PENNSYLVANIA—Pennsylvania has more than 6,000 dairy farms. Those 6,000 dairy farms have a 14 billion dollar economic impact on the state. It is not just the big business that makes dairy farms an integral part of Pennsylvania. It’s the families’ behind them.
Dairy farmer Dave Smith has many names.
“They call me a lot of different names. Some people call me dairyman Dave or the milkshake guy”, said President of the Dairyman’s Association Dave Smith.
Every year people line up at The Farm Show to try one of Dairyman Dave’s famous milkshakes.
“I’ve drank a few too many milkshakes probably”, said Dairy Farmer Joel Smith.
Behind the man and the milkshake is a rich history of dairy farmers that goes back five generations.
"I had a great-grandfather who actually moved from Virginia to his area in the early 1900's. I think in another ten years we will become a century farm so for about 90 years our family has had this farm” said Dave Smith.
Currently Dairyman Dave works on his dairy farm with his 28-year-old son and his 83-year-old father.
“Yeah I have one on both sides of me ya know. I am kind of the middle guy pulling in a couple different directions, but we work on projects together and it is kind of satisfying to have a couple of generations with us”, said Dave Smith.
When Dairyman Dave is not feeding his cows, sowing his crops or blending his famous milkshakes, he serves as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association. With Dave Smith’s help the association has raised 1 million dollars on Dave’s milkshakes and other dairy products.
That million dollars has been used to fund programs to teach the next generation of farmers to Pennsylvania can keep its’ farms in the family.
“It’s a neat aspect of our dairy farms and your farms in Pennsylvania. They are all intergenerational”, said Dave Smith.
Dairyman Dave and the Dairymen’s Association also partner in the with the Fill-a-glass with Hope Initiative. The program provides milk for families who are food insecure.