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.