The report, Shared Potential, Shared Concerns and Open Questions, states that both Goodlatte-Scott and DSA are “effective in providing catastrophic risk insurance” for stable and growing dairy farms. This means that both proposals offer farmers the option to enroll in margin insurance at various coverage levels. A key difference between the two proposals, however, is that the Dairy Security Act requires a supply management provision called the dairy market stabilization program (DMSP), while Goodlatte-Scott does not.
The way the supply management program works is that it reduces farmers’ milk checks periodically, and unpredictably, requiring farmers to either discard a portion of their milk production in excess of their base or not get paid for the portion of their milk delivered larger than their base.
The Goodlatte-Scott amendment allows milk margin insurance protection without the negative consequences of government-mandated market interventions like supply controls and dairy product purchases. The DSA on the other hand forces the government to limit the amount of milk individual farmers can sell as well as intervene in the marketplace to buy dairy products.
Three new exhibits will be on display at Montgomery County, Maryland’s unique King Farm Dairy MOOseum, as it re-opens for the 2013 season on Saturday, May 4. The historic dairy barn museum showcases the history of local dairy farming when more than 350 dairy farms operated in the county serving the national capital region.
The special new exhibits include a historic century-old restored milk wagon, a unique robotic milking unit with video, and an inter-active dairy nutrition display to test all ages’ knowledge of healthful dairy foods. Also on display is a life-size replica of Astronaut, one of the world’s most famous dairy bulls purchased by local agricultural interests in 1968, a milkable replica of a Guernsey cow, and a barn full of equipment actually used by local dairy farm families. A carefully researched map shows the name and location of each former dairy farm. A separate children’s craft room provides educational materials for young peoples’ creativity.
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced new science-based resources available for dairy producers, processors, industry partners and stakeholders. The resources help the industry act on the unprecedented scientific research commissioned as part of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment — a collective effort of the dairy value chain to measure and improve the sustainability of U.S. dairy from farm to table.
As part of this commitment, the dairy industry initiated a series of scientific life cycle assessments of fluid milk, cheese and whey. With this body of work, the U.S. dairy industry is striving to create the most transparent and documented dairy LCA database available. Due in part to its rigorous science-based approach, it was chosen to be the pilot industry participating in the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide an open-access, prototype LCA database and tools.
WhiteWave Foods is planning an expansion of their plant in Virginia.
The expansion involves addition of a new warehouse facility and machinery, in order to expand production and meet increased demand for the products. Currently, the plant manufactures Horizon Organic brand milk and Land O’Lakes brand butter and products.
Commenting on the announcement Governor McDonnell said the Mount Crawford plant has been in operation for 25 years, and more than $190m has been invested in property and equipment since 2000.
Despite neutral supply and demand in dairy markets, the outlook is bullish, said an economist at the University of Missouri Extension Spring Ag Marketing Outlook Conference.
“As we look at futures margins, they are the best available in years, with falling feed prices and rising milk prices,” said MU agricultural economist Joe Horner. “2013 profitability will depend a little bit on the growing season, as we are particularly short of quality forages right now.”
Milk cows on farm basically started 2013 below year-ago levels and, adjusting for 30-day months, are right in between the last two years. Horner says they haven’t really started building the herd back up and cow numbers are kind of flat-lining.
“We’ve been culling cows really heavily and that should have given us a jump in milk production per cow,” Horner said. “But we’ve got some coarse feedstuffs out there, a lot of drought-damaged stuff and expensive feed, so people have cut back on rations. Our milk production on a per cow basis is following trend lines between where it was last year and the year before.”
Cow slaughter has continued to ramp up. Horner says it used to be that 40,000 cows a week would be normal, but recently it has been above 60,000.
“There are a lot of farmers looking at the price of cull cows, and if they have a fat cull cow that drops below break-even, she’s going to town,” Horner said. “Right now springer heifers are cheap, so it is almost an even trade between selling a cull cow or buying a replacement heifer.”
Horner told the conference that exports are potentially strong and have grown to the point where 13.5 percent of milk on a solid basis is being exported. While China is talked about a lot as an export market, Horner says Mexico is still a more important export market right now.
“China’s market potential has everyone very excited,” Horner said. “Whole milk powders have traditionally been where the U.S. has been a minor player, leaving that market to be filled by New Zealand. The U.S. is now starting to produce some whole milk powders in addition to skim milk powders. China’s market potential is huge and growing but it remains to be seen how much of that we can capture.”
Horner says the outlook for milk prices in the second quarter will be slightly higher than the first quarter. He says the price of milk for all of 2013 will be about $20 per hundredweight, which is a couple of dollars higher than last year.
“All things considered, it is probably going to be the best margin year since 2008,” Horner said. “That’s if we can grow our crop, if we can grow forages and if our exports keep milk prices where they’re at.”
FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative board of directors recently unveiled its new logo. The identity symbolizes the newly formed cooperative’s vision and commitment to its members.
The logo and brand identity were approved by the FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative’s board of directors and will be integrated throughout membership and marketing efforts as the new cooperative establishes its presence in the industry.
Officials with the Dairy Business Association (DBA) in Wisconsin say they are “extremely pleased” with the extension because they are opposed to the program that was included in the Senate version of the farm bill passed last year.
“The supply management program was rejected because legislators in Congress realized that if it were passed; this communism style of dairy policy would intrude on dairy markets by controlling the milk supply and artificially creating demand for dairy products at higher prices. Supply management programs have been tried before, been proven to be a mistake and a costly failure. We can’t continue to make the same mistakes,” said Laurie Fischer, Executive Director of the Dairy Business Association. “The removal of the Dairy Security Act from the farm bill extension is a victory for the Nation’s dairy producers.”
DBA worked persistently to educate members of Congress on the harmful impacts limiting milk production advocating for the consideration a milk insurance program instead. DBA had advocated for reforming the dairy safety net programs, but DBA believed the Dairy Security Act would have taken our Nation’s dairy industry in the wrong direction.
“Limiting milk production and paying producers to not produce milk just doesn’t make sense,” added Jerry Meissner, DBA’s President. “In spite of some national dairy groups advising legislators that all farmers were in favor of supply management, it simply is not the truth. Farmers from across the nation are not in favor of this provision.”
Let me introduce you to SCR Dairy, Inc., Precise Dairy Farming. We’re in a precision world in agriculture and that includes the dairy industry. In the case of SCR Dairy it’s all about cow monitoring systems.
Just prior to the World Dairy Expo, ag media got a close up look at SCR Dairy via management presentations and a tour of Fertile Ridge Dairy which is using SCR Dairy products. Our leader for the tour was Tom Breunig, SCR U.S. General Manager, pictured on the left in the photo.
The parent company is based in Israel and only recently opened this office and division in Madison, WI. Many people would be familiar with SCR’s milk flow meters. However, in the case of SCR Dairy it’s about monitoring rumination and ID tags. These tags are utilized in a collar on the cow and measure a number of things including movement much like a Wii. My attention was drawn to the fact that the system includes a microphone which allows a dairy to listen to the cow chew and rumen action. Fascinating stuff. In my interview with Tom he describes how the dairy now has a real “picture” of each cow and what is going on with them. This has greatly reduced the amount of time a dairy has to spend on cow monitoring. There are a number of other benefits too.
Missouri dairy farmers Armand and Teddi Bechard have entered into a consent agreement with the State of Missouri, ending a case over their selling of raw milk in 2009. Three years ago, undercover agents from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department allegedly bought raw milk from the Bechard family at a central delivery point, a health food store parking lot in Springfield. Missouri’s State Milk Board had insisted that while the law allows raw milk and cream to be sold by unlicensed farmers, it had to be delivered only to the customers’ residences. This news release from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund says the Bechards were acquitted in a criminal action filed by the local district attorney’s office and now are able to sell raw milk again after entering into a consent agreement.
[T]he Bechards are free to sell raw milk to anyone they want and, after the sale has been arranged, can deliver the raw milk anywhere they want. In fact, the Bechards are allowed to deliver the raw milk to the customer’s home, to a central distribution point like a parking lot in a shopping center, or to the customer at the Bechards’ own farm.
The agreement prohibits the Bechards from selling raw milk to strangers who walk up to them while they are making a delivery to a known customer.
You can see Armand Bechard tell his story in the video below.
Dairy farmers now have a custom tool at their fingertips – “Dairy Market Central,” a new app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets combining the latest news, markets, weather and resources. The app was released by Merck Animal Health and was created in partnership with Hoard’s Dairyman magazine. Dairy Market Central is free to download via the iTunes Store and Google Play (formerly Android Market).
The Dairy Market Central app includes:
News feed by Hoard’s Dairyman
USDA dairy, hay and auction reports
Industry resources like futures, heifer prices and economic outlooks
Hoard’s Dairyman magazine provides the news feed with content updated daily. The Hoard’s Dairyman online database is accessible exclusively to subscribers using iPads and 10.1-inch Android tablets.
The app provides users a quick summary of dairy commodity markets with more detailed information available by simply selecting the commodity. It lists current prices on a variety of markets, from cheese and fluid milk contracts to cow sale prices. The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture dairy, hay and auction reports also are easily accessible. All versions of Dairy Market Central show the latest weather information, including current conditions, forecasts, and severe weather alerts.
Additional resources, such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Daily Dairy Report, long-term corn and soybean forecasts, regional heifer prices and economic outlook reports, are available on the app for iPads and 10.1-inch Android tablets.
Kemps has purchased the Cass-Clay brand and plant in Fargo, N.D. The previous owner AMPI announced the agreement.
In the agreement AMPI will remain the exclusive milk suppliers for all Cass-Clay products.
So what does this mean for the Cass-Clay milk, yogurt, and sour cream you buy? Kemps Representative Rachel Kyllo says Kemps new ownership will change nothing about the products you enjoy today.
Both representatives say this new ownership is a win-win for both Cass-Clay consumers, and the local dairy farmers who supply quality dairy products.
Kyllo says Kemps has no intention to replace any Cass-Clay products, but over time we could see new Kemp products added to the line. The plant will not be letting go of any employees in the transition.
Posted: February 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm
By News Editor
Bel Brands USA will build a 170,000-square-foot facility in Brookings, S.D. to produce its Mini Babybel product.
It’s one of the biggest capital investments in recent South Dakota history, and expected to have a $500 million annual economic jolt. It’s also expected to lead to research, internship and career opportunities for South Dakota State University students, and bring alumni back to Brookings for jobs.
“Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Barry Dunn, dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. “This is jobs. It’s work experience. It’s internships … This will impact all of our students in a very positive way – open up opportunities for them. It’s an absolute game changer.”
Bel Brands, headquartered in Chicago, also produces The Laughing Cow cheese wedges, Boursin, Merkts, Kaukauna and other natural and gourmet cheese spreads. It’s the U.S. subsidiary of Paris-based Fromageries Bel and also has U.S.-based production facilities in Leitchfield, Ky., and Little Chute, Wis.
“We’ve been impressed with the state of South Dakota,” Chambers said. “The robust dairy industry that will provide raw materials, the economic development and support, and the world-class dairy facilities and dairy research (at SDSU). We think there’s great synergies and partnership possibilities in working with (SDSU).”
Bel Brands has more than doubled in size the past four years. Mini Babybel, which represents close to one-third of Bel Brands’ U.S. sales, has almost tripled with consistent 25 percent growth, Chambers said. Phase one of the project will have a production capacity of 22 million pounds or 10,000 metric tons.
Posted: November 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm
By News Editor
The Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence is seeking dairy farm families interested in improving herd health and cow care for their pilot program: “Herd Health and Cow Care Improvement Project.”
The project is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Soybean Board. Each participating farm will have up to $1,000 in financial support to work with the herd’s veterinarian and a Penn State veterinarian to aid in improving a component of the dairy, ultimately enhancing overall herd health and animal care on the farm.
Participating farms will provide details of their work in improving their specific herd health and animal care focus to the center. This information will be shared with the dairy industry to help other dairies looking to resolve similar issues.
“Working with these farms will help the center develop a tool to aid other producers quickly assess and identify steps to improve herd health care on the farm,” Frey said.
Applications for the pilot project must be submitted by Nov. 15 and are available from the center by calling 717-346-0849 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Farms will be selected for the project on a first-come, first-served basis with considerations given to the herd management support area and regional location.
DFA was ranked fourth on the NCB Co-op 100 listing of the nation’s 100 highest revenue-earning cooperative businesses, the same as last year.
“The boom of cooperative organizations and the key role they play in both our national and global economy, is clearly evidenced in the growth and expansion highlighted in this year’s report,” said Charles E. Snyder, President and CEO of NCB. “As a cooperative business ourselves, we are proud to support these efforts and participate in the United Nations General Assembly declaration of 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperative, to educate the public on the benefits of cooperatives. Our report is just one of the many ways we work to inform the public on the advantages of cooperatives in all fields of enterprise.”
The NCB Co-op 100 debuted in 1991 and is the only yearly report of its kind to track cooperative revenues in the United States. Cooperatives in this year’s top 100 account for a combined revenue of more than $193 billion in 2010. Dairy Farmers of America, based in Kansas City, is a farmer-owned milk marketing cooperative with nearly 16,000 members and more than 3,000 employees.
World Wide Sires, LTD. teamed up with Accelerated Genetics to host a World Dairy Expo International Reception and Dinner. Here’s John Schouten, World Wide Sires CEO (center) with some of the guests. The organization is owned by Accelerated Genetics and Select Sires.
World Wide Sires, Ltd. is the world’s leading cattle genetics marketing organization representing the majority of the U.S. Artificial Insemination Cooperatives. In an atmosphere of trust and cooperation, World Wide Sires brings together suppliers and customers to promote efficient global livestock production. Quality genetics, high integrity, personal contact and superior customer service are the cornerstones for ensuring continued market leadership.
I talked with John before the evening’s activities got underway. He says World Wide Sires is celebrating forty years and he’s been with the company for twenty five of them. He does a little bit of travel as the territory they serve has grown. “Traditionally, our key markets have been located in western Europe as the company got started but today we have new and exciting markets in places like China, India and Russia.” He’s proud to represent the best genetics in the world to their customers. He’s very optimistic about growth in trade even in countries where we currently have marketing challenges. I asked him the thing he’d like his customers to think of when they think of World Wide Sires. He says, “Service with a smile.”
One of the international visitors to World Dairy Expo was Dr. Gonzalo Maldonado, Tri-State S.A.S, Colombia. I met him at the Accelerated Genetics and World Wide Sires International Reception and Dinner. Dr. Maldonado has been working with them for 43 years!
Dr. Maldonado says that when he got started the idea of artificial insemination was a tough sell. He basically had to conduct training sessions and educate dairy farmers about the benefits of improved genetics. Since then he says production has increased. He’s optimistic for the outlook for even more improved production in Colombia. Training and specialized advice is still very needed though.
Posted: September 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm
By News Editor
Dole Packaged Foods has introduced a new container for their make-at-home yogurt smoothie which mimics a blender. Innovative!
The need for a blender to make a smoothie at home was a big consumer complaint, said Paul Panza, director of marketing, based in Westlake Village, Calif.
Panza told Dairy Foods that the solution lay in the packaging: consumers unscrew the cap, add about 7 ounces of a juice of their choice to the fill line, re-apply the cap and shake for about 30-45 seconds.
Panza said the package had to be designed in a way to easily break up the fruit and yogurt pieces inside the container when consumers add the juice. A flat surface at the top and bottom was needed, as well as sides that would not restrict movement of the product inside. The bottle is made of high-density polyethylene and has a full-body shrink sleeve.
Dole worked with blow-mold equipment maker Rocheleau Tools & Die Co., Fitchburg, Mass., to create various designs. Dole’s marketing and production teams balanced manufacturing concerns with consumer acceptability issues. Prototype designs were tested with consumers in focus groups to find the best shape that was easy for consumers to grasp and hold on to during shaking. Dole blow-molds the bottles at its Stockton, Calif., processing plant.
Dole’s Fruit Smoothie Shakers are available in three flavors: strawberry, strawberry banana and mixed berry, with a suggested retail price of $2.19. The beverages contain low-fat yogurt with live and active cultures and prebiotics and probiotics. They will be available nationally by the first quarter of 2012.
Investment firm OpenGate Capital has announced plans to buy Wisconsin-based Golden Guernsey and La Vaca Bonita, along with a dairy processing plant, from Dean Foods Co.
OpenGate said it has signed an agreement to buy the dairy processing plant in Waukesha, Wis., which sells dairy products in grocery stores in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The purchase will need regulators’ approval. It is expected to close by the end of September.
Los Angeles-based OpenGate says it targets companies with well-known brands and solid business fundamentals that show potential for growth. OpenGate founder Andrew Nikou said in a statement that the Dean Foods purchase “meets our mark on all counts.”
“Not only is the (Golden Guernsey) brand a local icon renowned since 1930 for the highest quality and freshest milk products, but its facility is very efficient, and its managers are industry experts,” Nikou said. The company also said it was “eager to collaborate with the existing Waukesha management team.”
Dairy farm families can tour an innovative Holstein operation and learn more about resources for improving their agribusinesses as part of the “Open House and Dairy Tour” series hosted by the Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence.
The event at Kurtz Valley Holsteins, located at 396 Dairy Lane in Mifflintown, Juniata Co., will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 21.
Kurtz Valley is a 350-cow, 360-acre family dairy operation owned by Myron and Mary Gehman.
“The Gehmans, like the other two farms included in this series, are investing in their operation to build a strong dairy business for future generations,” said John Frey, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence. “This event will be an outstanding opportunity for dairy farm families to garner new ideas and best management practices that could benefit their own dairies.”
All three tours are free and will be held from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., with a picnic-style lunch. Additional dates and locations include:
Thursday, July 28, at Rolling Spring Farm, owned by Charlie and Denise Bean, at 133 Wilsey Road in Franklin, Venango Co.
Thursday, Aug. 11, at Walk-Le Holsteins, owned by Leroy, Brenda and Brad Walker at 6898 Oak Lane in Thomasville, York Co.
J.V.M. Sales Corp d/b/a Milano’s Cheese Corp. has recently received certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) on a state and national level.
The leading cheese manufacturing company in Linden, N.J. has been in the Falcone family for more than 25 years and is now under the leadership of the founder’s daughter Mary Beth Tomasino, who started working in the company’s finance division and gradually became more involved in all aspects of Milano’s. She became an expert in food safety and quality, obtained certifications from industry organizations and is continuously matriculating in food science and dairy courses, giving her the credence and knowledge she needs in her current position.
As a WBE, Milano’s executives can receive special training provided by WBENC, such as attendance at graduate level executive education programs and tools to increase their ability to operate efficiently, grow their capacity to meet corporate needs and better understand how to compete in a diverse procurement environment. WBENC also conducts a number of research studies on topics and trends that support members’ growth and improvement.
“We are honored to be selected as a 2011 recipient of the WBE Certification,” said Tomasino. “This accreditation will be beneficial as we continue to grow our business and expand our reach across the U.S.”
The WBENC, founded in 1997, is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled and operated by women in the U.S. WBENC, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, partners with 14 regional partner organizations to provide its national standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. WBENC is also the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to America’s corporations.