Dairyland Classic set for Madison, GA from Sept 28 through Oct. 1

Five breed shows, showmanship and TAG sale included in event

MADISON, Ga. — Dubbed ‘Little Madison,’ the historic charm and southern hospitality, not to mention nice prizes and healthy premiums, await dairy show enthusiasts at the third annual Dairyland Classic September 28 through October 1 at the Morgan County Ag Center in Madison, Georgia.

The show committee is thrilled to have Michael Creek of Boonsboro, Maryland judging five breeds — Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss — and showmanship this year. 

The Dairyland Classic is an open show for junior, youth and collegiate showmanship — open to all states — and typically draws breeders, exhibitors and quality cattle from eight states to historic Morgan County, where event organizers have created what past exhibitors describe as a competitive and enjoyable event.

This includes a southern hospitality exhibitor dinner on Thursday evening, Sept. 29, complete with milk, cheese and ice cream from local creameries.

New this year is a TAG Sale, with entry $150 per animal. Barns open at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 and the TAG Sale animals must be in place by Noon. The TAG sale begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 and ends at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30.

Youth showmanship is Friday, Sept. 30, with the popular jackpot showmanship at the conclusion.

Saturday, Oct. 1 is the day for type classes judged by Mike Creek. Heifer classes will rotate through the five breeds beginning at 9:00 a.m., followed by the cow classes rotating through the five breeds, and ending with the Supreme pageant.

Subject to change based on funding, the show premiums expected at this point are: $2000 for supreme cow, $1000 for reserve; $1000 for supreme heifer, $500 for reserve. Breed champions will receive a specialty award and rosette. Cow class placings range $10 to $80 and heifer class placings $10 to 60 with showmanship premiums ranging $10 to $100.

“Generous sponsorships provide a draw in premiums and include some very nice prizes,” say co-superintendents Jay Moon and Carol Williams, explaining how the show was born with support of sponsors during the Covid-19 pandemic in the fall of 2020, when many other shows, including World Dairy Expo, were canceled.

Organizers are still seeking additional sponsors as well.

An show entry fee of $25.00 per animal is due with entry and must be received by September 1, 2022. After that date, a late entry fee of $30 per head is due, and no entries will be accepted if submitted after September 12, 2022.

Morgan County Ag Center will allow outdoor camping or campers, but there is no power hookup, water or sewage available. Showers are available at the center. Be prepared to bring a mobile milking unit as no milking parlor is available. Initial bedding is provided with additional shavings available for purchase. No straw is permitted.

Entries are to be completed online, but if a paper form is needed, please call to inquire. No entries will be accepted by fax. For mailed entries, the postmark dates apply to the above dates.

Online entries as well as schedules, lodging, TAG sale rules and forms, and other information about the Dairyland Classic are available at this link: https://showman.app/shows?fbclid=IwAR0_gLM8NN-yMyL-HyDR3oHwVKr-t_MT-Drw9zbNCiQoqryoeCbJMXo0I50#/2022-dairyland-classic-dairy-show

Sponsorship information is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MPEeAEzqVvW2d8-nrNVZdmvHQluxByAD/view?fbclid=IwAR2OdrtL_vp3kr4gWHgdTvr4Ip9rNx0is5rcof6S7czwya51VsWQOBF29kA

For questions, please contact Jay Moon at (706) 818-1873 or Dairylandclassicdairyshow@gmail.com

Borden to Close Milk Plants in Dothan, AL and Hattiesburg, MS

Brings total to 6 Borden plants closed, and 3 sold or leased in 5 months

On Wednesday, August 3rd, Borden Dairy, Inc announced that its Dothan, AL and Hattiesburg, MS milk processing plants would cease operations by September 30, 2022.  

This makes a total of 6 processing facilities shuttered by Borden since May of 2022, when Borden closed its Charleston, SC, and Miami, FL plants.

In July of 2022, Borden sold or leased its 3 Texas processing plants to Hiland Dairy.

Additionally, Borden closed a milk processing facility in Chemung, Illinois  (owned jointly by New Dairy Opco, LLC and Select Milk Producers, Inc., as a joint venture called NDSM Holdings), and a milk plant in DePere, WI in early July, 2022.  Sour cream production reportedly continues in DePere.

The sum of this activity is that 9 plants of 14 listed on the Borden website in a ‘fact sheet‘ will have been closed or leased in 5 months! There is no official word on the plans for the remaining 5 plants as of 10 August, 2022, nor of any licensing deals for the iconic Elsie brand.

As further background, New Dairy Opco, LLC, is the entity formed between KKR and Capitol Peak Partners, two private equity firms, to purchase Borden out of the company’s 2020 bankruptcy process.

While there is no specific information yet available, according to industry sources, somewhere between 25-30 dairy farm producers in Georgia will be affected, several in Tennessee, and an unknown number of farms in Alabama and Mississippi.  

Borden products have a distribution area which covers a wide swath of the lower southeast, including the Gulf’s coastal tourist areas. The Dutch Chocolate is a favorite of milk connoisseurs, and their recent introductions of flavored milks have received great reviews.

It will take some time to sort out all of the farm related ripple effects – beginning with independent producers as well as co-op members shipping to those plants, and extended to the milk haulers delivering to those plants.  Eventually, in this regional ag economy, agribusiness and suppliers will be affected as well. To what degree is unknown, until producers find new cost-feasible markets for their milk. Transportation costs in particular will be a factor in market change decisions for producers.

Beginning with the Charleston closure, and continuing through the Illinois and Wisconsin closures, there has been quite an effect on school milk contracts which had to be reorganized.

What will be the fate of Elsie, Borden’s iconic cow? That’s really hard to know at the moment, but six plants closed in 5 months time is a huge point of concern.  

The southeast is quickly becoming a ‘milk desert,’  which is defined as a region of significant population with limited access to nearby farms which produce nutrient dense foods, and in this case, that’s milk. 

With all of the supply chain disruptions and milk transport issues we’ve seen over the past three years, how are southeast consumers going to be served in the future with the goodness of milk’s essential nutrients?  This is a big picture question which needs to be considered in the name of food security for an area with 25% of the nation’s population.

Borden plant closures are increasing the evolution of ‘milk deserts’ in the Southeast