GDYF Hosts Several Events at State Show

The GA Dairy Youth Foundation held several key events at the 2018 Georgia Jr. National Livestock Show in Perry this week. 

Livestock exhibitors, parents, family, advisors, agents and friends enjoyed participating in a GDYF Dress-A-Co w contest, placing bids in the GDYF silent auction and cheering on participants of the first-ever GDYF Dairy Challenge Class held for exhibitors with special needs. 

To view pictures from this week, visit our GDYF Facebook page here.  Special thanks to Georgia 4-H, Georgia FFA and the Georgia National Fairgrounds for allowing GDYF to hold these events during a very busy event. 
Mobile Dairy Classroom stops by Brunswick High
By Lauren McDonald, The Brunswick News

The two-month-old calf stood passively, blinking her big eyes at the preschoolers, as she let the students pet her.
The Pint Pirates crowded around the calf, named Maggie, and their own eyes were big with wonder. Each student took a turn running his or her fingers through Maggie's soft brown fur.

On a trailer nearby, Maggie's mom, Jasmine, continued eating her breakfast, occasionally moo'ing as if calling out for Maggie to return to her side.

The pair stopped by Brunswick High School on Tuesday to provide a lesson on dairy farming in Georgia.

The Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom visits schools around the state every year, to educate students about the origin of the dairy products they enjoy daily.    Read More
Class I Sales Hit Record Low

Average daily fluid milk sales in 2017 fell below 132 million pounds for the first time since recordkeeping began, making last year the eighth straight year of record-low milk sales. For producers, that means less money in their milk checks is coming from the high-value Class I market, and for Class I processors, it means growing fixed costs.

"For decades, USDA reported that total fluid milk sales remained about the same year in and year out. Every year, increases in the U.S. population just about offset declines in per-capita fluid milk sales. However, beginning in 2010, fluid sales began a decline that continues today," notes Bob Yonkers, former chief economist for the International Dairy Foods Association.
The Class I price for farm milk used in fluid milk products was still the highest of any of the class prices in 2017 across the federal order system, but the share of Class I milk in federal order pools is shrinking, notes Yonkers.

According to USDA's fluid milk sales reports, the value of farm milk used in Class I products in 2009 accounted for 35.9% of the total pool value across all 10 federal marketing areas. By 2017, Yonkers notes that the Class I contribution to the total pool value in the same eight orders had dropped to 26.1%. Read more
UGA Forage Team Debuts Fencing Workshop

The UGA Forage Team is debuting a new workshop focusing on updated fencing options for producers. This field day will be held  February 28, 2018 at the Black Shank Farm and Pavilion on the UGA-Tifton campus. The program will begin at  9:30 a.m. and will conclude at approximately  4 p.m.
The Fencing Field Day is a hands-on learning opportunity to give producers of all experience levels an opportunity to discover new fencing tools that could benefit their production systems. Attendees will have the chance to "learn by doing" from members of the UGA Forage Team and industry professionals.
Topics covered in-depth include:
  • Post selection, spacing, and bracing
  • Fencing types and wire selection
  • Designing an electric fence system
  • Fastener types and matching with fence design
  • Selecting, hanging, and bracing for gates
  • Selecting and installing fence charger/energizers
  • Water trough selection and specifications
Cost to attend for producers is $10 and will include lunch. Register for this event by contacting Cathy Felton at  706-310-3464. Visit for more information and the tentative agenda!
From GA Agribusiness Council

The GATE  bill by GAC member   Rep. Sam Watson  (Moultrie)   was on the agendaWednesday for House Agriculture Committee debate Click here to see the meeting video.   We appreciate the help of Rep. Watson to include changes we suggested to help clear the role of ag retailers.  With these changes, we spoke in favor of the bill, which passed the committee and should be on the House floor next week. As written, it would do the following:

  • Prohibit retailers from providing the sales tax exemption if the GATE card is not current. 
  • Provide a three-year card that carries a $150 fee and issue new plastic GATE cards each year along with GATE usage guidance information.
  • Require the GATE applicant to obtain a state taxpayer identification number through the Department of Revenue's Georgia Tax Center.
  • Strengthen the GATE application process to improve qualifying tax documentation.
  • Move the minimum revenue threshold to qualify for a GATE card to $5,000. 
  • Improve the sharing of data by the Department of Revenue when GATE purchases are audited. 
  • Establish parameters for GATE card use to be revoked for abuse.
Prominent Wisconsin dairy farmer killed when Green Bay-bound plane crashes in Indiana
By  D. Kwas and Rick Barrett, Journal Sentinel

Prominent Kewaunee County businessman John Pagel and his son-in-law were among those killed Thursday night when a Green Bay-bound plane crashed in Indiana, the Journal Sentinel has confirmed.

The son-in-law was identified as Steve Witcpalek.
Pagel, the CEO of Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy, also represented the Town of Casco on the Kewaunee County Board.    Read more    
Processors Demand Quality Milk, But Most Won't Pay For It Anymore

At the start of the year, John Pagel, of Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee Wisconsin, found out the company he ships milk to would be cutting their quality premium structure by roughly 65%. Pagel is not alone. Farmers across the country have lost these premiums over the past six months and are forced to figure out how to adjust budgets to accommodate a decrease in revenue.

"Milk premiums of all sorts are being trimmed right now," says Mike North of Commodity Risk Management. "That will continue in response to the overwhelming supply of milk being witnessed across the upper Midwest and outlying areas. This will not be a story surrounding just one buyer, but rather most of them."

According to Matt Lange, a dairy consultant with Compeer Financial, the loss of premiums and reduced basis are both widespread issues that will continue, particularly as spring flush arrives. He advises farmers go through their budgets with a fine toothed comb. Pagel is working with his management team to do just that.
Licensed Dairy Farm Numbers Drop to Just Over 40,000

In its January milk production report released today, the United States Department of Agriculture reported that the number of licensed U.S. dairy farms dropped by 1,600 farms to 40,219. That's a decline of 3.8%.

Over the past decade,  the U.S. has lost nearly 17,000 dairy farms, or a decline of about 30%.

With 9.4 million cows in the U.S. dairy herd in January of this year, the average herd size is now 234 cows. The average herd size in 2008 was about 163 cows.   Read more
I've never met a farmer
By Mark Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer,

You never know when you'll have the chance to share the positive message of dairy

I was trying to type in the code to get my boarding passes at the airport in Atlanta, but I kept typing it in wrong. A young lady that worked for the airline asked could she help me.

She asked, "Where are you traveling to on this cool January day in Georgia?" I replied, "Minnesota."

She then asked me if I owned a globe, and why would I want to fly north in the winter? I told her I was going to Minnesota to tour robotic dairy farms. She looked at me and asked, "What do you do for a living?"
I told her proudly, "I am a dairy farmer." She smiled, looked at me with awe and said, "I have never met a farmer." I smiled back and replied, "Now you have!"

To say the least, I was blown away by her comment. I live in a fairly rural part of Georgia and thought everyone had a farmer friend or relative that farmed in Georgia. I forgot how many people now live in urban areas of our state and country.

I took just a moment to tell the young lady about our farm while the boarding passes were printing. I smiled and told her that now she knew a farmer that was working to produce the food she saw in the supermarket. She laughed and said it was interesting to finally meet a farmer.

I have told several of my farming pals about the lady that had never met a farmer. I told them that I hoped I made a good impression on her, and that perhaps she can put a smiling face with the food she purchases.
You never know when you will have a chance to spread dairy's positive message. It could be through social media or even a chance encounter. We need to let the consumer meet their farmer.  
44th Annual Southern Dairy  Conference
Nashville, TN -  March 5th-7th, 2018

Topics for 2018 will focus on: Labor Management, Milk Quality, 2018 Dairy Outlook, Federal Order Updates

Location: The Inn at Opryland,  2401 Music Valley Dr.,  Nashville, TN 37214
To view agenda - click here

Reservations for the event will be made by individual attendees directly with Marriott reservations at  1-855-584-3466  or 615-889-0800 .   Reservation must be received on or before TODAY - Friday , February 9, 2018 .
To register for the 44th Annual Southern Dairy Conference -  click here
Vegans, just let us have our dairy

By Tim Trotter, Op-ed, The Hill

Little is surprising these days when it comes to what anti-animal agriculture groups say and do.

If they're not infiltrating farms and instigating animal abuse for self-promotion, they are stealing cows, attacking farmers on social media or misleading others about food.
So, when the head of a farming activist group tosses around words like cruel, wasteful and irresponsible, it would be easy to chalk it up to more looniness and walk away. Animal agriculture critics, like  Farm Sanctuary's Gene Baur in a recent op-ed, use the pretext of government subsidies to take a swipe at dairy farmers and the vital food they produce.
The approach is tired and the arguments flimsy.
Why would the government support the dairy community? It might just be that there's widespread recognition of the importance of dairy farming - to the nation's food supply, the economy and the well-being of countless communities. Nearly every industrialized nation supports agriculture to some degree. Those programs especially make sense now because the entire U.S. farm economy is hurting.

By the way, crops grown for human-vegan consumption are eligible for government programs, too. 
After Two Decades, Scientists Find GMOs in Corn Are Good for You. Seriously.

There is a great deal of misinformation out there regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). From monikers like "Frankenfoods" to general skepticism, there has been a variety of biased reactions to these organisms, even though we as a species have been genetically modifying our foods in one way or another for approximately 10,000 years. Perhaps some of this distrust will be put to rest with the emergence of a new meta-analysis that shows GM corn increases crop yields and provides significant health benefits.

The analysis, which was not limited to studies conducted in the U.S. and Canada, showed that GMO corn varieties have increased crop yields worldwide 5.6 to 24.5 percent when compared to non-GMO varieties. They also found that GM corn crops had significantly fewer (up to 36.5 percent less, depending on the species) mycotoxins - toxic chemical byproducts of crop colonization.    Read more 
By Mary Ellen Shoup,

Consumption of milk containing only A2 β-casein may reduce acute gastrointestinal symptoms compared to conventional milk (containing A1 and A2 β-casein protein types) among those with self-reported lactose intolerance, according to a new study.   Read more
Certified Nutrient Planner/ Waste Operator Training in March
The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia will hold their annual planner/operator certification training in Athens at the UGA Livestock Arena classroom on March 20-21, 2018. Anyone interested in becoming a Certified Nutrient Management Planner or Certified Waste Operator in Georgia must attend this training. This training is only available once a year. Also, those seeking continuing education credit hours are welcome to attend. For more information and to register for the training visit the AWARE website at:
UGA Spring Dairy Show - April 7th
Mark your calendar for the 2018 UGA Spring Dairy Show.  With a long running history (we're on the 55th year) this Spring Show is a great way to bring together all of our registered cattle producers from across the southeast.  In addition, this show helps ensure that we have high quality animals ready to go for the Georgia State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest!  Please help spread the word as we would love for this year's show turnout to be even bigger and better than last.   Please email or call 706-542-9108 with any questions!  Show information and registration packet available here.
Mark Your Calendars:

Mar. 5-7: Southern Dairy Conference, Nashville, TN
Mar.  30: GDYF Golf Tournament, Bishop, GA
April 5-7: 57th Annual GA Cattlemen's Assoc. Convention & Trade Show and 21st Annual Georgia Beef Expo Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, GA
GA Dairy Classifieds

WANTED: UGA Tifton Dairy looking for a  full time milker with duties to include: setting up the
parlor; milking cows; cleaning free stalls; cleaning milking equipment and parlor
to meet state and FDA guidelines. In addition to milking, the individual will be
assisting staff with routine animal care to include assistance with moving,
vaccinating, treating, and sorting animals. Click here for more information

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

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

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