2020 | Feb 28 GMP E Newsletter
Check out more 2020 GDYF Dress-A-Cow pictures on our Facebook page here>>>
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
SIGN-UP for Block Grant Funds for Farmers Impacted by Hurricane Michael Will Open on March 18th

The  Georgia Department of Agriculture  will begin accepting online applications for the $347 million in block grant funds on March 18, 2020. Georgia farmers and forest landowners in 95 eligible counties who suffered losses to beef, dairy, fruit and vegetable, pecan, poultry, timber, and uninsured infrastructure can seek to help recover losses not covered under existing USDA Farm Service Agency programs. Learn more about applying for the Georgia Farm Recovery Block Grant here:  http://agr.georgia.gov/farm-recovery.aspx
Ga Ag Commissioner Gary Black Named ‘Local Government Advisor’ for EPA
From AllonGeorgia.com

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the appointment of 12 new members to the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) on Tuesday.

The 31-member LGAC provides advice to EPA on developing stronger partnerships with local governments and building their capacity to deliver environmental services and programs. The Administrator also appointed five new members to the LGAC’s Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee.

Among those named is Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black.
“Ensuring the agency is well informed on how its programs impact local governments is an essential part of our decision making process,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “I want to thank our 12 new LGAC members, and five new Small Communities Advisory Committee (SCAS) members, for their willingness to serve in this important role. I also want to thank the returning LGAC and SCAS members for their contributions. The committees provide invaluable insight on how to best work with our local partners to build and maintain strong environmental programs, and I look forward to working with them in the coming year.” Read more here>>>
Z oetis to Host Producer Meeting in Valdosta on March 3
Zoetis will host a workshop in Valdosta, GA on Tuesday, March 3rd at 2:00 pm. The topics covered will include Southeast Dairy Financial Drivers and Genomic Benchmarking. It will take place at the Hampton Inn & Suites (2 Meeting Place Drive, Valdosta, GA 31601). For more details and to RSVP, please email Jorge.Fulleda@zoetis.com or call 352-240-4868 by February 21st.

House Bill 545 Tabled in the Senate
From GA Farm Bureau
The Senate Rules Committee decided last Thursday, February 20, to move the Right to Farm bill – House Bill 545 – out of committee and to the Senate floor for a full vote. The bill, which was expected to be voted on in the Senate the next day, Friday, February 21, was tabled due to a perceived lack of votes in its favor. While we would like to see the bill passed in as timely a manner as possible, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Public Policy staff, along with our allied industry partners, are focused on educating our legislators on the bill and its intent and working to squash the inundation of misinformation that they are receiving from the opposition.
We are proud of our members who have exemplified grassroots advocacy in action this week, sharing their personal stories through on-farm videos and testimonials to the importance of House Bill 545 on their social media platforms. Below, you will see only a few of the many that took to social media to tell their stories. If you have not taken this step already, we encourage you to do so. Be sure to tag your legislators and include the hashtag #ProtectMyFarm in any posts you make. 
We also appreciate those who took the time to contact their legislators this past week through our action center. I f you have not already done so,  please contact your State Senator and ask for immediate passage of HB 545. We challenge you to take your advocacy efforts a step further by giving your Senator a call.
Agriculture is the number one industry in the state of Georgia. Without a strong right to farm law, our farmers could be subjected to frivolous nuisance lawsuits, which could upend their operations and bankrupt their families. It is vital that we pass House Bill 545 to preserve the production of food and fiber in our state. If you would like further information on the bill, visit our House Bill 545 page  here .
Local Farmers Fight for Protection Through State Bill
From Jatrissa Wooten , 41NBC.com
Local farmers have their fingers crossed in hopes that House Bill 545 passes. This will allow added protection for farms and their legacies.
Leighton Cooley, a fourth-generation farmer and co-owner of Cooley Farms in Roberta, has been on his farm for years raising livestock and growing hay.

Without House Bill 545 to prevent established farms from being unfairly harassed as nuisances, farms like Cooley’s will be no more
Hurricane Michael Aid Income Tax Exemption Sought
From GA Agribusiness Council
HB 105, by Rep. Sam Watson  seeks to exempt Hurricane Michael disaster payments from state income taxes. The bill passed through the House in 2019 and Rep. Watson presented the bill to the Senate Finance committee this week, where it was favorably reported on to the rules committee. The main sections of the bill exempts payments from USDA directly related to Hurricane Michael from state income taxes but lawmakers in the Senate used the bill as a vehicle and attached additional language that deals with the taxation of ride share services in Georgia. While we often use Uber and other ride sharing platforms to get around Atlanta during the legislative session, we focused our support on the portions of the bill that will have real impacts on agribusiness in Georgia. We’ll continue to support Rep. Watson’s bill as it makes its way through the Senate. Rep. Watson is a farmer from South Georgia and we appreciate his efforts to help other farmers that were impacted by Hurricane Michael.
Developing a Storm Preparedness and Response Plan for Dairies
By: Dr. John Bernard, UGA
Dr. John Bernard at the University of Georgia has published an Extension bulletin on preparing your dairy farm for a major storm. This bulletin provides information that dairy producers can use to develop an emergency preparedness plan in advance of a storm and suggestions for their potential responses following a storm.

The bulletin can be found at here . More information: John Bernard, jbernard@uga.edu, (229) 391-6856 
U.S. dairy farms hit hard
By Corey Geiger, Managing Editor, Hoard's Dairyman
Milk prices were too low for too long. That sums up the serious economic consequences in the countryside as 8.8% of all dairy farms holding permits to sell milk left the business last year. Some of those farms departed because the economic tide of negative cash flow carried them out to sea, while others pulled the plug before hard-earned equity vanished forever from their balance sheets.

Regrettably, all areas of the country were impacted as three regions, shown in Table 3, posted the largest percentage losses since permit tracking began in 1992. During the past year, the Southeast lost 12.1% of its farms, the Midwest had 9.7% exit, and the West saw 5.9% of all dairies call it quits. Read more here>>>
Fresh cows present one of the biggest opportunities for increased performance on dairy farms. However, fresh cows deal with many stressors and challenges – and if they are not properly set up for success, they will not be able to achieve an optimal level of production.

After calving, the cow undergoes several changes that can put stress on its immune system. As a result, the fresh cow is at risk for developing various metabolic disorders, and any issues that arise during this time can affect milk production during both current and future lactations.

Therefore, in order to maximize potential, implementing management and monitoring strategies that include careful attention to detail can help get the fresh cow off to a successful start. The monitoring and management strategies outlined below will help guarantee a successful fresh cow transition that will, in turn, help increase overall performance.  Read more here>>>
Let’s stop the mudslinging
By Jessica Peters, Pennsylvania dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman
I’m just going to say it, we have to stop playing the victim. Do I love agriculture? Yes. Do I lose my temper when someone makes a disparaging comment? Yes.

When a video of a certain Democratic presidential candidate recently circulated showing him calling farming “simple,” did I want to publicly call him a buttface? Of course, I did. But did I? No, I didn’t. Because it wasn’t actually that big of a deal.

I am not endorsing or defending the candidate’s comments, but if you watched more than the two-minute video clip that was circulating throughout ag social media, it was pretty easy to see that comments were being taken out of context. But, instead of investigating further, we freaked out.

We bashed the candidate and made fun of his sheltered upbringing. We insulted his intelligence and diminished his life experiences. Instead of focusing on showing people that farming is not simple and positively reinforcing what we do, we chose to sling mud just like politicians. It was the wrong move. Read more here>>>
Florida Dairy Update newsletter, Winter 2020
CLICK HERE >>> to download the University of Florida Winter 2020 issue of Dairy Update, the dairy newsletter of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida. In this issue:
  • Breeding Slick Holstein Cattle for Superior Thermotolerance
  • Is the Secret Behind Lowering Bulk Tank Somatic Cell Counts, Consistency?
  • Dr. Charles J. Wilcox 1930 – 2019
  • What is the Best Way of Assessing Heat Stress in Dairy Calves in a Subtropical Environment?
  • Bulletin: Developing a Storm Preparedness and Response Plan for Dairies
  • New Animal Sciences Dairy Extension Website Replaces dairy.ifas.ufl.edu
  • Dairy Extension Agenda
  • Better Ranking of Sires on Future Profitability with Two New Genetic Selection Indexes
  • High Somatic Cell Counts Lead to Large Financial Losses
  • Should We Use the Old Semen in the Tank?
  • Reducing the Genetic Lag Cost with Beef-on-Dairy
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
Upcoming Events >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

UPDATED 2/28/20

For Sale: Corn Silage - For more information contact Carlin Giesbrecht at 478-494-4007

FOR Sale: Stretch-O-Matic Bale Wrapper and Mover. For more information contact Carlin Giesbrecht at 478-494-4007

Bull Calves WANTED:  Competitive pricing with 6 day a week pickup. Brandon Mason Cattle Company 912-632-4490

For Sale: Custom manure application and Dryhill manure equipment sales.  Contact Edwin @ 478-299-0717 with Agboys Custom Services LLC -  New 8"x52' lagoon pump with outriggers $24,000 (Pictured right)

FOR HIRE : Custom Silage Harvesting. Late model JD chopper. Will travel. Let me put your quality forage up! Nic Haynes, Muddy H Farms, 678-617-3379.

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