Dairy farm managers, owners and all dairy enthusiasts in pursuit of fresh ideas and innovation need to head to the Wisconsin Dells to discover what’s in store for 2021. The 2021 PDPW Business Conference, March 17-18 at the Kalahari Resort, is the destination at which they’ll find a tidal wave of new ideas. The conference provides an opportunity for the dairy community to connect with world-class experts and presenters.
In answer to the surge in demand for new ideas and innovation, Professional Dairy Producers will debut the Nexus stage, a platform from which inventors, creators and idea generators will present 15-minute TED Talk-style presentations introducing their forward-leaning ideas to improve dairy productivity and sustainability. Designed with early adopters and progressive dairy professionals in mind, Nexus will be facilitated by a moderator, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the close of each presentation.
Also new to the conference is a series of youth leadership programming designed specifically for students ages 15 to 18 with an interest in dairy. With a career built on serving and developing youth and young adults, trainer and coach Hans Gochenaur will present four separate sessions that focus on building the skills of communication, teamwork and collaboration in a fun, fast-paced interactive environment. Registered teens in this age range can also attend other training and keynote sessions throughout the conference.
Serving as conference emcee will be Pam Jahnke, radio and television broadcaster known to many as “the Fabulous Farm Babe.” Known for her passion for the Wisconsin dairy community, Jahnke has broad-ranging insights into state, national and international agriculture to bring to the event. Dan Basse, economist and president of AgResource Co., will take the main stage to address the macroeconomic forces at play in today’s dairy markets and outline what can be expected throughout the rest of 2021.
A diverse range of session topics will cover animal care, food safety, financial management, environmental and policy issues, as well as offerings for human resources and new perspectives in crisis preparedness and taking care of employees.
“The Business Conference sessions being offered this year go beyond the basics,” says Cassandra Strupp, program manager for PDPW. “We’re giving our attendees new information that can’t be found anywhere else, all under one roof.”
All sessions are approved for continuing education units. In addition to CEUs being available through PDPW’s Dairy AdVanCE (DACE), select sessions are approved for CEUs through the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists and the certified crop adviser program. All told, 790 minutes of continuing education are available through the conference.
“The PDPW Business Conference is held in high regard by dairy producers and other dairy professionals,” says Katy Schultz, dairy producer from Fox Lake, Wis., and PDPW board president. “Being able to earn credits for continued education is an added bonus.”
The 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 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.