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May 3, 2017

Vol. 35 No. 9

SONNY PERDUE CONFIRMED, SWORN IN AS AGRICULTURE SECRETARY Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas in a brief ceremony April 25 at the Supreme Court building. The U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary Perdue by a vote of 87-to-11 on April 24. After Perdue took the oath of office, he addressed employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) before getting to work on his first day. The USDA launched Perdue’s official Twitter handle: @SecretarySonny. “The only legacy that I seek is the only one that any grandparent or parent seeks – to be good stewards, and to hand off our nation, our home, our fields, our forests, and our farms to the next generation in Sonny Perdue better shape than we found it,” Perdue said. “Making sure that Americans who make their livelihoods in the agriculture industry have the ability to thrive will be one of my top priorities. I am committed to The next issue of serving the customers of USDA, and I will be an unapologetic advocate for GFB News Alert American agriculture.” comes out Perdue spoke to a group of Georgia Farm Bureau members on April 26, May 17. the day after he was sworn in. “Georgia is a very diverse agricultural state, so Secretary Perdue’s proven experience in working with our commodities will help him in making a smooth transition into his role as Secretary of Agriculture. He’s very knowledgeable on both crop production and livestock production, and he has a wealth of experience in international trade. I think his confirmation presents Georgia farmers with a huge opportunity to be heard in Washington in a way they never have before.” According to a USDA press release, Perdue’s policies will be guided by four principles. First, he will maximize the ability of America’s farmers and agribusiness owners to create jobs, to produce and sell the foods and fiber that feed and clothe the world, and to reap the earned reward of their labor. Second, he will prioritize customer service every day for American taxpayers and consumers. Third, USDA will continue to ensure the food we put on the table to feed our families meets the strict safety standards USDA has established. And fourth, Perdue will always remember that America’s agricultural bounty comes directly from the land. “There’s important work ahead for the secretary, and he’ll need to address these challenges against the backdrop of the biggest drop in farm prices and income we’ve seen in decades,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Just like America’s farmers and ranchers, I know Secretary Perdue isn’t afraid of a hard day’s work. We are confident he is the right man for the job at hand.”

GFB News Alert page 2 of 13 SECRETARY PERDUE SPEAKS TO GFB GROUP IN WASHINGTON Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue opened his first full day on the job with a speech to Georgia Farm Bureau members in Washington on April 26, part of the annual GFB County Presidents’ Trip to D.C. Perdue pledged to run the USDA efficiently and acknowledged important issues facing American farmers. “We’re going to work hard to make sure that agriculture is acknowledged and recognized for the industry that it is,” said Perdue, who is believed to be the first presidential cabinet member to speak to a GFB group. “You hear a lot of people talking about manufacturing and the demise of manufacturing. We do have some manufacturing challenges in some places, but I’d submit to you that agriculture is one of the finest, most natural manufacturing organizations, and it has been the most productive over the last 75 years in this country.” American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall and Sen. David Perdue also spoke at the April 26 breakfast, encouraging farmers to stay active in voicing their concerns about agricultural issues. “Georgia is an agricultural state and we need to hear from you,” said Sen. Perdue, a member of the Senate Ag Committee. “But don't just write to me. Write to congressmen in other states and let them know your views on agricultural issues.” Duvall called for farmers to be united and to engage with elected officials. “The strength and power of our organization doesn't lie with me or with Gerald [GFB President Long]. It lies with you,” Duvall said, urging farmers to maintain contact with elected officials. “If we disengage at this point in history, we'll have a disaster.” County Farm Bureau presidents from all over Georgia met with members of Georgia’s congressional delegation and AFBF staff. The GFB group delivered the organization’s stance on immigration and labor, tax reform, federal regulation, the next farm bill and agricultural trade. AFBF Executive Director for Public Policy Dale Moore outlined AFBF's priority issues immigration/labor, tax reform, trade, regulatory reform and the farm bill. Dr. John Newton, AFBF director of market intelligence, reviewed efforts on key topics of discussion during the development of the next farm bill. He pointed out the ineffectiveness of the dairy and cotton provisions under the current farm bill. He also noted the importance to farmers of the nutrition portion of the farm bill, saying it is crucial to gaining support of lawmakers from urban districts in getting the farm bill to pass. AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations Dave Salmonsen discussed trade issues likely to be taken up by the Trump administration, particularly as they relate to U.S. agricultural trade with Canada and Mexico; President Trump has indicated a desire to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “The thing we mostly don't want is to have anyone charging new tariffs,” Salmonsen said. AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations Pat Wolff talked about tax issues the organization would like to see addressed in any tax reform package. Wolff said any new tax package should address the effective tax rate, lower the capital gains tax, expand section 179 deductions and would ideally do away with the death tax. AFBF Director of Congressional Relations Kristi Boswell discussed the need to fix the country's broken immigration system, saying that while AFBF supports increased border security, intensifying immigration enforcement activities are having a chilling effect on the nation's migrant workforce. “We can’t risk losing 50-70 percent of our workers because of stepped up enforcement,” Boswell said. “There is a lot of anxiety on the ground within our farmers and within our workers.”

GFB News Alert page 3 of 13 GFB ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF ANNUAL ART AND ESSAY CONTESTS Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) recently announced the winners of its annual art and essay contests. Amber Moore of Colquitt County was recognized as the state winner for the GFB High School Art Contest while Samuel Hennessee of Bulloch County was selected as the state winner of the Middle School Essay Contest. Moore, a senior at Colquitt County High School, was awarded $250 as state winner and $100 as the GFB District 9 winner. Her winning entry is shown at left. Open to any Georgia high school student (grades 9-12), 55 submissions were received in total. The contest sought entries that best represented modern agriculture found in the student's home county or Georgia agriculture. Sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau and SunTrust Bank, Middle Georgia, applicants were judged on artistic merit and how well the artwork represented Georgia agriculture. Matt Bryson of Gordon County, GFB District 1, and Emily Pridgen of Coffee County, GFB District 10, were both honored as runners-up and awarded $150 in addition to the $100 they received for being district winners. Other GFB district winners in the art contest were: Jamiya Allen, Elbert County, District 2; Kasie Price, Polk County, District 3; Kyle Mitchell, Walton County, District 4; Clara Reinagel, Upson County, District 5; Katelyn Jackson, Johnson County, District 6; Victoria Moss, Effingham County, District 7, and Olivia Perry, Sumter County, District 8. To view the winning drawings visit Each district winner received a $100 cash prize. The winning artwork from each district will be featured in GFB’s 2018 Ag in the Classroom calendar along with two other contest entries selected by the judges. The topic for this year’s Middle School Essay Contest was: “The Importance of Georgia's Specialty Crops.” Open to all sixth through eighth graders in Georgia, 50 essay submissions were received. The purpose of the essay contest is to encourage students to increase their level of agricultural literacy through research and through presentations by county Farm Bureau volunteers. Essays were judged on clarity of thought and writing skill. Samuel Hennessee, an 8th grade student at South East Bulloch Middle School, was awarded $150 as state winner and $100 as District 7 winner. Other district winners in the essay contest were: Ashrutha Shanmugan, Forsyth County, District 1; Chloe Pulliam, Franklin County, District 2; Christina Jackson, Clayton County, District 3; Kathleen Sneed, Columbia County, District 4; Patrick Clark Jr., Harris County, District 5; Zach Floyd, Twiggs County, District 6; District 8 had no entries; Peyton Gwines, Tift County, District 9; Jessa Tanner, Coffee County; District 10. To read the district and state winning essays visit The GFB Women’s Leadership Committee coordinated both contests on the state level and county Women’s Committees promoted the contests locally. “Finding innovative ways to reach students is a continued goal for Ag in the Classroom. The art and essay contests are a unique opportunity to effectively connect with students and teachers to increase agricultural awareness. As Georgia’s largest economic sector, we strive to promote agriculture in a capacity that will resonate with children and the general public,” said GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Rhonda Williams. “I appreciate all the counties that connected with teacher and students directly, encouraging them to participate. With a total of 105 submissions for high school art and middle school essays combined, I could not be more thrilled with the growing interest for these annual contests.”

GFB News Alert page 4 of 13 PRESIDENT TRUMP MEETS WITH FARMERS During an April 25 meeting with farmers and ranchers, President Donald Trump pledged that his administration, including newly installed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, would work to address critical challenges facing agriculture, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, who was one of 14 farmers from 12 states attending the meeting at the White House that included Vice President Mike Pence and Perdue for a roundtable discussion. The meeting included a discussion on pressing issues for American agriculture, such as trade, labor, regulatory reform and rural infrastructure. “Not only was President Trump receptive to our concerns, but he pledged action,” Duvall said. “He even looked toward Secretary Perdue and said, ‘Let’s get these problems fixed.’ Today, agriculture had not just one but many seats at the table to share with the president how access to international markets, farm labor shortages and burdensome regulations impact not only the dayto-day business of our farmers and ranchers, but also the millions of jobs agriculture supports.” During the meeting, President Trump signed an executive order that acknowledges a reliable, safe, and affordable food, fiber and forestry supply is critical to America’s national security, stability and prosperity. The order establishes an interagency task force, to be chaired by Secretary Perdue, charged with identifying legislative, regulatory and policy changes that would enhance American agriculture, rural economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security and quality of life in rural America. The report from the task force is due within 180 days. On April 26 Trump notified Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian President Justin Trudeau of his intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The statement drew praise from some agricultural groups, including Farm Bureau, which had asked to be included in any discussion about NAFTA. Canada is the No. 1 destination for U.S. agricultural commodities and Mexico is No. 3. The Trump administration also announced the imposition of a countervailing duty on imports of softwood lumber from Canada. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced a preliminary determination that Canada has been subsidizing its companies that export softwood lumber. A final determination is scheduled to be announced Sept. 7, according to a Commerce Department press release. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been instructed to collect cash deposits matching the Canadian subsidy rates.

GFB News Alert page 5 of 13 GA AG DEPARTMENT LIFTS POULTRY ASSEMBLY BAN, SURVEILLANCE ZONE The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) lifted its order preventing poultry assembly and the surveillance zone established within a 6.2-mile radius of the Chattooga County farm where low pathogenic avian influenza was discovered in late March. State Veterinarian Robert Cobb Jr. announced the action in a memo issued April 19. The assembly suspension, which halted poultry exhibitions, shows, sales at flea markets and auctions, swaps and meets, went into effect on March 16 following the discovery of avian influenza in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky. The surveillance zone was lifted after three rounds of testing were completed with no positive tests for all poultry operations within the zone. The primary premise consisting of four broiler breeder hen houses, multiple egg rooms and a manure stack house remains under GDA quarantine. All four hen houses and equipment are being cleaned and disinfected. The GDA continues to emphasize the importance of maintaining biosecurity on all poultry premises. For more information visit HOUSTON CO. FARM BUREAU MEMBER WINS NATIONAL VOLUNTEER AWARD The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and National Grange selected Georgia volunteer educator Carol Baker-Dunn as the winner of its Agriculture Advocate Award for 2017. Baker-Dunn won the award for her efforts to help establish the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture which oversees agricultural literacy outreach in K-12 schools throughout Georgia. In addition, she reenergized an agricultural literacy outreach program in schools in her community with an elementary school reading program, a school garden implementation effort, a book barn lending library and a classroom grants funding opportunity. “She lit a fire under the Houston County Farm Bureau leadership and put agricultural literacy in her community into high gear,” according to Donna Rocker, Georgia Farm Bureau’s Ag In The Classroom coordinator. NAITCO President and Tennessee Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Carol Baker-Dunn Classroom Director Chris Fleming applauded Baker-Dunn’s selection as the Agriculture Advocate of the Year. “National Agriculture in the Classroom and state Agriculture in the Classroom programs depend on volunteers like Carol Baker-Dunn to deliver agricultural literacy outreach to schools in their communities,” he said. “Agriculture in the Classroom’s strength lies in its grassroots network of volunteers like Ms. Baker-Dunn who are passionate about spreading agricultural literacy in schools.” When she isn’t working as a portions manager at Perdue Foods' harvest operation, she’s serving as a volunteer board member of the Georgia Farm Bureau and Houston County Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committees and Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. According to Rocker’s nomination letter, Baker-Dunn never says ‘no,’ nor does she take ‘no’ for an answer.

GFB News Alert page 6 of 13 FIRE IN OKEFENOKEE NWR BURNS MORE THAN 107,000 ACRES A fire started by lightning in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) had burned 107,846 acres of forestland and was 8 percent contained as of May 3, according to information issued by state and federal agencies working to contain the fire. According to a multi-agency press release, 466 personnel are assigned to this incident, designated as the West Mims fire. Equipment resources include 53 wildland fire engines, five bulldozers, 34 tractor plows. Personnel include two interagency “hot shot” crews and various overhead and support personnel. The West Mims Fire was reported on April 6. It straddles the Georgia-Florida state line southeast of Fargo, Ga., approximately 2.5 miles northeast of Eddy Tower. The fire is currently located within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Florida’s John M. Bethea State Forest, and Osceola National Forest. A Georgia Forestry Commission Incident Management Team is assisting in managing the fire with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Forest Service, and U.S. Forest Service. According to a multiagency press release, smoke may affect areas within 10-20 miles of the fire. Ga. Hwy. 177 is closed 11 miles north of the intersection with Ga. Hwy. 94 at the entrance to the Okefenokee NWR, and temporary flight restrictions, including unmanned aircraft, are in effect. Updates are available on the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page at FORMER WASHINGTON COUNTY FARM BUREAU PRESIDENT ANDREWS DIES Longtime Washington County Farm Bureau member Gerald Andrews died April 20 in Sandersville. He was 83. Andrews was president of Washington County Farm Bureau from 1997 to 2012. He was a member and deacon of the First Baptist Church of Sandersville. In 1989 he was instrumental in reviving the Washington County Agriculture and Youth Fair and continued to take a lead role in planning and presenting the fair each year until 2014. Andrews was a native of Worth County the son of the late Jesse D. Andrews and the late Aline Raines Andrews. He graduated in 1951 from Warwick School, attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for two years then transferred to the University of Georgia graduating in June of 1955 with B.S. in agriculture. His major was agronomy with minors in plant pathology and Gerald Andrews animal science. He started to work for the UGA Cooperative Extension Service on July 1, 1955, in a temporary position as assistant county agent for Tift County. He transferred to Washington County in January of 1956 as Assistant County Agent. Andrews served as the Washington County Extension director from 1970 until he retired on April 1, 1989. Andrews was involved in many areas of service in Washington County including his contributions to agriculture, his participation in the Georgia Farm Bureau on a county and state level, serving as secretary of the Georgia Duroc Association and developing programs for agricultural commodities in Washington County. Survivors are his wife of 59 years, Carol Shiver Andrews of Sandersville; daughter, Tamara Andrews Yates and her husband Andy of Sandersville; son, Gerald Andrews, Jr and his wife Erin of Eatonton; five grandchildren.

GFB News Alert page 7 of 13 GA COMMODITY COMMISSIONS TAKING BOARD MEMBER NOMINATIONS The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commissions for apples, blueberries, corn, cotton, equine, milk, peaches, pecan, soybean, tobacco and vegetables will accept nominations to fill several positions for the respective boards. To be nominated, eligible individuals must be an active Georgia producer of the commodity. Nominations may be made by filling out a Nominee Information Form found at http://agr/ and sending it to: Georgia Department of Agriculture, 19 MLK Jr. Drive S.W. Room 320, Atlanta, GA 30334. The form may also be faxed to 404-656-9380, or emailed to The deadline for submissions is May 26. The nominees will be certified to ensure they are active Georgia producers of the respective commodities, and geographic representation may be considered when making appointments. Appointments will be made by the Agriculture Commodity Commission Ex Officio Committee in July. Producers with questions may contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 404-5851405. Agricultural commodity commissions are farmer-funded self-help programs to enhance research, promotion and education. They are authorized by Georgia law under the Commodity Promotions Act.

GFB News Alert page 8 of 13 GEORGIA EPD BURN BAN IN EFFECT FOR 54 COUNTIES The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) open burning ban is in effect for 54 Georgia counties. The open burning ban has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005. The EPD open burning ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and landclearing debris through September 30. This is in addition to the rule that prohibits the burning of household garbage. Burning household garbage is never allowed anywhere in Georgia. Ground-level ozone is most commonly produced in the heat of the summer. Ground-level ozone can cause lung inflammation as well as other health problems. Open burning creates particle pollution, which consists of extremely small particles that can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. May through September is a time of year when people, particularly children, are more likely to be outdoors. The outdoor activity also coincides with the increase in ground-level ozone and particle pollution. Some actions, such as campfires and agricultural activities, are exempt. In addition to the EPD Open Burning Ban, some counties or cities may have other burning restrictions enacted in response to local needs, drought and fire dangers. A county or local government may have restrictions that are more stringent than the state rule but not less stringent. It is recommended that citizens check with their local fire marshall or the Georgia Forestry Commission for details specific to their location. Citizens can access more information on the open burning ban by visiting and clicking on “Open Burning Ban” under Quick Links, or by calling the EPD District Office in their area (phone numbers listed below). Small businesses can obtain help and information by calling EPD’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program toll-free at 1-877-427-6255. Counties included in the ban and the appropriate EPD District Office phone numbers: Mountain District Office (Atlanta): 404-362-2671 Carroll, Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Rockdale, and Spalding counties. Northeast District Office (Athens): 706-369-6376 Banks, Barrow, Butts, Clarke, Hall, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Putnam, and Walton counties. East Central District Office (Augusta): 706-667-4343 Columbia and Richmond counties. West Central District Office (Macon): 478-751-6612 Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Lamar, Monroe, Peach, Pike, Twiggs, Upson, Meriwether, and Troup counties. Mountain District Office (Cartersville): 770-387-4900 Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Dawson, Floyd, Forsyth, Gordon, Haralson, Lumpkin, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, and Walker counties. For more information about alternatives to burning, such as composting and chipping, visit You may also access a map of Georgia composting operations at Debris can also be hauled to a commercial processing/grinding/composting operation or to an inert or construction and demolition landfill. For a list of landfills in your area, please call EPD’s Solid Waste Management Program at 404-362-2692 and/or visit the Land Protection Branch website for more details:

GFB News Alert page 9 of 13 AFBF RURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE OPEN FOR ENTRIES The American Farm Bureau Federation is open for online applications for its fourth Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge this week, to coincide with National Small Business Week (April 30 – May 6). Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds. The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations that benefit rural regions of the United States. It is the first national rural business competition focused exclusively on innovative entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses. Competitors are invited to submit for-profit business ideas related to food and agriculture online starting May 1 at Businesses related to food and agriculture include farms or ranches, value-added food processing, food hubs, community-supported agriculture programs, farm-to-table restaurants, farmers’ markets and craft beverage startups. Businesses can also support food and agriculture through services like crop scouting, agritourism, ag advertising agencies and ag technology companies. “Rural entrepreneurs typically face hurdles that make it challenging to develop successful businesses, including lack of capital, business networks and business training,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Through the challenge, we’re helping food and agricultural entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.” Owners of all types of businesses across the food and agriculture supply chain are encouraged to enter the competition. Applications, which include a business plan, video pitch and photo, must be submitted online by June 30. Judges will review the applications and provide feedback to the participants. The top 10 teams, to be announced in October, will be offered the opportunity to pitch to multimillion dollar investors, in addition to education about venture capital and expanding their businesses. Six best-in-show winners will each be awarded $10,000 in startup funds in these categories: Best Farm Startup – farms, ranches, hydroponics, aquaponics, greenhouse production, forestry, etc.; Best Agritourism Startup – farm-to-school programs, pumpkin festivals, farm stays, etc.; Best Farm-to-Table Startup – CSAs, food hubs, farmers’ markets; Best Ag Tech & Support Services Startup – hardware, software and support services (marketing programs, scouting services and other services targeting farmers); Best Craft Beverage Startup – including breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries; Best Local Product Startup – food and non-food products. The final four teams will compete in a live competition at AFBF’s 99th Annual Convention in Nashville on Jan. 7 for Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year award and $30,000 (chosen by judges), People’s Choice award and $25,000 (chosen by public vote), First runner-up prize, $15,000) and Second runner-up prize, $15,000 The Entrepreneur of the Year award and the People’s Choice award will be awarded to two different teams. The team that wins the Entrepreneur of the Year award will not be eligible for the People’s Choice Award. The competition timeline, detailed eligibility guidelines and profiles of past challenge winners are available at

GFB News Alert page 10 of 13 COBB COUNTY FARM BUREAU FARMERS MARKET Tuesdays 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Lost Mountain Park Powder Springs Cobb County Farm Bureau (CCFB) in cooperation with Cobb County Parks & Recreation will host this farmers market. CCFB is offering vendor space to farmers, growers, and producers in Cobb and surrounding counties, with the goal of offering locally grown food to the community. Each vendor must be a Farm Bureau member. Vendor fees are only $5 per, a discount for paid in full. For more information contact us at or Debbie Payne at or 770-943-3531. USDA RENEWAL FOR EXPIRING CSP CONTRACTS The USDA announced March 30 that a contract renewal sign-up is underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 80 million acres enrolled. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) made several updates to the program in 2016. Participants with existing CSP contracts that expire Dec. 31 can access the benefits of the recent program changes through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by May 5. Producers interested in contract renewals or applying for CSP for the first time should visit or contact their local USDA service center to learn more. MONROE COUNTY HERD SALE May 6 Sleepy Creek Farm 12:30 p.m. Forsyth Approximately 65 bred heifers will be available at this sale. Data on the heifers includes AI breeding and Sire EPDs, pelvic area, frame scores, disposition scores, weight per day of age and average daily gain. For more information or to receive a catalog, contact the Monroe County Extension office at 478-994-7014 or (type HERD in the subject line). Information is also available online at YOUNG HARRIS/UGA BEEKEEPING INSTITUTE May 10-13 Young Harris College 8 a.m. each day Young Harris This event, one of the most comprehensive beekeeping educational events in the Southeast, offers classes for beekeepers at all levels of experience and the annual honey show. Sessions provide training and certification, including individual and colony biology, hive equipment, off-season management and much more. Advanced beekeeper and honey judge program lectures & testing (open to registered participants only) to be held on May 10. Registration fees for ages 18 and older are $130 for May 11, $130 for May 12, $100 for May 13 and $300 for all three days. For ages 17 and under, fees are $100 for May 11, $65 for May 12, $50 for May 13 and $150 for all three days. Space is limited and classes generally fill up quickly. For more information, visit

GFB News Alert page 11 of 13 2017 PICTURE AGRICULTURE IN GEORGIA PHOTO CONTEST May 12 deadline for entries The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee is asking GFB members to share their photos of farm life and rural Georgia in its 8th Annual Picture Agriculture in Georgia Contest. This contest is open to all GFB members, including county and state staff, who receive no income from photography. The winner will be featured on the front of the 2018 GFB Young Farmer Calendar and the 11 honorable mentions will grace the inside. Even if your photo doesn’t make the calendar, it might be featured on a cover of a GFB magazine or brochure. The first-place prize is $150 and the 11 honorable mentions receive $75 each. Visit your county Farm Bureau office for contest rules, entry instructions and the Model Release Form or visit the GFB website at RMA PECAN TREE INSURANCE PROGRAM May 15 sales closing date A Pecan Tree Insurance Program has been officially approved and implemented by the USDA Risk Management Agency and will be available to growers starting with the 2018 crop year, which begins on July 1. Growers have been able to insure their pecan crop for several years and now they can also insure their trees to protect them from losses due to storms. To learn more about the program visit to learn more about the program. Interested growers will need to visit with their crop insurance agents before the May 15 sales closing date if they wish to participate in the program for the upcoming crop year. Orchards must be inspected before they can be insured. GEORGIA COTTON WOMEN SCHOLARSHIPS May 15 deadline to apply College students who will be entering freshmen or rising sophomores at a Georgia college for the 2017-2018 academic year and are the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee have until May 15 to apply for two scholarships coordinated by the Georgia Cotton Women Inc. (GCW). The John M. and Connie H. Mobley Memorial Scholarship is presented to the child or grandchild of an active Georgia cotton producer. The GCW Scholarship is presented annually to the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee who is also the child or grandchild of a GCW member. Each $1,500 scholarship is payable one-third each quarter or one-half each semester. For more information, email Nancy Coleman at or call 229-941-2930. 2017 LONGLEAF PINE FIELD DAY May 16 West Lower Meigs Rd. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Meigs This free field day, coordinated by the Colquitt County Extension office, will cover planting, spacing, thinning of longleaf stands, ordering seedlings and other topics. Participation is limited to the first 45 who register. Lunch will be provided. For more information or to register, contact the Colquitt County Extension Office at 478-982-4408.

GFB News Alert page 12 of 13 GFB TAKING YF CONTEST ENTRIES, CONFERENCE REGISTRATION May 26 registration/entry deadline The GFB Young Farmer Committee is accepting applications for the Young Farmer Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet. Registration is also open for the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, which will be held July 19-22 on Jekyll Island. GFB members between the ages of 18-35 may apply for these awards or attend the conference. Applications for the contests and conference will be accepted through May 26 at 4:30 p.m. and are available at county Farm Bureau offices. The state winners of each of the competitive events will be named at the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference in July. All rounds of the discussion meet and Excellence in Ag interviews for the top three applicants will be held at the leadership conference. The top three applicants for the achievement award will have on-farm interviews in late June. For more information on any of these awards or the conference, please visit or stop by your county Farm Bureau. GEORGIA COTTON GROWERS’ EFFICIENCY SURVEY May 31 Deadline to submit The Georgia Cotton Commission has funded this research project designed to improve cotton production efficiency. Georgia cotton farmers are asked for help in providing data for this project. Participation will involve filling out a questionnaire on various cotton inputs, farm qualities, and personal experience. Participants will be given the survey results this fall. Farmers will be able to log into and see how their farm compares to other cotton farms in Georgia in terms of production efficiency. Only your farm will be identified, others will be anonymous (as will yours to all other farmers). One of the goals of the survey is to provide farmers with information about usage levels of specific inputs they might want to adjust. These results will be in tables and graphs that will help Georgia cotton farmers to learn where and how they can improve their efficiency and profitability. To complete the survey, visit For more information contact UGA Agricultural and Applied Economics Director Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman at 706-542-0754 or or graduate student Julian Worley at 706-621-3666 or GEORGIA CENTENNIAL FARM PROGRAM June 1 Deadline to apply The Georgia Centennial Farm Program honors farms in three categories. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Farm Award doesn’t require continuous family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Family Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that aren’t listed in the National Register of Historic Places. More than 500 farms have been recognized through the Centennial Farm Program since it began in 1993. Farm owners interested in applying for the award in 2017 should visit to download an application or contact Allison Asbrock at 770389-7868 or Applications must be postmarked by June 1.

GFB News Alert page 13 of 13 43RD GEORGIA BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL June 2 & 3 Alma Celebrate Georgia’s blueberry crop with a fun run, blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie eating contest, parade, arts/crafts, Civil War reenactments & much more! Visit or call 912-310-7399 for more information. 2017 AGAWARE WORKSHOP Aug. 25 Burke County Office Park Waynesboro AgSouth Farm Credit and AgGeorgia Farm Credit are hosting this informative workshop to give farmers a better understanding of how to approach their finances. Topics covered in the program include: balance sheets; income statements; family finance & family budgeting; risk management; accrual income; applying for financing and preparing a business plan. Bonus videos on recordkeeping, marketing and technology will be available for continued education. To register visit 22nd ANNUAL LUMBER CITY FARM DAY FESTIVAL Sept. 9 & 10 Lumber City Saturday’s events include a Fun Run & 5K race, arts/crafts, food vendors, a parade and live entertainment. A community church service will be held Sept. 10. For more information or to register for the race visit or call Jeanette Ban at 912-363-4643 or email

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - May 3, 2017  

In this week's GFB News Alert... former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue is sworn in as Agriculture Secretary, GFB announces the winners of an...

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