CDI adding new evaporator

California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), the largest dairy processing cooperative in California, will increase its processing capacity with the addition of a third evaporator at its Visalia, Calif. plant.

“Management continues to look for new ways to add value to its member-owners' milk through the expansion and improvement of its assets and product offerings,” said Andrei Mikhalevsky, CEO. “The addition of a new evaporator combines increased capacity and improved capabilities to offer CDI the flexibility to adjust product portfolios as market demands shift, which will grow market share and maximize member-owner profits.”

The largest capital project undertaken since the Visalia plant was built in 2007, the new evaporator will increase CDI’s ability to meet tight export specifications on value-added milk powders. The evaporator is expected to be online February 2016.

CDI members produce about 47% of California’s milk. Co-owned by more than 430 dairy producers who ship 18 billion lbs. of milk annually, it manufactures butter, fluid milk products and milk powders. Visit


Harrison named Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada administrator

The Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada has named Jenn Harrison as administrator, effective March 1.

A veteran in the industry, Harrison started her work with the Dairy Council in 1997 and was previously the vice president of marketing and finance. She has coordinated community events, conducted media interviews and created social media outlets to increase producer and consumer education.

Through her career, Harrison has conducted hundreds of presentations and coordinated numerous interviews to promote the value of dairy products to schools, businesses and general consumers.

To learn more, visit and


Haggith named AJCA/NAJ western area representative

Maija Haggith, Bellingham, Wash., has been named Western Area Representative for the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc. She began her duties on Feb. 14.

Haggith will provide on-farm service in Arizona, southern California, New Mexico and west Texas. She will also travel nationwide as an evaluator for the AJCA Linear Type Traits Appraisal program.

Haggith completed B.S. degrees in agricultural sciences and animal science this past September at Oregon State University. She worked at the university dairy for one year, then became an assistant in the necropsy department of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Maija was also a teaching assistant and peer advisor in the Department of Animal Sciences. She was a 2011-12 Oregon State Leadership Academy Fellow, and received the 2011 Charles M. Fisher Scholarship.

Haggith grew up at Springcrest Dairy, Bellingham, Wash., where she was involved in its day-to-day operations. Active in both 4-H and FFA, she was the 2010 Washington State Jersey Queen and also an alternate Dairy Ambassador for Whatcom County.

The American Jersey Cattle Association, organized in 1868, compiles and maintains animal identification and performance data on Jersey cattle and provides services that support genetic improvement and greater profitability through increasing the value of and demand for Registered Jersey™ cattle and genetics, and Jersey milk and milk products. Visit or connect at


California ag drought topic of March 4 meeting

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will focus on drought impacts to the agricultural sector at its upcoming meeting on March 4, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the University of California in Merced, Calif.

The Governor’s Drought Task Force leaders are traveling throughout the state to meet with local officials to hear how communities are coping with drought impacts. The Board meeting at UC Merced provides an opportunity for the Drought Task Force to update the public and agricultural stakeholders on current actions, including the Emergency Drought Legislation announced on Feb. 19. This meeting will be streamed online at:


Texas crop prospects not looking good

Dry topsoil and low subsoil moisture, along with cooler than normal soil temperatures, are having a chilling effect on spring planting in Texas, said Dr. Travis Miller, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist and Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences associate department head, College Station.

Most of Texas is going into the fourth year of drought, Miller noted.

Drought ratings edged slightly higher, with 58% of the state ranging from moderate to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor and reports from AgriLife Extension personnel.

Only a few weeks ago in some areas, such as Southeast Texas, fields were too wet to get in to work. But after a couple of dry weeks, a dry or crusty soil surface can still make planting into moisture a challenge.

But for those areas with subsoil moisture, it’s the cooler than normal soil temperatures that pose some concern about late plantings, Miller said.

“Farmers are very hesitant to put very expensive seed in cold soils,” he said.

While the Texas High Plains remain the worst hit, dairy areas of the Panhandle, South Plains and Rolling Plains remain very dry, Miller said.

More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at .

Download or preview a two-minute MP3 Audio of Texas crop, weather for Feb. 25, 2014