Monday, February 10, 2020

YDLI Class 11 Graduates!

Saturday, February 8th, marked the final day of training for Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 11. The morning started with a workshop led by YDLI Class1 alum Bonnie Burr, "Growing Farm Policy in a Changing Climate." Bonnie walked the class through the in's and out's of how public policy is formed, and shared tips for getting involved and being effective. Each table was then assigned an actual bill that had been brought forth, and was tasked to review the bill, take individual positions on it, and then develop a testimony that they would deliver in a mock hearing later in the morning.

Bonnie Burr talks to the class about the legislative process.

Nathan Ulmer (PA), Sara Horst (PA), Ashley Martin (ME), Rachel Holtz (NY) and Katie Brown (MN) during their group's mock hearing.

Connor McCluskey (NY) and Laura Shoemaker (NY) deliver their mock testimony. 
Lacey Papageorge (UT), Elizabeth Byers-Doten (IN) and Keith Gibson (OH) during Saturday morning's mock hearing.

After lunch, closing speaker Ty Bennett took the floor to lead the capstone session - "Partnership is the New Leadership", imparting some final lessons on core leadership and communicating with others to build an effective team.

Ty Bennett

With their formal training completed, Saturday night was time to celebrate! The class headed up to Rustler's Rooste, overlooking beautiful downtown Phoenix, where they enjoyed some friendly competition in the form of a chili cook-off, and then enjoyed a delicious dinner and some last fellowship with their classmates.

YDLI Advisory Committee - Tyler Ribeiro, Jessica Getty, Jodi Hoynoski, Jolene Griffin, Josh Hushon, Heather Hunt, Rebecca Shaw, Lindsey Worden and Laura Daniels

The Holstein Foundation is incredibly proud of the 47 young adults who are now graduates of Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 11. Applications for YDLI Class 12 will be available later this year. For more information about YDLI, or to be notified when applications are available for the next class, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.

YDLI Class 11 Graduates!

Saturday, February 8, 2020

YDLI Class 11 - Engaging Conversations & Preparing to Lead

On Friday morning at YDLI, the class members had a very unique opportunity to have a conversation with Gene Baur, co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary. Dr. Wes Jamison led the session, which focused on understanding opposing viewpoints and engaging in constructive conversations. After a brief introduction, Baur asked several questions of the class about modern agricultural practices, giving participants a chance to stand up for their belief and express themselves in a clear, concise and respectful manner. After a break, the tables turned and every class member had the opportunity to ask questions of Baur and the beliefs of himself and the organization he represents. It was a very insightful session and helped the group gain a better understanding of a group with vastly different beliefs than themselves.

Dr. Wes Jamison and Gene Baur
Class members had the chance to ask questions of Gene Baur
The group discussed key takeaways from the morning session.

Wes Jamison debriefs with one of the tables.
After lunch, Pete Kappelman once again had the floor and led a session called "Get Ready to Run...for the Board!". As the title suggests, the session was focused on the roles, responsibilities and expectations of those sitting on boards of directors. Using real world scenarios, the class broke into small groups and were challenged to work through challenges that someone sitting on a board of directors might change. Using his many years of experience obtained through service on the Land O'Lakes board of directors, as well as many others, Kappelman shared his personal insights and encouraged everyone to think about how they might get involved to have a positive influence within organizations they are involved with.

Pete Kappelman talking with the group.

Tyler Chupp (OK), Anne Davison (NY) and Sarah Nugent (FL) discuss their table's scenario.

Bo Harstine (OH) reports out his group's take on their scenario. 

Pat Wiltzius (IL)
At dinner on Friday evening, the Holstein Foundation took the opportunity to honor some special guest. Matt Nuckols from Beaverdam, Virginia, was honored as the 2020 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader Award recipient. Each year, the Holstein Foundation recognizes one YDLI graduate who has made noteworthy contributions and applied skills gained during their YDLI experience for the advancement of the dairy industry. Matt was a graduate of YDLI Class 7, then spent eight years on the YDLI Advisory Committee, assisting in the execution and direction of the program while mentoring class members. A 2000 graduate of Virginia Tech, Nuckols is the grassroots membership and fundraising specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau. In his role he focuses on membership growth and federation support for county Farm Bureaus. He also works as the fundraising development with a key emphasis on donor expansion to support the mission of Ag in the Classroom. Previously, Nuckols was the manager at Eastview Farm Inc. where he marketed and managed the breeding program for elite dairy genetics.

YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader Matt Nuckols with John Meyer, Holstein Foundation Administrator, and Jodi Hoynoski, Holstein Foundation Programs Manager.
Additionally, retiring YDLI Advisory Committee Members Laura Daniels and Jolene Griffin were honored for their years of service to the program.

Retiring Advisory Committee members Jolene Griffin and Laura Daniels with Meyer and Hoynoski
Stay tuned for a report from the final day of Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 11! For more information about YDLI, or to be notified when applications are available for the next class, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.

Friday, February 7, 2020

YDLI Class 11 Puts Themselves in the Spotlight!

Thursday was the first full day of Phase 3 training for YDLI Class 11. The morning started with a group of class members reporting on their activities and key learnings during Phase 2, which as taken place over the last 12 months. Some of the assignments included reaching out to local media and legislators, doing a presentation to a community group, and organizing and executing an advocacy project. The projects were as diverse as the participants who organized them - organizing educational booths at community events, reaching out to schools and athletic programs to help them understand the benefits of "refueling with chocolate milk," and even writing a children's book about how "farmers are superheros."

After the first group of reports were completed, we launched into the advanced media training session, "Leading Out Loud," led by Joan Horbiak. She spoke with the group about skills and tips for navigating media interviews to help them clearly convey their messages, and then each table received a scenario to review. After the break, every team had a chance to take the stage and face some hard-hitting questions and put those newly learned skills to practice.

Joan Horbiak presents "Leading Out Loud"
Ben Smith, Virginia

Ashley Martin, Maine

Eli Caldera, Texas

Amy Brickner, Pennsylvania
At YDLI, no time goes un-utilized, and after dinner the class enjoyed a keynote talk by Pete Kappelman, "The Dreams, the Doers, and You." Pete has recently assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Member and Government Relations for Land O'Lakes. Prior to that, Pete has been a life-long dairy farmer in Wisconsin, and has held extensive leadership positions on many boards through the years. By sharing many interesting experiences he has had in his life, Pete emphasized the importance of having written goals and intentionally working towards them, as well as periodically reviewing those goals and reworking them if needed.

Pete Kappelman presenting "Dreams, Doers and You!"
Stay tuned throughout the week as we post updates from Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 11! For more information about YDLI, or to be notified when applications are available for the next class, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.

This program would not be possible without the support of many generous sponsors - thanks to all of them for their support!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

YDLI Class 11 Back for Phase 3 in Phoenix, Arizona!

Wednesday, February 5th marked the first day of Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 11's Phase 3 experience. Many class members came in early to enjoy a pre-tour before the program officially kicked off on Wednesday evening.

The first stop on the pre-tour was Stotz Dairy in Buckeye, Arizona. Stotz Dairy is a family owned dairy that was founded in 1981 by the Thompson and Rosztoczy families, starting with started with 539 cows and 4 employees. They have expanded over time and today they have over 10,000 milking cows on two sites, mostly Holsteins with some Jerseys. Family member Jen Millican was a very gracious host and showed the group every aspect of their impressive operation, and answered many questions. Dairy farming in Arizona is very different from what many class members are used to in their home states, so it was a very interesting visit. 

A photo from Stotz Dairy in the heat of Arizona's summer! They work hard to keep cows cool and comfortable year-round.  Photo © Stotz Dairy
Jen Millican of Stotz Dairy answers questions from class members. 

One of the two large parallel parlors where cows are milked at the dairy attendees toured.
One of the calf barns at Stotz Dairy.
After lunch, the class stopped at Phoenix Ice Cream, an ice cream production facility. Participants got a behind-the-scenes tour of the plant to see the process from beginning to end, and of course got to sample many flavors!

The entire class came together Wednesday evening for the Welcome Reception, which is always a fun time for everyone to get reacquainted.  YDLI Advisory Committee member Laura Daniels led an icebreaker activity and shared some tips on how to answer the question "What's new?" when you see someone you might not have seen for some time. Participants got to put those tips into practice while catching up with their fellow classmates throughout the evening.

The main focus of tomorrow's session will be advanced communications training, "Leading Out Loud," led by perennial YDLI favorite speaker Joan Horbiak.

Stay tuned throughout the week as we post updates from Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 11! For more information about YDLI, or to be notified when applications are available for the next class, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.