Dairy Strong Tackles Challenging Topics, Offers Practical Insight

Dairy Strong Tackles Challenging Topics, Offers Practical Insight

One of the Midwest’s premiere conferences for the dairy farming community will be held Jan. 17 and 18 at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, Wis.

Dairy Strong 2018 will bring together more than 700 farmers, corporate professionals and government and university representatives to explore the future of an integral part of the culture and economy of Wisconsin and the nation.

The conference will include a panel discussion about the changing landscape of milk marketing and trade in the United States and globally featuring a dynamic panel of CEO’s from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the International Dairy Foods Association.

Lynne Lancaster, one of today’s foremost cultural translators and an expert on the generations, will be a keynote speaker. Lancaster advises leaders, managers and employees on how to conduct business more successfully by bridging generation gaps at work and in the marketplace. She has been featured on CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio and has worked with companies like Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Disney and Intel to name a few.

Republican strategist and a political analyst for CNN and CNN en Español, Ana Navarro will serve as the legislative keynote. She is also a political contributor on ABC’s The View and has worked extensively with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Navarro is poised to play a big role in the GOP response to immigration reform and Hispanic outreach.

A keynote by Major League Baseball’s Commissioner Emeritus, Bud Selig will kick off the conference. Commissioner Selig, a Milwaukee native and former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, navigated many challenges during his 17-years as Commissioner including efforts to rid the game of illegal steroids and other performance-enhancing substances. He will draw parallels on his leadership during times of crisis to our own challenges in the dairy community.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, will deliver the state legislative keynote at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18.

In addition to keynotes, the event will feature track sessions, panel discussions and shorter presentations on the Innovation Stage, located in the trade show area. Topics range from sustainable compliance to social media insights and on-cow sensors.


These are trying times for the dairy community. Market access and a fair price are top of mind for all dairy farmers. In 2017, we learned one thing: It’s complicated.

Admittedly, many farmers do not fully grasp where their milk goes when the milk truck leaves the driveway. The time to understand and advocate for the dairy supply chain is now. With this in mind, a panel of CEO’s from the leading marketing and trade organizations in dairy will convene to discuss current trends and future predictions. The panel will take place from 10:45-11:45 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Discussion will center on the need for increased exports, broad trade policy challenges and increasing opportunities for Wisconsin dairy. The panel will also explore the growing divide between what consumers want and what farmers need to be successful.

Panelists include: Chad Vincent, CEO Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; Chuck Conner, CEO National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; and Michael Dykes, CEO International Dairy Foods Association. The panel will be moderated by Mike North, president of Commodity Risk Management Group and president of Dairy Business Association. The panel is open to all registered attendees of Dairy Strong and will be available to view on YouTube after the event via dairystrong.org


  • Track 1: Legislative & Advocacy
  • “Participate and persuade: Lobbying to make a difference”, presented by John Holevoet, Edge; Aaron Stauffacher, Edge; Shawn Pfaff, Pfaff Public Affairs. Sponsored by Edge
  • “VTAs and calf hutch lots: The legal treatment of “process wastewater”, presented by David Crass, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Sponsored by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Track 2: Consumer Trends
  • “Engaging neighbors and protecting from activists”, presented by Allyson Jones-Brimmer, Animal Agriculture Alliance. Sponsored by Quality Liquid Feeds
  • “Live feed from inside the brain of social media”, presented by Leah Beyer, Elanco. Sponsored by Elanco
  • Track 3: Dairy Technology
  • “Farm decision making: unlocking the power of data and analytics”, presented by Ricardo Daura, Cargill Digital Insights. Sponsored by Cargill
  • “Is a robotic system right for your dairy?”  Sponsored by Compeer Financial
  • Mark Berning – Green Waves Farm, St. Michael, Minn.
  • Tom Oesch – Swisslane Farm, Alto, Mich.
  • Steve Bodart – Compeer Financial

INNOVATION STAGE, presented by Central Wisconsin Ag Services

Again this year at Dairy Strong is a smaller “Innovation Stage” directly on the trade show floor. This space features timely presentations in a concise 20-minute format focused on emerging technologies and innovations. A full listing of these eight lightning presentations is at dairystrong.org.

About Dairy Strong: Hosted by the Dairy Business Association, Dairy Strong is an event for the entire dairy community. Farmers representing farms of all sizes and management philosophies are encouraged to attend the event held each January. For more information about Dairy Strong including schedule and registration information, go to dairystrong.org.

Wyatt Bechtel
Fri, 01/05/2018 – 05:55


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Source: Dairy Herd