Financial Literacy for Dairy®
Posted October 17th, 2018
As the next generation transitions into dairy management, they need to acquire the skills they need to be leaders on their dairy.  Financial Literacy is a multi-level financial curriculum designed to grow dairy producer professionals’ knowledge and confidence in dairy finance. Thirty-five producers participated in two levels of curriculum authored and instructed by Dr. David Kohl.
“It was one of the best programs I have attended through PDPW. I better understand the benchmarks and ratios we review on our operation. I learned how to apply economics to many of the decisions we make daily.” - Steven Orth, Dairy Farmer

Peninsula Pride Farms
Posted October 17th, 2018
The goal of the Peninsula Pride Farms (PPF) farmer led watershed initiative is to leverage the ingenuity of the agricultural community, university research and scientist to meet water quality challenges. The focus is on protecting both surface waters and ground water through innovative practices.  PPF cost shares farm assessment to identify and prioritize best management practices, farming systems and landscape features to reduce the risk of ground water contamination. Field days and demonstrations show case innovative planting techniques such as cover crops and no till planting that improve soil health and water quality.
“We recognized the need for our members to serve as the voice of agriculture on the Peninsula. Our commitment is to demonstrate through our actions that clean, safe water, and a vibrant agricultural community can coexist on our home.” - Don Niles, PPF President
PDPW Dairy’s Visible Voice®
Posted October 17th, 2018
The Foundation seeks to shape a proactive and prepared dairy community, ready to meet challenges. One key way to bring this to life is to help dairy producers become more effective at communicating what happens on the farm today. PDPW’s Dairy’s Visible Voice training series teaches listening, speaking and communication skills necessary for farms to engage positively with their communities. 
“Every farm should appoint someone to be its ‘visible voice.’ Public communication is not comfortable for everyone, and yet it is very much needed as we interact more and more with consumers and others in the food system. We are doing so many wonderful things on our farms and we need to tell these stories! Dairy’s Visible Voice training is a key way our dairy farms can be proactive and prepared for the challenges ahead.” - Mitch Breunig, Dairy Farmer, Sauk City
Dairy Worker Training Videos
Posted October 17th, 2018
In the face of recent dairy worker challenges, a group of northeastern Wisconsin dairy producers and industry partners began to explore ways to be proactive and prepared.  One of their solutions was dairy worker training videos. With grant funds from the Foundation, they were able to create two training videos in English and Spanish to be used on dairy farms. The videos support dairy producers and dairy farm workers, and meet an industry-wide need for quality training for new and existing employees.
“It is a fast and efficient way to teach employees some of the basics of barn and feed management for cow comfort and health. If an employee knows why they need to do a task a certain way, they are more likely to do it.” - Dan Brick, Brickstead Dairy.
Altoona-Blair Agriculture Career Day
Posted October 17th, 2018
Altoona-Blair County Development Corp held a two-day career day at Kulp Family Dairy Farm near Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. 1200 seventh graders focused on a multitude of dairy farm career opportunities including veterinary science, agronomy, accounting/finance, information technology, genetics, insurance and more. Sixteen interactive stations allowed students to experience a modern dairy farm and to become aware of the many career options available to them. 
“We need young people to realize that you don’t need to grow up on a farm to have a successful career in agriculture. Many students are not aware of the various occupations they have access to on a farm. Anything the community does to educate the public and especially young people about modern agriculture and the fact that it is a business that touches many lives and careers is a benefit to all of us.” - David Hileman, Hilecrest Farms
PDPW Youth Leadership Derby: Hands-on Learning for the Next Generation
Posted December 4th, 2013

This fun, hands-on weekend recruits for dairy careers among teens, ages 15-18 years old. Nearly 800 youth have benefited from the Derby since it began in 2004.

“I learned so much from YDL and had a great time. The work stations on the tour were excellent. The career roundtable helped me feel encouraged about a dairy career.”  - Jim Stille, YLD participant. 
PDPW’s 2013 Youth Leadership Derby drew youth from across Wisconsin to explore professional opportunities in the dairy industry and see several of these careers firsthand. In addition to networking and learning, teens also had fun!

Food Armor
Posted October 17th, 2018
Is part of a collaborative effort between WVMA and PDPW called What Matters. The program is a proactive way to reduce meat and milk residue through a six-step program addressing food safety and proper drug use on dairies. Food Armor is being championed throughout the dairy community and has become a national model for safe meat and milk. Hundreds of meetings and trainings have been conducted to educate dairy producers, veterinarians, meat and milk processors and others interested in food safety. This program empowers the on-farm dairy team along with their veterinarian to take responsibility for proper drug use on their dairy.
PDPW Food and Policy Summit
Posted October 16th, 2018
Understanding the issues that are influencing consumers’ food buying decisions is critical to maintaining public trust and sustaining the dairy community for generations to come. The Food and Policy Summit brought together a diverse group from across the food value chain to discuss how to engage consumers in a credible, transparent way, gain insights into the perceptions that consumers have of modern farming, and the science behind key issues. Understanding where all the stakeholders are is critical to producers being able to shape a conversation that will benefit the cow, the industry and our consumers.
PDPW Cornerstone Dairy Academy: Building Skills of Dairy Producers and Raising up the Next Generation
Posted September 4th, 2014

The Foundation is proud to cosponsor with PDPW the Cornerstone Dairy Academy.  Cornerstone Dairy Academy was developed to foster the development of “soft skills” that complement the technical skills of those in dairy related careers.  The training was devoted to teamwork skills, communicating with different personality and leadership styles, workplace habits, business etiquette and professionalism.  The two day program overlapped the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Business Conference March 11-12, 2014.  


Letter of Thanks: Maintaining Public Trust in What We Do, Wherever We Are
Posted September 18th, 2013

This letter is from the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition, an awardee of a Foundation grant to host a dairy exhibit designed to maintain the public trust in dairy. 

Dear Friends:

crowd around birthing penThank you for your generous support for the Dairy Cow Birthing Center at the New York State Fair, organized and hosted by the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC), in cooperation with Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

On all accounts,we are calling this first year a resounding success! We calved 30 cows over the course of twelve days of the State Fair--–all with no major issues. The information and graphics created added tremendous curb appeal and fodder for conversation. But the interest and conversations that took place with consumers on all topics related to dairy farming stole the show.

Fairgoers came in droves to not only see a calf be born, but to sit (sometimes for hours) and hear farmer, veterinarian, student and industry volunteers talk about our dairy farms. We estimate roughly 60,000 people came through the Dairy Cow Birthing Center, spending at a minimum of 20-30 minutes there. The exhibit’s theme was “There’s no udder place for the answer. Ask a farmer.” And boy did they!

Fairgoers asked hundreds of questions, including why we dock tails, why we separate the calf from the cow, why farms are so big these days, among other legitimate topics. Those issues were all personally addressed, and in every instance, resulted in a better understanding of modern dairy farms and the practices and procedures we follow. Meredith Leonard, a visitor of the Birthing Center, said, “I think about that whole experience all the time. Not just the birthing, which in itself is always quite extraordinary. What made it much more special were the reflections by all of you farmers about how you got into farming and why you love it, and the heart and soul everyone puts into the keeping of cows, keeping them healthy and happy, and how it provides such a meaningful life for so many families.”

As a result of everyone’s time, resources, expertise and passion, we as New York’s dairy industry, were successful in delivering the ultimate message to consumers – that dairy farmers today are good family-oriented people who care for their animals, their land and their local communities, as well as the product we produce.

Thank you for helping accomplish that goal! As a small token of our appreciation, please check out the video link http://animoto.com/play/eEyCXNT0oogN7UkSowFBwQ that documents some of the excitement we experienced this year.


The Dodge County Dairy Education Moo Booth: Raising up our Next Generation and Grows and Maintains Public Trust in our People and Products.
Posted September 4th, 2014

The Dodge County Fair hosted Dairy 4-H Youth and a new exhibit.  The exhibit focused on interactive educational displays that help educate the public about the dairy industry.  4-H Dairy members grew their leadership skills as they staffed the exhibit.  

ACE On-Farm Twilight Meetings: Building Trust in our Profession TOGETHER
Posted August 20th, 2013

Questions like, "How much of your operating budget stays local?" "What do you feed the cows?" "What is the average age of your cows?" were all answered by dairy producers during the six ACE On-farm Twilight Meetings held at farms across Wisconsin August 19-20, 26-29. More than 300 dairy producers, neighbors and local community leaders gathered together to discuss issues that impact their local towns and counties. Attendees got an up close look at the farms and animals and were able to ask unlimited questions of the dairy producers as they toured the farm, enjoyed ice cream sundaes during the social and discussed issues that affect their communities. "Attending the ACE On-Farm Twilight meeting was a  great experience, with excellent interaction with local town officials, producers and politicians. The meeting dialogue provided different perspectives and discussion points to the issues between rural and urban needs," said dairy producer John Ruedinger. 

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation proudly supports the ACE On-Farm Twilight Meetings with their partner, the AgStar Fund for Rural America.

2013 Dairy Challenge Academy
Posted July 23rd, 2013

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation is the proud sponsor of the first ever Dairy Challenge Academy, run by the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge and held in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Dairy Challenge Academy allowed additional collegiate dairy students to participate and devlop business skills for the future.

“My name is Emily Morabito and I participated in last semester’s Dairy Challenge class at University of Kentucky. Dr. Jeffrey Bewley encouraged me to take the class, and I am very glad he did. I am a senior at the University of Kentucky now. In my four years here, or anywhere, I have never had an experience quite like that. 
  It's safe to say that I learned an incredible amount of information at the Dairy Challenge Academy. I was really nervous about going, especially because I had only been involved in the dairy for a little less than a year. It turns out, that was not a problem at all. I knew I was going to be with students that had been doing dairy their entire life. Probably the most rewarding parts of my experience was learning to work with students at all different levels of knowledge, working one-on-one with important industry personnel, networking, and taking things that I learned in class and applying it to real situations.”
-    Emily Morabito, senior at University of Kentucky


Record Number of Pairs Participate in PDPW Mentor Program
Posted July 22nd, 2013

Successful transition to the next generation of qualified and enthusiastic dairy producers is essential to sustaining the dairy industry. The 2013 PDPW Dairy Mentor program helped a record 55 students bridge that gap, connecting students with experienced dairy producers to share real world lessons on-farm and through an ongoing mentoring relationship.

That connection meant so much to Jennifer Raboine, a UW-Platteville student and aspiring veterinarian. "The Mentor Program was one of the best opportunities that I have had while at college. It was an amazing experience," Jennifer says. 

"Being a Mentor is an opportunity to share what I am doing on my farm with the next generation. I get to hear what they are learning, and their challenges. I like the dialogue that results." Loren Greenfield, Hilltop Dairy

Your Donations Have Impact!
"Your support helps Dairyland Initiative reach out to producers with the message and knowledge of concepts of welfare friendly housing for their herds, leading to healthier, more productive dairies and successful farms that consumers can have even more confidence in."
— Rebecca Brotzman, DVM, Dairyland Initiative
"As members of the American Guernsey Association, graduate from their junior membership, we foster their enthusiasm and passion as they step into leadership positions in their organization.  Young Guernsey Leaders is a program for 21-25 year olds, that enhances leaderskip skills and builds mentor-internship relationships that will strengthen the dairy community long-term.  Thank you for championing our efforts."
— Bonnie Ayers, Young Guernsey Leaders
"I loved going to YLD because of new experiences and meeting new people. The hands on activities were my favorite.  We worked one-on-one with veterinarians and nutritionists.  
— Lily Feider, PDPW Youth Leadership Derby participant
"We are getting results from the Food Armor program.  With increased testing we are seeing a decrease in the number of violations for residue in meat and milk. We have increased Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship on our farms.  This is a great partnership that focuses on dairy farmers and veterinarians working together to address food safety on dairy farms." 
— Dr. Katie Mrdutt, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
"Yahara Pride Farms and farmer led watershed initiatives could not happen without funding. If government pays for it, we take the "farmer-driven" aspect out of the process.  It is the "farmer-driven" that makes Yahara Pride so successful."  
— Dennis Frame, Timber Ridge Consulting
"It is very important to lead rather than to be lead in matters that affect farmers. We have to get the word out about the good things agricuture is doing and will continue to do in the future. Your grant helped to support demonstrations and discussion about the latest conservation equipment and best nutrient management practices to help reduce agricultural runoff in the Yahara River watershed."
— Jeff Endres, Yahara Pride Farms
"The discussion part of the ACE Twilight Meeting hit home for us, as we could relate to many of the issues brought forward. Bringing together many different people proved to be a success, hearing from city officials and producers to the Secretary of Ag. We left with a true sense of pride and confidence in what we do on a daily basis---producing safe, affordable, abundant food."
— Shelly Grosenick, producer, Watertown, Wis.
"ACE meetings are an ideal place for our farm families to tuly demonstrate their willingness to work with town officials and their neighbors for the betterment of our communities. What a great dialogue and setting for our community leaders to ask good questions."
— Greg Andrews, UW-Extension
"As an agricultural producer, I feel the ACE program offers a tangible means of communicating the vision, performance and passion of our state's farmers."
— Charles Crave, Crave Brothers Dairy Farm
"At Youth Leadership Derby, you meet a lot of people who share the same passion for agriculture as you. Not only do you meet new friends, but the different perspectives and technology the tours gives you an idea of how the dairy business is always changing. This event brought me to my decision of continuing my future in my family's dairy operation."
— Nicole Strutz, Youth Leadership Derby participant
"The Youth Leadership Derby was a great way for me to learn about careers in the dairy industry when I was in high school. At the time YLD helped me to create a focus of what it was that I was going to do with my time in college. Seeing many students from UW-Madison's dairy science department promoting dairy definitely made my future clearer. YLD was a great place to meet new friends and catch up with old ones, all while having a great time and learning a lot while doing it."
— Jacob Brey, Youth Leadership Derby participant
“It helped me realize that I can't see myself doing anything else besides farming. I really want to be a part of this business.” 
— Jeremy Moore, Youth Leadership Derby participant
“The quiet, shy young man we sponsored to attend Youth Leadership Derby was so full of enthusiasm about what he learned at Derby. He talked to me for 20 minutes non-stop. I asked him one big question: Did you learn something you can bring back to your farm? On and on he went with all his new information he wants to apply to their farm. I felt so good as a Family Dairies member, that we could give this young man the opportunity to expand his knowlege of our industry."
— Sue Schultz, Family Dairies
“I could write a 10 page paper about everything I learned and was able to do and observe in the PDPW Dairy Mentor program. I learned what a typical day on a dairy operation is, and the vast amount of coordination, labor and planning it takes to run a dairy. The Mentor program is well worth the time and helps students meet people well-versed in the industry.” 
— Alyssa Daniels, student participant in mentor program
“The PDPW Dairy Mentor Program is important because it shows you how different people run their farms. It also allows you to network and share ideas. My dad and FFA advisor instilled their love of agriculture in me and I couldn't see myself doing anything else. I love being outdoors and working with animals, and that is why I know dairy is a great fit for me. The Mentor program will help me make that happen---which is why I have taken part for the past two years."
— Angie Stier, student participant in mentor program
“Being a Mentor is an opportunity to share what I am doing on my farm with the next generation. I get to hear what they are learning, and their challenges. I like the dialogue that results.”
— Loren Greenfield, dairy producer mentor
“The PDPW Dairy Mentor Program was one of the best opportunities that I have had while at college. It was an amazing experience. You not only get to shadow a producer that takes time out of their busy day to mentor you, but you get to experience the PDPW Business Conference with that mentor. The conference opened up my eyes to new advances and technologies within the dairy industry. I built friendships through this program and I got to meet many people in the industry."
— Jennifer Raboine, student participant in mentor program
 “I felt I learned a lot from participating in the Academy. It is a great program to help prepare people for future participation in the Dairy Challenge competition, but also for helping prepare students for jobs in the dairy industry.”
— Grace Liebenstein, Dairy Challenge Academy participant
“Dairy Challenge and the Academy helps you find solutions and answers to problems that are not obvious. These programs challenge you to dig deeper to find solutions to help build critical thinking skills."
— Angela Sellner, Dairy Challenge Academy participant
“The most valuable aspect of the Indiana Dairy Youth Academy was getting to see all the other dairy farms and learning about how they operate their facilities. My year as a delegate was very enjoyable and I learned so many things that I can improve on my own family dairy.”   
— Kyle Benter, Indiana Dairy Youth Academy participant
"The New York Junior Dairy Leader program broadened my horizons and taught me the importance of understanding an industry in its entirety in order to perform a specific job most proficiently and become an indispensable resource."
— Eleni Rigas, Junior DAIRY LEADER graduate
"What an amazing experience, a lot of work and time but well worth the effort. After spending 3 days at the Birthing Center showing consumers something that we experience everyday, telling our story, and just interacting with them it has been one of the most rewarding things I have done."
— Stephen Palladino, New York State Fair Dairy Cow Birthing Center volunteer
“We found dairy farm family members so helpful for us to understand process.  Thank You!”
— New York State Fair Dairy Cow Birthing Center Visitor