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Dairy Girl Network (DGN), an organization offering programs and events supporting all women in dairy reaching across the nation, has welcomed three new dairywomen to the board of directors: Jennifer Fernandes-Hanf of California, Julie Patterson of New York and Lorilee Schultz of Illinois. Jennifer, Julie, and Lorilee recently joined the board which together with industry partners, allow DGN members to gain valuable connections, resources and shared experiences while supporting and encouraging fellow dairywomen.

Jennifer Fernandes-Hanf was raised on her family dairy farm in Tulare County, Calif. She was active in her local 4-H and Jr. Holstein clubs and enjoyed raising replacement heifers, registered Holsteins and showing cattle. Jennifer earned a B.S. degree in Agricultural Business Management from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Jennifer's career has combined her passion for the dairy industry with her keen interest in software and technology. The bulk of her career was as IT Director for World Wide Sires, Ltd before she joined the Milc Group team in 2019. As Vice President of Product at Milc Group, she heads up the organization’s people management and employee training software products.

Julie Patterson is an owner at Patterson Farms, Inc., alongside her husband, as sixth generation dairy and crop farmers in Cayuga County, NY. Julie’s responsibilities at Patterson Farms, Inc., include financial management, HR management, safety training, social media, outreach and workforce development. Julie attended Alfred State College and earned an associate degree in architectural engineering and worked in that field for a few years after graduating. After going back to school, Julie completed the Cornell Dairy Executive Program in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Julie serves on the NYS Dairy Promotion Order Board, on a cohort for the National Young Farmers Coalition and is involved in Workforce Development for agriculture in her community.

Lorilee Schultz manages Mil-R-Mor Farm, in Orangeville, Ill. On the farm, some of her passions include developing deep pedigrees, producing high quality milk, and incorporating practices that improve soil health and increase biodiversity. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Agricultural Business and Economics. While in college, she enjoyed some terrific internships with Hoards Dairyman and the USDA Foreign Ag Service, but her love of cows brought her back to her grandparents' farm. Lorilee is active in her local Holstein club, a YDLI graduate, and former president of the Holstein Foundation. She recently served as the chairperson for the National Milk Producers Federation Young Cooperators advisory council.

The DGN Board of Directors is comprised of twelve voting members along with two advisory members. These individuals are elected representatives serving as dairy farmers and industry professionals. They oversee the overall execution of the organization’s mission. In building the organization and supporting dairywomen through connections, encouragement and inspiration, DGN is proud to continue to add to our board of directors with new leadership.

Jennifer, Julie, and Lorilee join the current DGN Board of Directors who include Laura Daniels, founder and president, of Wisconsin; Rebecca Shaw, vice president, of Pennsylvania; LuAnn Troxel, financial officer, of Indiana; Carrie Mess of Wisconsin; Kristy Pagel of Wisconsin; Tami Smith of Pennsylvania; Mary Knigge of Washington DC; Julie Veldhuis of Idaho; Rosario Ibarra of Wisconsin. Advisors to the board include Leah Ziemba of Wisconsin and Dr. Kelly Reed of Washington. These individuals are advocates for advancing women within agriculture and are dedicated to the mission and vision of DGN.

Learn more about the organization and the opportunities DGN offers at Membership is free for all dairywomen. If you are interested in becoming a member of DGN, go to

The Dairy Girl Network connects all women of the dairy industry, encouraging ideas and camaraderie in an effort to achieve personal and professional development. Designed as a welcoming network of passionate women involved in dairy, relationships will grow through shared experience, support and inspiration.