HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Center for Dairy Excellence recently awarded a collective total of $205,000 to 41 Pennsylvania dairy producers through the latest round of the Dairy Excellence Grant program. Leveraging funds provided through the PA Dairymen’s Association and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this investment from Ag Excellence has supported a collective reinvestment of more than $3,894,639 into Pennsylvania dairy farms across all of the funded projects to date. The grants are designed to support dairy farm improvement projects that enhance efficiency and cow comfort.
“This grant program has really helped Pennsylvania dairy producers advance their operations, drive efficiency, and commit to cow comfort over the past few years,” said Melissa Anderson, Dairy Programs and Operations Manager. “These funds continue to help dairy producers achieve their goals, commit to excellence, and drive performance.”
Grant recipients are planning to use the funds to invest in activity monitors for their herd, convert to LED lighting, construct new feed storage systems, and install new fans, curtains and mattresses. Several producers also plan to use the grant funds to improve heifer housing and bunk space, remodel calf barns, and invest in new TMR mixers and feed management technology.
During this sixth round of funding, a total of more than 10,500 Pennsylvania dairy cows will be impacted by the improvement projects. Grant recipients’ herd sizes range from approximately 48 cows to 2,000 cows. The dairy producers who received the grants represent a total of 21 counties, including:
In a recent survey of Dairy Excellence Grant recipients, 60 percent of individuals surveyed said the improvement project would not have happened without the grant. After receiving the grant and implementing their improvement project, 56 percent of individuals surveyed said they noticed moderate to major improvements in milk production per cow. A total of 60 percent noticed moderate or major improvements in the overall profitability of their dairy operation through the project.
Grant recipients were selected by a committee of industry professionals and will receive a 50 percent match, up to a maximum matching level of $5,000.
For more information about the grant program, visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/dairy-excellence-grants or contact Melissa Anderson at 717-346-0849. To see how previous grant recipients have used the funds, visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/testimonials.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence