On Jan. 15-17, dairy producers from Georgia and the eastern seaboard will come to the Savannah Riverfront Marriott for the 2018 Georgia Dairy Conference -  the southeast's premier dairy conference and trade show.

Here are just a few reasons why you should register today and make plans to attend:

Learn Something New
GDC provides farmers and dairy professionals with the opportunity to hear from renowned national speakers. 

Make Connections: GDC is where farmers,  professionals and representatives from government agencies and universities come together with a united mission to learn and move dairy forward. Attendees have a chance to network with the nation's leading suppliers at the trade-show and connect with fellow producers. 

Have fun:  Refresh, recharge and continue learning at GDC. Come have some fun in Savannah and take a few well-deserved days off from the farm.   Click Here to Register for the 2018 GA Dairy Conference!!

Please note: If you contact hotel and find that our conference block is full, make your reservation outside of the block and contact us at  We should be able pull your reservation into our block - so that you receive the lower rate.  
Last-Minute 2017 Legislation Efforts Benefit Dairy Farmers
By Andy Eubank, Hoosier Ag Today

Legislation negotiated the last few weeks that benefits dairy farmers is moving forward, starting with the tax bill that did pass, meaning lower taxes for dairy farmers. In the bill there is an important deduction eliminated, but also a fix included. National Milk Producers Federation spokesperson Chris Galen says the Domestic Production Activities Deduction, Section 199, was eliminated.

"The problem with eliminating that deduction is that the proceeds from agricultural products that are marketed through coops are deducted in many cases both by the coops and the farmers themselves. So, eliminating that could have resulted in a higher tax bill for farmers."

Section 199 is gone but Galen says there is a new deduction that will take its place.      Read more    
Prepare for Lower Milk Prices Next Year

As 2017 comes to a close producers around the country are looking to 2018 milk prices. Will prices improve in the New Year? A massive national herd, burgeoning supplies, declining domestic demand and a strong dollar should indicate prices might dip lower before they improve.

Supply outpacing demand

"We're at an incredible crossroads in the dairy industry. Today we have as many cows as we did in 1996, shortly after I got into this business," says Mike North of Commodity Risk Management Group. "There is a growing supply of products pretty much across the board."      Read more 
DGN Event to be held during 2018 Georgia Dairy Conference
EPA nixes bid to herd livestock under Clean Air Act

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it has denied a petition by environmental groups to regulate concentrated animal feeding operations like factories under the Clean Air Act.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in a letter to petitioners, acknowledged livestock are potential sources of air pollutants. The agency, however, doesn't have a reliable method for estimating animal emissions. Until it does, new rules could be unjustified and ineffective, according to Pruitt.

"Once the agency has sufficient information on CAFO emissions, it will determine the appropriate regulatory approach to address those emissions," he stated.

The EPA decision, posted in the Federal Register, answers a petition filed in 2009 by The Humane Society of the United States and other environmental groups.

The groups sought to bring concentrated animal feeding operations under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. The section requires stationary sources of air pollution to adopt the "best system" for reducing emissions. The groups said farms with a large number of animals harm human health, poison the environment and cause climate change.  Read more
From GA Farm Bureau Policy Department

As we are winding down 2017 and begin making plans for the 2018 crop year, it is important for farmers to renew their Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) cards before December 31. This sales tax exemption program was enacted by law in 2012 and provides qualified producers the opportunity to exempt sales taxes from their agricultural input costs and certain capital items associated with their farming operation.

Earlier this month the Department of Agriculture experienced technical difficulties with their network which shut down access to the GATE card renewal portal. This issue has been resolved and farmers are now able to renew their GATE cards online.

As a reminder if your operation utilizes tax-exempt power, be sure your utility provider receives a copy of your renewed card prior to January 1, 2018 to ensure that you will receive the exemption without lapse.

The preservation of the GATE program is a priority for Georgia Farm Bureau. In order to protect the program for future generations, we must continue to be good stewards and work to protect the integrity of GATE.  It is vitally important to understand the qualifications for obtaining a GATE Card, and it is equally important to follow the law when using the card for specified purchases. 

Farmers are not exempt from all sales taxes.

It is the card holder's responsibility to understand and follow all rules and regulations governing the program. CLICK HERE for a quick reference guide of qualified uses of the GATE card.

Additionally, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Department of Revenue have staff dedicated to the review and evaluation of GATE program participants. Should you have any questions about the program or qualified uses, please contact the Department of Agriculture at 1-855-FARM TAX (327-6829) or by email at  To report fraud or abuse contact the Georgia Department of Revenue at 1-877-423-6711.
By Mike North via Progressive Dairyman

If you like old Westerns, then you are familiar with the popular scene where the heroine of the story is tied to the railroad tracks as a speeding locomotive races towards her peril. That scene aptly describes the scenario lingering in the dairy community.

Many producers can identify with that seemingly helpless woman: No matter how hard they try, they are tied to a market that seems to leave them bound to the very same spot. Feed prices have been stagnant throughout the year and 2017 Class III milk prices have posted the narrowest range from top to bottom witnessed since 2005.

Like the old saying, something has got to give. Quiet markets only last for so long before being interrupted from their sleep to go on a run. The question everyone is currently wrestling with is whether that run takes us higher - or causes a deeper dive.   Read more
Selling Your Farm Is Not A Retirement Plan

Often one of the biggest hurdles in developing a succession plan is figuring out retirement income for the older generation. What if there was a way you could remove the guesswork from that situation? You can! Start investing in a retirement account.

"We've got to get past the notion that I'm going to sell this dairy and that is my retirement," says Matt Lange, a dairy consultant with Compeer Financial. "That model does not work, because at the end of the day you can't sell your business to the next generation and collect an amount that works for them and funds your retirement."

How much will you need for retirement? Financial experts estimate that you may need up to 85% of your pre-retirement income to live on in retirement, according to Fidelity Investments. A 2017 study from Penn State University shows the average owner draw in Pennsylvania for farms with more than 290 cows is $88 per cow per year. If you are milking 1,500 cows (the average MILK magazine reader's herd size) that's an annual owner draw of $132,000, and 85% of that means you'll need $112,200 per year for retirement expenses.   Read more
The Transformation of the American Farm, in 18 Charts
Jesse Newman and 
Jacob Bunge, The Wall Street Journal

The American farm has been transformed. During the first half of the 20th century, farmers raised a mix of crops and livestock on a few hundred acres of land. These days, most farmers specialize in a few, or even just one product, on much bigger spreads. That focus has helped farmers reap bigger profits, but it also can leave them exposed- a swing in one commodity's price, a blight or bad weather can be devastating.

In 1900 nearly all farms had animals. By the turn of the 21st century, fewer than 10% of farms had milk cows, hogs or chickens, even as the U.S. produced more meat than ever. Grain production also shifted to a smaller number of farms. By 2010, just one in six farmers raised corn.    Read more 
IRS Sets Conditions for Deducting 2018 Property Taxes This Year

Taxpayers can deduct their 2018 state and local property taxes on their 2017 returns if they pay those tax bills before the end of the year-and only if the taxes were assessed before 2018, the Internal Revenue Service said in a news release.

The IRS statement comes as homeowners in states with the highest property taxes have been peppering local officials with questions about how to prepay the levies to try to take advantage of a tax break that will be limited next year.   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 .
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!
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 .

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:

January 15-17, 2018: Georgia Dairy Conference, Savannah
Jan 30 - Feb. 7: UGA Ag Forecast Meetings Across GA - Click Here
GA Dairy Classifieds

FOR SALE: 13 Holstein heifers due Feb and March, 5 with dams over 1000lbs fat , 6 bred to sexed semen. Over 30 yrs AI  Ray Ward.  706-473-8789  Eatonton, Ga

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

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.

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     
GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020