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.