Speakers Announced: Georgia Cotton Commission 11th Annual Meeting Jan. 31, 2018

The Georgia Cotton Commission is pleased to announce the guest speakers at the Commission’s 10th Annual Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The annual meeting is held in conjunction with the UGA Cotton Production Workshop conducted by the UGA Research & Extension Cotton Team. The UGA Cotton Production Workshop will feature breakout sessions where attendees will learn the latest technical production strategies from the researchers whose projects are funded by the Commission’s research program. The Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting will follow the breakout sessions and feature speakers from several industry organizations. The program speakers are Reece Langley, Vice President of Washington Operations, National Cotton Council; Kater Hake, Vice President of Agricultural & Environmental Research, Cotton Incorporated; and Stacey Gorman, Director of Communications, The Cotton Board.  Reece Langley assumed his role as Vice President of Washington Operations at the National Cotton Council in 2014. He is responsible for coordinating the Washington activities for the Council, which includes working with Congress and the Administration, to ensure the U.S. cotton industry’s seven segments compete effectively and profitably in the global market. Prior to joining the Council, Langley was Vice President of Government Affairs for the USA Rice Federation. He also worked as a legislative assistant to Congressman Terry Everett (R-AL) prior to working for the USA Rice Federation. Kater Hake is the Vice President of Agricultural & Environmental Research at Cotton Incorporated. In this role, Hake is responsible for the cotton production research program, and leads a team of eight scientists who develop and support innovative problem-solving research to increase the profitability and sustainability of cotton farming in the U.S.  Hake began his career at Cotton Incorporated in 2007. Previously, he was the Vice President of Technology Development at Delta and Pine Land Company. Hake received a Bachelor of Science degree in genetics and a Master of Science degree in agronomy from the University of California at Davis, and a Ph.D. in plant biology from the University of California at Riverside. Stacey Gorman is the Director of Communications at The Cotton Board. She joined the staff of The Cotton Board in 2008 after graduating from the University of Central Arkansas with degrees in Public Relations and Writing. Stacey leads the ongoing efforts of the Cotton Board Communications Department to keep cotton producers informed of the activities stemming from the Cotton Research and Promotion. She creates and implements The Cotton Board’s advertising campaigns, manages social media, disseminates monthly grower newsletters and writes feature stories for Cotton Farming and Cotton Grower magazines. She is the Cotton Board Staff liaison to both Cotton Incorporated’s Importer Support Program and Consumer Marketing Committee. She and her husband Brandon have two children, and live in Warren, Arkansas. Following the Annual Meeting speakers, the Commission will host lunch where sponsors will be recognized and door prizes will be given away. The meeting, production workshop, and lunch are open to not only cotton growers, but anyone interested in the cotton industry. The UGA Cotton Production Workshop breakout sessions will be repeated after lunch. There is no charge to attend. Pre-registration is requested to help with meal plans.  Register online at www.ugatiftonconference.org or call (229) 386-3416. Thank you to our sponsors: Agri-AFC – Americot, Inc.-NexGen – Amvac –– Ameris Bank – Arysta – Bayer – Choice Cotton – CNI – Crop Production Services – Deltapine – Dow AgroSciences/PhytoGen – Flint Ag & Turf – Holder Ag Consulting – Lasseter Equipment Group  – Nachurs – Rabo AgriFinance – R.W. Griffin/Coffee County Gin/Four Corners Cotton Gin – SePRO Corporation – Scott T’s Ag-Flyin’, Inc. – Syngenta – Valent USA.

2017 King Cotton Awards Presented to Sawyer and Miller: Taylor R. Sills, Georgia Cotton Commission

Georgia’s cotton farmers rely heavily on their local University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension agent for many things.  Agents are known for delivering timely and accurate information, which is instrumental for the success of Georgia’s farmers. For the seventeenth year in a row, the Georgia Cotton Commission sponsored the King Cotton Awards to recognize outstanding contributions of county agents to Georgia cotton producers. The Senior Award is for agents with 10 or more years of experience, while the Junior Award, named the Allen B. Fulford Award, is for those with less than 10 years of service. The latter award honors the accomplishments and memory of Allen B. Fulford as a county Extension agent and state cotton agronomist.  The awards were presented at the 2017 Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual Meeting & Professional Improvement Conference held in Columbus in November. The 2017 Senior King Cotton Award winner is Andrew Sawyer of Wilcox County, where he serves as Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.  He previously served as the ANR agent in Thomas County.  Sawyer has conducted variety trials with producers, and has put an emphasis on educating growers about new technologies and techniques.   He has worked tirelessly to educate the community on cotton through various means, including a weekly radio show that reached over 250,000 people.  For this, he received the Communications award from the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents.  Sawyer also has a blog that gives farmers, agribusinesses, and the general public with timely tips and educational information concerning agriculture and the environment.  He received both a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Master of Plant Pathology and Pest Management from the University of Georgia, where he also was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band. The 2017 Allen B. Fulford Award recipient is Jennifer Miller of Jeff Davis County, where she serves as ANR Agent.  She began her career with Gold Kist, and came to UGA Extension in 2006 as the 4-H Agent in Wheeler County.  She later served as the ANR Agent in Montgomery County and covered Treutlen County for part of that time.  Miller participates in the Statewide On-Farm Variety trials, a statewide project managed by county agents and Dr. Jared Whitaker, UGA Cotton Agronomist.  She has also conducted trials that have focused on irrigation and nematodes.  Miller has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from UGA, where she majored in Agriscience & Environmental Systems. The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion, and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about the Georgia Cotton Commission please call 478-988-4235 or on the web at www.georgiacottoncommission.org.

Pecan Crop Looking Good

Tropical Storm Irma knocked down pecan trees, broke tree limbs and blew nuts off the trees and out of their shucks when it moved through Georgia in September, but a local pecan expert is still optimistic about this year’s crop, estimating yields up to 100 million pounds. Lenny Wells, pecan specialist with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Tifton, says the pecan harvest is well underway and farmers are taking advantage of dry weather and good prices. As a result, the pecan market softened in recent weeks, but Wells doesn’t expect the price to stay low for long. “We often see this trend when the nuts really start rolling in every year. The last several years, the price bumped back up again after a couple of weeks as many growers started holding pecans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen again,” Wells says. The crop’s development was ahead of schedule by about 10 days this year. All varieties are currently being harvested, and because of the early timing of nut maturity, Wells expects most of this year’s harvest to be completed by early December. Before pecans fully mature, they are enclosed in a green shuck, or husk. When Tropical Storm Irma moved through on Sept. 11, a lot of those immature pecans were knocked to the ground, rendering them useless.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Golden Radish Award: Tift Schools Named Outstanding for Farm to School

The Tift County School System has been given the “Outstanding District” Golden Radish Award, the highest level of recognition in the state for farm-to-school programs. Tift County’s School Nutrition Department’s mission is to expose, educate and elevate the quality of meals served to 7,600 students in the district’s 12 schools.  Its initiative is recognized as one of the state’s most innovative programs focused on agricultural and nutrition education, supporting local farmers and getting students excited to eat healthy and fresh local foods.  Tift County Schools was also recognized at the Platinum level for its accomplishments during the last school year, which include: (1) The School Nutrition Department purchased a cow from a student and had it processed by a local community partner. The meat provided meals for four days to more than 300 students at Omega Elementary, (2) The district supports a 15-acre farm where students learn how to plant, maintain and glean crops on a larger scale. Students also learn how to extend the life of their harvest at the county’s state of the art canning facility maintained by an FFA instructor ns (3) Local farmer Len Lastinger taught students how to harvest eggs from the schools’ laying hens. The corresponding omelet taste test was a big hit. Georgia’s agriculture, education and public health departments, along with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and Georgia Organics representatives joined at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta to celebrate more than 40 percent of Georgia school districts with farm to school programs. Pictured is Ga. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, from left, Georgia Organics Director Alice Rolls, Tift Superintendent Patrick Atwater, Tift School Nutrition Director Vanessa Hayes, Ga. Health Commissioner J. Patrick O’Neal, UGA Extension Dean Laura Perry Johnson and state School Superintendent Richard Woods at the Atlanta ceremony.
Source: Tifton Grapevine

Nominations Open for Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award

Nominations are now open for the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer. The state winner will be announced at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, in Tifton, Georgia. The award is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF. The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award is based upon the applicant’s overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership, civic, church, and community service activities. “We have so many young peanut farmers making a difference in their communities and I consider this awards program a great opportunity to recognize one young peanut farmer for their contributions to the agricultural industry,” says Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission. The award is open for any active Georgia peanut farmer who is not over 45 years of age, as of Jan. 18, 2018. An individual may receive the award only once. There is no limit on the number of applicants from each county in Georgia. “BASF is honored to be a sponsor of the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award,” says Dan Watts, district manager of BASF Crop Protection Products. “We are committed to agriculture and bringing new innovative solutions to producers that will allow them to continue to be successful.” Applications are due to the GPC office by Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. The award application is available online at www.gapeanuts.com or by contacting Joy Crosby at 229-386-3690 or joycrosby@gapeanuts.com. Previous Georgia winners include Brandon Branch of Baxley, Trey Dunaway of Hawkinsville, Andrew Grimes of Tifton, Randy Branch of Baxley, James Hitchcock Jr. of Tennille, Brad Thompson of Donalsonville, Greg Mims of Donalsonville, Jim Waters of Blackshear and Jimmy Webb of Leary, Georgia. The award winner receives registration and hotel accommodations to attend the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July and a sign to display at his or her farm.

42nd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show set for Jan. 18, 2018 in Tifton

Make plans to attend the 42nd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, 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. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with more than 100 agribusinesses and organizations in the peanut and agricultural industry. Farmers will be able to earn private and commercial pesticide applicator certification, as well as learn about cutting-edge research and developments during the University of Georgia Peanut Production Seminar and industry-wide sponsored Peanut Seed Seminar. Farm Show chairman Rodney Dawson is looking forward to the 2018 show and having a large crowd of farmers attend like previous years. “I encourage farmers to attend this one-day show in Tifton,” Dawson said. “The knowledge they will gain from industry representatives and seminars is an investment in the future of their farm.” The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with OneBlood, will host a blood drive from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. during the show. At the close of the day, there will be nearly $10,000 in door prizes presented to farmers, as well as a Grand Door Prize, vendor products, certificates and equipment. For more information on the show, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission office at 229-386-3470. Information is also available online at www.gapeanuts.com.

Tiftarea Academy Shotgun Team Members Compete in Championship

Tiftarea Academy is excited to announce that two of their shotgun team members, Ambus Powell and Ty Haskins, competed in the Alabama State Sporting Clays Championship near Mobile recently.
Ty competed in E class winning the Main Event and placing second in The Super Sporting event. His winnings earned him D class levels in future events. Ambus competed in A class winning the Main Event, Preliminary Event, and Super Sporting event. He was also the highest scoring Sub-Junior in the Main Event. His winnings earned him AA class status. Both of the boys parents are all Worth County Ram Alumni! This was an individual competition, but they represented TA very well! Be sure to follow Tiftarea Academy on Facebook to keep up with the Shotgun Team.