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Showcase the Dairy Farm

May 30, 2014
 
 


Mark Rodgers

Mark Rodgers

Dearing, Ga.

Hillcrest Farms is home to four generations of the Rodgers family, plus 420 milking cows and 470 heifers.

 

 


I have enjoyed seeing the demand for dairy products strengthen worldwide over the past year. Our market has truly become a global market.

The Southeast has been under pressure to lower its historically high somatic cell counts to below 400,000, and much progress has been made by the majority of farms located here. Now, we must not only be aware of what the American consumer wants, but pay attention to the demands for dairy products worldwide.


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Bonus Content

See how Mark Rodgers’ uses manure as a resource


Dairy farmers need to pay attention and play a pro-active role in social media. Showcasing the dairy farmer’s hard work and dedication to produce the highest-quality product on the Internet is important. Allowing consumers to connect to where their food comes from not only protects sales, but every click on your farm’s Facebook page can be a positive advertisement for all dairy products.

I use Hillcrest’s Facebook page as a positive forum for dairy products. Our fans ask questions about how our animals are cared for, and it gives us a chance to share what it takes to get the milk from the farm to their refrigerator.

The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk funds the operation of a 30’ mobile dairy classroom. It features a fully operational milking parlor containing a live cow for milking and feeding demonstrations. I believe this gives the children of Georgia a glimpse of what we do and educates them on the benefit of dairy products.

The mobile classroom is a unique way to grow our next generation of consumers. I wonder what would happen if every child in the country was given the opportunity to see a mobile dairy classroom in action. What kind of impact would it have on their future dairy-product buying decisions?

The Southeastern United Dairy Industry Association is another tool we use in the Southeast to educate our consumers and to train dairy spokespersons. They also provide education in the form of farm videos and ‘got milk?’ pencils, wristbands, etc., to school children to help educate the next generation of consumers.

I believe we need this multi-tiered approach not only to protect current sales but to grow the next generation consumer by giving them the information they need to make good food choices in the future.

As for my own family, we love Greek yogurt for lunch, put cheese on everything and enjoy the summer time tradition of homemade ice cream.

Rodgers’recent prices

 

Milk

$26.99 (3.49 bf, 3.1 prt)

Cull cows

$101/cwt.

Springing heifers

$2,300-$2,500/head

Whole cottonseed

$400/ton

Ground corn

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