HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania dairy farms can now enroll in the 2013 Dairy Advisory Team Program, coordinated by the Center for Dairy Excellence and the Penn State Extension Dairy Team.
More than 200 farms have benefited from the program, which offers funding and other support for farms to establish a dairy profit team or dairy transition team.
“Having a team in place on your farm can be a valuable tool for any dairy farm family,” said John Frey, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence. “Farms participating in the advisory team program often credit their teams for helping them better manage their business, leading to significantly improved production and enhanced profitability.”
A dairy advisory team operates much like a board of directors for the farm, with advisers meeting regularly to discuss the farm operation and bottlenecks to profitability. A facilitator designated by the farm, with assistance from the center, coordinates the meetings and keeps the team on task.
The center offers funding to support the cost of paid team members and other discovery-related costs. Up to $1,500 in funding is available for a new dairy profit team or $1,000 for an existing team; and up to $2,000 is available for a new dairy transition team or $1,500 for an existing team.
Both farms new to the program and those currently participating in it must complete a 2013 application to receive funding.
By completing the application, farms agree to organize a team and participate in both an initial and midyear training call. They also agree to provide meeting notes and invoices for paid team members to the center for reimbursement.
“Even if a farm team doesn’t want to receive the funding or participate in the formal program, we do encourage them to let us know that they have an advisory team so they can benefit by receiving information on resources and tools for profit teams,” Frey said.
Copies of the 2013 application, with updated guidelines, are being mailed to all dairy farms currently enrolled in the program. Other dairy farms can contact the center to receive an application.
To contact the center, call 717-346-0849 or email info<\@>centerfordairyexcellence.org. More details can be found at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org by clicking on “Producer,” then on “Learn About Profit Teams.”