October 12, 2011
Vol. 29 No. 41
GFB, STATE AGENCIES WORKING TO PROMOTE SAFETY ON THE ROADS Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) Director Harris Blackwood will visit farm communities in Marion, Early, Tift, Bulloch and Houston counties on Oct. 14 to promote road safety through a series of media events. The state agencies and GFB are also issuing a series of news releases highlighting the precautions drivers should take to avoid collisions, part of a campaign titled “Improving Georgia’s Yield Behind the Wheel.” “Georgia Farm Bureau appreciates the effort our state leaders are making to highlight road safety in rural areas and to educate motorists about what they should do if they encounter farm equipment on the highway,” Duvall said. “Farmers and motorists can work together to help prevent needless accidents if we all follow the recommendations of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.“ Georgia’s harvest season is in full swing, which means there will be more farm equipment on public roads as farmers bring in their fall crops, increasing the chances of roadway collisions between farm equipment and passenger vehicles. According to the GOHS, there were 300 crashes involving passenger vehicles and farm equipment in Georgia last year, and there were five deaths from these accidents. The GOHS gave the following tips to avoid accidents: For motorists: Don’t pass unless you can see clearly ahead of both you and the vehicle you are passing and don’t pass if there are any curves or hills ahead that may block your view or the view of oncoming vehicles. Don’t assume farm equipment that pulls to the right side of the road is turning right or is letting you pass. Farmers must sometimes pull to the right to execute wide left turns. Check the operator’s hand signals and check the left side of the road for gates, driveways or field entrances the farmer may be turning into. For farmers: Georgia law requires you to place a slow moving vehicle reflector on equipment that travels the road slower than 25 mph. Always point the triangle reflector up, keep the emblem clean to maximize reflectivity and replace the emblem when it fades. Mark the edges of equipment with reflective tape and reflectors. Install retrofit lighting on older machinery to increase visibility. Turn on your lights but turn off spotlights when traveling on roads. Don’t drive before sunrise or after sunset. Use warning flashers to caution approaching motorists to slow down. Use signal lights or proper hand signals to let motorists know your intention to turn in advance. Equipment drivers should not encourage or signal motorists when to pass but should pull over when it is safe to allow traffic to pass.
Leadership Alert page 2 of 5 GFB POLICY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE CONSIDERS RESOLUTIONS The Georgia Farm Bureau Policy Development Committee met at the GFB headquarters in Macon on Oct. 10 to consider about 300 resolutions submitted by 70 different county Farm Bureaus across Georgia. “You are charged with giving serious attention to all these resolutions and putting them into a useable document for our voting delegates to consider,” GFB President Zippy Duvall told committee members. “It’s important because we take our legislative positions based on the policy this committee helps to shape.” The committee consists of 30 county Farm Bureau presidents, the chairmen of the 20 commodity advisory committees, and the GFB Board of Directors. The presidents are chosen, three per Farm Bureau district, using an objective criterion based on how recently a county has agreed to serve on the committee. Resolutions were submitted on a wide variety of topics. Judging from the number of resolutions received, the main issues of concern were Farm Bureau’s ethanol policy (50), taxes (30), CDL requirements for farmers (25), immigration issues (16), and metal theft (15). There were several wildlife management submissions, and most of them sought ways to control the state’s feral hog population, a nuisance to farmers everywhere that appears to be getting worse. During this first meeting of the committee, the group was broken into two subcommittees. The subcommittees combined the numerous resolutions into an easier format which will be considered when the full committee meets again on Nov. 1 to finalize the document before the delegates see it at the GFB Convention in December. GFB LAUNCHES HARVEST FOR ALL CAMPAIGN The 2011 Georgia Farm Bureau Harvest For All campaign will be targeted toward feeding the 1.29 million Georgians living in poverty. This year, GFB will be working with the seven regional food banks in the Georgia Food Bank Association to place meals on tables. Because the member food banks are able to provide seven meals with every dollar donated, GFB will be supporting their cause with a monetary donation. A $500 donation can provide 3,500 meals. All donations to the Harvest For All campaign should be submitted to the GFB Field Services Department by Oct. 28. Checks should be made payable to GFB Inc. For more information contact Field Services at 478-474-0679 or your county Farm Bureau office. STABENOW: DIRECT PAYMENTS UNLIKELY TO REMAIN IN FARM BILL The Senate Ag Committee is working toward a farm safety net structure for the 2012 farm bill, and Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said in published reports that direct and countercyclical payments are not included. Farm Bureau suggested direct payments be maintained but Stabenow said the budget environment makes that unlikely. “What we’re hearing from others, colleagues outside the Agriculture Committee, there is clearly a bull’s-eye on direct payments,” Stabenow said. “So I think our job of fighting for production agriculture is to look at how we can, working with the commodity groups, those affected, find the most effective way to develop a safety net and risk management system that will be supported by our colleagues.”
Leadership Alert page 3 of 5 NRCS ANNOUNCES FY2012 SIGN-UPS FOR CONSERVATION PROGRAMS The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), the Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) and the Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program (FRPP). All three programs allow participants to apply at any time, but to be eligible for funding during fiscal year 2012, applications must be received by Oct. 28, 2011. The WRP is a voluntary program under which participants agree to limit use of their land to protect wetlands. Landowners receive financial and technical assistance in return. Applications are being accepted in NRCS offices. The GRP is a voluntary program that assists landowners and operators in restoring and protecting grasslands through permanent conservation easements and multi-year rental contracts. Participants limit future use of the land while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices. To apply, visit your local USDA Service Center. The FRPP is a voluntary program designed to protect agricultural use and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting non-agricultural use of the land. The NRCS provides matching funds to state, tribal and local governments and non-governmental organizations with existing farm and ranch land protection programs to purchase conservation easements. To apply, contact a local eligible entity or the local NRCS office. Visit http://www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov/programs for more information about all of the NRCS’ conservation programs. PORTS AUTHORITY TO EXPAND SAVANNAH REFRIGERATED CAPACITY On Sept. 26, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Board of Directors approved a $4.75 million project that will expand the Port of Savannah’s capacity for refrigerated container storage by 45 percent. The project will consist of the fabrication and installation of 20 four-story refrigerated container racks at the Garden City Terminal. The project is scheduled to be completed in September 2012. The GPA currently has 44 refrigerated container racks in service, each powering 24 containers. When complete, the new racks will allow the Port of Savannah to accommodate 1,536 containers with a total of 64 racks in operation. The Port of Savannah was the point of exit for nearly 40 percent of U.S. containerized poultry exports, or 1.6 billion pounds in FY2011. In the past five years, refrigerated container volume has increased 54 percent at the Port of Savannah. Poultry was GPA’s fourth-largest export commodity in FY 2011 behind wood pulp, paper products and fabrics. More than $804 million worth of containerized poultry was exported through the Port of Savannah in FY2011. “As the leading U.S. container port for poultry exports, this new investment will not only expand capacity but create additional opportunity to export American-made and grown products to the world,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz. Poultry broilers are the top agricultural commodity produced in Georgia, accounting for 39 percent of the state’s total farm gate value in 2009 according to the University of Georgia.
Leadership Alert page 4 of 5 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU DISTRICT ANNUAL MEETINGS Oct. 13 7th District First Baptist Church 7 p.m. Statesboro Nov. 3 8th District South Georgia Technical College 7 p.m. Americus Nov. 8 4th District Greene County High School 7 p.m. Greensboro Nov. 10 6th District Poplar Springs North Bapt. Ch. 7 p.m. Dublin Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information. Note: These meetings are for Farm Bureau members only and not open to the general public. GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIR Thru Oct. 16 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Perry The award-winning Georgia National Fair features livestock and horse shows, youth exhibits, home and fine arts competitions, family entertainment, midway rides and games, fair food, and major concerts that includes Blake Shelton and the JaneDear Girls. For more information, visit http://www.georgianationalfair.com. POLO & PALS EQUESTRIAN EXTRAVAGANZA Oct. 15 Champion Oak Farm (off Bethany Road) 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Madison Horse enthusiasts will enjoy this afternoon of “horsing around” that will include demonstrations by the UGA 5-time National Champion Equestrian Team, La Ferme de Cheval’s Nichole Mesik riding her elegant Friesian and costumed Arabians and local horse competitors demonstrating their barrel racing and showmanship skills. Events will include a round of Polf (polo golf) with polo pros and celebrity guests competing and a “half-horsed” polo match played by area mule enthusiasts. Admission is $20/person, $30/couple or $50/car for ringside parking/viewing (includes admission for all occupants). Children 10 and under will be admitted free. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Soft drinks and snacks will be available all day followed by a barbecue supper for $15 at 7 p.m. For more information contact Maybe Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-453-7484. This event is raising funds for the Polo Players Support Group that helps injured polo players with their medical bills. HOUSTON EXTENSION OFFICE PRUNING CLASS FOR HOMEHOWNERS Oct. 27 Old courthouse 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Perry The Houston County Extension Office is offering a pruning class to area homeowners who want to know how and when to prune. Cutting Up: The Three T’s of Pruning will be taught in the Extension Office Multipurpose Room located on the top floor of the old courthouse in Perry. Cost for the class is $10 per person. Jeff Cook, UGA Extension agent, will be discussing the proper tools for the job, the correct techniques to use to achieve your goals, and the importance time of year plays in pruning. For a registration form, visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/houston/news.html or email email@example.com. GEORGIA SWEET POTATO FESTIVAL Oct. 29 Downtown area Ocilla The 51st Annual Georgia Sweet Potato Festival features a parade, arts and crafts show, cooking contest, pageant, classic car and tractor show, and much more. Proceeds from this year's car show will benefit the Irwin County High School Marching Big Red Band for their trip to the Sugar Bowl in January 2012. For more information, visit http://www.gasweetpotatofestival.com.
Leadership Alert page 5 of 5 SOUTHERN WOODLAND OWNERS CONFERENCE & SOLUTIONS FAIR Oct. 31-Nov. 2 UGA Tifton Campus Tifton Two optional preconference field trips will be offered Oct. 31 to Norbid Mill (cost of $20), a wood products mill in Cordele, and Oakridge Farms (cost of $45), a longleaf plantation. The two-day conference will feature a variety of topics to address challenges in forest management in the southern U.S., including timber security, intergenerational transfers, the latest in seedling development, timberland value trends, forest certification and conservation easements. Full conference participation earns attendees up to 9 CFE credits and 10 CLE credits. Registration without CFE/CLE credits is $90 per person before Oct. 14 and $110 after Oct. 14. Registration with CFE/CLE credits is $130 per person before Oct. 14 and $150 after. For more information visit or contact Michele Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-992-8110. FARM TO FORK CONFERENCE Nov. 1-2 UGA Tifton Campus Tifton This conference, sponsored by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, will cover the basics of developing a business to make and sell a food product. Workshops will cover developing a business plan, securing financing, legal issues, food quality and safety regulations, packaging, sales techniques, food products reviews and much more. Business owners who are successfully operating businesses selling food products they created will also speak. Registration cost is $39. Visit http://www.areg.caes.uga.edu to register. For more information contact Sarah Cook at email@example.com or 229-391-6882. BIBB COUNTY FARM BUREAU 100TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Nov. 2 Bibb County Farm Bureau Office Macon In 1911, the Bibb County Agricultural Association changed its name to the Bibb County Farm Bureau to meet the qualifications of a grant program funded by Sears, Roebuck & Company that provided $1,000 annually to employ a full time farm demonstration agent (forerunner to county Extension agents) through a program with the USDA. BCFB was among the first county Farm Bureaus to be formed in the U.S. through this program. Join members of the Bibb County Farm Bureau as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of their organization with a drop-in reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall will speak at 6 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded to commemorate the event. Everyone is invited to attend but please RSVP to Pat Steed at 478-477-5740 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 28 to help with food preparation. TECHNICAL LARGE ANIMAL EMERGENCY RESCUE TRAINING Dec. 7-9 TLAER Facility Gray This event will provide certification training in operations and awareness on large animal rescue topics. For more information visit http://www.tlaer.org/.