March 2019 vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Are you ready?

The 2019 PDPW Business Conference is just around the corner with two jam-packed days of information, networking and solutions to help you and your business succeed.
Join the best and brightest dairy farmers and allied industry from around the country at dairy's premier educational event - all planned by dairy farmers to focus on the most pressing issues and opportunities. Here's an overview of what you can expect March 13 and 14 in Madison:  
  • Fifty expert speakers
  • Five inspiring and motivating keynote sessions
  • Eight 75-minute specialty sessions, with four presented each morning
  • Nine 60-minute breakout sessions presented in the afternoons
  • Three Hands-On Hub sessions, held five times each, focused on calf and veterinary care, and effects of rainfall on varying soil types
  • Fifteen 30-minute Learning Lounge sessions in the Hall of Ideas
  • Five preview sessions highlighting the latest in university research
  • Opportunities to explore the latest product and service innovations with more than 200 vendors in the Hall of Ideas Trade & Equipment Show
  • Dairy Technology Hub in the Hall of Ideas to answer questions about devices, apps and tools to make your business more efficient
For the full program flier with complete session and speaker details, click here .
Keynote Sessions

Dr. David Kohl
YOUR TIME IS NOW Learn how economic events at home and around the world are impacting dairy markets now - and what it means for the future - from renowned economist Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech and president of AgriVisions LLC. [Day One Keynote, 11 to 11:50 a.m.]
FIND YOUR GRIT Scott Burrow's life was tragically altered by a car accident at age 19. Hear how the former college football player and kick-boxer overcame his challenges and the implications his method and insights have for the dairy industry. [Day One Keynote, 11:55 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.]
Dr. Jason Karszes
WHAT'S YOUR WHY? Motivation is easy when milk prices are high, but when circumstances shift, we find ourselves questioning decisions and wondering "why." Vietnam War veteran, disability-rights advocate, writer and comedian Dr. Richard Pimentel will share his inspirational story and insights. [Day One Evening Keynote, 7:30 to 8:00 p.m.]
MAXIMIZE YOUR BUSINESS POTENTIAL Discover how to capture full potential of your business by determining the economic capacity of each investment area. Dr. Jason Karszes, senior extension associate with the PRO-DAIRY program at Cornell University, will share operational and strategic planning tools. [Day Two Keynote, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.]
Merril Hoge
MAKE YOUR WAY FORWARD Merril Hoge, former NFL running back and ESPN analyst, cancer survivor, professional speaker and author, will share his story of overcoming odds and separating himself from the pack to achieve his goals. His session will change the way you see yourself, your circumstances, and your road forward. [Day Two Keynote, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.]
THE JIMMYS Dairy producer Jimmy Voegeli and his band will wind up the first day of Business Conference with their award-winning music. The Jimmys have been named a "top 10 summer festival band" and their sound is a blend of blues, soul, funk and rhythm and blues. Namesake Jimmy Voegeli hails from Monticello, Wis. and the band features a three-piece horn and sax section, harmonica, keyboard, bass and guitar.

Speciality Session Previews

ROBOTIC MANAGEMENT.  Hear the latest on robotic design, animal health and productivity from an international team of experts, and learn from the experiences of European farmers who were quick to adopt robotic technologies. Presenters include Dr. Nigel Cook of UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, and Jouni Pitkäranta and Dr. Virpi Kurkela of 4dBarn Consulting based in Finland. [Day One Morning Specialty Session]
WHAT'S YOUR CHECKOFF DOLLAR DOING? Learn firsthand how national and state checkoff programs are partnering to market dairy products around the globe. Chad Vincent, CEO of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, and Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc., will shed light on how those dollars are put to work. [Day One Morning Specialty Session]
UNDERSTAND THE WHY ON FARM LENDING. A panel session will outline how changes in bank rules are requiring new and different information from farms, and how you can better work with your lending institution. Dr. David Kohl will facilitate a panel of experts in agricultural finance including Elsa Condon, BMO Harris Bank; Dan Kaufman, GreenStone Farm Credit Services; and Mark Binversie, Investors Community Bank. [Day Two Morning Specialty Session]
TREAD LIGHTLY: WHAT'S AHEAD FOR DAIRY AND OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT? Headlines about cows and their impact on environment are all over today's news, but what are the facts? Dr. Frank Mitloehner, University of California-Davis, will present a scientific view of the growing global demand for dairy, its effect on the planet and false claims. [Day Two Morning Specialty Session]
PUTTING LEADERSHIP TO WORK. Successful businesses have leaders who inspire others to follow them and managers who encourage people to work for them. Tom Thibodeau will share skills and techniques to develop both on your dairy. [Day Two Morning Specialty Session]

Breakout Seesion Previews

Dr. Sandra Godden
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR GROUP HOUSING FOR PREWEANED CALVES. Join world-renowned calf expert Dr. Sandra Godden from the University of Minnesota to learn the best practices for group housing for our youngest calves, including how to reduce disease risk and enhance performance. [Day One Afternoon Breakout Session]
GET THE BIGGEST BANG FOR YOUR MANAGEMENT BUCK - DECISIONS WITH YOUR DAIRY IN MIND. Balancing long-term strategic planning with day-to-day decisions can be overwhelming. Dr. Tom Overton, Cornell University, will focus on how small changes to management, especially in feeding systems, can yield a great return. [Day One Afternoon Breakout Session]
Dr. Nigel Cook
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR ANIMAL WELFARE? Knowing what priorities and hot topics lie ahead can help you prepare and keep animal care as your top priority. Dr. Nigel Cook, UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Jennifer Van Os, UW-Madison, will provide insights on this ever-changing landscape. [Day One Afternoon Breakout Session - will only be presented twice]
NAVIGATE THE ROADWAYS OF STRESS. Unresolved chronic stress can weigh heavily on both mind and body. Dr. John Shutske of UW-Madison will share strategies to take control and break the chronic-stress cycle to boost health and well-being. [Day Two Afternoon Breakout Session]

Hands On Hub Spotlight

Adam Abel
Observe a water-runoff simulator in action to see the effect of rainfall on various soil types and how ground cover and land management can impact your land - and downstream. Adam Abel, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Appleton Area Soil Conservationist, will answer questions and showcase the best ways to protect sensitive soils. [This session offered both days for a total of five times]
EXPLORE, LEARN RECORD . Use new data-collection tools to not only understand why calves die, but find ways to prevent disease and protect the youngest members of your herd. Dr. Franklyn Garry of Colorado State University will lead participants through calf necropsies to explore problems that calf raisers encounter. [This session offered both days for a total of five times]
HERDSPERSON HUB. Interactive stations presented by Lodi Veterinary Care Team will provide new insights to even the most experienced herdsperson. Station topics includ e reproductive ultrasonography, developing a systemized observation and testing routine for the fresh cow pen, and conducting milk quality tests and cultures. [This session offered both days for a total of five times]
Other Must-See Booths & Sessions
GET A SNEAK PEEK OF CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH AT THE PREVIEW STAGE. World-leading researchers and their UW-Madison Master and PhD students will highlight research currently underway. Presentations will be held over both days in the Hall of Ideas, with topics including maintaining calcium status during transition period, role of amino acids in low-protein diets, applying data to on-farm decision making, the connection between liver metabolism and sub-clinical ketosis, and the impact of grass species on grazing heifer performance.

INNOVATIONS AND IDEAS IN LEARNING LOUNGES. Three Learning Lounge areas in the Hall of Ideas will each feature fifteen 30-minute sessions across both days of the conference. These up-close and casual sessions provide an opportunity to interact with presenters and gather information about some of the hottest topics in today's industry.
  • FEEDING SMART FOR COMPONENTS. Getting the most out of what, when and how cows are fed can make the difference in butterfat and protein in milk checks. Learn the details from Dr. Tom Overton of Cornell University. [Day One 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. in the Green Lounge]
  • GET MORE POWER FROM YOUR POOP. Dig into techniques to improve soil conditions and nutrient retention in this presentation by Aaron Pape from UW Discovery Farms. [Day One 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. in the Red Lounge]
  • AVOID THE COMMON PITFALLS OF HEIFERS AND HOOVES. Dr. Nigel Cook will outline areas to watch out for when designing and managing replacement heifer facilities. [Day One 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. in the Blue Lounge]
  • REAL SOLUTIONS WITH REAL EFFECTIVE SANITATION. Dr. Don Sockett from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at University of Wisconsin will highlight the limitations of current practices in controlling nesting bugs such as Salmonella Heidelberg, and offer strategies to take control and get ahead of this killer. [Day Two 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Red Lounge]
  • DAIRY REVENUE PROTECTION IQ. Learn what questions to ask and what numbers to know as you explore coverage options in the new dairy revenue protection policy, presented by Lori Fetzer and Michelle Sell from Compeer Financial. [Day Two 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. in the Red Lounge]
NETWORK WITH A COUPLE HUNDRED VENDORS in the Hall of Ideas and Trade Show. Packed with new ideas and technologies, your time spent here will put you in touch with preferred suppliers committed to your success. Long after Business Conference is over, you can connect with vendors through the PDPW Virtual Trade Show hub fby clicking here.
BRING YOUR QUESTIONS TO THE TECHNOLOGY HUB. Experts from U.S. Cellular and Interquest Corp. will be available inside the Hall of Ideas to answer questions about devices, apps, back-up methods, virus protection and what to look for when it's time to make new purchases. If you have questions regarding computers, tablets, cell phones or other devices, stop here.
GET YOUR PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT PHOTO - FREE! If you don't already have a professional photo of yourself to use in media interviews, social media, or a board or committee appointments, plan to stop by the PDPW Photo Booth for a free professional head shot photo. You'll find the Photo Booth in the Hall of Ideas.   Photo Booth hours:

Wednesday: 9:30 am - 10:30 am; 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm; 4pm - 6pm
Thursday: 12 pm - 1:30 pm
DID SOMEBODY SAY "GRILLED CHEESE?" New this year, PDPW Business Conference attendees can enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches in the Hall of Ideas, thanks to Immucell-First Defense and Ag Country Farm Credit Service. Sandwiches are free to attendees; please be sure to thank these sponsors.
Grilled Cheese booth hours:

Wednesday Aged Cheddar & Smoked Gouda: 8 am - 11 am; 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursday American & Swiss : 8 am - 11 am; 1 pm - 3 pm
THANK YOU TO ALL 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 2019 Business Conference Sponsors. If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact Amy Bonomie at or call 800-947-7379.
DOWNLOAD THE APP! Put all the 2019 Business Conference happenings at your fingertips with our convenient conference app. Download the app before you arrive with these three easy steps:
  1. Download the FREE "CrowdCompass Attendee Hub" app in your app store.
  2. In the CrowdCompass Directory, search for "2019 PDPW Business Conference."
  3. Enter the event password "dairy2019" when prompted OR scan this QR code with your smartphone and go directly to the CrowdCompass Attendee Hub app to download.
Words to live by... 

Education is the foundation upon which we build our future. --- Christine Gregoire

Book Reviews

TWO KEYNOTE SPEAKERS FROM THIS YEAR'S CONFERENCE are also authors of top-selling books that share tools and inspiration to overcome challenges and beat the odds.
"Vision Mindset Grit: How to Stand Up When Life Paralyzes You"  Scott Burrows' riveting story of overcoming adversity through sheer determination, will power, and goal setting is infectious. Scott was a Florida State University football player and top-ranked kickboxing champion until he was critically injured in a disastrous automobile accident. Scott survived, but was paralyzed and diagnosed a quadriplegic. This book is more than the story of Scott's determination to overcome enormous obstacles and rebuild his life. It is a testament to his intention to inspire others and help them triumph over adversity. Learn more here .

"Find A Way: Three Words That Changed My Life"  Negative feedback about his life goal of playing in the NFL inspired Merril Hoge to write "Find a Way" on the top of the wall above all his goals. "Find a Way" would become a life-long philosophy that helped him achieve his dream of playing in the NFL, but also has helped him deal with the near loss of his hand as a young boy, the loss of his mother at a young age, overcome severe head trauma and battle and beat cancer. It has also become a parenting tool and helped him realize the magic that exists in all of us! Learn more here .

A BIG Thank You...  

TO THE PDPW SPONSORS who are supporting your professional development organization! As a producer-led group, we extend a heart-felt "Thank You!" to those that stand alongside our nation's dairy farmers.  Their support allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer training and has enabled us to become the go-to resource for unified outreach initiatives. If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact us at or call 800-947-7379.
See the full list of generous sponsors here.