World Dairy Diary

Dairies Shutter Barn Doors

California dairies are feeling the pressure as drought and prices collide.

The explosion in feed costs, now made worse by the Midwestern drought that has ravaged corn and soybean crops, has taken a huge toll on the state’s dairy farms, many of which were already in poor financial health as a result of the economic downturn that pummeled milk prices in 2009, said Michael Marsh, CEO of Western United Dairymen.

While there are no official numbers yet on dairy losses for 2012, Marsh said the anecdotal information he is hearing paints a bleak picture. Since 2008, the state has lost 283 dairies, with 1,668 remaining as of 2011, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Just in recent days, Contente said he learned of at least 16 dairies within five miles of his operation in Hanford that have shuttered their doors or are in the process of doing so. He noted that while a good portion of those dairies were “at the end of their financial rope,” others calling it quits are just fed up with the business and want to get out before they lose all of their equity.

Bruce Miles, a partner with Genske, Mulder & Co. in Costa Mesa, which does the accounting for about 13 percent of the nation’s milk, said in the last year or two, he has seen about 10 percent of the firm’s dairy clients sell out, while another 20 percent to 30 percent have filed for bankruptcy with the intention of restructuring their businesses in hopes of hanging on to them. Those cases will take a court’s approval and the dairies will need to show they have a viable business plan, he said—and in today’s market, with corn prices escalating, “it’s about a 50-50 shot now” that those dairies will come out of bankruptcy.

Reis Soares, a dairy farmer in Madera County, said she has already used up her equity on the loan she borrowed in 2009, of which she has so far paid back only 6 percent on the principal. Now, with another year “where everything is upside down,” she said, she no longer has the same financial avenues available to her. She said she keeps a steady payment going to the bank so it won’t call her note, but that means not paying other people.

She said she has contacted a bankruptcy attorney to learn about options for dairy farmers.

“Obviously, the dairymen need a higher milk price at this point,” he said. “They’re not going to get any help from the banks anymore, and the government is not really coming in, so somebody needs to push a higher milk price through so the industry can survive.”

Western United Dairymen filed a petition earlier this month asking CDFA for an emergency hearing to consider a temporary price increase of 50 cents across all classes of milk and to reconsider permanent changes to the valuation of whey in the state’s current pricing formula. CDFA is expected to grant or deny the hearing this week.

Meanwhile, the market is starting to respond with higher milk prices. Some Midwestern dairy herds have been liquidated due to the drought and lack of feed, Marsh noted. Coupled with recent high temperatures in California that slowed milk production, the nation’s milk supply has dropped. Dairy exports also are still doing very well, he said, with more product being moved overseas at higher values.

Dairy groups are also urging Congress to pass some sort of emergency disaster relief package to help dairy farmers, said Lynne McBride, executive director of the California Dairy Campaign. Although a bill to aid drought-stricken livestock producers passed the House before Congress went on recess, the measure has not been approved by the Senate and does not address the issue of soaring feed prices that dairy farmers face.

Source: California Farm Bureau Federation, By Ching Lee

Schneider’s Dairy Earns PA Preferred Status

Schneider’s Dairy has become the first PA Preferred dairy. The PA Preferred program is spearheaded by the state Department of Agriculture as a means of encouraging consumers to buy locally and support Pennsylvania farmers.

“We have always, by choice, worked solely with Pennsylvania farmers,” said William Schneider, the company’s president. “So we approached the Department of Agriculture about getting on board with the program and becoming the first dairy to be labeled PA Preferred.”

“Our grandfather, Edward C. Schneider — who had previously worked for another dairy — purchased a small dairy in the suburbs of Pittsburgh,” William Schneider said. “Eighty gallons of milk were brought to the plant daily in five-gallon cans, where they were weighed, tested and dumped into vats for pasteurization. At that time, home delivery was the mainstay of the business.”

“Today, we work with 68 dairy farms company wide,” David Schneider said. “But instead of 80 gallons of milk, we process 450,000 gallons each week.

“We feel that becoming known as a PA Preferred brand will benefit everyone involved,” David Schneider said. “People like the idea of buying locally when products are available to them. To know that buying Schneider’s Dairy milk means supporting our Pennsylvania farmers, our Pennsylvania economy, and at the same time receiving a high-quality, all-natural product is a very positive situation.”

Source: Lancaster Farming

Milk, Cheese Store Prices to Rise

Analysts are predicting that milk and cheese prices at the grocery store will spike due to the nation’s drought, and that meat prices will follow the same trend.

Price hikes in basic food staples are causing huge concern to milk producers and others who rely on dairy to sustain an important part of the national farming economy.

The rises foreshadow expected price hikes in coming months for other food staples, such as meat, says Bruce Jones, a professor of agricultural economy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dairy is affected quickly because cows immediately make less milk.

Temperatures in the 90s and above mean cows give less milk, and sky-high feed prices are making it more expensive to feed them. Add to that the cost dairies must pay for fans and sprinkler systems to keep the animals cool during long hot days and nights.

This year, every state east of the Rockies is enduring its hottest or second-hottest year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Overall, 28 states are seeing their hottest year since accurate weather records began in 1895.

By August, the cost of a gallon of milk at the supermarket could rise by 10 to 15 cents and by Christmas an additional 25 cents on top of that, says Mary Ledman, chief analyst with the Daily Dairy Report in Libertyville, Ill.

Wholesale cheese prices are at about $1.72 a pound. “I expect the cheese price to get up to $1.95 in November,” says Jerry Dryer, editor of the Dairy & Food Market Analyst in Delray Beach, Fla.

Source: USA TODAY; By Elizabeth Weise

Core Power to Be Distrubuted by Coca-Cola

The new Core Power line of products will be delivered initially in select markets via Coca-Cola Refreshments’ world class distribution system.

Core Power is produced and marketed by Fair Oaks Farms Brands, which is owned by an independent group of 87 American family farmers dedicated to producing the highest quality health & wellness products in a way that is responsible to the health of people, our environment and the planet.

“Our unique cold filtration process which allows us to increase the amounts of protein and calcium is a true innovation in the dairy category,” said Steve Jones, CEO at Fair Oaks Farms Brands. “Core Power replenishes strength and builds lean muscle after a workout. It’s a perfect recovery drink for everyone from the elite athlete to those just trying to keep fit.”

“At Coca-Cola we believe in providing a wide range of options that help empower consumers to make the beverage choice that best suits their lifestyle, occasion and need,” said Julie Francis, Chief Commercial Officer, Coca-Cola Refreshments. “Lending our distribution and marketing expertise to help deliver new Core Power to consumers is another way to provide customers and consumers with additional beverage choices.”

“This new brand is part of an exciting category for consumers and retailers that is still in the early stage of its growth potential,” said Deryck van Rensburg, President of Coca-Cola North America Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) who views this as another great example of how the Coca-Cola system participates in the development of the next generation of beverage brands.

Source: Sacramento Bee

USFRA and Ketchum Receive National SABRE Recognition

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) has received national recognition for its ground-breaking campaign to help improve the dialogue with consumers about how their food is grown and raised. USFRA, along with its agency partner Ketchum Public Relations, won the prestigious Gold SABRE Award for Excellence in the Associations category. The entry, titled “Since When Did Agriculture Become a Dirty Word?,”  highlighted the strategies, execution and messaging used for the public launch of USFRA at the September 2011 Food Dialogues Town Hall.

USFRA’s Communications Advisory Committee and Ketchum began their work together in March of 2011. Since that time they have worked together to create a movement that focuses on bringing the voice of farmers and ranchers to conversations centered on food and food production. Over the past fourteen months USFRA and Ketchum have implemented many successful events and tools to help farmers and ranchers have that conversation, and explain the importance of continually improving today’s agriculture. Today’s news remains filled with stories questioning the integrity of the entire food production chain, and USFRA, in response, has initiated recently the “Grow What You Know” Rapid Response System that allows farmers and ranchers to be alerted of topics in the media that lack a farmer and rancher voice. USFRA will also host two additional Food Dialogue events over the next six months to continue the conversation about how food is grown and raised.

Non-Profit Milk Not Jails Forms in N.Y.

Interesting concept in N.Y. What do you think WDD readers? This editor doesn’t agree with all of their legislative agenda items, but thinks the prison-farm connection could be a positive change.

Organizer Lauren Melodia has created a non-profit called “Milk Not Jails” that aims to pair prison reform and the local food movement into one positive force for rural N.Y. communities.

“I was living in this prison town, and at the same time, the dairy industry was in a lot of turmoil,” Melodia tells The Salt. “We thought this [dairy] might be the perfect ally in trying to build a different economy in upstate New York, and shift some of the economic dependency away from the prison system.”

Two years ago, the state declared a dairy crisis as the costs of producing milk rose. And while half the state’s dairy farms dropped off the map, across the way over the barbed-wire fence, the prison population held strong. (Most of New York’s 55,000 inmates are housed upstate.)

Milk Not Jails is offering farmers another option: Sell their milk directly to buying clubs in New York City. Milk Not Jails plans to recruit ex-cons who can’t get a break to drive approved dairy products down to consumers in New York City.

Building prisons in rural communities was meant to create jobs and boost the local economy. Washington State University sociologist Gregory Hooks says that hasn’t worked out so well — but he’s not sure that Milk Not Jails will that solve that problem. Even so, “I think it helps to get people to think about alternatives,” he said.

Melodia’s team is volunteer-based, and for now, low on capital, but there are small signs of success. In May, they’ll ship Ronnybrook Farm Dairy products like milk, yogurt and butter from Ancramdale, N.Y. to several community supported agriculture pick-up sites in New York City. Those products from small-scale, organic farms will feature the the group’s label — a vanilla ice cream cone, bordered by a suggestion: “Milk, Not Jails.”

Source: NPR Authored by Jessica Naudziunas

venture | dairy Will Build Sustainable Dairy

venture | dairy is a newly launched organization that will work with partners around the globe to build sustainable, thriving dairy enterprises that support healthy, prosperous communities. Founded by Trevor Tomkins, Ph.D., the recently retired chief executive officer of Milk Specialties Global and a 38-year veteran of the dairy industry. venture | dairy knows that thriving, sustainable, locally-owned dairy enterprises will have a profound impact on a developing community by generating income, improving nutrition-especially among children, involving women and improving the environment—truly creating healthy, sustainable communities.

“venture | dairy was founded to empower dairy entrepreneurs to establish sustainable business practices that can improve their lives and the lives of their families, and better their communities,” commented Tomkins. “This is the driving force behind our organization.”

Structured to produce measurable outcomes, venture | dairy is both a non-for-profit organization and a social investment fund. The non-for-profit operation prepares dairy enterprises to thrive by supporting technology advancement and training in dairy production, and coaching those involved through the fundamentals of business and value-chain development. The social investment fund provides access to affordable, patient capital in the form of loans or equity that can be used to procure equipment, purchase feed, build infrastructure and oversee operations. Combining the strengths of a non-for-profit organization and an impact-driven social investment fund, venture | dairy allows donors and investors to support the organization’s initiatives in ways that best meet their financial and philanthropic goals.

The organization’s inaugural project in Nicaragua is the formation of a Dairy Hub that will work with Nicaraguan farmers to improve milk production and farm profitability. The Nicaraguan dairy company, Centrolac, is one of the partners in the project, and will have the Tetra Laval Food for Development Office as an advisor. Currently,venture | dairy is also undertaking a feasibility study in Rwanda to determine whether its developing dairy industry can be helped by construction of a dairy processing plant.

Source: venture | dairy

Legendary Heffering Dies

Pete Heffering passed away on March 3, at the age of 80. Heffering was well-known in the dairy industry for his visionary breeding program.

Not only did Heffering win the coveted Klussendorf and Curtis Clark Awards for his achievements in dairy circles, he also had been inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame. In 2004, the State University of New York (Canton) also recognized Heffering’s unique abilities when it bestowed him with its first-ever honorary doctorate in animal science.

Heffering’s achievements in Holstein circles were nearly unmatched. Over the years, Pete Heffering’s Hanover Hill Holstein herd earned 144 All-American and 90 All-Canadian nominations which resulted in 31 All-American, 33 Reserve All-American, 23 All-Canadian, and 24 Reserve All-Canadian award winners.

For six consecutive years, beginning in 1983, Hanover Hill was named Premier Breeder at both World Dairy Expo and the Royal Winter Fair. Brookview Tony Charity, the cornerstone, was four times grand champion at both shows and four times supreme champion at World Dairy Expo. The herd also has proven an impressive 177 bulls in Canada — including Starbuck, Inspiration, and Raider.

In 1989, Heffering took his animal breeding talents to horse racing and developed a business that easily matched his famed Hanover Hill Holstein herd. And as any Holstein breeder knows, that is a very big statement.

Source: Hoard’s Dairyman

Webinars Available on Digester Systems

Two educational webinars, planned for March 14, will examine finance issues and technology options for installing and maintaining anaerobic digester systems.

The webinars, each three hours in length, will address two critical issues in the decision-making process: financing installation and operation of a digester system, as well as the rate of return on the investment, and technology options–what they are and how they are used. The webinars are a collaboration of Farm Foundation, NFP, USDA Rural Development, USDA Office of Energy Policy & New Uses, the AgStar Program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative of the University of Wisconsin.

Financing an Anaerobic Digester System: In this 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. webinar, dairy farmers and community leaders will share their first-hand experiences financing, installing and maintaining digester systems. You’ll also hear from commercial and private lenders with experience financing digester operations. Topics will include return on investment, private funding, government/private partnership funding options, cost of construction, potential revenue generation streams, avoided environmental costs, tax incentives and cost of operation, including management and labor costs.

Technical Aspects of Anaerobic Digester Systems: This 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. webinar will examine digester technologies–psychrophilic (covered lagoon), mesophilic (plug flow and completely mixed), and thermophilic (completely mixed). Farmer/operators will discuss why they selected a specific technology for their operation, as well as their operational and management experiences with those respective technologies.

Both webinars will originate from Rooms 325-326 of the Pyle Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. There is no charge to attend but registration is required. To register for either in-person or online viewing, visit the Farm Foundation, NFP website.

Source: Farm Foundation

Keep Milk N.Y.’s Official Beverage

N.Y. dairy farmers – here’s an issue that needs your attention. Maybe Governor Cuomo should hear your side of the story too. We here at WDD encourage you to take action!

Music mogul Russell Simmons wants New York’s governor to pull the plug on milk from cows.

The hip-hop impresario writes in a letter to Andrew Cuomo that milk should no longer be the state’s official beverage.

Simmons, a vegan who has taken on several animal rights causes with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says milk from cows is less healthy than milk from rice, almonds or soy.

He tells The Associated Press he knows dairy is big business in New York but says other industries could spring up in its place.

Simmons and Cuomo go way back. They’re both from Queens, and they worked together a decade ago to help soften New York’s strict drug laws.

Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing said the governor’s office would not comment.

Source: CBS News

Register Today for DCHA Conference

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) will be “Creating Golden Opportunities” at the 2012 Conference, March 20-21, 2012, in Visalia, Calif.

Conference highlights include: Three highly instructive wet labs, over 20 breakout sessions, sessions in Spanish on Tuesday, California farm tour, and a first-class trade show.

Online registration is now open.

Below are just a few of the topics that will be presented at this year’s Conference.

  • Legal Guest Workers for the Dairy Calf and Heifer Industry: Related Issues and Challenges
  • When It Comes to Animal Rights Activism, All Farms Are Created Equal
  • A Look at Circle Bar Heifer Ranch virtual tour
  • Today’s Business World: Volatility, Uncertainty, Opportunity!
  • Synchronization Programs for Dairy Heifers
  • Successful Weaning Begins Early
  • Finding and Developing Diamonds in the Rough
  • Leading Fellow Workers
  • Managing Lameness in Dairy Heifers
  • Stockmanship and Low-stress Cattle Handling Techniques
  • Feed Center Design
  • An Economic Comparison of Conventional vs. Intensive Rearing Approaches for Dairy Replacement Heifers
  • Euthanasia Techniques for Calves and Heifers
  • DCHA’s Gold Standards III – Panel Discussion

Source: Dairy Calf & Heifer Association

I-29 Dairy Conference Coming Soon

The Seventh Annual I-29 Dairy Conference coming up Feb. 8 and 9 in Sioux Falls will Focus on Global Dairy Issues under the theme, “Now and in the Future.”

The event is coordinated by dairy extension specialists from South Dakota State University, North Dakota State University, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota and the University of Nebraska. Additional partners coordinating the conference include Midwest Dairy Association and Southwest Minnesota Dairy Profit Group.

Speakers and topics with global impact headline this year’s conference. Neil Baker, a dairy producer and sustainable agriculture award winner from the UK and a top-notch slate of dairy industry experts will focus on global dairy issues and sustainability topics at the seventh annual I-29 Dairy Conference. Noted University of Minnesota climatologist Mark Seeley, Stan Erwine, Dairy Management, Inc. as well as Dave Casper, SDSU; Marin Bozic, UM; and a panel of producers and industry stakeholders will cover issues affecting your future dairy business.

Interested producers should complete the online registration form by Feb. 1 to ensure room availability at the Ramkota Inn in Sioux Falls.

Cumberland Dairy Chairman Dies

The dairy industry lost another prominent leader this week, Carmine Catalana III, 81, the chairman of the Cumberland Dairy board.

Catalana spent more than half a century with Cumberland Dairy, from serving as his parents’ business partner to chairman of the board — the most recent position he held.

“For my family and our company, we are deeply saddened by his passing,” said company President Carmine Catalana IV, the oldest of the Catalana siblings. “He led our company for many, many years. Without his leadership, both our family and our company would not be where we are today.”

The storied history of Cumberland Dairy begins back in Bridgeton, N.J. in 1933. Charles Catalana and his wife Elizabeth formed the business in a garage at their home on South Avenue.

Carmine had grown up in the family business, spending three years with Cumberland Dairy before joining the U.S. Army in 1951 during the Korean War years. He returned from the service in 1954 and partnered with his parents to expand the business, which boomed in the following decades.

In 1974, McDonald’s called upon Catalana and Cumberland Dairy to pump up their production when the company’s main dairy supplier fell through. McDonald’s eventually offered Cumberland Dairy as many stores as it could handle. Cumberland Dairy later became a full-service distributor and processor for the company — a relationship that would stretch over three decades.

In 1985, Cumberland Dairy gained nationwide attention for installing an ultra-high temperature pasteurization system that gave products a longer shelf-life.

Some of his many appointments included the board of directors of the New Jersey Food Processors Association and past president of the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey.

“He came to work everyday and still enjoyed the business, the people, our employees the suppliers,” Carmine said. “He lived life to the fullest and always was a glass-half-full type of guy and radiated that.”


Maroney to Speak in Vermont

Join James Maroney, author of “The Political Economy of Milk” on August 12, 2011 in South Royalton, Vt. Maroney will speak on the “get big or get out” theory and the governmental issues during the quarterly Bob-White Systems’ Cheese Night.

The Cheese Night will be held at the Bob-White Systems farmstead dairy store on the Town Green in South Royalton on Friday, August 12th at 5:30 PM.

Vermont cheese samples from the following local producers will include cheeses from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vt., Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, Vt. and Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph Center, Vt. In addition, other unique farmstead cheeses will be available to taste from surrounding farms in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York. Bob-White Systems’ staff will be on-hand to discuss home and micro dairy cheese making and equipment.

James Maroney, a former Park Avenue art dealer, changed his roles and has been actively impacting the dairy world for over 25 years. Maroney and his wife live on a 800 acre farm in Addison County, Vt. where they ran their organic dairy, Oliver Hill Farm. The farm was considered to be the largest organic dairy in Vermont during the late 1980’s. Since the release of his book The Political Economy of Milk, Maroney continues his career as an American Art Dealer and remains a strong voice for the aspiring Vermont dairy farmer.

Source: Bob-White Systems

Change Federal Dairy Status Quo

A recent news release from National Milk Producers Federation explains why the current federal dairy policies need to change, and how Foundation for the Future, including the Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program and the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, can help.

Dairy producers realize that the status quo protections offered by current federal policies have failed them during the past decade – especially in 2009 – yet some may understandably be apprehensive about advocating comprehensive reform of those policies.

The Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP) and the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program combined constitute nearly 80 percent of the dairy budget baseline over the next ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. However, the DPPSP has become an ineffective safety net for farmers, and has created an unintended outcome whereby the U.S. has become burdened with balancing the world’s milk supply.

The MILC program also has been ineffective in providing a safety net for farmers, and treats farms and entire regions of the country unequally. More specifically, it does not address the rise in volatile feed costs, and has not prevented the exodus of farms during its decade of existence. In 2001, there were 97,460 U.S. dairy farms, but by 2010, that figure was 62,500 – a loss of 36 percent of the nation’s dairy farmers, almost all of which were small to medium-size operations of 500 cows or less. This clearly demonstrates the inadequacy of the current program and the need for better dairy policy.

The policy proposals contained in the National Milk Producers Federation’s Foundation for the Future (FFTF) eliminate the DPPSP and MILC programs, and create a more efficient and effective safety net in the form of a Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program, the costs of which are shared by dairy farmers and the federal government. FFTF also establishes a Dairy Market Stabilization Program to prompt producers to respond more quickly to economic signals from the marketplace and at no cost to the government.

Existing farm programs, including the dairy title within the Farm Bill, are expected to undergo further cuts as part of the new federal budget deal passed by the House and Senate. FFTF was created to achieve better economic protection for farmers, while also yielding a budget savings – compared to current baseline spending levels – precisely because farm safety nets are going to shrink in the future. The Congressional Budget Office says FFTF will save $166 million over the next five years, at a time when Congress has now pledged to cut more than a trillion dollars from federal spending.

Dairy producers have acknowledged that shrinking federal resources are the reality. Keeping the status quo is not an option, either economically, as the best safety net to producers, or fiscally, due to budget demands. Producers have been calling for something better for the past two years. We can’t stay where we are and change is needed, which is why Foundation for the Future was developed.

Source: National Milk Producers Federation

Iconic “Butter Cow Lady” Dies

Many sympathies to the family of Norma Duffield Stong Lyon, better known as Duffy Lyon, or the “Butter Cow Lady.” Duffy passed away on Sunday morning.

Lyon sculpted the famous State Fair Butter Cow from 1960 until her retirement in 2004.

Lyon studied at Iowa State University and was interested in becoming a veterinarian but the program did not accept women at the time so she went on to study animal science.

Her artistic talents were discovered by campus sculptor Christian Petersen during a winter festival at the university when she helped sculpt a horse and sleigh out of snow.

Lyon started to sculpt the State Fair butter cow in 1960 and continued to sculpt both the cow and other famous shapes including Elvis Presley, Garth Brooks, John Wayne and a butter rendition of “The Last Supper” until long-time apprentice, Sarah Pratt took over in 2005.

“We always thought we were doing a great job of bringing entertainment to the fair and we were. We spent several hundred thousand dollars on attractions and then we might go and look at Duffy Lyon and find she had stolen the show from us once again,” former Iowa State Fair Director of Marketing Kathie Swift said.

Her apprentice, Sarah Pratt said Duffy did more than just pass down the baton. “She was very generous with her time and she gave me so much. She is the only art training I had. So, everything I know and have learned is from her. She was very patient with me and taught me so much about art and about life,”

In addition to Iowa’s State Fair, Lyon’s work was showcased at state fairs in Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, California and Arizona.

She has appeared on national television shows such the “Today Show”, “Late Night with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. Lyon’s work has also been featured in LIFE, Time, Newsweek and People Magazine.

Source: WHO-TV, Channel 13 News

Stand-Up for Chocolate Milk

There’s been a lot of press this month around school kids and chocolate milk. Many schools are considering taking the nutrient-dense offering from lunch lines.

As a dairy farmer, you should take action to stand-up for chocolate milk. Share information with teachers, school nurses, principals, the cafeteria management and school board members; as well as other parents.

Here are several links to online resources to help tell the positive story of chocolate milk. If you know of others, please share in the comments.

got milk?
Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk
Added Sugars and Nutrition in Beverages
Milk: A Nutrient Powerhouse
Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Justise Department Seeks Injunction

The Justice Department, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has filed a complaint for permanent injunction against Daniel L. Allgyer, owner of the Rainbow Acres Farm, in Kinzers, Pa., for distributing unpasteurized (or “raw”) milk for human consumption in interstate commerce.

The complaint, filed on April 19, 2011, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, also alleges that Allgyer violated federal law by misbranding the “raw” milk containers by failing to provide the label information required by law. Defendant Allgyer was served with the complaint earlier today.

Raw milk can contain a wide variety of harmful bacteria, including Listeria, E.coli, Salmonella,Campylobacter, Yersinia, and Brucella.

Drinking raw milk is dangerous and shouldn’t be consumed under any circumstances,” said Dara A. Corrigan, FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “FDA has warned the defendant on multiple occasions that introducing raw milk into interstate commerce is in violation of Federal law.”

FDA investigators determined during an inspection of Rainbow Acres Farm that the farm was producing, packaging, selling, and distributing unpasteurized and unlabeled milk for human consumption in interstate commerce.

The FDA issued a Warning Letter to Allgyer on April 20, 2010, informing him of the violations and stating that regulatory action might be taken. The farm has continued to operate in violation of federal law.

If the court grants an injunction, Allgyer may be prohibited from distributing unpasteurized milk and milk products for human consumption in interstate commerce.

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

New Alliance Formed

More than 60 representatives from more than 20 national food and agricultural organizations today agreed to incorporate a U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to focus on working together to enhance U.S. consumer trust in modern food production that ensures the abundance of affordable, safe food.

“Today represents a start toward a unified voice for U.S. agriculture,” says Rick Tolman, chief executive officer of the National Corn Growers Association and chair of the USFRA Steering Committee. “While the results of today’s organizational meeting represent the culmination of six months of planning, it is only the beginning of a process designed to create a coordinated effort by and on behalf of U.S. farmers and ranchers. Several participants have stepped forward to officially join the Alliance. Others need to return to their boards to determine whether they will join.”

Listen to an interview with Rick Tolman about the new alliance: Rick Tolman Interview

USFRA plans to incorporate this week. Organizations have been asked to respond about affiliation no later than Nov. 1. After that date, a board of directors will be established and will elect an executive committee.

Members of the USFRA Board, its executive committee and its affiliated organizations will be announced formally in mid-November.

Source: Dairy Herd Management; U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance

Madison’s Dickson Has Died

A sad announcement today from Madison, Wis. – Dr. David Dickson has died, after a courageous battle against cancer. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

One of the foremost authorities on dairy cattle judging passed away Friday, July 9. During his distinguished career, Dickson judged more shows (13 total) at World Dairy Expo than any other official. In addition, he placed dairy cattle in over 20 countries and served on the All American selection committees for all seven recognized Purebred Dairy Cattle Association breeds. He was the first American to judge the European Championship Holstein Show and the New Zealand Royal Agricultural Holstein Show. He has led judging conferences throughout the U.S. and in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Italy, Japan and Spain. During his career as the University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy cattle judging coach which officially began in 1968, Dickson led teams to seven national championships at the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest. Perhaps more impressive, his teams won 18 team reasons titles at the national contest.

David P. Dickson was born in Everson, Wash., on February 26, 1939, and graduated from Meridian High School as class valedictorian. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in dairy science from Washington State University. In 1960, Dickson became the second person (a fete that was later matched by one other person) in the U.S. to earn high individuals honors at both the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest and at the Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest. It was that second honor, high individual at the college contest, that earned Dickson National Dairy Shrine’s famed Kildee scholarship. He used that money to further his dairy education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he went on to earn both a Master’s and a PhD.

After graduation, Dickson joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dairy Science Department where he served as professor for over three decades. As his career unfolded, he was chosen by his peers to chair the department from 1984 to 1990. Dickson served on the World Dairy Expo board of directors and also was a Holstein Foundation trustee. He was the founding advisor to UW-Madison’s Badger Dairy club. Dickson was a long-time chapter advisor for UW-Madison’s Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and a long-time advocate and supporter of Madison’s Association of Women in Agriculture (AWA) . . . both agricultural professional-social organizations for young men and women. AWA has awarded him Honorary Membership. Additionally, he served as advisor to the Midwest and National student affiliate divisions of the American Dairy Science Association.

His ability to teach students was recognized by the American Dairy Science Association in 1996 when he won the Purina Mills Teaching Award in the first year he was nominated. In 2005, Dickson was honored as an Alpha Gamma Rho “Brother of the Century” during the Fraternity’s 100th anniversary celebration and has won the Distinguished Service Award from multiple organizations. Always an educator, Dickson was the Kickoff Inspirational Speaker at the National 4-H Dairy Conference for ten consecutive years. During his tenure, he helped to produce over 20 videos on oral reasons that were shared with others across the country. Additionally, his dairy cattle judging brochure, “Dairy Cattle Judging Made Easy,” has been translated into Italian and Spanish. Later on, that publication was made into an effective interactive teaching tool available on CD. Many dairy producers also may remember Dickson’s Christmastime poems deeply rooted in dairy tradition.

Source: Hoard’s Dairyman

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