2020 On-Farm Internships

The Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association and Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania offer $3,000 grants for farms and students to participate in a 10-12 week on-farm internship program, intended to provide on-farm learning experiences to the next generation of dairy managers in Pennsylvania.

To qualify for the internship:

  • Farms: may be located within or outside of Pennsylvania, but producers must agree to provide the intern with exposure to all aspects of a successful, progressive dairy operation. Read more about Farm Expectations.
  • Students: must attend a Pennsylvania university, a Pennsylvania resident attending an out-of-state school or a recently-graduated Pennsylvania resident with an interest in dairy production. Preference is given to upperclassmen undergraduates. Read more about Student Expectations.

Click HERE for Online Student Application

Click HERE for Online Host Farm Application

For host farms who have participated in the past and want to apply again, please CLICK HERE to complete the shorter application form.

Have questions about the on-farm internship program? Contact Heidi Zimmerman.

Heidi Zimmerman
Dairy Excellence Foundation
Email: hzimmerman1@centerfordairyexcellence.org
Phone: 717-346-0849


Congratulations to our 2020 on-farm interns for a successful summer experience! Check out how this internship impacted their career goals:

The internship has helped me learn how to run things the proper way, management-wise, and get on-farm experience. I’ve grown up around dairy since I was little, so it has always been in my heart. I just want to continue with it.

Lily Fries, a 2020 on-farm intern who gained experience at Schrack Farms

For me, this internship has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. I got to travel and go somewhere different. There’s nothing better. One of my favorite things is going to a new farm and seeing what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Every single farm is different and has something new to offer. It’s a great way to go out and see how a dairy producer is doing it.

Dominic Mattilio, a 2020 on-farm intern who gained experience at Tauer Dairy

I want to go into some sort of consulting after I graduate. Since I don’t come from a dairy background, I wanted [this internship] to give me more experience working on a farm so I have more credibility and actual real-life experiences –not just a college education – when I go into consulting farmers.

Marie Bryant, a 2020 on-farm intern who gained experience at Hetrickdale Farm

Getting experience on the farm has been refreshing for me. It has opened my eyes to a lot of new concepts and ideas. I’ve been able to see people come through who have other careers in the dairy industry that I didn’t even think about before. Talking to them and making connections has been really helpful. I wouldn’t have gotten that without the internship.

Rebecca Burns, a 2020 on-farm intern who gained experience at McWilliams Farm

I’ve grown so much as a person just in the five weeks I’ve been at my internship. I’ve felt significantly more confident in myself and my abilities. I’m learning so many things, and it’s really amazing.

Stephanie Clouser, a 2020 on-farm intern who gained experience at Hameau Farms

I was hoping to gain more experience as to how a different farm operates because obviously every place is different. My main experiences have been at farms in Berks County, so I wanted to see more.

Paige Miller, a 2020 on-farm intern who gained experience at Kurtland Farms

This internship has been a great opportunity for me. I’ve gotten to learn a lot about herd health, which is really what I want to do. They have been really good teachers—they’ll show me how to do something, but then let me do it [myself]. It’s exciting and it has been nice to get experience on a larger farm.

Montana Stump, a 2019 on-farm intern who gained experience at Hetrickdale Farm
George, a 2019 on-farm intern

I learned a lot about what happens on a dairy farm on a day-to-day basis and all the great people who make it happen. My host farm was really nice and patient with me. I know so much more than I did in the beginning of the internship, but I still don’t know nearly as much as them. They never got frustrated with me. If I felt uncomfortable doing something, they took the time to explain it.

George DeMers, a 2019 on-farm intern who gained experience at Mason’s Chrome View

I would encourage other students to do the internship. No matter what kind of job you want to pursue in the dairy industry, getting hands-on experience and understanding what’s happening on the farm level is pretty important and will help no matter what career path you take.

Drew Walton, a 2020 on-farm intern who gained experience at a Chester County dairy farm