Our home state of Pennsylvania is known for a lot of things. We’re the “Birthplace of Independence” (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drafted in Philadelphia), we’ve got a booming pretzel industry, and we invented the whoopie pie. Despite all that we’ve got going for us, local farming publication LancasterFarming.com recently posed an interesting question: Should Pennsylvania stake its claim as the “ice cream state?”
You won’t get much argument from us when it comes to that claim. We’ve made our home in Lancaster County for the past 85 years and we’re extremely proud to be one of the nation’s leading ice cream producers. And, as far as ice cream shops go, the Keystone State has more than a few to be proud of.
But what makes our state’s ice cream industry so great is our thriving dairy industry. Dairy is the largest sector of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and the number one contributor to the state’s economy. Pennsylvania is ranked fifth in total milk production nationally, with the commonwealth’s 530,000 cows producing more than 10.8 billion pounds of milk annually.
10.8 billion pounds. That’s a lot of milk, and our own Lancaster County produces the second most milk of any county in the state.
That dairy industry is one reason why Turkey Hill is a passionate supporter of the Lancaster Farmland Trust. It’s also why we’re committed to preserving a Lancaster County farm in 2016 and are matching donations under our Preserve a Farm program (visit our site if you’d like to make a donation).
So, Pennsylvania as the “Ice Cream State?” We won’t argue with that, and we’ll do whatever we can to help our great state make that title official.