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Nate Janssen, of Wheaton, Ill., has been named the 2018 Young Dairy Leaders Institute Distinguished Alumni Leader by the Holstein Foundation. The Holstein Foundation recognizes one Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) graduate annually who has made noteworthy contributions and applied skills gained during their YDLI experience for the advancement of the dairy industry. Nate was a graduate of YDLI Class 4.

“Today, as director of farmer relations for Dairy Management Inc., I utilize skills learned through the YDLI program daily and encourage others to tell their story, which is so critical in the dairy landscape today. I personally know several prior recipients of this award whose accomplishments have had a far-reaching impact on the dairy community. To even be considered with this group is very humbling,” Janssen said.

Janssen was named to his position at Dairy Management Inc. in 2013, after 14 years as the dairy operations manager for Golden Oaks Farm, Wauconda, Ill. Previous to Golden Oaks Farm, he worked for Cargill Animal Nutrition as a territory manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Aside from his work with Dairy Management Inc., Nate is involved in several agricultural organizations. He has served on the board of directors for the National Dairy Shrine, and the finance committee for the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association, among others. Janssen is active in the Illinois Holstein Association, serving as the co-chair of the state sale, championship show and the 2015 National Holstein Convention host day.

“YDLI has impacted me in ways that no other program has. The personal development skills I acquired during my time in Class 4 have helped mold me into the person I am today, and will be tomorrow. Additionally, the communication skills I learned including understanding personalities, telling my story and handling difficult situations have been the foundation of my professional development. Not to be overlooked, as a critical benefit to the program, is the networking opportunities it creates," continued Janssen.

Janssen will be recognized during the upcoming YDLI Class 10, Phase 3 program,January 31 – February 3, 2018, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Young Dairy Leaders Institute, a program of the Holstein Foundation, is a nationally recognized three-phase leadership and communication skills development program for young adults working in the dairy industry. YDLI's three-phase approach ensures participants develop necessary leadership skills, apply those skills in real-life scenarios, and then focus on the benefit of influential leadership.

For more information on YDLI or other Holstein Foundation programs, visit or contact Jodi Hoynoski, at 800.952.5200, ext. 4261 or by email,