H Barlow named Executive Director of Kentucky Dairy Development Council


Source: News Release from KDDC, written by Eunice Schlappi


H H Barlow  III,  a life-long dairy farmer from Barren County, has been selected to lead the Kentucky Dairy Development Council (KDDC) as the new Executive Director as of May 1. He follows Maury Cox, who retired at the end of February after holding the position for the past 10 years.

H and his wife, Kathy own and operate Barlu Dairy in Cave City and are currently milk 120 Jerseys. They have four adult children – Gini Lin, Brad, JP and Josh.  They also have 14 grandchildren.  They are members of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Glasgow.

Mr. Barlow graduated from the University of Kentucky and has worked for 34 years in feeds sales in addition to his dairy farm.  He is a past board member for the KY Agricultural Development Board; he served on the KY Agricultural Council; he was chosen to serve on the U.S. Board for International Food & Agricultural Development; he was the chair of the founding committee for the KDDC and served on the KDDC board six years; he served on the Lone Star Milk Cooperative board of directors for 11 years; and he  served on the ADA of KY/SUDIA board for 11 years.

When asked why he wanted to become the KDDC Executive Director, H stated that he is very passionate about the dairy industry, always has been.   He plans to work with the four KDDC dairy consultants to help improve the profitability and sustainability of Kentucky’s dairy farm families.   He fully understands the challenges that dairy farmers are facing but is very hopeful for future improved conditions within the industry.  He plans to working closely with Kentucky’s dairy farmers, Governor’s Office of Ag Policy, KY Dept of Agriculture and all allied industry relating to dairy.  He feels that teamwork and networking will be a key part of the job as he moves forward in this new position and is looking forward to working with all of Kentucky’s dairy industry.

Congratulations H H Barlow, III!



Shamrock’s Virginia Expansion increases Milk needed 4x; adds $24 Million to area Ag Economy!

8448_Shamrock_Brown_F$24 Million dollars will be infused into the southeast / mid-Atlantic region’s farm economy, with the most impact on Virginia.

Quadrupling the milk purchased by a processing plant is expected;  MD-VA Producers Co-operative is the supplier, and their producers should benefit.

78 new jobs.

$40 Million invested in new processing facilities, expanding Shamrock’s facility in Augusta County, VA after only 2.5 years of operation.

In a region and an industry sorely needing new milk processing capacity, Shamrock Farms has created a lightning bolt of excitement and optimism in the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia for farms and economic developers alike.

Following is a ‘digest’ of various local and national reports and highlights from each as the news broke on March 29 and 30, 2017.

Press release from the VA Governor’s Office: How public development funds played a role:

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Augusta County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $400,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, administered by VDACS.  The company will also receive a $400,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing companies, to assist the County with the project.  Shamrock Farms will also be eligible to receive sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

From the Staunton, VA News Leader:

The expansion will more than double its production capacity, rapidly growing the Shamrock Farms brand, a release said. Once completed, Shamrock Farms will employ more than 120 people at that location. The expansion will increase filling capacity and expand product varieties, sizes and formats.

Shamrock Farms, the creator of Rockin’ Refuel and mmmmilk, is a 95-year old dairy company owned by a single family, the McClellands.  The company has Arizona roots, and still operate their own dairy farm. Shamrock has built a nationwide shelf presence with its innovative dairy products, featuring packaging designed for fast-food and convenience stores.  In recent years, they’ve focused on higher protein drinks to meet consumer expectations.

Shamrock’s statement on the expansion acknowledges the ‘milk as a beverage’ concept:

“As a company we’re always looking for ways to grow and innovate,” said Ann Ocaña, Chief Marketing Officer for Shamrock Farms. “The expansion gives us the capacity and the technology to meet growing demand, expand our offerings and propel milk-based beverages into the future.”

A Waynesboro, VA news publication, the News Virginian, issued an article,  with the following:

Augusta County Board of Supervisors Chairman Tracy Pyles said Shamrock “is a cornerstone in Mill Place Commerce Park and a strong asset to the agricultural community of the commonwealth  . . .  “We have a good location and great workers,” he said. “It’s not a surprise they are expanding.”

Dairy Reporter also shared the news to a worldwide readership.

This Shamrock plant is located along the Interstate 81 Corridor, just southwest of Harrisonburg, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.  This area is one of the southeast’s largest dairy communities.

This plant has only been open since October of 2014, with MD-VA Milk Producers Cooperative as its exclusive supplier.  The company has enjoyed rapid growth for its product line and markets on the East Coast.  Nationwide, Shamrock serves more than 50,000 quick service restaurants and 36,000 c-stores and groceries.  The company has also added Cold Brew Coffee and Milk to its offerings.

All of the public and private parties, which include:

  1. the farmers who produce the high quality milk,
  2. Md-Va Milk Cooperative which supplies the plant,
  3. Local and state governments, and
  4. Shamrock itself

deserve an enormous amount of credit for an extraordinary team effort which fostered this expansion!

As exciting as this announcement is, no one knows better than the dairy industry itself that more plants are needed, provided innovative products continue to come to the market place.  The need for processing capacity is one thing, the ability to process or manufacture a milk-based product for which there is enough market demand is the even bigger – but very necessary – challenge to overcome.

As for now, Shamrock has provided a bit of inspiration and excitement.

Congratulations, Team Shamrock in the Southeast!!  Well done!  We look forward to watching your market grow!

DFA Defendants Settle in SE Milk Litigation: $140 Million+, Market Changes, Increased Transparency, Open Documents

DFA Defendants Settle Pre-Trial In SE Milk Litigation:

$140 Million Lump Sum plus $18.6 million in Increased Prices for Utilization, Marketplace Changes, Transparency, Open Documents


At the 11th Hour with Trial looming, a proposed Settlement Agreement in the Southeast Milk Litigation has been reached by Dairy Farmer Plaintiffs and DFA & related defendants.   Appropriate motions and documents were filed with the Court on Monday, January 21, and approved by the Court this morning, January 22.


The proposed settlement blends the elements of a $140 Million monetary settlement, market changes to improve utilization, resolution to opt-out of block voting to be voted on by DFA membership, and increased transparency in DFA practices.  Highlights of the agreement include, but are not limited to, the following:


a.)   The $140 Million monetary settlement will be payable in one lump sum to Class Members immediately following a claims period, similar to the Dean/SMA claims process.   $70 Million will come from Defendant DFA, $50 Million from National Dairy Holdings, and $20 Million from Mid-Am Capital.


b.)   Injunctive relief in the marketplace designed to raise Class I utilization in FMMO’s 5 & 7, coupled with an $18.6 million penalty account to be placed in escrow. If utilization goals aren’t achieved per benchmarks and dates outlined in the agreement, the escrow funds will be distributed to the class at varying levels.


c.)   Some of the previously sealed documents will be opened for public review per a Spring 2012 motion.


d.)   DFA will reconfigure member milk checks to reflect revenues, agency deductions, applicable premiums, deductions, or incentives, mailbox price, and the avg. Federal Order blend price for member’s pay zone.


e.)   Resolutions will be presented at next DFA annual meeting to disclose compensation and incentives for top five senior executives, along with per diem compensations of Board members.


f.)    Resolution or consideration whether DFA members should be permitted to opt out of DFA’s block vote, consistent with Senate Bill 457 (Democracy for Dairy Producers Act of 2011).


g.)   Resolution will be proposed at next DFA annual meeting for increased transparency and options in the DFA/SEAC election process.


Typical of Settlement Agreements, the Defendants admitted no guilt. With this $140 Million Settlement, plus the $18.6 in price increases added to the previous $145 Dean Foods/SMA monetary settlement, there was a recovery of 73% of estimated damages. According to class-action experts, this is an extraordinary financial recovery of damages. Typical Class Action pre-trial settlements average 20% recovery.  Both parties faced inherent risks if they proceeded to trial. 


More information will be forthcoming as Settlement Agreements are more closely analyzed and examined.  A Fairness Hearing, at which farmers will be allowed to speak, has been scheduled for April 3rd at 10:00 a.m.


The official court-monitored website is www.southeastdairyclass.com. The Settlement Proposal and Class Notices will be found there in the next few days.


Farmers,  consumers, and interested parties are invited and welcome to post comments at this site.