Thank a Customer

One of my favorite Thanksgiving Day traditions is going around the table and having everyone say why they are most thankful. We don’t do this every year in our family because it’s often met with eye-rolling and begrudging comments. But when we do, usually at least one person surprises me with their thoughtful remarks. This…

Finding a Way Forward

At our On-Farm Dairy Innovation Forum in September, dairy producers were invited to learn more about how others stepped into the value-added dairy business and what it would take for them to do the same. With consumers becoming more and more interested in buying local and knowing where their food comes from, more farms are…

Exports Matter

The tide is starting to shift in the dairy industry. The July USDA Milk Production report shows US milk production flat year-over-year at 18.3 billion pounds, with 82,000 fewer head than were in the nation’s dairy herd a year ago. Milk production per cow is still growing, up about 0.8 percent or 16 pounds from…

What’s Your Safety Net?

Every time I look at an income statement, I realize just how expensive the cost of doing business can be. When you think about labor, capital and insurance, these items can really eat into your bottom line. But without any one of them, you could be putting yourself at risk and possibly end up losing…

Eat More Ice Cream

Thirty-five years ago, US President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month. Since then, people across the country have celebrated the creamy treat and its ability to brighten almost anyone’s mood. Last year the Center worked with Pennsylvania’s Tourism Bureau and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to launch the Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail,…

Reasons to Believe

The other day I received a request from a local newspaper for a quote on “Why I still believe in dairy.” The reporter who sent the request explained that they were writing a positive article offering encouragement to struggling farmers during June Dairy Month. When I read that question, I considered all the reasons I…

Reasons for Optimism

Milk futures prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) are showing more movement recently, with the average Class III milk price for the next 12 months averaging $16.53 per hundredweight as of May 8th. That’s up about $1.70 per cwt. from where Class III milk prices averaged the past 12 months. Class IV milk futures…

Stay Safe During the Spring Rush

A couple of years ago, the Center joined with the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania to introduce a safety initiative that included Safety Shares at our meetings and a Safety Corner on our website. The idea was to encourage producers to share “near-miss” situations they have had on the farm that reminded them how important…

Finding Strength Beyond Yourself

A while ago I was reading through the paper and came across this quote: “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.” I thought to myself how much this resonated with where we are in the dairy industry right now. Every…

Going Beyond Our Boundaries

In dairy, fluid milk sales are a hot topic right now. There is a lot of concern, rightfully so, about declining fluid milk sales. The USDA released its Estimated Fluid Milk Products Sales Report in February, fluid milk sales fell 2 percent in 2018 to 47.1 billion pounds. In fact, for the past eight years, fluid milk…