Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members
MAY 2019
The Georgia Agribusiness Council joined the Southern Crop Production Association and crop protection leaders from around the Southeast for their annual Washington, D.C. fly-in last week. While the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA-4) and reform to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) were our main talking points going into the meetings, most conversations with the Georgia Congressional delegation quickly turned to federal disaster relief. Our Georgia leaders in DC ensured us they are working as hard as they can to persuade their co-workers in Washington of the dire need for help for Georgia farmers immediately. The latest package being offered by Senate Republicans, that is still currently developing, is believed to include additional funding for Puerto Rico, a long-time sticking point for Senate Democrats. We are cautiously optimistic that the much-needed disaster relief package will continue to develop as many Georgia farmers continue to struggle with financial decisions for the 2019 growing season.
Right to Left - Tripp Cofield-GFB, Wilson Faircloth-Syngenta, Steve Williams-Albaugh, Congressman Rick Allen and GAC's Will Bentley discussed Georgia Agriculture
GAC First Vice Chairman Spencer Black was in Washington representing Triangle Chemical as well as GAC for the Hill Visits
On April 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it “is taking an important step in the agency’s review of glyphosate.” According to a news release, “As part of this action, EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. The agency’s scientific findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies. While the agency did not identify public health risks in the 2017 human health risk assessment, the 2017 ecological assessment did identify ecological risks. To address these risks, EPA is proposing management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays on the intended pest, protect pollinators, and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate."

“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler . “Today’s proposed action includes new management measures that will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections. We look forward to input from farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the draft management measures are workable, realistic, and effective.”

“If we are going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, we are going to need all the tools at our disposal, which includes the use the glyphosate,”  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue  said. “USDA applauds EPA’s proposed registration decision as it is science-based and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in U.S. agriculture and has been studied for decades. Glyphosate is used on more than 100 food crops, including glyphosate-resistant corn, soybean, cotton, canola and sugar beet. Non-agricultural uses include residential areas, aquatic areas, forests, rights of way, ornamentals and turf.

The EPA finding comes about a month after a federal jury awarded a Northern California man approximately $80 million, thinly finding a link between his use of Roundup and his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. GAC member company Bayer , which acquired Roundup manufacturer Monsanto last year, is appealing the verdict.
We were pleased to attend the 91st annual Georgia FFA Convention in Macon. It was our honor to be the sponsor and present the 2019 "Star in Agribusiness" award to   Kaitlyn Hart (Colquitt County) . This award is supported by funds raised by the GAC Foundation.
We congratulate North Region Star in Agribusiness winner Luke Perdue (Madison County) and Central Region Star in Agribusiness Louie Lumley (Bleckley County) as well as all of the FFA award winners. We are thankful for each of the outstanding Georgia Department of Education leaders and agriculture teachers that do such a great job engaging these students in agricultural career fields throughout the year. 
Recipients of the Honorary State FFA Degree were recognized at the 91st State FFA Convention held at the Macon Centreplex on April 25-27, 2019. The Honorary State FFA Degree is given to individuals who have rendered outstanding service to agricultural education and the National FFA Organization.

Honorary State FFA Degrees were awarded to 13 individuals for their outstanding service and commitment to agricultural education and Georgia FFA. Recipients included active GAC member Clint Hood and two Agribusiness Council board members, Barry Cronic and Craig Weynand. Others honored were Kasey Jackson, Jay Borden, Jarden Fluellen, Micah Story, Nelson McCracken, Russell Segers, Doug Williams, David Strickland, Kathy Cooper, and Senator Larry Walker III. 
The University of Georgia recently released a Policy Brief on The Economic Impact of the United States Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Georgia's Small Fruit and Vegetable Industries.   Click here to view the full report.

Our partners at the GFVGA has released the following statement:
"While the Administration tried to include seasonal and perishable provisions in the United States Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement to protect U.S. fruit and vegetable growers from unfair trade practices in Mexico, they were unsuccessful. The   University of Georgia (UGA) Impact Study clearly documents the effect the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has had on the southeastern fruit and vegetable industry and projects the negative impact USMCA will have, not only on our growers, but also on Georgia's rural communities without a credible solution."

The conclusions of this study vividly state the economic losses to Georgia's blueberry and vegetable industries will be considerable.
  • The state is on track to lose nearly one billion dollars in annual economic output and over 8,000 jobs...
  • In some rural communities (Clinch and Echols counties) the income losses to the county's economy will be over 40%... economic damage on the scale of the Great Depression.
  • In several other rural communities (Appling, Brooks, Colquitt and Decatur) the percentage drop in county incomes is in the range of 2 to 5%, equivalent to an economic recession.

The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) and the Georgia Agribusiness Council are working with the Administration and our congressional leaders to find an acceptable solution to prevent the devastation forecast in this report if USMCA is approved without effective trade relief.
CAES Congressional Agricultural Fellows Announced
Seven University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) students will call the nation’s capital home this summer while serving as CAES Congressional Agricultural Fellows.

The students will spend 12 weeks on Capitol Hill working in the offices of Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson and Georgia Reps. Sandford Bishop, Doug Collins, Buddy Carter, Rick Allen and Austin Scott.

While in D.C., students will immerse themselves in agricultural policy and the culture of Capitol Hill by preparing briefs, attending committee hearings, conducting research and working closely with congressional staff as a part of the fellowship.

The students representing UGA as 2019 Congressional Agricultural Fellows are:
•  Katelyn Bickett , a sophomore agricultural communications major from Chickamauga, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Buddy Carter’s office
•  Reaganne Coile,  a junior agricultural communications major from Bogart, Georgia, who will work in Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office
•  Alyson Dallas,  a senior agribusiness major from Griffin, Georgia, who will work in Sen. David Perdue’s office
•  Morgan Hart,  a junior agricultural education major from Moultrie, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Rick Allen’s office
•  James Matthews,  a junior agribusiness major from Barnesville, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Sanford Bishop’s office
•  Ben Parker,  a junior applied biotechnology major from Perry, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Austin Scott’s office
•  Cam Shepherd,  a senior agricultural and applied economics major from Athens, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Doug Collins’ office
GAC Chairman Steve Crouch , Marty Crouch and GAC President Will Bentley visited with UGA Extension Specialist for Turfgrass Dr. Clint Waltz at the UGA-Griffin campus to discuss innovation in the turfgrass industry. UGA is a worldwide leader in green industry research and we are proud to work with them to address issues facing Georgia's turf industry.

Researchers in the UGA Department of Crop and Soil Sciences on the Griffin campus evaluate innovative concepts and technologies to enhance agricultural science and ensure a sustainable agroecosystem. These research programs range from fundamental biology to applied field experiments.
Thank you to board member Lee Bonecutter for hosting the GAC Spring Board Meeting at the Cargill plant in Newnan, Georgia. Board members had an opportunity to tour this wonderful meat processing plant before getting down to business. We welcomed new GAC Board Member Jason Bragg of Georgia EMC to his first meeting since being named to the board earlier this year.
Board member Jason Bragg getting ready for tour of Cargill
Board members Lee Bonecutter, Jason Bragg, Denny Rogers, Jim Nut, Cynde Dickey and staff member Jill Hansard
Lee Bonecutter talking to the group on the tour
Many thanks to those who have already signed up this year , but it is not too late to join us. 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 2019 Star Sponsor registration information, email Jill Hansard or call the GAC office at 706-336-6830. Thank you!
Georgia Farm Credit Associations Offer Free Financial Training to Young, Beginning and Small (YBS) Farmers

STATESBORO, GA (April 16, 2019): Christy Smith, Director of Marketing at AgSouth Farm Credit and co-creator of AGAware®, announced that AgSouth has partnered with AgGeorgia Farm Credit to bring the AGAware program to YBS farmers in Georgia this summer through a series of workshops aimed at educating them in the many aspects of running a successful agricultural operation.
According to Smith, the national award-winning AGAware program was created “to help ensure that future farmers will be prepared and strong financially so they may continue doing what it is they love.” She continued by saying that, “It’s been Farm Credit’s mission for more than one hundred years to serve farmers and rural America. One of the ways of making sure there are farmers to serve is by educating the next generation of farmers and by helping bring awareness of what farmers actually do to put food on the tables to the public. We do that through community awareness events as another part of the AGAware program.”

Young farmers are defined as those 35 years of age or younger; beginning farmers are defined as those having 10 years or less of experience; and small farmers are defined as those having annual gross agricultural sales of $250,000 or less. Since the AGAware® program was established in 2013, more than 800 farmers in Georgia and South Carolina have taken the classes and graduated from the program.

Topics of the program include: Balance Sheets, Income Statements, Family Finance & Family Budgeting, Risk Management, Accrual Income, Applying for Financing, Preparing a Business Plan, Technology & Record Keeping, Marketing Assistance Available through the Department of Agriculture, FSA/SBA and Other Programs. Applications for scholarships for future education through Farm Credit University will be available to graduates of these workshops as well. AGAware is also certified for FSA Direct Borrower Training Credit.

The training is open to anyone who wishes to develop a better understanding of how to run a successful agricultural operation.

All classes will be from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and a free lunch will be provided. Georgia Workshops will be held at the following locations:

Friday, July 26 ǀ Charleston, SC ǀ USDA-ARS Vegetable Lab ǀ 2700 Savannah Hwy.
Friday, August 2 ǀ Tifton, GA ǀ UGA Conference Center-Tifton Campus ǀ 15 RDC Rd. 
Friday, August 16 ǀ Milledgeville, GA ǀ Central GA Technical College Conf. Center ǀ 54 Hwy 22 W
Friday, August 23 ǀ Statesboro, GA ǀ AgSouth Farm Credit ǀ 40 S Main Street

To register online for the Statesboro event, visit AgSouth’s website. To register online for the Tifton or Milledgeville event, visit AgGeorgia’s website.

For more information about AGAware, contact Christy Smith at or 912-764-9091.
In a political environment that is rapidly changing, supporting 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 agribusiness interests in the legislative and regulatory arenas. This lofty initiative continues to get harder and harder. In our efforts to advance these activities, the Council formed the Georgia AgPAC several years ago that has several functions, including:
* Financially supporting the campaigns of political candidates friendly to our initiatives;
* Educating elected officials and key decision makers on issues important to agribusiness;
* Advocacy of issues that advance our industry and communities

We ask for your 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. 
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The Georgia Agribusiness Council Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) organization that was created to help grow funding initiatives to help support agriculture education. 

GAC is a proud sponsor of agribusiness awards and programs for FFA and 4-H, in addition to many other education projects. The Council created the Dr. Joe Crane Memorial Classroom Grant program for Georgia teachers interested in promoting agricultural literacy; provides William C. “Bill” Baisley “Sumpin Big” Scholarships to Georgia college students demonstrating a need for financial assistance while seeking an agricultural degree; and sponsors the UGA CAES Congressional Fellowship Program. 

Through generous support to the GAC Foundation, the Council will continue to invest in these programs and others to expand opportunities available to young people. Please click here for donation information.
Barrington Dairy, LLC
Berrien Peanut Co.
Bill Hembree & Associates / Nationwide
Boddiford Farm Services Inc.
Coffee County Gin Co. Inc.
Coley Gin & Fertilizer Co. Inc.
CSA Farms, Inc.
Curry Farm Supply Inc.
Docia Farms Ptn.
Emanuel Peanut & Grain
GA Agricultural Commodity for Tobacco
Georgia Christmas Tree Association
Georgia Seed Association Inc.
Holder Ag Consulting
Israel Farm Supply, Inc.
J & B Irrigation Inc.
Leatherbrook Holsteins LLC
Nut Tree Pecan Nursery
Patrick Family Farms, LLC
Pineland Plantation
Quality Feedstuffs, Inc.
Quality Gin, Inc.
Redmond's Shiloh Farms, Inc.
South Georgia Produce Inc.
Southern Seed Co.
Swainsboro Stockyard
The Dairy Alliance, Inc.
Turner County Stockyard, Inc.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
Vidalia Onion Business Council
Walter J. Turner Farms
West Georgia Processing, Inc.
Wilkes County Stockyard
Special thanks to all of our Star Sponsors. Please call our office at 706-336-6830 for details. Thank you!

The Georgia Plant Food Educational Society Summer Meeting is again scheduled at the Ritz-Carlton Resort Hotel in Amelia Island, Fl. The meeting will be held on July 15 - 17, 2019 , for more information please click here .
*The 21st Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference will be held  July 18-20, 2019  at the  Edgewater Beach Resort , Panama City Beach, Florida. The three-day event provides farmers with information about peanut production, legislative issues, marketing and promotions. For more information and registration click here .
Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day will be July 25, 2019 at Spence Field in Moultrie. Please go to 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