Dairy of distinction forms due in April

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Pennsylvania dairy farms are invited to apply for this year’s Dairy of Distinction award from the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program. Applications must be submitted by April 15.

The award is based on the idea that attractive farmsteads enhance consumer confidence in the wholesomeness of milk and stimulate milk sales and public support for the industry.

Dairies receiving the highest scores in each of 10 Pennsylvania districts will be awarded an 18-by-24 inch Dairy of Distinction sign to display in front of their farm.

“This program is run by volunteers and recognizes the hard work and dedication of dairy producers who promote a positive image for the dairy industry,” said Mike O’Connor, secretary of the Pennsylvania Dairy of Distinction program and professor of dairy science extension in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Judging criteria.

Roadside judging will take place in May. Judges will look at factors that can be controlled by the farmer, such as clean and attractively finished buildings; neat landscaping, ditches, roads and lanes; and well-maintained fences.

They also will take into account other aspects of the farm, such as cleanliness of animals, the barnyard, feed areas and manure management.

Winning farms will be notified in late June. Because this is a yearly award, previous winners are re-evaluated each year to see if they are still maintaining excellent standards.

To receive an application, call Mike O’Connor at 814-863-3913.

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