(Above) Farmers at the Southern Farm Show, February 5-7.
THE WHOLE STORY ABOUT GAP 2014
A note from the editor: The following is an article submitted by the new organization GAP Connections about how the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program is being conducted on tobacco this year. It is very detailed and appears to answer all the questions one could have about GAP, so I am presenting it here as submitted (slightly edited and shortened). Thanks to GAP Connections. At the end, see more GAP meeting dates and also news about the Southern Farm Show.
GAP Connections, a nonprofit organization aiming to create awareness and cultivate positive environmental and social impact through good agricultural practices in the tobacco industry, has launched a new website and online Grower ID system. The website provides a resource for tobacco farmers and other interested parties to learn about the organization's initiatives, as well as a way for farmers to sign up for the Grower ID System. GAP Connections offers a streamlined approach to free farmers from overlapping their efforts through the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program, supplying them with simple procedures that are coordinated with industry buyers and manufacturers.
The System provides a secure and easy way for tobacco farmers to document and share their good agricultural practices training associated with the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program. Through the Grower ID System, growers will be assigned a unique Grower ID number that will be used to track GAP training attendance and generate an electronic record of that attendance that can be shared with companies that purchase their tobacco and need to verify that the crop was grown using good agricultural practices. Use of the Grower ID System to document training will greatly simplify documentation of training compared to the former system of paper certificates kept by the farmer. "We're trying to ensure sustainable, economically viable production of usable tobacco, using guidelines for agricultural practice to help growers produce a quality crop through sustainable practices," said Jane Starnes, acting Director of GAP Connections. "The Grower ID System further streamlines that by giving tobacco farmers a secure and easily accessible place to keep all of their training records."
When you register online in the ID system, you will receive a unique grower ID number and Grower ID card. The Grower ID card will be scanned at training meetings starting this year. This system will provide an immediate record of your training that, with your permission, will be made available to participating companies that buy their tobacco. Registered farmers can also use their Grower ID number to log into the Grower ID System at www.gapconnections.com to view and print their training records at any time.
The benefits from registering for the Grower ID System include: Online access to your grower profile and GAP training history. Grower ID card to scan at GAP trainings to track attendance. Easy sharing of GAP efforts with one or multiple member companies. In addition, the website provides numerous resources aimed at helping follow the guidelines of the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program, including a downloadable copy of the existing program's guidelines and record-keeping checklist and templates. "By creating a centralized source for information and collaboration between growers and manufacturers, we hope to create transparency and confidence in agricultural practices," said Starnes. "Our aim is for the GAP Connections website and Grower ID System to simplify and standardize record-keeping for growers and give manufacturers confidence that they are receiving a quality product grown with good agricultural practices." GAP Connections is funded by tobacco purchasing groups and others with an interest in the production of U.S. tobacco, with programs delivered through partnerships between GAP Connections and participating state Extension services. To learn more about the GAP Connections program please call 865-622-4606 or visit www.gapconnections.com.
GAP MEETING DATES
Following are GAP meeting dates that have been reported to me to date--the N.C. and Virginia flue-cured meetings and the Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana burley and dark meetings. Pre-registration by phone or email is required. Call the number listed for the meeting you want to attend.
January 21: Forsyth County Extension Center, 1450 Fairchild Rd. Winston Salem, N.C. Phone: 336-703-2857. Starts at 10 a.m.
January 21: Sampson County Ag Expo Center, 414 Warsaw Rd., Clinton, N.C. Phone: 910-592-7161. Starts at 10 a.m.
January 22: Caswell County Civic Center, 536 Main St. East, Yanceyville, N.C.. Phone: 336-694-4158. Starts at 10 a.m.
January 23: Cunningham Research Station, 200 Cunningham Rd., Kinston, N.C. Phone: 252-747-5831. Starts at 9:30 a.m.
January 28: Granville County Expo Center, 4185 US Highway 15 South, Oxford, N.C. Phone: 919-603-1350. Starts at 10 p.m.
January 30: Cumberland Co. Ag Expo Center, 301 E. Mountain Dr., Fayetteville, N.C. Phone: 910-321-6872. Starts at 10 p.m.
February 3: Pitt County Extension Center, 403 Government Circle Greenville, N.C. Phone: 252-902-1702. Starts at 9:30 a.m.
February 7: Holshouser Bldg., N.C. State Fairgrounds during Southern Farm Show. Starts at 1 p.m. Contact your local county agent.
February 12: Surry County/Yadkin County, N.C. Location to be determined. Phone: 336-371-0189. Starts at 10 a.m.
January 22, 4 p.m. Meherrin River Hunt Club (near South Hill), 435 Dry Creek Rd., Baskerville, Va. Contact: Taylor Clarke (434-738-6191).
January 23, 9 a.m. Southern Piedmont Center, 2375 Darvills Road, Blackstone, Va. Contact: Margaret Kenny (434-292-5331).
January 23, 4 p.m. Olde Dominion Ag Complex, 19783 US Highway 29, South Chatham, Va. Contact: Stephen Barts (434-432-7770).
January 27, 10 a.m. Volunteer Fire Department. Scottsburg, Va. Contact: Chris Brown (434-476-2147).
January 27, 6 p.m. No. Central Ky. Meeting, Harrison County Ex-tension Office, 668 New Lair Rd., Cynthiana, Ky. Contact: Gary Carter, 859-234-5510, DL_CES_HARRISON@ EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
January 28, 6:30 p.m. Central Kentucky Tobacco Meeting, Woodford County Extension Office, 184 Beasley Rd., Versailles, Ky. Contact: Adam Probst, 859-873-4601, DL_CES_WOODFORD@EMAIL.UKY. EDU.
January 30, 6 p.m. So. Central Kentucky Tobacco Meeting, Lincoln County Extension Office, 104 Metker Tr., Stanford, Ky. Contact: Dan Grigson, 606-365-3238. DL_CES_LINCOLN@EMAIL.UKY. EDU.
February 3, 6:30 p.m. So. Kentucky Tobacco Meeting, Allen County Extension Office, 200 East Main Street, Scottsville, Ky. Contact: Steve Osborne, 270-237-3146, DL_CES_ALLEN@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
February 6, 10 a.m. Center Kentucky Tobacco Meeting, Green County Extension Office, 298 Happyville Rd., Greensburg. Contact: Ricky Arnett, 270-932-5311, DL_CES_GREEN@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
February 11, Noon. Wayne/Pulaski County Meeting, Wayne County Extension Office, 255 Rolling Hills Blvd., Monticello, Contact: Glen Roberts, 606-348-8453, DL_CES_WAYNE@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
February 18, 6:45 p.m. Bath/Montgomery Commodity Night, Bath County Extension Office, 2914 Hwy. 60, Owingsville Ky. Contact: Gary Hamilton, 606-674-6121, DL_CES_BATH@EMAIL.UKY. EDU.
February 20, 6 p.m. Estill and Powell County Meeting, Estill County Extension Office, 76 Golden Court, Irvine, Ky. Contact: Eric Baker, 606-723-4557 or DL_CES_ESTILL@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
21, 10 a.m. (Eastern Time). Louisville Area Tobacco Meeting, Shelby
County Extension Office, 1117 Frankfort Rd., Shelbyville, Ky.
Contact: Corinne Belton, 502-633-4593 or email@example.com.
March 5, 1 p.m. Dark
Tobacco Meeting, Christian County Extension
Office, Hopkinsville, Ky. Contact: (270) 886-6328.
March 7, 1 p.m. Dark Tobacco Meeting, McLean Co. Ext. Office, Calhoun, Ky. Contact: (270) 273-3690.
February 4, 2 p.m. Burley and Dark, Robertson Co. Fairgrounds Bldg., Springfield, Tn. (in conjunction with Tennessee-Kentucky Tobacco Expo). Contact: Paul Hart, (615) 384-7936. firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 3, 4:30 p.m. Dark, Montgomery/Stewart County Tobacco Meeting, Montgomery Co. Ext. Office, Clarksville, Tn. Contact: 931-648-5725.
March 27, 6 p.m. Burley, Grainger County Meeting, Ag Pavilion, 280 Bryan Rd., Rutledge, Tn. Contact:
Anthony Carver, 865-828-3411 or email@example.com.
24, 1:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). Scott County Tobacco Meeting, USDA
building, 656 S. Boatman Rd., Scottsburg, Indiana. Contact: Megan
Voles at 812-752-8452 or mvoyles@ purdue.edu.
24, 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). Switzerland-Jefferson County Tobacco
Meeting, Switzerland County Purdue Extension Office, 708 West
Seminary St., Vevay, Indiana. Contact: Kyle Weaver:
812-427-3152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE ON THE SOUTHERN FARM SHOW
I think I have listed below all the exhibitors that consider tobacco farmers their primary market (but if I missed somebody, let me know at ChrisBickers@gmail.com.) Using the floor plan provided by the show, I have identified thelocation of each booth, at least as best I could. So if you're going, I hope this will help out. Don't forget, the Tobacco Growers of North Carolina meet the last day of the show at 10 in the Holshouser Bldg. (not Dorton Arena as I absentmindedly wrote in the last issue). For more information, call (800) 849-0248 or go to www.southern shows. com.
Jim Graham Bldg.
221 (also 8204) Taylor Mfg. Curing barns, wood furnaces.
222 (also 8301) Evans Mactavish Agricraft and World Tobacco. Bulk fertilizer handling equipment. Curing barns.