Monthly Newsletter for Georgia Agribusiness Council Members
August 2019
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of actions the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation by foreign nations. President Donald J. Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. As  announced last month , USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with our World Trade Organization obligations.
“Early on, the President instructed me, as Secretary of Agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs. After careful analysis by our team at USDA, we have formulated our strategy to mitigate the trade damages sustained by our farmers. Our farmers work hard, and are the most productive in the world, and we aim to protect them,” said Secretary Perdue.
These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets:
  • USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producers. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted.
  • USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will administer a Food Purchase and Distribution Program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will distribute these commodities through nutrition assistance programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and child nutrition programs.
  • Through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), $200 million will be made available to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products. The program will help U.S. agricultural exporters identify and access new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ restrictions.
“President Trump has been standing up to China and other nations, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include non-tariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property. In short, the President has taken action to benefit all sectors of the American economy – including agriculture – in the long run,” said Secretary Perdue. “It’s important to note all of this could go away tomorrow, if China and the other nations simply correct their behavior. But in the meantime, the programs we are announcing today buys time for the President to strike long-lasting trade deals to benefit our entire economy.”

The Georgia Agribusiness Council is pleased to see this administration's continued commitment to stand by farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses that have been negatively impacted by the ongoing trade negotiations with China. While these payments will not completely restore the damage caused by the loss of a major market for Georgia producers, it will go a long way in boosting the ag economy and the success of Rural Georgia.
Join us for the 2019 Harvest Celebration on November 22 nd at the Cobb Galleria Centre, where country music star 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.

Be sure to buy your Early Bird tickets by August 15 th , and look out for the winners in September’s Ag Outlook! Take advantage of this promotion to be entered into a drawing for one of several great prizes! These include: A one-night's stay on November 22 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel or one of three field of Dreams ticket books that give you a chance to win wonderful items during the Harvest Celebration. Click the button below, call the GAC office at 706-336-6830, or email Maggie Wooten at to secure your tables or tickets today.
After months of speculation and being a priority issue for GAC during our DC fly-in, the U.S. Department of Labor signed a bilateral cooperative agreement with Guatemala to facilitate increased transparency, accountability and worker safety in the H-2A non-immigrant visa program for temporary agricultural workers from Guatemala. This agreement will have a large impact on many of Georgia's farmers who experienced difficulty in labor recruitment and arrival of guest workers during their requested windows.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “This move by the United States and Guatemala will allow for greater cooperation and will safeguard against disturbances in the H-2A visa program by protecting workers from illegal recruitment activity, providing our farmers with a stable, legal workforce.” Perdue added that “President [Donald] Trump is dedicated to securing our borders while continuing to support America’s farmers and ranchers. The signing of this agreement with Guatemala further solidifies our partnership and engagement with our neighbors and commitment to solving the humanitarian crisis at our southern border”.

According to the agreement, the Guatemalan government will provide increased safeguards for temporary workers by certifying that labor recruiters are vetted and registered with their government. Additionally, these safeguards will assist U.S. employers who utilize the H-2A non-immigrant visa program to seek workers from Guatemala by providing additional transparency and accountability concerning foreign labor recruiters’ compliance with U.S. and Guatemalan law.
Several members of the Georgia Agribusiness Council joined the GAC Washington Legislative Fly-In, where important issues impacting Georgia agribusinesses were discussed. Visits included agriculture policy advisers at the White House, leadership from USDA, members of the Georgia Congressional delegation as well as the UGA Ag Fellows who are interning with Georgia representatives. These trips are vital to ensuring that agribusiness stays on the minds of our elected officials in Washington, DC.

We appreciate the group that attended and engaged in these discussions (photo below Left:(L-R) Barry and Barbara Cronic (BarCron Cattle), Steve Crouch (Newton Crouch), Tripp Cofield (GA Farm Bureau), Dale Sandlin (GA Cattlemens Association), Will Bentley (GA Agribusiness Council) Nowell Berreth (Alston & Bird LLP), Jason Deloach (FMG Pecan), Rep. Robert Dickey (Dickey Farms)
·        GAC appreciates the efforts by members of Georgia’s Congressional Delegation to push for these funds to improve the recovery efforts in rural Georgia
·        GAC is continuing to work with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, through the Disaster Recovery Task Force established by Commissioner Black, as they finalize the dispersal plans for the Block Grant funds allocated through USDA
·        Secure passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, while seeking additional solutions to “dumping” practices in the fruit and vegetable markets by Mexico
·        Promote a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and other former members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
·        Expand market access in China for agricultural products and remove all non-science-based trade restrictions
·        We support efforts to find a voluntary, workable solution to develop protocols in the formation of an electronic ID program to track cattle movement throughout the supply chain
·        Allow open access to marketing and movement options while maintaining appropriate disease risk without placing overtly burdensome regulations on livestock marketers and/or cattle growers
·        Ensure full implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill
·        Maintain ELD delay for livestock haulers and find a permanent solution to overly restrictive HOS rules for all agriculture commodity haulers
·        Finalize a new rule to replace the disastrous 2015 WOTUS rule
·        Exempt livestock and poultry producers from EPCRA air emissions reporting requirements
·        Protect scientific credibility of the Dietary Guidelines process and remove biased opinions regarding a product’s “environmental impact” from guideline considerations
·        Develop regulatory framework for “fake meat” that protects the health and well-being of consumers, prevents false and deceptive marketing, and ensures a level playing field for real meat products
·        We discussed the needs for several changes to the guest worker program that would allow for this program to more effectively meet the needs of Georgia's agribusinesses. These challenges are not new in agriculture, forestry, and landscaping, however, they continue to be a priority issue that must be addressed. A major area of improvement needed is that currently a number of industries do not have access to the H-2A program (dairy, animal agriculture, on farm process, etc.). ‘Temporary and seasonal’ need to be re-define to cover these other industries.
We also pushed for responsibility of the guest worker program be moved from the Department of Labor to the USDA, changes to the standard wage rate, worker housing, and several other needed updates.
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 is still being developed but will include many of the most pressing state issues facing Georgia agriculture today.

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.

AgriTrust of Georgia is again pleased to offer the 2019 Regional Seminars Top-Ten Issues in Workers’ Compensation ”!  Now is the time to register to receive practical workers’ compensation information that will benefit you and your agribusiness clients. The 2019 seminars will feature best practices of pre-hire checklist, post-injury drug testing, claims reporting, communication with the injured employee, and much more! These seminars will also have AgriTrust’s defense attorneys and claims adjuster presenting information during the seminars, and all seminar presenters will be available to answer questions. Come and join AgriTrust for one and one-half hours of education, a complimentary meal, and interaction with other Fund members and agents. Fund members will receive premium credit for every business represented and insurance agents will receive 1 hour of continuing education credits. AgriTrust of Georgia provides a stable, affordable source of workers’ compensation insurance to the agribusiness industry. We encourage you to consider this proven program for your workers’ compensation insurance needs. For more information about AgriTrust of Georgia and these upcoming seminars. visit or contact AgriTrust of Georgia at 855/753-0016.

  • Wednesday, July 31st – 12:00 Noon - The Plaza Restaurant in Thomasville

  • Thursday, August 1st – 9:00 A.M - UGA Tifton Conference Center in Tifton

  • Thursday, August 1st – 12:30 P.M. - Doublegate Country Club in Albany

  • Wednesday, August 7th – 12:00 Noon - Bulloch Fertilizer Company in Statesboro

  • Thursday, August 8th – 12:00 Noon - NEW LOCATION Durden Cabin at Partin Park in Lyons

  • Thursday, August 15th – 12:00 Noon - United Community Bank in Dawsonville

  • Wednesday, August 21st – 12:00 Noon - Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry

  • Thursday, August 22nd – 12:00 Noon - Georgia Grown Welcome Center in Forest Park

  • Thursday, August 22nd – 6:00 P.M. - Holiday Inn in Athens

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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Other features include:
  • Thirty-one ag-specific topics on DVD, licensed for on-site use
  • Manage your employee list
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  • Track results on your personal dashboard
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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!

Vehicle Maintenance Central
Need help with your Vehicle Maintenance Files? You know you maintain your vehicles, but do you document it as required by the DOT? Proper vehicle maintenance and documentation results in less out-of-service time, violations and fines. VMC is a web-based tool that makes it simple and easy to track and document your vehicle maintenance files:
  • Notifications when service is due
  • SMART card makes it possible to transfer information from paper to electronic record
  • Stores part numbers for handy retrieval
  • Provides reports and archived records
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  • Designed for a wide variety of equipment
  • $225.00 Annual Subscription

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* The Citrus Expo will be held August 14-15, 2019 at the Lee Civic Center in North Ft. Myers, FL. For more information please click here.
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 .
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