Dairy Farms Encouraged to Host On-Farm Interns Next Summer

Caitlyn, an on-farm intern

Farms Must Apply by Dec. 31 to Be Paired with an Intern

The 2020 On-Farm Internship program is now accepting applications for dairies that are interested in hosting on-farm interns during the summer of 2020. The program provides the next generation of dairy managers with a 10- to 12-week on-farm internship and exposure to all facets of dairy production. The Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP), Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, and the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania partner to support this program.

“When we started the internship program, we saw the need to have students get experience on progressive dairy farms and apply the classroom skills they were acquiring,” said Walt Moore of Walmoore Holsteins in West Grove, Pennsylvania, a Dairy Excellence Foundation Board member and PDMP member who hosted an on-farm intern last summer. “Today, there are so many students who have little or no farm experience that I think it is even more critical to have these students gain real, hands-on experience.”

Farms that apply for the program may be located within or outside of Pennsylvania, but producers must agree to provide the intern with exposure to all aspects of a successful, progressive dairy operation.

Host farms are paired with interns who have a strong interest in dairy production. Students must attend a Pennsylvania university, must be a Pennsylvania resident attending an out-of-state school, or must be a recently graduated Pennsylvania resident with an interest in dairy production. Preference is given to upperclassmen undergraduates. 

“It’s important to support and encourage youth to pursue careers in agriculture to bring fresh ideas and technology competency into farm businesses. We need to demonstrate that careers in agriculture can be successful and enjoyable,” said Kim Skellie of El-Vi Farms, Inc. in Newark, New York. “As farmers, we also benefit from hosting interns who are competent and interested in completing special projects that can be difficult for year-round, fully employed staff to complete. The internship provides them with variety and real-life farm work ethic.”

Throughout the summer, host farms mentor and work with skilled interns who are eager to learn and available to complete a wide variety of tasks. Host farms and interns work together to establish learning goals and complete a research project that benefits the host farm’s operation.

To apply as a host farm for the 2020 On-Farm Internship program, visit centerfordairyexcellence.org. Applications are due by December 31, 2019.

For more information about the program, contact Brittany Haag at bhaag@centerfordairyexcellence.org or 717-346-0849.