Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members
September 2019
The Georgia Agribusiness Council is excited to welcome Jake Tench as our new Manager of Public Affairs. In this role, Jake will be managing the Council's legislative activities, providing member services to our growing membership, directing our education and scholarship activities, and supporting all other aspects of our programs of work.

Prior to joining the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Jake worked at the GA Department of Agriculture where he served as a Policy Assistant to Commissioner Gary Black. Jake is a graduate of the University of Georgia where he double majored in Agriculture and Applied Economics and Agribusiness. He is originally from Cornelia, GA where his family has a long history in the poultry industry. GAC President Will Bentley noted, "We are very excited to have Jake as a part of the GAC family and know that he will be a valued member of our staff. His background in agribusiness coupled with his policy experience will prove to be a huge asset for our entire membership."

Jake joined GAC officially on September 2nd and can be contacted at .
We appreciate these new member companies that have joined our growing membership this summer.
Longtime Agribusiness friend, Senator Johnny Isakson announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate last week. While his retirement has been a topic of speculation for several months, his announcement caught the political world off-guard with kind words of support flowing into Georgia from both sides of the political spectrum.

Isakson, was last reelected in 2016 and chairs the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, said in a statement that he was leaving the Senate “because my health challenges are taking their toll on me, my family and my staff.” He cited Parkinson's disease, physical therapy related to a fall in July, and a surgery he underwent earlier this week to remove a growth one of his kidneys.

Isakson’s retirement means that Governor Kemp will be in the national spotlight as he names his replacement. It also means that Republicans will potentially have to defend both of Georgia’s Senate seats in next year’s elections. Sen. David Perdue , a member of the Senate Ag Committee, is competing for a second term in 2020 and is a top target for Democrats who see Georgia as an increasingly competitive state.
The United States and Japan have announced the agreement "in principle" of a trade deal which is expected to be finalized by the two global powers in late September. The trade deal, released by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe at the G-7 Summit in France, is said to be focused on addressing industrial tariffs, agricultural purchases, and digital trade. More specifically for agriculture, the deal is expected to lower Japanese tariffs on U.S. beef and pork products. The tariff on imported U.S. beef is currently 38.5 percent and is expected to be lowered to rates similar to those countries that participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

As a result of Japan’s several years of poor domestic crop quality, corn has been another topic of discussion between U.S. and Japanese negotiators. Through the updated trade agreement, Japan is expected to buy substantial amounts of the U.S. corn surplus moving forward. The deal is also said to allow for more access into the Japanese Markets for U.S. agricultural products such as wheat and dairy. In order for both countries to agree to the deal, the U.S. is expected to maintain the 2.5 percent tariff on Japanese automobiles, rather than raising them substantially as President Trump has previously threatened to do.
We believe that this deal will be beneficial to U.S. agriculture producers and expect this deal to be completed within the next 60 days.
Join us for the 2019 Harvest Celebration on November 22 nd at the Cobb Galleria Centre, where country music singer Jeff Carson will perform “ A Night of Country Greats ” featuring smash hits by artists such as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and more.

The GAC Harvest Celebration 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 hope to have you attend this first-class, engaging evening that you will want to share with friends, family and co-workers. Click the button below, call the GAC office at 706-336-6830, or email Maggie Wooten at to secure your tables or tickets today.
Thank you to the Early Bird tickets buyers!
All were entered into a drawing for one of four great prizes! The winners are announced below:

A one-night's stay on November 22 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel:

One of three Field of Dreams ticket books:
Atlantic & Southern Equipment, LLC
L. L. Rogers and Son, Inc.
University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine 
In a great moment for Georgia's agricultural community, Attorney General Chris Carr announced that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia granted a summary judgment in favor of Georgia and 9 other states in their lawsuit challenging the Obama Administration’s 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. They were also successful in keeping an injunction against the Rule in place while federal agencies finalize its replacement.

“For more than four years, Georgia has led a multi-state coalition in the fight against the 2015 WOTUS Rule, a clear example of federal overreach that infringed on the States’ traditional role as primary regulators of land and water resources within their borders,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “We are proud to have fought for this relief, and we look forward to reforms that will permanently relieve farmers and landowners of the unnecessary burdens that the 2015 WOTUS Rule created.” 

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black added, “Four years ago, federal regulators tried to sell us a bill of goods with this wretched rule. The court has now rightfully replied back ‘going, going, gone’,” 

In its ruling, the court held that the 2015 WOTUS Rule “extended the Agencies’ delegated authority beyond the limits of the Clean Water Act” in a number of ways and also violated multiple procedural requirements for issuing the Rule set out in the federal Administrative Procedure Act. The court explained, “Congress has delegated the important role of protecting the nation’s waters to the Agencies, but in fulfilling that role, the Agencies must comply with the law. Here, they have failed to do just that.” As a result, the court left in place its preliminary injunction that blocks the rule from going into effect in any of the
coalition states while the agencies “continue their efforts to change the WOTUS Rule in light of the serious defects identified in this Order.”  
GAC is pleased to be among the sponsors of the annual Joint Agriculture Committee Chairmen's Ag Issues Summit. We encourage you to register today to attend the upcoming event being held in Perry, GA. Georgia’s two Agriculture Committee Chairmen,  Sen. John Wilkinson  and  Rep. Tom McCall  are hosting this event on Friday,  SEPTEMBER 27th, 2019  at  10:00 AM  .

The agenda includes updates on Georgia's water war, agriculture education, hemp, and Hurricane Michael recovery efforts.

The meeting is free, but registration is required and space is limited. Please contact:
Leigh Goff  at   or 
   Taylor Hartshorn  at    
to register as soon as possible.

This is a great opportunity to hear about current policy issues and give input. We hope to see you there.
The Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition will celebrate its 42nd Anniversary show October 15-17, 2019. Over 1,200 exhibitors will display and demonstrate products and welcome thousands of visitors to the 100 acre show site. 
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 will see the latest innovation and technology that the agriculture industry has to offer.
A highlight of the show is the naming of the Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. After an intensive judging process, ten state winners attend the show to learn who will be selected as the overall winner. 
Education is the key component of the show with over 300 seminars and demonstrations offered over the 3-day event. These seminars and demonstrations are taught in exhibit areas for beef, dairy, poultry, forestry, pond management, equine and cattle management.
The Expo always features an array of aromas compliments of the delicious food sold within the grounds during the show. In addition, many demonstration areas, including the Georgia Ag Building, the Aquaponics display, the Georgia Peanut Commission building and the newly enhanced Georgia Grown Marketplace within the Family Living Building, host segments throughout the day with chefs and food enthusiasts alike. Be sure to stop by for a sample of some scrumptious treats.
There’s never a dull moment during the 3-day show and attendees will find there is something for the entire family.  Chip Blalock , Show Director, says, “The Sunbelt Expo is an unbelievable showcase of rural living blanketed with agriculture’s newest ideas and technologies. Its 3-days of fun, education and dreaming about agriculture’s future as we team together to feed, clothe and house a growing population around the world.”
The Sunbelt Ag Expo is open Tuesday through Thursday, October 15-17, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 (T,W) and 4:00 (Th). Admission at the gate is $10 per person per day. Advanced and discount tickets can be purchased online beginning August 1. The Show site is four miles southeast of Moultrie, GA on Hwy 133. For more information, see the show website at .
The Georgia Agribusiness Council submitted comments on behalf of our membership  urging the EPA to continue its science-based evaluation of glyphosate's importance to the agricultural industry in Georgia. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States and maximizes crop yield by regulating plant growth and managing weed control. After adopting glyphosate-based herbicides, farmers have been able to successfully practice conservation tillage to reduce soil disturbance and equipment usage. Previous attempts to utilize conservation tillage often failed due to inadequate weed control. The comment period ended on September 3rd and we urged the EPA to review all comments submitted and continue to list glyphosate as a safe and useful tool for agribusiness.
The United States reached an agreement with Mexico concerning the “dumping” of Mexican tomatoes into U.S. produce markets. Mexico supplies roughly half of the fresh tomatoes that are sold in the U.S. annually, with these imports having doubled since the early 2000’s.
Under this deal, tomatoes coming from Mexico into the U.S. will be duty-free yet there will be a set price of $0.31 cents for round and roma tomatoes and organic tomatoes can be up to 40 percent higher, due to the cost of production. These changes will ensure that the U.S. tomato farmers will not be taken advantage of because of unfair subsidies and standards for Mexican produce. Although there are many hurdles to overcome in trade negotiations, we consider this a step in the right direction for the betterment of U.S. Agriculture. 

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, 2019.  
GAC is also proud to announce the release of the  William C. "Bill" Baisley "Sumpin' Big" Scholarship  applications for 2019 . 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 15, 2019.  
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.
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. 
ASMARK INSTITUTE - Two Tools to Take Advantage Of

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Click here for more information.   
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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
Embry Farm Services
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.
Sconyers Gin & Warehouse Co.
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 thirty-third annual Georgia Peanut Tour will be held September 17-19, 2019 , in Cordele, 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 Cordele. For more information and registration and sponsorship information click here .
The 42nd Sunbelt Ag Expo is open Tuesday through Thursday, October 15-17 , from 8:30 AM to 5:00 (T,W) and 4:00 (Th). Admission at the gate is $10 per person per day. Advanced and discount tickets can be purchased online beginning August 1. The Show site is four miles southeast of Moultrie, GA on Hwy 133. For more information, see the show website at
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