May 15, 2013
Vol. 31 No. 20
GEORGIA EGG PRODUCERS VOTE TO END EGG COMMISSION Georgia table egg producers have voted to end the Georgia Egg Commission, which has worked since its establishment in 1961 to promote eggs to consumers, educate egg producers about industry issues and support egg research. Producers voting in a mail referendum held April 1-30 cast seven votes to end the commission and five to continue its work. Five ballots were not returned. The Georgia Department of Agriculture counted the ballots May 6. State law requires that all state agricultural commodity commissions hold referendums every three years. For a commission to continue, 66 2/3 percent of the producers who vote must vote to continue the commission. “In 1961, Georgia egg producers had a vision of the future that needed a program of promotion, education and research. Speaking on behalf of our current and past board of directors, advisors and employees, it has been an honor for us to carry forth this dream and to watch it grow into a great program for a great industry,” Georgia Egg Commission President Robert Howell said in a released statement. Georgia table egg producers paid an assessment of 4.5 cents per 30-dozen case of eggs, which generated about $350,000 annually to fund the commission’s promotion, education and research activities. The commission board of directors were: Dennis Hughes of Blackshear, chairman; Jerry Straughan, vice chairman; Larry Thomason, Calhoun: Gijs Schimmel, Lexington and Ky Hendrix, Madison. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall served as ex officio members of the commission. “All of Georgia’s agricultural commodity commissions exist at the pleasure of the producers each commission represents, and so we respect the egg producers’ decision to end their commission,” Duvall said. “I commend the Egg Commission staff and its directors for the work they have done on behalf of Georgia’s egg producers and in promoting eggs to consumers. The commission will be missed by Georgia’s agricultural community as we continue to work to educate the public about agriculture, the nutritional benefits of our commodities and the importance of farmers.” Since this is the first commodity commission with active production to be voted out, Howell said there are many details that must be addressed in the coming weeks to close out the commission. The commission held its 30th annual recipe contest May 15 as scheduled. The commission staff also manages the Georgia Egg Association, which will still have its annual meeting June 19-21 on St. Simon’s Island.
Leadership Alert page 2 of 6 MORRIS RE-ELECTED TO GEORGIA PEANUT COMMISSION SEAT Incumbent Armond Morris was re-elected for another three-year term as the District 2 representative on the Georgia Peanut Commission Board of Directors. In balloting held during April, Morris received 289 of the 443 votes cast according to the Peanut Farm Market News. Morris, of Irwin County, has served on the GPC board for a total 26 years, including a total of nine years as the GPC Chairman. The Georgia peanut production area is divided into five districts based on acreage distribution and geographical location with one board member representing each district for a three-year term. District 2 includes Atkinson, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Thomas, Tift, Turner and Worth Counties In other peanut news, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed five representatives to serve on the Peanut Standards Board. Each member will serve through June 2015. A sixth nominee has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the board through June 2014. Secretary Vilsack selected Alabama producer Carl Sanders and industry representative Ann D. King of Georgia to represent the Southeast Region. The Peanut Standards Board is made up of 18 members representing the Southeast Region, which covers the states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida; the Southwest Region, covering Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico; and the Virginia-Carolina Region, which includes Virginia and North Carolina. One third of the board is appointed each year. The Peanut Standards Board is authorized under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. USDA consults with the board to establish or change quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. SENATE AG COMMITTEE PASSES FARM BILL The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a 2013 farm bill by a 15-5 vote on May 14, paving the way for the bill to be introduced on the Senate floor. Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss voted for the bill, which he said resolved regional inequities that existed in the farm bill passed by the full Senate last year. The bill would reduce the federal budget by $23 billion over the next 10 years. According to a press release from Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (DMich.), the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 would end direct payments. The bill would also eliminate the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE). The bill outlined a new provision for a target price of $523.77 per ton for peanuts. In a related move, the American Farm Bureau Federation recently joined a group of conservation, environmental, crop insurance and other agricultural organizations in crafting an agreement on crop insurance structures. The agreement is outlined in a position paper which describes a compromise to link conservation compliance and crop insurance premium assistance. The paper expresses opposition to means testing, payment limitations or premium subsidy reductions for the crop insurance program. The recommendations were distributed to the leadership of the House and Senate agriculture committees. Stabenow and Senate Ag committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) included provisions of the agreement in the Managerâ€™s Amendment to the bill .
The House Ag Committee was to mark up its version of the farm bill on May 15.
Leadership Alert page 3 of 6 STRICKLAND MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS NAMED Three South Georgia students have been named the 2013 recipients of the B. Frank Strickland Memorial Scholarship. Laura Bass of Moultrie, LeeAnn Johnson of Alma and Lacey Lewis of Ashburn will each receive a $500 scholarship as they graduate from high school this spring and plan to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) in Tifton this fall. The daughter of Stanley and Lee Bass, Laura is graduating from Colquitt County High School and plans to major in agribusiness. LeeAnn, the daughter of Daniel and Patricia Johnson, is graduating from Pierce County High School and plans to pursue a degree in agribusiness. The daughter of Dwane and Kippy Lewis, Lacey is graduating from Tiftarea Academy and plans to major in biology/ag engineering. The $500 scholarship is awarded to an entering freshman or rising sophomore at ABAC who is from a county where tobacco production occurs. Lanier County farmer B. Frank Strickland was a lifelong advocate of Georgia’s tobacco industry and an active Georgia Farm Bureau member serving on the GFB Board of Directors for 27 years as a district director, GFB 3rd vice president and GFB 1st vice president. The ABAC Foundation administers the scholarship. A selection committee comprised of representatives from Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Tobacco Commission and the Lanier County Farm Bureau select the recipient. Anyone who would like more information about the scholarship may contact the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodities/Marketing Department at 1800-342-1196. SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH MONSANTO IN PATENT CASE In a unanimous decision released on May 13, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Monsanto in its patent infringement case. Monsanto’s licensing of glyphosate-resistant (Roundup Ready) soybean seed permitted the purchaser to plant them in only one season. Vernon Bowman, an Indiana farmer, had followed this guideline for his first planting each year, but for his second planting he had purchased soybeans from a grain elevator as a commodity, and then planted them. The resulting second harvest yielded many soybeans that were resistant to glyphosate. Bowman used this practice to get around paying biotechnology fees Monsanto charges for glyphosate-resistant seed. Monsanto sued Bowman for patent infringement. Bowman’s defense, which was also rejected by lower courts, centered on the legal doctrine of patent exhaustion, which limits a patent holder’s right to control what is done with item(s) containing its patented invention, terminating those rights with the initial authorized sale. The Supreme Court ruled that the exhaustion doctrine does not allow purchasers to duplicate patented items after purchase, which is what Bowman was doing by planting seeds purchased from the grain elevator. Because many area farmers use Roundup-Ready seeds to grow soybeans they sell to the elevator, Bowman had reason to believe that the beans he purchased would be glyphosate resistant as well. “Bowman planted Monsanto’s patented soybeans solely to make and market replicas of them, thus depriving the company of the reward patent law provides for the sale of each article,”
Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the court’s opinion on the case.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 6 WILD HOG INFORMATION MEETING May 16 McGill-Woodruff Ag Center 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Washington The Wilkes County Cattlemen's Association is holding this meeting, open to the public, to educate the public about wild hogs. I. B. Parnell, a senior wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, will discuss trapping and other means of controlling feral hogs. Conservation Ranger Mark Patterson will cover the legal aspects to ensure landowners control feral hogs through allowed practices. The meeting will include a complimentary meal. Preregister by calling the Wilkes County Extension Office at 706-678-2332 by noon on May 15. Those attending the meeting are asked to make a $5 contribution to the Wilkes County Cattlemen's Association. GEORGIA GROWN FARMER SHOWCASE May 18 Macon Farmers Market 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Macon June 1 Atlanta State Farmers Market 9 a.m. - noon Forest Park June 8 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta June 22 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta June 29 Savannah State Farmers Market 9 a.m. - noon Savannah This family-friendly series features dozens of vendors from around the state, offering locally grown fresh Georgia produce and plant sales, meet and greets with local farmers and much more. For more information, visit http://www.georgiagrown.com or call 404-656-3689. SMALL RUMINANT PARASITE CONTROL CONFERENCE May 20-22 Pettigrew Center, Fort Valley State University Fort Valley This “train the trainer” symposium for parasite management will educate stakeholders in the small ruminant industry on the most up-to-date methods and recommendations for parasite control. Training and certification will also be provided in integrated parasite management in small ruminants, including sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas and others. Full registration is $300 per person. Registration for one day of the conference $150. For more information or to register, visit http://www.fvsu.edu/acsrpc_registration. PESTICIDE APPLICATOR RECERTIFICATION CLASSES May 21 Dougherty County Extension 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Albany May 24 Lanier Technical College 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Gainesville Certified pesticide applicators need reecertification training and continuing education credits to maintain their licenses. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has planned pesticide applicator recertification classes for May in Albany and Gainesville. Registration is $55 per person. Certified applicators can earn five hours of Georgia Commercial Pesticide Credit in categories 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 and 41 for attending each class. Private applicators can earn up to two credit hours. Experts from UGA Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture will teach the classes. The Dougherty County and Hall County offices of UGA Extension are sponsoring the recertification training sessions. For a complete schedule or to register online, visit the website http://www.ugagriffincontinuingedu.com. For more information, call 770-229-3477 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leadership Alert page 5 of 6 USDA GEORGIA STRIKEFORCE INITIATIVE MEETING May 23 Fort Valley State University 9 a.m. - noon Fort Valley The USDA Strikeforce Initiative aims to increase investment in rural communities by providing technical assistance and ensuring that every community has equal access to USDA programs. Georgia has been part of this program since it was launched in 2010 and 60 Georgia counties with poverty-stricken communities have been identified to participate in the program. For a list of eligible counties and more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/cyemkus. This meeting is open to the public. Meeting will be held in the Agricultural Technology Center at Fort Valley State University. Pre-registration is requested by May 20 by emailing Chris.Groskreutz@ga.usda.gov or by calling 706-546-2069. USDA TO ACCEPT CRP APPLICATIONS MAY 20 â€“ JUNE 14 The USDA will conduct a four-week general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), beginning May 20 and ending on June 14. CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and enhance wildlife habitat. Contracts on 3.3 million acres of CRP are set to expire on Sept. 30. Producers with expiring contracts or producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP. Producers that are accepted in the sign-up can receive cost-share assistance to plant long-term, resource-conserving covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract (10-15 years). For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or http://www.fsa.usda.gov. CALHOUN BEEF CATTLE REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP May 28 UGA NW GA Research & Education Center Calhoun Workshop begins at 6 p.m. in the livestock pavilion of the Northwest Georgia Research and Education Center. For more information contact Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or by emailing email@example.com. GA HEIFER EVALUATION & REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT (HERD) SALE May 29 UGA NW GA Research & Education Center Calhoun Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. in the livestock pavilion of the Northwest Georgia Research and Education Center. For more information contact Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. PROPERTY TAX & TAX APPEAL WORKSHOPS May 30 Gainesville First Baptist Church 8:15 a.m. - 1:45 a.m. Gainesville June 4 UGA Campus Conference Center 8:15 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Tifton These workshops will provide Georgiaâ€™s forestry community with knowledge about the property tax process and tax appeal process. These seminars will address a summary of issues associated with property taxation of timberland in Georgia, potential solutions, and real life case studies on how to approach appeals. Workshop presenters will teach landowners what to expect when challenging tax appraisals and how to deal with the assessors when they feel they have been wronged. Cost for attendance is $65 per attendee and $35 for the second person in the same family. A $10 late fee will be assessed on all registrations received after May 15. Each workshop is limited to the first 150 registrants. For more information on the workshop location, speakers
and agenda, call the Georgia Forestry Association at 478-992-8110, email email@example.com or visit www.gfagrow.org/ taxworkshops Leadership Alert page 6 of 6 MAY 31 IS DEADLINE TO ENTER YF DISCUSSION MEET May 31 is the deadline to enter the 2013 GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet. The state discussion meet winner will receive an Arctic Cat 500 ATV, $500 and an expense-paid trip to the 2014 AFBF Convention in San Antonio, Texas, to compete for national honors. The three finalists will each receive $350. The AFBF winner will receive a 2014 Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck. Visit your local Farm Bureau office for more details about the contest. The preliminary rounds of the 2013 GFB YF Discussion Meet will be held during the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island July 12-14. The four finalists will compete for the state title at the GFB Convention Dec. 8.
Â 2013 GFB YOUNG FARMER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE July 11-14 Jekyll Island Convention Center Jekyll Island This family-friendly event will provide educational, networking and social opportunities for young farmers. The preliminary rounds of the 2013 Young Farmer Discussion Meet, in which contestants compete for a variety of great prizes, will be held during the conference, which also features breakout sessions on a variety of topics. Registration deadline is May 31. For more information, contact GFB Young Farmer Coordinator Jed Evans at 478-474-0679, ext. 5230 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE DATA WILL BE COLLECTED THROUGH MAY 31 The Census of Agriculture is conducted once every 5 years resulting in valuable information at the county, state and national levels. Census data are used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities from federal, state and local governments to agri-businesses and trade associations. Census forms have been mailed multiple times with telephone and field follow-up underway. Producers also have the option to complete their forms online. Response is required by law and the final data are projected for release in February 2014. Additional information is available online at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov. CAES ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ACCEPTING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS June 1 Deadline to apply for Transfer Scholarship The UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Alumni Association is accepting applications for its Transfer Scholarship for students considering transferring into a CAES program in fall 2013. For more information or to download the application form, visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/alumni/CAA/scholarships.html.