Vol. 80 No. 5
FARM BUREAU NEWS
HURRICANE MICHAEL LEAVES FARMERS SEEKING HOPE
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*Program 36238: $500 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid through 1/2/2019 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2018/2019 model year Ford vehicle. Program 36696: Additional $500 Conquest Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Farm Bureau members valid for a purchase or lease of an eligible new 2018/2019 model year Ford vehicle. Offer is valid 10/15/18 through 1/2/19. Customer must have a registered 1995 or newer non-Ford/Lincoln/ Mercury vehicle in their name for at least 30 days, to be eligible for this additional $500 incentive. Not available on Shelby GT350®, Shelby® GT350R, Mustang BULLITT, Ford GT, Focus RS, F-150 Raptor and F-150 Diesel. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. Limit one Bonus Cash and Conquest offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Visit FordFarmBureauAdvantage.com or see your authorized Ford Dealer for qualifications and complete details. For Dealers please claim #36238 for Farm Bureau Program and #36696 for additional $500 Conquest Bonus Cash in Smart VINCENT.
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GFB Harvest 20 Grants fund research to benefit farmers
Georgia Farm Bureau funded five studies with Harvest 20 Research Grants. Results will be displayed at the GFB Annual Convention Trade Show. PAGE 9
departments View from the Field PAGE 4
Public Policy Update PAGE 5
GFB Farm Insurance Update PAGE 16
Around Georgia PAGES 24-25
Ag in the Classroom Update PAGE 30
GFB News staff Andy Lucas Kenny Burgamy Jennifer Whittaker Jay Stone Lillian Davis Michael Edmondson
Director Assistant Director Editor Print/Web Specialist Design/Advertising Marketing Project & Research Manager
For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or email@example.com For questions about your membership or member benefits, call 1-800-633-5432. For questions regarding editorial content call 478-474-0679, ext. 5334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the GFB Web site today! GFB.ORG Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau www.gfb.ag/group Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau Follow us on Instragram: www.instagram.com/gafarmbureau
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Economic development: Looking for a spark
In the final installment of our Rural Prosperity Series, we look at how a reopened livestock barn provides farmers with a local market and helps the regional economy. PAGE 10
Meter data shows farmers using water responsibly
Data collected from the meters on thousands of irrigation pivots in Georgia show farmers are using water wisely to irrigate their crops. PAGE 12
Miracle of birth displayed at Georgia National Fair
The Georgia Grown Baby Barn at the 2018 Georgia National Fair in October drew crowds to witness the miracle of birth. PAGE 15
Application deadlines for the seed cotton and trade assistance programs near for farmers planning to participate. PAGE 19
GATE card changes
Farmers with Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) cards will notice several changes as they renew their cards for 2019 and beyond. PAGE 21
Working with farm labor contractors
The U.S. Department of Labor provides tips for farmers who use contract labor. PAGE 22
Seasoned farmers ready to mentor new ones
A pilot program in Colquitt County pairs people looking to begin farming with experienced ag professionals. PAGE 26
Georgia centennial farms honored
The Georgia Centennial Farm program recently recognized 18 families for keeping their farms going for 100 years or more. PAGE 29
about the cover----------------------------------------------
Paul Shirah, of Mitchell County, examines a field of his cotton damaged by Hurricane Michael. Statewide cotton losses due to the storm are estimated between $550 million and $600 million. (Photo by Andy Lucas) November–December 2018 / 3
view from the field Gerald Long, GFB President
Holding on to hope
Actor Will Rogers once said, “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” Truer words have never been spoken about farmers. We spend months bringing our cotton, peanuts and vegetables to harvest. Pecan and timber growers spend years nurturing their trees before they make any money. We are caretakers, working untold hours tending the land. Livestock and poultry producers have a similar relationship with their animals. We ensure they’re fed and healthy, and do our best to protect them from threats. Through it all we are optimists. We believe the weather will be favorable, that we will make the right production decisions, that our equipment will survive one more season, and that we’ll get favorable prices. We are optimists despite all the factors we can’t control. Weather is the most unpredictable of these factors. Sometimes it cooperates. In October, it did not. For many Georgia farmers, months and years of hard work were destroyed in a matter of moments as Hurricane Michael swept across South and Central Georgia. The storm was devastating, and the losses are hard to comprehend. Early estimates put Georgia’s agricultural losses at more than $2.5 billion for our cotton, pecan, vegetable, timber, poultry, peanut and horticulture crops. This estimate doesn’t include damaged equipment, facilities and infrastructure
necessary to bring the crops to market. The loss goes beyond just dollars and cents. Families have lost homes and priceless possessions. For some, their livelihoods are gone, and their sense of security destroyed. Many of our communities, especially in Southwest Georgia, are reeling. This was the worst storm most of us have ever seen, and I pray we never see another like it. Those of us who rode it out are still attempting to make sense of things. We’re trying to start the process of rebuilding our homes, our farms, our communities. After one bad crop, we promise ourselves the next one will be better. It’s just what we do. Right now, it’s tough to be positive when you don’t know how you’re going to make it through. But I know this: farmers are strong. You have to be strong to keep getting up when weather, disease or low prices knock you down. With the help of God, our friends and family, we will recover. If you’re recovering from Hurricane Michael, know that Georgia Farm Bureau is here for you. We are doing everything we can to support those affected by the storm and aid in your recovery. I had the privilege to meet with President Trump to share details of Georgia’s ag losses. We’re also working to make sure ag lenders know that farmers and agribusinesses who suffered losses need long-term payment options. Georgia Farm Bureau insurance staff is working in the affected areas to assist our policyholders with their claims. Hurricane Michael delivered a crippling blow to Georgia agriculture. But I have faith we will come through this together as we work to rebuild.
FARM BUREAU GEORGIA
Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5334.
President GERALD LONG, Bainbridge 1st Vice President and Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Adrian North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Ringgold South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Alma General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer & Corp. Treasurer DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER
DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Wesley Hall, Cumming SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Dahlonega; Randy Ruff, Elberton THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carrollton; Nora Goodman, Temple FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, Dearing; Marvin Ruark, Bishop FIFTH DISTRICT: Ralph Adamson Jr., Barnesville; Matt Bottoms, Molena SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Dexter; James Emory Tate, Denton SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Bellville; Ben Boyd, Sylvania EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Sycamore; Don Wood, Rochelle NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Newton; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Lamar Vickers, Nashville; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Dustin Covington, Americus WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Carol McQueen, Locust Grove.
All advertising accepted subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or products. Publisher does not accept per-order, political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Georgia Farm Bureau News. For advertising rates and information, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or email@example.com. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2018 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
PICTURED ABOVE: GFB President Gerald Long has discussed the devastating impact Hurricane Michael had on Georgia agriculture with multiple high-level officials including USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre. The two met at Sunbelt Expo. 4 / November-–December 2018
Georgia Farm Bureau News
public policy update By Katie Duvall
Thanks, farmers, for making your voice heard!
Voting remains a precious right with the gubernatorial candidates' positions on the issues that matter most to agriculture. That’s why the “I Farm. I Vote.” initiative was launched. GFB’s nonpartisan “I Farm. I Vote.” initiative had three objectives: publicize
Haralson County Farm Bureau member Martha Gillham
Dooly County Farm Bureau member Robert Ledford Jr.
Photo by Lili Davis
This fall, Georgia’s roadsides have been painted with campaign signs as Georgians prepared to elect all of our constitutional officers. Georgia Farm Bureau thought it important to provide our members, neighbors and friends
GFB Board of Directors supporting the I Farm. I Vote. initiative.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
issues important to Georgia farmers and the rural communities they call home, educate our members and rural residents about the candidates’ positions on GFB priority issues, and (3) emphasize the importance of voting. The “I Farm. I Vote.” website, www. ifarmivotega.com, served as the base for GFB’s efforts. The site featured candidate questionnaires on issues important to Georgia agriculture, video interviews with the candidates and a deeper look at the special ballot questions. Postcards distributed at meetings and county offices pushed visitors to the site so they could research the candidates, register to vote and download “I Farm. I Vote.” materials. The campaign gained momentum as GFB partnered with other ag organizations to share the message. In addition to yard signs, travelers saw the “I Farm. I Vote.” message on digital billboards down I-75. County Farm Bureau marquee signs also encouraged the public to register to vote and publicized the website. “I Farm. I Vote.” bumper stickers adorned vehicles in all counties. GFB staff visited with Georgia National Fair and Sunbelt Expo attendees regarding the initiative and encouraged them to sign a banner pledging to vote. Newspapers across the state printed op-eds from Farm Bureau members encouraging the public to participate in the electoral process for the future of Georgia agriculture. GFB staff and members did a phenomenal job promoting the initiative on social media. GFB would like to thank everyone who supported the “I Farm. I Vote.” campaign. The efforts and participation of all 158 county Farm Bureaus were vital to the initiative’s success. Katie Duvall is a public policy specialist in the GFB Public Policy Department. November–December 2018 / 5
Hurricane Michael pummels Georgia farms By Jay Stone ____________________________________
GFB collecting donations for hurricane victims The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Foundation for Agriculture is accepting tax-deductible donations to help Hurricane Michael victims. All donations made to the GFB Foundation’s Hurricane Michael Relief Fund will be given to Georgians and farmers who suffered losses to the storm. “We know the Georgia agricultural community is a generous group of people, and we know many of them are hurting after this devastating storm. We always take care of our own,” said GFB President Gerald Long. Donations can be made online via credit card by visiting www.gfb. ag/stormrelief. Donations made by check should be made out to the GFB Foundation for Agriculture and specified for the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to:
Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Hurricane Michael Relief Fund, Attn: David Jolley P.O. Box 7068, Macon, Ga. 31209
Donors should provide the GFB Foundation with a return address at the time donations are made to receive a receipt acknowledgement. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with monetary donation questions or call 478-474-8411 ext. 5204.
6 / November-–December 2018
urricane Michael dealt a catastrophic blow to Georgia agriculture destroying row crops, livestock, farm buildings and equipment. Countless trees were toppled or snapped mid-trunk in the storm’s path running from Georgia’s southwest corner on a northeasterly track just south of the fall line to the South Carolina border. Agricultural losses exceeded $2 billion as of Oct. 22 according to UGA Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics Jeff Dorfman. The severity and range of the damage drew national attention with both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visiting the affected areas. “The damage Georgia has experienced will leave a lasting effect on our state. Georgia Farm Bureau has been on the ground to help begin the recovery and rebuilding process for Georgians impacted by this tragedy,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “While debris can be cleared away and structures rebuilt, we must continue to pray for the farmers who have lost entire crops, poultry houses, farm equipment and livestock.”
Michael’s most drastic damage happened in Southwest Georgia. Decatur County farmer Glenn Heard rated his cotton crop a total loss and suffered severe damage to his sweet corn and milo crops. Heard’s cotton fields were left a tangled mess of stalks with the cotton bolls blown completely off, a scene repeated at farms in varying degrees along the storm’s entire path. “I was convinced we had a record [cotton] crop and now it’s zero,” Heard said. “We’ve got some young cotton, and it’s possible we may be able to scratch something out of it, but I don’t think so.” Heard was also left scrambling to arrange services at the Brinson Farm Supply peanut buying point, where the grading shed and multiple drying sheds were destroyed and grain elevators damaged. Before Heard could begin repairs, he first had to clear roads. “Every road in the county was impassable,” Heard said. “We couldn’t begin to do anything until we were able to get our employees here.” Georgia Farm Bureau News Georgia Farm Bureau News
News Bureau Farm Georgia News Bureau Farm Georgia
Photo by Jay Stone
Photo by Jay Stone
Decatur County farmer Glenn Heard looks at a stand of sweet corn he was about to harvest before the storm hit. For more photos of storn damage visit www.gfb.ag/hurricanemichael.
Grady County farmer Sammy Perkins stands among a part of his pecan orchard damaged by the storm. Perkins said replacement trees, which may not be available until 2020, will take seven years to bear sufficient nuts for harvest and twice that long to reach full production.
Photo by Andy Lucas
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Hurricane Michael covered more than 99 percent of Georgia’s cotton and peanut acres, 91.6 percent of Georgia's corn acres and 77.5 percent of the soybean acres. Cotton losses statewide are estimated between $550 million and $600 million. State officials estimate growers had only harvested about 15 percent of the crop when the storm struck. Cotton growers were expecting a record crop before the storm. The October crop report the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service issued before Michael forecast Georgia’s cotton crop would yield 2.9 million bales, an increase of 30 percent from last year. Preliminary peanut losses are estimated between $10 million and $20 million. Growers had harvested about half the crop before Michael, the Georgia Peanut Commission reported. Final crop loss will depend on farmers’ ability to harvest the remaining crop and crop quality. Numerous peanut buying points were damaged by the storm. This delayed harvest because the facilities couldn’t dry or grade peanuts until power was restored and repairs made. The state’s pecan industry, much of which is concentrated in Southwest Georgia, sustained an estimated $560 million in losses. UGA pecan expert Lenny Wells says that includes an estimated $100 million to this year’s crop, $260 million worth of lost trees and a loss of $200 million in future income from damaged trees. Wells estimates 27,455 acres of pecan trees were lost, about 17 percent of Georgia’s total acreage. “I’m thinking I lost 500 to 600 [trees] at this point. That’s 20 percent of my trees,” Grady County pecan grower Sammy Perkins said. “We’ve got massive piles of pecan limbs. We’re spending $300 an acre for cleanup so we can try to harvest the nuts blown to the ground.” The Georgia Forestry Commission estimates 2.36 million acres of timber were damaged resulting in losses over $762.6 million. Georgia vegetable growers lost $480 million worth of crops. Almost 100 poultry houses were destroyed, an estimated loss of $20 million for farmers, and more than two million chickens died, a loss of $8 million. Cattle producers were also affected with miles of downed fences, lost cows and hay left exposed to weather when sheds were destroyed.
The hurricane destroyed farm buildings and flipped peanut wagons on their side, like this one at Brinson Farm Supply in Decatur County. More photos on page 9.
November–December 2018 / 7
Help for farms damaged by Michael Representatives of numerous USDA agencies and other ag groups discussed resources available to help Georgia’s ag community recover from Hurricane Michael during an Oct. 22 meeting in Tifton. Speakers from USDA agencies detailed resources available to farmers including programs and farm loans from the FSA, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Rural Development, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and the National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS). Staff with the Georgia Forestry Commission, Southwest Georgia Farm Credit and Georgia Department of Behavioral Health discussed help they can provide. USDA representatives emphasized the importance of farmers documenting their losses to file claims under the various programs. This includes date/timestamped photographs and the most thorough farm records farmers have available. Given the scale of the losses, many farmers may be faced with restructuring their farm loans, whether it means refinancing or participating in a set-aside program similar to a payment deferment. FSA Farm Loan Specialist Dean Lewis detailed the Emergency Loan program, which can be used to recover
“I know you’re hurting,” Scott said. “We have been in conversations with our senators, our other elected officials. The one thing that I can tell you that I have a very real sense of urgency on is liquidity, and how we get the money, especially to our row crop producers, as fast as possible.” The Georgia Forestry Commission estimates 2.36 million acres of timber were damaged by Hurricane Michael resulting in losses over $762.6 million. For photos from the FSA meeting on Oct. 22, visit www.gfb.photos/18hurricanehelpmtg.
from physical or production losses from the storm and in some cases to refinance existing debts. Lewis said FSA emergency loans must be collateralized. Producers may borrow 100 percent of physical or production losses up to $500,000. The NRCS’ Katura Wright detailed the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Emergency Watershed Program (EWP). EQIP funds, Wright said, are available to assist livestock owners in cases of animal mortality. This applies to a variety of species including poultry and livestock. EWP funds are available to cities and coun-
HURRICANE RECOVERY RESOURCES Georgia Department of Behavioral Health Individuals with storm-related emotional distress may contact Jennifer Dunn at 229-977-4885 or visit https://dbhdd.georgia.gov/region-4-field-office USDA Visit www.gfb.ag/USDAdisasterasst to review all USDA disaster assistance programs To i.d. the type of assistance you need & where to find it visit www.gfb.ag/ USDAdisasterassttool Georgia Forestry Commission www.gfb.ag/GFChelp NRCS www.gfb.ag/NRCShelp 8 / November-–December 2018
Risk Management Agency www.gfb.ag/RMAhelp
ties to use primarily for debris removal. Wright said the municipalities can apply on behalf of producers. Rep. Austin Scott (R-Georgia 8th District) spoke and listened to growers’ concerns, staying about an hour after the program finished. “I know you’re hurting,” Scott said. “We have been in conversations with our senators, our other elected officials. The one thing that I can tell you that I have a very real sense of urgency on is liquidity, and how we get the money, especially to our row crop producers, as fast as possible.” Scott noted the federal government has a disaster fund with a balance remaining, and he expects Congress will take the disaster bill it passed for 2017 and work to make similar legislation for 2018. Scott said he is conveying to national leadership a sense of urgency for getting payments to farmers with damage from Hurricane Michael. “Our losses were not as great in 2017 as they are now,” Scott said. “Our losses are so big now, that if our farmers don’t get a payment until October of 2019, they won’t be farming in October of 2019.” Visit www.gapeanuts.com/hurricanemichaelinfo.php to view a video of the meeting. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
By Jay Stone ____________________________________
By Jennifer Whittaker _________________________________
Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has awarded almost $42,000 in research grants to five Georgia scientists and their research teams, which are addressing issues impacting Georgia farmers. “Last year at our annual convention, I announced my Harvest 20 Vision for Georgia Farm Bureau. Part of that vision is supporting agricultural research in Georgia,” GFB President Gerald Long said. Supporting research that addresses production issues Georgia farmers have on their farms GFB is one way Farm Convention Bureau can help Dec. 2 – 4 Georgia agriculture Jekyll Island improve.” www.gfb.ag/ A review comconvention mittee selected these five research projects from 21 proposals to re-
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
GFB awards Harvest 20 research grants
Pictured from right, GFB President Long presented Harvest 20 research grants to the following during the GFB Commodity Conference: Dr. Brian Fairchild & Connie Mou; Dr. Abolfazl Hajihassani; Gaurav Agarwal accepting for Dr. Bhabesh Dutta; Dr. Jacob Segers accepting for Lawton Stewart and Dr. Apurba Barman accepting for Michael Toews.
ceive the GFB grants: Identification & Documentation of Invasive Whitefly Species on Georgia Farms, principal investigator Dr. Michael Toews; Understanding the Interaction of Forage Quality & Quantity and the Best Supplementation Strategies to Maximize Beef Cattle Efficiency, principal investigator Dr. Lawton Stewart; Evaluating Snap Bean Cultivar and Germplasms for Resistance/Tolerance to the Cucurbit Leaf Crumple Virus, principal investigator Dr. Bhabesh Dutta; Effect of Cover Crops on Stubby Root Nematodes, principal investigator Dr. Abolfazl Hajihassani; and Evaluating the Effects of a Supplemental Feed Area on Early Bird Performance & Health in a Commercial Broiler House, principal investigator Dr. Brian Fairchild. The grant recipient teams will present their research results in a poster session at the 2018 GFB Annual Convention on Jekyll Island. Check out the research displays in the convention center trade show on Dec. 2-3. Members of the research teams will be on hand to talk about their findings.
Photo by Andy Lucas
Photo by Jay Stone
HURRICANE from page 7
In addition to widespread crop damage from Hurricane Michael, farm equipment, like this overturned irrigation pivot in Decatur County, took a wallop from the storm. For more photos, visit www.gfb.ag/hurricanemichael.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Hurricane Michael was still packing a punch when it arrived in Middle Georgia. On Ernest Selph’s Telfair County farm, sorghum was one of several commodities damaged. The sorghum stalks in the foreground show how tall the plants were before wind blew most of them over.
November–December 2018 / 9
Rural economic development: Looking for a spark By Jay Stone ______________________________________________________ Economic development is a broad subject, but UGA Professor of Applied Agricultural Economics Jeff Dorfman defines it simply as “Everything that would help somebody decide where they want to live, and everything that’s related to the quality of workers available.” Governments, non-profits and businesses engage in economic development activities such as tax breaks, incentives and grants. A farm that opens a road-side market is another. There are numerous success stories around the state, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult for smaller communities with limited, and in many cases, dwindling populations. Younger generations are flocking to larger cities, leaving behind small towns where economic opportunities can be scarce. The Georgia House Rural Development Council (RDC), charged with finding ways to stem the movement of people from rural to urban areas, concluded that economic development is one of the key points of improvement needed to promote rural prosperity. “Our young people today are going off to school and are never coming back home, or a lot of them are not coming home to take up farming or start a business of their own or take over a business of their own in the local communities,” said RDC co-chairman Terry England. “A lot of that is because the resources are not necessarily at hand in rural Georgia to help them develop a business plan or anything like that.” In its recommendations in December 2017, the RDC suggested that small communities pool their resources regionally to spark
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economic development. However, smaller communities don’t always have resources or leadership available to build such partnerships, and the RDC recommended a statewide rural strategy to get past this shortcoming. To view the RDC’s recommendations, visit http://bit.ly/HRDCreport. To address rural economic development challenges, the RDC specifically recommended the establishment of a Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation (CRPI) under the University System of Georgia to centralize research and leadership training, among other things, with the goal of economic development in mind. For more on CRPI, see page 27. “Our thought was for it to be that resource to point them in the right direction instead of them having to sit down and spend two or three days on a computer doing Google search trying to find where the resources are,” England said. The Georgia legislature moved quickly to make CRPI a reality, passing House Bill 951 during its 2018 session. HB 951 charged CRPI with providing a central information and research hub for rural leadership training and best practices. The center, based at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC), launched earlier this year under the leadership of ABAC President David Bridges. The RDC held a second round of hearings in 2018, and its final report will be released in December. This is the final installment in a five-part series on rural prosperity in Georgia, based on the five key recommendations from the RDC. Previous installments centered on healthcare www.gfb.ag/ruralmed, education www.gfb.ag/lessonplan, workforce www.gfb.ag/agworkforce and broadband www.gfb.ag/ruralbroadband.
Bringing processing & markets closer to farms key to ag economic development By Jay Stone ____________________________________ When the Sumter County Stockyard closed in 2016, cattle owners in the 15 counties surrounding Americus were left with little choice but to drive farther – thus spending more time and money for fuel – to sell their cows. Long a staple of the Southwest Georgia livestock landscape – the stockyard had been in continuous operation since 1938, according to barn manager Sam Steele. So, its closed doors and empty pens were a blow to the local ag economy. And not just in Sumter County. “It was bad,” said Terrell County cattle producer Hardy Golden, who instead of driving to the county next door to sell his 10 / November-–December 2018
cows had to drive twice as far, to Ashburn. “I like it being open,” Golden said. “I always want a market open. Always. You don’t want stores closed. You don’t want restaurants closed. In the farming business you don’t want nothing to close.” According to Steele, the cost of hiring cattle transport is $3 a mile. Cutting the distance in half meant significant savings for producers like Golden. When the Sumter County Stockyard opened this year, under the management of Steele and veterinarian LeAnna Wilder, it quickly became popular with area cattle owners. Wilder said local officials approached her multiple times asking her to take over the market and re-open it. She initially
declined, believing that adding the livestock barn to her already full veterinary practice was too much to take on. When they came up with an arrangement she thought she could handle, Wilder agreed to do it, and the stockyard – with refurbished barn facilities, an improved exterior and other upgrades – opened in late April. “I knew it was going to be very, very difficult to turn this stockyard around,” Wilder said. “But it was needed here.” Wilder pointed out that the cattle owners aren’t the only ones who benefit. “When people come to the sale they’re buying gas, they’re buying food, they’re going to Tractor Supply or WalMart. I think it boosts the economy no Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
matter how you look at it.” The Sumter County Stockyard could serve as a case study for economic development for farmers, who have spent centuries streamlining production practices and now produce more of what they grow than they did a couple of decades ago several times over. For their businesses to grow, they need more destinations for their products, and the closer the better. In that sense, ag economic development bears a striking resemblance to the real estate saying: the three most important factors in real estate transactions are location, location, location. “The counties that we’ve seen be more successful are those counties that are maintaining control of commodities as long as they can,” said Chris Chammoun, rural Georgia initiatives director for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Basically, they’re processing commodities there. Years ago, you had more of that. The textile industry was bigger, that provided a lot of jobs, so, for instance, cotton stayed in the community all the way to being made into clothes. Now we export a lot.” Earlier this year, Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit commissioned a study by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development on the feasibility of regional slaughter facilities for cattle, prompted in part by the success of co-op groups for other Georgia commodities. For instance, groups of cotton growers combine resources to operate ginning facilities around the state. Peanut growers have processing points owned by collections of farmers. The fact that stakeholder groups funded the cattle study is a recognition of the need to shrink the distance between production and processing. The need for processing is echoed in other farm commodities. The state’s milk producers suffer from a lack of dairy processing facilities, and Georgia fruit and Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
The remodeled Sumter County Stockyard reopened in April.
Dr. LeAnna Wilder snaps pictures of cattle in one of the holding pens at the Sumter County Stockyard, which holds sales on Mondays.
vegetable growers would benefit from being closer to where their crops are processed after leaving the farm. Those things can be beyond the capability of individual farmers. What they can do, and numerous ones have already, is to innovate inside their fences, find ways to capitalize on the consumers’ desire to know more about farming. “That’s a perfect opportunity for a market for our producers,” said Georgia Sen. Tyler Harper. “We can provide the market for the products consumers want, which in the end benefits both the consumer and the producer.” Georgia Department of Economic Development Deputy Commissioner for Rural Initiatives Amy Carter encourages farmers to embrace new ideas, like adding agritourism to what they do on their farms, or to open their own roadside store. Carter mentioned farms that provide onsite lodging, a sort of FarmBNB, combined with the experience of farm chores. “They’re booked solid. I’ve had farmers tell me that people are willing to pay them
Auctioneer Wayne Gilliard runs the sale of cattle at the Sumter County Stockyard.
to come in and pick up eggs for them. It’s brilliant,” said Carter, a former state representative. “We’re trying to think of innovative ways for them to grow in a bigger way on their farm. Think outside of just selling your product and think about a bigger picture.” November–December 2018 / 11
Meter data shows farmers using water responsibly By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________
Data the state of Georgia has collected on farmers’ water use since 2004 shows farmers are responsibly using water to irrigate their crops, Mark Masters, director of the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center (GWPPC) at Albany State University says. “Georgia farmers do a good job of responsibly using Georgia’s water resources," Masters said. “The vast majority of acreage we’ve mapped in the field is metered and irrigated using efficient, low pressure irrigation systems.” Masters says the good story about Georgia’s ag water use is backed up by the numbers the meters and mapping efforts provide. Data collected by the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center through
field verification of thousands of irrigation systems across the state demonstrates a high level of water efficiency in irrigation equipment and management practice. Under the ag water metering program established by the Georgia General Assembly 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 buy and install a meter at their own expense. Gov. Nathan Deal established the Agriculture Permitting Compliance Task Force in Oct. 2016 and transferred responsibility of the ag metering program from the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. In 2016, the task force recommended the Georgia EPD finish
New special master for Ga.-Fla. suit says no to more evidence Paul Kelly, the judge the U.S. Supreme Court appointed as special master in the Florida-Georgia water lawsuit on Aug. 9, has declined to allow more evidence and issued instructions for how the case would proceed. In a Nov. 6 order Kelly ruled that more discovery would only drag out the case and add legal fees for both states. Florida asked for additional evidence to document Georgia’s water use since case arguments were completed in 2016. Georgia said more evidence is unnecessary. Kelly presented the states with questions to be answered by Jan. 31, 2019. The main issues are how Florida is being harmed, whether Georgia is to blame for the harm and whether it can be corrected by capping Georgia’s water use. The states have until Feb. 28 to submit responses. Florida filed the suit in 2013 in the Supreme Court, alleging Georgia’s use of water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers causes reduced flows in the Apalachicola River, harming the oyster beds in the Apalachicola Bay. Original Special Master Ralph Lancaster recommended that the court reject Florida’s claim. In June the court sent the case back to the special master for clarifications. To read the full case order, visit https://gfb.ag/h2ocaseorder25. 12 / November-–December 2018
installing water meters on any remaining permitted water withdrawal points eligible for a state-funded meter. The GWPPC has been subcontracted to conduct site assessments and collect other relevant data to inform purchase and installation of meters at active withdrawal sites. Masters thanks farmers for their support of metering and encourages them to remain engaged. He says farmers and landowners play a key role in the overall success of the program. “The farmers we meet in the field day in and day out have been extraordinarily helpful. They know the importance of water to their operations, and understand the value of getting the data right.” The EPD will notify landowners with water permits via mail if a meter needs to be installed on their property. Private companies the state has contracted to install the meters will notify affected permit holders before the anticipated installation date. The EPD has contracted the Georgia Forestry Commission to perform annual water meter readings across the state. Georgia House Bill 579 prevents the ag water use information of an individual permit holder from being released. The EPD can only release basin-wide water use information in summary form. This data will help statewide water planning efforts by providing improved water demand estimates and resource assessments. “We took a large step forward in our knowledge of ag water use from the first round of water planning in 2009 through 2011 to the plans updated early last year,” Masters said. “We’re continuing to refine and improve, and that’s ultimately a good thing for the state and those that rely on its water resources.” Georgia Farm Bureau News
Former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss received the 2018 Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award during the organization’s annual commodity conference held Aug. 9 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus. Chambliss was recognized for being a strong advocate for Georgia agriculture and Georgia’s military bases during the 20 years he served in the U.S. Congress. “Senator Chambliss’ work on four farm bills was critical for Georgia’s farmers and every American citizen. He played a major role in forming agriculture policy that’s still crucial to farmers today,” GFB President Gerald Long said. Chambliss was instrumental in reforming the federal crop insurance program while serving in the House to make it more affordable and an effective risk management tool for farmers. He chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee from 2005-2007. “Farm Bureau is the premier agriculture organization in the country and certainly in our state,” Chambliss said. “Agriculture has been such a huge part of my life. This means an awful lot to me for any number of reasons.”
Pictured from right, Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long presents the 2018 GFB Commodity Award to Saxby Chambliss, who was accompanied by his wife, Julianne.
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November–December 2018 / 13
Photo by Jay Stone
GFB Commodity Award presented to Chambliss
Future sprayer could reduce cost Story & photos by Jay Stone _____________________________________
For Southern farmers, herbicides are a fact of life. Weeds appear in fields and compete for water and nutrients that should be going to cotton, corn, peanuts or soybeans. So farmers spray. But what if the amount of chemicals used could be reduced by 90 percent?
The dye on the soil shows how the sprayer avoided this young cotton plant.
A California company, Blue River Technology, has developed equipment it says can make that reduction and add a new level of precision to spraying. “What we’ve been focused on for the last year is building a machine that can do spot-spray weeding,” said Blue River Director of Product Management Erik Ehn. “Instead of broadcasting an entire field,
our machine uses cameras and algorithms to identify the crop.” The tool is called See and Spray. Its key component is similar to facial recognition systems. Blue River demonstrated the See and Spray implement at the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition. The twelve-row sprayer, which is in development and multiple years away from being commercially available, has an array of cameras that allow it to “see” every plant in a field, whether it’s part of the crop or a weed. The system’s software allows it to differentiate between plants, and when it detects a weed, the application of herbicide spray is triggered. The spray comes from a collection of miniature sprayers that resemble ink jets from a printer. Each one casts the spray in two-inch wide bands. Because the camera and software can detect how big the weed is, it can deploy as many of the miniature sprayers as it needs to cover the width of the weed. While the tool is doing all this, it is also mapping the field, allowing the farmer to be aware of crop stress on a plantby-plant basis. The software includes the ability to recognize plants in various stages of growth, as well as plants that are experiencing stress. At Sunbelt, the See and Spray prototype was used on a field of young cot-
ton plants, spraying strips of dye on the weeds it found so observers could walk the field and see where it sprayed. “We’re using it to improve the jobs that we do in agriculture. Specifically, this job, we’re looking for the weeds and just spraying the weeds. It reduces the amount of herbicide required significantly,” Ehn said, noting that reducing the
The camera, with white housing, records plant conditions and helps software determine which of the small black sprayers should release their contents.
amount of chemical applied also reduces the potential for spray drift. “It’s a double win in the sense that we need to be environmentally conscious and we also like to save money.” Visit www.bluerivertechnology.com for more information.
The See and Spray 12-row sprayer.
14 / November-–December 2018
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Miracle of birth displayed at Georgia National Fair By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
he Georgia Grown Baby Barn was the must-see sight at this year’s Georgia National Fair! Crowds flocked to the barn to watch Holstein cows give birth to calves. Then they lined up to pet calves on display from earlier deliveries. Newborn piglets on display in the baby barn with their mama sows also got lots of attention. “This is a great experience for young people to witness live or by video,” Gov. Nathan Deal said of the Baby Barn while speaking at the Georgia National Fair opening ceremony. “It’s also a great experience for would-be fathers to experience. Watching an animal give birth teaches people compassion and empathy.” Calf Fairchild was delivered in the barn before the fair officially opened Oct. 4, followed by twins, Cotton and Candy, Perry, Peaches, Rosie, Bullet, Stella, Georgia, Lilly, Buttercup, and Ferris. A total of 20 calves were born at the fair. Fair goers watching the calves’ births suggested names for each calf. Audience members then used their smartphones to vote for their favorite name. The person who suggested the winning name for each calf had their photo taken with the calf and the veterinarian who delivered it. “Because of a great team effort, the public can come witness the miracle of life and meet agriculture,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said. “I’m convinced this is the best investment ever made by the taxpayers of Georgia. We’re going to see youngsters come see a calf born or baby pigs and maybe they will become the ones in the next generation motivated to grow our food and fiber.” Livestock shows were also a big part of the fair with 4-H and FFA members from across the state showing goats, sheep, dairy and beef cattle during the
Peaches was one of 20 calves born at the Georgia National Fair. Visit www.gfb. ag/18GaBabyBarn for more photos.
event. Georgia Farm Bureau provided all registered livestock exhibitors with a free t-shirt to honor the hard work they did to prepare their animals for the shows. GFB staff visited with fairgoers throughout the 11-day event at the organization’s booth in the Georgia Grown Building. GFB em-
ployees promoted the "I Farm. I Vote." campaign and GFB member benefits. The fair had a total attendance of 496,524 during its 10-day run despite being closed Oct. 10 after Gov. Deal issued a state of emergency for Houston County due to Hurricane Michael.
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November–December 2018 / 15
GFB farm insurance update By Stacy Folsom
Poultry farms include buildings other than poultry houses that need insurance, such as a stack house used for storing chicken litter, a farm office, or a generator shed. These structures are at risk for wind or fire damage. Coverage for these structures may be considered under the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (GFBMIC) Building and Farm Property Coverage Form FPP-9. This form provides basic protection including losses caused by fire, lightning, windstorm or hail on an actual cash value basis. Additional coverage for weight of ice and snow may be added in the areas of Georgia that have this type of weather. Poultry farmers also need coverage for farm equipment not attached to or located in their poultry houses, such as the machinery used to clean out the houses. GFB’s Mobile Agricultural and Machinery Endorsement, FPP-408, provides coverage to agricultural machinery and equipment for direct physical loss per the policy provisions. This coverage provides settlement in the event of a covered loss on an actual cash value basis at the time of loss. Other examples of equipment eligible for coverage include tractors and their implements. GFBMIC also offers coverage for various liabilities related to poultry farms. Chicken litter stored in a farmer’s stack house that will later be spread on other farms could produce a need for additional insurance coverage. A typical farm liability policy will exclude bodily injury and property damage from custom farming operations. GFBMIC defines custom farming as farming for others for a charge. If money is received for spreading chicken litter from one poultry farm onto another farm, the GFBMIC Custom Farming Liability Coverage Endorsement, FPP-403, provides coverage for bodily injury and/or property damage for qualified custom farming operations that 16 / November-–December 2018
are incidental to the farm. Poultry growers may also want to consider getting additional liability coverage for farm employees. GFBMIC’s Farm Employers Liability and Farm Employees Medical Payment Insurance Endorsement, FPP-405, may be added to the farm policy. This endorsement provides liability coverage if a farm employee as defined by the policy is injured and the farmer becomes legally liable for the injury. This endorsement also provides limited medical payments coverage for a farm employee regardless of fault if an injury occurs. Although worker’s compensation is not offered as an endorsement to the farm policy, it is another option that provides coverage regardless of fault. This coverage option may be discussed with your local agent. GFB’s Insurance Company strives to meet the insurance needs of our farmers. One of our key attributes is our local county insurance agents, who are available to meet with our farmers to discuss their insurance needs. If needed, our agents can get a GFB field underwriter
or farm risk manager to meet with the farmer to ensure the risk is adequately insured. GFB appreciates all the hard work poultry farmers do to make their farms a success. Agents in our county offices are available to answer any questions you have about insuring your farms. Editor’s note: This is the last in a five-part series the GFB News has run this year about GFB’s insurance coverage for poultry farms. Past articles cover UGA recommendations for poultry house construction; details about these recommendations; the benefits of poultry house inspections; and how farmers can add endorsements to their poultry house policies to tailor their insurance needs. To read these articles visit: www.gfb. ag/ugaphrecs, www.gfb.ag/poultryhouses, www.gfb.ag/poultryhouseinspections or www.gfb.ag/tailoredphcoverage. Stacy Folsom, a member of the GFB Mutual Insurance Company’s Underwriting Department, is the GFB Dist. 6 Field Underwriter. He has been employed with the company for 16 years.
In addition to chicken houses, poultry growers should make certain their insurance policies cover other buildings on their farms, such as stack houses, offices or generator sheds. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Does your poultry farm insurance cover all buildings, equipment & employees?
Vice President Pence visit highlights ‘18 Expo By Jay Stone _____________________________________
Photo by Jay Stone
Vice President Mike Pence praised farmers for their perseverance in the
Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Expo. Visit www.gfb.photos/2018SunbeltExpo for more Sunbelt photos.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
wake of Hurricane Michael and said the federal government would provide assistance as farmers move to recover from the devastating storm. Pence’s speech highlighted the Willie B. Withers Luncheon on opening day of the 2018 Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition, which drew a three-day attendance of 62,000. “I want to assure all of you, our administration will continue unrelenting efforts to deploy manpower and resources of the federal government to this region and these communities until we come all the way back,” Pence said. “The spirit of the people of this region, the strength of the people of Georgia is inspiring America.” The Sunbelt Expo grounds were in the path of the storm, but sustained minimal damage, allowing the annual show to go on, although the aftermath of the storm contributed to lower attendance. In the Georgia Agriculture Building,
Georgia Farm Bureau promoted its "I Farm. I Vote." campaign encouraging farmers to vote in the Nov. 6 elections. The GFB Mutual Insurance Company had a representative available to take hurricane-related damage claims and answer questions about filing claims. South Carolina cattleman Kevin Yon was named the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year during the awards lunch. Yon raises purebred Angus beef cattle. James Vaughn of Monroe County was recognized as the Georgia Sunbelt Farmer of the Year during the ceremony. Spotlight State Kentucky placed an emphasis on education with its exhibit. This included the display of Kentucky Department of Agriculture mobile science classrooms. The classrooms allowed visitors to participate in ag-based science lessons and farm safety demonstrations on tractor rollovers and grain bin accidents.
SFBLI.COM November–December 2018 / 17
Ag transport rules:
know before you go 101
By Jay Stone _____________________________________
eorgia officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) say their preference is to partner with farmers to prevent issues before farm vehicles get pulled over on the road. FMCSA Georgia Administrator Clinton Seymour and DPS Special Operations Coordinator Lt. Brent Moore encourage farmers to seek information about rules for ag vehicles by visiting their agencies’ websites or calling them to ask questions. “Obviously our job is enforcement, and it involves enforcing rules on the side of the road, but we would much rather come in and help you ahead of time rather than have to deal with it on the side of the road,” Moore said. Moore said a covered farm vehicle is a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more that is used by a farm, farm employee or family member in the performance of farm operations. “It’s not just for your crops,” Moore said. “It’s anything you’re using in the [operation] of your farm.” Seymour and Moore encourage farmers to visit the websites www.fmcsa.dot.gov and www.dps.georgia.gov to access the latest information about ag transportation rules. “The more preparation you do to classify yourself, the quicker the com18 / November-–December 2018
munication with the officer can go,” Seymour said. “We can understand where the regulatory boundaries are, or if there are none, you can be on your way and commerce can go through.” Within Georgia’s borders, farm vehicles enjoy a wide range of exceptions. Cross the state line, and federal rules come into play. In Georgia, covered farm vehicles are required to carry a registration certificate that can be accessed at www.gamccd. net under the “farm vehicle” tab. Covered farm vehicles between 10,001 and 26,000 pounds may travel anywhere in the state without a DOT number and without the driver having a CDL. If the vehicle crosses a state line, the covered farm vehicle exemption does not apply and the vehicle needs a DOT
number. Another exception negates the need for a DOT number, FMCSA State Programs Manager Clay Greene says, as long as the vehicle is within a 150-mile radius of the farm. Within the state, farm vehicle drivers are not required to have a commercial driver’s license, though if they are driving a vehicle/trailer combination that weighs more than 26,000 pounds they are required to have the non-commercial Class E or Class F license. Covered farm vehicles carrying farm equipment are not subject to wide load permitting requirements, as long as they are within a 40-mile radius of their farm. For questions, call the Georgia section of the FMCSA at 678-284-5130 or the Georgia MCCD at 404-624-7211.
Former GFB Director Burch dies
Charlie Burch, who served as a Georgia Farm Bureau 9th District Director from 1992 to 2000, died Aug. 23. Burch, 90, served numerous intermittent terms as Baker County Farm Bureau president from 1971 to 1995. Burch attended and graduated from Elmodel School, then served in the U.S. Army in the 1940s. After his service, he went Charlie Burch to work on the family farm. Burch served on the Southwest Georgia Farm Credit Services Board of Directors for 24 years and on the Georgia Peanut Commission Peanut Advisory Board. He was a member of Live Oak Free Will Baptist Church where he served as chairman of the Deacon Board and church clerk for many years. Burch is survived by sons: Jarrell (Celeice) Burch and Tim (Lydia) Burch, all of Baker County; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Martha Jane Hatcher Burch. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Deadlines near for seed cotton & tariff relief programs By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________
Two important deadlines are coming up for farmers who want to participate in new farm programs announced earlier this year. Georgia cotton growers have until Dec. 7 to enroll in the new seed cotton program passed in February. Corn, cotton, dairy, pork, sorghum, soybean and wheat producers have until Jan. 15 to apply for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) the USDA announced Aug. 27 as a way to assist farmers affected by tariff retaliation from foreign nations. Georgia Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Programs Chief Brett Martin and UGA Extension Economists Adam Rabinowitz and Yangxuan Liu discussed the two programs during a series of meetings the two agencies held across the state in September. “The budget legislation passed earlier this year [Bipartisan Budget Act in February and FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act in March] was sort of like a mini-farm bill,” Georgia Farm Service Agency Director Tas Smith said. “We’re holding these meetings across the state to increase awareness of the programs and answer questions farmers may have as enrollment in the programs is underway.”
Seed Cotton Program
Martin explained that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 made seed cotton (unginned upland cotton, both lint and seed) a covered commodity under the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs of the current farm bill for the 2018 crop year. Farm owners who had generic base (cotton base under the 2008 farm bill) as of Sept. 30, 2013, and have a planting history of covered commodities (canola, corn, oats, peanuts, seed cotton, sesame, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seeds, wheat) from 20092016, have a one-time chance to allocate generic base acres to seed cotton Georgia Farm Bureau News
and/or other covered commodities. Martin said the USDA sent farm owners a letter in August with a summary of acres planted in covered commodities from 2008-2012 as reported to USDA, which should help in the allocation process. Farm owners also have a one-time chance to update the farm’s payment yield for seed cotton. UGA Extension Economist Yangxuan Liu explained that farm owners can opt to retain the counter-cyclical payment yield for upland cotton listed on the farm record as of Sept. 3, 2013, multiplied by 2.4, or update the cotton yield to 90 percent of a simple average of upland cotton yield per planted acre on the farm for the 2008-2012 crop years.
Farm owners will certify to a yield for upland cotton planted on the farm for each year during 2008-2012 that must be supported by acceptable evidence if requested by FSA. Acceptable evidence includes Risk Management Agency records, gin bale listings, warehouse receipts and FSA loan records. After farm owners allocate generic base acres and update the payment yield, current farm producers (renters) will choose to elect either the ARC or PLC program for the new seed cotton base acres. A farm that doesn’t make a selection will have its seed cotton acres automatically enrolled in the PLC program. Liu gave an overview of a decision aid the UGA Extension Economist team has developed to help farm owners and producers decide how they should best allocate their generic base acres and update their seed cotton payment yield. Visit http://agecon.uga.edu/extension/policy.html to access the guide titled “Seed Cotton Generic Base & Yield Update.”
Market Facilitation Program
Martin also provided details of the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which the FSA is administering to provide direct payments to producers of corn, cotton, dairy, pork, sorghum, soybeans and wheat for the negative impact they have experienced as a result of tariffs imposed by China on U.S. ag exports. The deadline for producers to apply at local FSA offices is Jan. 15, 2019. Martin said farmers should apply after their crop is completely harvested since payments will only be issued once production is reported. He said producers must be able to certify their reported production if requested by the FSA for a spot check. Martin encouraged farmers to keep verifiable production records such as sale receipts, Risk Management Agency production records, ginning records or vet records for hogs. Payments will be issued on 50 percent of a producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for the following commodities: cotton 6 cents/pound; corn 1 cent/bushel; milk 12 cents/hundred pounds; hogs $8/head; soybeans $1.65/ bushel; sorghum 86 cents/bushel; and wheat 14 cents/bushel. In late October, DTN reported that Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recognized the USDA needs to consider situations where Southeastern farmers lost yield to hurricane damage this fall. Georgia FSA Director Tas Smith explained the payment rates are based on the impact Chinese tariffs are expected to have on a crop. A total of $4.7 billion in MFP payments has been budgeted with $3.6 billion going to soybean producers as the crop most affected. For more information about any of these programs, visit your local FSA office or www.farmers.gov. November–December 2018 / 19
Norton, Williams take top prizes in state goat & lamb shows
Congratulations to Ben Williams for winning the 2018 Ga. Jr. National Grand Champion Market Wether prize! GFB Field Services Assc. Director Clay Talton, center, presented Williams with a $1,500 prize sponsored by the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. Visit www.gfb. ag/18gagoatlambshow for more show photos.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Tanner Norton of Grady County and Ben Williams of Gordon County earned the top honors in the 2018 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat & Lamb Shows held Oct. 5-7 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry. Hours of working with their livestock paid off for the two young men who both showed as 4-H members. Williams won the 2018 Ga. Junior National Grand Champion Market Wether prize with his Boer cross goat on Friday evening. Norton captured the Ga. Junior National Grand Champion Market Doe prize on Saturday. The following day, Norton became a double grand champion winner when he won the Ga. Junior National Grand Champion Market Lamb prize! The market goat show attracted 396 4-H and FFA members who showed 241 wethers (castrated male goat) and 417 does (female goat) in the market goat show. The market lamb show had 153 exhibitors who showed 302 lambs. Norton, an eighth grader at Whigham Elementary, is the son of Clay and Cindy Norton of Cairo. During the past eight years, Norton has shown goats, sheep, cattle and pigs. He says what he enjoys most about showing livestock are the memories he has made with his family and the friends he has made across the state. Williams, the son of Kip and Trish Williams of Calhoun, is a seventh grader at Calhoun Middle School. For the past six years Williams has shown goats, sheep, cattle and pigs. The thrill of competition and the lasting friendships he has made with other show kids is what keeps Williams in the show ring. The Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture sponsored the cash prize for each grand champion. Georgia Farm Bureau is also the premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter for the 2018/19 show season.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________________________
Congratulations to Tanner Norton, who won the 2018 Ga. Junior National Grand Champion Market Lamb prize! Georgia Farm Bureau Field Services Associate Director Clay Talton, right, presented Norton with a $1,000 prize sponsored by the GFB Foundation for Agriculture. Pictured from left, Ga. Junior Livestock Federation Director Chad Underwood presented the show banners. Norton also won the grand champion Market Doe prize of $1,500.
GFB Foundation & GEMC donate books to libraries The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Foundation for Agriculture has partnered with the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (GEMC) to promote ag literacy by donating copies of the children’s book “John Deere, That’s Who!” to the more than 400 libraries in the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS). Each county Farm Bureau received enough copies of the book for every public library in the county and were asked to present the books on behalf of GFB and GEMC. The book, by Tracy Maurer, tells how blacksmith John Deere designed the steel plow in the 1830s and how his invention allowed American pioneers to farm the thick soil in the Midwest. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture selected the book as its 2018 Book of the Year. Camden County Farm Bureau Director Steven Merck presented the book to St. Marys Public Library Manager Judy Britt.
20 / November-–December 2018
Georgia Farm Bureau News
QUALIFICATION • $5,000 in total farm sales. Can come from multiple crops or services. • Exemption allowed for long-term commodities (i.e. livestock, timber, pecans) if volumes exist to generate $5,000 in annual sales.
GATE Card Program
Changes to the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) program are being implemented to comply with legislation the Georgia legislature passed this year to protect the integrity of the program. Major changes are highlighted here. All applications for renewals or new cards must be made online at https://forms. agr.georgia.gov/GATE/. More detailed information about GATE is also available at this website.
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November–December 2018 / 21
Editor’s note: This is an edited version of an article the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Labor Division provided to help Georgia farmers, who use farm labor contractors, comply with federal labor laws. Farmers using labor contractors and the H-2A program are subject to DOL audits. This article is not a complete guide to all regulations farmers must comply with but summarizes the most important ones. Farmers should consult the Wage & Hour Division with any questions. Many growers turn to farm labor contractors (FLCs) to meet their labor needs. Though contracting with an FLC who can provide these workers can be a good option, employers should carefully consider a number of items when selecting their FLC. According to the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA), a farm labor contractor (FLC) is someone hired to recruit, solicit, employ, furnish or transport migrant and/or seasonal agricultural workers. Use registered FLCs Before performing any farm labor activity, a FLC must register with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and obtain a certificate of registration. Persons employed by FLCs to perform farm labor contracting activities also must register with the DOL. FLCs and FLC employees must carry proof of registration and show it to workers with whom they deal as contractors. Before farmers accept the services of an FLC, they must take reasonable steps to ensure the contractor has a valid DOL certificate for the services to be performed. To inquire about the validity of a certificate, call the Wage & Hour Division’s toll-free number 1-866-487-9243. Common FLC violations The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division enforces the MSPA and the labor provision of the H-2A visa program. Violations 22 / November-–December 2018
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Working with farm labor contractors
commonly found among FLCs include: Failure to pay proper wages FLCs must pay workers their wages when due, and give workers itemized, written statements of earnings for each pay period, including any amount deducted and the reasons for the deduction. FLCs participating in H-2A must pay the highest of the adverse effect wage rate, the prevailing hourly rate or piece rate, the agreed-upon collective bargaining wage, or the federal or state minimum wage to all covered workers and pay for workers’ inbound/outbound transportation to and from their home countries. FLCs may not make any deductions from the workers’ wages unless specified in the written disclosure. Deductions relative to an H-2A employer’s expenses in obtaining H-2A certification are prohibited. Failure to recruit U.S. workers Under H-2A, employers must demonstrate the need for a specific number of H-2A workers in order for the DOL to certify there are not sufficient qualified and available U.S. workers. H-2A employers must provide employment to any qualified, eligible U.S. worker who applies for the job until 50 percent of the period of the work contract has elapsed. Employers must offer U.S. workers terms and working conditions that are not less favorable than those offered to H-2A workers.
Unsafe housing & meal violations Each person or organization, which owns or controls a facility used for housing migrant workers, must comply with federal and state safety and health standards. A written statement of the terms and conditions of occupancy must be posted at the housing site where it can be seen or be given to the workers. H-2A employers must provide housing at no cost to H-2A workers and to workers in corresponding employment who are not reasonably able to return to their residence in the same day. If the employer elects to rent accommodations for workers, the employer is required to pay all housing-related charges directly to the housing’s management. H-2A employers are also required to either provide each covered worker with three meals per day, at no more than a DOL-specified cost, or to furnish free and convenient cooking and kitchen facilities where workers can prepare their own meals. Unsafe transportation Farmers and farm labor contractors must assure vehicles used to transport workers are properly insured, operated by licensed drivers, and meet federal and state safety standards. H-2A employers must provide daily transportation between the workers’ living quarters and the employer’s worksite at no cost to workers living in employer-provided housing. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jay Stone
Joint employers A grower who uses an FLC to obtain workers may be considered the employer of those workers, which is known as being a joint employer. Joint employment means that an individual is employed by two or more persons at the same time. Where a joint employment relationship exists, each of the employers must ensure that the employee receives all employment related rights granted by MSPA, such as accurate and timely disclosure of the terms and conditions of employment, written payroll records and payment of wages when due. If either employer violates these provisions, both can be held liable for any back wages and/or civil money penalties that may be assessed. Contract with reputable FLCs The DOL Wage and Hour Division may suspend, revoke or withhold renewal of farm labor certificates for FLCs who have committed violations under the MSPA. Employers who use the services of an unregistered FLC may be subject to civil or criminal remedies under MSPA.
Employers are encouraged to review the MSPA ineligible farm labor contractor and H-2A debarment lists prior to contracting for labor. Educate Yourself The DOL Wage and Hour Division offers multiple compliance assistance resources to provide employers the tools they need to comply with the law. Visit these sites for more information:
www.dol.gov/whd/mspa/index.htm, www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/ whdfs26.pdf or www.gapconnections. com/resources/farm-labor-contractorguide. You may reach the Wage and Hour Division from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 866-4US-WAGE. All calls are confidential. Additional information is available at www.dol.gov/whd.
2019 Georgia AG FORECAST Jan. 22 • Macon Georgia Farm Bureau Jan. 23 • Carrollton Carroll Co. Ag Center Jan. 25 • Watkinsville Oconee Co. Civic Center Jan. 29 • Lyons Toombs Co. Ag Center Jan. 31 • Bainbridge Decatur Co. Ag Center Feb. 1 • Tifton UGA Conference Center
Georgia Farm Bureau News
he UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences will provide an ag market outlook for the coming year. CAES Dean Sam Pardue will share how UGA is working to meet the needs of farmers and agribusiness across the state. Check-in for all meetings, except Tifton, begins at 9 a.m. with seminars starting at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. Check-in for the Tifton event begins at 7 a.m. followed by breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Pardue with the seminar from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Registration is $35. Visit www.georgiaagforecast.com or call 706-542-5046 to register or for more information.
November–December 2018 / 23
around georgia news from county farm bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker
More county Farm Bureau activities are featured on the Friends of Georgia Farm Bureau Facebook group page at www.gfb.ag/group. Join the group to get county news as it happens!
BALDWIN COUNTY--------------------------------------------------------- Thanks to Baldwin County Farm Bureau, students at a local Montessori school learned how bees pollinate crops and flowers in the process of making honey. BCFB Office Manager Camille Smith led the students in planting bee-friendly seeds. She also let the students taste-test honey and helped them make a peanut butter honey yogurt dip.
BERRIEN COUNTY------------------------------------------------------------ Berrien County Farm Bureau (BCFB) hosted a booth at the county’s annual Harvest Festival held in Nashville, Sept. 29. BCFB promoted corn at its booth offering fresh popped popcorn and materials on corn. Festival attendees were also able to use an old-fashioned corn sheller on display. COWETA/SPALDING COUNTIES---------------------------------- The Coweta and Spalding County Farm Bureaus partnered with the Spalding County Extension Office to co-host a Farm Day for all first graders in Spalding County at the UGA Bledsoe Research Farm in Williamson. More than 900 students attended the event where they learned how farmers raise livestock and grow crops. The students learned how agriculture contributes to their local community and their daily lives. The students enjoyed an ice cream break before heading back to school. 24 / November-–December 2018
DOOLY COUNTY------------------------------------------------------------- Dooly County Farm Bureau has visited several elementary classes at Fullington Academy this fall. DCFB Office Manager Angie Burton has taught students about pumpkins, tractors and pigs. This class of first graders enjoyed making pig noses after learning how farmers raise pigs and products made from pork. DOUGLAS COUNTY-------------------------------------------------------- Elementary students in Douglas County have a better understanding of how to compost thanks to Douglas County Farm Bureau visiting students at two elementary schools and teaching a lesson on the subject. DCFB President Joey Rainwater read “Compost Stew.” Then the students made edible compost using snack items that represent plant materials that can be composted. Students learned how compost enriches soil. JACKSON COUNTY--------------------------------------------------------- Jackson County Farm Bureau is participating in Cub Clubs at North Jackson Elementary this school year. Once a month, students can choose between numerous activities to participate in. JCFB staff have been hosting a Fun with Farm Bureau table dedicated to ag education for Cub Clubs. Students learned about soil and Georgia Farm Bureau News
how farmers take care of it, corn and pumpkins during the first three sessions this fall. JCFB Office Manager Denise Temple taught students about products that contain corn during the September meeting. JENKINS COUNTY---------------------------------------------------------- Jenkins County Farm Bureau (JCFB) recently purchased a backpack sprayer for the Jenkins County Extension office. JCFB President Dobson M. Gay Jr., right, presents the sprayer to County Extension Agent Jason Mallard. The equipment will be used to spray ag research trials in Jenkins County and at the UGA Southeast Research & Education Center at Midville. The first planned research trial for the sprayer is a fungicide trial for peanuts to determine how well various fungicides control white mold in Southeast Georgia. MURRAY COUNTY---------------------------------------------------------- Earlier this year, Murray County Farm Bureau hosted its annual Ag Day attended by more than 600 fourth graders from all Murray County Schools. The students rotated through 12 stations to learn about different aspects of agriculture such as farm animals and ag-related jobs. Ag students from local high school and middle schools helped with the event. Brady Tallent, left, and Grace Petty, not pictured, ran the station about dairy cows. NORTH FULTON COUNTY––––––––––––––––––––––––––– North Fulton Farm Bureau has been busy this fall visiting students at Northwood Elementary and Cogburn Woods Elementary. Office Manager Dani Loden has visited kindergarten, fourth and fifth grade classes at the schools to teach students about apples and pumpkins. After Georgia Farm Bureau News
reading “The Apple Orchard Riddle,”Loden had the students taste-test different varieties of apples and make apple life cycle bracelets. For the pumpkin lesson, Loden read “Pumpkin Circle,” made pumpkin life cycle braclets and pumpkin pie in a bag. OCONEE COUNTY----------------------------------------------------------- Students at the Oconee Preschool Academy know all about pumpkins thanks to Oconee County Farm Bureau! Office Manager Martha Jo Dalton and Secretary Skylar Sparr read “Pumpkin Circle,” made life cycle bracelets, and prepared no-cook pumpkin pie. They ended the lesson by helping the students plant pumpkin seeds for the kids to take home! Dalton and Sparr left two cups of planted seed as an experiment for the class to see the importance of water and sunlight to seeds. One cup of seed was watered and placed in a sunny window. The other seed received no water and left in the dark. TERRELL COUNTY------------------------------------------------------------ Terrell County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee member Katie Locke, center, recently read “Sleep Tight Farm” to kindergarten students at Terrell Academy.
TIFT COUNTY-------------------------------------------------------------------- Tift County Farm Bureau Young Farmers Andrew and Lauren Grimes participated in Farm Day at Tifton’s First Methodist Preschool. The day was filled with farm animals, tractors and plants. The Grimes provided a tractor for the kids to see and showed the kids how to plant broccoli. Lauren is pictured helping a student plant his seedling. November–December 2018 / 25
Seasoned farmers ready to mentor new ones
Photo courtesy of The Moultrie Observer
New farmers anywhere may participate
Pictured from left, P.L. Jowers, Thomas Coleman, Stan Savage and Harry Thompson are part of the SCORE Moultrie Ag Mentors team. The group is ready to share their knowledge of farming and business with new farmers of all ages.
By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________
A team of experienced ag professionals in Colquitt County is trained and eager to mentor people thinking about starting a farm or agribusiness. Thomas Coleman, P.L. Jowers, Stan Savage and Harry Thompson answered the call when Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) Moultrie Co-Chair Bob Montgomery and the USDA kicked off an effort last fall to establish a team to advise wouldbe-farmers and agribusiness owners the way SCORE volunteers have helped small business owners since 1964. Coleman, a full-time farmer; Jowers, who is retired from the ag finance industry; Savage, a retired Extension poultry specialist who raises cattle; and Thompson, a retired ag teacher who raises timber and cattle, are ready to share their expertise. The effort underway in Colquitt County is one of eight pilot programs 26 / November-–December 2018
in Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, New York and Washington where the USDA is partnering with established SCORE chapters to match farmers and ag professionals with people who want to farm. “Our market is veterans coming out of service, young people looking to get into niche farming with small pieces of land looking to grow blueberries or microgreens, or retirees who have some land and want to grow something on it as a second career,” Montgomery said. Anyone interested in being paired with one of the SCORE Moultrie ag mentors can participate in the program. It isn’t just for Colquitt County residents. “I was fortunate enough to have a father and grandfather teach me how to farm,” Coleman said. “You take someone today who may want to farm but they don’t know anything about it. I want to pass a little bit of knowledge on to some-
one else because I want other people to be able to help feed and clothe my grandchildren. I want the ag section of the economy to continue to prosper because without food and fiber we’re nothing.” Montgomery and Coleman said the majority of the 22 clients who have reached out for help have been from other counties, several from other states. “We’re trying to get the word out that we can help and are offering these mentoring services,” Savage said. “There’s a lot of possibilities for small farmers who want to do niche farming as a second income like grass-fed beef or Christmas trees. The type of person we can help is someone who has 20 to 30 hours a week to devote to raising produce or livestock on a small scale.” For more information about the Ag Mentor program SCORE Moultrie is offering, call 229-985-2131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Efforts underway to boost Georgia’s rural economies
new Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation opened in July at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC). It will be housed in Gaines Hall. The center, created when the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 951 during the first 2018 session, will serve as a central information and research hub for rural leadership training. It will also partner with public and private community stakeholders to support projects that foster entrepreneurship, job creation, community engagement and cultural enhancement in rural Georgia. ABAC President Dr. David Bridges applauded Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and the House Rural Development Council for acknowledging that while Georgia is doing well overall economically, some rural areas of the state are struggling. “The non-metro areas of Georgia didn’t recover as fast as urban areas from
the Great Recession,” Bridges said. “It’s not good for anyone that rural Georgia is lagging behind Atlanta.” Bridges is serving as interim director of the center until a director is named. Scott Blount has been named associate director of the center. Bridgett Mobley is the center’s logistics and operations manager. “Our mission is to foster innovation and economic development,” Bridges said. Progress is what we’re looking for. We’re not necessarily looking to bring 1,200 new jobs to a community but to help existing businesses expand and add jobs. If you’re a business with six employees and you want to go to twelve, we want to help you connect with the resources you need to make it happen.” Bridges said another goal the center has is to keep talented youth from leaving their rural communities after they graduate high school. “We have to put educated, energetic and enlightened young people in rural communities.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner for Rural Georgia Amy Carter is leading a team of three at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDED) to strengthen the economies of rural communities. Carter was appointed to her position by Gov. Deal in March. Taylor Walden and Chris Chammoun make up her team. “It’s our purpose to connect these communities with federal grants and programs that can help them,” said Carter. “We are going county to county talking to stakeholders about their communities’ strengths and challenges. Agribusiness and agritourism have repeatedly been listed as strengths.” As evidence of how agriculture drives local economies, Carter pointed out that Georgia ag exports exceeded $4.2 billion last year, and agriculture products accounted for 11 percent of Georgia’s total exports in 2017. Georgia’s ag exports have grown 60 percent in the past decade.
"Our mission is to foster innovation and economic development. " – David Bridges
Georgia Farm Bureau News
November–December 2018 / 27
By Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________
Best of luck to the GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers award winners who will compete at the AFBF Convention in January!
Achievement Award Winners Will & Heather Cabe
Discussion Meet Winner Becca Creasy
Excellence in Ag Award Winner Caroline Lewallan
2019 AFBF YOUNG FARMERS & RANCHERS
The YF&R program helps young members shape their future and American agriculture through leadership development and personal growth opportunities. Three competitions enable members to showcase their leadership experience, communication skills and successful business plans as they compete against the best of the best from each state Farm Bureau.
As part of the YF&R competitions, the top four competitors in the Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Ag areas will receive:
1ST WINNER: A new Ford truck or vehicle of equal value and paid registration to the PLACE
AFBF FUSION Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin courtesy of Ford.
2ND RUNNER-UP: Case IH Farmall 50A, courtesy of Case IH. PLACE
PLACE: Case IH 40” Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest 3RD THIRD and $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH plus $2,000 of Stanley Black & Decker PLACE
merchandise (PROTO, DeWalt, Stanley, Lenox & Irwin), courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker.
4TH FOURTH PLACE: Case IH 40” Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest PLACE
and a $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS
28 / November-–December 2018
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
Georgia centennial farms honored By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________________________________________________
Since 1993, the Georgia Centennial Farm program has honored 548 farms for being in continuous operation for 100 years or more. Most have been owned by the same family. A group of 18 farms were recognized for their historic contribution to Georgia agriculture during the program’s annual ceremony on Oct. 5 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry.
2018 Centennial Farms Centennial Heritage Farm Lebanon Plantation, Chatham County Centennial Family Farms Darsey Family Farm, Appling County Malbone Farms, Bartow County Hillhouse Farms, Cherokee County C.H. Cannon Family Farm, Colquitt County Cleveland Farm, Crawford County Lewis Farm, Crisp County Muse Farm, Houston County Harper-McWhorter Farm, Irwin County Merk Farms, Jackson County Jimmie L. & Ann B. Cowart Farm, Jenkins County Ruffin Family Farm, Monroe/Upson Counties Triple H Family Farm, Peach County Rutland Farms, Polk County Max E. Beverly Farm, Thomas County Old Home Place, Mitchell County Waller Farms, Washington County Wood-Watson Farm, Wilcox County Georgia Farm Bureau News
“I want to congratulate each one of y’all for being able to hold your farms together for 100 years,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long told recipients. “As I’ve talked to some of you, I’ve learned that most of y’all are the third or fourth generation on your farm. It’s unique when we stop and think about what our forefathers had to go through so we could be here today. For 81 years Georgia Farm Bureau has been working to represent Georgia farmers in the legislative arena so families like yours can continue to farm.” Farms may be recognized with one of three awards. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are listed in the National
Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Centennial Family Farm Award recognizes farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are not listed in the NRHP. The Centennial Farm Award doesn’t require continual family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the NRHP. Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to partner with the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to sponsor the program. GFB members will be interested to note that Malbone Farms in Bartow County is owned by descendants of Robert M. Stiles, the first president of Georgia Farm Bureau. Many of the other recipients are Farm Bureau members. Farm owners interested in applying for the award in 2019 should visit www. georgiacentennialfarms.org or contact Sarah Love at 770-389-7856 or sarah. email@example.com. May 1 is the deadline.
GFB News Alert Ag news you can use!
• Free bimonthly newsletter emailed to subscribers • Timely news about Ga. commodities and legislative issues important to agriculture and agribusiness • Updates on GFB volunteers, programs, member benefits and current events • Comprehensive calendar of upcoming ag events around Georgia
To subscribe, visit
www.gfb.ag/newsalert November–December 2018 / 29
Ag in the Classroom update
By Lauren Goble, GFB AITC Coordinator
Fall is a busy time for AITC!
Dawson County put its pumpkin kit to use by hosting a“Bring It To Me” field trip at Robinson Elementary for five kindergarten classes. Students were read the book, “Pumpkin Circle,” put their fingers on and in a pumpkin, made a pumpkin life cycle bracelet and enjoyed no-cook pumpkin pie. DCFB Office Manager Tammy Wood teaches the kids to make a life cycle bracelet.
Teachers who attended the Ag Educator Workshop Carroll County Farm Bureau hosted visited George Chamber’s Southern Cross Ranch and Avery Nesbit’s Four Bellies Farm.
Georgia Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Program has had a busy fall! On Sept. 6, 42 county Farm Bureaus participated in National Read A Book Day. County Farm Bureau staff and volunteers visited local schools to read a book that accurately portrays some aspect of agriculture. Participants visited 119 classrooms reaching about 2,400 children. Throughout the fall, county Farm Bureaus have utilized the pumpkin
kits each county received in August to visit schools and teach students how pumpkins are grown from seed and how seeds require soil and water to grow. Participants read the book “Pumpkin Circle” and made no-bake pumpkin pie to serve as a snack. By mid-October, more than 40 counties had used the kits in over 100 settings. Six county Farm Bureaus – Barrow, Bibb, Carroll, Habersham, Hall and
Toombs – have hosted Ag Educator Workshops this fall. Newton plans to host one in December. Teachers learned about the AITC program and about lesson plans that satisfy science, math and language arts curriculum while introducing students to agriculture. Each county arranged tours of local farms or agribusinesses for the teachers to give them an appreciation of farming in their community.
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Hancock County Farm Bureau President Jimmy Kennedy read “Tractor Mac Arrives at the Farm” to a second grade class at John Hancock Academy for National Read A Book Day. 30 / November-–December 2018
Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB Foundation for Ag offers $58,000 in scholarships By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________________
March 1, 2019, deadline to apply
he Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is committed to investing in students pursuing careers in agriculture or a related field. For 2019, the foundation is offering a total of 30 scholarships for graduating high school seniors, rising college juniors and seniors, technical college students and UGA College of Veterinary Medicine students specializing in large/food animals. Visit www.gfb.ag/19scholarships for a list of eligible majors/ schools, application instructions and to apply. Applications must be submitted online by March 1. Transcripts and letters of recommendation must be uploaded into the application. The four scholarship categories the GFB Foundation is offering are:
Scholarship for Agriculture
Five scholarships of $3,000 & seven scholarships of $1,500 are available. Applicants must: • Be a Georgia resident • Be a graduating high school senior • During the 2019-2020 academic year, enroll in a unit of The University System of Georgia, Berry College, Emmanuel College or any accredited college/university in Georgia with an ag program. • Pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural & environmental sciences, family & consumer sciences or a related ag field. • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA • Be engaged in high school leadership activities
Technical College Scholarship for Agriculture
Five $1,000 scholarships are available. Applicants must: • Be a Georgia resident • Be enrolled in a Georgia accredited technical college during the 2019-2020 academic year • Major in an area of study related to agriculture. Examples of eligible majors at www.gfb.ag/19techschoolmajors • Have a minimum 2.8 GPA
Rising College Jr./Sr. Scholarship for Agriculture
10 scholarships of $2,000 are available. Applicants must: • Be a Georgia resident majoring in agricultural & environmental sciences, family & consumer sciences or a related ag field • Be a sophomore or junior with at least two semesters remaining to receive undergraduate degree at a unit of The University System of Georgia, Berry College, Emmanuel College or any accredited college/university in Georgia with an ag program • Be engaged in leadership activities in college • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship Questions about the scholarships should be directed to Clay Talton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-474-0679, ext. 5128.
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Three $2,500 scholarships are available. Applicants must: • Be a Georgia resident • Be a current University of Georgia veterinary medicine student specializing in large animal/food animal practice • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA November–December 2018 / 31
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The Georgia Farm Bureau News has been the official publication of Georgia Farm Bureau since 1937. With the motto, “The Voice of Georgia Farm...
Published on Nov 14, 2018
The Georgia Farm Bureau News has been the official publication of Georgia Farm Bureau since 1937. With the motto, “The Voice of Georgia Farm...