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Dairy of Distinction application due April 14

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 14.
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-inch-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 in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Roadside judging will take place in May. Judges will look at factors that can be controlled by the dairy producer, 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 or visit the web at
Since 1987, Pennsylvania’s “Dairy of Distinction” program has recognized more than 800 dairy farms. The Pennsylvania program is part of the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program, which also includes New York, New Jersey and Vermont. Dairies in these states can contact the program secretary in their state for applications.