Vol. 81 No. 4
Inside: HURRICANE MICHAEL 6 RECOVERY INCHES ALONG COOLEY FARM DEMYSTIFIES 10 POULTRY FARMING 12 NUTS & BOLTS OF FARM PROGRAMS AG EDUCATION HATCHES IN 20 ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
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Don’t miss out on this offer. Visit FordFarmBureauAdvantage.com today! *Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. **Max payload on F-150 XL Regular Cab, 8’ box, 5.0L V8 4x2, Heavy-Duty Payload Package and 18” heavy-duty wheels (not shown). Max towing on F-150 XL SuperCrew®, 6.5’ box, 3.5L EcoBoost® 4x2, and Max Trailer Tow Package (not shown). ***Farm Bureau Bonus Cash is exclusively for active Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. This incentive is not available on Mustang Shelby® GT350/350R, Mustang BULLITT, Ford GT, Focus RS and F-150 Raptor. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. Must be a Farm Bureau member for 30 consecutive days prior to purchase and take new retail delivery from dealer by January 2, 2020. Visit FordFarmBureauAdvantage.com or see your authorized Ford Dealer for qualifications and complete details.
8/29/19 11:46 AM
departments View from the Field Stand up and be counted............4
Public Policy Update GFB’s legislative positions start at our grassroots.....................................5
A year later, Hurricane Michael recovery inches along
The signs of the historic storm are still visible across Southwest Georgia. Join us as we check in with farmers to see how they’re doing.
GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Cultivate Growth
Georgia Farm Bureau will be well represented in the national YF&R competitions at the American Farm Bureau Convention. Get to know our contestants.
Cooley Farms demystifies poultry farming, opens farm to public
Ever wanted to look inside a chicken house? With the support of their integrator, Perdue Farms, the Cooley family in Crawford County is welcoming guests to see how broilers are raised.
Emotional Health Recognizing & dealing with depression ....................................................14
Around Georgia........26-27 Ag in the Classroom Update Reading makes a difference!......28
GFB News staff
Kenny Burgamy Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor
Jay Stone News Reporter
Payton Butler Graphic Designer
For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 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
The Nuts & Bolts of federal farm programs
This fall the USDA announced more details about farm bill programs, federal disaster assistance, state block grants and trade mitigation programs. PAGES 12-13
Georgia National Fair celebrates 30 years
For 30 falls, apple dumplings, racing pigs and twirling carnival rides have drawn Georgians to the state’s premier fair where agriculture is celebrated.
Ag education hatches in elementary schools
The amazing world of agriculture is being introduced to a new audience as a pilot program is underway at 26 schools statewide.
USDA establishes hemp production program
Hemp production is one step closer to becoming a reality nationwide. In late October, the USDA announced its plan to regulate the crop.
Ga. Foundation for Ag offers $65,000 in scholarships
Students pursuing a degree in agriculture or a related field at a qualifying Georgia college or technical college have until March 1 to apply.
Visit the GFB Website today! GFB.ORG Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau www.gfb.ag/group Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau
about the cover-------------------------------------------Your perfect Christmas tree is waiting at one of GFB’s Certified Farm Markets! Visit www.gfb.ag/cfm to find a Christmas tree farm near you. Take your GFB Farm Passport for one more stamp; then mail it to GFB by Jan. 10 to get prizes. Lauren Smith of Walker County entered this photo of her son, Jay, in the 2019 GFB Picture Agriculture in Georgia Photo Contest.
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GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/3
view from the field Gerald Long, GFB President
FARM BUREAU GEORGIA
Stand up and be counted It’s the end of the year and our annual Georgia Farm Bureau Convention approaches. Our convention is a time when GFB members have a chance to be heard as we determine the public policies we will support as an organization next year. We achieve this by letting our voting delegates vote on the proposed policy, In short, it’s a time for GFB members to engage in the most American thing they can do: Stand up and be counted. As we look forward to 2020, there will be multiple opportunities to stand up and be counted. Next year, the 2020 Census will be taken, and I’m urging you to take part. In early October at the first meeting of our 2019 Policy Development Committee, we heard from Rusty Haygood, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and co-chair of Georgia’s Complete Count Committee. Rusty discussed the ways the results of the census will affect Georgians. First, the census count is the basis for determining how many members each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. Georgia, which currently has 14 congressional districts, could pick up another one. Census data is also used to establish state and local political districts, all the way down to your local school board. Second, the census count is used to determine how money is allocated among 55 federal programs, many of them crucial to rural Georgia. These include Medicare Part B, USDA loans and Cooperative Extension. Another opportunity for Georgians to be counted is in the 2020 elections. Everyone is aware of the presidential election, but I want to call your attention to the campaigns for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats. You've likely heard Sen. Johnny Isakson is stepping down at the end of the year because of his health. Sen. Isakson has been a great champion for Georgia 4 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
agriculture and a leader on whom Georgia farmers could depend. In recent years, he has been an outspoken advocate on issues like passage of the 2018 farm bill, ending trade disputes, opening new export markets and securing much-needed disaster assistance to help farmers recover from Hurricane Michael, to name a few. I also want to thank Sen. Isakson for his unwavering support for U.S. veterans. He has consistently worked to ensure our veterans are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. I know you’ll join me in praying for Sen. Isakson’s health and blessings for him and his family in his retirement. Gov. Brian Kemp is charged with appointing someone to fill Sen. Isakson’s seat until the next general election. Georgia voters will elect a new senator for his seat next year. Sen. David Perdue, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, was already up for re-election in 2020. As you consider who to vote for in these and other races, it’s important to remember a couple of counts that have already been taken: Georgia’s farmers and ranchers contributed $73.7 billion to Georgia’s economy in 2017 and provided 392,000 jobs for Georgians. These numbers cannot and should not be ignored. I urge you to vote for candidates, regardless of party affiliation, who understand the importance agriculture holds for Georgia. I wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season, and thank you for your support of Georgia Farm Bureau!
Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5334.
President GERALD LONG, Bainbridge 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Adrian North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Ringgold South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Alma General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treas. GFBMIC Executive Vice President DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Sec. JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Corp. Sec. & Senior Counsel JEANNA FENNELL Asst. Corp. Treas. & Sr. Dir. of Accounting RACHEL MOSLEY
FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Wesley Hall, Cumming SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Matt Bottoms, Molena SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Dexter; James Emory Tate, Denton SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Bellville; Ben Boyd, Sylvania EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Newton; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Lamar Vickers, Nashville; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Ben Cagle, Ball Ground WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Nancy Kennedy, Devereux
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 2019 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
public policy update By Katie Duvall
GFB's legislative positions start at our grassroots For most folks, fall means endless football, changing leaves, a crisp chill to the morning air, holiday gatherings and a few extra pounds on the scale. For Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members, this season means much more. In early December, voting delegates at the 82nd Annual Georgia Farm Bureau Convention will ratify our organization’s 2020 Policy Book. Due to our grassroots policy development process, the resolutions the delegation will review have been through months of careful creation, modification and discussion. It is because of this deliberate effort by the GFB Policy Development Committee that little to no changes are generally made to the proposed resolutions at Jekyll Island. The book that is presented to the delegation has been meticulously combed through over the course of many months and meetings. Farm Bureau’s policy development is a long, arduous process, but it is vital to the success of our organization. Our legislative initiatives are based on it, and we don’t take legislative positions counter to it. GFB’s policy determines what we support and oppose, so it needs to reflect our members’ opinions as closely as possible. The sole purpose of our policy development process is to make sure our organization accurately reflects the collective will of our membership. The policies included in GFB's policy book determine GFB's legislative and regulatory positions on any given issue whether local, state or national. Policies start as resolutions in county Farm Bureau board rooms and GFB Commodity Advisory Committee meetings. Submitted resolutions are reviewed at two state policy development meetings where the Policy Development Committee accepts or deletes proposed resolutions, amends existing policy, and recommends the deletion of outdated or
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
irrelevant policy. Each of the resolutions approved by the state committee are then voted on by the entire voting delegation at the annual meeting in December. This process leads to the creation of the policy book that will guide GFB’s legislative efforts for the following year. The members of GFB's Policy Development Committee change each year, but it consistently includes 30 county Farm Bureau presidents (three per district), the GFB Board of Directors, the 20 chairmen of GFB’s Commodity Advisory Committees, and GFB’s representatives on American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Issue Advisory Committees. At the national level, state Farm Bureau presidents convene at the AFBF headquarters in Washington, D.C., each December to hold a national policy development process. The same policies that originate in county Farm Bureau offices or Commodity Advisory Committee meetings can go on to reach the national stage through debate and ultimate approval by a nationwide delegation at the AFBF Convention. Like GFB’s Policy Book, the document approved by AFBF delegates then becomes the official policy of our national organization for the coming year. As we finalize the 2020 policy books for GFB and AFBF this season, the GFB Public Policy Department is also preparing for the 2020 session of the Georgia General Assembly. The second of a two-year session, 2020 will allow both the Georgia House and Senate the opportunity to revisit bills that did not make it through both chambers in 2019. Of the bills still on the table for 2020, the one most significant to GFB members is House Bill 545, better known as the Right to Farm Bill. Our state affairs team, alongside our allied ag and forestry
partners at the Georgia Capitol, worked diligently during the 2019 session to advance House Bill 545. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom McCall, made significant headway, but failed to make it to a final vote on the Senate floor. House Bill 545 sought to close loopholes in current law that trial attorneys can manipulate for a quick payday at the expense of Georgia agriculture. The bill garnered strong support from members of the House, where it passed 107-58. Despite not making it to the governor’s desk during the 2019 session, the bill made significant progress. This wouldn’t have been possible without the grassroots advocacy efforts of our members statewide. Member input like our policy development process makes GFB stronger. When members are passionate about our legislative objectives, they are more likely to contact their elected officials when a particular piece of legislation – such as House Bill 545 – is debated. Positive things happen when GFB members contact their elected officials. Sometimes, one phone call is all it takes to push the needle in the right direction and send a bill to the governor’s desk. As we enter a new year of legislative initiatives, we encourage you to engage in our advocacy efforts. For timely legislative updates from under the gold dome and more information on how you can be involved, text “GFB ACTION” to 52886. Katie Duvall is the GFB Public Policy Department advocacy & public policy coordinator. You may reach her at email@example.com or 478-474-0679, ext. 5217.
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/5
A YEAR LATER, HURRICANE MICHAEL RECOVERY INCHES ALONG Article & photos by Jay Stone Farmers will often tell you that diversification is a key component of farm success. Add crops. Add livestock. Open a roadside market. Peddle your services to other farms. Diverse operations generate multiple streams of income and can help level cash flow in a profession prone to financial roller-coaster rides. In the worst of situations, though, diversification can also mean more ways to lose money. Hurricane Michael, which came ashore from the Gulf of Mexico and ravaged Florida, Southwest Georgia and Southeast Alabama, was that sort of situation. A year later, the signs of recovery from Michael are everywhere in Southwest Georgia. There are combines in fields, rolls of harvested cotton, new roofs on houses, repaired grain bins - all indicators that the area slammed by one of the most destructive storms in state history is moving forward. Perhaps not fast enough for most people affected by the storm, but the progress is undeniable. The recovery isn’t complete, though, and likely won’t be for years. IMPACT ON CATTLE PRODUCERS For Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long and his son, Justin, the family farm took multiple hits. There were miles of fencing that had to be repaired or replaced on the Longs’ farm in eastern Decatur County. Although the Longs’ cattle hadn’t
6 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
scattered immediately after the storm, downed fencing meant they might. The Longs first sought to hem the cattle in, then worked on fences to expand their access to grazing. Because of the downed fences, the Longs’ grazing pastures were reduced to about one sixth of their normal area. The process of repairing the fences was slow and continued into October 2019. “We’ve always done 100 percent of our fence work ourselves,” Justin Long said. “I had to hire a guy this year just to come in and repair fences.” Justin said the farm had used more than 15 rolls of barbed wire and more than 2,000 metal “T” posts for repairs on approximately a mile of fencing. In early October, they still had almost another mile of fencing to repair. Because the Longs’ grazing area was extremely limited after the storm, they had to feed hay to their cattle. Winter grazing, which Gerald Long said the farm normally starts by Nov. 10, didn’t begin until just before Christmas last year. When the storm hit, the Longs’ cattle were calving, so those calves didn’t have access to extra nutrition normally gained through grazing. The result, a year after the storm, is that the 2018 fall calves weigh significantly less on average than the ones born in 2017, Gerald said. Without grazing, many ranchers opted to sell portions of their herds, causing an oversupply that pushed
cattle prices down. The grazing issues also caused a lower conception rate this year, which translates to fewer calves next year. “It all goes back to that storm,” Gerald said. “We’re probably going to shorten the age of our cattle on calving, meaning we’re going to have to cull them sooner. It’s going to take three or four years for a cow-calf producer to overcome Hurricane Michael.” ONE PECAN ORCHARD’S JOURNEY In Seminole County, which took the worst of the storm, there are still trees on the ground. Damaged irrigation pivots dot the landscape at field edges, their replacements in many cases gleaming in the background. Just outside Donalsonville, there are gaps where downed pecan trees have been removed from Seldom Rest Farms. Many spaces are filled with tiny seedlings, while some older trees that were broken mid-trunk or had limbs torn off still stand, shoots of new limbs giving them a canopy of new growth. More mature trees, many still standing and seemingly intact, have dying sections of leaves, the result of root damage from violent shaking caused by Michael’s winds. “That stress is coming through bigtime now,” said Seldom Rest Farm Manager Steve Bailey. “We’re going to be years [recovering]. I’d say you’d need a follow-up on these orchards in about four years to really know what you’re dealing with.”
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
At Seldom Rest Farms outside Donalsonville, more than 10,000 replacement trees are held up by white pipes.
Glenn Heard looks over this 2019 cotton crop, which looks robust in comparison with his cotton fields following the hurricane last year. More photos at www.gfb.org/HM1yrlater
Seldom Rest has approximately 1,400 acres of pecan orchards and lost about 8,000 trees, Bailey said. Some of them were planted in the 1940s.
the region, and farmers have struggled with getting their farm structures repaired or replaced due to cost, lack of materials or labor. Twelve miles east of Donalsonville, just across the Decatur County line, Glenn Heard Farms sustained extensive damage to its grain elevators, a peanut buying point grading shed, drying sheds and a storage building in addition to Heard’s extensive crop losses in cotton and corn. “We had one fertilizer shed that was completely blown away, and we haven’t been able to get a contractor in here to build another one,” said Heard, a Decatur County Farm Bureau director. The shelter over the peanut grading point was also blown away. “We need to do that. It’s a little more complicated building, and we just ran out of time.” The storm damage forced Heard to delay planned projects and normal repairs and upgrades that are done between growing seasons.
ROW CROPS & VEGETABLES Seldom Rest is owned by a land management company that rents its 7,000 acres to a handful of farmers, who primarily grow cotton, peanuts and corn. Their 2018 crops, Bailey said, were nearly a total loss. Back in Decatur County at Long farms, the you-pick vegetable business the Longs have run for more than 30 years suffered diminished business last fall. “The general public didn’t have any money,” Justin Long said. “They just got off the wildest fair ride of their life, and their whole lives were destroyed. Everybody who comes here this time of year to buy [sweet] potatoes or peas from us stayed home last year.” This summer, the market was extremely busy with customers seeking to restock after they lost stored vegetables because they lost power following the hurricane. INFRASTRUCTURE DAMAGE Seldom Rest sustained almost $2 million in damage to its irrigation pivots, which provide water to more than 80 percent of the farms’ total acreage. The pivots are part of extensive damage to farm infrastructure across
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
TIMBER TAKES A HIT Southwest Georgia timber production took hits on several fronts. UGA estimated timber losses from Michael at approximately $763 million. Timber was sold off in the aftermath of the storm. As in the cattle market, this caused a glut that pushed prices down. Still, to prevent the spread of disease that affects trees, the downed
trees needed to be removed. Forests in Michael’s path are significantly thinner a year later. “We clear-cut the ones that had extensive losses,” Heard said. “If 90% or more of the trees were down, we went ahead and clear-cut that. If we had a stand that was 20, 30, 40% of what we had, we just cleaned up within it and left it standing.” Some of Heard’s damaged forest land will be replanted in trees. Other portions could be converted to crop land. “I don’t want to, but now is the time,” Heard said. “I’ve either got to do it now or replant it in trees and wait 30 years.” STAYING OPTIMISTIC The news is not all bad. While many Georgia farmers harmed by Michael were still waiting for federal disaster assistance to arrive in early November, the promise of that aid prompted some banks to be more patient with farmers than they might otherwise, Heard said. Combined with insurance coverage and state aid many farmers have been able to move forward with their 2019 crops. “As far as getting past the storm, I think we’re a lot better off than I ever dreamed that we’d be at this point,” Heard said.
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/7
GFB YF&R Winners: Growing
Articles by Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker
SEE MORE PHOTOS AT WWW.GFB.AG/19YFRWINNERS
Meet the Georgia Farm Bureau members who will represent Georgia in the Young Farmers & Ranchers competitions at the American Farm Bureau Convention in Austin, Texas, Jan. 17-21: Preston & Kendall Jimmerson, Jason & Rachel Kinsaul and Kaitlyn Marchant. The Jimmersons are in the running for the national Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award. The Kinsauls will compete for the YF&R Excellence in Ag Award. Marchant is a contestant in the discussion meet contest.
In 2010, Preston and Kendall Jimmerson were pondering their future. Preston was a four-year insurance agent with Lee County Farm Bureau. But farm life had caught his attention. Kendall grew up on Moss Family Farm, then owned by her father, Rick Moss. Preston talked with his father-in-law and told him he’d like to try farming if Rick he ever wanted to retire. Preston’s expectation was this was something to be addressed far in the future. “I basically just said I’d really like to be outside. I would like to farm. I don’t want to be in business indoors the rest of my life,” Preston remembered. “He said, ‘Today’s the day. We’re going to set this up. You’re going to start right now.’” Kendall, having grown up on the farm, had a clearer view of what this meant. “I was scared,” she said. “Very,very terrified. I grew up on the farm and moving away was a big deal. Inside, I wanted to raise my kids here. I wanted to come back, but I never thought I would.”
What’s their motivation? The top four competitors will receive: 1st Place: A new Ford vehicle ($35,000 maximum value) & paid
registration to the 2020 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference, courtesy of Ford
2nd Place: a Case IH Farmall 50A, courtesy of Case IH 3rd Place: Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet & top chest; $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH + $2,200 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise (PROTO, DeWalt, Stanley, Lenox & Irwin), courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker
CONTINUED ON PG. 22
KINSAULS: PREPARING NEW FARMERS
While AFBF doesn’t offer a YF&R Member of the Year Award, we’re highlighting Walt Pridgen as the state winner because of the fantastic ag advocacy work he’s doing.
JIMMERSONS: DIVING IN WITH GRATITUDE
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
4th Place: Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet & top chest; $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH
Photo by Jay Stone
Jason & Rachel Kinsaul with son, J.P., are the '19 GFB YF&R Excellence in Ag winners.
Preston & Kendall Jimmerson, with children Kate & Jake, won the '19 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award. 8 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
Jason and Rachel Kinsaul are perfect examples of why Farm Bureau offers the Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award to recognize young professionals who work in the ag sector, display a deep appreciation for farming and passionately promote agriculture. Rachel is an ag teacher/ FFA advisor at Morgan County High School. Jason is an ag lender for Rabo Agrifinance working with clients in Southeastern states. They helped start the Morgan County Farm Bureau YF&R Committee, work to preserve green space, farmland and GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
g Georgia Agriculture timberland with the Madison-Morgan Conservancy and belong to the Morgan County Cattlemen’s Association. Rachel’s love for ag came from growing up next door to her maternal grandparents’ farm in Greene County. That grandfather, J.P. Dyar, was a charter member of the Greene County Farm Bureau and taught her why Georgia agriculture needs Farm Bureau. “He understood the importance of having an organization that will advocate for farmers,” Rachel said. The first eight years of Rachel’s teaching career allowed her to be active with three different county Farm Bureaus as she transferred schools to get closer to home. “We’ve moved around a lot with our jobs, which gave us the chance to see how a wide variety of counties operate,” Rachel said. CONTINUED ON PG. 22
PRIDGEN: PITCHING THE POSITIVES OF AG
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Photo by Carla Palmer
MARCHANT: CREATING AG ADVOCATES
Kaitlyn Marchant is the '19 GFB Discussion Meet winner. As an ag education teacher, Kaitlyn Marchant says her contribution to agriculture is creating advocates for farming. “Not every kid who sits in my class will be directly involved in agriculture, but they will all be consumers,” Marchant said. “If we can create educated consumers who can advocate for farmers, that’s important.” Marchant is a product of Georgia’s FFA program, so she understands the impact it can have on students. She grew up helping out on her grandparents’ beef farm in Jeff Davis County. She showed cattle from sixth through 12th grade. Throughout high school, her FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience project was beef cattle production. She served as the Georgia FFA South Region vice president for 20072008. “I knew pretty early on I wanted to be an ag teacher. I came through a middle school ag program, which was pretty rare at the time,” Marchant said. “After watching the process of my grandparents get out of farming and having nobody CONTINUED ON PG. 22
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Walt Pridgen helps students plant a garden. The picture captures Walt Pridgen perfectly - standing in a school garden, shovel in hand, guiding a student planting a tomato plant while wearing his signature boots, jeans, sunglasses and baseball cap. He’s a farmer who realizes the importance of advocating for his profession. Whether it’s helping students plant a garden so they understand how food is grown or talking to consumers. The farmer part isn’t much of a surprise. Pridgen, voted the 2019 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Member of the Year, has been getting his hands dirty on his family’s Coffee County farm for as long as he can remember. The advocacy part? Not something he envisioned growing up. “Seventeen-year-old Walt had no intention of farming, no intention of talking to people, no intention of being an advocate for anything really,” Pridgen said. “I was going to try to hit a baseball as far as I could and see where that got me.” His mother, Kathy, encouraged him to try other things, but in the end, being outside, a farmer doing farm things, won out. Pridgen attended South Georgia State College and then Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC), earning a bachelor’s degree in diversified agriculture from ABAC in 2017. CONTINUED ON PG. 24
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/9
COOLEY FARMS DEMYSTIFIES POULTRY FARMING, OPENS FARM TO PUBLIC Article and Photos by Jennifer Whittaker
Hospitality. The Cooley family is well known for theirs. For years Larry and Terri have welcomed visitors to their Crawford County farm where they raise broilers, cattle and hay. Terri fondly recalls hosting a field trip in the early ‘90s for the third-grade class of their son, Leighton, and his now wife, Brenda, who farm with them. Through the years they’ve hosted numerous legislative events for their county Farm Bureau and entertained local leadership and senior citizen groups. It’s easy to load guests up for a hayride to see the cattle and hay fields, but the poultry houses weren’t as easy. That’s because poultry companies that growers, like the Cooleys, raise birds for want to protect their flocks from spreadable diseases, like Newcastle or avian flu. The Cooleys could take visitors as far as the outside of their houses and tell
them what was happening inside. Getting guests inside required permission from their integrator. Then, visitors had to put on paper booties, hair nets and coveralls to protect the birds from outside disease and prevent guests from accidentally spreading any possible germs in their houses to public places where they might make their way to another farm. “We’ve always loved hosting field trips, but it’s been kind of hard to let folks see inside a chicken house,” Terri said.
SEEING IS UNDERSTANDING
With the blessing of their integrator, Perdue Farms, the Cooleys found a way to let visitors see inside a poultry house without jeopardizing the farm’s biosecurity. The answer was building a poultry learning center on the side of one of their poultry houses. Four large tempered glass windows are built into the wall the viewing room shares with the poultry house. Visitors can watch broilers eat out of feeders,
drink from the water lines, walk around the house unrestrained or roost on wooden pallet sections in the learning center chicken house. “Animal welfare starts with the environment in the chicken house,” Larry explained. “Now folks can see firsthand that chickens are being raised in a humane way. We want to explain that our product is safe.” Equipment that’s used to operate a poultry house is displayed in the learning center. A section of a feed line is attached to a miniature feed bin with an auger to let guests see how the birds are fed. Part of a water line hangs beside the feed line, just as it does in the house. Visitors can see how water flows through the line and drips into the broilers’ beaks when they tap the nozzles underneath the line. There’s also a propane heater to show how the birds are kept warm in winter. A cool cell and ventilation fan are installed on opposite walls of the room to demonstrate how the birds are kept comfortable in summer. Tech geeks will love checking out the computer control
Terri & Larry Cooley at their poultry learning center.
More photos at www.gfb.ag/Cooleypoultrycenter
in a restored barn near their house that they’ve been using to entertain farm guests. Here, visitors will watch a video about Cooley Farms that highlights the environmentally friendly production practices the family use to farm. The video explains that the manure the broilers generate is a valuable source of fertilizer for the farm’s hay production. Visitors will learn the chicken litter taken out of the broiler houses is spread on their pastures and hay fields at appropriate rates following a manure nutrient management plan to prevent excess manure from running into local waterways while giving the soil the nutrients it needs.
POULTRY FARMING IS SUSTAINABLE
Part of what you’ll see at the Cooley Farms Poultry Learning Center. panels the Cooleys use to operate the broiler house attached to the learning center. “We wanted people to walk in and say ‘Wow!’ We wanted the viewing room to give visitors the feeling they’re in the chicken house,” Terri said. “As we talk to them about the different equipment that’s in the house, they can see the equipment up close and touch it.” The Cooleys got the idea for building the viewing room from a poultry farm in Owensboro, Kentucky, that also grows for Perdue Farms. When Daniel and Danielle Hayden built new houses, they included a viewing area in the control room of one of their houses. The Cooleys visited the Hayden farm in February, then came home to build their own. “Larry drew a plan that would work for our farm. We got Perdue’s blessing, then started building it,” Terri recalls. “Soon others in the industry were interested and joined us. Fairmount Poultry and Chore Time have been very supportive. They equipped the room with actual working equipment. Ag Georgia Farm Credit and many others have also been helpful.”
AN OPEN DIALOGUE
The family is looking to give visitors an honest farm experience and have open dialogue with their visitors.
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
“Our goal isn’t to convince someone that chicken manure doesn’t smell,” Leighton said. “We’re here to explain why and the role it plays on our farm.” Leighton and Brenda’s participation in Georgia and American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers programs prepared the family to pair their hospitality with talking to consumers about poultry farming. In 2013 the family welcomed film crews to the farm for the documentary “Farmland,” which showed the daily life of young farmers. Appearing at film festivals where the documentary was screened and talking with filmgoers, who weren’t always friendly, prepared Leighton to answer hard questions. “Some of our best experiences have been with our critics. There are many misconceptions about poultry farming regarding hormones and antibiotics. Chickens are never fed hormones or steroids,” Leighton said. “Perdue has opted to raise its birds with no antibiotics ever. That’s not to say we won’t treat a bird if it gets sick, but it then has to be sold under a different label. Even then, it must go through a withdrawal period before it’s harvested so antibiotics don’t enter the food chain, as with any bird that has received antibiotics in its lifetime.” The Cooleys will start their farm tours
“We want the public to understand how sustainable poultry farming is,” Leighton said. The Cooleys’ extended family is proof that poultry, cattle and hay farming is a sustainable combination. In the 1950s, Terri’s grandfather raised broilers in North Carolina. Her father, Ken Young, became the first contract broiler grower in Crawford County in 1979 and grew for years. Terri and Larry each have siblings who also grow broilers for Perdue. While Larry and Terri annually raise an estimated 3 million broilers with Leighton and Brenda, their daughter Courtney and her husband, Jones Woody, have their own broiler houses. Their daughter Amanda and her husband, Craig Puckett, have cows they run on the family farm. “I realize the responsibility I have of taking care of the land not only for myself and neighbors but also for the next generation of our family,” Larry said. “We love being called farmers. We like being a part of something that provides food for this country.”
REVIEWS OF THE CENTER
Perdue Farms employees, members of Georgia’s ag community and Crawford County leaders got to tour the learning center during an open house the Cooleys held Oct. 21. “I think it’s a great idea to let people see for themselves what’s behind the CONTINUED ON PG. 24
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/11
THE NUTS & BOLTS OF FEDERAL FARM By Jay Stone
FOR MORE INFORMATION ARC/PLC FSA fact sheet www.gfb.ag/19ARCPLCfacts Texas A&M decision tool www.afpc.tamu.edu/tools/farm/ farmbill/2018
MARKET FACILITATION PROGRAM FSA fact sheet www.gfb.ag/19MFPfactsheet UGA trade briefs www.gfb.ag/19CAEDtradebriefs
DISASTER ASSISTANCE WHIP facts and signup www.farmers.gov/recover/whipplus
SIGN-UP DATES Market Facilitation Program Ends Dec. 6
Disaster Assistance WHIP-MIL WHIP+
Ends Feb. 1, ’20 ongoing into ’20
Crop year signup period 2019 Ends March 15, ’20 2020 Ends June 30, ’20 2021 Oct. 2020 – March 15, ’21 2022 Oct. 2021 – March 15, ’22 2023 Oct. 2022 – March 15, ’23
12 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
Under the 2018 farm bill, producer enrollment in the Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Agricultural Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO) and Agricultural Risk CoverageIndividual (ARC-IC) programs for contract year ’19 continues through March 15, ’20. Enrollment for contract year ’20 is also underway and continues through June 30, ’20. Georgia Farm Service Agency Farm Programs Chief Brett Martin reviewed changes made to the PLC, ARC-CO and ARC-IC programs under the ’18 farm bill during a series of meetings in early October. The meetings also addressed crop insurance, trade assistance and disaster assistance. The ARC programs provide payments when actual crop revenue drops below specified guarantee levels for 22 commodities. PLC covers losses when prices for covered commodities fall below established prices. The covered commodities include seed cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, grain sorghum, dry peas, lentils, sunflower seed, canola, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, crambe and sesame seed. Martin said a producer’s choice between ARC and PLC for the ’19 crop year will carry over for the ’20 crop year. Producers will be able to change their program annually for ’21, ’22 and ’23. UGA Extension Economist Adam Rabinowitz provided analysis of the programs, cautioning producers that making a blanket selection on program enrollment may not be the best choice. “This is going to be very much a cropby-crop decision and very much a farmby-farm decision,” Rabinowitz said. He expects more Georgia farmers to enroll in PLC under the ’18 farm bill than they did under the ’14 farm bill. Rabinowitz directed producers to the Texas A&M Agricultural & Food Policy Center Decision Tool (see box) to determine the program best for their farm. To use it, producers will need to establish a login. The tool requests the
farm location (by county & state), crop, number of base acres, ’14 PLC payment yield, historical irrigated percentage and historical planted or prevented planting acres and yields from ’13-’17 for both irrigated and dry land.
TRADE CONFLICT HELP Martin also reviewed trade assistance payments available under the ’19 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) announced in May to help farmers affected by trade conflicts, particularly with China. Rabinowitz estimates Georgia’s share of the $14.5 billion MFP package would be about $341 million. Moving forward, Rabinowitz notes that while China is beginning to buy more U.S. ag products, China has developed relationships with other trading partners, market dynamics have changed, and global competition is likely to increase after the U.S./China dispute is settled. “As those shifts take place, it doesn’t mean that once we end the trade dispute and have an agreement that it all just goes back to the way it was before,” Rabinowitz said. The first round of MFP payments started reaching farmers early this fall. On Nov. 7, the USDA indicated a second round of payments would be made available to farmers. Visit www.gfb.ag/l9CAEDtradebrief or www.gfb.ag/19trademitigation for more information.
FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE The Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program-Plus (WHIP+) provides relief for farmers who lost crops to natural disasters in ’18 and ’19, chiefly Hurricane Michael and tornadoes. Martin said receiving WHIP+ payments requires at least 60% production crop insurance coverage for the next two available crop years. Under WHIP-MIL, eligible dairies can receive payments for milk that was dumped due to Hurricane Michael and the tornadoes, provided producers were GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
M PROGRAMS not compensated for the dumped milk. Producers compensated for portions of dumped milk may apply for payments on portions for which they were not compensated, Martin said. The On-Farm Storage Loss Program provides help to producers who lost harvested commodities stored on their farm, like hay or grain.
GFB 82ND ANNUAL CONVENTION
growing 82 nd GFB Annual Meeting
December 8th - 10th Jekyll Island Convention Center www.gfb.ag/convention
DISASTER BLOCK GRANTS On Nov. 8, the USDA announced $800 million in state block grants for ag losses in Georgia, Alabama and Florida from hurricanes Michael and Florence in ’18. At press time the USDA had not formally announced specific amounts per state. The block grants were authorized under the $3 billion Disaster Relief Act (DRA) of 2019 signed into law in June to help producers nationwide recover from ’18 and ‘19 disasters. DRA includes the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program-Plus (WHIP+) as well as programs for loss of milk and stored commodities. The grants will cover qualifying losses not covered by other USDA disaster programs for timber, cattle, poultry, along with necessary expenses related to horticulture crop losses and present value losses associated with pecan production. “This is certainly welcome news for our farmers in Southwest Georgia,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long. “We’ve really struggled to overcome this disaster. While the block grants won’t make any affected farmers whole, hopefully they will make a huge difference.” The USDA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture are working out final details for the grants. Once the recovery funds are released to the states, the GDA will still need time to implement the signup plan for farmers. The GDA plans to publicize the signup period two to three weeks before it begins taking applications. The enrollment period is expected to last 21 calendar days.
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
For your reforestation seedlings, call:
Bell Brothers, Inc.
Advance Cycle Bareroot Seedlings Office: 912.739.2273 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/13
Recognizing & dealing with depression By Dr. Mike Rosmann
After reading previous columns about depression and suicide among farmers, several readers have asked, “How do I know when someone is depressed or suicidal and what can I do?” While all persons and situations differ, observable signs of excessive stress, depression and thoughts of suicide may include: • Verbalizations of hopelessness, such as, “It’s no use, nothing I do is working.” or “I feel like giving up.” • Verbalizations about loss of interest/pleasure, such as, “I don’t care about anything anymore.” or “I haven’t laughed in a long time.” • Dramatic statements/threats such as, “I feel like shooting every animal on the farm.” or “I’m going to get that jerk if it’s the last thing I do.” • Avoiding social/public events such as church or kids’ sports, especially when the person usually attends these activities. • Persistent flat mood, isolation & retreating behavior. • Deterioration in appearance/health of the livestock; farm, equipment & fences in state of disrepair. • Decline in personal appearance from the usual. • Too many stressors occurring simultaneously, such as inability to make payments on time, losses of loved ones or natural disasters like tornados. Most of us can handle two major stressors at a time and sometimes even three temporarily, but seldom more without help. • Persistent trouble falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much. • Near tears, such as the “lump in the throat” phenomenon, but not actually crying. • Emotional paralysis, such as inability to make a decision or go about working.
TREATING FARMERS FOR DEPRESSION
Proper antidepressant medication and professional counseling are “treatments of choice” for depression and suicide prevention. Sometimes seriously depressed people experience a rebound after beginning antidepressant medication and are at higher than usual risk for self-harm. When depressed people start a new medication, their energy level returns before they start feeling better and that is when they are in the danger zone. The problem is that doctors, counselors and pharmacists fail to educate patients and their families what the road to recovery entails. Almost always, these events are complex and multifaceted. In the end, we can better understand the contributors but never fully understand what was going through a person’s mind when things (like suicide) happen. It is also important that doctors, nurse practitioners or 14 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
physician assistants managing antidepressants for farm people ask questions about possible recent pesticide exposures and even take blood samples for analysis. Sometimes, antidepressant medications can actually worsen the condition if the depressed individual has been exposed to certain pesticides. Paul Gunderson, director of the Center for TechnologyOptimized Agriculture in North Dakota, strongly urges chemical applicators to minimize exposure to crop protection products by wearing nitrile gloves, goggles and aprons when mixing or handling products or adjusting spray nozzles. Applicators should use respirators when entering active spray paths and routinely wash hands. To ensure good respirator fit, rid faces of beards and don’t wear caps or long hair.
What helps us when we feel depressed? Behaviors that increase our own production of serotonin and norepinepherine, the essential body chemicals needed to “feel normal,” include: • Enjoyable physical work or play • Hearty laughter – watch a funny movie or read a joke book • Deep sleep with active dreaming • Meaningful prayer & meditation • Vigorous physical exercise • Talking to, writing, texting persons you trust • Intimacy with a loving partner • Receiving comforting touches • Interacting positively with pets The more we know about stress and depression, the better able we are to farm smarter and healthier. Dr. Rosmann is a psychologist and part-time farmer in Harlan, Iowa. He has dedicated his career to providing mental and behavioral health services to farmers and rural residents. He has written a syndicated column since 2012 and may be reached at email@example.com.
HELP ON THE LINE Georgia Crisis & Access Line 1-800-715-4225
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Provides suicide prevention/counseling, & access to emotional health & substance abuse services
24-hour crisis intervention.
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
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GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/15
The exhibit tour included previous stops in Thomaston and McRae-Helena. 16 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
KEMP & FARMERS CATCH UP By Jennifer Whittaker
Gov. Brian Kemp visited with farmers from Decatur and nearby counties Oct. 23 at the Cloud Livestock Facility in Bainbridge. Pictured from left, Gov. Kemp visits with Georgia Farm Bureau 9th Dist. Field Rep. Jeff Nunnery, Decatur County Farm Bureau Director Steve Brock and Decatur County Farm Bureau President Justin Long. DCFB hosted the meet & greet for Gov. Kemp and area farmers. Kemp told the group he continues to talk with President Trump about the
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
status of disaster aid farmers are waiting to receive to help alleviate losses from Hurricane Michael. “We haven’t forgotten y’all down here,” Kemp said. He reiterated his commitment to helping rural Georgia prosper while sharing his vision for bringing manufacturers and jobs to rural areas statewide. Kemp said the purpose of his Georgia Made Tour that kicked off this fall is to raise awareness around the state and the world that rural Georgia has
great resources for business. “We’re going to every region in the state to bring awareness to what’s already going on in communities across Georgia in terms of manufacturing and business,” Kemp said. Kemp told the group he is working on a plan to develop mega sites for new manufacturing plants in rural areas across Georgia that don’t have the resources to develop the sites to attract businesses themselves.
WWW.SFBLI.COM NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/17
Photo by Jay Stone
GFB President Gerald Long, second from right, joined the Georgia Ag Exposition Authority in celebrating 30 years of the Georgia National Fair. More photos at www.gfb.ag/30fairs
GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIR CELEBRATES 30 YEARS By Jennifer Whittaker
Since the Georgia National Fair opened its gates for the first time in October 1990, attending the fair has become a tradition for many families. Children born that year are now adults and took their families to the state fair in Perry as the ag extravaganza celebrated its 30th anniversary this fall. From Oct. 3 through 13, fairgoers turned out in force setting a new annual attendance record of 565,533. This broke the previous attendance record of 536,840 visitors set in 2016. “Georgia Farm Bureau has been a strong supporter of the Georgia National Fair and Agricenter from the start. Our members saw the need Georgia had for a modern facility where 4-H and FFA members could exhibit their livestock. Farm Bureau worked to secure state support for the fairgrounds,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “We’re so happy to see how the fair and agricenter continue to grow and fulfill its mission to educate consumers and youth about agriculture.” State leaders and members of Georgia's ag community marked the fair’s milestone during opening ceremonies on Oct. 3. “Our mission for the 30th anniversary fair was to offer something for everyone in the family to come and enjoy each and every day! We celebrate Georgia during 18 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
the fair. From our youth participating in agriculture competitions, to our dynamic family entertainment, we are all about tradition and quality of life in Georgia,” said GNF & Agricenter Executive Director Stephen Shimp. Gov. Brian Kemp shared memories of he and his wife, Marty, coming to the fair with their three daughters to compete in lamb shows. “Marty and I have spent many years in the barns with our kids showing lambs. It makes me feel good to see the kids out in the barn,” Kemp said. “We have so many things to be thankful for in our state and this is one of them.” Foster Rhodes, a 30-year member of the Agricultural Exposition Authority (AEA), which oversees the fairgrounds and agricenter, thanked the Georgia Legislature for its continued support of the fair and facility. “We’re very blessed to have a state legislature that supports our mission of educating and supporting youth programs through the fair and this facility,” said Rhodes, who chairs the AEA. Shimp recognized the GNFA’s four 30year employees: Pat Alligood, Cindy Bellew, George Neal and Richard Scuderi. Vendors who have participated in all 30 fairs were also honored. These include: Reithoffer Shows, Concessions by Cox,
Gabby’s, Granny's Apple Dumplings, the Honeybee Story, Perfection Confection, Robinson's Racing Pigs, and VFW Post 6126. Rhodes and Shimp both thanked the Perry City Council and Houston County Commissioners for purchasing the property where the GNFA is located and donating it to the state. “It was a really exciting time back then when we knew we had a chance to get it [the fairgrounds and agricenter],” recalled Ralph Gentry, who was a Perry City Council member in the late 1980s when the council and county commission bid to secure the facility. Gentry called Perry lawyer Tom Daniels a “driving force” and former Perry City Manager Marion Hayes “a big influencer” in securing the facility. And what does he think of what the fair and facility have become? “A lot of folks come here, not only for the fair but other events throughout the year. I never dreamed that it would grow this big and useful for all the kids in the state of Georgia. It’s become more than we ever realized it could be.” Fittingly, Gentry’s grandson, Philip Gentry, is the GNFA agricultural/youth livestock director, a position he’s held since June 2016. GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Banks County FFA member Payton Jackson, center, won the Grand Champion Market Doe Award at the Georgia National Fair. Georgia Farm Bureau Assistant Field Services Director Clay Talton, left, presents the $1,500 prize sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau to Jackson as Ga. Junior Livestock Foundation Director Chad Underwood presents the grand champion banner.
Jackson, Norton & Parker win state goat & lamb show Article & photos by Jay Stone
Payton Jackson of Banks County, Tanner Norton of Grady County and Garrett Parker of Lamar County won top honors in the 2019 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat and Lamb Shows, held Oct. 4-6 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry. Norton, showing as a 4-Her, won the Grand Champion Market Wether prize with his Boer cross on Oct. 4. Jackson, showing as an FFA member, won the Grand Champion Market Doe award on Oct. 5. Parker, showing as a 4-Her, won the Grand Champion Market Lamb title with his Hamp Cross lamb on Oct. 6 The market goat show attracted 387 4-H and FFA members who showed 646 animals in the market goat show. The market lamb show drew 159 exhibitors who showed 331 lambs. Norton, a freshman at Cairo High School, is the son of Clay and Cindy Norton and has shown livestock the past
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Grady County 4-Her Tanner Norton, center, won the Grand Champion Market Wether Award at the Georgia National Fair. Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, left, presents the $1,500 prize sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau to Norton as judge Steve Sturtz presents the grand champion banner.
Lamar County 4-Her Garrett Parker, center, won the Grand Champion Market Lamb Award at the Georgia National Fair. Georgia Farm Bureau Assistant Field Services Director Clay Talton, right, presents the $1,000 prize sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau to Parker as judge Jimmy Davis presents the grand champion banner.
nine years, including steers, heifers, pigs, lambs and sheep. This is his third grand championship; he won the grand champion market doe and market lamb prizes in 2018. Jackson, a junior at Banks County High School, is the daughter of Kipp and Laura Jackson. Payton has shown animals for 12 years, starting when she was four years old. She also shows pigs and cattle and has previously won this grand championship in 2014 and 2017. Parker, a senior at St. Georgeâ€™s Episcopal School in Milner, is the son of Lynn and Sean Parker. He has been showing livestock for 12 years. This was his first grand championship. Georgia Farm Bureau sponsored the cash prize for each grand champion. Georgia Farm Bureau is a premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter for the 2019/20 show season.
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/19
AG EDUCATION HATCHES IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS By Jennifer Whittaker
Lowndes County educator Stephanie Patterson teaches her students about chickens. Westside Elementary School is one of 26 schools across Georgia involved in a pilot program offering ag education classes to kindergarten through fifth graders. (Photo courtesy of Ga. Ag Education Program)
This school year, 26 Georgia elementary schools became the first in Georgia and the nation to formally offer their students ag education. The goal of the three-year pilot program is to introduce the amazing world of agriculture to kindergarten through fifthgrade students. “We are modeling the elementary ag education program after the threecomponent model that Georgia ag education follows in our middle and high school programs – classroom instruction, experiential learning and leadership development,” said Christa Steinkamp, Georgia Ag Education curriculum & technology director. She gave an update on the program at the Georgia Joint Agriculture Committee Chairmen Ag Issues Summit held Sept. 27 in Perry. The elementary students are learning how farmers grow our food, fiber for our clothes and trees for our homes. They’ll also learn about agricultural career opportunities and gaining leadership skills. In recent years, as school standards have become centered around science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), teachers have found that lesson plans with agriculture as a topic provide a natural avenue for teaching STEM skills. The lessons are easily paired with fun, hands-on activities that drive home the STEM facts students learn, such as the states of matter, graphing or math. In some schools, where arts are included (STEAM), students keep a journal to record what they observe as seeds they planted sprout or chicken eggs incubate, 20 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
then hatch. “Agriculture education has included STEM from the beginning with handson learning,” Steinkamp said. “Handson activities are what these elementary schools are most excited about.” The elementary ag education pilot program was created in 2018 when the Georgia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 330, “The Georgia Agricultural Education Act.” During the 2018-2019 school year, Steinkamp, with the direction of Billy Hughes, Georgia agricultural education program manager, and Dr. Barbara Wall, state director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education, led a committee comprised of six teachers and 13 representatives of different facets of Georgia’s ag community to develop ag education curriculum standards for each grade from kindergarten through fifth grade. The State Board of Education approved the standards in June. Steinkamp said the committee kept the standards broad so teachers can have flexibility to teach about agriculture in their local communities. The standards have been broken into four major areas: agricultural systems, foundations of agriculture, natural resource systems and leadership/career readiness. Subtopics that fall under agricultural systems include ag mechanics, plant science, animal science and food science. The foundations of agriculture covers Georgia ag production/commodities, Georgia ag regions, weather data, and the impact of ag. When teachers cover natural resource
systems, they may discuss soil, forestry, composting, alternative energy, recycling, the environment, conservation and alternative ag. Standards for leadership/ career readiness include soft skills like handshakes and making eye contact when speaking, careers, employability skills and exposure to leadership organizations like 4-H or FFA. FFA membership won’t be available to the elementary students because it begins in sixth grade, but they may be introduced to the organization through visits from older FFA students. Teachers pioneering these pilot programs are having to get creative to acquire classroom resources they need for their students, such as greenhouses, Steinkamp said. “I encourage members of Georgia’s ag community who live or work in a county with one of these elementary ag education programs to reach out to the ag ed teachers and offer resources teachers can use in their classrooms to help their students connect with agriculture accurately,” Steinkamp said. Counties with schools participating in the pilot program are: Appling, Banks, Barrow, Bibb, Brooks, Clayton, Colquitt, Decatur, Fulton, Grady, Harris, Irwin, Laurens, Lowndes, Montgomery, Morgan, Muscogee, Pickens, Pierce, Pike, Putnam, Walker and Wheeler. For a list of the schools in each county visit www.gfb. ag/gaagedpilotschools . The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is raising funds to support the schools in the pilot program. To make a donation, visit www.gfb.ag.GiveToGrow . GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
The driver of a Fendt tractor can control the tractor’s speed with the joystick on the left. Push forward to go faster, pull back to go slower.
FENDT TRACTORS BEEF UP DISTRIBUTION IN THE SOUTHEAST
Front view of Fendt 942 Gen 6. More show photos at www.gfb.ag/19SunbeltExpo
Articles & photos by Jay Stone Fendt tractors (the “d” is silent; rhymes with tent) have long been a staple on grain and livestock farms in Europe. They’ve been available in North America for more than 20 years, but the company is pushing to expand its presence in rowcrop operations in the Southeast. Fendt, owned by AGCO, made its debut at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in midOctober, displaying its 900 Gen 6 and 700 series tractors at the AGCO exhibit. AGCO, which is headquartered in Duluth, Ga., is expanding sales of Fendt tractors in Georgia through Atlantic & Southern Equipment, which will sell Fendt tractors from its Tifton location. AGCO purchased the German manufacturer in 1996 and began selling Fendt tractors in the U.S. in 1998. Because they were initially designed with grain crops in mind, Fendt's tractor wheel configuration did not translate well to the row crops grown in the Southeast. AGCO Product Marketing Specialist
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Daniel Smith said the 900 Gen 6 series is intended to overcome that and accommodate the row spacing commonly found in Southeastern row crops. “That’s not very common in Europe,” Smith said. “They do a lot of tram-lining, a lot of broad acre, wheat and barley, not as much corn. It’s definitely more of an American market to have 30-inch spaces.” In addition to the wheels, Smith said Fendt tractors have some other key features that could appeal to Southeastern farmers. First, there’s the suspension. There are independent suspension systems in the front axle, the cab and the seat, which Smith said makes for a smooth ride. Second, Fendt tractors have continuously variable transmission, which eliminates shifting gears. Instead, the operator adjusts speed by using a joystick: Push forward to increase speed;
pull back to reduce it. The transmission automatically transfers power between axles to minimize slip. Then there is FendtiD, a low-engine speed concept that manages engine RPMs according to task. “We’re not just hopping in the tractor and turning up the throttle to 2100 RPMs,” Smith said. “We’re actually tailoring that engine speed to what’s needed at that time.” These features combine to maximize fuel efficiency and extend the life of the tractor’s components, Smith said. Farmers can see demonstrations at Fendt dealers. The tractors are built to order at the company’s manufacturing facility in Marktoberdorf, in south Germany. Delivery time is between six and seven months, depending on where the customer is located. Smith said prices vary according to options chosen, but typically fall in the $1,000-perhorsepower range.
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/21
CONTINUED FROM PAGES 8 & 9
JIMMERSONS: DIVING IN WITH GRATITUDE Preston viewed the move as an adventure. He had married into a farm family also known for its commitment to the sport of diving. Rick’s father, Robert “Moose” Moss, started Moultrie’s renowned diving team. He built a diving facility on the farm, learned the sport and taught local youth. Though Preston didn’t grow up on a farm and had limited knowledge of farming, he jumped in with both feet. He and Kendall have continued kicking away from the side of the pool and been successful. Preston resigned his job as an insurance agent and began farming part-time with Rick in May 2010. Part-time, because both agreed Preston should study agriculture. He enrolled at ABAC and by 2012 had earned a bachelor’s degree in diversified agriculture. On Jan. 1, 2013, he took over the farm and Rick retired. The Jimmersons would rent the land from him, purchase all his equipment and assume all financial and operational risk for the 2,400-acre farm. “I give him all the credit in the world,” Preston said. “There’s hardly any operation that transitions the way we did. His mentality has always been that you can only have so many mouths eating out of the same pie. He knew that in order for us to be able to make it, to be able to invest in the farm and grow it, he had to be out.” So, the Jimmersons took out USDA loans and moved forward. Preston said he and Rick occasionally talk about farm topics, but conversations about crop decisions don’t happen. The Jimmersons, who started with 1,300 acres of cotton and 300 acres of peanuts in 2013, now produce approximately 1,600 acres of cotton, 475 acres of peanuts, 200 acres of corn and double-crop spring and fall cabbage on about 180 acres.
KINSAULS: PREPARING NEW FARMERS
She was active with Pike County Farm Bureau and credits it for showing her how to have an active YF&R Committee. “We’ve started YF&R groups in Walton and Morgan counties. We just found out we’re on the state YF&R Committee next year. We’re really excited. Hopefully, we’ll get to help other counties start up YF&R programs,” Rachel said. Growing up in Thomaston, Jason was three generations removed from the farm, but he’s always been drawn to nature. He was an active FFA member, serving as president of his FFA Chapter and as an area vice president. He began a lawn care business in high school and kept it going for a while after entering college. “I’d always enjoyed being outdoors, so I started looking at getting an ag or forestry degree. Agribusiness seemed a good fit because I had a business mind,” Jason said. The Kinsauls are using their jobs to help a new generation of farmers get started. Jason helped his company establish a loan program for young farmers that provides them with the financing they need and pairs them with older farmers, accountants and lawyers to 22 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
coach them in making crucial business decisions. “If a young producer is going to be successful, he’s got to have a group to fall back on. He can’t do it on his own,” Jason said. “Having a support group is just as important as having capital.” Rachel does her part to develop the next generation of producers by pairing students who want to farm with farmers. The students get experience farming while the farmers get needed labor. The Kinsauls have bought part of her paternal grandfather, Lamar Patrick’s, farm and have a growing goat herd to maintain the pastures. Their five-year plan is to start a cattle herd.
MARCHANT: CREATING AG ADVOCATES to take over the farm, teaching agriculture and helping kids find their place seemed like a good fit.” After graduating from UGA, Marchant has taught ag at Morgan County High School since the fall of 2012. Her teaching partner happens to be Rachel Kinsaul. As ag teachers, Marchant and Kinsaul are ex officio members of the Morgan County Farm Bureau Board of Directors. The two have worked together to build the county’s YF&R program. She says her competitive nature and interest in ag issues motivated her to compete in the discussion meet. “I enjoy researching the topics and giving some thought to them and discussing them,” Marchant said. “I feel the discussion meet topics are always relevant to what’s happening in agriculture in a given year.” Different contestants have different approaches to competing in the event, Marchant has observed. “Some people come in with lots of facts and figures. To me, the whole point of the discussion meet is to build off of each other’s ideas,” Marchant reflected. “You need to be open to what other people are saying. I try not to get too caught up in ‘This is what I want to talk about.’ It’s more building a knowledge base of the topics we will be discussing.” To build her knowledge base, Marchant reads a lot and talks to people she knows in agriculture who have experience with the topics. “If you can speak knowledgeably about the discussion meet topics you will be better prepared to advocate for agriculture and the problems farmers are facing,” Marchant says. When Marchant faces competitors from across the country at the American Farm Bureau convention in January, she’ll be answering the same questions Georgia’s contestants addressed in July. You can read the discussion meet topics at www.gfb. ag/19DMtopics . Marchant and her husband, Kaleb, live in Winterville, where he manages the beef and sheep unit of the UGA Double Bridges Farm. They welcomed their first child, son Bodie, in September.
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
GEORGIA’S LATEST CENTENNIAL FARMS INDUCTED
2019 CENTENNIAL FARMS
Photo courtesy of Ga. DNR Historic Preservation Division
Centennial Farm Award LAMB FAMILY FARM Candler County
Centennial Family Farm Award CHAMBERS FAMILY FARM Banks County BENJAMIN, DAVID & ANNIE BRANNEN NESSMITH FAMILY FARM Bulloch County
The 2019 recipients of the Georgia Centennial Farm Awards. Georgia Farm Bureau has been a sponsor of this award since the program began in 1993.
Seventeen family farms were honored during the annual Georgia Centennial Farm Awards Ceremony held Oct. 4 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry. Farm owners and their historic properties were recognized in an event hosted by the Georgia Historic Preservation Division, Georgia Farm Bureau Federation, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia EMC, Georgia Forestry Commission, and Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter. All farms recognized have continuously operated for 100 years or more. The Georgia Centennial Farm Program has recognized more
than 565 farms since its inception in 1993. Farms may be recognized with one of three awards. 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 (NRHP). The Centennial Family Farm Award recognizes farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are not listed in the NRHP. The Centennial Farm Award does not require continual family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the NRHP.
INTERESTED IN NOMINATING A FARM? Farm owners interested in nominating a farm for recognition in 2020 should visit www.georgiacentennialfarms.org to download an application or contact Allison Asbrock at 770-389-7868 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The postmark deadline for applications is May 1 each year.
BELL PLANTATION Calhoun County EDWARDS FAMILY FARM Cherokee County W.T. WILLIS HOMEPLACE Colquitt County MOSS FARMS INC. Colquitt County W.P. SLOAN, SR. FARM Colquitt County FORT PADGETT Cook County BLEVINS FARM Dade County GAINES PLACE/EAVENSON’S FARM Elbert County GREEN-PETTIT FAMILY FARM Hall County PRETTY POND PLANTATION, INC. Mitchell County THOMPSON FARMS Richmond County MAYO CATTLE COMPANY Stewart County JIMMY F. DANIELS FARM Sumter County WILEY FARM Walton County
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/23
USDA establishes interim final rule for hemp production On Oct. 29, the USDA announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. This program, as required by the 2018 farm bill, creates a consistent regulatory framework around hemp production throughout the United States. The USDA’s interim final rule formalizing the program was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 31. The rule allows hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans and makes hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs. The rule includes provisions for the USDA to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and licensing requirements. It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan. The interim final rule became effective upon publication in the Federal Register. The USDA is accepting public comment on the interim rule and the information collection burden. The interim final rule is posted on USDA’s website. The USDA also developed guidelines for sampling and
testing procedures that are being issued concurrently with this rule. These documents, which can be viewed at www.gfb.ag/ usdahempguidelines110619, provide additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories. More information about the provisions of the interim final rule along with a webinar is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program web page at www.ams.usda.gov/rulesregulations/hemp. Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. For information on available programs, visit www.farmers.gov/hemp. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) submitted its plan for review on July 10 and is reviewing the USDA proposed rule to amend the Georgia plan to comply with the federal rule. Once approved, the GDA will propose a final state rule that complies with U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and the Georgia Hemp Farming Act. Following a 30-day comment period, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, Georgia’s rule will be finalized after posting final notice for 20 days with the Georgia Secretary of State.
CONTINUED FROM PG. 9 CONTINUED FROM PG. 11 walls of a chicken house,” said Perdue Farms Chairman and Advertising Spokesman Jim Perdue after touring the learning center. “I think it’s a great effort to increase transparency. We’d like to see more of this.” Mike Giles, president of the Georgia Poultry Federation, commended the Cooleys and Perdue Farms on the project. “The Cooleys didn’t have to do this. They could have just continued to raise poultry and cattle on the privacy of their farm. I applaud them and Perdue Farms for their leadership,” Giles said. “I think this learning center will have a tremendous impact of people’s understanding of how chickens are raised.”
Visits to Cooley Farms are by appointment. To schedule a visit , email Terri at cooleyfarms@gmail. com or call her at 478-957-3296.
24 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
PRIDGEN: PITCHING THE POSITIVES OF AG
That summer he began working with Crosby Equipment Company in Douglas, continuing until earlier this year, when he joined the family farm full-time, helping his father, Jeffrey, and uncles Derek and Marshall. As a group they have 23 poultry houses (11 belong to Jeffrey and Walt, his uncles have six each). Jeffrey and Walt maintain a herd of about 200 cattle and grow hay on 200 acres. “It’s a good family situation where the brothers get along and don’t mind helping,” Walt said. “We’ve been blessed in that sense. A lot of families that probably farm the way we farm don’t get along well enough to help with anything.” The Member of the Year Award, voted on by attendees at the GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Summer Leadership Conference in July, is intended to recognize young farmers who encourage their peers and work in the community to promote agriculture. Pridgen, who chairs the Coffee County Farm Bureau YF&R Committee and regularly talks ag with local residents
and students, said he realized a need for advancing public awareness of agriculture when he was at ABAC, where some students were unaware of the origins of their food. “Probably the biggest thing I learned at ABAC was how to deal with people, how to communicate with people, how to get along with people,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’m a people person, but I am now more than I was then. The dealing with people part of everything and probably the business classes I took, I use that stuff every day.” Pridgen was part of a group of ag students who launched ABAC’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Chapter affiliated with Georgia Farm Bureau. “What got me started on it was sending a positive message about farming: This is why we farm. This is how we farm. This is where your food comes from, and this is why you need to know where your food comes from. People just don’t know,” Pridgen said. Now, he’s comfortable telling them. GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Motorists, farmers urged to be cautious on road
When it comes to driving farm equipment on the highway, leaders from Georgia Farm Bureau, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) and the Georgia Department of Agriculture have a simple message: Be the right kind of highway statistic. That statistic? Zero. As in, zero accidents between vehicles and farm equipment on the roads. “It is a tough goal. We’re talking about agricultural equipment that has enormous size and not exactly the same speed as some of those that are out here on our rural roads traveling,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said. Even close calls are eye-opening. Colquitt County Farm Bureau member Jody Redding vividly remembers driving his tractor across a bridge last fall, a seed drill in tow, when a tractortrailer rig rapidly approached from the other direction. “I didn’t think it was going to be able to stop in time,” said Redding, a field representative for Sen. Johnny Isakson. “I couldn’t have put my boot between my front tire and his front tire. The episode I had, I don’t ever want to have that again. It was just too close for comfort.” Too many times slow-moving farm vehicles end up in crashes with faster vehicles. Between 2014 and 2018, there were nearly 2,200 crashes in Georgia involving farm or construction vehicles, according to the GOHS. In those accidents, 28 people died and 875 were injured.
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
The GOHS, Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) held a press conference Oct. 15 at Sunbelt Expo. They urged motorists and farmers to exercise vigilance on the road, particularly during harvest, when more farm vehicles must use roads to move between fields. GFB President Gerald Long noted the margin for error on the road has diminished. “In many cases, the roads are the same size as they’ve always been,” Long said. “Our farm equipment has gotten much bigger.” Long encouraged farmers to develop relationships with their local law enforcement and ask for police escorts when they must drive their farm equipment on the roads. The GOHS and Department of Agriculture are pushing for increased road awareness with their “Increase Our Yield Behind the Wheel” campaign.
Drivers are encouraged to reduce speed when approaching farm vehicles on the road and only pass in designated passing zones. “Too many people like to speed and drive distracted in rural areas because there are generally fewer vehicles traveling on these roads,” said Allen Poole, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “But rural roads are where our farmers work, and drivers need to obey the speed limit and watch the road so they can slow down and safely pass these vehicles.” Farmers should make sure their vehicles are properly marked and all safety equipment is working properly before getting on the road. Georgia law requires all farm equipment on the road to have orange triangle-shaped signs. These signs signify that the equipment is traveling at a speed that is significantly slower than the normal flow of traffic.
NO! Digging can be just as dangerous. Contact 811 before you dig to have utility lines marked
AND help protect yourself from injury and expense. Log on to Georgia811.com or simply dial 811 at least 2 business days before you begin your project.
Before you dig...
Photo by Jay Stone
By Jay Stone
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/25
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. Join the group to get county news as it happens!
Banks County Farm Bureau Program Specialist Julie Jackson joined Dr. Wendy Fuschetti's students at Banks County Elementary in participating in the Great Georgia Pollinator Census on Aug. 23. After hearing a presentation from Broad River Conservation District program specialists about pollinators and how they help crops grow, the students visited the school’s pumpkin patch to photograph the various types and count pollinators in their area. The students used their photos and an identification guide to classify local pollinators and submitted their data to the state pollinator census.
Brooks County Farm Bureau supported its farmer members during harvest season by preparing & delivering nearly 100 sack lunches filled with local BBQ donated by Thompson Farms, peanuts, chips and drinks to farmers and their crews. BCFB Training Agent J.W. Snow, right, delivers a lunch to BCFB member Clint Wortman. BCFB YFR Chairman Abby Thompson & BCFB staff Jennifer Hayes and Robbie Hiers made the sandwiches and packed the lunches. BCFB staff Alan Wheeler and J.W. Snow delivered the lunches along with BCFB Director Ryan Bruce and GFB 9th Dist. Field Rep. Jeff Nunnery.
BURKE & RICHMOND COUNTIES
programs and talked to festival attendees about member benefits. Blanchard Equipment Company, owned by BCFB members, displayed a tractor at the festival to let kids and their parents explore.
To celebrate National Read A Book Day, Sept. 6, Coffee County Farm Bureau sent four representatives to different schools. CCFB Young Farmer & Rancher Junior Board member Leana Atkinson, pictured, read "Bee & Me" to kindergarten students at Indian Creek Elementary. CCFB Junior Board member Cody Beasley read "Honey Bee Charlie" to kindergarten students at Citizens Christian Academy while Junior Board member Kara Morgan read "Emmy of Whistling Well Farm" to pre-k students at Citizens Christian Academy. CCFB Office Manager Carla Palmer read "Where Did My Clothes Come From" to first graders at First Academy.
BURKE & RICHMOND COUNTIES-----------------------------
Effingham County Farm Bureau has visited multiple schools to conduct Ag in the Classroom lessons and participated in community events to educate students and consumers about agriculture. During a lesson on Native Americans at Sand Hill Elementary, ECFB Office Manager/ Program Coordinator Theresa Pevey read the book “Corn is Maize,” then showed the students how to finger paint Indian corn.
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GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Burke and Richmond County Farm Bureaus participated in the Annual Waynesboro Farm Fest held by the local Shrine Club Sept. 14. Representatives of the two Farm Bureaus handed out bags full of information about Georgia Farm Bureau's ag
Congratulations to Stephanie Adamek for receiving the Fayette County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee 2019 Farmer of the Year Award! FCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Debi Creel presents the award to Stephanie, who farms with her parents, Rick & Joanne Minter, raising vegetables and Christmas trees at Inman Farm. Every September the family hosts its annual Inman Farm Heritage Days.
Thanks to the Upson, Pike & Lamar County Farm Bureaus, 50 kids from the area enjoyed an Ag Vacation Day in July at the Upson-Lee High School Ag Barn. Children from 7 to 14 years learned safety precautions for farm equipment, tools and wildlife. They also learned how farmers raise pigs, cattle and chickens and the various products made from these animals. Natural Resource Conservation Service staff taught the kids about soil health while Cooperative Extension staff showed the kids how plants are transplanted. During hands-on activities, the kids made a variety of items that they took home as a reminder of what they learned.
JEFF DAVIS COUNTY---------------------------------------------------
Students at the Jeff Davis Primary and Elementary Schools are becoming chicken farmers thanks to Jeff Davis County Farm Bureau! JDCFB leaders check out the chicken coop they donated to the primary school funded mostly with a grant from the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture. The county Farm Bureau paid for the elementary school’s coop itself. JDCFB members Brad Mason and Daniel McCall, not pictured, built both coops. JDCFB gave each school an incubator, which school leaders placed in a common area at the beginning of the school year so all students could observe the eggs hatch and watch the chicks grow large enough to be placed in a chicken coop. As the chicks became large enough to move into the coops, students are learning about the chores, such as feeding and watering, that go along with raising Tolbunt Polish laying chickens.
LAMAR, PIKE & UPSON COUNTIES---------------------------
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Lee County Farm Bureau provided two of the educational stations for a Farm Day held for nine classes of kindergarten students at a local primary school. Pictured from left, LCFB Director Rodney Harrell and his wife, Jill, taught the students about the crops they grow on their farm including cotton, peanuts,corn, wheat and watermelons. At right is LCFB member and kindergarten teacher Shelly Harrell, not related, who organized the event. Office Manager Susie Short manned a chicken station where she read “Chickens Fly the Coop!” and displayed live chickens and a carton of eggs.
Pickens County Farm Bureau volunteer Myra Douglas read “Who Grew My Soup” to second grade students at Hill City Elementary for National Read a Book Day. The students were introduced to various vegetables and herbs used to make soup such as tomatoes, potatoes and okra along with common fruit they eat like bananas and apples.
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/27
AG IN THE CLASSROOM UPDATE Reading makes a difference!
Almost 75 county Farm Bureaus participated in National Read A Book Day, Sept. 6, by going to local schools to read their choice of accurate ag books. County Farm Bureau volunteers and staff visited about 530 classrooms reaching an
estimated 12,000 students statewide. The Pulaski County Farm Bureau team used zone coverage to prevent students at Pulaski County Elementary School from having misconceptions about agriculture. PCFB President Christopher Martin, pictured, read “John Deere, That’s Who!” to the third-grade classes. PCFB Customer Service Rep. Sherry Brown read “Hi, I’m Billy Blueberry. This is My Story” to the kindergarten classes, then talked to the students about growing blueberries while they taste-tested the fruit. PCFB Agency Manager Bonnie Whiggum read “Can-Do Cow Kids” to the first-grade classes. PCFB Office Manager Layla Aldaco read “Emmy of Whistling Well Farm,” which describes life on an apple farm, to the secondgrade students and let them sample apples.
GFB MIDDLE SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST
• Open to 6th, 7th & 8th graders (homeschool, private or public), previous state winners not eligible to enter • Essay topic is “Describe the relationship between farmers & natural resources.” • Contact your county Farm Bureau for contest details, deadline & to enter
• 10 District winners will receive $100 each and state winner will receive an additional $150
GFB HIGH SCHOOL ART CONTEST
• Open to students in 9th through 12th grades (homeschool, private or public), previous state winners not eligible to enter • Contact your county Farm Bureau for contest details, deadline & to enter • 10 District winners will receive $100 each; 2 state runners-up receive bonus $150; state winner an extra $150
EDUCATING TEACHERS ABOUT AG These Stephens County teachers were among the 125 teachers across Georgia who had the chance to attend Ag Educator Workshops hosted by six county Farm Bureaus this fall. The workshops introduced the teachers to the Ag in the Classroom program and showed them how wellsuited agriculture-themed lessons are for meeting mandated curriculum and 28 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019
sparking kids’ interest with hands-on activities. Thanks to Berrien, Habersham, Hall and Walker counties for hosting workshops along with Banks, Franklin and Stephens counties hosting a joint one. After the class portion of the workshop, the teachers toured local farms or had a virtual tour of a farm when weather prevented a field trip.
Georgia Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Lauren Goble may be reached at ldgoble@ gfb.org or 478-474-0679, ext. 5135 with questions about the overall program. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you’d like to volunteer with their Ag in the Classroom program. GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
Baucom leading Ga. Foundation for Agriculture
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture has named Lily R. Baucom as its executive director. “We are fortunate to have Lily bring her talents to the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, who also serves as the chairman of the foundation board. “We’re proud of what the foundation has done, and we’re excited to see where Lily takes it moving forward.” The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, formerly the GFB Foundation for Agriculture, supports agricultural literacy projects and helps fund educational opportunities for students pursuing agricultural and related degrees, as well as helping to meet other needs in the farm community. “I think with Georgia Farm Bureau’s connections
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throughout the state, it presents a unique opportunity to do something that no other non-profits or foundations are doing throughout the state,” Baucom said. An Atlanta native, Baucom earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. She joins the foundation after working four years at Common Market Georgia. She was the organization’s executive director the last two years. Common Market Georgia is a non-profit wholesale logistics operation that connects family farmers with institutional customers throughout Georgia and Alabama. “The work that the foundation has been involved in previously, scholarships and Ag in the Classroom, are tremendously important to encouraging young children and young adults to pursue agricultural careers,” Baucom said. “That’s something that I think is extremely vital to the longevity of farming in the state. We need to be investing in supporting and getting younger kids interested in the future of farming.” Baucom is married to Billy Baucom, an attorney with Troutman Sanders in Atlanta. Help grow Georgia’s greater agricultural community by making a donation to the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture. For more information, visit www.gfbfoundation.org.
GFB News Alert is now GFB Field Notes Georgia Farm Bureau’s agricultural bimonthly electronic newsletter, formerly known as GFB News Alert, began publishing as GFB Field Notes in July. We think the new name better represents our coverage of stories important to Georgia’s ag community. The newsletter has also been redesigned to improve reader experience on mobile devices. • Free, bimonthly newsletter emailed to subscribers • Available to anyone • Current news about Georgia commodities & legislative issues • Updates on GFB programs & member benefits • Calendar of Georgia ag events Visit www.gfb.ag/fieldnotes to subscribe.
P.O. Box 190 • Brooks, GA 30205
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/29
GEORGIA FOUNDATION FOR AG OFFERS $65,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS March 1, 2020, deadline to apply The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, formerly the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, is committed to investing in students pursuing careers in agriculture or a related field. For 2020, the foundation is offering scholarships for graduating high school seniors, rising college juniors and seniors, technical college students and UGA College of
Veterinary Medicine students specializing in large/food animals. Visit www.gfb.ag/scholarships for a list of eligible majors/ schools, application instructions and to apply. Applications must be submitted online by March 1. Transcripts and letters of recommendation must be uploaded into the application.
The four scholarship categories the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is offering are:
SCHOLARSHIP FOR AGRICULTURE
Seven scholarships of $3,000 & seven scholarships of $1,500 are available. Applicants must: • Be a Georgia resident • Be a graduating high school senior • During the 2020-21 academic year, enroll in a unit of The University System of Georgia, Berry College, Emmanuel College or any accredited college/university in Georgia with an ag program. • Pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural & environmental sciences, family & consumer sciences or a related ag field. • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA • Be engaged in high school leadership activities
RISING COLLEGE JR./SR. SCHOLARSHIP FOR AGRICULTURE
10 scholarships of $2,000 are available. Applicants must: • Be a Georgia resident majoring in agricultural & environmental sciences, family & consumer sciences or a related ag field • Be a sophomore or junior with at least two semesters remaining to receive undergraduate degree at a unit of The University System of Georgia, Berry College, Emmanuel College or any accredited college/university in Georgia with an ag program • Be engaged in college leadership activities • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
TECHNICAL COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP FOR AGRICULTURE
Five $1,500 scholarships are available. Applicants must: • Be a Georgia resident • Be enrolled in a Georgia accredited technical college during the 2020-21 academic year • Major in an area of study related to agriculture Examples of eligible majors at www.gfb.ag/ techschoolmajors • Have a minimum 2.8 GPA
UGA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE SCHOLARSHIP
Three $2,000 scholarships are available. Applicants must: • Be a Georgia resident • Be a current University of Georgia veterinary medicine student specializing in large animal/food animal practice • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
Questions about the scholarships should be directed to Lily Baucom at email@example.com or 478-405-3461.
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GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY TO DRIVE AG ACROSS GEORGIA The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau, is working to make members’ vision of having a Mobile Ag Classroom a reality. This innovative, technology-based mobile classroom will drive agriculture across Georgia while educating young people about the importance of Georgia agriculture. The mobile unit is under contract now in the design/ building stage and is scheduled to be unveiled at the 2020 GFB Convention. While GFB is excited to design and launch the mobile classroom, it needs the support of Georgia’s agriculture community to fund the classroom’s ongoing operation. The goal is to keep the truck running across Georgia to reach elementary age children in their own communities. If you want to see the Mobile Ag Classroom travel across Georgia, consider supporting the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture. Together we can teach young people about Georgia agriculture. Please visit www.gafoundationag.org/donate.html
to make a donation. For more information, you may also contact Lily Baucom, executive director of the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-405-3461.
Photo by Logan Thomas
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU NEWS
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019/31
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2019 November-December GFB News