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BRATTLEBORO, VT – Fifty-one young adults from across the United States, Mexico, and Canada took part in Phase III of Holstein Foundation’s tenth Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) class held Jan. 31 – Feb. 3 in Phoenix, Ariz. 

YDLI participants engaged in in-depth workshops covering topics of advanced media relations skills, conflict management, and the public policy process. They cultivated skills they gained during Phase I, along with what they have practiced and accomplished over the past 12 months to become effective spokespeople and advocates for the dairy industry with consumers and media. 

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

  • Ty Bennett delivered a keynote about the "Power of Influence." His message left the class encouraged and feeling motivated to continue charting their course for lasting influence on people they interact with. 
  • Bonnie Burr, YDLI Class 1 graduate and 2004 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader, led a session on understanding public policy and had participants see how they could be more involved in the governmental process. 
  • Joan Horbiak presented “Leading Out Loud” which focused on conquering interviews with the media, handling consumer questions, and sharing their dairy story.
  • Dr. Wes Jamison led a workshop on conflict management that focused on understanding conflict sources and styles. 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, nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization.
  • Pete Kappelman, Holstein Foundation board of trustees’ chairman and 2001 YDLI Distinguished Alumni Leader, conducted a workshop, “Get Ready to Run…For the Board!”, that taught participants about gaining confidence in their leadership abilities in a board setting. 

The Holstein Foundation and Young Dairy Leaders Institute was possible through the help of gracious sponsors who made the experience possible. 

Platinum sponsors include Allflex USA, Inc.; CHS Foundation; Holstein Association USA, Inc.; Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation; and Zoetis. 

Gold-level sponsors were Cargill Animal Nutrition; Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.; DairyBusiness Communications; Dean Foods Foundation; Deere & Company; Farm Credit Council; Hoard’s Dairyman; and Land O’Lakes, Inc. 

Silver sponsors were Dairy Management, Inc. and Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement. 

Bronze-level sponsors included Ag Inspirations, LLC; COBA/Select Sires; GEA Farm Technologies, Inc.; Merial Ltd.; and Paul Mueller Company. 

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