Pitzer and Sons Dairy, Perry
Using On-Farm Milk Culturing to Drive Treatment Decisions

Many thanks to Dr. Emmanuel Rollin and for Dr. Valerie Ryman from the University of Georgia for serving as instructors for our On-Farm Milk Culturing Series this month in Americus, Waynesboro  and Eatonton.  GA Milk Producers will continue to sponsor education programs and management workshops that educate dairy producers on current technologies and resources to enhance production performance and milk quality. If you were unable to attend and would like to recieve a copy of the presentation slides, please email us your request at gamilkproducers@gmail.com.


   Congratulations to Andrew Peachey, Bobby Walker  and David Lee Yoder - winners of on-farm incubators sponsored by BI

Sponsored by Georgia Milk Producers,  Boehringer Ingelheim  and  UGA Extension

Make plans to attend the 57th Annual Georgia Cattlemen's Association Convention & Trade Show and the 21st Annual Georgia Beef Expo,  April 5-7, 2018  at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, GA. There is something for everyone! For more information click here!
Georgia Milk Producers has been named a 2017 All Star Award winner by Constant Contact , an  Endurance International Group  company and a leader in email marketing solutions. The annual award recognizes the most successful 10 percent of Constant Contact's customer base, based on their significant achievements using email marketing to engage their customer base and drive results for their organization during the prior year. 

GA Milk utilizes the Constant Contact marketing service each Friday with their GA Milk Weekly Enews and has received this award for the last three years. Thank you to our many subscribers!!

From GA Agribusiness Council

The GATE bill ( HB 886) by  Rep. Sam Watson (Moultrie) made its way through the Senate on Wednesday and is now awaiting signature by Governor Deal. Sen. John Wilkinsonhandled it for a smooth landing a 47 - 6 vote in favor. We are grateful to the work of him and Rep. Sam Watson to coordinate with the ag industry and legislative leaders to secure these improvements to the GATE program. These changes will strengthen the integrity of the program with the creation of a three-year card that carries a $150 registration fee, additional education initiatives, and enhanced application process. This was another good win for our industry!

Click here to access our interview with Southeast AgNet as we discuss the changes to the GATE program and the pivotal role it plays in Georgia agriculture.
 milk bright spot in January fluid milk sales
From Dave Natzke, Progressive Dairyman

January 2018 sales of conventional and organic whole milk rose 4.3 percent and 11 percent compared to a year earlier, respectively, helping limit the decline in overall fluid milk sales.

January 2018 total U.S. packaged fluid milk sales were estimated at 4.2 billion pounds, down just 0.6 percent from January 2018, according to the  USDA's Dairy Market News. U.S. sales of conventional products totaled 4 billion pounds, down 0.8 percent from the previous year, while sales of organic products, at 234 million pounds, were up 2.3 percent. Organic represented nearly 5.5 percent of total sales for the month.
Flavored whole milk and flavored fat-reduced (2 percent) milk also posted gains in January.

The U.S. figures represent consumption of fluid milk products in federal milk order marketing areas and California, which account for approximately 92 percent of total fluid milk sales in the U.S. Sales outlets include food stores, convenience stores, warehouse stores/wholesale clubs, nonfood stores, schools, the food service industry and home delivery.
It's just around the corner...we will take 
teams at registration on March 30th!!
 Don't miss out on our 8th Annual Golf Tournament.... AND 
according to the 
Almanac a beautiful spring day! 
Mark your calendars for March 30 at 11 a.m.
Lane Creek Golf Club, Bishop, GA

Made in Georgia: Dreaming Cow Yogurt Made from the Milk of Happy Cows
On a beautiful spring day, it's a charming sight. The pasture is surrounded by typical south Georgia plantings of stands of pine and, at this time of year, each nearby farm is awash in wildly blossoming azaleas. In mid-March, the pecan trees still haven't budded so you know the temperatures may be warm, but spring has not yet truly arrived. It's farming country for sure with huge pieces of farm equipment rolling by on tires so tall you wonder how anyone can ever get up into the cab.

These cows are, as Kyle Wehner of Dreaming Cow likes to say, "barn free 365 days a year." He says it's a pretty good life since these dairy cows feeding on grass and living on pasture generally live five times longer than conventionally raised dairy cows, and sometimes much longer than that.

Wehner and his employees at Dreaming Cow use that milk to make yogurt - cup-set yogurt in 6- and 32-ounce sizes and LUSH, a drinkable yogurt with a full serving of vegetables in each 12-ounce bottle. Each morning at 5 a.m., the cows walk over to the open air milking pavilion. They'll be back again at the end of the day. Their rich grass-fed milk is piped 20 feet to a series of tall unmarked metal buildings where the alchemy of turning raw milk into yogurt happens.  Read more

Bless her heart, she listens to me while I talk about which animal needed doctoring, what employee had issues, the current dairy gossip that another dairyman or co-op guy called and told me about, and how steel and feed prices are going up while milk prices are falling off the cliff. My wife smiles, tells me she loves me, and then asks me if I fed the dog and the horses. Everyday, when I finally drag myself into the house, my wife will ask me how my day went. Given the current state of dairy in general, or the chance that the day included a sick calf or cow, that is a loaded question.

My wife is a pharmacist and was not raised on a farm. She comes from a military family and was raised in Tucson, Ariz. She has not quite learned how to interpret all the phrases and dialect we use here in the southeastern U.S. yet, bless her heart. She does not quite understand why my family works the hours that they do, for the pay that we receive, and why my dad at 82 years old is outside operating a tractor chopping silage. Read more
The congressional spending bill approved today in the House and awaiting final vote in the Senate directs the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action against mislabeled imitation dairy foods. 

The massive omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018 includes report language instructing FDA to enforce labeling standards affecting dairy imitators. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said the omnibus language builds on the DAIRY PRIDE Act (DPA), a bipartisan bill introduced last year in both chambers of Congress to compel FDA to act against misbranded imitations. Read more
The United States Department of Agriculture reported this afternoon that dairy farmers sent 260,700 dairy cows to slaughter through federally inspected plants in February. That's a 3% increase over last February.

At first blush, it appears February culling was down substantially compared to January since 29,000 fewer cows were marketed. But January had 22 business days compared to 20 in February, meaning the dropoff was just 140 cows per day, or about 1%.

Year-to-date, 550,000 cows have been culled, some 28,000 more than a year ago. That represents an increase of 5.4%. And it's despite the fact  USDA is reporting there are 45,000 more cows on farms than a year ago.  Click here to read the full livestock slaughter report. 
Dairy MPP Worth a Second Look
By: Jim Dickrell, Farm Journal's Milk Business
In a paper by economists Andy Novakovic and Mark Stephenson on the revised Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP), it appears the reduced premiums, monthly calculations and weak milk futures prices in 2018 will combine to offer some risk management for smaller producers.

"The changes to the program for Tier 1 are sufficiently improved to more than justify giving the program a hard look," say the economists. Novakovic is with Cornell University; Stephenson, the University of Wisconsin.

In its revision, Congress increased the amount of coverage offered to so-called Tier I producers, from 4 million pounds per year to 5 million. Congress also markedly reduced Tier I premium costs at each protection level. The margin calculations will now also be made monthly, rather than bimonthly and averaged. That means it's much more likely margin payments will be triggered in times of low, volatile milk prices.
A decision tool to help producers through the labyrinth of MPP choices can be found here:  https://dairymarkets.org/MPP/Tool/.
Starbucks issues a $10M challenge: Design a compostable coffee cup
From Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY
Starbucks issues a $10M challenge: Design a compostable coffee cup

The chain is contributing $10 million to issue grants to inventors working on recyclable, compostable cups.
Read more
McDonald's Sets Science-Based Target to Reduce GHG Emissions
From AgWeb
Today, McDonald's announces it will partner with franchisees and suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to McDonald's restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030 from a 2015 base year in a new strategy to address global climate change. Additionally, McDonald's commits to a 31% reduction in emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) across its supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels. This combined target has been approved by the  Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Through these actions, McDonald's expects to prevent 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere by 2030. This is the equivalent of taking 32 million passenger cars off the road for an entire year or planting 3.8 billion trees and growing them for 10 years. The target will enable McDonald's to grow as a business without growing its emissions. 

"To create a better future for our planet, we must all get involved. McDonald's is doing its part by setting this ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the challenge of global climate change," said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's President and CEO, who announced the plan in a  video released by the company . "To meet this goal, we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently, and reduce waste and increase recycling." Read more
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 jfain@uga.edu or call 706-542-9108 with any questions!  Show information and registration packet available here.
AGAware Workshops Scheduled for Summer
AgSouth is excited to announce the dates and locations locked down for another round of AGAware workshops. Van McCall will present an exciting and fun-filled, educational workshop on farm finance.  The classes are from  9am until 4pm with lunch provided and there is no charge to attend. The workshops are certified for FSA borrower credits as well.
Click here for more information . This is a hands-on workshop with actual projects conducted during the training. 

Mark Your Calendars:

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: DeLaval Westfalia
 Neck Transponders:  TN Dairy seeking used Westfalia neck band transponders. 
Please contact Bill or Peggy Howell if interested at 423-972-9254 or 423-371-3032.

WANTED: GA Corrections Facilitity in Reidsvile seeks farm manager to 
manage farm and livestock operations, supervise inmates and staff, perform administrative duties and will oversee land, equipment and vehicles.  Click here for more information

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

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: 
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

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