“Dairy Collaboration” is the theme of the 40th Annual Southern Dairy Conference to be held Jan. 13 through 15 at the Embassy Suites, Atlanta Airport in Atlanta, Ga.

In honor of the 40th Anniversary, a special pre-conference tour of Williams Dairy in Madison, Ga., will be held on Jan. 13.  Owners Everett Williams and family have recently opened a new carousel parlor to milk their 1660 cows and are welcoming tour participants. 

On Jan. 14, the conference begins with the usual excellent presentations on Dairy Market Outlook (nationally and internationally) and milk marketing by SUDIA (Southeast United Dairy Industry Association). 

In addition, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) plans to discuss the Farm Bill, Patrick Smith, the new Southeast Milk Market Administrator will add his perspective, and there will be presentations about the SNAP (food stamp) program, dairy grazing in the Southeast, organic milk production in the Southeast and the future of dairy foods research.  

A presentation on “Building Foundation Coalitions” will lead into the Jan.15 program which includes “Dairy Collaboration” perspectives from dairy producers, academia, state dairy development programs and media. 

The grand finale will be the milk cooperative perspective featuring Paul Bikowitz, CEO, Southeast Milk, Inc.; Jim Baird, President, Lone Star Milk Producers, Inc.; Randy McGinnis, COO SE and Central Area, Dairy Farmers of America; Jay Bryant, CEO, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative; and Tom Pittman, General Manager, Premier Milk, Inc. 

For the full agenda and how to register for the conference, please go to the conference website at www.southerndairyconference.com.  Early registration discount holds until Jan. 5.  To insure a room at the conference rate of $95, please register directly with Embassy Suites by January 2.