Monday, February 5, 2018

Fifty-One Participants Graduate Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 10!

Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 10's Phase 3 training drew to a close on Saturday, rounding out three full days of intensive leadership and communications training.

Saturday morning's session was led by YDLI alumna Bonnie Burr, entitled "Charting Your Course for Resilient Farm Policy." Burr laid the groundwork, providing an overview of how policy is formed and effective strategies for letting your voice be herd, as well as covering the legislative process. Next, the class broke into teams, which each being assigned an actual proposed bill related to agriculture. Their job was to build coalitions within their team and then testify their position at a mock Ag Committee hearing. The teams all had fun taking sides and coming up with some interesting personas, but the point of the exercise was lost on no-one - it is important (and sometimes, very rewarding!) to get involved advocating for agriculture's position and opportunities, and being an active part of our nation's legislative process, whether it is at the local, state or even national level.

Teams work with a little help from Advisory Committee members to understand their assigned bill and craft their position and testimony.

Bonnie Buhr works with a team during her session on policy.

Advisory Committee members Tyler Ribeiro, Matt Nuckols and Seth Johnson were happy to serve as "senators" during the mock Ag Committee hearings.

Class members Ariane France (ON), Regina Grover (MA) and Erin Carter (WI) testify during the mock Ag Committee hearing

Brandon Thesing (MN) makes a strong case during his turn to testify, while classmate Ellie Fleming (WI) looks on.

After lunch, the last of the Phase 2 presentations were given. More outstanding projects were reported on during this session, and here are just a couple of examples: hosting a golf tournament benefiting the Great American Milk Drive; organizing a Dairy Night during a local minor league baseball team's game, and setting up a series of radio interviews with dairy industry professionals and farmers to help educate the general public a little more about exactly what our industry is all about. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm and pride everyone felt in completing their projects, and also to see that many of the projects were repeatable, and will grow and continue on in the future. In total, YDLIers reached several thousand people through the course of their Phase 2 project work, and that number is sure to be amplified as they continue to go out in the world.

To bring the training to an official close, a perennial YDLI favorite speaker - Ty Bennett - came to present his message on the power of influence. With his interesting and inspiring stories, Ty helped the class understand what leadership is all about, and how they can increase their level of influence and engagement with those around them, whether it be consumers we are trying to educate, professional colleagues, or friends and loved ones.

Ty Bennett speaking to the class during their closing session.
All of the great work this class has done over the past 12 months has to be celebrated! After the closing session, the group headed up to Rustler's Rooste and had a chili cook-off overlooking downtown Phoenix, followed by a great barbecue dinner and conversation with their classmates, many of whom are finishing their YDLI experience with many new lasting friendships.
Team "Chili Chili Bang Bang" poses for a quick photo before staring the chili cook-off at Rustler's Rooste! (l-r) Maggie Seiler (WI); Patty Gilbert (NY); Regina Grover (MA); Adam Geiger (OH), Mandy Schmidt (CA) and Holley Weeks (NY)
Photo © Holley Weeks
And the winners are......"Team Fantastic Four"! A portion of the team is pictured here with Donna James, representing the evening's sponsor, Allflex USA: Aaron Harris (PA), Donna James, Michael Azevedo (CA) and Ellie Fleming (WI)
Photo © Amy Yeiser Leslie

YDLI Class 11 applications will be available this summer! To learn more about Young Dairy Leaders Institute, or to add your name (or someone you know) to the list to be notified when applications are available, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.

Congratulations to our YDLI Class 10 Graduates!

  • Carolyn Abbott, NY
  • Michael  Azevedo, CA
  • Tera Baker, MI
  • Alexa Cabral, CA
  • Erin Carter, WI
  • Andrea Dicke, OH
  • Mary Faber, IL
  • Ellie Fleming, WI
  • Kelsey Flowe, NC 
  • Ariane France, ON
  • Lyndsey Frey, PA
  • Adam Geiger, OH
  • Patricia Gilbert, NY
  • Regina Grover, MA
  • Maija  Haggith , WI
  • Courtney Halbach, WI
  • Aaron Harris, PA
  • Amanda Hauck, IA
  • Melanie Herman, FL
  • Heather Hunt, CT
  • Rayne Ives, NY
  • Marco Antonio Juarez, MI
  • Mitch Kappelman, WI
  • Corey Kayhart, NY
  • Brandon Kruswick, WI
  • Jess May , NY
  • Amanda Mitcheltree, NC 
  • Benjamin Newberry, GA
  • Katherine Nissen, WI
  • Michael  Oosten , CA
  • Alena Pacheco, CA
  • Jessica Peters, PA
  • Jacob Pieper, PA
  • David Pyle, MD
  • Nick Randle, NY
  • Lindsey Rucks, FL
  • Mandy Schmidt, CA
  • Ashley Sears Randle, NY
  • Shannon Seifert, MN
  • Maggie  Seiler, WI
  • Pete Serne, MI
  • Rebecca Shaw, PA
  • Daren Sheffield, OH
  • Brandon Thesing, MN
  • Alejandro Torres, MX
  • Amanda Waite, PA
  • Emma Watry, WI
  • Holley Weeks, NY
  • Shawna  Weller, PA
  • Lindsey Woodrum Redish, FL
  • Amy Yeiser Leslie, PA

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