Center for Dairy Excellence

Center for Dairy Excellence To provide the leadership, voice and programs for a vibrant Pennsylvania dairy industry.

If you're attending the Keystone Farm Show starting TOMORROW, make sure to visit our booth! We’ll be giving away some fu...
01/08/2024

If you're attending the Keystone Farm Show starting TOMORROW, make sure to visit our booth! We’ll be giving away some fun dairy products (while supplies last) to showcase the innovative and versatile dairy products across the Pennsylvania dairy industry. We'll also have a giveaway for an all expenses paid trip to the PA Dairy Summit. Hope to see you there!

PLEASE SHARE: Do you like numbers and are you interested in dairy markets? We have a Risk Education Program Manager open...
01/04/2024

PLEASE SHARE: Do you like numbers and are you interested in dairy markets? We have a Risk Education Program Manager opening at the Center for Dairy Excellence! This flexible position (in a hybrid work environment) allows you to collaborate with individuals across the dairy supply chain and build awareness of risk management programs and milk market pricing dynamics.

👉 Learn more and share with someone you know: https://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/jobs

01/04/2024

The unveiling of this year's 1,000-pound butter sculpture at the PA Farm Show with a nice introduction and remarks from Secretary Russell Redding, PA dairy farmer Walt Moore, American Dairy Association North East, and others industry leaders.

The PA Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the PA Workforce Development Board's Agriculture Committee will b...
01/03/2024

The PA Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the PA Workforce Development Board's Agriculture Committee will be hosting a workforce listening session on Tuesday, Jan. 9 for the agricultural industry during the 2024 PA Farm Show. Whether you are a farmer, agricultural worker, or simply interested in the future of agriculture, you will have the opportunity to share your workforce challenges and opportunities with representatives from the PA Dept. of Agriculture, PA Dept. of Labor and Industry, and the PA Workforce Development Board.

👉 RSVP for the session: https://ow.ly/zkiq50QkKJG

With the recent Farm Bill extension, Congress also extended the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) safety net for 2024, which i...
01/02/2024

With the recent Farm Bill extension, Congress also extended the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) safety net for 2024, which is good news for dairy farmers. The extension incorporates the 2019 production history update, which was previously known as the Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage, into the underlying DMC Program. Dairy farm families can expect DMC enrollment for the 2024 Program Year to open soon. While DMC margins haven’t been projected yet for the coming year, the program has netted nearly $58,000 in indemnity payments for each one million pounds of milk covered during the five year period from 2019 – 2023.

DMC is margin-based coverage, and it’s just one of several tools dairy farm families have available to protect their operations against margin and price risks. Consider making this program a part of your risk management strategy in 2024.

Wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year!
01/01/2024

Wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year!

📸 These are nice photos to see! American Dairy Association North East is working with national dairy checkoff Dairy Mana...
12/29/2023

📸 These are nice photos to see! American Dairy Association North East is working with national dairy checkoff Dairy Management Inc. to boost awareness and sales of fluid milk in Dollar General stores with a “milk and cookies” in-store promotion. Undeniably Dairy signage has been placed by the milk case and in the cookie aisle in 1,300 stores in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania through Jan. 14.

At Homestead Acres in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, Curtis Zimmerman and his wife manage the dairy operation and milk 12...
12/28/2023

At Homestead Acres in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, Curtis Zimmerman and his wife manage the dairy operation and milk 120 cows alongside their son. While Curtis is only 49, he decided to take a proactive approach with succession planning and giving his son the opportunity to take over the dairy business. The Zimmermans worked with Dr. Brian Reed, a dairy farm consultant, to start building a clear transition plan between generations.

“It gave us all a voice in the decisions. I was a little concerned about how to make everything fair and make it work financially for both parties. Dr. Reed helped us through all that,” Curtis said. “The way he helped us set it up, we can tweak the plan as we go. If something isn’t working out on either end, we can switch it around. It helped us understand where everyone is at.”

Instead of waiting to make these types of transition decisions, working with an outside consultant helped guide the Zimmerman family through the starting points they can take to maintain a true generational family dairy operation.

“I see so often that we wait and wait. Then, the next generation can’t even afford it or doesn’t have enough time in life to purchase a place or take over a dairy operation. It’s just too expensive or time consuming for them. So, the earlier you can start for a young couple, the better,” he added.

👉 Read their story: https://ow.ly/ILaH50QkLbm

Want to start the transition planning process in the new year, or at least figure out your first steps? The Center for Dairy Excellence offers consultants to dairy farm families at no cost. Email Melissa Anderson to get started or call 717-346-0849.

For many people, winter can be a difficult time with days overcome by a lack of motivation, negative thinking, and incre...
12/27/2023

For many people, winter can be a difficult time with days overcome by a lack of motivation, negative thinking, and increased irritability. These can be symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is defined as a mood disorder in which abnormal moods occur in a regular seasonal pattern, such as depression during the short days of winter. SAD impacts approximately 10 million Americans and it is important to note that while most people are affected during the winter, this disorder can be attached to any season.

When exploring options for preventing the difficult symptoms that come with winter months, there are 3 areas of focus: environmental, psychological, and behavioral. Winter months do not have to be dreaded. Through combined changes to your environment, behavior, and the way you think, it can be an enjoyable time of year!

Read the article to learn more: https://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/articles-to-help/

📣 DAIRY JOB OPPORTUNITY: Full-Time Dairy Position at Star Rock FarmsStar Rock Farms is a third-generation family owned d...
12/26/2023

📣 DAIRY JOB OPPORTUNITY: Full-Time Dairy Position at Star Rock Farms

Star Rock Farms is a third-generation family owned diversified farming operation. They are seeking a motivated and driven individual to join their dairy team, where we milk 2,000 registered Holsteins and Jerseys. Being team-focused, having knowledge of dairy animals, maintenance and general/harvest equipment operation experience is required. Duties will include but are not limited to: heading up maintenance and special projects on the dairy, equipment operation during harvest and busy times, and managing custom manure hauling.

👉Learn more and share with someone you know: https://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/dairy-job-opportunities/

🎄Merry Christmas to all our hardworking dairy farm families!
12/25/2023

🎄Merry Christmas to all our hardworking dairy farm families!

In our monthly Center Focus Column, Jayne Sebright reflects on how it's easy to move from one day to the next without ev...
12/22/2023

In our monthly Center Focus Column, Jayne Sebright reflects on how it's easy to move from one day to the next without ever looking long term and planning for the future. Planning for the future can be intimidating for many dairy farmers with so many day-to-day responsibilities, but it doesn’t have to be. 👇 Here are some ways we can reflect on the past and adjust for the future.

The Center for Dairy Excellence assists dairy farm families in the decision-making process and serves as a catalyst for collaboration to strengthen the broader industry. The Dairy Excellence Foundation supports programs that cultivate and inspire that next generation of Pennsylvania dairy.

The Center for Dairy Excellence recently recognized three Board members for their service and commitment to Pennsylvania...
12/21/2023

The Center for Dairy Excellence recently recognized three Board members for their service and commitment to Pennsylvania dairy. Diane Hartman, Phoebe Bitler, and Jessica Slaymaker each completed their terms. Thank you for your service and support over the years!

“Cheese-making is kind of like farming. There are many different ways to do it well and do it right.” The holiday season...
12/21/2023

“Cheese-making is kind of like farming. There are many different ways to do it well and do it right.” The holiday season is here, and can you imagine having to fill a bunch of orders from last-minute customers looking for the perfect gift? For Pennsylvania dairy farmers in the artisan cheese business, that’s exactly what this time of year can look like.

In this new episode of Cow-Side Conversations, Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm in Chester County shares how her family is adding value to their small dairy farm (54 acres and 70 cows) with artisan cheese. Sue describes how they manage their herd to produce high-quality milk with an ideal ratio between fat and protein, some of the skills that are critical to her role as a cheesemaker, how they work as a family 7 days a week, and the community and growth opportunities that are forming through the resurgence of artisan cheese across the state.

🎙️ LISTEN NOW: www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/podcast

Here's a holiday message that a PA dairy processor, Turner's Dairy, shared with us and shows the impact of our industry'...
12/20/2023

Here's a holiday message that a PA dairy processor, Turner's Dairy, shared with us and shows the impact of our industry's fresh, versatile dairy products!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
At Turner’s, we are committed to creating high quality products with the freshest ingredients possible. We couldn't do that without the local, family dairy farms located right here in Western PA. Thank you to our farm partners for working tirelessly all year to provide us with the best raw ingredients, we couldn’t do it without you!

🎄Read more holiday messages and share your own: https://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/holiday-message-2023/

Dairy producers: Do you have young employees between the ages of 18 and 30? Do you want to help advance their skillsets ...
12/19/2023

Dairy producers: Do you have young employees between the ages of 18 and 30? Do you want to help advance their skillsets and encourage them to develop themselves professionally within the dairy industry? Encourage them to apply for the Young Dairy Professionals Scholarship to attend the PA Dairy Summit this February!

Thanks to a partnership between the Center for Dairy Excellence, Dairy Excellence Foundation and Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, these scholarships allow young dairy professionals to attend the 2024 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit (happening on February 6-8 in Lancaster) for a discounted rate of $50. NEW this year, scholarship recipients will also be able to attend a Young Dairy Professionals Career Development Workshop happening during the Summit.

👉 Learn more and share with a young dairy professional you know: https://ow.ly/MkYz50QjRP3

The Center for Dairy Excellence has resources and materials to help manage year-end taxes and financial planning, includ...
12/18/2023

The Center for Dairy Excellence has resources and materials to help manage year-end taxes and financial planning, including a short video tutorial on calculating your cost of production. Watch Dr. Gardner’s informative video and download the corresponding worksheets: https://ow.ly/avtq50Qfe8k

Dairy producers: Kick off 2024 by enhancing your Spanish language skills! If you're looking to enhance communication wit...
12/15/2023

Dairy producers: Kick off 2024 by enhancing your Spanish language skills! If you're looking to enhance communication with Spanish speakers on your dairy farm, we continue to hear great things from dairy producers who take the "Spanish for Agriculture" online course with Katie Dotterer of AgvoKate. That's why the Center for Dairy Excellence is once again offering $100 discounts to dairy producers who sign up for Katie's “Spanish for Agriculture” (Dairy Beginners or Intermediate) online course this winter.

The online course will be held live on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from January 16 – March 7, 2024. All live classes are recorded and readily accessible to accommodate your schedule. You will have 24/7 access to all course content through April 19.

👉 Get the $100 discount: https://ow.ly/MQZT50QionL

The family farming lifestyle: "What a blessing to work with family each day! Yet, that can be a difficult thing, too. We...
12/15/2023

The family farming lifestyle:

"What a blessing to work with family each day! Yet, that can be a difficult thing, too. We often take each other for granted and don't treat family members with the same respect as we would others. But each day I am thankful that I see two out of three of my grown children and are a vital part of their lives every day! So, Merry Christmas to each hard-working farm family and may we remember what a blessing our lifestyle is, even on the hard days."

--Amy, PA dairy farmer

🎄Read more holiday messages and share your own: https://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/holiday-message-2023/

New Climate-Smart Grants are now available for Pennsylvania dairy producers! Discover climate-smart and environmental be...
12/14/2023

New Climate-Smart Grants are now available for Pennsylvania dairy producers! Discover climate-smart and environmental best practices for your dairy operation. If you are approved through the pre-qualification process, you can work with a technical service provider to develop a climate-smart plan for your dairy farm.

👉 Apply to be pre-qualified: www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/climate-smart-grants

Thanks to U.S. Representative Glenn "GT" Thompson, along with 229 of his colleagues, who voted yesterday in favor of H.R...
12/14/2023

Thanks to U.S. Representative Glenn "GT" Thompson, along with 229 of his colleagues, who voted yesterday in favor of H.R. 1147, Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act. This legislation, which passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, will restore the option of whole milk in school nutrition programs.

Make sure to call Senator Casey and Fetterman’s offices to encourage them to support the bill when it comes up for vote.

For too long milk has been unfairly demonized. Today the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed Whole Milk For Healthy Kids! I look forward to restoring access to these nutritious beverages in schools across the country. 🐮🥛

This is your last call to register for Ag Biz Masters – the FSA Certified interactive learning series designed specifica...
12/13/2023

This is your last call to register for Ag Biz Masters – the FSA Certified interactive learning series designed specifically for young and beginning farmers. This two-year program takes a blended learning approach with on-demand, eLearning modules and activities. Don’t miss out, register today! www.agbizmasters.com

From the National Milk Producers Federation: Good nutrition is a cornerstone of kids’ health and development. Milk is th...
12/12/2023

From the National Milk Producers Federation: Good nutrition is a cornerstone of kids’ health and development. Milk is the number one source of protein for kids 2-11, and it’s the top source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D for children ages 2-18. But most kids and adolescents don’t meet the daily dairy intake recommendations made in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

And it’s happening in part because they drink less milk – and throw more of it away – when they don’t have access to the types of milk they like to drink at home. Whole milk is the most popular variety in America, followed by 2% -- yet neither are allowed under federal school meal programs. And a growing body of scientific evidence shows that whole milk and reduced-fat milk have numerous health benefits that kids need.

That’s why Congress needs to pass the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act, which expands the popular, healthy milk options schools can choose to serve to improve student nutrition. You can help support kids’ access to milk’s vital nutrients by urging your member of Congress to vote “Yes” on this important nutrition legislation when the House votes this month.

👉 Learn more about how you can support this Act: https://ow.ly/uhbb50QgSGW

Here's a moment on the farm that's extra special during the winter months:The sound of a job well done.“The satisfaction...
12/12/2023

Here's a moment on the farm that's extra special during the winter months:

The sound of a job well done.

“The satisfaction of having all the cows milked, the calves and steers and heifers fed is enough to put a smile on our faces. I love coming out to do chores and hearing the loud hungry bawls of hungry bovines, and then the absolute peace and quiet, except for the occasional clang of a gate, that means a job well done!”

–The Lehmans, PA dairy farmers

🎄Read more holiday messages and share your own: https://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/holiday-message-2023/

This December, we have some messages and photos from PA dairy farmers to share with you! Here's the first one. These are...
12/08/2023

This December, we have some messages and photos from PA dairy farmers to share with you! Here's the first one. These are real messages from real families with real stories who are making a difference this December and all year long. Thanks for all you do! 🎄View the messages and share your own: https://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/holiday-message-2023/

Creating memories with family.

“What puts a smile on my face at the end of the day coming in from the barn is thinking of all the memories my son has made. Knowing he has an opportunity that a lot of kids don’t have and that he has a future in agriculture. A smile comes across his face every time we go to the barn, especially when he gets to ride in Big Birtha (9420 John Deere). The best moment during chopping haylage this season was hearing my little man say “Hi mamma, you’re doing a great job” over the CB while I was driving silage truck. The best moments on the farm is creating them with my little man.”

–Kaitlin, PA dairy farmer

Did you know that farmers can retire? Join Penn State Extension on December 12 for the “Mooving on Retirement” webinar t...
12/07/2023

Did you know that farmers can retire? Join Penn State Extension on December 12 for the “Mooving on Retirement” webinar to learn strategies for any stage you may be in – from just starting out to approaching retirement. During this session, you will learn how and what to budget for your retirement. Learn the strategies that you should be implementing now and those to use later. Register for this FREE webinar here: https://ow.ly/JNm150Qfe5P

Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can make. Ag Biz Masters is an FSA Certified interactive learni...
12/06/2023

Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can make. Ag Biz Masters is an FSA Certified interactive learning series designed specifically for young and beginning farmers that will help you do just that. Registration for this year’s course is open now through December 15. Don’t wait, register today and invest in your future! 👉www.agbizmasters.com

Our thoughts and prayers are with Representative GT Thompson. As he says below, he plans to tackle this head on with his...
12/06/2023

Our thoughts and prayers are with Representative GT Thompson. As he says below, he plans to tackle this head on with his faith and optimism. We know his fighting spirit will help him navigate this diagnosis.

Thompson Statement on Cancer Diagnosis

Do you find yourself worried and stressed about upcoming holiday gatherings? Plenty of people experience apprehension an...
12/05/2023

Do you find yourself worried and stressed about upcoming holiday gatherings? Plenty of people experience apprehension and worry about spending time with their extended family during holiday gatherings. Much of the time, dissention over the farm is at the center of this anxiety. Check out Monica McConkey’s latest farm stress article to find her tips for navigating hard conversations or events this holiday season!

Read the article: https://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/articles-to-help/

Address

2301 N Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA
17110

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 4pm
Tuesday 8am - 4pm
Wednesday 8am - 4pm
Thursday 8am - 4pm
Friday 8am - 4pm

Telephone

+17173460849

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