The 20th Annual PDPW Business Conference, March 13-14 in Madison, Wis., will feature five keynote speakers and a choice of 14 breakout sessions with 30 speakers and panelists.
The five keynote speakers include:
- International dairy businessman James Hao (James) will kick off the conference with, “China’s Dairy Industry: Then, Now, Tomorrow.” Hao will tell the true story about China’s dairy business from his perspective as a dairy entrepreneur. He will also identify opportunities for the U.S. and Chinese dairy industries in the future.
- Dr. Danny Klinefelter of Texas A&M will present “The Three C’s of U.S. Agriculture: Customer, Competitor, Credit.” Klinefelter will detail how and why ag credit has changed and will continue to change, and what every dairy producer needs to know to evolve their dairy operation in this changing world.
- Tuesday evening’s social event will feature the Green Bay Packers’ three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Donald Driver. In “The Road to the End Zone,” Driver will relate his journey through the dark side of his life to where he is today, achieving Packer milestones.
- Best-selling author and business coach Andy Andrews will wrap up the Business Conference on Day 2 with “Living a Life that Counts.” Andrews will blend his incredible life story with topical insights and laughter while showing how every decision you make catapults you into new realms of possibility.
- Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco Animal Health, will present, “Innovation Feeds the World.” Simmons will outline how innovations in technology can help lower food costs, protect consumer rights and safeguard our natural resources while helping end world hunger.
Dr. Mike Hutjens of the University of Illinois will tie together concepts in his role as conference emcee. This year’s conference theme is “Innovation.”
The 14 breakout sessions give producers an opportunity to tailor their conference experience based on educational interests and business challenges of their dairy operation. The breakout session topics are:
- Bunkering Down: Reducing Between-Cow Variation in Nutrition Intake through Feed Bunk Management. Dr. Trevor DeVries will share feed bunk management strategies that encourage feed access and reduced feed sorting, resulting in reduced nutrient intake variation.
- Raise ‘em Right: Housing and Management Practices Fit for a Healthy Calf. Take an interactive “virtual tour” of three successful calf facilities and talk directly to the panel of tour host producers: Peggy Rau, Cathy Speirs and Tim Keller. Dr. Becky Brotzman will moderate the discussion, zeroing in on calf pen design, air quality, facility size, and management techniques.
- Ready for an OSHA Visit? Develop Your Farm Safety Manual Now. Tom Drendel will take producers on an in-depth sweep of a dairy operation and explain how to develop a Farm Safety Handbook along with outlines for other written programs.
- Kings of the Road? Addressing Road Issues for Agricultural and Community Harmony. Led by Kevin Erb, this session will address how agriculture and communities can work together to maintain and improve rural roads. Panelists Richard Wagner, James Mann, Dave Thiel and Rick Stadelman will explain how they helped secure Rural TIF dollars to uniquely address road issues.
- Is She Sick? Predicting and Identifying Illness through Changes in Cow Behavior. Dr. Trevor DeVries will share examples of cow behaviors associated metabolic and infectious transition disease, lameness, mastitis and other issues and explain how these observations can help make improvements in feeding, housing and management.
- Evolving Bacteria and Innovations in Testing: The Changing World of Mastitis Control. Dr. Pam Ruegg will discuss how changes in farm structure and management have resulted in changes in the bacteria that cause mastitis and will review the strengths and weaknesses of new molecular tests.
- Know the Ag Labor Laws. Speaking in dairy producer language, Deborah Schmitz with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division will explain the labor standard laws of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). She will sort through the lengthy and complex rules and clarify what producers need to know to be in compliance with labor laws.
- Recording Profits: Animal Care Records Add Up to Savings & Wellness. Dr. David Rhoda will explain how well-kept records can reveal important information, such as accountability of on-farm workers, the adequacy of our care package to meet cow needs and health care effectiveness. In addition, producers will get an in-depth look at the importance of records in an effective drug residue prevention plan.
- The Innovative Manager: Creating Peer Advisory Groups & Alternative Business Arrangements. Peer advisory groups have been called “the missing link” between management development programs and the actual implementation of continuous management improvement on the farm. Dr. Danny Klinefelter and producer panelists Ron St. John and Bill Morgan will look at a variety of peer advisory group structures, best practices and potential benefits such as reduced costs, improved asset utilization, allowed access to greater technical/ management expertise and more.
- Are We Ready? Challenges and Opportunities for the Dairy Product Market. Moderator Deb Boyke and panelists K.J. Burrington, John Lucey and Dean Sommers will explore product research, development and export potential for the U.S. dairy industry. Each will weigh in on how producers, processors and marketers can work together to meet the growing global demand for dairy protein.
- Pushing for Profits in Your Dairy Business. Dr. Mike Hutjens looks at various feeding and management strategies to maintain profits during a time of changing milk prices and feed costs. Producer panelists Terry Van Maanen and Doug Fairbanks will provide insight and decisions in “pushing for profits” on their farms.
- Mommy Bloggers: The New Face of Consumer Influence. In a few keystrokes, bloggers can stir the pot, blow the whistle or spread the good word about products, practices or industries. Social media expert Roxi Beck will explore the powerful world of blogging while bloggers Emily Paster, Vanessa Druckman and Sara Fisher share why bloggers blog and write what they do.
- Structuring Decisions: Innovating Through Turbulent Markets. Dr. Allan Gray will unravel the decision-making process and help producers create discipline in decision-making in order to maintain strategic flexibility in volatile markets.
- Gathering Your Peeps: Finding and Building the Mid-Managers You Need. Dairy producer Mary Kraft will provide insight regarding cow managers vs. people managers, qualities and expectations of potential middle managers, training tools to develop middle managers, training across language and cultural barriers, and team building and cohesive dairy management.
The Hall of Ideas Tradeshow will be open during the entire conference, featuring 170 exhibitors showcasing innovative products and ideas for dairy producers.
More information about PDPW’s 2012 Annual Business Conference, March 13-14, can be found online at www.pdpw.org.
Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin is a dairy-producer founded organization that provides educational programs and services to fellow dairy producers. PDPW’s mission is “to share ideas, solutions, resources, and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.”