is published quarterly for stockholders and friends of AgSouth. PRESIDENT William P Spigener, Jr.
Important Crop Insurance Dates! 07/01/03 Billing Date - Small Grains, Onions, Nursery 07/15/03 Acreage Reporting Date - Soybeans
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jacob L. Davis, III, Chairman
Noel L. Riggins, Vice Chairman
Kenneth Bennett Dolan E. Brown Jimmy C. Carter, Jr. Loy D. Cowart Herbert A. Daniel, Sr. Lee H. DeLoach W. Lewis Duvall George A. Hillsman Eugene T. Jones Jeffrey M. Knowles
A. Harvey Lemmon Jimmy B. Metts Ricky C. North H. L. Page Jerome G. Parker L. L. Post Charles C. Rucks John R. Wells David H. Womack
If you need crop insurance or have questions about AgSouth’s crop or timber insurance products, contact Jimmy Dockery at 912-3843200 or 800-334-1224. You may also reach Jimmy by e-mail at [email protected]
This notice is for informational purposes only. Policy provisions will prevail.
EDITOR Rhonda Uzzolino ASSISTANT EDITOR Wanda Mujica Address changes, questions, comments or requests for copies of our financial reports should be directed to AgSouth Farm Credit by writing Carolyn Jones or calling 912-764-9091. Our quarterly financial report can also be obtained on our website: www.agsouthfc.com. Contact us by email: [email protected]
AgSouth Farm Credit does not endorse or accept responsibility for the advertisements contained in this publication and is not responsible for any misrepresentations contained therein, including misprints. Opinions and statements contained in advertising and elsewhere in this publication are those of the advertisers. Advertise in the AgSouth Leader! Email Rhonda Uzzolino at [email protected]
or call at 912-682-5076. AgSouth reserves the right to refuse publication of any advertising deemed inappropriate in the opinion of the editors.
AgSouth is Giving Away Several Free Trips to Young Farmers! AgSouth is co-sponsoring the Young Couples’ Cooperative Conference, which will be held at the Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beach November 7-9, 2003. If you and your spouse are interested in attending, please contact your loan officer. Nominations are due September 1, 2003.
THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS! We hope you’re enjoying your AgSouth Leader. Please thank our advertisers and let them know you saw their ad in the AgSouth Leader. Advertising pays for the cost of printing and mailing your cooperative’s magazine. If you have any comments or suggestions about AgSouth Leader articles, columns or advertisements, please contact Rhonda Uzzolino at 912-682-5076 or [email protected]
Support your Leader advertisers!
ON THE COVER Field Corn by John R. Clark.
Unclaimed Checks! Check our website for a list of outstanding AgSouth checks which have not been cashed or which have been returned because of an address change. The money might be yours!
SOY INK Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 3
When His Country Called, The Whole Family Answered By: Stacy Sikes, Vice President
Driggers Simmental Farm was founded by Jessie Driggers 25 years ago on 62 acres in Tattnall County, Ga. Jessie and his family raise Simmentals, a very gentle, fast-growing breed. Jessie is very interested in genetics, and each year he works toward raising a stronger herd. All of the Driggers’ cows are bred through artificial insemination after Jessie carefully selects which sires to use on the herd. The farm currently has 35 mature brood cows and 20 calves, along with yearling heifers and bulls. 4 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
s if the farm isn’t enough to keep him busy, Jessie also runs the Tattnall Naval Satellite Tracking Station in Glennville. In addition, Jessie and two partners founded the Canoochee Forage Bull Development Center in Glennville two years ago. The Center gathers data on bulls raised on forage versus feed. Their goal is to establish proof that bulls raised strictly by foraging have no loss of stamina as opposed to those raised on feed. Canoochee Forage Bull Development Center has 75 bulls on the program and will have its second annual sale on October 24, 2003. (Anyone wanting information on the sale or program can contact Chrissy Driggers or Danny Durrence at 912-654-4367.) When Jessie’s not busy with cattle or running the satellite station, he’s serving his country. Jessie has been in the Air National Guard for 20 years, where he is a Master Sergeant in the 165th Airlift Wing based in Savannah. This special wing was originally founded as the 158th Fighter Squadron in 1946. Jessie facilitates repairs on the avionic systems needed to navigate and control C130s. Because of his expertise in the field of avionics, Jessie was deployed to Oman earlier this year, along with other members of the 165th. His unit hauls cargo to troops stationed in and around the Persian Gulf, but his primary duty is to repair the instruments the pilots and navigators use to fly the planes. Since his deployment in March, Jessie’s unit has flown over 2,600 sorties in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jessie’s absence has left the running of the farm to his wife of one year, Chrissy, and their blended family of “five wonderful children,” according to Chrissy. Jessie’s deployment has been hard on the whole family, but they are persevering through faith and joining together. Admittedly, they have all had to take a crash course in farming. Chrissy, especially, is feeling the toll, working doubleduty as a parent. “I tell Jessie that by the time he returns, I will have mastered farming, but it’s too bad there’s no way to master teenagers,” jokes Chrissy.
LEFT TOP: The Driggers Family patiently awaits Jessie’s return. LEFT BOTTOM: Jessie receives a much appreciated care package from home.
Jessie at work on the base in Oman. Temperatures at the camp can reach 120 degrees. The girls working with the cows. Chrissy works full time for the Savannah Economic Development Authority. Jason, 18, is in the Air National Guard, just like his father, and will be attending tech school this summer to finish his training. Josh, 17, will be a high school senior next year and hopes to continue his education after graduation. Anna, 16, is a junior in high school and is a pro at showing heifers from her many years in 4-H. She hopes to one day have a career teaching
ag. Mindy, 13, also shows heifers, but her greatest love is horses. She competes in barrel racing and trail riding events whenever the family’s busy schedule permits. The youngest of the children, Ashley, 10, has a passion for music and small animals and recently recorded her very first CD as a special gift for Jessie. But no matter what their secondary passions,
continued on next page Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 5
Anna wants to teach agriculture. Ashley proudly displays a flag from one of the guards’ missions. Mindy’s greatest love is horses.
Driggers Family (continued) while Dad is gone, the family’s primary focus is maintaining the upkeep of the farm and the unity of the family. Jessie is as proud of them as they are of him. Jessie’s deployment has forced the family to utilize a strong work ethic in order to keep up with their schools, jobs and farm responsibilities. And there’s always plenty of work to go around. Fortunately, all pitch in to do their part. According to Chrissy, the whole experience has brought them closer as a
family. Jessie gets up at 4:30 a.m. (8:30 p.m. EST) each morning to chat on-line with his family. They share details about their days, discuss the farm happenings . . . the usual exchange of information families have around the dinner table. “This day-to-day contact with Jessie keeps our spirits up and brings a sense of normalcy to our lives,” says Chrissy. An AgSouth member for the past five years, Jessie came to AgSouth because “AgSouth understands the farmer and his
needs much better than other lending institutions. AgSouth is more user friendly to the farmer and his family.” AgSouth wishes Jessie, his unit, and all other US troops a safe return home.
Part-Time Farmers Serving Rural America By: Mike Grimes, Vice President
he Randy Coggins family of Carroll County, Ga., is deeply committed to agriculture, community service and rural America. The Coggins live on a 28-acre farm in rural Carroll County, Ga., where they raise cattle and hay. Randy was President of the Cattlemen’s Association in 1999 and 2000 and still remains active in the association. The Coggins are also members of the Young Farmers Association because, as Randy says, “I may be old, but I’m not too old to learn new things.” As long-time members of AgSouth, the Coggins have a deep appreciation of AgSouth’s commitment to agriculture and the rural community. According to Randy,
“Having a lender that’s dedicated to providing financing for rural America is important to us and other members of rural communities. In today’s economy, it helps to know that your lender understands your business and will be there for you.” “Having a lender that’s dedicated to providing financing for rural America is important to us and other members of rural communities. In today’s economy, it helps to know that your lender understands your business and will be there for you.” Randy Coggins is a fireman with the City
TOP: The Coggins Family. RIGHT: Randy’s Japanese hybrid non-astringent persimmon trees.
of East Point. As the Chief Commander of the Fire Safety Education Department, he teaches adults and children the importance of fire safety. However, Randy’s dedication to public service began long before he became a fireman. He served his country in Vietnam for two years and then served another two years as an aircraft crash firefighter on the U.S.S. Constellation. In 2004, after more than 32 years as a fireman, Randy plans to retire from his post. Randy Coggins also works part-time as a paramedic. He says that, “Sadly, a good portion of my paramedic activities is spent delivering babies to 13- and 14-year-olds. All too often there is nothing for teenagers to do, especially in small towns, and that’s when teens get into trouble.” Randy and his wife Elisabeth have two daughters and have always been supportive of their daughters’ activities. As active parents, they have spent their lives trying to bring values to their own children, as well as other children in the community. Elisabeth Coggins, a county agent for Carroll County, grew up on the family farm in Fulton County. Between school, 4-H and farm chores, there was always something to do and little idle time for getting in trouble. Elisabeth
realized that if she were going to raise two daughters, she’d better find activities to keep them busy, and that’s just what she did. When Sierra, the Coggins’ oldest daughter, began her involvement with 4-H, Elisabeth began volunteering her services to support her daughter’s activities. After eight years of volunteer service, the extension service finally offered her a paying job. She stays active with the 4-H and says that the agricultural lifestyle has been very rewarding. Although she spends as much time with chickens and cows as she does with her family, Elisabeth wouldn’t trade her extension continued on next page Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 7
Marilyn Howard Receives Georgia Farm Credit Scholarship By:Rhonda Uzzolino, Marketing Manager
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Cheyenne enjoys working with cows. Cheyenne displays one of her 4-H awards. Cheyenne and her father, Randy, a true hero.
Part-Time Farmers (continued) job for anything else. “I believe in 4-H. It gives kids an outlet, keeps them together and teaches them leadership,” she says. Elisabeth also coaches a high school judging team. “I’ve been working with some of these seniors since they were in the fifth grade. They’re like my second family,” she says. Elisabeth and Randy’s youngest daughter, Cheyenne, is a recent graduate of Central High School in Roopville. Cheyenne also inherited her family’s love of agriculture. She is President of the Georgia Junior Cattlemen’s Association and the local FFA. She is also a member of 4-H, Beta Club, National Honor Society and French National Honor Society. Somehow she finds time to work two days each week on G-Whiz Farm in nearby Buchanan and is an active member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. Cheyenne says that her busy schedule keeps her out of trouble. “Most days I’m up at 5:45, busy all day, and in bed by 11:00. On the weekends I may sleep until 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning.” This fall Cheyenne hopes to join her older sister Sierra at Oklahoma State University to study animal science with an 8 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
emphasis on beef cattle reproduction. She will be well prepared for her major, as she recently helped birth a calf. “I enjoyed the experience for the most part,” she laughs, “right up until the time I found myself covered in manure.” She looks forward to more rewarding experiences working with cattle as she continues her education. Though free time is a rarity for the busy family, each family member has a favorite pastime. Elisabeth enjoys spending time in her garden. She is a master gardener and occasionally speaks on the subject throughout the Southeast. Randy is a good cook who makes great biscuits - his secret is in keeping the dough “moist enough for sopping.” He also raises produce and Japanese hybrid non-astringent persimmons, which he sells at the Carrollton market. Elisabeth says the family manages to get everything done only through a lot of cooperation. “Farming is fun and relaxing for all of us, so if we have a choice between housework and farm work, it’s the housework that usually goes undone.”
Congratulations to Marilyn Howard, who recently received a $1,200 college scholarship co-sponsored by AgSouth. Marilyn is a rising sophomore from Morgan County, Ga., who is majoring in agribusiness at the University of Georgia. As dedicated to her studies as she is to her community, Marilyn has a long list of credits and honors to her name. After graduating she hopes to work in public relations with an ag-affiliated business. According to Marilyn, “I know with certainty that my career path will be in promoting agriculture.”
Swap a Story for a Hat! Whether you have a short anecdote or a heartwarming story about growing up on a farm, we’d love to hear it. And if you have photos to go along with your story, that’s even better. Send your stories and photos to Rhonda Uzzolino, 218 Clearmeadow Drive, Columbia SC 29229 or email [email protected]
We will try to ensure the return of all photos. Make sure to include your name, address and telephone number in case there are any questions. Selected stories may be printed in upcoming editions of the AgSouth Leader, and everyone who submits a story, whether or not it’s published, will receive an AgSouth hat as a token of our appreciation. Share your story with us, and then share the AgSouth story with your friends! [Editor reserves the right to edit stories for space or content if necessary.
oster Fender, a timber farmer in Atkinson County, Ga., has been a Farm Credit member since the early 1980’s. His love of land began as a boy, when his father bought the 360-acre family farm for $3.75 an acre. Fender, Sr., also a timberman, taught his son the value of hard work and one very important lesson that Foster never forgot: Prudently invest in land and you’ll never have to worry about your boss firing you. At an early age Fender worked with his father after school and on weekends. He got his first “real” job at the age of 16, leasing turpentine boxes and cruising timber. With his reputation for hard work and frugality, he was able to borrow $1,500 to purchase his first house. He rented it out,
Foster Fender Southern Pine Producer By: Jackie Spivey, Assistant Vice President
“Financing timber requires an understanding of the wood industry’s irregular income and cash flow. AgSouth is the only area lender that has registered foresters on staff who understand my business.” applied the rent to the loan, and only owed $54 on the home when he moved in with his bride Francine several years later. That purchase was a catalyst for Fender, who set out to learn everything he could about land ownership. At the local diner’s “liar’s club,” a group of more experienced landowners frequently gathered to discuss local real estate sales and property values. Fender sat in, listened and learned. When a prime 125-acre tract of three-year-old planted pines and farmland went on the market, 21year-old Fender looked at the property, assessed its future income potential, and borrowed $9,000 to purchase his first timber tract. After working for months to clear the
10 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
Fender showcases three-year-old pines.
discusses timber prices with loan officer Jackie Spivey. RIGHT: Foster and Francine Fender.
property, he leased the cropland to a neighbor and sat back to watch his timber grow. Almost 50 years later Fender still receives income from that tract. Fender has invested in land throughout his life by his “Rule of Three D’s”: discipline, determination and durability. He says it takes all three of these qualities to be a successful timber grower and adds with a wink, “Timber is not one of your faster-growing crops. Without patience, a timber grower might as well just gamble the money away.” Growing timber is what Foster Fender does best, and he’s one of the larger
landowners and timber farmers in Southeast Georgia. He’s seen crops come and go throughout his years, and says that timber is the only crop that’s nonperishable and holds its value, if you have the patience to hold out for the right market. “If the price isn’t right this year, the timber will keep growing and will still be there next year, or the next, or the next,” he says. He then adds, “To be successful and happy in life, you’ve got to first discover what you love, and then do it. I love growing timber.” Frugality is another key to this unassuming man’s success. “Why put money
into a new car when I can use that same money to purchase something that will generate income?” he asks. “In five or six years, the car will be worth nothing, but the land . . . well, that’s a different story.” But sometimes Foster’s frugality goes a bit too far, especially as far as his wife is concerned. Fender jokes that he and Francine would still be living in his “$54 house” if she hadn’t tricked him into moving. Fender bought the family’s current home about five years ago as an investment property. continued on next page
Fender (continued) He planned to remodel the 4,100 square foot ranch house and sell it for a profit, but he made a crucial mistake by asking Francine to manage the renovations. In the process of restoring the old house, she found herself falling in love with the place. Rather than argue with her husband about keeping it, the wily Francine waited until he was out of town and quietly moved all of their belongings into the home. It may have been sneaky, but Fender says if Francine hadn’t forced his hand they would still be in that $54 house. It took some time for him to adjust to his new surroundings, but once Fender got used to the new home, he fell in love with it, too. Fender likes working with AgSouth because “financing timber requires an understanding of the wood industry’s irregular income and cash flow. AgSouth is the only area lender that has registered foresters on staff who understand my business.” Fender’s advice to prospective timber growers and landowners is to “get in when everyone else is getting out. The property value will eventually come around . . . if you have the patience.”
Second-generation pine on Fender’s first tract. Georgia pines scrape the sky.
12 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
Cashing Out Your 401(k) Can be Costly By: Ron Washburn, CFP, American Express Financial Advisors, Inc.
and state income taxes. If you are in the 27.5 percent tax bracket, federal taxes and penalties will add up to a large bite $5,400 before- state taxes out of your $15,000 distribution.
What are my options?
mericans have become increasingly concerned about job security - and with just cause. Unemployment is on the rise, and that means many people will search for additional funds to help them get through a financially uncertain period of time. Some may choose to cash out their retirement accounts early. However, this seemingly simple choice carries a steep price.
The price you pay Let’s take a look at a hypothetical example of the cost of cashing out early. If you have $15,000 in your 401(k) and decide to take a lump-sum distribution after you leave your job, you will lose the benefits of tax deferral and the potential opportunity for investment gains worth tens of thousands of dollars. Assuming an eight percent annual return, that same $15,000 could reach nearly $70,000 in just 20 years. Additionally, taking a distribution can mean you’ll get socked with a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty, as well as federal
To avoid such losses, consider rolling your 401(k) over to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Doing so will likely give you increased investment options and more control over your money. With an IRA, you can invest your money in a number of different ways, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and certificates of deposit (CDs). As with a 401(k), your assets will still grow tax-deferred, and as your investments grow, you will still enjoy the benefits of compounding growth. IRAs provide more flexibility for distributions than a traditional employer plan. Another benefit of an IRA is that you can convert it to a Roth IRA. You’ll pay taxes on the conversion amount, but you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits a Roth IRA provides, including the potential for tax-free growth, no taxes on withdrawals once you reach age 591/2, provided that the funds have been there for at least five years, and no minimum distribution requirements. When you leave your employer, you potentially have several options for the money in your 401(k) account. These may include:
Ron Washburn, CFP American Express Financial Advisors Inc.
taking it and spending it; keeping it in your former employer’s plan (if you have at least $5,000 in the plan); transferring it to your new employer’s plan; or rolling it over into an IRA. Before choosing, consider the impact your decision will have.
Where can you turn for help? According to a recent report by Cerulli Associates, more than half of Americans who took a lump-sum distribution from a former employer’s retirement plan chose not to roll the funds into an IRA. Considering the recent rise in corporate layoffs, literally millions of Americans may be squandering their future retirement assets when they get “pink slipped.” If you’d like to learn more about IRAs and how to manage your retirement fund dollars, consider consulting a professional financial advisor. Recent (and future) tax law changes may provide even more options for rolling your money out of one retirement plan into another. A qualified financial advisor can answer your questions about a rollover IRA and help you make the most of your retirement funds. They can help you develop a plan that’s in step with your current and future goals and needs.
American Express Financial Advisors Inc. Member NASD. American Express Company is separate from American Express Financial Advisors Inc. and is not a brokerdealer. 2002 American Express Financial Corporation all rights reserved. Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 13
Kingston Listens to the Concerns of AgSouth Farmers By: Jimmy Dockery, Vice President
“Thanks to the personal investments America’s farmers put into their operations and the availability of competitively-priced Farm Credit loans, all Americans are able to enjoy the highest quality food in the world at a very low price.” Congressman Kingston (r) and AgSouth Chairman of the Board Jay Davis of Pierce County, Ga., (l) led the discussions. ongressman Jack Kingston visited the Douglas Branch of AgSouth recently to meet with First Congressional District Farm Credit members. Kingston discussed agricultural issues of importance to the district and listened to the concerns of area farmers. AgSouth’s Chairman of the Board, Jay Davis, of Pierce County, Ga., along with other AgSouth members, explained the importance of Farm Credit to their lives. According to Davis, “Farm Credit has always been there to provide operating capital, even when times were difficult.” Davis went on to say that because AgSouth operates as a cooperative, profits are returned to its patrons - the farmers, rural homeowners and ag-related businesses of rural America. In addition to providing competitive rates for agriculture, AgSouth gives America’s farmers another advantage over borrowing from other lenders by reducing their effective interest rate through the patronage program. Les Post, of Jeff Davis County, Ga., told the group that in 2002 he received over $29 in AgSouth patronage dividends for every $100 in interest
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part of AgSouth’s congressionally-mandated he paid to AgSouth! (Since 1988 AgSouth mission,” added McCall. has returned more than $100 million in Farm Credit, rural America’s partner, patronage to its patrons in Georgia!) helps farmers provide food and fiber for all The discussion led to how Farm Credit is Americans. AgSouth is proud to be a part of benefiting people living in urban areas. the Farm Credit System. Thanks to the personal investments America’s farmers put into their operations and the availability of competitively priced Farm Credit loans, all Americans are able to enjoy the highest quality food in the world at a very low price. Following the discussion AgSouth Regional Manager Van McCall outlined AgSouth’s Farm Management Training Program. This program is provided free to all interested farmers. “Encouraging (L to R) AgSouth Director Jay Davis, AgSouth Vice President and young, beginning and farmer Jerri Lynn Taylor and Director Kenneth Bennett shared their small farmers is just a ideas and concerns with the Congressman.
Congressman Max Burns Visits Statesboro By: Dewey Newton, Vice President
Farm Credit is as great today as it was in 1916, when the system was created.” Being a farmer from Screven County, Max Burns clearly understands the need for large amounts of capital to pay for farms, equipment, crop inputs and operating expenses. Max is one of the dwindling numbers of farmers and truly rural residents in Congress. Burns serves on the House Agriculture, Education & Workforce and the Transportation & Infrastructure Committees.
“Farm Credit has been there for us through good times and bad.” AgSouth Director Lee DeLoach (r) told Congressman Burns he believes that the need for Farm Credit is as important today as it was when the System was created in 1916. ongressman Max Burns visited AgSouth’s Statesboro office for a lunch meeting in April. During the luncheon AgSouth’s members and staff discussed how the cooperative helps improve the quality of life in rural America. Topics included everything from full-time farmer issues to loans for non-farmers (rural home loans and loans for farm-related businesses). All of the discussions emphasized the need for a strong Farm Credit System. Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Page of Bryan County shared the story of their first Farm Credit loan back in 1956 at the Savannah PCA office.
According to Mr. Page, “During the past 49 years, Farm Credit has been there for us through good times and bad. And since AgSouth began paying patronage in 1988, the benefits of doing business with my cooperative have added directly to my operation’s bottom line.” AgSouth Director Lee DeLoach, of Bulloch County, Ga., expanded on the theme of AgSouth being rural America’s partner by sharing a story about patronage. Mr. DeLoach said his 2002 patronage from AgSouth was sufficient to pay the real estate taxes on his farm. DeLoach explained, “The need for
Based on his responses to questions from the group, the Congressman is very well informed about the issues and problems facing rural America. Burns assured those attending the meeting that he would do his best to represent the people of the 12th District and would continue to work for the rural community.
Mr. & Mrs. Hughlynn Page, the last full-time farmers in Bryan County, encourage young farmers to get into the farming business. BOTTOM: Max Burns (center) along with Farm Credit staff and directors. Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 15
New Employees The AgSouth Mortgages department has been busy hiring originators and support staff to keep up with the demand for home loans. Andrea Rhodes was recently hired as a mortgage originator for the Carrollton office. A graduate of the State University of West Georgia, Andrea is a resident of Douglasville, Ga. She will be servicing applicants from Carroll, Douglas, Haralson and Heard Counties. Wanda Smith is a mortgage originator working out of the Griffin office. Wanda is a member of Griffin’s Board of Realtors. She was previously the owner and president of Absolute Mortgage Corporation in Zebulon, Ga. Wanda will be originating loans for applicants in Butts, Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Lamar, Pike, Spalding and South Fulton Counties. In the Baxley office, Annette Raulerson recently began originating home loans in Appling and Bacon counties. Annette has an 18-year history in lending. Before coming to AgSouth, she worked in Mobile, Alabama, as a manager with AmSouth Bank for 15 years and then as a manager with Compass Bank for three years. Stacy Anderson is a mortgage originator working out of the Blackshear and Jesup branches. Stacy, originally from Nicholls, Ga., graduated from Georgia Southern University in 1993 with a B.B.A. in Accounting. Prior to coming to AgSouth, he was a cost accountant for D.L. Lee & Sons, Inc. in Alma, Ga. Stacy will cover Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Clinch, Pierce and Ware Counties. Vernita Covington is the newest underwriter in the Madison office. Vernita graduated from Commonwealth College with a B.A. in Business Management. She brings nine years of experience in the mortgage industry to AgSouth Mortgages. Jana Grove is Statesboro’s new customer service representative. Jana is a sophomore in the Bell Honors Program at Georgia Southern University and is pursuing a degree in public relations.
Best Wishes Natashia Brack, a four-year employee, resigned in March, 2003, to accept a job closer to her home. Natashia was the head processor of AgSouth Mortgages’ secondary market in Madison. Jenni Blake, a loan assistant in Thomaston, resigned in May. Jenni, who was with the association for a year-and-a-half, has relocated to Florida and will be working for Farm Credit of Central Florida. Lane Godley, a customer service representative in Statesboro, resigned in June. Upon receiving her B.A. in Finance from GSU, Lane returned to her hometown of Hinesville to pursue a career in bank management.
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MBL FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. MBL Financial Services, Inc and AgSouth are proud to announce that we are partnering to provide equipment lease financing both directly to commercial customers and through equipment vendors. MBL has been servicing equipment vendors and leasing customers since 1988, by creating transaction structures that meet the specific needs of the lessee. Through creative underwriting, extraordinary service and professional integrity, MBL has developed long-term relationships with many equipment vendors and equipment users.
For information on leasing, contact your local AgSouth loan officer or call Kevin Pratt at MBL at 800-624-9042 (office) or 770-330-1009 (cell)
Visit our website: www.mblfinancial.com
Advantages of Equipment Leasing: • Preserves liquidity • Provides 100% financing (in most cases) • Provides fixed payments • Potential tax advantages* *Customers should always consult their tax advisor
Keadle Lumber Enterprises
By: Mike Stewart, Vice President
18 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
Keadle Lumber Enterprises, situated in Upson County, Ga., has been manufacturing lumber for more than 55 years. teve Keadle, president of the company, is the second generation to run the family business his father, Homer, began in 1947. Homer continues to serve in an advisory capacity as chairman of the board. Steve has been the acting president since 1997, having previously served as vice president and general manager. Today the company has 100 employees and operates 24/7 at a modern facility situated on 110 acres east of Thomaston. Keadle produces 55 to 60 million feet of southern yellow pine products and 150,000 tons of byproducts each year, which makes it one of the largest independently owned lumber operations in the Southeast. The company has
“AgSouth understands the timber business, so I don’t have to waste time explaining my needs.” come a long way from its humble beginnings, when Homer traveled the counties surrounding Forsyth, Ga., with his portable sawmill, cutting green logs and selling the lumber to planing mills for further processing. As the business grew, Homer added a planing mill and dry kiln. While still in college, Steve assisted Homer in adding a hardwood sawmill. In 1976 the Keadles updated their pine sawmill with 1970’s equipment and a computerized lumber sorter. During the 1980’s Steve initiated growth into other products by first establishing a pallet mill, and later a pressure treating facility and a steam-generating boiler to fuel the kiln. To ensure the company’s continued success, a
Paul Batchelor (l) and Steve Keadle (r) at the entrance to the sawmill. LEFT BOTTOM:
The sawmill as it was in 1964.
few years ago Keadle re-established its own logging operation, which provides Keadle more security in maintaining log supply. Earlier this year Keadle initiated a contractual relationship with one of the largest suppliers of pressure treated lumber in the US. The result is that Keadle’s largest customer is located on Keadle’s mill property, and thus provides a conduit to Home Depot, one of the largest buyers of lumber in the US. Keadle’s wood procurement staff selects only the best trees for their products, while ensuring the prosperity of the forests by adhering to Best Management Practices. According to Steve, “We believe that the only way to secure the continued prosperity of the lumber business is to ensure the health and maintenance of our forests.” In order to remain profitable in such a volatile industry, Keadle made major updates to the sawmill beginning in 2000, and, of
course, turned to long-time lender, AgSouth, to finance the changes. Steve and Homer initiated the relationship with Farm Credit more than 25 years ago. “AgSouth understands the timber business, so I don’t have to waste time explaining my needs,” says Steve. The installation of a log optimization package allowed the company to get more lumber out of each log. “We don’t produce more quantity than we did with the old mill,” he says, “but now we’re able to get more product from each log. This is a big factor in the success of the company, since the price of lumber has dropped 25 to 30 percent to levels seen in the early ‘90’s, while log prices as well as labor, supplies and insurance, are currently 45% or more higher than they were in 1992.” Steve knows the lumber business from continued on next page Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 19
Keadle Lumber (continued) the inside out. During high school and college he worked in all areas of the mills. After graduating from UGA in 1975 with a degree in Business Administration, Steve came into the business on a full-time basis, acquiring ownership in the company shortly thereafter. “My first priority was to establish personnel policies and benefits in order to recruit and retain personnel whom would be more conducive to growing the company,” says Steve. For the next several years he worked in all phases of the family business. “I’ve
inspected and bought timber and land, cut logs, operated the sawmill, sold the lumber, accounting, finance . . . you name it. If a job exists here, I’ve done it at some point.” Having an owner who has first-hand experience in all of the company’s operations serving as president has helped the company streamline processing and reduce expenses. Steve is determined to keep the business strong and productive. Keadle’s concerns for the future are centered around an oversupply of lumber due to competition from imports,
continued development of alternative lumber products and environmental and governmental regulations, which have resulted in a decline in the market price of finished products. But if the company’s 55year history is any indication, Keadle will adapt to industry changes and do whatever it takes to ensure the company’s success. “To stand still is to go backwards,” says Keadle. “We’re always on the lookout for new products and processes, while striving to improve efficiency and product quality.”
Charles H. Brown Brown Rountree & Stewart
Do I Need a Will? By: Charles H. Brown, Brown Rountree & Stewart
oing to see a lawyer to have a will prepared is like going to see a physician to have an annual physical exam: “I will get around to that tomorrow.” But, alas, we cannot plan our deaths. Persons otherwise vigilant and responsible about business affairs do not like to take the time or to confront potentially difficult issues about asset division, so will preparation is oftentimes left to a tomorrow that never comes. But failure to prepare a will can often result in most unfortunate, unintended results. Consider some examples: • A young farmer and his wife drive a substantial distance to attend a farm association meeting and both are killed in an automobile accident when a drunk driver crosses over the centerline. The couple leaves surviving two minor children. Without a will, contentious litigation results between paternal and maternal family members about who will serve as guardian of the children. • An elderly farmer dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, leaving a wife and four adult children. The farmer’s intention had been to prepare a will leaving all of his assets available for the support of his wife during her lifetime, but he never got around to it. Under the Georgia statutes on dissent and distribution where no will exists, the wife receives only one-third of his estate, while the children inherit the other two-thirds, leaving the wife without adequate financial resources for her own independent support. What can you do to avoid such occurrences? Promptly make an appointment with your attorney and draw a
will. Here are some of the benefits of doing so: • You decide who gets your property and how and when it will be distributed. • With a will you can provide for extended trust management of assets, meaning that your assets can be professionally managed to provide an income stream to your beneficiaries. • An attorney skilled in estate planning can draft a will so as to substantially reduce or even eliminate death taxes, but if this planning is not done in your lifetime, after your death little can be done to avoid the taxation if your estate exceeds tax exclusion sums. • If you die without a will, an administrator selected by the court, not you, will be named to manage your estate. But if you draw a will, you can choose your own executor and trustee. • Parents can name guardians for minor children.
• Charitable gifts can be made if you wish, for example, to your church. Some people are discouraged from drawing a will because of what they anticipate will be the undue complexity of the matter. But that is an incorrect assumption. Unless your estate is quite large, attorneys experienced in drawing wills can likely complete the process in no more than two or three conferences and with no alteration of your present financial arrangements or ownership of assets. So what do you do? Right now, pick up the phone and make an appointment with your attorney to discuss the preparation of a will. You and the family members for whom you wish to provide will be happy you made that decision. This article does not constitute legal advice. See your attorney to discuss issues unique to your assets and family circumstances. Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 21
Future Trees By: Rhonda Uzzolino, Marketing Manager
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Tommy Strickland tells the story of a customer who wanted to move a favorite tree to a lot where she was planning to build a house. She called Future Trees, which not only managed to move the tree, but also stored it until her new home was complete and ready for landscaping. uture Trees, located in Bulloch County, Ga., is owned by AgSouth patrons, Tommy Strickland and John Quattlebaum. With 90 acres in production, Future Trees sells everything from young seedlings to mature trees native to the Southeast. The oldest trees for sale on the farm are oaks and magnolias that were planted in 1988. Quattlebaum and Strickland began operating the nursery in 1987. In 1993 they moved to their current location South of
FROM TOP: Future Trees uses only the hardiest oaks for cloning stock. AgSouth Regional Vice President Pat Calhoun (l) talks with Future Trees’ co-owner, Tommy Strickland (r).
“AgSouth has more to meet our business’ needs than just loans.” Statesboro, Ga., on property that has been in John’s family for many years. Theirs is a state-of-the-art operation that includes a controlled temperature program that
safeguards small plants from Georgia’s extreme temperatures. Future Trees uses a massive irrigation system throughout the nursery to distribute nutrients and water-based fertilizers to produce rapid, sturdy growth and development of the nursery stock. John and Tommy have a section of the nursery set aside just for the cloning stock. Sprouts from these special trees are collected continued on next page Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 23
Future Trees (continued) and taken to the greenhouse in the spring. After the roots are developed and the young trees are thriving, Future Trees either ships them or plants them on the premises in predug holes. These holes are filled with a special liner that facilitates easy ground removal and shipping. The company typically raises trees in special planters until they are one year old and fully ready for transplanting. According to Strickland, Future Trees is the first company in the world to clone oaks successfully on a commercial basis. It selects only the sturdiest, straightest trees for cloning. Clients prefer the cloned oaks because of the predictability of the qualities and appearance of the mature trees. When planting Future Trees’ cloned oaks on a driveway, a client realizes that in all probability the trees will have uniformity of growth, form and color. John and Tommy specialize in cloning Willow Oaks and Hybeam® Overcup Oaks and know what type of soil and conditions produce the
greatest probability of their survival. Strickland points out that cloning plants has been around for a while. However, Future Trees was one of the first nurseries to clone trees on a massive scale. He predicts continued improvement in tree cloning as more companies experiment in this area. Of all the species of stock on the company’s 90 acres, cloned oaks are the company’s biggest sellers. Because Future Trees is a pioneer in the oak tree cloning industry, it is able to sell the oaks to developers all over the country. Because Future Trees manages many acres of its own tree stock and also grows plants for other nurseries, the operation requires a lot of maintenance. Fifteen full-time employees tend the nursery in the spring and summer, and, as Strickland says, “you wouldn’t want to pay our water bill.” Strickland and Quattlebaum first came to AgSouth for financing three years ago when the company expanded and needed new
Magnolia trees are carefully contained until they are sold or transplanted. RIGHT: Future Trees plants younger trees in special liners that facilitate easy removal and transplanting. Note the container liners around the base of the tree.
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equipment. However, they were unaware that AgSouth offered insurance for nurseries until they talked to AgSouth Regional Vice President Pat Calhoun. Now Future Trees covers all of their crop insurance needs through AgSouth. “Pat showed us that AgSouth has more to meet our business’ needs than just loans. Thanks to AgSouth’s crop insurance, I can sleep better at night knowing that our inventory is solidly protected, “says Tommy. In addition, both Strickland and Quattlebaum recently took advantage of the low interest rates to refinance their individual homes through AgSouth Mortgages. Future Trees has not finished with its innovations. John’s and Tommy’s future plans for the company include a continued search for desirable specimens that will adapt well to cloning.
Summertime Care for Your Pets By: Dr. K.T. Blount, DVM
Stop External Parasites Before They Bite Fleas, ticks and ear mites thrive in warm, humid environments. Ask your vet about the best preventative program for your pet.
Remember That the Streets Aren’t Safe Don’t let your pets roam. Your pet is no match for a car, and heat-ravaged animals are more prone to fighting.
Pet Proof Your Yard ith the Georgia summer upon us, your pets need extra protection against the heat and the diseases that thrive in warm, moist environments. Many owners enjoy outdoor activities and traveling with their pets, but summer is the time of year that pets have a greater risk of injury and heatrelated health problems. Here are some tips to keep your pet healthy this summer:
Watch for Signs of Heatstroke Rapid panting, hot skin, twitching muscles and a dazed look. If you notice any of these symptoms, wrap your pet in a towel soaked with cool, not cold, water. In severe cases, place your pet in a bathtub and contact your vet as soon as possible. Heatstroke can be fatal.
Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car Not even if you crack the windows or park in the shade. On a 70-degree day, the car temperature can rise above 150 degrees in just a few minutes. Leaving your pet in the car even for a few minutes is extremely dangerous, and is THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF HEATSTROKE!
Provide Plenty of Fresh Water Dogs can only sweat through the pads of their feet and by panting. Evaporation from the wet surfaces of their mouths and noses helps lower body temperature.
Watch Out for Hot Pavement and Beaches Sensitive paws burn easily.
Find a Cool Spot For indoor pets, keep the air circulating with a childproof fan or air conditioner. Provide shade for outdoor pets; and a gentle sprinkle from a hose is always appreciated.
Watch the Exercise and Diet Don’t encourage exercise during the hottest part of the day, and allow your pet to eat less. Overeating can lead to overheating.
Watch out for Sunburn! It hurts. Shorthaired pets and those with pink skin and white hair are especially susceptible to the sun. Limit your pet’s exposure.
Be cautious of pesticides and herbicides. Read the precautions for lawn chemicals carefully and keep pets away from newly treated yards. If your pet comes in contact with chemicals, wash its feet, abdomen and chest thoroughly.
Brush Every Day Frequent brushing provides early warning of parasites and skin infections by lifting the coat, permitting a view of the skin below.
Remember That it’s Allergy Season for Pets, too People sneeze; pets scratch. Common pet allergies include fleas, pollen, grass and weeds. If your pet scratches excessively or chews at its paws, bring it in for examination.
Be Cautious Around Water Animals in the water for the first time should be eased in, never thrown in or chased in. Don’t let your pet drink from pools, streams or the ocean. If your pet swims, rinse it off immediately with clean water. Salt and minerals can damage a dog’s coat.
Dr. Kevin Blount is an AgSouth member and a veterinarian with The Animal Hospital in Waycross, Ga. If you have questions regarding this article, please call him at 912-283-7760. Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 25
Piedmont Area Poultry Association:
Innovative Producers Learning and Working Together By: Peyton Sapp, Greene County Extension Agent
eorgia poultry producers have been providing consistent, quality poultry products for a number of years. Throughout the state evidence of poultry production can be seen by the number of layer and broiler houses scattered across the countryside. Here in the rolling hills of the Piedmont area, poultry production is the mainstay of the area’s agricultural industry, representing over $51 million in income to the member counties of the Piedmont Area Poultry Association. The association is made up of broiler, layer and quail producers from Greene, Jasper, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Putnam and Walton counties. The formation of the association was led by county extension agents in the area, who wanted to start a formal group that would meet on a regular basis to discuss and learn more about the
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issues that surround the poultry industry. Area integrators, producers and others in the poultry industry bought into the concept, and in August of 1987, the group was formed. The association’s board of directors selects meeting topics, obtains speakers and secures sponsors. The board is made up of producers from each of the member counties. Of course, without the sponsorship of businesses like AgSouth, which typically sponsors a meeting each year, the group would not be as successful. There are countless educational opportunities for producers in the area. For example, over the past couple of years, environmental issues have surfaced as a topic of discussion among producers. Greatly supported by the Greene County ag agents, the association has put together a number of programs addressing these issues. As an
example, UGA poultry specialists presented a step-by-step program on how producers can develop their own poultry litter nutrient management plan for their operations. These plans are very comprehensive and actually detail how much nutrients from poultry litter farmers should put on their hay crops or pastureland. The group has also hosted speakers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to talk about confined animal feeding operations. Another featured speaker, Abbitt Massey, president of the Georgia Poultry Federation, updated the group on upcoming legislation that might impact the industry. The Piedmont Area Poultry Association also promotes youth involvement in agrelated activities. Every chapter is eligible for an annual $100.00 educational grant from the
passing on a
tradition The outdoor sports are some of our most cherished traditions. association. Each year letters are sent out to 4-H agents and FFA advisors in the member counties announcing the scholarship availability. In order to receive the grant, the advisor must send in a letter describing the ag-related educational activity the money will go to support. Agents and advisors have received money for the purchase of egg candling equipment, poultry judging manuals and other poultry judging supplies. There are many other activities and issues that continue to be addressed by this progressive group of poultry producers. No matter what the issue, however, the thing to keep in mind about the Piedmont Area Poultry Association is that it is an association that was founded to provide educational opportunities. The reason this group is so successful is that it keeps the emphasis on improvement through education.
We pass our knowledge and skills on to our children and hope that they will enjoy the natural world as much as we do. Along with learning to hunt and fish, one of the most important things we can teach our kids is to give something back to the resource. For more than 65 years, hunters and others have been giving back through their support of Ducks Unlimited. That support has led to more than 10 million acres of wildlife habitat on the ground.
Help carry on a grand outdoor tradition.
JOIN DUCKS UNLIMITED TODAY. Call 800-45-DUCKS or visit DU’s Website at www.ducks.org to see how you can help.
Tips from the Pro
May the Chips Fall... By: Walt Garvin
he greatest golfers in the world (professionals) average hitting thirteen greens per round in regulation. This means approximately five times a round an accurate chip shot is needed to save par. In some cases, a chip shot may be needed to save bogey. Whatever the case, let’s take a look at how we can chip one in. The following rule may apply to 80% of all golfers: putt when you can, chip when you can’t putt, and pitch only when you have to. The overall meaning of this is that it is easier to roll the ball than to loft it. Anytime players have to lengthen their back swings, the greater the chance of error. The fundamentals of chipping stem from a proper putting technique. Many great chip shots are made from an extended putting stroke. Remember, on a chip shot the ball should have less airtime and more roll. The
following set-up and swing principles will help you become a better chipper: • feet closer together with stance opened to the target, which enables the player to sense the target and swing the club down the target line; • hands placed further down the grip for better control of the club; • emphasis of your weight will be on the foot closest to the target; • hands are slightly forward (toward the target) and stay in front of the club head; • ball should be struck just before the lowest point of the swing (descending blow); • arms swing from the shoulders, enabling you to have quiet wrists and hands for the chip; • ball is positioned in the center or
slightly toward the back foot. Try these drills to improve your chipping and may “your chips begin to fall.” If you will spend 20-30 minutes three times a week practicing these drills, you are sure to see results in your short game. If you have any questions regarding these drills or other chipping techniques, contact your local PGA professional.
Walt Garvin is the golf pro at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro and a customer of AgSouth Mortgages.
Diagonal Shaft Drill (Picture A&B). This drill is designed to produce the proper swing arc for a chip shot. Place a broken shaft in the ground at a 40° angle. Your ball should be placed 6-8 inches in front of the shaft. Your back swing should go up with the angle of the shaft. Now follow through and “drive the tee in the ground” so that your chips may fall. Driving the Tee Drill. This drill is designed to encourage you to contact the ball with a descending blow and drive the tee into the ground after making contact with the ball. This will produce a solid hit and your chips will feel effortless. To check yourself, remove the tee, hit three chip shots and check where your divot is located. If your divot is in front of where the ball lay before the shot, you have successfully hit the ball with a descending swing.
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AgSouth’s Market Don't forget to browse our website for more items for sale. To add or delete something from AgSouth's Market, please contact [email protected]
If you find what you're looking for, contact AgSouth for financing!
Real Estate Wanted
6-10 acres in the Paulding/Bartow Counties. Contact Dorothy or Cartess Ross @ 770-218-9730.
25 foot flat bed with ramps on back; 16 or 20 ft gooseneck trailer. Contact Jay Cooksey @ 229-227-6760.
200 acres pasture in Piedmont Region of Ga. or SC near state line. Prefer open, grassy land w/fencing, but negotiable. Contact [email protected]
15+ acres of pasture north of I-20 with housing/living quarters on the premises. Contact Alex @ 678-640-0426 or [email protected]
200-300 acres in south Ga. Good water source (lakes or ponds) a must. Old farmland desirable. Contact [email protected]
3-5 acres in Butts or Jasper County suitable for home site, preferably near Oconee National Forest. Contact [email protected]
30-150 acres suitable for a private airstrip in Harris, Meriwether or Troup Co., Ga., or Chambers Co., Al. Doesn’t have to be completely flat. Need at least 3500’ long plot. Might consider larger acreage. Contact [email protected]
1-2 acre lot in Newnan on which to build a home. Contact [email protected]
Real Estate For Sale 3.499 acres in Gay, Meriwether Co., Ga. Cleared for building w/well, septic tank & power pole. The lot is in a small subdivision and sits on top of hill that is wooded in the front w/privacy fence & large gate. Contact [email protected]
Deep water lot on Tolomato Island, Darien, Ga. Breathtaking easterly view overlooking intercoastal waterway facing Sapelo Island. Beautiful live oaks and massive old cedar trees. 75’ marsh frontage. Dock permit obtainable. $250,000.00. Contact [email protected]
or call (912) 269-8000. 42 acres in Glynn Co. Paved road access. 30 minutes to beaches of St. Simons & Jekyll Islands. Huge old oaks. Good elevation. 3 sellable lots. Abundant wildlife. Large adjacent property owners. Appraisal. Topo. 4.5 acre surface mine permit approved for a lake. A rare find @ $185,000.00. Contact [email protected]
Equipment for Sale 72 Chicken house fans. 36” direct drive motors enclosed in plywood and wire, Good to excellent condition. Contact Jimmy Thompson @ (912)557-4310. Ford 7700 tractor, $8,500. Contact Steve Mimbs at 706-647-8163
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Miscellaneous for Sale 30” Snapper riding lawnmower with new engine (13-1/2 hps Tecumseh). Used one season. Good condition. Contact Milton Wade @ 912-632-6938. 1987 Toyota Pickup, standard cab, a/c, tires & rims, 171,000 miles. Contact Milton Wade @ 912-632-6938.
AgSouth Farm Credit P.O. Box 718 Statesboro, GA 30459
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