Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

0409 PD: PDPW conference to discuss economic downturn, how to increase profits

Karen Lee Published on 25 February 2009

“To share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed” is the mission the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) was founded on.

It continues to hold true today as PDPW invites producers from across the country to participate in its marquee event – the Annual Business Conference March 17-18 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.



“The Annual Business Conference is a refreshing escape from our daily routine, and it is very uplifting to associate with positive people who share the same business challenges every day and when planning for the future,” says Randy Bonde, Bonde Acres Dairy in Newton, Wisconsin.

Today’s business challenges are focused on the economy and with a conference theme of “Adding Passion, Multiplying Profits” a dynamic line-up of speakers has been assembled to tackle just that.

Famous economist Mark Pearson will begin the conference with a look at the forces impacting today’s marketplace. He’ll help you understand the effect of the global equation, consumer trends, population movements, land values, ag policy issues, world markets, stock markets, farm markets and war. Pearson hosts the nationally syndicated public television program “Market to Market” and highly successful daily farm program “The Big Show” on several Midwest radio stations in addition to owning and operating his own diversified grain and livestock farm in Iowa.

A dairy producer panel that will share insights from across America will follow Pearson. Producers Jim Docheff, Jr. of Diamond D Dairy in Longmont, Colorado; Steve Maddox of Maddox Dairy, Ltd. in Riverdale, California; and Dwight Hunt of Green Meadows Farm in Elsie, Michigan, will talk about their best business moves and biggest mistakes, as well as offer their perspectives on the future of their businesses and the industry.

Bryan Weech from the World Wildlife Fund will be at the conference to challenge the dairy industry to continue to meet its production demands while maintaining and enhancing its efforts to conserve resources and protect all creatures.


Numerous breakout sessions are planned throughout the conference to appeal to any dairy business structure. These sessions provide hands-on learning and an opportunity to interact and discuss topics in a smaller setting.

“I like learning what is new or current in the dairy industry. I pick breakout sessions at the Annual Business Conference that are pertinent to the farm and take that information home to use,” says Nick Bohl of Udder Wise Dairy LLC in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Some of the topics for this year include: Calf necropsy, protecting farmland, developing within a Hispanic workforce, building non-family partnerships, evaluating synchronization programs, immigration liability, utilizing genomics, feeding fat for breeding, energy outlook, decision making, feeding byproducts and growing middle management.

Breaks and meals served in the Hall of Ideas allow for plenty of time to visit some of the industry’s preferred suppliers offering the latest technologies, ideas, solutions and information. It’s also an ideal time to network with fellow dairy producers.

Terri Abing of Majestic View Dairy LLC in Lancaster, Wisconsin, says, “My favorite part of the PDPW Annual Business Conference is getting to see other producers and just talking to dairy farmers that have the same interests that I do.”

For inspiration before departing each day, former Green Bay Packer and farm boy Adam Timmerman and Nebraska farm boy Ron “Gus” Gustafson will share how they turned negatives into positives that fueled their passion for agriculture.


“PDPW always puts on such good programs and the people that attend are always great people who are willing to share ideas and thoughts. I look forward to meeting again and being a part of another PDPW event,” said Rod Hissong, Mercer Vu Farms Inc. in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.

For more information on the conference, visit or call (800) 947-7379. PD