YDLI Distinguished Leader

Now Media Group


Michele L. Ruby, a communications consultant from Portland, OR, has been chosen the 2016 Young Dairy Leaders Institute Distinguished Alumni Leader by the Holstein Foundation Board of Trustees. Ruby, an alumna of Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) Class 2, will be recognized at the final phase of YDLI Class 9 in Phoenix, AR, in February 2016.

'To me, YDLI is so much more than a leadership program,' Ruby said. 'It's a unique, lifelong fraternity of dairy enthusiasts that extends to all sides of our great industry and builds friendships, networks, and colleagues for life. I feel privileged to be an alumna of this great group of people and am flattered to receive this award.'

Ruby owns Ruby-Do Inc., a boutique communications company that helps clients deal with issues and prepare for crises. She is also treasurer of Fir Ridge Holsteins, her family's 2,500-head Holstein dairy in Scio and Cloverdale, OR.

She is executive director of Oregon Ag Fest, an annual two-day festival, and has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. She was named Communicator of the Year by National Milk Producers Federation in 2000.

Ruby worked as director of communications for the Oregon Dairy Products Commission, as communications director for Tillamook County Creamery Association, and as an advertising specialist for World Wide Sires. She holds a bachelor's degree in dairy science, with a minor in agricultural communications, from California Polytechnic State University.

'There are few decisions in my life that I consider critical to my personal and professional development,' Ruby said, in her YDLI application. 'One of those was applying for and participating in YDLI Class 2 ... The training that YDLI provided was instrumental in my own desire to serve the dairy industry and my broader community. Even as a communications major in college, I had never received the focused communication training tha YDLI offered. I learned the importance of telling dairy's story, while articulating the benefits of dairy, even when dealing with tough issues.'

Young Dairy leaders Institute is a nationally recognized three-phase leader and communication skills development program for young adults (ages 22-45) working in the dairy industry, with all breeds of cattle. Sign-up for YDLI Class 10 will begin in February 2017. Find out more information and how to apply at