March 2018 vol.1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®

JUST AROUND THE CORNER!  WHAT'S IN STORE AT THE 2018 PDPW BUSINESS CONFERENCE? Thanks to a team of active dairy farmers who developed the session line-up specifically for this event, the 2018 Business Conference will give you the tools, research and inspiration to thrive - in today's dairy climate and for years to come. 
You'll have the opportunity to hear from multiple experts and farmers as they delve deeper into dairy's most pressing topics. Here's an overview of what you can expect March 14 and 15 in Madison:
  • Five dynamic and inspiring keynote speakers
  • Eight 75-minute specialty sessions, with four presented each morning
  • Four Hands-On Hub sessions to enhance your understanding of milk production, calf health, ration mixing and fire prevention
  • Eleven breakout sessions in the afternoons
  • 30-minute Learning Lounge sessions in the Hall of Ideas
  • Research Previews -  a snapshot of 9 studies currently underway at UW-Madison by dairy science Masters and PhD students
  • Opportunities to explore the latest product and service innovations with more than 200 vendors in the Hall of Ideas Trade & Equipment show
For the full program flier with complete session and speaker details, click here .
Keynote Sessions
Michael Boehlje
  • WHERE THERE'S CHALLENGE, THERE'S OPPORTUNITY. Hear about world economic markets and trends and the insights you need to respond in today's volatile times from Dr. Michael Boehlje, professor emeritus of Ag Economics at Purdue University. [Day One Keynote, 11 to 11:45 am] 
  • IT'S TIME TO THRIVE. John O'Leary, burn survivor, motivational speaker and best-selling author of "On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life" will share his story of overcoming severe injuries and lessons on how to truly live in his "It's Time to Thrive" keynote. [Day One Keynote, 11:45 am to 12:30 pm] 
    Mark Tauscher
  • IF IT WERE EASY, ANYONE COULD DO IT. Former Green Bay Packer and Wisconsin Badger Mark Tauscher is also a farm kid whose sense of self, unique brand of humor and fortitude helped him overcome obstacles in the classroom and football field to go from walk-on to Super Bowl Champion. [Conference Emcee and Day One Dinner Keynote] 
  • GET A GRIP AND MOVE BEYOND THE DIP. What needs to happen to produce a more bullish landscape for agriculture? Hear a review of current macro-economic forces and what to expect in months ahead from Dan Basse, agricultural economist and president of AgResource Company. [Day Two Keynote, 10:45 am to 12 pm] 
  • YOUR DESTINY: DEFINE IT. Liz Murray will share her personal journey of overcoming homelessness and drug-addicted parents through a determined focus on education. She will inspire you and provide perspective on tackling the most challenging obstacles. [Day Two Keynote, 3:30 to 4:30 pm]
Specialty Session Previews

Nicole Bettinger
SAY WHAT? TOOLS FOR TOUGH FAMILY BUSINESS CONVERSATIONS. Often just the thought of talking about a tough subject can make family members anxious. Learn how to tackle these difficult - but important - conversations so everyone can focus on keeping the business and family relationships healthy. The session, led by Nicole Bettinger and Barb Dartt, MS, of the Family Business Consulting Group, will provide you with best practices and tools that you can put to work right away. [Day One Morning Specialty Session]

DATA UP TO YOUR EYEBALLS? Cutting-edge work from the departments of Dairy Science and Computer Science at UW-Madison is creating tools for producers to integrate multiple data streams to speed efficiency and improve decision-making. Dr. Victor Cabrera and Dr. Heather White will team up to provide real-time solutions for managing all the data from DHI records, rumination monitoring,  genetics and more. [Day One Morning Specialty Session]

RISING LABOR COSTS: STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES. Jason Karzes , Senior Extension Associate with the PRO-DAIRY program at Cornell University, will shed light on the five most critical management areas that impact labor cost on today's dairies. Attendees will learn how to adapt and manage costs while still building top-performing teams. [Day Two Morning Specialty Session}
Dr. Bill Weiss
KICK BOTTLENECKS ASIDE TO FIND MARGINS.  With feed costs making up about half of today's milk production costs, every adjustment can make a significant impact on the bottom line. Dr. Bill Weiss, Professor of Dairy Cattle Nutrition at the Ohio State University, will share strategies for both ration formulation and management practices that will help both nutritionists and producers manage costs while maintaining - or boosting - milk production. [Day Two Morning Specialty Session]
Breakout Session Previews

ACTIVITY-BASED MANAGEMENT: TAKING YOUR MANAGEMENT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. Take the next step in your dairy's management by tracking cost and performance by activity. This special 120-minute session will feature panel discussion with three farmers sharing their experiences and benefits with activity-based management systems.   Hear from Calvin Moody, a partner in five dairies and a heifer farm; J.P. Rhea, CEO of Rhea Brothers GP, a six-generation farm that includes food and feed-ingredient processing, livestock and organic farming; and Dale Hemminger, owner of Hemdale Farms and Greenhouses in Seneca Castle, New York. Jason Karzes of Cornell will facilitate this insightful session. [Day One Afternoon Breakout Session: Presented once from 2:15 to 4:15 pm]
TRUTH ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS AND RESISTANCE. Antibiotic use in both human medicine and food production captures headlines, but what is science really telling us? Dr. Randy Singer, professor of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota will bring learnings from his internationally recognized program that predicts the emergence, spread and persistence of infectious diseases. Get to the bottom of research behind antibiotic use, management and residue avoidance. [Day One Afternoon Breakout Session]
Dr. Mike Hutjens
WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE A BUCK? Dr. Mike Hutjens , Dairy Extension Specialist at the University of Illinois will guide producers through the top five "must-do" items that can make a real difference; he'll also review five "don't-even-consider" areas advising producers against compromising production, animal care or quality in an attempt to save costs. Don't miss this session for strategies to build on your strengths and take advantage of all the options available. [Day One Afternoon Breakout Session]
IT TAKES A VILLAGE: SUCCESSFUL CALF MANAGEMENT. It takes both attention to detail and an ability to see the big picture to raise healthy calves. From managing people and facilities to designing the right ration and protocols, Dr. Theresa Ollivett, Assistant Professor at UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, will walk attendees through a holistic approach to success in calf raising. Even the most experience calf raisers will walk away with new ideas and strategies. [Day Two Afternoon Breakout Session]
Hands on Hub Spotlights

NOSE TO TAIL: CALF EDITION. It's not just about colostrum anymore.  A calf's environment, vaccination timing and selection play an important role in calf health. See for yourself how prenatal and early postnatal activities can influence a calf's health and immune system. Dr. Amelia Woolums of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University will lead this Hands on Hub session.  [five session times offered over both days]
FIRE! ACT NOW.  Learn from decades of real-world fire-fighting and farm-rescue experience with Jerry Minor, chief of the Pittsville Fire and Rescue District and instructor at the Wisconsin Vocational Technical College system, and Ron Naab, who brings more than 50 years of service as EMS captain, fire captain, assistant chief and farm-rescue instructor.  They'll present life-saving information to help you protect your family, buildings, livestock and equipment. You'll learn best practices for using fire extinguishers and saving people and animals; you'll also develop a personalized action plan to complete with your family and team members. [five session times offered over both days]
Other Must-See Sessions

DON'T MISS THE PREVIEW STAGE IN THE HALL OF IDEAS!  A sneak preview of dairy research underway by UW-Madison Master and PhD students will be featured over both days of the conference.  Nine projects will be showcased with topics ranging from genomic selection to using remote cameras in calf-raising systems, and from impact of dietary supplements to managing data streams.  Hear firsthand from students about the research that will shape your industry in the future!
HOT TOPICS IN THE LEARNING LOUNGE.   Fifteen 30-minute sessions in three Learning Lounge areas in the Hall of Ideas will span both days of conference and give attendees an up-close and personal opportunity to learn about a broad spectrum of topics from personal leadership to managing costs and fine-tuning management practices. Just a few highlights include:  
  • YOUR ACE TO MANAGING COSTS  Dr. Mike Hutjens will review four key areas to find cost-saving opportunities without sacrificing production or animal health. [Day One 10:15 to 10:45 am in the Blue Lounge]
  • BASICS OF BUSINESS-SUCCESSION PLANNING. Gather insights and tips for getting started on your business transition planning and leave with a checklist to tailor a plan that works for you in this session led by Nicole Bettinger. [Day One 12:45 to 1:15 pm in the Red Lounge]
  • GROUP HOUSING FOR CALVES? Dr. Theresa Ollivett will lead a discussion on the top five things to consider when managing calves in group housing.  [Day Two 10 to 10:30 am in the Green Lounge]
  • FATTEN UP YOUR MILK CHECK. Get the most out of your production with tips on improving milkfat and other components without jeopardizing production or increasing costs.  Dr. Bill Weiss will provide recommendations that could deliver big returns on relatively small investments of time or management practice changes. [Day Two 12:30 to 1 pm in the Blue Lounge]
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS.  We are truly grateful for the sponsoring companies who make the conference possible. Please thank these companies for supporting the Business Conference, PDPW mission and the dairy industry. Click here for a list of 2018 Business Conference Sponsors.   If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact one of our team members at or call 800-947-7379. 
MORE THAN 200 VENDORS TO NETWORK WITH. Once again, the Hall of Ideas and Trade & Equipment Show will feature a bounty of new innovations and technologies. Spend some time here to see firsthand the ideas and concepts that will take your operation to the next level. Make this your go-to spot between sessions to network with fellow producers and industry experts. Not only will the vendors be available at the event, but you can stay connected with them well into the future at the Virtual Trade Show at our web site.
DOWNLOAD THE APP! All the 2018 Business Conference happenings and details are at your fingertips with the convenient conference app. Download the mobile app before you arrive, so you can dive right in:
  1. Download the FREE "CrowdCompass Attendee Hub" app in your app store.
  2. Search for "2018 PDPW Business Conference" in the CrowdCompass Directory.
  3. Enter the event password "dairy2018" when prompted.
You can also scan this QR code with your smart phone and go directly to the CrowdCompass Attendee Hub app to download.
Book Reviews

TWO OF THE 2018 BUSINESS CONFERENCE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS have authored top-selling books, both of which inspire and encourage readers to thrive regardless of their circumstances.
"On Fire"
If given a chance to go back in time and avoid the explosion that almost killed him, O'Leary maintains he wouldn't change a thing - his book explains the reasons. He goes on to encourage readers to "extinguish indifference, ignite potential and discover the power of a purposeful life." Here's what readers have to say about On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life.
"John weaves many life lessons into his story. I especially like his lessons about fear and how we can exchange them for love. This book goes on my list of 'highly recommended' life-changing books."
"This book is incredible! I have read too many books in my lifetime to even begin to try and count them and this makes my top 10 all-time favorite reads ever!!!"
"I really enjoyed this book of a true hero. Life can be hard sometimes, and we do get tired putting out the little fires of daily living. Maybe we get into a rut, thinking how difficult life can be. Then you are 'awakened' by a beautiful book like this. This book showed the courage of a little boy and then a grown with the 'big' fires in life, and the beauty and strength that can transform tragedy to triumph."

"Breaking Night"
Liz Murray's memoir gives readers a cold, hard look at the years she spent wondering how she'd survive and where she's sleeping. As a teen, Liz's life mirrored that of her mother when she had been a teenager. Unlike her mother, Liz would not merely survive her adolescence, but go on to thrive.
A compelling read, here are a few reviews of Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard.
"Great book of survival."  

"Amazing memoir. A must-read for teachers of 'underprivileged students', and for those who look with disdain on folks who can't quite 'pull life together.' I was so grateful for those teachers who saw the needs of such students and reached out to them."
"A true story that shows the pursuit of happiness. Proves that you are your biggest obstacle when achieving your goals."
A BIG Thank You   
IT'S A NEW YEAR, WITH A NEW LINE-UP OF AGRIBUSINESS LEADERS supporting your professional development organization! As we walk into our 26th year as a producer-led group, we extend a heart-felt "Thank You!" to those that stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers.  T heir support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to resource for unified outreach initiatives. 
See the full list of generous sponsors here.

Our Vision, Mission, Corporate and Event Sponsors  invest in and build a strong industry. If you interact with any of these companies, please thank them for supporting PDPW!   If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact us at or call 800-947-7379.