Tennessee Dairy Producers Association

The Tennessee Dairy Producers Association seeks to be a unified voice for all dairy producers in Tennessee in a manner that will expedite a consistent response to any issue that might affect the short or long range viability of the dairy industry in Tennessee. TDPA will also serve as an unbiased source of information for dairy producers as well as consumers.


Tennessee Dairy Producers Association

Tennessee Dairy Producers Association (TDPA) acknowledges the commitment by USDA to purchase $50 million dollars of fluid milk.

Under authorization from Section 32 regulations , USDA through their Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will purchase milk representing 12-15 million gallons of skim, 1%, 2% and Whole milk to be distributed through food programs and food banks.

TDPA is pleased that USDA is now including fluid milk as part of its Emergency Food Assistance Program. The nutritional benefits of milk, rich in protein, essential vitamins and minerals, make up a valuable part of the diets of our young and old alike.

Tennesseans have been supporting such efforts for several years through the Randy Davis Great American Milk Drive facilitated by Ingles Markets and other Food Chains in East Tennessee through four Local Food Banks meeting the needs of over 1 million individuals.

Click here to read the USDA announcement



Good morning everyone,

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. You may have already received correspondence from Stan about the upcoming TDPA Annual Meeting on January 22nd, 2021, at the Wilson County Fair Grounds but just in case, attached is the agenda for the meeting. Stan and I have also provided a link to join the meeting remotely for anyone who would like to join remotely. Clicking this link (https://tennessee.zoom.us/j/98609335226) will take you directly to the meeting, no registration is required and the password to join is “TDPA”.  The meeting will begin at 8:30am CST and run until 4:30/5:00pm CST. If you are attending in person, please let Stan know so he can have an accurate lunch count.


Click below to view/download the meeting agenda…

TDPA Annual Meeting Program Agenda 2021



Happy Thursday all!


Elizabeth Eckelkamp, PhD PAS

Dairy Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department

244 C.E. Brehm Animal Sciences Building

2506 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996


office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

View my availability at https://doodle.com/liz.eckelkamp









Click on the documents below to open / download






Webinars available for TMDP credit:


Below are all the recordings of the previous webinars we’ve done since pandemic hit. Viewing the recordings WILL COUNT for Master Dairy Credit. For easy reference, the names and links to the webinars are below. Use this link (https://tiny.utk.edu/TMDP_form) to receive credit for viewing any of the below recordings.


Dump Milk: What Can I Do with It? – https://youtu.be/gN8r0JgKUzE


Coping with COVID-19: Biosecurity – https://youtu.be/eyRDWEHlXtY


Mastitis Diagnosis and Treatment: Less is More – https://youtu.be/xAoJeAGptMw


Un nuevo virus COVID19 información para empleados agrícolas – https://youtu.be/wrCzQ8k97V0 Information on the novel virus, COVID-19, for agricultural employees (Spanish ONLY)


PCDART Overview and Setting up Timed AI Protocols  – https://youtu.be/tMz-rJbPk2E


Understanding and Managing Heat Stress – https://youtu.be/4-CgshUYy5c


Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Update – https://youtu.be/hnJ76EEPz-w


Transition Cow Diseases and Protocols – https://youtu.be/sNx44g2ObR8


Guidelines for Silage Storage – https://youtu.be/CZs4VS4RE98


Precision Dairy Technology – https://youtu.be/xuBwJoJswII


For the February meetings, the recordings can be found below. Use this form (https://forms.gle/PmNY3Lp6bzbrDUQ66) to show completion. Each of these are worth 1.5 hrs of continuing education.


Heifer Feeding Programs: One size fits all?



Forage Analytics https://mediasite.utk.edu/UTK/Play/60fb451b9f244396a07496a76f202c5f1d?catalog=5d5f6cf2f2fc432d9ffca6bbe895694a21


We are also doing to the Cow2Cup workshop (1 hour each) and that started in September. We’ll be covering information that is more geared to the general public than dairy farmers and ag agents, but you are welcome to watch that as well. Our next two in the Cow2Cup workshop series will be in October and November. To register for those, follow this link (https://cow2cupworkshop.questionpro.com).



Sub-award application should be coming out in October – deadline to submit to TDA will be 60 days after release date. $25,000 maximum award request per application. Will be a rolling enrollment on a monthly basis after first application period. Must have some processing or marketing focus in order to apply.


Multi-state sub-award application should come out early spring. Cooperating with KY and NC. Must have some processing or marketing focus in order to apply.


2nd Annual Value-Added Conference – December 17, 2020



Elizabeth Eckelkamp, PhD PAS

Dairy Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department

244 C.E. Brehm Animal Sciences Building

2506 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996


office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

View my availability at https://doodle.com/liz.eckelkamp 



Farmers Should Not Pay Dean Foods Claims, Milk Board Says…

Read the full article – click here


Funding Available for Innovative Partner-Driven Projects Aimed at Improving Water Quality, Wildlife Habitat,
and Soil Health in Tennessee

Application Batching Deadline is January 15, 2021

NASHVILLE, December 1, 2020 – The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering funding for innovative partner-driven projects to improve water quality, wildlife habitat and soil health in two Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) areas in Tennessee.

To be considered for program funding, applicants must operate land within the focus area of the respective RCPP project. The deadline to submit applications for fiscal year (FY) 2021 funding is January 15, 2021.

The full news release can be found attached and on the Tennessee NRCS website by clicking here.




November Tennessee FSA Newsletter

Click here to read…



Good morning everyone,

To try to increase our survey responses, we have extended the survey for another few weeks (December 18, 2020).  We realize that your time is valuable and we appreciate your time helping us answer these research questions.  In just 15 minutes, you can help us understand the impact of fresh cow diseases on our Tennessee dairy farms.  We are asking dairy producers to help us understand their perspectives of fresh cow care, diseases, costs, and protocols.  We will be asking questions regarding existing fresh cow protocols, disease costs, and barriers to protocol implementation.  This information will be used to develop new training materials, applied research materials, and extension programs.

We invite you to complete the research survey and we appreciate your participation.  You should have already received a paper copy of this survey in the mail with a prepaid return envelope. You may complete either the paper version, or you can follow this link (https://freshcowprotocols.questionpro.com) to the survey, which should take 15 minutes to complete.  Your participation is voluntary and you may decline to participate at any time without any penalty.  If you withdraw from the research study before data collection is completed your data will be destroyed.  Withdrawing from the study will not impact your relationship with the university in any way.  We do not foresee any risks to your participation beyond that encountered in everyday life.  The data you provided will be confidential and results will be presented only in the aggregate.

Your perceptions really matter.  We thank you and highly appreciate your input that we have received so far.  If you have not already, it is not too late.

If you have questions regarding your rights as a research participant, please contact Institutional Review Board, The University of Tennessee, 1534 White Avenue, Blount Hall, Room 408, Knoxville, TN 37996-1529, Phone: (865) 974-7697, email: utkirb@utk.edu.

Thank you,

Arup & Dr. Liz

Graduate Research Assistant

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Department of Animal Science
353 Brehm Animal Science Building
2506 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996




Tennessee Landowners Interested in Improving Natural Resources Encouraged to Apply for NRCS Assistance

Deadline to Apply is November 20, 2020


NASHVILLE, October 19, 2020 – The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications from Tennessee producers and landowners who are interested in implementing conservation practices to improve natural resources on their farm or forest land. Funding is available through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and the deadline to apply for fiscal year 2021 funding is November 20, 2020.

The full news release can be found below and on the Tennessee NRCS website by clicking here.




I’ve attached a stakeholder toolkit for CFAP2, and this includes some great information for promoting the second round of relief funding available for producers through USDA Farm Service Agency. If you can do anything promote this program for us, we would sure appreciate it! We hope you can help spread the word to our shared producers to help Tennessee’s agricultural economy.


Included in the toolkit:

  • Key messages
  • Newsletter article
  • Social media posts
  • Social media story posts
  • Posters


You can also find information on farmers.gov/cfap. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.


Thank you,

Greer Gill

Public Affairs / Outreach Coordinator

Farm Service Agency – USDA Tennessee State Office

615-277-2615 office




My grad student Arup will be sending out a state wide survey asking for dairy producer’s feedback on their transition cow programs. We will be sending a mailed version with prepaid return envelopes and there will be an online version as well. We hope to hear from all of you!


Elizabeth Eckelkamp, PhD PAS

Dairy Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department




Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2
Toolkit for Stakeholders


USDA FSA has announced the second round of funding for Coronavirus relief to farmers. Please see attached for our CFAP 2 stakeholder toolkit and news release announcing the program. Please note that the stakeholder toolkit has ready to go social media posts, and we would appreciate your help spreading the word through social media or newsletters to your producers. Please let us know if you see the need for any further outreach on these programs. We are happy to partner in order to ensure that producers take advantage of these funds.


Click on the images below to read and / or download         


Let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information. Thank you for your help spreading the word!

Thank you,

Greer Gill

Public Affairs / Outreach Coordinator

Farm Service Agency – USDA

Tennessee State Office

615-277-2615 office

855-494-7764 fax




Job Opportunity – Herdsman at Farr Dairy

Mr. Jim Farr is looking for a herdsman for his dairy operation. He’s a dairy farmer in Niota, TN who recently installed robotic milkers. Ideally, he would like an employee who has the ability to artificially inseminate, has experience with technology and computers, and is able to assist/oversee farm responsibilities including: calf care, herd care, and feeding. Salary will be commensurate with experience level. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact Jim at (423) 507-4202 or jstevenfarr11@gmail.com



I hope you are all doing well! We’ve got an exciting opportunity starting next Wednesday that I would like to share with you and the folks in your counties. During my time here, I’ve gotten quite a few questions about dairy cattle care, the pathway of milk, and about the safety of raw milk. To answer those questions, we’ve put together the Cow2Cup Workshop. We’ll be following the pathway of milk from the cow to the cup of you, your family, and your friends! We’ll do this through 3 webinars, each an hour long, once a month this month, next month, and finish up in November. This series WILL COUNT for Master Dairy credit if y’all are still needing any. With opening this up to anyone across the state, we will be requiring registration for these meetings.

Use this link https://cow2cupworkshop.questionpro.com/ to register and receive the meeting details and link to the webinar.

Please share this FREE opportunity with you counties. We hope to see you there!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Elizabeth Eckelkamp, PhD PAS

Dairy Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department


Agri-AFC, GreenPoint AG, and Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s Wholesale Agronomy Business to Combine to Create Top 7 Agronomy Company
Sept. 3, 2020

(Decatur, AL)   Agri-AFC, GreenPoint AG, and Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s wholesale agronomy business announce the formation of a joint venture combining their agronomy operations. The combination will include all operations of Agri-AFC, LLC’s wholesale and retail business, GreenPoint AG’s retail business, and Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s wholesale agronomy business. The new venture will do business under the name GreenPoint AG.

The combined GreenPoint AG is owned by three parent companies: Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC), Tennessee Farmers Cooperative (TFC), and WinField United.

It will operate 99 retail and wholesale agronomy locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas, servicing 11 crops across 28 million acres. This will make the combined GreenPoint AG a top 7 wholesale and retail agronomy company with over $1 billion in sales.

“We recognize the rich history of our companies and the pride of ownership that exists amongst our member-owners, and we want to enter this relationship with careful thought and consideration of the impact to our farmer-owners, our customers, our member co-ops and our employees,” says Bart Krisle, CEO of Tennessee Farmers Cooperative.

When asked why the parent companies decided to join these three businesses together, Rivers Myres, CEO of Alabama Farmers Cooperative shared, “Even though we are all individually strong, it takes vision and strategic leadership to both remain competitive and to provide exceptional service to our ultimate customer, the American Farmer, and GreenPoint AG will allow for us to do both.”

Jeff Blair has been selected to lead the new entity as Chief Executive Officer. He comes to Greenpoint AG most recently from The Andersons, where he was President of the Plant Nutrient Group. Previous to that role, he held leadership roles at Intrepid Potash, Orica Mining Services and was a Captain in the U.S. Army.

“I could not be more excited for this opportunity,” said Blair. “The leadership teams of all three companies have built strong businesses and I believe this new company is the right company, with the right people and the right strategy to help our farmer and retail members succeed in this ever-changing world.”

Brett Bruggeman, President of WinField United and Executive Vice President of Land O’Lakes, Inc., agrees that the timing is perfect for this type of opportunity. “This organization is positioned for future growth and will be relevant in the marketplace for years to come. GreenPoint AG will be focused on upstream market access predictability and downstream total agronomy solutions, both driven by our digital omnichannel platform.”

GreenPoint AG will be based in Decatur, Alabama, with regional offices in Memphis and LaVergne, Tennessee.

Read more about it on the news page here.


CFAP deadline extension to September 11th,
as well as the additional commodities that
have been added to the program. 

Please click on the documents below to find out more about
the programs and how to sign up. 


CAFB Fund TDA Press Release


 Click the document below to download / read


Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Click on the flyer below to view and download



USDA-Farm Service Agency is working with UT Extension to ensure that all producers eligible for CFAP payments are aware of the program.

As of July 20, 2020 there were 147 dairy applications that have been submitted to the USDA-FSA. There are 180 licensed dairies in Tennessee.

Application Deadline August 28th, 2020

Click for more information here.




Thank all of you for the prayers and acts of concern for the Freddy Tilley and Olivia Garner families in the past week.

Our hearts are heavy as we share the news that Freddy’s daughter, Olivia, passed to her Heavenly home on Sunday evening, after complications from heart surgery.  Olivia is survived by her husband, Lucas Garner, and their two small children, a son and daughter, and her mother, Kim Isbill Hall, and her husband, Spencer.

Her passing was announced in a Facebook post by her husband, Lucas Garner.

Freddy and his wife, Sherry, were able to travel to Nashville to see Olivia at Vanderbilt.  Freddy is still being treated for a blood clot, so please keep him and Sherry in your prayers for his continued recovery.

Several family members and close friends had been to visit to support Olivia and the families in the past week, while some of the Tilleys remained home in order to tend to the family’s dairy operation.

Mr. Maurice Tilley, when I spoke with him yesterday, said the family had been overwhelmed and humbled by all of the prayers and offers of help they had received during the past weeks.

We’ll pass along service information for Olivia when it is available.  Please join us in keeping all of the Tilley, Garner, and Hall families in your prayers and acts of kindness in the coming days and weeks, for anything they may need.






Applications Open for Food & AgTech Bootcamp


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 9, 2020) — AgLaunch, the Knoxville Entrepreneur CenterSync Space and The Biz Foundry are partnering to offer a 5-week virtual bootcamp to develop promising agriculture and food-focused startups. Applicants should be innovators who are interested in growing their agricultural and food startups and working directly with farmers or local food businesses. 

The bootcamp will be held in half-day sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 7-August 6, 2020 from 2-5 pm EST (1-4 pm CST). Teams accepted into the program will experience best-in-class agricultural entrepreneurship programming with engagement from members of the AgLaunch Farmer Network, as well as a national network of investors and mentors.

Companies from across the globe that provide competitive advantages or new market opportunities for row crops, vegetable and specialty crops, livestock, and value-added production in food and beverage and are interested in partnering with farmers and businesses in Tennessee based on the unique nature of Tennessee’s agriculture sector are encouraged to apply.


Eligible teams do not have to be located in Tennessee and can include:

– New startups focused on agriculture;

– Faculty/student teams commercializing ag-related technology; and

– Existing agriculture companies exploring new innovation.

We are excited to be partnering with the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center for the fifth year and new partners Sync Space and Biz Foundry to help develop potential startups,” Pete Nelson, Executive Director of AgLaunch, said. “We’re hoping that this bootcamp will give participating teams the opportunity to gain the resources and support they need to be successful in the agriculture industry, particularly for our farmers in Tennessee.”

Participating teams will receive agricultural entrepreneurship programming through AgLaunch connected with business expertise from KEC, Sync Space and Biz Foundry on agricultural markets, investors and mentorship; the framework for organizing, validating and communicating their ideas; and the opportunity to perfect their pitch. Teams will also gain consideration for Innova venture funding and participation in the AgLaunch365 program.

Applications are being accepted through midnight EST on June 21, 2020. Entrepreneurs with an idea or an agtech startup who are interested in the intensive bootcamp can apply here. 

Applications Due June 21


Media Contact:

Name: Rebecca Kaufman
Phone: 501-766-7133 



Good evening all,

Attached is the UPDATED Excel calculator tool (Click here to download) that the econ team has developed to estimate CFAP program payments. This version includes the addition of silage capabilities and a tab for the specialty section of the program. Remember, the application period opened YESTERDAYMay 26, 2020.

As a reminder for dairy, corn silage inventories as of January 15, 2020 may be included to reach the maximum amount for your operation. Cull dairy cows and dairy steers may also be included as beef animals. If you missed our webinar on it last week, a recording can be viewed here (https://youtu.be/YjLLHwHCE-s).


It is very important to note that details continue to evolve rapidly on the program. We will continue to provide updates as additional information is revealed. Additionally, the econ team will be releasing short videos with examples on how to input information, to obtain CFAP payment estimates, for a few representative operations.

The videos will be located here  https://tiny.utk.edu/CropsCattleCharley. There will be 3 videos that will cover how to use the calculator for crop producers, beef producers, and dairy operations.

The USDA CFAP website https://www.farmers.gov/cfap has additional details, fact sheets, forms and web tools. The CFAP also has a calculator tool that can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap, under the CFAP application subtitle.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Charley Martinez (cmart113@utk.edu), Aaron Smith (aaron.smith@utk.edu), Andrew Griffith (agriff14@utk.edu), or me.



Elizabeth Eckelkamp, PhD PAS

Dairy Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department

244 C.E. Brehm Animal Sciences Building

2506 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996




USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program


Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.


Read all about the program and it’s benefits here… https://www.farmers.gov/cfap  and here… https://www.farmers.gov/cfap/faq



Click the images below to open and download the resources





LifeWorks Resource Program

Professional Support – Anytime, Anywhere, always confidential



DATCP-DNR Emergency Disposal of Milk During
Covid-19 Outbreak

Download Here



What You Need To Know About Coronavirus 2019
(COVID-19) In Your Dairy


Good afternoon all,

Hope you are all staying safe during the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.  Even though our dairies don’t usually have large groups of people on them at any one time, visitors from out of state, employees, and managers/owners can still be at risk for COVID-19. Jorge Delgado of Alltech has put together a fact sheet in English and Spanish addressing COVID-19, it’s spread, and how to protect yourself and your coworkers. Both versions are attached to this email, and are also available in the resources section of UT Dairy



Click here for the Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet English Version


Click here for the Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet Spanish Version


Thank you all, and as always, call with any questions or concerns!

Elizabeth Eckelkamp, PhD PAS 

Dairy Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department

244 C.E. Brehm Animal Sciences Building

2506 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996


office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764



Dairy Farmers of America Strikes $425 Million Deal for
Dean Foods Assets

Click here to read all about it



What Tennessee Farm Bureau Members Should Consider Regarding
Dean Foods Bankruptcy

*This is not legal advice but things they need to consider moving forward.*

Click Here to read the Notice



UT Workshop to Help Farmers Identify Value-Added Dairy Opportunities



Cull Cow & Bull Service


Area producers may find they need to move cull cows and bulls. As a continuing service TLP will buy your cull cows or bulls any day you need us!

We will use current market reports to establish price and we will not charge commission outside of sale day.

For more information contact: Josh Woodward – 931-703-9090 at Columbia. Visit their website here.