10 August 2022

A wise dairy journalist once said, ''Well, there's one thing about the dairy industry, you never run out of things to write about!''  

Such is the case with the Georgia and Southeast Dairy Industry of late - about as quick as you think one issue has passed, another rolls on in. With silage chopping and fall planting in full force, along with family events, community gatherings, and fairs gearing up, we're headed for a busy late summer and fall. 

In this Issue of the GA Milk E-News

  • Inflation Reduction Act: focus on implications for agriculture
  • Extended Shelf Life / Aseptic / UHT and School Milk
  • FMMO: FarmFirst / NMPF Webinar Aug. 11 (Thurs, please sign up and participate!); AFBF Announces FMMO Forum for October
  • People: Dyal, O'Donnell
  • Borden Update
  • Reminder: GA Milk Review - dates for Fall District Meetings
  • Summer Fun: Field of Dreams on Thursday, August 11

'Inflation Reduction Act' passed by Senate (Bill is 730 pgs. in pdf form!)



With supply line disruptions of all sorts in recent years, and particularly disruption in school milk channels, the availability of shelf-stable, boxed milk is receiving growing attention as a solution by frustrated school nutrition personnel. The recent closures of four Borden plants in the southeast have only exacerbated the problem, and created more anxiety for school milk sourcers. Some recent developments, along with a bit defining the differences between ESL and Aseptic are:

8 August, 2022: 'Dairy Farmers of America looks for synergies in the ESL Space,' by Teodora Lyubomirova, for Dairy Navigator.

  • DFA has purchased two ESL (Extended Shelf Life) plants from SmithFoods, one in Richmond, Indiana, and another in Pacific, Missouri. More from this post at Dairy Processing.
  • In the Dairy Navigator article (link above), Pat Banko, DFA Dairy Brands, notes: 'To continue and expand and innovate in the beverage space for the long term, we believe it is valuable to invest in this capability, further adding to our diverse portfolio of assets. With the addition of these plants, we have an opportunity to not only grow our customer base, but also create synergies between our other extended shelf-life and aseptic facilities."


What is the difference between ESL and Aseptic packages?  While sometimes used interchangeably, there are some differences between ESL and Aseptic packaging and techniques. UHT (Ultra High Temperature) is another term used in this processing space. 

To learn more, Click here.


A List of 'Aseptic' Plants in the US - published at Dairy Foods


Diversified Foods, Inc. emerging as a source of ESL Milks

Diversified Foods, Inc, a New Orleans based food company, is actively promoting its milk products at national School Nutrition conferences and Food Bank conferences, according to their social media sites. There is a 'house brand' - 'Marcel's (c) Kinera'  Chocolate Milk and distribution services for several recognizable brands sold under a 'Pantry Fresh' umbrella. 

The company is even the 'official m ilk' of several prominent college baseball programs, including the recent College World Series Champions, the Ole Miss Rebels, along with SEC and SEC-to-be universities.  

STATUS of SCHOOL MILK in your Area?  

Do you stay in touch with personnel directing the School Nutrition programs in your area, and do you know what types or brands of milk are being served to students in your local school systems? Is it a brand or type of milk that supports southeast herds? Are you willing to make a phone call to find out?


FMMO Meetings

FarmFirst Cooperative hosting  FMMO webinar on Thursday, August 11, 1:00 pm EDT

  • National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is sponsoring a one-hour webinar in conjunction with FarmFirst Cooperative on Thursday, August 11, at 1 pm EDT.
  • FarmFirst General Manager Jeff Lyon is a member of the NMPF FMMO Task Force, organized earlier this year. 
  • This webinar is expected to feature the current positions of National Milk as they have been developed by the Task Force. Make allowances, Class I movers, dairy products and product specs, and milk composition are all expected to be addressed. 

To register for this webinar, Click here. There is no cost to participate, and there will be an opportunity to asking questions. 

FarmFirst Cooperative is headquartered in Madison, WI, and provides a variety of advocacy, marketing, communication, and regulatory services for its members in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan.



Farm Bureau Inviting Dairy Industry to FMMO Forum October 14-16, Kansas City

American Farm Bureau Federation has announced they are hosting a nationwide forum to discuss issues related to FMMO reform, in an effort to lead to the 'industry consensus' requested by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. 

The event is scheduled for Friday, October 14th through Sunday, October 16th for Kansas City, Missouri. 

To learn more: 



Southeast Milk:  Shawn Dyal, who had been acting as interim CEO since April, has been named CEO by the Southeast Milk Board of Directors. 

DFA:  Kevin O'Donnell has been named Senior Vice-President of Sustainability. According to a DFA news release, O'Donnell will ''be responsible for steering DFA’s sustainability activities and evolving the Cooperative’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts enterprise wide.''   Learn More.



With the announcement last week of the closures of the Dothan and Hattiesburg plants, Borden, from May until the end of September, will have closed or leased 9 plants. That will leave 5 plants open and operating out of the 14 currently listed on a fact sheet posted on the Borden website.

One of those 5 is a small facility in Decatur, GA, according to industry sources.

In July, Borden sold two Texas plants to Hiland Dairy, with Hiland leasing a third. 

Hauling Change: There will a transition in hauling of milk from Georgia dairy farms, with one hauler being told his services would no longer be needed. Those farms will have their milk picked up by another hauling company when the transition is complete.


GA Milk Review: The GMP Newsletter: Issue 100!

100 Issues - What a landmark, of dedication and team effort! 99 issues were compiled by Farrah Newberry, the previous Executive Director of GA Milk Producers, with Issue 100 marking Bryce Trotter's' first edition as Executive Director.

The Newsletter is chock full of helpful information on industry issues, including a reminder that DMC payments by producers are due by September 1st!

Please pay particular attention to the dates of District and Fall Meetings, with a slate set for September 12-22, 2022, across the state. This is your opportunity to elect directors and weigh in on the future of your organization!

Learn more here!


FIELD OF DREAMS!  Take me out to the Cornfield!

Cubs vs. Reds. Thursday, August 11 - pregame begins at 6 pm, First Pitch is 7:15 pm.

Watch on Fox MLB Network, and the Fox Sports app.

Is Baseball a favorite summer past time of yours? Is 'Field of Dreams' one of your favorite movies?

A real, modern day version of Field of Dreams takes place on Thursday, August 11 at a baseball field built in a real cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, where the movie was filmed!  

Dekalb, a brand familiar to many of us because it feeds our cows and helps make our milk, is an official sponsor!   Learn more at this link!


Be careful in the fields, Drink Milk to Hydrate, and Dairy On!

Julie Walker,

for GA Milk Producers

Dairyland Classic Set

The 2022 Dairyland Classic is set for September 28th - October 1st, at Madison.  Mark your calendars!

Read more here about all the planned activities

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