Vol. 76 No. 5
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
GFB accepting entries for 2014 hay contest
$500 Bonus For Georgia Farm Bureau Members Georgia Farm Bureau members get $500 Bonus Cash* toward the purchase or lease of any eligible 2013/2014/2015 Ford vehicle. Enjoy valuable savings on your choice of vehicles from our comfortable and capable lineup â€“ like the all-new 2014 Ford Edge with an aerodynamic design, dynamic technology and impressive fuel efficiency.**
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*Program #34582: $500 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/3/2014 through 1/5/2015 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2013/2014/2015 model year Ford vehicle. Not available on Mustang Shelby GT/GT500, Mustang Boss 302, Focus Electric and F-150 Raptor. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 60 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $500 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Ford Dealer for complete details and qualifications. **EPA-estimated rating of 21 city/30 hwy/24 combined mpg, 2.0L FWD. Actual mileage will vary.
$750 Savings, reserved just for Georgia Farm Bureau Members Georgia Farm Bureau members get $750 Bonus Cash* toward the purchase or lease of any eligible intelligently designed 2013/2014/2015 Lincoln vehicle. Enjoy exclusive savings on your choice of vehicles from our luxurious Lincoln lineup â€“ including the 2014 Lincoln MKZ, with the available retractable panoramic roof.
BONUS CASH Take advantage of this exclusive special offer today.
*$750 Bonus Cash offer exclusively for active Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. Offer is valid from 1/3/2014 through 1/5/2015 for the purchase or lease of an eligible new 2013/2014/2015 model year Lincoln vehicle. Offer is subject to change based on vehicle eligibility. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. You must be an eligible Association member for at least 60 consecutive days and must show proof of membership. Limit one $750 Bonus Cash offer per vehicle purchase or lease. Limit of five new eligible vehicle purchases or leases per Farm Bureau member during program period. See your Lincoln Dealer for complete details and qualifications.
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contents september 2014
we, the farmers PAGE 4
legislative update PAGE 5
commodities update PAGE 10
public relations staff Andy Lucas Director Jennifer Whittaker Editor Jay Stone Print/Web Specialist Lillian Davis Publications/Advertising Manager Michael Edmondson Web/Video Manager Ray D’Alessio Senior Producer/TV Host Kenny Burgamy Co-Anchor/Reporter Mark Wildman Senior Radio-TV Specialist Dean Wood Radio-TV Specialist Damon Jones Radio-TV Specialist Vickie Amos Office Coordinator 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 For questions regarding advertising contact Hurst and Associates, Inc., 1-800-397-8908 Visit the GFB Web site today! www.gfb.org Georgia Farm Bureau TV: www.youtube.com/georgiafarmmonitor “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgiaFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gafarmbureau Check us out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gafarmbureau
D.C. updates, UGA research, “Farmland,” are highlights of GFB Commodity Conference GFB members attending the organization’s annual commodity conference heard speeches from Georgia elected officials, got an update on auxin resistance issues, saw an abridged version of the movie “Farmland,” talked to UGA researchers and kicked off GFB’s annual policy development process. PAGE 6
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
AFBF President Stallman tours Georgia farms
Georgia Farm Bureau hosted a tour for American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman on Aug. 13 allowing him to visit four Georgia farms as he traveled to Tifton for the GFB Commodity Conference the next day. The tour gave Stallman a chance to see some of Georgia’s famous commodities – peaches, poultry and peanuts – up close. PAGE 8
CAFO meetings shed light on new permit options
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Georgia Department of Agriculture held a series of meetings across Georgia in August to educate livestock producers about changes regarding the state and federal permits they must have to be in compliance with waste management regulations. Dec. 1 is the deadline for producers to choose which permit option they will select. PAGE 12
EPA rule, truck weights highlight Ag Issues Summit
An overview of Farm Bureau’s “Ditch the Rule” Campaign, a discussion of Georgia’s truck weight limits and an update of Georgia’s statewide water planning efforts were among the issues discussed at the annual Joint Agriculture Chairmen Ag Issues Summit held in July. Georgia House Ag Committee Chairman Tom McCall and Senate Ag Committee Chairman John Wilkinson hosted the event. PAGE 14
Implementation of 2014 farm bill begins
The USDA is working to implement the 2014 farm bill, with some programs up and running and key deadlines approaching in others. PAGE 16
Growing up on farm prepared Harden for USDA post
USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden has roots that run deep in her hometown of Camilla. Learn how growing up on a South Georgia farm prepared her for a lifelong career of representing farmers in Washington, D.C., and for her current responsibility of implementing the 2014 farm bill. PAGE 19
GFB to offer new ag e-newsletter
This fall, Georgia Farm Bureau will roll out a new electronic newsletter to replace its weekly newsletter, Leadership Alert. Learn more about the new publication and how you can subscribe. PAGE 23
on the cover
(Photo by Suzie Miller) GFB accepting entries for 2014 Hay Contest… GFB has teamed up with Vermeer to award the first place winner of the GFB Hay Contest the free use of a 504N Vermeer baler for one year with the option to buy it at a reduced rate. Complete details about the contest are on page 10. Dodge County Farm Bureau member Suzie Miller entered this photo, titled Rolls of Gold, in the 2011 GFB Photo Contest. Look for an article featuring the 2014 photo contest winners in the fall Georgia Neighbors.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 3
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
farmers FARM BUREAU GEORGIA
The Voice of Georgia Farmers
Zippy Duvall, GFB President
To everything there is a season
When you farm, you know that as the year progresses, you’ll be doing certain chores depending on the season. Planting in spring, baling hay, tending crops in the summer, and harvesting in the fall. Georgia Farm Bureau has a seasonal calendar, too. At our commodity conference, held Aug. 14, we kicked off our annual policy development process as our 20 commodity advisory committees reviewed the policy in GFB’s official policy book applicable to their commodities. For anyone who isn’t familiar with GFB policy, this is our organization’s official position on issues ranging from A to Z that provides direction for the action we take on legislation in Atlanta and D.C. Our policy development process is where our grassroots structure is best exemplified. In July, I sent letters to each county Farm Bureau asking county leaders to submit resolutions addressing issues of concern to them and to recommend policy that we can delete because it is vague or outdated. The GFB Policy Development Committee will review resolutions county Farm Bureaus submit to the GFB Legislative Department by Sept. 19 during two meetings this fall. The GFB PD Committee will then present a book of policy to be considered by GFB voting delegates at our annual convention in December. Sound policy keeps Farm Bureau strong. Member participation is key to developing policy that reflects the needs of our members, so I encourage you to participate. In addition to kicking off our policy development season, our commodity conference provided an opportunity for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who will become our senior senator at the end of the year, and U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, who serves
on the House Agriculture Committee, to give updates from D.C. I’m also pleased to tell you that Sen. Isakson showed his appreciation of what Georgia Farm Bureau does for Georgia agriculture by joining our organization. In my last two articles, I’ve encouraged you to ask your friends and neighbors to join Farm Bureau. Well, I must brag on GFB 3rd Dist. Director Nora Goodman for recruiting Sen. Isakson as a new member. She asked him if he was a GFB member. After realizing that he wasn’t, Sen. Isakson promptly joined. Once again proving that you never know who might join Farm Bureau if we ask! Fall is also the season for Farm Bureau meetings – county annual meetings and our district GFB meetings. Both are a great opportunity for fellowship, a chance to enjoy great food and a time to celebrate the accomplishments our Farm Bureau members have made in promoting Georgia agriculture during the past year. Bonnie and I look forward to visiting with our Farm Bureau family at these meetings. If you’re able to attend the Georgia National Fair in Perry Oct. 2-12, I encourage you to visit the Georgia Grown Building near the clock tower. This building, spearheaded by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA), will showcase the people and products of Georgia agriculture to show consumers attending the fair how we, the farmers, produce their food and clothes. GFB staff will be in the building promoting your organization. I also invite you to drop by the Georgia Agriculture Building at Sunbelt Expo Oct. 14-16 in Moultrie. Once again, GFB is See WE, THE FARMERS page 22
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who will become Georgia’s senior senator when Sen. Saxby Chambliss retires at the end of the year, spoke at GFB’s Commodity Conference Aug. 14, pledging his commitment to represent Georgia agriculture. Isakson showed the sincerity of his promise by presenting GFB President Zippy Duvall with a $25 check for his membership dues to join Georgia Farm Bureau. 4 / September 2014
SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5238. OFFICERS President ZIPPY DUVALL 1st Vice President/South Georgia Vice President GERALD LONG North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR. Treasurer/Corporate Secretary WAYNE DANIEL General Counsel DUKE GROOVER
DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Summerville; Henry J. West, Rydal 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; Jim Ham, Smarr 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, Elmodel; Paul Shirah, Camilla TENTH DISTRICT: Daniel Johnson, Alma; David Lee, Alma YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Matthew London, Cleveland WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Elaine Avery, Dexter ADVERTISING POLICY 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 Hurst and Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 6011, Vernon Hills, IL 60061, 1-800-397-8908. Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2014 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.
PRINTED WITH SOY INK
Georgia Farm Bureau News
Jon Huffmaster, Legislative Director
Agencies’ proposed rule goes too far
arm Bureau is leading a nationwide campaign urging citizens to submit comments opposing a rule proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). The title of the proposed rule is “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act.” It is often shortened to “Waters of the U.S.” or WOTUS. Farm Bureau does not call for withdrawal of this rule because of any particular animosity toward these agencies. Farm Bureau recognizes the positive role played by EPA and the Corps. Over the years, the EPA and the Corps have done much to improve the lives of Americans. The projects built and overseen by the Corps have contributed to our nation’s development. There
The Wilcox County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee worked hard to educate landowners in its community about Farm Bureau’s “Ditch the Rule” campaign and the EPA’s attempt to expand its regulatory authority over water. The committee distributed “Ditch the Rule” postcards encouraging landowners to visit the WCFB office to submit comments on the agencies’ proposed rule. More than 70 landowners visited the WCFB office to email their comments opposing the rule. Pictured from left, committee members Karen Crawford, Janet Barefoot and Chairman Sue Powers help a WCFB member submit comments.
have been many recent battles about Lake Lanier, but where would the state of Georgia be without it? One of Farm Bureau’s priority issues was passage of the “Water Resources Reform and Development Act” (WRRDA), which President Obama signed into law earlier this year. The Corps will administer much of the reauthorization included in that bill including the deepening of Savannah Harbor, another Farm Bureau priority. The “Clean Water Act” (CWA) was passed in 1972 because some of the nation’s waters were extremely polluted. As a high school student in the 1970s, I worked fertile bottomlands on both sides of the Chattahoochee River just south of Atlanta in South Fulton, Douglas and Carroll counties. At the time, that stretch of the Chattahoochee River was little more than a sewer. It stunk and had all manner of foul things floating in it. On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, actually caught fire. Today, both of these rivers are much cleaner than they were in the 1970s. The CWA and the EPA played an important role in this transformation. Farm Bureau acknowledges the contributions of these federal agencies. However, just because the agencies have made contributions in the past does not mean every government proposal is a good thing. The whole purpose of a comment period is to allow stakeholders to express how the rule will affect them. In this case, the WOTUS proposal is overreaching, unwarranted and infringes on private property rights. As an organization of landowners, we oppose it. The rule will expand federal authority, through its broadened definition of “tributary,” to include small and remote waters. The definition will include water features that are dry most of the year. If the rule is finalized, the agencies will have the authority to regulate washes and ditches through which water sometimes flows,
and they will have authority over land use around these features. The rule is against the will of Congress. When the CWA was passed, it was for navigable waters. There have been several legislative bills introduced over the years to strike the word “navigable” from the law. None of these bills have ever made it to the floor for a vote because that is not what Congress intended. The WOTUS rule ignores Supreme Court decisions that have upheld limits to federal authority under the CWA. EPA argues the rule will bring clarity to the law, but the actual result will be additional litigation as landowners find their private property rights have been eroded. If this rule is finalized, there won’t be federal agents searching your property for water features. In fact, there will probably be little to indicate anything has changed. There are many specific exemptions for farmers, but there is no guarantee the exemptions won’t change in the future. When a farmer or landowner decides to change the use of the land, things are likely to be different. In order to build a barn or a house on land affected by this rule, the first order of business will be to obtain a CWA permit. All other permits, such as building, wiring, septic, etc., will be secondary to the CWA permit. Engineering studies and mitigation costs associated with CWA permits can be thousands of dollars. Issuance of permits can be delayed, and permits can be denied. Citizens will be denied the use of their property unless it is approved by a federal government official. The comment period for the WOTUS rule ends October 20. Farm Bureau urges all members to submit comments calling on EPA to withdraw the rule. For more information and to submit comments, visit http://www.gfb.org/ditchtherule. For additional assistance, contact your local county Farm Bureau office. Jon Huffmaster is director of the GFB Legislative Department.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 5
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
D.C. updates, UGA research, “Farmland” are highlights of GFB Commodity Conference
Pictured from right, GFB President Zippy Duvall thanked Sen. Johnny Isakson and Rep. Austin Scott for the work they are doing in Washington on behalf of Georgia agriculture. “Rep. Scott and Sen. Isakson have shown their commitment to agriculture by being here today,” Duvall said.
By Jay Stone & Jennifer Whittaker _____________________________________________________________________________
Isakson: Agriculture a priority
Sen. Johnny Isakson gave assurances that he would continue to work on behalf of agriculture when speaking at the 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Conference held Aug. 14 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. “I realize the responsibility I have as the senior senator,” said Isakson, who presented a check for his Farm Bureau membership dues to GFB President Zippy Duvall. “Agriculture will be the letter A for me – first in the alphabet, number one in my heart.” Isakson, who will become Georgia’s senior senator in 2015, outlined agricultural successes in Congress, paid tribute to Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring at the end of 2014, and discussed challenges still ahead. “We failed to do anything with immigration.,” Isakson said. “Quite frankly it’s the most difficult political issue I’ve come across. It is one heck of a problem, and we haven’t threaded the needle yet. “
Scott commends GFB
About 300 people attended the conference, which also included speeches from U.S. Rep. Austin Scott (R-8th District), Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, University of Georgia Extension weed scientist 6 / September 2014
Dr. Stanley Culpepper and American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. Scott, a member of the House Agriculture Committee told the GFB group that his committee will be working to get the rules of the 2014 farm bill passed “sooner rather than later,” and commended Farm Bureau for what it does as an organization to represent agriculture in Washington. “The way things are in Washington, it’s more important than ever for you to be involved in organizations like Farm Bureau,” Scott said. “Expansion of the definition of navigable waters is potentially the greatest intrusion into private property rights we’ve had on our farms ever. Encourage your neighbors to join you in Farm Bureau. It’s not just an issue of having safe, affordable food, it’s an issue of national security.”
Black advocates connecting with consumers
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black urged attendees to tell consumers how farmers grow their food in words they’ll understand. Black shared how the Georgia Department of Agriculture plans to use the Georgia Grown Building at the Georgia National Fair, Oct. 2-12, to introduce consumers to Georgia farmers and agriculture through a
photo exhibit, “The Seasons & Faces of Georgia Agriculture.” The exhibit will include canvas prints featuring people in agriculture. Black said it grew from the idea that farmers should make personal connections to consumers. Black “We talk in statistics a lot,” Black said. “We need to show them our faces.”
Culpepper discusses auxin technologies nearing commercialization
Culpepper gave an overview of the seed and herbicide programs Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto/BASF are expected to offer cotton and soybean growers over the next few years. These auxin-tolerant crops are designed to help farmers combat problematic weeds, such as Palmer amaranth (pigweed), morningglorries and tropical spiderwort. Dow’s seed technology (Enlist) will be tolerant to topical 2,4D applications while Monsanto’s technology (RR Xtend) will be tolerant to topical dicamba applications. Cotton growers will be able to apply Roundup and Liberty topically over these cultivars. Culpepper said growers will have to choose one company’s technology to use across the farm stressing that there is no cross-resistance between the two companies’ products. “These new Culpepper tools will improve our ability to manage weeds. However, when it comes to managing off-target movement such as drift, auxin herbicides (dicamba and 2,4-d) pose special challenges,” Culpepper said. “We have to manage these new tools very carefully.” “The potential impact from off-target movement (drift and volatility) of 2,4-D and Georgia Farm Bureau News
Research, “Farmland” & PD
Conference attendees also had a chance
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
dicamba is likely higher than most currently used tools. There will be a greater potential to influence those around treated areas including home owners, vegetable/fruit growers and other agronomic producers. It will be critical that we make extremely wise decisions deciding when and where to apply these auxin herbicides,” Culpepper said. “Knowledge of how to appropriately apply these herbicides coupled with understanding the environment and the sensitivity of crops and plants around the treated area will be essential to mitigate off-target issues.” The USDA is expected to begin deregulating the technologies this fall. GFB President Zippy Duvall told conference attendees that GFB is working on insurance requirements farmers may need to protect them from accidental drift. “We’ve got our insurance folks looking at issues and working to make sure you have coverage you need and to educate your agent so they know what type of coverage you need,” Duvall said. “We don’t want farmers after farmers, but if a mistake is made we want to make sure you have the coverage you need.”
Pictured from left, Gary Walker, a member of the GFB Equine Advisory Committee, talks to Patsie Cannon, a UGA staff member who works with the UGA Bull Evaluation Program, while Will Cabe, a member of the GFB Goats & Sheep Committee, talks with UGA Animal & Dairy Science Asst. Professor Dr. Jacob Segers.
to review information about a dozen research projects being conducted by UGA, which had research displays and made its researchers available to talk about their efforts to improve crop quality and yields. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman, who is also chairman of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), said USFRA was formed to address misconceptions consumers have about agriculture. USFRA has spent the last year promoting the documentary “Farmland,” which features the daily lives of six young farmers across the country.
Conference attendees saw a screening of the 44-minute abridged version of “Farmland,” designed to be shown to classes or civic clubs. Crawford County Farm Bureau President Leighton Cooley, one of six farmers featured in the film, shared his experiences with the making of the movie, which has been shown in theatres nationwide since May. After lunch, GFB’s 20 commodity advisory committees met individually to review the organization’s policy concerning their commodities, kicking off GFB’s policy development process,
Maddox receives GFB Commodity Award By Jennifer Whittaker ________________________________________________________
Dr. Gene Maddox, a retired veterinarian and former state representative who championed agriculture in both of his careers, received the 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award at the GFB Commodity Conference. Maddox practiced veterinary medicine for 45 years before retiring in 2004. He then served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2005-2012, representing Georgia’s 172nd District. He served as secretary of the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee for his eight years in office. “Dr. Maddox has been a proponent of Georgia agriculture his entire life, first as a veterinarian serving farmers and pet owners and then as a state legislator representing farmers in Atlanta,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “It’s a privilege to present him with the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award. We always give it to a member of the agriculture community who has made a lasting impact on Georgia agriculture.” Maddox, a resident of Grady County, retired from practicing large and small animal veterinary medicine in 2004 after 45 years. In 2004 he was elected to the Georgia House to represent District 172, which encompasses all of Decatur County and most of Grady County. He held this seat until 2012. “This is great. I’ve had a wonderful relationship with Farm Bu-
Pictured from left, GFB President Zippy Duvall presents the 2014 GFB Commodity Award to Dr. Gene Maddox of Grady County, who was accompanied by his wife, Patsy.
reau through the years,” Maddox said during his acceptance speech. “I’ve always had agriculture as one of my loves. I guess I have agriculture flowing in my blood.” A native of Butts County, Maddox grew up on a diversified farm where his parents, Forest and Sara Maddox, raised row crops and livestock. Maddox graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with an associate degree, from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree and then went on to the UGA School of Veterinary Medicine from which he graduated as a DVM in June 1959. Maddox and his wife Patsy have four sons – Stan, Steve, Todd and Pat and nine grandchildren. The Maddoxes are members of Family Worship Center in Cairo.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 7
AFBF President Stallman tours Georgia Farms Photo essay by Jay Stone _______________________________________________________ American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman visited Georgia on Aug. 13, stopping at four different farms to get a view - and a taste - of what Georgia agriculture is all about. While in Georgia, Stallman talked with farmers about the EPA’s
proposed water rule. “It would bring a large chunk of agriculture under EPA permitting authority that’s never existed before. We view that as an expansion far beyond the scope of the Clean Water Act,” Stallman said.
At Southern Belle Farm in Henry County, Stallman (blue shirt, at right) listens as Henry County Farm Bureau President Ross McQueen (blue shirt, left) shares some of the county’s activities, and how as a suburban county they have had to come up with ways to connect with their neighbors, many of whom have never set foot on a farm. Southern Belle Farm, operated by Jake Carter (yellow shirt, left) and his father Jimmy (red shirt, right), grows and sells strawberries, peaches and other berries direct to the public, as well as offering a wide range of agritourism activities to give visitors from the public an on-farm experience. Also pictured are GFB President Zippy Duvall and his wife Bonnie (in red) and Jake’s wife Jennifer, center.
Robert Dickey, center, shows Stallman and GFB President Zippy Duvall a peach tree in one of his orchards. Dickey Farms is the oldest continuously operated peach packinghouse in the state, and has a roadside market for direct sales along with its business of packed and shipped peaches. Dickey talked about the peach crop and declining availability of research.
AFBF President Bob Stallman, left, donned a biosecurity suit to get an inside look at one of the poultry houses at Cooley Farms in Crawford County. Leighton Cooley, right, shares how the operation has evolved and what drew him back to the farm after college. The 29,000 chicks in the house were delivered on Aug. 12.
At Chase Farms in Macon County, from left, Donald Chase, Glen Lee Chase and Ellen Chase dug up a handful of peanuts for Stallman to see. The Chases, who also grow corn and raise poultry, talked with Stallman about pests that damage peanut crops, and they showed him the pumps they use to draw water from the Flint River.
8 / September 2014
Georgia Farm Bureau News
By Jennifer Whittaker _______________________________________________________ Georgia will be the 2014 Spotlight State during the 37th Annual Sunbelt Expo Oct. 14-16 in Moultrie. The theme for the state exhibit is “Georgia Agriculture, Always in Season.” Georgia’s spotlight state committee, comprised of staff from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Fort Valley State, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Farm Bureau and University of Georgia, developed an exhibit to showcase Georgia agriculture. Numerous Georgia ag organizations and businesses funded a permanent building to house the spotlight state exhibit located across from the UGA building and beside the University of Florida building. The building will be used by future spotlight states, and state seals recognizing the 10 Sunbelt Expo states are inlaid in the building floor around the Expo logo. “This year with Georgia being the spotlight state it was time for Georgia ag partners to take the lead and establish a permanent building,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “We’re very proud of GFB being a part of this.” Expo boasts more than 1,200 exhibitors in its 100-acre exhibit area and draws close to 100,000 visitors from across the U.S. and the world. Blalock said he expects more than 50 new exhibitors this year. “The Sunbelt Expo is an annual extravaganza of agricultural technology,” says Expo Executive Director Chip Blalock. “We provide a convenient venue that allows everyone to exchange ideas and
Photo courtesy of Ag America Lending
Georgia to shine as Expo Spotlight State The Peterson Brothers
see what’s new in the business of agriculture.” New to the Expo will be the Rural Lifestyle Section, which will focus on small acreage farming and gardening. The section will feature exhibits with information about sustainable small scale farming and gardening. Andy Schneider, “The Chicken Whisperer,” will conduct backyard poultry workshops. Educational seminars on growing small fruit, growing vegetables in raised beds, keeping bees and incorporating herbs in the landscape will be offered. Fans of the Peterson Brothers, who have become an Internet sensation with their YouTube videos that parody popular songs with pro-ag messages, are scheduled to perfom twice a day all three days at the AgAmerica Lending exhibit. Trams will take attendees out to the 600-acre Expo farm to see new machinery harvesting cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and hay. Expo will also honor outstanding farmers from the 10 Expo states at the 25th Anniversary Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year lunch on Oct. 14. Philip Grimes of Tift County will represent Georgia. The Expo begins at 8:30 a.m. each day of the show. Admission is $10 per person or $20 for a three-day admission ticket. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit http://www.sunbeltexpo.com or call 229-985-1968.
GFB awards $14,250 in college scholarships Ten college freshmen beginning their pursuit of ag degrees this fall are recipients of Georgia Farm Bureau scholarships totaling $14,250. Bailey Dickinson of Stephens County, Makinizi Hoover of Burke County and Addie Thomason of Franklin County were selected to receive the top three 2014 Georgia Farm Bureau Scholarships valued at $3,000 each. In addition to the top three awards, seven other students were awarded scholarships of $750 each. These scholarship recipients are: Rebecca Bostick of Mitchell County; Cole Harper of Irwin County; Madison Hickey of Stephens County; Olivia Minish and Kayla Whitehead of Madison County; Oakley Perry of Jeff Davis County and Haley Vickery of Pike County. The GFB scholarships recognize deserving and outstanding students pursuing undergraduate degrees in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related field. Only students who will enroll in a unit of the University System of Georgia or Berry College are eligible. All 10 of the recipients plan to attend either Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton or the University of Georgia in Athens this fall. “Georgia Farm Bureau is proud to offer these scholarships ev-
ery year because the future of Georgia agriculture depends on educating and developing future workers for the various segments of our industry,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “We received 98 applications from some very qualified students, and our judges had their work cut out for them in selecting the top seven finalists and top three recipients.” The GFB Mutual Insurance Company and the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee sponsor the scholarship program. Students interested in applying for the 2015 scholarships should contact their county Farm Bureau office for information.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 9
commodities/marketing update Joe McManus, Marketing Specialist
Photo by Kenny Burgamy
Oct. 31 deadline to enter GFB Hay Contest 1st place prize use of a Vermeer baler
Walton County Farm Bureau member Neal Pannell, second from left, received the free use of a piece of Vermeer hay equipment for winning the 2013 Georgia Farm Bureau Hay Contest. Pictured from left, GFB Assistant Commodities Director Joe McManus, Vermeer Sales Manager Bryan Setzer and Vermeer Dealer Donald Childs congratulate Pannell on winning the contest. The first place prize for the 2014 contest is the use of a Vermeer 504N baler, compliments of the Vermeer Manufacturing Company, pictured on page 11.
Georgia hay producers always have challenges to producing high-quality hay. Last year the persistent rain caused serious hay quality problems that led to issues with animal health this past winter. This summer, the Bermuda stem borer has become a growing threat as the season progressed, and producers must keep a constant watch for armyworms. Low-quality hay requires supplementation to meet animalsâ€™ nutritional needs, which can get expensive. Managing hay fields to produce highquality forage is cheaper than supplementing low-quality forage. When you go the extra mile to produce quality, you need to know what you have. Knowing the nutritional value of your hay is essential. Just the look, feel and smell of the hay cannot tell you the facts you need to balance a ration or receive the highest dollar amount for your hay. The only way to know is to have your hay tested. Georgia Farm Bureau members are encouraged to enter their Bermudagrass hay in the 2014 GFB Quality Hay Contest, which is designed to encourage the production of quality hay in Georgia. One way to appraise the management of your hay fields is to have your hay analyzed. The University of Georgia Testing Lab evaluates hay entered in the contest using the Relative 10 / September 2014
Forage Quality Test (RFQ). RFQ predicts the fiber digestibility and likely animal intake of the hay. By entering the GFB Hay Contest, you receive the RFQ values of your hay, and you will also be able to compare it to what other farmers are doing. Farmers who have their hay tested every year can see, through multi-year analysis, the improvements they make in managing their hay fields. Entry forms outlining the procedure for entering the contest and rules may be picked up at your county Farm Bureau office. There is a $15 fee for each entry to cover the cost of the lab test. Checks should be made out to Georgia Farm Bureau. Producers may enter more than one sample. The deadline for entry is Oct. 31. Contest participants will receive a detailed copy of their hay analysis and can also choose to have a free listing in the GFB Hay Directory. Winners will be determined by the RFQ analysis. Hay samples with nitrate levels above 4,500 parts per million or moisture above 18 percent will be disqualified. The top five winners will be announced at the GFB Hay Commodity Meeting Dec. 8 during the GFB Convention on Jekyll Island. Prizes will be presented to the top five
winners. The first place winner will receive the free use of a Vermeer 504N baler, compliments of the Vermeer Manufacturing Company. This baler rolls a 5X4 roll with net wrap or twine. The winner will have the option to purchase the baler at a reduced price at the end of a year. See picture in ad on page 11. Second place will receive a baler-mounted hay moisture tester donated from GFB. Third through fifth place prizes are donated by individuals on the GFB Hay Advisory Committee and from businesses interested in promoting quality hay in Georgia. The GFB Hay Advisory Committee sponsors the GFB Bermuda Hay Contest.
GFB accepting hay directory listings
Georgia Farm Bureau members with hay for sale are invited to list their farm in the 2015 GFB Quality Hay Directory. The directory is scheduled to be printed in late November. Producers should complete a form and send it to the GFB office in Macon with a check for $10 for each listing. Checks should be made out to Georgia Farm Bureau. Because this publication is used for the entire year, producers should include normal and projected production of round and square bales they anticipate selling. Directories are sent to all county Farm Bureau offices, county Extension offices, the Georgia Cattlemenâ€™s Association, cattle producers, dairy producers, horse owners, directory participants, and are available at the Sunbelt Expo and the annual GFB convention. The directory is also listed on the GFB website. Forms for both the GFB Quality Hay Contest and the Quality Hay Directory are available at your local Farm Bureau Office or on the GFB website http://www.gfb.org. Contact Joe McManus at 1-800-342-1196 for more information on the hay contest or directory. Joe McManus is assistant director of the GFB Commodities/Marketing Department. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Ranges in RFQ suitable for Different Animal Classes
As a result of the robustness of the RFQ measure, scientists have been able to link ranges of RFQ that are most likely to meet the needs of different animal classes. These ranges can be found in Figure 1. This would allow the livestock Below is a chart that gives the approximate RFQ ranges suitable for different animals. manager who has RFQ data on a particular lot of forage to quickly determine if it is appropriate to the needs of the animal class that heMcManus or she is managing. By Joe
Relative Forage Quality: what does it mean to you?
Adapted from Undersander et al., 2011
ranges illustrate the Forage isThese more expensive to grow and values that are the most likely buy RFQ than ever before. Judging quality of forage its color, texture, smell or feel is to byminimize supplementation. not the way to determine the true Justbestbecause a forage lot value falls of forages. anyone who withinHay producers these and recommended owns a forage-consuming animal should ranges DOES NOT mean thatbeit familiar with relative forage quality (RFQ) will automatically provide all the and nutrients what it means. RFQ is a standard forneeded for the livestock mulabeing that puts to the fed.a number One does notcharacterisuse RFQ tics that make forage valuable. to develop a ration. However, RFQ is calculated using total digestible RFQ provides a reasonable first nutrients (TDN) and a calculated predicapproximation as to whether or Forage Quality ranges that are suitable to various livestock classes. tion of the animal’s voluntary dry matter Relative Figure 1. The Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) range that are suitable to not a forage will provide a costintake (DMI). Both are calculated from fi- various Fiber from different grassAdapted varieties from and legumes naturally differs in digestibility and livestock classes. Undersander et al., 2011. effective base to inthe being ber digestibility obtained the diet laboratory. is greatly influenced by growing conditions, maturity at harvest, the cutting of the year fed to thefiber selected animal class. Digestible is an important compo- in which it’s harvested and field management. Knowing the RFQ of your hay gives you a nent of forage energy and intake and is quite number to correspond to the quality of your hay. This can be used to improve the manageAn can RFQ value that is conlower ment than of theyour identified could stillto work the animal class that isRFQ can variable. Forages have similar fiber fields andrange gives you a tool know iffor supplementation is needed. additional supplementation likelytool be to required. This additional supplementation tentbeing yet havefed. veryHowever, different digestibility. also be used as awill marketing realize more value when buying or selling hay. may make thenumbers ration (forage + supplement) uneconomical. TDN and DMI have demonstrated accuracy, are a reliable tool and reflect the performance that can be expected for animals fed the forages theyBased measure. Categorizing Forage on Quality The value of 1.23 ensures the RFQ value has if a forage lot is likely to be cost-effective for different animal classes, In addition to determining a mean andcan similar range. RFQ also be used to categorize hay into quality grades. The Southeastern Forage Quality
MORE HAY IN A DAY.
categorization system RFQ= TDN x DMIis outlined in Table 1. This system allows for the categorization of forages into grades that could 1.23be used for marketing purposes, similar to grading systems used in other agricultural industries (e.g., USDA meat inspection grades).
RFQ is the standard by which farmers can determine the usefulness of their forage The Southeastern Forage Quality 1. Thedetermine categoriesif and ranges used in the andTable can quickly theirRFQ forage categorization system is relatively independent of Forageneeds Quality categorization system. willSoutheastern meet the nutritional of their anispecies or type. Since RFQ values of different forage mals. This index takesQuality into consideration Forage species and types can be compared on an “apples to the differences in Category digestibility of the fiber in RFQ apples” basis, the Southeastern Forage Quality grasses and can beSupreme used to more accurately > 185 categorization is a fair and robust system. This predict animal performance and match160-185 Prime categorization system also allows for a range of animal feeding needs. Choice 140-160 appropriate prices within a category. As RFQ is not An RFQ value does not necessarily mean110-140 Select directly used in ration development, the final that the forage willStandard provide all the nutrients90-110 Vermeer forage equipment is built tough andforage known forlot dependability valuation of the can be decided upon by the an animal needs, but it does give an inexpen- < 90 Utility forage’s cost or value in the ration. and value among hay producers who want consistency and smooth sive estimate of the extent the forage can be performance in a variety of crops and conditions. Designed for ease of used in a specific type of animal’s diet. 3 simple adjustments, Vermeer forage equipment RFQ is a good number to know if you operation and with quick, are purchasing forage or feeding forage. gives operators the power to maximize the hours in a day. Keep in mind that if your hay has lower RFQ numbers, it may still be used for animals with higher requirements as long as appropriate supplementation is provided. Vermeer, the Vermeer logo and Equipped to Do More are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries. © 2014 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 11
CAFO meetings shed light on new permit options In March a letter issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) to all permitted livestock operations regarding permit coverage needed by medium and large livestock operations lead to confusion. The Georgia Milk Producers, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) and other organizations expressed concerns, and in response, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and GDA held three educational meetings for livestock producers in Macon, Athens and Tifton in August. The CAFO meeting held Aug. 12 at GFB’s Macon office included a panel consisting of Audra Dickson, industrial permit manager with the EPD; Daniel Duncan, GDA livestock and poultry manager; Dr. Keith Bertrand, UGA Animal and Dairy Science Department head; and Bryan Barrett, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Previously, all permitted livestock operations above 1,000 animal units (CAFOs) had a federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. With the new rule and permit changes, CAFOs, called large animal feeding operations (AFOs) by the EPD, now have the option of obtaining a state land application permit (LAS) or a federal NPDES permit. A NPDES permit is not needed unless a facility is discharging into surface water. Georgia EPD is giving producers until Dec. 1 to decide between permit options for medium and large AFOs/CAFOs. One op-
tion is a general state LAS permit issued by EPD with no federal oversight. The second is a federal NPDES permit also issued by EPD with EPA oversight. There are several other permit options producers may select depending on the type of permit they currently hold. EPD is requiring general LAS AFO (GAU700000) permit holders to obtain a new permit. These permit holders may obtain coverage under one of the new general LAS permits, obtain coverage under the current NPDES general permit, obtain an individual NPDES or individual LAS permit. If you no longer meet the animal threshold requiring a permit, you should submit a notice of termination and implement the lagoon closure plan in your nutrient management plan. EPD is providing General NPDES CAFO (GAG930000) permit holders the opportunity to obtain a new permit at this time because you may have re-evaluated your operation and decided that in light of the recent rule change you do not discharge to surface waters and could obtain coverage under one of the two new state LAS general permits. EPD may develop a new general NPDES-CAFO permit if there is sufficient interest for such a permit, or it may decide to issue individual NPDES CAFO permits for those interested in an NPDES permit. The federal NPDES permit addresses discharges to surface water and allows for discharges in certain emergency situations,.
Regardless if a discharge is due to excessive rainfall, the federal CAFO rule states that the facility must have a NPDES permit at the time of discharge. The panel also responded to the following questions from the audience. Why do we need a new permit? New rules were developed due to changes in the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) CAFO rules in 2008 and again in 2011 following a federal court case. The state rules were also amended in 2012. The new permits must be issued to enforce the rule changes. Do we still need a nutrient management plan (NMP)? Yes, NMPs will still be required and enforced. The record keeping requirements producers have been following are still in place, as are the producer certification and continuing education requirements. What about closing manure storage structures no longer in use? Facilities that no longer have animals should terminate their permit coverage and close manure storage structures according to their closure plan in their NMP. Producers are encouraged to contact EPD if they have questions about closing a lagoon and should contact NRCS for possible cost-share to assist in closure. EPD and GDA realize this is not a viable option for all operations and will work with those operations on a case-by-case basis. More information is available online at http://agp2.org/aware.
34 counties qualify for $85,000 in donations
Nov. 30 deadline to enter Monsanto charity program
Farmers in 34 Georgia counties have until Nov. 30 to register to win $2,500 for a charity of their choice in the 5th Annual America’s Farmers Grow Communities program sponsored by Monsanto. Suggested charities include local 4-H or FFA programs, fire departments, hospitals, libraries or schools. No purchase is necessary to win. Eligible counties are: Appling, Baker, Berrien, Bleckley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Screven, Seminole, Sumter, Tattnall, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth. Each of these counties planted at least 30,000 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and/or vegetables in 2013. The program is open to farmers, age 21 and over in eligible 12 / September 2014
counties, actively farming a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans and/or cotton or 40 acres of open field vegetables or at least 10 acres of tomatoes, peppers and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture. One winner will be drawn from each eligible county provided at least one entry is received from the county. Monsanto will announce winning farmers and their recipient charities in January 2015. Visit http://www.growcommunities.com or call 1-877-267-3332 to apply. Community non-profits that wish to encourage farmers to support their cause may do so at the aforementioned Web site. Charities must be recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3) or as a unit of government under Section 170 (c) (1). Georgia Farm Bureau News
By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ American Farm Bureau Young Farm- blueberries, blackberries, and peaches, as er and Rancher Chairman Jake Carter of well as a fall corn maze and educational Henry County was among a group of lead- school tours. ers from across the country recognized as As AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Champions of Change for Agriculture in a Committee chairman, Carter works to share ceremony at the White House on July 29. the positive aspects of a career and life in ag Carter said each of the honorees had the riculture with others who love the land and chance to talk about their operation and ex- want to create a life there. He and his wife press things that were important to them. Jennifer served as chairs of the Georgia Farm “We’re always encouraged to share our Bureau Young Farmer Committee in 2012. story on whatever level, and this year we’ve The Champions of Change program had the opportunity to encourage other recognizes leaders in a variety of disciplines people,” Carter said. “This year we had a from across the country who are doing exhuge opportunity to share our story with traordinary things in their communities. consumers about what we do in farming. The agriculture champions inspire others You never dream about having a stage like who want to find careers and a life on the that, especially at the White House. It was land and provide food, fiber, fuel and flora just a really neat opportunity.” around the world. A fifth-generation farmer, Carter oper- The program featured USDA Deputy ates Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, Secretary Krysta Harden, who discussed efwhich consists of you-pick strawberries, forts to ensure that beginning farmers and
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Carter
Carter honored as an Agriculture Champion of Change
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden, a Georgia native overseeing implementation of the 2014 farm bill, congratulates American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer & Rancher Chairman Jake Carter for being named one of the Agriculture Champions of Change during a July ceremony at the White House.
the growing ranks of agriculture - women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees - have access to the government programs and support they need. The event included a discussion about how to continue growing and supporting the next genSee CARTER page 23
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Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 13
By Jay Stone __________________________________________________________________________ With nearly 200 farmers and repre- to submit comments asking that it be sentatives from agricultural stakeholder withdrawn. He reviewed the EPA’s efforts organizations in attendance, Georgia Farm to get around the will of Congress and the Bureau Legislative Director Jon Huffmas- Supreme Court with the rule, which Farm ter pointed out the troubling aspects of the Bureau maintains will greatly expand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA’s regulatory reach and threaten private proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule during property rights nationwide. the 2014 Joint Agriculture Chairmen Ag “If this rule goes into effect, the EPA will Issues Summit held July 31 at the Georgia have authority over virtually all water in the Museum of Agriculture in Tifton. country,” Huffmaster said. “It infringes on The annual event, hosted by Georgia private property rights. If you don’t have House Ag Committee Chairman Tom Mc- private property rights, then our entire Call and Senate Ag Committee Chairman economy falls short.” John Wilkinson, also featured speakers on Harold Reheis, of the government afstatewide water planning, pollinators, solar fairs consulting firm Joe Tanner & Associates, also discussed the EPA rule. He said energy and truck weights. Huffmaster discussed the EPA’s pro- concerns with the rule are not limited to posed rule and urged those in attendance agriculture.
Monfort new UGA peanut agronomist By Jennifer Whittaker ______________________________________________________________________ Dr. Scott Monfort, a native of Edison, Ga., has joined the UGA Department of Crop and Soil Sciences as a UGA Extension peanut agronomist located on UGA’s Tifton Campus. Monfort, who graduated from UGA with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in plant sciences in 1998 and a master’s in plant pathology in 2002, replaces Dr. John Beasley, who retired from UGA last year and now leads Auburn University’s Agronomy Department. Monfort received his doctorate in plant sciences from the University of Arkansas in 2005. “I’m glad to be home. I’m here to help in anyway I can,” Monfort said. Although Monfort wasn’t raised on a farm, he grew up in the farming communities of Randolph and Calhoun counties and worked on farms and at peanut buying points before college. Monfort “I worked with Gold Kist when I started college, and it was a logical approach for me to go into agriculture because I enjoyed it. I worked as a consultant with Gold Kist, and I really liked agriculture,” Monfort said. After graduating from Arkansas, Monfort worked with UGA Plant Pathologist Dr. Alex Csinos for a year before returning to Arkansas to work as an Extension plant pathologist from 2006 to 2011. He then worked at Clemson University as an Extension peanut specialist from 2011 until starting his current job with UGA on Aug. 1. As an Extension peanut agronomist, Monfort will work closely with Scott Tubbs, a research agronomist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, to help implement new technology into Georgia’s peanut production and help growers use Web and smartphone-based applications to receive information. Monfort will also provide training to educate Extension agents, growers, consultants and other industry personnel of new advances in peanut crop production. 14 / September 2014
Photo by Jay Stone
EPA rule, truck weights highlight 2014 Ag Issues Summit Georgia Rep. Chad Nimmer (R-Blackshear) discussed the need to update Georgia’s load limits for tractor-trailer rigs.
“Any time you build a highway it has to have ditches to provide adequate runoff,” Reheis said. “Without those ditches water stays on the roads and it becomes a safety issue. This rule will make it much more expensive to build roads.” To submit a comment, visit http:// www.gfb.org/ditchtherule. State Rep. Chad Nimmer (R-Blackshear) and Georgia Forestry Association President Steve McWilliams led the discussion on truck weights. The state of Georgia places a lower limit on tractor-trailer trucks on state highways than the limits imposed in neighboring states. Nimmer said this results in more trucks on Georgia roads and is a competitive disadvantage for Georgia’s farm and timber industries. “Our bordering states are moving ahead of us in competitiveness in the way they move their product,” Nimmer said. “There’s just two components in transportation in the state of Georgia: moving people and moving products. The numbers aren’t getting less on either one of them. It’s getting more competitive every year.” Russ Pennington of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) gave an update on statewide water planning efforts. Pennington said the EPD is working on rules under the Flint River Drought Protection Act and that agricultural uses would be virtually exempt under the rules being considered. Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission Executive Director Brent Dykes talked about work in the state’s conservation districts, including improvements to more than 300 flood control dams in the northern portions of the state. Dykes said agricultural water metering programs in the southern regions are providing valuable See SUMMIT next page Georgia Farm Bureau News
Strickland, long-time GFB member, dies
SUMMIT from previous page data to state policy makers and the EPD. UGA Entomology Professor Dr. Keith Delaplane explained the role of pollinators, specifically honeybees, in agriculture. Dr. Alan Ayers of Bayer CropScience also talked about issues related to honeybee health and suggested that a system-wide approach to bee health is needed. Such an approach, he said, would include science-based risk management of pesticides, stewardship and communication of best management practices and investment in bee health.
was a member of the Rotary Club and a devoted member of the Glennville United Methodist Church. Strickland is survived by his wife of 56 years, Norma; his children, Quinn S. Flournoy (husband Vic), Jes Strickland (wife Lisa), and Monty Strickland (wife Mara); and four grandchildren. He is preceeded in death by brothers, Lex, Gerald, and Danny Strickland and his parents, Rubye and Ernest Strickland. Memorial donations may be made to Ogeechee Area Hospice, P.O. Box 531,
Statesboro, Ga. 30456; Glennville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 352, Glennville, Ga. 30427 or the Tattnall County Campgrounds, care Strickland of Cheryl Conley, 5356 Rufus Sapp Road, Claxton, Ga. 30417. Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 383, Glennville, Ga. 30427.
Curt Pate Stockmanship & Stewardship Seminar
Sept. 23 •Calhoun Stockyard, 2270 Rome Rd. SW • 1 p.m. • Calhoun All cattle producers and anyone who handles or processes cattle are invited to attend this free seminar conducted by renowned stockman and Montana rancher Curt Pate. The seminar will cover topics including gathering cattle from pasture, working cattle in corrals and alleys, sorting and processing techniques, strategies for receiving cattle, low-stress loading procedures and proper use of equipment to assure low-stress handling. Attendance counts towards Beef Quality Assurance recertification or certification. For more information contact Jason Duggin at 706-728-4354.
Morton_GaFBNews_9.14 8/5/14 2:46 PM Page 1
Dr. James E. Strickland, the 2012 recipient of the Georgia Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award, died Aug. 2 after an extended battle with cancer. He was 77. Strickland served as Tattnall County Farm Bureau (TCFB) president from October 1999 to September 2010 and on the TCFB Board of Directors for more than 40 years. Strickland first served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Beef Committee in 1996 and continuously served on the committee from 1999 until his death, including seven years as vice chairman. Strickland also served on the American Farm Bureau Federation Animal Health Committee from 2009 to 2011 and in 2014. “We are deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Strickland’s death,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “He was a dedicated servant to agriculture and veterinary medicine, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.” Strickland grew up in Claxton, attended ABAC in Tifton and received his DVM from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. He served in the Veterinary Corps, U.S. Air Force. Following his service in the Air Force, Strickland practiced veterinary medicine in Thomaston for two years and then had many years of mixed-practice service in Glennville. He also worked for UGA as an Extension veterinarian, working to help cattle producers improve overall health, genetics and nutrition of their herds. He was past president and member of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) and was a past president of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association. Strickland served for more than 20 years on the Tattnall County Board of Education,
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Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 15
A look at implementation of the 2014 farm bill Compiled by Jay Stone ___________________________________ The USDA is making progress toward implementing the 2014 farm bill, with some programs up and running and key deadlines approaching in others. Here, we take a look at some key components of the national farm program that runs through 2018.
Cotton transition payment signups underway
Farmers can enroll in the Cotton Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) through Oct. 7. The program provides interim payments to cotton producers during the 2014 crop year until the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) is available. CTAP applications approved before Oct. 1 are subject to automatic reductions of 7.2 percent for the 2014 crop year under the Budget Control Act of 2011. Applications approved after Oct. 1 will be reduced the required 7.3 percent for the 2015 crop year. For more information about CTAP, visit a local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office
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Grow Half-Dollar Size Muscadines and Blackberries FREE Color Catalog Buy Direct from the Grower
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16 / September 2014
or go online to http://www.fsa.usda.gov. For the 2015 crop year, STAX will be available for upland cotton in all counties where federal crop insurance coverage for upland cotton is currently offered. STAX is an area-based revenue policy that may be purchased alone or in conjunction with another cotton crop insurance policy. The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is encouraging cotton growers to consult with their crop insurance agents to find the coverage that best suits their needs. STAX will offer practice-specific irrigated and non-irrigated coverage as data is available. Information on STAX for 2015 cotton is available on the RMA website at http:// www.rma.usda.gov.
NCPC makes decision calculator available
The National Center for Peanut Competitiveness has launched a preliminary base acreage and payment yields decision calculator designed to provide farmers information on how the farm bill will work for their operations. The calculator can be downloaded at http:// www.gapeanuts.com, where instructions for the calculator’s use is also found.
Acreage history letters sent for crop insurance programs
In early August the USDA began sending notices to farmers updating them on their current base acres, yields and 2009-2012 planting history. The written updates are an important part of preparing producers for the new safety net programs established by the 2014 farm bill. Farmers have 60 days from the date on the letter they received from USDA to contact their local FSA office to document errors in the USDA acreage and yield information. Verifying the accuracy of data on a farm’s acreage history is an important step for producers enrolling in the upcoming Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. Later this summer, farmers and ranchers will have an opportunity to update their crop yield information and reallocate base acres.
By mid-winter, all producers on a farm will be required to make a onetime, unanimous and irrevocable choice between price protection and county revenue protection or individual revenue protection for the 2014-2018 crop years. Producers can expect to sign contracts for ARC or PLC for the 2014 and 2015 crop years in early 2015.
SCO for winter wheat available in two Ga. counties
The Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) is a new crop insurance product that gives farmers additional coverage for a portion of deductibles associated with policies purchased in the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. SCO is not available for crops covered under Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC). Starting with the 2015 crop year, SCO will be available in select counties for corn, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, spring barley, spring wheat, and winter wheat. For the 2015 winter wheat crop, producers in Jefferson and Laurens counties are eligible to purchase SCO policies. County eligibility for SCO is determined using National Agricultural Statistics Service county yield data. County yield statistics must be available for 20 of the last 30 years. County yield estimates must also be available for eight of the last 10 years with an average of at least 10,000 planted acres over those years. Additionally, at least 50 farms for a particular crop in a county must be documented in the most recent Census of Agriculture for that county to be eligible. Since winter wheat producers will have to sign up for SCO this fall prior to having all the details on PLC and ARC, they may, for this year’s crop only, buy SCO by the sales closing date, generally Sept. 30, 2014, and withdraw coverage by the earlier of their acreage reporting date or Dec. 15, 2014, without penalty. Contact your RMA agent or local FSA agent for complete details. To view the RMA’s fact sheet on the SCO, visit http://tinyurl.com/scofacts. Georgia Farm Bureau News
Ga. National Fair turns 25
wenty-five years ago, the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority (GAEA) and its staff welcomed Georgians to the first Georgia National Fair (GNF). This year, we welcome everyone to the state-sponsored 25th Annual Georgia National Fair Oct. 2-12 in Perry. Fair supporters can look back with awe at the first GNF held Oct. 5-13, 1990. Former Georgia Rep. Larry Walker and former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn were grand marshals in the Farm City Days Parade. Former Gov. Joe Frank Harris was the opening ceremony keynote speaker. Attendance for the first fair totaled 270,677 people over its nine days. Last year, fair attendance totaled 449,885 people over 11 days. Since the first fair, we have stayed true to our mission: to showcase Georgia agriculture, to promote the agricultural achievements of Georgia’s young people, to provide a center for diverse activities to benefit the state’s economy, and to stage and promote a statewide fair to accomplish one or more of the above. The GNF appeals to everyone with its livestock and horse shows, competitive exhibits, food, midway rides and games, vendors, concerts, circus and nightly fireworks. Visit the Georgia Grown Building near the clock tower to see the state’s top industry on display. The building will house a photo exhibit to introduce fairgoers to the people who grow their food. Senior Georgia Grown Executive Chef Holly Chute and others will give cooking demonstrations. Ag organizations and businesses will exhibit displays highlighting their contributions to Georgia agriculture. The Georgia Grown Pavilion market will sell Georgia Grown products. The GNF is a great value for the entire family. Our educational and entertainment programs are geared toward children, teens, young adults, parents and senior citizens. Fair visitors have access to free entertainment and attractions, valued at more than half a million dollars, that offer something for everyone’s taste. We’re adding a third night of free concert entertainment on “WOW Wednesday,” Oct. 8 featuring Ricky Skaggs and bluegrass band
Photo by Lili Davis
By Stacy Campbell ___________________________________
Thousands of Georgia youth have learned work ethic and responsibility by showing livestock at the Georgia National Fair during the past 25 years.
Iron Horse. Other new attractions this year include the “Rail Jam! Wakeboard Show,” “The Showboat Marionettes, and the “SwashChucklers! Comedy Pirate Show.” Visit http://www.georgianationalfair.com for information on all entertainment, special
events and armband specials. The GAEA and staff are eager to celebrate 25 years of our “Georgia Grown” Georgia National Fair Stacy S. Campbell is director of communications for the Georgia National Fair.
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For more information, or to apply, contact your local Farm Bureau agent today. Existing Farm Bureau Bank loans are excluded from this offer. *Rate disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and based on exceptional credit. Some restrictions may apply based upon the make and model of equipment offered as collateral. Up to 90% financing for new and 85% for used equipment. Loans subject to credit approval. Rates are accurate as of 09/13/13. Rates and financing are limited to farm equipment model years 2003 or newer and are subject to change without notice. A down payment may be required for new or used equipment purchases. Financial information required for loan requests over $50,000. Commercial vehicles and trailers may be subject to an additional documentation fee. Farm Bureau Bank does not provide equity or cash-out financing on commercial vehicles and equipment. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank FSB. Farm Bureau, FB, and the FB National Logo are registered service marks owned by, and used by Farm Bureau Bank FSB under license from, the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 17
Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________________________________________ Summer breaks aren’t just for beach trips. In July, state legislators visited farms in Crawford County, and several members of Georgia’s U.S. Congressional delegation used their August recess to visit with Farm Bureau members in their districts.
Photo by Ray D’Alessio
Legislators meet with GFB members
3 Isakson meets with GFB 3rd Dist. members. On Aug. 12, several county Farm
Bureau presidents in Georgia Farm Bureau’s 3rd District met at Southern Belle Farm in Henry County to talk to Sen. Jonny Isakson about ag issues and Farm Bureau’s position on the issues. The group discussed the rule proposed by the U.S. EPA & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expand their authority over all water and Farm Bureau’s response of “Ditch The Rule.” The group also discussed migrant labor issues, and the high cost of Obama Care. Pictured from left, front row are: Henry County Farm Bureau (HCFB) 1st Vice President Jimmy Carter, HCFB Young Farmer Chairman Jake Carter, Sen. Johnny Isakson, HCFB Office Manager Jean Dykes, GFB 3rd District Director Nora Goodman and GFB National Legislative Specialist Tas Smith; pictured from left, back row are: Kathy Carter, Isakson’s Chief of Staff Joan Kirchner, Newton County FB President Keith Mitcham, HCFB President Ross McQueen, Fayette County FB President Rick Minter, Jennifer Carter and GFB 3rd Dist. Field Representative Ricky Lane. Also attending but not pictured was Clayton County FB President Paul Jones.
4 Rep. Johnson visits Newton County. Newton County Farm Bureau hosted a farm
tour for U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson Aug. 18 (D-Dist.4), which includes part of Newton County. The first stop on the tour was the organic farm at Oxford College of Emory University in Oxford. Pictured from left, Oxford College Farm Manager Daniel Parson tells Rep. Johnson and NCFB President Keith Mitcham about the farm, which is still being established. The second stop on the tour was Berry’s Christmas Tree Farm, owned by NCFB Director Chuck Berry and previously operated by his father NCFB Vice President Charles Berry. During lunch, Rep. Johnson had the chance to visit with several NCFB directors and discuss ag issues.
5 Ga. legislators tour Crawford Co. farms. On July 19 Crawford County Farm Bureau (CCFB) hosted five state legislators and their families on a farm tour to let the legislators see agriculture first hand. Pictured picking peaches at Dickey Farms in Musella are, from left, Georgia Sen. Hunter Hill and Georgia Reps. Tom Kirby, Robert Dickey (farm tour host), Reps. David Stover and Demetrius Douglas. Not pictured Rep. John Carson. During the stop at Cooley Farms in Roberta, the group enjoyed a lunch prepared by the CCFB Women’s Committee. After lunch, the group toured the Cooley farm and learned about poultry, cattle and hay production. Many of the CCFB directors and office staff were on hand for this event. 18 / September 2014
Photo courtesy of Henry County Farm Bureau
tured far right, USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and U.S. Rep. John Barrow (DDist.12) held a meeting in Dublin Aug. 8 to discuss implementation of the new farm bill. They also met with farmers in Vidalia and Waynesboro that day. Barrow said he hosted the series of meetings because, “We’re at a critical phase of the life cycle of this farm bill. It’s very important while the USDA is developing the regulations to get farmer input. I wanted to hear concerns from folks in our district.” Harden, a native of Camilla, Ga., told the farmers attending the meeting that row crop producers will have to decide which farm program they choose to participate in – the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC). “In the past you could bring your information to the local Farm Service Agency office and get help in choosing the programs, but that’s no longer the case,” Harden said. “You know your business better than anyone else, and you are going to have to decide what’s going to work best for you.”
Photo by Crystal Hyatt
2 Rep. Barrow & USDA Deputy Secretary Harden visit 12th Dist. farmers. Pic-
Photo by Rena Booker
3), white shirt, center rocking chair, visited Southern Belle Farm Aug. 8 to discuss ag issues with Henry and Fayette County Farm Bureau members. The discussion included immigration reform and the U.S. EPA’s proposed rule to expand their regulatory authority over all water. During an interview with GFB media, Westmoreland said, “I want to be able to share with the people of my district and the people of this country how important farming is to us. Not just the current farmers, but the young farmers who are coming up and that this stuff is in their blood. They want to do it. They want to feed America, and we have to allow them that opportunity.”
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
1 Rep. Westmoreland visits Henry County. U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Dist.
5 Georgia Farm Bureau News
Growing up on farm prepared Harden for USDA post Editor’s note: On Aug. 8 I had the chance to sit down with USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden for an interview before she met with farmers in Dublin, Ga., to discuss implementaing the new farm bill. Harden has spent 33 years in Washington, D.C., representing agriculture in various capacities. Harden worked on Capitol Hill for 12 years, first on the staff of former U.S. Rep. Editor’s note: Harden paid for college from Charles Hatcher, then as staff director for the the money she earned showing steers and horsHouse Agriculture Subcommittee on Peanuts es and is a Master 4-Her. and Tobacco. She worked with the American Q: When you graduated from UGA Soybean Association with Gordley Associates with a journalism degree in 1981, what did from 1993 to 2004, served as chief executive ofyou set out to do? ficer of the National Association of Conserva A: I really wanted to work on Capitol Hill. tion Districts from 2004-2009, and then served I loved politics and making policy. It certainly two years as chief of staff for Agriculture Secwasn’t a good time to go back to the farm in retary Tom Vilsack before being sworn in as the early eighties. Farming was tough, so I deputy secretary on Aug. 1, 2013. couldn’t go back to the farm. As we talked, it became clear the lessons I really believe in our country, and I beshe learned growing up on a row crop and livelieve in our government, and I wanted to be a stock farm in Camilla, Ga., ingrained in her a part of it. That may sound corny, but I’m still love of farming that’s served as the compass for patriotic, and I believe in our system. her career. While it’s been years since she lived on a Q: Did you ever dream you would hold farm full time, I think it’s safe to say that her the #2 spot at USDA? family farm, and farmers like the ones she A: I sure didn’t! Who would have grew up with, are always on her mind as she thought? But I knew I wanted to do someworks at the USDA. thing that would make a difference. I was Harden’s answers struck me as genuine, so raised by a family that said, “If you work rather than package our interview in an article, hard, and you’re honest and ethical, you can I’m sharing some of the questions asked and do anything you want,” and I believe that. her answers to let you hear straight from her. Q: What inspires you to stay in D.C. Q: Describe your family farm. representing farmers? A: When I was growing up, we grew pea- A: People always say, “How do you live nuts and corn and pretty much anything you up there?” I love Washington. There need to could make a living on including some veg- be people like me who can pick up the phone etables. We had a cow-calf operation in those and call home and talk to a farmer about days. It’s different now. We have cotton, what’s happening and farm policy. I always which we didn’t have when I was growing up. tell folks I learned about agriculture on a farm Editor’s note: Her parents Jimmy and Ja- in Southwest Georgia, not in D.C. I try never mie Harden still live on the farm. Her sister, to forget that. Jabra Harden-Fuller, pursued a career in edu Q: Why do you have so much passion cation and lives in Valdosta. for helping young farmers and ensur Q: What were your chores growing up ing women and minorities have access to on the farm? USDA programs? A: I did what was needed, what was help- A: It’s really personal for me because my ful. I think I could recognize crops before I sister and I will one day inherit a farm. We could read or write. I would ride in a truck don’t have kids of our own, and we’re both with daddy and tell what they [the crops] in other fields. We’re renting part of our farm were. I was a big 4-Her and showed horses to somebody in their 60s, and I’m looking at and steers, so I was always around the barn. what are we going to do next and how can we
Photo courtesy of USDA
By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________________________________________________
help the next generation get into agriculture? The average age of farmers nationwide is 58, so who’s going to feed us? Who’s going to care for our land? Anything that I can do with making sure that our [USDA] programs make things better for young people and make sure that anybody who wants to farm, who has that passion, who loves the land can do it. It’s personal for me, but it’s also for the whole country. Q: Why do you think organizations like Farm Bureau are important? A: I think they’re critical. I love Farm Bureau specifically because it’s down at the county and grassroots level. It really gets folks involved. It helps teach them about policy and the value of having their voice heard. I think it’s wonderful, and I encourage participation. I love the young farmer effort that they’re doing of getting young people involved and letting them know that they’re needed. Q: What words of wisdom do you have for young women beginning careers in agriculture? A: I tell the men don’t forget your daughters and granddaughters. Farming is no longer about manual labor. It’s very sophisticated, very technology driven. There are a lot of daughters and granddaughters out there who care about that land and want to keep it in farming, and I say go for it. Q: How often do you get back home? A: I’ve had a rule since I left to come home every season because I love seeing the land in the different times of the year. Luckily, this job is allowing me to get down more often. I don’t have long visits, but I get dirt under my fingernails. It’s just renewing for me.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 19
AROUND GEORGIA News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker CHEROKEE COUNTY Cherokee County Farm Bureau held a Tractor Day in July at the Cherokee Fresh Market that it organizes. Pictured from left are show participants Pricilla and Steven Moss, Joey Ghorley and Chuck Watkins. The Mosses won the largest tractor award with their Case DC. Ghorley won the award for oldest tractor with his 1945 yellow International Harvester. Watkins’ orange Allis Chalmers was voted crowd favorite. COOK COUNTY The Cook County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee organized a farm day for Cook Primary School last spring attended by 800 students from kindergarten through second grade. Many of the students have never been on a farm. This event let them see farm animals, such as cows, sheep, goats, horses, chickens and pigs up close. They were also able to see farm equipment, hay and corn. CCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Melissa Williams, far right, tells the students how farmers use a sprayer to kill weeds in their crops. EVANS COUNTY Evans County Farm Bureau (ECFB) held an Ag Day in May for about 250 students and their teachers at a local elementary school. ECFB Promotion & Education Chairman & Women’s Committee Chairman Angela Todd, pictured standing under tent, gave a presentation on raising poultry. Todd and her husband, Matt, raise poultry on their family farm. GLASCOCK COUNTY Glascock County Farm Bureau (GCFB) hosted a lunch for the 44 students in the Glascock County Consolidated School’s 2014 Se20 / September 2014
nior Class. The class enjoyed a fried chicken lunch prepared by the GCFB staff. GCFB President John Raley told the group the overall purpose of Georgia Farm Bureau. Agent Gwyn Couch discussed the many different types of insurance and advised the students on how to keep their insurance rates down. Office Manager Meg Williams mentioned the many benefits Farm Bureau membership offers and gave each student a graduation antenna topper.
HARALSON COUNTY Haralson County Farm Bureau hosted a legislative dinner for its local legislators and county board members to discuss ag issues Farm Bureau is working on and to hear what happened in the 2014 Georgia General Assembly. Pictured on the front row from left are: GFB District 3 Field Rep. Ricky Lane, HCFB Office Manager Kim Hindmon, Amy Turner from U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office, HCFB Director Martha Smith and back row from left: GFB Legislative Director Jon Huffmaster, Bud Whitmire from U.S. Rep. Tom Graves office, HCFB Vice-President Joe Griffith, HCFB Director Stanley Williams and HCFB President Jack Williams. Third Row from left: Ga. Sen. Bill Heath, HCFB Director Josh Cabe, HCFB Agency Manager Doug Stitcher, HCFB Director Ellis Goldin and Ga. Rep. Trey Kelley. HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Farm Bureau (HCFB) provided ag lessons for two days of the local 4-H Summer Day Camp. In one lesson, HCFB volunteers educated the 4-Hers about Georgia’s peach crop and served fresh picked Georgia Farm Bureau News
peaches from Woodbury, Ga., to the campers. The second lesson HCFB presented at the five-day 4-H Camp was about Georgia aquaculture. HCFB member Carol Love, left, and HCFB Women’s Committee Chairman Elaine Cone led the campers in a game of aquaculture bingo and let the kids eat sardines in a game of Fear Factor. HENRY COUNTY Henry County held its annual Legislative Fish Fry June 16. About 137 people attended, including seven candidates running for local offices. All of the candidates had a chance to speak. HCFB Secretary Dianne Elkins and Legislative Chairman Andy Garland, pictured, welcomed guests at the registration table. HCFB President Ross McQueen and Garland welcomed the crowd and introduced the candidates who spoke.
MORGAN COUNTY Morgan County Middle School students gained safety skills attending Morgan County Farm Bureau’s annual farm safety camp in May. A total of 244 sixth-grade students and their 16 teachers rotated between six different stations covering safety protocol for electricity, guns, farm equipment, boats, livestock and ATVs. Phillip Matheney with AgPro is shown discussing hay baler safety and precautions. Morgan County High School FFA members and their FFA advisors helped facilitate the event along with support from the Watkinsville Farm Service Agency office, Walton EMC, Morgan County Extension Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, AgPro and Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
PAULDING COUNTY Paulding County Farm Bureau teamed up with Elrod Garden Center and the Paulding County Master Gardeners to sponsor the 2014 Best Home Vegetable Garden Contest. Pictured from left are Master Gardeners Earl Cosgrove and John Shipley, Adult Best Medium Garden Winner Jesse Evans, Adult Best Small Garden Winner Jacqueline Frost, Adult Large Garden Winners Charles Bice and
Tommy Abston, Master Gardener Betty Cosgrove, Sam Elrod of Elrod Garden Center and PCFB Office Manager Tracy Grice. In early July, PCFB Young Farmer Jason Cook and Master Gardener volunteers judged the gardens on soil quality, productivity, weed control, plant health, design, sight selection and overall appearance. First place winners in each category received $100 and a plaque. Youth Garden Category winners, not pictured, were siblings Charlotte, Calvin, Kassie, Victoria and Sarah Milanese.
PEACH COUNTY Peach County Farm Bureau (PCFB) held a member appreciation day May 30 serving a lunch of grilled hotdogs and chips to PCFB members who dropped by the office. Five Star donated a $25 cash prize and First Response employees from Warner Robins brought their grill and helped cook and serve customers. SPALDING & FAYETTE Spalding and Fayette County Farm Bureaus co-hosted a farm safety camp at the UGA Griffin Campus in July. The camp drew children aged eight to 13 years for a daylong event to learn to identify and deal with hazards around the home and farm to avoid accidents. Classes covered tractor safety, snake safety, fire safety, general farm safety, sun safety, bites, stinging pests, lawn mower safety, stranger danger, boating safety, ATV safety and small animal safety. All participants received gift bags with take-home materials. Stan Thain, pictured, with Critters Incarcerated, talked to the campers about snake safety. WALKER COUNTY In May, Walker County Farm Bureau taught local elementary students about soybeans. WCFB Office Manager Kyla Compton is pictured holding a jar of soybean meal for students to feel. The WCFB staff and volunteers taught the students about the many products made from soybeans. They also helped the students plant soybean seeds in cotton balls, which they watched sprout in their science center.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 21
By Jennifer Whittaker ___________________________________ Students at Middle Ridge Elementary School in Newton County are now able to grow plants during the winter thanks to Newton County Farm Bureau working to secure funding for a new hoop house used by classes participating in the Ag in the Classroom program. NCFB volunteers have designed lessons for each grade that participates in activities in the hoop house. NCFB used a grant it received from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA) last winter and partnered with Ag South Farm Credit and Tractor Supply to fund the house. Irwin County Farm Bureau received a grant in July and is using its grant to create an agriculture reading corner for a local elementary school. The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a special project of the AFBFA. There are two opportunities for counties to receive funding. The White-Reinhardt Mini-Grant Program is offered to state and county Farm Bureaus in amounts up to $500 for classroom education programs for grades K-12 WE, THE FARMERS from page 4 teaming up with the GDA to welcome Expo guests as they enter the main Expo gate. Visiting our GFB exhibit at the Georgia National Fair or Expo will be a great chance for you to learn more about the new member benefits we launched this summer that should be of interest to farmers. GFB members are now eligible to receive a discount of up to $300 on Polaris all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles and GEM® electric utility vehicles. GFB members can also receive a discount of up to $500 on many Case IH tractors and implements. GFB is also teaming up with UGA Extension, the GDA and other ag organizations to organize Georgia’s Spotlight State exhibit, which will be located in a new permanent building that Georgia agriculture is donating to Expo. It’s been 13 years since Georgia has been the spotlight state, and we’ve got a great story to tell. You’ll find the building near the UGA and University of Florida buildings. If you haven’t submitted comments opposing the rule the U.S. Environmental 22 / September 2014
Pictured from left, Middle Ridge Elementary School Principal Dr. Michael Forehand and teacher Shanna Powell thank NCFB Office Manager Crystal Hyatt while NCFB Young Farmer Committee member Earnest Nichols accepts thanks from teacher Angela Page for securing funding for a hoop house for the school’s garden.
Photo courtesy of NCFB
AFBF mini-grants available for AITC programs
to initiate new programs or expand existing programs to additional grade levels or new subject areas. The White-Reinhardt Scholarship Program provides travel funds to educators employed by a public or private school system or volunteers who actively participate in classroom ag literacy programs or events to attend the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. Applications are due to AFBFA by Oct. 15 and must be made online. County Farm Bureaus interested in applying for a grant will find instructions on the Georgia Farm Bureau Sharepoint web-
site under Field Services/Ag Literacy. Visit the AFBFA website at http://www.agfoundation.org and click on What We Support for more information. There are other tools on Sharepoint to help complete the application. If you would like GFB Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Donna Rocker to review your application before you submit it to AFBFA, you must send a draft of the application to her by Oct. 1. For help in completing the application, contact Rocker at email@example.com. Once she has provided you with feedback, you will then need to submit the application online.
Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed to expand their regulatory authority over water on our farms under the Clean Water Act, please do so before the Oct. 20 deadline. If maintaining private property rights is important to you, then submit comments opposing this proposed rule. Visit Farm Bureau’s “Ditch the Rule” website http://www.gfb. org/ditchtherule. A prewritten comment can be found at the site with an area for personalization. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you need assistance. I’d like to thank all of the county Farm Bureaus who have worked to raise awareness of this issue in their communities by submitting editorials to their local papers, putting up yard signs and sending out postcards. Together, we can make a difference! The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven,” and in Ecclesiastes 3:7 “A time to tear, a time to sew, a time to seek silence, and a time to speak.”
Yes there is a season for everything. In life there are times when we need to be quiet and step back for a moment and evaluate things. Self-evaluation is healthy to our lives because it keeps us on mission. This evaluation process may be about our lives, our church or our relationship with others. We can even apply this scripture to our Farm Bureau policy process, which is no doubt, the most important exercise we go through as an organization. During this time, we tear our policy books apart and sew them back together with care and clarity. This keeps us moving in the right direction. We, the farmers, are the grassroots that provide the leadership for this organization and others are depending on us to get it right. No matter where you apply your leadership skills, whether it be at church, in your family or as a farmer member of this organization, it is important to remember that all leadership must bring honor to God, serve and benefit others, and utilize the gifts of each member to their fullest potential. Georgia Farm Bureau News
GFB to offer new ag e-newsletter
By Jay Stone ___________________________________ This fall, Georgia Farm Bureau’s Information and Public Relations Department will roll out a new electronic newsletter to replace its weekly printed newsletter, Leadership Alert. Launched in 1982 as a tool to communicate important organiza-
tional, governmental and industry news to GFB county leaders, Leadership Alert has changed little in terms of its format and delivery in its 32 years. When it began, the printed version of Leadership Alert mailed to all of GFB’s
Photo by Cliff Bowden
By Andy Lucas __________________________ Georgia Farm Bureau hosts several tailgate meetings around the state each year giving members a chance to speak directly to GFB President Zippy Duvall and other GFB leaders. In addition to GFB leaders getting to hear from the organization’s grassroots, the GFB county leaders get an update about ag issues and how GFB is addressing them. On Aug. 21, GFB held a tailgate breakfast in McDuffie County at Hillcrest Farms in Dearing. More than 40 volunteer leaders from nine counties attended the event. After the breakfast, Mark Rodgers, vice chairman of the GFB Dairy Advisory Committee, gave attendees a tour of his family’s 4th generation dairy farm that he operates with his brother, Andy, parents Billy and Gladys, daughter, Caitlin, and nephew, Joshua. The Rodgers family uses the latest technology to manage their herd of 370 Holsteins and grow all the forages they feed the herd.
Photo by Andy Lucas
Tailgate breakfast held in McDuffie County
GFB 5th Dist. Young Farmers meet
About 50 young farmers gathered at the farm of Georgia Farm Bureau 5th District Young Farmer Chairmen Marcus and Neely South in Upson County Aug. 9. The group enjoyed an evening of fellowship, and GFB 5th District Field Rep. Cliff Bowden gave the group an update on GFB’s Young Farmer leadership development program and issues impacting agriculture, such as the U.S. EPA’s effort to expand its regulatory authority over all water and Farm Bureau’s “Ditch the Rule” campaign.
county offices was in keeping with its time. Since then, the publishing industry and the way information is consumed have changed significantly due to developing technology. With these things in mind, the GFB Information and Public Relations Department will convert the newsletter to a new electronic format and delivery this fall more in keeping with contemporary information consumption. It will also be published under a new name, GFB News Alert. GFB will distribute GFB News Alert via email using the newsletter service Constant Contact. The content will also be accessible on GFB’s website, http:// www.gfb.org, including a PDF format that is printer friendly. In addition to the format and delivery change, GFB is hoping to increase the audience for this publication. All GFB farmer members for whom we have email addresses will be sent the newsletter each week. The newsletter will also be available to anyone in Georgia agriculture. If you would like to be included on the email distribution list, or if you have any other questions about this change, please contact the GFB Information and Public Relations Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. CARTER from page 13 eration of America’s farmers and ranchers, and the group met White House Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Sam Kass. The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses and organizations working to empower and inspire members of their communities. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a champion, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions. For more information on opportunities to support new and beginning farmers, visit http://www.usda.gov/newfarmers.
Georgia Farm Bureau News September 2014 / 23
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