Animal Care Workshops for Dairy Producers Start Next Week

The First Workshop Will Be Held in Mercer County

The first Animal Care Workshop, 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 in Mercer County. Dairy producers and their employees are invited to three other identical workshops that are being held across the state throughout April. The four free workshops will focus on animal care skill-building to help dairy producers meet National FARM compliance. A certificate will be provided at the conclusion of the workshop to help those attending demonstrate compliance with the National FARM training requirements.

Due to new biosecurity concerns related specifically to cattle and out of an abundance of caution, the workshops have been moved off-farm. Location details will be shared after individuals register.

“Consider bringing your dairy team to one of these free workshops, and spend the day strengthening your skills in animal welfare and cow management,” said Allen Hess, Customer Relations Specialist at the Center for Dairy Excellence. “There will also be a Spanish interpreter to ensure Spanish-speaking employes fully understand the valuable information being shared at the workshops. Lunch will be provided, so we hope to see you there.” 

The first workshop will be held next week on Tuesday, April 2 in Mercer County near West Middlesex, Pa. The second will be held on Tuesday, April 9 in Blair County at Morrisons Cove Memorial Park in Martinsburg, Pa. Additional workshops will be held during the last two weeks of April. Visit or call 717-346-0849 to sign up.

During each workshop, attendees will move between sessions and gain training in several key animal welfare areas in the National FARM program:

  • Calf Care — Learn about various strategies for improving calf health, the benefits of feeding colostrum beyond the first feeding, considerations for pair housing calves and more.
  • Lameness, Locomotion, Euthanasia and Fitness to Transport — Learn about the FARM locomotion scoring system, how fitness to transport affects culling decisions on dairy operations, and euthanasia protocols for dairy employees.
  • Think Beef, Meat Quality Matters — Learn how to give shots in ways that will maximize beef quality and reduce risk condemnations on cattle.
  • Animal Handling and Stockmanship – Learn how to more efficiently and patiently sort and move cattle using groups of heifers that are weaned up to six months old.

“Our employees both enjoyed last year’s event and came home with ideas we can use to improve our farm. One said it was one of the better farm meetings he attended over the years. Our grazing apprentice and young employee was overwhelmed with information but learned new concepts from the instructors,” said David Rice of Clover Creek Cheese Cellar.

View the full workshop schedule:

  • Tuesday, April 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Mercer County
    Near West Middlesex, PA
  • Tuesday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Blair County
    Morrisons Cove Memorial Park
    201 South Walnut St.
    Martinsburg, PA 16662
  • Tuesday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Clinton County
    Near Mill Hall, PA
  • Tuesday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Berks County
    Near Womelsdorf, PA

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. Location details will be shared after individuals register.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information about the events, contact Allen Hess 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.