Monday, February 11, 2019

YDLI 11 - Day 4: Engaging Storytelling

The final day of YDLI 11's Phase 1 training was all about communication and learning to tell a story in an engaging, effective manner.

Michele Ruby lead the morning workshop, entitled "Here's My Story...and I'm Sticking To It." The focus was on helping each participant figure out what their "why" is - and then turn that into a core story that can be shared in any situation. Leading with the "why we do what we do", instead of "here is what we do," helps create a much more personalized message that helps non-farm audiences connect to the dairy community in a more relate-able way. Ruby also challenged several class members to answer difficult questions on camera, helped participants practice techniques for handling those questions when they may arise in any setting, and shared other tips on working with members of the media.

Class members work on drafting their "core stories" during the morning workshop. 
Taylor Leach (KS) and Michelle Halpin (IL) take turns practicing their core stories.

Henning Haaren shares his "why" with his classmates

Alisa Wood (AZ) handles tough questions during a mock interview. 
After lunch, Laura Daniels led a session on "Standing Up and Standing Out," aimed at preparing YDLIers for their Phase 2 assignment of delivering a presentation on a topic related to dairy, to a group in their home communities. The workshop started with an activity to help everyone discover what their individual learning style is - either visual, auditory or kinesthetic, and then Daniels discussed the importance of included all three elements when giving a presentation, and different ways to accomplish that. Participants learned the basic components of giving a great presentation, including a captivating opening story and identifying your "three rocks" (main ideas you want to convey). Finally, everyone took some time to develop an actual outline for a presentation that they could give.

Laura Daniels visits with Bo Harstine (OH) and Laura Shoemaker (NY)

Elizabeth Byers-Doten (IN) practices making good eye contact while giving a presentation.

Rocco Cunningham (CA) gives an overview of his presentation ideas to YDLI Advisory Committee member Rebecca Shaw.
To end the day, class members split out into their peer groups to review the Phase 2 assignments, and discuss their project ideas with their peer group members and mentors. It was extremely exciting to hear some of the interesting ideas that some already have. In additional to their Phase 2 project, all class members have monthly assignments that they will complete and share with their peer groups and mentors, to reinforce key learnings from Phase 1, and practice their advocacy skills. Phase 2 assignments include conducting some more non-farm consumer interviews, contacting local media and legislators, and giving a community presentation.

All of the class members wrote a goal for themselves on these cards, which are embedded with wildflower seeds and can be planted! Photo ©Heather Hunt
Saturday evening closed out with some fun - after a delicious dinner, the class split into teams and completed in a series of "Minute to Win It!" challenges, with plenty of friendly competition.

Carlos Alberto Perez Perez (PR) uses his singing talents to score some points for his team during "Minute to Win It"

"Team 2" came out victorious! Kameron Peschel (CO), Eli Caldera (TX), Brad Warmka (WI), Ben Smith (VA), Advisory Committee member Heather Hunt, Connor McCluskey (NY) and Megan Smith (PA)
YDLI Class 11 will meet back in Phoenix for Phase 3 training next year, February 5-8, 2020, where they will participate in another series of workshops focused on advanced communications training, leadership skills, and the public policy process.

Congratulations to YDLI Class 11 on completing Phase 1!

YDLI Advisory Committee Members Tyler Ribeiro, Lindsey Worden, Jolene Griffin, Jodi Hoynoski, Laura Daniels, Heather Hunt, Rebecca Shaw and Josh Hushon
The Holstein Foundation would like to offer a sincere thanks to the sponsors of Saturday's workshops and activities: Dairy Management Inc., Land O'Lakes and Allflex USA.

Learn more about Young Dairy Leaders Institute or add your name to the list to be notified when Class 12 applications become available at the Holstein Foundation web site!

Friday, February 8, 2019

YDLI 11 - Day 3: Making Connections

Friday at YDLI was all about making connections and becoming a better listener - with people we work or interact with on a daily basis, and those who purchase the products we produce.

Galen Emanuele took the stage once again and led an energetic session that was a continuation of last night's keynote - focused on creating an exceptional team culture. The lessons were applicable to anyone who works in any type of group or team, and focused on listening to understand, creating an environment where everyone feels safe to contribute ideas, not shooting down anyone's ideas before they have a chance to explain them, learning how to say "no" to an idea but "yes" to the person, and making your colleagues or teammates look good, which in turn makes yourself look good. Based on concepts used in improv comedy, the class got to experience a series of different activities that reinforced all of the concepts Galen was talking about, while at the same time keeping everyone laughing.

Galen Emanuele - Shift Yes: Creating Exceptional Team Culture
Amy Brickner (PA) & Keith Gibson (OH) high five after finishing one of Galen's improv activities.
Cara Biely (WI) & Brad Warmka (WI)

Megan Smith (PA) & Kendra Kissane (MI) during another improv activity.
Next, YDLI Advisory Committee member Jolene Griffin gave an introduction into how to effectively listen to consumers, shared some key messages, words and phrases that resonate with the non-farming general public, and also gave some practice handling difficult questions. Her session was aimed at preparing the participants for their afternoon challenge - having some actual conversations with the public about their thoughts on dairy farming and the foods that are produced.

After lunch, the entire class headed out to the Arizona State University campus, where they broke into small groups and had two hours to strike up conversations with students, faculty, and anyone else they happened to run into. Participants were encouraged to ask questions about how people make their food purchasing decisions, see what they knew about how the products that they purchased are produced, and how animals are treated on modern dairy farms, among other things. The emphasis was on hearing a variety of view points and really listening to understand. After returning from campus, each group had a chance to give a brief report to the rest of their class on their key learnings.

At dinner, the Holstein Foundation was pleased to honor the 2019 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader Award recipient, Rebecca Long Chaney, of Elwood, Neb., a graduate of Class 2. You can read more about Chaney's accomplishments on the Holstein Foundation web site.

Holstein Foundation Programs Manager Jodi Hoynoski, Rebecca Long Chaney, and Holstein Foundation Administrator John M. Meyer
YDLI Advisory Committee member Laura Daniels was the keynote speaker of the evening, and gave her talk, "Building Resiliency in the Midst of Change." The dairy industry is rapidly changing, and Daniels encouraged participants to reflect on their core values and their passion, and use that as fuel to persevere and keep moving forward, with an eye on the future.

Laura Daniels delivers her keynote, "Building Resiliency in the Midst of Change" on Friday night.
The Holstein Foundation would like to offer a sincere thanks to the sponsors of Friday's workshops, meals and keynote: Amaferm -  a BioZyme brand, Farm Credit, and Zoetis.

Phase 1 continues through Saturday evening - follow along with our blog each day for more highlights from YDLI! To learn more about the program, visit the Holstein Foundation web site

Thursday, February 7, 2019

YDLI 11 Kicks Off Phase 1 - Ready, Set, Grow!

Sixty young adults from around the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico are meeting in Phoenix, Az. this week for Phase 1 of the Holstein Foundation's Young Dairy Leaders Institute program. 

Many class members arrived early to participate in a pre-conference tour on Wednesday. The first stop of the day was Danzeisen Dairy, where they had the chance to tour their processing plant, where they bottle their own milk and offer it in a variety of flavors for customers in the Phoenix area. After lunch, the group ventured on to Arizona Dairy Company, which provided the opportunity to see a large-scale working dairy farm first hand, up close. 

© Liz Byers-Doten

© Bo Harstine

 Some of the delicious flavors of milk bottled at Danzeisen Dairy. ©Kendra Kissane

Comfortable calves enjoy their afternoon meal at Arizona Dairy Company. ©Bo Harstine
The program officially started on Wednesday evening with a welcome reception. New YDLI Advisory Committee members Heather Hunt and Bec Shaw led the class in an activity to help them learn some new networking tips, such as "come with stories," "observe, ask, reveal," and "be interested, not interesting," then put them into practice learning some new and interesting facts about their classmates. 

Holstein Foundation Programs Manager Jodi Hoynoski welcomes YDLI Class 11 during Wednesday evening's program.
Vanessa Crowley and Pat Wiltzius visit during the welcome reception.

Thursday morning was the start of three jam-packed days of workshops. After a brief welcome and a few words of inspiration from the YDLI Advisory Committee, Jill Tomac took the stage to lead her opening session, “Breaking Through Performance Barriers.” Her focus was to help participants understand their own personal motivations and “life orientations,” how that influences their response to different situations and people, and how they can capitalize on their strengths and recognize their weaknesses to work more effectively in all aspects of their lives. 

After lunch, Tomac moved into her session titled, “Unleashing Your Personal Power,” a workshop was based on the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. She reviewed "the four agreements," and discussed how the agreements that one makes with themselves can truly drive the direction of their lives and help them be a more effective leader and communicator. The agreements include "be impeccable with your word," "don't take anything personally," "don't make assumptions," and "always do your best."

Holstein Foundation programs manager Jodi Hoynoski spent some time at the end of the day reviewing YDLI Phase 2 expectations, covering the various assignments the class will complete over the next twelve months and sparking ideas for Phase 2 advocacy projects.

To cap off the day, Galen Emanuele delivered a high energy and fun keynote, "Intro to 'Shift Yes'," where he introduced the basic tenants of improv comedy and how those concepts can be integrated into a workplace setting to create a positive environment and culture where all members of a team can feel comfortable contributing ideas. Emanuele will be back on stage first thing Friday morning to dig into his concepts more deeply and put them into practice.

The Holstein Foundation would like to thank the YDLI Welcome Dinner & Networking Reception sponsor - Northeast Ag Education Foundation along with the sponsors of Thursday’s meals, workshops and keynote - Cargill, John Deere, Holstein Association USA, and CHS Foundation.

Phase 1 continues through Saturday evening - follow along with our blog each day for more highlights from YDLI! To learn more about the program, visit the Holstein Foundation web site

Monday, February 4, 2019

YDLI Class 11 Begins Phase 1 Meeting This Week!

The Holstein Foundation’s Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI), kicks off Phase I of its eleventh class February 6-9, 2019, in Phoenix, Ariz. Sixty young adults from 22 U.S. states, as well as Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, will take part in Class 11. A complete list of Class 11 participants can be found on the Holstein Foundation web site.

Before Phase I workshops begin, the class will have an opportunity to tour two Phoenix area dairy operations – Danzeisen Dairy and Arizona Dairy Company.

The three-phase program takes place over 12 months. Phase I includes hands-on workshops to improve attendees' leadership, communication, and advocacy skills, while offering opportunities for networking and building enthusiasm for the dairy industry.

Phase II, takes place in the year between Phase I and III, during which class members develop and use their new skills in a community outreach project of their choice.

Phase III, held February 5-8, 2020, will focus on group leadership skills and topics such as advanced communication training, conflict resolution skills, and influencing public policy. Class members will also give presentations on their Phase II projects.

The Holstein Foundation is sincerely grateful to the following organizations for their sponsorship of YDLI Class 11. We commend and thank these sponsors investing in leadership development for the dairy industry by supporting Young Dairy Leaders Institute.

Platinum Sponsors: 

Gold Sponsors: 

Silver Sponsors: 

Dairy Management Inc.
Farm Credit Northeast Ag Enhancement

Bronze Sponsors: 

COBA/Select Sires
GEA Farm Technologies, Inc.

Dairy Producer Scholarship Providers:
Center for Dairy Excellence
Horace Backus Scholarship Fund
Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association
Robert Cain Scholarship Fund

Tune in starting Thursday for daily coverage live from YDLI Class 11! For more information about YDLI, visit the Holstein Foundation web site. If you are interested in being notified when applications for Class 12 are available (in 2021), you can sign up for our email list.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Fifty-One Participants Graduate Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 10!

Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 10's Phase 3 training drew to a close on Saturday, rounding out three full days of intensive leadership and communications training.

Saturday morning's session was led by YDLI alumna Bonnie Burr, entitled "Charting Your Course for Resilient Farm Policy." Burr laid the groundwork, providing an overview of how policy is formed and effective strategies for letting your voice be herd, as well as covering the legislative process. Next, the class broke into teams, which each being assigned an actual proposed bill related to agriculture. Their job was to build coalitions within their team and then testify their position at a mock Ag Committee hearing. The teams all had fun taking sides and coming up with some interesting personas, but the point of the exercise was lost on no-one - it is important (and sometimes, very rewarding!) to get involved advocating for agriculture's position and opportunities, and being an active part of our nation's legislative process, whether it is at the local, state or even national level.

Teams work with a little help from Advisory Committee members to understand their assigned bill and craft their position and testimony.

Bonnie Buhr works with a team during her session on policy.

Advisory Committee members Tyler Ribeiro, Matt Nuckols and Seth Johnson were happy to serve as "senators" during the mock Ag Committee hearings.

Class members Ariane France (ON), Regina Grover (MA) and Erin Carter (WI) testify during the mock Ag Committee hearing

Brandon Thesing (MN) makes a strong case during his turn to testify, while classmate Ellie Fleming (WI) looks on.

After lunch, the last of the Phase 2 presentations were given. More outstanding projects were reported on during this session, and here are just a couple of examples: hosting a golf tournament benefiting the Great American Milk Drive; organizing a Dairy Night during a local minor league baseball team's game, and setting up a series of radio interviews with dairy industry professionals and farmers to help educate the general public a little more about exactly what our industry is all about. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm and pride everyone felt in completing their projects, and also to see that many of the projects were repeatable, and will grow and continue on in the future. In total, YDLIers reached several thousand people through the course of their Phase 2 project work, and that number is sure to be amplified as they continue to go out in the world.

To bring the training to an official close, a perennial YDLI favorite speaker - Ty Bennett - came to present his message on the power of influence. With his interesting and inspiring stories, Ty helped the class understand what leadership is all about, and how they can increase their level of influence and engagement with those around them, whether it be consumers we are trying to educate, professional colleagues, or friends and loved ones.

Ty Bennett speaking to the class during their closing session.
All of the great work this class has done over the past 12 months has to be celebrated! After the closing session, the group headed up to Rustler's Rooste and had a chili cook-off overlooking downtown Phoenix, followed by a great barbecue dinner and conversation with their classmates, many of whom are finishing their YDLI experience with many new lasting friendships.
Team "Chili Chili Bang Bang" poses for a quick photo before staring the chili cook-off at Rustler's Rooste! (l-r) Maggie Seiler (WI); Patty Gilbert (NY); Regina Grover (MA); Adam Geiger (OH), Mandy Schmidt (CA) and Holley Weeks (NY)
Photo © Holley Weeks
And the winners are......"Team Fantastic Four"! A portion of the team is pictured here with Donna James, representing the evening's sponsor, Allflex USA: Aaron Harris (PA), Donna James, Michael Azevedo (CA) and Ellie Fleming (WI)
Photo © Amy Yeiser Leslie

YDLI Class 11 applications will be available this summer! To learn more about Young Dairy Leaders Institute, or to add your name (or someone you know) to the list to be notified when applications are available, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.

Congratulations to our YDLI Class 10 Graduates!

  • Carolyn Abbott, NY
  • Michael  Azevedo, CA
  • Tera Baker, MI
  • Alexa Cabral, CA
  • Erin Carter, WI
  • Andrea Dicke, OH
  • Mary Faber, IL
  • Ellie Fleming, WI
  • Kelsey Flowe, NC 
  • Ariane France, ON
  • Lyndsey Frey, PA
  • Adam Geiger, OH
  • Patricia Gilbert, NY
  • Regina Grover, MA
  • Maija  Haggith , WI
  • Courtney Halbach, WI
  • Aaron Harris, PA
  • Amanda Hauck, IA
  • Melanie Herman, FL
  • Heather Hunt, CT
  • Rayne Ives, NY
  • Marco Antonio Juarez, MI
  • Mitch Kappelman, WI
  • Corey Kayhart, NY
  • Brandon Kruswick, WI
  • Jess May , NY
  • Amanda Mitcheltree, NC 
  • Benjamin Newberry, GA
  • Katherine Nissen, WI
  • Michael  Oosten , CA
  • Alena Pacheco, CA
  • Jessica Peters, PA
  • Jacob Pieper, PA
  • David Pyle, MD
  • Nick Randle, NY
  • Lindsey Rucks, FL
  • Mandy Schmidt, CA
  • Ashley Sears Randle, NY
  • Shannon Seifert, MN
  • Maggie  Seiler, WI
  • Pete Serne, MI
  • Rebecca Shaw, PA
  • Daren Sheffield, OH
  • Brandon Thesing, MN
  • Alejandro Torres, MX
  • Amanda Waite, PA
  • Emma Watry, WI
  • Holley Weeks, NY
  • Shawna  Weller, PA
  • Lindsey Woodrum Redish, FL
  • Amy Yeiser Leslie, PA

Saturday, February 3, 2018

YDLI 10, Phase 3 - Day 2: Understanding Opposing Viewpoints and Embracing Your Leadership Journey

There was no time for sleeping in or getting off to a slow start on the second day of Phase 3 training for this YDLI class! The class had the opportunity to participate in discussion with Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary, and organization with the mission statement, " To protect farm animals from cruelty, to inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and to promote compassionate vegan living." Moderated by Dr. Wes Jamison, several class members asked questions about Baur's personal position on a variety of topics, as well as the goals of his organization. It was a lively yet respectful conversation, and the group was able to gain a greater understanding of the core values and areas of concern for those individuals and organizations who are championing the animal rights movement. 

Dr. Wes Jamison & Gene Baur

Aaron Harris (PA) and Melanie Herman (FL) ask questions to Baur during the opening session.

YDLIers discuss how to craft effective messages to connect with consumers. (L-R) Amy Yeiser Leslie (PA); Lindsey Rucks (FL); YDLI Advisory Committee member Jolene Griffin; and Brandon Kruswick (WI)
After lunch, the class shifted gears and the focus was on preparing for the next steps in their leadership journey, which for some may include serving on a local, county, state or national board of directors for an organization that is important them. Pete Kappelman once again took the mic and started by explaining the basic duties and responsibilities involved with serving on a board. Next, the class split into groups and practiced dealing with some real-life scenarios that they might face while serving on a board. The afternoon closed with some more inspiring Phase 2 reports.

Corey Kayhart (NY) reports out for his group during Kappelman's session

Amy Yeiser Leslie (PA) explain her groups' position on the activity during Friday afternoon's session
At dinner that evening, the Holstein Foundation recognized the 2018 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader, Nate Janssen from Illinois. Nate was a graduate of YDLI Class 4. One alumni is recognized each year for the who has made noteworthy contributions and applied skills gained during their YDLI experience for the advancement of the dairy industry. 

2018 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader award recipient Nate Janssen with Holstein Foundation chairman Pete Kappelman and Holstein Foundation Administration/Holstein Association USA CEO John M. Meyer
Also honored at the Friday night dinner was Matt Nuckols, YDLI Advisory Committee member from Virginia. Matt was a member of YDLI Class 7 and has severed on the advisory committee for the past three classes. His leadership on the committee will be dearly missed!

Outgoing YDLI Advisory Committee member Matt Nuckols shares some parting words with the group.
Saturday is the final day of Phase 3 training, and will focus on empowering YDLIers to affect public policy and increase their own personal influence, capping off with YDLI Class 10's graduation and a final celebration.

Learn more about Young Dairy Leaders Institute or add your name to the list to be notified when Class 11 applications become available at the Holstein Foundation web site!