Yoder Family Farm, Barnesville
GDYF to host first Dress-A-Cow Contest at state show on Thursday

The GA Dairy Youth Foundation will host their first Dress-A-Cow contest on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry.  The event will be held in the Beef and Dairy Arena at 4:30 p.m. 

This event will be a fun and creative way for all Georgia dairy exhibitors to meet each other and relax before participating in the state show on Friday.  Spectators are welcome and can also enjoy a "Cookies and Cream" social while judges are scoring the costume classes!

GDYF will also recognize the 2016 GDYF Junior Board during the event and reach out to juniors and adults for support and membership.   Good luck to all of our Georgia dairy youth in Perry next week!
From the GA Agribusiness Council

We have much to celebrate with the ruling of the  Special Master  this week, giving Georgia the win over Florida in the long-fought battle over water rights.  Read the report of the Special Master here.  Last year, GAC was pleased to join efforts with the  Georgia Urban Ag Council  and Georgia Green Industry Association  in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.  This document expressed the conservation efforts of agriculture, both in the urban areas and traditional ag irrigation setting, and discussed the economic importance of irrigation to rural economies.  Other friends of agriculture also filed documents in support of ag irrigation efficiency across the state.This was a great victory for our water rights, but it is not over. Florida has already spent over $40 million suing Georgia and is likely to spend millions more trying to save face and exploring other options. Additional suits may be filed and congressional action is still a possibility. Regardless, we should be very proud of the progress made saving water resources in agriculture and metro areas. We must not rest on this success, but continue to lead by example. Water stewardship never stops. Our Florida neighbors would be better served investing in programs like Georgia has done. We are grateful for the effective water policies put in place across Georgia over the last 15 years and for the legal team that pulled it all together.  
Dairy farmer responds to Dairy Foods editorial
Fear-based marketing is irresponsible and a race to the bottom.

Letter to the editor by Mike McCloskey, Dairyfoods.com

I have to respectfully disagree with your interpretation of the GMO position that the National Milk Producers Federation, Select Milk Producers and others have taken. I believe that you have gravely misrepresented our position, one which I believe is quite simple and straight forward: tell consumers the whole truth about feed produced with biotechnology, and then let them decide.

Once consumers have all the facts, we, as farmers, will produce anything they desire. But first, it is incumbent that brands, retailers, processors and producers work together to help the consumer make sure that he/she is getting what they really think they are asking for. This means being honest in the way that dairy companies market their products, like yogurt, to consumers. I have to respectfully disagree with your interpretation of the GMO position that the National Milk Producers Federation, Select Milk Producers and others have taken. I believe that you have gravely misrepresented our position, one which I believe is quite simple and straight forward: tell consumers the whole truth about feed produced with biotechnology, and then let them decide.   Read more
Federal agents conduct immigration enforcement raids in at least six states

U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states this week in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Trump's Jan. 25 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

Officials said the raids targeted known criminals, but they also netted some immigrants without criminal records, an apparent departure from similar enforcement waves during the Obama administration. Last month, Trump substantially broadened the scope of who the Department of Homeland Security can target to include those with minor offenses or no convictions at all.

Trump has pledged to deport as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

Immigration officials confirmed that agents this week raided homes and workplaces in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, the Los Angeles area, North Carolina and South Carolina, netting hundreds of people. But Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said they were part of "routine" immigration enforcement actions.    Read more
Panic setting in among Hispanics over deportations
By RAFAEL BERNAL, thehill.com

Hispanic organizers are struggling to tamp down panic in their communities as federal authorities begin to implement President Trump's executive orders on immigration. 

One of the first cases to receive national attention, the deportation of Arizona resident Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, has put undocumented and mixed status communities on edge.

"It's fair to say we're all extremely troubled by the deportation action we saw take place yesterday in Arizona," said Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza.

"The first deportation [after] his executive order is of a working mom with two U.S. kids," she added.

On the campaign trail, Trump initially promised to enact a deportation force to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants, starting with dangerous criminals.     Read more

Danone SA's Dannon unit deceptively labels a dozen yogurt products "all natural" because they contain genetically modified ingredients, a Minnesota woman alleges in a suit on behalf of consumers nationwide (Podpeskar v. Dannon Co. , S.D.N.Y., No. 16-08478, complaint filed  2/2/17).

The yogurt isn't natural because it comes from milk produced by cows that eat feed containing GMOs, Polly Podpeskar says in a Feb. 2 complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.     Read more   
By Caitlin Rodgers, Hillcrest Farms - Hoards.com

One simple post about agriculture on social media could reach more people then you ever imagined.

A couple of weeks ago, dad came into work just flat out mad. You could tell when he stepped out of the truck to just leave him be, so that's what we all did.

About an hour later my phone went off saying our Hillcrest Farm Facebook page had some notifications. I clicked on it and realized dad has posted a video. He does this from time to time and I was busy, so I didn't click on it to watch. About 30 more minutes went by and my phone kept going off with the notification tone. So finally I stopped and pulled my phone out to see what was going on. I went to the video and watched it. Then I looked to see how many shares and likes it had - about 100 likes and 43 shares.

I walked up to the hospital pen to work on some cows. Dad passed by and asked if I had seen his video. I said yes, that I had just watched it, and he yelled, "I'm going viral!" I laughed and said, "Dad, 43 shares is a lot, don't get me wrong, but you haven't gone viral."     Read more  
Dean Foods profit forecast misses on weak milk demand

Dean Foods Co (DF.N) forecast first-quarter profit well below analysts' estimates due to weak demand for milk and higher investments in a recently announced joint venture to expand its organic milk business.
Shares of the largest U.S. dairy processor fell as much as 8.6 percent in morning trading on Thursday.

Dean Foods formed a joint venture with America's largest cooperative of organic dairy farmers, CROPP, in November to process and supply organic milk as the company seeks newer avenues for growth.

Milk consumption has been falling in the United States, in part due to years of high prices amid a drought-induced supply deficit and shifting consumer preferences towards lower fat alternatives such as juices and vitamin water.     Read more 
By Beth Kowitt,, Fortune.com

A war is brewing in the dairy aisle, and it all comes down to one existential question-what is milk?

For 40 years, Americans have been drinking less of the traditional stuff-37% less since 1975, according to the most recent USDA figures. Meanwhile, the $2 billion U.S. non-dairy alternative industry (think almond milk and the like) has experienced explosive growth, and is set to expand another 50% between 2015 and 2020, according to industry tracker Mintel.


In January, the first shots were fired when Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, with the backing of the dairy industry, introduced the "Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese To Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act." The Dairy Pride Act, as its known, is meant to compel the Food and Drug Administration to not only enforce the the legal definition of milk and cream as the "lacteal secretion" obtained by the "milking of one or more healthy cows," but also expand it to include all "hooved mammals."  Read more

By Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia via dairyherd.com

The market demand for organic chicken, beef and pork has been on the rise for several years, so most farmers were prepared for the new restrictions on antibiotics in animal feed that went into effect on Jan. 1.

The Food and Drug Administration rule change - the veterinary feed directive - prohibits farmers from including medically important antibiotics in livestock feed without veterinary oversight. The change will likely have a positive economic impact on farmers who don't currently use these classes of antimicrobials in their animals' feed, said Brent Credille, assistant professor of beef production medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

In addition to seeking guidance from a veterinarian before introducing medically important antibiotics into livestock feed, the rule change prohibits the inclusion of medically important antibiotics in feed for the purpose of promoting growth.

Credille explained the new rules to more tha n 150 farmers and agribusiness leaders gathered at the UGA Center for Continuing Education for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' 2017 Georgia Ag Forecast seminar.   Read more  
Spring has arrived early this year and the Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation 7th Annual Golf Tournament is a great way to enjoy the warmer temperatures! Make plans to join us at the Lane Creek Golf Club in Bishop, GA, on  Friday, March 31   Click here for tournament information.   

Mark Your Calendars:
Feb. 11: 2016 UGA Commercial Heifer Show, Athens
Feb. 22-25: Georgia Junior National Livestock Show, Perry 
March 7-8: 2016 Southern Dairy Conference, Atlanta
March 15-16: SUDIA Annual Meeting, Stone Mountain    
GA Dairy Classifieds

FOR SALE:   (1) Registered Brown Swiss bull from Franks Farm, 14 months old. Call Randall Ruff at 706-498-4344 for more information.

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

For 2016, Georgia Milk Producers, Inc. has once AGAIN been named an All Star Award winner by 
Constant Contact, Inc.
, the trusted marketing adviser to hundreds of thousands of small organizations worldwide. The annual award recognizes the most successful 10% of Constant Contact's customer base, based on their significant achievements leveraging online marketing tools to engage their customer base and drive results for their organization.