In an uncertain marketplace, rekindling excitement about dairy requires collaboration and encouragement from professionals across the industry who have insight and experience in the upside of the dairy industry.
Barge emily
Communications & Marketing Director / Center for Dairy Excellence

How have prosperous dairy businesses experienced growth in recent economic conditions? Do high-profit farms really have the highest milk production and the lowest feed costs? Are dairy farmers actually part of the solution to improving climate change and greenhouse gas emissions rather than the cause?

The 2020 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit will address these topics and more. With four featured speakers and more than 16 breakout sessions, attendees will discover the latest techniques and technologies to remain profitable, empowered and ready for change. Hosted by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP) and Center for Dairy Excellence, the Dairy Summit will take place on Feb. 5 and 6, 2020 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania.

“Our goal is to provide in-depth sessions on emerging technology, value-added investments, cowside topics and current industry issues to help producers gain concrete strategies and techniques to improve their profitability,” said Caroline Zimmerman, the 2020 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit chair and a dairy farmer from Blair County, Pennsylvania. “With their peers and other experts from all facets of the industry, attendees will leave feeling energized and invigorated about dairy.”

From young dairy producers and farm employees to seasoned professionals and dairy veterinarians, the dynamic two-day program has something for everyone.


Hear from acclaimed speakers

The 2020 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit will feature four keynote speakers who promise to challenge the status quo, provide real-world business expertise and share eye-opening data.

“Whether attendees want to transform their business with the future in mind or reignite their outlook on the industry, our speakers have a wide range of experiences that are sure to fuel new ideas and spark conversation among dairy professionals at the summit,” Zimmerman said.

Ty BennetTy Bennet, founder of Leadership Inc., will empower individuals to reignite their lives and careers by challenging the status quo and competing in extraordinary ways.

• Ty Bennett, the founder of Leadership Inc., will speak on “Igniting the Storyteller in You.” He will provide fresh insight and new perspective to help attendees take concrete steps to improve their lives and careers.

Bennett plans to empower dairy professionals to challenge their status quo, cultivate exceptional relationships with family and farm employees, and compete in extraordinary ways.

Clay McCartyClay McCarty of McCarty Family Farms LLC will share his insights and experience with maximizing quality and environmental sustainability during the Dairy Business Showcase.

• Clay McCarty of McCarty Family Farms LLC will share his insights and experience from his multigenerational dairy farm in western Kansas, where they create wholesome products with the future in mind.

Their state-of-the-art processing plant is the only one of its kind in North America and maximizes quality and environmental sustainability. The plant allows the McCartys to have a true partnership with their customer, The Dannon Company, and a closer relationship with consumers.

Sue McCloskeySue McCloskey, creative director at Fair Oaks Farms, will discuss innovation in the fluid milk category and spark the fire for innovation in today’s marketplace.

• Sue McCloskey, creative director at Fair Oaks Farms, will speak on “Fairlife: Sparking the Fire for Innovation.” McCloskey and her husband ran a successful dairy veterinary consulting practice in southern California before moving to New Mexico and creating Select Milk Producers, the fifth-largest milk cooperative in the country.

In 1999, they moved to Indiana to create one of the largest dairy farms in the country and simultaneously opened Fair Oaks Farms, the country’s largest and most recognized agritourism attraction. McCloskey will discuss innovation in the fluid milk category and share how her business experienced growth, even when fluid milk was trending down in sales.

Dr. Frank MitloehnerDr. Frank Mitloehner will expose the truth about animal agriculture and climate change and renew producers’ confidence in their contributions to improved climate conditions.

• Dr. Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality specialist at the University of California – Davis, will expose the truth about animal agriculture and climate change and renew producers’ confidence in their contributions to improved climate conditions in the U.S.

Mitloehner’s eye-opening data exposes the inaccurate information the public is exposed to and confirms that dairy farmers have the high ground because their cows are the solution, not the problem, for greenhouse gas emissions.

Earn continuing education credits

The 2020 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit gives dairy professionals a forum to learn from one another, tackle challenges within the industry and broaden their perspectives on important issues. During 16 breakout sessions, dairy professionals will learn how to find opportunity in value-added dairies, look at traditional benchmarks with a critical eye, successfully navigate the regulatory environment, maximize value in beef and more.

“Many of our interactive breakout sessions have been approved for continuing education credits,” Zimmerman shared. “We realize that making the time for professional development can sometimes be difficult, but the 2020 Dairy Summit makes it easy. Attendees will walk away with more than just knowledge – they can gain industry-recognized credits to help advance their careers.”

Individuals who attend the two-day event have the opportunity to earn the following continuing education credits:

  • Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) has approved three Dairy Summit breakout sessions as continuing education opportunities for dairy producers.

  • AgChoice Farm Credit has approved the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit for 4.0 credits through its SmartStart Program. Ideal for young or beginning dairy producers, the SmartStart program allows beginning farmers to earn SmartStart credits for completion of educational workshops like the Dairy Summit.

  • The American Registry for Professional Animal Scientists is offering 7.0 credits to ARPAS members for attendance at the 2020 Dairy Summit.

  • The American Association of Veterinary State Boards RACE committee has approved the 2020 Dairy Summit for 5.0 continuing education credits split across various breakout sessions.

Receive discounted registration rates

With the goal of reigniting a passion for the dairy industry, the 2020 Dairy Summit is an affordable way for producers and farm employees to expand their knowledge about current industry issues and receive actionable takeaways they can apply to their dairy operations.

“Considering the challenging economics farmers have experienced in recent years, we want the Dairy Summit to be as affordable as possible to farm operations,” Zimmerman said. “Thanks to discounted registration rates and grants offered by the Center for Dairy Excellence and PDMP, dairy producers have a low-cost opportunity to develop their skill sets and learn from experts across the industry.”

Dairy producers receive a more than 65% discount to attend both days of the summit, with registration being $75 for the first producer who registers and $50 for each additional person from the farm. Registration is $25 for producers who want to attend one day of the conference.

Registration is due by Jan. 24, 2020. Register online at or contact the summit Business Office at or

(814) 355-2467.  end mark

Emily Barge is a communications and marketing manager with the Center for Dairy Excellence.