Happy Cow Appreciation Day!

Although the day was originated by Chick-Fil-A (yeah, you guessed it, to sell chicken sandwiches!)Cow Appreciation Day, celebrated on the 2nd Tuesday of July, has taken on a life of it's own on social media and for many other reasons. And as we all know, for Georgia's dairy industry, Cow Appreciation Day is actually every day!  

Have you ever dressed up in your cow garments (of some sort), and gone to Chick-Fil-A to get a free sandwich? Unfortunately, due to the fact they're still readjusting from the pandemic, there are no free sandwiches this year. 

There would be no Cow Appreciation Day without those cow caretakers - from farmers themselves to all those who work to keep dairy farms going! Caitlin Rodgers, of Hillcrest Dairy at Dearing, has penned a tribute to dairy farmers and cow caretakers, a dairy version of Paul Harvey's "So God Made a Farmer."   

Enjoy her tribute to all dairy caretakers at "A Few Reasons Why God Made Dairy Farmers,"  published in Hoard's last week on July 7th.

In this issue of Georgia Milk E-News: (Scroll for the items)

  • Rodenbaugh assumes the reins as Dairy Farmers of America CEO
  • NMPF thoughts on FMMO Modernization Timeline
  • American Dairy Coalition Announces FMMO Priorities
  • American Farmland Trust Releases Farmland Loss Report
  • Vertical Farming Comes to GA - $120 Million Invested in Enclosed Growing Facility at Covington
  • Reminder: SE Value-Added Dairy Conference; Registrations Still Accepted; Free Webinar


Rodenbaugh Assumes the Reigns at DFA; Rick Smith Retires

July 11, 2022:  Passing the Baton: Rodenbaugh Officially Appointed DFA's New CEO, by Karen Bohnert, for Dairy Herd Management.  Highlights from the article:

  • Rodenbaugh, announced last November to follow Rick Smith as President of Dairy Farmers of America, officially began his new duties on July 1st. 
  • He has been with DFA since 2007 in a variety of roles, most recently as Executive Vice-President, President of Council Operations, and Ingredient Solutions.
  • Rodenbaugh is on the Executive Board of National Milk Producers Federation, as well as on the Executive Committee and as a Board Member of International Dairy Foods Association.
  • Early in his career, Rodenbaugh was a dairy farmer.
  • To learn more about Smith's retirement, click here.


NMPF Could Petition USDA for FMMO Hearing by late 2022 / early 2023

July 6, 2022: "NMPF Lays Out FMMO Modernization Timeline,"  by Dave Natzke, for Progressive Dairy, in his Weekly Digest. Highlights are:

  • Reform Task Force is led by Jim Sleper, former CEO of Southeast Milk
  • One webinar for membership has been held, others slated for July 21 and July 26
  • Plans are to continue vetting proposals through late summer and fall
  • Recommendations are to be national in nature 
  • Pooling-Depooling and Diversion / PPD issues should be handled order-by-order 
  • NMPF could petition USDA for an FMMO Hearing by late 2022 or early 2023


American Dairy Coalition Announces FMMO Priorities

July 11, 2022:  American Dairy Coalition Announces Federal Milk Pricing Policy Priorities, distributed through news releases, and published at WisPolitics.com.  These priorities have been developed following nationwide webinars held earlier this spring by the American Dairy Coalition, based in Wisconsin.


American Farmland Trust Releases Farmland Loss Report

Following the everyday financial challenges which farmers of all sectors face, many believe the greatest threat to domestic food security in the United States is the access to fertile farmland - both acres, and quality of soils.  As has been said many times - "They ain't making no more land!" 

Recent housing shortages and venture capital in land development and housing markets has only exacerbated that pressure on land ownership and accessibility, particularly for agricultural purposes. Following are some statistics and reports which we all need to begin to absorb and consider.  

July 6, 2022:  Farmland Trust Report Urges Land Use Planning to Reduce Farmland Loss, by Sarah Donaldson, for Farm and Dairy. Farmland - it feeds America, as well as many other nations. And for farmers, it's the primary component of their farm business. No state is immune to the loss of farmland. American Farmland Trust has issued some new reports about how much is being lost and how quickly. Some numbers:


  • From 2001 to 2016 (a period of 15 years), the US converted over 11 million acres from farmland to' developed' land
  • Solar Development a part of that figure
  • If the US continues to develop land at that same rate, the country will lose another 18 Million acres of prime fertile soil by 2040. 
  • This equates to six states losing 10% of their farmland, and more than 20 counties (those near large metro areas) would lose 40% of their farmland.

Interactive website: (Click on your state for state reports)Farms Under Threat (Development 2040)

Farms Under Threat: State of the States (a 68-pg pdf to read or download)

Graphic (2 pg. pdf) - State of Georgia

Various Reports: Farms Under Threat 2040; Choosing an Abundant Future

Choosing an Abundant Future: An 8-pg. Executive Summary to read or download


Vertical Farming Comes to GA

Meet our New Neighbor!

14 June 14, 2022: 80 Acres Farms Expands to Covington, GA, by Sepehr Achard for IGrowNews.com.  80 Acres Farm, a vertical farming corporation based in Ohio, has begun construction on a $120 Million Facility expected to create 150 new jobs. The goal is to continue to meet growing demand for locally grown produce. 

“We are excited to welcome 80 Acres Farms to Georgia as we continue finding new, exciting ways to support and grow our state’s No. 1 agriculture industry,” said Governor Kemp. “I look forward to seeing the difference that 80 Acres Farms will make in Covington, Georgia as they employ hardworking Georgians and pour into the local community and surrounding region.”  

For the complete statement from Governor Kemp's office, Click Here.

For more about "Vertical Farming," Click Here. (Video)

To learn more about 80 Acres Farms, Click Here.


Southeast Value-Added Dairy Conference July 13-14 in NC

Reminder: Registrations still accepted

The 2022 Southeast Value-Added Dairy Conference is set for July 13-14, 2022 in Raleigh, NC. The event will take place at the StateView Hotel and Conference Center.

The program is geared towards dairy farms who are operating, or who wish to operate, farmstead processing facilities on their own farms. Some Georgia operations have participated in previous conferences; this Conference should provide an excellent learning opportunity for any Georgia dairies who wish to take advantage of the newly passed Raw Dairy Act.

Sessions offered will include packaging innovations, cheese marketing trends, food safety and hazard audits, and more. A tour of the NCSU owling Cow Dairy, and another value-added local processor, is scheduled as part of the conference.

The Conference is a portion of the Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives, a subsection of the broader USDA Dairy Business Innovation Initiative, with regional programs in four areas of the US. The entire program is subsidized with USDA grants. 

To register for the conference, Click here.

Free Zoom Session on Grant Information is offered Wed, July 13th, from 3:45 - 4:30 pm EST. 

To register, Click Here.


Home-Churned Ice Cream? No Better Time than Now!

Do you ever get back to the basics when it comes to ice cream - as in hand cranked or churned in an electric churn?

No better time than July Ice Cream Month to get churning! Here's a recipe for Plain Old Vanilla and a nut topping! Recipe calls for walnuts in the topping, but do the Georgia thing and change it to pecans! 

Get Churning! You'll find how at this link:  Old-Fashioned Hand-Churned Vanilla Ice Cream

Happy Cow Appreciation Day!

Keep on Churning in July Ice Cream Month!

Julie Walker,  for Georgia Milk Producers

Keep on Scooping!

What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Do you prefer it in a bowl, in a cone, or on top of a pie or cake?

Does it matter, as long as you enjoy that sweet dairy treat?

Keep on Scooping - in July Ice Cream Month, and every month!

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