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May 25, 2011

www.gfb.org

Vol. 29 No. 21

GA. EPD TAKING COMMENTS ON WATER COUNCIL RECOMMENDATIONS On May 9, the reports of the 10 regional water councils (RWCs) were published for public comment, and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is accepting comments until June 23. In 2008, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Statewide Comprehensive Water Management Plan (SCWMP), which included the creation of the 10 RWCs. Each RWC has 25 members, three alternates and two non-voting ex officio members, one each from the state house and state senate. The 10 RWCs are: Altamaha; Coastal Georgia; Coosa-North Georgia; Lower FlintOchlockonee; Middle Chattahoochee; Middle Ocmulgee; Savannah-Upper Ogeechee; SuwaneeSatilla; Upper Flint and Upper Oconee. Their directive under the SCWMP was to develop plans to address water quantity and quality, including forecasts of future water supply and wastewater treatment needs as well as management practices necessary to meet the region’s needs within the capabilities of the resources. Georgia Farm Bureau asked its county Farm Bureau presidents for names of farmers in their counties willing to serve on the RWCs, and 47 Farm Bureau members received appointments in February 2009. Since then, they have attended numerous day-long meetings without compensation to make sure that farmers’ interests were heard during the formation of the water policies that will be implemented in their respective regions. On May 19, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall sent a memo to county Farm Bureau presidents alerting them to the comment period. GFB will study the plans and consider possible comments, but Duvall emphasized that individuals may also offer comments. Duvall urged Farm Bureau members to study the document that affects their county and offer suggestions for comment. “We urge Farm Bureau members across the state to study these plans,” Duvall said. “If our members have concerns, we need to hear from them. Farm Bureau’s effectiveness on this issue has been a team effort from the beginning and we continue to need our members’ involvement.” The GFB Legislative Department sent CDs containing all the water plans to each county Farm Bureau office. To see the plans online, go to the Georgia Farm Bureau website, http://www.gfb.org, and click on the Georgia State Water Plan icon near the top of the page. To make a comment, visit http://www.gaepdcommentcenter.org/login.aspx and log in (registration is required).


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GFVGA SURVEYING GROWERS OVER POTENTIAL LABOR SHORTAGE The Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) is conducting a brief informal survey to gauge the level of concern over access to harvest laborers. GFVGA Executive Director Charles Hall indicated that growers have expressed concerns to him over whether they will be able to hire sufficient labor to complete their harvests in the wake of the Georgia immigration bill signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal on May 13. Hall noted that migrant harvest crews may be reluctant to stop in Georgia to find work because of the new law. Hall is soliciting information from growers about whether they are currently experiencing a labor shortage or anticipate having one this year. If so, Hall is asking for a numerical measure of the seriousness of the shortage. The survey also requests wage information for a typical laborer in the grower’s operation and any other information about the grower’s labor situation. Hall indicated that the individual and farm names of those who respond will be kept confidential. To respond, send an email to Hall at chall@asginfo.net. Meanwhile, the Georgia Department of Labor (DOL) is offering assistance to growers with job announcements and referral assistance. Growers can post job orders by contacting their nearest DOL career center. The 53 career centers around the state are listed at http://www.dol.state.ga.us/find_career_centers.htm. Hall recommended requesting an employer marketing representative for help with posting job orders. Job orders can also be placed by visiting http://www.dol.state.ga.us/em/recruit_new_employees.htm or by calling 1877-JOBS-4GA (877-562-7442). FOREST SERVICE, STATE FORESTERS RELEASE LONG-RANGE FORECAST 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 as Forest Service personnel seek 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.


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BUDGET CUTS COST NPRL FOUR RESEARCH SCIENTISTS Funding 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 positions lost are one plant physiologist, one breeder and geneticist and two agronomists, 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.” GA EGG COMMISSION RECIPE CONTEST SHOWS VERSATILITY OF EGGS Beth Boyd of Ludowici won the first place prize of $2,000 in the Georgia Egg Commission's 28th annual recipe contest, held May 4 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. The theme for the 2011 contest was “Your Most Incredible Egg Recipe,” and the variety of recipes prepared by the top finalists in the contest showcased the versatility of eggs. To be considered, recipes had to be original, serve at least four people, use at least four whole eggs and be prepared in 60 minutes or less. Boyd won the contest with her Cheesy Low Country Bake recipe that combines all of the major ingredients of a low country boil into a mouth-watering casserole. “I wanted to create a dish everyone would like. Everyone likes a low country boil and everyone likes cheese, so that’s how I came up with the idea for this dish,” Boyd said. “It’s an easy dish to make. A lot of it can done ahead of time, such as chopping the potatoes and cooking the sausage, onion and shrimp.” Ramona Parris, of Marietta, won the second place award of $850 for her Easy Buffalo Chicken Quiche recipe, inspired by the popular Buffalo chicken dip served at football parties. Grace Vaughn, of Box Springs, captured third place and $650 for her Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Brownies. Other contestants were: Debra Brooks of Byron, Chuck Holt of Cartersville, Neil Jones of Madison, Penny Malcolm of Americus, Deborah Puette of Lilburn, and Hillary Thornton of Folkston. Puette won an honorable mention and $100. For a free copy of all the contest recipes, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winning Recipes, Georgia Egg Commission, P.O. Box 2929, Suwanee, GA 30024. Visit the Georgia Egg Commission Web site at http://www.georgiaeggs.org for more information about the 2012 contest. The deadline to enter is April 1, 2012.


Leadership Alert page 4 of 7 DEADLINE TO VOTE ON FARM MOM OF THE YEAR IS MAY 26 Jones County Farm Bureau Director Teresa Chambers is the Southeast Region Farm Mom of the Year in a Monsanto-sponsored program designed to recognize women who provide exceptional support for their families, farms, communities and agriculture. Teresa is vying against four other regional winners for the national award. You can vote for her by visiting http://www.monsanto.com/americasfarmers/Pages/farmmom-vote-form.aspx. Congratulations Teresa! BCAP PROPOSAL DEADLINE IS MAY 27 The deadline for project area proposals to be considered for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) is May 27. Authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, BCAP provides incentives to eligible farmers, ranchers and forest landowners for the establishment and production of biomass crops for heat, power, bio-based products and biofuels. BCAP project areas are specific geographic areas where producers grow eligible biomass crops. Producers then receive annual payments for growing those crops. In Georgia, proposals should be sent to Farm Service Agency, 355 East Hancock Ave., Athens, Ga., 30601-2775. For more information, contact Anna Bramblett by phone at 706-546-2256 Ext. 4., or by email at anna.bramblett@ga.usda.gov or visit the USDA Farm Service Agency’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov/bcap. BEEF CATTLE REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT WORKSHIP May 31 NW Ga. Research & Education Center Calhoun Starts at 6 p.m. For more information contact Ted Dyer at 706-624-1403 or tgdyer@uga.edu or Phil Worley at 706/624-1398 or nwgastn@uga.edu DEADLINE TO ENTER GFB PHOTO CONTEST IS MAY 31 The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee is accepting entries for its 2011 Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest. The contest is open to any Georgia Farm Bureau member who receives no income from photography. There are three categories: GFB members, GFB Young Farmers (farmers between the age of 18-35), and GFB staff/family (state or county). All photos must highlight Georgia agriculture and must have been taken in 2010 or 2011.Visit http://www.gfb.org/programs/yf/photo_contest.html for contest rules and eligibility. GFB YOUNG FARMER FAMILY CONFERENCE & DISCUSSION MEET REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS MAY 31 July 23-24 Callaway Gardens Pine Mountain This event will allow young farmers ages 18-35 the opportunity to network with other young farmers around the state and attend personal and professional development workshops. The conference will include free time to allow attendees the opportunity to tour Callaway on their own. There will be childoriented activities while parents attend workshops. The preliminary rounds of the GFB discussion meet will be held during the conference. The four finalists will compete for the state title at the GFB Convention on Jekyll Island, Dec. 4-6. The state winner will receive an Arctic Cat 500 4x4 ATV, $500 cash and an expense-paid trip to the 2012 American Farm Bureau convention in Hawaii, Jan. 8-11, 2012, to compete for national honors. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you are interested in attending the conference or competing in the discussion meet. The deadline to register for either event is May 31. JUNE 1 IS DEADLINE TO ENROLL FOR ACRE, DCP Farmers and landowners have until June 1, to enroll their farms in the 2011 Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP) and the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program. Producers who choose to participate in either program must enroll their farms each year. For more information on DCP or ACRE, contact a nearby FSA county office or visit the FSA website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/dcp.


Leadership Alert page 5 of 7 GA HEIFER EVALUATION & REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT (HERD) SALE June 1 NW Ga. Research & Education Center Calhoun Starts at 12:30 p.m. For more information contact Ted Dyer at 706-624-1403 or tgdyer@uga.edu or Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or nwgastn@uga.edu PUTNAM COUNTY DAIRY FESTIVAL June 4 Downtown Eatonton Events run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include a parade at 10 a.m., live entertainment all day, arts and crafts booths, vendor food and more. For more information call 706-485-5322. 12th ANNUAL NORTH AMERICAN AGROFORESTRY CONFERENCE Jun. 4 - Jun. 9 Georgia Center, UGA Campus Athens This conference will focus on sustainable rural land management and the integration of trees with crop and/or livestock production. Dennis Garrity, director general of the World Agroforestry Centre, and Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, will be featured speakers. Registration is $325 before May 31 and $375 after. Visit http://hosting.caes.uga.edu/2011NAAC/index.html for more information or to register. GEORGIA PEACH FESTIVAL June 4-11 Various locations Byron and Fort Valley This week-long festival offers concerts, theatre shows, the 3rd Annual Paul Reehling Memorial Poker Run, Peach County Historical Society’s Famous Chicken Salad Luncheon free sampling of the World's Largest Peach Cobbler and much more! For more information, visit http://www.gapeachfestival.com. PEANUT BOARD EXPORT SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAM SEMINAR June 7 National Peanut Board Office Atlanta This pilot program will provide marketing support for small businesses in hopes of increasing exports of U.S.-grown peanuts. For more information, contact Jessica Dawson at jldawson@nationalpeanutboard.org or 678-424-5759. GFB AG IN THE CLASSROOM WORKSHOP FOR TEACHERS June 13-15 Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Tifton This three-day workshop will show teachers how to use agriculture as a tool to teach social studies, science, math and language arts. This professional learning unit (PLU) course is targeted to teachers in grades K-8, is matched to state standards, is interdisciplinary and places particular focus on Georgia. Teachers will learn how to teach their students where their food comes from and about natural resources using hands-on lessons and activities. REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JUNE 10. The class includes a field trip to learn about Georgia agriculture and a variety of classroom resources for teachers to use. Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator Donna Rocker is the lead instructor for the class. The course sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. each day. Registration cost is $35 and includes lunch each day and a field trip to area farms/agribusinesses. Participants are responsible for making their own hotel accommodations. For more information, visit http://www.gfb.org/programs/aic/PLUCourses.htm. To register, contact Rocker via email at dhrocker@gfb.org or by phone at 478-474-0679 (ext. 5365). UGA COTTON SCOUT SCHOOLS June 13 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton June 21 Southeast Research & Education Center Midville These programs offer basic information on cotton insects and scouting procedures and will serve as a review for experienced scouts and producers and as an introduction to cotton insect monitoring for new scouts. Both schools run from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. For more information about the Tifton school call Debbie Rutland at 229-386-3424. Contact Peyton Sapp at 706-554-2119 for more information about the school in Midville.


Leadership Alert page 6 of 7 GEORGIA-FLORIDA TOBACCO TOUR June 13-15 The tour will begin with a supper at Mixon’s Pond House in Waresboro, Ga. Supper will be served at 7 p.m. On June 14, the tour will leave from the Quality Inn & Suites parking lot in Waycross, Ga., at 7:30 a.m. to visit Georgia tobacco farms to view on-farm research of tobacco varieties, insect control and tomato spotted wilt virus. The tour will end in Tifton on June 14 with tour headquarters at the Tifton Hampton Inn. On June 15, the tour will leave the Tifton Hampton Inn at 7:30 a.m. and visit the Bowen Farm of the Coastal Plain Experiment Station. Lunch will be at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. After lunch, the tour will visit additional on-farm demonstrations, Florida producers and a released varieties demonstration in Columbia County, Fla. The tour will end near Lake City, Fla. on June 15. No meal is planned for that evening. To register for the tour please visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/commodities/fieldcrops/tobacco/tours/index.html Additional details of the schedule and driving directions will be added to the website the week before the tour. For more information please contact Dr. J. Michael Moore at 229-392-6424 or via email at jmmoore@uga.edu. UGA AGRIBUSINESS CONFERENCE Jun. 14 Chicopee Building UGA Campus Athens This workshop will include presentations from chefs, restaurateurs and farmers with successful agritourism businesses. UGA experts and representatives from other state and local institutions will discuss marketing, business plans, financial forecasting, trends, business models, loans, grants and more. Participants will leave with game plans, ideas, business leads, contracts and resources to increase profitability. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Sessions start at 9 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Registration is $65 per person and includes a buffet lunch, breaks, materials, parking and contact lists of all participants and exhibitors. Register online at www.georgiamicrobiz.com or call Julia Menefield at 706-208-0048. CHEROKEE COUNTY FARM BUREAU SAFETY DAY CAMP June 15 Lazy D Farm 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Ball Ground This free camp, which is open to anyone regardless of county of residence, includes lunch, t-shirt & gift bag. Topics include ATV safety, animal safety, electricity safety, tractor safety, nutrition, fire safety, gun safety, water safety, bike safety and severe weather. Registration deadline is Thursday June 2, 2011 or until camp is full. To register call Cherokee County Farm Bureau at 770-479-1481 Ext. 0 or the Cherokee County Extension Office at 770-479-0418 DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR USDA RENEWABLE ENERGY LOANS JUNE 15 $70 million in loan guarantees and grants to install renewable energy systems is available nationwide. through the USDA Rural Development’s Renewable Energy for America program. Funds may be used to purchase and install renewable energy systems, to make energy efficiency improvements, and to complete feasibility studies. The maximum grant for renewable energy systems is 25 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $500,000. Energy efficiency improvement projects are eligible for up to 25 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $250,000. The maximum loan guarantee is 75 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $25 million. Combination loan guarantees and grants are also available. Feasibility studies now also qualify for grants. New for 2011 is the addition of blender pumps as an eligible purpose. These pumps can deliver a variety of ethanol blended gasoline ranging from 11% to 85%. Convenience stores and other fuel dispensers can apply for funding this year to help in the installation of the pumps and tanks at their place of business. Complete program details are available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Energy.html. Applications received after June 15 will be considered in 2012. Applications can be sent to Craig Scroggs, USDA Rural Development, 111 E. Spring St. Monroe, GA 30655 or Al Burns, USDA Rural Development, 2406 N. Tift Ave., Suite 103, Tifton, GA 31794. Program coordinators can be reached for more information as follows: Craig Scroggs at 404-229-5720 or craig.scroggs@ga.usda.gov; Al Burns at 229-220-5067 or al.burns@ga.usda.gov.


Leadership Alert page 7 of 7 CORN SILAGE & FORAGE FIELD DAY June 16 UGA Tifton Campus Tifton Registration for this workshop, hosted by the University of Georgia and University of Florida, begins at 7:30 a.m. with the program starting at 8 a.m. Attendees will have the chance to tour variety test plots and hear university specialists discuss improving nitrogen fertilizer use, weed control in corn and forage sorghum, forage preservation, ways to use byproducts to supplement forages for beef cattle and dairy cattle, reducing feeding losses of hay and processing baleage and hay f or use in TMR. For more information visit http://bit.ly/lXnW2o contact Dr. John K. Bernard at 229-391-6856 or jbernard@uga.edu. PESTICIDE USE, SAFETY & HANDLING TRAINING CLASS June 21 Houston Co. Cooperative. Ext. Office Perry Earn five hours of commercial pesticide credit in multiple categories (Categories 21,22,23,24,25,26,27, 31,32,35,36,37,38,39, or 41). Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Class costs $40 and includes materials. Lunch is on your own. To register contact Karen Atkins at 478-987-2028 or via email at atkinsk@uga.edu or find a registeration form online at http://www.ugaextension.com/houston (under News & Events). To receive information about future recertification classes, please email Karen Atkins at atkinsk@uga.edu. GA PORK PRODUCERS CONGRESS & PORK ACT DELEGATE ELECTION June 22 Georgia Farm Bureau Home Office Macon Georgia pork producers will hold their annual meeting at 8:30 a.m. The meeting includes a research update from UGA, a National Pork Board update and certification training on waste management. At 2 p.m. Georgia pork producers will elect delegate candidates to represent Georgia at the 2012 National Pork Producers Delegate Body. For information, contact the Georgia Pork Producers Association at 229-3367760. SUNBELT AG EXPO FIELD DAY July 7 Spence Field Moultrie See crop progress and new research tests on field plots for multiple crops. Trimble Navigation will demonstrate its latest technology, and the Flint River Basin Partnership will showcase two emerging irrigation water management technologies. Visitors will get the chance to preview Expo’s first organic demonstration plot that features an acre of peanuts and an acre of pearl millet with a rye cover crop over the winter. New Holland will preview its new T8 Series tractor, designed to be more fuel efficient. Shuttles to the field start at 8:30 a.m. followed by a free lunch at 12:15 a.m. and door prizes. Register before 8:15 a.m. for a chance to win a $100 early bird cash prize. Call 229-985-1968 or visit www.sunbeltexpo.com for more information. PFIZER SOUTHEAST STORM RELIEF PROGRAM Pfizer Animal Health is helping veterinarians and livestock owners in the Southeast assess and treat livestock impacted by the April storms and tornadoes, including reimbursement vouchers for consulting fees and access to long-acting antibiotics at no cost to vets. This program will be in place for the next 90 days. Interested vets should call 1-800-366-5288. PEANUT PROUD SENDING PEANUT BUTTER TO TORNADO VICTIMS Peanut Proud is collecting donations to send peanut butter and bottled water to church shelters and feeding distribution centers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi for victims of the recent tornadoes. Contributions to this project may be sent to: Peanut Proud Inc, P.O. Box 446, Blakely, GA 39823. Checks should be made payable to Peanut Proud., Inc., and allocated for Project Giving Back. For information please contact Lea Jean Manry at 229-723-2802 or lmanry@birdsong-peanuts.com or Chuck Hancock, 229-723-2815 or chancock@birdsongpeanuts.com.


Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - May 25, 2011