2022 On-Farm Internship Program Now Open for Applications

Dairy Farms Can Also Apply to Host an Intern Next Summer

The 2022 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 are now available and must be submitted by October 31, 2021.

“This is a competitive internship program that is designed to give college students direct experience at the farm level. We work carefully to pair students with farms that match their career interests and can help them expand on what they’re learning in the classroom,” said Michelle Shearer, Workforce Development Management at the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “These internships are not only great learning experiences, but they include opportunities for networking and mentorship so students can learn from professionals in the dairy industry.”  

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.

“Coming from a smaller farm background, you definitely have to look at a larger farm as more of a business operation. Through this internship, I learned how to make hard decisions both in business and in the herd, such as different treatment options,” said Caroline Arrowsmith who completed a 2021 on-farm internship.  “I am now able to make better treating decisions and have a larger skillset that I could use to become a fresh cow manager, which is highly desirable in the industry.”

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 complete an in-depth research project that benefits the host farm.

Host farms benefit by 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.

“The internship program is one of our favorite things. We were fortunate enough to have great mentors in our early years. We learned so much and gained perspective and confidence from those people. We enjoy paying those experiences forward and fostering relationships with young people,” said Moriah Brey from Brey’s Cycle Farm in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, a previous host farm in the program.

Student applications are due by October 31, 2021, and host farm applications are due by December 31.

Visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/internship for more information about the program. Contact Michelle Shearer at mshearer@centerfordairyexcellence.org or 570-768-8316 with questions.