Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members

September 2022

AgOutlook is the monthly online publication of the Georgia Agribusiness Council. For information about what is going on within the GAC as well as updates on agribusiness topics of interests, read below. As always, please feel free to contact the GAC staff at any time. Contact information can be found at


GAC was proud to join several stakeholder groups to sponsor the Joint Agriculture Committee Chairmen's Ag Issues Summit that took place on Tuesday, August 30 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds. This annual meeting is hosted by both the Chairman of the House and Senate Agriculture Committee to review measures that were taken over the last legislative session as well as to discuss issues that the industry is currently facing.

While this meeting sees between 100-150 participants, this year was an incredible showing with around 300 people that came to hear updates on the industry. This attendance shows the importance of our industry as well as the number of issues that we are facing. Both Chairman Robert Dickey and Chairman Larry Walker, III spoke about the wins of the previous session, and acknowledged the difficulties that producers and agribusinesses are forced to overcome. Speakers from UGA, GA Department of Ag, USDA, EPD, and other ag related organizations spoke to the group as well.

GAC is proud to be a host sponsor for a meeting of this caliber, and it takes a step in the right direction to keep Agribusiness at the forefront. 


Rail carriers and labor unions have yet to reach an agreement on a new labor contract. While negotiations are ongoing, the deadline for agreement is Friday, September 16th. If no agreement is reached by that time freight rail in the U.S. will shut down.


Additionally, sensitive cargo is already being removed from the rail system, including ammonia.


Congress has the power to avert a shut down and in the past has acted when necessary.


Fertilizer is heavily reliant on rail service. During a time of deep market uncertainty, the last thing our industry and economy needs is a key logistical avenue shut off.


Click here to quickly and easily email your members of Congress and urge them to take action to avert a rail shut down and to resume shipments of ammonia.


For more information, contact TFI Senior Director of Government Affairs Justin Louchheim.

Take Action


GAC President Will Bentley joined the Georgia Chamber for their annual fly-in in Washington DC this week. Bentley moderated an agriculture based discussion panel with U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and Senate Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. The Senators discussed the committee’s work on the upcoming Farm Bill, inflation, agriculture labor, trade, and other important ag issues with the group. 


Information Provided by Maria M. Lameiras - UGA Newswire

A new partnership between the University of Georgia and Hall County Schools opens courses in UGA’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES) to qualified high school students from the North Georgia district.

Through the CAES-Ivester Rising Scholars Program (CAES-IRSP), Hall County high school students attending the Howard E. Ivester Early College (IEC), a dual enrollment campus in Gainesville, Georgia, are attending classes at UGA’s Athens campus for both high school and college credits. High school students in the Hall County School District must apply and be accepted to IEC and meet admission requirements for UGA to participate.

“As a land-grant institution, the University of Georgia is always looking for ways to strengthen our state’s agriculture industry,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I am grateful to the Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation for supporting the CAES-Ivester Rising Scholars Program, which encourages more young people to study subjects that will benefit this vital sector of Georgia’s economy.”

Both the Howard E. Ivester Early College and CAES-Ivester Rising Scholars Program have received support from the Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation.

Doug Ivester, a former executive of the Coca-Cola Company and 1969 UGA business graduate, is a native of Hall County and director of the foundation, which donated $2.4 million in 2019 to name the Hall County School District’s early college program for his father, the late Howard E. Ivester.

“I couldn’t be prouder of any program. We’ve got a lot of things going on in Hall County, and as far as I’m concerned, this is the star,” Ivester said.

Ivester recently presented Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield with an additional $100,000 to support Ivester Early College and $50,000 to promote the CAES-Ivester Rising Scholars Program.

Emphasizing the increasing role of technology in agricultural and environmental sciences, CAES Dean and Director Nick T. Place has encouraged the IEC students selected for the inaugural CAES-IRSP cohort to serve as ambassadors to their fellow students.

“We believe that true learning is the kind that transforms industry and makes a meaningful difference for the world, and that happens when students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to the world,” said Place. “In the CAES-Ivester Rising Scholars Program, our goal is to not only make an impact on the lives of the students who are part of this, but also to increase the interest and involvement of young people in agriculture.”

The first three students in the CAES-Ivester Rising Scholars Program — Cherokee Bluff High School senior Ayden Place, Flowery Branch High School senior Chloe Mootz and East Hall High School senior Walker Barrett — are currently enrolled in “Introductory Regenerative Bioscience” for the fall semester and will take “Animals in Society” in the spring semester, both 2000-level courses in the animal and dairy science department at CAES.

“When I learned about the new program with UGA, I knew I was interested. I have done a lot of work with animals, including volunteering at an animal hospital, where I saw surgeries performed, and through biology classes at IEC. I know I want to work with animals, and this gives me the opportunity to figure out future options for myself,” said Mootz.

Students receive transportation from Hall County to the UGA Athens campus for classes and also attend classes at IEC, where they receive study support and participate in workshops on college admissions, financial aid and strategies for college success.

UGA is the newest partner of IEC, which has also partnered with the University of North Georgia, Brenau University and Lanier Technical College since the early college program was founded in Hall County six years ago.

“When we started, we had 187 students in the inaugural class of the early college program, and last year we had almost 1,000,” Schofield said. “Half of the students who matriculate at Ivester Early College are first-generation college students — hundreds of students who never thought, dreamed or imagined postsecondary education was in their future.”

Place believes the CAES-Ivester Rising Scholars Program will serve as a pilot for additional programs CAES may develop with Hall County Schools and Ivester Early College. “We hope to introduce students to higher education in a way that really empowers them and enables them to find success,” Place said. “It’s critical that we invest in young people, invest in the next generation of leaders in the agricultural and environmental sectors, and in society overall.”

Join us as we celebrate and support the GAC Foundation at the 47th annual Harvest Celebration at our NEW LOCATION! 

 Location: Classic Center • Athens, GA

 Date: Friday, November 18

 Schedule: Silent Auction & Field of Dreams Reception, 5:30pm • Dinner, 7:30pm • Entertainment, 9:00pm

Dress: Cocktail Attire

Host Hotels: 

Hyatt Place • 706/425-1800 • Book Here

 To receive the group discount, use code “G-HRV2”

Book by October 18th for group rate

Hilton Garden Inn • 706/353-6800 • Book Here

Book by October 18th for group rate

For more information or question please call the GAC office at 706/336-6830 or email Rebekah McDowell.

Click Here to Order Tickets!

Thank you to our other table and ticket sponsors!

  • ABAC School of Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • AgAmerica Lending
  • AgGeorgia Farm Credit
  • AgSouth Farm Credit
  • Ameris Bank
  • Atlantic & Southern Equipment, LLC
  • Big Bend Agri-Services, Inc.
  • Brooksco Dairy
  • C. M. Tanner Grocery Co. Inc.
  • Cal-Maine Foods Inc.
  • Chestatee Chattahoochee RC&D Council Inc.
  • Corteva Agriscience
  • CNI
  • Dickey Farms Inc.
  • Farmers Exchange
  • Georgia Cattlemen's Association
  • Georgia Chamber of Commerce
  • Georgia Electric Membership Corporation
  • Georgia Federal-State Inspection Service, Inc.
  • Georgia FFA Foundation
  • Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center
  • Georgia Pecan Growers Association, Inc.
  • Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts
  • Georgia Plant Food Educational Society
  • Jackson EMC
  • L. L. Rogers and Son, Inc.
  • Lewis Taylor Farms, Inc.
  • Mar-Jac Poultry Inc.
  • McLendon Acres, Inc.
  • Newton Crouch Company
  • NG Turf, Inc.
  • North Georgia Technical College
  • Southeastern Minerals, Inc.
  • Southwest Georgia Farm Credit
  • Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition
  • Triangle Chemical Company
  • Triangle Insurance Company
  • UGA Innovation Gateway
  • Wooten Farms


In its September 2022 Farm Income Forecast, USDA’s Economic Research Service forecasts that net farm income will rise 5.2 percent in calendar year 2022 to $147.7 billion compared to 2021. 


Crop receipts are now estimated to jump by 15.3%, or $36.4 billion, led by an inflation-adjusted 23% increase in soybean revenue, a 10% increase in corn receipts and a 26% increase for wheat.

Sales of animals and animal products are forecast to skyrocket by 28.3%. Revenue from broilers is forecast up 48% this year, adjusted for inflation, while egg receipts are estimated to increase by nearly 67%. Dairy sector revenue is forecast to increase by 29%.


But farms will actually see their earnings lower this year compared to 2021 because of the combination of higher input costs and a decline in government payments due to the end of pandemic assistance and reduced disaster aid, according to USDA.

Farmers' debt-to-asset levels are expected to decline from 13.5% in 2021 to 12.9% in 2022. But working capital, which measures the amount of cash available to fund operating expenses after paying off debt due within 12 months, is expected to be 2.6% lower this year.


The Georgia Ag Labor Relations Forum returns to Tifton, GA, November 9-10, 2022, in a new location at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture. The annual forum provides 2 full days of updates and discussion for agricultural employers with regulators and leading experts from the ag labor industry. The format and design of the event allows ag employers, HR managers, and administrators to have active discussions on how to navigate the ever-evolving challenge of finding and maintaining a consistent workforce in a complex regulatory environment.


Chris Butts of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) noted the importance of the forum. “The forum presents ag employers with a unique opportunity to hear directly from regulators, fellow business owners, labor attorneys, and labor consultants. Our presenters are recognized leaders in helping employers understand complex compliance and regulatory issues. Ag employers use this information to provide safe and healthy work environments and to ensure they are meeting the needs of both domestic and guest workers. If the success of your ag business depends on a consistent and reliable workforce, this forum will help you in that quest.”


The conference is made possible by the support of groups representing the wide variety of food and fiber produced and processed by Georgia’s leading industry, Agriculture. “The partners that make this event possible are names we know and trust and represent a broad mix of industry segments. We are proud to partner with these organizations to bring this important information to all Georgians involved in Agriculture,” said Butts.

Register Here


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced an additional $21.9 million of funding is being awarded to 111 grant projects through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG), bringing total funding to $54.6 million. This year’s awards will fund projects in 37 states and will help strengthen and develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors throughout the United States.


USDA said facility improvements and expansions funded through MPIRG will help processors obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.


To further these efforts, AMS is also encouraging MPIRG awardees and eligible participants in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives to request assistance through the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA). Launched in March 2022, MPPTA connects participants to a nationwide network of resources and expertise.


AMS has cooperative agreements with six organizations to form the MPPTA network, which has already provided valuable assistance to over 300 businesses and organizations across the U.S. and its territories since its launch earlier this year.


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. We often tout ourselves as the #1 industry in the state, but our political giving lags behind most industries of much smaller sizes on a yearly basis. WE MUST CHANGE THIS IF WE EXPECT TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT OUR INDUSTRY IN THE FUTURE!

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. 

Want to be featured in the AgOutlook and GAC Social Media?

GAC wants to highlight all the great things our members are doing throughout the state! We are looking for participants in member or event spotlights. If you are interested, please email Maggie Wooten or call the office at 706/336-6830.


GAC is also proud to announce the release of the William C. "Bill" Baisley "Sumpin' Big" Scholarship applications for 2022. 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, had 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, 2022. 

Click Here for the $1000 Baisley Scholarship Application

The 2022 GAC Star Sponsor program registration is now underway and its off to a good start. This program helps with events during the legislative session along with building support for a variety of projects and initiatives that cannot take place without the added participation. Star Sponsors are reflected in each of our newsletters, as posted on this page, along with the weekly legislative reports throughout each session of the Georgia General Assembly, monthly newsletters, and more. Click here for 2022 Star Sponsor registration information and email Jill Hansard or call the GAC office at 706-336-6830. Thank you!
ASMARK INSTITUTE - Safe & Sound Online Training 

The Safe & Sound Online Training Management tool is ideal for organizations seeking a comprehensive training solution that incorporates advanced technologies to help manage their employee training from start to finish, simplifying and streamlining the process.

Other features include:

  • Thirty-one ag-specific topics on DVD, licensed for on-site use
  • Manage your employee list
  • Order personalized new hire, re-hire, or supplemental training kits
  • Track results on your personal dashboard
  • And much more!

Click here for more information. This link will take your members directly to our website to learn more about the Safe & Sound Online Training Management tool.
The thirty-fourth annual Georgia Peanut Tour will be held September 13-15, 2022, in Tifton, Georgia, and the surrounding area. The tour brings the latest information on peanuts while giving a first-hand view of industry infrastructure from production and handling to processing and utilization. Tour stops will be made in several peanut producing counties surrounding Tifton.
Attendees can expect to see first-hand nearly every aspect of peanut production in the state. This year’s tour hosts many exciting stops including on-farm harvest demonstrations and clinics, as well as, research at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus.
The Georgia Peanut Commission, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the USDA-ARS National Peanut Laboratory coordinate the tour.
Registration is $125 prior to Aug. 5. Visit for more info.
The Georgia National Fair will be held October 6th-16th, 2022. For more information click here.
The Sunbelt Ag Expo is an agricultural-based trade show held at Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga. Known as “North America’s Premier Farm Show”® the annual event has more than 1200 exhibitors showcasing the latest in farming technology. Whether you are a large acreage production farmer or a weekend lifestyle farmer the Expo is an event you don’t want to miss. For more information click here.
Ag Technologies dba Vantage Southeast
Brooksco Dairy LLC
Bulloch Gin Inc.
Carroll EMC
DeWitt Produce Co., Inc.
Docia Farms Partnership
Embry Farm Service
Georgia Cotton Commission
Georgia Crop Production Alliance
Georgia Development Authority
Georgia Young Farmers Association
Greg Sikes Farm, LLC
Hattaway Farms Ptr.
International Forest Co., Inc.
Kelley Manufacturing Co.
LG Herndon Jr. Farms Inc.
Leatherbrook Holsteins LLC
Mercier Orchards
Mixon Seed Services Inc.
Mobley Greenhouses Inc.
NG Turf, Inc.
Nut Tree Pecan Nursery
Rural Jobs Coalition
Southern Woods Plantation, Inc.
Striplings General Store
Suttons Mill LLC
The Turfgrass Group, Inc.
TriEst Ag Group, Inc.
USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
WDairy LLC

AgSouth Services, Inc.

American Peanut Shellers Association

Barrington Dairy, LLC

Bay Branch Farms, Inc.

BCT Gin Co. Inc.

Boston Gin Co.

Broken Antler Farms

Burriss Law Group, LLC

Centurion Poultry Inc.

Circle C Farms Inc.

CLW Harvesting LLC

Coley Gin & Fertilizer Co.

Cotton Partners LLC

Curry Farm Supply Inc.

Deep South Farm Center, LLC

Duvall Livestock Market, LP

Emanuel Peanut & Grain LLC

Food Safety Net Services

Funston Gin Co. Inc.

Georgia 4-H Foundation

GA Assoc. of Conservation Districts

GA Assoc. of County Agricultural Agents

Georgia Cattlemen's Association

Georgia Christmas Tree Association

Georgia Crop Improvement Assoc.

Georgia Federal-State Inspection Service, Inc.

Georgia FFA Association

Georgia Food Bank Association Inc.

Georgia Milk Producers Inc.

Georgia Peach Council

Georgia Pecan Growers Association, Inc.

Georgia Pork Producers Association

Georgia Poultry Federation

Georgia Seed Association Inc.

Georgia Vocational Ag Teacher Association

Georgia Watermelon Association

Georgia Women in Agriculture Association Inc.

Hazel Creek Cider, Inc. / Yearwood Farms, Inc.

Hillside Orchard Farms Inc.

Hulsey Farm Services

Israel Farm Supply, Inc.

J & B Irrigation Inc.


Lenox Peanut Company

Moultrie Colquitt County Development Authority

National Peanut Buying Points Assn.

Northeast Georgia Livestock

Oglethorpe Power Corporation

Omega Farms

P.G.C. Farms

Patrick Family Farms, LLC

Peebles Timber, Inc./ Longleaf LLC / Peebles Land LLLP

Pike Creek Turf, Inc.

Quality Gin, Inc.

RAJ Farms Inc.

Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc

Samara Plantation LLC

Shealy Farms, Inc.

Shiloh Farms

Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association

Southeastern Sod, Inc.

Southern AGCOM Inc.

Southern Crop Production Association

Southern Livestock

Southern Seed Company, Inc.

Southern Specialty Equipment

Sweet Corn Co-Op

Tri-County Gin, Inc.

UGA Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication

Vidalia Onion Business Council

Wild Ridge LLC

Williams Produce, Inc.

Special thanks to all of our Star Sponsors. Please call our office at 706-336-6830 for details. Thank you!

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
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