March 2021 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
DISCOVER THE POSSIBILITIES. We are a week away from the 2021 PDPW Business Conference in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The two-day conference is planned by dairy farmers to provide the latest information to help move your operation forward. Here’s what you can expect March 17-18 at dairy’s premier educational event:
  • 44 speakers
  • 42 educational sessions
  • 2 Hands-On Hub sessions
  • 10 Learning Lounge sessions on 2 stages in the Hall of Ideas
  • 4 sessions in the all-new Youth Leadership program
  • 5 companies presenting exciting new technologies at the Nexus™ stage
  • Opportunities to explore the latest product and service innovations with more than 130 vendors in the Hall of Ideas Trade & Equipment Show

For the full program flier with complete session and speaker details, click here.
What to expect: Health and Safety
The health and safety of Business Conference attendees are the highest priority for PDPW and the Kalahari staff. The program and location have been adapted to meet current CDC-recommended guidelines. While providing flexibility and comfort, capacities have been calculated for each room, with seating arrangements that allow attendees to reposition chairs to ensure safe distances. To promote safe distancing during sessions, extra audiovisual equipment will be set up in overflow areas. All food and beverages will be individually served by Kalahari staff, and masks and hand sanitizer will be included in training kits for each attendee.
Keynote sessions
PAYING TRIBUTE, STANDING TOGETHER. Even in times of uncertainty, we are privileged to live and work under one flag: Old Glory. Evangelo “Vann” Morris, combat veteran and retired U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer, will deliver the opening session keynote that will remind us of our blessings and responsibilities. [Day One Opening Keynote, 11:00 a.m.]
TAKING BOLD APPROACH TO LEADERSHIP. Hear from Lieutenant General Russel Honore about the leadership lessons from rebuilding New Orleans after the physical, economical and emotional devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Take away ideas and inspiration to lead your team during the most challenging business situations. [Day One Opening Keynote, following Vann Morris.]
WHAT’S AHEAD IN AG MARKETS? For U.S. dairy, the global market and international trade have long presented frustration for producers. Is there a bullish outlook ahead? Economist Dan Basse will provide a look at the current economic forces and what to expect in the future.
[Day Two General Session, 11:00 a.m]
A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON CHALLENGING TIMES. Captain Charlie Plumb spent nearly 6 years in a prisoner of war camp during the Vietnam War and he will bring his experiences and sobering insights on overcoming obstacles. His deeply moving message of self-reflection and inspiration will provide the strength and focus to take on the biggest of challenges.
[Day Two Closing Session, 3:45 p.m.]
Discover solutions for a variety of subjects
Here’s a brief description of just a few sessions from each category. For the full listing of sessions and their presenters, see the program flier. 
Specialty and Breakout Sessions
THREATS POSED BY EMERGING DISEASES will be discussed by Dr. Ralph Stowell, DVM, Waupun Veterinary Service, and Dr. Vicky Lauer, DVM, Armor Animal Health team. Their insights on the potential of novel diseases entering the U.S. will help producers make decisions that offer better control by managing ahead. [Day One Morning Specialty Session] 
WHAT WILL WE ASK OF TOMORROW’S COW? As the marketplace evolves, so does the expectations of a perfect cow that will meet the needs of producers, consumers and the environment. Dr. Juan Tricarico, PhD, vice president for sustainability research at Dairy Management Inc., Steve Berland, co-founder of GenElite, LLC, and Jon Schefers, female-program lead, PEAK Genetics, will share the genetic, environmental and feed-efficiency metrics that will define the cow of the future. [Day One Afternoon Breakout Session]
DISCOVER THE FORMULA FOR PEOPLE MANAGEMENT THAT WORKS. Adjusting management and coaching styles to meet the needs of each team member will drive success throughout an organization. Michael Hoffman, founder and owner of Igniting Performance, Inc., will share strategies to set expectations, conduct reviews and deliver feedback. [Day Two Morning Specialty Session]
OPPORTUNITIES AND OBSTACLES IN CROSSBREEDING BEEF ON DAIRY. Hear from a panel of producers who will share their trial-and-error experiences that have led to producing efficient animals that meet market needs and deliver an increase in profits. Jay Heeg, Heeg Brothers Dairy, LLC, will facilitate the panel that features Kelli Retallick, genetic and genomics programs director for Angus Genetics Incorporated, Casey Davis, cattle procurement manager with JBS Green Bay, and Jerry Wulf, manager and partner of Riverview LLP Beef. 
Hands-on Hub
STAYIN’ ALIVE IN FIRST-RESPONSE SITUATIONS. Chris St. Pierre will provide tips and techniques that can make the difference between life and death before paramedics arrive. The hands-on lab will ensure you and your team are prepared with quick life-saving measures if a crisis situation happens. [Day One 8:45 to 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.; Day Two 8:45 to 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.]
Learning Lounges
Two Learning Lounge areas in the Hall of Ideas will feature ten 30-minute sessions across both days of the conference. These 30-minute focused sessions allow interaction with presenters and a look at some the hottest topics in today’s dairy industry. 
GEOTHERMAL, SOLAR, AND WIND ENERGY OPPORTUNITIES. As technologies and markets for alternative energy sources have progressed in recent years, understanding more about these sources and learning how to use them in agriculture is becoming more critical. Adam Wehling, dean of agriculture, energy, and transportation at Chippewa Valley Technical College, will provide tips for ensuring they are the right fit for your operation. [Day One 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.]
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE RATIONS. Dr. John Goeser, PhD, director of nutritional research and innovation at Rock River Laboratory, will equip attendees with strategies to better understand how to evaluate if the ration that was formulated is the ration that actually makes it to the bunk. [Day Two 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.]
PUTTING SOCIAL MEDIA TO WORK. Social media platforms can pay dividends for your business and community profile. Learn from Kallie Coates, Briar Rose Marketing & Design, how to determine what platform is right for you, and potential benefits of outsourcing efforts [Day Two 10:15 to 10:45 and 12:45 to 1:15pm]
The Dairy Signal
DON’T MISS THE DAIRY SIGNAL. Join leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries, government and regulatory associations and universities for insights on the most pressing issues in today’s marketplace. The educational sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded versions available at Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.

A special thank you to Encore Consulting for sponsoring The Dairy Signal during the first two weeks of March. All sessions continue to be available at no cost, whether you listen live or download an episode for later.
Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Family and management should go hand-in-hand, but sometimes the same vision and values are not in play. Learn tips to determine if your family members are in the right management position.
  • Liz Griffith, Market Development, Human Resource Consultant, Encore Consultants

Learn the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, what phase dairy producers fall into and other vaccine-related questions.
  • Jon Meiman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Occupational and Environmental Health, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Lisa Olson, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Hear about the latest Dairy Innovation Hub-funded projects and how they will affect the dairy industry.
  • Mitch Breunig, dairy producer and chair of the Dairy Innovation Hub advisory council
  • Dr. Heather White, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Physiology of UW-Madison
Dairy currents
DBIA Webinar TO OFFER TIPS ON UPCOMING Grant Program. The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Center for Dairy Research and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, will distribute $1 million in its next grant cycle. Eligible projects include dairy farm diversification, the creation of value-added dairy products and starting/increasing exports of dairy products. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded through a competitive process.

Because a significant number of applications are expected, DBIA staff encourages applicants to attend a webinar to better understand the reimbursement grant program and to help applicants submit a more competitive application. The free webinar will be held March 9, 1:30-2:30 pm CT.

Dairy enterprises (farmers, entrepreneurs, processors, etc.) in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin are eligible to apply for DBIA grants. The grant application and instruction document are available on the DBIA grant program webpage. Applications are due April 30.
Book review
Business Conference keynote speaker Captain Charlie Plumb shares his story of surviving as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War and the techniques used by POWs to survive the isolated world of degradation, loneliness, tedium, hunger and pain. The ingenuity, creativity and resilience of prisoners can provide inspiration for everyone facing adversity in their own lives. Learn more here
“No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.”
― Isaac Newton
PDPW educational calendar
March 16-17
Cornerstone Dairy Academy
Wisconsin Dells, WI

March 17-18
Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI
March 24-25
Financial Literacy for Dairy - Level 3
Juneau, WI

April 14, 2021
Commodity Marketing
Juneau, WI
Thank you sponsors