Program and Highlights

The Pennsylvania Dairy Summit is nationally recognized as one of the best conferences for dairy professionals. During the 2024 event, we featured several producer panel discussions and a Dairy Producer Showcase Keynote Session to allow attendees to hear innovative ideas and techniques directly from a successful dairy operation. Download slides from each session below! Click here to listen to audio recordings of the four Keynote Sessions.
Keynote Speakers
Building Trust Inside and Outside the Farm Gate with Roxi Beck from the Center for Food Integrity. How can we think differently about what it means to earn trust, both inside and outside the farm gate? Hear about the varied pressure points that shape today’s food system and ways we can build deeper transparency.

Roxi Beck is the Consumer Engagement Director for The Center for Food Integrity and Vice President of Look East Consulting. An active speaker, trainer, facilitator and a trusted advisor to food system thought leaders, she brings 15 years of experience working with clients across the food system, directing strategy and activities for consumer-facing food and agriculture initiatives. Whether working with registered dietitians, toxicologists, corporate executives, communication directors, restaurateurs, farmers, non-profit leaders, and even consumers, Beck helps organizations incorporate transparency principles and trust-growing approaches into their culture.

> Click here to download her slides.
Cultivating a Multi-Faceted Family Farm, a Producer Showcase with Rob Noble and Sarah Moag of Noblehurst Farms. As farmers, good stewardship ranges from our animals and natural resources to the employees we work with every day. Hear how Noblehurst Farms takes a team approach and cultivates a multi-faceted family farm.

Noblehurst Farms is a seventh-generation dairy farm in Linwood, New York. Established in July 1960, Noblehurst Farms Inc. milks 1,800 cows and works over 2,500 acres of corn, alfalfa, and wheat. Having grown over the years, this family farm business has realized the importance of taking the utmost care in doing what is right for the land, its cattle, employees and owners. With a focus on long-range planning and profitability, their family thrives on being environmentally conscious, fostering teamwork, promoting agriculture, and ensuring good stewardship of their natural resources and community. They intentionally focus on employee management and incorporate biodigestion, solar panels, and sustainability into their dairy operation

Innovating a Producer-Led Marketplace, a Panel Discussion with Ken Smith (Cool Lawn Farms), Jason Frye (Pleasant Lane Farms), and Joel Riehlman (Cayuga Marketing). We might dream about controlling our own destiny and creating a producer-led milk market, but bringing an idea like this to fruition takes cohesiveness, creativity and persistence. See how these panelists approached the idea, found a market, and formed a cohesive group of producers.

> Click here to download their slides from this panel discussion.

Ken Smith is a dairy farmer at Cool Lawn Farms in Remington, Virginia. Cool Lawn Farms is a family-operated dairy operation with over 900 cows and 17 employees. The Smiths make cow comfort a priority with everything they do, and their cows are housed in a freestall barn that is bedded with composted solids. The Smiths started their own retail business called Moo Thru in 2010, and it has been growing ever since with three locations today. Located just two miles away from their family farm, the original ice cream store sells handmade ice cream, bottled milk, and lunch items.
Jason Frye is a dairy farmer and processor at the Creamery at Pleasant Lane Farms. The dairy operation was founded in 1976, and it is still family-owned and operated by their sons, Todd, Jason, Chad, and their families along with Craig Deuel and Family. In late 2020, a new creamery was added for the production of artisan farmstead cheese, and in early 2021, a new Smart Barn and robotic milking facility was added to house and milk the 50+ dairy cows. Pleasant Lane Farms also has an apiary, and their hives are home to more than 50,000 honeybees.
Cayuga Marketing was born from the vision of a dedicated group of farmers in Central New York. Cayuga Marketing is owned by passionate farmers with absolute commitment to producing the highest quality milk. It consists of 29 member owners, who own and manage dairy farm businesses. Cayuga Marketing is the 24th largest cooperative in the country. It markets approximately 1 billion pounds of milk per year.
Navigating Shifting Market Dynamics with Phil Plourd from Ever.Ag. When the only constant in dairy markets is the never-ending shifts, learning how to navigate change and uncertainty is crucial. Hear the latest updates on shifting market dynamics and factors you can control.

Phil Plourd is Head of Market Intelligence for Ever.Ag. He has been involved in dairy market analysis, research, forecasting, consulting and risk management activities for more than 25 years. Phil draws on that experience to lead an expert team, helping clients find better ways to do business across the supply chain and around the world. He is a popular speaker who engages audiences on a variety of topics.

> Click here to download his slides.
Breakout Sessions
During the 2024 PA Dairy Summit, you could have attended breakout sessions broken out into four different tracks. Download the slides/presentations from each session below.

For Your Employees:
  • Transitioning From a “Doer” to a “Manager” with Sarah Moag of Noblehurst Farms. As dairy farms grow, many farm owners struggle to make the leap from carrying out all the day-to-day tasks on their farm themselves to managing and delegating to a diverse team of employees to carry out those tasks. How do you make that transition? Hear how one farm intentionally approaches employee management. > Click here to download her presentation.
  • Building Culture and Connecting with Your Team with Jorge Delgado. To attract employees and retain those who are currently working at your dairy, it all starts with your ability to connect with your team and empower your workforce. Learn tangible ways you can unlock a positive and team-oriented culture on your dairy operation. > Click here to download his presentation.
  • The Key to Achieving Low Employee Turnover with Rod Hissong, Tom Barley and Pete Posner. What are the five most important things you can do to hire, train and retain high quality, high performing employees – especially in this economy? This panel of dairy producers will share their unique strategies for retaining employees over the long haul. > Click here to download their presentations.
For Your Dairy:
  • Feeding Fatty Acids in the Transition Stage with Jonas DeSouza. As we manage transition cows, feeding fatty acids can help with metabolism and overall nutrition to improve dairy production. Learn how you can unlock the potential of these fatty acids when managing this important stage within your herd. > Click here to download his presentation.
  • Understanding the Why Behind What We Do: Beef Quality Assurance with the National Cattlemen’s Association. As an owner or manager on your dairy operation, how can you help your employees understand the “why” behind what they do? From the injection triangle to proper handling protocols, this session will uncover the “why” behind various beef quality assurance protocols. > Click here to download their presentations.
  • The Maturity Problem with Dr. Gavin Staley. The productive lifespan of commercial dairy cows is short compared to their natural life expectancy. In fact, the average is between 2.5 and 4 years in most developed dairy industries. However, cows in the third lactation pay for themselves. If they are culled too early, we are left with a herd full of expensive heifers. Whether you have 20 cows or 1,000 cows, learn how you can grow a tall “lactree” and achieve a more productive life herd. > Click here to download his presentation.
For Your Future:
  • Who Should Be Part of Your Transition Team? with Tyler Rohrer, Lori Butler and Justin Risser. As you navigate the farm transition and succession planning process, having the right family members, partners and consultants involved in the process can help you move forward and overcome hurdles. Hear from three dairy producers who will share how a team approach to transition planning benefitted their business. > Click here to download their presentations.
  • Challenge the Status Quo: Balancing Profitability and Growth – Alan Waybright, Joseph Zug and Yvette Longenecker. Being growth-minded often involves challenging the status quo and “the way we’ve always done things.” However, growth can sometimes hinder profitability without a thoughtful strategy in place. This panel of dairy producers will open up about what their process has been like to achieve both profitability and growth – and how finding this balance has strengthened their dairy operations. > Click here to download their presentations.
  • A Practical Approach to Biosecurity Planning - A Tale of Two Farms with Dr. Hayley Springer. Everyday biosecurity doesn’t have to be overwhelming. During this session, take a practical, ready-to-apply approach to biosecurity planning by looking at real examples from two working dairy farms. You’ll walk through each plan, with a range of factors and difficulty levels, and see how you can apply some of their approaches to biosecurity planning on your farm. > Click here to download her presentation.
For Your Perspective:
  • Understanding Carbon Credits and How to Take Advantage of Them with Kendra Tolley. Buzzwords like Climate Smart and the Carbon Market are becoming more and more prevalent in agriculture today. But how can producers take advantage of this opportunity to maximize their profitability? This session will break it all down, showing how to capture and claim carbon credits earned through validating the sustainability practices in place on your dairy. > Click here to download her presentation.
  • Navigating Personality Styles and Generational Differences with Josh Keefer. When working with family and multiple generations on the farm, unresolved conflicts, resistance to change and other communication barriers can all contribute to poor business performance. This session will offer strategies for unlocking the potential of leaders of all ages on your team. > Click here to download his presentation.
  • What’s on the Horizon for Dairy Retail Trends with Dairy Management, Inc. While the dairy market hit a bumpy road in 2023, domestic and global demand for dairy proteins continues to expand. Learn what’s on the horizon for dairy at the retail level in the coming year – and how producers can best address them to keep dairy momentum strong amidst current economic headwinds. > Click here to download their presentations.


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