Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members
November 2018
I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as President of the Georgia Agribusiness Council. Farming and agribusiness have been a part of my family for almost 200 years and I am excited about the future of agriculture but I certainly understand the complex issues that we face on a daily basis. Hurricane Michael was devastating for many in our agriculture family and GAC will continue to work with state and federal officials to pursue disaster relief, both financially as well as emotionally. We hope that all of Georgia will continue to keep those affected by the storms in Southwest Georgia in their thoughts and prayers. While most in agriculture will be able to recover over the next several years, some sectors suffered generational damages that will take decades to overcome. 
It’s not too late to attend Harvest  Celebration on November 16, 2018 at the Cobb Galleria Centre.  C ountry music powerhouse, Sammy Kershaw will serve as our entertainment - check out our promotion video . This event is key to the advocacy efforts of the Council, and we are very grateful for the support provided by our many members and industry friends. We are putting together a first-class, engaging evening that you will want to share with friends, family and co-workers. Don’t forget tickets, tables and donation purchased after November 5th will not be represented in the program.
Click the button below or call the GAC office at 706-336-6830 to secure your tickets or pay for parking
Vote November 6th, 2018
Governor Nathan Deal has called a special session of the Georgia legislature to address the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael in southwest Georgia. By law, the governor must state all business that will be taken up during a special session prior to the legislature convening. It is believed that the state is considering roughly $100 million in funding in a relief package for Georgia farmers and rural Georgia. 
The Georgia Agribusiness Council will be involved in all discussions related to funding for agriculture and agribusinesses that were affected on both the state and federal levels. 

UGA Specialists and Extension Agents have refined their initial loss estimates. The newest estimates total around 2.4 Billion just from seven crops: Cotton, Peanuts, Pecans, Poultry, Soybeans, Timber, and Vegetables. The largest annual crop losses are in Cotton ($550 M), Vegetables ($480 M), Peanuts ($10 M) and Soybeans ($10 M). This year’s loss in Pecans was estimated at $100 M, but an estimated $286 M was loss in Pecan trees, resulting in a conservative estimate of $200 M in future revenue. Timber losses were estimated at around $760 M. About 100 poultry houses were damaged or blown away, meaning not only is the house gone, but until the house is replaced or repaired, future production is lost also.
The estimates focus only on production losses among the seven commodities. Barns of hay were lost; hundreds of miles of fencing were damaged; green houses were lost; and the list goes on. The stories of some of the producers impacted are well chronicled at the GDA Hurricane Michael page.  (Click Here) Share these stories with your friends and neighbors, and of course, continue to ask for prayer. Georgia Center of Assessment is committed to keep the story in front of the public. 
The economic circle does not stop with the production loss. For instance, it was estimated that due to the cotton loss alone, about $75 M will be lost at the gins. Folks won’t be hired, and money won’t be spent in the community. That includes labor in the plant as well as professional service providers. Eventually, that means less spent on retail not associated directly with Agriculture, the multiplier effect. And this is just the cotton ginning and processing story. Multiply that by all the other commodities and you get the total community story. To gauge the total economic impact of this loss, consider that in 2016, the last year available, $13.75 B in farm gate value resulted in $73.3 B in total economic activity of food and fiber and related industries. At the same rate, a $2 B loss from Hurricane Michael will ultimately result in about $10.7 B loss in the State’s total economic output. Anyone who thinks this is or/was only about farmers in South Georgia, only need to consider the economic facts! 
Congress will return after the mid-term elections on Nov. 12 for 4 days and then recess for Thanksgiving until November 26. It is likely that a special Agriculture aid package will get passed quickly as Representatives Sanford Bishop from SW Georgia and Bob Aderholt of Alabama are senior members of the US House Appropriations Committee. Both representatives have been working on a special assistance package for Agriculture since the Hurricane hit. Once official loss estimates are in, the size of the package may become known. The aid package may move on to the House floor as a stand-alone bill or as part of a larger Hurricane package and will likely include sizable direct loss payments to producers based on historical yields, as well as other types of assistance. We thank Representative Bishop and all our legislative delegation. We are also appreciative to our former GAC Board Secretary and current US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, for quickly focusing everyone’s attention on this disaster. As you know, all levels of the Administration from the President and Vice President visited the area to see first-hand the level of destruction and have continued to draw attention to our needs. GAC, along with our partners, will continue working on efforts to pass the most meaningful and useful package possible for our Agribusiness community.
Should the US congress quickly move on Agricultural Emergency Aid?
Before breaking for Thanksgiving recess.
Wait after the recess & consider as part of a larger Hurricane Emergency Relief
What should happen with the Farm Bill?
  1. Conference Committee should finish negotiations & forward a Farm Bill for a vote: 72.7%
  2. Extended the current Bill until a new Congress is seated & then re-negotiate: 27.3%
There’s not much Farm Bill news from the House and Senate 2018 Farm Bill negotiations, as all sides focus on the November 6 mid-term elections. When and if, a Farm Bill is voted on will likely be determined with election results in hand, by a lame-duck Congress. Currently, the main sticking point is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program work requirement. The US House version included work requirements and Senate version did not. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) recently told reporters that “…until the House backs down, I don’t think we’re going to have a five-year Farm Bill by early December.”  If correct, the most likely thing to happen is a one-year extension of the current law.
The 29 th Annual Georgia National Fair was held October 4-14, 2018 in Perry, Ga. It was 11-days of elite entertainment, pure enjoyment, delicious food, and family fun. Attendance totaled 496,524 over the 11- day event, an increase over the 2017 Fair by 29,940 attendees, with 3 record breaking days. Although this year was the first year in 29 years that the Fair was closed for an entire day with a delayed reopen on Thursday, it was a great success.
We would like to extend a warm and sincere thank you to everyone who played an integral part this year during Hurricane Michael. Our maintenance staff, vendors, concessioners and all local FMA employees made it possible for us to be prepared for what we encountered, as well as the cleanup process after it was over. We were proud to be able to complete the Fair as strong as we started with beautiful decorations, clean facilities and a welcoming atmosphere. Hurricane Michael took so much from so many, our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families during this difficult transition.
One highlight of the 2018 Georgia National Fair was the addition of the new Georgia Grown Baby Barn exhibit. During the 11 days, families witnessed dairy cattle bring new baby calves into this world, in a state of the art birthing facility. This attraction gave spectators the opportunity to witness, for the first time at our fair, live animal births. This year, the team of UGA Vets and Department of Agriculture staff delivered 20 calves during the 11-day event, each receiving a name by an audience member.
 Livestock competitions, the Georgia Living Program, Georgia Grown exhibit and Baby Barn, school groups and rallies; with the traditional components such as the Midway rides and fair food vendors connect for 11 days of pure enjoyment while offering those in attendance the unique experience known as the Georgia National Fair. New additions to the Georgia National Fair 2019 are already in the works and along with construction of a new Multipurpose Arena, the facility will offer many new experiences for everyone to enjoy next year.  Make plans now to join us in Perry, Ga. where Family, Traditions, and Memories are our focus each day!  
The 30 th Annual Georgia National Fair is scheduled for October 3-13, 2019 in Perry, Ga. For more information about this Georgia Point of Pride, visit
Ag Commissioner Gary Black cutting the ribbon for the Georgia Grown Baby Barn Grand Opening with GAC Treasure Jerry Davis!

The Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition celebrated its 41st Anniversary show October 16-18, 2018. Over 1,200 exhibitors displayed and demonstrated products and welcomed thousands of visitors to the 100-acre show site and the 600-acre research farm. Despite the onslaught of Hurricane Michael less than a week before show opening, the majority of vendors report having a very productive show, boasting record sales to Expo visitors. 

Crowned as North America’s Premier Farm Show ® and the largest Farm Show in America with field demonstrations, the Sunbelt Ag Expo brings together all segments of agribusiness including farmers, educators, policy-makers, ag-enthusiasts and families. All attending the show were able to see the latest innovation and technology that the agriculture industry currently has to offer. 

The show kicked off with the opening ceremony for the 41 st Annual Expo featuring greetings from American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall . In addition, winners in the Southeastern Hay Contest, sponsored by Massey Ferguson, were recognized and ribbon cuttings were held for Agri-Supply Company and Trinity Trailer for their continued support of the Expo. Kentucky was recognized as the 2018 Spotlight State. A new Sunbelt Ag Expo logo was unveiled to be used as preparations begin for the 2019 Expo. Tuesday’s main event was the Willie B. Withers Luncheon. Luncheon highlights included remarks from Vice President Mike Pence and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Vice President Pence , in a surprise visit, pledged the “full support of the Administration, USDA and Congress to bring Southwest Georgia and the Sunbelt region back and make it better than before,” on his way to tour the area ravaged by Hurricane Michael. The main focus of the event was to honor the Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. Kevin Yon of South Carolina was selected for this prestigious award. 

 New this year, the Expo featured Youth Educational Challenges, sponsored by Country Financial, for 6 th -12 th graders as a competitive and fun opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge in six different content areas. Georgia FFA Foundation hosted its Annual Tire Auction sponsored by Titan/Goodyear and raised over $27,000 for the organization. Georgia Young Farmer held Q’Fest and its annual membership supper. 

Education is the key component of the show with over 300 seminars and demonstrations offered over the 3-day event. These seminars and demonstrations were taught by university specialists and industry leaders in exhibit areas for beef, dairy, poultry, forestry, catfish, pond management, and equine. Additionally, Julie Goodnight, a clinician featured on RFD-TV, joined the equine team and worked with 4-H students involved with horse projects. Education sponsors include 21 major universities and colleges with six of these having permanent exhibit buildings on-site.  
Preparations are already underway for the 2019 Sunbelt Ag Expo to be held in Moultrie, GA October 15-17. Join us for mainstay events, new features, educational seminars and demonstrations, technology releases, as well as the highlight of North Carolina as the 2019 Spotlight State.
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.
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!
Very important people sightings at Sunbelt!
Dirtector Emeritus Darvin Eason, Dr. Johnny Crawford and Chairman Steve Crouch at Sunbelt Expo
Armond Morris, Chairman of GA Peanut Commission & Darvin Eason
Vice President Mike Pence, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, Ex. Director Chip Blalock & Van McCall
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Engenia ® Herbicide registration will be extended to December 20, 2020. The announcement indicated that EPA has reviewed substantial amounts of new information and concluded that the continued registration of the dicamba products meets FIFRA’s registration standards. The Agency has also determined that extending these registrations with the new safety measures will not affect endangered species. To see the official press release click here.
This November, every Georgia voter will have an opportunity to weigh in on a constitutional amendment that will bring more uniformity and fairness to the state's property tax system for timberland owners. GAC has endorsed this initiative and we need you to join us, the Georgia Forestry Association, and others to help spread the word! A network of like-minded individuals and organizations are needed to engage others on the importance of the Fair Forest Tax amendment. Click the button below for more information and get signed up today. Thank you!
AgriTrust of Georgia is continuing its 25th anniversary celebration throughout this year. We always strive to provide superior service to our Fund members. For current Fund members, the November Quarterly Conference is scheduled for Thursday, November 15 th at 10:00 a.m. If you have not already registered, please call the AgriTrust office toll free at 855/753-0016 or you may register online at If you are not currently a Fund member and would like more information about AgriTrust, please call the AgriTrust office at 855/753-0016.
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.

For more information about the Experienced Applicator Training Course or to register online, go to Registration is open for classes available in November 2018 and January, February and March of 2019. For more information about application technology available from AGCO visit your local AGCO Application Equipment dealer or
Click here for full press release document.
* The Georgia Crop Production Alliance will host their annual meeting on November 8 at the Lake Blackshear Resort. This meeting is always filled with great production information by Extension specialists and industry professionals. Registration will begin soon. Go to for additional information.
* The 64th UGA Ag Alumni Association Awards Banquet will be held at the Tate Center in Athens, Georgia, on November 9, 2018. Former GAC Board member President Jimmy Carter was selected as the newest Hall of Fame inductee and is planning to attend to accept the award in person. Also receiving the Alumni Award of Excellence is GAC Member Jody Tyson Strickland. Call 706-542-2777 for tickets.
* The SCPA 2018 Annual Meeting will be held at the Omni Grove Park Inn in  Asheville, North Carolina this year. The dates for this meeting are November 11-14, 2018. For more information click here .
* The  2018 Agricultural Labor Relations Forum  will be held  November 13-14  at the UGA Campus Conference Center in Tifton. Attendees will receive the latest updates for growers, shippers, processors and other agricultural professionals regarding labor relations matters. GAC is pleased to be a sponsor of the event again this year.  Click here to register .
* 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 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.
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