Penn State Berkey Creamery hosts annual creamery managers conference

University creamery managers from across the country toured the Penn State Berkey Creamery during their annual conference in June. Credit: Lauren HassingerAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Berkey Creamery served up valuable information and a bit of fun — ice cream included, of course — to colleagues when it recently hosted the annual University Creamery Managers Conference.

“University creameries are unique in operation and often face different pressures than those found in the private sector,” said Jim Brown, assistant manager of the Berkey Creamery. “This annual get-together provides an opportunity for us to share information about our successes and our challenges in production, education and research.”

This is the second time the Penn State Creamery has served as host of the event, which began in 2003 at the University of Wisconsin. During these conferences, dairy plant managers from more than 20 university creameries tour the hosting university’s campus, plant and store.

This year, special visits to Beaver Stadium, the Arboretum at Penn State, Stone Valley Recreation Center and the Penn State Dairy Barns were part of the schedule.

“We thought it would be great for our visitors to see our full ‘cow to cone’ story, and the only way to do that was to take them where it all begins — with the Penn State dairy cows,” Brown said.

A visit to the Penn State Dairy Barns was one of the highlights of the University Creamery Managers Conference, which was hosted this year by the Penn State Berkey Creamery. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Technical sessions presented by Penn State faculty and staff included an open discussion on sourcing ice cream ingredients, a presentation on testing for Listeria, an overview of product labeling guidelines, and a session on good manufacturing practices.

While education is at the heart of the gathering, another important benefit is building professional relationships with other managers, noted Melinda Shaw, director of UDairy Creamery at the University of Delaware, who was one of this year’s attendees.

“The conference is one of the best resources for anyone in the industry,” she said. “We all have similar and different challenges that give us an opportunity to learn from and help each other. It’s an open wealth of knowledge and a fantastic group of people. We look up to Penn State Creamery so much; it’s a great mix of business and education.”

Tom Davis, manager of the Penn State landmark, thanked those who attended, saying that they were an engaged and enthusiastic group.

“We could not have asked for better participants — they made the conference a huge success,” Davis said. “We are looking forward to connecting with them throughout the year and at next year’s conference.”

Penn State's Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the United States, produces ice cream, cheese, milk, yogurt and sour cream, as well as a variety of other products, such as juices, lemonade and iced teas, made for sale and distribution to the University community.

Cows from Penn State’s dairy herd provide milk for the Creamery’s fresh dairy products, averaging about four days from cow to Creamery treat. For more information, visit

Last Updated July 16, 2019