of 10 minutes, and milk is direct-loaded onto milk tankers. He uses
electronic monitors to track cow movements; information from
the monitors tells him if a cow needs to be bred or if she is getting
sick. Individual milk meters record how much milk each cow gives
during a 24-hour period. Automatic sorting gates also save time.
Williams makes extensive use of recycled manure, reducing the
use of commercial fertilizer and improving soil productivity. He
works with Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division and the
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to protect his farm’s
natural resources. He follows a nutrient management plan in
applying animal waste, and notes that soil phosphorus levels have
not increased much over the years. Recycled manure water is used
to flush the freestall barns and irrigate the crops. Recaptured sand
is also used to replenish the freestalls.
He uses a multiple cropping program, such as cutting ryegrass
twice for silage followed by corn for silage. He has experimented
with different forages and cover crops, including buckwheat, sunn
hemp, and browntop millet, and uses minimum tillage planting.
Last year, Williams planted alfalfa on 100 irrigated acres. “It’s a
low-lignin alfalfa, and is a potential new forage for the Southeast,”
he says. He grows irrigated corn for silage on 500 acres, with a yield
of 27 tons per acre, and non-irrigated corn silage on 520 acres, with
a yield of 15 tons per acre. Ryegrass silage averages about 8 tons per
acre for both irrigated and non-irrigated fields. He grew 320 acres of
irrigated ryegrass and 380 acres of non-irrigated ryegrass last year,
and grows sorghum silage that yields about 15 tons per acre.
He does his own silage harvesting, and occasionally does
custom silage harvesting. But that provides only a small portion
of his farm’s income. And while he grows silage to feed to his own
herd, he will sell silage to other farms that are short on feed.
Williams works hard to retain long-time employees, builds
relationships with his neighbors, and helps out other dairy farmers
in need. His plans call for building another freestall barn, adding
more irrigation, and increasing his herd size. He also takes great
pride in building up WDairy for the next generation, all the while
protecting the natural environment.
Giving back to his community and to agriculture is important
to Williams. His farm hosts numerous tours for neighbors and
national and international visitors. For a number of years, he was
a volunteer firefighter and a member of Morgan County Farm
Bureau. He currently serves on the Pennington Cemetery Board,
is a local and state 4-H and FFA volunteer, and a member of the
Morgan County Dairy Association.
At the state level, he is president of the Georgia Milk Producers
and serves on a University of Georgia Veterinary School advisory
board, and the boards of Central Georgia Electric Membership
Cooperative and Georgia Transmission Cooperative. He has
testified on dairy topics before the Georgia House, the U.S. House,
and the California Department of Agriculture.
Williams represents Georgia dairy farmers at national
conferences, and often speaks to groups in Georgia about modern
dairy farming. Nationally, he is on the board of Cobblestone Milk
Cooperative and served on the boards of Carolina-Virginia Milk
Producers and Southeast Milk. His farm has also won awards
for production and quality from the Dairy Herd Improvement
Association and milk cooperatives.
Everett and his wife, Carol, are active in Pennington United
Methodist Church. She is involved in almost every aspect
of the farm operation, managing the calves, and handling
human resources and other office duties. She is president of
the Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation, chairs the Morgan County
Agriculture Center Authority, serves on the Georgia Junior
Livestock Foundation board, and is vice president of the Georgia
They have four children and three grandchildren. Their sons,
Justin and Daniel, are University of Georgia graduates and are
back working and managing on the farm. Daughter, Katie, has an
agribusiness degree from the University of Georgia and helps the
farm with promotion and tours as her health allows. Daughter
Michelle is disabled and has a business degree from Georgia
College and State University. All four children took part in 4-H and
FFA, and now give back to these programs as volunteers.
Mark McCann, with the University of Georgia Cooperative
Extension Service, coordinates the Farmer of the Year award
in the state. Lucy Ray, Extension agent in Morgan County, Ga.,
nominated Williams for the award.
“Everett is a good example of a modern dairy farmer,” says Ray.
“He’s very involved in his community and in the dairy industry, and
he’s a great example of how successful a family operation can be.”
Ray especially admires how Williams recycles sand from his barns
and how his farming practices benefit natural resources.
Williams was nominated for the honor by Lucy Ray.
Georgia Farmer of the Year.
Loans for land, farms and homes
like to congratulate
on winning the
of the Year.
What an accomplishment!