Winter 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau News

Page 1

Winter 2020


GFB members to elect new president


Georgia Foundation for Ag launches Georgia Ag Experience

AG ROOTS RUN DEEP FOR FOLSOM FAMILY Inspires ag philanthropy

Vol. 82 No. 4

GFB announces YF&R contest winners

1 , 000

Farm Bureau members receive




Our valued partnership highlights the great movement that we have together, and how farming and trucks have gone together for over 100 years.


Computer-generated image with optional accessories shown.

Don’t miss out on this offer. Visit today! * Farm Bureau Bonus Cash is exclusively for active Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. $1,000 Bonus Cash on most eligible new 2020/2021 Ford vehicles, and $500 Bonus Cash on eligible new F-150 and Super Duty. This incentive is not available on Ford Mustang Shelby GT350®, Mustang Shelby® GT350R, Mustang Shelby® GT500®, Mustang Mach 1, Mustang Mach-E, Bronco, Bronco Sport, Ford GT and F-150 Raptor. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. Must be a Farm Bureau member for 30 consecutive days prior to purchase and take new retail delivery from an authorized Ford Dealer’s stock by January 4, 2021. Visit or see your authorized Ford Dealer for qualifications and complete details. Note to dealer: Claim in VINCENT using #37408.

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Contents pages 6 & 7

page 13

GFB Convention canceled; district election meetings set

Yopp wins 2020 GFB YF&R Discussion Meet

Kirk, McCall run to become next GFB president

pages 14 & 15

Mathis wins YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award Patrick, White are finalists

pages 8 & 9

Georgia Foundation for Agriculture prepares to launch mobile Georgia Ag Experience

page 24

Passion for agriculture drives GFB YF&R Achievement families Nolans win state award

Ag roots run deep for Folsom Family

Place named UGA CAES Dean & Director


GFB News Staff

page 4

Kenny Burgamy

Public Policy Dec. 11 deadline to apply for CFAP2


News Reporter

pages 26 & 27

Payton Butler

Around Georgia

Logan Thomas

Woody Folsom, right, owner of Woody Folsom Auto Group, & Keven Carter, manager of Woody Folsom Ford in Baxley, deliver the Ford F-350 Folsom donated to the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture to drive the Georgia Ag Experience to schools across Georgia.


Jennifer Whittaker Jay Stone

Norton cousins sweep state goat & lamb shows On The Cover:

pages 18 & 19

page 5

GFB awards Harvest 20 Research Grants

pages 16 & 17

pages 10 & 11

View from the Field

page 20


Graphic Designer Photographer

pages 28 & 29

Ga. Foundation for Agriculture March 1 deadline to apply for scholarships

pages 30 & 31

Ag in the Classroom Learning about soybeans & GFB presents teaching award

For information concerning advertising, contact Wendy McFarland at 334-6529080 or 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

View from the Field Gerald Long, GFB President In early 2016, in my first column as GFB president, “United We Stand” was the theme. Standing together as a unified farm organization is more important today than it was nearly five years ago. Back then, our goal was to make Farm Bureau stronger through a number of initiatives. Despite some difficult events, we have been successful. In my initial meeting with home office employees, we challenged them to do a better job today than they did yesterday and to be better tomorrow than today. We have seen firsthand how a very dedicated staff can stay focused to overcome obstacles and increase productivity. Volunteer members were asked to redouble their efforts at the county

level with programs to increase the influence and voice of Georgia farmers. We have faced dismal commodity prices, overwhelming weather events, an ongoing pandemic, and tough decisions to return the insurance company to profitability. Through it all, we stood together. As your president, I am sincerely grateful for the unifying efforts of volunteer leaders all over this state. Farm Bureau stands for faith, family, helping neighbors, and keeping promises. Those are the principles that drew me to my county Farm Bureau way back when I was a young farmer. They are what I am proudest of as I step down as your president.


SUBSCRIPTION RATES Farm Bureau Members: Included in dues — $1 per year Non-Members — $15 per year To subscribe call 1-800-898-1911, ext. 5334. OFFICERS President GERALD LONG, Decatur Co. 1st Vice President and South Georgia Vice President DANIEL JOHNSON, Pierce Co. Middle Georgia Vice President ROBERT FOUNTAIN JR., Emanuel Co. North Georgia Vice President BERNARD SIMS, Catoosa Co. General Counsel DUKE GROOVER Chief Financial Officer, Corp. Treasurer & GFBMIC Exec. VP DAVID JOLLEY Chief Administrative Officer & Corp. Secretary JON HUFFMASTER Asst. Corp. Secretary & Senior Counsel JEANNA FENNELL Asst. Corp. Treasurer & Sr. Director of Accounting RACHEL MOSELY DIRECTORS FIRST DISTRICT: Bill Bryan, Chattooga Co.; Wesley Hall, Forsyth Co.; SECOND DISTRICT: Bobby Gunter, Lumpkin Co.; Randy Ruff, Elbert Co.; THIRD DISTRICT: George Chambers, Carroll Co.; Nora Goodman, Paulding Co.; FOURTH DISTRICT: Skeetter McCorkle, McDuffie Co.; Marvin Ruark, Morgan Co.; FIFTH DISTRICT: Matt Bottoms, Pike Co.; Leighton Cooley, Crawford Co.; SIXTH DISTRICT: James Malone, Laurens Co.; James Emory Tate, Jeff Davis Co.; SEVENTH DISTRICT: Gary Bell, Evans Co.; Ben Boyd, Screven Co.; EIGHTH DISTRICT: Scotty Raines, Turner Co.; Don Wood, Wilcox Co.; NINTH DISTRICT: Lucius Adkins, Baker Co.; Paul Shirah, Mitchell Co.; TENTH DISTRICT: David Lee, Bacon Co.; Lamar Vickers, Berrien Co.; YOUNG FARMER CHAIRMAN: Will Godowns, Pike Co.; WOMEN’S COMMITTEE CHAIR: Heather Cabe, Franklin Co. 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 Wendy McFarland at 334-652-9080 or Georgia Farm Bureau News was established in 1937. Copyright 2020 by the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation. Printed by Panaprint, Macon, Georgia.

Photo by Sidney Middlebrooks

4 Winter 2020

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Public Policy Update

Dec. 11 deadline to apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0 Peanuts & pecans among new eligible crops By Raynor Churchwell After multiple years of extreme weather events, pests and market disruptions, 2020 began with great optimism. This was supposed to be a year of recovery and growth for Georgia farmers. Then COVID-19 emerged and quickly destroyed this hope for many. In an effort to provide pandemic assistance to farmers across the country, President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) soon after market disruptions caused by COVID-19 affected agriculture.

The initial $19 billion CFAP program was released on April 17. It helped plug holes for many Georgia producers. However, due to commodity restrictions and arbitrary sales loss windows used to determine CFAP eligibility, some Georgia farmers received little to nothing from the program. On Sept. 18, President Trump and Secretary Perdue announced another round of assistance for producers - CFAP 2.0 which provides $14 billion in direct payments to offset COVID-19 related losses. CFAP 2.0 incorporates several crops that were left out of the first round of the program including peanuts, pecans, honey

and tobacco. Including these crops in the program should help America’s diversified and specialty crop producers. Payment calculations were also amended. Payments will now be broken into three categories: price trigger commodities, flat-rate commodities, and sales commodities. If a commodity suffered a 5% or greater national price decline when its average prices for the weeks of January 13-17, 2020, and July 27-31, 2020, are compared, it will qualify for the price trigger category. Crops in this category include upland cotton, livestock, dairy and poultry. Flat-rate crops, such as peanuts, either do not meet the 5%-orhigher national price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change. These crops will qualify for a $15-per-acre base payment. Sales commodities, which include specialty crops like fruits, vegetables and pecans, tobacco, aquaculture and other commodities not included in the flat rate or price trigger categories, will have payments based on a producer’s 2019 sales. Producers will be subject to a $250,000 per person or entity payment limitation for all commodities combined in CFAP 2.0. Applicants who are corporations, LLCs, limited partnerships, trusts and estates may qualify for additional payment limits if members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. For Georgia producers, CFAP 2.0 could offer just enough assistance to restore producer confidence and optimism as another tough year winds down. Those interested in more information can visit gov for details of the CFAP 2.0 program and to view payment calculations. Sign-up began Sept. 21 and ends Dec. 11. Producers may sign up at their Farm Service Agency office. It’s been said “It’s hard to keep a good man down,” although the coronavirus pandemic has tried its best. Hopefully, with help from the Good Lord and the CFAP 2.0 assistance, 2021 will be a better year for Georgia agriculture.

Raynor Churchwell is an ag programs specialist in the GFB Public Policy Department. He may be reached at 478-0679,ext. 5288 or

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Winter 2020 5

GFB Convention canceled; district election meetings set Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Georgia Farm Bureau members will not meet on Jekyll Island this year for the organization’s annual convention. Instead, on Dec. 8, voting delegates from each of GFB’s 10 districts will gather at a central location in their respective districts to participate in the organization’s annual business meeting. Delegates will elect the organization’s next president, elect the North Georgia vice president, designate the organization’s first vice president and elect their district directors. Stan Kirk of Cobb County and Tom McCall of Elbert County are running to

serve as GFB’s next president. Outgoing GFB President Gerald Long announced in 2018 that he would not seek re-election at the end of his current term. GFB presidents are elected for two-year terms. Voting delegates in GFB’s North Georgia region will elect the organization’s North Georgia vice president; incumbent Bernard Sims of Catoosa County is running unopposed for this position. GFB South Georgia Vice President Daniel Johnson of Pierce County, who also serves as GFB 1st vice president, is the only GFB vice president seeking the designation of 1st vice president. Robert Fountain

Jr. of Emanuel County continues to serve as GFB Middle Georgia vice president. The only contested district director race is in GFB’s 2nd District where both Russ Moon of Madison County and incumbent Randy Ruff of Elbert County are running. Kirk is president of the Cobb County Farm Bureau. McCall is an Elbert County Farm Bureau director. You can meet each candidate on the next page.

GFB Leadership Positions Up for Election GFB President: Stan Kirk & Tom McCall

Daniel Johnson GFB 1st Vice President unopposed for re-designation South Ga. VP - begins 2nd year of 3 yr. term

Bernard Sims GFB North Ga. Vice President

unopposed for 3 yr. term

Contested District Director Race: 2nd District Russ Moon Madison County

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Randy Ruff Elbert County *incumbent

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Stan Kirk Spouse: Laney Landrum Kirk Children: Chelsea K. (spouse Brock Steinmetz),

Evan Kirk, Brandon (spouse Emily), Jacob Bennett (spouse Julie) & Jeremy Bennett

# of Grandchildren:

2 & twins expected in December

Ag commodities you produce:

Eggs, plums, pecans, blueberries, peaches & a few vegetables. We also have chickens, ducks, pigs & goats.

Occupation (farm & off-farm): 5th generation farmer; banker with SunTrust Bank (34+ years) Hobby: Playing with the grandchildren, sports

Hometown: Kennesaw, Cobb County Age: 59

Favorite ag activity: Taking care of the family

farm & educating children and our community on the importance of agriculture.

Tom McCall Spouse: Jane Gaines McCall Children: Al (spouse Rachel) & Katie M. (spouse Bristol Archer), deceased son Bud

# of Grandchildren: 2 Ag commodities you produce:

Beef cows, hogs, sheep, wheat, oats, triticale, grain corn, sweet corn, hay

Occupation (farm & off-farm): farmer, retired Ga. legislator (26 years)

Hobby: Spending time with family & grandchildren Favorite ag activity: Restoring old tractors, building farm equipment, plowing/running combine, caring for animals.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Hometown: Elberton/Fortsonia, Elbert County Age: 64 Winter 2020 7

Photography by Logan Thomas

GEORGIA AG EXPERIENCE PREPARES TO HIT THE ROAD By Jennifer Whittaker For the past year, the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) has been preparing the ultimate farm field trip for third through fifth-graders. The twist is students won’t have to leave their schools; the farm will come to them. The foundation’s Georgia Ag Experience a mobile classroom housed in a 36-foot trailer - is designed to give students the virtual experience of visiting a poultry house, a cattle pasture, a stand of timber, a horticulture nursery, a produce stand full of fresh Georgia fruit, vegetables and pecans, cotton and peanut fields. Colorful farm photos, interactive technology and displays of products made from the various ag commodities highlight

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the importance of Georgia agriculture to our daily lives. Students will learn how farmers plant and harvest their crops, take care of their animals and preserve the natural resources on their farms. There will also be a station highlighting the many career options in agriculture. All exhibits and lessons that are part of the Georgia Ag Experience have been professionally designed to meet science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) standards. Beginning Jan. 4, 2021, the Georgia Ag Experience (GAE) will hit the road visiting schools in South and Middle Georgia through March in Georgia Farm Bureau’s 10th, 9th,

8th and 6th Districts. The GFA worked with county Farm Bureau offices in these districts to arrange local mobile classroom visits. The GAE classroom will visit schools in GFB’s 5th District in April and will visit schools in GFB’s 3rd District from April 26 to mid-May. County Farm Bureaus in GFB’s 5th and 3rd Districts will sign up for visits in January. Visit for a list of dates the mobile classroom will be available across Georgia in 2021, signup periods and instructions to schedule a visit. Only a trained county Farm Bureau representative may submit a school visit request. Teachers or school representatives

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Visit to tour the classroom.

Students won’t have to leave their schools; the farm will come to them.

AG EDUCATION FOR ALL Support the Georgia Ag Experience on Giving Tuesday Tuesday, December 1, 2020

interested in working with their county Farm Bureaus to bring the Georgia Ag Experience to their school should first contact their local Farm Bureau office. Visit www.gfb. ag/contact to access your local Farm Bureau’s contact information. For more information about the Georgia Ag Experience and a list of the ag organizations, agribusinesses and Georgia commodity commissions that are generously supporting the mobile ag classroom visit

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Agriculture is Georgia’s No. 1 economic sector, yet few children have visited a farm nor understand how their food and fiber is grown. The mission of the Georgia Ag Experience is to educate students about agriculture using STEM based curriculum. Give at or mail donations to GEORGIA FOUNDATION FOR AGRICULTURE 1620 Bass Road Macon, Ga. 31210 Gifts over $100 receive a t-shirt sizes S – 3XL

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Most folks in Southeast Georgia know Woody Folsom for his seven auto dealerships in Baxley and Vidalia, but Woody is also proud to be a farmer. He grew up on a farm in Appling County where his parents, James and Rilene, raised beef cattle and some produce. Like most farm kids, Woody had daily chores growing up that included driving tractors, feeding the cows and helping with the produce crops. During the summer, Woody bottle fed dairy calves, which involves twice-a-day feedings, to earn money for school clothes. Woody now owns his parents’ farm and through the years has expanded his Circle F Farms to about 2,700 acres. The Folsoms have a registered Brahman herd of about 400 head and a herd of about 250 cows bred to registered Hereford and Angus bulls to produce elite F1 females. Woody runs his cattle operation in memory of his father, who died in 2013. His mother still lives on the family farm. The Folsoms also raise broilers and produce table eggs for Pilgrim’s Pride. The farm includes a sow herd that produces show-quality hogs and produces hay.

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Woody Folsom’s farm includes a registered Brahman herd of about 400 head. Photo courtesy of Circle F Farms

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Photo courtesy of Circle F Farms

Circle F Farms and the auto dealerships are a family venture. Woody's wife, Tamela, is a school counselor, but helps on the farm and at the dealerships when needed. The Folsoms’ two children, Tanner and Anna Kate, attend Georgia Southern University and work at the dealerships and farm when home from school. With both his auto and farm operations, Woody likes being diverse. His auto dealerships include Ford, Chevy, Buick & GMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Nissan. He also owns a livestock trailer business. The Folsoms are working to expand their farm operation by opening Circle F Meats – a butcher store that will feature high quality beef including some grown on his farm, local produce, and home décor items - by the new year. Growing up, Woody was an Appling County FFA member. He served as his chapter chaplain and showed hogs. He passed his love of showing hogs on to his kids. Both Tanner and Anna Kate showed hogs from the time they were in elementary school through high school. Woody has been a long-time supporter of his local FFA and 4-H programs because

Farming is a family affair for Woody Folsom, his wife Tamela, daughter Anna Kate, & son Tanner. | Photo courtesy of Circle F Farms of the positive influence the programs made on his and his children’s lives through showing livestock. “I believe in the mission of both organizations and know the future of agriculture depends on a commitment that starts at a young age,” Woody said. “I’ve always had a passion for agriculture. I grew up raising my own cattle as a child. It’s those life lessons my parents taught me when I was young that I try to implement every day.” In recent years, Woody Folsom Trailers has awarded the use of a livestock trailer to the eight grand champion winners of the Georgia National Fair livestock shows. He also buys livestock projects from local and area FFA members and 4-Hers at the end of their show seasons. Because of his commitment to supporting ag youth programs, when the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture asked Woody to support its new Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom, he agreed to donate a new Ford F-350 truck to haul the classroom trailer across the state.

“I strive to assist with keeping the ag traditions alive in and out of the fields. I’m proud to partner with the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture to make sure that we continue to teach the younger generations about agriculture,” Woody said. “Donating a truck to help teach kids and adults about Georgia agriculture felt like something I needed to do.” Woody is a long-time Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) member. His Ford dealership has participated in the Farm Bureau Ford rebate program since it began in 2011. In partnership with Ford Motor Company and GFB, Woody Folsom Ford has given Farm Bureau members rebates averaging more than $100,000 a year on qualifying Ford purchases. “I’m proud of my family’s auto dealerships and how we can serve our customers with their auto needs, but I’m even prouder to be a farmer,” Woody said. “I can’t wait to see the Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom hit the road to start teaching Georgia students about our state’s top economic sector.”

“I’ve always had a passion for agriculture. I grew up raising my own cattle as a child. It’s those life lessons my parents taught me when I was young that I try to implement every day.” - Woody Folsom

Georgia Farm Bureau News

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GFB YF&R Award Programs successful despite 2020 challenges

By Jennifer Whittaker

Like most things in 2020, Georgia Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers contests were held virtually this year due to COVID-19. “Although Georgia Farm Bureau canceled our annual Young Farmers & Ranchers Summer Leadership Conference to protect the health of our members and staff based on Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommendations for large events, it was important to hold our YF&R contests to recognize the young people who are the future of Georgia agriculture because they haven’t stopped farming or advocating for agriculture during the pandemic,” said GFB President Gerald Long. GFB’s Discussion Meet was the contest most affected by going virtual. Contestants were asked to submit videos of themselves addressing two questions for the first and second rounds of competition. In the third round, 12 contestants competed via Zoom in four groups of three. The winners of the four discussion groups – Newt Gilman, Sarah Nerswick, Willie Sizemore and Ashley Yopp - advanced to the final round held Oct. 15 via Zoom.

For the Excellence in Agriculture Award, as in past years, a panel of judges reviewed all applications submitted to select the top three contestants – Melissa Mathis, Jesse Patrick and Ashley White. On Oct. 1, these contestants delivered 25-minute PowerPoint presentations via Zoom that outlined their ag careers, Farm Bureau activities and ag advocacy efforts. The Achievement Award was judged solely on contents of the competitors’ applications. No on-farm interviews were held this year. Mathew & Chelsea Bohannon, Steven & Tara Green and Jacob & Emily Nolan were the top three finalists. Congratulations to Mathis, the Nolans and Yopp for winning their respective contests! You’ll meet them and the other finalists of each contest in the following pages. GFB’s state winners will compete for national honors in their respective 2021 American Farm Bureau Federation Achievement, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture contests, which will be held virtually in January.

AFBF YF&R Prizes The top four competitors in the AFBF YF&R Achievement Award, Discussion Meet & Excellence in Agriculture contests will receive:

1st Place

2nd Place

A New Ford Vehicle

Case IH Farmall 50A Tractor

(up to a value of $35,000) and paid registration to the AFBF FUSION Conference in Portland, Oregon, courtesy of Ford.

courtesy of CASE IH.

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3rd Place

4th Place

Case IH 40" Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest

Case IH 40" Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest

and $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH, a $2,500 Investing in Your Future cash prize, courtesy of American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc. (AFBIS) plus $1,850 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker.

and a $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Yopp wins 2020 GFB YF&R Discussion Meet

Discussion Meet

Sizemore is top collegiate competitor By Jay Stone Dr. Ashley Yopp of Tift County won the 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion meet, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This competition is designed to mimic a committee meeting in which individuals seek solutions to specific issues. During the Final Four round held via Zoom Oct. 15, Yopp, Newt Gilman of Jackson County, Sarah Nerswick of North Fulton County and Willie Sizemore of Lee County discussed how the vibrancy and economic sustainability of rural communities could be enhanced. Yopp, an assistant professor of agricultural leadership, education and communications at UGA’s Tifton Campus, won the top prize of $500 and a John Deere two-seat ATV with trailer, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. She will compete in the 2021 AFBF Discussion Meet, which will be held virtually in January. The three runners-up received $350 cash courtesy of GFB. Sizemore, a UGA senior who is studying agricultural communications, was the top collegiate finisher in the discussion meet and advances to the AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet, planned for March at the AFBF FUSION Conference in Portland, Oregon. Gilman, a Jackson County Farm Bureau member, works with the USDA’s Farm Service Agency loan division in Putnam County. He is an alum of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and volunteers with local 4-H chapters. Nerswick, a Maryland native and UGA alumna, is an agriculture teacher/FFA advisor at Cambridge High School. She serves as

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Georgia Farm Bureau held the final round of its annual Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet Oct. 15 via Zoom. Pictured clockwise from upper left, Final Four competitors were: Newt Gilman, Willie Sizemore, Dr. Ashley Yopp and Sarah Nerswick. \ Photo by Jay Stone chairwoman of the North Fulton County Farm Bureau Legislative Committee and produces the Ag Teacher How-To’s blog, where she explores topics to help fellow ag teachers improve. The GFB YF&R Discussion Meet consisted of four rounds. For the first two rounds, competitors submitted videos by Oct. 12 in which they addressed two questions. The first-round topic was how to improve rural broadband access. The second round focused on enhancing and expanding international trade. In the third round, on Oct. 14, the 12 competitors met on Zoom in four randomly assigned groups of three. During this round,

contestants discussed how farmers can ensure they have a clear understanding of the risks and rewards that accompany using big data. The winners of the four groups advanced to the final four. Yopp, a North Carolina native, said the YF&R Discussion Meet offers a chance to have dialogue that can help farmers find approaches to overcoming the challenges they face. “I really love being the connector piece between people or ideas and solutions. I feel like that’s where discussion meet really shines,” Yopp said. “It lets you facilitate those types of conversations to really get at great solutions or at least great ideas to help move us forward.”

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Excellence in Ag

Mathis wins YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award By Jay Stone Monroe County’s Melissa Mathis won the competition for the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award. This award recognizes ag professionals - who earn most of their income from off-farm jobs – for their Farm Bureau involvement and ag advocacy efforts. Mathis and fellow finalists Jesse Patrick of Putnam County and Ashley White of North Fulton County gave their presentations to judges via Zoom on Oct. 1.

As the state winner, Mathis receives a $500 award and a two-seat John Deere ATV with trailer sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. Patrick and White each receive $500 cash sponsored by GFB. Applicants for this award are asked to identify and discuss issues affecting agriculture. Mathis, Patrick and White recently shared the ag issues they’re most concerned about.

Melissa Mathis owns three farm & feed stores and raises cattle. | Photo by Sidney Middlebrooks

Mathis: Farmland should be preserved Melissa Mathis promotes agriculture in hopes of preserving the way of life that has been in her family for at least five generations. “It’s a completely different way of doing things, the values and what we teach them on the farm,” said Mathis, who serves as vice president for Monroe County Farm Bureau while operating farm supply stores in Barnesville, Monticello and Bolingbroke. “It’s hard work, providing for yourself and that independent part of what that teaches you.” Mathis, who also runs a 65-acre cattle farm with her husband, Bobby, has worked extensively to educate her community about

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the importance of agriculture, but her effort faces a growing challenge: access to land. Monroe County is between metro Atlanta and Macon-Bibb County. Growth of both of these areas is pushing real estate development in Monroe, putting a squeeze on farmland in the county. “All the land is being bought up by developers and it’s being turned into residential neighborhoods or industry,” Mathis said. To counter this issue, Mathis works to inform local policymakers how important agriculture is to the local economy. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness &

Economic Development, Monroe farmers sold more than $48 million worth of products in 2018. Mathis thinks an option to curb loss of farmland may be requiring municipalities to implement local farmland conservation ordinances to qualify for some types of state funding, a practice that other states have put in place. “I would move toward something like that to be able to continue to preserve our land, we’ve got to be able to work with our local governments to help strengthen that support,” Mathis said.

Georgia Farm Bureau News


Excellence in Ag

Access to land a hurdle for young farmers Jesse Patrick grew up in an ag family. When his grandfather, Fred Sease, promoted farming to community members, Patrick paid attention. “He told me growing up that if you don’t tell your story, somebody else is going to tell it and probably paint a different picture.,” said Patrick, who serves as president of Putnam County Farm Bureau. One of the stories Patrick tells these days is the difficulty young or beginning farmers have entering the profession, in large part due to the cost of purchasing land. “You’ve basically got to have either family land or an older farmer who’s willing for you to take over and lease it for a while, before you can buy it,” he said. Patrick said land prices in Putnam range from $8,000 to $10,000 per acre. This complicates matters for young farmers who

often have to work off-farm jobs to survive financially. Patrick works alongside his dad, veterinarian Dr. Bob Patrick, operating Southeast Ag Services, a dairy equipment sales and installation business. They also farm together, growing 100 acres of hay and keeping a herd of about 150 beef cattle. Patrick and his wife, Brighton, have started their own livestock operation. “I rent all of our pastureland because I can’t afford to pay for any kind of land base that I need,” Patrick said. “Renting limits me on how big of an operation I can run.” Patrick found an avenue he hopes will catch on in Georgia to clear the way for farmers to get the land they need. He was approached about a program called the Working Farms Fund (WFF), one of multiple land-use programs operated by The Conservation Fund. WFF purchases farmland identified at risk of being

developed. They place it into conservation easements then lease it to young or beginning farmers. Eventually, the farmers have a chance to buy the land at a discounted price.

Jesse Patrick partners with his father in a dairy equipment business & farming. Photo by Sidney Middlebrooks

White: Advocating for Agriculture in the city Having spent much of her life sitting atop a horse, Ashley White is accustomed to an elevated perspective. Being an ag teacher in north Fulton County, part of the United States’

Ag teacher Ashley White has a history of competing in dressage & rodeo events. Photo by Miriam Allen

Georgia Farm Bureau News

ninth-largest metropolitan area, has given her a unique perspective about agriculture. “Everyone needs agriculture. It is vital, now more than ever, to educate these people on agriculture and gain their support locally and nationally,” said White, who is president of North Fulton County Farm Bureau. She has actively sought opportunities to share information about agriculture outside the classes she teaches at Cambridge High School in Milton. In an extensively developed residential and industrial area, where land can cost $100,000 per acre or more, large-scale farming isn’t realistic. White, who grew up on a 150-acre cattle ranch in central Florida, quickly pivoted to a smaller focus. “The biggest misconception is that agriculture can’t happen in a metropolitan area, or that it doesn’t impact them,” White

said. “It can happen as a landscape in your yard or having a garden. No matter where you are, no matter how much property you have, you can still have agriculture in your life at any time.” That population density may limit the scale of farming in the North Fulton area, but it also creates an opportunity to reach more people with agriculture’s story. White said her students are the pathway to educating more of the local community about agriculture. “They’re constantly surprised at the agricultural diversity and everything that goes in it,” White said. “If the kids want to be involved in it, the parents will be involved as well. It’s just an opportunity to educate a lot of people about agriculture.”

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Achievement in Ag

Passion for agriculture drives GFB YF&R Achievement families Nolans win state award

By Jennifer Whittaker

Jacob & Emily Nolan with children Reed, Kenley & Tanner | Photo by Logan Thomas

The Nolans

Jacob and Emily Nolan of Wayne County won the 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award. This award recognizes young farmers who derive their income primarily from production agriculture. Applicants are judged on their farming operations, Farm Bureau and other leadership activities. The Nolans will receive $500 and a farm sign sponsored by AgSouth Farm Credit and a John Deere ATV with trailer sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance as the state winners. Mathew and Chelsea Bohannon of Stephens County and Steven and Tara Green of Spalding County were finalists for the award. Each couple received $500 sponsored by AgSouth Farm Credit. Meet these three outstanding farm couples below.

Spring Fever Farms Jacob and Emily Nolan planted their first cotton crop in 2008. Jacob was pursuing an ag degree at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural School when his dad, Vernon, decided to partially retire. Jacob chose to move back to Wayne County and gradually take over the family farm until his dad completely retired in 2010. “Dad had started phasing out and didn’t have much equipment. The first two years I rented about half of the farm from him to grow my crops. He grew crops on the other half and hired me to harvest his crops. The third year I began renting and farming all of Dad’s row crop acreage,” Jacob said.

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While the Nolans continue to grow cotton and peanuts as their fathers did, over the past 12 years, they’ve gradually diversified into pecans, satsumas and strawberries as they’ve been able to purchase small farms. They’ve diversified into the fruit crops to embrace consumers’ growing demand for locally grown food. They also grow wheat and corn as part of their crop rotation and have a herd of cattle. The Nolans started their commercial cowcalf herd in 2010 with 18 head when they were able to purchase their first 25 acres. Today, they have 180 head that include 30 purebred Herefords. They plan to grow their herd to 250 head. Using artificial insemination to improve

genetics, Jacob wants to phase 50% of their cattle into a F1 Braford herd. Emily ended her three-year banking career in 2011 to raise their children – Kenley, Reed and Tanner – to handle the farm’s bookwork. She’s also completely responsible for planting, managing and harvesting the farm’s half acre of strawberries of which 0.34 acres are grown in high tunnel greenhouses. The Nolans are active Wayne County Farm Bureau members. The couple served on the GFB YF&R Committee in 2012-13. Follow their farm on Facebook at Spring Fever Farms.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Achievement in Ag

The Bohannons B3 Farm Farming is a dream come true for Matt and Chelsea Bohannon. They began raising cattle in 2016 when they started leasing 53 acres from Chelsea’s grandparents and bought a 10-acre tract next door to her grandparents’ farm. In 2017, they bought two broiler houses and some acreage using family timberland deeded to them as collateral for a loan. “I grew up around poultry houses my whole life helping my parents as they worked on poultry farms,” Matt said. “I’d always wanted to own my own farm. When a good friend wanted to sell his two, three-year-old houses, it was a good opportunity for us to go for it with the help of family.” They’ve gradually expanded their farm over the past four years. This year they had the opportunity to buy four more broiler houses from a neighboring farmer. They grow chickens for Columbia Farms.

The Greens

“They saw how hard Matt worked with our first two houses, so they gave us an amazing deal,” Chelsea said. “Our goal is to eventually build two more houses so I can stay home and work full time with Matt.” They’ve also increased their commercial cow-calf herd from 10 to 80 head. Their cattle operation consists of two herds: one with Brahma brood cows bred to Angus bulls. Their other herd is more heavily Angus and produces their show calves. Matt and Chelsea both showed livestock in high school as FFA members. He showed cattle in 9th through 12th grade while Chelsea showed pigs her sophomore and junior years. As a senior she showed the first calf from the first cow that Matt raised. Today, their daughter, Baylee, shows goats and lambs. The Bohannnons lease and sell cattle and lambs to FFA and 4-H students.

The Bohannons are active Stephens County Farm Bureau members. Chelsea does Ag in the Classroom activities, and Matt helps with FFA events.

Matt & Chelsea Bohannon with daughter, Baylee. | Photo by Logan Thomas

Visit to enjoy more photos from the Nolans', Bohannons', & Greens' farms.

Green Gate Farm Steven and Tara Green grew up on farms next door to each other. In 2013, they began farming on their own by buying four poultry houses and 70 acres that were part of her grandparents’ farm. Today, their operation

Steven & Tara Green with daughter, Hadley Grace | Photo by Annie T. Smith

Georgia Farm Bureau News

includes a commercial cow-calf herd and a litter business. Steven also owns a tree care business. “We love raising our daughter around agriculture, just as we were, and want her to have all the life lessons she will learn,” Steven said. The Greens grow broilers for Perdue Farms. The chicken houses were 18 years old when the couple bought their farm, so they’ve repaired feed system pipes inside and out, made major renovations to improve the houses’ energy efficiency, and installed 26 windows per house to meet Perdue’s standards. They recently obtained a grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to erect solar panels to generate power for all four poultry houses and their farm wells. The Greens also installed a computer-controlled management system in their houses

that allows them to check on their chickens remotely. This doesn’t eliminate the need for the Greens to physically check the chickens throughout the day. It just allows them a little more freedom for other farm chores. While Steven runs the tree service and litter businesses, Tara does the bookwork for all of their businesses. She also maintains their cattle herd along with the herd of Steven’s dad for a total of about 80 head. The two herds of Angus/Brangus/Simangus crosses run together. Her associate degree in veterinary technology has proven useful in doing the many herd health tasks needed. The Greens are active Spalding County Farm Bureau members. Steven chairs the GFB Poultry Committee. Follow them on Instagram @greengatefarmers_wife or on Facebook at GreenGate Farm.

Winter 2020 17

PLACE NAMED UGA CAES DEAN Nick Place to begin leading & DIRECTOR UGA CAES on Jan. 1 Compiled by GFB staff Nick T. Place, an academic leader with a record of applying research-based expertise to the needs of agricultural producers, has been named dean of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and director of the UGA Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Stations. Place is currently dean for extension, director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service and a professor in the department of agricultural education and communication at the University of Florida. His appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2021. “With his far-reaching experience as a scholar, practitioner, educator and

18 Winter 2020

administrator, Dr. Place will provide outstanding leadership to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in the years to come,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. As dean and director of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, a position he has held since 2012, Place oversees faculty located in each of Florida’s counties, 13 research and education centers, 15 academic departments and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation. He previously served as associate dean and associate director of University of Maryland Extension and as a faculty member at UF, where he was graduate coordinator and

led the graduate program in agricultural education and communication. He began his career as an extension agent at Penn State University, where he conducted educational programs in dairy, livestock, 4-H youth development and community development. Place’s research and scholarship focuses on teaching along with domestic and international extension services and their role in youth, community and economic development. His work has been supported by $1.7 million in grants and contracts from agencies such as the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Security Education Program. He earned his bachelor’s degree in

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Dr. Nick Place | Photo courtesy of UGA dairy husbandry at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania. He earned his M.S. in dairy and animal science and his Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education from Penn State University. “I am looking forward to becoming the dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,” Place said. “I stand ready to proactively work with the outstanding faculty and staff at CAES and UGA who are poised to take the college to whole new heights.” Place reviewed the college’s operations and fielded questions from Georgia Farm

Bureau leaders during an Oct. 20 installment of “Digging In,” the GFB Public Policy Department’s webinar series. Place said training students in the growing technological aspects of farming, conducting advanced research to identify and address farmers’ needs, and delivering research and information to the public through Extension would continue to be CAES’ focus. “All three of those missions are critically important for our College of Agricultural and Environmental sciences. That’s sort of the way that I’ll be looking at going after this job and looking for ways that we can advance all three of our critical mission areas,” Place said. He noted that there is a push to advance the college’s work relating to precision agriculture and food systems. “We certainly see that as a tremendous opportunity for us in Georgia to position our college and university such that it is the leader for innovation in precision agriculture and all of the different kinds of new technologies that are out there,” Place said. Place was asked about efforts to increase interest in CAES from rural youth. While CAES applications are funneled through the

university’s central application system, he said the college could encourage students to apply and help them strengthen their applications. “That’s something I’m very passionate about, coming from a rural area myself and understanding some of these issues that are facing rural youth today,” Place said. “I think there are some things that we can do moving forward about utilizing 4-H and FFA as ways that we can get and train young people so they have really strong applications as they apply to the University of Georgia and first of all making sure that young people apply to the university. If they don’t apply, they’re certainly not going to get in. So, we certainly need to be addressing that aspect, as well.” A 24-member search committee co-chaired by Jennifer Frum, vice president for Public Service and Outreach, and Dale Greene, dean of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, helped identify finalists for the position. The committee was assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller and the UGA Search Group.

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Georgia Farm Bureau News

Winter 2020 19

GFB Awards Harvest 20 Research Grants

By Jennifer Whittaker

Earlier this year, Georgia Farm Bureau awarded $119,830 in research grants to seven University of Georgia scientists and their research teams to address eight production and economic issues affecting Georgia farmers. Most research projects will be completed by Dec. 31. Recipients of GFB’s Harvest 20 Research grants were Dr. Sudeep Bag, Dr. Timothy Coolong, Dr. Apurba Barman, Dr. Phingsheng Ji, Dr. Adam Rabinowitz, Dr. Tommie Shepherd and Dr. Lawton Stewart. “In 2017, Georgia Farm Bureau announced our ‘Harvest 20 Vision’ as a plan for our organization to lead the way in Georgia agriculture,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “Part of that vision was for Georgia Farm Bureau to financially support agricultural research in our state to address problems our farmers experience in their fields and with their livestock. As federal and state funds for ag research decline, it’s our job to step up and join other ag organizations to support research that benefits Georgia farmers.” A review committee selected these eight research projects to receive GFB grants:

Epidemiology & Impact of Cotton Leafroll Dwarf Disease in Georgia

Hemp Variety Evaluation in Georgia Principal Investigator: Dr. Coolong

Principal Investigator: Dr. Bag

Antiparasitic Drug Use in Weaned Calves to Increase Producers’ Profitability

Documenting Weed Species that Support Silverleaf Whitefly in South Georgia Principal Investigator: Dr. Barman

Principal Investigator: Dr. Stewart

Using Advanced Molecular Methods to Manage Fusarium Wilt in Watermelon

Real-time Detection of Irrigation Water Contamination by Phytopthora Capsici Principal Investigator: Dr. Ji

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ji

Analysis of Georgia Farm Bankruptcies Principal Investigator: Dr. Rabinowitz

Development of Georgia Agribusiness, Farming & Resource Modeling Systems (GAFARMS) Principal Investigator: Dr. Shepherd

This is the third year GFB has awarded research grants to Georgia researchers who are tackling problems Georgia farmers are experiencing on their operations. Since 2018, GFB has awarded a total of $255,620 in research grants that have addressed beef, blueberry, cotton, fruit and pecan tree, soybean, vegetable, and poultry production issues.

20 Winter 2020

Georgia Farm Bureau News


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Georgia Farm Bureau News

Winter 2020 21

Matthews joins GFB staff Jake Matthews joined the Georgia Farm Bureau Public Policy Department as a governmental affairs specialist beginning Aug. 17. Matthews graduated from the University of Georgia in May with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. “We’re excited to have Jake and we think he’ll be a valuable member of our Public Policy team,” said GFB President Gerald Long. “We look forward to seeing him develop professionally, and we know he’ll serve the interests of our members well.” As governmental affairs specialist, Matthews will work to communicate GFB’s policy positions on topics related to agriculture to elected officials while facilitating GFB member interactions with lawmakers and policymaking influencers. A native of Lamar County, Matthews interned in the office of Gov. Brian Kemp prior to joining GFB. In 2019, he served as a UGA Congressional Agricultural Fellow in Rep. Sanford Bishop’s office, preparing briefs and memos, conducting research and working on constituent matters related to agricultural and environmental issues. Matthews was a finalist in the 2019-2020 UGA FABricate Entrepreneurship competition, pitching a new food product and learning about food product development. Matthews has also worked for the Georgia Rural Water Association conducting soil and water conservation research and attending water and natural resource seminars.

22 Winter 2020

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Georgia Farm Bureau News

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Winter 2020 23

NORTON COUSINS SWEEP STATE GOAT & LAMB SHOWS Article & photos by Jennifer Whittaker

Congratulations to Grady County 4-Her Lily Norton on winning the grand champion market wether & market doe awards in the Georgia Jr. Market Goat Show. Georgia Farm Bureau Assoc. Director of Field Services Clay Talton presents the $1,500 prize for the wether show while show judge Steve Sturtz presents the show banner. Lily also received a $1,500 prize for her grand champion doe.

Congratulations to Grady County 4-Her Tanner Norton for winning the Georgia Jr. Market Lamb Grand Champion award in the Georgia Jr. Market Lamb Show. Director of Field Services Clay Talton presents the $1,500 prize while show judge Steve Sturtz presents the show banner.

First cousins Lily and Tanner Norton of Grady County are well known on Georgia’s goat and lamb show circuits. They’ve shown a cumulative 19 years – Tanner for 10 and Lily for nine. This year they made history by becoming the only first cousins to win all three species grand championship awards at the Georgia Jr. Market Goat Shows (Doe & Wether) and Georgia Jr. Market Lamb Show. The 2020 shows were held Oct. 9-11 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. To comply with COVID-19 health recommendations, shows were held as private events open only to exhibitors, their immediate families and project support staff. The shows were livestreamed on Walton Webcasting thanks to Georgia Farm Bureau’s sponsorship. Lily, a senior at Cairo High School, won both the Market Wether Grand Champion prize of $1,500 and the Market Doe Grand Champion prize of $1,500. Tanner, a sophomore at Cairo High, won the Market Lamb Grand Champion prize of $1,000. Both Lily and Tanner showed as Grady County 4-Hers.

GFB sponsored the grand champion prizes for the goat and lamb shows. GFB was also a premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fair shows. The double win was especially sweet for Lily who participated in the fall shows for the last time as a student. “I’m so thankful for the family and friends who have got me this far. It’s a great way to end my senior year,” Lily said. “When they canceled the fair, I was scared the shows might be canceled. I was very thankful to the fairgrounds and state of Georgia for letting us show since for a lot of us it is our senior year. ” Tanner is no stranger to the winner’s circle. He won the grand champion market wether award in 2019 and grand champion market doe and lamb awards in 2018. “Picking good animals and working them every day,” is his secret for winning. The market goat show attracted 308 4-H and FFA members who showed 550 goats. The market lamb show drew 172 exhibitors who showed 342 lambs.

24 Winter 2020

Georgia Farm Bureau News


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Georgia Farm Bureau News

Winter 2020 25

Around Georgia News from County Farm Bureaus Compiled by Jennifer Whittaker. More county Farm Bureau activities are featured on the Friends of Georgia Farm Bureau Facebook group page at



Decatur County Farm Bureau made a strong push to make sure its community was educated about the candidates running for office this year by participating in the I Farm. I Vote campaign. DCFB President Justin Long and his children (pictured) and YFR Committee Chairman Zach McLendon and his daughter were among several DCFB members who distributed signs to farms & agribusinesses across the county.

The Bartow County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee promoted Farm Bureau at their Cartersville Farmers’ Market booth during the summer. The committee gave away more than 200 canvas shopping bags filled with Farm Bureau promotional brochures, Ag in the Classroom materials, and I Farm. I Vote information. Committee member Carol Ferguson, pictured, was joined by Committee Chair Georgia Holt, committee member Janet Martin and BCFB Office Manager Tona Morgan in hosting the booth on different days.

EMANUEL COUNTY David Emanuel Academy elementary students enjoyed learning about agriculture with Emanuel County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee members Kim Hooks and Dana Nasworthy this fall. Hooks and Nasworthy presented a lesson about dairy cows and the products made from milk to K-4 students. First graders also learned about fall crops - cotton, peanuts, pumpkins and bees. Third graders learned about seed germination and planted a glove garden.


GLYNN COUNTY Glynn County Farm Bureau Director Susan Shipman, right, and Office Manager Debra Orr were among community volunteers who this fall helped deliver vegetables donated by the USDA to a retirement center in Brunswick.

26 Winter 2020

HCFB Office Manager Linda Luttrell, center, delivers plants to New Mountain Hill Elementary Principal Mark Gilreath.

Students at Harris County’s four elementary schools received a variety of winter vegetables and perennials from Harris County Farm Bureau (HCFB) in late September. The elementary students plant the kale, broccoli, cabbage, chard, collards, dianthus, salvia and black-eyed Susans in their school gardens during their science classes. HCFB buys the plants from the Harris County FFA, which grows the plants as part of its ag ed program.

Georgia Farm Bureau News

JEFF DAVIS COUNTY Jeff Davis County (JDC) Farm Bureau and JDC Cooperative Extension teamed up to hold a watermelon growing contest for students this summer. Last spring, the two organizations sent watermelon seeds and a contest flyer to about 950 students via the JDC School System lunch delivery service. Participating students brought their watermelons to Davis Farm & Garden for weighing from July 15-Aug. 15. JDCFB Agency Manager Valerie Mason presents Matthew McCullar the $100 first-place prize for his 29 lb. melon. Connor Alligood cultivated the $75 second-place prize with a 23-lb melon. Laycoln Sharpe reaped the $25 third-place prize with a 22-lb melon. Davis Snack Shack provided snow cones for all contestant participants.

a book to the 35-student class explaining how American pioneer John Chapman introduced apple trees to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois in America’s early years. Mitchell and Office Manager Sue Cuzzort taught the students how to core an apple, germinate apple seeds, grow them into seedlings and then transplant outside. A teacher is germinating seeds from apples the students snacked on during the visit, so the class can watch their progress.


UNION COUNTY Some students studying remotely due to COVID-19 in Union County have enjoyed Ag in the Classroom lessons thanks to Union County Office Manager Kacie Bradley teaming up with New Union Baptist Church. The church offers virtual learning students a place to do their online classes while their parents are at work. The church welcomed Bradley to come teach ag classes for pre-K through third-graders and a separate class for fourth and fifth-graders.

COVID-19 keep her from celebrating National Read A Book Day, Sept. 6. Brown had her daughter record a video of her reading the book “Over and Under the Pond” by Kate Messner. Brown sent the video to Turner County Elementary School where teacher Michelle Taylor uploaded it to the school’s Google classroom. Teachers showed the video of Brown reading to their students on Sept. 8, when they returned to school after Labor Day. Distance learning students also enjoyed Brown’s virtual classroom reading.


POLK COUNTY Polk County Farm Bureau kicked off fall by visiting Covenant Christian School in September to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day. PCFB Women’s Committee Chair Joan Mitchell dressed up as the legendary nurseryman and read

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Oglethorpe County Farm Bureau (OCFB) held a Buy a Sign Fundraiser to support the local Food for Friends weekend food pantry that serves students. OCFB sold the signs for $10. Local residents and businesses bought signs to thank health care workers, store employees, farmers, teachers, senior students or anyone sign buyers wanted to give a shout-out to. OCFB raised $250 for the food pantry with the fundraiser.

Winter 2020 27

Georgia Foundation for Ag Update

Ga. Foundation for Ag offers college, tech college & vet school scholarships March 1 application deadline The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture continues to invest in students pursuing careers in agriculture or a related field. For 2021, the foundation is offering a total of $65,000 in scholarships for graduating high school seniors, rising college juniors and seniors, technical college students and UGA College of Veterinary Medicine students specializing in large/food animals. Visit for a list of eligible majors, schools, application instructions and to apply. Applications must be submitted online only by March 1, 2021. Transcripts and letters of recommendation must be uploaded with the application. The four scholarship categories the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture offers are:

Scholarship for Agriculture Ten scholarships of $3,000 are available for graduating high school seniors. The top three ranking applicants will be eligible for an additional $1,000 bonus. Applicants must:

• Be a Georgia resident • During the 2021-22 academic year, enrolled in a unit of The University System of Georgia, Berry College, Emmanuel College or any Georgia accredited college/university with an ag program • Pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural & environmental sciences, family & consumer sciences or a related ag field • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA • Be engaged in high school leadership activities

Technical College Scholarship for Agriculture Four scholarships of $1,500 are available. Applicants must:

• Be a Georgia resident • Be enrolled in a Georgia accredited technical college during the 2021-22 academic year • Major in an area of study related to agriculture. Examples of eligible majors at • Have a minimum 2.8 GPA

Rising College Jr./Sr. Scholarship for Agriculture Eight scholarships of $2,000 are available. Applicants must:

• Be a Georgia resident majoring in agricultural & environmental sciences, family & consumer sciences or a related ag field • Be a sophomore or junior with at least two semesters remaining to receive undergraduate degree at a unit of The University System of Georgia, Berry College, Emmanuel College or any Georgia accredited college/university with an ag program • Be engaged in college leadership activities • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA

UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship Two scholarships of $5,000 are available. Applicants must:

• Be a Georgia resident • Be a current University of Georgia veterinary medicine student specializing in large animal/food animal practice • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA

Questions about the scholarships should be directed to Lily Baucom at or 478-405-3461

28 Winter 2020

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Ga. Ag Foundation & Georgia EMC continue ag literacy campaign For the third consecutive year, the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) and Georgia EMC partnered to donate an agaccurate children’s book to the estimated 400 libraries in the Georgia Public Library Service. Each county Farm Bureau received enough copies of the book "Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car" to present to their local public libraries on behalf of the GFA and Georgia EMC. County Farm Bureau and regional EMC representatives presented the books during National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 19-23. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture selected the book as its 2020 Book of the Year.

Dooly County Farm Bureau Office Manager Angie Burton, left, and Middle Georgia EMC Marketing & Communication Specialist Sylandi Brown, right, presented “Full of Beans” to Hope Henderson at the Dooly County Library in Vienna.


Photo courtesy of Sylandi Brown Georgia Farm Bureau News

Winter 2020 29

Ag in the Classroom Update

Learning about soybeans In collaboration with the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture and Georgia EMC donating copies of the book “Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car,” to Georgia public libraries in October, Georgia Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom program offered a virtual field trip on Oct. 21 to Brian Fleming’s soybean farm in Hart County. During the “field trip” GFB AITC Coordinator Lauren Goble visited Fleming, pictured, in a soybean field right as his harvest was about to begin so students could meet a Georgia soybean grower and learn how he grows and harvests his crop. Students were also introduced to the many foods they eat that contain soybeans. Take the field trip at . GFB is offering an online collection of soybean resources for elementary teachers to use in their classrooms. The resource kit includes multiple soybean lessons and activities, an interactive soybean ag mag, easy recipes, videos about growing soybeans and virtual YouTube readings of books about soybeans, including “Full of Beans.” Visit to access GFB’s digital soybean resource kit.

GFB Middle School Essay Contest • Open to students in 6th, 7th & 8th grades (homeschool, private or public) • Essay topic: “How do GFB Certified Farm Markets & agritourism benefit farmers & consumers?” • 10 District winners each receive $100 • State winner receives an additional $150 • Teachers may access lesson plans for students to accompany essay topic at

Photo by John Holcomb

GFB High School Art Contest • Open to students in 9th-12th grades (homeschool, private or public) • Artwork must be on 8.5x11-inch white paper. • Artwork must be created in the colors black, white & gray • 10 District winners will receive $100 each • 2 state runners-up receive bonus $150 prize; state winner an extra $150

Important info for both contests • Previous state winners are not eligible to re-enter contest they previously won • Contact your county Farm Bureau to enter • Feb. 26, 2021, deadline to submit entries for both contests to local Farm Bureaus • Visit OR for contest details

Georgia Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator Lauren Goble may be reached at or 478474-0679,ext. 5135. For the latest news about AITC & for resources you can use at home or in a classroom setting to teach children about how their food is grown & the natural resources they depend on, visit

30 Winter 2020

Georgia Farm Bureau News

Garland wins GFB teaching award Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has awarded Cherokee County teacher Karen Garland its 2020 Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award. Garland, who teaches kindergarten through fifth-grade science at Clark Creek Elementary STEM Academy, was recognized for incorporating information about agriculture into her classes, while meeting curriculum requirements. As the award winner, Garland will receive a $500 cash prize and an expense-paid trip to the 2021 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference currently set for Des Moines, Iowa. She will also be invited to present a workshop on her teaching methods at the Georgia Farm Bureau Educational Leadership Conference. Garland credits the Agriculture in the Classroom and Farm to School programs with providing her with an exciting way to reach students that makes teaching fun. She uses the school’s vegetable garden as a springboard for teaching her students math, writing and science skills as they monitor the growth of the garden recording plant measurements and journaling their observations. Cherokee County Farm Bureau, which nominated Garland for the award, has worked with her on numerous projects and CCFB members volunteer in Garland’s classes as readers or to help with Ag in the Classroom activities.

Cherokee County teacher Karen Garland (center) is the 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year. Congratulating Garland for winning the award are, from left, Lori Forrester, GFB Educational Coordinator Lauren Goble, Clark Creek Elementary Assistant Principal Jonathan Hall, Cherokee County Farm Bureau (CCFB) Women’s Committee member Liz Porter, Cherokee County Extension Agriculture Josh Fuder, CCFB Women’s Committee member Mollie Guy and CCFB Program Coordinator Shirley Pahl. Photo courtesy of Clark Creek Elementary School

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Grassroots Support. Homegrown Savings. By insuring with Georgia Farm Bureau, you are supporting farmers and ensuring that our growing world has a safe and abundant food supply.

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