Georgia Milk Producers, Inc.

1641 New High Shoals Road,

Suite 5

Watkinsville, GA 30677

706.310.0020 Office

706.614.4385 Mobile

As the news has unfolded concerning the deeply troubling events in Ukraine, it seems almost surreal that daily lives go on in the United States and in our immediate North American neighborhoods, especially with the beauty of spring unfolding before our eyes.  

This week's E-News reflects both worlds, which lie in sharp contrast to one another. May we all pause to reflect and Thank God for how blessed we are here, and to ask His direction on how to use our blessings for mankind's' benefit.

Contents in this E-News

  • PMVAPS being received
  • Dairy Farm Numbers in US now 29,800 and declining
  • Georgia's Freedom to Farm & Raw Dairy Acts pass House on March 3rd
  • FMMO News: FMMO Pricing Logic, Report on Feb. 15th ADC FMMO Webinar
  • Southeast Value-Added Program and Grants Expands
  • UKRAINE: A Dairy Farmer's Perspective, Additional Resources
  • Power of Milk: MLB Career Strengthened with Chocolate Milk & PB&J
  • POWER of GEORGIA DAIRY Swag benefits A Dairy Youth Foundation
  • REMINDER:  March 8th (Tues) 3:30 pm:  'Dairy:  'Good for Me, Good for the Planet'
Farm Cows.jpg


March 3, 2022: Dairy Farm Numbers Slide Below 30,000, by Corey Geiger, for Hoard's Dairyman. Short takes from the online article:

  • 29,858 herds in the US as of July 2021 - (number has dropped since that tally)
  • 77% drop since 1992 (131,509 in '92 to 29,858 in '21).
  • Avg. herd size up (now 317 for the national average
  • Cow numbers in national herd pretty consistent (9.7 Million in 1992 vs. 9.4 Million today).
  • State tables are available in the March 22 hard copy edition of Hoard's (now arriving in mailboxes)

Question: We as an industry have no doubt gained efficiency per unit (farm), but can we stop the downward spiral this has created for local ag economies and communities, and food security in some areas of the country?

March 4, 2022: US Dairy Herd Falls Below 30,000; A Changing Landscape Prompts Lawmaker's Interest, by Sherry Bunting for Farmshine, published at AgMoos blog. This summary contains a more focused analysis of the east and southeast, along with a state-by-state graphic for easy grasp of figures.

glass of milk.jpg

This Week: GA's FREEDOM TO FARM Act and the RAW DAIRY ACT Pass the House

March 3, 2022: Georgia House Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Some Raw Milk Sales, by Mike Maharrey, for The Tenth Amendment Center (a blog post)

  • On Monday, February 28, the bill received a 'Favorably Reported' designation from the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee in the Georgia House of Representatives
  • 'The proposed law would establish a licensing and regulatory structure for the production handling, transporting, and sale of raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption in the state of Georgia.' (Quote from article)
  • 'Under the law, raw milk for human consumption could be sold, offered for sale, or delivered by the producer directly to the consuming public as long as the producer and distributor are licensed and conform to state law.' (Quote from article)

March 3, 2022: HB 1175 passed the Georgia House, noted on LegisScan Bill Tracker


FREEDOM TO FARM ACT important to all of agriculture 

The much pursued Freedom to Farm Act, B 1150, also passed the House, with these details reported in the March 4, 2022 Farm Bureau Legislative Report. The report acknowledges support from many agricultural organizations across the state, Georgia Milk Producers included. 

HB 1150, the Freedom to Farm Act, sponsored by Rep. Robert Dickey (R-Musella) received a favorable bi-partisan vote of Y:102 to N:62. Debate on this bill lasted for approximately an hour as both proponents and opponents of the bill delivered their arguments regarding passage of the legislation. We greatly appreciate the work of Chairman Dickey and the support of those who spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor. During his closing testimony, Rep. Dickey held up a stack of handwritten notes from GFB County Presidents to show the widespread support from all across this state for these necessary changes to our Right to Farm law. The bill will now make its way to the Senate where we look forward to continuing our work with Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Larry Walker (R-Perry), as this important legislation makes its way closer to the finish line. We appreciate the broad support from allied organizations that advocated on behalf of Georgia's farmers including: Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Green Industry Association, Georgia Milk Producers, Georgia Poultry Federation, Georgia Urban Ag Council, and NFIB (Small Business Association).

TRACK THE BILL as it continues its journey through the Senate at LegiScan.

March 4th, 2022: PODCAST / Audio review by Will Bentley, president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, about the importance and impact of this Freedom to Farm legislation, posted at Southeast Ag Net.

FMMO TOPICS: Advancing to FMMO Reform

February 28, 2022: The Logic Behind FMMO Pricing, contributed by Geoff Vanden Heuvel, published at Progressive Dairy

March 1, 2022: Future of Federal Milk Pricing Reform Got Wheels Turning; Sherry Bunting's report of the February 15th American Dairy Coalition hosted webinar, which was published in Farmshine on February 18th and 25th. The article contains a significant amount of information and figures. From the article -

  • [Calvin] Covington confirmed that Class I sales — as a percentage of total milk production — fell below 20% in 2021. The percentage of Class I milk within the 137 billion pounds pooled on 11 FMMOs in 2021 was about 30%. [Note - Covington also relayed some some astute myth-busters in his presentation.]
  • The entire article is highly suggested in-depth reading!

SOUTHEAST VALUE-ADDED PROGRAM and Grants - Several other states are now eligible for funding for value-added projects in an initiative which began with NC, KY, and TN

Feb. 8, 2022: Dairy Business Initiative Expanding Across the Southeast, published at the University of TN Institute of Agriculture Website

Nov 10, 2021: USDA Invests $20.2 Million in rants for Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives, published at USDA-AMS. Provides additional background on the program


  • Please keep the people, especially the farmers and ag sector, in your prayers as this Ukrainian invasion unfolds. They are facing an unimaginable situation, and need all the support they can get.
  • Here is an article about, and a video, from one of those farmers, along with some ways to help, and get current news as the situation unfolds hourly.

March 1, 2022: 'Ukrainian Farmer Pleads: Will You Stand with Us in our Moment of Need?' by the Global Farmer Network, published at AgWeb.

  • Kornelis 'Kees' Huizinga has farmed in Central Ukraine for 20 years, operating a 2,000 cow dairy, along with a very diverse farming operation including grains. is seasons are similar to ours, quotes from an article which begs reading for perspective:
  • 'On our farm, we milk 2,000 dairy cows every day. In our fields we grow wheat, barley, canola and more. It may be winter, but the fertilizing season has started, as we apply nitrogen to our fields. Planting usually begins by the end of March or the beginning of April.
  • 'I don’t know if any of this will be possible this year. I don’t know what the next hour holds for us, let alone tomorrow or next week or next month.'

March 3, 2022: VIDEO: An interview Mr. Huizinga, thought-provoking things for consideration from someone who's dealing with things we can't imagine.

Ongoing: (Twitter) A Dutch Farmer in Ukraine; Mr. Huizinga is providing frequent updates

HOW TO HELP: The Global Farmer Network is publishing various means by which we all can help the people of Ukraine. Here are where you can find those means - please scroll at each place:

Twitter: @GlobalFarmerNet - if you scroll, you can find several ways to help listed

Facebook: Global Farmer Network - Much information on this timeline

POWER of MILK: ML Baseball Career Fueled by Chocolate Milk & PBJ

Feb 27, 2022: 'Bet Some Money': Pitcher Ryan Cusick becomes Gem for Braves,' by Gabriel Burns for Atlanta Journal Constitution

  • Promising young pitcher needed to gain weight and build strength to increase pitch speed to appeal to MLB
  • So, he turned to chocolate milk & peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
  • Now, if only the shutdown gets resolved so he can play!

POWERED BY GA DAIRY - T-Shirts & Swag benefit GA Dairy Youth Foundation

The highly popular 'POWERED by GEORGIA DAIRY' T-shirts and other swag, which have been seen hundreds of thousands of times on several social media platforms and worn by popular UGA Football players, can by purchased, and the Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation benefits! Shop the selection and buy!

REMINDER: March 8th (Tues) 3:30 pm:  'Dairy: 'Good for Me, Good for the Planet' 

A joint effort of The Dairy Alliance and Georgia Farm Bureau, this virtual presentation "will talk about the contributions of dairy farmers in feeding our communities and the planet, as well as their contributions in caring for the Earth which we all share."

Register by Mon, March 7th, at 4 pm at this link, in order to receive an access link.

Spring crop work has begun in earnest, so please be careful in those fields and on roadways! If you're traveling on rural roadways, please be extra careful!

Keep Drinking that MILK!  

Keep serving that MILK at home, and at special events!

For Georgia Milk Producers,

Julie Walker