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Dairy Dispatch - November 2018
Texas milk production booming, thanks to many

A reporter called recently asking about the status of the Panhandle dairy industry in the almost three years since Winter Storm Goliath, and whether dairies were prepared for another extreme winter.

Recall that the storm in late December 2015, hit a region that was home to about one-third of the state’s dairy cows. It killed an estimated 15,000 livestock in addition to taking an emotional toll on local dairy farmers.

First of all, I stated that we hope to never see another Goliath-type event in our lifetime. It is not really possible to prepare for an event of that magnitude. We then 


Darren Turley, Executive Director
discussed milk production in the region – both before and since the storm – and I must admit that, though I know how much we have grown in statewide milk production in the last few years, I was taken aback by how much milk production has grown in Texas since Goliath. 

In January 2015 – about a year before the storm – Texas produced 895 million pounds of milk. Following the storm, 831 million pounds of milk were produced in January 2016, with some of the impacted counties down as much as 19 percent from the previous January. ...
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Around the Texas Capitol
Bill filing begins, new House speaker identified, election wrap-up
With the elections over, it’s a race to the start of the legislative session, with bill filing beginning and a Texas House Speaker’s race apparently settled.

Early bill filing begins; 
raw milk on the agenda

Legislators on Nov. 12 began filing bills for the upcoming 86th Legislature that begins Jan. 8 and ends May 27. As of press time, over 500 bills have been filed, including Senate Bill 80 by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), relating to the regulation of raw (unpasteurized) milk and raw milk products. This marks the fifth legislative session that the bill has been filed. We also expect it to be filed in the Texas House.

The Texas Association of Dairymen will continue to oppose this bill, which would allow expansion of the sale of raw milk and raw milk products beyond the farm. TAD agrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that consuming raw milk is a serious health risk, and that pasteurization is key to 

Shayne Woodard and J Pete Laney
TAD Governmental Affairs

consumer safety. Learn more about TAD’s position on pasteurization and raw milk, and please let Sen. Hall know that you oppose this legislation. Click here to review SB 80 or to see other filed legislation.

Rep. Dennis Bonnen announces votes to be Texas House Speaker

Flanked by Democrats and Republicans, State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) on Nov. 12 announced he had 109 commitments from his 149 fellow members of the Texas House of Representatives to be elected Speaker. ... 
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Texas Association of Dairymen: Around the state

TAD Executive Director Darren Turley gives a tour of the Southwest Dairy Center at Tarleton State University to a documentary film crew from Vietnam studying the impact of trade tariffs on Texas agriculture.
Education, healthcare, infrastructure and the economy were on the agenda at the Texas Tribune symposium The Future of Rural Texas, which TAD sponsored. Among those representing TAD: Board member Brad Johnson, attorney Jim Bradbury and Executive Director Darren Turley.
Celebrating 10 years of Southwest Dairy Days
In 2019, we will be hosting Southwest Dairy Day (SWDD) in the High Plains region of Texas. This will be special, since we will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Southwest Dairy Day!

But first things first: What is Southwest Dairy Day and what is its mission? Southwest Dairy Day is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program that started in 2009 with the objective of providing producers the opportunity to learn about new technologies and equipment they could adopt onto their farm.  

Drs. Todd Bilby and Ellen Jordan were instrumental in founding this AgriLife Extension program and made great contributions to the dairymen, dairy industry and community with this and other educational programs. 

After Bilby’s departure from AgriLife Extension, Jordan continued the event with the help of the County Extension Agents and Regional Program Directors. We are very thankful for all the great work 

Juan Piñeiro, DVM, Ph.D.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Dairy Specialist - Amarillo
Jennifer A. Spencer, Ph.D.
Texas A&M AgriLife Research Dairy Specialist - Stephenville

Dr. Jordan did, as well as to the dairymen for hosting and participating. It has been a team effort with help from Texas A&M AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension personnel, academia and allied industries. Together, they have made SWDD a successful program, and we will strive to continue improving it moving forward. ...
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Upcoming Events
Dec. 3
Dairy Genomics Workshop
Dec. 18
Silage Program
Learn More
Dec. 7
Annual High Plains Ag Conference
Learn More
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