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AG News

Inside: Georgia National Fair. Page 2 Rural road safety. Page 3 Fall vegetables. Page 6 Festivals. Page 8



October 2011

North Georgia’s Agricultural Newspaper

October weather means pumpkins are ready to pick By Barbara Olejnik Georgia Ag News Staff

GAINESVILLE — The North Georgia area will soon be experiencing those crisp autumn days that mean the holiday season is about to begin. Trees are beginning to put on those brilliant fall colors, days are getting shorter and pumpkins have begun to appear throughout the area. The pumpkin seems to have become a symbol of the fall season. They are

used to decorate homes, to be baked into mouth-watering pies and to be carved into grotesque or laughable faces. Whether a pumpkin is selected at a supermarket, roadside stand or at a pickyour-own farm, there are a few tips on how to select the truly great pumpkin. l Check for moldy areas or soft spots on the fruit and choose one with a hard rind. l Check the stem attachment. Healthy stems are green and securely attached.

See Pumpkins, Page 10

Photo by David B. Strickland

Cucurbits: All those ornamental gourds and squash that fill bins this time of year belong to the plant family of cucurbits — which also includes cucumbers, melons and pumpkins.

Fall into the colorful varieties of cucurbits By David B. Strickland Georgia Ag News Staff

Photo by David B. Strickland

Picking the perfect pumpkin: Definitely a symbol for October, pumpkins, like this selection from Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville last year, are prime for picking — whether you intend to make a pie or Jack-O-Lantern, or both.

GAINESVILLE — October is here, and with it comes a host of special crops and treats. Among them are pumpkins, ornamental gourds, squash and other cucurbits. That’s right — cucurbits. As the Farmers’ Almanac calls them, cucurbits may be, “the most popular plants you’ve never heard of.” You may or may not have heard of the term, but the plant family encompassing cucurbits includes an incredible variety, such as cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, gourds, squash and many others. This also includes those odd-shaped and colorful squash that fill so many bins this time of year, usually near the pumpkin selections. “While the term cucurbit may be a bit obscure to many of us, this plant family includes a large proportion of the garden varieties that are near and dear to us,” Farmers’ Almanac noted. “In fact, this grouping contains more plant species used for human food

See Cucurbits, Page 12


GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011

Poultry World is featured at Ga. National Fair By Steven Thomas

Special to Georgia Ag News

GAINESVILLE — Fall in Georgia means its time to go to the Fair, and the biggest of the bunch is the Georgia National Fair in Perry, from Oct. 6–16. I’ve been going to the Georgia National Fair every year since 1998 for a very good reason — Poultry World, the poultry industry’s educational exhibit. Poultry World was established in 1995 by the Georgia Poultry Federation, along with industry and academic partners, to share information with the public about all aspects of the poultry industry — Georgia’s number one agri-

cultural and agribusiness sector. The mission of Poultry World is to increase p u b l i c awareness and underThomas standing of the industry and how it produces safe and wholesome products while creating jobs and other positive economic benefits. This year will mark Poultry World’s 17th year as part of the Georgia National Fair. Staffed by more than 150 knowledgeable volunteers from poultry companies, allied industry

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companies, universities, the poultry laboratory network and the federation office, Poultry World continues to be one of the most popular exhibits at the fair, drawing more than 50,000 visitors during the 10 days of the fair, more than half of which are school children, touring the exhibit as part of the Georgia National School House program. Poultry World is housed in a 40-foot-by-55-foot building resembling a poultry growout house. The building includes video and educational displays that provide an overview of the industry from the farm to the grocery store. A favorite of the children is the incubator where they can view chicks hatching, and a 12-foot-by-20-foot growout area for the growing chicks to drink and feed, complete with equipment as it appears in an actual chicken house. The children are allowed to hold and pet the chicks, with the assistance of volunteers who are also available throughout the exhibit to answer questions about any segment of the poultry industry. Educational displays include every facet of the industry — Feed and Nutrition, Veterinary Medicine, Breeders, Hatcher-

Photo by Steven Thomas

Poultry World: The Poultry World exhibit at the annual Georgia National Fair in Perry, gives school children, and all the fair’s visitors, the chance to get a glimpse into the state’s number one agricultural product — as well as the chance to pet a chick.

ies, Farm Operations–Growout and Fresh Table Eggs. There are also exhibits on Environmental Stewardship and Industry Economic Statistics. The Educational Opportunities display features information on the universities and colleges in Georgia that have poultry-related programs, including the University of

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Georgia’s Departments of Poultry Science, Food Science, Veterinary Medicine and the Poultry Diagnostic Research Center; and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College; as well as Georgia Tech’s Agricultural Technology Research Program. Poultry World opens its doors this year on Friday, Oct. 7. Come on by while you’re at the fair, just inside the North Gate. Steven Thomas is market manager of the Historic Downtown Gainesville Market on the Square. He can be reached at 678-943-4442; by e-mail at; or the web site

GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011


Planting white clover may help improve pastures By Michael Wheeler Special to Georgia Ag News

GAINESVILLE — White clover is one of the most widely grown legume forage crops in the world. In North Georgia, white clover may be used in renovation problems to improve the quality of fescue pastures. And after a rough summer, many are considering what to do with their pastures to improve production and how to feed their cows on limited hay

stores. Clover can act as a short-lived perennial under favorable growing conditions. Hot dry summers will reduce Wheeler stands of white clover. White clover that has survived the summer will be productive in fall and in spring.

Plant in fall White clover should be planted in the fall, September to October, at the seeding rate of 2 to 3 pounds per acre. Seed should be inoculated with the proper strain of rhizobia bacteria just prior to planting. Seed only when soil moisture is adequate for seed germination and plant growth, and do not cover over the seed with more than a quarter inch of soil. The decision of whether or not to plant this fall is going to

Safety on Georgia’s rural roads By Gary W. Black & Harris Blackwood Special to Georgia Ag News

ATLANTA — Few things are as enjoyable as a ride on some of Georgia’s rural roads. The countryside is beautiful, the fresh air is invigorating and escaping from the traffic jams of the city is a welcome change. As we approach fall, it is harvest season here in Georgia and drivers on our rural roads are more likely than ever to encounter farm equipment in use during this busy time. But just as a motorist is entitled to use those roads, our farmers are also entitled to use those same roads to get their farm machinery from farm to farm or field to field. All too often, a motorist driving at or above the speed limit will encounter a tractor, combine or other piece of farm machinery that is traveling at only 15 to 25 miles per hour. A collision between a passenger vehicle and a tractor can easily result in serious injury or, in some cases, even death. Safety on Georgia roads is a partnership and, for many years, has involved numerous public safety professionals throughout our state. Earlier this year, a conversation between Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black and Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, resulted in an additional partnership for safety on our roads. This is one of the first times that highway safety and agriculture have joined together for the good of all Georgians. It is important for Georgia drivers to remember that farm equipment is designed to be used in fields and is not designed to travel at highway speeds. Many times, it is wider than the lane of travel. A farmer who sees a passenger vehicle behind the farm equipment understands your trip is being delayed and, if at all possible,

will pull off the road at a safe location to allow you to pass. However, the shoulder lane of some our rural roads may be soft, wet or steep and that can cause the farm vehicle to tip or become stuck, or the shoulder may not be able to support the heavy machinery. Please be patient until he can accommodate your needs. And please remember that a momentary slow-down is preferred to a serious injury or even death. Consider this: l If you’re driving 55 miles per hour and come upon a tractor that is moving at 15 miles per hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between you and the tractor. l Even if you have to slow to down to 20 miles per hour and follow a tractor for two miles, it only takes six minutes of your time — the equivalent of waiting through two traffic lights. In 2010, there were 1,249 traffic-related deaths on Georgia roads. Of those, 30 percent occurred on rural roads, compared to 19 percent in metro Atlanta. The wide open spaces of our rural countryside are inviting and enjoyable, but excessive speed combined with the prospect of meeting a farm vehicle at a slower speed is a deadly combination. Just as our agriculture and highway safety agencies are working together, we need the partnership of Georgia drivers to make our rural roads safer. Please bear in mind that late summer and fall is a busy time for our farmers, who are working diligently to bring in this year’s crops. Let’s all work together to make it a safe harvest season for them and every Georgian out on the road. Gary W. Black is Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture; and Harris Blackwood is director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

be a hard one, if we do not get enough rain to restore soil moisture levels. Watch the weather closely and walk your fields to determine if conditions are right for planting. White clover grown in association with a perennial grass should be grazed closely. The clover will tolerate close grazing and will better survive under this type of management program than when the companion grass is allowed to dominate. Decreasing rates of nitrogen fertilizer will improve clover survival. Use no more than 3040 pounds of nitrogen per acre on fescue pastures when a good stand of clover is present. White clover is more productive when the soil pH is about 6.0 and soil phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) levels are high.

Soil test to figure soil pH and P and K levels in the soil. After establishment, 50 pounds per acre of P and K will be sufficient to maintain white clover on most soils. Allow the clover to become well established this fall before grazing. Going through the expense and trouble of planting clover will hopefully satisfy some of your grazing needs, and allow you to ration your hay stores a little bit longer for the latter part of the season. Michael J. Wheeler is the Hall County Extension Coordinator and agricultural Extension agent. He can be reached at 770-535-8293; e-mail at; or http://

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GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011

Viewpoint Pulling ourselves up by our financial bootstraps By Bob Stallman

Special to Georgia Ag News

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy has taken a hit recently. The unemployment rate stands at 9 percent, our country’s credit rating was just downgraded from AAA to AA+, the national debt is at an all-time high and lawmakers can’t seem to agree on the best way to get us out of this financial hole. The current situation affects all Americans, whether they’re farmers, teachers, wait staff or construction foremen. No one is immune. But, our country has been at the bottom of the financial barrel before and pulled itself up by the

bootstraps. With some perseverance, consensus and common sense — we can again.

Making it meaningful While the debt ceiling bill that President Obama signed in August will keep our nation moving forward, even harder work lies ahead. It’s now in the hands of the congressional deficit reduction “super committee” to find ways to reduce our annual deficit spending. Like most Americans, Farm Bureau wants to see a meaningful reduction in our deficit and put the country back on track to fiscal soundness. We support the need

for deficit reduction and tackling the nation’s rising debt. Agriculture will do its part toward this end goal, but reductions need to be Stallman made wisely. It is likely that any comprehensive plan to reduce deficit spending will include cuts in programs that assist farmers, ranchers and communities in rural America. But, as farm bill expenditures in this country represent less than

Johnny Appleseed — Ag’s folk hero By Stewart Truelsen Special to Georgia Ag News

WASHINGTON — America has a fondness for folk heroes, some real, some fictional, like Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack; frontiersmen Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone; Casey Jones, the brave engineer; Pecos Bill, the cowboy who rode a tornado; and of course Johnny Appleseed, the itinerant nurseryman. Ironically, Johnny Appleseed is perhaps the mostcelebrated but least heroic. He was nothing like Daniel Boone who killed a bear with his bare hands, as the story goes. Today, Boone would be in trouble for that feat with fish and game officers and animal rights activists. Appleseed, on the other hand, wouldn’t harm a mosquito. He put out his campfire at night so insects wouldn’t be drawn into the flames. Johnny Appleseed is one of the real folk heroes. His real name was John Chapman. He was born around the time of the Revolutionary War and is thought to Stewart Truelsen is a regular contributor to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Focus on Agriculture series, and is the author of a book marking the AFBF’s 90th anniversary, Forward Farm Bureau.

be buried in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Johnny Appleseed catapulted to folk hero status in the 19th century, was rediscovered by Walt Disney and remains a popular character in children’s books. One could consider him an agriculturalist because he planted orchards on America’s early frontier, largely around Ohio and Pennsylvania. But he was a very strange fellow according to a new biography, Johnny Appleseed, The Man, the Myth, the American Story by Howard Means. Chapman usually went barefoot and wore odd headgear, including a pyramid of hats, one of which was a tin pot. His shirt was a burlap coffee sack with holes cut out for his head and arms. Each winter he would load up on apple seeds that he got for free from cider presses in Pennsylvania. Then he would strike out on foot along rivers and Indian trails to unclaimed land where he would plant the seeds in spring and make a brush fence around them to keep out the deer. Chapman later returned to collect seedlings which were sold or bartered with newly arriving settlers, most of whom were farmers. Oftentimes they were required to plant an orchard as a stipulation of land ownership.

See Truelsen, Page 14

one-half of 1 percent of the federal budget, balancing the budget or resolving the nation’s financial woes can’t be accomplished by focusing on agriculture or by disproportionately cutting agriculture funding.

Reduce wisely When it comes to tightening the budget, U.S. farm policy has already led the way. In contrast to other programs, the cost of farm policy has sharply decreased over the past 10 years, is consistently under budget and has been the subject of three separate rounds of cuts in the past six years, totaling roughly $15 billion in savings. Agriculture has always contributed to deficit reduction in the past when called upon. Farm Bureau will work with the House and Senate agriculture committees as they develop a blueprint for agriculture spend-

Corporate Headquarters Poultry & Egg News Inc. P.O. Box 1338 Gainesville, Georgia 30503 Telephone: 770-536-2476; 770-718-3444 (after 5:30 p.m.) Fax: 770-532-4894

General Manager Cindy Wellborn 770-718-3443

Editorial/Advertising Staff Editor David B. Strickland 770-718-3442 Associate Editor Barbara L. Olejnik 770-718-3440 Graphic Artist Courtney Canaday 770-718-3437

ing. Our goal will be to retain the integrity of the farm programs that serve America’s farm and ranch families. Our priority is to have enough money left when all is said and done to write a viable farm bill that ensures an effective safety net for America’s farm and ranch families, furthers research, provides conservation measures and secures the nation’s food supply. Getting back on financial track will require everyone to buckle down on spending. Working together, pulling up those bootstraps, we can do this. Bob Stallman is president of the American Farm Bureau Federation based in Washington, D.C. More information about the organization can be obtained at Account Executive Stacy Louis 770-718-3445 Account Executive Dinah Winfree 770-718-3438

Companion Publications: Poultry Times; A Guide to Poultry Associations; Poultry Resource Guide. The opinions expressed in this publication by authors other than Georgia Ag News staff are those of the respective author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Georgia Ag News. Georgia Ag News assumes responsibliity for error in first run of an inhouse designed ad only. Advertisers have ten (10) days from publication date to dispute such an advertisement. After ten (10) days, ad will be deemed correct and advertiser will be charged accordingly. Proofs approved by advertiser will always be regarded as correct.

GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011


Misuse of tree stands can be hazardous SOCIAL CIRCLE — Though commonly used by deer hunters everywhere, tree stands often are improperly installed and, as a result, are considered the leading cause of hunting-related incidents, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division. Different types of tree stands are available, and each type requires the user to be familiar with variations to ensure safety. The WRD notes the following as some recommended safety

tips: l When using a non-climbing portable or ladder stand, hunters should securely fasten the stand to the tree and install ladders or steps according to the manufacturer’s directions. l Hunters should always wear a Fall-Arrest System (FAS)/Full Body Harness during ascent and descent. Be aware that single strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer recommended and should not be used. Failure to use a FAS could result in serious injury or death.

l Hunters should always attach their FAS in the manner described by the manufacturer. Failure to do so may result in suspension without the ability to recover into the tree stand. Be aware of the hazards associated with full body harnesses and the fact that prolonged suspension in a harness may also be fatal. Have in place a plan for rescue, including the use of cell phones or signal devices that may be easily reached and used while suspended. If rescue personnel cannot be notified, you must

Fall is the perfect time for making and enjoying soups By Debbie Wilburn

Special to Georgia Ag News

ROSWELL — There’s nothing quite as good on a cold day as a hot bowl of soup. Soup and sandwich, soup and salad, Saturday lunch, Sunday supper, appetizer or main dish . . . soup can fill the bill. Whether you use gardenfresh, frozen or canned ingredients, soups offer economy and nutrition. Theoretically, a soup can be any combination of vegetables, meat or fish cooked in a liquid. It may be thick, like gumbo; thin, such as consommé; smooth, like a Wilburn bisque; or chunky like chowder or bouillabaisse. Though most soups are hot, some like vichyssoise and many fruit-based soups are served chilled. Soups are often garnished with flavor enhancers such as croutons, grated cheese or sour cream. A bisque is a thick, rich soup usually consisting of pureed seafood and cream. Stock, broth, bouillon and consommé are interchangeable. Bouillon Debbie Wilburn is a volunteer and former Family and Consumer Sciences agent with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service in Hall County.

is a broth made by cooking vegetables, poultry, meat or fish in water. The liquid that is strained off after cooking is the bouillon, which can form the base for soups and sauces. A concentrated cube of dehydrated beef, chicken or vegetable stock is referred to as bouillon cubes. The granular form is also available. Consommé is usually a clarified meat or fish broth. A stock is clarified by removing the sediment. Bouillabaisse is a celebrated seafood stew from Provence, made with an assortment of fish and shellfish, onions, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, garlic, saffron and herbs. The stew is ladled over thick slices of French bread. Gumbo is a hearty soup-stew made of a variety of meat and seafood, such as chicken, sausage, ham, shrimp and crab, and vegetables like okra, tomatoes and onions. The dish blends the culinary cultures of the French, Spanish, African and Indian. Chowder is a rich milk or cream-based soup, featuring solid ingredients like vegetables and/ or seafood which have been gently simmered to tenderness. New England-style chowder is made with milk or cream and Manhattan-style with tomatoes. The term chowder is also used to describe any thick, rich soup containing chunks of food, such as corn chowder. A stew is any dish that is prepared by stewing and often applies to dishes that contain meat, veg-

See Wilburn, Page 14

have an alternate plan for recovery or escape. If you have to hang suspended for a period of time before help arrives, exercise your legs by pushing against the tree or doing any other form of continuous motion or use your suspension relief device. If you do not have the ability to recover or escape from a FAS, it is recommended that you hunt only from the ground. l Hunters should always use a haul line to pull their gear and unloaded firearm or bow into their tree stand. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Prior to descending, lower equipment to the ground on the opposite side of the tree. l Staying awake and alert is important. Hunters should avoid taking medications that cause

drowsiness prior to hunting. Also, never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting. l Hunters should always inform someone of where they are hunting and what time they expect to return. More information on tree stands or hunting-related safety can be obtained from the Wildlife Resources Division Law Enforcement office at 770-7613010; or (Archery deer season goes through Oct. 14. Primitive weapons deer season is Oct. 15-21. Firearms deer season (northern zone) begins on Oct. 22 and goes through Jan. 1. Check with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at for restrictions.)

We have over 4 acres of plant material! Mums will be available in September. Our beautiful, jumbo mums in 8” pots are just $5.50! Late September is the time to plant cool season vegetables, too. Pansies and violas will be arriving in October, along with fruit trees, blueberries, landscaping shrubs and trees. Check out our website for updated inventory of fall plants with photos.


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GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011

Collards, turnips, cabbage: popular fall vegetables By Paul Pugliese

Special to Georgia Ag News

Photo by David B. Strickland

Clint Black: Country music star Clint Black entertained the crowd at the Georgia Poultry Federation’s Night of Knights event Aug. 27, in Atlanta, Ga.

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CANTON — Now is the time for home gardeners to start preparing fall gardens of cool-season vegetables. If you planted a summer vegetable garden, use your lawn mower to chop up these plants. Incorporate these plants, along with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10, into your fall garden plot with a tiller. Fall gardens in Georgia can be very challenging to get coolseason vegetables through the end of summer. It’s a delicate balance in starting them early enough to allow cool-season vegetables to mature (50 to 60 days) before a hard frost and getting them through the end of a hot, dry summer. Ideally, start seeds in August for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, turnips, radishes, spinach, lettuce, beets and onions. Use a store-bought potting mix to start seeds in containers, flats or trays. Place the seeds in a partially shaded spot, keep them watered and you will have seedlings ready to transplant in September. Most vegetables can be purchased as seedlings from gar-

Sharon Dowdy/UGA

Fall collards: Collard greens are a Southern tradition. Plant them and other fall vegetables now for harvest in the winter months.

den centers ready to transplant if you don’t want to start from seeds. Onion sets can be transplanted later in October. Keeping young seedlings watered is critical to getting them established. Also keep a sharp eye out for pest prob-

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lems such as insects, diseases and weeds. These pests will continue to flourish in the warm temperatures and high humidity. A layer of newspaper and mulch between rows can avoid a lot of weed problems and help conserve soil moisture. Contact your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office at 800-275-8421 for more information on growing fall vegetable gardens. Paul Pugliese is the agriculture and natural resources agent for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office in Cherokee County.

GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011


Make it at Home Recipe Huguenot Torte (Apple-Pecan Torte) American Egg Board Servings: 16 Prep time: 35 minutes Cook time: 30-45 minutes

Huguenot Torte is one of Charleston, S.C.’s most famous desserts. It was originally adapted from an Ozark apple pudding from the Mississippi Delta and served at Charleston’s Lowcountry-style Huguenot Tavern in the 1940s. Ingredients: 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 5 eggs, room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled tart apples (about 2 medium) 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts (6 oz.) Directions: Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat bottom and sides of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper or parchment paper; spray paper. Dust bottom and sides of pans with flour; tap out excess. Sift 3/4 cup flour, the baking powder and salt into medium bowl; set aside. Beat eggs in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until thick, pale lemon-colored and triple in volume, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Beating constantly, add sugar, 1 to 2 tbsp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. (Rub a bit of the mixture between thumb and forefinger; it should feel completely smooth.) Beat in vanilla. Add apples and nuts to flour mixture; toss to mix. Sprinkle evenly over egg mixture. Fold gently but thoroughly until no streaks remain. Do not stir. Pour into prepared pans; spread even. Bake in 325 degrees F oven until cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes for 9-inch pans; 35 to 45 minutes for 8-inch

pans. Cool on wire racks. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with thin knife. Gently shake cakes out of pans onto racks, taking care not to crack the meringue tops. Remove waxed paper carefully; turn cakes rightside up. Serve warm or cool completely. Serve cakes with whipped cream. Garnish with apple slices, pecan halves and fresh mint. Added tips and suggestions: lAdd sugar gradually — For optimum volume and smoothest texture, sugar should be added gradually, beginning only after the eggs have been beaten to triple in volume. Adding sugar sooner will result in less volume. l Check if sugar is dissolved — After each addition, eggs should be beaten until the sugar has dissolved before adding more. To test, rub a bit of mixture between thumb and forefinger. If sugar is dissolved, it will feel completely smooth. If it feels grainy or sandy, continue beating. l Gentle folding is the key to maintaining volume — Combining heavier mixtures with beaten eggs can knock the air out of the them. Add the flour mixture to the beaten eggs, not vice versa. Fold with a light touch, rather than stirring. Using a rubber spatula, start with a downward stroke into the bowl, continue across the bottom, up the side and over the top of the mixture. Come up through the center every few strokes and rotate the bowl often as you fold. Fold just until no streaks remain. l Use two 8-or 9-inch springform pans (or one of each) if you have them. You won’t have to worry about cracking the tops when unmolding cakes. More recipes can be obtained from the American Egg Board at

22 Centennial Farms to be honored at Georgia National Fair ATLANTA — Farms hold a central role in the heritage of our state, having formed the economic, cultural and family foundation for generations of Georgians. Each year, farms continuously operating for more than 100 years are recognized by the Georgia Centennial Farms Program. The 2011 Georgia Centennial Farm Awards will be held on Friday, Oct. 7, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry. The ceremony will begin with a luncheon followed by the awards presentation. This year’s keynote speaker is Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black.

Recognition is given to the farm owners through one of three distinguished awards. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Farm Award does not require continual family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old or more and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Centennial Family Farm Award recognizes farms owned by members of the same family

See Farms, Page 9

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GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011

October Festivals l Now through Oct. 30: 41st annual Oktoberfest — Helen’s largest celebration, featuring German music and dancing, food and drink. Helen Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen. Ph: 706-878-1908; l Sept. 30-Oct. 2: 44th annual Autumn Leaf Festival — Arts, crafts, food. Maysville. Ph: 706-708-6409, http://www. l Oct. 1: Foxfire Mountaineer Festival — 10 a.m.-6 p.m., A one-day festival featuring traditional Southern Appalachian Mountain music, food, crafts and fun. This year’s event will also highlight a book signing for the Singin’, Praisin’, Raisin’, 45th anniversary Foxfire book. Admission: $5 per person, max. $20 per family, children 5 and under free. Rabun County Civic Center, U.S. Hwy. 76 W, Clayton. Ph: 706-7465820; l Oct. 1: Cornelia Big Red Apple Festival — 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Arts, crafts, food and entertainment. Downtown Cornelia. Ph: 706-778-7875; l Oct. 1: Flowery Branch Fall Festival — 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Presented by Flowery Branch Boy Scout Troop 228. Arts, crafts, games, food and entertainment Free admission, free parking. Behind the Depot in Flowery Branch. Ph: 678-316-0465; http:// l Oct. 1: Rock ‘N Rib Fest — 1-9 p.m., Fourth annual event featuring barbecue, music, the Rock ‘N Rib Run for Breast Cancer 5K and more. Downtown Lawrenceville. Ph: 404-456-4655; http://www.

lOct. 1-2: 34th annual Indian Summer Festival — Mountain music, art, homemade crafts, food and more. Woody Gap School, 2331 State Hwy. 60, Suches. Ph: 706-747-2401; l Oct. 6-9: Harvest Moon Festival — An inaugural four-day food and music festival featuring gardening and cooking demonstrations, locally-sourced foods, eco-centric vendors and live music with The B-52s, Shawn Mullins and more. Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain. Ph: 800225-5292; http://www.harvestmoonfest. com. l Oct. 6-16: Georgia National Fair — Attracting more than 400,000 visitors, this year’s 22nd annual Georgia National Fair will offer a little bit of everything, from entertainment, concerts, food, events, horse and livestock shows and attractions. Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter, 401 Larry Walker Pkwy., Perry. Ph: 800-987-3247; l Oct. 6-16: Cumming Country Fair & Festival — Concerts, crafts, food and more. Hours: Monday-Thursday 4-10 p.m., Friday 4 p.m.-midnight, Saturday 10 a.m.midnight, Sunday 12:30-9 p.m. Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd., Cumming. Ph: 770-781-3491; l Oct. 7-9: Mule Camp Market — What began as a farmer’s curb market has evolved into a three-day fall festival that is among the largest annual events in Hall County. Featuring arts and crafts, live music, rides and food vendors. Downtown Gainesville. Ph: 770-532-7714; http:// l Oct. 7-15: Georgia Mountain Fair Fall Festival — The nine-day event features musical performances, educational demonstrations, a flower show and the Georgia Official State Fiddler’s Convention. Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee. Ph: 706-896-4191; http://www. l Oct. 8-9 and 15-16: 40th annual Georgia Apple Festival — More than 300 vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as on-site demonstrations, entertainment and food celebrating Georgia’s apple harvest. Admission: $5, children under 10 free. Hours: Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St., Ellijay. Ph: 706-636-4500; l Oct. 8: Fall Celebration — Noon-4 p.m., pioneer skills exhibits, hayrides, craft vendors, music and more. Smithgall Woods State Park, Helen. Ph: 706-878-3087. l Oct. 9-10 and 16-17: 41st annual Sorghum Festival — 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Georgia’s official sorghum festival features syrup making, crafts, music and games. Meeks Park, Ga. Hwy. 515, Blairsville. Ph: 706745-4745; l Oct. 15: Jackson County MegaFest — Featuring two car shows, an airplane fly-in, arts and crafts festival, chili cookoff and more. Gresham Motorsports Park, 500 Lyle Field Rd., Jefferson. Ph: 706-3870300; l Oct. 15: 38th annual Oconee Chamber Fall Festival — 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Scarecrow 5K road race, arts and crafts, food vendors and entertainment. Downtown Watkinsville. Ph: 706-769-7947; http:// l Oct. 15: 48th annual Georgia Peanut Festival — T.C. Jeffords Park, Sylvester. Ph: 229-776-6657; l Oct. 15: Fall Hoedown — Noon-8 p.m., As the day progresses, event will feature chili and hot dogs, cake walk, hayrides, bonfire, square & line dancing and story telling. Vogel State Park, Blairsville. Ph: 706-745-2628. l Oct. 15-16: Dahlonega Gold Rush

Days — The third-weekend in October marks the celebration in Dahlonega of the 1828 discovery of gold. More than 300 arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and entertainment will be gathered around the square; enjoyed by more than 200,000 visitors annually, the event has been voted a Top 20 Event in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. Downtown Dahlonega. Ph: 800-231-5543; http://www.dahlonega. org. l Oct. 15-16: 20th annual Auburnfest — Noon-6 p.m., Fall festival featuring food, arts and crafts, live music, entertainment and more. Downtown Auburn. Ph: 770-674-5485; l Oct. 22: Hillbilly Hog BBQ Throwdown & White County Fall Leaf Festival — Event is part of the Georgia Barbecue Champion Series. Funds raised will go to United Way of White County and the Sautee Nacoochee Community Center. Live music and entertainment. Sautee Nacoochee Community Center, 283 Hwy. 255, Sautee. Ph: 706-809-0139; l Oct. 22: Deer Day Festival — 9 a.m.2 p.m., Oglethorpe Recreation Center, 500 N. Sumter St., Oglethorpe. Ph: 478-4722391. l Oct. 22: 8th annual Deep Roots Festival — Arts and crafts, entertainment, barbecue cook-off, car show and more. Downtown Milledgeville. Ph: 478-4144014; l Oct. 22: Swine & Dandy Charity Cook-off — 10 a.m.-5 p.m., barbecue cook-off, live music, pumpkin patch and more. Rogers Bridge Park, Duluth. Ph: 770-814-4909; l Oct. 22-23: 44th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival — 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Thousands flock to this birthplace of NASCAR legends and historic site of moonshine-making for this annual fall festival featuring food, crafts and entertainment. Downtown Dawsonville. Ph: 706-2656278; l Oct. 29: Harvest Happenings — 7-9 p.m., hayrides, campfire and storytelling. Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia. Ph: 706-3564362.

GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011



Tips on how to referee safe football tailgate parties

(Continued from page 7)

The Library of Congress

A look at yesteryear: Workers haul a fertilizer wagon in this scene from a South Georgia farm circa 1940. The Georgia Centennial Farms Program will recognize 22 more family farms that have been continuously operating as farms for more than 100 years at the upcoming Georgia National Fair. (Photo part of The Library of Congress Farm Security Administration Office of War Information Collection).

for 100 years or more that are not listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This year the following 22 farms will receive Centennial Family Farm Awards: Peyton Farm, Banks County; Ezekiel Parrish Home Place, Berrien County; Sam Watson Farm, Berrien County; W. E. and Carolyn Griffin Farm, Berrien County; W. H. Outlaw Farm, Berrien County; Wagon View Farms, Brooks County; Emmett G. Renfroe III Farm, Bulloch County; Waller’s Pecan Farm, Candler County; B.S. Rice and Sons Inc. Farm, Colquitt County; ColemanHolland Family Farm, Colquitt County; Harry Whiddon Family Farm, Cook County; Holly Hill Farm, Crawford County; Moulton Family Lands LLC, Early County; W. Holmes Maxwell Farm Inc., Grady County; King Farm, Newton County; White-Aiken Farm, Newton County; Rocky Ridges Farm, Randolph County; John Emmett Robinson Farm, Schley County; Carlisle Farm, Talbot County;

The E.P. Groover Place, Thomas County; Fielding Farms, Thomas County; and Alva Pinkney Haman-Deep Creek Farms, Turner County. Since 1993, the Georgia Centennial Farms Program has recognized 401 farms around the state. The program is administered by: Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Georgia Farm Bureau Federation; Georgia Department of Agriculture; Georgia Forestry Commission; and Georgia National Fair and Agricenter. If you are interested in nominating a farm for recognition during the next application cycle, visit HPD’s web site at http://www., or contact Steven Moffson, Georgia Centennial Farms Committee chairman, at 404-6515906, or by e-mail at The postmark deadline for applications is May 1 of each year.

WASHINGTON — When it comes to football, defense matters. When it comes to planning a tailgate party, a good defense against foodborne illness matters even more. “This year, we’re urging fans to follow the food safety play book at the tailgate parties they host,” USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said. “Large gatherings can increase the chance of becoming ill, but by following these rules all fans can enjoy the game and their food, safely.” The USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service offers the following:

nate other food. Use one cutting board for raw meat and poultry and another one for cutting veggies or foods that will not be cooked. If you use only one cutting board, wash it with hot soapy water after preparing each food item. As you take cooked meat off the grill, be sure to place it on a clean platter, not on the dish that held it while raw. The juices left on the plate from raw meat can spread harmful bacteria to safely cooked food.

Illegal use of hands Avoid penalties for “illegal use of hands.” Unclean hands are one of the biggest culprits for spreading bacteria, and finger foods are especially vulnerable. Chefs and guests should wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. If running water is located far away from your tailgate, have sanitizing wipes available throughout the day. Also, be sure to clean eating surfaces often, and wash serving platters before replenishing them with fresh food.


Offsides Think of your tailgate fare as two different teams — uncooked versus ready-to-eat foods. Prevent “encroachment” at all costs and keep each team in its own zone. The juices from raw meat can contain harmful bacteria that cross-contami-

Time out Call a “time out” and use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked. Remember that in-

ternal temperature, not meat color, indicates doneness. To be sure harmful bacteria are killed, whole cuts of fresh beef and pork should be cooked to 145 degrees F followed by a three minute stand time, while ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160 degrees F (no rest time is necessary). Ground, whole, or pieces of poultry, as well as casseroles, should be cooked to 165 degrees F. Hot dogs and reheated deli meats should be cooked to 165 degrees F or until steaming hot.

Holding “Holding” may be one of

See Tailgating, Page 12


Friday, Saturday & Sunday • Sept. 10 - Nov. 6

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GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011

Looking at genes to help detect cattle disease By Sandra Avant

Special to Georgia Ag News

BELTSVILLE, Md. — The eyes are said to be the windows into the soul of humans, but in the case of cattle, they may hold clues to overall animal health. A closer look at pinkeye is offering insight into other costly bacterial diseases as well. Researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Neb., have found that genes are linked to the incidence of several diseases. Eduardo Casas, a geneticist in the Genetics and Breeding Research Unit at the time of the study, and former ARS scientist Gary Snowder discovered a quantitative trait locus (QTL), or location, on bovine chromosome 20 that is associated with pinkeye, foot rot and bovine respiratory disease.

See Cattle, Page 13 Sandra Avant is a public affairs specialist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Md.

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•Pumpkins (Continued from page 1)

l Most pumpkin varieties are a dull to bright orange when mature. l Keep the pumpkin in a dry, shady place, and try to prevent it from freezing. Pick before a frost. l To help a Jack-o-Lantern last through Halloween, don’t carve it until a few days before the event. When carving that pumpkin, set the seeds aside for roasting. Those seeds can be used in salads and eaten as a healthy snack. The pumpkins itself is a healthy food source. Apart from being full of fiber, pumpkins contain vitamins C, E and K, potassium, carotenoid pigments like alphacarotene, beta-carotene and lutein. Studies have shown that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and protect against heart disease. While most people acquire pumpkins for the enjoyment of carving the Halloween face, to add to a holiday meal or to provide decorations at a local church or school fall festival, there are others who have entirely different uses for a pumpkin. One is the “World Championship Punkin Chuckin” competition in Millsboro, Del. This year’s 26th annual event will be held Nov. 4-6. Using air cannon, catapult, trebuchet or human-powered machines, contestants vie to see how far they can propel — or chuck — a pumpkin through the air. Each year some growers compete for the title of growing the world’s largest pumpkin and breaking the world record pumpkin weight. In 2010, Chris Stevens of New Richmond, Wis., broke the record with his 1810.5 pound pumpkin, at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minn. The previous world record breaker was Christy Harp with a 1,725 pound pumpkin. The new world record beat it by a whopping 85 pounds. Yet another activity involves getting even more closely associated with a

pumpkin. This involves actually sitting in a carved-out pumpkin shell (giant variety required) and trying to paddle this unusual boat across a stretch of water. In 1999, the first year of the event, the Pumpkin Regatta started in Windsor in the Province of Nova Scotia, Canada, Five participants attempted to maneuver their hollowed-out giant pumpkins across Lake Pesaquid. By 2001 the Pumpkin Regatta had grown into a major attraction, with inquiries from across Canada and the U.S. Other little known facts about pumpkins include: l The word ‘pumpkin’ comes from the Greek word, ‘pepon,’ which means a ‘large melon.’ l Pumpkins originated in Central America. l Pumpkins are actually a fruit. Many people think it should be our national fruit. Pumpkin is really a squash. It is in the Curcurbita family along with squash and cucumbers. l The yellow-orange flowers that bloom on the pumpkin vine are edible. l Native Americans grew and ate pumpkins and its seeds long before the Pilgrims reached this continent. Pilgrims learned how to grow and prepare pumpkins from the Native Americans. l Pumpkin was most likely served at the first Thanksgiving feast celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Indians in 1620. l The earliest pumpkin pie made in America was quite different than the pumpkin pie we enjoy today. Pilgrims and early settlers made pumpkin pie by hollowing out a pumpkin, filling the shell with milk, honey and spices and baking it. l Early settlers dried pumpkins shells, cut it into strips and wove it into mats. l The ‘Pumpkin Capital of the World’ is Morton, Ill., home of Libby’s pumpkin industry. The state of Illinois grows the most pumpkins. It harvests about 12,300 acres of pumpkins annually. l Pumpkins were formerly considered a remedy for freckles and snakebites.

GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011

October is perfect time for seeding tall fescue

with a sharp blade and mow often enough so no more than a third of the leaf height is removed in a single mowing. Do not mow a grass, especially young seedlings, when it’s wet.

By Clint Waltz

Special to Georgia Ag News

ATHENS — This summer’s drought and high temperatures hit tall fescue lawns in Georgia hard. As a result, September and October could be months for greater interseeding, a practice of adding tall fescue into an existing stand. To successfully establish a new tall fescue lawn or interseed an existing lawn, consider the following techniques and practices. Grass seeded earlier than September or October is subject to heat stress and diseases. Planting later leaves the plant vulnerable to cold weather. Seeding in December and early spring is generally not recommended because the plant does not have adequate time to develop a deep root system needed to survive Georgia’s hot summers.

Knockout weeds Preemergence herbicides are needed to minimize weed pressure. These herbicides pose the least amount of risk to tall fescue that was seeded the previous September and October. Tall fescue seeded in November and treated with preemergence herbicides the following February has lower turfgrass quality ratings and reduced stand density compared to tall fescue seeded in October. Proper soil preparation is critical for effective seed establishment. Ridding the lawn of debris, tilling, incorporating lime and fertilizer and smoothing the surface are all necessary prior to seeding. Add amendments, like organic matter or topsoil, for soil improvement and till thoroughly into the existing


Sharon Dowdy/UGA

Seeding fescue: Fall is the perfect time to plant or interseed tall fescue lawns in Georgia. Researchers on the University of Georgia campus in Griffin work to breed new turfgrass varieties especially for Georgia’s varied growing conditions.

soil. After initial preparation is completed and the area is properly leveled, collect a soil sample to obtain soil fertilizer recommendations. Submit soil samples to the local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office (http://www. If starter

the bag. In the retail market most tall fescue seed is available as a blend of several tall fescue cultivars. Single cultivars are also available but often at a higher price. The ideal seeding rate for tall fescue is 5 to 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet. To

Proper soil preparation is critical for effective seed establishment

fertilizer and lime are recommended, incorporate 3 to 4 inches into the soil. Tilling deeper is always better.

High quality seed To ensure you plant highquality pure seed, search for the blue certified seed tag on

minimize skips and gaps, divide the seed into two equal portions and broadcast half in one direction and the remainder at a right angle to the first direction. The seed can be lightly raked into the upper quarterinch of soil or pressed into the

seedbed with a roller. Apply a straw mulch to retain moisture for improved germination and prevent erosion.

Moist seedlings After seeding, keep the upper 1 to 2 inches of soil moist, not wet, for uniform germination. This usually means daily watering of about one-tenth to one-quarter inch for the first three weeks. As the seedlings develop, irrigate less frequently but wet the soil profile deeper. Under good conditions tall fescue seed will germinate in five to 10 days and be ready for its first mowing between 2 and 3 weeks. Begin mowing at a height of 2 inches. As the seedlings mature, raise the cutting height to the 2.5- to 3-inch range. Once mature, the lawn can be maintained between 2 to 2.5 inches, but a height of 3 inches is suggested during the summer months. Use a mower

Do the math If the lawn needs reseeding, estimate the percentage of tall fescue loss and multiply that number by the establishment seeding rate of 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet. For example, if 50 percent (0.5) of the stand is lost, reseed with 0.5 x 6 = 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Spring reseeding is less successful because of the shorter establishment time before summer heat and moisture stress. Seed-to-soil contact is necessary to assure successful reseeding. First, mow the lawn at a height of 1 to 1.5 inches. Disturb the soil by coring or vertical mowing before and/or after seed distribution. (Equipment for this task is available at rental or garden centers.) Reseed thin areas at 2 to 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Getting the seed below the existing turfgrass canopy and to the soil surface improves germination. Apply a starter fertilizer at 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Lastly, keep the soil moist as discussed for new lawn establishment. Successful seeding depends on proper soil preparation, good soil-to-seed contact and proper water management.

Clint Waltz is a Cooperative Extension turf specialist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.


GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011

Rare listeria outbreak in cantaloupe deadly in a known food outbreak since tainted peanuts were linked to nine deaths almost three years ago — could go even higher. The CDC said illnesses in several other states potentially connected to the outbreak were under investigation. About 800 cases of listeria are found in the United States each year, according to the CDC, and there usually are three or four outbreaks. Produce has rarely been the culprit, but federal investigators say they have seen more producerelated listeria illnesses in the last two years. It was found in sprouts in 2009, celery in 2010 and now cantaloupe. “There are a lot of very good questions about where listeria is in the environment and how it gets in

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — An outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe that has killed as many as eight people (as of Sept. 22) is a mystery to disease specialists who are used to seeing the pathogen in deli meats and soft cheeses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a person in Maryland died from eating the tainted produce. Four deaths have been reported in New Mexico and two in Colorado, and one person has died in Oklahoma. The CDC said 55 people in 14 states have now been confirmed as sickened from eating the cantaloupes. The death count — the highest

•Tailgating (Continued from page 9)

the most likely offenses your referee encounters during long football games. Never hold perishable foods out for more than two hours, or for more than one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees F. Put leftovers back in the cooler promptly to block offensive bacteria from multiplying. When in doubt, throw it out of the game — and your tailgate.

False start When it comes to foodborne illness, there is no opportunity for an instant replay. To avoid these infractions, make sure you understand the rules completely. One of the best resources available before kickoff is USDA’s virtual representative, “Ask Karen,” available at Food safety coaches are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the “Ask Karen Chat” and by phone at the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline (888-674-6854). Recorded messages are available 24 hours a day.

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the fruit, and we don’t have all the answers,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC. Tauxe said a likely scenario is that listeria — which often lives in wet, muddy conditions — from the farm or packing facility got on the outside of the fruit and then contaminated the edible portions when it was cut. Victims may have then kept the fruit in their refrigerator for some time, allowing the bacteria to grow. Unlike most pathogens, listeria will continue to grow when refrigerated. He said that while rare, listeria can be deadly. On average, it can be fatal for one in five who fall ill. Colorado officials said on Sept. 16 that the contaminated melons were whole fruit from Jensen Farms in the Rocky Ford region of Colorado, and have been recalled. Jensen Farms said the recalled Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes were shipped from July 29 through Sept. 10 to Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it is possible the company distributed to other states as well.

The recalled cantaloupe may be labeled “Colorado Grown,” “Distributed by Frontera Produce,” “” or “Sweet Rocky Fords.” Not all of the recalled cantaloupes are labeled with a sticker, the FDA said. Colorado’s chief medical officer, Chris Urbina, said listeria found in samples taken from Jensen Farms’ cantaloupe match the strain of the bacteria found in those who fell ill in that state. “I’m confident that it’s the only farm,” Urbina said. Listeria is found in many places in the environment — soil, water, air — and can easily contaminate animals which can in turn contaminate a food processing facility and stay there for a long period of time. While most healthy adults can consume it with no ill effects, it can kill the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. It is also dangerous to pregnant women because it easily passes through to the fetus. To avoid listeria, the government has long warned those at-risk populations to avoid the most common carriers of the pathogen — hot dogs, deli meats, unpasteurized milk and cheeses made with unpasteurized milk.

•Cucurbits (Continued from page 1)

than any other.” In autumn, however, many gourds and squashes are used just for their ornamental value. Soft-shelled gourds can be used for fall decoration. Hard-shelled gourds, such as birdhouse gourds, can be used for decoration as well, but can, and for many years have, been used for utilitarian purposes like bird houses and water dippers. Both types are very extensively used when they are fresh for harvest season decor, but the hard-shelled types, if they are dried and cured, can be used for a long time. The soft skin gourds come in a seemingly endless variety of shapes and sizes, as well as colors ranging from orange, yellow, green, white and more. The hard skin varieties can also be a vari-

Now that listeria is showing up in produce, should consumers be concerned? No, say CDC and FDA officials. “It’s only when a strange alliance of the stars occurs you get an extraordinary event like this,” says Jim Gorny, a produce safety expert at the FDA. “It’s a surprise that we’d have an outbreak of this extent so we really want to understand what happened.” Gorny says the FDA, which investigates farms and food facilities to find the source of an outbreak, still is working to determine how the contamination occurred. He says more listeria outbreaks may have been discovered from produce in recent years because more people are eating raw fruits and vegetables and government reporting of illnesses has become more efficient. In Colorado, the outbreak’s effects already have been felt among melon growers. In Rocky Ford, cantaloupe farmer Greg Smith had to lay off his lone employee in a farm stand because he said customers all but vanished with news of the listeria outbreak. Smith’s operation is not affiliated with Jensen Farms.

ety of shapes, but typically begin green, potentially mixed with white; but after they are dried properly, they take on brown and tan shades. As for the many edible varieties of fall and winter squash, they come in just as many fun shapes, sizes and colors. Among these squash include: Acorn, Banana, Autumn Cup, Butternut, Carnival, Gold Nugget, Hubbard, Spaghetti, Sweet Dumpling and Turban. In selecting a good winter squash, it’s recommended to pick one that is well-shaped, firm, heavy for its size and has a hard rind without any cuts, holes or soft, moldy spots. “Probably no other vegetable has as much diversity in shape, color and size as gourds . . . they’re a fascinating and diverse group of plants,” noted University of Georgia horticulturist George Boyhan.

GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011


•Cattle (Continued from page 10)

Beyond pathogens Scientists have known for some time what causes pinkeye, also known as “infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis,” and other diseases. The bacteria Moraxella bovis is the most common pathogen associated with pinkeye. Pathogens associated with bovine respiratory disease include viruses, such as bovine viral diarrhea virus, bacteria, like Mannheimia hemolitica, and mycoplasma. Fusobacterium necrophorum and Porphyromonas spp. are the main bacterial pathogens for foot rot, or infectious pododermatitis. “Scientists have spent a lot of effort and money studying the pathogens that make animals sick,” said Casas, who is now research leader for ARS’s Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research Unit in Ames, Iowa. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but the microbes are still around. Therefore, the main focus of this research was to look at diseases from the animal’s point of view.” Casas’ approach was to examine the genetic makeup of cattle for evidence of genes associated with conferring resistance or tolerance to diseases. His initial study focused only on pinkeye because it’s easy to see and measure in cattle, he says. Different breeds vary in their pinkeye tolerance. For example, Herefords are very susceptible, but Brahmans are highly resistant. With this in mind, a Brahman-Hereford crossbreed sire was mated to other breeds to yield more than 540 offspring. “This particular bull was heterozygous for all genes that would confer tolerance to pinkeye,” Casas says. “Half of the offspring inherited the resistant gene, and the other half inherited the susceptible gene.” When scientists looked at 36 offspring affected by pinkeye, they found that regions on chromosomes 1 and 20 harbored genes that influence the presence of bacteria, but no strong linkage to a

QTL was identified. So the team took a different approach.

Tale of three Following up on a theory that the immune system is influenced by various genes, Casas and Snowder conducted a second study. They combined the incidences of three highly prevalent bacterial diseases affecting feedlot cattle — pinkeye, foot rot and bovine respiratory disease. “When you put all three diseases together, you’re looking at the overall health of the animal, or resistance to multiple diseases, rather than a disease-specific response,” Snowder said. “In other words, the particular loci affecting an individual disease may not be easy to pick up, but it might be easier to pick up markers that are related to the general health of the animal.” Selection for disease resistance is one of several possible interventions to prevent or reduce economic loss associated with animal disease and to improve animal welfare, according to Casas and Snowder. A common condition affecting breeding-age beef heifers, pinkeye has a marked economic impact on the cattle industry — costing an estimated $150 million a year due to lower weight gains, decreased milk production and treatment. Although not fatal, this highly contagious disease can affect up to 80 percent of a herd. Calves being weaned are even more susceptible and can lose as much as 10 percent of their body fat if they contract the disease. Bovine respiratory disease — pneumonia — is the most common and costly feedlot disease in the U.S. It accounts for 75 percent of feedlot morbidity and up to 70 percent of all deaths. Economic losses to cattle producers exceed $1 billion annually from animal deaths, reduced weight gain, lower feed efficiency, treatment costs and poor-quality meat and hide products. While foot rot is not as expensive as other diseases, it is estimated to cost dairy producers about $120 to $350 per animal. Foot rot causes

Eduardo Casas/USDA Agricultural Research Service

Cattle health: One of the cows receiving treatment for pinkeye at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb. Research of this disease is giving scientists insight into other cattle diseases.

lameness and leads to reduced milk yields, lower reproduction performance, increased involuntary cull rates and discarded milk. Producers have been managing these diseases with various treatments and management practices. USMARC, which has more than 6,000 head of cattle, provided an ideal location to study different breeds affected by pathogenic diseases.

Breeds apart In addition to the Brahman-Hereford family studied in the pinkeye experiment, three other half-sibling families were produced to detect QTLs associated with combined incidences of the three diseases. The second half-sibling family was developed from a BrahmanAngus sire and produced 176 offspring. A Piedmontese-Angus sire fathered 209 calves, and a Belgian Blue-MARC III (part Red Poll, Pinzgauer, Hereford and Angus) sire produced 246 offspring. Researchers used microsatellite markers — short, repetitive DNA sequences used as genetic markers to track inheritance — to screen the genome of each family. Informative markers were chosen within a family based on their location in each chromosome. All animals were observed

daily throughout their life-span for pinkeye, pneumonia and foot rot and treated when symptoms occurred. The 240 calves infected by one or more of the diseases were classified as affected by a microbial pathogenic disease and coded. Analysis of DNA blood samples taken from these animals revealed QTLs for disease activity. Though scientists have discovered genetic locations that may influence resistance or susceptibility to bacterial diseases, there’s more to do. “We don’t know what the gene or genes are yet, and that’s what we are working on,” Casas said. More study needs to be done to confirm the association between the genes and disease. “What’s interesting about the markers on chromosome 20 is

that they are in very close proximity to other markers related to other diseases. That particular region may have a significant effect on the general health of animals,” Casas added. Additional studies are under way to detect genes associated with reduced susceptibility to bacterial diseases, including Johne’s disease and bovine viral diarrhea. “The costs for treating animals that have these diseases are enormous,” Casas said. “Identifying genes responsible would provide an opportunity for effective crossbreeding to produce animals with increased disease tolerance, which would greatly reduce the economic impact to the cattle industry.”

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‘Guru’ lists best brain food for children SANTA MONICA, Calif. — With the school year back in session, parents should feed their kids the best brain foods to help them sustain their energy and help them succeed at school, while also creating healthy habits that can last a lifetime, food author notes. According to Phil Lempert, aka the “Supermarket Guru,” and editor of The Lempert Report and, eating nutrient-dense meals, and snacks, and staying hydrated at regular intervals and avoiding processed, sugary foods can boost brain development, improve concentration and provide a child’s energy to make it through a school day. It is also important to always send your child to school with a balanced healthy snack, even if all other meals are provided, he said. “The new school year is a time to start fresh, encourage healthy eating habits and set a great example as a parent,” says Lempert. “It

is important for growing children to eat a variety of foods from each food group. A well-nourished and fit child is better able to learn and has more energy, stamina, and selfesteem.” According to Lempert, the best brain foods include: l Eggs — Eggs are rich in choline (a vitamin-like substance that is plentiful in eggs, but also found in nuts) which helps promotes memory and brain development. Also, eggs provide long-lasting satiety because of its protein package. Whether hard-boiled, scrambled or sunny side up, eggs are a great food or even snack for kids. l Whole Grains — Whole grains in general contain phytonutrients, folate and B vitamins that boost memory. Whole grains are great for kids — most notably oats and eating oats in a not so sweet granola is a great way to get kids to eat more whole grains. The addition of some dried fruit and nuts balances

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out the meal or snack. Pack sandwiches with whole wheat bread. If your kids are not used to it, make as sandwich with half white, half whole wheat bread. l Lean protein — Protein is great to pair with whole grains and can help kids feel full longer, avoiding a sharp drop in blood sugar. l Berries, grapes, apples, pears and other seasonal fruits — Rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, vi-


tamin C, vitamin E and fiber. l Healthy fats — Healthy fats help “cushion” the brain, Lempert notes, in fact 60 percent of a brain is made up of fat. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the brain and eyes (deficiency can lead to anxiety and depression). Avocados are another great fat, as well as flax and chia seeds (which are full of fiber as well). l Filtered water — Dehydration

(Continued from page 5)

etables and a thick soup-like broth resulting from a combination of the stewing liquid and the natural juices of the food being stewed. Vichyssoise is a rich, creamy potato-andleek soup that’s served cold and garnished with chopped chives. The Classic Cream Soup — Cream-based soups contain milk or cream and are thickened with a mixture of flour and butter or egg yolk. Cream soups must be cooked over low heat, along with frequent stirring to prevent scorching. They freeze and store well, although a brisk stirring is often required after thawing and reheating to regain their creamy texture. Chilled fruit and vegetable soups usually have a cream base.

Start with stock Homemade beef, chicken or vegetable stocks are the base for most soups because of their rich, full-bodied flavor and versatility. Fresh ingredients of vegetables, meat, poultry, herbs and seasonings are favored, but leftovers can be excellent additions if they have not been stored past their prime. Stocks require slow simmering for a long period of time. But once prepared, stocks freeze well after

•Truelsen (Continued from page 4)

The apples from his trees were mostly puny, sour little things, according to Means, who wondered why he didn’t use grafting techniques that were known at the time to produce a desirable apple variety. He may not have cared, Means surmised, because many of the apples were fed through a press and the juice fermented to make hard cider, brandy or vinegar. During the course of his life, Chapman bought several lots in towns along his way, leading to the conclu-

can lead to fatigue, fogginess and more, so drinking plenty of water is crucial to keeping concentration and energy levels high. Parents would be surprised how little water kids drink at school, he added. After learning and running around all day most kids could use a couple glasses of water. Buy a reusable water bottle in the color or pattern that your kids like — or let them pick it out. If they choose it, they are more likely to use it, Lempert noted.

straining and thorough chilling. If you don’t have time to make your own, there are low-sodium canned broths available. Allow about one cup of stock per person. To cool large containers of soup, cool rapidly in an ice water bath, stirring frequently; or place in small containers no larger than quart-size and refrigerate or freeze immediately. Soups will keep in the refrigerator several days. Cooled broth or stock can be frozen in freezer trays. The cubes can then be stored in airtight containers in the freezer and used to add flavor to soups, gravies or sauces. Ten cubes equals about 1 cup of stock. Throw it all into a pot soup — If your grandmother was like mine, she never wasted anything, especially food. After each meal she would put the leftovers in a container in the freezer. Once the quart container was filled she thawed it out, added tomato juice or sauce and made vegetable soup. There were hundreds of combinations depending on what leftovers she had: okra, corn, peas, green beans, pinto beans, potatoes, carrots, rice or pasta. Many times she also added leftover meat such as baked chicken or roast beef. This is an excellent soup recipe for saving food and money. Adapted from: Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

sion that he might have been a small-time land speculator. He also was a religious zealot who approached settlers with a cheery greeting and news that he said came direct from heaven. Even by frontier standards John Chapman was an odd character, although he was welcomed wherever he went as a missionary of goodwill. The life stories of many pioneers have been lost or forgotten, which is really a shame, but their odd visitor, Johnny Appleseed, is remembered to this day.

GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011


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GEORGIA AG NEWS, October 2011

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Georgia Ag - October 2011  

Georgia Ag - October 2011 Edition

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