Summit Program Offers Insight to Follow Your Compass

Pennsylvania Dairy Summit

Producers Can Attend Two-Day Event for Just $75 or Less

With registration fees for dairy producers deeply discounted, the 2019 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit offers a mix of management training, industry insight, networking and inspiration appealing to anyone working in dairy. Considered the premier dairy event in Pennsylvania, this year’s Dairy Summit will be held on February 5 – 6 at the Lancaster Marriott Convention Center in Lancaster, Pa. Dairy producers can attend the two-day conference for just $75, with additional people from the same farm able to register for just $50. The one-day rate for producers and farm employees is just $25.

Hosted by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence, this year’s Dairy Summit offers encouragement and guidance to help attending dairy producers and industry leaders “follow your compass.” A well-diverse program features a mix of presentations, discussions and breakout sessions that bring insight to management styles and a changing industry.

This year’s program includes a pre-conference reception for Young Professionals and others on Monday, February 4, from 6 – 9 p.m. featuring a panel discussion with four individuals reflecting on their career path  in dairy. The four presenters are Edward Facer, Manager at Star Rock Dairy; Harrison Hartman, Manager at Scattered Acres Farms; Cole McLaughlin, Owner of Eleven Farms; and Greyson Smith, a Land O’Lakes Field Representative.

The Summit kicks off on 9 a.m. on Tuesday, February 5, with the opening session, including two keynote presentations. Haydn Shaw, author of “Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart”, will speak on “Leading Through Change”. This will include the process of leading through the six change reactions to work through change more effectively. Tom Wall, known as the “Dairy Coach”, will follow Shaw with a presentation on motivating employees. He has been working with dairies throughout the country for over 17 years, helping managers create and implement simple systems that work while training and coaching their employees.

The first round of breakout sessions will be held from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Breakouts offered during this session will include:

  • “Disease Prevention through Colostrum Management,”  with Dr. Billy Smith of PennVet. focusing on the approaches to starting calves with high quality colostrum.
  • “Finding Your Work Balance,” with John Noullet and Jayne Miller of WellSpan PhilHaven focusing on the factors that surround stress and how individuals can take control.
  • “Developing Your Team through Your Passion,” with Wall focusing on how dairy managers and their teams can find success through productivity, accountability and dedication.
  • “Capturing the Benefits of Integrating Small Grains,” with Dr. Heather Karsten of Penn State discussing the latest advances to integrating small grains into a dairy rotation.

After the breakouts will be lunch among exhibitors from 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. More than 40 different commercial exhibitors are registered for this year’s Summit. At the trade show, Summit attendees can network and connect with the best the industry has to offer.

During the Summit afternoon session from 2 – 3 p.m., Phil Clemens, of Hatfield Quality Meats, will share his insights and experience in the Summit Business Showcase. He will discuss the challenges he has faced in a business and in agriculture, all while offering advice on how to grow business and family dynamics. Clemens is the CEO of Clemens Family Corporation and Hatfield Quality Meats.

A second round of breakout sessions will run from 4:00 – 5:15 p.m., following a break among exhibitors.

Breakout sessions offered during this round include:

  • “Comparing Calving Facilities,” with Dr. Michaela Kristula of Penn State sharing her insight on the best management practices on designing and maintaining calving care.
  • “Bridging the Generational Gap,” with Shaw sharing how a business can have generations that work together.
  • “Making Peer Groups Work,” a panel discussion featuring three discussion group facilitators sharing how they have seen farms benefit the most by participating.
  • “Developing a Plan for your Planting Needs,” with Dr. Tom Kilcer of Cornell University focusing  on the soils that drive the rotation which affects what the cows are fed.

Following the afternoon breakouts, Penn State will be hosting two mini-breakout sessions from 5:15 – 6:00 p.m. The first will be on “Managing Your Sweet Spot,” led by Dr. Rob Goodling from the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, and the second will be on “Knowing Your Legal Rights,” led by Dr. Ross Pifer with the Center for Agricultural and Shale Law. Attendees can also attend a reception among exhibitors during this time. Afterwards, attendees can enjoy an evening out in Lancaster City.

The program on Wednesday, February 6, kicks off at 6:45 a.m. with breakfast and two mini breakout sessions hosted by Penn State. Jo Ann Miller, Coordinator of Stop the Bleed, will lead “On-Farm Triage When Accidents Occur,” while Penn State Extension Engineers John Tyson and Dan MacFarland will lead “Can You Make Overcrowding Work?”

The third and final round of breakout sessions will be held on February 6 from 8:15 – 9:30 a.m. and will include:

  • “Livestock & Climate Change: Fact or Faked?” with Frank Mitloehner of UC Davis sharing his research on the impact that livestock has on the environment and climate change.
  • “Working through Mergers and Acquisitions,” which will be a panel discussion featuring Michael Peachey of Acuity Advisors and George Cook of Blakinger Thomas providing insight on the legal, business, finance, tax and process aspects of mergers and acquisitions.
  • “Understanding WIP and Agriculture’s Role,” with John Bell of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Matt Royer of Penn State sharing the Ag Workgroup’s recommendation for the Watershed Implementation Plan and its effect on farms.

The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board will also host a special listening session from 8:15 – 9:30 a.m. as part of the Dairy Summit. All three board members, Rob Barley, Carol Hardbarger and Jim VanBlarcom, will be in attendance and available to answer questions and discuss opportunities for the PMMB’s role in Pennsylvania’s dairy industry.

The Summit morning session runs from 10:15 – 11:30 a.m., following a break among exhibitors. During this session, John Brubaker, a native of Lancaster County, will share his insights and experience in the Producer Showcase. Now a resident of Buhl, Idaho, Brubaker has been a lifelong dairy producer and co-owns with his sons Knott-Run Dairy, LLC, a 350-cow operation recognized as Glanbia’s Top Quality Producer in 2017.

Dr. David Dworak, deputy provost at the U.S. Army War College, will speak on “Reaching Your Leadership Potential” during the Summit’s closing luncheon from 11:40 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. This session will focus on local Pennsylvania history, insights of leading diverse organizations, dealing with complex environments, and goal setting. As a retired US Colonel, Dworak has experience in supply chain management, logistics, program management, and worldwide multi-modal distribution.

For non-producers, the two-day industry rate for this year’s Dairy Summit is $225 per person. Additional non-producers from the same organization can be registered at $175 per person for the two-day conference. The one-day rate for non-producers is $150 per person with additional registrations available at $125. Group rates are also available.

Since lodging is not included in the Summit conference registration, those who want to attend should contact the Lancaster Marriot by January 28 to receive the Summit discounted room rate of $129 per night. The reduced group rate is available only as long as there are rooms remaining within the group block. Those interested in reserving a hotel room should contact the Marriott at 1-888-850-6146 by January 21, 2019.

The Pennsylvania Dairy Summit is hosted annually by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and Center for Dairy Excellence. To learn more about the program and to view highlights of the 2019 Pennsylvanian Dairy Summit program, go to Contact the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Business Office with questions at 814-355-2467 or email

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