HARRISBURG, Pa. — A group of 35 young professionals recently received scholarships to attend the 2020 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit on February 5-6 in State College, Pa. The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, the Center for Dairy Excellence, and the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania awarded the Young Professionals Scholarships to individuals who are passionate about the future of dairy and motivated to grow their skills through professional development.
“I’m about to graduate from Penn State in May and hopefully going to veterinary school. I thought the Dairy Summit would be a really good networking experience,” said Soshana Brody, a senior at The Pennsylvania State University studying animal science. “There were professionals from the industry not just from Pennsylvania, but across the country, so it was good for me to meet people.”
Individuals who attended the Summit through the Young Professionals Scholarship included Shara Allman, Zoey Baer, Michaela Bell, Lea Breden, Soshana Brody, Marie Bryant, Isaac Clements, Adam Cole, Dominique Corradi, Caitlyn Denger, George DeMers, Rebecca Dent, Kelly Forbes, Alexander Furyk, Elizabeth Gross, Liam Heckman, Garrett Jenkins, Roxanne Kingsley, Daniel Kitchen, Matthew Leise, Tiffany Lenhart, Emma Loch, Kelly MacRae, Roarke Miller, Seth Miller, Adrianna Mowrer, Donald Opp, Molly O’Sullivan, Adrienne Peters, Evan Rapp, Kendra Redinger, Lindsay Smith, Olivia Staub, Drew Walton and Hannah Welk.
The scholarship winners attended the two-day Dairy Summit as well as a Young Professionals Reception. During the reception, they were paired with mentors and networked with dairy professionals of all ages. The reception also featured three panelists who shared career advice and insight about the next generation of dairy.
Casi Long from Kurtland Farms described her unique journey with dairy and encouraged young professionals to promote their personal stories on and off the farm.
“Every generation is another possibility for the dairy industry. We’re growing generation-wise and opportunity-wise,” Long said. “Being able to share your story and encourage others to move forward is really important.”
Dan Hartzell from Hartzell Farms also spoke on the panel and shared his perspective on farm transitions and working with family. Janae Klinger, Manager of Animal Care and Sustainability at Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, described the career resources available to students and the wide range of career possibilities in dairy.
“I feel like there’s not enough information out there for college students to give them an idea of the broad range of positions available in dairy and agriculture. I myself struggled to find the job I have now. I knew I wanted to do something in agriculture, but I didn’t know what,” Klinger shared. “I’m passionate about telling young professionals my story and sharing what’s out there in the dairy industry.”
Young professionals who are interested in receiving a scholarship for the 2021 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit should look for applications to be released in November 2020. Individuals who are attending college or working on dairy farms between the ages of 17-25 are eligible to apply. The 2021 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit will take place on February 10-11, 2021 at the Lancaster Marriott in Lancaster, Pa.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence