April 2017 - In This Issue:
Dr. Don Hoglund, right, lead a workshop focused on low-energy animal handling for dairy and beef producers in late March, courtesy of the Center for Dairy Excellence and Pa. Beef Council. The hands-on workshop focused on training handlers to interpret animal behavior through an exercise with a group of heifers. Learn more here
Letters to Pa. Governor and Legislators Tell Our Story
Governor Tom Wolf and our state legislators are working diligently to develop a budget for Pennsylvania. The budget process is a chance to tell the story about the center's program successes and the importance of the dairy industry in the state. Please consider writing a letter to the governor and your local legislator  showing how your farm and the dairy industry benefit from our programs. To find who your local legislators are, click here
PASA Seeks Master Graziers for Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program
The Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) administers the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) Program, which provides grass-based dairy farms with skilled, motivated employees and a career path to interested candidates. Apprentices can be existing farm employees, family members, or candidates from the national DGA applicant pool. As a formalized apprenticeship program in agriculture, DGA is the first of its kind. To learn more or apply to be a host farm or apprentice, click here
Pennsylvania Dairy Farmers Invited to Apply for PA Preferred Membership
Pennsylvania dairy farmers are invited to apply to for PA Preferred status. There is no cost to the process that starts with a 1-page application. Participation from your farm will allow the Center for Dairy Excellence and the PA Preferred program to recognize your impact in the community through social and digital promotions. To apply, click here.
April Safety Share: Farm Fire Prevention and Response
The April Safety Share reminds us to be mindful of fire risk on the farm and how to take action in event of a fire. Learn more here.
Monthly Safety Shares remind producers and others in agriculture of how closely we have all come to tragic accidents on the farm. If you have a Safety Share to offer, please email it to Stephanie.
Register for April PYP Call
This month's "Protecting Your Profits" conference call with Alan Zepp, dairy risk management program manager, will lead a brief discussion on softening milk prices, LGM-Dairy and Margin Protection program results and how it impacts your marketing plan. The call is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, at 12 p.m. To register, call 717-346-0849 or email Melissa Anderson


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Dairy Decision Consultant Grants Still Available
Dairy Farmers Can Receive up to $3,500 to Work with a Professional Consultant to Shape Future of Their Farm
With milk prices expected to remain in the $16 - $17 range for 2017, the ongoing period of narrow to non-existent margins has left many farms facing difficult decisions that could significantly affect their future farm viability. Working with a consultant may provide insight as you work through those decisions. 
The Center for Dairy Excellence offers a list of eighteen Dairy Decisions Consultants who can work with farms in one of two key areas:
  • Business Performance and Reaching Financial Benchmarks
  • New Business Opportunity Exploration
  • Employee Relations & Development
Through June 30, the center offers up to $3,500 in funds to work with a consultant. An application must be completed to enter the program. Learn more here
Center Invites Industry Professionals to Meet
Five Mealtime Meetings to be Hosted in May
Field representatives, nutrition consultants, lending agents and all industry representatives are invited to participate in an informal discussion about dairy profitability, center programs and associated topics. The purpose of the meetings is to collect feedback and input on resources to direct the future of the state's dairy industry 

Meetings will be hosted on the following dates: 
  • May 12 at 8:00 a.m.
    • Dutchway, 649 E Lincoln Avenue, Myerstown, PA.
  • May 16 at 8:00 a.m.
    • Country Cupboard, 101 Hafer Road, Lewisburg, PA 
  • May 16 at 1 p.m.
    • Riverstone Inn, 47 Leisure Drive, Towanda, PA 
  • May 19 at 8:00 a.m.
    • Bird's Nest Cafe, 113 S Richard St., Bedford, PA
  • May 19 at 1 p.m.
    • Hoss's Steak and Sea House, 1948 Leesburg Grove City Road, PA
Pre-registration is requested by Monday, May 8. Meals are provided for up to three participants per meeting location from each group or business. To register, call 717-346-0849 or click here.
Educating School District Decision-Makers
Making Connection Between Nutrition and Academic Success
Showing school administrators the connection between good nutrition and academic achievement helps encourage these busy leaders to implement school feeding programs - such as Breakfast After the Bell - that boost dairy product sales. 

Jordan Hicks, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, spoke about his work with Fuel Up to Play 60, a program funded by dairy farmers to transform student health. 
That's why ADA North East recently convened the leadership of some of the largest school districts in their region - including New York City Schools, Philadelphia, Baltimore city and county schools and Washington D.C. for the Interstate Leadership Learning Exchange. The Exchange used the "Appreciative Inquiry" method to assist these decision-makers in developing plans to help students achieve and succeed for a lifetime. 
Initiatives led by American Dairy Association North East - including educational summits to show districts the benefits of feeding students a morning meal, and special events to reward districts for program adoption - have led to this marketing region boasting some of the highest increases in school breakfast participation in the nation. Average breakfast participation increase is 3 percent.
May 26: Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Exploration Experience
High school students, in grades 10-12, interested in dairy veterinary careers are invited to attend the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Exploration Experience, "Exploring the Bovine from the Outside In." Learn more here

June 1: Student Leader Scholarship Applications Due
The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association offer ten $3,000 scholarships to undergraduate students. To qualify, students must demonstrate a commitment to working in the dairy industry in the future and be enrolled in a related undergraduate major. Applications due June 1Learn more here

June 15: Feed Management Plan Writing Workshop
A feed management plan writer's workshop will be held June 15, 2017 at the Lebanon County Extension Office from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The emphasis of this workshop will be on how to approach a baseline plan and monitor the implementation by the producer. Topics for the workshop will cover component and TMR fed dairy herds as well as beef operations. Forage quality and economics will also be covered in the program. This workshop is appropriate for anyone who works with dairy and/or beef cattle. There is no registration fee and lunch will be provided. Dan Ludwig from NRCS and Tara Felix and Virginia Ishler from Penn State will be the instructors. To register, please contact Virginia at

June 25-28: Raw Milk Workshop at ADSA Annual Meeting
The annual meeting of the American Dairy Science Association offers something for everyone including a workshop titled "The Impact of Raw Milk on Dairy Products." Coordinated by Dr. Kerry Kaylegian, Pennsylvania State University, the workshop will address the gap in our understanding of the impact of production practices on raw milk quality and its subsequent effect on finished dairy products, by both producers and processors. The program is sponsored by the Center for Dairy Excellence. Click here to find the full program and registration info.

September 13: Dairy Financial and Risk Management Conference
Save the date for the annual conference to be hosted at the Central Penn Conference Center in Enola primarily for agriculture lenders and financial professionals. Attendees will hear from industry experts on challenges and opportunities in dairy business.

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