Center for Dairy Excellence Hires New Employee and Summer Intern

Hess and Anderson Join the Center’s Team of Eight Employees to Support the Dairy Industry

The Center for Dairy Excellence has named Allen Hess as the Customer Relations Specialist to support dairy farmers, educators, and other program users. The Center also named Jordan Anderson, a rising sophomore at the University of Wyoming, as the 2023 education and communications intern. They join a team of employees who provide resources and support to Pennsylvania dairy farms and develop dairy education programming for students of all ages.

Hess grew up on his family’s dairy and farrow-to-finish hog operation in Smithsburg, Maryland. He graduated from Kaplan University with a degree in Criminal Justice and spent many years in the human service field. He eventually re-joined the agriculture industry and worked at Lanco-Pennland Dairy Cooperative for the past seven years. He currently has a herd of 30 milking shorthorns.

“Allen’s deep-rooted experience in the dairy industry gives him a strong understanding of dairy producers and their needs,” said Jayne Sebright, Executive Director for the Center. “With Allen’s supportive personality and his experience working with producers, we look forward to continuing to serve the dairy farm families throughout Pennsylvania.”

Hess is a Milking Shorthorn Breed Representative for the All-American Dairy Show and serves as the current Vice President of the All-American Dairy Show Board of Directors.

“I am excited to work with and be a part of this group of individuals who are just as passionate about the dairy industry as I am. I like cows and helping people, and I’m looking forward to continuing with these passions at the Center,” Hess shared.

Jordan Anderson is a rising sophomore at the University of Wyoming where she studies ag communications with a minor in ag business. She grew up on a small farmette in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania and showed in 4-H for 10 years. Anderson is also passionate about photography and is actively involved in the Junior Holstein Association through showing, Dairy Bowl, speeches, and dairy jeopardy.

“Jordan is extremely active in the dairy industry and has an impressive list of accolades, both on the farm and in the classroom,” added Sebright. “We look forward to watching Jordan’s creativity and passion for the dairy industry come to life as she works on projects that support dairy farmers and educators across the state.”

Anderson was a past Pennsylvania YDJM finalist and 2022 Art Nesbitt Scholarship recipient. Her Dairy Bowl team will be traveling to Lexington, Kentucky this June to compete at the national level.

“I am excited to be joining a team of knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced people from various backgrounds. Being able to learn about advocacy, communications, and education from a team who does it every day is a really cool opportunity,” Anderson shared. “I love the dairy industry and believe in the work that it does to feed the world. Being on this team is allowing me to build more relationships while broadening my toolbox of skills and developing industry connections.”

In addition to Hess and Anderson, seven other individuals serve the Center and the Foundation. Staff members include Sebright; Melissa Anderson, dairy programs and operations manager; Emily Barge, communications and marketing manager; Zach Myers, risk management program manager; Karen Purnell, accounting manager; Michelle Shearer, workforce development manager; and Brittany Snyder, dairy education program manager. Dr. Charlie Gardner and Dr. Brian Reed also serve as contractors for the Center, supporting dairy transition and transformation teams coordinated through the Center.

For more information about the Center, the Foundation and its staff, visit