Pitzer and Sons Dairy, Perry

Special thanks to our Central and Southeast Georgia dairy farm families for attending this week's Fall District Meetings for GA Milk Producers and the ADA of Georgia in Williamson, Millen, Waynesboro and Washington. Despite Hurricane Irma's impact, many of you chose to join us and we appreciate your support.  The remaining meetings will be held on: 

Sept. 18, Monday - Bonner's Restaurant, Buckhead at 7 PM (1500 Bonner Ln, Buckhead )
Sept. 19, Tuesday - Glo-Crest Dairy, Clermont at Noon ( 5909 Bowen Bridge Road, Clermont)
Sept. 19, Tuesday - Western Sizzlin', Dalton at 7 PM (  501 Legion Dr, Dalton)
**Sept. 25, Monday - The Plaza Restaurant, Thomasville at Noon (217 S Broad St, Thomasville)
**Sept. 25, Monday - Oasis Coffee House, Montezuma at 7:00 PM (314 Spaulding Rd)
BREAKING: Longtime farms chief Tommy Irvin dies
By Lauren Foreman and Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tommy Irvin, a former agriculture commissioner who was the longest-serving statewide official in Georgia history, died on Thursday. He was 88. 

Irvin served in public office for more than a half-century, including 42 years as Georgia's top agriculture official. Details about his death have not been released, but Irvin had suffered from Parkinson's disease and other ailments. 

Irvin family spokeswoman Brenda James Griffin said in a statement Friday he was a "giant of a man" who leaves behind an unparalleled legacy.

"The state of Georgia, especially the agriculture community, and our nation have greatly benefitted from the tremendous leadership of Tommy Irvin," said Griffin. "He will be remembered for his ingenuity and dedication." Read more
Blessings counted in Irma's wake, challenges ahead
Damage to dairy buildings, but people safe, livestock losses minimal. Processing and distribution channels challenged. Biggest issues: Power. Fuel. Communications. 

FLORIDA - "Four freestall barns are damaged, one completely collapsed, but amazingly not one cow was hurt. God had his hands on us," said Jerry Dakin in a Farmshine phone interview Tuesday morning, 36 hours after Hurricane Irma hit Dakin Dairy, Myakka City, Florida, just 20 miles east of Sarasota as the eye wall nudged inland after traveling up the west coast of Florida to continue its trek up the center of the state. The more than 300-mile-wide hurricane - packing winds in excess of 100 mph - produced widespread damage as well as loss of power to over 5 million homes and businesses across the entire state of Florida and into Georgia and South Carolina.

The reports are still rolling in and the stories we heard are similar in the South - from the Rucks family of the Milking R in Okeechobee and Dakin Dairy in Manatee County, east to the Wrights in Hardee County - and north - at Alliance Dairies and North Florida Holsteins in Gilchrist County - all the way to Hillcrest Farms Inc. near Augusta, Georgia.

Dairy producers were in high gear preparing for Hurricane Irma last week, and while it appears that dairy buildings have sustained substantial damage throughout the Sunshine State and beyond, producers are counting their blessings in Irma's wake: People are okay, livestock losses are minimal, second crop corn silage largely held its ground. Read more
Farmers, Rancher s Affected by 
Hurric anes  Granted Extra Time Claim Disaster Losses
Growing Georgia

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced special procedures to assist producers who lost crops or livestock or had other damage to their farms or ranches as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Also, because of the severe and widespread damage caused by the hurricanes, USDA will provide additional flexibility to assist farm loan borrowers. 

"The impact is shocking and will be felt for many months," said Secretary Perdue. "In addition to efforts being made on the ground to assist producers, we have taken a hard look at our regular reporting requirements and adjusted them so producers can take care of pressing needs first and mostly deal with documentation and claims later. President Trump's directive is to help people first and deal with paperwork second. And that's what USDA is doing." 

USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), is authorizing emergency procedures on a case-by-case basis to assist impacted borrowers, livestock owners, contract growers, and other producers. The measures announced today apply only to counties impacted by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-determined tropical storm, typhoon, or hurricane, including Harvey and Irma that have received a primary Presidential Disaster Declaration and those counties contiguous to such designated counties. 

Financially stressed FSA farm loan borrowers affected by the hurricanes who have received primary loan servicing applications may be eligible for 60 day extensions. Full details are available at  https://go.usa.gov/xRe8V

A more complete listing of all of the special farm program provisions is posted at  https://go.usa.gov/xRe8p
Irma: Ag assesses damage and gets back to work
By Brad Haire, Southeast Farm Press

Hurricane Irma brought terrific damage to the Southeast, including to agriculture. Preliminary observations point to considerable losses.

Hurricane Irma brought terrific damage to the Southeast, including to agriculture. Preliminary observations point to considerable losses, but it could have been worse and the worst was feared. As assessments begin, agriculture is getting back to work after the storm.

Dale McClellan owns and operates a dairy about an hour north of Tampa and in Tampa owns the M & B Products facility, which process and packages milk and fruit juice products.

On Sept. 12, he said there was no structural damage to the dairy or facility, though power remained an issue. His family and employees were safe. His home in Thonotosassa just east of Tampa was on generator power and so was the farm. The Tampa-based processing plant was running on normal power.

"Our challenge of the moment is getting the supply chain coming from outside the state rolling," McClellan said, right before he got on a conference call that morning with Mike Joyner, Florida's Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, to devise a way to assure outside suppliers and truckers that Florida, though in recovery, is ready to get business back started.

"We are also working to receive raw milk as soon as possible so as to help the Southeast Milk Inc. That's challenging considering the schools themselves don't know who and when they're open," he said.  
Rock House Creamery rises to the top
By Dianne Lively Yost, Morgan County Citizen

here was just no better way to spend Saturday, Sept. 9, than touring Rock House Creamery (RHC) in Newborn, Ga. The day was perfect: bright sunshine, a slight chill in the air, and gusty winds passing through the large oaks that lined the fields. In a word it was: beautiful.

What makes RHC so special is that its a locally owned and family operated dairy farm with about 100 cows, 48 of which are milking to provide Morgan County's Farmview Market customers with the freshest dairy products this side of Georgia.

RHC, a division of Rock House Farm in Leesburg, Ga., is owned by Keith Kelly, the founder of Morgan County's Farmview Market.

The tour was a family affair, hosted by Keith Kelly, his daughter Laura Rotroff and his son Brad Kelly.
Read More  
From GA Farm Bureau

To inform visitors of liability protections under a state law passed in the 2017 session of the Georgia General Assembly. GFBsupported passage of the law, which will help shield livestock producers from risks associated with allowing visitors on their farms. To be covered by the liability protection HB 50 offers, livestock producers must have a warning sign with proper wording posted on their farm clearly visible to visitors.

Securing the liability protection for livestock producers has been a Farm Bureau priority for many years. GFB sought the protection offered by HB 50 in hopes it would encourage more livestock producers to partner with 4-H & FFA programs and allow visitors on their farms to see how livestock is raised.

The signs may be purchased for $5 each, which covers the cost of their production. Those interested in purchasing signs should contact their county Farm Bureau office. 

27 Billion Pounds of Dairy Processing Capacity Needed Over the Next Decade

An estimated 27 billion lb of additional dairy processing capacity will be needed over the next 10 years if dairy farmers continue at their current rate of expansion.

So says a  report from CoBank, issued today. That's based on the fact that U.S. dairy farmers are producing 3 billion lb more milk each year, fueled by more milk per cow, more cows per farm and out-right dairy expansions.

To get some idea of the plant expansion necessary, 27 billion lb of capacity would require about 10 more cheese plants processing 7 million lb of milk per day. Each such plant can cost upwards of $500 million. 
Put another way, 27 billion lb of milk production is just 3 billion lb shy of what Wisconsin produces annually. Wisconsin is the nation's #2 dairy state. Twenty seven billion lb is also just slightly more than the combined annual production of New York and and Idaho, the #3 and #4 dairy states.     Read More   
ADC Alert: New Version of Form I-9 Required Soon

From American Dairy Coalition

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) once again issued a new Form I-9. Employers will be required to use the new version of the Form (dated 07/17/17) starting September 18, 2017.  Employers may continue using the prior version of the Form
(dated 11/14/2016) for new hires until September 18, 2017. The new Form applies to new hires only; employers should not complete new Forms I-9 for current employees.

The new Form I-9 includes only minor changes, as outlined below:

* A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) is now listed as an acceptable List C document.
* All certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) are combined within selection C #2 in List C.
* The Form reflects the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices' new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.  Read more

Georgia Grazing School - 2017

UGA Extension will host an Advanced Grazing School on Sept. 19 and 20 in Athens, GA. This two-day workshop will focus on low-cost fencing options, portable watering systems, soil health measures, nutrient cycling in pastures, and soil, root, and microbe interactions. 

Training will take place in both classroom and field settings. Multiple classroom lectures addressing soil health and grazing management will be combined with pasture exhibitions. Demonstrations of fencing and watering options will highlight valuable management practices for livestock producers.

Cost of the two day program is $150 for the first person from each farm ($75/person for each additional person from each farm/family) and includes lunches and breaks on each day, dinner on the first night, and a grazing school handbook. Participants are responsible for lodging.  Registration is limited to 75 participants and is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
To register
click here .  For agenda and additional information click here
Mark Your Calendars:
Sept. 18: Dist. 4 & 5 Mtg., Bonner's Restaurant, Buckhead at 7 PM
Sept. 19: District 2 Mtg., Glo-Crest Dairy, Clermont at Noon 
Sept. 19: District 1 Mtg., Western Sizzlin', Dalton at 7 PM
Sept. 25: District 9 Mtg, The Plaza Restaurant, Thomasville at Noon 
Sept. 25: District 7 Mtg., Oasis Coffee House, Montezuma at 7 PM
GA Dairy Classifieds

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.

HELP WANTED:   Farm and Livestock Supervisor for the Georgia Corrections Industries Dairy
located at the Rogers Farm Operations, Reidsville, Ga. Overview of duties include but not
limited to managing a farm and livestock operation. Supervise staff and inmates. Perform
administrative duties and oversees land, equipment and vehicles. For a more complete detail
of the job and how to apply please go to gdcjobs.com., Georgia Corrections Industries.

For information contact Jim Reid at 
or email at jim@reidbros.com

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 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