- What is YDLI?
||The Young Dairy Leaders Institute is a nationally recognized three-phase leader and communication skills development program for young adults (ages 22-45) working in the dairy industry, with all breeds of cattle. Each participant develops top-tier skills and the personal network needed to succeed in today's dairy business.
|Through interactive training sessions and working closely with industry experts and dynamic leaders, YDLI participants:
- Are prepared to take leadership roles in dairy organizations and their communities.
- Become effective spokespeople and advocates for the dairy industry with consumers and media.
- Understand current social, political, scientific, organizational and economic issues facing the industry, and how to affect change.
- Develop interpersonal relationship and communication skills, and have the opportunity to network with like-minded, enthusiastic young people from across the country.
Join the growing group of individuals who call YDLI the opportunity of a lifetime!
YDLI 9 will have their on-site meetings in Phoenix, Ariz.
Phase I will meet February 25-28, 2015, and Phase III will take place February 24-27, 2016.
YDLI's three-phase approach ensures participants develop and retain essential leadership skills, apply those skills in real-life scenarios, and then focus on leadership as influence to benefit the dairy industry. Program content is designed to be fresh, relevant and edgy, hitting the hottest topics in today's industry head-on.
Phase I focuses on individual leadership, growth and personal development learning objectives:
- Expand self-knowledge and personal relations skills, learning about personality types and temperaments
- Develop greater understanding of the consuming public and food industry concerns, and learn to address those concerns in an effective manner
- Learn and practice presentation and media communication techniques to present a stronger image for the dairy industry
|Phase II occurs between the on-site trainings in participants' home communities. Class members commit to the following and report progress during Phase III:
- Identify a target audience and develop an action plan to serve as an agriculture advocate on dairy issue of their choice
- Write letters of introduction to local media, as well as local, state and national legislators, to develop a relationship and serve as a resource for agriculture-related issues
- Interview non-farm consumers to gain a greater understanding of their perception of and concerns about the dairy industry and U.S. agriculture
- Prepare and deliver a presentation about the dairy industry for a community organization
|Phase III (four-day conference) is the final on-site YDLI training and focuses on advanced communications training, leadership skills, and the public policy process. Learning objectives include:
- Become a leader with lasting influence, effectively representing the dairy industry to all sectors
- Gain a greater understanding of how public policy is formed and how to impact it
- Practice advanced communication skills, debate current industry issues and learn to appropriately address opposing viewpoints on any topic
The Holstein Foundation, through its support from generous corporate and individual donors, covers:
- Cost of program development and materials
- Expert speakers and presenters
- All meals during the on-site conferences
YDLI participants are responsible for:
- $500 participation fee, which covers all three phases of the program
- Airfare and other transportation costs associated with attending Phases I & III
- Lodging during Phases I & III. Accommodations are arranged for participants, with assigned roommates (unless requested otherwise) to share the room cost.
Participants may seek sponsorship on their own to cover program attendance (e.g. from your employer, milk cooperative, feed supplier, etc.)
The YDLI Advisory Committee offers guidance to Holstein Foundation staff in developing program content, and serve as mentors for YDLI participants.
Currently serving on the YDLI Advisory Committee are:
- , Hilmar, CA
Yosemite Jersey Dairy - YDLI Class 6 Graduate
- , Shavertown, PA
Past Holstein Foundation Trustee
- , Cobb, WI
Heartwood Farm - YDLI Class 4 Graduate
- , Schaumberg, IL
Dairy Management, Inc. - YDLI Class 8 Graduate
- , Lake Mills, WI
Bader Rutter & Associates - YDLI Class 6 Graduate
- , Beaverdam, VA
Eastview Dairy - YDLI Class 7 Graduate
- , Shedd, OR
Oregon Dairy Farmers Association - YDLI Class 6 Graduate
Still more questions? Contact Jodi Hoynoski
|Since the first class started in 1994, the Young Dairy Leaders Institute boasts over 500 alumni from eight classes. YDLI graduates hail from across the country and are involved in all aspects of the dairy industry. You will find many names on these lists who have gone on to have a significant influence on the industry.
Antonio Garcia Ramirez
Juan Pablo Torres
Ann Marie Magnochi
Elias Torres Barrera
Steven Van Dyke
Macy (Sutton) Rucks
Miriam Weber Nielsen
Gina Meyers Miller
Carrie Chickering Sears
Rebecca Long Chaney
Traci Pierson Loonstra
Wendy Schilter Erbsen
Jill Stahl Tyler
William Neil Brown
Mary Ann Buckley
A. Duane Hershey
Julie Lincoln Pellett
John Neal Scarlett
Each year, the Holstein Foundation recognizes a YDLI graduate who has shown exceptional leadership and advocacy for the betterment of the dairy industry.
2013/2014 – Ray Prock
2012 – Brad Scott
2011 – Bonnie Mohr
2010 – Kate Geppert
2009 – Laura Daniels
2008 – Jerry Jennissen
2007 – Duane and Marilyn Hershey
2006 – Bonnie Burr
2005 – Lolly Lesher
2004 – John & Maria Nye
2003 – Kevin & Marilyn Steffens
2002 – Eric Ooms
2001 – Peter Kappelman
|The Holstein Foundation is sincerely grateful to the following organizations for their sponsorship of YDLI Class 8. We commend and thank these sponsors investing in leadership development for the dairy industry by supporting Young Dairy Leaders Institute.
Cargill Animal Nutrition
Dairy Management, Inc.
Holstein Association USA
Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation
Center for Dairy Excellence
|GEA Farm Technologies, Inc.
Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
Cooperative Resources International
|Farm Credit Northeast Ag Enhancement
Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc.
Robert L. Cain Memorial Fund
Select Sires Canada Inc.
If your organization is interested in becoming a YDLI sponsor and investing in the future of the dairy industry, contact Jodi Hoynoski to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
|YDLI has impacted the lives of people involved at all levels of the dairy industry across the country. Don't just take our word for it - see what YDLI graduates have to say about the program.
||"Being a member of Class 1 has been a tremendously rewarding experience. The presentation of the event was first class and thus we all left with a great feeling and excitement for the program to continue. I have always encouraged everyone to attend this program. The leadership and speakers of YDLI had a clear message to those that attended and I have used their training to help me further my career in the dairy industry. It has indirectly helped me to be a better speaker, presenter, and now hopefully a better President as I step into my newly appointed role as the Red & White Dairy Cattle Association President. YDLI is a truly priceless experience."
||– Tim Baumgartner,
YDLI Class 1 graduate, Oakdale, CA
||"YDLI has allowed me to receive the same level of professional training that people might get while working for larger companies. I feel the greatest benefit I have received from my involvement with YDLI is the empowerment to make change in the industry."
– Mark Crave,
YDLI Class 1 graduate and partner,
Crave Brothers Farm, Waterloo, WI
||"YDLI opened my eyes to challenges to our industry that I never would have considered addressing previously. In my personal experience, finding the initiative to seek out an audience to tell our story to has been a challenge. YDLI helped me learn how to find people to hear our story, how to tell it, and how to counter alternative arguments. I feel I am more effective with communicating the issues that are so important to our industry. YDLI has only broadened my knowledge and skill set, and has given me more tools to use in the day-to-day contact I have with the general public.
||– Jared Franklin,
YDLI Class 6 graduate and dairy producer, Bradyville, TN
||"YDLI has given me more confidence to tell the story of the dairy industry whenever I have the chance to – whether it be at our county fair in the barns or sitting in a barber chair. I was hesitant after arriving for Phase I of Class I, but have now realized bring a part of YDLI is one of the best things that I've done in years."
||– Brian Herr,
YDLI Class 1 graduate, Newton, WI
||"Whether I am explaining how to raise calves to school kids, writing articles about farm life or speaking to women's groups about my picture book; the leadership skills gained at YDLI are evident.
Unlike most leadership courses we have been involved with, YDLI stimulates participants to use leadership skills in whatever situation we become involved in. They encourage reaching out beyond our familiar farm community into public involvement, from grass roots upward.
Farmers used to get by without being involved, but with urban sprawl on our heels and public misunderstandings all around us, it is imperative that we step forward in communicating about agriculture. If farmers are not a voice for themselves, no one will hear their story."
||–Duane and Marilyn Hershey,
YDLI Class 1 graduates, dairy producers,
||"I participated in YDLI Class 3 and found it to be the best leadership activity I have ever participated in. The program challenged me to evaluate my own skills and the skills of those I work with daily. The program was fun and didn't feel like work, but it was challenging and I feel I retained many of the lessons learned.
I cannot say enough about the value of networking at YDLI. I personally made several friendships and countless contacts during my YDLI experience that have served me well, even years down the road. The perfect mix of young dairy producers and support industry people, combined with respected industry veterans leading the way makes YDLI a must for young people that intend to make their mark in this industry. We pay for new employees to go to YDLI and have had a total of eight participate. I feel that it is an excellent investment in their future and ours."
||– Seth Johnson,
YDLI Class 3 graduate and
Executive Secretary, American Guernsey Association
||"YDLI is the most effective leadership training program I've participated in, and has had a significant impact on my career. Probably most helpful was the training in Phases 1 and 3 that made me more aware of different styles of working and learning. That training has made me better able to work with my students and employees toward their professional and personal growth, rather than expecting them all to fit the same mold."
||– Dr. Katharine F. Knowlton,
YDLI Class 3 graduate and Associate Professor,
Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech
||"YDLI was a wonderful learning experience for us. We refined our communication skills and worked to complete written goals. The planning and strategy skills we learned have helped us concentrate on the important aspects of our farm, our business and our responsibility to our community. Additionally, the friends and relationships we started there have continued to grow."
||– William and Lolly Lesher,
YDLI Class 2 graduates
and dairy producers, Bernville, PA
||"YDLI impacted my life in so many ways. But the biggest impact it left on me was that it gave me the knowledge and courage to stand up for the industry that I love and tell the story! I knew a lot before I went to YDLI, but I was missing the confidence to stand up and be a voice for the industry. YDLI gave me the means to overcome this fear!"
||– Leslie Maurice,
YDLI Class 6 graduate, Conover, OH
||"The people I met through YDLI changed my perspective about the dairy industry and my approach to it as a business. I talk regularly (monthly or more) with people I met in YDLI Class 1. YDLI is still the most valuable leadership training I've received."
||– David McGlothlin,
YDLI Class 1 graduate, Richmond, KY
||"We feel that our YDLI experience has been one of the best we've had during our 20+ years in the dairy business. On a professional level, we have developed the habit of always being ready to discuss issues, host visitors, and share our story. We understand the importance of seeing more than one side of an issue and being able to reasonably address others' concerns without emotional interference."
||–John and Maria Nye,
YDLI Class 3 graduates
and dairy producers, Delta, UT
||"I have received much benefit from YDLI, both personally and professionally. My biggest gain was the ability to network with people from many different aspects of the dairy industry from all over the country. It has given me the knowledge to be able to use my voice and stand up to support the industry on key issues that affect producers. YDLI has also given me the confidence to deal with consumers in a positive manner. The knowledge and resources I have gained have been valuable tools to take home and use in my community."
||– Michelle Ramaeker,
YDLI Class 6 graduate
and dairy producer, Mountain Grove, MO
||"YDLI is a program that is all encompassing. It is so much more than learning how to be an advocate for the dairy industry. It taught me how to be a better member for the organizations that I belong to, it allowed me to create a national network of colleagues and it gave me valuable tools and resources. All of this combined has allowed me to be a stronger voice for the dairy industry."
YDLI Class 6 graduate, Shedd, OR
||"I think YDLI is an excellent opportunity to meet other young professionals around the US and hear their stories of how they are surviving in the dairy industry. I feel it is working to provide unity in the industry when bringing these young professionals together and discovering we all have the same issues."
||– Lucinda Whitlow Longo,
YDLI Class 5,
||"While I am usually never short on words, before YDLI I never really used my voice for anything to promote and protect the dairy industry. My YDLI experience opened my eyes to the need for voices in the dairy and agricultural industries to speak up and protect our livelihood. Now I use every opportunity I can to share about our industry."
||– Laurie Winkelman,
YDLI Class 6 graduate,