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.

Monday, February 11, 2019

YDLI 11 - Day 4: Engaging Storytelling

The final day of YDLI 11's Phase 1 training was all about communication and learning to tell a story in an engaging, effective manner.

Michele Ruby lead the morning workshop, entitled "Here's My Story...and I'm Sticking To It." The focus was on helping each participant figure out what their "why" is - and then turn that into a core story that can be shared in any situation. Leading with the "why we do what we do", instead of "here is what we do," helps create a much more personalized message that helps non-farm audiences connect to the dairy community in a more relate-able way. Ruby also challenged several class members to answer difficult questions on camera, helped participants practice techniques for handling those questions when they may arise in any setting, and shared other tips on working with members of the media.

Class members work on drafting their "core stories" during the morning workshop. 
Taylor Leach (KS) and Michelle Halpin (IL) take turns practicing their core stories.

Henning Haaren shares his "why" with his classmates

Alisa Wood (AZ) handles tough questions during a mock interview. 
After lunch, Laura Daniels led a session on "Standing Up and Standing Out," aimed at preparing YDLIers for their Phase 2 assignment of delivering a presentation on a topic related to dairy, to a group in their home communities. The workshop started with an activity to help everyone discover what their individual learning style is - either visual, auditory or kinesthetic, and then Daniels discussed the importance of included all three elements when giving a presentation, and different ways to accomplish that. Participants learned the basic components of giving a great presentation, including a captivating opening story and identifying your "three rocks" (main ideas you want to convey). Finally, everyone took some time to develop an actual outline for a presentation that they could give.

Laura Daniels visits with Bo Harstine (OH) and Laura Shoemaker (NY)

Elizabeth Byers-Doten (IN) practices making good eye contact while giving a presentation.

Rocco Cunningham (CA) gives an overview of his presentation ideas to YDLI Advisory Committee member Rebecca Shaw.
To end the day, class members split out into their peer groups to review the Phase 2 assignments, and discuss their project ideas with their peer group members and mentors. It was extremely exciting to hear some of the interesting ideas that some already have. In additional to their Phase 2 project, all class members have monthly assignments that they will complete and share with their peer groups and mentors, to reinforce key learnings from Phase 1, and practice their advocacy skills. Phase 2 assignments include conducting some more non-farm consumer interviews, contacting local media and legislators, and giving a community presentation.

All of the class members wrote a goal for themselves on these cards, which are embedded with wildflower seeds and can be planted! Photo ©Heather Hunt
Saturday evening closed out with some fun - after a delicious dinner, the class split into teams and completed in a series of "Minute to Win It!" challenges, with plenty of friendly competition.

Carlos Alberto Perez Perez (PR) uses his singing talents to score some points for his team during "Minute to Win It"

"Team 2" came out victorious! Kameron Peschel (CO), Eli Caldera (TX), Brad Warmka (WI), Ben Smith (VA), Advisory Committee member Heather Hunt, Connor McCluskey (NY) and Megan Smith (PA)
YDLI Class 11 will meet back in Phoenix for Phase 3 training next year, February 5-8, 2020, where they will participate in another series of workshops focused on advanced communications training, leadership skills, and the public policy process.

Congratulations to YDLI Class 11 on completing Phase 1!

YDLI Advisory Committee Members Tyler Ribeiro, Lindsey Worden, Jolene Griffin, Jodi Hoynoski, Laura Daniels, Heather Hunt, Rebecca Shaw and Josh Hushon
The Holstein Foundation would like to offer a sincere thanks to the sponsors of Saturday's workshops and activities: Dairy Management Inc., Land O'Lakes and Allflex USA.

Learn more about Young Dairy Leaders Institute or add your name to the list to be notified when Class 12 applications become available at the Holstein Foundation web site!

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