The dairy industry is a keystone for agriculture in the Commonwealth, which is why Team Pennsylvania has partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) to fortify the collective efforts in supporting the industry’s future. The 56th All-American Dairy Show, held annually at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, was the ideal venue for the first On-Farm Dairy Innovation Forum, held on Tuesday, September 17 through this partnership.

Earlier in the day, the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program guidelines for the current year. This grant program provides funding for eligible projects that support the Pennsylvania dairy industry. The commencement of the program was directly supported by the agenda, which included opening remarks from Secretary Russell Redding, and a panel of PA Dairy Investment Program grant recipients from the first year of the program who shared their projects and personal experiences with the grant program. Panelists included Rebecca Seidel, One Horn Farm of Berks Co.; Mike Kosmicki, Caputo Brothers Cheese of York Co.; and Sue Miller, Birch Run Hill Farms in Chester Co. The program included presentations on what interested applicants should consider before investing in the grant opportunity.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and Department of Agriculture presented the available grants in detail; Penn State Extension and PDA presented on Food Safety; and American Dairy Association North East spoke on innovation. Participants benefited from the ability to engage directly with the primary sources of information. Team Pennsylvania looks forward to sustaining support for events through the partnership with PDA and CDE that lead to economic sustainability and farm profitability.