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September 6, 2017

Vol. 35 No. 18

GFB HOSTS WELCOME HOME EVENT FOR AG SECRETARY PERDUE On Aug. 25, Georgia Farm Bureau hosted a luncheon to welcome U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue back to his home state. Perdue met with rural stakeholders for a listening session on rural development concerns, had a brief meeting with Georgia commodity group leaders, then had lunch with approximately 240 GFB members and guests. Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long presented Secretary Perdue with an honorary lifetime membership to GFB. “Secretary Perdue has a long history of supporting agriculture in our state,” Long said. “And I’m confident that he will continue representing us in agriculture across our rural communities in our country.” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black spoke briefly about the need to focus on rural issues, and Secretary Perdue picked up the rural development theme, discussing plans to improve rural prosperity. Perdue expressed faith and confidence in American farmers. "You all face challenges every day and keep coming back for more," said Perdue. “You face difficulties, but you’re never defeated.” Perdue talked about his tour of Midwest farms, part of an effort to develop policies to enhance quality of life for rural America, as directed in an executive The next issue of order from President Trump. The executive order established an interagency GFB News Alert comes out task force involving 22 federal agencies charged with improving rural September 20. prosperity by removing impediments and getting regulatory and policy enhancements to help the agricultural sector more productive. The president ordered the task force to present a report in late October. Perdue noted that 85 percent of the nation's persistently impoverished counties are in rural areas, and one in four rural children live in poverty. "The economic recovery experienced by much of the suburban parts of the country have yet to be fully recognized and realized by the 46 million of us who call rural America our home," Perdue said. He spoke of the administration's push to reduce the regulatory burdens American farmers face, approaching proposed regulations with the mindset that regulations should protect the public at a reasonable cost while providing producers a return on the cost of compliance; the regulations should help manage risk; do those affected have suggestions that will make the regulations better for everyone; and, the regulations should not be derived from a hidden ideological agenda. After lunch, Perdue posed for pictures with GFB members. The photos are available at

GFB News Alert page 2 of 13 FARM BUREAU PROVIDING HELP TO TEXAS FARMERS AFFECTED BY HARVEY While tens of millions of dollars have been raised privately and the federal government processes hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas, numerous farm organizations and government agencies are providing help to the state’s agricultural sector. Texas cotton producers, who had stored much of their cotton in the field and were still harvesting in many areas, saw modules blown apart by wind and damaged by rain. Cattlemen in the area affected by Harvey had livestock stranded and lost to floodwaters. As the waters recede, they face challenges to find feed and fresh water for their remaining herds. The Texas Department of Agriculture estimates more than $200 million in crop losses and anticipates that number to grow. The area declared as a disaster by Gov. Greg Abbott contains about 1.2 million cattle, which is roughly 27 percent of the state’s herd. Harvey was the strongest storm to hit the U.S. since 2004, dropping several feet of rain. Texas Farm Bureau’s Agriculture Research and Education Foundation has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to aid in the recovery efforts following the devastating storm. Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long is encouraging GFB members to contribute to the Texas Farm Bureau fund. Visit to make a tax-deductible donation. “We believe this is a meaningful relief fund that our counterparts in the Lone Star State have established and will have a substantial influence on the people that will need help in rebuilding their lives in the coming days,” Long said. Tax-deductible donations made to this fund will be dispersed via an application process directly to the farmers and ranchers affected by the hurricane. GEORGIA FARMERS HAVE OPTIONS TO PREPARE FOR IRMA With Hurricane Irma predicted to make U.S. landfall in the next few days Georgia farmers will have options available to them to protect their commodities. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is making shelter preparations to accommodate livestock, companion animals, fuels and food safety. The GDA also issued a temporary suspension on interstate transport rules for livestock coming from Florida. For more information call 404-6563680 or visit The Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter will serve as an Equine evacuation site for those in the line of Hurricane Irma. GNFA will have 350 available stalls that will be opened to evacuees on a first come, first serve basis, no reservations will be accepted. For more information contact GNFA Livestock & Youth Director Phillip Gentry at or 478-9886522. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Alabama Horse Council, have arranged temporary shelters for evacuated livestock, including horses and cattle, in Andalusia, Montgomery, Dothan and New Brockton. For more details visit contact ADAI Emergency Programs at 334-240-7278 or email UGA Extension Tobacco Specialist J. Michael Moore suggested growers only harvest as much tobacco as they can cure before the storm’s outer bands arrive, and to make sure they have backup generators to ensure tobacco in the curing barns is not lost because of an interruption in power service. For information about selecting and using standby electric power equipment visit

GFB News Alert page 3 of 14 GFB OFFERING LIVESTOCK LIABILITY SIGNS Georgia Farm Bureau is selling signs livestock owners can post to inform visitors of liability protections under a state law passed in the 2017 session of the Georgia General Assembly. GFB supported passage of the law, which will help shield livestock producers from risks associated with allowing visitors on their farms. To be covered by the liability protection HB 50 offers, livestock producers must have a warning sign with proper wording posted on their farm clearly visible to visitors. Securing the liability protection for livestock producers has been a Farm Bureau priority for many years. GFB sought the protection offered by HB 50 in hopes it would encourage more livestock producers to partner with 4-H & FFA programs and allow visitors on their farms to see how livestock is raised. The signs may be purchased for $5 each, which covers the cost of their production. Those interested in purchasing signs should contact their county Farm Bureau office. WOTUS COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED; EPA TO HOLD LISTENING SESSIONS The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have extended the period for public comment regarding the agencies’ Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, which was finalized in 2015 but has yet to be implemented pending court orders. Originally set for an Aug. 28 comment deadline, the agencies gave the public until Sept. 27 to submit comments. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has been at the forefront of efforts to have the rule repealed. To submit a comment visit The rule greatly expanded the definition of navigable waters under the Clean Water Act. GFB has maintained since the rule was first proposed that it constituted a gross regulatory overreach, well past what Congress intended under the Clean Water Act and counter to multiple previous Supreme Court decisions. The EPA has scheduled a series of 10 web-based listening sessions as well as a meeting with “small entities” in Washington. Each of the web-based sessions are intended for a specific audience. The schedule: Sept. 19 - small entities, defined as small businesses, small organizations and small governmental jurisdictions; Sept. 26 - environment and public advocacy groups; Oct. 3 - conservation stakeholders, like hunters and fishermen; Oct. 10 - construction and transportation groups; Oct. 17 - agricultural groups; Oct. 24 - industry groups; Oct. 31 - mining groups; Nov. 7 - scientific organizations and academia; Nov. 14 - storm water, wastewater management and drinking water agencies and Nov. 21 - general public. These sessions follow the Feb. 28 presidential executive order on "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The February order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the nation's navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution. For more information about the rulemaking, visit

GFB News Alert page 4 of 14 CHUCK WILLIAMS NAMED DIRECTOR OF GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION Oconee County Farm Bureau member Chuck Williams began serving as director of the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) Sept. 1. Williams replaces Robert Farris, who retired in May. Williams has served in leadership roles for both the GFC & the Georgia Forestry Association and was the 2005 Georgia Tree Farmer of the Year. Since 2011, he represented Georgia’s 119th District (part of Clarke & Oconee counties) in the Georgia House of Representatives. A special election will be held to fill the seat. “As a forest landowner, Chuck has a keen understanding of the forestry community in our state and country. His years of service on the GFC Board of Directors, coupled with his Chuck Williams extensive background in economics, make him uniquely qualified to lead GFC as it provides leadership, service and education in the protection and conservation of Georgia’s forest resources,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a released statement announcing Williams’ hire. Williams and his wife, Beth, live in Oconee County. HORSES IN BRYAN AND EFFINGHAM COUNTIES TEST POSITIVE FOR EEE A horse in Bryan County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), according to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain and is fatal in horses 70 to 90 percent of the time. The virus has also been detected in the mosquito population in western Chatham County and a horse in Effingham County tested positive for EEE earlier this month. Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against the virus and to clean out watering sources, such as buckets and troughs, every three to four days to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps. No human cases of disease have been reported in Georgia this year; however, humans are susceptible to EEE. All residents are also encouraged to use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20 percent to 30 percent DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to protect themselves from mosquitoes and eliminating standing water around the home and in the yard where mosquitoes can breed. The DPH is encouraging residents to tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys, wading pools, buckets, etc., after rain, and discard unneeded items that can hold water, like old tires, bottles and cans. The department also suggests avoiding dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active, wearing loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin and making sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

GFB News Alert page 5 of 14 CONFLICT OVER WATER BETWEEN STATES LIKELY TO CONTINUE Water has been a subject of contention for Georgia farmers for decades. Although the resolution of the lawsuit filed in the U.S. Supreme Court by Florida in 2013 is perhaps months away, the fight to protect access to water is likely to continue after the decision is handed down, according to Jud Turner, one of the attorneys who has worked on Georgia’s side of the case. Turner, the former Georgia Environmental Protection Division director, gave an update on the progress of the case during remarks at the Joint Agriculture Chairmen’s Ag Issues Summit, held Aug. 23 at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton. Special Master Ralph Lancaster made his recommendation in March and the Supreme Court will hear arguments this fall and is expected to issue a ruling in the first half of 2018. “We’ve had wins and losses,” Turner said “The water wars will continue unless there’s a big settlement between governors or something on some other front. It would be short-sighted to view any of these legal decisions as the end of it. In agriculture, we ought to be active, continuing to manage, continuing to seek ways to improve.” The annual Ag Issues Summit, hosted by Georgia House Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom McCall and Georgia Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Wilkinson, drew approximately 200 agricultural stakeholders from around the state. They also heard presentations on the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE), rural development and rural healthcare, updates on ag water use, and the Destination Ag program at the museum. Georgia Farm Bureau was one of the event sponsors. GATE Compliance Officer Reggie Stowers reviewed the training that he and his fellow compliance officers provide to retailers, as well as the results of a survey to measure the amount of GATE card abuse. Stowers and four other compliance officers have visited approximately 1,500 stores that sell equipment and supplies to farmers, offering guidance on which items are exempt from sales taxes under GATE and which items are not. Stowers said 63 percent of the retailers surveyed said they had fewer than 50 GATE customers per day and 91 percent of them reported fewer than 25 GATE transactions per day. Eighty-five percent of the retailers surveyed said they had little or no abuse, and less than two percent reported significant abuse. Mark Masters of the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center presented data on Georgia's agricultural water use, noting that since the state employed its water metering program, the ability to quantify water use has improved significantly. Of the 23,000 irrigation pivots in the state, 80 percent have meters to measure how much water they’re using. While Masters said that all of the pivots need to be metered, the ones that are have provided a significant collection of data. Masters said withdrawals of surface water have declined in 10 of the state’s 11 regional watersheds, while withdrawals of ground water have increased in some areas. Georgia Rep. Sam Watson, who is vice chair of the House Rural Development Council, reviewed the council’s efforts to determine how the state can help rural communities improve their economies and quality of life. These included meetings with broadband providers and economic developers, as well as studies into improving workforce development and meeting infrastructure needs. Watson said rural areas urgently need these issues addressed. Sen. Dean Burke, a physician from Seminole County, discussed challenges facing rural healthcare, which is severely limited in many areas of the state. The Ag Issues Summit included a presentation from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College – which operates the Georgia Museum of Agriculture – about the Destination Ag program, which offers field trips to ABAC for elementary schools in four South Georgia counties.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle discussed the need for the state’s rural communities to prosper, and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp reviewed his office’s efforts to streamline occupational registration and voter registration. GFB News Alert page 6 of 14

GEORGIA COTTON WOMEN AWARD TWO SCHOLARSHIPS Georgia Cotton Women has awarded two scholarships to outstanding Colquitt County High School (CCHS) students. Mary Grace Edgar received the John M. and Connie H. Mobley Memorial Scholarship while Tyler Robinson received the Georgia Cotton Women Scholarship. The scholarships are for $1,500 each. Edgar is a 2017 CCHS Merit Graduate who served as vice president of her senior class. She was both a competition cheerleader and a football cheerleader. She was named a Scholar Athlete and selected as 2016 Homecoming Queen. Edgar is active in youth activities at First Baptist Church. She plans to attend Georgia Southern University and major in nursing. Robinson is a 2017 CCHS Honor Graduate. He was named FFA South Region Star Farmer, state winner in job interview and received 1st place in fruit production proficiency. He currently serves as the 2017-18 Georgia FFA Tyler Robinson and South Region Vice President. He, too, is active in the youth Mary Grace Edgar activities at First Baptist Church. He plans to attend ABAC and then transfer to the University of Georgia majoring in Agribusiness. Each of these scholarships recognizes the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton farmer who has good academic credentials, demonstrated leadership potential and participation in extracurricular activities. The Mobley Scholarship was established by the late John M. Mobley, Sr. and continues to be funded by his family. The Georgia Cotton Women scholarship is funded through the sales of the organization’s two cookbooks, Georgia Cotton Heritage Cookbook and the Cooking in High Cotton. Georgia Cotton Women, Inc. is based in Moultrie with members from across the state. The main purpose of the organization is to promote cotton and to educate children and consumers about Georgia’s number one row crop. The deadline for the 2018-19 scholarships is May 1, 2018. Applications can be obtained by emailing MONSANTO TAKING ENTRIES FOR CHARITY PROGRAM Farmers in the counties below have until 6 p.m. Nov. 1 to register a charity of their choice in their county to win $2,500 in the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. 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. There were at least 30,000 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and/or vegetables planted in these counties in 2016. Suggested charities include local 4-H or FFA programs, fire departments, hospitals, libraries or schools. Charities must have IRS 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status or be a unit of government under Section 170 (c) (1). The program is open to farmers, age 21 and older in eligible counties, actively farming a minimum of 250 acres. No purchase needed to win.

Additionally, farmers 21 years & older who grow at least 250 acres of cropland but don’t live in one of the eligible counties may enter the contest. Five entries from this pool of entrants will be selected to register their charity of choice. Visit or call 1-877-267-3332 to apply. GFB News Alert page 7 of 14 GA PEANUT ACHIEVEMENT CLUB HONORS STATE’S TOP PEANUT PRODUCERS The Georgia Peanut Achievement Club recognized the state’s top peanut producers at its annual meeting, held Aug. 18-20 on Amelia Island, Florida. The University of Georgia Peanut Team also shared its latest research findings at the meeting. “The University of Georgia is a great resource. They’re out in front of a lot of the situations we have to deal with. If something arises, they get involved really quickly. They research it and come up with answers,” said Brooks County farmer Robert Davison, who won the District IV honor for 300 to 699.9 acres. He grew 5,258 pounds of peanuts per acre in 2016. With 700-plus acres in peanuts, Eddie Miller of 4 Miller Farms in Seminole County produced the highest yield — 6,880 pounds of peanuts per acre. Miller attributes part of his success to UGA’s plant breeding program, which is led by UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences peanut breeder Bill Branch. “The breeding program has really helped a lot. Georgia 06-G is a great peanut, which is obvious,” Miller said. His 4 Miller Farms produces between 800 and 1,000 acres of 06-G every year. Fourteen Georgia growers and farms were recognized at the meeting, which salutes Georgia’s best peanut producers each year for achieving the top yields in the state. Of these Georgia growers, 12 planted peanuts on a three-year rotation, 12 planted twin-row peanuts, 10 used conventional tillage and 12 applied a yellow herbicide — Prowl or Sonalan — at preplant or preemergence, UGA Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort said. Along with the UGA Peanut Team, this year’s supporters of the club include Bayer Crop Science, BASF, AMVAC, the American Peanut Shellers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission and the National Peanut Buying Points Association. The 2016-2017 Georgia Peanut Achievement Club winners are: Highest overall yield in the state, 100-299.9 acres - Faith Farms of Baker County with 7,105 pounds per acre; Highest overall yield in the state, on 300-699.9 acres - Al Sudderth of Calhoun County with 6,515 pounds per acre; Highest overall yield in the state, on 700-plus acres - 4 Miller Farms of Seminole County with 6,880 pounds per acre; District I, 100-299.9 acres - Hillside Farms of Early County with 6,919 pounds per acre; District I, 300-699.9 acres - Chase Farms of Macon County with 6,046 pounds per acre; District I, 700-plus acres - Bob McLendon of Calhoun County with 6,260 pounds per acre; District II, 100-299.9 acres - John Gaines Jr. of Baker County with 6,538 pounds per acre; District II, 300-699.9 acres - Rick LaGardia of Miller County with 5,669 pounds per acre; District II, 700-plus acres - Jerry and Jeff Heard of Baker County with 6,464 pounds per acre; District III, 100-299.9 acres - Chris Rogers of Jefferson County with 6,057 pounds per acre; District III, 300-699.9 acres - Scott Moore of Dooly County with 6,379 pounds per acre; District III, 700-plus acres - Ken Hall Farms of Worth County with 5,617 pounds per acre; District IV, 100-299.9 acres - Gary Waters of Emanuel County with 6,011 pounds per acre; District IV, 300699.9 acres - Robert Davison of Brooks County with 5,258 pounds per acre. For more information on peanut research from UGA Extension, go to

GFB News Alert page 8 of 14 FORMER JONES COUNTY FARM BUREAU PRESIDENT DIES Former Jones County Farm Bureau President Wanda Crumbley, 84, died Aug. 30. Crumbley served as county president from 2001-2006. A native of Laurens County, Crumbley graduated from the Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville, the predecessor of Georgia College. She taught elementary school in Jones County for 33 years before retiring. She was a member of the ADK sorority for women educators and an active member of Haddock Baptist Church. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Ralph, sons David (Connie) and Emory, daughter Lee DeLoach (Buzz), seven grandchildren, including GFB 6th District Field Rep. Lauren Goble; two step-grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to the Haddock Baptist Church Wanda Crumbley Van Fund, 180 Ethridge Rd., Haddock, Ga. 31033. Condolences may be sent to the family at 281 Salem Church Miller Road, Gray, Ga. 31032. GFB MOURNS LOSS OF STEWART COUNTY FARM BUREAU PRESIDENT Stewart County Farm Bureau President Richard Morrison, 85, died Sept. 3. Morrison served as county president from 1981 until his death. After graduating from Stewart County High School, Morrison enlisted in the U.S. Army in the early 1950s and was stationed in Germany. He obtained agricultural degrees from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the University of Georgia. He returned home to farm with his father, Leland, and later his son, Winston. The family grew row crops. Morrison enjoyed restoring antique tractors in his retirement and was a founding member of SOWEGA Big Wheelers, often driving one of his antique tractors in local parades. He was also an active member of County Line Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher and song leader. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol Ann McKinnon Richard Morrison Morrison, son Winston (Julie), daughter Cathy Rudowske (Mark), granddaughter Carrie Rudowske, brother David (Vivian) and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Condolences may be sent to the family at 1715 Lynch Road, Lumpkin, Ga. 31815.

GFB News Alert page 9 of 14 GEORGIA FARM BUREAU DISTRICT ANNUAL MEETINGS Sept. 7 2nd District First Baptist Church 7 p.m. Toccoa Sept. 11 7th District First Baptist Church 7 p.m. Statesboro Sept. 12 3rd District Center at Arbor Conn. 7 p.m. Douglasville Sept. 14 10th District Jamestown Baptist Church 7 p.m. Waycross Sept. 18 1st District Georgia Northwestern Tech 7 p.m. Calhoun Sept. 19 5th District Thomaston Civic Center 7 p.m. Thomaston Sept. 21 9th District Mitchell County Ag Center 7 p.m. Camilla Sept. 25 4th District Oconee County Civic Ctr. 7 p.m. Watkinsville Sept. 26 6th District Poplar Springs N. Bapt. Church 7 p.m. Dublin Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information. Note: These meetings are for Farm Bureau members only and are not open to the general public. GEORGIA PECAN GROWERS ASSOCIATION FALL FIELD DAY Sept. 7 UGA Ponder Farm/UGA Tifton Campus 9 a.m. Tifton This field day features presentations on orchard management, hedging trees, new pecan plantings, nursery production and cultivar selection. A low country boil lunch by Gay’s Food Inc. will be served at the UGA Tifton-Campus Conference Center at 12:15 p.m. To register, visit For more information contact the GPGA at 229-382-2187. 22ND ANNUAL LUMBER CITY FARM DAY FESTIVAL Sept. 9 & 10 Lumber City Saturday’s events include a Fun Run & 5K race, arts/crafts, food vendors, a parade and live entertainment. A community church service will be held Sept. 10. For more information or to register for the race visit or call Jeanette Ban at 912-363-4643 or email UGA EXTENSION ADVANCED GRAZING SCHOOL Sept. 19-20 University of Georgia research farms Athens This two-day school will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of two key aspects of their grazing systems. The focus area of the first day will be on low-cost fencing and portable watering systems. On the second day of the program, the focus will be on how grazing management influences soil health. Training will take place in both classroom and field settings, with many hands-on learning experiences. Cost of the two-day program is $150 for the first person from each farm and $75/person for each additional person from each farm or family. This registration fee includes a 250-page notebook full of resources on the subject matter, along with lunches and breaks on each day, and dinner on the first night. Registration is limited and participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to register, visit

GFB News Alert page 10 of 14 31ST ANNUAL GEORGIA PEANUT TOUR Sept. 19-20 Southwest Georgia The 31st Annual Georgia Peanut Tour brings the latest information on peanuts while giving a firsthand view of industry infrastructure from production and handling to processing and utilization. Tour stops will be made in several peanut producing counties including Dougherty, Lee and Sumter counties. Attendees can expect to see nearly every aspect of peanut production in the state. This year's tour hosts many exciting stops including on-farm harvest demonstrations and clinics, peanut processing facilities, and several special highlights which include research at the University of Georgia Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center, Jimmy Carter's Boyhood Home, Georgia Seed Development Commission Foundation Seed Facility in Plains, Smithville Peanut Company Buying Point and JLA USA in Albany. Hotel accommodations can be made at the Merry Acres Inn in Albany, Georgia, by calling 229-435-7721. To register online visit For more information contact the Georgia Peanut Commission at 229386-3470. PLAINS PEANUT FESTIVAL Sept. 23 Downtown area Plains The annual Plains Peanut Festival is centered around one of the Sumter County community's claims to fame, its peanut production, and features Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in active roles. The festival kicks off with a 1-mile fun run and a 5-K road race. People line the sidewalks of Plains each year to watch the unique entries in the parade downtown. Visitors enjoy the all-day event and educational exhibits are on display to accent the importance of agriculture in this region. For more information visit DAWSON COUNTY FFA ANTIQUE TRACTOR SHOW Sept. 23 Tractor Supply Company 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Dawsonville Antique tractor enthusiasts are invited to bring their tractors for this free show. Tractors may begin to arrive at 8 a.m. and should be in place by 9:30 a.m. All makes and models, restored or everyday work tractors are welcome. For more information contact Tammy Wood at Dawson County Farm Bureau at 706-265-3350 or Keith Pankey at 706-265-6555 ext. 1560. No pre-registration is required; drive-ups the day of the event are welcome. The Dawson County FFA will sell concessions and take donations to support leadership trips and career development events. The Dawsonville Tractor Supply Company is located at 6921 Hwy. 53 E., Dawsonville, GA 30534. BARN BASH CHARITY CONCERT Sept. 23 Double P Farms 3 p.m. Williamson Marc Broussard will headline this inaugural event to benefit the Brand Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund. Brandon lost his battle with Glioblastoma on Feb. 15. This event will raise money for scholarships that will be given to a Pike County High School senior in memory of Brandon. This year’s event will have bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, great food vendors and of course great entertainment with Marc Broussard, Southbound and Lambert Osteen & Friends. Double P Farms is located at the intersection of Dunbar School Road and Jonathan’s Roost Road

in Williamson. Gates open at 2 p.m. and music starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. To purchase advance tickets visit

GFB News Alert page 11 of 14 FIREWISE ON THE FARM FIELD DAY Sept. 26 William Harris Homestead, 3636 Hwy 11 N, 9:30 a.m. – noon Monroe This free field day, sponsored in part by Walton County Farm Bureau and Georgia Farm Bureau, promotes fire safety on the farm and in the home. Numerous agencies will give demonstrations and provide information about fire safety. The fire departments will demonstrate equipment and methods of prevention and easy and convenient methods of extinguishing fires and how to equip a utility task vehicle with a small tank of water that is easily transported for equipment fires. For more information email or call the Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC & D Council at 706-894-1591. GEORGIA FARM TO SCHOOL SUMMIT Oct. 5 & 6 Helms College Augusta The Farm to School Summit connects schools, early care centers, and local farms and distributors to serve and champion healthy, local meals in cafeterias, improve student nutrition, and increase farm and gardening educational opportunities. This year’s summit welcomes farmers, teachers, early care educators and administrators, school nutrition staff, students, parents, and others interested in learning more about Georgia’s farm to school movement. Highlights include the opening keynote address from national farm to school leader Betti Wiggins of Detroit Public Schools, closing keynote address from Burke County School Nutrition Director and Presidentelect of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Donna Martin, workshops, educational sessions and networking. For more information visit 2017 GFB HAY CONTEST Oct. 31 deadline to enter Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members who grow Bermudagrass hay are encouraged to enter the GFB 2017 Quality Hay Contest. Hay entered in the contest will be tested at the University of Georgia Testing Lab using the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) Test, which predicts fiber digestibility and likely animal intake of hay. Producers may enter more than one sample in the contest. There is a $20 entry fee for each sample entered in the contest to cover lab costs. Applications and instructions for submitting samples are available at county Farm Bureau offices or may be downloaded at the GFB website Checks to cover the entry fee should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Entry forms and samples should be sent to the GFB Public Policy Department, Agricultural Programs, 1620 Bass Road Macon, Ga., 31210. The deadline to enter is Oct. 31. The first-place prize is free use of a Vermeer 504R Signature Baler for one year courtesy of Vermeer.

GFB News Alert page 12 of 14 DAIRY MARGIN PROTECTION PROGRAM ENROLLMENT Dec. 15 deadline for enrollment The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting applications from dairy producers for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program (MPPDairy). The USDA has utilized additional flexibility this year by providing dairy producers the option of opting out of the program for 2018. To opt out, a producer should not sign up during the annual registration period. By opting out, a producer would not receive any MPP-Dairy benefits if payments are triggered for 2018. Full details will be included in a subsequent Federal Register Notice. The decision would be for 2018 only and is not retroactive. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 farm bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the producer. USDA has a web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the MPP-Dairy that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, available at, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, Smartphone, tablet or any other platform, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, visit FSA online at or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the MPP-Dairy. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit GFB TAKING LISTINGS FOR HAY DIRECTORY Farm Bureau members with hay for sale or offering custom harvesting or custom sprigging services are invited to list in the 2017/18 GFB Quality Hay Directory published on the GFB website. Because this directory is now offered exclusively online, hay can be listed or removed from the site as your inventory dictates. To participate, please complete a submission form available at your county Farm Bureau office or online at Please include a $10 check made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau for each listing of hay, custom harvesting or custom sprigging. Multiple listings are allowed. ASA DUPONT YOUNG LEADER PROGRAM Applications are being accepted for the ASA DuPont Young Leader program, a challenging and educational two-part training program. Phase I of the 2017–18 program will take place at the DuPont Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, Nov. 28–30. The program continues Feb. 25–28, 2018 in Anaheim, California, in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show. Soybean grower couples and individuals are encouraged to apply for the program which focuses on leadership and communication, the latest agricultural information and the development of a strong peer network. To apply, visit SAVANNAH COMMUNITY GARDEN SEEKS VOLUNTEERS, DONATIONS The community garden at Savannah Regional Hospital needs volunteers to help with garden maintenance – weeding, watering, transplanting, pruning and other tasks – that cannot be

completed by the hospital’s therapeutic patients. The garden has six raised beds and houses various plants that provide forage for butterflies and bees. The hospital also needs donations of small gardening supplies and other items to make it visually interesting. For more information, contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Jessica Mathis at 912-356-2826. GFB News Alert page 13 of 14 FARM BUREAU-AFFILIATED FARMERS MARKETS CANTON FARMERS MARKET Through Oct. 28 Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Cannon Park Canton This market features 100 percent GA Grown produce and handcrafted items. Cherokee County Farm Bureau will hold an event once a month at the market promoting watermelon day, apple day, peach day etc. COBB COUNTY FARM BUREAU FARMERS MARKET Tuesdays 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Lost Mountain Park Powder Springs Cobb County Farm Bureau (CCFB) in cooperation with Cobb County Parks & Recreation is hosting this farmers market. CCFB is offering vendor space to farmers, growers and producers in Cobb and surrounding counties, with the goal of offering locally grown food to the community. Each vendor must be a Farm Bureau member. Vendor fees are only $5 per week, with a discount for paying in full for the entire market season. For more information contact or Debbie Payne at or 770-9433531. MONROE FARMERS MARKET Saturdays until Oct. 7 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Court Street, Downtown Monroe This market, sponsored in part by Walton County Farm Bureau, features fresh produce and goods from local farmers, work from local artisans and family friendly activities. For more information visit PAULDING COUNTY FARM BUREAU FARMERS MARKET Thursdays through Oct. 26 3 p.m.-7 p.m., 549 Hardee St. Dallas Paulding County Farm Bureau (PCFB) is accepting vendors for its weekly farmers market being held at the PCFB office. Visit the market’s Facebook page ( for weekly updates. Vendors sell locally grown produce and other ag commodities or homemade crafts. There is no fee to participate but vendors must be Farm Bureau members. To participate in the market, contact Tracy Grice at 770-445-6681 or email her at ROCKDALE/DEKALB FARM BUREAU FARMERS MARKET Tuesdays & Saturdays 8 a.m. – noon, RDCFB office Conyers The Rockdale/DeKalb Farm Bureau Farmers Market will be held at 1400 Parker Rd. SE in Conyers. The public is invited to stop by and shop for fresh, locally grown vegetables, dairy products, crafts and more. The market is expected to run into late summer or early fall when produce production ends. For more information contact the Rockdale/DeKalb County Farm Bureau office at 770-922-3566.

GFB News Alert page 14 of 14 SHIELDS-ETHRIDGE HERITAGE FARM CULTIVATORS MARKET Oct. 21 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 2355 Ethridge Rd. Jefferson Jackson County Farm Bureau (JCFB) sponsors this monthly open-air market that features local farmers and entrepreneurs selling products they make or grow in a festival atmosphere. Market held rain or shine. The Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm is an outdoor ag museum that functions as an educational and interpretative facility. Proceeds from the market will be used for restoration projects at the farm. If you are interested in having a booth at the market, contact JCFB Office Manager Denise Temple at or call 706-367-8877 or visit to complete an application online. UNION COUNTY FARMERS MARKET Tuesdays 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Saturdays 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., 148 Old Smokey Road Blairsville The public is welcome to shop for fresh, locally grown vegetables from local farmers. For more information contact Mickey Cummings or Kristy Peney at 706-781-8802 or visit WOODSTOCK FARM FRESH MARKET Saturdays through September 8:30 am to Noon. Woodstock Located on Market Street in Downtown Woodstock, the market features vendors who grow at least 85 percent of the products they sell. The Cherokee County Farm Bureau is partnering with the market to bring special events to the market throughout the 2017 season. For more information call 770-924-0406 or visit

Georgia Farm Bureau News Alert - September 6, 2017  

In this week's GFB News Alert... Georgia farmers & livestock producers have options to prepare for Hurricane Irma, Farm Bureau provides hel...