Dairy Farmers Sharpen Leadership Skills at National Conference

DFA Young Cooperators Gain Valuable Experience at Industry Meeting
December 8, 2011

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Nearly 30 Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) Young Cooperators (YC) spent time developing their leadership skills at National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) YC Leadership and Development Conference recently held in San Diego. The conference took place in conjunction with the Joint Annual Meeting of NMPF, National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and United Dairy Industry Association.

“By learning from experienced dairy leaders and meeting with fellow young dairy farmers, these young Cooperative leaders are developing important relationships and strengthening their voices in the industry,” said Randy Mooney, chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors and NMPF’s Board.

David and Addi Foster of Fort Scott, Kan., and Walt and Jessica Gamblin of Sulphur Springs, Texas, were selected to represent DFA on NMPF’s 2012 YC Advisory Council, which helps plan NMPF’s YC program. Matt and Cindy Damm of Columbus, Wis., and Jared and Genny Myers of New Plymouth, Idaho, represented DFA on this year’s NMPF YC Advisory Council and played key roles in planning the YC conference in San Diego.

At the conference, YCs participated in a variety of workshops and presentations with topics ranging from the global economy and markets to dairy management and communication skills. A producer panel featuring DFA member Mary Kraft gave attendees an opportunity to hear from successful dairy producers about some of the innovative practices they use on their dairies.

YCs also participated in the Joint Annual Meeting program, which highlighted the efforts being made by national dairy organizations to help navigate a new course for the dairy industry. Features included an interactive town hall meeting discussion on the future of dairy policy, a panel showcasing industry-wide initiatives to protect and promote dairy and prominent keynote speakers from leading media and agricultural organizations.

DFA’s YC program fosters interaction between young dairy farmers ages 18 to 40 who are involved as owners, partners or hold distinct management responsibilities on a DFA-member dairy. The program facilitates the development of leadership skills, enabling young cooperators to improve their industry, their cooperative and their lives.