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Young Dairy Leaders Institute Concludes Phase I

Brattleboro, Vt. (April 7, 2015)… Fifty-seven young adults from the United States and Canada came together in Phoenix in February as Class 9 of Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI), a cornerstone program of the Holstein Foundation.
After the class, members had plenty to say about YDLI in their feedback surveys:

•This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only network with future leaders, but to solidify my commitment to the future of this industry.
•Prior to YDLI, I was at a crossroads in my dairy industry involvement. YDLI helped me find my direction.
•YDLI has motivated and inspired me at a time in my life when I have been feeling stuck, stressed, and stagnant. It has given me something to strive for, goals to achieve, and positive energy to move forward.
•I am truly blown away by the skill sets that have been brought together and really look forward to the progression.
•One of the best leadership, or any, programs I have been to!

The Week’s Activities
Most took a pre-conference tour of two dairy farms in the Casa Grande area: T & K Red River Dairy and Shamrock Farms. Then the class started off with an interactive training session about personalities. "Create a Leadership Oasis using Behavioral Styles to Influence Others" was led by Marnie Green of the Management Education Group. Following that, Paul Vitale conducted an inspirational session, "Legendary Leadership in Action," and talked about building on community support and partnerships.

David Pelzer and Michele Ruby from David Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) led a training session in communications. Jamie Vander Molen, also from DMI, conducted a session on how to develop a personal brand and use a variety of social media channels to tell the story of dairy to consumers. Then class members put their newly learned skills to use in the field, interviewing people on the Arizona State University campus. They talked to more than 200 people, to find out their perceptions about how food is produced in this country, how they believe animals are cared for by farmers, and more. Laura Daniels, YDLI advisory board member, gave the evening keynote presentation, and talked about how personal stories can connect farmers with people who eat.

On the last day of the class, Mark Mayfield taught strategies to use for stress management and Monty Miller led a presentation training workshop. The Holstein Foundation also recognized Chandler Goule, senior vice president of programs for the National Farmers Union and a graduate of YDLI Class 5, as 2015 Distinguished Alumni Leader.

Jodi Hoynoski, manager of Holstein Foundation programs, wrapped up the workshops by leaving them with assignments to be completed in the year ahead during Phase II of their YDLI training. A banquet and a comedy show by Mark Mayfield closed out Phase I of YDLI Class 9. Phase II is underway already—the class is working on community outreach projects. Then, during Phase III, held in February 2016, they will give presentations on these projects as well as learn group leadership skills such as media training, conflict resolution, and influencing public policy.

Applications for YDLI Class 10 will be due August 1, 2016. To sign-up for an email notification when applications are available, visit http://www.holsteinfoundation.org/YDLI/ydli.html.

For more information on other Holstein Foundation programs, go to http://www.holsteinfoundation.org/ or contact Jodi Hoynoski, 802.451.4261 or email jhoynoski@holstein.com