DAIRY STRONG CONFERENCE DRAWS LARGE CROWD WITH DYNAMIC SPEAKERS
Almost 600 dairy producers and allied industry leaders from nine different states and Canada attended the first-ever Dairy Strong Conference at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin January 13-15, 2015. In total, over 120,000 cows were represented at the event. The Dairy Business Association combined their annual meeting and symposium into one event in order to bring more producers and industry together.
Dynamic speakers included Mike Rowe, former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill, Ken Schmidt of Harley-Davidson, Bruce Scherr of Informa Economics, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Panel topics covered the online image of the dairy industry, attacks by animal rights activists, and what is coming in 2015. Breakout sessions varied from new technology to employee issues to robotic milking machines.
Katie Grinstead of Vir-Clar Farms in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin was recognized as the 2015 DBA Advocate for her efforts in reaching out to the public and sharing her dairy story. Fifty-two Wisconsin State legislators were recognized for their support of the Wisconsin dairy industry. These individuals were selected based on their voting records pertaining to three issues integral to Wisconsin’s dairy and agricultural industry: the state budget, a recent bill limiting liability for ag tourism and the recent bill creating a phosphorus trading program.
The event concluded with a hands on workshop led by Merck Animal Health and Dairy Management Inc. to help attendees be proactive in creating standard operating procedures and training employees on proper animal handling. It also included points on how to handle media and public relations, and participants left with training videos and guides.
States represented included Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and California. There were also attendees from Canada.