February / March 2020
News GEORGIA FARM BUREAU
Vol. 82 No. 1
EPA glyphosate study
Ag in the Cafeteria
Ranching the LBJ way
Herbicide poses no human health risks
Teaching students how farmers grow their food
GFB goes to Texas for AFBF
recovery grants available
Market ripe for Satsumas Farmers told to prepare for greening
Farm Bureau members receive
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Contents pages 6 & 7
Market ripe for Satsumas but producers told to prepare for greening
Navigable Waters Protection Rule defines waters of the U.S.
pages 8 & 9
Ag in the Cafeteria: Teaching students how farmers grow their food
Woodard leading National FFA
GFB Day at the Capitol highlights ag issues Gov. Kemp expresses support for right-to-farm bill.
UGA CAES searching for new dean
pages 28 & 29 page 18
EPA: Glyphosate poses no human health risks
GFB honors outstanding county programs & individuals
pages 10 & 11
GFB members enjoy AFBF Convention Trump, Perdue talk trade, Ga. dog in top 5 of national contest, and YF&R members shine
Ranching the LBJ way
Hurricane Michael recovery grants available
GFB members visit the LBJ Ranch while attending AFBF Convention
Application period: March 18 - April 8
GFB News Staff
View from the Field
FOLLOW US ON THESE PLATFORMS @GAFARMBUREAU
Around Georgia page 26
Young Farmers & Ranchers page 27
Ag in the Classroom
For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-6529080 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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
View from the Field Gerald Long, GFB President Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to partner with the Governor’s Complete Count Committee to encourage our members to answer the 2020 U.S. Census in a timely manner. As a member of this committee, I have agreed GFB will use its resources to educate our members about the importance of participating in the census. The census boils down to political power and money. Responding to the census is important. Why? First, the census determines the number of U.S. representatives each state has. Georgia gained two representatives in 2000 and one in 2010. All of Georgia’s residents must be counted if we want to retain or increase Georgia’s number of U.S. representatives. Census results are used to draw the legislative districts for the U.S. representative seats. The results are also used to draw state legislative districts along with districts for local school boards, county commissions and city councils. How these districts are drawn depends on where the population lives. For rural Georgia to have better representation, every rural resident must be counted. Second, census data determines how money is allocated among 55 federal programs and how much funding Georgia gets for these programs, many of which are crucial to rural Georgia. The Cooperative Extension Service, Medicare Part B, the Supplemental Nutrition
4 February - March 2020
Assistance Program, Medicaid, student loans and highway construction are some of the key programs that are funded based on census data. This year, we have four ways to participate in the census - online, by phone, by mail or in person. In March the Census Bureau will mail information to our homes with instructions on how to participate. If you don’t have internet service at your home or your service is poor, you can visit your local library to respond. The census website is secure and confidential. Be sure to complete the census online, by phone or mail before May if you don’t want a census taker to come to your home. Don’t let fear keep you from responding to the census. By law your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce aggregate statistics. It’s unlawful for the Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in a way that could publicly identify you or your household. Georgia ranked 31st out of 50 states for our response rate to the 2010 census. We need to have a higher response rate this year so we don’t lose federal funding for education, health, insurance and transportation programs or miss the chance of gaining an extra seat in Congress. Turn in your census! You Farm. You Count.
News GEORGIA FARM BUREAU
SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5334. OFFICERS President GERALD LONG, Decatur Co. 1st Vice President and South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Pierce Co. North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Catoosa Co. Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Emanuel Co. General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer, Corp. Treasurer & GFBMIC Exec. VP DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Corp. Secretary & Senior Counsel JEANNA FENNELL Asst. Corp. Treasurer & Sr. Director of Accounting RACHEL MOSELY DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Chattooga Co.; Wesley Hall, Forsyth, Co.; SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Lumpkin Co.; Randy Ruff, Elbert Co. THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carroll Co. Nora Goodman, Paulding Co.; FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, McDuffie Co.; Marvin Ruark, Morgan Co.; FIFTH DISTRICT: Matt Bottoms, Pike Co.; Leighton Cooley, Crawford Co.; SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Laurens Co.; James Emory Tate, Jeff Davis Co.; SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Evans Co.; Ben Boyd, Screven Co.; EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Turner Co.; Don Wood, Wilcox Co.; NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Baker Co.; Paul Shirah, Mitchell Co.; TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Bacon Co.; Lamar Vickers, Berrien Co. YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Will Godowns, Pike Co. WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Heather Cabe, Franklin Co. 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 Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2020 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
Public Policy Update
U.S. trade policy heading in right direction By Tripp Cofield In 2018 President Trump began to correct what he believed were unfair, and in some cases illegal, trade practices by some of the U.S.’ closest trading partners. The president’s decision represented a fundamental shift in U.S. trade policy but caused more uncertainty for the already volatile agriculture economy. The first action came in March 2018 in the form of steel and aluminum tariffs against several nations, including Canada, Mexico, China and the European Union. Tariffs against China related to intellectual property theft came soon after. President Trump’s tariffs were countered with retaliatory tariffs. A large percentage of these were on agricultural commodities. Many believed this was a calculated effort to hurt those who supported the president in 2016.
In the months that followed, it appeared the U.S. and other nations were involved in a high-stakes poker game with farm income used to increase the size of the pot. President Trump and his closest advisors argued the tariffs he levied were necessary to get international leaders to negotiate new trade deals. Many Georgia producers stood by the president believing the short-term pain would be worth the promised longterm gain. Their loyalty was acknowledged when Trump authorized billions in trade assistance to help farmers affected by trade losses. In the end, the president was successful in the trade arena, as leaders from various nations worked with U.S. trade
officials to either update or establish new trade agreements. One of the first trade deals to occur was the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which took effect Jan. 1, 2019. While not the largest export destination for U.S. farmers, in 2018 South Korea imported more than $8 billion in U.S. commodities including beef, corn, pork, fruits and wheat. In October 2019, the U.S. and Japan drafted a new trade deal in which Japan agreed to eliminate or reduce tariffs on more than $7 billion of U.S. food and ag products. Tariffs were eliminated for poultry, egg products, pork, blueberries, corn, sorghum and more. Japan further agreed to reduce tariffs on fresh and frozen beef. The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement took effect Jan. 1. Trade momentum continued as the House approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in December followed by the Senate in January. USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement in force since 1994. The USMCA maintains existing preferential treatment of U.S. ag products, and increases market access for dairy, poultry and eggs. Canada and Mexico are the first and third largest ag export markets for the U.S. Even modest export increases could benefit American farmers. On Jan. 15, President Trump signed a phase one trade deal with China, pausing a bitter trade dispute that has negatively impacted farmers for nearly two years. Under the phase one deal, China will buy at least $80 billion in U.S. ag products over the next two years. This would be a substantial increase over record U.S. ag exports to China for a single year, which was about $26 billion in 2012. China reopened its market to U.S. poultry in November 2019 partially eliminating its 2014 ban. According to U.S. trade officials, China will also increase beef product imports. China further agreed to broaden the list of pork products eligible for import, while reducing or eliminating other non-tariff barriers that keep American ag products like fruits, vegetables and plant-based feed products from being imported. The Trump administration plans to pursue new trade agreements with several nations, including the United Kingdom, the European Union, India, Kenya and more. There could be more good trade news in 2020!
Tripp Cofield is the GFB Public Policy Department’s national policy counsel. He may be reached at 478-474-8411 or email@example.com.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
February - March 2020 5
Market ripe for Satsumas but producers told to prepare for greening By Jay Stone
atsuma oranges developed for production in South Georgia’s climate are immensely popular with kids. “They love them,” said Ware County grower Garrett Ganas. “How do you say, ‘No, stop eating them?’ Son, you want to sit down and eat a bag of oranges? Sure. Go ahead.” Likewise, Lowndes County Extension Coordinator Jake Price let his children take some to school. They shared them with classmates and came back asking for more. With the fruit still in development, supplies were limited. The demand, though, was readily apparent. “They’re easy to peel, seedless, they’re like Cuties and Halos, but they’re grown here in Georgia, and they can tolerate cold weather,” said Price. Ganas, a long-time pecan producer who expects to have his first marketable citrus crop in fall 2020, planted Satsuma trees because he wanted to diversify his farm. While the new trees present a number of challenges, the fruit seems to sell itself. “There’s a lot of attention being 6 February - March 2020
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
paid to the health benefits of it,” Ganas said. “You’ve got something that is very attractive to mothers and children.” Price estimates that there are more than 120 citrus growers in Georgia, spread across 39 counties. Collectively they’ve planted more than 265,000 trees on about 1,800 acres. More than 80% of the trees are Satsuma trees. Marketable fruit is already being produced on 293 acres.
Find your market Price spoke about Satsuma research in Lowndes County during the citrus conference that was part of the 2020 Southeastern Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association. He offered tips for growers, like Ganas, who are interested in adding citrus groves or expanding their existing ones. Growers should have a marketing plan before planting trees, Price
says, even though trees can take four or five years to reach full fruitbearing maturity. “We started off just going to farmers markets on the weekends,” Bulloch County grower Joe Franklin said. “Occasionally we’d go to one [market] during the week. We also got in the school system. That’s a real good outlet. You kind of evolve as you go along, because you’ve got more fruit. You’ve got to do something with it, so you’ve got to find new avenues to move that fruit. I guess direct sales is mainly what we’re doing now. We do internet sales and we do direct sales. In the coming years, we’re going to have to have something to move more fruit.” Ganas thinks older consumers are an untapped market. “An aspect of it [the crop’s potential market] that has not been spoken of much is elderly people,
Georgia Farm Bureau News
because of how easy the fruit is to peel. That’s not been hit on very much, but I think it could be a huge selling point for some fruit,” Ganas said.
Mitigate cold weather When planting their groves, producers should take steps to protect them from cold temperatures, Price advises. Georgia Satsuma varieties, once mature, can withstand short periods of temperatures as low as 10 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit, but taking steps to mitigate the cold will help the trees reach maturity. For instance, knowing that winds usually break on the north and west side of hills, producers should plant Satsuma trees on south-facing slopes. “There’s a lot of little things you can do to kind of help your site before you plant,” Price said. Even though Satsumas are bred to be cold tolerant, there are limits to how far north the fruit can be produced. So far, growers, like Franklin, who have planted Satsumas as far north as Statesboro, have fared okay with freezes. “People are rolling the dice a little bit, but so far so good. There’s no sure thing in farming,” Price said, though mature trees tend to handle cold temperatures better than younger ones.
Be prepared for greening Besides weather, the other key threat to growing citrus in Georgia is citrus greening. This disease is caused by bacteria spread by Asian citrus psyllids, small insects that eat stems and leaves of citrus trees. Georgia doesn’t have a greening problem yet, Price said, though the psyllids have been found in residential trees along the Georgia coast. There is no current treatment available for trees found to have citrus greening. Once greening is detected in a tree, the UGA Extension recommendation for Georgia growers and homeowners with backyard trees is to pull the tree up from the roots and destroy it to help prevent spreading the disease, UGA Extension Pathologist Jonathan Oliver says. “Trees infected with the citrus greening bacterium will eventually decline, cease producing palatable fruit and die,” Oliver said. If left alone, infected trees will contribute to spread of the disease. Oliver points out that the approach of destroying affected trees wouldn’t work in Florida, where the industry is much bigger and as many as 80% of the trees are affected by citrus greening.
Price emphasizes purchasing trees from a reputable source. “You don’t want to buy trees from roadside gas stations, anything grown outside in Florida where there’s threats of citrus greening, or on the coast of Georgia and the Gulf Coast areas, where they have greening and the psyllids will transmit the greening. Don’t bring in trees from one of those areas,” Price said. Buying trees from USDAapproved nurseries in Florida where the young trees are grown inside to limit exposure to the psyllids is OK, Price said. Early preparation for greening is critical to Satsuma growers’ success, he said, noting that Georgia’s producers can benefit in part from the experience Florida growers have had with citrus greening. More is known now about the disease and how it spreads. “It’s probably inevitable that we’re going to get greening in commercial groves,” Price said. “Know the ins and outs of greening because you’re going to get it.” Growers can consult their local county Extension agent for tips on diagnosing greening and identifying the psyllids. UGA Cooperative Extension also offers testing for the bacteria that causes citrus greening.
Like most kids who try Satsumas, Maxwell Price, son of Jake & Kristi Price, is a big fan of the citrus fruit. Photo courtesy of Jake Price
Ag in the Cafeteria: Teaching students how farmers grow their food By Jennifer Whittaker
County Farm Bureaus have been working with teachers to introduce students to agriculture through Ag in the Classroom (AITC) since the 1980s. Now, many counties are expanding their AITC efforts to work with school nutrition staff. Most counties working with nutrition staff can trace their efforts back to 2011 when the Georgia Departments of Agriculture and Education began the Feed My School for a Week Program. This program aims to get locally grown food into
school cafeterias and make kids excited to eat healthy. Another program that’s given county Farm Bureaus a chance to work with school nutrition staff is the Golden Radish Award. This award is presented to school systems each fall by the Georgia Departments of Agriculture, Education, Early Care & Learning and Public Health, UGA Cooperative Extension and Georgia Organics. School systems can earn platinum, gold, silver, bronze or honorary
recognition for meeting criteria that include: serving locally grown items in the cafeteria; students taste testing fresh, locally grown food; farmers visiting the school or students visiting a farm; students doing cooking/food activities; teachers integrating farm to school lessons into their curriculum; growing edible gardens; engaging parents or community members in the farm to school program; and school staff taking farm to school professional training.
Barrow County For several years Barrow County Farm Bureau (BCFB) has provided seeds for all the school gardens in Barrow County to grow vegetables like kale, lettuce and radishes, BCFB Office Manager Staci Waters said. The vegetables are served in the school cafeterias or used for classroom taste tests. BCFB member Missy Crane, who grows vegetables on her farm, often visits the schools to help teachers plant and harvest their crops. 8 February - March 2020
Waters represents BCFB in the Barrow County Farm to School Booster Club working closely with the school district nutritionist and other ag organizations. Each year the club holds a dinner to raise funds for school gardens and ag education projects. Last year the dinner raised over $6,000. “I go into the classrooms and start talking about different aspects of agriculture, and the kids just love it,” Waters said.
Barrow County students are learning to eat a variety of veggies. | Photo courtesy of Barrow Co. School System
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Treutlen County The Treutlen County Schools (TCS) nutrition program has been implementing farm to school concepts in its cafeterias for 8 years, said TCS Food Services Director Alecia “Red” Barrett, who learned of the concept at a conference. “When I took this concept back to the kids, I saw how much it excited them. It made learning fun, and they needed to know where their food comes from,” Barrett said. Barrett reached out to the Treutlen County Farm Bureau in 2014 seeking help to install school gardens. Since then, TCFB has helped install numerous garden beds at the county’s K-12 grade school, secured a USDA grant to fund a greenhouse for the high school students and gave fruit trees for the school’s campus. In the fall, students plant carrots, collards, mustard greens, kale, brussels sprouts and radishes used in
school meals. In the spring they plant tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers that are used in the school’s summer lunch program. Barrett introduced TCFB to teachers willing to let the county visit their classes to do AITC lessons. “Red has been our liaison to the teachers,” TCFB President Kim Thompson said. Last summer, Thompson and TCFB Office Manager Doris Warnock used a $1,000 grant from the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture to provide five weekly ag programs for the county summer lunch program. Each week TCFB presented programs on various vegetables, peanuts and planting seeds. “We took fresh corn for the students to shuck, peas for them to shell, peanut plants so they could see how peanuts grow underground and let them plant their own tomato seeds,” Thompson said. “I know it’s hard to believe because
Treutlen County students harvest cabbage from their school garden. | Photo courtesy of Treutlen County Schools
we’re a rural county, but their idea of corn is what they get out of a can, and we had kids who thought peanuts grow on trees.”
Cherokee County Cherokee County Farm Bureau partnered with Georgia Organics in 2011 to start the county’s Farm to School program, CCFB Office Manager Shirley Pahl said. Today the program committee includes teachers and nutrition directors, Extension staff, farmers and master gardeners. “Our main focus is ag education.
We wanted to be able to go to more schools to teach the children where their food comes from and the farm to school program was a good way to do it,” Pahl said. Over the past nine years, Pahl says CCFB has given materials for school garden beds or helped build garden beds at the county’s 11 elementary
schools. CCFB also annually hosts summer workshops for teachers and nutrition staff that take school staff to farms to let them see how farmers are growing crops and livestock. The workshops include chefs demonstrating recipes teachers can make in their classes.
“Holding this workshop introduced the nutrition managers to the Ag in the Classroom resources Farm Bureau can offer,” HCFB Office Manager Justine Palmer said. “Now one school is cultivating a school garden. I can’t stress enough the importance of making a connection with your school nutrition director. It’s another way to get into schools if you don’t have an in
with a teacher or a principal.” HCFB is making plans to host another workshop for school nutrition staff. This time the focus will be on introducing staff to Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets that can supply the schools with locally grown food.
Habersham County Last August, Habersham County Farm Bureau hosted a workshop for 78 nutrition managers who work in the county’s 13 schools ranging from elementary to high school. Habersham County staff and volunteers taught the school nutrition employees how to hold taste tests for different food items with their students as a way to get them to try new food. Georgia Farm Bureau News
February - March 2020 9
2020 AFBF in Austin By Jennifer Whittaker
Trump, Perdue talk trade Speaking at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention in Austin, Texas, President Donald Trump touted the phase one agreement the U.S. reached with China and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Congress passed. Over the next two years, the phase one agreement will open new markets for American beef, pork, poultry, soybeans, dairy, animal feed and more, the United States Trade Representative office says. “China has made substantial commitments regarding the protection of American ideas, trade secrets, patents and trademarks. China has also pledged firm action to confront pirated and counterfeit goods,” Trump said. The phase one agreement with China is enforceable, Trump said, promising his administration would “vigorously enforce its terms.” He thanked America’s farmers for sticking with him during the past two years of 10 February - March 2020
negotiations. Under the new USMCA trade agreement that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Trump said American dairy exports are set to increase by more than $300 million a year and U.S. poultry exports to Canada could increase by nearly 50%. He expects egg exports to Canada and Mexico to increase significantly and that Canada will treat U.S. wheat fairly. Trump reiterated his disdain for overreaching federal regulations, citing his administration’s work to repeal the Waters of the United States rule. While speaking at the AFBF convention on Jan. 20, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue reinforced many of the trade points the president made the day before. “New trade deals and strong consumer demand are a sign of brighter days ahead,” Perdue said. Perdue said farmers should not expect a 2020 trade aid package. “Now let’s grow stuff.
For the third consecutive year President Donald Trump addressed the AFBF convention. | Photo courtesy AFBF
Let’s sell stuff. That’s what this trade deal was all about,” Perdue said. On Feb. 3 the USDA began issuing farmers the last round of the $16 billion trade aid package announced in May 2019. Perdue said the USDA will track the ag imports China buys and report them to the president. Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long said he is optimistic about both trade deals. “We don’t know everything about the trade deals yet, but it’s better
than what we had so I’m very optimistic,” Long said. During the AFBF business session, voting delegates adopted all 25 of the resolutions GFB submitted. GFB policy AFBF delegates approved included: farmers’ right to repair farm equipment, component pricing for dairy farmers and support for producers impacted by retaliatory trade tariffs. AFBF voting delegates also re-elected Zippy Duvall to his third two-year term as AFBF president.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Ga. dog makes Top 5 of national contest Smurf, a cattle collie from Madison, Ga., can clown around when his farmers, Zachary and Sydney Floyd, need a laugh, but he’s all business when there’s work to be done on his farm. “Smurf can find and bay loose cattle that have gotten out, sort and gather groups or singles, load trailers and bring cattle up alleyways to me at the head gate,” Zachary said. “In the pasture he protects me from nervous mothers while I tag newborns. He’s the first in the pen with an unruly cow or bull and ensures my safety. His
courage and obedience are unmatched.” These standout qualities prompted judges to pick Smurf as one of four runners-up in the 2020 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest. He received $1,000, a trophy plate and Purina products. He was recognized at the AFBF convention. Smurf inherited his namesake blue color and toughness from his dad, a “blue heeler” Australian cattle dog. His friendliness likely came from his mom, a short-haired border collie. Both breeds are known
for their intelligence and herding skills. “What’s amazing to me is how good these cattle dogs are at picking up English and the context of what you’re saying,” Zachary said. “He’s good at judging the situation we’re in and distinguishing between domestic and wild animals. We have a pot-bellied pig and cats that he’d never harm. He’s friends with them. But he’s also caught and killed three small wild hogs that were about his weight.”
Smurf placed in the Top 5 of the Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest. Photo courtesy of Zach Floyd
YF&R members represent Ga. well at AFBF Georgia Farm Bureau had a good showing in the Young Farmers & Ranchers contests at the AFBF Convention. Colquitt County members Preston and Kendall Jimmerson were named to the top 10 in the AFBF YF&R Achievement contest, which honors YF&R members for their farms. Judges interviewed each of the top 10 competitors and considered their written applications. The Jimmersons raise 1,600 acres of cotton, 475 acres of peanuts and 200 acres of corn. They also double-crop spring and fall cabbage on about 180 acres. Morgan County members Georgia Farm Bureau News
Jason and Rachel Kinsaul placed in the top 10 of the AFBF YF&R Excellence in Agriculture event. This competition recognizes young agriculturalists who earn the majority of their income off the farm. Rachel is an ag teacher/ FFA advisor at Morgan County High School. Jason is an ag lender for Rabo Agrifinance working with clients across the Southeast. For their event, the Kinsauls delivered a presentation describing their advocacy work for agriculture, their efforts to recruit and help young farmers through their jobs and their Farm Bureau activities.
GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers competing in YF&R contests at the AFBF convention were, from left: Kaitlyn Marchant, Rachel & Jason Kinsaul, and Kendall & Preston Jimmerson. Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Morgan County member Kaitlyn Marchant talked her way into the third of four rounds of competition in the AFBF YF&R Discussion Meet. The discussion meet simulates a committee meeting in which participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on predetermined topics. Marchant is an ag education
teacher/FFA advisor at Morgan County High School. During the national convention, Georgia Farm Bureau was recognized as an Awards of Excellence state for demonstrating outstanding achievements in all four program areas: advocacy; engagement/ outreach; leadership/business development; and membership value. February - March 2020 11
Uncertainty abounds in ’20 for ag economy By Jay Stone By major indicators, Georgia’s economy appears to be in good shape, according to Georgia State Economist Jeff Dorfman. Unemployment is historically low, and, especially encouraging for rural Georgia, 70% of new manufacturing plants opening in the near future are outside metro Atlanta. Dorfman, the featured speaker at the opening session of the 2020 Georgia Ag Forecast Series, tempered that good news with these caveats: It’s tough to improve on the highest-ever employment; Georgia’s economy, particularly its ag economy, is heavily dependent on trade; and farmers continue to struggle with recovery from Hurricane Michael 15 months later while waiting on the arrival of disaster assistance funding.
The beef sector’s growth cycle may continue in part due to China’s pork sector being hit hard by Asian swine flu. Photo by John Callaway
Each of these three factors brings significant uncertainty. Trade, for instance, is affected by the economies of other countries. Several of the U.S.’ top trading partners are in recession. “We do a lot of international trade business,” Dorfman said. “If the rest of the world is doing badly, that tends to slow the Georgia economy down more than it does most other states.” The Ag Forecast Series included presentations from UGA economists about the economic conditions affecting Georgia’s major commodities. For cotton, 12 February - March 2020
decreasing demand is expected in part because of uncertainties related to trade negotiations and a slowing global economy. UGA Economist Adam Rabinowitz said optimistic price expectations could fall in the 67-75 cents per pound range, while pessimistic expectations could range from 62 to 65 cents per pound.
"We do a lot of international trade business... if the rest of the world is doing badly, that tends to slow the Georgia economy down more than it does most other states.” -Jeff Dorfman Peanut demand has remained flat for the past four years. Rabinowitz said production would have to decrease for prices to increase. Farm gate prices are expected to hover near $400 per ton in 2020. Corn prices are expected to increase and resolution of trade disputes could produce opportunities for corn, soybean and wheat growers. Rabinowitz said Georgia corn growers could expect prices between $4.48 and $4.52 per bushel. Rabinowitz cautioned that expected soybean prices of $8.83 per bushel are dependent on resolution of the China trade dispute and increased competition from Brazil. Wheat prices are expected to hover around $4.82 per bushel. The beef sector’s cycle between liquidation and expansion seems to be nearing the end of expansion but factors are in play that may extend the expansion phase of U.S. beef. Rabinowitz said the outbreak of Asian swine flu has hit China’s pork industry hard, and Chinese consumers are turning to beef. While the extent of losses in Australia’s beef and dairy sectors due to the historic bush fires is unknown, it could be significant. Australia, through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is a major supplier of beef to China. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Navigable Waters Protection Rule defines waters of the U.S. By Jennifer Whittaker
Georgia Farm Bureau News
flows into the Chattahoochee; lakes, ponds, impoundments - Carters Lake in Ellijay; and wetlands – wetlands adjacent to the first three categories of water. The new rule also lists 12 categories of water that don’t fall under federal jurisdiction. These include: groundwater; ephemeral streams, swales, gullies, rills and pools that only contain water due to rain or snow; farm, irrigation, stock watering and log cleaning ponds; most farm and roadside ditches; and prior converted cropland. The EPA and Corps will continue to exercise jurisdiction over water that falls under the four categories considered to be waters of the U.S. The
rule also maintains strict protections for drinking water and doesn’t loosen federal protection against pollutants entering waterways. “Georgia Farm Bureau is grateful the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army have adopted a rule that abides by the original intent of the Clean Water Act,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long said. “The Navigable Waters Protection Rule clearly states the four categories of water that can be federally regulated and the twelve that cannot, which gives farmers clarity as they manage water on their farms.” Visit www.gfb.ag/NWPR to learn more.
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Landowners and farmers now have clarity as to what bodies of water the federal government can and cannot regulate thanks to the Navigable Waters Protection Rule the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army signed Jan. 23. This rule replaces the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule, which the agencies repealed last fall. “The Navigable Water Protection Rule is truly a victory for states, landowners and farmers across this country. It will make it easy to understand where it applies,” EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker said during a press conference held at the Georgia Department of Agriculture on Jan. 28. Repeal of the 2015 WOTUS rule came after years of public outcry that the federal government was trying to regulate bodies of water that Congress never intended to fall under the federal jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act such as ephemeral streams and farm ponds. President Trump issued an executive order in February 2017 for the agencies to review the 2015 WOTUS rule. Under the new rule, four categories of water may be regulated under the Clean Water Act as waters of the U.S.: territorial seas and traditional navigable waters; perennial and intermittent tributaries; certain lakes, ponds and impoundments; and wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters. Walker said Georgia examples of these categories are: traditional navigable waters - the Atlantic Ocean and the Chattahoochee River; perennial/intermittent tributary – Peachtree Creek in Atlanta, which
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WOODARD LEADING NATIONAL FFA Morgan County Farm Bureau member Dr. James Woodard is now serving as the National FFA advisor, director of agricultural education and chairman of the National FFA Board of Directors. In this role, he will provide oversight for the National FFA Organization as he advises the National FFA officers, the board of directors, and the National FFA delegates and committees on matters of policy and helps the national officers conduct meetings. He will also co-direct the joint governance committee of the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees and serve as an advocate for issues affecting FFA and ag education. The position is a three-year renewable role. “I am honored to be named to a position that has the opportunity to influence so many current and future FFA members,” said Woodard. “My life was changed as a result of the leadership and direction provided by former
National FFA advisors. I appreciate their dedication and will work to continue my personal mission: To make a difference in the lives of students to the same degree my ag teacher made in my life.” Woodard most recently served as superintendent of the Morgan Charter School Systems until his appointment on Nov. 15, 2019. He has been engaged in many aspects of ag education since 1987, when he began his career as a high school ag teacher and FFA advisor in Jeff Davis County. From 2000-05 Woodard served as the Georgia Department of Education state director of ag education, Georgia FFA Association advisor and Georgia FFA Foundation Board of Trustees president. From 2005-08, he served as state director for Career, Technical & Agricultural Education in Georgia. Woodard and his wife, Janet, have two adult children – Will and Claire.
CAES SEARCHING FOR NEW DEAN The University of Georgia is searching for the next dean of its College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) following Dr. Sam Pardue’s Jan. 6 announcement that he plans to retire June 30. UGA Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost S. Jack Hu appointed a 24-member committee that includes CAES faculty, staff and student representation, along with representatives of Georgia’s ag community. Georgia ag leaders named to the committee include Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Bill Brim of Lewis Taylor Farms, Southeastern Gin & Peanut President Kent Fountain and Georgia Poultry Federation President Mike Giles. Pardue, who began serving as CAES dean in 2016, introduced a new hospitality and food industry management major in agricultural economics and a PhD program in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication. Under his watch, CAES’ 14 February - March 2020
graduate school enrollment has grown to more than 600 and CAES received $5 million for a Poultry Research Center. “Georgia Farm Bureau has enjoyed our working relationship with Dean Pardue and appreciates the work he did for Georgia Agriculture,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “We wish him well as he moves into this next chapter of his life.” Rankings platform Niche recently ranked the UGA CAES third on its 2020 list of Best U.S. Colleges for Agricultural Sciences. The college has nine academic departments with 21 majors and leads the nation in poultry science, food safety and entomology research, and plant breeding and cultivar development. Photo courtesy of UGA CAES
Georgia Farm Bureau News
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
February - March 2020 15
The exhibit tour included previous stops in Thomaston, McRae-Helena, Monticello, and Cuthbert.
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB mourns loss of Bonnie Duvall Committee and enjoyed accompanying Zippy on trips representing Farm Bureau across the country. “Bonnie was a strong Farm Bureau supporter and a true ambassador for the organization at all levels. Whether she was serving her local Greene County Farm Bureau or supporting Zippy while he served as Georgia Farm Bureau president and after he became American Farm Bureau president, Bonnie was always at Zippy’s side providing a welcoming presence wherever they went,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long said. “The Farm Bureau family is praying for peace and comfort for the entire Duvall family.” In addition to Zippy, to whom she was married for 40 years, Bonnie is survived by the couple’s children, Lt. Colonel Vincent Mearl “Vince” Duvall Jr. and
Bonnie M. Duvall | Photo courtesy of AFBF
his wife, Erin, of Acworth; Corrie Terry and her husband, Jared, of Huntsville, Alabama; Zeb Duvall and his wife, Katie, of Buckhead; and Zellie Duvall of Washington, D.C.; grandchildren, Ava Duvall, Vincent Mearl “Tripp” Duvall III, Savannah Duvall, Jocee Terry, and Gus Terry; sister, Hannah Baynes and her husband, Scott, of Greensboro and many other relatives and friends.
www.SFBLI.com Georgia Farm Bureau News
Bonnie Louise McWhorter Duvall, wife of former Georgia Farm Bureau President and current American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, died Jan. 18 after a courageous fight with cancer. She was 61. Mrs. Duvall was a lifelong resident of Greene County. She was born Nov. 4, 1958, to the late Charlotte Culberson McWhorter and James Hamilton "Hamp" McWhorter. She was also preceded in death by her stepmother, Betty Dickens McWhorter. Bonnie graduated from Nathanael Greene Academy in 1976 and was a graduate of the University of Georgia. She worked with her husband on the family farm where they raised their four children. She was a faithful member of New Hope Baptist Church in Greshamville. She was a member of the Greene County Farm Bureau Women’s
February - March 2020 17
EPA: Glyphosate poses no human health risks By Kenny Burgamy & Jennifer Whittaker The herbicide glyphosate poses no risks of concern to human health when used according to label instructions and it is not likely a carcinogen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says after an exhaustive study. Glyphosate is used to kill broadleaf weeds, grasses and woody plants on farms, residences and commercial settings. It’s the active ingredient in the herbicides Roundup, Rodeo and Eraser. The EPA’s January announcement comes after more than 40,000 lawsuits alleging that glyphosate causes cancer were filed in recent years against Bayer, the maker of Roundup. Farm Monitor Co-Host Kenny Burgamy interviewed EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dunn in November as the agency was wrapping up its review of glyphosate. “Our science says that this product can be used safely, has been used safely for a long time. Under the law we take a look at these pesticides every 15 years to make sure that they are as safe as possible, because we are always 18 February - March 2020
getting new information,” Dunn said. “And so, this spring we will be putting forward our final decision to re-register glyphosate.” The EPA did note glyphosate could present a potential risk to land and aquatic plants and birds and low toxicity to honeybees but concluded the benefits of using the herbicide outweigh the risk. EPA is requiring glyphosate products be labeled with spray drift management procedures for farmers to follow to reduce offtarget spray drift and protect nontarget plants and wildlife. “What we do propose are what we call management measures. We want to make sure that glyphosate, particularly not the homeowners, but people that are using it large scale, for agriculture, are looking at wind speed, droplet size, buffer zones,” Dunn said. “We want to make sure that we're being protective of what we call off-target impacts. We want that glyphosate to go where that weed is and stay there. And there are lots of ways to do that safely.” Since 2015, UGA Cooperative Ex-
tension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture have trained Georgia farmers and pesticide applicators how to prevent spray drift when applying herbicides. EPA also reports that glyphosate has low residual soil toxicity and allows farmers to grow crops using no-till and low-till planting methods that prevent soil erosion. The EPA finding is the conclusion of a periodic review the agency began in 2009 of glyphosate’s original 1974 registration. The EPA findings on human health risk are consistent with those of science reviews by agencies in other countries including: the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the Australian Pesticide & Veterinary Medicines Authority, the European Food Safety Authority and the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety & Health. Visit www.gfb.ag/glyphosate to watch the Farm Monitor interview with EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dunn about glyphosate.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
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Georgia Farm Bureau News
February - March 2020 19
RANCHING THE LBJ WAY In the 1960s, when President Lyndon B. Johnson was in the White House, he often ran the country from his ranch located about 50 miles from Austin, Texas. By Jennifer Whittaker In the 1960s, when President Lyndon B. Johnson was in the White House, he often ran the country from his ranch located about 50 miles from Austin, Texas. Georgia Farm Bureau members attending the American Farm Bureau Convention in January had the chance to visit the LBJ Ranch.
Descendants of the registered Herefords President Lyndon B. Johnson raised still graze his ranch at the LBJ National Historical Park. To see more photos, visit gfb.ag/LBJherd .
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
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Johnson often hosted political guests at his ranch while he served as U.S. Senate Majority Leader in the 1950s, vice president under John F. Kennedy and then president. Guests included President Harry Truman, Kennedy, Billy Graham, John Glenn and leaders of foreign countries. Johnson loved to drive his guests around the ranch in a white Lincoln Continental convertible to look at his cattle. “His idea was to get you here on the ground and give you a ‘gentleman’s tour’ to showcase the land,” said Clint Herriman ranch foreman of the LBJ National Historical Park. When the Johnsons built a new show barn about a mile away from the main house in 1966, the walkways were made wide enough so LBJ could drive his Cadillac through the barn, and guests could admire his prize cattle. Johnson began his ranch in 1951 when he bought 250 acres of family land from his aunt including the house that would become known as the “Texas White House.” In 1957 Johnson started a registered Hereford herd with the majority of his cattle being sold for breeding. The ranch eventually grew to about 4,000 acres by the time LBJ died in 1973 and the herd to 400 head.
“LBJ chose Herefords because they were the gentlemen’s breed of cattle for his era,” Herriman said. “It was kind of like having a Cadillac parked in the driveway.” Polled Herefords weren’t as popular then as they are today, so LBJ’s cattle were horned. To keep the hides blemish free and give the cattle a clean look, Johnson had his cattle branded on their horns instead of their hides. Today, the LBJ National Park maintains a herd of horned Hereford cattle descended from LBJ’s herd. “This isn’t a commercial operation but a historical herd. We view the herd as a living museum,” Herriman said. “We’re trying to maintain the genetics of the 1960s standard for Hereford cattle. They’re short and fat.” Herriman and a staff of three maintain the herd of about 70 mama cows. The herd has two calving seasons. The ranch sells about 50-60 calves a year when the calves reach about 500 pounds. Most heifers are retained. Breeding bulls are sold between 18 months to two years weighing about 2,000 pounds. They average about $2,250. Because the cattle are federal property, they must be sold at a public auction, Herriman said. Anyone interested in the public auction may contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB welcomes Creamer & Montford Kari Mateling Creamer and Christie Montford are the newest members of Georgia Farm Bureau’s Field Services team. They came aboard as district field representatives in late November. Creamer, a Rockdale County native, is the new GFB 5th District field rep. GFB’s District 5 includes Butts, Coweta, Crawford, Harris, Heard, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Muscogee, Peach, Pike, Spalding, Talbot, Taylor, Troup and Upson counties. Creamer earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia College and State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Valdosta State. She was the Bibb County 4-H agent for the past four
years. She lives in The Rock with her husband, Brandon. Montford, the new GFB 7th District field rep., is no stranger to Farm Bureau. She was the Toombs County Farm Bureau office manager from February 2018 until joining the home office staff. GFB’s 7th District includes Appling, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Chatham, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs and Wayne counties. Montford earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Georgia. She and her husband, Joey, live in Cedar Crossing with their two children, Kayleigh and J.J.
Kari Mateling Creamer
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These auctions are held in conjunction with the Georgia Cattlemen’s Convention and Trade Show at the Georgia National Fairgrounds, Perry, Georgia
Georgia Farm Bureau News
February - March 2020 21
GFB Day at the Capitol highlights ag issues By Jennifer Whittaker Farm Bureau members traveled from across the state to Atlanta Feb. 11 for the 37th Annual Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol. The event gives GFB members a chance to talk to their legislators about issues impacting their farms. “Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol is your chance to speak with your legislators to thank them for their support and to ask them to support our priority issues,” GFB President Gerald Long said.
“We can make anything in this state and in any part of this state and we’re starting to see that.” -Gov. Brian Kemp Priority issues GFB is addressing during the 2020 session of the Georgia General Assembly include: the Right-toFarm bill (HB 545) to protect farmers against frivolous nuisance lawsuits, protecting ag program funding in the state budget process, prohibiting cell-cultured protein and nonanimal food products from being called meat (SB 211) and securing farmers’ right to repair farm equipment with advanced electronic systems (HB 286). “The budget has been the most hotly contested issue so far. It’s been the top priority on their minds as they are constitutionally required to balance it each session,” GFB State Affairs Coordinator Alex Bradford said. With the Georgia Legislature in recess as lawmakers worked on the budget, GFB members met with their legislators in their offices instead of the capitol. GFB members reconvened at the Georgia Deport for lunch with their legislators and other state officials. While speaking at lunch, Gov. Kemp pledged his support for House Bill 545. “I believe we can find a balance that will protect the ag operations we have in this state and continue to make agriculture our number one industry,” Kemp said. Kemp said he is optimistic about economic development for rural Georgia.
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“We can make anything in this state and in any part of this state and we’re starting to see that,” Kemp said. The governor cited the beef processing plant in Thomasville that Walmart opened in January, the chicken deboning facility Claxton Poultry opened in Sylvania last October and the expansion Tyson made to its Camilla poultry processing facility in September. “All of these things are continuing to add up in our rural communities,” Kemp said. Long thanked Georgia House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairmen Rep. Tom McCall and Sen. John Wilkinson for their years of service to Georgia agriculture. McCall has led the House committee since 2005. Wilkinson has chaired the Senate committee since 2013. Neither plans to return to the Georgia Legislature next year. “These men have dedicated their lives to agriculture, ag education and creating policy that has improved the lives of everyone in this room,” Long said. “Georgia agriculture will certainly miss their leadership.”
Gov. Brian Kemp addressed GFB members during Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol. Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Congratulations to the recipients of the Georgia Peanut Commission’s annual awards... presented during the Peanut Farm Show to individuals and businesses for their contributions to Georgia’s peanut sector! GPC Chairman Armond Morris, far left, congratulates, from left, front row: Jody Redding, accepting the Peanut Hall of Fame Award for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson; Dr. Joe West, Distinguished Service Award; David Maxwell, Donalsonville News, Media Award; and Marshall Lamb accepting the Research & Education Award for the National Peanut Research Lab; back row, from left: Tony McBrayer & Junior Morgan accepting a GPC Special Award on behalf of Peanut Butter & Jesus Tifton; Hugh Nall accepting a GPC Special Award on behalf of Southern Ag Carriers; Mark, Laura & Andrew Leidner accepting a GPC Media Award on behalf of their
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Photo courtesy of GPC
dad, John Leidner, posthumously; and Jonathan Hitchcock accepting the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award. The GPC also presented Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmer of the Year awards in each of its districts. Recipients were: District 1, Jud Green (posthumously), Decatur County; District 2, Charles Paulk, Irwin County; District 3, Wade McElveen, Bulloch County; District 4, Ronney S. Ledford Sr., Dooly County; and District 5, Mike McLendon, Macon County.
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Around Georgia News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker. More county Farm Bureau activities are featured on the Friends of Georgia Farm Bureau Facebook group page at www.gfb.ag/group
APPLING COUNTY Thanks to the Appling County ag community, about 450 fifth graders enjoyed a county farm tour last fall. Appling County Farm Bureau was honored to host the last stop at Red Oak Baptist Church during which the students heard from farmers Shane Branch, Zach Williams and Kurt Griffin who told the students how they plant and harvest their cotton and peanut crops and discussed the various products made from each crop. Brandon Branch provided boiled peanuts for the students to eat with their lunch.
Hart County Farm Bureau participated in the Giving Tuesday Kids project that Georgia Farm Bureau organized as part of its Giving Tuesday fundraiser for the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture on Dec. 3. HCFB Womenâ€™s Committee members Pam Baldwin, left, and Patti Brown, right, joined HCFB Office Manager Angela Wood in visiting Sardis Baptist Preschool. The Giving Kids project encouraged children to give back to their communities through a service project. Hart County and 50 other county Farm Bureaus across Georgia visited classes
to teach students that farmers depend on bees to pollinate their crops. The students made wildflower seed balls that they were encouraged to give friends or family.
LANIER COUNTY Lanier County Farm Bureau held its annual Farm Day Nov. 22 at Lanier County Primary School. Students rotated through numerous stations introducing them to various aspects of agriculture including tractors, farm animals and crops. Students were encouraged to dress as farmers for the day and prizes were awarded for the best costumes in each grade â€“ prekindergarten through second grade.
MERIWETHER COUNTY FORSYTH COUNTY Forsyth County Farm Bureau collected food for the Bald Ridge Boys Lodge as its community project for Christmas. FCFB Office Manager Teena Atkins, left, presents the food to Wendy Hamilton, Bald Ridge Boys Lodge development manager. 24 February - March 2020
Meriwether County Farm Bureau Director Cory Wargofcak, pictured, and his wife, Monica, hosted a series of field trips for elementary students at their farm last fall. Students visited different stations to learn about bees, planting seeds and growing crops such as corn and kale and raising animals such as goats, pigs and dairy cows. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Rockdale/DeKalb County Farm Bureau taught an Ag in the Classroom lesson about pumpkins at a local preschool. Office Manager Felica McDowell read “The Pumpkin Circle,” taught the students how to plant seeds and helped them make bead bracelets to remember the different life stages of pumpkins.
The event served as a celebration of the Smithsonian Exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural Georgia displayed at the arts center last fall. Multiple stations highlighted many aspects of farming including beef, chickens, corn, cotton, forestry and tractors. Theresa Molle, pictured, told students how she raises cattle and the nutritional benefits of eating beef.
Taliaferro County Office Manager Melanie Finney visited the secondgrade class at Taliaferro County School in January to read “A Home in the Barn” and discuss the various animals that farmers shelter in barns. TCFB also provided bookmarks for the students to color.
TELFAIR COUNTY The Telfair County Chamber of Commerce & Telfair County Farm Bureau hosted an Ag Day at the Telfair Center for the Arts Nov. 18. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Thomas County Farm Bureau held a Farmer Appreciation Lunch in November for its farmer members. GFB 9th Dist. Field Rep. The event highlighted Farm Bureau member benefits and the legislative issues GFB is addressing in Atlanta and D.C. TCFB displayed artwork local students created in appreciation of the crops and livestock Thomas County farmers produce.
Apply for Centennial Farm Award by May 1 If your farm is at least 100 years old, then it’s probably eligible for one of three awards the Georgia Centennial Farm program presents each fall. The Centennial Family Farm Award recognizes farms owned by members of the same family for at least 100 years. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and owned by the same family for 100 years or more. The Centennial Farm Award doesn’t require continual family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the NRHP. Farm owners interested in applying for the 2020 awards should visit www.georgiashpo. org or contact Allison Asbrock at 770-389-7868 or Allison. firstname.lastname@example.org.
WILCOX COUNTY Wilcox County Farm Bureau hosted an Ag Forum for U.S. Rep. Austin Scott in January. Scott provided a Washington update, and WCFB members had the chance to discuss a variety of issues impacting agriculture.
February - March 2020 25
Meet the 2020 GFB YF&R Committee Meet the 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee: from left, 3rd Dist. Chair & Committee Vice Chairman Daniel Welliver (seated), Henry County; 10th Dist. Chair Walt Pridgen (standing), Coffee County; 2nd Dist. Chairs Nicole & Brian Fleming, Hart County; 1st Dist. Chairs Christy & Dan Brannon, Chattooga County; 5th Dist. Chairs & Committee Chairmen Charlsy & Will Godowns, Pike County; 4th Dist. Chairs Rachel & Jason Kinsaul, Morgan County; 6th Dist. Chairs Christina & Josh Howell, Wilkinson County; 7th Dist. Chair Josh Brannen (seated), Candler County; and 9th Dist. Chair Cody Powell (standing), Decatur County. Not pictured 8th Dist. Chair Cason Anderson, Houston County. Photo by Jay Stone
June 1 deadline for YF&R awards, photo contest & conference registration Georgia Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program continues to develop leadership skills in our members ages 18 through 35. The program began the year with a bang in January as GFB members represented Georgia in the national YF&R contests at the American Farm Bureau Convention. You can read how they fared on page 11. The YF&R Committee has an exciting lineup of activities this year beginning in March. A group of YF&R members will head to Washington, D.C., March 3-6 to meet with elected officials and experience our nation’s capital city. From March 13-17, the GFB YF&R Committee will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, for the AFBF YF&R Conference. In early March GFB will release information about all YF&R award programs – Achievement Award in Agriculture; Excellence in Agriculture Award; Discussion Meet and the GFB YF&R Member of the Year Award. Registration information for the YF&R
Summer Conference to be held July 15-18 on Jekyll Island and the annual YF&R Photo Contest will also be released in early March. The application deadline for all awards, conference registration and the photo contest is June 1. The achievement award recognizes YF&R members for their farming operations and leadership activities. The excellence in agriculture award honors YF&R members who earn the majority of their income off the farm but are vocal ag advocates. The discussion meet simulates a meeting where participants talk about current ag issues and explore possible solutions. The YF&R Member of the Year award recognizes a YF&R member who is active with their local committee, county Farm Bureau and agricultural community. Visit www.gfb.ag/yfr or contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information about the awards, photo contest and to register for the conference.
Georgia Farm Bureau YF&R Coordinator Erin Nessmith may be reached at email@example.com or 478-474-0679,ext. 5232 for more information. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you’d like to get involved with your local YR&R program.
26 February - March 2020
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Ag in the Classroom Update
Increasing ag literacy priority for GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Meet the 2020 GFB Women’s Leadership Committee: front row, from left, Chairman Heather Cabe, Franklin County, GFB 2nd Dist.; Andrea Sims, Chattooga County, GFB 1st Dist.; Chy Kellogg, Cobb County, GFB 3rd Dist.; Patsy Spear, McDuffie County, GFB 4th
Dist.; Melissa Mathis, Monroe County, GFB 5th Dist.; back row, from left: Kathy Sanders, Laurens County, GFB 6th Dist.; Melanie Hendrix, Evans County, GFB 7th Dist.; Vickie Brown, Turner County, GFB 8th Dist.; Greta Collins, Colquitt County, GFB 9th Dist.; and Peggy Lee, Bacon County, GFB 10th Dist. Members of this committee are working in their districts and statewide to educate students and consumers about agriculture. The committee hosts the annual GFB Educational Leadership Conference, which will be held March 13-14 in Augusta, and events for each GFB district that equip county volunteers and staff to do ag literacy activities in their communities. Heather Cabe of Franklin County is chairing the committee this year as she serves the final year of her three-year committee term. New members joining the committee this year are Andrea Sims, Patsy Spear, Kathy Sanders, Melanie Hendrix and Vickie Brown.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Utah hosting National Ag in the Classroom Conference Looking to kick your county Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom (AITC) program up a notch? If so, make plans to attend the National AITC Conference set for June 23-26 in Salt Lake City, Utah. “Agriculture Elevated” is the theme of the conference, which will include tours of Utah farms and workshops to train county volunteers and teachers to educate students about agriculture and nutrition while meeting academic standards. Nicole Jolly and Ann Vileisis will be the keynote speakers. Jolly is co-creator and host of the YouTube series
“How Does it Grow?” which can be accessed at True Food TV. She’ll share her secrets for using the power of video to tell how food is grown and inspiring young people to care about fresh food and the farmers who grow it. Vileisis is the author of “Kitchen Literacy,” which chronicles the changes in how Americans have shopped, cooked and thought about food since the 1700s. Visit https://naitcconference.usu.edu for more information or to register. Registration is $435 before April 15; $485 April 16-June 15 and $535 onsite.
Georgia Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Lauren Goble may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-474-0679, ext. 5135. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you’d like to volunteer with their Ag in the Classroom program.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
February - March 2020 27
2019 Annual GFB Convention
GFB donates $22,924 to Georgia food banks Georgia Food Bank Association Executive Director Danah Craft, center, accepts a donation from Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, left, and 2019 GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Chairman Ben Cagle at the annual GFB convention. Funds for the donation were raised through Farm Bureau’s Harvest for All
Lamb wins GFB Quality Hay Contest Photo by Jay Stone
campaign, which included donations from county Farm Bureaus, GFB and the “Calf’s Weight in Change” drive the YF&R Committee held last summer. GFB’s donation will support
food banks in Savannah, Atlanta,Northwest Georgia,
Columbus, Athens,Augusta, Macon and Valdosta. The food bank association uses the donation to buy high-protein foods like chicken and peanut butter and to offset the cost of collecting and distributing food.
GFB presents state awards Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) recognized county Farm Bureaus and individual members for their efforts to promote agriculture during the organization’s annual convention in December. GFB President Gerald Long (back row, far left) congratulates the 2019 GFB award recipients: (front row, from left) Outstanding Office Manager Staci Waters, Barrow County; Heather Cabe, Women’s Leadership Committee Award for Franklin County; Michael Thomason accepting the McKemie Award in GFB’s large membership category for Franklin County; and Max Freeman accepting the Pro28 February - March 2020
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
motion & Education Committee Award for Franklin County; (back row, second from left) David Lee accepting the McKemie Award for Bacon County in GFB’s small membership category; Madison Atkins accepting the Young Farmer Committee Award for
Polk County; and James Casey accepting the McKemie Award for Polk County in GFB’s medium membership category. Mitchell County Farm Bureau won the Legislative Award, cochaired by MCFB President Bubba Johnson and Casey Cox, not pictured.
Congratulations to Jeff Lamb of Turner County for winning the 2019 GFB Quality Hay Contest! Lamb won the free use of a Vermeer TM1200 Trailed Mower for a year courtesy of the Vermeer Manufacturing Company with the option to buy it at a reduced price at the end of the year. The contest analyzed the quality of the hay grown by entrants using the University of Georgia’s Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) testing method, which measures nutrient content of the hay. Lamb’s winning Russell Bermuda hay had an RFQ rating of 155.57. The average RFQ score for all 40 entries was 120.77. Ronnie Hadden, Glascock County, captured second place with his Coastal Bermuda (RFQ 148.6). Neal Pannell, Walton County, took third place with his Tift 85 Bermuda (RFQ 147.23). Carlton Hale, of Oconee County, won fourth place for his Alicia Bermuda (RFQ 139.16). Jimbo Crumley, Morgan County came in fifth for his Tift 85 Bermdua (RFQ 132.32).
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Cole named GFB teacher of year Barrow County elementary teacher Diana Cole is the recipient of Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2019 Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award. Cole, who teaches second through fourth grades at Statham Elementary School, was recognized for incorporating information about agriculture into her classes to show her students how agriculture impacts their daily lives. As the award winner, Cole received a $500 cash prize and an expense-paid trip to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June. She will also present a workshop on her teaching methods at the Georgia Farm Bureau Educational Leadership Conference in March. Cole has taught school for 35 years and at Statham Elementary for 13 years. She credits the Agriculture in
the Classroom and Farm to School programs with providing her with a new, exciting way to reach students that has made teaching fun. “Several years ago, I knew I could retire, but I didn’t want to. I felt I still have more in me to give my students, but I was looking for something to change up my teaching,” Cole said. “Participating in the Farm to School program and using Agriculture in the Classroom curriculum has allowed me to teach in a way that I have not always taught.” One of the ways Cole teaches her students about agriculture includes having them grow vegetables in the school’s raised garden beds. After the students grow a vegetable, they harvest it, then bring it into the class where they cook a simple recipe with it. Cole also welcomes local farmers
Diana Cole accepts the 2019 Georgia AITC Teacher of the Year Award from GFB President Gerald Long at the GFB Convention in December. Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
to talk to her classes. One farmer brought eggs from her farm for the school incubator so the students could hatch their own chicks and learn about chickens and the egg life cycle. As president of the Statham Elementary Farm to School Booster Club, Cole has organized an Ag Day for the school for the past two years and plans to do so again in 2020.
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CENSUS 2020: YOU FARM. YOU COUNT! Compiled by Jay Stone Participating in the 2020 Census is important! Itâ€™s crucial that the U.S. Census Bureau get an accurate count of the number of people living in Georgia and where they live because federal, state and local governments use these numbers to determine funding for education, health, nutrition assistance and transportation programs. The numbers also determine how many representatives
Georgia has in Congress. Georgia ranked 31st in the U.S. for its response rate in the 2010 Census. Counties with the lowest response rates were south of Macon. Make sure Georgia is accurately counted this year, especially our rural communities. You may take the census online, by phone, by mail or in person.
Key Census Dates: March: Invitations mailed to homes asking residents to respond online, by phone or mail. April 1: National Census Day. Every home will have received invite to take the census. April: Census takers begin visiting college students living on campus, people in senior centers and others living among large groups of people. Census takers also begin quality check interviews.
May-August: Census takers visit homes that havenâ€™t responded to the 2020 Census. Census workers must present an ID badge with their photo, Dept. of Commerce watermark & an expiration date. They should not ask for your full social security number, bank or credit card account numbers, money or donations.
August: The online 2020 Census form will close. December: The Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the president & Congress.
Interesting Census numbers For more information: visit www.census.georgia.gov
Amount of your info the Census Bureau may release for 72 years that identifies your home.
# of federal programs that use census data to calculate funding. These include Medicare Part B, nutrition assistance, highway construction, education & housing assistance.
# of U.S. Representatives Georgia has in Congress based on census numbers. Georgia gained a seat in Congress after the 2010 census.
Federal funding Georgia receives per person/year based on census counts.
Federal dollars lost by Georgia for every 1% undercount in the census.
April 8 deadline to apply for Hurricane Michael recovery grants Farmers with operations in 95 eligible Georgia counties may apply for Georgia Farm Recovery Block Grant funds for farm losses from Hurricane Michael not covered by other USDA disaster programs. The signup period begins March 18 and ends April 8. USDA awarded Georgia $347 million to disburse to farmers under the $3 billion Disaster Relief Act (DRA) of 2019. Farmers who suffered losses to timber, beef, dairy, poultry, fruit & vegetables, pecans and eligible uninsured irrigation equipment or
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farm structures in the 95 counties that received a USDA disaster designation for the storm are eligible to apply for the recovery block grant funds. Details on how to apply for the recovery grants and proof of loss documents recommended for the application are available at www.farmrecovery.com. The application process will take place entirely online March 18 through April 8. No mailed applications nor supporting documents will be accepted. Applicants will be able to create an account on
Counties eligible for recovery grants are green.
www.farmrecovery.com and log in to work on their applications throughout the signup period.
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February - March 2020 31
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Georgia Farm Bureau News - February/March 2020