Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members
December 2018
A BIG THANK YOU FOR A GREAT HARVEST CELEBRATION
As we wrap up the year, GAC would like to thank our members, volunteers and industry friends who helped make the 2018 Harvest Celebration successful. The past few months have been a difficult time for many in the agribusiness family that were affected by Hurricane Michael. We are reminded how close knit and supportive our agricultural industry is when we all come together. We hope that each of you have a blessed Christmas season.
JOIN US FOR THE 2019 GAC ANNUAL MEETING AND LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST
With the new year right around the corner, we are preparing for the 2019   GAC Annual Meeting and Legislative Breakfast, which will take place on February 5 & 6 Please save the date. Registration information will be distributed to GAC members in the weeks ahead.
 
The GAC Annual Meeting  will take place on February 5 at  The American Hotel ,  in downtown Atlanta. We will have a reception starting at 6:00 p.m. with supper being served at 6:30 p.m. The American Hotel is also the host hotel. To receive the GAC rate, you may call (404) 688 - 8600 and ask for the Georgia Agribusiness Council block.
 
The GAC State Legislative Breakfast  will be held at 7:30 a.m. the next morning on February 6 at the  Georgia Railroad Freight Depot . This is a great opportunity for members to "meet and greet" with their state legislators and hear issues important to our industry. A shuttle from The American Hotel will be provided.
HURRICANE MICHAEL UPDATES
If you were unable to join us during the Harvest Celebration please view our video highlighting the devastation incurred by Georgia's agriculture industry during Hurricane Michael.
GEORGIA'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION HOPING TO MOVE ON HURRICANE RELIEF
GAC joined a diverse group of agribusiness leaders on a recent trip to Washington, D.C. to discuss relief efforts for farmers and agribusinesses that were affected by Hurricane Michael. Georgia agriculture suffered over $2.5 billion in losses during the storm. Lawmakers were reminded of the devastation as well of the urgency of finalizing a relief package so that producers, and the businesses that support them, can continue the recovery efforts and plan for the 2019 planting season. Congress is considering several options including WHIP (Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program) payments or possible block grants that could be delivered in a timelier manner to those in severe need.
RECAP OF GEORGIA SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION
House Bill 4EX designated $200 million in tax credits to commercial timber and pecan growers impacted by Hurricane Michael in a 28-county disaster area. The credits will be awarded in an amount equal to the casualty loss deduction filed on the taxpayer’s federal income return. HB 4EX is tied to reforestation efforts and is expected to restore approximately 500,000 with a cap of $400 per acre. The tax credits will be refundable as well as transferable which will allow landowners to get much needed funds to recover from the storm.
HB 1EX : $270 Million in funding for Hurricane Michael Disaster Relief
Additional money was appropriated to go directly into state agencies that have a role in helping those in rural Georgia affected by the storm. While the total devastation will be well beyond the dollar amount allocated by Georgia, these funds will be helpful in bridging the gap for agribusinesses until Federal disaster funds can be directed to those in need.

Ag and Timber Highlights of HB 1EX :
-         $55 million for emergency disaster relief assistance to Georgia farmers in counties impacted by the storm through a system of secured loans by the Georgia Development Authority. This pool of funds will be used to secure agricultural loans in rural Georgia to assist producers and financial institutions until federal disaster payments are made.
-         $20 million for emergency disaster relief assistance as approved by the State Forestry Commission for cleanup efforts for Georgia timberland owners in counties impacted by Hurricane Michael
-         $7 million to replace firefighting equipment within the Georgia Forestry Commission that will be used in clearing timberland destruction and other debris caused by the hurricane. GFC manages over 650 pieces of heavy equipment, including bulldozers, transport tucks and fire trucks. $21.9 million worth of equipment is already eligible for replacement but has been put on hold due to budget restraints.
-         $50 million to pay for the state match for federal disaster assistance funding for expenses related to damages and operating costs associated with Hurricane Michael. 11 state agencies have contributed to the disaster response including the Departments of Agriculture, Community Supervision, Corrections, Defense, Human Services, Natural Resources, Public Health, Public Safety, Transportation, Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and the state Forestry Commission.
2018 FARM BILL INCHES FORWARD
 House and Senate agriculture leaders said late Nov. 28 they had come to a "tentative deal" on the 2018 Farm Bill.
House Agriculture Committee Chairmen Mike Conaway , R-TX; and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts , R-KS; along with House Ranking Member Collin Peterson , D-MN; and Senate Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow , D-MI; made the announcement in a short statement issued by Conaway’s committee office.
“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 Farm Bill. We are working to finalize legal and report language as well as CBO scores, but we still have more work to do. We are committed to delivering a new farm bill to America as quickly as possible.”
While we (GAC) have not seen the final version of the bill, the remaining discussions appear to revolve around what, if any, forestry provisions will be included in the bill. Leadership has also stated that the Congressional Budget Office still has to figure out how much the bill will cost. The overall bill, including nutrition provisions that are to make up most of the spending, is expected to cost about $900 billion over 10 years.
GAC MEMBER POLLS
DECEMBER MEMBER POLL:
Did you vote in both the November General Election as well as December Runoffs?
Yes - I voted in both
No - I only voted in the general election
No - I did not vote at all this year
NOVEMBER RESULTS:
Should the US congress quickly move on Agricultural Emergency Aid?
  1. Before breaking for Thanksgiving recess. 85.7%
  2. Wait after the recess & consider as part of a larger Hurricane Emergency Relief: 14.3%
CONGRATULATIONS TO GOVERNOR-ELECT BRIAN KEMP
Republican Brian Kemp declared victory in the race to become Georgia's Governor-Elect on Friday, Nov. 16, defeating Democrat Stacey Abrams in one of the most closely watched and contested races in America. Governor-Elect Kemp is a longtime friend of agriculture and has been involved in many agribusiness ventures during his career. We look forward to working closely with the Kemp administration to ensure that agribusiness remains the number one industry in Georgia in the future.

ELECTION SEASON IS NOT OVER YET
Remember to exercise your right to vote on Tuesday, December 4th if you have not already early voted.
Republican Brad Raffensperger faces off against Democrat John Barrow in a battle to become Georgia's next chief elections officer as Secretary of State.
Republican Chuck Eaton or Democrat Lindy Miller face off i n the runoff for a spot on the Public Service Commission . Both of these elected positions play a large role in the lives of Georgians and your vote is extremely important to ensure that the concerns of agribusiness are heard.
AGRITRUST - DIVIDEND DECLARED
The AgriTrust of Georgia Trustees have declared another dividend for qualified Fund members. This marks the twenty-seventh dividend distribution where AgriTrust has paid a dividend back to qualified Fund members. This latest dividend is for $600,000.00 in total and is payable to qualified Fund members on November 30, 2018. This dividend brings the total dividends paid by AgriTrust since inception to nearly $7,825,000.00.

The main reason dividends are possible is because of your ongoing commitment to provide and maintain a safe workplace. AgriTrust of Georgia is owned by you, the policyholder members, and these are your dollars being returned in the form of a dividend. We also acknowledge and appreciate the integral role our independent insurance agent friends have had in the continuing success of the Fund.

AgriTrust of Georgia is celebrating its 25 th Anniversary in 2018 and we look forward to serving you in the future!
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR AG FORECAST SEMINARS
The  UGA CAES 2019 Ag Forecast Seminar  dates have been set. GAC is proud to be a partner in promoting these informative events that give a forecast for the agricultural climate. For more information click here or follow the links to register.
 
·         Tuesday, January 22:  Macon (GA Farm Bureau Building) Click Here .
·         Wednesday, January 23:  Carrollton (Carroll County Ag Center)  Click Here.
·         Friday, January 25:  Watkinsville (Oconee County Civic Center)  Click Here.
·         Tuesday, January 29:  Lyons (Toombs County Ag-Center)  Click Here.
·         Thursday, January 31:  Bainbridge (Decatur County Agricultural Center)  Click Here.
·         Friday, February 1:  Tifton (Tifton Campus Conference Center)  Click Here.
ASMARK INSTITUTE & AGCO PRESS RELEASE
AGCO Corporation (NYSE: AGCO) and the Asmark Institute have created a new Applicator Training Course specifically for crop protection and crop nutrient applicators with more than three years of experience. The two-day program was developed at the request of agricultural retailers and will help experienced applicators stay current with critical issues in an every-changing industry. The classroom course will be conducted at the Applicator Training Center in Bloomington, Ill., which opened in June 2017 through collaboration between the two organizations.
Bay Branch Farms, Inc.
Cochran Oil Mill & Ginnery Inc.
Coffee County Gin Co. Inc 
Coley Gin & Fertilizer Co. Inc.
CSA Farms, Inc.
Curry Farm Supply Inc.
Docia Farms
Emanuel Peanut & Grain LLC
Embry Transport Inc.
GA Agricultural Commodity for Tobacco
Georgia Seed Association Inc.
Hattaway Farms Partnership
Hazel Creek Cider, Inc. / Yearwood Farms
Israel Farm Supply Inc.
J & B Irrigation Inc.
KAKEGA LLC
Lyle Farms, LLC
Pineland Plantation
Quality Gin, Inc.
Shellman Carriers, LLC
Swainsboro Stockyard
Vidalia Onion Business Council

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

For more information about the Experienced Applicator Training Course or to register online, go to www.asmark.org/TrainingCourses/applicator-training-experienced. Registration is open for classes available in January, February and March of 2019. For more information about application technology available from AGCO visit your local AGCO Application Equipment dealer or Challenger-ag.us.
Click here for full press release document.
The GAC Board of Directors and Staff wishes you a very blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year for your family and coworkers. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve your agribusiness and this dynamic industry. We are grateful for your support and friendship.
QUICK NOTES
* The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference is the LARGEST educational conference and trade show in the southeastern United States that unites growers, vendors and suppliers.  The 2019 SE Regional Conference will be held January 10-13, 2019 in beautiful Savannah, Georgia! Attendee registration is now open !
*The 68th Annual Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc. Winter Business Meeting & Trade Show will be January 15-16, 2019. 2019 is the 8th year that the Winter Meeting and Trade Show will be held at the University of Georgia Conference Center in Tifton, GA. The 2019 program will include agronomic and industry updates as well as addressing pressing issues facing Georgia Agriculture. Click here for more information.
*The 43rd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 , from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The one-day show is free and open to all farmers and industry representatives to attend.  Click here for more information.
* The 2019  Georgia Association of Conservation Districts  Annual Meeting is coming up soon from January 18 - 20, 2019 at the Lake Lanier Islands in Buford, Georgia. Click here for more info.
* The 2019  Georgia Dairy Conference  will take place in Savannah on January 21 - 23. This event will provide dairy producers and industry leaders with an invaluable opportunity to hear from top educators, industry pioneers and fellow dairymen.   Click here   f or more info and to register.
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