2020 | December 4 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Robotic Milkers
From Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Atlanta Journal Constitution featured Hillcrest Farms this week in their Sunday paper. Click here to watch the informative and exciting video!
Dumping profits: How Georgia farmers are navigating through COVID-19
By: Victoria De Cardenas, WGXA News

EAST DUBLIN, Ga. -- In May, a University of Georgia study projected Georgia farmers to lose $50,000 due to the covid-19 pandemic.

A local farmer said he nearly lost that much.
“7,000 pounds of milk leaves the farm every day," explained James Yoder.

East Dublin dairy farmer James Yoder has been farming all of his life.

“I was born here on this farm," said Yoder. "I was milking the cows at 7 years old.”

As a multigenerational farmer, Yoder said this year was the hardest one yet.

“Pricing was all over the board, milk prices dropped 30% -- almost overnight.”
"82% of Georgia farmers saw a decline in revenue, specifically livestock farmers, according to a University of Georgia study.  Watch tv report here>>>
The Town “Too Pretty to Burn” Hosts First-Ever Dairyland Classic
By: Kathryn Murray, Growing America

A committee composed of Kim Bragg, Carol Williams, Jay Moon, Katelin Benkoski, and Katie Williams gathered in June to plan the Dairyland Classic Registered Dairy Show, a first-time event to be held in Madison, Georgia. 

With only three months to prepare, the committee hunkered down and solicited sponsorships, acquired premiums, selected a judge and promoted the event across the southeast. The Dairyland Classic was held from September 30 to October 3 at the Morgan County Ag Center.

The three months of planning turned out a large attendance of 80 exhibitors and 222 entries from eight southeastern states, stretching all the way from PA to FL, with many seeing the show as a chance to enjoy a much-needed vacation as well. Known as “the town too pretty to burn” on Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Civil War, Madison boasts more than 50 antebellum sites, beautiful architecture, southern charm, and rich agricultural history.  Read more here>>>
Join Us in Savannah this January!
Make plans to join us in-person this January for the 2021 GA Dairy Conference. Our staff is working hard to ensure that safety protocols are in place to minimize the spread of germs during our event. We look forward to seeing you in Savannah, Jan 18-20!! For hotel reservation information, visit our website: https://www.gadairyconference.com/accommodations
NEW --> Covid-19 Measures at GA Dairy Conference:

For additional information on safety precautions
please click here for our GMP Frequently Asked Questions 
safety of our guests is our top priority: Click here for COVID-19 updates and what to expect at our hotel.
Scott picked as next House Ag leader
By Spencer Chase, Agri-Pulse

Georgia Democrat David Scott cleared a major hurdle to becoming the next chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, installing new leadership for the committee as it prepares to begin work on a new farm bill.

A Democratic steering committee chose Scott over California’s Jim Costa in a 32-19 vote Tuesday evening. The two were both vying for the position vacated by current committee Chair Collin Peterson’s unsuccessful effort to secure another term in Congress. Scott — if ultimately approved by the full House Democratic caucus — will take the gavel in January.

Scott, who will be the first African American chair of the committee and the first African American from Georgia to chair any committee, announced his intent to run for the chairmanship the day after the November elections. Read more here>>>
By Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke

The legacy of the Dean Foods bankruptcy lives on, with some dairy farmers being asked to return a portion of the payments they received for milk delivered in late 2019.

How we got here
Readers of Progressive Dairy are familiar with the Dean Foods bankruptcy saga. Dallas-based Dean initiated voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization proceedings on Nov. 12, 2019, in the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Texas. About six months later, in early April 2020, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge David Jones approved the sale of virtually all of Dean assets.

The sales of those assets, however, failed to provide adequate funds for ongoing bankruptcy costs, including administrative expenses that were incurred by Dean Foods during the bankruptcy proceeding. Appointed representatives of the bankruptcy estate are now seeking payments through a provision of U.S. bankruptcy law. Read more here>>>
By Sherry Bunting for Farmshine

ROWNSTOWN, Pa. — Notices of Intended Litigation and Settlement Offers have been received by dairy farmers last week from ASK LLP, a law firm in St. Paul, Minn., seeking payment to the Dean Foods Company Estate under what is known as preference action recovery or trustee avoidance claims covering payments to dairy farmers for raw milk (and co-ops for ingredients) from August 14 to November 12, 2019 — the 90 days prior to Dean’s Nov. 12, 2019 filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sale.

We have confirmed these predatory letters have been received by Dean Dairy Direct producers in numerous states – including Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee and assuredly others — on the day before and after Thanksgiving. These letters contain a record of payment transactions (on the Federal Order specified dates), list a total claim amount the farmer will be sued for, and a settlement offer at about 15 to 20% of that amount due December 19 or 24, 2020 (depending on the date of the letter).

Under Southern Foods Group LLC, case number 19-36313 in the bankruptcy court of Houston, Texas, with Judge David R. Jones presiding, the Dean Chapter 11 reorganization is headed to an omnibus hearing scheduled for Dec. 11, 2020 and disclosure hearing Jan. 11, 2021. Debtor filed its Plan of Reorganization as file number 3230 today, Nov. 30, on the docket at https://dm.epiq11.com/case/dnf/info

If you are a dairy farmer who received a ‘demand package’ from ASK LLP representing the Dean Foods Company Estate, don’t ignore the letter, but don’t panic, don’t pay anything, don’t sign anything, sit tight for a bit, get prepared, and know many trustworthy, well-situated people are working on this. Read more here>>>
Dairy Leaders Not Optimistic About Rapid New Coronavirus Relief

Two leaders of a dairy organization are not confident a new coronavirus assistance package will arrive soon. 

Paul Bleiberg with the National Milk Producers Federation says, “I think it’s possible that a new piece of legislation gets passed here, you know, probably not too likely by the end of the calendar year.”

Bleiberg says if a relief package does get agreed to between the two sides, it will likely have additional ag funding. “I don’t think that that funding would be overly specific. It would probably be provided to the department for COVID-19 related producer support, kind of like it was before.”

And National Milk’s Jaime Castaneda doesn’t expect the next aid bill to look like CFAP 1 or 2. “Folks should not expect CFAP payments. I mean, if there is something that would be worked out, perhaps it’s more related to, with a different name or a different look, but I mean, more like the food boxes.”
As Deadline Approaches, DMC Enrollments Low, Despite Expected Benefits
By Michael Nepveux, Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation

The deadline for enrollment in DMC for 2021 is December 11, and so far, enrollments are very low. This is somewhat perplexing to observers given the potential of payments exceeding premiums seems relatively likely. The income-over-feed-cost margin is expected to decline throughout the year due to rising projected feeding costs, pushing the projected price needed to trigger payments above $19/cwt for the entire year. Producers who are interested taking advantage of these potential benefits should sign up soon. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
Upcoming Events >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

UPDATED 11/2/20

Will Raise Heifers for GA Dairy Farms: Hello we are located in Southern Illinois and have an abundance of pasture and cheap feed available looking to contract with a dairy to grow heifers for them, out location offers mild climate and we are just 558 miles from Montezuma Ga. Please contact 817-528-6645 very reasonable daily rates.

For Sale - Productive 360 Cow Holstein Herd For Sale, Parlor/Freestall/AI Sired/Lots of Young Cows/2X 70# 4%F SCC-160K More information at www.kreegerdairy.com or call Chad at 517-294-3484

For Sale- DeLaval 84 Vacuum Pump on Stand, Oil Reclaimer, 10 HP- 3 Phase Electric Motor. New Bearings, New Oil Seal, New Belts. $2000
For more Information Call Tony Strickland , 229-254-6871; deepsouthai@gmail.com

For sale - Please contact John Felder for more information at 803-682-3425:
  • Dairy Tech Bay Pasturizer - $4,000
  • Tidenberg Hydraulic Hoof Table (like new) - $5,000
  • Mench Sand Trailor - $14,000
  • Hall Stall Sand Leveler (new) - $1,000
  • Claas Silage Choppers - 960 1875 cutterhead hours, 4WD, 600 orbis, HD300 PU - $190,000
  • Fans Cool Aire
  • 18 54" $225.00
  • 20 48" $125.00
  • 20 35" 100.00
WANTED: Peter's Cattle Co. will buy any dairy, beef, and cross, bottle or weaned, bulls, heifers or free martins. Pick up weekly 7 days a week. Chris- 470-255-8515
Bull Calves WANTED:  Competitive pricing with 6 day a week pickup. Brandon Mason Cattle Company 912-632-4490

FOR SALE :  We have a continuous selection of fresh and springing heifers.   Call William at   (706) 768-2857  or visit our website at   crumpdairyreplacements.org  
Farmer to Farmer Support Program Available for SE dairy farmers
Farmers across the Southeast are experiencing uncertain times like never before. All aspects of agriculture have been hit by market losses due to COVID-19, but dairy has reached a level of uncertainty that many have never experienced.

As we navigate through these next few months, dairy producers across the Southeast have come together to introduce the "Farmer to Farmer Support Program." If you find that you need support or would like to talk to a fellow farmer or industry friend, they have several volunteers that are willing and able to help. Georgia Milk Producers has also put together a packet on the program that you can access by clicking here. 

For more information on the program, please reach out to Farrah Newberry at gamilkproducers@gmail.com