It's Election Day in Georgia - VOTE!!
May 21, 2022: "Voting is surging in Georgia Despite Controversial New Election Law," by Amy Gardner and Matthew Brown for The Washington Post.
PRESSING ISSUE: BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE
We all know of the heavily reported issue of baby formula shortages. While some stories give the impression this is a problem that has developed recently, when you delve into the background, this matter has been evolving for a couple of years, and didn't happen just overnight.
Here's the background: Baby Formula Shortages Impacted by Agriculture Supply Chain, by Jacklyn Krymowski for Protect the Harvest.
If you get this newsletter and are experiencing this in your family, we would be interested in sharing your story, so please get in touch. Our prayers are with all that a successful resolution is found quickly.
May 19, 2022: "Reviewing Participation in Dairy Risk Management Programs", by Daniel Bunch, for AFBF Market Intel. This deep dive compares several Dairy Risk Management / Insurance programs, from DMC to DRP to LGM with several great graphs illustrating scope of participation and payouts.
May 23, 2022: 'May-June Dairy Risk Management Calendar; Participation Levels Examined," by Dave Natzke, for Progressive Dairy. Several reminders regarding June considerations and dates for risk management products are included in this article, along with a brief analysis of the Farm Bureau report above.
JUNE DAIRY MONTH: Are you ready?
June Dairy Month is just around the corner, and many dairy farmers and industry affiliates are in the process of planning various events and activities to promote Milk and Dairy products in their individual communities. Here's info on some information and events coming up:
RESOURCES from the DAIRY ALLIANCE: A number of resources and ideas for reaching out to the public are available from The Dairy Alliance, funded by producer checkoff dollars.
In Georgia, you can reach out to your Dairy Alliance Producer Relations Representative, Mekenzie Panhans, at 678-369-2035, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MATERIALS / SWAG: Find a number of resources, from activity sheets to radio ads to state fact sheets at this Dairy Alliance June Dairy Month page.
Dairy Alliance Leadership & Staff: Farmer Representative Board Members, Officers, and Managers, include Georgia representatives Andy Rodgers, Jordan Gelber, Ailene Schaapman, and Jennifer Glover.
INFO from MILK on MY MIND: Milk On My Mind, also funded by Georgia dairy farmers, offers much information about milk and its goodness, including the Milk Makes Amazing campaign. Take a look around this website to see what catches your eye.
June 4, 2022: The Putnam County Dairy Festival is back! Returning after a two-year postponement due to Covid concerns, Georgia's premier dairy festival returns in 2022! Thanks to the The Pilot Club of Putnam County for being a partner to make the festival happen! Keep up with all the day's events, which include a 5K, a parade, and a street fair, at the website, and the Facebook Page.
INFRASTRUCTURE STORM DAMAGE: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
May 17, 2022: "Derecho Damage Forces Dairy Farmer to Relocate 1,700 Cows Overnight - A Not-So-Easy Feat," by Karen Bohnert, for AgWeb
This time, it might be a derecho in the upper midwest, but it could be a hurricane or tornado in our area. How do you deal with milking 1,700 cows when a main milking parlor is damaged beyond repair? Part of the answer is cordial neighbor relationships, adequate facilities sitting empty, willing dairy service providers, 40 semi-loads (fuel, anyone?) and commitment and dedication.
The big question here is: What is our region's emergency dairy infrastructure capabilities?
GREEN INITIATIVES AFFECT ANIMAL FEED SOURCES
Jack Daniel's Distillery's 'Slop' to be phased out as an Animal Feed
Dairy heifers have been grown near Lynchburg, TN for decades. Their domestic milking herd destinations have ranged from NY to the upper Midwest to Florida, and they have often been exported. Most of these heifers were contract grown, and others were sold via private treaty sales. At any one time, as many as 100 farms have been involved, feeding well over 100,000 heifers on an annual basis.
This region wide hotbed for agricultural activity, centered on heifer feeding operations, was feasible due to the availability of 'Slop,' (a liquid slurry/stillage of wet distillers grains) from Jack Daniel's, the world famous distillery located in Moore County, TN. 'Slop' is the common name, and the product was loaded on trucks at a site named 'Slop Hill.' The product generally contains on the average 10% Fat, 27% Protein, and a TDN of 85-90%, and then is balanced with hay and other feedstuffs.
On May 19, Jack Daniel's, now owned by Brown-Forman, announced it will be phasing out these "Feeder Cow" (the company's name) operations over a two year period. With this announcement, the future of over 100 family farms is now at stake, since income due to those heifers was a major source of farm income.
The announcement falls in line with the company's recent direction toward 'green' initiatives related to climate change perspectives, and comes about a year after Jack Daniel's announced its involvement with a huge solar farm project.
This situation prompts four main questions for the dairy and livestock industry going forward:
How are venture capital funds, with lots of available dollars, approaching suppliers of dairy and livestock feeds, or transporters of livestock feeds, to fit in with 'green' initiatives? Who are individuals in those decision-making chains?
For an individual farm: how dependent am I on Distillers Grains or other by-products as a portion of my rations, and how do I engage with those sources to maintain my feed supply?
What are alternatives for income for my farm if I should lose a readily available feed source due to climate or green initiatives?
If there are potential problem areas that may invite scrutiny from agencies or consumers, is there a plan in place to identify those problems, and then take corrective action before someone else does?
May 21, 2022: Jack Daniel's Distillery Plans to Phase Out 'Feeder Cow' Program," by Hope Demetris, for the Moore County News. The article notes that an information meeting for those affected will take place on Thursday, May 26.
May 23, 2022: "Q&A with Jack Daniel's General Manager Larry Combs About the Feeder Cow Phase-Out," an interview published in the Lynchburg Times. The informative article notes the following:
There have been water quality questions for years due to possible feedlot runoff, with most of those concerns from TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation. (Note - if you've never been in the area, the terrain can be rather hilly)
- A phase out of the Feeder Cow operations has been discussed for over four years by Jack Daniel's personnel.
Slop feeders can obtain the product at no-cost during the phase-out period (Note: the current price is 54 cents per ton, according to sources in the area.)
- DDG (Dried Distiller's Grains) output may increase as the program transitions
- The company says it would like to purchase more local corn in the future.
July 17, 2019: Another article, from the Sunbelt Expo, notes the Jack Daniel's Slop is also fed to beef steers in some instances.
Related: Jack Daniels pursuing another 'green energy' project
April 13, 2021: "Tiny Moore County Earns $100 Million Plus Solar Farm," published by The Lynchburg Times. The story details the complexities of the companies and agencies (including TVA), involved in this $100 Million solar farm transaction. A picture in the article has a photo of one 'solar farm; this farm associated with Daniels is expected by over 4x as large as the one in the photo.
April 14, 2021: A year ago, in a related AP story, "Jack Daniels Inks Deal on Tennessee Solar Farm," it was reported that Jack Daniels had agreed to enter into a solar farm agreement with Silicon Ranch, a company who lists former TN Governor Phil Bredesen as its Founding Chair..
CLIMATE and DAIRY WEBINAR
June 13, 2022 (Mon, 1 pm Eastern): "Dairy's Path to Carbon Neutrality," a Hoard's Dairyman webinar featuring Dr. Frank Mitloehner, aka "The Greenhouse Guru", a globally sought expert on climate and dairy's role moving forward. If anyone reading this is not familiar with Dr. Mitloehner, this is a great opportunity to begin! To learn more, click here.
FINANCES & BUSINESS: Are Your Farm Finances on Course?
AgSouth Farm Credit has scheduled financial workshops for farmers and producers in several locations for late July and August. The workshops will address such topics as Balance Sheets, Income Statements, Risk Management, Accrual Income, Business Planning and Budgeting, and other topics related to financial literacy and successful farm operations.
Workshops are set for July 22 at Lyons, GA, July 29 at Aiken, SC, August 12 in Summerville, GA, and August 26 in Albany, GA. Mark your calendars, and learn more here.
Coming August 17-18: Women in Agriculture / LeadHer Conference
The University of Georgia, the University of TN, and other government entities have partnered, via a USDA grant, to host the Women in Agriculture / LeadHer Conference, planned to be a virtual event. The event is affiliated with the USDA Farm and Ranch Assistance Network (FRSAN).
According to an email from Marin Lonnee, UGA, the Event Coordinator, registration fees are $149 for individuals, and student fees are $75. Scholarships may be available in certain instances. For more information, contact her at 706-521-9088.
Meredith Bernard, popular social media personality known as @thisfarmwife on several social platforms, is one of the keynote speakers. She will be joined by Audra Milkern, of The Female Farmer Project, and Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch, an award-winning author. Other speakers are being sought for the conference.
For now, save the dates, and watch for more information.
Enjoy Getting Ready for June Dairy Month!
Julie Walker, for GA Milk Producers