Global perspective, local resources featured in PDPW business conference

Dairying to Thrive: 2018 PDPW Business Conference

MADISON — Leading speakers from around the world will join more than 1,700 dairy farmers and industry professionals to provide unparalleled learning and networking at the 2018 PDPW Business Conference presented by Professional Dairy Producers (PDPW). The 2-day Conference will be held March 14 from 8 a.m. till midnight and Mar. 15 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.

“The PDPW Business Conference is planned each year by a committee of active dairy farmers committed to bringing cutting edge ideas to help fellow dairy farmers succeed,” said Cassandra Mayer, PDPW Program Manager. “The combination of top speakers and workshops along with opportunities to network with other producers and industry members make this conference the most valuable two days of the year.”

Dairying to Thrive: 2018 PDPW Business Conference

Several speakers will provide insights on international dairy markets and the significant impact they have on U.S. dairy farmers, including:

  • Dr. Zhijun Cao, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of College of Animal Science & Technology at China Agricultural University (CAU). Dr. Cao has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and founded the Elite Cattleman Program in 2011. He has also lead and built alliances between college and university dairy science departments across the globe. At the Conference, he will participate in a panel discussion and present a “Dairying in China” session in the Learning Lounge in the Hall of Ideas.
  • Zhu Li Ke, CEO and General Manager of China Zhejiang YiMing Food Company, Ltd. Li Ke developed his small family dairy business over a span of 25 years into a $150-million operation that now includes more than 1,400 retail stores. He revolutionized breakfast for Chinese consumers in his region by introducing “Breakfast for Four,” a concept that incorporates milk, egg, corn and apple, and created loyal customers by promoting farm-fresh milk. Zhu Li Ke will join Dr. Cao and Jennifer Lu, facilitated by Dan Basse, in the “Get the ‘dairy scoop’ on China” specialty session.
  • Dr. Mike Boehlje, Professor Emeritus of Ag Economics at Purdue University. Dr. Boehlje’s keynote presentation will provide producers with the knowledge, insight and confidence to respond and adjust to today’s volatile times. He will review world economic growth, domestic and global demand, capital market and interest rate trends, international trade and currency values, policy and regulation and financial conditions of the industry.
  • Dan Basse, agricultural economist and President of AgResource Company. Basse will provide a review of the current macro-economic forces and what to expect in the months ahead in his keynote presentation, as well as a Q&A breakout session where producers can bring their own questions about market situations and scenarios.

The 2018 PDPW Business Conference will feature a world-class lineup of over 40 speakers to share insights in 50-plus keynotes, breakout and specialty sessions, hands-on workshops, a series of Learning Lounge small group sessions, and the Preview Stage highlighting new research being conducted by UW-Madison Master and PhD students.

To offer a balance of topics for attendees, the educational sessions will focus on topics including business, financial, animal care, food safety, HR, people management, environmental practices, consumer trust and beyond.

The full Conference agenda and registration is available at or contact PDPW at 1-800-947-7379. Follow along virtually on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and use #PDPW2018.