HARRISBURG, Pa. — The 2021 virtual Pennsylvania Dairy Summit is scheduled for February 8-11, 2021 and will empower attendees to emerge from the event with a renewed outlook on dairy, innovative ideas for strengthening the industry, and stronger connections with their peers. Hosted by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence, the event will feature renowned keynote speakers from across the nation and more than 10 educational breakout sessions. In addition, engaging entertainment and networking receptions are scheduled between keynote and breakout sessions to ensure attendees have the chance to connect with their peers.
“While we have experienced a lot of virtual events throughout 2020 and are eager to be able to gather in-person again, we have planned this year’s virtual Dairy Summit to be as interactive and immersive as possible. We want it to be a fun, memorable experience for everyone involved,” said Jessica Slaymaker, the 2021 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit chair and a dairy farmer from Tioga County. “Not only can you walk away from the Summit with new ideas and strategies for improving your dairy operation, but it’s a great way to take a step back from your daily responsibilities and build relationships with your peers.”
Musical performances from local bands, such as Pyxus, the Foster Sisters, and the Jess Zimmerman Band will be featured throughout the four-day event. Attendees can also attend several networking receptions to recharge, engage with their peers, and hear perspectives from across the dairy industry. Networking opportunities include:
- An Inspirational Evening Chat with Chuck Carr – Having overcome life-altering losses on his dairy farm and in his personal life, Chuck Carr will share his empowering story of self-reflection, resilience, and healing. This networking session and evening chat will offer inspiration and meaningful discussion for all participants.
- What Recent Political Upheaval Could Mean for Dairy – You don’t have to be a political junkie to have an opinion or interest in the fallout from the 2020 elections and concerns about what the changes in leadership in Washington and Harrisburg might really mean to dairy. Three individuals will start a candid conversation with Summit attendees about what a Biden/Harris Administration, with complete party control of the U.S. Congress, could mean to the dairy industry. Join an informal chat with three political/policy wonks in the dairy sector — Paul Bleiberg (NMPF), Alan Novak (PDMP), and Mike Oscar (NDFC) — to get their diverse perspectives on the issues that concern you. Hear what they are learning daily about the agendas in the PA and US Capitols, and share the priorities you would like to see dairy focus on for policy reform.
- Cheese-Tasting with Sue Miller – Birchrun Hills Farm is a small family dairy farm with an on-site creamery in northern Chester County, Pennsylvania. When you sign up for the virtual cheese-tasting event, owner Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm will ship you three types of local cheese. During the evening reception, she will guide you through an educational cheese-tasting journey and share suggestions for pairing each cheese with your favorite beverage. Catch up with your peers and spend the evening trying new tastes and flavors.
- Young Professionals Chat – A continuous pool of talent is essential for any industry to sustain and prosper. The dairy industry, like any other, must foster and encourage the next generation of professionals entering the workforce. A panel of young dairy professionals will share how they found careers in the dairy industry and what they have learned along the way to position themselves for success. Individuals of all ages are welcome to join the discussion and share real-world advice with college students attending the Summit.
Four dynamic keynote speakers have been announced for the virtual event, including Dr. David Kohl, the team from Heglar Creek Dairy, Tara Vander Dussen, and Lee Rubin. The speakers will encourage attendees to embrace what 2021 has on the horizon, find ways to leverage the industry’s sustainability efforts when telling our stories, and enhance teamwork at the farm level with practical strategies.
Dairy Summit attendees can also participate in 12 breakout sessions designed to enhance leadership at both the farm and consumer-facing levels. Sessions will provide expertise and strategies for integrating beef into your dairy business, maximizing components, hosting virtual farm tours, communicating with consumers, and more.
Learn more about the 2021 event:
- When: February 8-11, 2021
- Where: Virtual event
- PA Dairy Producer — $100
- Out-of-State Dairy Producer — $125
- Non-Producer — $175
- College Classrooms/Clubs — $100
- College Dairy Students and Young Professionals (Age 17-25)*— $25
*Must attend Tuesday evening’s Young Professionals Chat
- How to register: Visit www.padairysummit.org or contact the Dairy Summit Business Office at 814-326-5993.
The Pennsylvania Dairy Summit is nationally recognized as one of the best conferences for dairy professionals in all types of production. Transitioned to a virtual platform for 2021, creative ways to connect and engage will be included throughout the Summit program, including networking opportunities, virtual giveaways, music and entertainment. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for businesses that are looking for affordable and effective ways to connect with dairy customers digitally and expand their reach within Pennsylvania and across the nation.
To learn more about this year’s virtual Dairy Summit and to view sponsorship opportunities, visit padairysummit.org. Contact the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Business Office with questions at 814-326-5993 or email email@example.com.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence