to educate and help young people see some of the opportunities the industry offers. These current beef prices are helping.”
Georgia Farm Bureau News May-June 2011 / 29
GFB conference prepares members to promote agriculture By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________
Watch the Georgia Farm Monitor!
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Pictured from left, Tabatha Fowler, Kim Hindmon and Tracy Grice listen to Coffee County Farm Bureau’s Dea Davison and Carla Palmer explain the Build A Burger activity.
your community by stepping up and doing some of these activities.” Conference participants also learned how to recruit new members using the new membership brochures available from the GFB Member Services Department and new PowerPoint presentations available through the GFB Field Services Department. A “make & take” fair gave attendees a chance to learn about a wide variety of ag education, Farm-City Week and farm safety activities. During lunch, GFB President Zippy Duvall and GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Donna Powell presented $6,000 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia on behalf of the county and state Farm Bureau Women’s Committees. Albany WALB - Ch. 10 Sunday / 6:30 am AUGUSTA WJBF - CH. 6 Saturday / 6 am atlanta wpxa - ch. 14 Saturday / 7:30 am Thursday / 6 am BRUNSWICK, GA / JACKSONVILLE, FL wpxC - ch. 21 Saturday / 7:30 am Thursday / 6 am columbus wtvm - ch. 9 Saturday / 6 am
Reporting information, offering insight and serving Georgia farmers and consumers – that’s the kind of professional journalism you’ll find when you watch the award-winning Georgia Farm Monitor.
30 / May-June 2011
cordele WSST - CH. 51 Sat & Sun / Noon macon wmaz - ch. 13 Saturday / 6 am WPGA - CH. 58 Sunday / 9 am
savannah wtoc - ch. 11 Saturday / 6 am wgsa - ch. 34 Saturday / 6 am SUMMERVILLE wKSY - CH. 21 Thursday / 9:30 pm Saturday / 6:30 am Sunday 5 pm ATHENS/toccoa wneg - ch. 32 Sunday / 8:30 am VALDOSTA WSWG - ch. 43 Sunday / 6:30 am – National – RFD-TV Channel 231 on the Dish® Network and Channel 345 on DirecTV Sunday at 11 pm Wednesday at 8:30 pm Thursday at 10:30 a.m. *Check local television listings for changes in day and time.
Photo by Katlin Mulvaney, courtesy of GCA
eorgia Farm Bureau members attending the organization’s annual Educational Leadership Conference in Columbus on March 26 gained skills and information to help them answer the call to leadership in their counties. The conference gave the 230 members attending the event ideas for promoting beef, the commodity GFB will promote from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012. GFB Women’s Leadership Committee members Nanette Bryan and Linda Crumley, who are both beef producers, gave an overview of promotional materials available through the Georgia Beef Board. Katie Perrin, a third-grade teacher at Toccoa Elementary School, shared books and activities she uses to teach her students about agriculture while meeting state curriculum requirements. Stephens County Farm Bureau sent Perrin to the 2010 National Ag in the Classroom Conference after she showed an interest in agriculture during the annual farm day the county holds. “As a teacher I have a hand in who my students become as adults,” Perrin said. “Think of what an impact you can have on
Beef Board provides promotional materials
Georgia Junior Cattlemen’s Association member Joel Noles, of Eastman, recently volunteered an afternoon at the Georgia Beef Board’s office in Macon to help compile materials for 79 county Georgia Farm Bureau offices. GFB is promoting beef as its commodity of the year. Beef is one of our most versatile, and nutritious protein sources, with lean options for a healthy lifestyle. The production of beef cattle is one of Georgia’s largest and most important segments of the state’s ag industry, giving $2.1 billion to Georgia’s economy with 16,000 beef producers and 1.11 million cattle. The Georgia Beef Board is the promotional board for beef producers, established to implement the beef check-off program for the research and promotion of beef. Georgia Farm Bureau News
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