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Jarrod Creasy receives award at agribusiness luncheon
Jarrod Creasy - photo by FILE
    Jarrod Creasy, a Bulloch County resident who currently attend the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, received the M. L. Miller Memorial Agricultural Scholarship Thursday at an agribusiness luncheon sponsored by the Bulloch County Farm Bureau.
    The scholarship, which Creasy will use for school expenses, was funded by the purchase of a bale of cotton auctioned last fall, bought by Park Avenue Bank.
    Those attending the luncheon also heard from Bulloch County Agent Wes Harris, who spoke about the current farm bill, and Jeremy Hill, director of the Georgia Southern University Coastal Rivers Water Planning and Policy Center.
    Hill discussed water management and agriculture issues.
    Visitors also watched a video created by Bulloch County 4-H members titled "I'm Only a Farmer," inspired by a poem with the same title.
    Bulloch County 4-H Senior President Kaitlin Brannen talked about the club's community service project, which was a way to "connect our youth to agriculture," she said.
    She talked about the sadness of watching farmland turn to subdivisions: "We've seen the pink flowers turn to white snow (cotton) where subdivisions now  grow."
    The video featured 25 Bulloch County farmers, each reciting a line from the poem as they stood in front of the camera, various agricultural scenes  including farm equipment, cattle or barns behind  them.
    "The time we were able to spend with each farmer was greatly treasured," she said. Then, continuing to speak about farming's challenges," I've seen my daddy bow his head when it doesn't rain, and I've seen him bow his head when it does."
    Hill spoke about water issues, a hot topic due to the current drought conditions across the state.
    "We're now ... abnormally dry ... in a moderate drought, "  he said.
    Hill talked about a statewide water plan that has been approved, which will create regional water councils that examine water use, pollutants, quality, consumption and management.
    A major focus will be on using reclaimed water in agriculture, he said.
    "We need to understand what farmers are really needing here," he said.
    The approved plan has funding and enforcement issues that need to be worked out, and the formative and organization stages of the plan are expected to continue through 2011, he said.
    Harris spoke about  HR 6124, a farm bill that was passed in spite of Pres. George Bush vetoing the bill due to concerns that included compliance with World Trade Organization requirements.
    The bill is titled the "Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008" and the majority of its focus is on nutrition.
    The bill is expected to stand as law through 2012, and will affect all aspects of Bulloch County agriculture including World Trade issues, mainly regarding cotton, he said.
    Harris, who is also special projects coordinator for the University of Georgia, also spoke about the drought and other challenges farmers are facing.
    "Overall, I still think it's a real bright future for agriculture," he said. "I think we're well situated to be able to address a lot of these challenges."

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