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November 29, 2017

Vol. 35 No. 24


The 2017 Georgia Farm Bureau Annual Convention will feature many of the activities GFB members have come to expect over the years. The event, to be held Dec. 3-5 on Jekyll Island for the 54th time, also comes with a twist. Gov. Nathan Deal will speak and GFB President Gerald Long will deliver his annual address during the Dec. 4 general session, and members will have chances to visit with long-time friends, take in the GFB trade show and enjoy the beauty of Jekyll Island, where the organization meets to set its advocacy agenda for the coming year. New in 2017 is a series of four public policy breakout sessions designed to inform farmers on topics important to all commodities. These concurrent sessions replace the series of commodity conferences held in the past. The sessions on the afternoon of Dec. 4 will feature a political outlook, an economic outlook, presentations on environmental issues and an educational update. publisher Charlie Harper will give the political outlook and UGA Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics Jeffrey Dorfman will The next issue of provide the economic outlook. Speakers in the environmental issues session GFB News Alert are Tate Bennett of the EPA, Mark Masters of the Georgia Water Planning and comes out Policy Center and Georgia EPD Agriculture Water Project Manager Marjie December 7. Dickey. UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Dean Sam Pardue and UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Lisa Nolan will give the education update. The convention begins on Dec. 3 with the opening of the trade show exhibits at 11 a.m. The GFB Certified Farm Markets/Georgia Grown Reception runs from noon to 4 p.m. and the Celebrating Ag Literacy Event, sponsored by the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee, takes place from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The GFB Policy Development Committee will meet at 3:15 p.m. and the memorial service/vespers begins at 4:30 p.m. On Dec. 4, the annual GFB Foundation Breakfast begins at 6:45 a.m.. The event supports the GFB Foundation for Agriculture, which provides college and technical school scholarships, supports Ag in the Classroom programs, consumer awareness and adult learning opportunities. -continued on next page

GFB News Alert page 2 of 10 Continued from previous page The general session begins at 8:30 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., outgoing members of the GFB Young Farmer Committee will be recognized, followed by the Young Farmer Raffle drawing at 11 a.m. and the County Presidents/Secretaries Luncheon at noon. The day’s activities conclude with the annual awards program, which recognizes individuals and county Farm Bureaus for their work to promote agriculture. The awards program begins at 4:30 p.m. On Dec. 5, the annual membership breakfast begins at 6:45 a.m., followed at 8:15 a.m. by the annual business session, during which GFB voting delegates will finalize GFB policy for 2018. District director elections begin at 10 a.m. Incumbent directors running unopposed are Bill Bryan (1st District), Bobby Gunter (2nd District), George Chambers (3rd District), Marvin Ruark (4th District), Ralph Adamson (5th District), James Malone (6th District), Gary Bell (7th District), Scotty Raines (8th District), Paul Shirah (9th District) and David Lee (10th District). GFB YF COMPETITIVE EVENT WINNERS BOUND FOR NASHVILLE

The winners in Georgia Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer competitive events will test themselves on the national level at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in Nashville, Jan. 5-10, 2018, with some sweet prizes on the line. Thomas and Alicia Harrell of Madison County won the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Award. Josh and Skye Pennino of Hancock County won the GFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award and Will Godowns of Pike County won the GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet. All three were named the winners of their respective events in July at the GFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference. As state winners, they advance to national competition. The Harrells raise poultry and cattle, grow hay and operate a farm equipment metal shop on their farm. Thomas is president of Madison County Farm Bureau. The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers who earn the majority of their income from production agriculture. The winner of the AFBF Achievement Award receives a new Ford truck sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and paid registration to the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference, Feb. 16-19, 2018, in Reno, Nevada. Josh Pennino works as a livestock auctioneer and livestock relocation specialist. Skye Pennino is an assistant district attorney in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit. The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. Skye is vice president of Hancock County Farm Bureau. The winner of the AFBF Excellence in Agriculture Award receives a new Ford truck sponsored by Country Financial and paid registration to the 2018 YF&R Leadership Conference. Godowns manages a herd of 200 cows and calves for Caldwell Farm & Land. He won the GFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet held during the July conference, emerging from a field of 29 competitors from around the state. Godowns is a Pike County Farm Bureau director. The winner of the AFBF Discussion Meet receives a new Ford truck sponsored by Farm Bureau Financial Services and paid registration to the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference. Runners-up in all three competitions receive a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor, courtesy of Case IH. Competitors who finish in third place in all three competitions receive a Case IH 40-inch combination roll cabinet & top chest and a $500 Case IH parts card courtesy of Case IH, as well as $2,000 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker. Competitors who finish in fourth place in all three competitions receive a Case IH 40-inch combination roll cabinet & top chest and a $500 Case IH parts card courtesy of Case IH.

GFB News Alert page 3 of 10 WORKSHOP GOES WHOLE HOG ON FERAL PIG ISSUE Farmers and landowners got a blunt assessment of the feral hog issue and tips on ways to combat the invasive pests during a series of feral hog workshops, hosted by the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts and sponsored in part by Georgia Farm Bureau. Workshop speakers covered North American swine history, legal aspects of efforts to contain the pigs and the problems they present. The event also featured a demonstration of prominent swine trapping tools. Of course, the damage done by feral hogs is nothing new to farmers, who plant crops only to have the pigs come right behind them and gobble up the seeds, forcing them to replant. “We’ve got farmers in the South that have to replant time and time again,” said Georgia State Veterinarian Robert Cobb, who noted that the pigs are not simply a problem for rural areas. “Urban and suburban environments are increasingly being invaded. We got a call about a cemetery where these pigs were invading the cemetery and digging it up. Golf courses, parks, gardens, yards. As man expands, pigs are definitely expanding, and they’re running together.” According to Dr. Mike Mengak of UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry, pigs were brought to North America by explorer Hernando DeSoto in the early 1500s. As Mengak tells it, DeSoto had approximately 700 soldiers with him when he landed near the present-day location of Tampa. With the idea he would return with more troops in the future, he released the pigs as he explored the South. Mengak said pigs have been domesticated for approximately 8,000 years, and in that time man has continually bred them with the purpose of shortening their reproductive cycle. Pigs that escape into the wild by whatever means are able to bear young at the age of 6 months. They can produce two litters averaging six pigs each per year. “If you have 80 percent mortality, their population still increases,” Mengak said. In addition to crop and property damage, feral hogs carry approximately 40 diseases and parasites, many of which are transmissible to other animals and humans, and some of which are fatal. “Just assume that all feral swine are infected with one or more, or all, of these diseases,” Cobb said. Two diseases in particular, pseudorabies and brucellosis, pose a significant economic threat. “In the eyes of the world, Georgia is free of pseudorabies and brucellosis in our domestic swine,” Cobb said. “But it’s not free in our feral swine. When you go to sell your pig in the backyard, the price is dependent on several things. It is increased because of our ability to claim that the domestic swine herd we have is free from diseases. If those diseases get into your domestic swine herd, you probably won’t have a market for your pigs.” As with avian influenza, which Georgia poultry producers in recent years have worked diligently to prevent, Cobb said the best way to keep the diseases away from domestic swine is biosecurity. He recommended that pigs kept outside be confined by high-quality fences, preferable -continued on next page

GFB News Alert page 4 of 10 Continued from previous page two of them five feet apart and one of which has an electric wire at the bottom. Individuals handling feral swine should protect themselves by wearing gloves, protective overalls, masks, and by frequently washing their hands. “It’s not a problem if you’re cooking the meat,” Cobb said. “It’s when you’re dressing a fresh kill and coming into contact with bodily fluids.” Matt Ondovchik of USDA Wildlife Services reviewed techniques to control feral swine. The most effective, he said, is trapping. “There is nothing more fun than going out and shooting those pigs in your pasture,” Ondovchik said. “You might be the fastest gun in your county, but if there’s 20 pigs in your pasture, you’re going to kill two, maybe a third if you’re lucky. You haven’t done anything [to affect the pig population]. If you take 20 of these pigs and put them inside one of these traps and you drop the gate and kill all 20 at one time, then you start having an effect on your population.” If an immediate solution – if only temporary – is needed, shooting feral hogs can be effective. This includes situations like the pigs digging up planted seed or emerging crop plants. Trapping is a process that can take several days, but by then an entire crop can be decimated. “You’ve got to get after them right then and there to relieve that problem,” Ondovchik said. “Keep in mind, all you’re doing is providing yourself a bandaid. You might give yourself a few weeks. You might allow your corn to get to the six-inch state, which is generally all you need until it silks out.” Ondovchik also discussed aerial hunts – shooting pigs from a helicopter – and poisoning. Aerial hunts are seasonal and habitat specific. Hilly terrain with dense forest makes it more difficult. Open, flat land presents the possibility of more effective aerial hunts. Poisoning is in the developmental stages. Chemicals do exist that are lethal to pigs, but they also pose threats to native species like deer, raccoons and bears. Ondovchik said the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, is working on feeders that will only allow pigs to get to the poison, but that tool is several years away from being available. Georgia State Wildlife Specialist Charlie Killmaster discussed legal requirements for hunting and trapping pigs. On public lands, hunters can kill pigs as “incidental takes” with whatever weapon is legal for the current season. On private land, there is no closed season and no bag limits on feral pigs, which Georgia does not regulate because they are a nuisance invasive species. Nighttime hunting is allowed with non-tethered lights. Killmaster noted, for example, a spotlight running off electricity from the 12V outlet in a vehicle, would not be legal. “Anything that’s attached to your gun, or held in your hand or part of a belt system, that’s OK,” Killmaster said. Shooting pigs from vehicles under power is not legal. Baiting for hogs is legal statewide, he said, with one cautionary suggestion for hunters in North Georgia, who are still prohibited from hunting deer over bait. “If you are shooting pigs over bait up here, don’t have a buck grunt caller around your neck or anything that might tell the game warden you’re also hunting deer.” Trapping can be done year-round without a license if one is hunting on his/her own property. Trapping pigs on leased hunting club property requires a hunting license, though not a commercial trapping license. Mengak and the Warnell School have established a website,, that provides information about feral pigs and a landowner’s guide to controlling them. It also has a Wild Pig Harvest Survey, which the school is asking people who trap or kill pigs to fill out to provide data on how Georgians are combating the pigs.

GFB News Alert page 5 of 10 GA NRCS ANNOUNCES SPECIAL SIGN-UP FOR IRMA RELIEF The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting enrollment for assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for farmers, ranchers and nonindustrial forestland owners who suffered damage because of Tropical Storm Irma. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15. EQIP is available to help these producers treat crop, grazing and forest land damages caused by high winds, rainfall and floodwaters directly related to Hurricane Irma. All 159 counties in Georgia are eligible for this special signup, but high priority will be given to the seven counties hardest hit as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Sept. 15 disaster declaration. These high priority counties are Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh. Producers with Irma-related damages should visit their local USDA Service Center and submit their conservation program application. If they already have an application submitted through recent sign-ups, they should contact their local office to ensure it is included in this special funding cycle. Farmers and ranchers seeking NRCS financial and technical assistance can also sign up for EQIP if already a USDA client, on-line via Conservation Client Gateway ( Conservation practices available through this EQIP funding are specifically designed to address flood and wind damage and excessive runoff to address natural resource concerns caused by the hurricane, and provide future protection from exceptional storm events. More information on NRCS conservation programs can be found at under the Programs tab. USDA ANNOUNCES SOYBEAN BOARD APPOINTMENTS On Nov. 22 Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 19 members and 3 alternate members to serve on the United Soybean Board (USB). The producers appointed to serve three year terms include: Annie Dee, Aliceville, Ala.; Robert Stobaugh, Atkins, Ark.; Gary Berg, Saint Elmo, Ill.; Tom Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind.;Thomas E. Oswald, Cleghorn, Iowa; Larry K. Marek, Riverside, Iowa; Dennis Gruenbacher, Andale, Kan.; Keith N. Tapp, Sebree, Ky.; Belinda Burrier, Union Bridge, Md.; Herb Miller, Niles, Mich.; Lawrence Sukalski, Fairmont, Minn.; Philip Good, Macon, Miss.; Lewis Rone, Pontageville, Mo.; Mike Korth, Randolph, Neb.; Dave Dotterer, Rittman, Ohio; Ellie W. Green, Jr., Lynchburg, S.C.; Marc V. Reiner, Tripp, S.D.; David Nichols, Ridgely, Tenn.; Andrew W. Scott, Jr., Monte Alto, Texas; Colt Clemmons, Killen, Ala. (alternate); Fitzhugh Bethea, Dillon, S.C. (alternate); Daniel C. Berglund, Wharton, Texas (alternate). Walter Godwin of Pelham, Ga., is among the returning USB directors. The board is composed of 73 members representing 29 states and Eastern and Western regions. To become a member, you must be a soybean producer and be nominated by a qualified state soybean board. The board is authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Information Act. It became effective July 9, 1991, when the Soybean Promotion and Research Order was implemented. Since 1966, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards.

GFB News Alert page 6 of 10 DOT GRANTS TEMPORARY AG WAIVER FROM ELD RULE On Nov. 21 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued guidance on the Congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, including a 90-day waiver from the ELD requirement for transporters of agricultural commodities and formal guidance specifically pertaining to existing hours of service exemption for the agricultural industry. The ELD rule will be implemented on Dec. 18. On Nov. 2, Georgia Farm Bureau wrote to Sen. Johnny Isakson in support of an exemption, pointing out a conflict between the hours-of-service rules and guidelines for the welfare of animals being transported. Under the ELD rule, drivers would be limited to driving no more than 11 straight driving hours. Once a driver reaches 11 hours, he or she must stop and rest for 10 consecutive hours. Livestock haulers are responsible for daily transportation of millions of animals, GFB wrote, noting that many livestock farms are located in remote rural areas and routinely require long hauls to transport animals, which are vulnerable to temperature increases. Under industry guidelines, drivers should avoid stops while hauling livestock in warmer weather because the trailers are designed to cool the animals while the vehicle is in motion. The ELD requirement would force drivers to choose between complying with FMCSA rest regulations and the safety of their animals. U.S. FARM EXPORTS REACH THIRD-HIGHEST LEVEL ON RECORD U.S. agricultural exports totaled $140.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2017, climbing nearly $10.9 billion from the previous year to the third-highest level on record, according to a USDA press release. As it has done for more than 50 years, the U.S. agricultural sector once again posted an annual trade surplus, $21.3 billion, up almost 30 percent from last year’s $16.6 billion. China finished the fiscal year as the United States’ largest export customer, with shipments valued at $22 billion, followed closely by Canada at $20.4 billion. U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico reached $18.6 billion, a 6 percent gain from last year, while exports to Japan grew 12 percent, to $11.8 billion. Rounding out the top 10 markets were the European Union ($11.6 billion), South Korea ($6.9 billion), Hong Kong ($4 billion), Taiwan ($3.4 billion), Indonesia ($3 billion) and the Philippines ($2.6 billion). U.S. bulk commodity exports set a volume record at 159 million metric tons, up 11 percent from FY 2016, while their value rose 16 percent to $51.4 billion. The surge was led by soybean exports, which reached a record 60 million metric tons, valued at $24 billion. Exports of corn, wheat and cotton all grew as well, with the value of cotton exports climbing 70 percent, to $5.9 billion, wheat exports up 21 percent, to $6.2 billion, and corn exports up six percent, to $9.7 billion. U.S. dairy exports grew 17 percent to $5.3 billion, beef exports were up 16 percent to $7.1 billion, and pork exports rose 14 percent to $6.4 billion. Overall, horticultural product exports increased 3 percent to nearly $33.9 billion, largely driven by an 8 percent increase in exports of tree nuts, which reached $8.1 billion, the second-highest total on record. Processed food and beverage exports rose 2 percent to $39.2 billion. Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, also driving rural economic activity and supporting more than one million American jobs both on and off the farm. USDA continues to work to boost export opportunities for U.S. agricultural products by opening new markets, pursuing new trade agreements, enforcing existing agreements, and breaking down barriers to trade. Complete FY 2017 (Oct. 2016-Sept. 2017) agricultural export data are available from the Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS) database:

GFB News Alert page 7 of 10 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. FERAL SWINE WORKSHOPS Nov. 30 Partridge Pea Plantation Lodge, 9430 Doverel Hwy. 9 a.m. - noon Dawson Dec. 15 Berrien Co. Ag Center, 516A County Farm Rd. 9 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. Featured speakers are Dr. Mike Mengak from UGA, Matt Ondovchik of USDA Wildlife Services, Charlie Killmaster of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb. Register by Dec. 13 for the Nashville workshop. To register or or more information, visit or contact Casey Cox at 229-351-4728 or TREE TALKS TOWN HALL MEETINGS Dec. 1 Hot Thomas BBQ 11:30 a.m. Watkinsville Dec. 4 Location TBD 11:30 a.m. Rome Dec. 4 Gilmer Co. Courthouse 5:30 p.m. Ellijay Dec. 5 Trees Atlanta Treehouse 11:30 a.m. Atlanta Dec. 5 Belle Meade Country Club 5:30 p.m. Thomson Dec. 6 Location TBD 11:30 a.m. Savannah Dec. 6 GFC District Office 5:30 p.m. Waycross Dec. 7 Ga. Museum of Ag 11:30 a.m. Tifton Dec. 7 BB&T Building 5:30 p.m. Macon Join newly appointed Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams and Georgia Forestry Association President Andres Villegas as they travel the state to listen to the forestry community in Georgia. These two dynamic leaders are looking for your input as they develop a shared vision for the future of forestry in Georgia. To RSVP, send an email to Tom Beyer at 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. The market is 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

GFB News Alert page 8 of 10 ABAC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION RECEPTION Dec. 2 Wee Pub Beach Restaurant 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Jekyll Island This drop-in reception with complimentary drinks and appetizers is in conjunction with the Georgia Farm Bureau Convention. Wee Pub Beach Restaurant is located at 20 Main St. No. 100 in the Jekyll Island shops. RSVP at FSA COUNTY COMMITTEE ELECTIONS Dec. 4 deadline for submission of ballots Eligible farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers must return county committee election ballots to their local FSA office by Dec. 4 to ensure that their votes are counted. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 4. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office. GEORGIA PEANUT COMMISSION NOMINATION MEETINGS Dec. 14 District 1 - Emanuel County Farm Bureau 10 a.m. Swainsboro Dec. 14 District 3 - Miller County Farm Bureau 10 a.m. Colquitt Georgia Farm Bureau Federation will conduct the meetings to fill terms, which expire Dec. 31, in the GPC’s Districts One and Three. Tim Burch of Baker County is the incumbent in District 1. Counties in District One include: Baker, Calhoun, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell and Seminole. Joe Boddiford of Screven County is the incumbent in District 3. Counties in District Three include: Appling, Bacon, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Washington and Wayne. The Georgia peanut production area is divided into five districts based on acreage distribution and geographical location with one board member representing each district. Each nominee must produce peanuts and live within the district for which he is nominated. For more information contact the Georgia Peanut Commission at 229386-3470 or Joe McManus with GFB at 478-474-0679, ext. 5259.

GFB News Alert page 9 of 10 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 2018 FLAVOR OF GEORGIA CONTEST Feb. 8 deadline to enter The University of Georgia's Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest helps to highlight the state's burgeoning food product scene with its annual competition. Registration for the 2018 contest, which is coordinated each year by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is now open at The early registration fee is $100 per entry and continues through Jan. 19, 2018. After that date, the price increases to $150 and remains open until Feb. 8, 2018. All entries are featured in the annual product directory, which is seen by leading food industry buyers and media outlets. For more information or to register, visit or call 706-542-9809. Follow the contest @FlavorofGA on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook at

GFB News Alert page 10 of 10 2018 AG FORECAST MEETINGS Jan. 30 Toombs Co. Ag Center Lyons Feb. 1 Decatur Co. Ag Center Bainbridge Feb. 2 UGA Conference Center Tifton Feb. 5 Georgia Farm Bureau Macon Feb. 6 Clarence Brown Conference Center Cartersville Feb. 7 The Classic Center Athens The keynote topic for the Jan. 30, Feb. 1-5 meetings will be a farm bill update given by Bob Redding. The keynote topic for the Feb. 6 & 7 meetings will be demographic trends in rural Georgia and America given by Matthew Hauer of the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. for all meetings except Tifton, with seminars starting at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. Check-in for the Tifton event starts at 7 a.m., breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., followed by the seminar from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Cost is $35 per person or $240 for a table of eight. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, visit call 706-542-5046. Georgia Ag Forecast is an annual seminar series presented by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. GA COTTON COMMISSION 11th ANNUAL MEETING & UGA COTTON WORKSHOP Jan. 31, 2018 UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton This event begins at 8 a.m. For more information call 478-988-4235 or visit . 2018 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

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - November 29, 2017  
Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - November 29, 2017  

In this week's GFB News Alert... a preview of Georgia Farm Bureau’s 80th Annual Convention which is taking place at Jekyll Island this weeke...