What does it mean to Believe?

It means giving back to the industry that means so much to us, so that the next generation can learn and carry these values into their own communities.

In 2005, at the Annual Business Conference of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, those in attendance were asked what dairying meant to them personally.

  • A way to make a living.
  • A way of life.
  • Family working together.
  • Generations of commitment.
  • Continuing education.
  • Continuous improvement.
  • Care for animals.
  • Producing quality, nutritious milk.
  • Stewardship of land and water.
  • Giving back to our communities.
  • Being a professional.
  • Being seen as a professional.
  • Working together with others to tell our story.
I Believe

Shelly Mayer, PDPW's executive director and a dairy producer herself, encouraged attendees to help get the Foundation going with "I Believe" donations. That night, dairy producers and our industry friends pledged more than $10,000 in the first-ever "I Believe" campaign.

We thank our donors…

But the thanks really come from all the people who benefit from a thriving dairy community: dairy producers, those who work in allied industry, residents of our rural communities, and those who create and retail quality dairy foods.

Our I Believe campaign continues, and donors now have an opportunity to share why they Believe, here on our site.

Here's what some of our Believers say:
When it comes to the dairy industry, seeing is "Believing" for me personally. I can honestly say that this remarkable sector of our state has had a direct impact on my life since the day I was born. I'm optimistic that the future of dairying will be even brighter in the years to come.
— Pat Sternitzky, Founder, USAgNet LLC / Wisconsin Ag Connection
I believe in the future of the dairy industry because today’s dairymen are willing to invest time, money and energy into education to grow and adapt their operation and personnel to meet whatever challenges and opportunities lie ahead.
— Karen Lee, Progressive Dairy Publishing
I personally believe in the dairy industry because all of the down-to-earth, good and honest people I’ve met that are associated with the industry.
— Glen Leavitt, Progressive Dairy Publishing
We need to grow our knowledge and understanding of an ever-changing world, or we will be attempting to tread water in a rapidly moving stream. I believe the Foundation is a necessary step… to focus on youth and invest in our future.
— Pete Kappelman, dairy producer
We believe in the bright future of the dairy industry because of its enterprising people who are committed to growing the industry by producing quality dairy products.
— Dr. Jim Metz, ANIMART
Today's dairies are changing at an ever-increasing rate due to advancements in technology, consumer demands, and governmental regulations. Now more than ever, dairy producers need to stay current and knowledgeable on information that will help them produce the highest quality product for their customer…the consumer…
— Keith Engel, GEA Farm Technologies.
Continuous learning is essential for today’s and tomorrow’s dairy industry. The Foundation helps ensure future generations are engaged and continue to be innovative in producing food and fiber to feed the world. Education is a key to our progress.
— Dr. Jim Metz, ANIMART
PDPW established the Foundation because we believe that education can pave the way for the next generation of dairy producers to carry on what we do today. We want to ensure that the high value we place on education and professionalism is instilled in the next generation.
— Doug Knoepke, dairy producer, Durand, Wis.
At GEA Farm Technologies, we strongly believe that the success of our industry is based heavily on continued education, and we proudly support the Foundation so that we can help dairy producers grow both personally and professionally - so that their operations thrive…
— Keith Engel, GEA Farm Technologies.
"If we can help the next generation, by giving more information to dairymen and women, the stronger the dairy industry will be.  I believe that education is the key to the current dairy industry success as well as the success of the next generation.  The Foundation gives me the opportunity to help educate and build the next generation."
— Dana Cook, Cook's Countryside Trucking LLC
"I am a fervent believer in the future of the dairy industry.  It is important to have many different resources available to inform people in the dairy industry about any given subject.  It is also very important to have uncommitted funds available to do that."
— Al Koepke, Koepke Farms