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November 1, 2017

Vol. 35 No. 22


Farmers in the Flint and Suwanee River Basins who have a permitted water withdrawal on their land issued before Dec. 31, 2002, should receive a state-funded water meter within the next three years. This comes as part of an expanded focus Georgia is putting on the state’s ag water metering program to strengthen data collection efforts related to ag water use. Under the ag water metering program, which was established by HB 579 in 2003, ag water withdrawal permits issued before Dec. 31, 2002, are eligible for state-funded meters. Farmers with water permits issued after 2002 are required to purchase and install a meter at their own expense. Earlier this year, the Agriculture Permitting Compliance Task Force, which Gov. Deal established in October 2016, recommended that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division develop a plan to install meters on permitted water withdrawal points eligible for a state meter in the Flint and Suwanee River Basins to obtain accurate data about ag’s water use. Agriculture is The next issue of represented on this council by Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long, GFB News Alert GFB 9th District Director Lucius Adkins, Casey Cox, executive director of comes out the Flint River Soil & Water Conservation District and Georgia Association November 15. of Conservation Districts, UGA Stripling Irrigation Research Park Superintendent Calvin Perry, and Dr. Gary Hawkins, UGA Water Resource Management & Policy Specialist. Deal gave the Georgia Environmental Protection Division responsibility for overseeing the ag metering program previously administered by the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission on Dec. 1, 2016. In June, Deal announced a $10.5 million investment in the state water metering program from OneGeorgia funds. “The reason we’re doing this is so we can continue the state’s efforts of ag water data collection that has been ongoing since 2004,” explained EPD Agriculture Water Project Manager Marjie Dickey. “While Georgia is confident in its understanding of ag water use and the implementation of conservation efforts, the data collected from these meters will provide an additional layer of information useful for water planning in the future.” EPD records show there are 5,640 withdrawal points due a state-funded meter in the Flint and Suwanee Basins. The Flint River Basin covers all or part of 42 counties while the Suwanee River Basin covers all or part of 20 counties. EPD has developed a three-wave approach over the next three years to install the meters in these -continued

GFB News Alert page 2 of 13 Continued from previous page two basins. The first wave, known as the pilot wave, is focusing on placing “easy install” meters in these 16 counties: Brooks, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Dooly, Irwin, Lee, Macon, Randolph, Sumter, Terrell, Tift, Turner Webster, Wilcox and Worth. “An easy install means meter installers don’t have to dig up concrete or replumb irrigation water delivery infrastructure in any way. They can cut the pipe and drop the meter in and it’s installed,” Dickey said. “We’re focusing on easy installs first due to the time and money involved with more complicated installs that might require machinery to be taken out to the site location.” The EPD has contracted with the Georgia Rural Water Association (GRWA) to serve as the general contractor of the pilot wave from Oct. 1 until March 31, 2018. GRWA has subcontracted with Shoemaker Irrigation, LLC based in Athens to install the meters. Installation of the first meters began Oct. 30 in Turner County, Dickey said. McCrometer meters are being installed at all the sites for data uniformity. The GRWA has subcontracted the Georgia Water Planning & Policy Center at Albany State University to conduct the site assessments being done to determine the water withdrawal points that need meters and the prep work that must be done at each site to install a meter. “We’ve been out in the field for six or seven weeks, and we’ve completed a lot of assessments,” said GWPPC Director Mark Masters on Oct. 18. “Farmers understand the importance of good data and we certainly appreciate the support we’ve received from landowners in the target counties in getting these assessments done efficiently.” Masters said the assessments involve locating the source of water for each permit, recording whether the water source is ground or surface water, and the type of pipe in which the meter will be installed along with other data needed to order and install the meter. The GWPPC is also mapping the acreage served by the permit source. The EPD will notify landowners with water permits via mail if a meter(s) will be installed on their property. Shoemaker Irrigation is also notifying affected permit holders of their respective planned installation date prior to installation. The Georgia Forestry Commission will continue its contract to read water meters in the Flint and Suwanee River Basins beginning Nov. 1. EPD’s ag metering team will be reading meters in all other river basins across the state, Dickey said. Georgia House Bill 579 protects the agricultural water use information of an individual permit holder from being released, Dickey said, however the EPD can release basin-wide use information. “Installing these meters is important because it will allow Georgia to continue to validate that Georgia’s farmers are efficient water users and are operating with conservation-based water use practices,” Dickey said. “We must continue to advance this initiative for data collection on water use to show the real use of agricultural irrigated farmland.”

GFB News Alert page 3 of 13 FARM BILL SAFETY NET ENROLLMENT OPEN FOR 2018 CROP YEAR Farmers and ranchers with base acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs may now enroll for the 2018 crop year, the USDA announced on Oct. 30. The enrollment period will end on Aug. 1, 2018. The growers on a farm that are not enrolled for the 2018 enrollment period will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2018 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Farmers who made elections in previous years must still enroll during the 2018 enrollment period. The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity. For more details regarding these programs, go to For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their local FSA office. USDA CHANGES SEG 2 PEANUT GRADING REQUIREMENTS The USDA has revised the Minimum Quality and Handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. This rule implements a recommendation from the Peanut Standards Board (PSB) to raise the grading score used to classify farmer stock peanuts as Segregation 2 from 2.49 percent damaged kernels to 3.49 percent damaged kernels. The PSB, which is comprised of U.S. peanut producers and industry representatives, recommended the change in September 2016 to bring the grading scores that were left over from the old peanut quota program in line with changes made to the peanut program in the 2002 farm bill. Georgia Farm Bureau, along with eight other peanut stakeholder organizations, asked the PSB to make the change in July 2016. “We’re pleased that the USDA accepted the board’s recommendation to adjust the percentage used to grade farmer stock peanuts as Segregation 2,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long said. “Under these requirements, farmers will receive a more accurate value when their peanuts are graded Segregation 2.” The board requested the change to reduce farmers’ financial risk. Segregation 2 peanuts usually account for less than 1 percent of the U.S. peanut crop, but an individual grower who has his entire crop graded Segregation 2 could face financial ruin. The loan value for Segregation 2 peanuts is typically about $200 a ton less than for Segregation 1 peanuts. Using new technology, damaged peanuts can be conditioned and resold at market value without affecting quality of nuts delivered to customers. “A farmer having a majority of their crop graded as Segregation 2 is an economic devastation which could lead to bankruptcy, while the true value seems to be significantly higher," Georgia Peanut Commission Chairman Armond Morris said. The notice announcing the changes was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 20, 2017. The rule will be effective Feb. 1, 2018, in order for the change to be implemented for the next crop year.

GFB News Alert page 4 of 13 GFB PRESENTS GRAND PRIZES FOR JR. NATIONAL GOAT AND LAMB WINNERS The hard work Victoria Barber, Payton Jackson and Shelby Stephenson put into preparing their goats and lamb for the 2017 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat & Lamb Shows paid off as each walked out of the ring as grand champion winners. The shows, held Oct. 6-8 during the Georgia National Fair (GNF) in Perry, attracted 156 students who showed 341 lambs in the market lamb show and 517 students who showed 384 wethers (castrated male goat) and 582 does (female goat) in the market goat show. Barber won the grand champion market lamb award of $1,000. Jackson captured the grand champion market doe award of $1,500, and Stephenson took home the grand champion market wether award of $1,500. The Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture sponsored the grand champion prizes for these three shows that are part of the State 4H & FFA Georgia Junior National Livestock Show program. Georgia Farm Bureau is serving as the premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter for the 20172018 season and as such sponsored many other prizes given to participants in the GNF livestock shows. Barber, a member of the Colquitt County FFA, is the daughter of Cecil and Celina Barber of Moultrie. A junior at Colquitt County High School, she has shown lambs for seven years. Barber originally wanted a horse, but since she lives in town she found showing sheep to be more practical and found a barn near her house to board her sheep. “I get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to work my animals – to practice showing them,” Barber said. “I live in South Georgia and it’s just so hot in the afternoon, so we know if we go in the morning it’ll be a lot better for us and the animals.” Jackson, a member of the Banks County Middle School FFA, is the daughter of Kipp and Lara Jackson of Commerce. A freshman, Jackson has been showing for 10 years and previously won this award in 2014. “I like the friendships you get to make around the state,” Jackson answered when asked what she likes most about showing. Her workout regimen for producing a grand champion goat includes practicing bracing her goat for 20 minutes combined with six minutes of walking the goat on a treadmill. Bracing is positioning an animal to showcase its overall form and muscles. Stephenson, the daughter of Shane and Christy Stephenson of Jasper, is a junior at Pickens County High School and a member of the Pickens FFA. This is her second year showing goats. ‘I worked him every single day since May walking him and bracing him,” Stephenson said. “The thing I like most about showing is being around my family and friends and being in an amazing industry that teaches you about life.”

GFB News Alert page 5 of 13 NON-PROFIT GROUP OFFERS SMALL FARMERS WHOLESALE OPPORTUNITY You’re a small farmer. You’ve fine-tuned your production and sold directly to the public through roadside stands or farmers markets. You like the results you’ve gotten – or maybe you don’t – and you want to expand. The next phase could be selling to wholesalers, which comes with a new set of challenges: Do you have packaging and labeling capability? How are you going to get your products from your farm to the distributor? And, perhaps most important, if these things require change on your farm, how are you going to pay for it? Enter Common Market Georgia (CMG), a non-profit food distributor designed to soften the financial blow small farmers face when getting into the business of selling to wholesalers while giving wholesale customers access to more locally grown food. “Part of what we’re trying to do in the food system promotion is work with our small family farmers to help them understand the kind of quality and food safety standards,” said Lily Rolader, who was named CMG director in July. CMG, which opened in 2016, currently contracts with about three dozen farmers, all of whom are within 250 miles of the organization’s headquarters in East Point, on the south side of Atlanta. About two dozen supply CMG with produce. The rest provide value-added products. The group has a produce cooler and distributes produce and eggs to institutional customers in metro Atlanta. They sell to colleges and universities, corporate cafeterias, childcare and elder care facilities, hospitals, schools, restaurants and retailers. “Being a non-profit, having a lower price point, a lower markup for us, helps them get a better price point and helps them enter into a wholesale market with an easy transition,” said CMG Procurement Manager Katie Chatham. “It allows them to have some of that infrastructure and logistics help they would need in order to reach a wholesale market that they haven’t had access to before.” The organization works with farms ranging in size from six acres to around 1,000 acres, with varying access to equipment and labor. Rolader said the organization has approximately 90 wholesale customers, including Georgia Tech, Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and there is enough demand that more farmers are needed. The organization assesses interested farmers’ capabilities and conducts what Chatham calls “wholesale readiness training,” which informs the farmers on the distributor’s needs – ranging from food safety topics to packaging and logistics, as well as information a distributor would need about the farm’s products in order to get it to customers. Rolader said that in addition to the higher prices farmers receive for their products, they also have the benefit of consistent cash flow. CMG arranges for pickups once or twice a week depending on the product and customer demand. Chatham regularly communicates with farmers to maintain a knowledge of what they have available. Common Market started in 2008 in Philadelphia, where Common Market Mid-Atlantic serves metro areas between Philadelphia and New York. A Common Market location in Texas is scheduled to open in 2018. The group is pursuing a third-party Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Level 2 audit, which would allow it to distribute to grocery stores. CMG requires its farmers to have a $1 million liability insurance policy and to submit a W-9 form. They also need to acquire food safety certification if they don’t have it and an organic certificate if applicable. For more information on Common Market Georgia visit or call 678-343-952.

GFB News Alert page 6 of 13 GPC TAKING NOMINATIONS FOR OUTSTANDING YOUNG PEANUT FARMER Nominations are now open for the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer. The state winner will be announced at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show on Jan. 18, 2018, in Tifton. The award is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) and BASF. The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award is based on the applicant’s overall farm operation, environmental and stewardship practices, and leadership, civic, church, and community service activities. “We have so many young peanut farmers making a difference in their communities and I consider this award program a great opportunity to recognize one young peanut farmer for their contributions to the agricultural industry,” GPC Chairman Armond Morris said. The award is open to any active Georgia peanut farmer who is not over 45 years of age as of Jan. 18, 2018. An individual may receive the award only once. There is no limit on the number of applicants from each county in Georgia. Applications are due to the GPC office by Friday, Dec. 15. The award application is available online at or by contacting Joy Crosby at 229-386-3690 or Previous Georgia winners include Brandon Branch of Baxley, Trey Dunaway of Hawkinsville, Andrew Grimes of Tifton, Randy Branch of Baxley, James Hitchcock Jr. of Tennille, Brad Thompson of Donalsonville, Greg Mims of Donalsonville, Jim Waters of Blackshear and Jimmy Webb of Leary. The award winner receives registration and hotel accommodations to attend the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July and a sign to display at his or her farm. GEORGIA STUDENTS SHINE AT NATIONAL FFA CONVENTION Ian Bennett of Lowndes County was named National FFA Southern Region Vice President and students from Georgia claimed top spots in numerous national FFA events during the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo, held Oct. 25-28 in Indianapolis. Bennett is a student at UGA majoring in agriscience and environmental systems – plant breeding and genetics. Georgia chapters claimed first place in eight agriscience events. Sonoraville won in Animal Systems Category 2; Lowndes County won in Environmental/Natural Resources Category 4; Lowndes Middle won in Food Products & Processing Category 1; Lowndes County won in Food Products & Processing Category 4; Lowndes Middle won in Plant Systems Category 1; Lowndes County won in Plant Systems Category 6 and Gordon Central won in Power, Structure & Technology Category 6. In career development events, Cambridge High School in Fulton County was the national winner in agricultural communications, while Ian Bennett Bleckley County won in the forestry event. In national proficiency events, Colquitt County’s Garrett Harrell won in the agricultural processing category; Courtney Cameron of Lowndes County won in the agriscience research – plant systems category; Thomas Waldrop of Franklin County won the beef production – placement category; Landon Herring of Lowndes County won the diversified crop production – placement category; Cody Wofford of Madison County won the equine science – placement category and Ben Murray of Berrien County won the home and/or community development category. Georgia chapters and students were national finalists in 18 other categories. For a complete list visit

GFB News Alert page 7 of 13 WATER EDUCATORS JOIN UGA EXTENSION The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension recently welcomed eight water educators to the organization. Formerly part of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the positions were transferred to UGA Extension by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. “The governor’s plan was to streamline program services so the Environmental Protection Division handles regulatory issues and the Soil and Water Conservation Commission handles sediment and soil erosion and dams,” said UGA Associate Dean for Extension Laura Perry Johnson. “We now have more resources in Extension to address water issues, there will be fewer duplications of efforts, and services will be enhanced at the local level. The more I learn about the experience these gentlemen have, the more excited I am about the skills and talents they bring to us.” These new Georgia water educators and their bases of operation include: David Hall, Bleckley County; Andy Dyar, J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center, Watkinsville; John Loughridge, Gordon County; Dustin Rushing, Southeast District, Statesboro; Tony Black and Luke Crosson, Hooks-Hanner Environmental Resource Center, Terrell County. Two additional positions have been advertised for educators who will be based on the UGA Griffin and UGA Tifton campuses. The UGA-Griffin educator will focus on urban water use, and the UGA-Tifton educator will focus on traditional row crop agriculture water use. The UGA-Tifton educator will also support the UGA Water Resource Team, a group of researchers, Extension specialists, social scientists, economists and program development specialists focused on improving water management in Georgia. The UGA Extension water educators will continue to support farmers, green industry representatives and homeowners by performing water audits, duties they bring with them from the commission. There is no fee for irrigation audits. U.S. TOBACCO REACHES SETTLEMENT OVER RESERVE FUNDS U.S. Tobacco Cooperative, Inc. (“U.S. Tobacco”), formerly known as Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation, has reached a $24 million settlement to resolve claims made by current and former U.S. Tobacco members over reserve funds. Tobacco growers across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama who were or are members of U.S. Tobacco, as well as their heirs or representatives, are eligible for a payment from the settlement, according to a release from attorneys involved in the case. The settlement stems from a lawsuit that claims U.S. Tobacco accumulated funds over the years through members who may now claim portions of those funds, and no longer served its purpose once the Tobacco Price Support Program ended. Although U.S. Tobacco denies these claims and that it is required to distribute any money, it has agreed to do so in the settlement. Individuals or businesses may be included if they are or were a shareholder or member of U.S. Tobacco from June 1, 1946, through the date the settlement goes into effect, or an heir or legal representative. An heir in this case is a person who received (or inherited) a share of a former shareholder’s stake or member’s membership in U.S. Tobacco. A legal representative is a person who legally acts for or on behalf of the shareholder or member. Eligible individuals or businesses can now submit a claim form online or by mail by May 26, 2018 to get a payment. The payment amount will be based on the total pounds of flue-cured tobacco that they marketed and sold and/or the total number of crop years they marketed and sold flue-cured tobacco, relative to all members who submit a claim. Claim forms are available at the website,, or by calling 1-866-458-3207. For more information visit or call: 1-866-458-3207.

GFB News Alert page 8 of 13 EPA, HERBICIDE MANUFACTURERS REACH AGREEMENT ON DICAMBA The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on measures to minimize the potential for drift to damage neighboring crops from the use of dicamba formulations used to control weeds in genetically modified cotton and soybeans. The agency announced on Oct. 13 a set of new requirements for the use of dicamba "over the top" (application to growing plants) that will allow farmers to make informed choices for seed purchases for the 2018 growing season. While other states received complaints that dicamba drift caused damage to nearby crops and responded with stop sale orders of the herbicide within their states, the Georgia Department of Agriculture has received no complaints of damage from dicamba drift. UGA Extension Weed Specialist Stanley Culpepper attributed Georgia’s success in preventing drift to training by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. Extension agents and specialists coordinated classroom training sessions to share their researchbased results and to help Georgia cotton and soybean producers make wise decisions in safely and effectively implementing this technology. Almost 3,000 participants received the training. “Understanding the sensitivity of the plants that surround the field when an applicator is ready to make an application is the No. 1 factor that helps us continue to reduce off-target movement of all pesticides,” Culpepper said. “These educational trainings help make applicators and farmers more aware and are a big reason why we haven’t had any complaints to the (Georgia) Department of Agriculture this year.” Approximately 1.3 million acres in Georgia planted with tolerant cotton or soybeans were treated with auxin herbicides, such as dicamba, during the growing season, according to UGA. Manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to label changes that impose additional requirements for “over the top” use of these products next year including: classifying products as “restricted use,” permitting only certified applicators with special training, and those under their supervision, to apply them; dicamba-specific training for all certified applicators to reinforce proper use; requiring farmers to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products; limiting applications to when maximum wind speeds are below 10 mph (from 15 mph) to reduce potential spray drift; reducing the times during the day when applications can occur; including tank clean-out language to prevent cross contamination; and enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping with sensitive crop registries to increase awareness of risk to especially sensitive crops nearby. Manufacturers have agreed to a process to get the revised labels into the hands of farmers in time for the 2018 use season. USDA WITHDRAWS PROPOSED GIPSA RULE Citing hundreds of comments criticizing a proposed rule to amend regulations under the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), the USDA announced on Oct. 18 that it would take no further action with regard to the controversial rule, which some farmers supported and others did not. According to a notice in the Federal Register, the proposed rule, which was first published on Dec. 20, 2016, was intended to clarify conduct or action GIPSA considers unfair, discriminatory or deceptive in violation of the Packers & Stockyards (P&S) Act. In the notice on Oct. 18, it cited the concerns of commenters who noted that the P&S Act was designed to protect competition rather than individual competitors or market participants, and many thought the proposed rule would result in increased litigation. To read the Federal Register notice from Oct. 18, visit

GFB News Alert page 9 of 13 USDA PROCESSING PENDING CRP OFFERS; MOST 2018 OFFERS SUSPENDED The USDA announced on Oct. 6 that it will process many pending eligible offers for land enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and it will temporarily suspend accepting most new offers until later in the 2018 fiscal year. The CRP acreage cap is a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill. Current enrollment is about 23.5 million acres nationwide. USDA is accepting all pending continuous enrollment offers that were made beginning May 4 and extending through Sept. 30, except Pollinator Habitat Initiative offers. Pollinator acreage offers are being declined because the program has met its acreage enrollment goal. USDA is suspending acceptance of all new CRP continuous offers received or submitted after Sept. 30. The USDA will continue to accept eligible offers for state-specific Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and CRP Grasslands enrollment. Offers received on or after Oct. 1 are subject to fiscal year 2018 rental rates which have been adjusted to reflect current market conditions and were established after review of the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service cash rent data. In return for enrolling in CRP, the USDA provides participants with rental payments and costshare assistance. Landowners enter into contracts that last between 10 and 15 years. CRP pays farmers and ranchers who remove sensitive lands from production and plant certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat. Payment totals for 2017 were announced earlier this week totaling more than $1.6 billion. For more information about CRP, contact your local FSA office or visit To locate your local FSA office, visit APHIS ONLY PROVIDING FREE METAL SCRAPIE TAGS To support animal disease traceability and scrapie eradication efforts, the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has provided both metal and plastic ear tags and applicators to sheep and goat producers at no cost since fiscal year 2002. After a funding reduction in FY 2012, APHIS used specific, no-year funding (for scrapie and ADT) to continue purchasing the tags and distributing them free of cost to producers. These noyear funds were exhausted in fiscal year 2017. APHIS is providing only metal tags free of charge to producers and others who handle sheep and goats. Plastic tags and applicators for metal and plastic tags will remain available for purchase directly from approved tag manufacturers. These changes will reduce APHIS tag and applicator costs while still providing sheep and goat producers with a free identification device. APHIS will provide a limited number of plastic tags to producers newly enrolled in the Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program who submit tissues for scrapie surveillance to encourage on-farm scrapie surveillance. The agency will continue to work closely in partnership with states and industry to achieve scrapie eradication. For more information on how to purchase tags and applicators, visit

GFB News Alert page 10 of 13 PEST MANAGER TRAINING Nov. 3 St. Simons Island Casino 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. St. Simons Island Certified pesticide applicators, arborists and others can enjoy the beach and earn recertification credits at the Pest Manager Training. Attendees can earn many types of recertification credits – GA, FL and SC Pesticide Applicator, ISA Arborist CEUs, Society of American Forester CFEs and Certified Crop Advisor CEUs. Register online, see an agenda or find more information at The registration fee is $75. For more information contact Willie Chance at or (478) 972-9981. FERAL SWINE WORKSHOPS Nov. 3 Chicopee Woods Ag Center 8:30 a.m. - noon Gainesville Nov. 8 Gordon County Ag Center 8:30 a.m. – noon Calhoun Nov. 13 Bulloch County Ag Center 8:30 a.m. – noon Statesboro Nov. 30 Venue TBA 8:30 a.m. - noon Albany Dec. 15 Venue TBA 8:30 a.m. – noon Nashville These workshops, which feature trapping demonstrations, are sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts, Georgia Department of Agriculture, USDA, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources. For more information, visit or contact Casey Cox at 229-3514728 or AG LABOR RELATIONS FORUM Nov. 7 & 8 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton Georgia Farm Bureau and other ag organizations are collaborating with the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) to host this forum, designed to help farmers and ag business owners comply with existing labor laws and policies. The forum will be relevant to all commodities that rely on labor. The target audience is farmers, farm office managers and personnel responsible for monitoring rules and regulations for their organizations. Leading labor attorneys and human resource specialists will teach the sessions. For more information or to register visit or call the GFVGA at 706-845-8200. SMALL FARM CONFERENCE Nov. 13-14 Unicoi State Park Helen The Chestatee-Chattahoochee Resource Conservation and District in partnership with the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission and Natural Resources Conservation Service will host this conference to educate farmers with small-scale operations on ways to improve their operations and make them run more efficiently. The two-day conference will feature general sessions that will cover major agricultural topics, as well as breakout sessions that will cover unique topics of interest to small farming operations. Registration for the conference is $220 per person; however, through sponsorship from the Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D, the first 120 people to reserve a spot will receive a fully-paid scholarship for the event. Registration must be received by Nov. 6. For more information, and to register for the event, contact the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission in Athens at 706-552-4470.

GFB News Alert page 11 of 13 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU DISTRICT ANNUAL MEETING Nov. 13 7th District First Baptist Church 7 p.m. Statesboro Meeting begins at 7 p.m. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information. Note: This meeting is for Farm Bureau members only and not open to the general public. ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM Nov. 17 deadline to apply for FY 2018 The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2018 While producers can apply year round, this application cutoff announcement is for all general EQIP, as well as some special initiatives like the Longleaf Pine, On-Farm Energy, Organic, Seasonal High tunnel, Working Lands for Wildlife and the North Georgia Irrigation Pilot projects. Farmers who wish to apply should visit their local USDA Service Center. EQIP provides technical and financial assistance to landowners to voluntarily address soil, water and other natural resource concerns on private lands. For more information on NRCS conservation programs visit under the Programs tab. 2017 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU ANNUAL CONVENTION Dec. 3-5 Jekyll Island Convention Center Jekyll Island Gov. Nathan Deal is slated to speak and GFB President Gerald Long will give his annual address during the Dec. 4 general sessions. Other events at the GFB Convention will include educational sessions covering political outlook, economic outlook, environmental issues and ag education on Dec. 4, announcements of the 2017 state award winners on Dec. 4 and the annual trade show Dec. 3-4. Voting delegates will adopt the organization’s policy for 2018 on Dec. 5 and elect the 2018 GFB Board. For more information contact your county Farm Bureau office. GFB FOUNDATION BREAKFAST Dec. 4 Jekyll Island Convention Center 6:45 a.m. Jekyll Island The Foundation Breakfast, which will be held during the 2017 GFB Convention, supports the GFB Foundation for Agriculture, which provides postsecondary scholarships, Ag in the Classroom programs, consumer awareness and adult learning opportunities, all aimed at advancing Georgia agriculture. Tickets are $25 per person. To reserve your seats contact Haley Darby at 478-4740679, ext. 5234 or at SE CATTLE HANDLING TRAINING FOR WOMEN Dec. 5-6 UGA Livestock Instructional Arena Athens This two-day workshop is designed to provide leadership training for female cattle producers in the Southeast and to provide hands-on experiences led by professionals in the field. We hope to encourage more women to be active as leaders in their state Cattlemen's Associations and in their communities. The event is limited to 20 participants in order to maintain small group size and to allow the opportunity to be active and gain hands-on experience. The workshop will cover BQA training and certification, media training, tractor safety, truck and trailer safety, reproduction and dystocia, and herd record keeping. To attend, please fill out the application and return by the Nov. 3 deadline. Accepted applicants will be notified by November 17, 2017. The cost for attending the workshop is $75/person and will be due upon acceptance. For more information or to receive an application, contact Carole Knight at or 912-871-6130.

GFB News Alert page 12 of 13 DAIRY MARGIN PROTECTION PROGRAM ENROLLMENT Dec. 15 deadline for enrollment The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting applications from dairy producers for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program (MPPDairy). The USDA has utilized additional flexibility this year by providing dairy producers the option of opting out of the program for 2018. To opt out, a producer should not sign up during the annual registration period. By opting out, a producer would not receive any MPP-Dairy benefits if payments are triggered for 2018. Full details will be included in a subsequent Federal Register Notice. The decision would be for 2018 only and is not retroactive. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy producers when the margin - the difference between the price of milk and feed costs - falls below the coverage level selected by the producer. USDA has a web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the MPP-Dairy that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, available at, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections.For more information, visit FSA online at or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the MPP-Dairy. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit GFB TAKING LISTINGS FOR HAY DIRECTORY Farm Bureau members with hay for sale or offering custom harvesting or custom sprigging services are invited to list in the 2017/18 GFB Quality Hay Directory published on the GFB website. Because this directory is now offered exclusively online, hay can be listed or removed from the site as your inventory dictates. To participate, please complete a submission form available at your county Farm Bureau office or online at Please include a $10 check made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau for each listing of hay, custom harvesting or custom sprigging. Multiple listings are allowed. 2018 GEORGIA PEANUT FARM SHOW & CONFERENCE Jan. 18 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Tifton Back for its 42nd year, the Peanut Farm Show features more than 100 exhibitors, production & seed seminars, pesticide applicator certification training and a free lunch. For more information visit or contact the Georgia Peanut Commission at 229-386-3470 or GEORGIA AGRITOURISM ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING March 5-6 Unicoi State Park Helen This conference is for farmers and ranchers who are currently or potentially agritourism entrepreneurs. The conference offers opportunities to learn and network. Early Bird Registration is $199 for GAA members and $229 for non-members until Feb. 5, 2018. To register visit

GFB News Alert page 13 of 13 FARM BUREAU-AFFILIATED FARMERS MARKETS ROCKDALE/DEKALB FARM BUREAU FARMERS MARKET Tuesdays & Saturdays through Nov. 15 8 a.m. – noon, RDCFB office Conyers The Rockdale/DeKalb Farm Bureau Farmers Market will be held at 1400 Parker Rd. SE in Conyers. The public is invited to stop by and shop for fresh, locally grown vegetables, dairy products, crafts and more. The market is expected to run into late summer or early fall when produce production ends. For more information contact the Rockdale/DeKalb County Farm Bureau office at 770-922-3566. UNION COUNTY KRIS KINGLE MARKET Dec. 2 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., 148 Old Smokey Road Blairsville Items sold at this event include both local produce and hand-made crafts. We are located at 148 Old Smokey Road in Blairsville. The market includes vendors from Union, Fannin, Towns, White and Lumpkin counties in Georgia and Clay and Cherokee counties in North Carolina. The event will also include a visit from Santa, a Christmas Train ride for children and entertainment. For more information contact Mickey Cummings or Kristy Peney at 706-781-8802 or visit

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - November 1, 2017  

In this week's GFB News Alert... USDA has changed a peanut grading standard which will benefit Georgia producers, the Georgia EPD has begun...

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - November 1, 2017  

In this week's GFB News Alert... USDA has changed a peanut grading standard which will benefit Georgia producers, the Georgia EPD has begun...