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.|
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.