Friday, February 2, 2018

YDLI Class 10 Kicks off Phase 3 in Phoenix!

Over 50 YDLI Class 10 members are back in Phoenix this week for Phase 3 of their Young Dairy Leaders Institute training. Over the past 12 months, participants have been working on a variety of projects back in their home communities, and now they are back together in Phoenix to complete their YDLI training.

Several YDLIers came in a little early to enjoy a pre-conference tour on Wednesday. The group spent a beautiful day touring around the Apache Trail and exploring a small piece of the Sonoran Desert. The tour included stops at a few historic mining towns, as well as a beautiful cruise around Canyon Lake. 

The program officially kicked off on Wednesday evening with a poolside Welcome Reception. The group enjoyed some delicious local cuisine with plenty of time to re-connect with their classmates and catch up on what everyone has been up to for the past year. YDLI Advisory Committee member Laura Daniels capped off the reception with a few activities to help get everyone "remember their why," and get in the right frame of mind for the training sessions starting the next morning. 

Holstein Foundation Programs Manager Jodi Hoynoski welcomes the group back to Phoenix

Laura Daniels catches up with some of the class members during the welcome reception

"Leading Out Loud" was the first classroom session held on Thursday morning, led by Joan Horbiak, a seasoned media communications advisor with over three decades of experience. The focus of her session was building on the skills the class learned during Phase 1, and helping them put more advanced techniques into practice, preparing to respond to the difficult questions sometimes posed by consumers and media. Horbiak shared several strategies to help class members navigate interviews with confidence and tell dairy's story proudly and with ease, regardless of the situation - followed up by some on-camera practice!

Courtney Halbach (WI) takes the stage

Brandon Thesing (MN) navigates Horbiak's tough questions

One of the most fun things about Phase 3 is hearing all of the exciting and positive things that YDLI participants worked on back in their home communities over the past 12 months. Every class member shares a five-minute summary of their Phase 2 experience during sessions spread out across this week's agenda. 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. Every class member had an interesting story to tell, and projects covered a variety of areas and activities, from organizing "refuel with milk" stations at athletic events, to creating "cow pen pal" programs for elementary school groups, to spreading a positive dairy message through social media and blogging - and more!

Alexa Cabral (CA) presents on her Phase 2 activities

Next, Wes Jamison led his first session for the group, called "Navigating the Shoals of Professional Conflict." The focus of his workshop this afternoon was building teams and creating effective environments for them to work in. The group also discussed different types and sources of conflict that can occur in professional work environments and how people can work together to come up with positive resolutions. 

To round out a full day, Pete Kappelman, Chairman of the Land O'Lakes board of directors, YDLI alum and current member of the Holstein Foundation board of trustees, provide a keynote after dinner titled "The Dreamers, Doers, And You". Kappelman covered some key fundamental principles of leadership, rooted in the "three P's" - purpose, passion and preparedness. He shared with the class stories from the path he has taken through his life and provided a healthy dose of inspiration to every person in the room to go out, pick a goal and try to make a difference.

Young Dairy Leaders Institute would not be possible without the support of many generous sponsors - thank you to all who are helping develop future leaders for a vibrant dairy community!

YDLI Class 10 Platinum Sponsors

YDLI Class 10 Gold Sponsors

YDLI Class 10 Silver Sponsors: Dairy Management Inc. and Farm Credit Northeast Ag Enhancement

YDLI Class 10 Bronze Sponsors: Ag Inspirations, LLC; COBA/Select Sires; GEA Farm Technologies, Inc.; Merial, Ltd.; and Paul Mueller Company

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.

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