Dairy Industry Partners Kick-off 2018 Fill a Glass with Hope® Program

January 5, 2018

Dairy Industry Partners Kick-off 2018 Fill a Glass with Hope® Program & Announce New Calving Corner Exhibit at PA Farm Show

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State dairy industry leaders from the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, the Calving Corner, Feeding Pennsylvania, American Dairy Association North East, Center for Dairy Excellence, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program kicked off the 2018 award-winning Fill a Glass with Hope® fresh milk distribution program today at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. Two newborn calves named “Fill” and “Hope” then joined the partners as they cut a red ribbon signifying the opening of the Calving Corner, a dairy cow birthing center debuting at the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

“These two programs illustrate just how the dairy cycle begins-with the birth of calves,” explained Lolly Lesher, Pennsylvania dairy farmer, “and the importance of dairy products in the food chain.”

Launched in 2015 in Central Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, Fill a Glass with Hope® expanded in 2016 to become the first statewide charitable fresh milk distribution program in the country. Since its inception, Fill a Glass with Hope® has provided more than 7 million servings of milk to families in need through Feeding Pennsylvania’s eight member food banks statewide. The fundraising for the 2018 campaign launched today with major donations of $115,500 (all donors listed below), including a $25,000 contribution from FirstEnergy. To date, a record $840,200 has been raised in support of the program.

“No one in Pennsylvania should be denied access to nutritious food, including fresh milk, especially the nearly half million children in our commonwealth who need the vitamins and minerals that milk provides to learn and grow,” said Jane Clements-Smith, Executive Director of Feeding Pennsylvania. “Milk is one of the most requested items in our charitable food network, yet it is rarely donated. Through Fill a Glass with Hope®, Feeding Pennsylvania’s food banks can purchase milk at a reduced price directly from local dairy processors and distribute it to Pennsylvania families in need.”

With a celebratory milk toast, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, dairy leaders and program sponsors officially kicked off the 2018 fundraising campaign* and supporters were urged to make donations at www.feedingpa.org/milk.

Secretary Redding then transitioned to speaking about the new Calving Corner exhibit, introduced this year to spotlight the largest segment of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and the 6,650 dairy farm families within the commonwealth. The Calving Corner, a dairy cow birthing center, offers consumer the opportunity to experience the miracle of life and learn about modern dairy farming directly from Pennsylvania farm families.

Miriam Miller, project manager for the Calving Corner, introduced two three-week-old calves named “Fill” and “Hope” and explained that sixteen calves are scheduled to be delivered during the eight-day Farm Show. The four dairy farms participating and providing cows for the Calving Corner are Meadow Vista Dairy, owned by Don, Gerald, Eric and Justin Risser of Bainbridge, Pa.; Kreider Farms, owned by Ron Kreider of Manheim, Pa.; Brubaker Farms, owned by Mike and Tony Brubaker of Mount Joy, Pa.; and Meadow Lane Dairy, owned by Glenn, Brad and Geoff Rohrer of Lancaster, Pa.

Secretary Redding, Miller and other dairy industry leaders then joined together to cut the ceremonial red ribbon to signify the opening of the Calving Corner. The exhibit will encompass 7,500 square feet in the Northeast Building of the Farm Show Complex. The Calving Corner is hosted by the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, the Center for Dairy Excellence, the American Dairy Association North East and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. 

To learn more about the Calving Corner, visit www.thecalvingcorner.org.