Transition Resources

With the average of Pennsylvania’s dairy farm owners approaching 58 years old, the ability of our industry to continue to thrive rests on the ability of individual farms to transition to the next generation. The Center has made this a key priority of our work, offering grant programs, linking tools and education to help dairy farm families work through the difficult process of creating and carrying a farm succession plan.

Guidelines for the On-Farm Resource Team Program have been released, with new funding available for Dairy Transition Teams throughout the year. Click here for details

Resources offered through the Center include:

Center for Farm Transitions – A center designed to put the resources and support around a farm engaged in a next generation transfer. The center can help young entrepreneurs navigate the “PA Grows” system for funding and other resources.

PA Dairy Link – A tool to connect dairy farm owners who are looking for a dairy manager, younger partner or someone to take over the business with younger dairy enthusiasts interested in dairy opportunities in PA.

DDC for Succession Planning – Work with one of several Dairy Decisions Consultants who can provide expertise in succession planning.

Please complete this form if you are interested in receiving assistance with any of the programs above. For more information, call the center at 717-346-0849 or email

Transformation Resources

For dairies considering an expansion, modernization or other type of transformation, it can be overwhelming. Many times, you may have asked “Where do I start?” in regards to planning and regulatory permitting. It starts with getting answers to your questions. This page is intended to help you get started on a transformation project and find the support and resources you need to move your project forward.

Click here for a Dairy Transformation Team Application

Click here for Dairy Foods resources from Penn State.

Watch our “Stories of Dairy Innovation” panel to see how three dairy producers advanced their businesses:

For more information, please contact Melissa Anderson at 717-346-0849 or

Step 1: Know What You Want

Any dairy transformation project needs to begin with a well-crafted plan. Leveraging the right people to help you build that plan is critical. Our Dairy Decisions Consultant grant can help you make decisions that will shape the future of your farm.

  • Dairy Decisions Consultant: The Center for Dairy Excellence can identify a consultant for you to work with in analyzing your options and fine tuning your plan.

Step 2: Know Where To Go

Two things are critical to any transformation project: planning and permitting. Understanding the thresholds defining requirements is also important.

Planning: Any dairy farm should have a written plan on how to manage soil to reduce erosion and how and where you spread your livestock manure. All farms are regulated, but some are at higher levels than others. For managing soil, farms need either a Conservation Plan or an Agriculture Erosion and Sedimentation Plan. For livestock manure, farms need either a Manure Management Plan or Nutrient Management Plan.

Permitting: Some permitting is specific to earth-moving activities, while other permitting is related to animal density or the total number of animals on the farm. To see the thresholds defining what a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation is, click here. Act 38 Thresholds are defined in this document.

Three resources that may help with these include:

For more information on this area, contact the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or