Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary, Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, PennAg Industries Association, American Dairy Association North East and Feeding Pennsylvania pay tribute to Commonwealth’s dairy industry and highlight importance of tackling food insecurity.
Harrisburg, Pa. (June 6, 2017) — Pennsylvanians enjoyed free legen-DAIRY Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association Farm Show milkshakes today while donating to a great cause, Feeding Pennsylvania’s “Fill a Glass with Hope® Campaign” to provide fresh milk to neighbors in need. During a special “Dairy Month Farm Show in June” event hosted at the State Capitol, it was announced that more than $670,000 has been raised since the program’s inception in 2015. These resources have provided more than four million servings of fresh milk to Pennsylvanian’s facing hunger.
PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding teamed up with the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, PennAg Industries Association, American Dairy Association North East, Center for Dairy Excellence, statewide food bank representatives, dairy royalty, dairy farmers and processors, donors and singer-songwriter Olivia Farabaugh. The celebration showcased agriculture, the Commonwealth’s number one industry, the importance of the dairy industry and dairy farmers, and the successful first-of-its-kind statewide charitable fresh milk program in the country.
“We are extremely proud of our dairy industry, and as dairy farmers, our goal is to make sure no child or family goes without nutritious fresh milk in the Commonwealth,” said Dave Smith, executive director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association. “With milk as one of the most requested items at our food banks, we are pouring it across the Commonwealth, thanks to our innovative public-private partnership. Not only are we pleased to be a leader in the nation for dairy production and number of dairy farms being operated, but also in giving back by feeding our hungry neighbors, thanks to the generosity from corporate leaders, agricultural organizations and the public.”
With the dairy industry being the largest component of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, milk production alone contributes to more than 33 percent of the state’s agricultural income, generating nearly $5 billion in total economic revenue. PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding shared Governor Tom Wolf’s proclamation designating June as Dairy Month and recognized the industry’s accomplishments.
In the Proclamation, Governor Wolf stated, “Pennsylvania is proud of its dairy industry and the important contribution it makes to our economy and the welfare of our citizens. We salute dairy farmers and their families for the strength and vitality they bring to rural communities throughout the commonwealth and their commitment to using advanced technology for maximum efficiency, as well as their dedication to animal care, environmental stewardship, and quality dairy products.”
“Make no mistake: dairy is big business in Pennsylvania. Dairy is a key sector of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, not to mention the state’s overall economy,” said Agriculture Sec. Russell Redding. “Dairy farmers, with their legendary work ethic, are the backbone of the industry.”
“Feeding Pennsylvania is incredibly proud of the success of Fill a Glass with Hope®, delivering more than four million servings of milk to families in need over the last two years. No one in Pennsylvania should be denied access to nutritious food, including fresh milk, especially the nearly half a million children in our Commonwealth who are facing hunger every day,” said Jane Clements-Smith, executive director of Feeding Pennsylvania. “During the summer, many kids don’t have access to meals like school lunch, so their families rely on the charitable food network. We strongly encourage people to go to feedingpa.org/milk and make a donation to help our food banks continue to increase the amount of milk they can serve to families in need.”
Throughout the day, free milkshakes were provided to visitors and donations were encouraged to the “Fill a Glass with Hope®” campaign launched during the January 2015 PA Farm Show. Olivia Farabaugh, a singer/songwriter from Palmyra and contestant on the hit television show, “The Voice” performed for attendees and previewed a new song for a new CD she is working on to benefit Fill A Glass With Hope®. It’s expected to be released later this year.
Also participating was Chester County dairy farmer Tim Kurtz, speaking on behalf of dairy industry partners. Kurtz noted that everyone from Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers to milk processors were dedicated to providing access to milk’s nutritional benefits through the statewide charitable milk campaign.
Donations can still be made online at www.feedingpennsylvania.org/milk, or checks can be mailed to the eight Feeding Pennsylvania food banks with “milk program” written in the memo line.
The donations being collected are for Feeding Pennsylvania’s Fill a Glass with Hope® program, a partnership between Feeding Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, and American Dairy Association North East. It is the nation’s first statewide charitable fresh milk program that connects Feeding Pennsylvania member food banks with their local dairies to purchase milk at a reduced rate for distribution to Pennsylvania families.
PENNSYLVANIA’S DAIRY INDUSTRY:
- More than 6,650 dairy farm families manage 525,000 cows that produce more than 10.9 billion pounds of the nation’s total supply of milk annually, ranking Pennsylvania sixth nationally in milk production.
- Pennsylvania’s dairy manufacturers continue to lead the country in the production of butter (2nd), cheese (7th) and low-fat ice cream (4th).
- Milk was named the official beverage of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on April 29, 1982, by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
- The PA dairy industry supports over 60,000 jobs across the state.
- The dairy products industry is one of Pennsylvania’s fastest growing sectors because of the high quality and technical innovations on Commonwealth farms.
About Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association: The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association is the oldest dairy group in Pennsylvania. The Dairymen’s Milkshake is the top-selling food item at the Food Court with more than 160,000 sold on average there each year. The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association has been promoting “Fill a Glass with Hope®” with agriculture partners, Feeding PA, American Dairy Association North East, corporate partners and food banks since 2015. The Association has surpassed the $1 million mark in funding to dairy youth development and education programs, securing a bright future for Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. For more information, visit www.padairymens.com.
About Feeding Pennsylvania: Feeding Pennsylvania is a partnership formed among Pennsylvania’s Feeding America member food banks. Collective efforts promote and aid members in securing food and other resources to reduce hunger and food insecurity for their communities and across Pennsylvania, and provide a shared voice on the issues of hunger and food access. Member food banks serve close to 2 million people annually by distributing more than 140 million pounds of food throughout Pennsylvania through more than 2,600 agencies. Throughout 2016, each member food bank became licensed as a charitable milk sub-dealer by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing board, allowing them to purchase milk from dairies at a reduced price. For more information, visit www.feedingpa.org.
About American Dairy Association North East: (ADANE)
The American Dairy Association North East made up of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, and American Dairy Association and Dairy Council is one of 19 state and regional milk product promotion organizations working under the umbrella of United Dairy Industry Association, a federation of state and regional dairy promotion organizations. ADANE is also the local affiliate of National Dairy Council® which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. Supported by 12,000 dairy farm families in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and northern Virginia, ADANE works to bring local dairy promotion programs to the 50-million consumers throughout the Northeast region. For more information, visit www.dairyspot.com.
About PennAg Industries Association: PennAg Industries Association is the premier agribusiness association in Pennsylvania. PennAg is a full-time, full-service membership association representing Pennsylvania agribusinesses of all sizes and types that support and serve the entire food chain. PennAg advocates to create and maintain an effective, viable and competitive economic environment for Pennsylvania agribusinesses to grow and prosper. For more information, visit www.pennag.com.