Real-Life Visits to Pennsylvania Dairy Farms

The Dairy Excellence Foundation hosts annual day-long farm tours to give high school students the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of modern working dairy farms. These dairy farm visits showcase careers within the dairy industry as well as modern agricultural technologies used to help improve today’s farming practices.

2021 Fall Farm Tour

In-Person and Virtual Options

When: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM in-person or 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM virtually

Where: Whitenight Family Farm, Orangeville; Milkhouse Creamery, Drums; and Four-Zag Hill Farm, Berwick

Cost: FREE; We will provide bus transportation from schools around PA to the stops on the tour. In addition, lunch and snacks will be provided.

Details: Offered both in-person and virtually, the day-long event gives high school students a firsthand look at Pennsylvania dairy farms and exposure to different careers available within the dairy industry. Students will meet farmers and industry professionals from two dairy farms and one creamery in Columbia and Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Students and educators will be able to ask questions about today’s dairy farming practices and career opportunities. We will provide bus transportation for in-person tour opportunity based on the registration of locations.

Registration

Students and teachers must register for the in-person Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Farm Tour by October 1.

Two Farms and a Creamery

One of the stops on the tour will be Four-Zag Hill Farm, a fourth-generation dairy farm in Columbia County with approximately 70 cows. Students will learn about the farm’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its conservation and nutrient management plans. They will also get to see the farm’s compost bedded pack barn, which includes bedded pack to keep the cows comfortable, manure storage, and natural ventilation. Students will hear from the owner, Rosalie Zaginaylo, who has experience with business planning and financial management in addition to dairy production.

Rosie Zaginaylo (far right) with the rest of the family at the Four-Zag Hill Farm Sign

Whitenight Family Farms, a 30-cow dairy in Columbia County, is another stop on the tour. As a former teacher, Melissa Whitenight began developing their dairy herd and working on the family farm full-time more than 10 years ago. In addition to milk, the Whitenight family sells cheese and raw milk and are working to build a milk bottling facility on the farm. Students on the tour will gain exposure to the value-added side of the dairy industry, including the process of bottling and capping milk, selling it in stores, and exploring new markets.

Jerseys on Pasture at Whitenight Family Farm

Students will also get to stop at Milkhouse Creamery in Luzerne County for lunch and ice cream. Owned by Paul Dagostin, the family has had roots in the dairy industry since the 1920s. With an on-site processing plant and several small-batch ice cream shops in the area, the family processes their own milk and ice cream mix. Students will learn about dairy processing and how the family creates a variety of dairy products, including flavored milks and fresh ice cream.

Some of the products available at Milkhouse Creamery

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Michelle Shearer at mshearer@centerfordairyexcellence.org or 570-768-8316.