In an ever-changing marketplace, dairy producers and allied industry professionals are searching for strategies to advance their operation and drive performance.

During the 2021 virtual Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, dairy professionals will have access to more than 10 educational sessions that are designed to be dynamic, interactive and filled with relevant takeaways and practices that can be applied directly on the farm. The theme of the event is about emerging forward and focusing on the future, not the past, to find solutions to help our industry advance, adapt, perform and thrive.

Hosted by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence, the 2021 event will be held virtually on Feb. 8-11, 2021. Four acclaimed keynote speakers will share actionable advice and real-world experience as well as a virtual tour of the Producer Showcase farm.

“This year has been nothing like what we expected, but we have seen some small victories emerge from it. The dairy industry is continuing to find ways to adapt and pivot in an uncertain marketplace, all while leveraging a newfound consumer awareness and sharing our stories more than ever before,” said Jessica Slaymaker, the 2021 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit chair and a dairy farmer from Tioga County, Pennsylvania. “This coming year’s speakers are from across the nation, and they plan to build on this momentum by motivating attendees to embrace what 2021 has on the horizon, find ways to leverage the industry’s sustainability efforts when telling our stories and enhance teamwork at the farm level.”

In addition to high-caliber keynote and breakout sessions, the virtual event has something for everyone, including interactive content between sessions, networking receptions, entertaining videos, musical performances, live giveaways, a virtual exhibitor hall and more.


Hear from renowned speakers

The 2021 virtual Dairy Summit is a great opportunity to network with your peers, hone your dairy business skills and find relevant ways to continue connecting with consumers and improve your operation.

“To keep everyone engaged in the virtual format, our speakers are really raising the bar when it comes to the stories they plan to share and the strategies they plan to discuss during the 2021 PA Dairy Summit,” said Slaymaker. “I think we are all a little weary as we enter 2021, but the dairy industry has a lot to be proud of. Our keynote speakers will highlight some of the industry’s accomplishments and share ways we can work together to build upon them as we emerge together in the new year.”

David Kohl• Dr. David Kohl, an academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, plans to discuss the long-term economic implications of COVID-19 on the dairy industry, what to expect and how we can prepare for the future.

Heglar Creed Dairy• Heglar Creek Dairy is a five-generation dairy farm based near Declo, Idaho, with four partners. The Webb family has a dairy and beef operation, farms multiple crops and has other enterprises including electrical contracting and a dairy chemical and supply company. They have a 1,100-cow barn that is fully robotic and automated, and they milk approximately 2,300 cows. They plan to share a virtual farm tour and, as a panel, discuss how their team approach has contributed to their growth and diversification.

Tara Vander Dussen• Tara Vander Dussen is a New Mexico native, growing up on her family’s dairy farm in eastern New Mexico. Tara’s passion is advocating for modern dairy farming by sharing her story about life on her family dairy through her blog, New Mexico Milkmaid, and her social media platforms. With sustainability at the forefront of consumers’ minds, Tara plans to share strategies for connecting with consumers by telling our sustainability story, highlighting the progress dairy has made and leveraging our sustainability efforts to market our products.

Lee Rubin• Lee Rubin, an emerging voice at corporations, conferences and schools throughout the U.S., will share the five components of extraordinary teams and how dairy teams can make sacrifices to achieve common goals, build trust with open communication and strive for consistency with focused discipline.

Enjoy timely discussion and gain hands-on skills

In addition to relevant keynote discussions, Dairy Summit attendees can participate in several breakout sessions which will be available to registrants on demand for three months following the event:

  • Integrating Beef into Your Dairy Business

  • Factors to Drive Dairy Profitability

  • Navigating Family Business Dynamics and Governance

  • What Has Dairy Checkoff Done for You Lately?

  • Maximizing Components to Enhance Your Bottom Line

  • Bonus Breakout Sessions: American Dairy Association Northeast will lead how-to sessions on hosting virtual farm tours, preparing for media interviews and communicating with consumers.

Join the event on Feb. 8-11, 2021, and come together with your peers to emerge forward. The cost to attend is $100 for Pennsylvania dairy producers, $125 for out-of-state dairy producers, $175 for non-producers, $100 for college classrooms and clubs, and $25 for college dairy students and young professionals age 17-25.

Visit Pennsylvania Dairy Summit to register and learn more, or contact the Dairy Summit Business Office at (814) 326-5993. end mark

PHOTO: Getty images.