Tuesday, February 14, 2017

YDLI 10 - Phase 1, Day 4: Focus on Communication and Planning for Phase 2!

The final day of YDLI 10 Phase 1 training wrapped up on Saturday in Phoenix. The opening speaker, Mark Mayfield, got the day started on a high note with "Momma Told Me There'd Be Days Like This - Finding Stability in Stressful Times". Mayfield got the group laughing with his humorous stories, while several great tips to help address and manage stress in our everyday lives.

Mark Mayfield
Next, YDLI alum Michele Ruby took the stage to lead a workshop called "You've Got a Story Worth Telling," where the focus was on helping everyone develop their "core story" - the "why" of what we do. Whether having a conversation with a consumer in the dairy aisle of the grocery story, via a media interview or a presentation to a community organization, leading with your core story can help dairy producers connect with the general public in a meaningful and memorable way.

Michele Ruby & Adam Geiger

Michelle Craig tells the class her core story.
 After lunch, the group received some solid training on developing impactful presentations, lead by Laura Daniels and Kim Bremmer. The duo walked the group through the different learning styles people have, and how elements of each can be incorporated into a presentation to ensure that a speaker can connect with every member of an audience in a way that works for them. Participants learned the basic components of assembling a presentation, and worked on an outline for the community presentation that they will make as a part of their Phase 2 assignments.

Laura Daniels listens to ideas from Aaron Harris and Maija Haggith

YDLI Advisory Committee member Jessica Getty listens to her group during the presentation workshop.
Finally, the group re-organized into their peer groups and got down to business discussing ideas for their Phase 2 community projects. The room was full of energy and enthusiasm, and lots of great (and big!) ideas - we can't wait to see what this class accomplishes over the next 12 months!

Holstein Association USA CEO John M. Meyer speaks with one of the tables at YDLI.

YDLI 10 Class Picture
 The evening wrapped up with a closing banquet, and Mark Mayfield joined the group again for some final laughs.

The Holstein Foundation would like to recognize and thank the sponsors of Saturday's programs - John Deere; Dairy Management, Inc.; Land O'Lakes, Inc.; and Allflex USA.

To learn more about the YDLI program, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.

Friday, February 10, 2017

YDLI 10 - Phase 1, Day 3: Core Leadership, Product Innovation and Getting to Know Consumers

Paul Vitale took the floor again on Friday morning for his workshop - "Inspired Teamwork & Leadership." Paul walked class members through some of the key leadership essentials that are fundamentals of self-awareness and personal development, the foundation of being able to successfully lead a team. Participants were encouraged to establish a clear course of action, unite a common bond, be resilient through all of life's challenges, and develop a keen sense of ownership in the organization process. With his upbeat, positive attitude and high energy, Paul got the morning off to a great start!

Paul Vitale set the tone for the day with his high energy opening session.

Maggie Seiler volunteers for one of the exercises in the morning workshop.
 The next session was "Reinventing the Meal: Innovation 101" lead by Anders Porter, Vice President of Communications for fairlife. Porter discussed the story behind Fair Oaks Farm and the development of fairlife milk and other associated products. He also challenged the group to think about hot button items that are top-of-milk for many of today's consumers - traditional things like taste and price, along with health and wellness, food safety, and social values such as animal treatment - and think about how the products we sell today do to address the concerns around those items. The session wrapped with each table brainstorming ideas for everyday products that needed innovation, and then everyone shared what they came up with. We won't reveal any of the million dollar ideas here - but there were some good ones!

Anders Porter, VP of Communications for fairlife

Courtney Halbach shares her group's idea for a new innovation on an existing product.

 After lunch, the focus on connecting with consumers continued. Advisory committee member Jolene Griffin lead a crash course in "listening to our consumers", as well as helping the class identify techniques for addressing difficult questions and concerns that the public has about the way modern dairy products are produced, as well as their nutritional content. With that primer under their belts, the class took to the streets and ventured over to the Arizona State University campus where they had time to visit with a variety of students, professors, and other members of the consuming public to hear their opinions and perceptions of modern dairy production and products. The class reconvened to share their big takeaways learned, and this exercise will continue as a part of their Phase 2 experience.

YDLIers visit with students on the ASU campus.

Following dinner, the Holstein Foundation honored Melissa Greenbacker Dziurgot, a dairy producer from Durham, Conn., and YDLI Class 3 alum, as the 2017 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader Award recipient.

John M. Meyer, Holstein Association USA CEO and Holstein Foundation Administrator; Melissa Greenbacker Dziurgot 2017 YDLI DAL honoree; and Jodi Hoynoski, Holstein Foundation Programs Manager
 Laura Daniels closed with evening with an inspirational keynote on the importance of connecting with people who eat, encouraging the class to find common ground with members of their community and share their core values about why they are involved in the dairy industry and so passionate about producing a nutritious, quality product to feed the world.

Laura Daniels challenges the group to make that personal connection with consumers.
Special thanks to the sponsors of today's sessions and evening keynote: Cargill and Dean Foods Foundation.

Phase 1 continues tomorrow 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 9, 2017

YDLI 10 - Phase 1, Day 2: Gaining Great Insight Into Ourselves and How to Work More Effectively with Others

YDLI Class 10 had the first of three full days of training sessions this morning. After a brief welcome and a few words of inspiration from the YDLI Advisory Committee, Jill Tomac took the floor to lead a couple of different sessions for the group.

The first workshop was titled "Breaking Through Performance Barriers" and focused on helping everyone understand their own personal motivations and how they see the world, and understanding how that "life orientation" might differ from their colleagues and family members. All participants took an assessment prior to arriving in Phoenix, and those results were reviewed, providing insight into personal tendencies under normal everyday circumstances, and also when under stress.

Jill Tomac speaks with class members during her session, "Breaking Through Performance Barriers"

Rebecca Shaw presents her groups key discussion points.

Aaron Harris describes the strengths and weaknesses his group came up with, related to their personality tendencies.

Mitch Kappelman presents on behalf of his working group.
 After lunch, where everyone got to sit with and get to know the members of their YDLI Peer Groups, the class re-convened for the afternoon session, "Communicate to Influence and Impact." Tomac built on many of the principles learned during the morning session, and helped participants understand essential behaviors to help them build trust and enhance the performance of those around them. Finally, the group learned tips to help navigate difficult conversations and improve interactions with their colleagues and peers.

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.

After dinner, Paul Vitale delivered a keynote talk - "It's Your Life - Dominate It." With a series of candid stories and examples, Paul encouraged YDLIers to challenge themselves to make the most of each moment they are given, and provided inspiration to strive for excellence in their day to day work and interactions. Paul will take the stage again on Friday morning for a workshop on teamwork and leadership.

Thanks to the sponsors of today's workshops and keynote: Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation and CHS Foundation.

Phase 1 continues tomorrow 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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

YDLI 10 Kicks Off Phase 1 in Phoenix with Dairy Tours & Welcome Reception

Sixty young adults from across the United States, Canada and Mexico are meeting in Phoenix, Az. this week for Phase 1 of the Holstein Foundation's Young Dairy Leaders Institute program.

Several participants arrived a little early to take part in some pre-conference dairy tours that were offered. The group started the day with a visit to Danzeisen Dairy; in addition to their milking herd, the Danzeisen family bottles their own milk and are proud to offer it to customers in the local Phoenix area. After lunch, they toured Rijlaarsdam Dairy in East Mesa, a family-owned dairy that milks approximately 2,000 cows three times a day.

Beautiful scenery is in no short supply in this part of the country!

 The official program began with a pool-side welcome reception on Wednesday evening. After a southwestern-themed meal, the YDLI Advisory Committee members helped the group get to know one another just a little bit better. After sharing some tips for networking and working a crowd, class members were challenged to mingle and find others who shared unique things in common with them, followed by a dairy-themed version of "The Newlywed Game" to see how much two people could learn about each other in a short amount of time!
Tom Thorbahn, Holstein Foundation board of trustees chairman, and Jodi Hoynoski, Holstein Foundation Programs Manager

Lindsey Woodrum and Benjamin Newberry share the most unique things they learned about each other during the networking activity
Rayne Ives reveals her answer to one of the questions in the YDLI version of "The Newlywed Game"

The Holstein Foundation would like to thank the YDLI Welcome Dinner & Networking Reception sponsor - Zoetis.

Phase 1 continues tomorrow 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.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

YDLI Class 10 Meets for Phase I Next Week in Phoenix!

The Holstein Foundation’s Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI), kicks off Phase I of its tenth class February 8-11, 2017, in Phoenix, Ariz. Sixty young adults from 17 U.S. states, as well as Canada and Mexico, will be take part in Class 10. A complete list of Class 10 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 farms – Danzeisen Dairy and Rijaarsdam Dairy.

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 January 31- February 3, 2018, 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 10. 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: 

Center for Dairy Excellence, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairy Management Inc., and Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association.

Bronze Sponsors: 

Robert L. Cain Fund, COBA/Select Sires, Farm Credit Northeast Ag Enhancement, GEA Farm Technologies, Inc., Horace Backus Fund, Merial Ltd., and Paul Mueller Company. 

Tune in starting Thursday of next week for daily coverage live from YDLI Class 10! For more information about YDLI, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.If you are interested in being notified when applications for Class 11 are available (in 2018), you can sign up for our email list.