Two West GA Dairy Families Fulfill Dream with Creamery

After several years of planning and construction, two West Georgia dairy families fulfilled a lifelong dream this month when they opened doors to their own creamery. Arnold Murphy and his sons, Kenneth and Winfred of Meriwether County, along with Billy Bartlett and his children DeWayne and Denise of Carroll County, created a partnership and built the first business of its kind in Bowdon, Georgia.  The creamery, West Georgia Creamery, will produce plain whole milk, chocolate milk, and buttermilk. In the future, the families hope to add to their product line with butter and coffee creamer.     
The Murphy and Bartlett families have been close friend for over 20 years.  The idea to build the creamery was first imagined back in 2010. 
"We just have a passion for milk and we felt like milk is not being sold the way it comes out of the cow," said co-owner Kenneth Murphy.  "The reviews for our products have been very positive and it's our intention to start supplying local stores next."

The Bartlett Family
The Bartlett Family has a strong history in farming that dates back to 1943, when Gerald and Inez Cavender purchased several hundred acres to grow cotton, corn and wheat.  As their family grew, so did the farm with the addition of chicken houses in 1961 and 1965.  In 1977, Gerald retired and sold their farm
to his daughter, Barbara, and son-in-law, Billy Bartlett. 
Billy and Barbara farmed for many years with their children DeWayne and Denise.  In 1994, the family added a dairy parlor to their farm.  The Bartlett farm is now a father and son venture with over 500 acres, 230 cows (120 milking cows) and 5 generations of hard working family members. 

The Murphy Family
The Murphy Family has been farming since the late 1800s, when Jack and Nettie Lou Murphy started growing cotton. In fact, part of the farm today has never been owned by anyone other than the Murphys, who purchased it initially through the Georgia Land Lotteries system.
Throughout the years, the family has farmed  cotton, soybeans, corn, and other crops. In 1989, James "Arnold" and Juanita Murphy with their sons, Kenneth and Winfred, began dairy farming. In 1996, Arnold retired from teaching and expanded the farm to 660 acres.

The dairy herd now includes 125 Holsteins and Jersey cows.   Earlier this year, the family experienced a tough loss when the matriarch of the family, Juanita, passed away unexpectedly. She was an integral part of family farm, keeping the books, managing the family and milking the cows whenever needed.
The Murphy family is very active in the dairy and agricultural industry. Kenneth, serves on the Board of Directors for Georgia Milk Producers, the Georgia Beef Commission, and the Georgia Beef Board. He also serves as the President of the Meriwether County Farm Bureau.

In a community big on agriculture, the dairy industry in West Georgia has suffered greatly over the last 30 years with many small farms going out of business.  The creamery offers a new opportunity for these families to support their passion for cows, milk and the dairy industry.  To learn more about West Georgia Creamery, visit their Facebook page here. 
Dairy happy with visa proposal

The House Appropriations Committee adopted on Tuesday an amendment to the fiscal 2018 homeland security spending bill, which could help dairy producers and other farmers who need year-round labor. The amendment, offered by Rep.  Dan Newhouse  (R-Wash.), would expand the range of businesses that can apply for the H-2A visa program for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers, as well as nullify that stipulation that the work be short term. The measure was agreed to by voice vote with bipartisan support, including by Democratic Reps.  Henry Cuellar (Texas) and  Pete Aguilar  (Calif.), who spoke in favor of the provision during the markup.

2017 Georgia Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program Selections
From the GA Dept. of Agriculture

The State Veterinary Education Board of Georgia has selected five veterinarians to participate in the inaugural year of the Georgia Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program. The Board received 11 total applications for the program's first year of funding and has narrowed the candidate selections down to five deserving individuals. Participants for the 2017 Award Year are as follows:
  • Dr. Jana Powell of Eatonton, GA
  • Dr. LeAnna Wilder of Montezuma, GA
  • Dr. Madison Fyke of Forsyth, GA
  • Dr. Edmond Strickland of Winterville, GA
  • Dr. Charlie Clark of Twin City, GA
The Georgia General Assembly appropriated $100,000 to the Georgia Student Finance Authority for the 2017 Fiscal Year to grant financial assistance to veterinarians willing to provide food animal services in under-served areas across the state.      Read more  

Researchers at North Carolina State University said a study on consumer perceptions of milk shows the industry should focus on the nutrition value of milk, and educating consumers about milk.  Read more
The U.S. dairy lobby is ratcheting up the pressure on Canada as talks to renegotiate NAFTA draw closer, demanding concessions the Canadian government looks unwilling to grant, according to people familiar with the file.

The result could be a brawl that sours efforts to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, under which Canada sends most of its exports to the United States. Mexico is the pact's third member.

U.S. farmers have long chafed about supply management, the term for Canada's system of tariffs and quotas to keep domestic prices high and imports low. A 2016 deal that allowed Canadian farmers to sell milk proteins, which are used to make cheese and yogurt, to domestic processors at a discount, curbing the flow of American imports, further raised their ire.

Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president for the U.S. Dairy Export Council, said the influential lobby group will pursue fresh challenges through the World Trade Organization unless Canada stops the proteins sale.
Read more 

Citing economic, food safety and national security concerns, an ad hoc coalition of more than 100 agricultural organizations and allied industry groups urged Congress to include language in the next farm bill establishing and funding a foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccine bank.

FMD is an infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, pigs and sheep; it is not a food safety or human health threat. Although the disease was last detected in the U.S. in 1929, it is endemic in many parts of the world.    Read more 
USDA rejects dairy farmers' petition for a national hearing

A petition for a national hearing before high ranking USDA officials has been denied.
The petition, spearheaded by Progressive Agriculture (Pro-Ag) Organization and supported by several farm organizations, milk cooperatives, and county commissioners, asked for a hearing to allow farmers to bear witness to the struggles faced by dairy farmers unable to make ends meet due to the current pricing formulas.

Dana Coale Deputy Administrator USDA Agricultural Marketing Service rejected the petition, saying that based on a USDA analysis, the proposed regulatory amendments seem "unlikely to achieve" the goal of increasing dairy farmer revenue.   Read more

"It's better with butter" might be a marketing theme, but it's also true when it comes to dairy farmer milk checks.

Without the strong U.S. butter prices during a recent period of weak world prices, domestic milk prices would have averaged more than $1 per hundredweight (cwt) lower than they did during the entire 12-month period of August 2015-July 2016. That would have cost U.S. dairy farmers about $2.2 billion in lost income during that time, according to Peter Vitaliano, vice president of economic policy and market research with the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

Highlighting a new NMPF report commissioned by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), Vitaliano said the good news related to butter and milk fat may be just getting started for U.S. dairy farmers. Butter demand is growing, leading some officials to suggest there's a global shortage. Not only is butter use on a significant uptick, it's also taking a larger share of total available milk fat, Vitaliano said.

Butter's share of U.S. milk fat use was running about 16 percent in 2000, but has increased to 18-19 percent in recent years, and is trending higher.  Read More
2017 AgAware Workshop Next Month

AgSouth Farm Credit and AgGeorgia Farm Credit are hosting a free financial training workshop  on August 25 at the Burke County Extension office in Waynesboro. The purpose of the program is to promote and educate the next generation of farmers. This will be the fifth year the program has been  available in Georgia and South Carolina.

Topics covered in the program include: Balance Sheets, Income Statements, Family Finance &  Family Budgeting, Risk Management, Accrual Income, Applying for Financing and Preparing a  Business Plan with bonus video topics on Record Keeping, Marketing, and Technology available  for continued education. The AGAware educational program is also certified for FSA Direct  Borrower Training Credit.

The workshop will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch is provided at no cost. To register click here.
Alfalfa Field Day
August 30th at 10 am

WHERE: WDairy, Madison
(4651 Monticello Hwy, Madison, GA 30650)

  • How HarvXtra® Alfalfa may add value to your operation
  • Grower experiences with HarvXtra® Alfalfa, including insight from Everett Williams
  • Introduction of AmeriStand 480 HVXRR
  • General alfalfa management
GA Dairy Classifieds

For Hire:  Dairy in Gay, GA, is seeking an experienced milker/farm hand. Dairy milks two times a day. Housing is provided.  For information contact Jeff Busciglio at 813-220-7072 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.

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

FOR SALE: Kuhn 1014 Manure Spreader for $9,000 - Contact Randall Ruff, Elbert County, at 706-498-4344

20 Calftel Calf Hutches for $200 each - Contact Randall Ruff, Elbert County, at 706-498-4344

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

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.