HARRISBURG, Pa. — On Friday, October 9, high school students are invited to learn about multiple career opportunities in the dairy industry during the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow virtual farm tour. Throughout the virtual event, students will meet farmers and industry professionals from two dairy farms in Somerset County, Pennsylvania and will be able to ask questions about today’s dairy farming practices and career opportunities.
“We are excited to virtually welcome high school students and teachers to two progressive dairy farms in Pennsylvania during this year’s farm tour,” said Brittany Snyder, Dairy Education Program Manager at the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “This is an educational event that’s ideal for virtual learning, especially for high schoolers who are interested in exploring the wide range of careers in the dairy industry—from engineering and food science to veterinary care, dairy genetics, and accounting.”
The first segment during the virtual farm tour will be held at Maple Bottom Farm in Dawson, Pennsylvania. Students will get to experience the farm’s robotic milking technology and learn about the cheese-making process. For students who are interested in exploring careers in the value-added space, such as cheese-making or ice cream making, this will be an informative tour. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from an engineer who operates the farm’s robotic milking equipment.
The second segment will take place at Pennwood Farms in Berlin, Pennsylvania. After taking a virtual tour of the Stoltzfus family farm, students will hear from the farm’s veterinarian and learn about herd health, animal care, and the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process. They will also gain exposure to the financial side of the dairy industry and hear from an accountant who works with the dairy farm.
“This is a visual way for students to get a firsthand look at two modern, working dairy farms and speak directly with dairy professionals,” Snyder added. “We have a line-up of speakers who have extensive expertise in all facets of the industry. Students will be able to submit questions and chat live with these speakers during the tour.”
Hydrite Chemical Co., a company offering expertise in chemical distribution and food and dairy sanitation, is sponsoring this year’s virtual farm tour. Zoetis, a global animal health company, is also providing support to ensure as many high school students can participate as possible.
To join the virtual farm tour, follow the Dairy Excellence Foundation on YouTube. No registration is required. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, October 9th and will be live streamed directly from the farms in two separate streams. There will be a break in between segments, and the tour is expected to end by 3 p.m.
Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow is a curriculum designed specifically to prepare high school students to work in the dairy industry. Managed by the Dairy Excellence Foundation, the program provides dairy business and herd management courses to high school educators and students interested in a dairy production career.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence