Free yard signs offered, grassroots effort continues promoting whole milk’s immune boosting nutrition

Bernie Morrissey has boxes of signs getting a bit of a makeover, assembled and available – free – in the Morrissey Insurance vestibule at 890 North Reading Road, Ephrata, Pa., or by visiting Wenger’s of Myerstown or Sensenig’s Feed Mill, New Holland during business hours. “Take only what you will place. They are free,” says Morrissey.

By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, January 18, 2021

EPHRATA, Pa. – Now that elections are over, and five more years of Dietary Guidelines were recently announced with the comment period concluded and thousands of comments disregarded — the Whole Milk – School Lunch Choice – Citizens for Immune Boosting Nutrition yard signs are getting a makeover.

The action word “Vote” on the campaign-style yard signs that began popping up last fall has been changed to “Drink”, but the message and reference to 97milk.com remain the same.

These are signs to make people aware of two things:

1) Whole milk is still not allowed as a school lunch choice under current federal rules, and

2) Whole milk is the best way to get Vitamin D and other immune boosting nutrition for children and elderly, whose diets are most controlled by the fat-free and low-fat rules of yet another round of 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines.

Retired agribusinessman Bernie Morrissey has changed 300 available signs printed with the financial sponsorship of Morrissey Insurance of Ephrata and Troy, Pa.; Sensenig’s Feed Mill, New Holland; and Wenger’s of Myerstown.

“Our main message is the same,” says Morrissey. “News reports increasingly mention vitamin D supporting the immune system in this time of coronavirus pandemic. Even national broadcasts bring on specialists citing research showing the vital role of vitamin D. The best way to get vitamin D is in whole milk, but our children are not permitted to choose whole milk at school. They can only choose fat-free and 1% low-fat milk, according to the federal government’s dietary rules.”

In fact, according to a recent health report aired on several major broadcasting networks, dozens of studies have identified the importance of vitamin D in relation to Covid-19. Even before the pandemic, the medical community identified vitamin D as a nutrient deficiency of concern among Americans.

A huge new study is underway to test causation between higher vitamin D levels and prevention of deaths due to Covid-19 after several smaller studies showed nine out of 10 deaths could have been prevented with adequate vitamin D levels.

Winter and spring are the seasons of concern with Covid-19, and it is the time when vitamin D deficiency is most prevalent, say health professionals in countless interviews.

Vitamin D is one of several fat-soluble vitamins in milk. Vitamin D occurs naturally in the milk fat at some level but is also fortified in milk — and has been for decades because of the longstanding concern about vitamin D deficiency and the importance of vitamin D in conjunction with calcium for strong bones and overall health.

A study at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto, Canada, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2017, showed children who drank whole milk had up to three times higher absorbed levels of vitamin D compared with children drinking 1% low-fat milk. This study also showed that children drinking whole milk were leaner. They had 40% less risk of becoming overweight than children drinking low-fat milk.

Another study there showed children drinking only non-cow’s milk plant and nut alternatives, which are also fortified with added vitamin D, were twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D. In fact, the pediatrician researchers stated that, “Among children who drank non-cow’s milk, every additional cup of non-cow’s milk was associated with a five percent drop in vitamin D levels per month.”

“What we are doing with the yard signs and Drink Whole Milk 97% Fat Free painted hay bales and banners and the efforts of the 97 Milk education group with their website and social media is all working. The yard signs focus on the nutritional message for our children and elderly that the Dietary Guidelines ignore, which is the immune boosting nutrition of whole milk,” says Morrissey, also pointing out the benefits of whole milk for maintaining a healthy weight and stabilizing metabolism.

“This is a slow process to get things changed in Washington and Harrisburg, but we’re working on it,” he adds, praising the combined efforts of the Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee and 97 Milk, as well as all the many people and agribusinesses supporting both grassroots efforts initiated by dairy farmers.

Morrissey said the 300 Drink Whole Milk – School Lunch Choice – Citizens for Immune Boosting Nutrition – 97milk.com yard signs are available in the vestibule at Morrissey Insurance at 890 North Reading Road, Ephrata, Pa. Signs are also available at Sensenig’s Feed Mill, New Holland and Wenger’s of Myerstown during business hours.

“These yard signs are free because of the three businesses that paid for them – Morrissey, Sensenig’s and Wenger’s. Come and get them, but take only what you will place,” says Morrissey, wanting to be sure signs are put out for others to see, and learn and question and get involved.

Producers and other businesses wanting to sponsor the continued printing of more yard signs, or those with questions about how to participate from other areas, contact Bernie Morrissey from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 610.693.6471.

Find even more good news about whole milk and dairy foods at 97milk.com

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A plea for Eve: ‘She deserves our every consideration. She earned it.’

Eve Project seeks 200,000-pound record for Elevation’s dam: Relocated from Pennsylvania to Canada for trailblazing ET surgery in 1974 left 8th lactation incomplete

For George Miller, Eve is special. He is pictured here at the 2011 National Convention in Virginia. He was recognized in 2019 by Holstein USA for distinguished service, noting his vision, leadership, determination and advocacy for the Holstein cow and the people behind her. Today, at age 94, George is under nursing care, residing with his wife Pippin. (Cards and well wishes can be sent to the Millers at 5675 Ponderosa Drive, Apt. 304, Columbus, OH 43231) Sherry Bunting photo

By Sherry Bunting, published Farmshine, January 15, 2021

BROWNSTOWN, Pa. — Less than 4000 pounds. That’s what separates Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve’s recorded lifetime production from the 200,000-pound mark she is believed to have earned but for the circumstances of her relocation and donor cow surgery at the peak of her eighth lactation.

Aptly named ‘Eve’, the dam of the one and only Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation has touched over 95% of the Holstein breed — given Elevation’s more than 100,000 recorded offspring and around 9 million descendants, worldwide.

In fact, her son’s growing impact was part of the reason she was relocated for several months in 1974 from her last owners in Pennsylvania to Modern Ova Trends, Norval, Ontario, Canada for superovulation and embryo recovery transfer surgery to attempt a multiple repeat of the mating that had produced Elevation a decade earlier.

That move at 12 years of age, in peak lactation, created a lapse in milk recording that shorted Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve’s lifetime record to be 3,970 pounds shy of the 200,000-pound mark at 196,030M 4.1 8070F. 

This shortfall is believed to be milk Eve made, or would have made, in the second part of her eighth lactation had she not been a trailblazer. She was housed several months mainly with beef animals as the only lactating animal in a facility without milk-recording and submitted to embryo transfer, which in those days was major surgery, especially for an aged lactating cow.

Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve EX94 4E was making 100 pounds of milk a day when pictured in September 1971 at Willsholm Holsteins, Berlin, Pa. at around age 8. She had already had at least two lactations over 1000 pounds of fat by that point. Photo courtesy

Bred by the Ron Hope family of Round Oak Farms, Purcellville, Virginia, Eve produced Elevation in 1965 at age 3. She was sold at age 8 in the 1970 Round Oak dispersal to the late Calvin Will of Willsholm Holsteins, Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The sale occurred when her son was still a young sire, before his prowess for transmitting that rare combination of production, conformation, fertility, and longevity had the world clamoring for Elevation.  

For 2019 Holstein USA distinguished service award winner George Miller, Eve is special. 

George Miller spent his lifelong career in Holstein genetics, 17 years with Virginia Artificial Breeders Association (VaABA), which merged to become part of Select Sires, Inc., with Miller serving as director of marketing from 1973 through retirement. 

Miller grew up helping at his uncle’s Round Oak farm and had early involvement with his cousin Ron Hope’s development of the Holstein herd, even while earning his Master of Science at Virginia Tech. Recognized as instrumental in directing the development of ‘do-it-yourself’ insemination programs to propel A.I. and genetic progress cost-effectively for dairy farmers, Miller’s keen eye for cattle and knowledge of bulls as a sire analyst in those early days of A.I., led to his participation in a series of decisions at Round Oak.

Key decisions included the purchase of Ivanhoe semen in Lancaster, Pa. in 1958, which led to the mating that produced Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve as well as Miller’s suggested mating of Eve to Tidy Burke Elevation that produced Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation.

The rest, as they say, is history, except for a bit of unfinished business for Eve.

During a December 2020 conversation between two 1974-78 University of Guelph classmates, the Eve Project was born. The Eve Project is a proposal to Holstein Associations USA and Canada, requesting Eve’s legacy be reviewed for special consideration of her lifetime milk record based on her circumstances in 1974.

Not long ago, Miller inquired about Eve’s production record. Miller, 94, has been retired from Select Sires since 1996, but continued active in Holstein genetics. He is currently in nursing care, residing with his wife Pippin at Friendship Village in Columbus, Ohio. Eve is on his mind. 

A close friend Mark Comfort, co-founder of Udder Comfort and founder of Transfer Genetics, which became TransCanada Select Sires, Ontario, discovered last month that there is more to Eve’s story after communicating with classmate John Birks of Modern Ova Trends, Via Pax Corp Ltd., and TRIAD ET Ltd., Ontario.

As a college student, Birks was a weekend herdsman for Modern Ova Trends in 1974. He remembers Eve as the “iron lady” because of her strength, production and easy going, undaunted nature.

Birks also began looking into Eve’s production record, recently finding that almost half of her eighth lactation is missing.

In a December 2020 letter to Holstein Associations USA and Canada, Birks makes the strong case. Unlike many cows that had trouble coming back after what was major ET surgery, Eve not only continued to milk, she went on to breed back and have a ninth lactation at 14 years of age!

The Eve Project is simply a request to respect her legacy and review her production history, “that she may be awarded the 200,000-pound lifetime record, which she deserves,” Comfort relates in an email.

“George and Eve have influenced the Holstein breed,” Comfort explains. He says Miller’s impact on him and others of the Select Sires family “is absolutely appreciated. We are thankful for the influence he has had on our lives, causing us to be better people. His ideals and principles are second to none.”

Gathered in 1979 to commemorate Elevation at Select Sires, Plain City, Ohio are (l-r) Ronald and Marjorie Hope of Round Oak; Robert H. Rumler, executive secretary Holstein Association USA; Richard Chichester, Select Sires general manager; and George A. Miller, Select Sires director of marketing. Photo courtesy Select Sires

At the same time, Miller’s work with Eve touched so many in the Holstein breed.

Nowadays, a breeder can request a ‘special consideration’ waiver from the DHIA company to calculate unrecorded milk for sick cows or traveling cows for up to two milk tests of up to 75 days each. If Eve were alive today, relocating for surgery or traveling on extended show circuit, a qualified waiver could be requested and potentially approved.

In retrospect, this is all that would be needed to account for her time off-test during the ET work in Canada; however, Eve lived almost half a century ago.

“George thinks the Eve project is a long shot, but his love for this cow is undeniable,” Comfort says, relating a recent conversation in which Miller recalled visiting Eve at Willsholm after she returned from Canada.

He had been impressed with her care and how beautiful she looked at 14, how she had thrived after the surgery, breeding back with a Fond Matt bull calf.

“This is a testament to her iron will. All we want is a chance to be heard, to plead our case. In my letter to the associations, I emphasized that Eve had a major surgical procedure. Few people today realize how challenging surgical embryo recovery was then,” writes Birks in an email, listing several top-of-mind examples of high-profile Holsteins that died shortly after this surgery.

Birks observes that Eve’s time under care for ET surgery in Canada easily equates to the special consideration given today to sick cows or show cows away from home for extended periods of time.

“The reality is, Eve did produce these 4000 pounds of milk during her several-month relocation,” writes Birks in his letter. “Please focus on Eve’s eighth lactation starting June 26, 1973, which is recorded as 181 days, 14,949 pounds 4.2% ending January 23, 1974. Obviously, this is an incomplete record, but there is a logical and verifiable reason.” 

Birks explains that in the second half of 1973, two embryo transfer facilities were established in Canada, one being Modern Ova Trends. They were initiated to fill a North American demand to reproduce exotic beef imports from Europe. The technology was equally applicable to dairy cattle, but new.

“The owners of Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve chose to submit her to this ground-breaking, cutting edge procedure. In January or February 1974 at 181 DIM, Eve was sent to Modern Ova Trends… to undergo superovulation and embryo transfer,” Birks writes firsthand as he worked there at the time.

“Eve was attended to by a very capable herdsman, Ron Westgate, a former employee of Romandale Farms Limited. Eve was the only lactating cow at Modern Ova Trends in 1974. Ron and I were hired by Dr. Donald C. Wilson (1941-2020) a veterinarian with G.D Stirk and Associates, Brampton, ON,” Birks recalls, stating that Westgate can “verify Eve was milking during winter and spring. He worked with her daily. I was weekend barn staff.”

Birks goes on to explain that, “Official milk recording was not provided to the embryo transfer industry in Canada until 1977 at Via Pax Corp. Limited Woodbridge, Ontario. It was recognised in 1977 that many seedstock cows were away from home and were absent for two or more official tests leaving gaps in their official records. I know this to be factual because I worked at Via Pax at the time.”

Eve’s ET time in Canada was three years earlier. She arrived in mid-winter 1974, was superovulated in early spring 1974 and inseminated to Tidy Burke Elevation by Modern Ova Trends veterinarian Dr. Casey Ringleberg, now retired, according to Birks, who assisted.

“By today’s ET standards, surgical embryo transfer was a laborious and challenging procedure,” he writes, explaining the procedure in detail in his letter. “Eve recovered and continued to milk. She was also able to return to the U.S…. and completed a ninth lactation starting May 4, 1976. This iron lady finished her career with a 14 year 305-day record of 20,000 pounds and 25,000 pounds in 519 days. With the completion of this record, her official lifetime total is 196,030 pounds.”

Dan Will also has great respect for Eve. He recalls the day 51 years ago when his father paid $11,000 for her at the Round Oak dispersal, where Eve was among 15 Ivanhoe daughters sold.

“That was back when a unit of Elevation was still $1.50 and plentiful. Neighbors thought we were nuts, but she was worth that, probably 20 times over. She helped spark my interest in the registered Holstein business, brought people in the driveway, and made dairy farming very interesting for me. We loved that cow,” Will relates in a Farmshine phone interview this week.

When Elevation earned his Gold Medal on first provings in 1971, Holstein World featured Eve and Elevation on the cover. Courtesy photocopy

From 1970 until 2016, when Dan and his brother John dispersed the Willsholm herd, their North View Farm in Berlin, Pa., was known as “Home of the Eve family.”

Will visited Eve while she was in Canada. “She looked really good and well taken care of,” he recalls.

“She was a tremendous milk cow. She was a strong cow, big framed, a real good eater. The challenge was always to keep the feed in front of her,” Will says. “Eve gave a lot of milk, never kicked, milked out clean in all four quarters. She was a real pleasure to work with. I don’t recall her ever being sick and I don’t recall her ever having mastitis.”

Birks puts the Eve Project into perspective as boiling down to respect.

“Eve left the U.S. at 181 DIM for a procedure that was in the best interests of advancing the Holstein breed. She was absent from her home and official milk recording during the peak of lactation in a country (Canada) and facility (Modern Ova Trends) being submitted to a procedure (superovulation and surgical embryo recovery). Official milk recording was not considered,” Birks explains.

“She was stuck in limbo because she was a trailblazer,” Birks writes. “The stark reality is that the donor population at Modern Ova Trends at the time was almost exclusively European beef imports, many right off the plane or boat, subject to strict quarantine requirements. Eve could not have been sent to an Export/AI herd such as Rowntree Farms Limited for milk recording.”

With a “keen sense of duty to a great cow,” Birks respectfully proposes special consideration for extending the eighth lactation of Eve starting July 26,1973 by a suitable number of tests to “credit this great cow with the additional 4000 pounds. God knows she deserves our every consideration. She earned it,” he writes.

Others have described Eve’s strength in historical writings of the Holstein breed.

During the Century of Holsteins celebration, the Virginia Holstein Association wrote: “No one Holstein animal can claim the impact worldwide as Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation. His dam, Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve (4E-94) was a big, tall, open-ribbed Ivanhoe daughter that traces 20 times to Johanna Rag Apple Pabst.”

Former Loudoun County, Va. extension agent Walter S. McClure, Sr. writes: “Eve was sired by Osborndale Ivanhoe, who was quickly becoming the most exciting bull in the Holstein industry. Over the next few years, I watched her develop into a tremendous cow both in production and type, producing a maternal line 6 generations of Excellent dams.”

McClure was with VABA by 1966 and recalls the day the Holstein Sire Committee agreed to go to Round Oak after the annual field day to see Eve’s yearling son Elevation. “Today, his influence, and that of his dam, is in the pedigree of over 90% of recent Holstein bulls in almost every major dairy country worldwide,” wrote McClure in 2016.

During a 2013 Farmshine interview, Miller recalled the path to Elevation really started for Round Oak with the Hope family’s interest in the line-bred Rag Apple family of Mount Victoria in Quebec. The line descended from owner T.B. Macauley’s purchase of Johanna Rag Apple Pabst in the 1920s.

Eve’s dam came from this line.

“Ivanhoe was the most extreme bull we ever saw,” Miller recalled the stop made in Lancaster at Southeast Pennsylvania Animal Breeder’s Cooperative (which became Atlantic Breeders) on the way to the National Convention in Boston in 1958.

“Ivanhoe was taller and longer, a breed-changer in my opinion. My cousin (Ron Hope) ordered 100 units of Ivanhoe that day for that reason,” said Miller.

Hope had been using two bulls from Glenafton Farms in Canada. One was Glenafton Gaity. “I suggested they breed Gaiety daughters to Ivanhoe. As those Ivanhoe daughters started freshening, they were impressive,” Miller related.

One of those impressive Ivanhoe x Gaity daughters was Eve.

Round Oak’s first significant outcross in 20 years was the mating suggested by Miller of Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve to Tidy Burke Elevation that produced Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation.

In fact, the surgery on Eve at Modern Ova in 1974 was an effort 9 years later to repeat and multiply that breeding. No fertile embryos were recovered.

Eve recovered and thrived according to first-hand accounts of those who cared for and worked with her. The procedures did not keep her from milking. Had she been able to transfer to a facility with milk recording, the remainder of her eighth lactation would have been recorded.

With great respect for George Miller and his love for this beautiful ‘iron lady’, those involved in the Eve Project are hoping the Holstein Association USA and Canada will consider Birks’ letter and proposal. Holstein enthusiasts who are interested or able to provide further details or information are encouraged to contact the association, and/or the Eve Project via John Birks at john.birks@live.com and Mark Comfort at comfort@ripnet.com.  

Fans of Eve are also hoping those associated with the former Pennsylvania DHIA, which Will says did the official milk recording at Willsholm in those days, could posthumously evaluate her eighth lactation for special consideration waiver almost half a century later.

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A Select Sires ad in March 1971 Holstein World featured Eve and Elevation. Volumes have been written about Elevation’s impact, worldwide. Courtesy photocopy
This highway marker in Virginia signifies the birthplace of Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation EX96 Gold Medal, Bull of the Century. Photo courtesy Virginia Holstein Association

U.S. ‘Dietary Guidelines’ released in wake of continued failures, Checkoff and industry organizations ‘applaud’

More than a decade of research on saturated fat is again ignored: A look at the reality of where we are and how we got here.

On the surface, the broad brush language of the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines looks and sounds good. But the devil is in the details.

By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, January 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Make every bite count.” That’s the slogan of the new 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), released Tuesday, December 29 by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS).

In the webcast announcement from Washington, the focus was described as helping Americans meet nutritional needs primarily from nutrient-dense ‘forms’ of foods and beverages. However, because of the continued restriction on saturated fat to no more than 10% of calories, some of the most nutrient-dense foods took the biggest hits.

For example, the 2020-25 DGA executive summary describes the Dairy Group as “including fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese and/or lactose-free versions, and fortified soy beverages and yogurt.” 

Even though the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines exclude important dairy products from the Dairy Food Group and continue to restrict whole milk and full-fat cheese with implications for school meals, the checkoff-funded National Dairy Council says “Dairy organizations applaud.” Screenshot at https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/dairy

At the newly re-launched MyPlate website, exclusions are listed, stating “the Dairy Group does not include foods made from milk that have little calcium and a high fat content, such as cream cheese, sour cream, cream, and butter.”

In fact, the webcast announcement flashed a slide of MyPlate materials showing consumers how to customize favorite meals for so-called ‘nutrient density’. The example was a burrito bowl, before and after applying the DGAs. Two recommended ‘improvements’ were to remove the sour cream and to replace ‘cheese’ with ‘reduced-fat cheese.’

For the first time, the DGAs included recommendations for birth to 2 years of age. The new toddler category is the only age group (up to age 2) where whole milk is recommended.

The 2020-25 DGAs “approve” just three dietary patterns for all stages of lifespan: Heathy U.S., Vegetarian, and Mediterranean. Of the three, two include 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free dairy and one includes 2 to 2.5 cups low-fat and fat-free dairy. Protein recommendations range 2 to 7 ounces. All 3 dietary patterns are heavy on fruits, vegetables and especially grains. 

In short, the DGA Committee, USDA and HHS collectively excluded the entire past decade of research on saturated fat. Throughout the DGA process, many in the nutrition science and medical communities asked the federal government to add another dietary pattern choice that is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein with a less restrictive saturated fat level — especially given the government’s own numbers shared in the Dec. 29 announcement that, today, 60% of adults have one or more diet-related chronic illnesses, 74% of adults are overweight or obese, and 40% of children are overweight or obese.

USDA and HHS shared these statistics during the announcement of the new 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines. The next slide stated the reason for the worsening obesity and chronic diet-related disease rates is that Americans are not following the Guidelines. And yet, this progression has a marked beginning with the 1980s start of Dietary Guidelines and has accelerated in children during the 10 years since USDA linked rules for school and daycare meals more directly to the Guidelines in 2010.

Ultimately, the 2020-25 DGAs fulfilled what appears to be a predetermined outcome by structuring its specific and limiting questions to set up the research review in a way that builds on previous cycles. This, despite letters signed by over 50 members of Congress, hundreds of doctors, as well as a research review conducted by groups of scientists that included former DGA Committee members — all critical of the DGA process. 

As current research points out, saturated fat is not consumed by itself. It is part of a nutrient-dense package that supplies vitamins and minerals the DGA Committee, itself, recognized their approved dietary patterns lack. Full-fat dairy foods and meats have complex fat profiles, including saturated, mono and polyunsaturated fats, CLAs and omegas.

But USDA and HHS chose to ignore the science, and the dairy and beef checkoff and industry organizations ‘applauded.’

National Dairy Council ‘applauds,’ NCBA ‘thrilled’

Both the checkoff-funded National Dairy Council (NDC) and checkoff-funded self-described Beef Board contractor National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) were quick to respond with public statements.

An NCBA spokesperson was quoted in several mainstream articles saying beef producers are “thrilled with the new guidelines affirming lean beef in a healthy diet.”

NDC stated in the subject line of its news release to media outlets that “dairy organizations applaud affirmation of dairy’s role in new Dietary Guidelines.”

The NDC news release stated: “Daily inclusion of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods is recommended in all three DGA healthy dietary patterns. Following the guidelines is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”

The dairy checkoff news release also identified nutrient deficiencies that are improved by consuming dairy but failed to mention how fat in whole milk, full-fat cheese and other dairy products improves nutrient absorption.

Checkoff-funded NDC’s news release described the DGAs as “based on a sound body of peer-reviewed research.” The news release further identified the guidelines’ continued saturated fat limits at no more than 10% of calories but did not take the opportunity to mention the excluded peer-reviewed research showing saturated fat, milkfat, whole milk and full-fat dairy foods are beneficial for health, vitamin D and other nutrient absorption, all-cause mortality, satiety, carbohydrate metabolism, type 2 diabetes and neutral to beneficial in terms of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

They did not take the opportunity to encourage future consideration of the ignored body of research. Even National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) included a fleeting mention of its hopes for future fat flexibility in its own DGA congratulatory news release.

The checkoff-funded NDC news release did reveal its key priority: Sustainability. This topic is not part of the guidelines, but NDC made sustainability a part of their news release about the guidelines, devoting one-fourth of their communication to this point, listing “sustainable food systems” among its “dietary” research priorities, and stating the following:

“While these Guidelines don’t include recommendations for sustainable food systems, the U.S. dairy community has commitments in place to advance environmental sustainability,” the National Dairy Council stated in its DGA-applauding news release. “Earlier (in 2020), the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced the 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals, which include achieving carbon neutrality or better, optimizing water usage and improving water quality.”

(Remember, DMI CEO Tom Gallagher told farm reporters in December that “sustainable nutrition” will be the new phrase. It is clear that the dairy checkoff is on-board the ‘planetary diets’ train).

International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) also issued news releases praising the inclusion of low-fat and fat-free dairy in the DGAs and upholding the guidelines as ‘science-based.’

According to the Nutrition Coalition, and a panel of scientists producing a parallel report showing the nutrient-dense benefits of unprocessed meat and full fat dairy as well as no increased risk of heart disease or diabetes, the 2020-25 DGAs excluded more than a decade of peer-reviewed saturated fat research right from the outset.

The exclusion of a decade or more of scientific evidence sends a clear message from the federal government — the entrenched bureaucracy — that it does not intend to go back and open the process to true scientific evaluation. In this way, the DGAs dovetail right into ‘sustainable nutrition’ and ‘planetary diets’ gradually diluting animal protein consumption as part of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset for food transformationEAT Lancet style.

So, while dairy checkoff is applauding the DGAs, dairy producers are lamenting the way the guidelines rip key products right out of the dairy food group.

Saturated fat and added sugars combined

A less publicized piece of the DGA combines saturated fat and added sugars. In addition to no more than 10% of each, the new DGAs state no more than 15% of any combination of the two.

The 2020-25 DGAs limit saturated fat and added sugar each to 10% of calories; however, both are combined at 15% of daily calories.

This detail could impact the way schools, daycares and other institutional feeding settings manage the calorie levels of both below that 10% threshold to comply with USDA oversight of the combined 15%.

These two categories could not be more different. Saturated fat provides flavor plus nutritional function as part of nutrient-dense foods, whereas added sugar provides zero nutritional function, only flavor. 

USDA and HHS fail

During the DGA webcast announcement, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said: “The new Dietary Guidelines are focused on nutrient dense foods and are based on a robust body of nutritional scientific evidence to make every bite count.”

However, Perdue failed to acknowledge any role for the robust scientific evidence that was completely excluded from consideration in the process, nor did he acknowledge the stacked-against-fat formation of the DGA Committee, especially the subcommittee handling the 2020 dietary fats questions.

Perdue talked about how the guidelines are there to help Americans make healthy choices. He repeatedly used the term “nutrient dense foods” to describe dietary patterns that are notably lacking in nutrient dense foods – so much so that even the DGA Committee admitted in its final live session last summer that the approved dietary patterns leave eaters, especially children and elderly, deficient in key vitamins and minerals.

(Last summer in their final session, members of the DGA Committee said Americans can supplement with vitamin pills, and one noted there are ‘new designer foods’ coming.)

“We are so meticulous and careful about developing the DGAs because we use them to inform food and federal programs,” said Admiral Brett Giroir of HHS during the DGA announcement.

Part of the screening process used by USDA for science that will be included or excluded from Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee consideration is this curious item shown above: “Framed around relevancy to U.S. Federal  Policy”. Committee members in October 2019 asked for more information on this research screening criteria. USDA explained it to them in the public meeting, stating that this bullet item “refers to including only the research that ALIGNS with current federal policy.”

At least Admiral Giroir was honest to remind us that the DGAs are more than ‘guidelines’, the DGAs are, in fact, enforced upon many Americans — especially children, elderly, food insecure families, and military through government oversight of diets at schools, daycares, retirement villages, hospitals, nursing homes, military provisions, and government feeding programs like Women Infants and Children.

“The 2020-25 DGAs put Americans on a path of sustainable independence,” said USDA Food Nutrition Services Deputy Undersecretary Brandon Lipps during the Dec. 29 unveiling.

Lipps was eager to share the new MyPlate website re-launch — complete with a new MyPlate ‘app’ and ‘fun quizzes and challenges.’ He said every American, over their whole lifespan, can now benefit from the DGAs. In addition, the MyPlate ‘app’ will record dietary data for the government to “see how we are doing.”

Congress fails

In the postscript comments of the 2020-25 report, USDA / HHS authorities say they intend to look again at ‘preponderance’ of evidence about stricter sugar and alcohol limits in future DGA cycles but made no mention of looking at ‘preponderance of evidence’ on loosening future saturated fat restrictions.

The ‘preponderance’ threshold was set by Congress in 1990. Then, in 2015, Congress took several steps to beef up the scientific review process for 2020.

During an October 2015 hearing, members of Congress cited CDC data showing the rate of obesity and diabetes in school-aged children had begun to taper down by 9% from 2006 to 2010, but from 2010 to 2014 the rates increased 16%.

2010 was the year Congress passed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act to tie the most fat-restrictive DGAs to-date more closely to the schools and other government-subsidized feeding. 

USDA, under Tom Vilsack as former President Obama’s Ag Secretary at the time promulgated the implementation rules for schools, outright prohibiting whole and 2% milk as well as 1% flavored milk for the first time — even in the a la carte offerings. These ‘Smart Snacks’ rules today govern all beverages available for purchase at schools, stating whole milk cannot be offered anywhere on school grounds from midnight before the start of the school day until 30 minutes after the end of the school day.

In the October 2015 Congressional hearing, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle grilled then Secretaries Tom Vilsack (agriculture) and Sylvia Burwell (HHS) about the Nutrition Evidence Library (NEL) that is housed at USDA, asking why large important studies on saturated fat funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) were left out of the 2015-20 DGA consideration.

That 2015 hearing indicates why we are where we are in 2020 because of how each 5-year cycle is structured to only look at certain questions and to build on previous DGA Committee work. This structure automatically excludes some of the best and most current research. On saturated fat in 2020, the DGA Committee only considered new saturated fat evidence on children (of which very little exists) or what met previous cycle parameters.

This, despite Congress appropriating $1 million in tax dollars in 2016 to fund a review of the DGA process by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. That review was particularly harsh in its findings, and the 2020-25 DGA process ignored the Academy’s recommendations.

Opinion, not fact

During the 2015 Congressional hearing, then Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was asked why 70% of the DGA process did not use studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“The (DGA) process starts with a series of questions that are formulated and then information is accumulated, and it goes through a process of evaluation,” Vilsack replied.

Answering a charge by then Congressman Dan Benishek, a physician from Michigan who was concerned about the 52% of Americans in 2015 that were diabetic, pre-diabetic and carbohydrate intolerant in regard to the fat restrictions, Vilsack replied:

“The review process goes through a series of mechanisms to try to provide an understanding of what the best science is, what the best available science is and what the least biased science is, and it’s a series of things: the Cochrane Collaboration, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the aging for health care equality, data quality, all part of the Data Quality Act (2001 under Clinton Admin). That’s another parameter that we have to work under, Congress has given us direction under the Data Quality Act as to how this is to be managed.”

Unsatisfied with this answer, members of Congress pressed further in that 2015 hearing, stressing that fat recommendations for children have no scientific basis because all the studies included were on middle aged adults, mainly middle-aged men.

https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4932695/user-clip-excerpt-preponderance-evidence

Vilsack admitted that the DGAs are “opinion” not “scientific fact.” He explained to the members of Congress how “preponderance of evidence” works in the DGA process.

“In some circumstances, you have competing studies, which is why it’s important to understand that this is really about well-informed opinion. I wish there were scientific facts. But the reality is stuff changes. The key here is taking a look at the preponderance, the greater weight of the evidence,” said then Sec. Vilsack in 2015. “If you have one study on one side and you have 15 on another side, the evidence may be on this side with the 15 studies. That’s a challenge. That’s why we do this every five years to give an opportunity for that quality study to be further enhanced so that five years from now maybe there are 15 studies on this side and 15 studies on this side. It’s an evolving process.”

What now?

What we are seeing again in 2020 is what happens when ‘preponderance’ is affected by structures that limit what research is included to be weighed.

Stay involved and engaged. The grassroots efforts are making inroads, even though it may not appear that way.

For their part, the checkoff and commodity organizations ‘applauding’ the latest guidelines would benefit from drinking more whole milk and eating more full-fat cheese and beef to support brain function and grow a spine.

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Redner’s Markets lead with grassroots 97 Milk education

Dairy category sales are up, Whole milk is the star, up 14.5%

The Drink Whole Milk (virtually) 97% Fat Free dairy case stickers are up, and the “Whole Milk – School Lunch Choice – Citizens for Immune Boosting Nutrition” yard signs are being displayed at Redner’s Markets store locations. Bernie Morrissey (center) and Nelson Troutman (right) appreciate the way Redner’s and marketing director Eric White (left) are out in front as leaders in whole milk education.

By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, December 18, 2020

SINKING SPRING, Pa. — “This is an easy message to sell, and sales of whole milk are way up,” said Eric White about the Drink Whole Milk (virtually) 97% Fat Free” grassroots milk education campaign.

White is director of marketing and communications for Redner’s Markets, headquartered in Reading, Pa. with 44 stores, 35 of them in central Pennsylvania, the balance in Maryland and Delaware.

He was not surprised by the grassroots marketing campaign for whole milk: The painted round bales started by Berks County dairy farmer Nelson Troutman, the banners promoted by retired agribusinessman Bernie Morrissey, and the social media and website promotion by 97 Milk. 

When Morrissey visited him some months ago, White was eager to join in.

The “Drink Whole Milk (virtually) 97% Fat Free stickers” are up on dairy cases at Redner’s Markets locations, White had them made with the signature red type on white background. Clover Farms Dairy, the milk bottler in Reading that supplies milk to all Redner’s stores, indicates they will be changing the case strips to promote whole milk too.

White is also putting up the “Whole Milk – School Lunch Choice – Citizens for Immune Boosting Nutrition” yard signs in the store above the dairy case and on the grounds as well.

Both the grassroots stickers and the signs include the 97milk.com website where shoppers can get more information and milk education. The Redner’s Dairy cases also include the Choose PA Dairy signs, featuring photos of local farms, and the chocolate milk refuel signage from the national and regional checkoff programs.

During an interview at the dairy case in the Redner’s Sinking Spring store this week, the impact was clear: Whole milk in the jug is very much the star of the show.

In fact, the Redner’s brand, bottled by Clover, has always been whole milk. Whole milk is the only milk that gets the Redner’s name. It has always been that way, says White.

He confirmed their whole milk sales have increased dramatically. Yes, the Coronavirus pandemic has had some impact, he said: “But when I look at January through March numbers, that is how it was tracking even before the pandemic.

“I pulled the numbers, and we have seen a 14.5% increase in whole milk sales, alone, which is tremendous,” White confirmed. “The consumer message has changed, and we see people coming back to whole milk, knowing that they don’t need to drink the lower fat milk. We give our own kids whole milk at home now. It’s better for isotonic replenishment.”

Sales of whole milk at Redner’s 44 stores are up 14.5%. The entire dairy category sales are up and milk is the star, especially whole milk.

White also reported that sales for the entire dairy case are up. 

“The whole dairy category is higher, with milk being the number one product selling from the dairy category, and whole milk the number one type of milk being sold,” he said.

White also sees how whole milk sales benefit local dairy farms. “There is a confluence in how these sales benefit local agriculture that we need to support more than ever. We are seeing the messages in the media. With digital and social media, the message spreads.”

“We want to thank Redner’s for being a leader,” said Morrissey. “They are pro-farmer, pro-education and pro-consumer. They are completely on the 97 Milk page of educating consumers about whole milk as immune boosting, like our sign says. Eric has been tremendous to work with. If every supermarket chain would start educating consumers about whole milk, we would see even more benefits for consumers and farmers. The secret is education, and Redner’s is the store that is out there in front of the pack, doing it.”

The Redner’s store brand, bottled by Clover Farms Dairy in Reading, Pa., has always been whole milk. 

Eric White has been with Redner’s for 22 years. He notes that they have long partnered with Clover Farms Dairy for their milk. They feature Clover milk in all of their stores, along with other local name brands, and of course, the Redner’s brand — whole milk — is bottled by Clover.

“It’s not that hard to do this,” said White. “We are a local family-owned company, and supporting this message brings it full circle back to the local dairy farms that are the backbone.

“We can underestimate why we are in business, and it is only because of the farms producing the food,” he observed. “Dairy and agriculture are the backbone of everything here in central Pennsylvania. A lot of businesses are here because of dairy. We are here selling food and feeding people because of the farms.”

White notes that as Redner’s expands, they are also expanding the reach of the farms shipping to Clover. More distant store locations also feature brands local to those sites as well. In fact, it is Redner’s practice to work with local farms on in-season vegetables and fruits as well as year-round products like yogurt.

Morrissey agrees, he notes that the Morrissey Insurance business he founded in the 1980s is in multiple states and appreciates grocers with stores in multiple states supporting their local and regional farms. He stresses that one of the best ways to do that is to educate consumers about whole milk.

When Troutman started painting round bales with the “Drink Whole Milk (virtually) 97% Fat Free” message in December 2018, he said he never thought it would go so far.

“This is a dream come true to know all that has happened in the past two years — from the stores to the signs to the website and social media — and how the message has gone to other states and around the world,” said Troutman.

He added that, “When people work with you and work together, that’s the key.”

Troutman recalled a Pa. Milk Marketing Board listening session in Lebanon in December 2018. “I went home frustrated,” he reflected. “I looked around at what I had, and thought, I’ll paint a round bale with the message and put it out.”

The rest, as they say, is history — and it’s a history still in the making.

Morrissey recalls the first time he stopped in at Redner’s main office. “I didn’t know Eric at the time, and I didn’t have an appointment. He saw the banner I brought with me and was eager to talk with me.”

White had seen the message on round bales popping up around the area, and he was seeing the impact on Redner’s whole milk sales.

“The 97 Milk message was not much of a revelation to me because I always knew it. I drank whole milk growing up and through college. But my wife was convinced on fat-free. Now that we know drinking whole milk does not condemn us to a life of Lipitor — especially for our kids — she is buying whole milk for our family,” he says, adding that even their pediatrician recommended whole milk.

White points out that in today’s age of marketing and new products (not to mention government edicts for schools), there are a lot of opportunities for people to get off track in healthy eating — especially for children.

Morrissey, Troutman and White all agree that the beauty of the 97 Milk effort is how it has spread, and the beauty of social media is when the truth gets out, it spreads fast.

While not present for the interview, Gn Hursh, president of 97 Milk LLC, added his voice of appreciation for Redner’s.  “Milk education is a win-win for everyone involved. The biggest winner is the consumer. Thanks to Redner’s for being part of the milk education team,” said Hursh.

“Without Redner’s, without Eric, we could not accomplish this,” added Morrissey. “Redner’s is the leader in educating the public and being very transparent about why whole milk sales are good for consumers and for farmers.”

The importance of whole milk to consumers is evident. During the height of the pandemic last spring, White said consumers showed how much it is a staple they rely on. Even during our interview Tuesday, Dec. 15, with the forecast calling for a record December snowstorm in the area for the next day, the dairy case was very busy with shoppers and constant re-stocking of milk, especially re-stocking the shelves with Redner’s Farm Fresh Vitamin D whole milk – in demand!

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Preposterous ‘preponderance’

While left hand says it’s busy building ‘mountain’ of evidence, right hand has already moved the nutrition definition goal post

By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, Dec. 23, 2020

BROWNSTOWN, Pa. — Preponderance of the evidence. We hear that phrase over and over when it comes to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) and the effort to reverse 40 years of increasingly strict rules on dietary fat affecting children in schools and daycares, the military, seniors in nursing care or retirement villages, food-insecure families relying on government feeding programs like WIC, and countless other insidious prohibitions on healthy choices when it comes to whole milk, butter, full-fat cheese, dairy products like sour cream and cream cheese as well as other animal protein foods containing fat.

But the whole concept of ‘preponderance’ is really preposterous when applying the legal definition.

Let’s review.

Last March at a DMI forum on a Chester County dairy farm, DMI chair Marilyn Hershey and executive vice president Lucas Lentsch described the ‘preponderance of evidence’ standard as “building a mountain of evidence.” They said the National Dairy Council is building that mountain, but it takes time to keep pushing more evidence forward “until we have enough.”

When former Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack gave the 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines his stamp of approval, a Congressional hearing took the USDA and HHS secretaries to task, grilling them on science that was not considered then (nor is it now in the 2020 version of the DGAs). Remember, former Ag Sec. Vilsack promptly became the current top-paid dairy checkoff executive for four years (Jan. 2017 to present) and is now poised (again) as President-Elect Biden’s Ag Secretary pick 2021 forward.

During that 2015 congressional grilling, then Secretary Vilsack said “It’s the preponderance of the evidence that is the standard, and we know stuff is always changing so there has to be a cutoff.”

On whole milk (which he helped remove from schools in 2010), then Secretary Vilsack, when confronted in 2015 with what he called “emerging” science on saturated fat — said “the preponderance of evidence still favors the recommendation for fat-free and low-fat dairy.”

Much of the saturated fat discussion during the 2020 DGA Committee work used the 2015 DGA’s body of science, that was one of the screening criteria. The cutoff bar didn’t move.

In 2015, then Secretary Vilsack explained the ‘science’ of the DGAs this way:

“Well, the process starts with a series of questions that are formulated and then information is accumulated and it goes through a process of evaluation,” he said.

Answering a charge by then Congressman Benishek, a physician from Michigan who was concerned about the 52% of Americans who are diabetic, pre-diabetic and carbohydrate intolerant as regards the fat caps and the exclusion of science available — even in 2015 — on low carb, higher fat diets, then Sec. Vilsack stated in 2015:

“The review process goes through a series of mechanisms to try to provide an understanding of what the best science is, what the best available science is and what the least biased science is, and it’s a series of things: the Cochrane Collaboration, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the aging for health care equality, data quality, all part of the Data Quality Act (2001 under Clinton Admin). That’s another parameter that we have to work under, Congress has given us direction under the Data Quality Act as to how this is to be managed.”

On a further point of contention in 2015, Vilsack stated the following as a definition of how “preponderance” works.

Vilsack said (2015): “In some circumstances, you have competing studies, which is why it’s important to understand that this is really about well-informed opinion. I wish there were scientific facts. But the reality is stuff changes. The key here is taking a look at the preponderance. The greater weight of the evidence. If you have one study on one side and you have 15 on another side, the evidence may be on this side with the 15 studies. That’s a challenge. That’s why we do this every five years to give an opportunity for that quality study to be further enhanced so that five years from now maybe there are 15 studies on this side and 15 studies on this side. It’s an evolving process.”

During a recent dairy checkoff yearend news conference with reporters, DMI CEO Tom Gallagher answered a question about consumer health attitudes and checkoff research targets for 2021. Whole milk was never mentioned in the question, but here is Gallagher’s answer as he, too, cites the “preponderance” criteria:

Gallagher said (2020): “Our research plan (for 2021) is very robust at our centers. The primary research that we focus on is whole milk because we are, number one, the only group to be pushing the research on whole milk and taking it to the scientific community so the scientific community does more research because the Dietary Guidelines will never change until the preponderance – not the best – evidence, but the preponderance of the research is in favor of whole milk. We’re helping to move that needle to that point.”

I looked up the legal definition of this ‘preponderance of the evidence’ phrase, this standard for the DGAs as determined by Congressional statute. It is clear that DMI’s assertion of building a mountain of evidence is not needed to achieve a preponderance, according to the legal definition.

According to the law.com legal dictionary, ‘preponderance of the evidence’ is a lower burden of proof than other evidentiary burdens. It only requires a better than 50% chance that it’s true! 

In fact, the law.com definition states “Preponderance of the evidence is based on what is the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy NOT on the amount of evidence.” An example is given where one credible witness outweighs a pile of other evidence! It’s not the amount of research, then, it is the more convincing in terms of probable truth.

The word preponderance itself means “quality or fact of being greater in number, quantity, OR importance.” Yes, importance and quality can trump quantity to achieve preponderance!

Mountain-building is a stalling tactic by the left hand of industry and government, while their combined right hand is moving the goal post. (In fact, mountain-building is futile because the USDA structure on Dietary Guidelines has not allowed new evidence to be considered on certain dietary fiction it deems as settled science. There are fancy ‘mechanisms’ that have kept credible science out of the equation in 2015 and again in 2020).

Who are the attorneys advising USDA and dairy checkoff as to the meaning of “preponderance of the evidence?” Could it be Mr. Vilsack, an attorney by trade, going from USDA Secretary to top-paid DMI executive and back again potentially as the next Ag Secretary? 

Clearly, Mr. Vilsack and his colleagues at DMI are fond of citing “preponderance” as a stalling tactic for fat flexibility in the DGAs. But contrary to Gallagher’s point during this yearend news conference, the legal definition of “preponderance of evidence,” really does mean the BEST evidence can trump the MOST evidence.

It’s not about which theory has the most evidence, but which one has the best and most convincing evidence. This definition suggests that you don’t need 15 studies on one side to match 15 studies on the other side. To add flexibility on school milk choice or to reverse the saturated fat caps set at 10% of calories, a mountain of evidence is NOT needed, and a lot of good and convincing evidence keeps getting excluded from the process anyway.

The saturated fat question and the casting aside of research feels like being forced to doggy paddle in an olympic swimming competition.

The problem is agenda and bias. Who is standing up for producers and consumers?

Ahead of the 2015 DGA cycle, scientists and investigative journalists, like Nina Teicholz, exposed the weak scientific basis for Dr. Ancel Keys’ diet-heart hypothesis that these DGAs have been built on for over 40 years. Not to mention the many studies back then that were buried, once Keys became the dietary darling, and not to mention all of the newer studies that show saturated fat is not the health demon it has been made out to be, and in fact is necessary in diets to prevent chronic diet-related illness.

Here’s a look at where nutrition science is going next.

Yes, they have moved the goal post via climate change. And yes, they are telling us that consumers are more concerned about climate change after Covid-19.

Basing DMI’s 2021 plan assertions on a Kearney report (April 2020), Gallagher said: “Covid-19 has made people more hyper-sensitive to things, like the environment. 58% of consumers are more concerned about the environment since Covid, and 50% want companies to respond to climate change with the same level of urgency as responding to the pandemic.”

When asked where consumers ranked health in that particular survey — given a recent report on CNBC business news about corporations trying to get consumer ‘buy-in’ on sustainability benchmarks and finding the only way to achieve it is to link sustainability to health.

You guessed it. Gallagher was ready with the answer.

“Sustainable nutrition is the phrase you’re going to hear going forward. You’re going to see those two things inextricably tied,” he replied during the yearend and look ahead news conference by phone.

We recall in October 2019, Gallagher telegraphed a message during the 53rd World Dairy Expo that the dairy checkoff simply accepts waiting another five years until 2025 (not the current cycle) as the year that the saturated fat caps could be reversed. The 2020 DGA committee was only just partway into the process back in Oct. 2019 with a whole year of work ahead — and already the head of dairy checkoff was being quoted in the Oct. 14, 2019 Hoard’s article broadcasting that the fat issue could likely happen by the NEXT DGA cycle (2025), not this one (2020).

Gallagher further indicated in that Oct. 2019 Hoards article that the “forest” must be “populated with more trees.” (Again this idea that preponderance is based on the amount of studies, not the importance or reliability of the studies and not acknowledging that half the trees in that so-called forest are being ignored by USDA and the DGA committee — screened out of consideration at the outset. Not one of the checkoff or ag commodity group was standing up for producers and consumers on this score at the START of the 2020 DGA cycle, nor the finish).

However, we now know that the new goal post will be entrenched by 2025: ‘Sustainable nutrition’ will be the new phrase, the new goal post, according to Gallagher’s response during the December 2020 news conference.

Make no mistake about this: As much as the sustainability overlords talk about farmers being paid to plant cover crops (most already plant cover crops after corn harvest) or to recover nutrients and methane through other practices and technologies, paying for offsets and dilution of animal foods in diets are two strategies already on deck. We heard a little of this also during the December 2020 news conference as Gallagher and DMI president Barb O’Brien talked about how their partners are getting into ‘competitors’ (fake dairy lookalikes) because when a family of four comes in to eat, one may want a new taste experience, and DMI partners have to provide that ‘new experience’ to keep from losing the entire family.

DMI is working for its corporate partners like Nestle and Starbucks, both giving the DMI Innovation Center’s Net Zero Initiative up to $10 million over multiple years to pilot sustainable technologies and practices on dairy farms.

Gallagher described the situation this way: “Health, taste, price – those things are still important, but as more and more companies are offering things that are competitive, what we’re seeing people saying is ‘Well, I’m going to look at sustainability as a difference maker in who I purchase from and what I purchase,’” he said.

“The days of 10 to 15 years ago — where things like sustainability were believed to be made up by retailers for marketing — are over,” Gallagher added.

“Everyone gets it. We are past that. The beautiful part is the U.S. dairy industry has the best sustainability story in the world to tell, and we’re telling it,” he said.

As promised, a follow up email provided more details on Gallagher’s whole milk research assertion, stating: “Dairy farmers have been funding research led by National Dairy Council on the role of whole milk dairy foods and wellness for over a decade. In fact, around 70 studies have been published, adding to the growing body of evidence indicating that consuming dairy foods, regardless of fat content, as part of healthy eating patterns is not linked with risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes. The paradigm shift to more fat flexibility in the dairy group is already happening in the real world as demonstrated through the many actions of consumers and thought leaders.”

Three research items were specifically mentioned in the email — all published within the past 6 to 24 months:

1) A Science Brief: Whole and reduced-fat dairy foods and cardiovascular disease. Upon following the link published January 17, 2019, we find it begins as a regurgitation of 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines with all references to dairy qualified as ‘low-fat and fat-free’, but then goes on to discuss: “Emerging research also indicates that saturated fat intake on its own may be a poor metric for identifying healthy foods or diets.” A downloadable PDF summarizes this “emerging” research on dairy fat at: Science Brief: Whole and Reduced-Fat Dairy Foods and CVD | U.S. Dairy

2) Posted in Sept. 2019 is this resource where National Dairy Council’s Dr. Greg Miller talks about “landmark shifts” and states that, “As the research continues to grow, a preponderance of evidence (exists linking milk, cheese and yogurt, regardless of fat level, with lower risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This one is found at: Ask Dr. Dairy: Can Whole Milk-Based Dairy Foods Be Part of Healthy Eating Patterns? | U.S. Dairy

3) The third item posted June 2020 in connection with DMI’s Dietary Guidelines comment talks about dairy consumption lowering risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and cites a study that, “indicates there may be room for fat flexibility in peoples’ dairy group choices to include dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt – at a variety of fat levels – as part of healthy eating patterns in the U.S. and worldwide.”

We can see the tight rope being walked, hinging everything on this idea of slowly building a mountain of evidence as though this is the definition of what is needed to fulfill the “preponderance” standard. But as we know from the legal definition, the amount of evidence is not what’s important, but rather what is credible and convincing. The available evidence is already preponderant. Whole milk, at 41% of market share, has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two years, and is now the largest selling product in the milk category because consumers are convinced. In the past two years, they have moved toward choosing health instead of allowing the government to choose for them — at least when they CAN choose.

Thinking on the many topics that were part of the fairy checkoff yearend news conference, some clear themes take us into the new year in terms of the 2021 dairy checkoff plans.

Gallagher, O’Brien and Hershey talked about “moving milk” differently because of Covid, of working in Emergency Action Teams to unify the supply chain with these top priorities in mind: 

1) Feeding food insecure people, 

2) Responding to climate change

3) Developing a deeper and closer relationship with Amazon into e-commerce and milk portability, and 

4) Developing tools and promotions for corporate partners.

On the latter, Gallagher was proud to give the example of DMI’s funding for Domino’s “contactless delivery” in Japan during the early days of Covid. He said this partner (named as Leprino, DFA and Domino’s) would not have been in a position to move so much pizza cheese when the pandemic hit the U.S. had it not been for DMI’s funding of that contactless delivery innovation first in Japan and then used here.

(Contactless delivery is used by almost every restaurant doing takeout today in the Covid era. It simply means ordering and paying online, texting when arriving, and having your food placed in your car. Not rocket science.)

Since 2008, DMI and USDA — through Vilsack-era Memorandums of Understanding — have a hand-in-glove relationship on GENYOUth and Sustainability. DMI works for its partners and has adopted a role for itself as global supply-chain integrator — the prime mover of milk.

Increasingly, there is the sense that the dairy checkoff bus has morphed into a ride for its key partners, while rank-and-file producers keep paying the fare, just hoping for a lift.

Look for more yearend checkoff review in a future edition of Farmshine.

PA herd first in nation to make ‘Naturally Better Omega-3’ milk

New labels are on, and new signage is up in the dairy case at the Oregon Dairy family-owned grocery store. While other brands of milk are sold here, like in any grocery store, the buzz is all about the milk with “mooore” — Naturally Better Omega 3 Oregon Dairy Milk. Since omega-3 is a healthy fat, the benefits are only available in milk products containing fat — whole milk, whole chocolate milk, 2% milk and cream.

By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, December 11, 2020

LITITZ, Pa. — Whole milk sales are rising. Consumers are returning to fat, and they are looking for healthy, local foods. These trends were underway well before Covid-19 and have only accelerated since. At the same time, dairy farms look for growth in diversification or getting closer to the consumer, rather than expanding cow numbers.

For Oregon Dairy, Lititz, Pennsylvania, those paths intersected. They downsized the dairy herd from milking 500 cows to 60 in July 2019, which was the first step to becoming first in the nation (likely first in the world) to produce and market milk with “mooore omega 3” – naturally. The marketing began recently in November 2020.

“We are very proud of our milk. We have always been tied to the story of our milk from the farm to the store. But we are also looking to go to the next level in differentiating it,” says Jon Hurst, center store manager. “Now we have a story to tell about our Naturally Better Omega 3 Oregon Dairy Milk.”

In fact, shoppers at the family-owned grocery store can scan a QR code on the cap of the milk jug that takes them directly to a video about how the cows are fed to naturally produce milk with more omega 3.

The video talks about healthy omega-3 fat found in dairy foods (and fatty fish).

Therefore (as noted on the dairy case signs below), the higher omega-3 levels pertain to the whole milk (57 mg), whole chocolate milk (53 mg), 2% milk (28 mg) and cream.

While there are other milk brands that increase omega-3 by adding fish oil or algae derivatives directly to the milk in the form of additives, what Oregon Dairy has done is to feed the cows a supplement that balances the ratio between omega 3 and 6, so the cows naturally produce milk with consistently higher levels of omega-3 – and do it within a conventional dairy setting.

The distinct businesses of Oregon Dairy near Lititz, Pennsylvania include the farm, bottling at the grocery store, restaurant, ice cream shoppe and agri-tainment with four brothers, George, Willie, Curvin and Vic, owning different segments. As they partner with the next generation of siblings and cousins, communication has grown closer on a farm-to-table vision that has always had the dairy cow front and center.

Celebrating the ‘Naturally Better Omega 3 Oregon Dairy Milk’ in front of the model cow painted to show her unique digestive capabilities are family members involved in the distinct businesses of Oregon Dairy (l-r), Willie Hurst, Krista Martin, Jon Hurst, Maria Forry, George, Brent and Curvin Hurst. Absent from photo are Vic and Chad Hurst.

Like any grocery store, other big-name brands are sold, but the focus is to continue highlighting local through what they do at the farm and other enterprises under the Oregon Dairy umbrella, as well as partnering with other local farms and businesses in the community.

Before downsizing, the farm — co-owned by George Hurst and his son Chad and daughter Maria and her husband Tim Forry — sold 90% of their milk through a cooperative in the commodity market and just 10% was purchased by the store and restaurant as needed.

Now, the various branches of the Hurst family and sector managers must communicate more directly about milk supply and marketing — putting them in the position to tailor what they do at the farm level to differentiate the milk at the store level.

With 18,000 followers on Oregon Dairy’s social media platforms, Jon has become a promotion powerhouse with the “farm fresh family fun” tagline, producing videos and contests and in-store partnerships that began before the Coronavirus disruptions and have given shoppers something to look forward to — with humor and sincerity — during this Covid-19 era.

For generations, they’ve been just bottling milk at the store and having their cream turned into ice cream by another manufacturer. But Jon and his cousin Maria, see a future of possibilities.

The Naturally Better Omega 3 (NBO3) Oregon Dairy Milk opens opportunities, but it really starts at the basic cow level, where the total mixed ration is balanced for omegas by feeding greatOPlus, an omega-3 nutrient supplement in the TMR mineral pack from Sporting Valley Feeds.

Their longtime nutritionist and veterinarian Dr. Robert Stoltzfus of Lancaster Vet Associates suggested the product last fall — a few months after the cow herd was downsized.

Across species, feeding flaxseed is nothing new, but it is the supplement’s algae derivatives that add additional properties for animal performance and transfer a more optimal omega balance to the meat, milk and eggs the animals produce.

“The benefits are on two levels,” says Paul Rosenberger, a consultant with NBO3, maker of greatOPlus and the largest algae producer in the country. We spoke with him by phone this week to understand the process.

“By balancing the ratios of omega 3 and 6, we get the benefit of omega-3, and in bypassing the rumen, we improve the conversion of that balance to the milk,” he explains about the natural feed nutrient.

Omega-3 has attracted attention as a healthy fat in the human diet, including reducing stress and inflammation, as well as heart health and other benefits the long chain fatty acids provide.

Oregon Dairy is one of a couple dairies Rosenberger is working with to introduce the product and acquire data.

Through Kansas State University, the Manhattan, Kansas-based NBO3 company has already received over 8000 data points from beef herds, poultry (eggs), swine, and now milk from dairy cows.

“In beef cattle, our data show improved marbling and color of the meat. In dairy cattle, there are performance benefits, but what we’re looking at with Oregon Dairy are the ratios of omega 3 and 6 in the milk,” he explains. “They are a natural for us with their retail connection providing so many attractive possibilities.”

Jon and Maria confirm the milk looks and tastes the same. (We took some home and agree, the milk is delicious as always with no difference in taste.) The difference is on the label in the milligrams of omega-3. Getting to that point took nine months of testing.

Maria explains: “We started feeding (the supplement) to our cows at a half a pound per cow in the ration, then tested, then increased our feeding rate until our tests showed we reached the omega-3 levels in the milk and were holding at those levels for months.”

Today the TMR inclusion rate is at about one and a half pounds, and the testing through NBO3 incorporates three prongs: the K-State university system, their own company labs and a third-party verifying lab.

“Once we got to the level of omega-3 in the milk and could sustain it, that’s when we got involved in the marketing and telling the story,” says Jon.

George explains that some producers are feeding the omega-balancing product to improve cow health, fertility and performance. He says they weren’t looking for specific herd improvements, but rather to improve the milk the cows produce.

Tim says the performance of the cows has been quite good in production, SCC and fertility, but again, their goal is what transfers to the milk.

Tim and Maria Forry are flanked on the left by the downsized dairy herd of 60 milk cows and on the right by the new group of 180 beef heifers being fattened for market next spring.

“We want to niche our milk,” George relates. “Downsizing the herd was never a question of not producing milk. It was a business decision on the farm side because of the dynamics of the milk market and dairy pricing. We chose to downsize and diversify.”

The farm has gotten into custom work and a seed dealership. “We went from being 40% overcrowded to having less than 50% of our freestall capacity used, that changes a lot of things,” says Tim.

One thing it changed is feeding the methane digester that has been integral on the farm since the 1980s, so they’re fattening 180 beef heifers that go to commercial markets, along with a small number of pasture-raised Angus cattle, owned by the store, that are finished at the farm. 

The beef cattle help keep the digester fed and stable to receive the other waste, to generate electricity and be part of the composting business they started over a decade ago.

Meanwhile, the store was also looking to diversify and capitalize on direct relationships with consumers.

“I go back to the concept of doing what you are good at, and this is what we are good at,” says Jon. As part of the next generation bringing their perspectives to the business, he sees local, natural, family and fun as what Oregon Dairy is good at. This omega 3 niche allows them to envision more about the future. 

“We want to be thinking outside the box of how to handle the amount of milk produced and needed,” Jon observes. 

“It all ties back to the consumer and the cows. Through our agri-tainment and corn maze and events, we hear consumers talk about health, we talk to consumers about milk and health. I talk to my own friends and family about cows and milk, but it always comes back to a health discussion,” Jon explains. “People in my generation want natural and local, and this is natural and local. Those two words capture carbon footprint and health, and it’s part of our story.”

“I think what is encouraging for other farms to take from this is to look for opportunities to diversify and differentiate within your sphere — to pursue and collaborate with others even in a small way, to find the opportunities whether producing milk, meat or eggs,” George reflects, adding that the beef industry seems to have a better handle on dealing with plant-based competitors where the dairy industry is playing catch up.

Differentiating Oregon Dairy’s milk with “mooore omega 3”, provides new ways to reach consumers with positive messages about the benefits of milk — things you just can’t get from plant-based lookalikes.

For Oregon Dairy, the bottom line in this first-ever product is to provide the same great milk from the same great cows at the same great price with the same local story, the same great health information – but now with a little more to show and tell.

The marketing is so fresh, Jon and Curvin Hurst don’t have a handle yet on how much their sales have increased, except that the omega 3 message dovetails with the trend they already see of consumers buying the higher fat milks.

“Whole milk sales, in general, are higher,” says Jon. “We have seen that shift increase in the last two years. Whole milk is number one now.”

That trend made this possible, because without the fat, there’s no omega 3. 

Cousins Maria Forry and Jon Hurst demonstrate how shoppers can instantly pull up the video about Naturally Better Omega 3 Oregon Dairy Milk when scanning the QR code on the bottle cap with a smart phone.

At the store, the staff is trained to answer questions, the QR codes are on the bottle caps, the omega 3 milligrams are on the new labels, the ‘Don’t forget mooore milk’ signage is up with information about omega 3 health benefits, and free milk giveaway contests have been done on facebook, along with celebratory videos launching the message.

Much planning went into the launch, which they never dreamed would happen during a pandemic.

But that really doesn’t matter.

“We are already hyper-local, and now we have this extra step to further differentiate our milk,” says Jon. “As always, our story, even this new story, starts with the cows. Yes, we are proud of our milk.”

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DMI-led, DFA-made: ‘siips’ is new ‘teen milk’, but…

But… when given the opportunity, teens choose regular fresh whole milk

siips: Siimply Perfect. Real Milk. Real Good. You Be You. These are the descriptive taglines for SIIPS, a shelf-stable, aseptically-packaged, ultrapasteurized, lowfat milk packaged by DFA in an 8-oz. aluminum can as a new “teen milk” based on DMI’s research of what it takes to make milk relevant to teens again. And DMI says more ‘innovations’ or ‘reinventions’ or ‘relevant products’ are on the way from other partners. All of this money and time spent to answer a question teens and pre-teens and elementary-aged students could have told us quickly, cheaply and easily, given the opportunity to choose whole milk – without the fancy packaging and processing that puts it neatly into a global supply chain instead of a local or regional fresh food system.

By Sherry Bunting (Farmshine, Nov. 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – On one hand they say they are not involved in reinventing school milk and then, well, they say they are.

Siips is the new low-fat, shelf-stable grab-and-go “teen milk” from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). According to Dairy Management Inc (DMI), checkoff led the way on the innovation and test launch in selected locations over summer.  

Siips is a result of DMI’s fluid milk revitalization efforts and is targeted to improving the youth milk experience with relevant packaging and flavors,” according to a recent edition of Your Checkoff News.

During last week’s Center for Dairy Excellence industry conference call, a portion of the hour was devoted to questions and answers with DMI leaders, and we learned more about revitalization, innovation, and reinvention.

According to Paul Ziemnisky, executive vice president for global innovation partnerships at Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), DMI has been working since last summer to “understand perceptions of milk in schools.”

He said products like siips represent what DMI has learned from students in a variety of demographics so that milk can compete again.

Siips is grab-and-go milk in an aluminum 8-oz. can in the flavors of caramel, mocha and chocolate,” he explained. “Products like this will make milk competitive in the school ala carte area, and we are working with other partners for other ala carte grab and go products.”

Ziemnisky noted that DMI is also working with processors and technology companies to develop dispensers like those used in foodservice where students can choose their milk ‘formula’ or ‘flavors’. He said Covid set the test launch back for those, but they are coming.

The bottom line is, he said: “We are looking at new packaging systems… aseptic sustainable packaging, all in the process of starting up. We are working with the industry to line up 6 to 7 tests in key systems to create a catalytic effect across the whole industry.”

A dairy producer submitted this question: “We are seeing grants from checkoff to develop a ‘kids milk’ at Cornell. We already have a ‘kids milk.’ It is called whole milk. We are frustrated. Why would our checkoff spend money on this rather than spending money to get whole milk back in schools?”

DMI president Barb O’Brien replied that she is “not familiar with the ‘kids milk’ project. We are not involved in specialized formulation for school milk,” she said. “But we can tell you about the research programs we have invested in.”

Ziemnisky picked up from there to explain that, “Everything we do has to start with consumers to make sure what we do is relevant.”

He said DMI’s partners, including MilkPEP, are the experts in marketing and advertising while DMI is the expert on consumer research and insights.

O’Brien and Ziemnisky explained that what DMI does is “back-end strategy with brands to advance U.S. Dairy’s priorities.”

They said the brand partners spend “10 to 20 times our investment in bringing to market these innovations.”

“Three years ago, the milk revitalization alliance was formed,” said Ziemnisky. “By partnering with brands, we unlock new platforms and then leverage that to access their customers.”

O’Brien said that’s how DMI has managed what is essentially a $300 million state and national budget to become the equivalent of $3 billion in consumer access and increased per capita dairy sales.

Ziemnisky reported that whole milk sales grew by $1.8 billion on a value basis over the past five years to 41% of net sales at retail. He owed this to what he said were DMI’s “57 whole milk studies.”

(We can’t find any whole milk studies on the list of 57 studies, just a few studies related to full-fat cheese.)

The problem with 40 years of declining overall fluid milk sales, said Ziemnisky is that “the sector has gone 40 years without innovation.”

(The sector has also gone 40 years under what have become increasingly fat-restrictive USDA enforcement of its Dietary Guidelines, but that wasn’t mentioned.)

Ziemnisky pointed out that the gains made in whole milk sales have come at the expense of fat-free milk sales.

“We have a fix for that too,” he said. “Our goal is to make milk relevant again with high protein, low carb, portability, as well as reinvention at schools, foodservice and e-commerce to fit changing consumer lifestyles.”

As for the simple choice of whole milk in schools? DMI leaders were asked if they would fund and support a research trial like the one done last year at one middle/high school in Pennsylvania showing 65% gains in milk sales and sustainable reductions in waste of 95%.

O’Brien was “thrilled” to hear about that study and said exceptions can be granted for research, but quickly turned the conversation over to Ziemnisky to talk about the research and innovation of school milk DMI is already investing in.

Look for more in the next edition on DMI’s partnership with DFA on plant-based blends – why and how and other topics.

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Grassroots dairy meet with Rep. Thompson, a champion for Ag; Dietary Guidelines, whole milk in schools top the agenda

Congressman G.T. Thompson (center) is flanked on left by Dale Hoffman of Potter County and Sherry Bunting of Lancaster County and on his right by Bernie Morrissey of Berks County, Krista Byler of Crawford County and Nelson Troutman of Berks County. The Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee involved in the 97 Milk effort met with Rep. Thompson this week on dairy issues.

By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, October 30, 2020

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — From the Dietary Guidelines and whole milk choice in schools to dairy checkoff and milk pricing formula concerns, five members of the Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee involved in the 97 Milk effort from across northwestern, northern tier and southeast Pennsylvania met with U.S. Congressman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-15th) in Bellefonte, Pa. this week to talk about dairy.

Rep. Thompson helped lead the writing of a letter signed by 53 members of the U.S. House, including Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Ranking Member Mike Conaway (R-Texas) to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue asking for a delay on the decision about final Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) for 2020-25 until all of the science on saturated fat is considered.

Despite the bipartisan letter, Thompson indicated that USDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) will move ahead to finalize the guidelines by the end of the year.

Thompson shared his thoughts about the disconnect between the legislative branch and a bureaucratically appointed DGA Committee in formulating the DGAs which have so much impact on children and Pennsylvania’s rural economy.

With the election next week in the balance, Thompson said he is looking at introducing language that would give the legislative branch some role in advise and consent with regard to the DGAs. He also praised his colleagues from Pennsylvania as many have cosponsored the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act and the Give Milk Act. These bills would allow whole milk as an option at school and in the WIC program.

Under the current House leadership, the bill on school milk is not moving as it has not been taken up by the chair of the Committee on Education and Labor.

“As you know, our office made recommendations for members of the DGA Committee, but that didn’t happen,” said Thompson. “It’s hard to believe that the modern-day science is being ignored on this issue of whole milk. We need checks and balances, not only to serve the needs of children in school, to give them this choice, but also because of the damage these rules do to our rural economy.”

It goes without saying that if the Republicans are able to gain a majority in the House, there would be a better pathway to moving on some of these issues surrounding the way whole milk (and even 2% milk for that matter) are banned from school choices while other less nutritional beverages are offered unchecked. With Democrats in the majority for the past three years, there has been no movement on the bills.

Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee member Krista Byler of Spartansburg, Crawford County, reported to the Congressman that while the beverages offered ala carte at school are calorie controlled per serving, there are no limits on how many of these beverages a student can purchase. At the middle and high school level, sports drinks, diet tea coolers, diet soda, and energy drinks are all allowed.

“But students can’t purchase even one serving of whole milk,” she said. “They simply aren’t allowed.”

“We need to get back to where milk is not tied to the school meal calculation and let it stand alone, and give students the choice,” said Thompson.

Byler serves as head chef and foodservice director for Union City School District, and her husband Gabe operates a 125-cow dairy farm with his father and brother, along with beef cattle and grain crops.

She explained that schools are afraid to move outside of the USDA edicts based on the Dietary Guidelines because of financial repercussions, and it’s difficult to get others to see the issue because so many people are generally unaware that children are limited to only fat-free and 1% low-fat milk options at school.

Five members of the Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee from around the state talked about dairy issues with Congressman Thomspon, especially the Dietary Guidelines and getting whole milk choice in schools.

The group discussed ideas for how to obtain waivers from USDA to do a statewide trial where schools could simply offer all fat levels of milk and collect the data. One such trial, done quietly in Pennsylvania during the 2019-20 school year, revealed that when students at the middle and high school level were given the choice, they chose whole milk 3 to 1 over low-fat. At the same time total milk consumption rose by 65%, and the volume of milk discarded daily by students declined by 95%.

“That’s huge,” said Byler, a constituent of the Congressman. “We don’t need to reinvent a new ‘kids milk,’ we already have one that students will choose if given the opportunity.”

Thompson agreed, stating that, “Now is the time to look at something like this because what have families been turning to in this pandemic? Whole milk,” he said.

This is supported by the most recent USDA data through June showing that both whole milk and 2% milk sales made big gains in June as supply chains worked through the early Covid issues – pushing total fluid milk sales up 2.2% over year ago year-to-date January through June with whole and 2% unflavored white milk together accounting for more than 70% of all fluid milk sales categories, and whole milk alone being the largest selling category.

“Whole milk is what families are seeking when the choice is up to them,” said Thompson, indicating that while consumers are seeing the science on whole milk, the DGA committee is not.

“All of the doctors interviewed on news programs during this pandemic are talking about Vitamin D as boosting the immune system,” said Bernie Morrissey of the Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee.

Thompson observed that with Vitamin D and other nutrients being fat soluble, the DGAs are missing the boat.

Morrissey and Troutman are working with businesses and organizations buying and distributing “Vote Whole Milk School Lunch Choice, Citizens for Immune Boosting Nutrition – 97milk.com” yard signs that are proliferating across the countryside. A link at the 97 Milk website lets citizens know how to get involved, and a second link provides information to get involved in delaying the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines until all the science is considered on saturated fat.

Concerns about the transparency and accountability of the dairy checkoff program were also discussed, and Thompson was receptive to looking at ways to turn this around.

The Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee suggested ending the influence of importers by ending the import checkoff of 7.5 cents per hundredweight equivalent. This seemed like a good idea when it was implemented in 2007, but in retrospect has set the globalization direction of the national dairy checkoff’s unified marketing plan and ended the practice of promoting Real Seal, made in the U.S. products.

The committee was also looking at the promotion order asking the Secretary of Agriculture, who can amend the order at any time, or to work legislatively to clarify producer rights under the law in where their ‘local’ dime portion of the checkoff is assigned for education and promotion.

Nelson Troutman, a dairy farmer in Richland, Berks County, who started the Drink Whole Milk 97% Fat Free ‘baleboards’ noted that the corn and soybean growers have periodic review of their checkoff programs, and asked if there is a way for dairy farmers paying the mandatory checkoff to have more say on whether it should continue, or more transparency to see all of the expenditures and the plans submitted by DMI to USDA.

The Committee also suggested evaluating the way the boards are formed and even noted that the language of the order suggests the Secretary can call for a referendum even without a petition by 10% of the producers and importers. 

They noted that fresh fluid milk and other fresh dairy products are a critical market for Pennsylvania producers, but the emphasis of the industry appears to be moving in a different direction. Education, promotion and research are important, but the current direction of the national drivers is in question.  

Dale Hoffman of Hoffman Farms, Shinglehouse, Potter County and Troutman both shared the economic conditions in milk pricing and marketing of milk, especially the extreme difference between high protein value and CME cheese markets since June compared with what dairy farmers in the Northeast are actually seeing in their milk checks as negative PPDs subtract the value of their milk components.

In fact, the official Dairy Margin coverage margin for Pennsylvania is running $1 to $3 behind the U.S. average for June through September, when normally Pennsylvania runs with the U.S. average or 20 to 50 cents above it. The divergence makes it hard for producers to use risk management tools and have them function as intended.

Hoffman noted that producers have lost their ability to market their milk competitively in the region – especially in the north and west of the state — and their voice in how milk is priced is lacking. He observed that even Farm Bureau is recognizing this issue with some new recommendations.

Thompson welcomed the idea for a national hearing on milk pricing, especially as the next Farm Bill is not far off, and these issues need to be on the table early.

But first, there’s an election to get past. It is hoped that after November 3, these issues can be looked at. This has certainly been a difficult year on many fronts for all Americans, and the Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee was grateful to speak with the Congressman about their concerns.

Dale and Carol Hoffman of Hoffman Farms took “Vote Whole Milk” yard signs home to Potter County.

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Nestlé pledges $10 mil., becomes DMI’s first Net Zero ‘legacy partner to transform dairy’

By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, October 23, 2020

CHICAGO, Ill. – On October 9, Dairy Management Inc (DMI) and Nestlé made big announcements. DMI’s Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy officially unveiled the Net Zero Initiative it calls “an industry-wide effort” to meet 2050 goals for carbon neutrality, optimized water usage and improved water quality.

On a DMI media call last week, Innovation Center chairman Mike Haddad and others discussed the Net Zero Initiative and the simultaneous announcement of a $10 million commitment and multi-year partnership by Nestlé to support the “scaling” of “access” to environmental practices and resources on farms across the country.

As clarified by Karen Scanlon, senior vice president of sustainability initiatives for DMI, this investment by Nestlé will have a “farm and field focus” and represents a five-year partnership.

Haddad suggested that other companies are looking to invest, including companies from the financial and technology sectors.

Although the press statements talk about the Net Zero Initiative (NZI) as supporting “access” for all farms of all sizes and geographies to meet the industry’s 2050 climate and environmental goals, the details are still sketchy in how this all will translate at diverse farm and industry sector levels.

California dairy producer and DMI vice president Steve Maddox noted that when times are good and producers have a good margin, they like to experiment and invest and test new ideas. He acknowledged that it’s “hard to go green when you’re in the red.”

Maddox said for 2050 goals to be met, technologies and practices have to positively impact the dairy’s bottom-line.

Krysta Harden, executive vice president of global environmental strategies for DMI and former undersecretary of agriculture under Tom Vilsack, noted that the Net Zero Initiative helps with this “affordability.” NZI will identify the pilot farms and test the ideas, the technologies and practices on those farms to show what pays.

She said Nestlé’s $10 million investment make “Nestlé our first legacy partner to come on board to really transform dairy.”

Harden explained that the funds will be used in three key areas: Foundational resources, new products (clarified as manure products), and on-farm practices.

Haddad noted that the financial and tech sectors are reaching out also, and Nestlé has pledged its expertise as well as the financial investment.

“We need capital and technology to do this,” he said. “We also need the experience and expertise of others. We believe Nestlé’s commitment is huge and hope it is the first of several.”

While the nuts and bolts are not clear, it does appear that investments, such as the $10 million from Nestlé, will help pay for the testing and development of technologies and practices on pilot farms.

What happens around that piece is called “scaling up” and “providing access” and “improving profitability,” but without a disclosed road map of how that ‘scaling’ will look to the rest of the non-pilot farms in the U.S.

“We are already talking to pilot farms,” Harden acknowledged. “We like to say that every farmer can do something, and they are already doing a lot. We talk about this at DMI board meetings to see where we are at, and the hands go up, we see that our farmers are already working on the list of things. They are already committed.”

Scanlon gave a little bit of a road map when she noted that there are three “buckets” that the Net Zero Initiative will need investment in order to address the barriers to meeting the 2050 goals:

1) Data and research gaps, the need for more dairy research with quantifiable outcomes,

2) Affordability, the need for economically viable technology and practice solutions so that farmers can make the choices that drive industry success, and

3) Accessibility, to reach scale across the diverse industry in terms of dairy size and geography, to enable farms of all sizes to access the technology and have the support to implement it successfully.

Harden explained there is “no one solution,” that technologies and practices will have to be “adapted” and “make sense.”

She listed the four areas Net Zero practices and technologies are divided into: 1) Feed production, 2) Manure handling and nutrient management, 3) Cow care and production efficiency, and 4) On-farm energy efficiency and renewable energy

According to Harden, “Net Zero is already possible on certain farms. The purpose of NZI is to expand our knowledge and adoption of policies to reduce GHG and water use.”

A bit of history

Haddad, chairman of Schreiber Foods, has been chairman of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy for two years and a member for 10. 

He explained how the Innovation Center got started first as a “globalization initiative” followed by safety and social responsibility initiatives, but that “sustainability” was one of its main active committees from the start in 2008. Haddad said that the Sustainability Committee has operated 12 years under the continuing leadership of its chairman Dr. Mike McCloskey of Select, Fair Oaks and Fairlife.

“The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy was created by DMI (in 2008-09) at the urging of farmers,” said Haddad. 

“DMI wanted to bring together a forum of many stakeholders — dairy farmers, processors, NGOs (like WWF), retailers and foodservice — to function as a voluntary board. Farmers wanted to be connected at the middle level to collaborate with those that sell milk and milk products,” Haddad related.

Today, 27 companies have representation on this board, and over 300 companies are “engaged in the journey, along with our shoppers, citizens and neighbors around the world,” he said.

Globalization first initiative

“It started initially with a globalization initiative,” Haddad explained, adding that even though the current talk in the industry since Covid is about “re-shoring” and local, “we do not exist in an island,” he said.

According to Haddad, the original globalization initiative of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy back in 2008-09 started with the Bain Study. Back then, the Bain Study was touted as showing opportunities for trade.

However, Haddad said Wednesday that the Bain Study — as part of the original Innovation Center globalization initiative — “showed us that we could be informed and enlightened together and raise all boats together pre-competitively.

“The globalization study showed we need to go together. This got into our blood that we can work together on certain platforms and go farther, together than we can go alone,” he said.

By 2015-16, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy had evolved into a “social responsibility platform,” and Haddad said food safety was among the next pieces. Once the industry could see how to collaborate on food safety, the “pre-competitive” techniques were applied to animal care and sustainability.

In other words, the members of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy wanted the industry to first “go together” toward globalization, then food safety, now animal care, for which FARM is the driver, and sustainability, for which Net Zero Initiative is the driver.

“We don’t want to compete with each other in these areas,” said Haddad. “We should only compete on the attributes of our products. We should not be saying ‘mine is safer than yours’ (or more sustainable than yours), because that undermines confidence and trust in dairy.”

Haddad explained that the Innovation Center works closely with National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

Part two continues next week in Farmshine.

DMI integrates the dairy industry through its unified marketing plan and the various nonprofit organizations, alliances, committees and initiatives — beginning with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. The IC was formed in 2008-09, launching the industry’s structural drivers beginning with the globalization initiative (Bain Study 2008), then social responsibility (FARM program 2015) and now ‘sustainability’ (Net Zero Initiative 2020). Graphic by Sherry Bunting, source USdairy.com

‘Little Madison’ was big winner for exhibitors of first annual Dairyland Classic in Georgia

Dairyland Classic co-superintendent Jay Moon of Moon Farms (left) displays the commemorative milk can painted by Debbie Cornman, Boiling Springs, Pa. Show superintendent Carol Williams of WDairy is pictured congratulating Jacob Johns of Chapel Hill, Tenn., winner of the jackpot showmanship contest with 39 entries judged by the supreme showmanship winners. Photo by Katie Williams

By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, October 16 and 23, 2020

MADISON, Ga. — Georgia dairy producers Carol Williams of WDairy, and Jay Moon of Moon Dairy, heard in mid-June of fall show cancellations after already losing the spring shows to Covid, they knew they had to do something. They put together a small committee with Carol serving as show superintendent and Jay as co-superintendent and started raising funds.

“The response from companies was overwhelming,” says Carol. “Once we had the funding coming in, we knew we would have the draw in premiums. The generous sponsorships included some very good premiums and prizes.”

The first annual Dairyland Classic was born in Madison, Georgia — held Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 at the Morgan County Ag Center – and dubbed by exhibitors as ‘Little Madison.’

In addition to cash awards, companies gave semen certificates, services, halters, products… “We got money and goodies for the exhibitors,” Carol explains.

The three-months of planning turned into a big event attracting 80 exhibitors, 222 entries from 8 southeastern states clear up to Pennsylvania — many making it double as a vacation, enjoying the southern charm and historic district of Madison, Georgia with its rich agricultural history.

Carol and Jay say their committee was fortunate to bring in Kevin Lutz of Treasure Chest Jerseys, Lincolntown, North Carolina to judge five breeds — Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein (Black and Red combined), and Jersey.

Photo by Katie Williams

They decorated for the feel of a party, setting up tables and chairs for people to visit. They had a macaroni and cheese supper followed by an ice cream social on opening night.

“We easily fed over 150 people,” Carol relates. “The milk, cheese and ice cream were all donated by local creameries.”

Facebook comments were glowing. Participants commented that it felt like they stepped out of the truck after a long drive hauling their animals to find southern hospitality to the max.

“That’s what we wanted,” says Carol. “With the tents and the lights and the atmosphere, we had fun.”

‘Friday night lights’ under the tents at the Ag Center in Madison, Georgia. A committee of five, headed by Carol Williams and Jay Moon spent three months planning and pulling off the first annual Dairyland Classic Sept. 30-Oct. 3, attracting roughly 80 exhibitors from 8 states, 222 entries and 176 show animals arriving at the barn in five breeds for the opportunity to show and enjoy plenty of ‘southern hospitality.’ Photo by Katie Williams

The work paid off. For many of the breeders and exhibitors traveling up to 12 hours to get there, this was their first show of the year. In a normal year, they would have been to five or six shows by October. And this one was memorable.

In addition to type classes for juniors and open combined, as well as showmanship, the Dairyland Classic featured a jackpot showmanship class for youth 16 and up. They could show with their own animal or borrow one. The entry fee was $25 — winner-take-all.

“We had 39 people in the jackpot,” Jay relates. “The youth who won supreme showmanship were the jackpot judges. It was a fun event. The jackpot turned out to be $860. We turned over the whole amount, put it in a milk bottle engraved with our Dairyland Classic logo,” and it all went to the winner – Jacob Johns, a college student from Chapel Hill, Tennessee.

This first annual Dairyland Classic was held during the week that would have been World Dairy Expo in the other Madison — Wisconsin — earning it the nickname ‘Little Madison.’

“We know we’ll pick a different week for next year, but this show will go on. People enjoyed it,” Jay says. “From the planning to the actual event, it felt good to bring the dairy industry together, and know for some it might be the only show they get this year, that makes it all worthwhile.”

“Seeing the happiness on the faces of participants, the joy of getting into the show ring from little bitty kids to senior citizen showmen, some saying ‘we still got to go to Madison this year,’ that was satisfying,” Carol relates.

The Dairyland Classic was open to anyone, and early on they had entries and interest from the Midwest, but then the North American Open was moved from mid-October in western New York to Circleville, Ohio and falling then on the same week as the Classic in Georgia.

As superintendent, Carol throws her passion for youth and agriculture into everything she does. She and her husband Everett have long been involved with children and now grandchildren in 4-H, and Carol is instrumental in the family’s 1700-cow dairy farm and its growth over the years.

She serves as president of the Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation and chairman of the the Morgan County Agriculture Center Authority, to keep the dairy programs going. Serving on the board of directors for the Georgia Junior Livestock Foundation and the Georgia Cattlewomen Association, she gives the dairy industry a face and voice.

As co-superintendent of the show, Jay is instrumental on his family’s Moon Dairy, milking 120 Holsteins in a grazing operation. His youth experiences led him to University of Georgia earning a degree in Agriculture Education, and he splits his time between the home farm, managing the county agricultural center, and working in extension as 4-H AmeriCorps Service Member.

Also serving on the show committee were Kimberly Bragg, a Jersey breeder from Millen, Katelin Benkoski of Madison, and Katie Williams, Madison. Katie and Katelin did some of the show photography, and the show committee had cow photographer Frank Robinson on site to do cow portraits.

Photos by Frank Robinson

After placing all five breed shows, Judge Kevin Lutz named the Holstein grand champion, Pop-A-Top Rocket 1289, as supreme champion. The aged cow exhibited by Carter Major of Lebanon, Tenn. was also supreme bred and owned.

Carter Major of Lebanon, Tenn. with his grand champion Holstein. The aged cow was supreme champion and supreme bred and owned of the show.

Reserve grand champion Holstein was the four-year-old Archival Rae 2-ET shown by Conrad Horst, Millen, Ga. From South Carolina, Elisabeth Lark’s spring yearling Car-J Diamondback Barbie was junior champion. 

Breed grand champions from left, Carter Major with his Holstein Pop-A-Top Rocket 1289, Jayme Ozburn at the halter of his brother Forest’s Jersey OBJ Applejack Julep, Stephen Terhune with his Guernsey Jastes Hayden Almond, Whitney Keith with her Brown Swiss Horseshow Hill Birthday ET and Jennifer Blankenship at the halter of Neal Smith’s Ayrshire Lazy M Gentle Lady GaGa-ET.

Showing the reserve junior champions in both Holstein and Brown Swiss competition was Caitie Collier, Harrodsburg, Ky. with her Holstein winter calf KA-Buck Bemer Crizal and Brown Swiss winter yearling Triple C Bodacious Bree. 

Whitney Keith of Franks Farm, Lenox, Ga. exhibited Horseshow Hill Birthday ET, the Brown Swiss grand champion. Her winter calf, Crows Nest Posse Persnicka was junior champion. Reserve grand honors and best bred and owned went to Jacob Johns, LazyJ Farms, Chapel Hill, Tenn. for his four-year-old LIF Seamans Coll Party.

Jersey classes were the largest. Forest Ozburn, Lewisburg, Tenn. had grand champion and best bred and owned with three-year-old OBJ Applejack Julep. He also had reserve junior champion with his fall calf OBJ Mr. Swagger Pandora. 

Reserve grand in the Jersey show was a fall milking yearling, South Mountain Chrome Renegade ET, shown by Hobbs Lutz of Her-Man Jerseys, Chester, S.C. The top Jersey heifer was Heart & Soul Fizz Flame, a spring yearling shown by Austin Baker, Pride Rock Farms, Staley, N.C.

A pair of four-year-olds topped the Ayrshire show. Neal Smith of Smyrna, Tenn. had the grand champion Lazy M Gentle Lady GaGa-ET, while Auburn Strange of Stell’R Genetics, Ky. showed the reserve grand JCC Dreamer Hilary. 

The top two Ayrshire heifers were both bred and owned by Georgia Hazelwood, LaFollette, Tenn. The junior champion was her spring calf Hidden-Springs Kingsire Jinger also earning best bred-and-owned of the Ayrshire show. Her winter calf Hidden-Springs Kingsire Jewell was reserve heifer.

In the Guernsey show, Stephen Terhune, Locust Hill Farm, Winchester, Ky. had grand champion with his aged cow Jastes Hayden Almond. Hobbs Lutz, Chester, S.C. garnered reserve grand and best bred-and-owned with two-year-old Walnut Ridge Jackpot Stan ET. His winter calf Dairyman Beaver 4589 Norda ET was junior champion. Hickman Valleys Light Garfield, the homebred fall calf of Mike Hickman of Shelbyville, Tenn. was reserve junior champion.

Supreme showmanship honors went to Tennesseans Forest Ozburn and Carter Major, as champion and reserve, respectively. Ruth Adkins, York, S.C. placed third, Caeden and Colton Swartz, Senoia, Ga. fourth and fifth, respectively, and Jaylee Bennett, Millen, Ga. placed sixth.

Kevin Lutz of Treasure Chest Jerseys, Lincontown, North Carolina judged all five breeds at the Dairyland Classic. Photo by Katelin Benkoski

Carol and Jay say having Judge Lutz was a key to the event’s success. Lutz and his family milk 150 registered Jerseys at Treasure Chest Jersey Farms. Dairy farming and Jersey cows have been part of the Lutz family since the 1890’s, and in recent years they have exported genetics to many countries. Lutz has judged prestigious shows around the world. 

Lutz twice judged The All-American, The Jersey Jug and Western National as well as over 18 state fairs and internationally in Australia, Italy, and Argentina.

Carol and Jay are also grateful to the many companies and individuals in the southeast dairy farming community for generous contributions making the Classic a successful event for cattle breeders and exhibitors from Georgia, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama and Pennsylvania. 

Sponsors are highlighted in the show book and on the Dairyland Classic Facebook page (@GeorgiaDairylandClassic) where more photos and information can be found.

Juniors and adults competed together in one open show with Lutz placing all classes. The top three in each class by breed, follow.

AYRSHIRES:

Spring Calves: 1. Hidden Springs Kingsire Jinger (jr. champion, best bred-owned), Georgia Hazelwood, TN.

Winter Calves: 1. Hidden-Springs Kingsire Jewell (res. jr. champion), G. Hazelwood, 2. Lazy M Kingsire Tiffany, Neal Smith, TN, 3. Stell’R Hilary’s HellYeah, Auburn Strange, KY.

Fall Calves: 1. Stell’R Berkely Ziggy, A. Strange, 2. Destiny Pred Bella Sera-ET, Russell Isley, SC.

Spring Yearlings: 1. Stell’R B Zinnia, A. Strange, 2. Blue-Spruce B-King Bonnie-ET, Russell Isley, 3. Hickman Valley Raney Daisey, N. Smith.

Winter Yearlings: 1. JCC Reagan Mabel, Strange, 2. Lazy M Gentle Shantel, G. Hazelwood, 3. Hickman Valleys Raney Daffodil, N. Smith.

Two-year-olds: 1. Ollie Hilary’s Hellcat, A. Strange.

Four-year-olds: Lazy M Gentle Lady GaGa-ET (grand champion), N. Smith.

Aged Cow: 1. JCC Dreamer Hilary (res. champion), A. Strange.

Breeders Group: Auburn Strange.

BROWN SWISS:

Spring Calves: 1. Hidden Springs Victoria, G. Hazelwood, 2. Crows Nest Candie Onyx, Whitney Keith, GA.

Winter Calves: 1. Crows Nest Posse Persnicka (jr. champion), W. Keith, 2. Triple C Moonlight Dixie, Caitie Collier, KY, 3. T&T FMS Sterling Reilly, Heath McGaha, NC.

Fall Calves: 1. Crows Nest W Birthday Party, W. Keith, 2. T&T FMS Eason Saylor OCS, H. McGaha, 3. Fairdale Easton Wilma, Attie Taylor, KY.

Spring Yearlings: 1. Kruses GK Joshua Jordan, Addison Major, TN, 2. Gearars Strykern Jangle, Abby Joyner, GA, 3. Gearharts Pass Joyful, A. Joyner.

Winter Yearlings: 1. Triple C Bodacious Bree (res. jr. champion), C. Collier, 2. Siegerts Joshua Dispan, Jacob Johns, TN, 3. T&T FMS Sterling Echo, H. McGaha.

Fall Yearlings: Triple C Protege Precious, C. Collier, 2. LIF Party and Parkers M&M, J. Johns, 3. T&T FMS Kingpin Peyton, H. McGaha.

Two-year-olds: 1. DSKM Thunder Somnium, Hannah Henson, SC.

Three-year-olds: 1. Siegerts Braiden Porsha, Carter Major, TN, 2. T&T FMS Pegasus Raelee, H. McGaha, 3. Crowsnest WF Birthdaygirl, W. Keith.

Four-year-olds: 1. LIF Seamans Coll Party (res. champion, best bred-owned), J. Johns, 2. T&T FMS Bosephus Skye, H. McGaha.

Aged Cows: Horseshow Hill Birthday ET (grand champion), W. Keith.

Breeders Group of 5: 1. Whitney Keith, 2. Heath McGaha.

GUERNSEYS:

Spring Calves: 1. SC Sunny Day Beau Star, Hobbs Lutz, SC, 2. Hickman Valleys Legend Truth, Mike Hickman, TN.

Winter Calves: 1. Dairyman Beaver 4589 Norda ET (jr. champion), H. Lutz, 2. Hickman Valleys Luxury Jaycie, M. Hickman, 3. Hickman Valleys Luxury Tori, N. Smith.

Fall Calves: 1. Hickman Valleys Light Garfield (res. jr. champion), M. Hickman, 2. Kelly’s Reno Layla, Charlie Kelly, SC.

Summer Yearling: 1. Kelly’s Reno Lula, C. Kelly.

Spring Yearlings: 1. Kelly’s Ladysman Trinity, Ruthie Adkins, SC.

Winter Yearlings: 1. Jastes Randa Boo, Stephen Terhune, KY, 2. Springhill Mentor January, H. Lutz.

Fall Yearlings: 1. Kelly’s Legend Lyla, C. Kelly, 2. Twins Ridge Ladysman Maple, H. Henson.

Two-year-olds: 1.Walnut Ridge Jackpot Stan ET (res. champion and best bred-owned), H. Lutz, 2. Green Slopes A1 Brooklyn, Macy McDonald Walason, PA.

Three-year-olds: 1. Springhill GG Priceline, M. Walason, 2. Green Slopes A1 Noelle, M. Walason.

Aged Cows: 1. Jastes Hayden Almond (grand champion), S. Terhune, 2. Green Slopes Aristocrat Maybelle and 3. HI Field Big Ben Blossom, both exhibited by M. Walason

HOLSTEINS:

Spring Calves: 1. Mats Uno Beemer Vivian, Ella Gilmore, TN, 2. Hobbs Deceiver Cookie, H. Lutz, 3. Miss Liz Atwood Annie, Elisabeth Lark, SC.

Winter Calves: 1. KA-Buck Bemer Crizal (res. jr. champion), C. Collier, 2. T&T FMS Defiant Bristol-Red, H. McGaha, 3. Pop-A-Top Tattoo Tonya-ET, Carter Major.

Fall Calves: Ms-Aol Jordy Revamp-Red, by C. Collier, 2. MS Doorman Viola, E. Gilmore, 3. Crowsnest DB Rosa, W. Keith.

Summer Yearlings: 1. Pop-A-Top Jizz Sister, C. Major, 2. Ash-Go Delight Moonpie, Ashlee Godbee, GA, 3. Rocky-Tp Solomon Axle-ET, Mary Helen Coble, GA.

Spring Yearlings: 1. Car-J Diamondback Barbie (jr. champion), E. Lark, 2. Canary Crush Aplen, Charlotte Canary, NC, 3. Crows Nest A Sunny-Red ET, W. Keith.

Winter Yearlings: 1. Mats-Uno Apple Crisp Ruth-Red, E. Gilmore, 2. Pop-A-Top Diamondback Ace, C. Major, 3. Miss Liz Beemer Callie, E. Lark.

Two-year-olds: 1. Pop-A-Top Kingboy Trina, Addison Major, TN, 2. Stunning J Sundrop-Red, W. Keith, 3. Ja Bob Cuda Harmony, Reagan Britt, GA.

Three-year-olds: 1. BJ’s Clark Kent, Hunter Swartz, GA, 2. BJ’s Rager Ryot-Red, Caeden Swartz.

Four-year-olds: 1. Archival Rae 2-ET (res. grand champion), Conrad Horst, GA.

Aged Cows: 1. Pop-A-Top Rocket 1289 (grand champion, best bred-owned, supreme), Carter Major.

JERSEYS:

Spring Calves: 1. Her-Man Video Bella, Clara Lynn Evans, SC, 2. Cherub Chrome Skype, Major Bond, NC, 3. Monciers SD Bluebird, Lilly Gray, NC.

Winter Calves: OBJ Gentry Posie, Forest Ozburn, TN, 2. Underground Natasha Noa-ET, Anna Coble, GA, 3. DKG VIP Margie, Austin Baker, NC.

Fall Calves: OBJ Mr. Swagger Pandora (res. jr. champion), F. Ozburn, 2. Tierneys Victorious Lively, Jaylee Bennett, GA, 3. Her-Man Victorious Davina, Caroline Wilks, SC.

Summer Yearlings: 1. Steel-Lane Andreas Berry, Wayne Lutz, SC, 2. OmaBraggin Victorious Finish, J. Bennett, 3. Avon Road VIP Venture, M. Bond.

Spring Yearlings: 1. Heart & Soul Fizz Flame-ET (jr. champion), A. Baker, 2. Deerview Chrome Cod, W. Lutz, 3. OBJ Gentry Ava, F. Ozburn.

Winter Yearlings: 1. Her-Man Swagger Dreamy, H. Lutz, 2. OmaBraggin Showdown So Fearless, J. Bennett, 3. Heart & Soul Fizz Felicity-ET, A. Baker.

Fall Yearlings: 1. Rokey Benfer Casino Adrina-ET, C. Evans, 2. Suess Craze Reva, Noel Pickel, GA.

Fall Yearlings in Milk: 1. South Mountain Chrome Renegade ET (res. champion), H. Lutz, 2. Cherub Rockstar Plymoth, M. Bond, 3. River Valley 1801, Mackenzie Jones, GA.

Two-year-olds: 1. Her-Man Colton Fobia, H. Lutz, 2. OBJ Tequila Jacklyn, F. Ozburn, 3. Cherup Colton Naomi, M. Bond.

Three-year-olds: 1. OBJ Applejack Julep (grand champion, best bred-owned), F. Ozburn, 2. BRJ Dazzler Mint, H. Lutz, 3. Avon Road Scout Vivian-ET, M. Bond.

Four-year-olds: 1. OmaBraggin Windstar Funny, Obrien Bragg, GA, 2. TK-ENT-In Vancouver, M. Bond, 3. Peelers Megtron Trouble 1519, H. Swartz.

Aged Cows: 1. Her-Man Irwin Dazzle, H. Lutz, 2. Ollie Madman Satin, A.Strange.

Breeders Herd of 5: 1. Her-Man Jerseys, 2. Forest Ozburn, 3. Major Bond.

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