Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Harris Brantley Challenge

GCA Members Challenged to Continue Donation Traditions
By Sarah Grogan, Georgia Cattlemen's Association summer intern
Harris Brantley, a 94-year-old cattleman from Thomaston, Ga., has always had a hand in different businesses over the years. Everything from the laundry business, school bus driving, egg farming and since 1958, raising cattle and hay -- and even fundraising to build the Georgia Cattlemen's Association headquarters in Macon, Ga.

"We asked people to donate calves. I believe it was 14 calves donated by Mid-Georgia," Brantley says. "I backgrounded. I raised $3,400 on those calves."

In addition to the money raised from selling the calves, GCA raffled off two Ford trucks and asked for cash donations to pay for the headquarters building project 26 years ago. For the latest renovation project , GCA hopes to use Brantley’s advice and not have to rely on membership money, but instead rely on donations.

It’s definitely an inspiration to hear the stories of individuals such as Brantley and how their hard work and dedication to the cattle industry over the years has not only benefited themselves, but has also benefited cattlemen throughout the state of Georgia.  As part of the GCA Executive Committee for the original headquarters building project, Brantley had a big responsibility in selecting both a convenient and desirable location as well as helping to raise money for the project. Brantley, who is a member of both the Mid-Georgia Cattlemen's and the GCA Hall of Fame, is always looking for ways to help GCA, and this most recent renovation is no exception.

The tradition of donating calves over the years has become a great non-dues revenue generator for GCA that we hope cattlemen will continue to carry on in the years to come. Brantley challenges fellow members to follow his lead.

"I’ve always believed a person should support what they are trying to make a living out of. ... I sold my calves recently, so I’ll be willing to give a cash donation and I encourage all of our members to either do the same or donate a calf. It’s going for a real good cause," Brantley says. "By not having to use membership money for the renovation project -- that is the way to go.”

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Georgia Cattleman magazine.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

House Farm Bill Fails; NCBA President Speaks Out

Courtesy National Cattlemen's Beef Association


WASHINGTON  — The US House of Representatives failed to pass the 2013 Farm Bill, HR 1947, this afternoon. The vote was 195 to 234.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Scott George issued the following statement:

“Passage of a 2013 Farm Bill remains the top priority for NCBA. That is why we are extremely disappointed in the failure of many members of the House for not recognizing the importance of a full five-year farm bill. In the midst of the struggling economy, rural America has been one of the few bright spots. This failure by the House places cattlemen and women behind the curve on having agriculture policy which not only provides certainty for producers nationwide, but also incorporates priorities important to the cattle industry.

“We were very close in this legislation to providing disaster programs for our producers, which would have extended disaster assistance for five years and would have covered losses in 2012 and 2013. These disaster programs are essential to equipping producers with the necessary tools to manage the risks associated with catastrophic weather events. After the historic drought which has plagued the countryside for the last few years, livestock producers needed these programs now more than ever.

“NCBA appreciates the efforts of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and Ranking Member Collin Peterson of Minnesota in attempting to move the 2013 Farm Bill forward. We continue to support passage of this legislation by the House and will work to ensure that producers receive the certainty they deserve. This was not a perfect bill for any industry, but in the end cattlemen and women made sacrifices in order to support this bill. We expected members of the House to do the same.”