The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicineâ€™s New Bolton Center and the Center for Dairy Excellence have signed a memorandum of understanding to formally recognize their partnership to help the stateâ€™s dairy industry increase profitability.
The memorandum was signed by Joan Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Penn Vet, and John Frey, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence.
â€śThis Memorandum of Understanding signals a new level of recognition of our partnership with the state and the dairy industry,â€ť Hendricks said. â€śI am pleased to see this formal partnership happening on my watch, so we can ensure that we are delivering on our vision to influence the financial health and productivity of Pennsylvaniaâ€™s dairy industry.â€ť
The Center for Dairy Excellence and New Bolton Center have worked together for many years and collaborated on a detailed analysis of the dairy industry published last year. The â€śPennsylvania Dairy Futures Analysisâ€ť recommends a plan of action to improve the profitability of the state dairy industry through 2020.
â€śThis strengthened partnership is going to be productive and good for the Pennsylvania dairy industry,â€ť said George Greig, Pennsylvania secretary of agriculture, who attended the ceremony. â€śI really believe in the Center and Penn Vet and their commitment to the dairy industry. We have a lot of opportunity ahead of us. Anything we can do to further that opportunity is tremendously beneficial.â€ť
â€śAt Penn Vet, we are passionate about seeing the dairy industry meet the challenges of the future,â€ť Galligan said. â€śWe believe in healthy cows producing healthy products and economically healthy producers operating environmentally healthy farms. Itâ€™s a natural synergy for us to partner with the Center for Dairy Excellence.â€ť
Hendricks described the innovative programs created by Penn Vetâ€™s Center for Animal Health and Productivity that are used around the world. The latest is Penn Vetâ€™s Dairy Analyzer computer program that compares dairy herd production and business performance to industry benchmarks.
â€śWe focus on the economics, health and production of animals and ways to reduce the impact on the environment,â€ť Hendricks said.
The memorandum states that Penn Vet and the Center for Dairy Excellence will:
- Partner and collaborate at new levels to the benefit of the broader Pennsylvania dairy industry.
- Provide leadership to identify and coordinate the direction, goals and resources necessary to ensure a competitive, sustainable and profitable Pennsylvania dairy industry.
- Develop and implement cooperative partner resources that focus on improving dairy family business profitability and viability. An example of this would be Penn Vetâ€™s Dairy Analyzer Program that would compare dairy herd production and business performance to industry benchmarks.
- Engage in cooperative research projects that would introduce diverse dairy business models to provide information that will assist Pennsylvania dairy producers in increasing business viability and profitability.
Pennsylvania has the second-largest number of dairy farms in the nation, but the performance of those farms has been falling behind other states. As a result, the Center for Dairy Excellence was established in 2004 to form partnerships and to coordinate resources to give family dairy farms analysis and support to improve profitability and performance.