Have A Very Dairy Christmas!

The deadline to sign up for the Dairy Margin Protection Program is today, Friday, December 15 th.

Producers are not automatically signed up for 2018 if they were participating in 2017.  All producers who want MPP coverage for 2018 must register by completing form CCC-782, elect a coverage level, and pay the $100 administrative fee.

Producers can opt out of MPP and participate in the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy insurance program.  They can also choose not to participate in either program.

The widely-criticized MPP safety net program for milk producers is likely to be a big debate topic for the next farm bill because of high premiums paid in and relatively low payouts. 
UGA Names Francis Fluharty the new ADS Department Head

The University of Georgia named Francis Fluharty the new department head for the Department of Animal and Dairy Science this week. Fluharty is currently a research professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University and will begin his new role at UGA in spring 2018.  

His career has been devoted to assisting food animal producers through research and educational programs aimed at improving animal health and growth while improving profitability, as food animal agriculture must first be economically sustainable for farm families. His primary research interests are determining the main nutritional factors impacting animal health and growth, as well as the nutritional and immunological factors affecting the site of fat deposition and meat characteristics in ruminants, as consumers have increasingly demanded that our production practices enhance the health and welfare of animals. During his career, Fluharty has been the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on 46 successful grants totaling over $7.3 million. His master's degree was conducted with starch chemistry and digestibility, and his doctoral research focused on the nutritional management of stressed ruminants through optimizing the functioning of the microbial population in the rumen.

Fluharty is a co-inventor of two patents for genetic marker processes and DNA sequences to detect an animal's potential for both marbling and tenderness. He also helped develop an all-natural branded beef program, Ohio Signature Beef, designed to improve the profitability of family farm owners who wished to produce cattle without the use of hormone implants or antibiotics, addressing consumer demand for this value-added market. He has worked as a scientific advisor for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in Chile and the Chilean Institute for Agriculture Development (INDAP), as well as the Japanese Wagyu F1 Council and Japan Cattlemen's Association.
FDA: Antibiotic Sales Drop 10% for Livestock in 2016

Antibiotic sales for use in livestock has dropped according to a report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On Dec. 7, FDA released a summary report for 2016 on " Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food Producing Animals." A key finding in the report was antibiotic sales and distribution in the  U.S. dropped 10% from 2015 to 2016 for food producing animals.

Since FDA began collecting sales data in 2009, this is the first time that year-over-year sales of antimicrobials have declined.     Read more
Christmas at Hillcrest
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer, Hoards.com

It's the most wonderful time of the year on our farm

It has started to look a lot like Christmas at Hillcrest Farms. The weather has officially become what we consider pretty chilly here in Georgia. Lows for the day are starting out in the upper 20°F to low 30°F range, with the highs peaking in the mid-50s. Georgia even had its first good snow this week.

Christmas decorations have been put up around the farm. We light up an old Oliver tractor, we decorate the beginning of the driveway, and we always have a hay bale decoration display.    Read More 
AFBF President Zippy Duvall Appointed to White House Trade Advisory Committee
From American Farm Bureau Federation

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall has been appointed to the White House's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Members of the ACTPN advise the president on the potential effects of proposed and current trade agreements. The ACTPN, which is administered by the U.S. Trade Representative, is the main trade advisory committee that provides policy information and advice to the president.

"I am deeply honored to be called to serve as a member of the White House's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations." Duvall said. "I look forward to taking a seat at the table on behalf of America's farmers and ranchers as we look to further our agricultural trade opportunities. We must keep building on our current gains in markets abroad, foster lasting relationships with our international partners and, of course, effectively enforce current trade agreements to ensure agriculture continues to boost our economy and create jobs for all Americans."

Duvall has been appointed by the president for a four-year term. Established by the 1974 Trade Act, the ACTPN brings together up to 45 individuals from the private sector who represent key economic sectors affected by trade. The committee evaluates trade policy issues by considering their effect on the overall national interest. 
Three Okeechobee dairy workers arrested in animal abuse investigation

Okeechobee -  Three McArthur Dairy workers have been arrested after an animal rights group turned over videos recorded at the dairy, Okeechobee Sheriff Noel Stephen said Thursday.

McArthur Dairy, one of Florida's oldest and largest milk producers, is the third Okeechobee County dairy since November to be accused of abusing cows and calves.

Earlier Thursday, Miami Beach-based Animal Recovery Mission released video shot by its two investigators between August and October after McArthur Dairy hired them.   Read more
Progressive Dairyman Editor Walt Cooley

Proposed changes to U.S. tax law may affect only a few dairies, at least until milk prices rebound into profitable territory.

Dairy industry accountants mostly agree that the components of a bill that is currently being reconciled by Congress will be "tax neutral" as it relates to any dairy operation income. It's also unlikely the current discussion about tax revisions, if signed into law, will provide any significant changes to current year (2017) tax filings.

How will the proposed tax reform bill of 2017 affect dairy?
As the bill stands, estate taxes could be the biggest change for dairies. Also, specialized business credits for milk production and processing activities may go away. If a dairy's tax bracket changes, farmers will see a difference in their income taxes. More details are provided below.    Read more
GMOs Might Feed the World If Only Investors Weren't So Scared
By Dana Shanker, Bloomberg News

In the basement of Koshland Hall at the University of California at Berkeley is a trove of seeds with the potential to fix some of agriculture's most vexing problems.

There are wheat seeds-both hypoallergenic, so more people could eat it, and of a variety able to better withstand unpredictable rainfall-a growing problem because of climate change. UC Berkeley scientists also developed seeds for tomatoes resistant to bacterial spot disease, producing a plant that could combat a pock-marking that leaves the fruit scarred and undesirable. There's even a fast-germinating barley that could save beer brewers millions of dollars.

Aside from their potential, each of these innovations has something else in common: They're all the result of genetic modification. And that's where the problems start. 

"None of what we've done has made it anywhere," says Peggy Lemaux, a crop biotechnologist at Berkeley.
Read more
Optimism and issues - an interesting year for dairy
By Jim Cornall, dairyreporter.com

Farmgate prices went up a bit in 2017, although not as much as farmers hoped, and value-added products continued to dominate companies' strategy to get more money from raw milk. Read more
Certified waster operators can receive one certified waste operator continuing education credit hour during the Georgia Dairy Conference.  To obtain your attendance certificate, you must  attend Dr. Joe Harner's presentation, titled Economics of Various Manure Systems,
 on Tuesday, January 16 at 8:45 a.m.

Veterinarians attending the 2018 Georgia Dairy Conference can earn up to five (5)  continuing education credit hours.  Registration and certificate of proof  can be found at the UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Lab exhibit table in the GDC Trade Show.

Registration fees and conference meals are free to Georgia dairy producers and their families. Please let us know if you will be attending the Conference!  All information regarding the conference can be found online at www.gadairyconference.com .
Georgia Milk Producers will ALSO deduct $100/night for two nights from each Georgia dairy farm's hotel bill at checkout. It's our way to show our appreciation for your support and to encourage you to attend your annual dairy conference!
Could Probiotics Protect Kids From A Downside Of Antibiotics?
By Rob Stein, NPR

Jackson has an ear infection. So he just started 10 days of antibiotics to kill the strain of bacteria giving him an earache. That's why Herbin Smith is here.

"What time did he take his antibiotic?" Herbin Smith asks.

She asks because the antibiotics won't just wipe out the bad bacteria. They could also disrupt the good bacteria in Jackson's body, which can lead to stomach problems, including severe diarrhea.

Herbin Smith had rushed to Comisky's house to deliver a special yogurt drink that scientists are testing in hopes of preventing those serious problems.  Read more   
Register Today for the 2018 Georgia Ag Forecast Seminars!

Predicting markets and preparing for the next growing season can be a tough job, but that's where we can help. Georgia Ag Forecast is an annual seminar series presented by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

UGA, the state's land-grant and flagship institution, is committed to sharing the latest research and information to help Georgia farmers and agribusinesses. Join our economists as they provide an outlook of agricultural markets for the coming year. Participants will network with UGA faculty and UGA Cooperative Extension agents, local producers and other stakeholders, and will leave the meeting with a copy of the 2017 Georgia Ag Forecast book, which is designed to provide detailed analyses of major commodities produced in the state. Find the closet meeting location near you-click here for info & registration!
Southeastern Soil Summit in January

Georgia is hosting the  Southeastern Soil Summit  in Atlanta on January 21-22, 2018 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza. This Summit will allow the  FDA  to give an overview of where they are with the development of Subpart F Biological Soil Amendments as well as give the  produce, composting, and compost material suppliers  the opportunity to provide input and discussion on what this part of the Rule needs to look like.   Click here for full details and registration.


The University of Georgia's Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest helps to highlight the state's burgeoning food product scene with its annual competition.Registration for the 2018 contest, which is coordinated each year by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is now open at  www.flavorofga.com .

Now well into its second decade, the competition serves both food entrepreneurs, assisting them in testing new products and reaching a larger audience, and established brands, helping them break into new markets and receive accolades for established product lines.

To date, more than 1,200 food products have been entered in the contest. Many of these products are sold in regional and national markets. As a result of the contest, some have increased their wholesale distribution or internet sales or experienced better traffic at local farmers markets.

Product categories include barbecue sauces, beverages, condiments and salsas, confections, dairy and related products, honey, jams and jellies, meats and seafood, meat-alternative products, sauces and seasonings, snack foods, and miscellaneous products. There is no limit to the number of products an individual business can submit.

The early registration fee is $100 per entry and continues through Jan. 19, 2018. After that date, the price increases to $150 and remains open until Feb. 8, 2018. 
Sponsor Registration for the 2018 GA Dairy Conference is Open (ONLY A FEW TABLES LEFT)!
Sponsorship registration is now open for the 2018 GA Dairy Conference!  Join us Jan. 15-17 in Savannah, GA,  for the premier Southeastern dairy conference.  

Each year the Georgia Dairy Conference  provides companies with the option to network with dairy producers and industry leaders, while extending a company's brand with several sponsorship opportunities. Dairymen from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia have attended this conference in the past.
Don't wait - register today!  Georgia Milk Producers offers 4 levels of support for companies interested in sponsoring our conference and/or participating in our trade show.

Mark Your Calendars:

Dec. 25-26, 2017: Merry Christmas , GMP Office is Closed
January 15-17, 2018: Georgia Dairy Conference, Savannah
Jan 30 - Feb. 7: UGA Ag Forecast Meetings Across GA - Click Here
GA Dairy Classifieds

WANTED:  L ooking for used pasteurizing and bottling equipment in working condition; Linda and Darrell Rankins, Jr.;  334-745-2357  (best times: mid-day and after  8 p.m. )

For sale 200 cow dairy in Eatonton, Georgia ; selling choice of 100 head.  SCC low 200,000's.  Cows mostly AI sired for last 30 years primarily Holstein, few Jerseys and cross breeds.  Cows in milk tank average 70 lbs. 3.9 fat test on low input feed.  Complete DHIA info. on all cows.  Nearly 100 head in first lactation or springing now.  Also offering 50 bred heifers to start calving late January thru Summer.   Call 423-506-2621

Springers for Sale:   50 head of Holsteins, almost all are AI ID Sired and most are 2nd Generation ID.  All heifers are confirmed AI pregnant.  12 are due in December, 30 early January, & 8 late January.  Also have bred heifers available calving Feb-Apr. Stanley London (706) 969-9282

For Sale: 
Jersey cows, heifers and calves for sale.  Registered with AJCA, all ages! Contact Matt Holton at 770-718-8271, call or text.  Dawsonville, GA.

For information contact Jim Reid at 
or email at jim@reidbros.com

Coastal Hay for sale.  $50 for 4 x 5 round bales or $6 a square bale.  Contact Ryan Keith in Waynesboro at 803-627-0762.

WANTED:  Looking to purchase 300 to 500 lb Holstein heifers. Please call Ray Ward  at 

FOR HIRE:  Custom Silage Harvesting.  Late model JD chopper. Will travel. Let me put your quality forage up! Nic Haynes, Muddy H Farms, 678-617-3379.

We have a continuous selection of fresh and springing heifers.
Call William at  (706) 768-2857 or visit our website at 

Bullcalves Wanted : Looking for Bullcalves to purchase - Barron Tench 864-844-2295 or  barron.tench@gmail.com     
GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020 gamilkproducers@gmail.com