November 28, 2012
Vol. 30 No. 48
CONGRESS APPROVES NORMALIZED TRADE RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA On Nov. 16, Congress approved, by a 365-43 vote, permanent normalized trade relations (PNTR) with Russia. The Senate is expected to take up its version of the bill, S. 3406, during the lame duck session. At one time, Russia was the top export destination for U.S. chicken products, and normalized relations are expected to make Russia one of the top destinations for wide variety of agricultural products from the U.S. Georgia Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau support passage of PNTR with Russia. In a Nov. 16 letter to Georgia's congressional delegation, GFB President Zippy Duvall asked for passage of the bill emphasizing that with PNTR in place the value of Georgia's poultry exports to Russia are projected to double to approximately $46 million annually. “Russia is an important market for Georgia farmers, particularly its poultry producers,” Duvall said. “We're obviously glad the House passed the PNTR bill and hope the Senate will take it up soon.” Russia is the world's 11th-largest economy, with 142 million people and a growing middle class, and has in the past been a key export destination for U.S. agricultural products. Russia was granted accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August, and since that time other countries have been able to take advantage of increased market access to Russia. Congress must pass PNTR for Russia for U.S. producers to enjoy the same trade benefits. “Russia PNTR is a critical step toward ensuring the U.S. benefits from Russia’s accession to the WTO and remains competitive in that market,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “U.S. farmers will have more certain and predictable market access as a result of Russia’s commitment not to raise tariffs on any products above the negotiated rates and to apply international food safety standards in a uniform and transparent manner.” Russia's WTO membership will also limit that country's ability to make unsubstantiated complaints against U.S. sanitary standards for chicken products. "This vote brings us one step closer to the day when America’s businesses and workers will enjoy the full benefits of Russia’s World Trade Organization membership, and will no longer be disadvantaged compared to their global competitors,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. All of Georgia's congressmen were supportive of PNTR, which repeals the JacksonVanik Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974. Jackson-Vanik was intended to press the Soviet Union to allow Soviet Jews, prisoners of conscience and victims of religious persecution to leave. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia established freedom of emigration.
Leadership Alert page 2 of 6 DEAL BUDGET REQUEST INCLUDES $50 MILLION FOR PORT PROJECT Gov. Nathan Deal announced on Nov. 19 at the Georgia Ports Authority Board meeting that as part of his FY2014 budget proposal he will seek an additional $50 million in funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. If approved, the proposal will increase state funding for the deepening project to $231.1 million. Overall, the cost of the project is anticipated to be $652 million. The Record of Decision, signifying final federal approval for the project, was issued in October, allowing for construction to begin in 2013. Meanwhile, Georgia’s poultry exports could get a boost with the opening of two new cold storage facilities near the Port of Savannah, according to published reports. Gulf States Cold Storage and Nordic each is opening a cold storage facility near Savannah. Gulf States, which already has facilities in Columbus, Blakely and Americus, expects to open its facility in late December or January. The company also has two facilities in Alabama and one each in Louisiana and Florida. According to the Savannah Morning News, the Gulf States facility will be able to handle 4 million pounds of product per week. Georgia is the leading poultry-producing state, and Savannah is the world’s busiest poultry-exporting port, moving about 1.6 billion pounds of birds per year, but according to a report published by Georgia Public Broadcasting, the demand for cold storage space surpasses what is available. The new facilities could result in lower shipping costs for Georgia poultry products. ROBERT PARKER NAMED PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL PEANUT BOARD The National Peanut Board (NPB) has named Robert T. Parker IV as its new president and chief executive officer, succeeding Marie Fenn, who is retiring at the end of 2012. Parker will join the NPB on Dec. 10 from Golden Peanut Company LLC in Alpharetta, Ga., where he worked for the past 25 years in various roles of increasing responsibility, becoming an officer of the company in 1996. He currently serves as Vice President of Industry Relations and Seed. Parker’s experience in the peanut industry began in Climax, Ga. where he managed a family-owned farm service and supply business and a farm. He sold that company to Golden Peanut Company and joined them as area procurement manager. He steadily moved through the company’s ranks to region procurement manager, vice president of logistics, vice president of Argentine operations, vice president of procurement and to his current position as vice president of industry relations and seed. Parker has been heavily involved in peanut industry activities, serving as chairman of the American Peanut Council, American Peanut Shellers Association, the Peanut Institute, and the Peanut Administrative Committee. He also served on the boards of the Peanut Foundation and the Peanut Standards Board. He holds a B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia. Michael Cooper, managing partner with the global executive search firm Kincannon & Reed, conducted the nationwide search and assisted the National Peanut Board in its recruitment efforts.
Leadership Alert page 3 of 6 WARBINGTON & BOYD REAPPOINTED TO COTTON BOARD Dooly County Farm Bureau Vice President George “Teel” Warbington of Vienna has been reappointed to the Cotton Board as a member. Georgia Farm Bureau 7th District Director Ben Boyd of Sylvania has been reappointed as an alternate member, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Nov. 26. Based in Memphis, Tenn., the Cotton Board is the oversight and administrative arm of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program that represents U.S. Upland cotton. All appointees will serve three-year terms that begin Jan. 1, 2013 and end Dec. 31, 2015. Other reappointed members are: Kevin Rogers, Ariz.; Jeffrey Posey and Mark Williams, Texas; Janet Ydavoy, Pa.; Sonja Chapman and John “Jack” Matthews, N.J. Other reappointed alternate members are: Adam Hatley, Ariz.; Randy Braden and Linda Taylor, Texas; Catherine Allen, Tenn. and Jonathan Brewer, Calif. Walter Corcoran of Ala., formerly an alternate member, was appointed to fill a member spot. Timothy Mullek of Ala. was appointed to fill the Alabama alternate seat. Charles McMurray of Wis. was newly appointed as an alternate member, and Karen Kyllo of N.J. was appointed as the consumer advisor. USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT CLOSING BAXLEY OFFICE The Georgia Rural Development Area Six office, which administers and manages USDA housing, business and community infrastructure programs for Southeast Georgia, is expected to close by Dec. 7, Georgia Rural Development Director Quinton Robinson announced Nov. 27. Area Six operations will continue uninterrupted at the region’s existing sub-area offices in Statesboro, Blackshear and Douglas. The USDA Service Center in Douglas will be the new area office for Area Six. FLAVOR OF GEORGIA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS The UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development sponsors this annual contest, designed to help Georgia-based food entrepreneurs showcase their products. Contestants may submit as many products as they like. The categories are: barbecue and hot sauces; jams, jellies and sauces; confections; meat products; dairy products and snack foods. Entries are judged based on flavor, best use of Georgian ingredients, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities, commercial appeal and originality. Registration is open and runs through Feb. 8, 2013. Finalists will be invited to take part in a final judging on March 11, 2013 and a public tasting on March 12 at the Ag Awareness Day in Georgia event, when the winners will be announced. For more information about the contest, including registration information, visit http://www.flavorofgeorgia.caes.uga.ed or call 706-583-0347. PHILLIPS APPOINTED TO RURAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL Gov. Nathan Deal named John R. Phillips to the Georgia Rural Development Council on Nov. 16. Phillips is the chief executive officer and founder of the Phillips Group Inc., an international corporate investigative and security firm. He is active in the American Society for Industrial Security and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 6 GA MILK PRODUCERS GRAZING & FORAGE MANAGEMENTWORKSHOPS Nov. 30 UGA Tifton Conference Center Tifton The Georgia Milk Producers Inc. and Dr. Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia Forage Extension Specialist, are offering a series of workshops to discuss how dairy producers can manage their grazing and forages to offset feed costs and manage nutrients. These workshops qualify for two continuing education credit hours for waste operators and nutrient management planners. Meetings are free and open to dairymen, managers and employees. All workshops begin at 10 a.m. and are scheduled to end at noon with lunch. For meal purposes, please preregister by calling Farrah Newberry at 706-310-0020 three days before the meeting you will attend. NOV. 30 IS DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR MONSANTO CHARITY PROGRAM Farmers in 33 south Georgia counties have until Nov. 30 to register to win $2,500 for a charity of their choice in the 2nd Annual America’s Farmers Grow Communities Program sponsored by Monsanto. Eligible counties are: Appling, Baker, Berrien, Bleckley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Screven, Seminole, Sumter, Tattnall, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth. The winning farmers and charities will be announced in January 2013. Visit http://www.growcommunities.com or call 1-877267-3332 for eligibility rules and to apply. 2012 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Dec. 2-4 Jekyll Island Convention Center Jekyll Island Georgia Farm Bureau will celebrate its 75th anniversary during its annual convention. Gov. Nathan Deal & Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard, will speak during the general session. Convention will also include commodity conferences for Georgia’s 20 major commodities, the final round of the Young Farmer Discussion Meet, announcements of 2012 state award winners and the annual trade show. GFB members will adopt the organization’s official policy for the next year and elect state officers. For more information contact your county Farm Bureau office. AG WATER PERMIT SUSPENSION MEETINGS Dec. 4 Mitchell County Ag Building Camilla Dec. 12 Terrell Co. Govt. Building Dawson The Georgia Environmental Protection Division announced July 30 it has suspended issuing new applications for ag water withdrawal permits for a 24-county area in the lower Flint and Chattahoochee River basins, which includes all or part of Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Turner and Worth counties. EPD is also suspending issuance of new ag surface water withdrawal permits for parts of Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Early, Marion, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Terrell and Webster counties. Permit applications received by July 30 will be considered. The suspension will be re-evaluated annually beginning in November 2013. The UGA Cooperative Extension is hosting these meetings to discuss why EPD suspended issuing permits, how farmers can conserve water and the future of ag water permits. Registration for both meetings begins at 8:30 a.m. with the meeting starting at 9 a.m. and running until noon. There is no registration fee, but attendees are asked to RSVP by calling 229-386-3377 to ensure there is adequate meeting space.
Leadership Alert page 5 of 6 SOLAR POWER LIVESTOCK WATERING DEMONSTRATION Dec. 6 David Allen Farm (1943 Arnold Bottoms Rd, 30628) Colbert UGA Cooperative Extension and NRCS staff will discuss the potential of using solar energy to water livestock in remote locations. Event runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Call 706-795-2281 for more information. CALHOUN PERFORMANCE TESTED BULL SALE Dec. 7 UGA NW GA Research & Education Center Calhoun Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. in the livestock pavilion of the Northwest Georgia Research and Education Center. For more information contact Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. UPCOMING SURVEYS TO BE CONTUCTED BY NASS Below are upcoming surveys the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Georgia office are currently conducting. Call the Georgia NASS office at 800-253-4419 with any questions or comments. Through Dec. 12 Off Farm Grain Stocks Questionnaires will be mailed on Nov. 21 and producers will be called from the Georgia Field Office, Dec. 10-12. Results will be published in the Grain Stocks report on Jan. 11, 2013. Through Dec. 14 December Agricultural Survey Data collection for the December Survey will begin with a mail-out on Nov. 21 and be followed with a call between Nov. 29 and Dec.14. Results will be published in the Annual Crop Production report on Jan. 11, 2013. Through Dec. 14 December Hogs & Pigs Survey During the first two weeks of December, the NASS will conduct its final quarterly survey of pork producers for 2012 to measure this year’s U.S. hog and pig inventory. NASS will ask producers to report their market hog and breeding stock inventories as well as their farrowing intentions as of Dec. 1. NASS will publish survey results in the quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on Dec. 28. These and all NASS reports are available online at http://www.nass.usda.gov. SOUTHEAST REGIONAL FRUIT & VEGETABLE CONFERENCE Jan. 10-13, 2013 International Trade and Convention Center Savannah This annual conference features 12 different crop-specific workshops plus workshops on 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 http://www.seregionalconference.com. GEORGIA GROWN EXECUTIVE CHEF PROGRAM SEEKS APPLICANTS Georgia Grown and the Georgia Restaurant Association are seeking applicants for the Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program, which promotes the Department’s Georgia Grown campaign statewide. The program offers participating chefs a mark of honor and distinction, while increasing awareness for both restaurateurs and consumers about which local Georgia products are available for the cooking season. The application process runs through Jan. 11, 2013. Visit http://www.garestaurants.org/GeorgiaGrown to apply. The selected chefs will be announced at the Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception on Feb. 19, 2013.
Leadership Alert page 6 of 6 2013 GEORGIA DAIRY CONFERENCE Jan. 14-16, 2013 Savannah Riverfront Marriott Savannah This annual conference is designed to provide dairy producers with significant and practical take-home information on topics ranging from economic factors affecting feed prices, lowering somatic cell counts, promotion and agritourism and much more. The conference also features board of directors meetings for the Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk, Georgia Milk Producers Inc., and the Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation. Registration is free for Georgia dairymen. Fees for out-of-state dairymen are $100 per farm for all three days or $50 per farm for two days or less. The Savannah Riverfront Marriott is offering special room and parking rates for those who make reservations before Dec. 13. The hotel may be reached at 912-233-7722 or 800-284-0398. Mention Georgia Milk Producers to receive the discounted rate. Reservations may also be made online at www.marriott.com, with group reservation cote gdcgdca. For more information, contact Farrah Newberry at 706-310-0020 or email@example.com. 2013 AG FORECAST MEETINGS Jan. 25 Ga. Center for Continuing Education Athens Jan. 28 ECO Center Rome Jan. 29 Georgia Farm Bureau Macon Jan. 30 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton Jan. 31 Decatur Co. Livestock Complex Bainbridge Feb. 1 Toombs Co. Agri-Center Lyons UGA economists will give the 2013 ag economic outlook and guest speakers will discuss international trade and how the global economy impacts local businesses. Check-in for all sessions, except Tifton, begins at 9:30 a.m. Seminars run from 10 a.m. to noon followed by lunch. The Tifton event is a breakfast that runs from 7:30 a.m to 10 a.m. Cost is $30 per person or $200 for a table sponsorship, which includes eight seats. Advance registration is required by January 23. For more information or to register, visit http://www.georgiaagforecast.com call 706-583-0347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. These meetings are a UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences program endowed by Georgia Farm Bureau and supported by the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture and Georgia Agribusiness Council.