Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don't Just Take Our Word for It....

While we at the Holstein Foundation have a lot of fun talking about our programs and how meaningful they are to the industry, it's great to know that others who have actually been through the programs can testify to that!

A few of our YDLI 8 participants have blogs where they wrote about their Phase 1 experiences. You can check them out here:

They provide some great candid thoughts about YDLI and photos from Albuquerque. Check them out!

Monday, February 11, 2013

YDLI Day 4: The Last Hurrah (For Now!)

Saturday of YDLI focused primarily on preparing particpants for their Phase 2 projects!

The morning started with a session led by YDLI alumni Denise Skidmore, Laura Daniels and Matt Nuckols, where they provided inspiration and helpful ideas and resources for the required Phase 2 advocacy projects.

Following the opening session, the day transitioned quickly into a very interesting workshop on "Communicating - Leading - Influencing," led by Monty Miller and Jennifer Garrett. First, YDLIers learned about individuals' different learning styles, based on "brain pathways" - whether people are primarily Visual, Kinesthetic, Auditory learners and either Sequential or Global thinkers, greatly influences how they absorb new information being presented.

Monty Miller visits with Lana Olson (MN) and Ashley Abbott (NY)

Several tips for putting together successful presentations were presented, based on the brain pathways concept:
  • Presentations should include elements to appeal to all learning styles for maximum impact.
  • Incorporate "fun" elements to get people engaged and activate their brain. People learn better when they're having fun!
  • Take the "high road" - engage peoples' neo cortexes with helpful and healing words versus taking the "low road" and eliciting a fight or flight response (activating the amygdala)
  • Don't overwhelm your audience; pick two to three key messages to focus on during a presentation
  • Know your audience and think about potential triggers and what they will respond best to.
After lunch, the focus shifted to the physical aspects of making presentations - how to project energy to an audience. Making eye contact, adding inflection to your voice and exhibiting good confidence with your body language were all concepts the class had the opportunity to practice. We also discussed effective ways to handle questions with the "three R's": Repeat, Rephrase and/or Relay.

Aaron Horst (PA) and Alise Sjostrom (MN) practice their presentation skills.
Matt Mitchell (TN) explains his ideas to the class.

Lucas Fuess (IL) tells a story to his table, practicing making good eye contact!

To close out the day, the class divided up into their peer groups and met with their mentors to discuss ideas for their Phase 2 advocacy projects, and start to put some of their action plan ideas on paper. So many great, interesting and ambitious ideas were discussed - we can't wait to see how the group puts their plans into action! Stay tuned - we will keep you posted as the reports come in!

Learn more about YDLI and how to become part of the next class at the Holstein Foundation web site! Also, keep up with YDLI and the rest of the Holstein Foundation activities on our Facebook page.

For more information, contact Jodi Hoynoski.

YDLI Class 8

Friday, February 8, 2013

YDLI Day 3: Budding Dairy Spokespeople Blossom!

Friday of YDLI Phase 1 is always an intense one, with the focus being on communicating about the dairy industry effectively. Media maven Joan Horbiak, David Pelzer of Dairy Management, Inc., and Michele Ruby were on hand to put the participants through the wringer and teach them tips to successfully and confidently navigate any interview or conversation with consumers. 

Joan's session started by laying down some fundamentals, built around "the six C's":
  1. Connect (with your audience)
  2. Consistent (messages)
  3. Clear
  4. Compelling
  5. Control (the conversation)
  6. Call to Action
After getting an outline of the basics, the group had a chance to practice their key messages and interview techniques on-camera, with a series of questions built around real-life scenarios. It's always fun and amazing to watch YDLIers gain confidence and successfully master the art of telling their story.

Joan Horbiak reviews key concepts with the class.

YDLI Advisory Committeee member Frank Conyngham checks in with Lynsay Beavers (AB) and Lucas Fuess (IL)

Lana Olson (MN) practices her key messages on camera.

Lavaun Janney promotes dairy products in a mock interview.

 Next, the class put their skills to practice in real life, doing some consumer interviews at the University of New Mexico campus. The class members had some interesting conversations, ranging from college football players whose trainer advised them to drink milk after each workout, to college professors who had influence over a large number of students, but knew little accurate information about the dairy industry. It was eye-opening to group to learn about the range of opinions and amount of misinformation that exists in the consuming public.
Brad Pacey and Michelle Rauf conduct some consumer interviews.

Ben Cloninger (PA) and Lynsay Beavers visit with a woman on the UNM Campus
After an action-filled day, the class had the chance to hear from a YDLI alum who further fueled their fire. Laura Daniels provided a dinner keynote about using your personal values to connect with consumers and tell dairy's story. She inspired the group to find their inner passion, what drives them, why they do what they do, and use those common values to bridge the gap with consumers, asking the class to "let your passion lead you."

Laura Daniels delivers her inspiring message

Tomorrow marks the final day of Phase 1, and will focus on "communication, influencing and leading" with a workshop presented by Monty Miller, and then the class members will get to work on making plans for their Phase 2 projects. 

Want to learn more about YDLI? Visit the Holstein Foundation web site!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

YDLI Day 2: Lions and Beavers and Otters and Labs, Oh My!

Day 2 of YDLI was all about understanding ourselves better and why we think, feel and act the way we do. The first session of the morning was led by Jim Henion of Cooperative Resources International and was built around the popular Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. Each participant took the evaluation, which helped reveal their natural tendencies in four areas:

  • Introvert or Extrovert
  • Sensing or Intuition
  • Thinking or Feeling
  • Judging or Perceiving

Based on their tendencies in each of the four areas, the class was divided into sub-groups: “Playful Otters,” “Loyal Labs,” “Busy Beavers” and “Mighty Lions.” By better understanding ourselves, as well as the personalities of those around us, it allows teams to work together more effectively, recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of each type, and working to make the most of each groups individual gifts.

At lunch, our 2013 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader Award recipient Brad Scott was recognized and provided an inspiring message to the class about making the most of their experience and using their newly learned leadership skills for the betterment of the industry by getting involved with various organizations and activities.

YDLI Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient Brad Scott (center) with
Holstein Foundation Chairman John Bierbaum and Programs Manager Jodi Hoynoski
After lunch, Marcia Reynolds, a speaker new to the program,led a workshop on “uniting and inspiring others with your presence.” She reviewed the three elements of leadership presence – mindfulness, intent and emotional tone, and reviewed strategies to help class members center themselves and take control of their emotions to be fully present in a situation.

The evening was capped off with dinner and a keynote presentation from Marcia Reynolds about “outsmarting your brain.” Using the following strategy, Reynolds explained to attendees how to be able to maintain control and make good decisions even in stressful situations.
Step 1: Relax – Breath and release the tension in your body
Step 2: Detach – Clear all thoughts from your mind
Step 3: Center – Tune into your point of strength
Step 4: Focus – Choose who you are and how you want to feel.

Tomorrow will focus on communicating dairy’s message to the media and consumers in a positive way. The morning will start with an intense day of media training with Joan Horbiak, David Pelzer and Michele Ruby,sponsored by DMI, followed by consumer interviews on the University of New Mexico campus. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Blaze Your Leadership Trail" - YDLI Class 8 Comes Together in Albuquerque

Phase 1 of YDLI Class 8 is officially underway in Albuquerque, N.M. this week! We have 50 of the best and brightest budding dairy leaders from across North America for what promises to be an exciting and enlightening meeting.

Some class members arrived a little early for some extra time in the sun and experience local culture with a pre-tour that headed to Old Town Albuquerque. While in old town, the crew got to enjoy local cuisine, some shopping, and learned more about Albuquerque history with a fun scavenger hunt.

Wednesday evening marked the official start of the program with the Chuck Wagon Welcome Reception. After enjoying some good old fashioned barbecue, YDLI Advisory Committee members Brett Barlass, Josh Hushon and Kathryn Walker led a activity to teach the group some networking techniques - tips for having a conversation with just about anyone.

Brett Barlass starts off the "conversation" drawing - a house,
sitting behind a rock, with a window.

Mike Reps (MN) practices his networking with Kerry Wiebe (KS)

Frank Conyngham, YDLI Advisory Committee member and Holstein Foundation Trustee,
visits with Ashley Edstrom (CO)

Advisory Committee member Josh Hushon puts some finishing touches on the diagram.

The completed artwork consisted of several parts that can help lead a conversation with someone you don't know): 
  1. A rock with a gold plate on it (your name)
  2. A house (where you live)
  3. Family looking out a window of the house (your family, kids, etc.)
  4. A pet playing in the house (your pets)
  5. The chimney of the house looks like a textbook (your education/career)
  6. A plane flying above the house (where you've traveled, vacations, etc.)
  7. The plane's propellers are made of tennis rackets (talk about sports you enjoy, hobbies, etc.)
  8. Light bulbs on top of the tennis rackets (current events/your ideas)

Class members admire the various "Wanted" posters everyone made to
help introduce themselves to their fellow classmates.

Thursday morning we will get down to the nitty gritty with some “classroom time.” Perennial YDLI speaker Jim Henion is first up on the agenda with his session about “Understanding People and Personality Types.” After completing a Meyers-Briggs personality profile and learning their individual types, the group will divide up and learn how to successfully work with and lead a team composed of all different types of people. After lunch, Marcia Reynolds, a speaker new to YDLI, will teach participants how to master their “leadership presence” and "outsmart their brains" to respond effectively under even the most stressful conditions.

Check back daily for more news from Albuquerque and YDLI Class 8! Learn more about YDLI or sign up to receive information about the next class on the Holstein Foundation web site.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Live on Location - Albuquerque, N.M.!

Howdy pardner!

Holstein Foundation programs manager Jodi Hoynoski and communications manager Lindsey Worden are on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico, making the final on-site preparations to welcome our YDLI Class 8 participants! Things are falling into place very nicely, and we can't wait to meet everyone. The program kicks off officially tonight at 6 p.m. Some participants came in early to participate in a pre-tour to Old Town Albuquerque.

Enjoy a few scenes from beautiful, sunny New Mexico!