HARRISBURG, Pa. — The 2024 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit has a line-up of dynamic keynote sessions planned for both dairy producers and allied-industry representatives who want to “unlock their potential” and drive performance within their herds, their employee teams, and the future of their family businesses. Hosted by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and Center for Dairy Excellence, the 2024 event will take place on February 7 and 8 at the Wyndham Lancaster Resort and Convention Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Registration is now open for the in-person event.
“The keynote speakers for the 2024 Dairy Summit are taking their years of experience serving the agriculture industry to deliver dynamic sessions on real-time issues that are affecting today’s dairy farm families. These sessions should not only motivate us on and off the farm, but also help us learn from other dairy producers who are going to describe some of their successes and learning curves in different areas of business,” said Andy Bollinger, the 2024 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Chair and a dairy farmer from Lancaster County.
Learn more about the featured speakers for the 2024 Dairy Summit:
- “Building Trust Inside and Outside the Farm Gate” with Roxi Beck from the Center for Food Integrity. How can we think differently about what it means to earn trust, both inside and outside the farm gate? Attendees will hear about the varied pressure points that shape today’s food system and ways we can build deeper transparency.
Roxi Beck is the Consumer Engagement Director for The Center for Food Integrity and Vice President of Look East Consulting. An active speaker, trainer, facilitator and a trusted advisor to food system thought leaders, she brings 15 years of experience working with clients across the food system, directing strategy and activities for consumer-facing food and agriculture initiatives. Whether working with registered dietitians, toxicologists, corporate executives, communication directors, restaurateurs, farmers, non-profit leaders, and even consumers, Beck helps organizations incorporate transparency principles and trust-growing approaches into their culture.
- “Cultivating a Multi-Faceted Family Farm,” a Producer Showcase with Sarah Moag and Rob Noble of Noblehurst Farms. As farmers, good stewardship ranges from the animals and natural resources to the employees that dairy producers work with every day. Hear how Noblehurst Farms takes a team approach and cultivates a multi-faceted family farm.
Noblehurst Farms is a seventh-generation dairy farm in Linwood, New York. Established in July 1960, Noblehurst Farms Inc. milks 1,800 cows and works over 2,500 acres of corn, alfalfa, and wheat. Having grown over the years, this family farm business has realized the importance of taking the utmost care in doing what is right for the land, its cattle, employees and owners. With a focus on long-range planning and profitability, their family thrives on being environmentally conscious, fostering teamwork, promoting agriculture, and ensuring good stewardship of their natural resources and community. They intentionally focus on employee management and incorporate biodigestion, solar panels, and sustainability into their dairy operation.
- “Innovating a Producer-Led Marketplace,” a Panel Discussion with Ken Smith (Cool Lawn Farms), Jason Frye (Pleasant Lane Farms), and Cayuga Marketing. Dairy producers might envision what it is like to create a producer-led milk market, but bringing an idea like this to fruition takes cohesiveness, creativity and persistence. During this keynote session, panelists will share how they approached the idea, found a market, and formed a cohesive group of producers.
Ken Smith is a dairy farmer at Cool Lawn Farms in Remington, Virginia. Cool Lawn Farms is a family-operated dairy operation with over 900 cows and 17 employees. The Smiths make cow comfort a priority with everything they do, and their cows are housed in a freestall barn that is bedded with composted solids. The Smiths started their own retail business called Moo Thru in 2010, and it has been growing ever since with three locations today. Located just two miles away from their family farm, the original ice cream store sells handmade ice cream, bottled milk, and lunch items.
Jason Frye is a dairy farmer and processor at the Creamery at Pleasant Lane Farms. The dairy operation was founded in 1976, and it is still family-owned and operated by their sons, Todd, Jason, Chad, and their families along with Craig Deuel and Family. In late 2020, a new creamery was added for the production of artisan farmstead cheese, and in early 2021, a new Smart Barn and robotic milking facility was added to milk the 50+ dairy cows. Pleasant Lane Farms also has an apiary, and their hives are home to more than 50,000 honeybees.
Cayuga Marketing was born from the vision of a dedicated group of farmers in Central New York. Cayuga Marketing is owned by passionate farmers with absolute commitment to producing the highest quality milk. It consists of 29 member owners, who own and manage dairy farm businesses. Cayuga Marketing is the 24th largest cooperative in the country. It markets approximately 1 billion pounds of milk per year.
- Navigating Shifting Market Dynamics with Phil Plourd from Ever.Ag. When the only constant in dairy markets is the never-ending shifts, learning how to navigate change and uncertainty is crucial. Attendees will hear about the latest updates on shifting market dynamics and factors they can control.
Phil Plourd is Head of Market Intelligence for Ever.Ag, and he has over 25 years of experience in dairy market analysis, research, forecasting, consulting and risk management activities. He draws on that experience to lead an expert team, helping clients find better ways to do business across the supply chain and around the world. He is a popular speaker who engages audiences on a variety of topics.
Thanks to grants and support from the Center for Dairy Excellence, Professional Dairy Managers of PA, and Summit sponsors, registration fees for dairy producers are set to be as affordable as possible. To register for the conference and view the full program, visit padairysummit.org or call 814-355-2467.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Contact the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Business Office at 814-355-2467 or email email@example.com for more information.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence