PDPW Business Conference Includes Youth Leadership Programming

Professional Dairy Producers

Fast-paced, engaging sessions for youth ages 15-18 featured at dairy’s premier educational event

For the first time, the 2021 Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW) Business Conference will feature programming specifically for high school students, ages 15 to 18, in conjunction with the producer- and management-level sessions for which the conference is known. The annual conference will be held March 17-18, 2021, at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

A series of four sessions – one during each morning and afternoon of the two-day event – will be available for the next generation of leaders who have an interest in dairy. Each hour-long session will employ a fast-paced, interactive approach to build communication skills, teamwork and collaboration. In addition to the youth leadership sessions, registered teens have the opportunity to attend all breakout and keynote sessions at the PDPW Business Conference, providing access to further training of their choice.

“This is a special opportunity for young adults to not only participate in leadership training tailored specifically for them, but also to add to their dairy knowledge by attending other producer sessions,” said Shelly O’Leary, PDPW Communications and Outreach Specialist. “Attending keynote, breakout and hands-on-hub sessions also provides an opportunity for multiple generations of families to learn together and take ideas back to their farms and businesses.”

The four youth leadership sessions will be facilitated by Hans Gochenaur, a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and Grace Theological Seminary who has dedicated 20 years to youth ministry and 16 years to coaching high school sports. Gochenaur currently works for Badgerland Youth for Christ, and is passionate about helping youth discover their skills and abilities, then guiding them to practice those skills.

The two-day Business Conference will also feature content requested by forward-leaning dairy farmers and industry professionals, including keynote speaker and economist Dan Basse and breakout sessions presented by producers, researchers and experts from around the country. Pam Jahnke, radio and television broadcaster, will serve as the conference emcee.

The Business Conference program and location have been adapted to meet CDC-recommended guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic; the health and safety of attendees is of highest priority for PDPW and the Kalahari staff. While providing flexibility and comfort, capacities have been calculated for each room, with seating arrangements that allow attendees to reposition chairs to ensure safe distances. To promote social distancing during sessions, extra audiovisual equipment will be set up in overflow areas. All food and beverages will be individually served by Kalahari staff, and masks and hand sanitizer will be included in training kits for each attendee.

Full program and registration information, including the PDPW Business Conference flier, is available at www.pdpw.org or by calling 800-947-7379. Reduced rates for students will apply, including for teens attending the youth-leadership sessions and full-time students 19 and older.

Professional Dairy Producers (PDPW) is the nation’s largest dairy producer-led organization of its kind, focusing on producer professionalism, stakeholder engagement and unified outreach to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.





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