Tennessee Dairy Producers Association

NEWS

 

 

 

Southern SARE Seeking Communication Specialist

 

GRIFFIN, Georgia – The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) program is seeking a Communications Specialist to join the staff at the University of Georgia – Griffin campus.

 

The Communications Specialist promotes Southern SARE’s program goals, objectives and grant-making efforts across the Southern region by communicating project results through the development of written articles and educational resources, social media tools, and multimedia efforts. The position also promotes the Southern SARE program through public relations activities at conferences, university field days, regional meetings and other events across the Southern region.

 

Preferred qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in communications, preferably agricultural communications, or a science degree with some writing experience; knowledge of sustainable agriculture; an understanding of the land-grant/Cooperative Extension system; and knowledge using social media and multimedia tools.

 

For a full job description and to complete an application, go to https://www.ugajobsearch.com/ click on “Search Jobs” and search by Posting Number S06968P. The position is open until filled.

 

The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, genetic information, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status.

 

Published by the Southern Region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Southern SARE operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Georgia, Fort Valley State University, and the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture to offer competitive grants to advance sustainable agriculture in America’s Southern region.

 

 


 

 

 

Media Contact:
Laurie Fischer
314-391-8390

 

American Dairy Coalition defends temporary return to Class I ‘higher of’ milk price formula until USDA hearing process evaluates options

 

GREEN BAY, Wis. – There are several key reasons American Dairy Coalition supports a temporary return to the previous Class I milk pricing formula using the ‘higher of’ Classes III or IV, until a USDA hearing process can evaluate other ideas including a change made in the 2018 Farm Bill to an averaging method plus 74 cents, which was implemented in May 2019.

 

We know calling for a temporary return to the previous Class I formula — while various ideas about Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMO’s) are sorted out — isn’t going to happen overnight, but the process needs to begin. We are also looking futuristic and beyond a recent short-term shift and what the futures markets currently show us because a lot of dairy farmers have suffered severe loss of revenue due to milk being removed from the federal orders. Subsequently farmers have lost confidence in the functioning of the FMMOs and question the value of purchasing available risk management programs under the average of pricing formula,” said Laurie Fischer, CEO of American Dairy Coalition about the ADC Board’s passage of a motion to support returning to the ‘higher of’ temporarily until a long-term solution can be examined.

 

Decisions need to be made on what is sound economically over the long-term, not short-term. Long-term, using the ‘higher of’ is best economically and provides the proper economic signal. If a decision is made solely on short-term economic gains, then there will be constant flipping back and forth — a direction the dairy industry too often takes,” said Calvin Covington, retired cooperative CEO and former breed association executive with vast experience in Class I fluid milk markets, multiple component pricing and FMMO order reforms.

 

The previous ‘higher of’ milk pricing formula allowed us to participate in risk management strategies with the confidence they could help protect our business from market shocks. Under the new ‘averaging method,’ risk management results are no longer as predictable. So, in addition to living with a milk pricing system that is not as responsive to unexpected market conditions, our experiences over the last 18 months have caused us to lose confidence in using these risk management tools,” said Linda Hodorff of Second Look Holsteins in Wisconsin and Broken Bow Dairy in Nebraska.

 

Fischer said ADC has been hearing from producers and collaborating in conference calls for over a year with momentum building months ago for this step as a stop-gap measure.

 

We have known since June that the wide divergences we saw for many months between Class III and IV are now coming together,” Fischer noted. “The future markets at one point predicted this would happen at the beginning of this year, even late last year, but it never materialized until the July 2021 Class I price was announced, in just two weeks of dairy commodity trade which immediately followed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s May 26 announcement that she wanted a hearing on milk pricing.”

 

That hearing was held last week in the Senate Ag subcommittee on dairy, livestock and poultry, chaired by Sen. Gillibrand. Two hours of discussion with six testifiers provided a multi-faceted short- and long-term view which addressed current challenges with the FMMOs including the Class I change.

 

During the Sept. 15 hearing, Sen. Gillibrand cited the over $750 million in Class I losses over a 26-month period, a figure confirmed by National Milk Producers Federation and several dairy economists.

 

Currently, Class I is benefiting from the new averaging method with the 74-cent adjuster,” Fischer explained. “If we include the small benefit ranging 34 to 69 cents for July through September, the net loss across the 29 months of implementation so far is still $720 million, or the equivalent of 67 cents on every hundredweight of Class I milk shipped since May 2019.”

 

Looking at today’s milk futures, the Class III and IV gap could stay narrow across the next six to 12 months of contracts — “but we’re not there yet, and what worries my members is how do they protect their costs of production when they have no way to protect their risk when the market experiences a shock and processors decide to remove milk from the federal orders. Luckily, in the past some processors shared these benefits with their farmer patrons, but unfortunately others didn’t.

 

Right now, Class I does benefit from the averaging of milk pricing method, which can max out at 74 cents on the top-side. But if that gap between Classes III and IV widens again, there is no limit to the losses on the bottom-side,” said Fischer.

 

The Class I change was made quickly without a hearing process to examine it, and farmers were told it would be revenue neutral…. Meaning it would not harm farmers. This didn’t happen, and farmers ended up being harmed by how this change affected their milk checks and risk management strategies during periods of market stress and volatility when they needed them most,” said Fischer. “Beginning the process to return to the ‘higher of’ method is necessary to protect farmers from future distortions as they navigate uncertain markets.”

 

Fischer said the American Dairy Coalition stands ready to collaborate on long-term solutions to this and other FMMO challenges so these federal orders function as intended for all parties — producers, cooperatives and processors — can successfully manage their businesses in a dynamic and changing dairy industry.

 

 


 

 

Tennessee Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken Announces
Retirement as President

 

 

Columbia, Tenn. September 8, 2021 – Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation President Jeff Aiken announced he will not seek reelection at the annual meeting in December. Aiken, a third-generation beef cattle, hay, corn and tobacco farmer from Washington County, has served as president for the past six years and is only the 8th president in the organization’s 100-year history.

 

“When I was elected as president of the organization, I told everyone it’s because God called us to it, and now, Carol and I believe God is calling us back to the farm,” said Aiken. “The opportunity to serve the incredible farm people of Tennessee has been greater than we could have ever imagined, and we are exceptionally grateful for all we’ve experienced with our Farm Bureau family during these past six years.”

 

President Aiken and his wife, Carol, farm with his two brothers and manage their more than 900-acre family operation in Telford, Tenn. They first became involved in the organization through the Young Farmers and Ranchers organization where he served as state chairman in 1992 and in 1993 he and Carol were named the Tennessee Young Farmers of the Year. After serving for several years as a board member and president of the Washington County Farm Bureau, Aiken was first elected to the state board as director-at-large in 1998. He then was elected as vice president in 2012 before being elected president in 2015.

 

“Being a part of the Farm Bureau family and watching it grow has always been one of my passions,” Aiken says. “Traveling throughout our great state and listening to the concerns of our farmers and members and then seeing us develop policy to protect and promote our industry has been a blessing to Carol and I.”

 

Along with his service on the board of directors for the American Farm Bureau, Aiken has served on numerous boards and state and local committees including the Tennessee FFA Foundation, Tennessee State Fair Commission, Governor’s Rural Task Force, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and First Farmers and Merchants Bank. He was also selected by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to serve on Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group to represent interests of the agriculture community when building guidance to safely reboot the state’s economy during the pandemic.

 

TFBF has thrived under the leadership of President Aiken, as membership has grown by more than 35,000 family members to an all-time high of more than 680,000. The influence of the organization and its service companies has never been stronger and his leadership abilities and his passion and dedication for agriculture has strengthened farm and rural communities across Tennessee.

 

“Few are blessed with the amazing opportunity I’ve had to lead this great agricultural organization and represent the hard-working farmers of Tennessee,” Aiken said. “I am grateful for the Farm Bureau staff, leaders and agriculture industry partners I’ve worked with and will miss the day-to-day interaction. Carol and I will forever cherish the memories and friendships we’ve made, but we look forward to returning to our family and farm in East Tennessee.”

 

A new TFBF president will be elected to a two-year term by the voting delegates of the 100th annual meeting in Franklin, December 5-7, 2021.

 

 


 

 

USDA Announces Improvements to the Dairy Safety Net and New Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program

 

I wanted to make sure you were aware of this new program rolling out, the Pandemic Market-Volatility Assistance Program (PMVAP). It is a USDA program but it is going through AMS instead of FSA. The assistance will be distributed by the producer’s dairy cooperative or milk handler.  Because this program is utilizing cooperatives or handlers for payment distribution there is actually no information required to be submitted by producers to obtain this assistance.

 

If producers have questions about PMVAP please direct producers to the following website and email box to either obtain answers to their questions or submit questions for response.

 

https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/pandemic-market-volatility-assistance-program

 

PMVAP@usda.gov

 

Thanks so much,

Greer Gill

Public Affairs / Outreach Coordinator

Farm Service Agency – USDA

Tennessee State Office

615-277-2615 office

855-494-7764 fax

Greer.Gill@usda.gov

 

 


 

 

Dairy Webinar Wednesday 2021

 

Our next Webinar Wednesday will be next Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 12pm EST/11am CST. Dr. Charley Martinez, an Extension Specialist in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, will be providing an overview of risk management tools available to dairy farmers and their potential successes. This meeting will count toward Master Dairy Credit for 2021. The agenda is also attached. Please register for FREE at https://ww2021.questionpro.com to receive meetings links and additional information.

 

 

 

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

 

 


 

 

Dairy Margin Coverage and Dairy Gauge Workshops

 

Join us for these upcoming workshops on the Dairy Margin Coverage Program offered by the USDA Farm Service Agency and the Dairy Gauge Decision Tool offered through UT Dairy and the UT MANAGE Program. See below for the workshop tour schedule. Register online at: https://dmc.questionpro.com. Please submit registration no later than September 17th at midnight. We look forward to having you join us!

 

PLEASE NOTE: We are monitoring the current COVID19 situation closely and will provide a virtual option if necessary.

 

(Click below to view/download)

     

 

 

Best,

Shep Stearns

Value-Added Dairy Extension Specialist

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department

345 C.E. Brehm Animal Sciences Building

2506 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996

sstearn1@utk.edu

cell: (860) 595-6053

 

 


 

 

Stakeholder Toolkit: USDA Updates Pandemic Assistance for Livestock, Poultry Contract Producers and Specialty Crop Growers

 

(Click below to view/download)

 

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for contract producers of eligible livestock and poultry and producers of specialty crops and other sales-based commodities. CFAP 2, which assists producers who faced market disruptions in 2020 due to COVID-19, is part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Additionally, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has set an Oct. 12, 2021 deadline for all eligible producers to apply for or modify applications for CFAP 2.

 

We need your help. We want to ensure eligible producers are aware of this program and the available resources to apply, including how to contact the FSA office at their local USDA Service Center and FSA’s call center. This toolkit is meant for partners and stakeholder groups to use and share information in their networks. It includes:

 

  • Key messages
  • Newsletter article
  • Social media posts
  • Poster

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found at farmers.gov/cfap/faq. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

 

Thank you,

Greer Gill

Public Affairs / Outreach Coordinator

Farm Service Agency – USDA

Tennessee State Office

615-277-2615 office

855-494-7764 fax

Greer.Gill@usda.gov 

 

 


 

 

Hello everyone,

 

Our next Webinar Wednesday will be next Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 12pm EST/11am CST. Dr. Mike Hutjens, an Emeritus Professor from University of Illinois and well-known dairy nutrition specialist, will be discussing “Optimizing Silage Fermentation”. He will be providing an overview of silage harvest and fermentation considerations. He will also discuss silage inoculants, how to use them, and when. This meeting will count toward Master Dairy Credit for 2021. The agenda is also attached. Please register for FREE at https://www.2021.questionpro.com to receive meetings links and additional information.

 

 

 

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

 

 


 

 

 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Beginning today, July 15, dairy businesses in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky are eligible to apply for a new round of funding to modernize and diversify their operations through the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBII) program

 

The first round of funds for this program was made available in 2020 as part of an ongoing grant from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. So far, the University of Tennessee Department of Animal Science in partnership with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture and Tennessee Department of Agriculture have awarded approximately $165,000 through DBII to Tennessee dairy producers.

 

In this new round of DBII funding, the pool of potential recipients is being expanded to include dairy businesses in Kentucky and North Carolina as well as Tennessee. The scale of projects that can be funded through this phase of funding has also grown.

 

Starting today, applicants in the three states will have the opportunity to submit project proposals for up to $500,000. The program will support projects of many sizes, but those making requests exceeding $150,000 should operate a licensed dairy farm and/or dairy plant and utilize a large portion of local milk. Their grant proposal should include a robust business plan. Those interested in applying or finding out more can visit utdairy.tennessee.edu/value-added-dairy-grant-application/

 

DBII is working in affiliation with North Carolina State University and the Kentucky Dairy Development Council (KDDC) to publicize and evaluate applications for this round of grant funding.

 

Anyone who has questions about the program or about allowable expenses or purchases should reach out to project leader and UT Extension Dairy Specialist Liz Eckelkamp at eeckelka@utk.edu or Hal Pepper, financial specialist with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture, at hal.pepper@utk.edu.

 

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.

 

Shep Stearns

Value-Added Dairy Extension Specialist

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department

345 C.E. Brehm Animal Sciences Building

2506 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996

sstearn1@utk.edu

cell: (860) 595-6053

 

Check out UTDairy for updates and educational resources

 

 


 

 

Value-Added Dairy Conference in
Bowling Green, KY July 21-22

 

(Click flyers below to view/download)

 

 

Hello everyone,

 

If you would like to learn more about processing milk on-farm, please join us for the Value-Added Dairy Conference in Bowling Green, KY July 21-22. Our line-up of speakers includes experts from Kentucky Department of Agriculture, UT Knoxville, NC State, PennState, and the dairy industry. We will cover food safety, business planning, market trends, animal nutrition and more! See below for details. More information to come!

 

Best,

Shep Stearns

Value-Added Dairy Extension Specialist

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Animal Science Department

345 C.E. Brehm Animal Sciences Building

2506 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996

sstearn1@utk.edu

cell: (860) 595-6053

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

State of Tennessee employees:

 

In partnership with Optum, the 4Mind4Body series continues with the next webinar:

Mental Health Matters

Wednesday, May 26

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT

 

This one-hour presentation focuses on the impact of COVID-19 and social unrest. Topics include

 

  • Mental health challenges
  • Social isolation
  • Grief and loss
  • Self-care strategies
  • Recognizing signs and symptoms of underlying mental health conditions
  • What you can do for others
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Available resources

 

(Click below to view/download)

 

 

Click the link in the attached flier to register or click this link below:

 

https://tn.webex.com/tn/onstage/g.php?MTID=e589046b301dc980414ab810d9766c979

 

Registration is required for all webinar sessions. Sessions will not be recorded. If Internet Explorer doesn’t work for you to register, you may need to try a different browser.

 

Find information at tn.gov/PartnersForHealth under Other Benefits > EAP here:

 

https://www.tn.gov/partnersforhealth/other-benefits/eap.html

 

Questions? Email partners.wellness@tn.gov

  

 


 
 

Upcoming Dairy Grazing Schools

 

Hello everyone,

 

Dr. Katie Mason and I wanted to share an upcoming grazing school opportunity with all of you. On June 1, 2021 and June 2, 2021 we will be hosting Dairy-Focused Grazing Schools at the East Tennessee Research and Education Center – Little River Dairy Unit and the Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center. We do plan on having some classroom time, so space is limited (30 max attendees). These Grazing Schools will also be made available to both dairy farmers and extension agents in each area, so we’re planning now for a 50/50 mix (15 farmers; 15 agents/specialists). Registration is required in advance because of the limited space and the agenda for both locations is attached. The link to register is https://dairygrazingschool.questionpro.com. If the event is full before you get a chance to register, feel free to reach out to Katie or I and we can start a waitlist for each location.

 

We look forward to seeing y’all in person!

Liz

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

 


 

 

Herdsman Position for Dairy Operation Available

 

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you are all doing well. Mr. Jim Farr contacted me today about looking for a herdsman for his dairy operation. He’s a dairy farmer in Niota, TN with 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. Feel free to share this information with other interested parties.

 

Thanks!

Liz

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

 

 


 

 

UT AgResearch Announces Plans to Upgrade
and Refocus Two Facilities

Read the full article – click here

 

 


 

Hello everyone,

As a reminder, the third Webinar Wednesday will be next week, April 14, 2021 at 12pm EST/11am CST. You will see there has been a change in our topic for next week. Dr. Charley Martinez will be discussing the third round of the CFAP (Coronavirus Food Assistance Program) as well as some updates on previous rounds of the program. Dr. Martinez is a state extension specialist at UTIA, specializing in agriculture economics. This meeting is eligible for Master Dairy Credit in 2021. Below is the schedule for the next 3 months. The agenda is also attached. Please register for FREE at https://ww2021.questionpro.com to receive meetings links and additional information.

 

 

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

 

 


 

AgLaunch Positions Open:

 

Click on name of the positions below to read more about them and how to apply.

 

Field Research Agronomist

 

Operations & Administrative Coordinator

 

Soil and Ag Data Accountant

 


 

Tennessee USDA NRCS Application Cutoff Extended
to April 7 for FY 2022 CSP Renewals

(Click below to view/download)

 

 


Tennessee Farmers Cooperative announces
senior staff appointments

(Click below to view/download)

 

 


 

Important News from TN Farmers Coop

(Click below to view/download)

 

 

 

ASA Data Powers New USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Soil Moisture Portal

 

Link:  https://www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/2021/03-08-2021.php    If there is anyone not on this list who you think may be interested, please forward this message to them.

 

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2021 – Farmers, researchers, meteorologists and others now have access to high-resolution NASA data on soil moisture, thanks to a new tool developed by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in collaboration with NASA and George Mason University (GMU).

 

The tool, Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics (Crop-CASMA), provides access to high-resolution data from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument in a user-friendly format. Soil moisture data are critical for professionals in the agriculture and natural resource sectors who use soil moisture in tandem with other data to plan crop planting, forecast yields, monitor droughts or floods, and improve weather forecasts. Crop-CASMA is available for free online at https://cloud.csiss.gmu.edu/Crop-CASMA/.

 

According to Rajat Bindlish, a research associate in Earth science remote sensing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the tool provides more thorough spatial coverage and consistency than other soil moisture measurement methods.

“Soil moisture is a very important piece of information for agricultural yield and productivity,” said Bindlish. “This will provide a means of using NASA remote sensing data to guide predictions of moisture conditions and water availability. Information on the field conditions is important for agricultural operations.”

 

Some of Crop-CASMA’s primary users will be NASS researchers and statisticians who release weekly Crop Progress Reports that currently classify states into moisture categories (very short, short, adequate, surplus) to aid farmers and farm managers. The reports also track crops’ health and growing progress.

 

“USDA researchers and statisticians will incorporate the tool into a range of applications,” said NASS Spatial Analysis Research lead Rick Mueller. “For example, Crop-CASMA can help identify areas that could not be planted because of wet, saturated, frozen, excessively dry, or inaccessible fields resulting in improved planted statistical acreage estimates.”

 

Mueller noted that in addition to supporting agricultural operations, Crop-CASMA will enable research on sustainability and the impact of extreme weather events. “These satellite-derived vegetation condition indices and soil moisture condition maps show first-hand the ever-changing landscape of U.S. agriculture,” he said.

 

The tool is formatted to be accessible to private users, including farmers, researchers, and students, according to Crop-CASMA project leader Zhengwei Yang, a USDA geographer and co-investigator of the High-Resolution Soil Moisture Development Project.“We created an easy-to-use interface that requires little technical background to use,” said Yang. “There’s a tool to select an area and create a map you can save as a PDF, and you can also download data from the web to input into your model.”

 

This work was supported by NASA Applied Sciences’ Earth Science Division’s Western Water Applications Office ( WWAO) and the NASA Terrestrial Hydrology Program. WWAO’s mission is to improve how water is managed in the arid western United States, and the tool is part of a portfolio of water projects that use the power of remote sensing to deliver new solutions on issues such as drought, snowpack, and water supplies.

 

“We know from our water partners in the western United States that there is a critical need for soil moisture data,” explained Indrani Graczyk, manager of WWAO. “This project was a great opportunity to partner with the USDA to get NASA data directly into the hands of farmers, and we were happy to support it.”

 

SMAP data, the foundation for Crop-CASMA, draw from the topsoil and rootzone levels, or from the surface to roughly 3 feet (1 meter) underground. Raw SMAP data have a 36-kilometer (roughly 20-mile) spatial resolution, meaning each data “footprint ” is about the size of a county. The team also developed a data analysis method to estimate a higher-resolution soil moisture product using SMAP and land surface data, giving users information at 1-kilometer (0.62-mile) resolution. Having the data in finer resolution allows users to more accurately pinpoint areas of high or low moisture, Yang explained. “Our current reports are at the state level,” Yang said. “One state may be categorized on average as ‘wet,’ but the whole state might not actually be wet. These new data deliver localized moisture readings – this is what matters to the farmer.”

 

Crop-CASMA was developed in cooperation with the Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems (CSISS) at GMU, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). JPL manages the SMAP mission for NASA, and Goddard produces the SMAP 9-km rootzone and 1-km surface soil moisture products. Hosted and maintained by the CSISS, the online tool is operated by NASS’s Research and Development Division.  “We are very happy with the research collaboration between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA JPL, and GMU, and the project coordination of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, and thank them for their support in bringing cutting-edge technology into USDA operations,” said Yang.

 

This collaboration is part of a larger, recently-signed agreement between USDA and NASA to jointly strengthen agricultural and Earth science research.

 

“Having the SMAP soil moisture data going directly to the users at NASS realizes one of the key goals of the mission,” said Simon Yueh, SMAP project scientist at JPL. “A strong collaboration between NASA and USDA has made this possible.”

 

###

NASS is the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture and is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

  

 

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2021 – Farmers, researchers, meteorologists and others now have access to high-resolution NASA data on soil moisture, thanks to a new tool developed by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in collaboration with NASA and George Mason University (GMU).

 

The tool, Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics (Crop-CASMA), provides access to high-resolution data from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument in a user-friendly format. Soil moisture data are critical for professionals in the agriculture and natural resource sectors who use soil moisture in tandem with other data to plan crop planting, forecast yields, monitor droughts or floods, and improve weather forecasts. Crop-CASMA is available for free online at https://cloud.csiss.gmu.edu/Crop-CASMA/.

 

According to Rajat Bindlish, a research associate in Earth science remote sensing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the tool provides more thorough spatial coverage and consistency than other soil moisture measurement methods.

 

“Soil moisture is a very important piece of information for agricultural yield and productivity,” said Bindlish. “This will provide a means of using NASA remote sensing data to guide predictions of moisture conditions and water availability. Information on the field conditions is important for agricultural operations.”

Some of Crop-CASMA’s primary users will be NASS researchers and statisticians who release weekly Crop Progress Reports that currently classify states into moisture categories (very short, short, adequate, surplus) to aid farmers and farm managers. The reports also track crops’ health and growing progress.

 

“USDA researchers and statisticians will incorporate the tool into a range of applications,” said NASS Spatial Analysis Research lead Rick Mueller. “For example, Crop-CASMA can help identify areas that could not be planted because of wet, saturated, frozen, excessively dry, or inaccessible fields resulting in improved planted statistical acreage estimates.”

 

Mueller noted that in addition to supporting agricultural operations, Crop-CASMA will enable research on sustainability and the impact of extreme weather events. “These satellite-derived vegetation condition indices and soil moisture condition maps show first-hand the ever-changing landscape of U.S. agriculture,” he said.

 

The tool is formatted to be accessible to private users, including farmers, researchers, and students, according to Crop-CASMA project leader Zhengwei Yang, a USDA geographer and co-investigator of the High-Resolution Soil Moisture Development Project.

 

“We created an easy-to-use interface that requires little technical background to use,” said Yang. “There’s a tool to select an area and create a map you can save as a PDF, and you can also download data from the web to input into your model.”

 

This work was supported by NASA Applied Sciences’ Earth Science Division’s Western Water Applications Office ( WWAO) and the NASA Terrestrial Hydrology Program. WWAO’s mission is to improve how water is managed in the arid western United States, and the tool is part of a portfolio of water projects that use the power of remote sensing to deliver new solutions on issues such as drought, snowpack, and water supplies.

 

“We know from our water partners in the western United States that there is a critical need for soil moisture data,” explained Indrani Graczyk, manager of WWAO. “This project was a great opportunity to partner with the USDA to get NASA data directly into the hands of farmers, and we were happy to support it.”

 

SMAP data, the foundation for Crop-CASMA, draw from the topsoil and rootzone levels, or from the surface to roughly 3 feet (1 meter) underground. Raw SMAP data have a 36-kilometer (roughly 20-mile) spatial resolution, meaning each data “footprint” is about the size of a county. The team also developed a data analysis method to estimate a higher-resolution soil moisture product using SMAP and land surface data, giving users information at 1-kilometer (0.62-mile) resolution.

 

Having the data in finer resolution allows users to more accurately pinpoint areas of high or low moisture, Yang explained. “Our current reports are at the state level,” Yang said. “One state may be categorized on average as ‘wet,’ but the whole state might not actually be wet. These new data deliver localized moisture readings – this is what matters to the farmer.”

 

Crop-CASMA was developed in cooperation with the Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems (CSISS) at GMU, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). JPL manages the SMAP mission for NASA, and Goddard produces the SMAP 9-km rootzone and 1-km surface soil moisture products. Hosted and maintained by the CSISS, the online tool is operated by NASS’s Research and Development Division.

 

“We are very happy with the research collaboration between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA JPL, and GMU, and the project coordination of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, and thank them for their support in bringing cutting-edge technology into USDA operations,” said Yang.

 

This collaboration is part of a larger, recently-signed agreement between USDA and NASA to jointly strengthen agricultural and Earth science research.

 

“Having the SMAP soil moisture data going directly to the users at NASS realizes one of the key goals of the mission,” said Simon Yueh, SMAP project scientist at JPL. “A strong collaboration between NASA and USDA has made this possible.”

 

###

NASS is the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture and is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

 

Debra K. Kenerson

State Statistician, USDA/NASS TN Field Office

Nashville, Tennessee

Phone:  615-891-0903

Email:  debra.kenerson@usda.gov

 


 

Local Creamery names Business & Marketing Director

 

Shop Springs Creamery, a locally owned and operated dairy creamery located in rural Wilson County, is pleased to announce Jessica Schriver as the company’s new Director of Business and Marketing.

 

Schriver, originally from Peachtree City, Georgia and recent graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, is excited about her new position and looks forward to reaching out in the Lebanon, Wilson County communities.

 

“This is a great opportunity, and I am excited about growing our foot print in the middle Tennessee market,” commented Schriver about her new position.

 

Although her passions are now rooted in Tennessee agriculture, she grew up in the horse industry just southwest of Atlanta and was heavily involved in all breeds of cattle. During her high school years, she began a career with Chick-fil-A, starting as a team member and was quickly promoted to leadership as a coordinator, and then a director upon her high school graduation. Her desire to pursue a career within agriculture brought her to Middle Tennessee State University.

 

“MTSU offered studies in an area that I was very familiar with and my passion has always been in agriculture. It was a natural choice for me to pursue my degrees at Middle Tennessee State University,” she added.

 

During her time at MTSU, Jessica held leadership roles within the Block & Bridle Club, the Equestrian Team, the Dairy Show Team, and the Agriculture Ambassadors. She also had the opportunity to intern for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, learn about the feed industry and work for Lascassas Feed Supply.

 

Following her love of dairy cattle, she became student farm manager for the MTSU Dairy. She graduated with a bachelor’s in Animal Science and then went on to earn her master’s degree in agricultural education leadership as a graduate teaching assistant for Dr. Alanna Vaught and Dr. Jessica Carter.

 

Schriver currently resides in and plans on remaining a life-long resident of Milton, TN, with her fiancé, Chad Young. Outside of their professional lives, the couple assists with the Young family’s cow calf and hay operation.  She also enjoys ranch riding, working cow horses and reining—actively competing at local stock horse shows.

She is actively involved within the agriculture industry of Middle Tennessee. She currently serves on the Tennessee Stock Horse Association Board of Directors, is the chairman of the Rutherford County Young Farmers and Ranchers, a member of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s ACE Team, and an industry advisor for LaVergne High School FFA.

 

Shop Springs Creamery offers homemade ice cream and other dairy products produced in the Shop Springs community of Wilson County, TN. A family farm committed to producing a wholesome nutritious product with your family in mind. Shop Springs Creamery is located at 2816 Sparta Pike and offers homemade ice cream by the scoop or in larger containers. In December of 2020, they began bottling milk and other dairy products for distribution at their store and in local markets. For more information about Shop Springs Creamery, check out their website at www.shopspringscreamery.com.

 

Please let me know if you need anything else!

 

Looking forward to working with you!

 

 

 


 

 

 

UTIA Career Opportunity Extension Specialist…

(Click below to view/download)

 

 

 


 

 

USDA Disaster Assistance Toolkit for Winter Storms

 

Winter storms create significant challenges and often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers, especially for those raising livestock, row crops and vulnerable crops like citrus.

 

Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, many agricultural operations suffered losses. When disaster strikes, USDA is here to help.

 

As agricultural producers move into recovery mode and assess damages, they should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to assist in their recovery from crop, land, infrastructure and livestock losses and damages.

 

In an effort to further amplify disaster assistance programs that can help producers recover, I am sharing a social media toolkit and corresponding graphic images for use as you deem appropriate.

 

Attached, you will find a toolkit document containing suggested messages for use on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Additionally, I have attached image files that have been designed and formatted specifically for use with the each of the previously listed social media platforms.

 

Thank you in advance for any support you can provide in getting these messages to your audiences thorough your social media accounts.

 

Please contact me if you have questions or need additional information.

 

Respectfully,

Greer Gill

Public Affairs / Outreach Coordinator

Farm Service Agency – USDA

Tennessee State Office

615-277-2615 office

855-494-7764 fax

Greer.Gill@usda.gov

 

(Click below to view/download the toolkit)

 

 


 

Review of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Continues

 (Click the image below to read the full bulletin)


 

 


 

 


 

 

USDA FSA would like to remind our state partners that we offer several disaster assistance options to help producers recover after they are impacted by severe weather, including those impacted by winter storms and extreme cold.

 

Our national office is working on a toolkit with social media posts and newsletter articles, but in the meantime I wanted to send the below link so you all can review the programs that we offer if you get any calls from producers. Just click on “Learn More About How USDA Can Help.”

 

A friendly reminder to producers is how critical it is to keep accurate records to document the losses and illnesses following this devastating cold weather event. Livestock producers are advised to document beginning livestock numbers by taking photos or videos of any losses. Other common documentation options include:


  • Purchase records
  • Production records
  • Vaccination records
  • Bank or other loan documents
  • Third-party certification
 

Thank you,

Greer Gill

Public Affairs / Outreach Coordinator

Farm Service Agency – USDA

Tennessee State Office

615-277-2615 office

855-494-7764 fax

Greer.Gill@usda.gov

 
   

Tennessee USDA NRCS Sets March 26 Application Cutoff for FY 2022 CSP Renewals

 

NASHVILLE, February 12, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee is accepting Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) renewal applications through Friday, March 26, 2021 to be considered for FY 2022 funding.

 

Current CSP participants who believe they are eligible should contact their local NRCS office on or before the March 26th application deadline.

 

Participants with existing CSP contracts expiring on December 31, 2021 can renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. 2017-1 CSP contract holders will be eligible for renewal in FY22.


The full news release below…

 

   
   

USDA NRCS in Tennessee Announces Application Deadline for FY2021 Conservation Stewardship Program-Classic

 

Deadline to Apply is March 26, 2021

 

NASHVILLE, February 5, 2021 – The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging Tennessee agricultural producers who want to enhance current conservation effort to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)-Classic, formerly known as CSP-General.

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

 

Click the image below to read news release

 

 


 

 

We will be continuing the Dairy Webinar Wednesday series in 2021 on the second Wednesday of each month from 12pm to 1pm EST. These meetings will count toward Master Dairy Credit for 2021. Below is the schedule for the first 4 months. The agenda is also attached. Please register for FREE at https://ww2021.questionpro.com.

Feel free to contact me with any questions,

Liz

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

 


 

TDPA 2021 Annual Meeting

 

(Click on the photos to enlarge)

 

 


 

An Economic Analysis of Appalachian Southeast Marketing

 

 

 

Analysis of Southeast Federal Milk Marketing Orders in Appalachian Regions

 

 


 

 

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!

Liz

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

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

 

 


 

 

NEWS RELEASE

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

MILK MARKETING BOARD

 

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?

https://mediasite.utk.edu/UTK/Play/03057f82a9ed4c2a9639ffd7b4282cb61d?catalog=5d5f6cf2f2fc432d9ffca6bbe895694a21

 

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).

 

Value-added:

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

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

asen6@vols.utk.edu


 

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

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TOOLKIT PDF

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

Greer.Gill@usda.gov


 

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!

Liz

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.

About Agri-AFC, LLC

Agri-AFC is a joint venture between Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC) and WinField United, which formed in 2003. WinField United is an entity of Land O’Lakes. This joint venture provides more competitively-priced crop inputs, and a wider product selection, along with almost 90 years of customer service and expertise in the southeast. Agri-AFC is headquartered in Decatur, Alabama and employs over 325 employees in Alabama, Southwest Georgia, Southern Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle.

 

About Tennessee Farmers Cooperative

Tennessee Farmers Cooperative (TFC) is the regional farm supply and service organization serving member Co-ops in Tennessee and the surrounding areas. Co-op, recognized as one of the strongest federated farm supply cooperative systems in the nation, includes TFC and the 52 member Co-ops and 11 associate members in neighboring states that own TFC. At its foundation are the roughly 70,000 farmers who are member-owners of the local Co-ops in their home counties. Some 164 Co-op retail outlets, which operate in 84 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, and across the border in five neighboring states, serve more than half a million customers.

About Alabama Farmers Cooperative
Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc. (AFC) was organized in Decatur, Alabama in 1936 and is a cooperative in the truest sense of the word. AFC is governed by local, farmer-owned cooperatives with a Board of Directors consisting of farmers who actively participate in the agricultural growth of Alabama and Northwest Florida. Through diversity and strong leadership, AFC has grown to become one of the largest farmer-owned agriculture related businesses in the Southeast operating 34 member Co-ops with over 60 retail locations.

About WinField United
WinField United is the seed, crop protection products, agricultural services and agronomic insights business of Land O’Lakes, Inc. As an industry leader, the business focuses on meeting the needs of nearly 1,300 locally owned and operated cooperative and independent agricultural retailers and their grower-customers across the United States. Through data-backed, insight-driven agronomics; operational excellence; and sustainable solutions delivered under the WinField® United brand, the business helps retailers successfully meet farmers’ needs.

Additional Information:

 Introductory Video posted by GreenPoint AG
 
Article published at Ag Professional, written by Margy Eckelkamp
 

 

Billion-Dollar Agronomy Business Merger

The new GreenPoint AG will include all operations of Agri-AFC’s wholesale and retail business, GreenPoint AG’s r…

More information will be shared as it becomes available.
 
Until later,

Julie 

 

 


 

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

FINANCIAL RELIEF FOR AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTRY
BUSINESSESANNOUNCED

 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.

Prayerfully,

Julie 

 

 

 

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.

 

Thanks!

Liz

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

 


 


 

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

 


 

Form for Dairy Employees and Industry Infrastructure

 

Self-Certify as Critical Infrastructure Industry:

There have been a handful of reports that local authorities in at least two states have stopped trucks carrying food products from entering or leaving quarantined zones. To ensure our dairy industry is able to do its job in service to the nation, IDFA (International Dairy Foods Association) suggests your company use the form attached to self-certify your employees or shipments as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Print the form on official company letterhead (your own or that of your transportation provider), print a copy, sign the document where indicated, and ask the employee or driver to keep it on-hand to provide to authorities should they stop individuals or vehicles from carrying out their duties.

Download the form here.

Thank you,

Farrah Newberry
Executive Director
GA Milk Producers, Inc.
706-310-0020 (office)
706-207-0168 (cell)

 


 

The National Milk Producers Federation has developed a permission letter for farms to give to employees traveling to and from the dairy during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Click here for the letter.

Please feel free to use and print on your letterhead.  I have not heard of any issues in Georgia regarding employees and Covid-19, but it is important to stay prepared.

I have also posted the letter and additional COVID-19 information on our website at https://www.gamilk.org/covid-19

Please feel free to contact me with any questions and concerns.  I will continue to send out information as I receive it. 

Sincerely,
Farrah Newberry
Executive Director
GA Milk Producers, Inc.
706-310-0020 (office)
706-207-0168 (cell)
gamilk.org

 


 

Video Recordings and UTDairy Resources

 

Good afternoon everyone,

Thank you again for so many of you logging in and joining us for our first online speaker series. Y’all asked some great questions, and we plan to offer more of these in the future. The Video Recordings have been posted to our UT Dairy Resources page https://ag.tennessee.edu/AnimalScience/UTDairy/Pages/Resources.aspx under “Video Resources”. Be sure to look around our resources page for any other information you may need.

I am also including direct links to the video recordings below:

 

Changing the Game with Dairy Data – Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, Alltech

jbewley@alltech.com or (270) 855-1139

 

Common Things Done Uncommonly Well That Impact Milk Quality – Dr. John Laster, DVM

jlaster722@gmail.com or (270) 839-9157

 

Turning Over a New Leaf on Forage Quality and Management – John Winchell, Alltech 

jwinchell@alltech.com or (585) 477-1468

 

For any questions or find out more about Alltech, you can contact me, any of the speakers, or Elizabeth Lunsford (elunsford@alltech.com) or (859) 553-0072.

Thank you all, and stay safe!

Elizabeth Eckelkamp, PhD PAS

Dairy Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

 


 

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

(https://ag.tennessee.edu/AnimalScience/UTDairy/Pages/Resources.aspx).

 

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

eeckelka@utk.edu

office: (865) 974-8167

cell: (337) 718-9764

 


 

 


 

UT Workshop to Help Farmers Identify Value-Added Dairy Opportunities

 


 

 

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

 


 

 

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.