2021 | February 5 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
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GA Dairy Industry COVID Vaccination Needs
Booker, Warnock bring social justice goals to Agriculture panel
By Ellyn Ferguson, Roll Call

The Senate Agriculture Committee will get two new Democratic members who are likely to try to hold the Biden administration to its pledge to address federal policies that adversely affect Black communities and other minorities.

Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who are both Black, have called for fairer Agriculture Department policies to aid small or minority farmers.

Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the Senate Agriculture Committee’s roster Tuesday. Booker, Warnock and Sen. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., are the panel’s three new Democratic members. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., will be chairwoman. Warnock defeated Agriculture Committee member Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., in a December runoff. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is also no longer on the committee.

Warnock said during his campaign that he would fight for Georgia agriculture, an important industry in the state. Warnock's platform also called for leveling “the playing field for Black and minority farmers by expanding access to capital for equipment and financial resources and ending discriminatory policies at the federal level that limit opportunities.”

Warnock noted that his state had a significant number of Black farmers although nationally they account for less than 2 percent of all farmers.  Read more here>>>
Sweet Grass Dairy cheese shop expands with new facility
By WCTV Thomasville

Jessica Little and her husband purchased the creamery portion of the business from her parents in 2005.

Little said the support from the Thomasville community has been overwhelming, mainly selling their products to restaurants, resorts and other local businesses.

When the Coronavirus pandemic hit, she said the company had to pivot to keep that business flowing.

“We’ve been able to sell to Publix and Kroger, and at our old plant we wouldn’t have been able to meet that capacity,” he said.

This week the company celebrated a new 12,500 sq ft. production facility located on Roseway Dr. Read more here>>>
USDA Nominee Vilsack Casts Farmers as Leaders in Climate Fight
By Jacob Bunge and Jesse Newman, Wall Street Journal

President Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture said farmers and cattle ranchers are potential leaders in the new administration’s battle against climate change.

Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who led the USDA for eight years during the Obama administration, said Tuesday that government-funded incentives could get farmers and agricultural companies to adopt climate-friendly practices without the need for additional regulation, and could make U.S. food more attractive on export markets.

“Farmers are prepared for it and anxious to do it,” Mr. Vilsack said during a virtual confirmation hearing before the Senate agriculture committee. “If it’s voluntary, and incentive based, you will see farmers and ranchers cooperate extensively.”

The Senate committee voted Tuesday to advance Mr. Vilsack’s nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. No date has yet been set for that vote, a committee spokeswoman said. Read more here>>>
Do You Get to Deduct PPP Loan Interest You Did Not Pay
From Paul Neiffer, Farm Journal, AgWeb

When a PPP loan is forgiven, the SBA transmits a payment to the bank of the loan principal plus accrued interest. The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) indicates that PPP loan forgiveness is non-taxable and all related deductions to the PPP loan forgiveness is allowed.

Does this mean that the interest paid by the SBA is a deductible item to the farmer (or other taxpayers). We are not sure. The loan forgiveness application only lists the loan amount. Once this is forgiven the SBA sends the interest to the bank. The farmer never pays the interest, however, the interest paid by the SBA might be deductible, BUT WE DON'T KNOW. We need guidance from the IRS on this. We lean toward it not being deductible since the taxpayer did not pay it and the CAA only refers to forgiveness, not payments.

The CAA also added a provision that indicates the "payments" that the SBA makes on behalf of taxpayers is also treated as being non-taxable and all expenses related to those payments will be allowed. These payments include principal (which is non-deductible) and interest (which is deductible). In this case since the CAA refers to "payments" it is likely that the interest is fully deductible. However, WE DON'T KNOW for sure. We need guidance from the IRS. Read more here>>>
From Brownfield Ag

A global dairy analyst says fluid milk demand during the coronavirus pandemic breaks traditional ideologies on school milk consumption.

Mary Ledman with Rabobank tells Brownfield as more consumers stayed home, a pull for fluid milk happened like never before.

“Normally our fluid milk demand goes down in June as schools are out for the summer,” she says. “This year fluid milk sales, as tracked by the Federal Orders, were up I think by about 300 million pounds.”

She says the USDA’s Farmers to Family Food Box program also increased demand and pushed prices higher during that time as well.

Throughout the pandemic, Ledman says American dairy farmers have had better farm gate prices than global counterparts, mostly because of government intervention, and she expects that to carry over into this year in terms of U.S. milk production which is projected to increase at a greater pace than other top producing nations. Read more here>>>
Farm Bankruptcies During 2020
By John Newton, Ph.D., AFBF Market Intel

Recent higher commodity prices and ongoing ad hoc financial support to offset natural disasters, retaliatory tariffs and coronavirus-related damages have come a little too late for some farmers across the U.S., i.e., 2020 Farm Profitability: A False Positive. The impact of multiple years of low commodity prices and delayed distribution of disaster assistance relief, followed by a global pandemic is visible in recently released caseload statistics from the U.S. Courts, which indicate that Chapter 12 family farm and family fishery bankruptcies totaled 552 filings during 2020, down 43 filings, or 7%, from 2019, but also the third highest over the last decade. Read more here>>>
Dairy is reducing its carbon footprint, but supply buildup could hurt prices
By Candace Krebs, Special to Ag Journal

Large dairies producing more milk per cow are cutting the industry’s carbon footprint, but production efficiencies are also leading to a buildup in the supply of milk and cheese that could push prices lower in the months to come.

A recent webinar, co-hosted by the Dairy MAX regional cooperative and the Colorado Livestock Association, outlined the potential for continued carbon reductions in the dairy industry while also examining the market outlook as the global coronavirus pandemic hammers the world economy.

Presenter Frank Mitloehner, an air quality specialist with the University of California-Davis, reiterated a point that he has made many times: methane emissions from livestock are not the global warming culprit they are often made out to be.

“We have treated methane as a ‘stock’ gas, but it’s not, it’s a flow gas,” he said.

Stock gases build up in the atmosphere and remain there for hundreds or even thousands of years. In contrast, methane breaks down within a decade and is readily taken up by plants through the process of photosynthesis. Read more here>>>
Fairlife’s journey from startup to scale
From Donna Berry, Food Business News

Duct tape and rubber bands hold a lot of things together in the early years of building a brand, said Andy Arquette, chief financial officer, fairlife LLC, Chicago, a wholly owned business of The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta. Speaking at The Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network’s first event of the new year on Jan. 14, he said it took about eight years for fairlife to firmly establish its brand in the marketplace, but the path was not what the company originally planned.

The fairlife brand and company evolved from a high-protein dairy shake originally launched by Dallas-based Select Milk Producers as Athletes HoneyMilk. In 2012, Select Milk Producers reached a national distribution agreement with Coca-Cola, whereby Coca-Cola eventually acquired a 42.5% stake in fairlife. Athletes HoneyMilk soon was re-branded and re-launched as Core Power, fueling the way for more dairy product innovation using an ultrafiltration processing technology developed by Select Milk Producers.

On Jan. 3, 2020, Coca-Cola acquired the remaining equity stake in fairlife. Days after, fairlife introduced refrigerated creamers made with the company’s nonfat ultrafiltered reduced-sugar milk. In March, the brand ventured out of the fluid category and entered the frozen desserts space with a higher-protein, lower-sugar ice cream. Now fairlife is rolling out Good Moo’d, a line of lactose-free milks that contain 25% less sugar than the leading lactose-free milk in the market.

Getting to this place was quite the ride, said Mr. Arquette. The brand focused on delivering what consumers were looking for in milk but not getting. Then the brand needed to get it to consumers. That’s where The Coca-Cola Co. helped. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

UPDATED 1/15/2021

Seeking Beef and dairy crossed bullcalves/heifers bottled or weaned. Please contact Victoria Rowland at 404-922-0938 or 423-946-5869

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- 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 Archie Felder for more information at 803-682-3426:
  • Dairy Tech Bay Pasturizer - $4,000
  • Tidenberg Hydraulic Hoof Table (like new) - $5,000
  • Claas Silage Choppers - 960 1875 cutterhead hours, 4WD, 600 orbis, HD300 PU - $180,000
  • Koomin John Deere Corn Header adapter for Claus Silage Chopper Used - $6,000
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