Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Young Dairy Leaders Institute Graduates Class 9!

The final day of Young Dairy Leader's Institute started bright and early Saturday morning with an invigorating session on "Sustaining the Oasis of Resilient Farm Policy," led by YDLI alumna Bonnie Burr. Bonnie gave an overview of how ag policy is formed and the legislative process, and then the class broke into teams where each tackled a different ag-related bill and testified in a mock bill hearing. While all took it as an opportunity to have some fun, it also instilled the importance of speaking up and being an active part of the legislative process to help protect agriculture's position on important issues.

Bonnie Burr talks with class members about their group's bill.

The class members used all available resources to gather information for their testimonies.

Members of the YDLI Advisory Committee served as legislative members for "YDLI State" in the mock hearing.
Each group took the stage for 10 minutes to defend their positions.
Later in the afternoon, the class continued with presenting on their Phase 2 achievements. Over the past year, every class member has completed a series of assignments, including a personal agriculture advocacy project. During Phase 3, everyone had the chance to give a five-minute presentation to their classmates on what they had accomplished over the past 12 months. Projects varied from making presentations to elementary schools about the benefits of dairy products, to helping organize milk drives for local food banks, to organizing radio shows to help spread a positive message about dairy and local agriculture - and many more!

Phase 3 closed with a "commencement speech" from Ty Bennett on The Power of Influence. Bennett is a return speaker to the Phase 3 program, and has a powerful message about becoming a leader of influence by being genuinely interested in those around you, treating others the way they want to be treated, and investing in people, that leaves everyone feeling inspired and ready to continue their positive impact.

Finally, the YDLI graduates headed out for a celebration at Rustler's Rooste in Phoenix, where they competed in a chili cook-off, enjoyed a delicious barbecue and enjoyed sweeping views of the city - making YDLI memories that will last a lifetime!
A group of YDLI graduates poses for a photo at Rustler's Rooste - Photo © Stacey Stearns
Learn more about Young Dairy Leaders Institute or add your name to the list to be notified when Class 10 applications become available at the Holstein Foundation web site.

Friday, February 26, 2016

YDLI 9, Phase 3 - Day 2: Navigating Challenging Situations & Taking the Next Step in Your Leadership Journey

Day 2 of Young Dairy Leaders Institute got off to an interesting start very quickly. The class had the opportunity to participate in a discussion with Paul Shapiro, the Vice President of Farm Animal Protection for the Humane Society of the United States - the largest animal rights organization in the world. Moderated by Dr. Wes Jamison, several class members asked questions about HSUS's position on a variety of topics and were able to gain insight into and understanding of the organization's core values and areas of concern.

Dr. Wes Jamison, YDLI trainer, & Paul Shapiro, HSUS
In the afternoon, Dr. Jamison continued the discussion on how to communicate effectively with those who share different opinions than your own in his Conflict Management workshop. Participants learned to identify their own conflict style and that of those who they live and work with, along with strategies to improve the way they react to difficult situations.
Julie Wadzinski & Patrick Crave practice their conflict management skills during the afternoon session.
To round out the afternoon workshops, Holstein Foundation trustee and Chairman of the Land O'Lakes board of directors Pete Kappelman led an interactive session entitled "Get Ready to Run...for the Board!" He gave valuable insights into his path to becoming more involved at the board level, and helped YDLIers understand the role of being a director for an organization. Participants divided into several groups and formed "mini boards," where they were then tasked with a real-world situation to work through and come to agreement as a group.

Pete Kappelman provides some guidance to Tyler Ribiero, CA, and Stacy Stearns, CT, during his board member training workshop.

Laura Gordon, WI, presents on behalf of her board, a plan of action for dealing with a marketing campaign that they did not approve of. 
Kappelman again took the stage as the keynote speaker for dinner, where he challenged each class member to realize the potential that lies within them, harness their passion and make a difference in their communities.

Tomorrow 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 9'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 10 applications become available at the Holstein Foundation web site.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

YDLI Class 9, Phase 3 Kicks Off in Phoenix

Over 40 members of Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 9 have congregated in sunny Phoenix, AZ, this week for Phase 3 of their YDLI experience!

Several class members flew in a little early on Wednesday to tour Ehrmann Arizona Dairies LLC, a plant in Casa Grande, AZ, which produces several flavors of Greek yogurt, as well as a pudding dairy dessert, from milk from several area dairies. With a newer, pristine facility, it was very interesting to see the processing of milk into value-added products up close, and of course it was wonderful to sample the finished product at the end of the tour!

Some of YDLI Class 9 in front of Ehrmann Arizona Dairy LLC in Casa Grande, AZ
The program officially commenced on Wednesday evening with a pool-side welcome reception lead by YDLI Advisory Committee Laura Daniels. After enjoying a relaxing dinner, participants had a chance to get reacquainted and tap back into some of the skills that they learned during Phase 1.

The first classroom session on Thursday morning was entitled "Leading Out Loud" lead by Joan Horbiak, with the focus on advanced techniques in responding to difficult questions from consumers and media. Horbiak shared several strategies to help class members navigate interviews with confidence and tell dairy's positive story with ease, no matter the situation.

Patrick Crave, WI, handles a tough question from Joan Horbiak
Courtney Smith, WI, during the advanced media training session.
Amanda Lichtensteiger, WI,  and Tyler Ribiero, CA, practices their key messages on stage with Joan Horbiak during Thursday's session.
The afternoon gave several participants the opportunity to report on their Phase 2 experience. Over the past 12 months, YDLIers have completed a variety of assignments, including making contacts with local government officials and media outlets, making a presentation to a community organization, and completing a personal advocacy project. Each and every class member had an interesting story to tell, and projects covered a variety of areas and activities, from coordinating radio interviews with dairy producers and consumers, to generating milk donations for local food banks and other charitable organizations, to hosting other local events to expose consumers to dairy and the producers behind the product - and more!

The evening capped off with a dinner and recognition of the 2016 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader Award recipient, Michele Ruby from Oregon, as well as honoring three YDLI Advisory Committee members who have fulfilled their terms of service with this class - Brett Barless from CA, Josh Hushon from WI, and Kathryn Walker from OR.

2016 YDLI Distinguished Alumna Michele Ruby with Holstein Foundation Programs Manager Jodi Hoynoski and HF Administrator John M. Meyer
Retiring YDLI Advisory Committee members Brett Barlass, Kathryn Walker & Josh Hushon

Young Dairy Leaders Institute would not be possible without the support of many generous sponsors - thank you to all who are helping train the next generation of leaders for the dairy industry!

YDLI Class 9 Platinum Sponsors

YDLI Class 9 Gold Sponsors

YDLI Class 9 Silver Sponsors: Accelerated Genetics, Center for Dairy Excellence, GEA Farm Technologies, Inc., and Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association

YDLI Class 9 Bronze Sponsors: COBA/Select Sires, Farm Credit Northeast Ag Enhancements, Horace Backus Fund, Merial, Ltd., and Select Sires Genervations.

Friday promises to be an exciting day, starting with a conversation with Paul Shapiro, Vice President of Farm Animal Protection with the Humane Society of the United States. Following that, class members will participate in a section on Conflict Management, led by YDLI perennial speaker Wes Jamison. The afternoon will shift gears and focus on preparing the young leaders to have an impact by getting involved with local (and eventually, higher level!) boards of directors, in a workshop lead by Pete Kappelman, YDLI alum and current chairman of the Land O'Lakes board of directors.
Stay tuned over the next few days for more Young Dairy Leaders Institute news!

Learn more about Young Dairy Leaders Institute or add your name to the list to be notified when Class 10 applications become available at the Holstein Foundation web site.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

YDLI 9 Day 3 Recap: Finding Stability in Stressful Times, UnderstandingCommunication Styles & Creating Effective Presentations

The final day of YDLI 9, Phase 1 was filled with plenty of laughter and learning to cap off an amazing week in Phoenix.

Mark Mayfield got the group warmed up with his session titled "'Momma Told Me There'd Be Days Like This' - Finding Stability in Stressful Times." In today's fast paced world, balancing the demands of busy lives, families and other commitments, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Mayfield shared a variety of strategies to help manage stress and move forward in a positive way, all the while keeping the group laughing with his humorous styles and stories. He shared an acronym to help remember keys to keeping your mind in the right pace and avoiding or dealing with stress: 
  • Relaxation
  • Exercise
  • Avocation (hobby)
  • Communication
  • Humor
Mark Mayfield got the group warmed up with funny stories and great tips for better managing stress in our lives. 
Next, Monty Miller and Laura Daniels took the floor to lead their workshop, "Communicating - Influencing - Leading: Preparing to Leave the Oasis." All participants completed a Brain Pathways Profile, describing their learning and thinking tendencies, whether they are more Kinesthetic, Auditory or Visual learners, and Sequential, Global or Integrated thinkers. Understanding the differences between those styles helps speakers build more effective presentations, by having the ability to adapt their presentations to connect with people of all types. These skills will come in handy during Phase 2 [and beyond!], as all class members will be asked to do a presentation about the dairy industry to a group in their home communities. The class had a chance to draft presentations of their own and put the new learning tools into practice.
Kristen Kelderman from Ontario, & Chris Holcomb, FL
Jessica Getty, NY, Amy Schaufelberger, WI, and Holstein Association USA CEO and Holstein Foundation administrator John Meyer
Amber Horn-Leiterman, WI, makes a point during the presentation training session.

Amanda Zick, NY, cuts up an apple during a hands-on demonstration of the amount of arable land available on Earth.
Monty Miller works with a group during his workshop.
At lunch, the Holstein Foundation was pleased to recognize Chandler Goule as our 2015 Distinguished Alumni Leader. Goule is a graduate of YDLI Class 5, and currently is the Senior Vice President of Programs for the National Farmers Union, serving as a media spokesperson and overseeing the organization's departments of government relations, communications, education and membership. Prior to joining NFU, Goule worked for the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, for U.S. Rep. Collin C. Peterson, and for U.S. Rep. John S. Tanner. He holds a master's degree from George Washington University and a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M.

Goule shares some stories about how his YDLI experiences have benefited him in his personal and profession life.

John M. Meyer, Holstein Association USA CEO and Holstein Foundation administrator, and Tom Thorbahn, Chairman of the Holstein Foundation board of trustees, present Goule with his award during Saturday's lunch.
To wrap up the end of Phase 1 workshops, Jodi Hoynoski reviewed expectations for Phase 2, and the class was able to spend time working with their mentors and peer groups to start developing ideas and plans for the Phase 2 Advocacy Action projects. 

Bringing Phase 1 to an official close was a final banquet and a comedy show by Mark Mayfield. Phase 2 for the class officially begins when they arrive back home, and we can't wait to hear about the impact they will have through their work over the next 12 months. Some of the assignments class members will complete during Phase 2 include interviewing non-farm consumers, making contact and introducing themselves to local media and legislators, making a presentation to a community organization, and executing their Phase 2 advocacy project.

Congratulations to YDLI Class 9 for doing an outstanding job during Phase 1 of the program! We can't wait to see what you all accomplish over the next 12 months in Phase 2 and beyond.
The Holstein Foundation would like to thank the organizations who sponsored today's program:
  • "'Momma Told Me There'd Be Days Like This' - Finding Stability in Stressful Times," by Mark Mayfield, sponsored by Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation
  • "Communicating - Influencing - Leading: Preparing to Leave the Oasis," by Monty Miller and Laura Daniels, sponsored by Arm & Hammer
  • Dinner & Entertainment sponsored by Farm Credit
Learn more about YDLI Class 9's Phase 1 experience by reading our earlier blog posts, or if you are on Facebook or Twitter, follow along with #ydli9! Learn more about YDLI or sign up to be on the mailing list for YDLI Class 10 applications at the Holstein Foundation web site.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

YDLI 9 Day 2 Recap: Developing Communication Skills and Learning about Consumer Perceptions

A big part of YDLI Phase 1 is always the communications training session, this year lead by David Pelzer and Michele Ruby from DMI. The group worked on crafting their core stories that communicate the values of why they choose to be a part of the dairy community and what their role is, and then the focus shifted to communicating key messages and handing difficult questions from the public. Several class members were put in the hot seat and took the stage to answer questions from a "reporter" on camera in front of their peers. It is said that the greatest opportunity for personal growth occurs when you step outside your comfort zone, and this was certainly achieved for many on Friday morning!

YDLIers got the morning started by crafting some fun "dairy bumper stickers" using a variety of cards they had to choose from.

Mark Chamberlain, OH, takes the mic to practice telling his story.

Michael Johnson, MN

After lunch, Jamie Vander Molen from DMI presented a session on developing your personal brand and using a variety of social media channels to tell dairy's story to consumers. Participants were able to split into a few breakout sessions to focus more closely on areas they were interested in, including getting started with Facebook, Twitter, blogging and Instagram, how to grow your audience to increase your social media presence and  how to answer difficult questions online.

After the classroom session, YDLIers had a chance to put their newly learned skills to use in the field, doing consumer interviews on the Arizona State University campus. Working in small teams, the group had the chance to have conversations with over 200 people, from students to university professors, learning more about their perceptions about how food is produced in this country, how they believe animals are cared for by farmers, and more. An eye opening experience, it helped to reinforce the importance of having these conversations and really connecting with the public who consumes the food that our industry produces.

The evening closed with dinner and an inspiring keynote presentation by Laura Daniels, whose message revolved around telling your own story from the heart, and how those personal stories are the connection between the dairy community and consumers, and science-based facts should only play a very small role in that story.

Laura Daniels, YDLI Advisory Committee member and keynote speaker

The Holstein Foundation would like to thank the organizations who sponsored today's program:
Check back on our blog daily to keep up with YDLI Class 9's Phase 1 experience, or if you are on Facebook or Twitter, follow along with #ydli9! Learn more about YDLI or sign up to be on the mailing list for YDLI Class 10 applications at the Holstein Foundation web site!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

YDLI 9 Day 1 Recap: Understanding Behavioral Styles and Leadership Inspiration

Phase 1 of YDLI has a strong focus on developing individual leadership skills, and the first day of our Class 9 Phase 1 program reflected that emphasis. The first official session was entitled "Create a Leadership Oasis using Behavioral Styles to Influence Others" lead by Marnie Green of the Management Education Group. All participants had the opportunity to complete a DiSC Workplace Profile assessment; the majority of the workshop was spent covering the different styles and understanding how individual styles impact a person's ability to influence others, and how recognizing the styles of those around you can help you relate and communicate more effectively.

Marnie Green speaks to the class about personality styles during Thursday's opening session.
Michael Goeldi, IA, talks to the class about the defining characteristics of his group's style.

Wayne Worden, NY, shares the results of his group's discussion about what their personality style can contribute, what worries them, how they are commonly misunderstood, and tips for working with people who have that style.

Michael Johnson, MN

Abby Bauer, WI
After lunch, the focus shifted to a broader leadership focus, with Paul Vitale leading a session titled "Legendary Leadership in Action." Key take-home messages from this workshop included the importance of effective listening and connecting with others; developing an attitude for service and becoming an inspiration for others; and eliminating the fear of failure while setting a tone for success, recognizing growth opportunities and becoming more resilient during setbacks.
Paul Vitale speaks to the group during Thursday's session.

Amber Horn- Leiterman, WI, discusses her ideas with a partner during one of the group exercises.

Londa Johnson, MN, plays along with an exercise using a tube of tootpaste to demonstrate the point of how important it is to carefully consider what you say before you speak - once the words are out there, they can't be put back in!
After taking some time to review many of the objectives participants will be expected to complete over the next 12 months during Phase 2, Paul Vitale took the stage again to speak about developing Community Support and Partnerships, skills that will be key during the Phase 2 experience. Some of the main concepts from this portion of the meeting were the importance of properly identifying and researching your target audience, maximizing the tools at your disposal, making the most of your budget, properly positioning yourself against competitors, and sharing your news with the world.

After a long day, the class had a chance to unwind with dinner and a hypnotist show that had everyone laughing in their chairs.

The Holstein Foundation would like to thank the organizations who sponsored today's program:
  • "Create a Leadership Oasis Using Behavioral Styles to Influence Others," by Marnie E. Green, sponsored by CHS Foundation
  • "Legendary Leadership in Action," by Paul Vitale, sponsored by Deere & Company
  • "Community Support & Partnerships," by Paul Vitale, sponsored by Cargill
  • Dinner & Hypnotist Entertainment sponsored by Allflex
Check back on our blog daily to keep up with YDLI Class 9's Phase 1 experience, or if you are on Facebook or Twitter, follow along with #ydli9! Learn more about YDLI or sign up to be on the mailing list for YDLI Class 10 applications at the Holstein Foundation web site!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

YDLI 9 Phase 1 Kicks Off in Phoenix with Pre-Conference Dairy Tours & Welcome Reception

Over 50 young adults from across the U.S. and Canada are in Phoenix, Arizona this week participating in the ninth class of the Holstein Foundation's Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) program.

On Wednesday morning, many class members took advantage of a pre-conference tour option to enjoy seeing two Arizona dairy farms in the Casa Grande area: T & K Red River Dairy and Shamrock Farms.

Red River Dairy was the first stop, where Tom Dugan and family milk over 11,000 Holsteins in two barns, on land that was previously owned by John Wayne. The dairy operation, spread over 550 acres, has many interesting features, including a double-77 parallel parlor, an extensive grain operation, farming 13,000 acres, rolling their own corn on site. The farm has 3,400 calf hutches and at any given time has over 2,200 calves on milk.

A section of the double-77 milking parlor.

Amber Horn-Leiterman visits with owner Tom Dugan walking through the basement section of their parlor.

YDLIers enjoy some Arizona sunshine, a welcome reprieve from the frigid cold many areas of the country are facing this week!

A portion of the youngstock area at Dugan's Red River Dairy

Shamrock Farms was founded in 1922, and today is home to over 9,000 milking cows, which they milk twice a day in two double-50 parlors. The milk from these animals is used to produce a variety of different dairy products, including bottled milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, heavy cream and more, which can be found across the continental United States, including restaurant chains Subway and Arby's. The dairy is comprised of both a conventional and organic operation, and actually had Arizona’s first USDA-certified organic dairy operation, the milk from which is used to provide local stores with bottled organic milk and sour cream. 

Milking parlor at Shamrock Farms
YDLI class members learn more about the Shamrock Farms enterprise.

A good time was had by all on the pre-conference tours!
Wednesday evening the YDLI program officially began with our Welcome Reception. Participants enjoyed a Mexican fiesta-themed dinner and then became further acquainted with each other while learning some tips to help them network more effectively and work any crowd with ease.

YDLI Advisory Committee members Josh Hushon and Brett Barlass led the networking exercise during the Welcome Reception
Brian Coyne fills the group in on the networking strategy he used during the mixer exercise.
Mo Phelon shares her tip for "working a crowd," based on the book by Susan RoAnne that was the basis of the mixer activity.  
The Holstein Foundation would like to give a special thanks to Wednesday's event sponsors:

Check back on our blog daily to keep up with YDLI Class 9's Phase 1 experience, or if you are on Facebook or Twitter, follow along with #ydli9!