Growth and expansion of the North Dakota dairy industry are on the agenda for the North Dakota State Dairy Convention scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 2-3, at the Seven Seas Inn in Mandan. The event opens at 9 a.m. on Tuesday with registration. The convention is open to anyone interested in the future of the North Dakota dairy industry. To make reservations at the Seven Seas Inn, call (800) 597-7327. The day's programs, focusing on financial management and marketing, begin at 10 a.m. Sessions include: • Contracting: setting milk price and projecting feed costs by Shonda Wills, Director of Dairy Risk Management with Dairy Farmers of America. • A panel discussion on alternative capital financing with Kent Swenson, owner of Dusty Willow Dairy near Lakota; Dale Haugen, general manager of Mountrail-Williams Electric; Don Longmuir, economic development specialist with the Souris Basin Planning Council; and Jim Leier, ag loan officer with the Bank of North Dakota. • "1000 dairies. . ." will be presented by Bill Patrie, Rural Development Director, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives. • Growth: Profitable vs. Sustainable Dairying by Dwight Aakre, NDSU Farm Management Specialist. • Expansion: Seizing the opportunity before it's gone by Roger Sheibe, Dairy Development Specialist with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. • Creating new opportunities with "riskful" thinking by Curt Biller of One Degree in Fargo and Jim Vossler, director of the Harold Schafer Leadership Center at the University of Mary in Bismarck. Tuesday's program will conclude with the Dairy Industry Recognition Banquet and will include an address by State Dairy Princes Kayla Beuchler and a presentation on developing business and life strategies by Vossler. Wednesday's program opens at 8 a.m. with the Milk Producers Association of North Dakota annual meeting. The meeting will be followed presentations on updates and innovations in the dairy industry. At 10 a.m. will be a report from the North Dakota Dairy Task Force. Leaders will present feedback from this summer's farmyard social tours and provide a strategic plan update. To close the convention, participants may tour the Ole Johnson family dairy near Stanton. Source: J.W. Schroeder, (701) 231-7663, 10.25.2011