See how these dairy farms have utilized the On-Farm Team grant program to form a trusted team of advisors to help reach their business goals.

Dairy Producer Gains Confidence to Transform Farm with New Technology

As Donny Bartch of Merrimart Farms in Perry County, Pennsylvania brainstormed ideas for the future of his dairy farm, he thought about a few key questions. How do he and his wife want to end their careers in dairying? If their kids come on board, what kind of opportunities do they want them to have? With the help of a Transformation Team Grant he received through the Center for Dairy Excellence, Donny was able to consider whether transforming the farm with robotic milking technology was a good fit for his future. His team of advisors helped him evaluate his options and turned his pipe dream into a reality.

Berks County Dairy Producer Shares Perspective on Transition Planning, Robotic Milking Technology and More

Through a Transition Team Grant from the Center for Dairy Excellence, Jared and Tim Kurtz took the first steps in building a plan for both of their futures. They formed a team of advisors who helped them navigate the process with open minds, including a transition consultant from the Center, Dr. Charlie Gardner, and their attorney, accountant, representatives from Penn State Extension, and even a representative from their bank. After having important conversations with their team, they had a clearer picture of what they were working toward over the next three years to ensure their family farm had a sustainable future.

Dairy Farmers Connect with Community by Opening New Creamery

Jessica and Jason Kennedy have more than 15 years invested in the dairy industry. When the market crashed and they were faced with financial challenges, they had two choices: leave the world of dairy farming or find a way to take their passion and move forward. After a lot of research and extensive planning, the Kennedy family decided to diversify their dairy business and enter the value-added space by creating a creamery and store.

Mentorship Helps Local Dairy Find a Path Forward

Five years ago, Matt Bomgardner from Blue Mountain View Farm in Lebanon County was faced with significant financial decisions as he decided whether to pursue grazing on his dairy farm or consider an alternate route. After being introduced to Duane, his grazing advisor through the Center’s Dairy Profit Team grant, the two formed a mentorship—and friendship—that has lasted for years to come. As his mentor, Duane Hertzler had firsthand experience with a grazing dairy—insight that was vital to a young dairy farmer like Matt who was eager to learn from both his successes and challenges.

Transformation Team Helps Lititz Dairy Farm with Business Planning and Transition Management

Andy Bollinger of Meadow Spring Farm in Lititz, Pennsylvania has witnessed multiple transitions and transformations during his lifetime. After joining his family’s partnership in 2004, their farm used a team approach when making major changes to their dairy operation. During a recent webinar with the Center for Dairy Excellence, Bollinger shared how this way of thinking and willingness to step outside of his comfort zone has always been engrained in him.

Team Program Grants Drive Transformation at Lebanon County Dairy

For Reid Hoover of Brook-Corner Holsteins, making the decision to pursue a career in dairy was an easy one. After growing up on a farm throughout his childhood, managing the 370-cow dairy with his family became his passion. When his son decided to join the business after college, the decisions for how they needed to transform their operation were much more complex.