Michael Barton

Michael Barton

I would like to thank the sponsors, board of directors and committees for this great award and opportunity. This scholarship will help me tremendously in my last year of school and I am so honored to be a recipient of this! It is such a great feeling to be in an industry with such great supporters!

Hometown: Ancramdale, NY

School: Pennsylvania State University

Major / Species: Animal Science Business Option

Career Goals: After completing my degree at The Pennsylvania State University, I would like to return home to work on my grandfather’s dairy. There we milk 60 Brown Swiss and raise around 200 replacement heifers. I currently help with marketing our animals for numerous shows and sales throughout the year, and am in charge of our Facebook page that I have grown to have over 4,100 followers. I also coordinate with our web designer and the The Brown Swiss Bulletin to make changes to our website and design future ads for the magazine. After I return, I will assume a much greater role and will be the primary herdsman of the farm and slowly make more operating decisions. The farm is located about 100 miles north of New York City, so our area is greatly influenced by homeowners from the city who come up on the weekends. I believe this is a great opportunity to grow an agri-tourism section of our farm and welcome interested people to visit us. This has never before been discussed on the farm, but I believe is a great way to add income to the farm. In adding this sector, it would be a small investment for a greater return and is something that all farmers could use in today’s market. Along with my grandfathers Brown Swiss farm, right across the road is my uncles larger Holstein operation where he milks 1,200 cows. Along with the majority of our population being weekend visitors, we have a short supply of people willing to work on a dairy in our area. This causes trouble especially for the large dairy where we need much more man power to complete all the daily tasks necessary to run the farm. With splitting my time between the two dairies, I would help out both my uncle and grandfather. Right now the two biggest areas they need help with is breeding cows and inputting information into DairyComp. Because of this, I enrolled myself into classes that would help me with both skills. By bringing the knowledge I gained from Penn State, I can help forward both operations and hopefully make them function more efficiently and profitable. I believe it is important for the younger generations to get into dairy farming as an occupation because we will be the ones feeding this growing population, and I am excited to one day do my part in the dairy industry.