November GA Milk Review

December 1, 2022

I hope all of our E-News readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, but I know for most folks the real holiday spirit comes out after Thanksgiving when you can officially start listening to Christmas music and haul out the boxes and boxes of decorations. Before you get too into the Christmas spirit, take a moment to reflect back on November and check out the November Milk Review.

In this issue of Georgia Milk Producers E-News:

  • DMC Deadline December 9
  • Bobby Walker Award Nominations Accepted Through December 11
  • Dairy USDA Secretary Vilsack Discusses Dairy at Global Climate Summit
  • EPA Trumpets Fed-State Effort to Reduce Clean Water Act Violations
  • Irrigation Program Can Help Drill New Wells in SW GA
  • Georgia Dairy Conference at Savannah, GA, January 16-18, 2023 - Have you registered?!??
  • Georgia says goodbye to Speaker David Ralston


Reminder: DMC Signup Deadline is December 9

Producers have just over one week to sign up for 2023 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC). Be sure to visit your local FSA office soon to signup or reenroll for 2023 coverage.

UW-Madison held an informative webinar a little over a week ago discussing risk management tools available to dairy producers. The discussion on Dairy Margin Coverage starts around the 16:19 mark in the video. You can watch the full webinar HERE.

Hoards Dairyman's Abby Bauer has a short writeup on the webinar that you can read HERE.


Bobby Walker Award Nominations Open Now

I included this in the last E-News, but it bears repeating. There is still time to nominate someone you think is deserving of the Bobby Walker "Friend of the Dairy Industry" Award. Nominations can be submitted at or by emailing The nomination deadline is December 11, 2022. For a full list of past winners and information about the award, visit


UN Conference on Climate Change Discusses Role of Agriculture

COP27, the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change, took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-22. The conference focused on 4 key elements of fighting climate change: mitigation, adaptation. finance, and collaboration. The two-week conference held several sessions and seminars on a variety of topics including agriculture.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at the event in Egypt and mentioned USDA's funding of $400 million in climate-smart commodity grants for the dairy industry and the U.S. dairy industry's Net Zero Initiative when discussing American agriculture's commitment to combatting climate change. Secretary Vilsack's remarks also touched on U.S. Government's collaboration with the UN, Global Dairy Platform, IDF, and others to direct $1 Billion from the Green Climate Fund towards sustainable dairy sector transformation in developing nations.

Read More on COP27

USDA Press Release on Vilsack's Remarks

Article from with more details on U.S. Involvement at COP27

Background Article on UN's Focus on Agriculture During Climate Talks

Webinar: Livestock & Climate: The Path to Climate Neutrality

Back home in the U.S., there is still some discussion on what role agriculture really plays in the grand scheme of emissions and climate change. The American Dairy Coalition is hosting a webinar with Dr. Frank Mitloehner of UC-Davis. Any Georgia Milk Producers members who are interested in hearing what Dr. Mitloehner has to say about dairy's role in the great climate change debate can register using the link below.

When: December 6th at 9:30 AM



EPA Announces Major Improvement in Clean Water Act Permit Compliance

Early last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has met its goal of reducing its significant non-compliance rate among permitted facilities (NPDES permittees) by 50%. This goal was set 5 years ago by the previous administration, and EPA has announced that it has met this benchmark ahead of schedule thanks to the cooperation of state regulatory agencies.

Read for full press release from EPA HERE.

GA-FIT Seeks to Combat Drought Effects by Helping Drill More Irrigation Wells

The Georgia Flow Incentive Trust (GA-FIT) is a program managed by the Georgia Water Planning & Policy Center in coordination with Golden Triangle RC&D, The Nature Conservancy, and Georgia Environmental Protection Division that seeks to work with farmers in the Flint River Basin to manage water resources in a way that sustains Georgia's ag economy and the natural systems that make up Southwest Georgia.

The Drought Swap program run by GA-FIT is designed to work with farmers who rely on surface water sources for irrigation to establish groundwater wells for use during drought. Over the next four years, this cost-share program will aim to provide water supply alternatives to over 200 farms in the region by drilling new wells in the Lower Flint River Basin (view project area map HERE).

The prelimary application deadline is December 15, 2022. For more information about the Drought SWAP program and to view the application and eligibility requirements, visit

GA-FIT and its associated programs are made possible by a grant from the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston Passes Away

A couple of weeks ago, Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), one of the leading voices for rural Georgia, passed away at the age of 68. He was laid to rest in his hometown of Blue Ridge, GA after several days of visitations and memorial services including laying in state at the Georgia State Capitol on November 22 and 23. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ralston was the highest-ranking member of the Georgia House and steered the legislative agenda of that body for a dozen years. He was the second-longest serving speaker in Georgia history.

Speaker Ralston was a strong advocate of rural Georgia and agriculture. Under his leadership, the Georgia House of Representatives formed the Rural Development Council, a special committee directed to study and design legislation to support rural communities across the state. Many important measures to Georgia agriculture were also passed under Speaker Ralston's leadership including the legislation enabling the GATE program and the Freedom to Farm Act. Perhaps his most laudable achievement was the passage of a sweeping package of reforms to the state's mental healthcare system during the most recent legislative session.

Jan Jones (R-Milton) served as Speaker Pro-Tempore for nearly all of Ralston's tenure and will serve as Georgia's first female Speaker of the House until the Georgia General Assembly reconvenes in January for a new legislative term. At that time, Jon Burns (R-Newington) is expected to be elected Speaker of the House after securing the Republican caucus's nomination in November. Jones was renominated for Speaker Pro-Tem without opposition and will more thank likely be reelected to that position in January

Georgia Dairy Conference

set for January 16-18th, 2023

Registration is now open to one of the best dairy conferences in the country! To see the full agenda and to find links for registrations and hotel reservations, Link to Georgia Dairy Conference!

See you in Savannah!

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