March 31, 2022

With the arrival of spring, your days are filled with field work and all sorts of spring activities! In that same spirit, this GMP E-News is filled with all kinds of information related to your dairy business spectrum, ranging from DFA Annual Meeting reports to management insights to news of the popular GDYF Golf Tournament!

We are anxiously awaiting news from the Georgia Senate on two Bills important to Georgia's dairy sector: The Raw Dairy Act (HB 1175), and the Freedom to Farm Act (HB 1150). Both have been 'favorably reported' out of committee this week, and with this Legislative Session in its final days, we will know the outcome of each very soon. Thanks to each and everyone who has been in touch with legislators from your district concerning these bills!

Contents of this Georgia Milk E-News issue include:

  • Reports of the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) Annual Meeting
  • Nominee needed for regional position to National Dairy Board, Deadline April 25th
  • Industry Trends: The State of Dairy / Southeast and Appalachian
  • Dairy Business Management: Equation to Last; Milk Production is Down; Habits of Highly Effective Farmers
  • FMMO Reform: Invitation to Session 2 of American Dairy Coalition Webinars; Tuesday April 5th
  • Change at Southeast Milk, Inc.
  • Georgia News: AgGeorgia Farm Credit Distributes over $13 Million; Legislative Update
  • Georgia Dairy Youth Golf Tournament set for April 22

DAIRY FARMERS of AMERICA Annual Meeting - March 23, 2022

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) the nation's largest dairy cooperative, held its Annual Meeting on March 23rd, in Kansas City, MO. This is the first 'in-person meeting since 2019; the co-operative missed its 2020 and 2021 sessions due to Covid-19.  

March 29, 2022: Strategic Investments Continue to Strengthen the Cooperative, by Kim O'Brien, Media Relations - Corporate Communications, DFA, posted at Dairy Business. Highlights of the report include:

  • In 2021, DFA directed the marketing of 65.5 Billion pounds of milk for both members and others through the Cooperative's consolidated businesses. This represents approximately 29% of the milk produced in the United States.
  • DFA's net sales totaled $19.3 Billion for 2021, compared to 17.9 Billion in 2020, an increase of $1.5 Billion, or 8.1%.
  • Ingredient Solutions, one of the Commercial Operations companies, exported products to over 60 countries and 200 global customers
  • TruMoo (r), a brand acquired in the Dean Foods bankruptcy, has reformulated its chocolate milk, with a more premium cocoa without additional sugar 

March 28, 2022: DFA Annual Meeting Highlights Profit Among Challenges, by Karen Bohnert, for Dairy Herd Management.  Her article feature the following quotes:

  • DFA officials reported a net income of $199 million for 2021, which grew more than 16% compared to 2020. Net sales follow suited, totaling $19.3 billion for 2021, up more than 8% from 2020.
  • In 2021, DFA members took home an average pay price of $18.37 per cwt., up $0.58 per cwt. from 2020. Last year, DFA marketed more than 65 billion lb. of milk for their members and others through the cooperative’s consolidation businesses, which tallies 29% of the total U.S. milk production.
  • DFA has more than 11,500 family farm-owners and manufactures a variety of dairy products, including fluid milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, dairy ingredients and more.

March 28, 2022:  This US Dairy Processor Needs 1,500 Workers, by Corey Geiger, for Hoard's Dairyman. Geiger's report includes the following points:

  • The nation's largest milk cooperative has 1,500 job openings / 900 in processing plants, and the remaining 600 across the supply chain
  • Some of those openings include milk haulers. DFA moves over 3,000 loads a day to serve over 400 customers.
  • Quote from Rick Smith, DFA CEO: 
  • For those looking for a job in the dairy supply chain:  DFA Careers


April 25th is Deadline for Nominations to the National Dairy Board  

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominees for the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, (also known as the Dairy Checkoff Program). The Deadline for nominations is April 25, 2022.

From the nominees, the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint twelve individuals to succeed members whose terms expire on October 31, 2022. Newly appointed members will serve three year terms from Nov. 1, 2022 through October 31, 2025.

An announcement at the USDA Website notes that Region 10 will have one seat filled. Region 10 includes Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

  • For the complete announcement, along with a description of all the Regions, Click Here.
  • Region 10 is currently represented by John Larsen of Florida, and Joanna B. Shipp of VA. For a complete list of current National Dairy Board Members, Click Here.
  • For nomination forms, and additional information, Click HERE.


INDUSTRY TRENDS - The Southeast and Appalachia 

March 10, 2022: State of the Dairy 2022: Southeast: The Struggles Continue, by Dave Natzke, for Progressive Dairy. 

The views of Calvin Covington, respected dairy industry consultant, and Ray Egan, Director of Member Services and Sustainability for SMI, are both shared in this broad-ranging article. Some of the highlights include:

  • Covington believes the promise of higher milk prices, along with high producer and vendor participation in the 2022 Georgia Dairy Conference, are hopeful indicators of better days ahead. Attitudes will be tempered by high input costs.
  • Georgia and North Carolina are two states in the Southeast which saw production increases
  • Egan notes there has been some encouragement for production to grow in Florida and within SMI; Florida has the highest cost of producing milk in the US
  • In 2010, there were 635 loads of producer milk marketed daily in FMMOs 5, 6, and 7, which dropped to 495 loads per day by 1921.  

Related perspectives in companion articles:

The State of Dairy, 2022, a composite overview of Dave Natzke, Progressive Dairy

2022 State of Dairy: A Melding of Moods and Concerns, by Dave Natzke

Appalachian Markets share Southeast Challenges, by Dave Natzke



March 29, 2022: The Equation to Last in This Tough Dairy Economy, by Karen Bohnert for Dairy Herd Management. Some of the highlights that should make one think:

  • Ehmke: Trend is for herds to migrate inland to the Midwest; tips to capitalize on a margin
  • Sipiorski: The top 30% of milk producers in the US earn $1.25 cwt more than the avg. producer
  • Kohl: Which 'bucket' are you in - 40% who grow, 40% who hang on, 20% who will liquidate?

March 28, 2022: Milk Production is Down: Why? Where?by John Geuss, for MilkPrice.

  • Factors include: heifer inventories, geographical shifts, new processing, environmental issues
  • Gains: South Dakota leads nation with an 18% gain, Georgia sees a 5.13% increase in production
  • Charts vividly illustrate the differences

June 30, 2020: 5 Habits of Highly Effective Dairy Farmers,  by Karen Lee for Progressive Dairy. 

  • Although published a couple years back, some timeless, excellent reminders for all of us: "Be Proactive,' and "Begin with the End in Mind" are only a couple of the points stated in this article.  
  • Excellent then, excellent now, particularly in this spring of high input costs which challenge us all.



APR 5th: American Dairy Coalition (ADC) Webinar Series on FMMO Reform-Session 2

The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) will host a second segment of their webinar series: “Future of Federal Dairy Milk Pricing Forum” on Tuesday, April 5th, at 2 - 3:30 pm EDT (1-2:30 pm CDT.)

Again moderated by Dave Natzke of Progressive Dairyman, this seminar's' panelists are Danny Munch, American Farm Bureau Economist, Brian Henrichs, an Illinois dairy and Crop Farmer.

A portion of this second webinar will include updates on Farm Bill discussions, now in the development stages in Congress. Speakers will be from the Senate Ag Committee - Kyle Varner from the office of Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Jeremy Witte from the office of Ranking Member John Boozman of Arkansas.

Click here for MORE INFO.

Click here TO REGISTER.

March 31, 2022: What's Happened? What's Next? The Waiting Game: Catching up on Dairy Issues, by Dave Natzke, for Progressive Dairyman. Highlights include:

  • This article summarizes the current status of several recent issues, including FMMO Reform, PMVAP, and the Dairy Donation program.
  • One statement from the article from Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO: "We may take the rest of the year to get this all done, and to get it right." (referring to FMMO reform)
  • Another prediction: "Any movement toward reforming the FMMO system isn't likely to happen soon."



Southeast Milk, Incorporated: Todd Proffitt is no longer with Southeast Milk, Inc. Until further notice, Calvin Covington, a previous CEO of SMI and now a Dairy Industry Consultant, will be serving as Interim Chief Executive Officer.



March 22, 2022: AgGeorgia Farm Credit Distributing over $13 Million in Dividends to Members, First Year of 'All Cash' Refunds - a press release from AgGeorgia

  • Checks expected to be in members mailboxes the first week of April, 2022
  • CEO Rob Crain is pleased that the payments will help producers at this time of elevated input costs
  • The refund lowers the average members' stated rate by 1.30%


Georgia Legislature: Raw Dairy Act; Freedom to Farm

With the Georgia Legislature winding down in the next few days, things look positive at this time for two bills affecting Georgia agriculture - the Raw Dairy Act, and the Freedom to Farm Act.

There were some clause changes in the Raw Dairy Act during the Senate Committee process before the 'Favorable Report,': the new version of the Bill can be read here.

At last report on this Thursday evening, March 31, Freedom to Farm has also received a Favorable Report; the bill's progress can be tracked here.

This legislative session ends in the next few days, so we will know resolution of each soon.

Here is a recent update:

2022 GDYF Golf Tournament set for April 24

The Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation has scheduled its popular annual Golf Tournament for April 22, 2022 at Lane Creek Golf Club in Bishop, GA. Registration begins at 10:30 am, and Tee Time is Noon.

For background and info: Click Here.

For a brochure: Click Here.

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