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More than 600 students enrolled in Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow

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In just eight weeks since being launched industry-wide, the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program is being used by 600 students in 33 classrooms throughout Pennsylvania and in five other states across the U.S. Fifteen independent students are also enrolled in the curriculum-based program. Developed by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania, the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program fills a void by preparing students specifically to work in dairy production or agribusiness careers.

“Momentum for the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program is building among the students and within the agricultural education community,” said Diane Glock-Cornman, dairy education coordinator with the Center for Dairy Excellence, who serves as the content developer and instructor for the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program. “The excitement surrounding the program and the opportunity it offers to young people interested in dairy is contagious.”

First developed in 2012, four lessons from the high school curriculum, available online or to use in a classroom setting, were successfully piloted in 20 different high schools across Pennsylvania during the 2012/13 academic year. Currently the program offers coursework under two certification programs approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Courses offered in the fall of 2013 include introduction to the dairy industry, dairy farm business management, ruminant anatomy and nutrition, and dairy herd health.

Beyond the curriculum platform, plans are underway to offer students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the dairy industry. Virtual and live tours of dairy farms and agribusinesses are being planned, and scholarships will be offered to industry events, such as the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit in February.

“We are really looking to build a networking community for these students enrolled in the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program to learn from each other and from those in the industry,” said Emily Yeiser, dairy initiatives manager with the center. “We hope to encourage participation in these events outside the classroom and to stimulate ongoing discussion among the students through social media efforts.”

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania is currently soliciting for organizations to sponsor students to complete the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program. Sponsorship opportunities are available to support one or multiple scholarships to complete the program. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Yeiser at 717-346-0849 or eyeiser@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania was established in 2010 as a charitable 501(c)(3) organization enabling individuals and corporations to make a lasting impact on the future of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and its individual dairy farm families. Priorities for the center foundation include youth development, continuing education, consumer outreach and market development.

Those interested in contributing to the larger Center Foundation can do so by visiting www.centerfordairyexcellence.org and clicking on “Our Foundation” under “About the CDE.” More information about the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program can also be found at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org. Click on “Students & Educators,” then on “Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow.” Or call the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849.

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