By Rachel Harper
I can’t believe I am saying this, but wouldn’t a nice shower of rain be nice?! It waited until the end of summer, but it is definitely hot and dry; but at least the farmers are able to get up their hay, which is good. All of this is what makes the world go round and round. Speaking of farming, which is our life, I wanted to share a small little paragraph that was in a dairy magazine, “Dairy Business, East,” that we got last week in the mail. It read, “A $3 million, six-state effort will study ways to stem the downturn in Southeast U.S. dairy farms and milk production. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the study will be led by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, with regional participation to include the University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University, and Virginia Tech.” $3 million! We could tell them what’s wrong with a five-minute phone conversation that wouldn’t cost them a dime. Feed prices are through the roof in addition to all the other expenses associated with producing and shipping milk; with what you get paid for milk certainly not keeping in line with those expenses; heat and heat stress is always worse in the South than in the North; it costs way too much to produce corn silage; and good alfalfa hay just does not grow well in these regions are just a few of the reasons why the Southeast is having a hard time and there is a downturn. If the Department of Agriculture has an extra $3 million, they could just divide it up between all of the dairies in the Southeast and that would help with the downturn. This is government for you! If the government was run like most of us run and manage our lives and businesses, I think everything would soon be OK. There is so, so much waste going on!
I have absolutely no use for these “so-called studies” the government conducts on various things. I have read in our local paper about our own government paying good, good money to people to conduct different studies on this or that. I think they are just trying to justify spending money in the first place on a certain project that they already know they’re going to do. If they just used their common sense they could soon figure it out. In speaking of dairies, Alan Vaughn, a former member of the Bethany community, has retired from his job as dairy inspector with the Department of Agriculture. To those of you who don’t know, the Department of Ag has several inspectors who come around to the different dairy farms every month to look things over and see if they are following all the rules and protocol that the department has set up and that the building, milk tank, pipeline, well water pump, etc. are clean and in good repair. You are given a score from 1-100 as to how the dairy stacks up. Every year or so, the federal milk inspector also comes around to see for him or herself how things are. We wish Alan well in his retirement, but he also told us he will be also starting a new job with the Department of Ag after a time. We also understand that Phil Paxson from the Bostwick area will be taking over for Alan.
On this coming Monday night, Sept. 16, the Georgia Milk Producers and the American Dairy Association will have their joint meeting with all the dairymen from this area and surrounding counties at Bonner’s Restaurant at 7 p.m. Everette Williams is the president of Georgia Milk Producers.
We are glad to report that Tommy Bone, the nephew of Jimmy Bone, is now home after receiving a liver transplant, and is doing well. Dean Strange is making good progress at his rehab facility and his wife, Cathy, has been able to return to her job as a parapro at Morgan County Primary School. Allie Nash is also making steady progress with her rehab. Please continue to pray for all of these for continued improvement and healing.
Bobby and Emily Brewer traveled to Warner Robbins on Sunday where they got to see their new great-granddaughter, Ava Rose Page. Ava Rose was born on Sept. 2 to Doug and Christa Page. Christa is the daughter of Gary and Kema Brewer. Congratulations to the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents!
Michelle Cathy of Roswell spent the weekend here with her parents, Tommy and Raynor Cathey. On Saturday, they all went to Grayson, where they attended the baseball games of Max and Jack Leo, sons of Heather and Steve Leo. We’re glad to say that Max and Jack won both of their games. Good work, boys!
Marlee Malcom participated in a high school rodeo this past weekend in the team roping events. She had some excellent showings where she placed 10th, 14th, and 18th out of 800 teams. She even won a beautiful saddle for being the number three high-point winner. Congratulations and good work, Marlee!
The Fairview Home Demonstration Club will meet this coming Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. at the home of Lynn Hanson on the Pierce Dairy Road. Lucy Ray, our new Extension Agent for Morgan County, will be our speaker. We all look forward to hearing from her.
On Sept. 24 there will be a calf management and nutrition workshop held at the Pennington Church Annex building for area dairymen.
Everyone needs to mark their calendars for the annual Godfrey Park Barbecue, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11 with the serving times to be from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.