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November 25, 2013

Vol. 31 No. 48

GFB RETURNS TO JEKYLL ISLAND FOR ANNUAL CONVENTION The 2013 Georgia Farm Bureau convention is set for Dec. 8-10 on Jekyll Island for the 50th time. Convention activities begin on Dec. 8 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center with registration at 11 a.m. followed by the opening of the trade show at noon, featuring booths from many of Georgia’s agricultural organizations and agencies. The Georgia Department of Agriculture and GFB are hosting a drop-in reception from noon to 4:30 p.m. showcasing Georgia-grown commodities and GFB’s Certified Farm Markets. The 2013 Young Farmer Discussion Meet final round begins at 1 p.m. Finalists are Kyle Dekle of Habersham County, Trisha Lastly of Madison County, Ali Merk of Jackson County and Constance Reid of Greene County. A reception to celebrate agricultural literacy sponsored by the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee will be held at 2:30 p.m. The Georgia Excellence in Educating About Agriculture Award will be presented and county Farm Bureaus will be honored for ag promotion and education efforts in the past year. An open session of policy development (PD) will be held at 3:15 p.m. followed by a closed session for PD committee members only. The annual memorial service honoring deceased county presidents begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by an inspirational message and the state awards program. On Dec. 9 convention activities start with complimentary biscuits to be served at 7:30 a.m. The general session opens at 8:30 a.m., featuring Duvall’s annual address. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is scheduled to speak, as are Kristi Boswell and Bob Young of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Prize drawings for the Young Farmer Committee raffle will be held during a break. The county presidents/secretaries luncheon will be held at noon, during which county Farm Bureaus will be honored for outstanding membership programs. The GFB Commodity Advisory Committee meetings begin at 2 p.m., with speakers addressing commodity-specific issues. Winners of the GFB Quality Hay Contest will be announced during the GFB Hay Committee meeting at 3:30 p.m. The annual membership breakfast is set for 6:45 a.m. on Dec. 10. The annual business session begins at 8:15 a.m. Gov. Nathan Deal is scheduled to speak to the GFB voting delegates at about 9:15 a.m. prior to policy discussion and action. District caucuses will convene for election of district directors at 10:15 a.m. The only contested elections are in Districts 1 and 2. District 1 candidates are incumbent Wesley Hall of Forsyth County and Bill Bryan of Chattooga County. District 2 candidates are incumbent Bobby Gunter of Lumpkin County and Swayne Cochran of Jackson County.

Leadership Alert page 2 of 6 COOLEY AMONG SUBJECTS IN DOCUMENTARY ABOUT FARMING A feature-length documentary, “Farmland,” from Oscar-winning filmmaker James Moll, follows the next generation of American farmers and ranchers, all in their 20s, in various regions across the U.S. Among the six farmers and ranchers featured in the film is Leighton Cooley, a fourth-generation poultry farmer from Crawford County, who operates four farms with his father. In addition to chickens, he also has a cow-calf operation and grows hay. Leighton lives in Georgia with his wife and two sons. “On our farm, we have an open-door policy and we love showing people what we do. It’s important to me to share the story of agriculture with consumers and share where their food comes from, that’s why I participated in this film,” said Cooley, who is incoming president of Crawford County Farm Bureau. Moll spent five months meeting farmers and ranchers before he settled on the six who are featured in “Farmland.” In order to Leighton Cooley authentically tell the story through the eyes of this next generation, Moll extensively researched the subject and looked for individuals to profile, specifically choosing from different farming and ranching production methods, various types of crops and livestock and geographic diversity. The film, made with financial support from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), gives viewers a firsthand glimpse into the lives of these young farmers and ranchers, their highrisk/high-reward jobs and their passion for a way of life that, more often than not, is passed down from generation to generation. Georgia Farm Bureau is an affiliate member of the USFRA. AFBF: COST OF CLASSIC THANKSGIVING DINNER DOWN 44 CENTS IN 2013 The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.48. The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at $21.76 this year. That was roughly $1.36 per pound, a decrease of about 3 cents per pound, or 47 cents per whole turkey less than 2012. The whole bird was the biggest contributor to the final total, showing the largest price decrease compared to last year. In addition to the turkey, other items that declined in price included a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.18; one pound of green peas, $1.54; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.67; fresh cranberries, $2.42; a half pint of whipping cream, $1.85; and two nine-inch pie shells, $2.49. Items that showed a moderate price increase from last year included three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.36; one gallon of whole milk, $3.66; and a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.10. In addition, a combined group of miscellaneous items, including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter) increased to $3.20. A one-pound relish tray of carrots and celery increased to 81 cents.

Leadership Alert page 3 of 6 GFB TO AWARD COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS Georgia Farm Bureau will award a total of $14,250 in scholarships to 10 high school seniors who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agricultural field. The top three students will each receive a scholarship of $3,000. The remaining seven students will each receive a $750 scholarship. Students submitting an application must currently be a Georgia high school senior and plan to enroll in a unit of the University System of Georgia or Berry College during the 2014-2015 academic year. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information or an application. The application deadline is February 21, 2014. Applications must be approved and signed by the Farm Bureau president of the county in which the applicant resides or attends high school. You may also download a copy of the application by visiting, selecting Programs and then Ag in the Classroom. The Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee sponsor the scholarship program. Winners will be announced in May 2014. GSWCC PUBLISHES WATER QUALITY MANUAL The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) has published a new edition of Best Management Practices for Georgia agriculture that outlines conservation practices to protect the quality of Georgia’s surface water. The manual, available in print and CD versions, as well as online, discusses management of animal wastes, irrigation water, row crop planning, wetlands and stream protection. The second edition includes new information on nutrient management planning that will meet the needs of farmers while protecting the environment. Copies of the manual are available on the GSWCC website at You may also call 706-552-4470 for more information. In a related note, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service recently released a reminder for USDA farm program participants that wetlands encountered during land clearing operations are still subject to the conservation provision of the 1985 farm bill, which makes people who convert wetlands to allow agricultural production ineligible for USDA farm program benefits until the functions of the converted wetlands are mitigated or restored. The rule provides protection for those producers who produce commodities on wetlands providing that the wetlands were historically in production prior to 1985 and production was still possible in 1985. USDA producers should also contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers if they intend to conduct any activity that constitutes a discharge of dredged or fill material into wetlands or other waters prior to starting the work. In order to further assist USDA farm program participants in understanding wetland conservation compliance, the NRCS has published a brochure entitled “Wetlands and Conservation Compliance: What Every Georgia Farmer Needs To Know.” This brochure is free at local USDA Service Centers throughout the state or online at

Leadership Alert page 4 of 6 SOUTHEAST QUALITY MILK INITIATIVE SURVEY The Southeast Quality Milk Initiative is conducting a survey with the goal of improving milk quality and developing strategies to control mastitis in the Southeast. The survey, collaborative effort between six land grant universities, including the University of Georgia, was sent to milk producers in mid-September and producers are requested to return them by Dec. 1. For more information, or if you are a milk producer who did not receive a survey and would like to participate, contact Dr. Steve Nickerson at or 706-542-0658. GEFA OFFERS SECOND ROUND OF IRRIGATION MOTOR REBATES The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) is offering a second round of the Georgia Agricultural Irrigation Motor (AIM) Program, an incentive program designed to help Georgia farmers become more energy-efficient, save money on fuel costs, and reduce emissions. The Georgia AIM Program will provide farmers with a rebate to replace inefficient diesel irrigation engines with energy-efficient electric irrigation motors. The rebates will cover 25 percent of eligible project costs, with a $10,000 maximum rebate available. The application period for the program opens online at on Dec. 4 and ends Feb. 15, 2014. Available funding is limited and rebates will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The first round of the program awarded 34 farmers throughout the state with rebates totaling $154,309. The new installations are projected to reduce annual diesel fuel consumption by 217,029 gallons. TECHNICAL LARGE ANIMAL EMERGENCY RESCUE TRAINING Dec. 5-7 TLAER Facility Gray This event is aimed at educating those who may respond in a disaster or emergency incident involving large animals, whether emergency responders or owners. The training will provide certification training in operations and awareness on large animal rescue topics. For more information visit CALHOUN PERFORMANCE TESTED BULL SALE Dec. 6 NW GA Research & Education Center Livestock Pavilion Calhoun Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. Contact Dr. Ronnie Silcox at 706-542-9102 or or Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or 2013 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU ANNUAL Meeting Dec. 8-10 Jekyll Island Convention Center Jekyll Island Dec. 8 events will include the annual trade show, the final round of the Young Farmer Discussion Meet and announcements of the 2013 GFB state award winners. Scheduled speakers for the Dec. 9 general session include Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, American Farm Bureau Federation staff members Kristi Boswell and Bob Young and GFB President Zippy Duvall, who will give his annual address. During the afternoon of Dec. 9, 39 speakers will address ag issues during commodity conferences for Georgia’s 20 major commodities. GFB voting delegates will adopt the organization’s policy for the next year on Dec. 10. For more information contact your county Farm Bureau office.

Leadership Alert page 5 of 6 GEORGIA GROWN CHRISTMAS SHOWCASE Dec. 14 Atlanta State Farmer’s Market 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Forest Park Join the Georgia Department of Agriculture for Christmas carolers, chef demonstrations and holiday cheer! Christmas trees, greenery, garlands and gifts for the entire family will be available at the first-time event. The Atlanta State Farmer’s Market is located off Interstate 75 at exit 237. BEYOND THE FARM GATE SOCIAL MEDIA SEMINAR Dec. 17 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center 8:45 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tifton This free event, funded under a USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Grant, will help farmers gain the skills and knowledge they need to establish and maintain an effective online presence for their farm or ranch. The deadline to register is Dec. 10. To register or for more information, contact Chris Morgan at 706-542-7102 or, or visit GEORGIA BEEF REFERENDUM PROCESS UNDERWAY Georgia cattle producers have until Dec. 31 to sign up with the Georgia Department of Agriculture to receive a ballot to vote in a state referendum that will determine if an assessment of up to $1 per head is collected to fund the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Beef. To request a ballot, visit Those without access to the Internet may contact their county Farm Bureau office for assistance in signing up for a ballot. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY ACCEPTING AG CDL EXEMPTION FORMS New federal highway funding legislation that went into effect on July 1 allows expanded exemptions for farmers transporting their own products, equipment or machinery, but a producer must carry a special tag or distinction on the vehicle to receive the exemption. The form may be accessed at The form must be completed online, and the vehicle identification number (VIN) for the specific vehicle is required. Beginning January 1, 2014, no farm CDL exemptions are applicable without form TR0025 being in the vehicle. Additional information on the exemption for farm vehicles can be found at SOUTHEAST REGIONAL FRUIT & VEGETABLE CONFERENCE Jan. 9-12, 2014 International Trade and Convention Center Savannah This annual conference features 10 different crop-specific workshops plus workshops on roadside markets, business operations and food safety. Attendees will also have the chance to receive legislative updates from Washington and Atlanta. For more information or to register, visit METRO ATLANTA BEEKEEPING SHORT COURSE Jan. 18, 2014 Atlanta Botanical Garden 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Atlanta This complete beekeeping course includes presentations for beginning and experienced beekeepers, covering entomology and botany, as well as displays of beekeeping equipment. Educational materials will be included. To register, visit The registration fee is $95, which includes lunch and a parking pass. For more information send an email to or call 678-597-8443.

Leadership Alert page 6 of 6 2014 GEORGIA DAIRY CONFERENCE Jan. 20-22, 2014 Savannah Riverfront Marriott Savannah This annual conference will provide dairymen and managers significant and practical “takehome� information about a variety of on-farm and dairy business practices. A discounted room rate of $119 for single and double occupancy rooms is available, with no parking fees. Contact the hotel at 912-233-7722 or 800-285-0398 to make reservations and mention that you are with Georgia Milk Producers to get the discount. To register, please contact Farrah Newberry at 706310-0020 or AG FORECAST MEETINGS Jan. 24, 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau Macon Jan. 27, 2014 Georgia Center for Continuing Education Athens Jan. 28, 2014 Toombs County Agri-Center Lyons Jan. 29, 2014 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton Jan. 30, 2014 Cloud Livestock Facility Bainbridge Jan. 31, 2014 Clarence Brown Conference Center Cartersville Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. Seminar runs from 10 a.m. to noon followed by a networking lunch, with the exception of the Tifton and Bainbridge meetings, which feature breakfast at 7:30 a.m. followed by the seminar from 8 to 9:30 a.m. UGA economists will give the annual ag economic outlook and guest speakers, including experts on farm succession planning. Registration fee is $30 per person for $200 for a table of eight. Advance registration is required by Jan. 22, 2014. Visit for more information or to register, call 706-583-0347 or send an email to Follow the meetings on Twitter @GaAgForecast and join the conversation with #agforecast.

Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - November 25, 2013  

Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - November 25, 2013