Pennsylvania honors dairy leaders

Pa. Dairy Awards
Winners accepting the 2019 Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Awards included (L-R) Rob and Tom Barley, representing Star Rock Dairy Inc.; Michael Hosterman, AgChoice Farm Credit; Alan Zepp, Center for Dairy Excellence; and Chuck Turner, Turner Dairy Farms.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, Center for Dairy Excellence and the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania joined together to launch an industry-wide awards program that recognizes leadership, stewardship and excellence.

The first awards were presented at the 2019 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit in Lancaster. Recipients included Star Rock Dairy Inc.; Michael Hosterman, AgChoice Farm Credit; Alan Zepp, Center for Dairy Excellence; and Chuck Turner, Turner Dairy Farms.

Dairy innovator

Chuck Turner, president of Turner Dairy Farms, Inc., received the Pennsylvania Dairy Innovator Award.

In 1986, Turner joined the family business founded by his grandfather in 1930, and today his responsibilities include managing strategic planning, marketing, new product development, operations management, accounting, safety and quality control.

Turner Dairy Farms’ products have earned multiple national honors for quality and taste. Beyond that, the Turner family continues to innovate their product line through offering new products, like lactose-free milk and limited-edition flavored milks.

The dairy is involved in their community through donations to the local foodbank, various events, organizations and school boosters. Turner has served in various leadership roles, including the board of the Center for Dairy Excellence, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Milk Dealers, president of Titusville Dairy, a managing member of Pittsburgh Special–T Dairy, and along with his wife Zeta, on the Heart Auxiliary Board of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

Producer award

Tom, Rob and Abe Barley, of Star Rock Dairy Inc., received the Pennsylvania Distinguished Producer Award.

Brothers Rob and Tom and cousin Abe, together manage dairy, beef finishing, hog and broiler enterprises and crop farm more than 11,000 acres of owned and rented land.

The farm often hosts school tours, farm-related tours and is open to anyone who wants to experience a modern dairy.

Rob manages finances and livestock along with his involvement in Lancaster County Ag Council, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Dairy Farmers of America and his recent appoint as chairman of the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board. Rob also serves as a board member to the national Milk Processors Education Program.

Tom oversees the 1,450-cow dairy herd and is involved in the Lancaster County and Pennsylvania Holstein Associations, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and DFA.

Abe’s role as CEO involves all aspects of the operation with a focus on cropping and maintenance oversight along with his involvement on the Lancaster County Farm Service Agency Committee and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.

Dairy service

The Pennsylvania Dairy Service Award winners this year included Michael Hosterman, with AgChoice Farm Credit, and Alan Zepp from the Center for Dairy Excellence.

Hosterman has spent the last 29 years working for AgChoice, primarily serving the dairy industry. He has also been integral in developing and overseeing the Dairy Success & Profitability Review benchmark.

Hosterman continues to benchmark program, progressive producer discussion groups, farm tours, dairy education opportunities through Penn State, Cornell, Northeast Dairy Challenge and has served on the PA Dairy Summit program planning committee. He has served on the PDMP board and was recently appointed to the Center for Dairy Excellence board.

After 30 years as a dairy farmer from Adams County, Alan Zepp moved to the role of risk management program manager with the Center for Dairy Excellence.

Over the past 10 years of volatile milk prices, he has provided counsel to countless dairy farm families and to the broader industry.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Awards, contact Jayne Sebright at the center at 717-346-0849 or visit


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