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.
The Foundation continues to grant funds to help the Fond du Lac County Fair, Ag Birthing and Education Center, grow its dairy exhibit. The miracle of birth provides a unique dairy experience for over 35,000 fair goers during the fair and an opportunity to tell the dairy story to our consumers.
The Foundation awarded its largest grant to WVMA HACCP for Proper Drug Use. The WVMA HACCP project builds on the PDPW What Matters program. What Matters is dairy farmers and their veterinarian working together to ensure safe meat and milk. The HACCP grant award supports educational efforts regarding the proper use of animal health drugs on dairy farms.
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.
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!
Education grows us, and develops leadership skills that we may never have known were there. That's why the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation funds youth programs that build our next generation of dairy leaders, like the Indiana Dairy Youth Academy.The Dairy Youth Academy reaches youth in grades 10-12 who have interest in exploring careers in the dairy industry and would like to gain hands-on experience. The program consists of a series of workshops that focus on specific facets of the dairy industry — veterinary science, dairy nutrition, and production management. The results can be seen in the teens who went through the program (and from the testimonials of their parents who witnessed the growth):
Allison Hendrickson: “I think it helped me with my communication skills in general. I liked the different opportunities outside of the farm visits and did learn a lot about the dairy industry."
Tim Whicker: “As a parent of an Indiana Dairy Youth Academy Program participant, the most valuable aspects that I can see Hadley learned was gaining an in depth understanding of all the intricacies involved in running a dairy farm, from nutrition, to health from birth to death, breeding, how cost impacts come from all directions, and what is and what isn’t in your control.
The second would be the understanding of how big the world is and far reaching ever thing dairy farmers do impact jobs and economy not only on their local farm, but to manufacturers, processors, scientists, etc. throughout the State, Region, Country and even the world. Let alone all of the friends and contacts she has made and will carry with her in the future.”
“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.”
The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation proudly supports The Dairyland Initiative, which provides resources for dairy producers to construct welfare friendly facilities for their livestock. Here's another example of their good work, and how education is essential to dairy.
The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation was founded on a deep belief in education, especially for the next generation of leaders that will lead our industry into the future. PDPF awarded a grant to the New York Junior Dairy Leader Program for their 14th class, allowing 29 kids ages 16-19 to develop leadership skills and explore a future in the dairy industry. The program is a unique way to develop future dairy leaders, just ask one recent graduate:
"The Junior Dairy Leader program is the only one of its kind in the United States, and a program this extraordinary and accessible to so many youth is only possible with the support of our sponsors.
JDL is unique in the way it explores not just one, but every aspect of the dairy industry.
For me, JDL was an introduction to the industry as a whole. I do not come from a farm background and my initial involvement in dairy was with showing. My first experience on a commercial dairy farm was on our trip to Wisconsin, and I felt overwhelmed by information best learned from experience. However, I knew right away that joining the program had been the right decision. JDL has allowed me to pinpoint and explore my specific areas of interest - human resource management and marketing - in the context of the dairy industry.
JDL 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.
Not only was this presentation today an opportunity for us to review the valuable information we learned and experiences we've had this year, but for us to show you the opportunities your sponsorship has given us. We all will benefit from your generosity for the rest of our lives, thanks to our participation in this program. The Junior Dairy Leader class of 2013 thanks you for your sponsorship and hopes that you will continue to support our industry’s future Dairy Leaders." Eleni Rigas-2013 Junior DAIRY LEADER graduate
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.
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.
We're proud to support the Dairyland Initiative, which provides educational material, networking, virtual tours and contacts to ensure that dairy producers have all the necessary information they require to construct welfare friendly facilities for their livestock. Here's how their efforts helped make one facility a better place for their cows and their owners:
In partnership with PDPW and UW-Madison, the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation has committed resources to the development of a dairy outreach center at the recently renovated UW-Madison Dairy Cattle Center. Many potential audiences could learn about dairying through this center: Grade school students and their teachers studying local business and industry, state legislators, Madison area residents, and the 42,000 students who attend UW-Madison, for starters.
The facility is an ideal outreach site, in the middle of the city. It is an opportunity to feed consumers, who are craving information about how their food is produced. Working with students from campus, this center could provide informational tours that will guide consumers from cow to ice cream cone.
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
A snapshot of some of the 53 energetic young people who toured Cedar Valley Cheese, Sargento, Majestic Crossing Dairy and Kestell Farm during this weekend's Youth Leadership Derby. Thanks to everyone who made this hands-on dairy career exploration possible, including donors to the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation.