Introducing our newest staff member; Heather Weeks, Dairy Profitability Educator
Posted: November 5, 2012
A Farm Management/ Agbusiness Volunteer in the Peace Corps/ Ecuador from Feb. 2011 to Sept. 2012, Heather worked throughout the community in which she lived teaching small business practices and dairy product development to a cheese cooperative, as well as providing workshops on milking practices, mastitis control, family vegetable gardens and nutrition to community members. Heather also worked at the elementary school teaching agriculture and natural resource education and organized an afterschool program to teach agriculture and natural resource education to youth. Prior to the Peace Crops, Heather worked as a graduate research assistant in the Agricultural Economics department at Virginia Tech and a research assistant as an undergraduate student in Dairy Nutrition and the Office of International Research Education and Development.
As an Educator in Dairy Profitability Heather’s responsibilities are twofold: 1) To serve producers and dairy industry professionals in the Cumberland Valley region by providing access to new information, research and practices relevant to producers’ goals with respect to their dairy management strategies, and 2) To collaborate with the Penn State Extension Dairy Team to conduct programs for the PA dairy industry. Heather will be based in the Cumberland County office and will serve neighboring counties including Perry and Dauphin as well as Franklin, Adams and York, basically the Cumberland Valley and South Central Pennsylvania.
Through her work in the Peace Corps, Heather brings a new perspective to the PA Dairy business, between working with small Spanish-speaking producers and adapting new theories to conventional methods. Her experience in economics provides the background for budgetary and financial analysis offering assistance to producers in management strategies, and her overall dairy background affords a holistic approach to dairy farm management. She hopes to help strengthen dairy producers’ capacity to make sound financial decisions regarding their enterprises while working toward building and maintaining the dairy industry’s position of prominence in central Pennsylvania and across the state.