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Alltech Dairy School: ‘One Team, One Dream’

Published on 19 January 2016
200 dairy producers and industry professionals at Alltech Dairy School

More than 200 farmers, nutritionists and industry professionals huddled together at Lambeau Field recently to discuss the latest strategies for successful dairy farming and how to achieve their goals for “One Team, One Dream” within the industry at Alltech Wisconsin’s Dairy School.

A pre-conference breakfast kicked off the event, with Kevin Wulf of Riverview Dairy presenting “There is no ‘I’ in team” and Charlie Crave of Crave Brothers Dairy LLC with “Prospectives for the next-generation team.”

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Kevin Wulf of Riverview Dairy shared advice

Riverview Dairy has more than 850 employees, so structure and accountability are a requirement. Wulf shared his experience, emphasizing the importance of training every team member as well as the significance of communication and candor.

Crave discussed setting team goals for the dairy that are sustainable, financially and environmentally, and are a fit for that individual dairy.

William Henderson signed a souvenir for Packer fan

He advised dairy owners to consider the team as family, treat individuals as a gift and to pay the price for independence, even when team members are focused on the same dream. Finally, Crave suggested keeping communications simple.

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Attendees enjoyed sipping Alltech's own beverages

Joseph Kerns, co-owner of Kerns and Associates, opened the main conference with the topic of risk management. Kerns highlighted this year’s abundant harvest, with dry grains and relatively no major problems. He forecasted that corn and soybean prices will remain low, which will increase U.S. corn acres for 2016 and soybean acres for South America.

“Global food production will need to increase substantially in the next several years, as we will be asked to feed more people in the next 50 years than we have in the past 7,000,” Kerns said.

proceeds of coffee sales goes to fund two schools in Haiti

Kerns also pointed out that new regulations and industry shifts, including demands such as antibiotic-free and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), could lead to prosperity.

Alexandra Weaver, technical support specialist for the Alltech mycotoxin management team, kicked off the afternoon session by posing the question, “What does your team need to know about forage management?”

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“Producers should understand that managing mycotoxins starts at the field and ends with the cow,” Weaver said. “Mycotoxins may impact cow performance and health, resulting in a negative impact on profitability. Mycotoxin management from the field to the cow is critical for reducing risks. It is better to be proactive, not reactive.”

Alltech Dairy School hosted at Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field

Jim Ostrom, president and CEO of Milk Source Agricultural Holding, presented, “Putting together your management team makes the dream work.” His advice to dairy owners is to hire quality personnel to minimize risk. Ostrom included six steps for successful dairy teamwork:

  • Dream big.

  • Overcome obstacles by hiring public relations experts, implementing GAAP financials and hiring new department managers.

  • Create a process plan of mini-steps.

  • Seek out talented people for your future team.

  • Develop a culture of employee growth.

  • Recruit successful business people to advise you.

The dairy school’s keynote speaker, former Green Bay Packer player and “unsung hero” William Henderson, concluded the event with “The respect of teamwork.”

Held each year in Green Bay, Alltech’s Dairy School is a long-standing tradition within the Wisconsin dairy community. More than 2,200 dairy industry professionals have attended the school since it first started in 2003.  PD

—Excerpts from Alltech press release

PHOTO 1: More than 200 dairy producers and industry professionals gathered for the Alltech Dairy School.

PHOTO 2: Kevin Wulf, Riverview Dairy, shared advice on empowering employees. “You don’t have to motivate employees; you have to create an environment that doesn’t de-motivate them from thriving,” he said. 

PHOTO 3: Young Packers fan Caleb Schlowsser of De Pere, Wisconsin, was excited to hear former fullback William Henderson talk about teamwork and sign a souvenir. 

PHOTO 4: Attendees enjoyed sipping on Alltech’s own beverages, including Kentucky Ale and Café Citadelle coffee. 

PHOTO 5: Proceeds from the coffee fund two schools and economic development projects in Haiti. 

PHOTO 6: The Alltech Dairy School is hosted at the home of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Photos by Peggy Coffeen.

 

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