Martin Dairy, Bowersville
Our Office Will Be Closed Monday, May 28

Our office will be closed on Monday, May 28th in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday.  We will reopen on Tuesday, May 29th at 8:00 a.m.

Our sincere gratitude to those brave men and woman who have served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

For Some, New MPP Makes Plenty of Cents
By Dr.John Newton, Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation

A webinar was held on last Monday in Coweta County  - UGA Extension has posted the video online for dairy producers to view at their convenience.  To view the webinar click here:  

In February 2018, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 made several modifications to USDA's Dairy Margin Protection Program and directed the department to reopen signup for the 2018 coverage year. The modifications made to MPP were designed to make it a more attractive risk management tool for small- and medium-sized dairy operations by reducing premium rates, delivering payments monthly, increasing the catastrophic coverage levels, and making more milk eligible for discounted coverage. Farmers have until June 1 to make new MPP coverage elections. MPP coverage will be retroactive to January 2018, and for more than 90 percent of the farmers previously enrolled in the program, coverage during 2018 is guaranteed to be profitable, i.e., program payments will be greater than the insurance premiums.   Read more
Dean Foods to close 7 plants in 2018; No additional producer letters expected soon
From Milksheds Blog

(NOTE:  This is an evolving story affecting Dean Plants across the country.  Sources are a variety of public information and anonymous sources.  Updates will be made as warranted).

Dean Foods will be closing 7 processing plants in seven states in the next months, with the plants located in Kentucky, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

News of the plant closings began to emerge through local news outlets in some of the cities involved through the day Tuesday, May 22nd, yet, at this posting, there are yet no official statements from Dean Foods corporate officials.

This announcement follows the jolting announcement in early March that over 100 farmers in 8 states, marketing milk as Dean Dairy Direct (independent producers, meaning not members of a co-op or marketing agency) producers, would have their  contracts terminated as of May 31, 2018.  At this point, many of those farmers have found new markets, several elected to disperse their herds, with several still struggling to find a market and income source for their farm's milk.

The navigation of stormy, wind-tossed oceans of milk in the overflowing worldwide dairy milkshed has led to the announcement that these processing plants will be shutting their doors during the late summer and fall.   Intense competition to find a processing market/plant for milk, exacerbated by declining milk consumption the world over, has converged in a perfect storm of farmers getting caught in the crosshairs with no markets for their milk, along with employees in processing plants losing their jobs as well.

Competition for the prime retail real estate of grocery store shelf space is also a factor in these events.
In the southeast, the two Dean Foods plant closures at Braselton, GA and Louisville, KY follow the early May announcement of the closure of a  Fulton, Ky plant, owned by Prairie Farms.  In that event, processing operations will cease, but the facility will remain a distribution center, with 12 of 52 employees remaining. Read more
New  Campaign Spotlights Dairy's Economic Impact
The U.S. dairy products industry supports nearly 3 million workers with an economic impact of more than $628 billion.

Most Americans know milk and other dairy products are an essential part of a healthy diet. But less well-known is dairy's contribution to the health of the U.S. economy and the economies of every state across the country. A new storytelling campaign launched today by the U.S. dairy industry aims to shine a brighter, data-driven spotlight on the positive effects of dairy's economic engine.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) are collaborating to create the new  "Got Jobs? Dairy Creates Jobs, Exports Create More"  campaign. Over the next year, they will share in-depth data and compelling narratives featuring hard-working dairy farmers, innovative dairy company employees, resourceful retailers and many others throughout the food supply chain at .     Read more
President Trump says he will not sign an immigration bill without a 'real' border wall

Trump's demands helped to sink previous bipartisan talks on an immigration deal.

President  Donald Trump said Thursday he will not sign an immigration bill passed by the GOP-controlled Congress unless it includes a "real" border wall.

Centrist House Republicans have pushed to force a vote on bills to shield immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation, against the wishes of GOP leaders. Those Republicans need only a few more signatures from the caucus on a petition to make votes happen.

Top Republicans such as House Speaker  Paul Ryan have said that by joining with House Democrats, moderate GOP lawmakers could pass a bill Trump would find unacceptable. On Thursday, the president stressed he would only sign legislation that includes his proposed border wall and "very strong" border security measures.
"Unless it includes a wall - and I mean a wall, a real wall - and unless it includes very strong border security, there will be no approval from me," the president told "Fox & Friends."       Read more   
Dairy Farmers Hear from Administrator
From Tennessee Farm Bureau

Recently the Tennessee and Kentucky Farm Bureau's hosted a meeting in Knoxville for USDA dairy officials and farmers to address some of the industry concerns. Georgia Milk attended this meeting on behalf of the state's dairy farmers.

From Dr. Dennis Hancock, UGA

Don't miss the Alfalfa in the South recap videos!

The UGA Forage Team recently held a series of one-day workshops entitled "Alfalfa in the South" on May 1 (Calhoun Co.), May 8 (Bacon Co.), May 9 (Tifton, GA), and May 10 (Irwin Co.). Each workshop focused on the management and use of Alfalfa in the South, including how to successfully interseed alfalfa into bermudagrass. Subjects covered included:  site selection and establishment management for persistence ,  improving animal performance with alfalfa  , and  the history of alfalfa breeding at UGA . Faculty and graduate students from University of Georgia and Auburn University provided updates of the ongoing alfalfa research throughout the Southeast.  Each workshop also included a field tour highlighting a pro ducer who is using alfalfa in bermudagrass across Georgia. These presentations as well as footage from the  field tours  have been compiled into a series of new Grassman Vlogs that can be accessed on the   Georgia Forages Youtube channel.   
April 2018 U.S. milk production posted its smallest year-over-year increase dating back to January 2016, inserting some optimism into the price picture.

At 18.4 billion pounds, April U.S. milk production was up just 0.6 percent from a year earlier. The last time year-over-year growth was below 1 percent was in January 2015-16, when milk output increased 0.2 percent.

The USDA's monthly Milk Production report, released May 18, estimated April 2018 U.S. cow numbers at 9.4 million head, down 2,000 head from March and 8,000 fewer than February.   Read more 
Register for the 2018 SE Dairy Youth Retreat

Make plans to attend the 2018 Southeast Dairy Youth Retreat h  osted by the University of Georgia, on July 8th-12th in Covington, GA.
This year's activities will include:
  • Touring a large, crossbred herd that milks in a rotary parlor and whose owner was named the 2017 Georgia Farmer of the Year.
  • Visit a small, farmstead operation that makes numerous products on site and whose Chocolate Milk won the 2018 Dairy Foods Taste of Georgia award
  • Go behind the scenes at Zoo Atlanta
  • Participate in hands on learning workshops - have you ever explored the inner workings of the udder? Do you know how to make your own butter? Have you seen the inside of a cow's stomach?
Dairy Foods Innovation: Keep Milk and Dairy Foods Relevant through Emotional Connections and Value Propositions

The National Restaurant Association held its annual expo this past week in Chicago. 

As expected, meat alternatives and plant-based innovations were plentiful. In a presentation on foodservice trends, Nancy Kruse, president of The Kruse Co., an Atlanta-based restaurant consultancy, explained that as much as vegetables are now center-of-the-plate menu items and meat alternatives are mainstream, Americans are "committed carnivores."

We are eating more meat and poultry than ever, according to USDA data.

"We love meat, but we would like it if you could make us feel a little better about it," said Kruse. She cited McDonald's recent national roll-out of fresh beef in Quarter Pounder burgers. "Tell me the story that makes me comfortable in making the choice I really want to make anyway."

This holds true for dairy.

"Dairy alternatives are on a rise as consumers are increasingly going dairy-free, particularly when it comes to fluid milk used on things like cereal or in coffees," according to Tom Bailey, senior analyst-dairy, Rabobank. "More recently, biotechnology has entered the arena, brewing milk proteins through biofermentation. The time is right for the dairy sector to reflect on the success of alternative dairy products and to consider applying those lessons to dairy."

(If you have not heard of Perfect Day, a biotech firm brewing vegan milk proteins, link HERE.)  
Read more
Thanks for the SWAG, but we need more
By Jessica Peters, Pennsylvania dairy farmer,

Invest in us, and we'll tell our story.

For years now, farmers have heard from various organizations and companies within the agricultural world that we need to be advocating for our industry. Many of us have risen to that challenge in spectacular fashion. The awesome thing about it is that everyone does it differently, but we all have a few things in common - our limitations. We're farmers, which means that we're short on time, money, and often technical ability.

The photos and videos being produced by the activist groups are awful yet perfectly executed. They're well-funded, professionally made, and effective. I started making videos after watching one with a little old man in a suit, in front of a table full of dairy products. He'd describe each with phrases like 'mammal sack secretions' or 'solidified udder fat,' and use clever puns and quick, funny comments to bring every fact we've ever spoken about the goodness of milk crashing to the ground.

And you know what? I watched all five minutes of it. On the other hand, I can't get through a three-minute video of a friend talking about their farm because it's literally just a person talking to a camera. Don't even try searching the word 'dairy' on YouTube, the results are horrifying.

For now, people still trust farmers. Why aren't we capitalizing on that? We have big, amazing ideas; what we don't have is the time, money, or skills to pull them off.

So, where's our support?     
Okeechobee Sheriff Chastises Animal Rights Group in Abuse Case
By  Jim Dickrell, Dairy Herd Management

Okeechobee County, Fla., Sheriff Noel Stephen called out the animal rights group, Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), for disclosing the photos of potential defendants in alleged animal abuse videos it released and subjecting his officers to death threats for allegedly not pursuing allegations hard enough, reports  WINK News , Fort Meyers, Fla.

By releasing on-line videos of the allegations prior to the sheriff's investigation, the suspects in the videos were able to flee the state to avoid prosecution. The threats to officers came after people viewed the ARM videos and thought officers weren't doing their jobs by prosecuting farm owners.

But a sheriff officer says some of the activities, such as flaming udders to keep them clean, is actually accepted industry practice. The County Sheriff's investigation found owners of the four dairies investigated were not aware of the alleged abuse on their farms shown in the videos.

Ditch the Overalls: The Reality of Modern Farming Will Surprise You
By Tim Scott, National Geographic

A few weeks ago, I sat with a third-generation California dairy farmer named Dave Ribeiro. I asked him what he wished more people knew about farmers. He gave me a wry smile and said, "That we walk among you. We look like you and talk like you. We have advanced degrees and hobbies, just like you."

Take Dave: He's an ordinary guy with a music degree who still does gigs for fun. And if you walked past him on the street, you'd never think, "There goes a farmer." In fact, he's particularly amused that the last time he traveled, someone mistook him for an old acquaintance - an East Coast surgeon. Read more
Mark Your Calendars:

May 31 - GA Milk Producers Board of Directors Meeting, Macon - All dairymen invited to attend
June 2: Putnam Dairy Festival, Eatonton
GA Dairy Classifieds

SEEKING FIELD SERVICE TECHNICAN: Southeast DHIA has a position to fill in the NE Georgia area for a FIELD SERVICE TECHNICIAN. Responsibilities include data collection on area dairy farms during milking time. The schedule is somewhat flexible but the hours are non-typical. Some travel and out-of-town work possible Applicants should be comfortable with computers and software and have good communication and organizational skills as well as reliable transportation. If interested send a resume to

For Sale: 
WW Livestock Systems Hydraulic Head shoot, never used, excellent condition, kept  under roof.  Listed for $23,041 asking $15,000 or reasonable offer.  Call M
aggie 352-507- 
2042 or email:
For Sale: 40 high quality Holstein heifers bred to calf this summer and fall. Start calving in July, 40 yrs AI breeding 24,000 herd average. Ray Ward 706-473-8789.

For Sale: Custom manure application and Dryhill manure equipment sales. 
Contact Edwin @ 478-299-0717 with Agboys Custom Services LLC  - 
New 8"x52' lagoon pump with outriggers $24,000 (Pictured right)

For Sale 3000 gallon Surge/Westfalia milk tank and wash system. Three phase condensers. 2002 model. Excellent condition. John B Gay, 478-494-5107

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: Looking 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

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     
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  9 am until 4 pm 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. 

GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020

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!!