April 8, 2015 www.gfb.org Vol. 33 No. 14 GFB HONORS LIVESTOCK SHOW GRAND CHAMPIONS Georgia Farm Bureau hosted a dinner on April 3 for the eight grand champion winners from the State 4-H & FFA Market Goat and Lamb Show held last fall and the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held in February, handing out $17,000 in prize checks and copies of Max Lucado's book “One God, One Plan, One Life.” Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chairman David Cromley welcomed the eight grand champions, their families and guests to the GFB auditorium in Macon. Georgia Ag Education Program Manager Chip Bridges thanked GFB for its work to sustain youth programs like the livestock shows and discussed the importance of continuing student agricultural programs. Georgia 4-H Leader Arch Smith spoke on the importance of the students' support teams, including parents, FFA advisors and 4-H agents. The students were shown videos from the Georgia Farm Monitor’s coverage of the livestock shows, as well as a video message from Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. More than 80 people attended the event. Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall shared his thoughts on the grand champions, whom he encouraged to embrace their role as leaders and mentor their fellow competitors. “You’ve won a championship and that makes you a leader,” Duvall said. “Y’all have so many exciting days ahead of you, and you’ll have influence over those who look up to you and are following you.” Smith and Bridges presented Duvall with a framed collection of photos of the grand champions with their animals. The collage will be hung in the GFB Room of Champions at the organization’s office in Macon. The grand champions are: Jacob Collins (Houston County, Grand Champion Breeding Heifer, 2015 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show); Maddie Dean (Grand Champion Market Steer, 2015 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show); Payton Jackson (Banks County, Grand Champion Market Doe, 2014 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat and Lamb Show); Chase Roberts (Grand Champion Market Wether, 2014 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat and Lamb Show); Ansley Ruff (Elbert County, Grand Champion Market Lamb, 2014 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat and Lamb Show, and Grand Champion Breeding Ewe, 2015 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show); Monica Schaapman (Wilcox County, Grand Champion Commercial Dairy Heifer, 2015 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show); Gavin Wright (Houston County, Grand Champion Market Barrow, 2015 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show) and Jessie Youngblood (Coffee County, Grand Champion Market Gilt, 2015 Georgia Junior National Livestock Show). GFB News Alert page 2 of 9 GEORGIA CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION HOLDS CONVENTION, BEEF EXPO The Georgia Cattlemen’s Association held its 54th Annual Convention and 18th Annual Georgia Beef Expo April 1-4 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter. The multifaceted event included Zoetis Cattle College educational sessions, three different livestock sales and numerous networking and social opportunities. The Georgia Beef Expo featured more than 100 exhibitors, and the convention drew more than 800 visitors. Western Kentucky University Animal Science Professor Dr. Nevil Speer led the convention’s livestock marketing seminar. Noting that 2014 was an extremely good year to be in the cattle business, Speer said a similar price run in 2015 is unlikely but that prices would remain strong, with some volatility. “We’re probably going to see more ebb and flow this year, and I think we all need to be prepared for that,” Speer said. Kevin Oschner, host of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association show “Cattlemen to Cattlemen,” gave the luncheon address on April 2, comparing life to an auction. Oschner said success at auctions comes down to recognizing opportunities, assessing the competitive landscape, making strategic decisions and taking action. “I think we have some tremendous opportunities in the beef industry,” Oschner said. Clemson University Extension Beef Specialist Dr. Matthew Burns led simulated calving demonstrations. On April 4 Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall was part of the Zoetis Cattle College Hot Topics Roundtable, along with State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb and Van McCall of AgSouth Farm Credit. For the fourth straight year the Georgia Forages Conference was held in conjunction with the GCA Convention, offering educational sessions on fertilization, selecting and establishing forage crops, hay management and storage and weed and pest control. UGA graduate student Chris Johnston presented information about problem weeds and what to do about them, covering herbicide applications that have been effective against pigweed, dog fennel, thistle, smut grass and others. Johnston noted that many herbicides have haying and grazing restrictions and emphasized the importance of checking the labels before use. UGA Entomologist Dr. Will Hudson discussed strategies for dealing with several insects, particularly fall armyworms, which were especially bad in 2014. According to Hudson, the armyworms winter in Florida and drift north with weather fronts, and their infestations are made worse in years when there is little rainfall. The worms consume the green leaves of grass, resulting in a brownish look to fields they infest. GFB News Alert page 3 of 9 REP. HICE TOURS WASHINGTON COUNTY AGRICULTURE Rep. Jody Hice (R-10th District) visited Washington County on April 1 for a first-hand look at the county’s agriculture. Hice’s visit, organized by Washington County Farm Bureau (WCFB), included stops at one of the farm sites run by James, Jonathan, Jennifer and Waylon Hitchcock, and cattle and grain sites that are part of Veal Farms, run by Amber and Cale Veal. The tour closed with a forum at the WCFB Agricenter, where area farmers and agribusiness stakeholders voiced their concerns about federal policies. At the Hitchcock barn, where the Hitchcocks store farm equipment and host events, the Hitchcocks and WCFB President Sidney Law talked to Hice about the proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule from the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, detailed their experiences while enrolling in 2014 farm bill crop insurance programs and shared their views on the federal estate tax. While at the Hitchcock farm site, James Hitchcock took Hice for a ride in the farm’s sprayer. The Hitchcocks grow corn and cotton and raise livestock on a total of 1,300 acres. Amber Veal talked with Rep. Hice and Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall about her family’s cattle operation, leading a ride through a pasture to see some of the family’s herd and then to one of the Veals’ fields of wheat. The Veals also run a trucking company. Veal emphasized to Hice that because farm inputs like water, herbicides and pesticides are costly, farmers pay great attention to how and when they use those resources. “Agriculture is one of the biggest aspects of Georgia’s economy,” Hice said. “It’s the heart and soul of it really. Farmers are facing some real challenges these days. It costs an enormous amount of money to be productive as a farmer and there are an enormous amount of challenges and obstacles for them, everything from financing their equipment to the weather.” At the WCFB Agricenter, WCFB Women’s Committee Chair Rabun Waller, speaking on behalf of the Washington County Cattlemen’s Association, voiced concerns over federal dietary standards and the diminishing role of lean meat in those standards. Duvall voiced GFB’s position on a number of federal-level issues. Duvall emphasized that Georgia agriculture is extremely dependent on migrant labor, noting that the organization is opposed to stand-alone legislation that would make E-verify use mandatory. Duvall expressed support for permanent IRS Section 179 small business expensing tax exemptions at $500,000, as well as support for a permanent repeal of federal estate tax. He also emphasized that overreaching federal regulations under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Endangered Species Act are posing serious threats to private property rights. Georgia Farm Bureau National Affairs Specialist Tas Smith discussed the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule, detailing the “Ditch the Rule” campaign by American Farm Bureau Federation on the national level and GFB on the state level. Smith noted that the EPA used taxpayer funds to counter “Ditch the Rule” with a campaign to defend the proposed rule. Smith pointed out that the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are moving forward with plans to finalize the rule this spring, which would lead to agricultural interests placing more emphasis on legislative remedies, including the current budget negotiations in Congress for Fiscal Year 2016. The proposed rule was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget on April 3 for review. GFB News Alert page 4 of 9 GEORGIA PECANS PARTNER WITH SCHWINN IN BIKE GIVEAWAYS The Georgia Pecan Growers Association is partnering with Schwinn Bicycles for the biggest cross-promotional partnership in the history of Georgia Pecans, according to a joint press release. The promotion began April 1 and runs through September 30 with monthly giveaways of Schwinn bicycles, helmets, locks and Georgia pecans. The Georgia Pecans/Schwinn promotion was planned to coincide with National Pecan Month in April and National Bike Month in May. In addition, the partners will be represented together at the Produce Marketing Association Convention in October. The Georgia Pecans/Schwinn Sweepstakes will be promoted in a variety of ways, including on video screens in New York's Times Square. Support will include print advertising, on-pack stickers on pecan packages, social media and Schwinn cross-promotional support. The promotion will also be heavily supported by the Georgia Grown campaign, which represents the statewide interests of Georgia agriculture. Consumers can enter the Georgia Pecans/Schwinn Sweepstakes by visiting www.georgiapecan.org/entry-form.da. NASS: PEANUTS, SOYBEANS SET FOR BIG ACREAGE INCREASES Georgia peanut and soybean growers are expected to significantly increase acreage in 2015 according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Prospective Plantings report, released March 31. The acreage estimates in the Prospective Plantings Report are based primarily on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March. The state’s peanut growers are expected to bump acreage up by 20 percent, from 600,000 in 2014 to 720,000 in 2015. That’s part of an anticipated 9 percent nationwide increase to 1.48 million acres. Soybean planting is expected to expand in 2015 to 370,000 acres, which is a 23 percent increase over the state’s 300,000 acres of soybeans in 2014. Georgia corn planting is expected to decline for the second straight year, from 350,000 acres in 2014 to 305,000 acres in 2015. The state’s cotton growers are expected to plant 1.1 million acres in 2015, a 20 percent reduction from 1.38 million acres in 2014. Georgia’s planted hay acreage is anticipated to decrease by three percent, from 580,000 acres in 2014 to a forecast of 560,000 acres in 2015. The state’s tobacco growers, who planted 15,000 acres in tobacco in 2014, are anticipated to plant 12,500 acres in 2015, which would represent a 17 percent decline. Georgia’s wheat acreage is expected to increase by 10 percent, from 300,000 acres in 2014 to 330,000 acres in 2015. GFB News Alert page 5 of 9 TYSON CLOSING ONE SOUTH GA PLANT, CUTTING A SHIFT AT ANOTHER As part of ongoing efforts to increase efficiencies of its poultry business in Georgia, Tyson Foods plans to discontinue operations at its Buena Vista plant in Marion County at the end of May, according to a company press release. In addition, the company will no longer run a third shift at its Dawson plant in Terrell County beginning April 10. These decisions will affect approximately 190 people who work at the Buena Vista location and about 70 people at the Dawson location. The planned Buena Vista closure is due to a combination of factors including changing product needs, the age of the facility and the prohibitive cost of its renovation, the release said. In January, the company announced that it is making a significant investment in its Vienna location in Dooly County and changing the focus of its production. The expansion project in Vienna will add more than 700 jobs when it’s completed mid-year, the press release said. The company indicated that it will work with state officials to ensure affected employees are informed about unemployment benefits and any potential re-training opportunities. GEORGIA VEGETABLE GROWERS APPROVE NEW MARKETING ORDER The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Vegetables (ACCV) marketing order was approved in a referendum held during March, according to a Georgia Department of Agriculture press release, with 92 percent of ballots in favor of the new assessment. For a marketing order referendum to be valid, at least 25 percent of the ballots sent to eligible growers must be submitted as votes. The new marketing order replaces the marketing order that failed to pass in a 2014 referendum due to a lack of returns. An assessment of one cent ($0.01) per marketing unit will apply to producers who grow more than 50 combined acres annually of the specified vegetables. Crops included in the new marketing order for vegetables are bell peppers, specialty peppers, beans, broccoli, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, greens, squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes produced for sale on the fresh market. The new marketing order takes effect on May 1 and is valid for three years. According to the GDA release, it is the vegetable growers’ responsibility to see that the assessment is paid or is taken out of settlement of vegetables sold. Assessment funds received by the ACCV are used for research, education and promotion. GFB News Alert page 6 of 9 GEORGIA PEANUT COMMISSION REFERENDUM The Georgia Peanut Commission is accepting ballots in its reaffirmation referendum. Voting continues through April 15. State law mandates that a referendum be held every three years. Georgia peanut producers invest $2 per ton to fund the commission and its research, education, promotion and communication programs. The last referendum in 2012 passed with an 87.6 percent reaffirmation. Individuals who receive a ballot but are no longer farming are asked to write, “no longer producing” on the certification envelope and return it to the commission. This will assist the commission in updating its mailing list. The commission’s address is P.O. Box 967, Tifton, GA 31793. Peanut producers should contact the GPC 229-386-3470 for information about the referendum or to obtain a ballot. UGA EXTENSION, USDA GRANT-WRITING WORKSHOPS April 15 Gwinnett Technical College 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Lawrenceville April 23 Fort Valley State University 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Fort Valley The process of applying for federal grants can be daunting, but extra funding can help farmers diversify their farms or make them more sustainable or profitable. UGA Extension is working with the USDA to host two workshops to help farmers apply for grants through the USDA’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion programs. The workshops are free to attend but there is a limit of 50 participants per workshop. Visit http://georgiafaces.caes.uga.edu/?public=viewStory&pk_id=5404 for more information. PAULDING COUNTY FARM BUREAU FARMERS MARKET Thursdays April 16-Nov. 20 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Paulding County High School Paulding County Farm Bureau is accepting vendors for its weekly farmers market that will be held each Thursday from April 16 to Nov. 20. There is no fee to participate but vendors must be Farm Bureau members so the market qualifies as a Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market. If you would like to participate in the PCFB Farmers Market, please contact Tracy Grice at Paulding County Farm Bureau at 770-445-6681 or email her at [email protected] Vendors may sell locally grown produce or other ag commodities or homemade crafts. PCFB is teaming up with the Paulding County High School this year to host the market in the north parking lot of the school located at 1297 Villa Rica Hwy., Dallas, Ga. 30132. HINESVILLE FARMERS’ MARKET Thursdays until Nov. 19 4-7 p.m. Downtown Hinesville This market, sponsored by Liberty County Farm Bureau, offers customers fresh local produce and other farm items, cut flowers, plants, baked goods, specialty foods, prepared foods, and original crafts. Market is held in Bradwell Park on Commerce St. across from the Hinesville City Hall. To apply to be a vendor or for more information call the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority at 912-877-4332. GFB News Alert page 7 of 9 SHIELDS-ETHRIDGE HERITAGE FARM CULTIVATORS’ MARKET April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19, Oct. 17 Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 2355 Ethridge Rd. Jefferson Jackson County Farm Bureau (JCFB) is sponsoring this monthly open-air market that will allow local farmers and entrepreneurs to sell products they make or grow in a festival atmosphere. The market will include live music, games and exhibitions of farming practices to entertain and educate visitors as they shop. Each month’s market will have a different theme. Market will be held rain or shine. Please leave pets at home. The Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm is an outdoor ag museum that functions as an educational and interpretative facility. The farm is unique for its collection of intact historic buildings that exist in their original location and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Proceeds from the market will be used for restoration projects at the farm. Vendors will be selected based on quality and originality of product according to the theme of homesteading practices. If you are interested in having a booth at the market, contact JCFB Office Manager Denise Temple at [email protected] or call 706-367-8877 or visit www.shieldsethridgefarminc.com to complete an application online. NEWTON COUNTY AG DAY ON THE SQUARE April 18 On the Square 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Covington This event, sponsored by the Newton County Farm Bureau Young Farmers, features a modern and antique tractor show and lots of family fun. For more information, contact NCFB Office Manager Crystal Powell at 770-786-7201. UGA HEIFER EVALUATION & REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT (HERD) SALE April 21 Tifton Bull Evaluation Center 2:30 p.m. Irwinville For more information contact Dr. Jacob Segers at 229-386-3214 or by email at [email protected] or Patsie T. Cannon at 229-386-3683 or by email at [email protected] USDA CONDUCTING SORGHUM REFERENDUM The USDA is conducting a referendum regarding the continuation of the Sorghum Checkoff Program through April 21. Ballots may be obtained in person, by mail or facsimile at county FSA offices or via the Internet. Any eligible person engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2014, is eligible to participate. Individuals are required to provide documentation such as a sales receipt or remittance form that shows they engaged in the production or importation of sorghum. The assessment is 0.006 cents per $100 of sorghum sold. Sorghum grown for on-farm use is not subject to the assessment. For more information, contact USDA Marketing Specialist Craig Shackelford at 3470-315-4246; [email protected] Procedures and additional information about the referendum can be found at: www.ams.usda.gov/SorghumReferendum. 38TH ANNUAL VIDALIA ONION FESTIVAL April 23-26 Various locations Vidalia This festival celebrating Georgia’s official state vegetable includes an air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Miss Vidalia Onion Pageant, country band Lonestar in concert, the Golden Onion professional chef competition, the Vidalia Onion Recipe Contest and much more. For more information visit www.vidaliaonionfestival.com. GFB News Alert page 8 of 9 16TH ANNUAL PANHANDLE FARM MULE DAY April 25 Panhandle Farm 9 a.m. Reynolds The heritage of breaking farmland with mules comes to life for the whole family to enjoy at this free event. Various mule clubs and individuals will give live mule plowing demonstrations. Antique engines, tractors and implements will also be on display. A local church will sell lunch and refreshments. Event includes live entertainment. Take GA Hwy. 128 west out of Roberta to Hwy. 137, turn right onto Hwy. 137, then left onto Milton Lowe Road and follow signs to farm. For more information call Steve Montgomery at 478-837-1044. GA COTTON WOMEN TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR COTTON SCHOLARSHIPS May 1 Deadline to apply The John M. and Connie H. Mobley Memorial Scholarship is presented to the child or grandchild of an active Georgia cotton producer. The $1,500 scholarship will be payable onethird each quarter or one-half each semester. The Georgia Cotton Women Scholarship is presented annually to the child or grandchild of a Georgia cotton producer or a cotton industry employee. This $1,500 scholarship is also payable one-third each quarter or one-half each semester. The Georgia Cotton Women Scholarship is funded through the sales of the organization’s two cookbooks, Georgia Cotton Heritage Cookbook and the newly-released Cooking in High Cotton. Applicants for both scholarships must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and must maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average to receive the scholarship the following term. Applications are available at www.georgiacottonwomen.org. For more information email Nancy Coleman at [email protected] or call 229-941-2930. GEORGIA OLIVE PRODUCERS ANNUAL MEETING AND CONFERENCE May 14 The Threatte Center 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Lakeland This meeting will provide a wide range of information to growers and potential new growers from researchers, support industries and government agencies working in the expansion of the olive oil industry in Georgia and the Southeastern U.S. Registration is $75 for members and $150 for non-members. Event includes a farm tour and a silent auction to support UGA olive research. A pre-conference supper will be held Wednesday night that is $50. To register, visit http://georgiaolivegrowers.com. For more information contact Vicki Hughes at 229-300-9931 or [email protected] 2015 YOUNG HARRIS/UGA BEEKEEPING INSTITUTE May 14-16 Young Harris College 8 a.m. each day Young Harris This event, one of the most comprehensive beekeeping educational events in the Southeast, offers classes for beekeepers at all levels of experience and the annual honey show. May 14 is dedicated training and certification exams for journeymen and master beekeeper qualifications, as well as the Welsh honey judge training, the first licensing program for honey judges in North America. May 15 and 16 provide training and certification, including individual and colony biology, pathogens and parasites, and much more. Registration fee for ages 18 and older is $130 for May 15, $110 for May 16 and $220 for both days. For ages 17 and under, fees are $65 for May 15, $55 for May 16 and $110 for both days. Two-day registration and additional fees apply for advanced courses and exams on May 16. Space is limited and classes generally fill up quickly. For more information, visit www.ent.uga.edu/Bees/young-harris/index.html. GFB News Alert page 9 of 9 CALHOUN BEEF CATTLE REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP May 26 NW GA Research & Education Center 6 p.m. Calhoun For more information contact Jason Duggin at 706-624-1403 or [email protected] or Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or via email at [email protected] UGA HEIFER EVALUATION & REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT (HERD) SALE May 27 NW GA Research & Education Center 12:30 p.m. Calhoun For more information contact Jason Duggin at 706-624-1403 or via email at [email protected] or Phil Worley at 706-624-1398 or via email at [email protected] ROCKDALE COUNTY FARMERS MARKET Beginning June 6 Tuesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. – noon, Thursdays 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Rockdale County Extension office, 1400 Parker Road Conyers Rockdale/DeKalb County Farm Bureau manages this market with support from the Rockdale County Extension, set up to allow farmers to sell locally grown products directly to the public. Farmers wishing to participate can sign up at the Rockdale/DeKalb Farm Bureau office. Vendors must be current Farm Bureau members in order to participate. For more information or to receive a vendor application contact RDCFB Office Manager Susanne Bell at [email protected] or call 770-922-3566. NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION WORKSHOP June 7-11 Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Tifton The camp, for rising 10th, 11th and 12th-grade students with a desire to learn more about Georgia’s natural resources and the opportunities and responsibilities these resources provide, focuses on the value, protection and conservation of Georgia’s wildlife, forestry, soil and water resources. Tuition is $150 for students who register by May 1 and $175 for those who register after May 1. The deadline to register is May 28. Georgia natural resources experts in a variety of fields will lead classroom and field trip activities to help interested young people learn the basic principles and the responsible use of natural resources. For more information, visit www.abac.edu/nrcw or contact your local office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division or UGA Cooperative Extension Service.
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