Producer Needs Drive the Annual PA Dairy Summit Program

Producer Needs Drive the Annual PA Dairy Summit Program

1/11/11

Bellefonte, PA -- With the dairy farming evolving at a rapid pace and forces outside the industry having an unprecedented impact, four of most respected organizations in Pennsylvania’s dairy industry have once again teamed-up to develop a PA Dairy Summit that is targeted with information dairy farmers must have if they want to remain viable. The Summit on February 2 and 3 will be held at the Lancaster Host Resort in Lancaster, Pa.

In announcing the program, Summit Chair Dale Hoffman, owner ofKar-Dale Acres in Shingletown,Pa., told fellow producers, "Attending the Summit is more important than ever to learn how to adapt and to recharge your batteries." Hoffman added, "I encourage everyone who works on a dairy farm to spend two days with more than 500 people who share your enthusiasm for dairy, who understand your concerns and interests, and who stand ready become your friends and supporters."

Whether a farm has 50 cows or 1500, the owner and everyone on the farm have a stake in this year’s Summit. The program will open by addressing head-on the question of how the industry can be sustained amidst ever growing pressures. Speakers will cover the farm bill and dairy policy with specifics about how those decisions affect the dairy business, and will emphasize how to increase profitability in a session on "Money Makers for Your Dairy Business." These general sessions bring the entire industry together in one room to look for solutions, while breakout sessions allow for closer interaction with the speakers and tackle day-to-day practices on the farm such as direct marketing, risk management, cow comfort and animal patterns, and reaping the most from reproductive strategies.

There will also be a repeat of the evening session introduced last year where there is open discussion from a variety of perspectives. This year’s topic is animal activism.

Showcases of Wisconsin’s Crave Brothers Farm and the two dairy farms operated by Dr. David Galton of Cornell will give insight into how operations and management can affect success. This year’s look into the retail side of dairy will feature Schreiber Foods, Inc., a $4+ billion global enterprise whose Shippensburg, Pa. plant delivers dairy to the consumer as one of the world’s top producers of private-label cream cheese.

Because the Summit is all about bringing the right program to producers at the right time, the closing lunch will be highlighted by an inspirational message about "Changing Your View of Success" from Jenné Fromm, a nationally recognized writer, speaker and motivator whose personal story and insight triggers sensible ideas for meaningful change.

To keep networking a key element of the two-day event, the schedule includes a variety of options for producers to talk one-on-one with their peers. Each year the trade show also draws as many as 70 exhibitors whose experts bring another aspect to the learning experience and relationship building that is unique to the PA Dairy Summit. The complete agenda and exhibitor list are available at the special Summit website: www.padairysummit.org.

The Summit committee is aware how tight budgets are right now, but Chairman Hoffman notes "discounts through the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board reduce the registration cost for producers by 50%. The resulting $100 fee covers all conference programming, entrance to all exhibits, meals over the two day meeting."

According to Hoffman, "Each year as new producers attend, their evaluations share how useful they found the Summit, no matter what size herd they are managing. When a dairy meeting regularly draws a crowd this large, it is a pretty sure bet that it’s worth your time to check it out."

More than 10,000 dairy farm connections have already received the Summit brochure in the mail, but program details and registration information are also available at www.padairysummit.org in both a printable format and as a secure online registration form. The Summit business office can be reached at info@padairysummit.org or 877-326-5993.

The 2011PA Dairy Summit is hosted by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (www.pdmp.org) and the Center for Dairy Excellence (www.centerfordairyexcellence.org). Supporting partners are the PA Department of Agriculture and the Penn State Dairy Alliance, an initiative of Cooperative Extension. The broad list of suppliers that also support the industry as Summit sponsors is shown at www.padairysummit.org.

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