College Students Encouraged to Apply for 2021 On-Farm Internship Program

Dairy Farms Can Also Apply to Host an Intern Next Summer

The 2021 On-Farm Internship program is now accepting applications for host farms and undergraduate students who are interested in gaining hands-on experience in dairy production next summer. The program was designed to provide 10- to 12-week on-farm internships to the next generation of dairy managers in Pennsylvania. The Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP), Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, and Dairy Excellence Foundation partner to support this program. Online internship applications will be available on September 18, 2020.

“This program is a hands-on way for college students to gain direct experience at the farm level and expand on the knowledge they are learning in the classroom. It’s also a great opportunity for them to build connections with dairy producers on progressive dairy operations,” said Brittany Snyder, Dairy Education Program Manager at the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “These internships have led to additional opportunities and full-time employment after graduation for many of our past interns.”

Participating students receive a $3,000 stipend in addition to compensation from their host farms. To apply, students must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Must attend a Pennsylvania university
  • Must be a Pennsylvania resident attending an out-of-state school
  • Must be a recently graduated Pennsylvania resident with an interest in dairy production.
  • Note: Preference is given to upperclassmen undergraduates.

“Getting experience on the farm was refreshing for me. It opened my eyes to a lot of new concepts and ideas,” said Rebecca Burns who completed a 2020 on-farm internship. “I was able to see people come through who have other careers in the dairy industry that I didn’t even think about before. Talking to them and making connections was really helpful. I wouldn’t have gotten that without the internship.”

Students who are accepted into the On-Farm Internship program are paired with host farms that can help them solidify their career goals. Throughout the experience, interns will participate in discussion groups, set goals for the summer, and work with their host farm to complete an in-depth research project that benefits the dairy operation.

Host farms benefit from mentoring skilled interns who are eager to learn and interested in dairy production. Farms that apply for the program may be located within or outside of Pennsylvania, but producers must agree to expose the intern to all aspects of a successful, progressive dairy operation.

“When I was in college 20 years ago, I did an internship. I learned a lot through that internship program, so I decided if I could have an intern here on our farm, it would help the next generation of dairy farmers get involved and show them what we do,” said Doug Harbach of Schrack Farms, a host farm from the 2020 program. “We try to find interns who will challenge us and ask us questions about why we do what we do. Our intern was good at that. It helped us revaluate our processes and what we’re doing.”

Student applications are due by October 31, 2020, and host farm applications are due by December 31.

Visit for more information about the program. Contact Brittany Snyder at or 717-346-0849 with questions.