Penn State workshops focus on increasing profitability

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Dairy producers in Pennsylvania have the opportunity to learn how to increase their profitability at workshops planned across the state.

The workshops, titled “Identifying the Bottlenecks to Higher Dairy Profitability,” help   producers look at their whole farm system and identify the bottlenecks in their operations that hinder profitability.

Workshop participants will learn how to use the new Penn State Dairy Profitability Risk Assessment Tool (DairyPRAT), which looks at the whole farm operation and identifies priorities for change. DairyPRAT can show producers – in dollars and cents – the areas of greatest loss and of greatest opportunity for improving a dairy’s bottom line. Using benchmark information, the tool pinpoints risk areas that are negatively impacting profitability. It can give advisers and producers a whole-farm view of the dairy operation for better identification of key weaknesses.

During the two-day workshop, producers will visit a case study farm for a hands-on demonstration about how to use DairyPRAT. Producers also will use the tool with their farm data and learn how to customize their own action plan to achieve better profitability.

DairyPRAT was developed by dairy educators from Penn State extension, as well as faculty and staff from Penn State University’s departments of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Dairy and Animal Science, and Veterinary Science.

The workshop schedule is as follows:

First offering—January 18 (Day 1) and February 15 (Day 2), 2006:

Dauphin County: Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, Pa.

Bradford County: Blast Intermediate Unit, Canton, Pa.

Somerset County: Ag Service Center, Somerset, Pa.


Second offering—January 19 (Day 1) and February 22 (Day 2), 2006:

Mercer County: Mercer County Cooperative Extension Office, Mercer, Pa.

Blair County: Spring Cove Middle School, Roaring Spring, Pa.

Franklin County: Franklin County Extension Office, Chambersburg, Pa.

Advance registration is appreciated. Contact Penn State’s Office of Conferences and Short Courses toll free at (877) 778-2937 or via email: The registration fee is $165 per person. Workshop hours are 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For more information about the program, visit:

Penn State extension



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