Youth Programs receive strong support from Land O' Lakes Foundation

FOND DU LAC, WIS. – October 2009 –Youth programs funded by the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) received a substantial grant from the Land O’Lakes Foundation. The $25,000 grant will help Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) run three signature programs for the next generation of dairy producers: Mentor Program, Internship Program and Youth Leadership Derby.

PDPW’s Mentor Program pairs college students with producer-members to share real world experiences on dairy operations.

“It’s a great way to inspire and guide the next generation of dairy producers,” says Eric Hillan, Rusk Rose Holsteins and chair of PDPW’s Career Path Committee.

PDPW’s Internship Program gives an opportunity for students to gain on-farm, professional experience and “test-drive” working within a dairy operation.

The Youth Leadership Derby, now in its 8th year, is a fun, hands-on weekend to generate enthusiasm for careers in production dairy among teenagers. Derby presenters highlight opportunities in agriculture and encourage youth to seek careers in our industry.

“The Derby is PDPW’s way of painting a positive picture of careers in our industry,” says Hillan. “When the kids see there are others like them who are interested in a career in the dairy industry, they begin to envision a bright future for themselves.”

The 2009 Derby will be held November 7-9 at Milton High School in Milton, WI.

“Land O’ Lakes is one of those companies that has walked with our PDPW members every step of the way, helping us deliver quality educational programs and lead the success of the dairy industry” says PDPW Executive Director Shelly Mayer. “This grant to PDPF in particular shows Land O’Lakes commitment to the future of our industry. They know that our industry is dependent on the experiences and resources available to our young people.”
Land O’Lakes Foundation Executive Director Lydia Botham said supporting organizations like PDPW is a point of emphasis for the Land O’Lakes Foundation and aligns with their overall mission.

“Our main focus is improving the lives of rural citizens, and youth leadership is a critical part of these on-going efforts,” said Botham. “We are glad to support the programs of the PDPW.”

To register for Youth Leadership Derby or to learn more about specific tours, learning labs, workshops and competitions, visit

Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin is a dairy-producer founded organization that provides educational programs and services to fellow dairy producers. PDPW’s mission is “to share ideas, solutions, resources, and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.”

The PDPF was established in 2002 by Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin as a vehicle to raise funds and award grants for educational programs for dairy producers and the public. PDPF is a 501(c)(3) organization.

The Land O’Lakes Foundation, established in 1996, provides cash grants to non-profit and community organizations in states where Land O’Lakes has a concentration of members or employees, and is made possible by support of Land O'Lakes, Inc.