2021 | July 9 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Georgia Milk Hosts Legislative Tour in Macon County

Georgia Milk Producers hosted a dairy legislative tour this week in Macon Co. with Georgia House Agriculture Committee members. Many thanks to our producers for their hospitality. Always great to have the opportunity to share our story and work together to build a brighter future for the next generation. Happy to have Georgia Cattlemen's Association, Georgia Agribusiness Council, and Georgia Farm Bureau with us!

Georgia producers appointed to commodity commissions

Ex officio members of the Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commissions met June 30 to make appointments to several of the commissions. 

For the GA ACC for Milk, Ailene Schaapman of Wilcox County was appointed and Paul Johnson of Decatur County was reappointed. 

The Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commissions were created by legislation the Georgia General Assembly passed at the request of producers who grow the various crops the commissions represent. The commissions operate under marketing orders approved by the growers, who pay an assessment on their respective crops or livestock. These assessments fund the research, education and promotion activities each commission coordinates to promote its respective commodity. Commission members are appointed for terms of three years and can be considered for reappointment. Read full story here>>>
Rock House Creamery debuts expanded facility and new dairy product lines
By Tia Lynn Ivey News Editor, Morgan County Citizen

Rock House Creamery, owned by Keith Kelly and family, has completed a new facility expansion and is launching a new line of dairy products.

“It has been an exciting year of growth for Rock House Creamery,” said Joshua Alexander, marketing manager. “Although large centralized business and alternative products have led to a drastic amount of consolidation in the dairy industry in the last several years, Rock House Creamery is continuing to bring small batch artisan products to the market.”

Rock House Creamery announced a partnership with nearby micro-creamery CalyRoad last year, and is now ready to debut a new line of goat cheese and artisan ice cream. A ribbon cutting celebration was held on Wednesday, June 30, at the expanded facility.

About five years ago, the modest dairy farm tucked away in the remote hills of Newborn, was producing fresh milk primarily sold at local farmers markets and onsite out of a small unattended fridge, trusting the patrons to abide by the honor system and leave their payments in a designated mailbox outside after picking out their milk.
Prairie Farms shuts down milk plant in Homewood and 7 other state locations
By Alan Collins, WBRC.com

Employees at a milk processing plant in Homewood got the word Wednesday they would be losing their job at the end of July. Prairie Farms just took control of the plant last year.

Homewood Mayor Patrick McClusky said he also learned of the shutdown yesterday. He has been told Prairie Farms is shutting down it’s Homewood plant, seven substations in Alabama as well as plants in Georgia. This will impact about a hundred employees in Alabama and Georgia.

This is the old Barbers plant off of Barbers Court. Barbers was sold to Dean Foods and then Prairie Farms took control of Dean Foods just last year. “We were as shocked as everyone. It’s not every day you hear of a plant closing,” McClusky said.

The company says employees will be offered benefits and severance packages. Impacted employees are encouraged to apply for open positions at other Prairie Farms facilities. While the milk producing operation is shutting down, it won’t affect the Mayfield’s Ice Cream part of the operation. Watch report here>>>
Call for 2022 GDC Presenters/Topics
GA Milk Producers, Inc.

The planning committee for the 2022 Georgia Dairy Conference is seeking relevant, innovative, and valuable topic and speaker suggestions. Individuals, companies, universities, organizations, and government agencies may submit proposals for consideration by July 22, 2021.

The Georgia Dairy Conference is held in Savannah in mid-January. Over 500 dairy professionals and farmers from 10 different states attended in 2020 and over 250 attendees were present in 2021 despite COVID restrictions and procedures.

Coordinated by Georgia Milk Producers, Inc., our planning committee works hard to develop a timely and innovative agenda for the conference each year.
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia Dairy Farmer, Hoard's Dairyman

I am a fourth-generation dairy farmer, and there’s nothing else I would rather be.

Our farm is a fourth-generation dairy farm. Over the years, I have heard so many stories of what it was like before my time. I can only imagine what I didn’t see, considering all the changes I have witnessed in the past 30 years.

My great-grandfather started the farm back in 1941. I wish I could just get a glimpse of it all — not necessarily work on the farm at that time, because apparently it was all muscle back then with hardly any machinery around the farm to help out with the day-to-day chores. I love to hear my grandpa point in a direction and give me a good old story about that happened there on the farm.

My dad and uncle came back after college to help run the farm with my grandfather. Sometimes I will let Dad tell the story of how he worked 7 days a week and 7 nights a week, and all it did was snow or stay over 100°F 365 days out of the year. As soon as my grandfather hears him, though, he lets my dad know really quick that he had it a lot better than he did, which is very true. Each generation, the operation runs more smoothly and efficiently. The workload is still pretty heavy, but not as physical as it used to be.

My cousin, Josh, and I returned to the farm after college as the fourth generation. Our parents actually told us to go study something else just make sure this is what we wanted to do. It was in our blood, though. We knew we were coming back home.

My uncle has always said you have to have thick skin if you’re going to work on our farm. That’s probably for two main reasons: they’ll pick at you in a heartbeat, and they’ll also let you know when you are wrong. We’ve always been a pretty straight forward, “tell it like it is” kind of family. We all know what the others are thinking most of the time, and we tend to agree on most things. We respect each other and work very well together.

The last few months has been challenging for me. We had to shift workloads around in the family and just about everyone here gained a little extra work. We had a few bumps in the road, but it has definitely made us stronger.

I have had to do a lot more with the robotics of the operation, and I learned a great deal. So, I will take it as a glass half full kind of thing. That’s the good thing about family businesses. If something comes up and we need to work a few extra hours here and there, no one even has to ask, it just gets taken care of. We look after one another and get the jobs done. I wouldn’t trade my farm life for anything, and I thank God every day for it. Read story here>>>
UGA dairy scientist pairs exceptional cows with exceptional students
By Becky Mills for CAES News

“It’s their personalities. They are like perpetual 2-year-olds. They’re always in your back pocket, wanting something,” said Bohlen, adding that their toddler-like behavior even includes tantrums. When the students start halter-breaking them, if the heifers aren’t in the mood, they will go rigid, fall over, and refuse to get up until the halter comes off. “They are such little divas,” Bohlen said with a laugh.

The University of Georgia associate professor and state dairy specialist for UGA Cooperative Extension shows the same passion for her students.

“A lot of our students are urbanites with some beautiful qualities. They have no preconceived ideas and are often easier to engage. For them, it is interesting and exciting. If you provide them with an opportunity, they bite,” Bohlen said.

Upon joining UGA in 2013, Bohlen sought to diversify the dairy cattle herd in the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES).

Thanks to a generous alumnus and top-tier Jersey breeder, Bohlen has been able to combine her passions for dairy cattle and teaching. In 2014, C.A. Russell answered Bohlen’s email seeking donations of Jersey heifers to add to the university’s Holstein herd. “Being an alumnus, it was an easy yes,” said Russell, a 1985 UGA graduate in dairy science production. Read more here>>>
CoBank: Change is coming for U.S. food and ag businesses
From Feedstuffs

The widely anticipated summer economic boom is well underway and U.S. consumers are spending on services again. Jobs are abundantly available, but workers are scarce as the labor market is healing more slowly than most economists expected. According to a new Quarterly report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange, labor challenges felt during the pandemic and continuing today will incentivize businesses throughout the food supply chain to rapidly increase automation within their operations.

“The most significant and lasting impact from COVID will be an acceleration in automation,” said Dan Kowalski, vice president of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division. “And it will affect the entire supply chain from field to grocery and restaurants. It won’t be an overnight transformation, but much larger investments in technology now will lead to a much more automated supply chain over the next few years.”
A price to pay to achieve net zero
By Tyler Ribeiro, California dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman

As the race for net zero greenhouse gas emissions continues by large manufacturers all over the U.S, dairies are the ones paying the price. You have probably seen it already - the promise made by large manufacturers to become net zero emission emitters by a certain date. But have you thought of how they are planning on doing it? They have to go down their supply chain and get everyone involved to make the promise as well. The current push comes as they state that “market pressure” from consumers demands their products be sourced by “net zero” companies. However, in a race there is always risk, and dairy is getting the short end of the stick.

Let’s first start with the pressures from a farm’s buyer, whether it be a cooperative or not. As market pressures continue to rise for them, so does the pressure for the average dairy, but where is the benefit for the dairy producer?

Currently there is nothing being offered but hypotheticals. There is much talk about feed additives that would reduce enteric methane from cows (methane produced by burps), but the science is unproven, leaving concern for the safety and welfare of the animal. We all know this has a direct correlation to milk production and reproduction. It has been stated that if dairies feed an additive that would reduce enteric methane, there may be a pay schedule available on the cap-and-trade market. Again, hypothetically it sounds great. However, there are no concrete numbers that give light to how much this product would cost, what the pay schedule for the carbon credits would be, what the margin between the two would be, and the long-term health effects on cows. Read more here>>>
1Q 2021 mailbox, all-milk prices maintain wider spread
Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke

First-quarter (1Q) 2021 differences in two monthly milk prices announced by the USDA maintained the wider spread that surfaced last year when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted milk marketing.

Through the first three months of 2021, the USDA’s “mailbox” prices averaged about $1.25 per hundredweight (cwt) less than average “all-milk” prices for the same months.

By month, the difference between the U.S. average mailbox price and the all-milk price was: January: -$1.38 per cwt, February: -$1.40 per cwt and March: -99 cents per cwt. During that three-month period, all-milk prices averaged $17.33 per cwt, while mailbox prices averaged $16.08 per cwt.

The USDA announcements of mailbox prices generally lag all-milk prices by a couple of months.

The comparison carries multiple disclaimers. For more details, read: Pandemic impact shows up in milk ‘mailbox’ prices.

Based on the USDA data, the U.S. average difference between mailbox and all-milk prices grew to -$1.36 per cwt in 2020, compared to -73 cents per cwt in 2019 and -55 cents per cwt in 2018. With COVID-19 market disruptions resulting in Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) depooling and negative producer price differentials (PPDs), the difference between all-milk and mailbox prices was large in the second half of 2020. In October and November 2020, for example, the USDA mailbox price was -$2.22 per cwt and -$2.15 per cwt compared to the all-milk price for those months, respectively.

The difference in the all-milk price and the mailbox price represents an additional challenge: USDA risk management programs, including the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, are based on the all-milk price. With the mailbox price below the all-milk price, producers are unable to protect against falling net prices impacted by such things as negative PPDs. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

Delaval meters, Germania entrance and exit gates with tailboards and indexing tail, Muller plate cooler, receiving jar, filter housing and lowline stainless pipeline. Serious inquiries call 864-617-5911, Iris Barham

Expanding or looking for top quality herd replacement?
Available at all times: 
Fresh two and three year old's and total herds; Also springing heifers and heifers of all ages.  Service age bulls with top genetics available all year round. All different breeds and crossbreds also available. Last two loads of fresh two and three year olds Holsteins went on the trucks averaging 115 lbs and 112 lbs! One load to TN and the other to Wisconsin.
Les McCracken 
608-214-6484. Cell
608-879-2653. Fax

Seeking fulltime farm worker at heifer replacement farm in Eatonton, GA. If interested, please contact Mike Rainey at 706-473-0730.

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