Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members
State Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Walker III and House Agriculture Chairman Robert Dickey hosted the 2021 Ag Issues Summit in Perry Georgia on August 31st. The packed room of attendees heard updates from leading industry experts regarding issues impacting agribusinesses today as well as discussions about future policy priorities on the state and national level.

The Georgia Agribusiness Council was proud to sponsor and help coordinate the event. We would like to congratulate the two Chairmen for a successful and impactful event in their first years serving in their new roles.
In a policy environment that is rapidly changing, supporting state political leaders that understand and support Agribusiness has never been more important than it is today.

The Georgia Agribusiness Council was created for the purpose of advocating for agricultural interests in the legislative and regulatory arenas. This lofty initiative continues to get harder and harder each election cycle. In our efforts to advance these activities, the Council formed the Georgia AgPAC several years ago that utilizes member's donations to:

* Financially support the campaigns of political candidates who are supportive of agriculture;
* Educating elected officials and key decision makers on issues important to agribusiness;
* Advocacy of issues that advance our industry and rural communities

We ask for your financial support so that we can continue to fight on behalf of Georgia agribusiness interests. Campaign contributions from Georgia AgPAC is restricted to non-federal candidates in races for legislative and statewide offices. Georgia AgPAC needs your contribution to advance this initiative. 

Your corporate or personal commitment will help us prepare today. All donations are welcome. Please call our office at 706-336-6830 or click here to download the donation form to be a partner in this effort. 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will ban the use on food crops of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which activist groups have claimed has been linked to health problems in children. Corteva Inc, the world's largest manufacturer of the chemical, in 2020 said it would stop producing chlorpyrifos because of declining sales.

Farmers, food processors, and pesticide manufacturers are scrambling to figure out how to comply with the EPA’s recent decision to forbid in food any trace of a pesticide that’s already been sprayed on crops, CropLife America’s CEO told Bloomberg Law.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in issuing the chlorpyrifos decision Aug. 18, bucked its normal practice of working with pesticide makers and farmers to phase out the uses of pesticide and then cut the amount that’s allowed on food.

Its final rule revokes in six months all legally allowable amounts, or “tolerances,” to achieve its goal of “ending the use of chlorpyrifos on food.” 
Harvest Celebration is the focal event of the year for agribusiness in Georgia. The evening unites leaders from every agriculture sector and corner of the state in a festive salute to the industry. Tickets and table sponsorships can be purchased online or by calling the GAC office. The cut-off date to be listed in the Harvest Celebration program as a ticket purchaser or a table sponsor is Monday, October 18. Harvest Celebration will be hosted by the GAC Foundation, the 501(c)3 partner of the Georgia Agribusiness Council. Your contributions will directly benefit initiatives that support agriculture education, research, leadership develop, and agriculture policy studies. Can't attend, but still want to support the GAC Foundation? We're accepting Silent Auction and Field of Dreams donations!
For ticket or donation questions, call the GAC Office at
706-336-6830 or email Maggie Wooten
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that the continuing national emergency warrants extension of the expanded modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 through November 30, 2021, for livestock, feed, food and fuel; however, it excludes farm supplies. 

The extension and amendment of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19 and is limited to transportation of:
  • livestock and livestock feed;
  • medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
  • vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19;
  • supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants;
  • food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;
  • gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol; and
  • supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency).
Last week, the House passed the fiscal year 2022 budget resolution calling for the spending of $3.5 trillion over 10 years. The vote was 220 to 212, along party lines.

Nine Democrats, referred to by some in Washington as the “Mod Squad”, had earlier threatened to vote down the budget resolution unless their demands were met regarding both the resolution and the bipartisan infrastructure framework, or “BIF”. A compromise between the group and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resulted in an agreement to consider the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on the House floor by September 27.

While the resolution allows for up to $3.5 trillion in spending, the next month will be spent working out the details of exactly how that money should be spent – including strengthening the social safety net and investing in climate change solutions. But Republicans remain staunchly opposed to the increase in spending, arguing that the Democrats’ plan will increase inflation, and that they will continue to look for ways to trim the final price tag.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is updating the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for contract producers of eligible livestock and poultry and producers of specialty crops and other sales-based commodities.

“We listened to feedback and concerns from producers and stakeholders about the gaps in pandemic assistance, and these adjustments to CFAP 2 help address unique circumstances, provide flexibility and make the program more equitable for all producers,” said Farm Service Agency Administrator, Zach Ducheneaux.

The changes mean contract producers can now elect to use eligible revenue from the period of Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 27, 2018, instead of that date range in 2019 if it is more representative. This change is intended to provide flexibility and make the program more equitable for contract producers who had reduced revenue in 2019 compared to a normal production year. The difference in revenue is then multiplied by 80% to determine a final payment.

USDA is also amending the CFAP 2 payment calculation for sales-based commodities, which are primarily comprised of by specialty crops, to allow producers to substitute 2018 sales for 2019 sales. Grass seed has also been added as an eligible sales commodity for CFAP 2.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh announced the establishment of a $400 million Dairy Donation Program (DDP) on a call with Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow. The DDP, established by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, aims to facilitate timely dairy product donations while reducing food waste.

The establishment of DDP is part of $6 billion of pandemic assistance USDA announced in March and follows last week’s announcement of $350 million Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program for dairy farmers on August 19. It is the second part of an over $2 billion comprehensive package to help the dairy industry recover from the pandemic and improve or establish programs to make it more resilient to future challenges.

Under the DDP, eligible dairy organizations will partner with non-profit feeding organizations that distribute food to individuals and families in need. Those partnerships may apply for and receive reimbursements to cover some expenses related to eligible dairy product donations. DDP was inspired in part by the donations made by Michigan Milk Producers Association in conjunction with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in response to the Flint water crisis.
On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency found that three commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides were “likely to adversely affect” thousands of endangered species and critical habitats.
Clothianidin, Imidacloprid, and Thiamethoxam are all common ingredients in corn, soybean, wheat or cottonseed treatments. In January 2020, EPA had granted interim registration decisions for all three, but those registrations were not finalized until the completion of these draft biological evaluations.

According to DTN Progressive Farmer, these findings don't guarantee that label or use changes need to be made to protect those species or habitats.

"EPA must make an LAA [likely to adversely affect] finding if it finds any likely adverse effects -- regardless of whether the effects may have broader implications for the species' conservation or recovery," the agency explained in a posted Q&A on its website. "For example, the likelihood of harm to even one bird of a species that exceeds 40,000 individuals is enough to trigger LAA. This is true even if the species' status is improving or near recovery."

Now EPA will work with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to decide if additional changes need to be made to these insecticides' labels or registrations to protect any of the affected species.

Bayer, which sells both imidacloprid and clothianidin, two of the neonics assessed, told Agri-Pulse “remains convinced of the safety of its neonicotinoid insecticides when used according to label instructions” and also called the BE’s “only one part of the complex, in-depth US registration review; as such, it is important to view these conclusions within the broader context of the regulatory process.”
Beginning February 7, 2022, most new commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers will be required to go through important training before they can obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Based on a Congressional mandate to improve safety by requiring training for new CDL holders, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations will require anyone who has never held a CDL to undergo Entry Level Driver Training (EDLT) before they can move from a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) to a full CDL.

Current CDL holders wishing to upgrade their license by moving from a Class B to a Class A license for a Hazardous Materials endorsement, must also go through a specific training curriculum.

Drivers who hold a CLP prior to February 7 are not required to go through ELDT as long as they successfully convert to a full CDL before the CLP expires. Drivers who previously held CDLs but who have let them lapse are not required to go through ELDT to get a new CDL and return to driving.

Depending on the class of vehicle and the required endorsements, drivers will take customized Theory and the Behind the Wheel training to improve their understanding of safe CMV operations and make them safer as they begin their new driving responsibilities. Theory Training topics range from basic operations to handling dangerous roadway conditions and reporting vehicle malfunctions. To complete the training, driver applicants must successfully pass a written evaluation. Behind the Wheel training will include instruction in many areas of CMV operations and can take place on both a training range and actual roadways. Although it will not take the place of a skills test conducted by State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA), driver applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in all areas to complete the training.

FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) will be the hub for this new safety-focused requirement. Organizations wanting to provide the required ELDT must register themselves on the TPR. Driver applicants seeking to locate classes, will use the TPR to find the best provider to fit their needs. State Driver Licensing Agencies will be required to check the TPR to make sure a driver applicant has completed ELDT before they can either let the driver take the in-vehicle skills test to get a CDL or add the covered endorsement.
You can find more details about the requirements that become effective on February 7, 2022 at FMCSA’s Website Click Here
GAC is also proud to announce the release of the William C. "Bill" Baisley "Sumpin' Big" Scholarship applications for 2021. This $1000 scholarship is offered up to three students in need of financial assistance studying for an agricultural career at a college in Georgia. Mr. Baisley, longtime friend of GAC and Director Emeritus on our board of directors, has a passion for the future of agriculture and those looking to advance it. Bill used the phrase “sumpin big” as a way to move ideas forward. We honor him with this scholarship and look forward to helping a student that is moving our industry forward. Please share this scholarship application with a college student or high school senior in Georgia needing financial assistance and studying in the areas of agriculture or natural resources. The scholarship application is due postmarked to the GAC office on or before October 12, 2021. 

GAC started the Dr. Joe B. Crane Memorial Classroom Grant Program to deliver grant funds directly to teachers for ag education projects. It is named for longtime GAC Director and education program advocate Dr. Joe B. Crane of Valdosta. Dr. Joe was an integral part of the Lowndes County Board of Education and carried his passion for education wherever he went. We are proud to support this program that gives Georgia teachers the chance to creatively teach agriculture in their classroom. Any public or private school teacher in Georgia, no matter the grade level, wanting to incorporate the importance of agriculture in their lesson plans can take advantage of this opportunity for assistance in the classroom to help educate the future generation of Georgians. The applications are due postmarked to the GAC office by October 10, 2021.
Bagwell Insurance Group, Inc.
Beaver Creek Plantation
Brooksco Dairy, LLC
Camp Family Farms LLC
Carroll EMC
DeWitt Produce Co. Inc.
Doerun Gin Co. Inc.
Georgia Cotton Commission
Georgia Development Authority
Georgia Power
Georgia Young Farmers Association
Hattaway Farms Partnership
International Forest Company, Inc.
Jones Cork, LLP
Kelley Manufacturing Co.
Market Grocery Company
Mercier Orchards
Mixon Seed Services Inc.
Mobley Greenhouses, Inc.
SafEnvirons, Inc.
Striplings General Store - Bogart GA
Superior Pine Products Co.
The Turfgrass Group, Inc.
USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
WDairy LLC

Ag Technologies LLC dba Vantage Southeast 
AgSouth Services, Inc.
Bay Branch Farms, Inc.
C. M. Tanner Grocery Co. Inc.
Coley Gin & Fertilizer Co.
Cotton Partners LLC
Cromartie Agricultural Chemicals Inc.
CSA Farms, Inc.
Curry Farm Supply Inc.
Drexel Chemical Co.
Durden Banking Co. Inc.
Embry Farm Service/ Embry Transport
Emanuel Peanut & Grain LLC
Esparza Enterprises, Inc.
Farmer's Best Fertilizer
G & H Harvesting Inc.
Garcia Family Harvesting, Inc.
GA Assoc. of County Agricultural Agents
Georgia Christmas Tree Association
Georgia Food Bank Association Inc.
Georgia Seed Association Inc.
Georgia Vocational Ag Teacher Association
Greene County Fertilizer Co.
Greg Leger Farms, LLC
Greg Sikes Farm, LLC
H. T. McLendon Co.
Hazel Creek Cider, Inc. / Yearwood Farms, Inc.
Hulsey Farm Service
Israel Farm Supply, Inc.
Joe Boddiford Farms
L. R. Land & Cattle Company, Inc.
Leatherbrook Holsteins LLC
Lenox Peanut Company
Longbridge Peanut Co.
McCorkle Nurseries, Inc.
McIntyre Golf Development
Moultrie Colquitt County Development Authority 
Northeast Georgia Livestock
Oglethorpe Power Corporation
Patrick Family Farms
Peebles Timber, Inc.
Quality Gin, Inc.
Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc
Sconyers Gin & Warehouse Co.
South Georgia Produce, Inc.
Southern AGCOM Inc.
Southern Seed Company, Inc.
Swainsboro Stockyard
Sweetbay Farm, LLC
Sylvania Peanut Co. Inc.
The Satsuma Company, LLC
Three Brothers Trucking, LLC
Vidalia Onion Business Council
West Georgia Processing, Inc.

Special thanks to all of our Star Sponsors. Please call our office at 706-336-6830 for details. Thank you!
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This information is intended for members of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Inc. No part of this document shall be copied, edited, or redistributed in any form without express written consent from the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Inc.
Georgia Agribusiness Council | 706-336-6830 | WWW.GA-AGRIBUSINESS.ORG