GA Commodity Commission For Milk 
Taking Board Nominations
From GA Farm Bureau

The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commissions for apples, blueberries, corn, cotton, equine, milk, peaches, pecan, soybean, tobacco and vegetables will accept nominations to fill several positions for the respective boards. To be nominated, eligible individuals must be an active Georgia producer of the commodity.

Nominations may be made by filling out a Nominee Information Form found  here and sending it to:  Georgia Department of Agriculture, 19 MLK Jr. Drive S.W.,  Room 320, Atlanta, GA 30334.

The form may also be faxed to 404-656-9380, or emailed to  andy.harrison@agr.georgia.gov. The deadline for submissions is May 26.

The nominees will be certified to ensure they are active Georgia producers of the respective commodities, and geographic representation may be considered when making appointments. Appointments will be made by the Agriculture Commodity Commission Ex Officio Committee in July. Producers with questions may contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 404-585-1405.

Agricultural commodity commissions are farmer-funded self-help programs to enhance research, promotion and education. They are authorized by Georgia law under the Commodity Promotions Act.
Farmers and Ranchers Impressed by Secretary Perdue

Producers are excited to have a Secretary of Agriculture who has first-hand experience working in agriculture and growing up on a farm.

On April 28, three days after former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue was sworn in as Secretary of Agriculture he visited Kansas City, Mo. for his first official trip away from Washington D.C. representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Perdue spoke in front of a crowd of more than 450 people made up of farmers, ranchers, allied industry members, students and FFA members at the American Royal.

Several producers asked questions and made comments to Perdue during the town hall hosted at the American Royal with topics ranging from trade, wildfire relief and advocating for agriculture.

The confirmation of Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture is exciting because there are common values shared by the leadership at USDA with farmers and ranchers, says Ramona, Kan. cattle rancher Tracy Brunner. Last year Brunner served as National Cattlemen's Beef Association president.     Read more
Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again

From USDA

LEESBURG, VA, May 1, 2017 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide greater flexibility in nutrition requirements for school meal programs in order to make food choices both healthful and appealing to students.  Perdue made the announcement during a visit to Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia to mark School Nutrition Employee Week.  Perdue signed a proclamation which begins the process of restoring local control of guidelines on whole grains, sodium, and milk.  Perdue was joined by Sen. Pat Roberts (KS), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Patricia Montague, CEO of the School Nutrition Association.

"This announcement is the result of years of feedback from students, schools, and food service experts about the challenges they are facing in meeting the final regulations for school meals," Perdue said.  "If kids aren't eating the food, and it's ending up in the trash, they aren't getting any nutrition - thus undermining the intent of the program."

  • Milk is a key component of school meals, meaning schools must have more options for students who select milk as part of their lunch or breakfast.
  • Perdue will direct USDA to begin the regulatory process for schools to serve 1 percent flavored milk through the school meals programs.  USDA will seek to publish an interim rule as soon as possible to effect the change in milk policy.
 Read more 
May Dixie Dairy Report
By Calvin Covington

Click Here to download: 

This month's issue features an explanation of first quarter federal blend prices, a review of both national and regional milk production, fluid packaged milk sales in and outside of Florida Order and A2 milk in Southeast. 
By Caitlin Rodgers, GA Dairy Farmer, via Hoards.com

The daily work that takes place on a dairy farm goes much smoother with a good team

Having a good group of employees is one of the best blessings we have received here at Hillcrest Farms. Yes, we occasionally have the hard-to-fill position. Currently, this is our second night milker position. But when you have a group of people that can easily problem solve and work together, things tend to run so much smoother.

Right now, we have 12 full time employees and three part time employees. The majority of our employees are all from one family. Before the grandfather of that family retired, we had him, his kids and their wives and husbands, and a few of his grandkids working for us. A couple of other employees that aren't in his family or ours have been around the farm for years and years, so we just consider them family anyways. Read more
What are the odds of getting sick? 
840 times more likely for raw milk drinkers
By Coral Beach, Food Safety News 

Based on statistics from the five-year period 2009-2014, people who drink unpasteurized, raw milk are 840 times more likely to contract a foodborne illness than those who drink pasteurized milk.

The statistics, included in a research report scheduled for publication in the upcoming June issue of  "Emerging Infectious Diseases" also show raw milk drinkers are 45 times more likely to be hospitalized if they get sick than people who become ill from drinking pasteurized milk.  Read more   
By Progressive Dairyman Editor Dave Natzke
 
Midwestern U.S. milk marketing cooperative Family Dairies USA implemented a temporary "base" program, effective May 1, to help manage growing milk supplies.

Imbalances in milk supply and demand have become a major issue in the Upper Midwest and elsewhere, both due to the ongoing increase in milk production, and the loss of the ultrafiltered (UF) milk export market in Canada.      Read More
'We Can't Be Organic Because...'
From Growing Georgia

Dale Eade has been loving cows for 37 years. When they opened Southern Craft Creamery, they had to be ready to for the questions about being or not being organic. For Dale and his family, the decision was an easy one - they cared about their animals too much to be an organic farm.  Read more  
Experts Explain The Real Difference Between Organic And Non-Organic Milk

"Milk is an emotional product."

Theresa Marquez, the mission executive at  Organic Valley, hit the nail right on the head.
Whenever people talk about  milk, and their choices in regards to this dairy product, it gets very personal, very quickly. Whether you were  breast-fed or formula-fed, many of us transitioned to dairy milk as soon as we were toddlers. So it's understandable that we hold it near and dear to our hearts, even if we drink  almond milk or coconut milk today. 

One of the key questions these days is whether we should hand over the extra cash for organic milk. It's important to know exactly what we're getting when we buy organic milk vs. non-organic milk (which we'll call "conventional" milk for the purpose of this story).

We reached out to experts in both fields to really understand the difference between organic and conventional milk, specifically in terms of antibiotics and hormones.   Read more   
Why your 'organic' milk may not be organic

The High Plains dairy complex reflects the new scale of the U.S. organic industry: It is big.

Stretching across miles of pastures and feedlots north of Greeley, Colo., the complex is home to more than 15,000 cows, making it more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of Aurora Organic Dairy, a company that produces enough milk to supply the house brands of Walmart, Costco and other major retailers.

"We take great pride in our commitment to organic, and in our ability to meet the rigorous criteria of the USDA organic regulations," Aurora advertises.

But a closer look at Aurora and other large operations highlights critical weaknesses in the unorthodox inspection system that the Agriculture Department uses to ensure that "organic" food is really organic.    Read more   
2017 Precision Dairy Conference

The 2017 Precision Dairy Conference will be held in Lexington, Kentucky from May 30-June 1, 2017. The program will include dairy producer showcase sessions, many industry updates, and talks about how research impacts dairy management. The trade show will be an opportunity to see first-hand what companies have to offer in the growing field of precision technologies and equipment. This event is designed for dairy producers and practical applications rather than focusing on only presentations of research data. In one place, you will be able to virtually visit various farms and see how the University of Kentucky manages multiple technologies.  For more information visit their webpage here
Mark Your Calendars:
 
May 25: GMP Board Meeting, Macon
May 30-June 1: Precision Dairy Conference, Lexington, KY
June 3: Putnam Co Dairy Festival, Eatonton
June 15: UGA Corn Silage Field Day, Tifton 
GA Dairy Classifieds

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.


FOR SALE
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
www.gamilk.org

For 2016, Georgia Milk Producers, Inc. has once AGAIN been named an All Star Award winner by 
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