Friday, February 8, 2019

YDLI 11 - Day 3: Making Connections

Friday at YDLI was all about making connections and becoming a better listener - with people we work or interact with on a daily basis, and those who purchase the products we produce.

Galen Emanuele took the stage once again and led an energetic session that was a continuation of last night's keynote - focused on creating an exceptional team culture. The lessons were applicable to anyone who works in any type of group or team, and focused on listening to understand, creating an environment where everyone feels safe to contribute ideas, not shooting down anyone's ideas before they have a chance to explain them, learning how to say "no" to an idea but "yes" to the person, and making your colleagues or teammates look good, which in turn makes yourself look good. Based on concepts used in improv comedy, the class got to experience a series of different activities that reinforced all of the concepts Galen was talking about, while at the same time keeping everyone laughing.

Galen Emanuele - Shift Yes: Creating Exceptional Team Culture
Amy Brickner (PA) & Keith Gibson (OH) high five after finishing one of Galen's improv activities.
Cara Biely (WI) & Brad Warmka (WI)

Megan Smith (PA) & Kendra Kissane (MI) during another improv activity.
Next, YDLI Advisory Committee member Jolene Griffin gave an introduction into how to effectively listen to consumers, shared some key messages, words and phrases that resonate with the non-farming general public, and also gave some practice handling difficult questions. Her session was aimed at preparing the participants for their afternoon challenge - having some actual conversations with the public about their thoughts on dairy farming and the foods that are produced.

After lunch, the entire class headed out to the Arizona State University campus, where they broke into small groups and had two hours to strike up conversations with students, faculty, and anyone else they happened to run into. Participants were encouraged to ask questions about how people make their food purchasing decisions, see what they knew about how the products that they purchased are produced, and how animals are treated on modern dairy farms, among other things. The emphasis was on hearing a variety of view points and really listening to understand. After returning from campus, each group had a chance to give a brief report to the rest of their class on their key learnings.

At dinner, the Holstein Foundation was pleased to honor the 2019 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader Award recipient, Rebecca Long Chaney, of Elwood, Neb., a graduate of Class 2. You can read more about Chaney's accomplishments on the Holstein Foundation web site.

Holstein Foundation Programs Manager Jodi Hoynoski, Rebecca Long Chaney, and Holstein Foundation Administrator John M. Meyer
YDLI Advisory Committee member Laura Daniels was the keynote speaker of the evening, and gave her talk, "Building Resiliency in the Midst of Change." The dairy industry is rapidly changing, and Daniels encouraged participants to reflect on their core values and their passion, and use that as fuel to persevere and keep moving forward, with an eye on the future.

Laura Daniels delivers her keynote, "Building Resiliency in the Midst of Change" on Friday night.
The Holstein Foundation would like to offer a sincere thanks to the sponsors of Friday's workshops, meals and keynote: Amaferm -  a BioZyme brand, Farm Credit, and Zoetis.

Phase 1 continues 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

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