Pennsylvania 'Dairy of Distinction' Award Applications Are Due by April 15

Jan 18, 2024

 Pennsylvania dairy producers are invited to apply for the "Dairy of Distinction" award from the Pennsylvania Dairy of Distinction Program. Applications must be submitted by April 15.

This program was initiated in 1987 in Pennsylvania by Penn State retired dairy extension specialist Steve Spencer. According to Mike O'Connor, retired Penn State extension specialist and current adviser to the program, the award is based on Spencer’s concept that attractive farmsteads promote a positive dairy image and will help to enhance consumer confidence in the wholesomeness of milk for the industry.

Dairies receiving the highest scores in each of 10 districts will be awarded an 18-inch-by-24-inch "Dairy of Distinction" sign to display in front of their farm. Farms that have changed ownership from generational transfers are also encouraged to reapply, even if the farm has previously received the award.

It’s important that farmers apply for the Dairy of Distinction award to promote the dairy industry, O'Connor noted, because it lets the public know that dairy farmers want to promote a positive image for the wholesome dairy products they produce.

Prior to farm scoring, milk handlers are contacted to verify milk quality. Roadside judging will occur in May, and farms will be evaluated on factors that can be controlled by the dairy producer. Judges will look for clean and attractively finished buildings; neat landscaping, ditches, roads and lanes; and well-maintained fences.

Judges also will take into consideration other aspects of the farm, such as manure management and cleanliness of animals, the barnyard and feed storage areas.

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