Friday, August 31, 2012

Got Food? Thank a Farmer: By Callie Akins, GJCA Chairwoman

Most people do not know where their food comes from. In fact, farming may be the hardest, most under-appreciated job there is. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Farming looks mighty easy, when your plow is a pencil and you are a thousand miles from a corn field." 

Farming is not easy. Living on a farm and in a farming community, I see farmers working from daylight to dusk and still struggling to make ends meet. However, I would I not trade life on a farm for anything. Yes, the hours are long and the work is hard, but when fall comes around it is always worth it.

Personally, fall is my favorite time of year. Not only because of watching college football on Saturdays, but because it is harvest time. Time to reap what we have sown all year long. Time to find a new little miracle in the pasture every morning and to see trailers leaving the grain fields every afternoon.

Many consumers look at the prices of groceries and think the farmer must be getting rich. President John F. Kennedy said, "The farmer is the only man in the economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways." 

Farmers are not getting rich, but most farmers are not in it for the money. They farm because they love it. I know this is true for me at least. Farming is not only a career, it is a way of life. Early mornings checking cows and late nights picking corn are things you come to love. 

So, next time you go to the grocery store and see the prices rising, remember the farmers' prices are rising, too. "Got food? Thank a farmer." That food did not just magically grow and make it on to your plate. Somewhere, someone put their blood, sweat and tears into that crop. 

Callie Akins is a senior homeschool student from Nashville, Ga. She is a past Georgia Junior Cattlemen's Association Convention coordinator and serves now as the GJCA Chairwoman.

Friday, August 17, 2012

GCA Wraps Up First Region Roundup in Calhoun

The annual statewide tour for Georgia Cattlemen's Association staff began Aug. 16 in Calhoun at the Gordon County Extension office.

GCA President Chuck Joiner led the meeting, assisted by Jason Johns, a member of the tour committee, Eddie Bradley, Gary Autry and Ben Hicks. Bradley gave an update on the cattle industry investment working group and Autry, a member of the Tri-County association, reviewed his group's Pay it Forward campaign. Hicks, a chapter relations officer on the 2012 to 2013 Georgia Junior Cattlemen's Association officer team, gave a GJCA update and reported excellent discussion on the future of the cattle business and the importance of youth involvement.

Josh White, GCA executive vice president, says participation was solid. Thirteen of the 16 chapters in Regions 1, 2 and 4 were represented.

"The conversation was positive and lively," White said. "I also want to mention that all three regional vice presidents were a big help, attended and did a great job getting their chapters out. GCA Executive Committee member Dean Bagwell also attended, setting a good example for the EC."

The meeting was sponsored by Barenbrug Seed Company's Mike Lee, and Gordon County 4-H's dairy judging team help serve the meal of brisket and creamed corn casserole. The team recently won the state judging contest and is raising money to help with travel to the national competition.

There are several Region Roundup meetings coming up, and GCA hopes to see many of its members at one of them:

  • Aug. 21, Athens
  • Aug. 28, Camilla
  • Sept. 6, Lyons
  • Sept. 11, Macon