FEBRUARY Bulletin – Center for Dairy Excellence & Foundation

February 2017 – In This Issue:
Nearly 540 attendees to the 2017 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit heard from Dr. Lowell Catlett on agriculture’s profitable and exciting future. Dr. Catlett kicked off the first session of the Summit saying, “I believe its the best time ever to be in agriculture.” He cited gains multiple factors for this belief including sustainability and production efficiency through prescription agriculture, a growing demand for animal protein, increased disposable income and farmers’ ability to adapt their business practices. Session sponsored by American Dairy Association North EastFirst Citizens Bank and Murray Securus

Help Tell Our Story with Letters to Pa. Legislators
Funding for the Ag Excellence budget line has been zeroed out of the Governor’s 2017-2018 fiscal year budget proposal. While this is nothing new for the Center, the budget process is our chance each year to tell the story about the Center’s program successes. Please consider writing a letter to your local legislators showing how your farm and the dairy industry has benefited from our programs. To find out who your local legislators are, click here.

SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Dairy Financial Conference
The annual Dairy Financial and Risk Management Conference is scheduled for Wednesday, September 13 at the Central Penn Conference Center in Enola. The conference is hosted primarily for agriculture lenders and financial professionals to hear from industry experts on challenges and opportunities in dairy business. Please look for registration info later this spring.

Pennsylvania Dairy Farmers Invited to Apply for PA Preferred Membership
Pennsylvania dairy farmers are invited to apply to for PA Preferred status. There is no cost to the process that starts with a 1-page application. Your farm’s participation will allow the Center for Dairy Excellence and the PA Preferred program to recognize your impact in the community through social and digital promotions. To apply, click here.

February Safety Share:
Ladders on Solid Ground
The February Safety Share reminds us to place ladders on a solid foundation as we make spring repairs. Learn more. Monthly Safety Shares remind producers and others in agriculture of how closely we have all come to tragic accidents on the farm. If you have a Safety Share to offer, please email it to Stephanie Roscinski.

Protecting Your Profits Recording Now Online
This month’s “Protecting Your Profits” conference call with Alan Zepp, dairy risk management program manager can be accessed online here.The call provides an update on dairy markets, risk management options and industry dynamics.
       Next month’s Protecting Your Profits Conference Call is planned for Wednesday, March 29, at 12 p.m. To register, call 717-346-0849 or email [email protected].


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Per-Grant Funding Increased for Dairy Decision Consultant through June 30, 2017
$100 Application Fee Waived

The Dairy Decisions Consultant Program offers funding to provide dairy farm families with professional consulting resources to help make decisions to shape the future of their dairy operation.
With many farms still challenged by the below-breakeven margins experienced in 2016, the funding is temporarily increased through June 30, 2017 and will cover at least 85 percent or more of the full fees associated with employing a DDC consultant. The Center will continue to waive the $100 application fee for new applicants through June 30, 2017.
To apply for the Dairy Decisions Consultant Program, click here.

Center, PA Beef Council Host Stockmanship Roadshow 2.0 on March 24 and 25, 2017
Join Dr. Don Hoglund for Live Cattle Handling Demonstrations and Training Session

Join Dr. Don Hoglund, veterinarian and educator with the Livestock Trust Institute, for a hands-on cattle stockmanship clinic. Farm owners and employees are invited to attend one of two workshops for an introduction on how cattle learn and to low-energy cow handling techniques to improve the outcome for both people and cattle.

Dr. Hoglund hosts a workshop on calf handlling.

The March 24 event in Lancaster will focus on dairy handling and the March 25 event in Grove City will focus on beef handling.

Participation qualifies for Beef Quality Assurance Re-Certification and/or Level 2 Training.
Attendees on March 24 will also work with Emily Yeiser Stepp, National Milk Producers Federation, on preparing for the FARM Animal Care Version 3.0 evaluation. Farmers attending the session will walk away with a comprehensive understanding of what the FARM Animal Care evaluation entails and numerous resources that will assist in preparing their farm for the evaluation.
Visit pa-bqa.org for registration and additional details or call 888-423-3372. Workshops are free to dairy and beef farmers. Lunch provided.

Farm Mapping Workshops Available to Dairy/Beef Farmers through April
Centers for Dairy and Beef Excellence Partnered to Offer Grants for Baseline Ag Compliance Projects
Judi Radel works with her son, Bill, to map their family farm in Duncannon.
The Center for Dairy Excellence and Center for Beef Excellence are jointly offering $1,000 grants to assist dairy and beef farming operations with meeting baseline ag compliance. The grants are made possible through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Ag Excellence funding and must be used by June 30, 2017.
The Centers are sponsoring workshops hosted by local conservation districts to help dairy and beef farmers map farms with PaOneStop and write Agriculture Erosion & Sediment Control Plans.
For the full schedule of environmental planning workshops, click here.
For grant information, click here.

Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Spring Farm Tour Scheduled for Wednesday, April 5
High School Students Invited to Tour Dairy Farms in Somerset and Westmoreland Counties
High School students interested in dairy industry careers are invited to attend a day-long tour on Wednesday, April 5, of two farms in southwest Pennsylvania.
Students will tour two successful dairy farms with different management styles that use modern dairy technology: Mike and Vickie Baker of Maple Bottom Dairy and the Stoltzfus family at Pennwood Dairy. During lunch at West Central Equipment, students will hear from industry professionals and explore careers in the dairy industry.
 Charter buses will be available for student and chaperone pick up at Tractor Supply locations in Everett and Gibsonia and the Walmart Super Center in Altoona.
Students must register by Wednesday, March 22 online here or by phone at 717-346-0849.

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