Giant Foods and Sciopio Springs Dairy will be showcased during the opening session of the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit. The event kicks off February 12th at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. These Northeast-based businesses are two of four business showcases that will be part of this year’s event, hosted by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Giant/Martins business is headquartered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and operates nearly 200 grocery stores in the Mid-Atlantic region. Rick Herring is the president and CEO of Giant Foods and will provide a showcase of the retail business. Herring was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where his family was involved with farming and retail. He has been involved with Giant’s growth from 48 stores to 200 stores, evolving with changes in food retail and technology while keeping a focus on supporting local suppliers, customers and the communities served. In 2013, Giant Foods made headlines when it became the first major retail chain to market its own brand of PA Preferred Milk.
Jon Gilbert and Bill Morgan are business partners at Sciopio Springs Dairy, a green field dairy that began in 2002 as a purchase feed operation. In 2009, the dairy started a land holding venture with crop growers and in 2010 the business established a satellite dairy about 100 miles away. Scipio Springs is one of the 29 farms which are a part of the Cayuga Marketing Group. Cayuga Marketing began 20 years ago when farms wanted to work together to better purchase inputs and market milk. The group’s 33,000 cows produce 900 million pounds of milk a year. It is currently building a $100 million milk ingredients plant which will take in 2 million pounds of milk a day, when it is operational in August 2014. Gilbert and Morgan will share an overview of both business ventures.
This year’s summit will feature four tracks to offer insight and info in young entrepreneurship, forage management, high milk production and technology. New this year is the Forage Analysis Competition, with a nutrient analysis of the top three finalists in each category on display, and a special demonstration room that will include hands-on tools to fine tune performance on the dairy farm.
For registration information checkout www.padairysummit.org. Thanks to grants provided by several organizations allow producers to register for only $125. All other registration is $225.