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.

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