photo: Back Row (L-R): Carly Foose (Alt State Dairy Princess), John Frey (Executive Director for Center for Dairy Excellence), Chad Hurst holding Clay Hurst, Nicole Hurst, Tim Forry, George Hurst, Maria Forry, Jean Hurst. Front Row (L-R): Aaron Hurst, Isaiah Hurst, Serena Forry, Seth Forry, Sarah Forry, Secretary Russell Redding, Ashley Mohm (State Dairy Princess)

Recognizing  June as Dairy Month, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding noted agriculture’s contributions to the state’s economy while addressing a crowd gathered during Family Farm Days, an annual event hosted  at Oregon Dairy and Oregon Dairy Farm in Lititz, Lancaster County. As a part of his remarks, Secretary Redding recognized the owners of Oregon Dairy Farm on receiving the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy earlier this spring.

Harold Shaulis, a dairy farmer from Somerset, Pa., and chair of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, and John Frey, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence, joined Secretary Redding in congratulating the family. George Hurst, his daughter and son-in-law Maria and Tim Forry, and his son Chad Hurst own and operate Oregon Dairy Farm, a 500-cow and 900-acre dairy farm that has been nationally recognized for its commitment to animal care, environmental stewardship, community involvement and dairy sustainability.

“Pennsylvania’s dairy industry contributes more than 35 percent of all agricultural income to the state,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Dairy is an important component to our diets beyond the milk carton, providing essential nutrients such as calcium and protein. We thank our more than 7,300 dairy farm families, for supplying our state and nation with fresh, wholesome dairy products. Oregon Dairy Farm is a shining example of the innovative and deeply-committed family farm businesses the comprise Pennsylvania’s dairy landscape.”

“The dairy industry has a long history of environmental stewardship,” said Harold Shaulis, a Somerset County dairy farmer and chairman of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. “The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards were established four years ago to recognize dairy farmers and dairy companies for the innovative work they are doing to incorporate sustainable practices into their businesses. We are proud to include Oregon Dairy among this year’s award winners.”

John Frey added, “At the Center for Dairy Excellence, we have had the opportunity to work with George, Chad, Maria and Tim on a number of efforts, including a transformation team project that deepened the family’s commitment to environmental stewardship and animal care while helping to lay the ground work for future generations. We cannot think of a family more deserving of this national recognition.”

Oregon Dairy Farm received the US Dairy Sustainability Award in May at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. They were one of three dairy farm families from across the country announced as winners within the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability category of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards Program, which recognizes outstanding dairy farms, businesses and partnerships for practices large and small that not only focus on the environment, but add up to promote the health and well-being of consumers, communities, cows, employees, the planet and business.

Redding, Shaulis and Frey presenting the Oregon Dairy Farm family with a certificate and congratulated them on their exemplary efforts. The special ceremony was held within the Barnyard Theatre at the Family Farm Days festivities, held from June 16 to 18.