HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Carlisle-based Giant Foods business and Sciopio Springs Dairy, located in New York, will be showcased during the opening session of the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, kicking off on Feb. 12 at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, Pa.
The two Northeast-based businesses are two of four business showcases that will be part of this year's event, hosted by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Giant/Martins business is headquartered in Carlisle, Pa., and operates nearly 200 grocery stores in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Rick Herring is the president and CEO of Giant Foods and will provide a showcase of the retail business. Herring was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where his family was involved with farming and retail. He has been involved with Giant's growth from 48 stores to 200 stores, evolving with changes in food retail and technology while keeping a focus on supporting local suppliers, customers and the communities served. In 2013, Giant Foods made headlines when it became the first major retail chain to market its own brand of PA Preferred milk.
Jon Gilbert and Bill Morgan are business partners at Sciopio Springs Dairy, a green field dairy that began in 2002 as a purchase feed operation. In 2009, Sciopio Springs dairy started a land holding venture with crop growers and, in 2010, the business established a satellite dairy about 100 miles away. Sciopio Springs Dairy has 800 cows, and Windsong Dairy, the satellite dairy, has 600 cows.
Sciopio Springs is one of the 29 farms that are a part of the Cayuga Marketing Group. Cayuga Marketing began 20 years ago when farms wanted to work together to better purchase inputs and market milk. The group's 33,000 cows produce 900 million pounds of milk a year. It is currently building a $100 million milk ingredients plant that will take in 2 million pounds of milk a day when it is operational in August 2014. Gilbert and Morgan will share an overview of both business ventures.
Registration information for the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit is available online at www.padairysummit.org or by calling the Summit Business Office at 814-355-2467. Producer registration costs are discounted to $125, thanks to grants provided by several organizations, while registration for all others is $225 per person. One day rates and group discounts are available.
For more information about the summit and for information on registering or sponsoring, go to www.padairysummit.org or call 814-355-2467.