Emily Yeiser Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Dairy Initiatives Manager Center for Dairy Excellence

Please describe your agricultural background.
While I did not grow up on a dairy farm, I was provided the opportunity to become involved in the dairy industry through the dairy leasing program. Through the relationship with the University of Maryland,Cooperative Extensionand the Naval Academy dairy farm, I “borrowed” my first Holstein heifer when I was 8 years old.

In 1998, the Naval Academy decided to sell the farm, at which point, my family and I decided to buy our first heifer from that herd. My sister and I, along with our parents, own, show and market Spots-Pride Holsteins and Brown Swiss and our small herd is generously housed at Palmyra Farm in Hagerstown, Maryland.


What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I attended Penn State University and graduated in 2007 with a degree in animal sciences and a minor in agribusiness management. At Penn State, I was active in the dairy science club, a member of the dairy judging team, College of Agricultural Sciences Ag Advocate, a sister of Alpha Zeta and served as president of the student division of ADSA.

Recently, I received my master’s degree from Virginia Tech in dairy science. My research project was focused on using animal activity to aid in the prediction of both mastitis and metabolic diseases in the transition period. I also served as a graduate teaching assistant for two undergraduate dairy science courses.

What territory will you cover?
The Center for Dairy Excellence is based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but provides resources to the entire state of Pennsylvania.

What are your new responsibilities?
As dairy initiatives manager, I provide oversight and coordination of key initiatives, including the center’s dairy resource team programs such as the dairy profit and succession planning team programs, practical dairy adviser and dairy decision consultant programs. In addition, I help coordinate initial development work for the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania and for grant-related projects in areas such as animal welfare and future profitability. I also serve as a liaison between the center and other key leadership groups across the industry.

What previous positions have you held?
Prior to attending graduate school, I worked for ABS Global, Inc. immediately after graduating from Penn State. With ABS, I was the mid-Atlantic young sire program specialist. In this role, I worked to recruit and maintain herds utilizing young sire genetics from Pennsylvania to South Carolina. Additionally, I helped to identify and market progeny from the young sires through professional photography and tours.

What excites you most about working in your new role?
The ability to directly help dairy producers with their needs is what excites me the most about my new position. The dairy industry has given me so many amazing opportunities in my life and this is my chance to give back. The variety of projects and people that we at the center get to work with makes every day something new.

How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
The Center for Dairy Excellence strives to encourage the growth and sustainability of the Pennsylvania dairy industry. My ability to encourage producers to make use of all the resources the center has available as well as my personal passion for education and industry relations will aid producers to continue to take the necessary steps to be the best they can be within the industry.

What’s your best story from the first day on the job?
It was actually the second day on the job and the weather forecast had called for rain. We just didn’t know how much rain. By 9:15, we were told to move our vehicles to an upper parking lot as the building that we were located in at the time has been prone to flooding. By noon, we were evacuated from the building and sent home, which then turned into us not returning to work for the remainder of the week. It ended up being a relatively interesting first “week” at work.

Why did you choose this company?
My sister had been the center’s intern for the summer of 2011. As she told me about the various activities she was involved with as well as my previous exposure to the center with my role at ABS, it was clear that it was an organization that had similar goals as my personal ones for the industry. Again, the idea of helping producers remain in the industry and work toward their goals is tremendously satisfying.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
While in this position, I hope to both help and provide value to as many dairy producers as possible with any aspect of their dairy business they may need. I also hope to continue to broaden my knowledge of the dairy industry and learn from those within it in order to further help myself to grow professionally. PD