The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, Center for Dairy Excellence and the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania have joined together to launch an industry-wide awards program that will recognize excellence in Pennsylvania’s dairy industry through four awards presented annually at the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit in February. Nominations of qualified candidates are encouraged from across the industry and are due by November 30.

The four awards recognized through this program include:

Pennsylvania Distinguished Dairy Producer Award – Recognizes dairy producers (either individual or farm enterprise) who have demonstrated superior management capabilities within their own dairy business and provide outstanding leadership and service to the dairy industry.

Pennsylvania Distinguished Dairy Woman Award – Recognizes a dairy woman who has distinguished herself in her leadership and service to the dairy industry, both on the farm or to the broader industry.

Pennsylvania Dairy Service Award – Recognizes an individual in the industry who has distinguished him or herself in serving the greater interest of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and its individual dairy farms.

Pennsylvania Dairy Innovator Award – Recognizes an individual or business entity that has provided tremendous innovation to progress Pennsylvania’s dairy industry toward a brighter future, either by advancing the marketplace or creating new opportunities for innovation on the dairy farm.

“The Pennsylvania dairy industry has been very fortunate to have had many visionary people who have provided leadership in Pennsylvania as well as within agriculture of the United States,” Dave Smith, executive director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association said, “It is a privilege for the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association to be able to help recognize current leadership.”

Winners of the awards will be recognized at the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, receive a commemorative award and will be recognized within the Dairy Hall of Fame of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.

Additional recognition for the awards will be through sponsors’ media and web-based outreach efforts. Nominations for each award will be solicited from the industry, and the deadline to submit nominations will be November 30.

“We are excited to partner together with these other organizations to recognize and showcase leadership, stewardship and excellence in Pennsylvania’s dairy industry.” John Frey, executive director for the Center for Dairy Excellence stated.

“We dairy producers just work hard to do the right thing every day; for our animals, for our family, for the environment, our businesses and the industry,” said Walt Moore, president of Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and dairy producer from Chester County. “That’s just what we do, so it’s nice that there is something like this in place to give recognition to those who do it well.”

Nominations must include the completed application form, found on their website under “Programs and Events,” and one letter of support outlining why the candidate is qualified to receive this award. All nominations must be received by November 30 to be considered for the current award year.

Qualified applicants will stay in the nomination pool for three years after being submitted for consideration. Nominators will be given the opportunity to update the nomination each of the two years following their original submission. Once a candidate is honored as a winner in a particular category, they or individuals representing them are not eligible to win in any other category for two subsequent years.

The Pennsylvania Distinguished Dairy Woman and Distinguished Dairy Producer Awards will be presented annually. The Pennsylvania Dairy Service and Dairy Innovators will be given annually as long as there are qualified candidates approved by the committee to receive the award.