Sixty young adults from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico stormed Phoenix, Ariz., February 6-9, as Class 11 of the Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) assembled. YDLI is the cornerstone program of the Holstein Foundation.
Phase I Sessions
Phase I kicked off with a pre-conference tour of Danzeisen Dairy and Arizonia Dairy Company, two operations local to the Phoenix area. The sessions were thought provoking and invigorated YDLIers to challenge themselves, become more self-aware, develop their core story, and learn how to engage with a diverse consumer audience.
Phase I presenters included Jill Tomac, business consultant and speaker; Galen Emanuele, president of Shift Yes. YDLI advisory board members Laura Daniels and Jolene Griffin and Michele Ruby, communications consultant, rounded out the outstanding lineup.
The class put their newly learned skills to use in the field, talking to consumers on the Arizona State University campus. They visited with more than 200 people, to find out their perceptions about how food is produced in this country, how they believe animals are cared for by farmers, and more.
Phase II is underway – the class is working on community outreach projects. Then, during Phase III, held in February 2020, each class member will give a presentation on their projects. Workshops will cover group leadership skills such as media training, conflict resolution, and influencing public policy.
After the class, members had plenty to say about YDLI in their feedback surveys:
· “A program to make me feel excited to go home and be a better dairy producer and person – renewed energy!”
· “YDLI has helped me be more aware and think more about how I impact others with my actions.”
· “An inspiring week full of encouragement and personal growth.”
· “YDLI has introduced me to a diverse group of dairy leaders from across the country – this group will be a great support network.”
The Young Dairy Leaders Institute, a program of the Holstein Foundation, is a nationally recognized three-phase leadership and communication skills development program for young adults working in the dairy industry. YDLI’s three-phase approach ensures participants develop necessary leadership skills, apply those skills in real-life scenarios, and then focus on the benefit of influential leadership.