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!
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.
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.
Thank 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 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.
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.
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
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