Animal Care Workshops for Dairy Producers Start Next Week

The First Two Workshops Will Be Held on Dairy Farms in Lancaster County and Franklin County

The first two Animal Care Workshops, hosted by the Center for Dairy Excellence, PA Beef Council, the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP) and Penn State Extension, will be held next week on two Pennsylvania dairy farms. Dairy producers and their employees are invited to one of five workshops in the series that are being held on dairy farms across the state throughout March and April. The free workshops will focus on hands-on skill-building to help dairy producers meet National FARM compliance. A certificate will be provided at the conclusion of each workshop to show dairy producers’ commitment to National FARM and animal care. Attendees will also have the opportunity to become certified through the National Beef Council Calf Care & Quality Assurance (CCQA) program by the end of the workshop.

The first workshop will be held next week on Tuesday, March 14 at Scattered Acres Farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The second will be held on Wednesday, March 15 at Mercer Vu Farms in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Additional workshops will be held in late March and April. Visit or call 717-346-0849 to sign up. Registration will be closed if the capacity for each farm is reached.

“These workshops are an ideal way to bring your dairy team together to spend a few hours strengthening your skills in animal welfare and cow management,” said Zach Myers, Risk Education Manager at the Center for Dairy Excellence. “We also have a Spanish interpreter attending each event, so we welcome both English and Spanish-speaking employees to the workshops. Lunch will be provided along with an optional tour of the dairy farm, so we hope to see you there.”  

During each workshop, attendees will rotate through 45-minute stations and gain training in several key animal welfare areas in the National FARM program:

  • Calf Care — Learn about proper nutrition and management of replacement heifers to help achieve top quality dairy cows that are profitable and capable of remaining in the herd for several years.
  • Biosecurity — Learn what biosecurity means for dairy operations and hear tips for minimizing the likelihood of something detrimental arriving on your operation.
  • Dry Cow Management and Obstetrics — Participate in a hands-on demonstration using models provided by Penn State Extension, and learn how to properly assist in the delivery of calves in normal instances as well as abnormal or dystocia deliveries.
  • Animal Handling and Stockmanship – Participate in a hands-on demonstration to learn how to more efficiently and patiently sort and move cattle using groups of heifers that are weaned up to six months old.

“The Animal Care Workshops provide producers and their employees with the opportunity to gain in-person education and training about the pillars of the FARM program,” said Jody Kull of Valley Mobile Veterinary Service, one of the speakers for the workshops. “There is a combination of new topics and refreshed topics from last year for those who have attended previously. Producers can also see other dairy farms’ best practices and network within the farming community.”

View the full workshop schedule:

  • Tuesday, March 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Scattered Acres Farm, Lancaster County, 900 Galen Hall Rd., Reinholds, PA 17569
  • Wednesday, March 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Mercer Vu Farms, Franklin County, 12275 Mt Pleasant Rd., Mercersburg, PA 17236
  • Thursday, March 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Willow Behrer Farms, Huntingdon County, 3288 Behrer Lane, Spruce Creek, PA 16683
  • Wednesday, April 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Lone Oak Farms, Westmoreland County, 201 Shady Road, New Alexandria, PA 15570
  • Tuesday, April 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Hoffman Farms, Potter County, 243 Healy Road, Shinglehouse, PA 16748

To register for one of the free animal care workshops, call 717-346-0849 or visit Please include the names of employees who will be attending from your operation.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information about the events, contact Zach Myers at or call 717-346-0849.

The National Dairy FARM Program: Farmers Assuring Responsible Management works to set the highest standards when it comes to animal care, workplace settings, and environmental and antibiotic stewardship. These workshops qualify as National FARM training for dairy producers and employees.

The Center for Dairy Excellence is a non-profit organization initiated by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in 2004. Bringing together people from more than 40 different dairy organizations in Pennsylvania, the Center’s mission is to enhance the profitability of the dairy industry by empowering people, creating partnerships, and increasing the availability and use of resources. Learn more at 

PDMP is a not-for-profit, farmer-driven organization advancing the State’s dairy industry through improved productivity and economic viability with continued stewardship of our animals, environment, and community. Programs offered by PDMP are designed by dairy producers for dairy producers. For more information on PDMP, visit their website at

The Pennsylvania Beef Council is a non-profit organization working on behalf of nearly 18,000 beef, dairy and veal producers in the Commonwealth. The Beef Council administers the Beef Checkoff Program assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. Checkoff revenues may be used for promotion, education and research programs to improve the marketing climate for beef.