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Holstein Foundation Graduates Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 9

Brattleboro, Vermont (March 3, 2016)...Over 40 young adults from across the U.S. and Canada recently graduated from the Holstein Foundation’s ninth Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) class, with Phase III being held February 24-27 in Phoenix, Arizona. 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 interactive workshops covering topics such as advanced communication 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:
“I’ve been introduced to a community of people and network of professionals in the dairy industry that I will use throughout my career as a dairy farmer.”
“I was skeptical to join the program and as a producer thought I wouldn’t have time to do all the projects. I was wrong. It is what you make of it and it has been one of the best experiences I have had in my life. Thank you.”
“YDLI has given me tools and relationships that I will use the rest of my life, and has been one of the most invigorating and enjoyable experiences of my life.”

The theme for this YDLI Class was “Leadership Oasis.” In addition to hearing presentations from every class member about their Phase II advocacy projects, the Phase III session featured speakers and workshops including:

· Joan Horbiak presented “Leading Out Loud” focused on mastering interviews with the media, handling consumer questions, and telling dairy’s story.
· Dr. Wes Jamison moderated a session with guest Paul Shapiro from the Humane Society of the United States on the topic of animal welfare. Dr. Jamison also led a workshop on conflict management.
· Pete Kappelman, YDLI Class 1 graduate, conducted a workshop on serving as a board member, and provided an inspirational evening keynote.
· Bonnie Burr, also a YDLI Class 1 graduate, led a session on understanding public policy and gave participants hands-on experience with the governmental process.
· Ty Bennett delivered a keynote 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 include Allflex USA, Inc.; CHS Foundation; Dairy Management, Inc.; DairyBusiness Communications; Dean Foods Foundation; Farm Credit System Foundation; Farm Journal Media; Hoard’s Dairyman; Holstein Association USA; Land O’Lakes, Inc. Foundation.; Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation; and Zoetis.

Gold-level sponsors were Cargill Animal Nutrition; and Deere & Company.

Silver sponsors were Accelerated Genetics; Center for Dairy Excellence; GEA Farm Technologies, Inc.; and Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association.

Bronze-level sponsors included COBA/Select Sires; Farm Credit Northeast Ag Enhancement; Horace Backus Fund; Merial Ltd.; and Select Sires Genervations. Donated dairy products were served from Arizona Farms Cheese, Ehrmann Arizona Dairy LLC, and Shamrock Farms.

Read more about Class 9’s YDLI journey on our official YDLI blog at www.ydli.blogspot.com! YDLI Class 10 will be held in February 2017 and 2018. Applications, available on the Holstein Foundation web site, are due August 1, 2016.

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: jhoynoski@holstein.com.