More than 45 young adults from across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico recently graduated from the Holstein Foundation’s eleventh Young Dairy Leaders Institute class, with Phase III being held February 5-8, 2020 in Phoenix, Ariz. Building on the skills they learned during their first meeting last February, along with what they have practiced and accomplished over the past twelve months, the class participated in workshops covering topics such as advanced media relations skills, conflict management, and the public policy process.
On their final feedback survey, participants were asked to write one sentence about what YDLI meant to them. Following are just a few of the comments that summarize the YDLI experience:
- YDLI has been an impactful experience that has challenged me to go out of my comfort zone and be a lifelong advocate for the dairy industry.
- YDLI has expanded my network as well as my personal skills not only for dealing with telling our story but also skills applicable for taking home to the farm.
- Inspiring and impactful, a program that makes me want to go out and do more. The confidence gained has been unbelievable.
The theme for this YDLI Class was “Ready, Set, Grow.” During the Phase III program, each class member gave a presentation on the leadership and advocacy assignments they completed in their home communities in the past 12 months. Featured guest speakers and workshops included:
- Joan Horbiak conducted advanced media training, focused on mastering interviews with the media and telling dairy’s story to consumers
- Dr. Wes Jamison led a session on conflict resolution, teaching attendees several effective strategies for communicating with others who may have opposing viewpoints. Dr. Jamison also moderated a session with guest Gene Baur on the topic of animal welfare. Baur is the president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest farm animal rescue organization.
- Pete Kappelman, YDLI Class 1 alum, provided an evening keynote, encouraging class members to use their untapped leadership potential to make an impact. He inspired the class to take on new leadership roles and to get involved in organizations. The next day, he led a workshop on becoming an effective board member.
- Bonnie Burr, YDLI Class 1 alum, led a session on understanding and influencing public policy and gave participants hands-on experience with the policy process.
- Ty Bennett led a powerful closing session, with his talk about "The Power of Influence." His message left the class inspired and feeling empowered to continue their leadership journey and have a lasting influence on those they interact with.
The Holstein Foundation and Young Dairy Leaders Institute participants would like to sincerely thank the many gracious sponsors who made the experience possible.
Platinum sponsors: Allflex USA, Inc., CHS Foundation, Holstein Association USA, Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc., and Zoetis.
Gold-level sponsors: Cargill, Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancment, Hoard’s Dairyman, Farm Credit, John Deere, and Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Silver-level sponsors: Amaferm – A BioZyme Brand, and Dairy Management Inc.
Bronze-level sponsors: COBA/Select Sires and GEA Farm Technologies, Inc.
Dairy Producer Scholarships are presented on behalf of Center of Dairy Excellence, Dairy Farmers of America, Horace Backus Scholarship Fund, Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, and Robert Cain Scholarship Fund.
Read more about Class 11’s YDLI journey on the official YDLI blog at www.ydli.blogspot.com/
With questions or for more information about YDLI, visit www.holsteinfoundation.org, or contact Holstein Foundation Programs Manager Jodi Hoynoski at 800.952.5200, ext. 4261 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Holstein Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1989. It is headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, and shares office space with its parent organization, Holstein Association USA, Inc.
The Holstein Foundation's education, leadership development and outreach programs serve both youth and young adults across the country who are involved with all breeds of dairy cattle.