HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Community and Economic Development, along with the Center for Dairy Excellence, this week announced plans for the second annual Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail and urged interested creameries to participate.

“Last year’s ice cream trail was a huge success, and we look forward to expanding it this year to feature even more farm-based creameries and locally-produced dairy products,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “This is a great opportunity to promote products made right here in the commonwealth and to recognize our dairy farmers who produce high-quality milk and dairy foods for millions of Pennsylvanians.”

The Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail includes an incentive-based passport program that encourages customers to earn a reward, such as a T-shirt or ice cream scoop, for visiting participating creameries. Last year, more than 1,500 passports were redeemed by those who visited creameries included on the trail.

“The Pursue Your Scoops Ice Cream Trails is a perfect example of the intersection between agriculture and tourism,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary of marketing, tourism and film with the Department of Community and Economic Development. “We are leveraging the positive response and success of the trail in 2018 to invite more creameries and visitors to participate in 2019.”

Customers are encouraged to complete their passport by receiving a stamp at each location on the trail and then submitting it by mail to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail Passport Program is exclusive to PA Preferred farms and creameries. Farms included in the trail will be selected based on location and product offering.

“Sharing the local dairy farm story with consumers continues to become more and more important,” said Jayne Sebright, executive director with the Center for Dairy Excellence. “The Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail is a great way to showcase local Pennsylvania dairy farm families while building stronger, more personal connections with our customers.”

Each participating location will receive a resource kit to include passports, stamps and signage that can be used to identify participation. Passports will include rules and redemption procedures for the program. The passports will also be available on visitPA.com.

The deadline to apply is Friday, April 19. Interested creameries should contact the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or via email at info@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

Lancaster Farming