Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

New Hire Neil Michael

Published on 09 April 2010


New hire



Neil Michael DVM
Madison, Wisconsin

Director of Dairy Initiatives, Vita Plus

Please describe your agricultural background.
I was raised in northeast Indiana on a dairy and swine operation that is now operated by my brother. Raising replacement dairy heifers was a primary source of funding for college in addition to developing a small cow-calf operation that focused on show calf sales throughout the Midwest.

What education are you bringing with you to this position?
My bachelor’s degree is in food science followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine—both from Purdue University. In 2006, I received a Master’s in Business Administration from Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.

What previous positions have you held?
During veterinary practice, I was an associate veterinarian, sole proprietor and owner in a multi-person practice that provided preventative medicine and consulting services in northeast Wisconsin. In the corporate setting, I have been responsible for area sales and technical support, and most recently directed a global technical services team.

What are your new responsibilities?
As Director of Dairy Initiatives, I will work with the entire Vita Plus dairy team to implement targeted initiatives in dairy nutrition and management. My activities will range from consulting on individual dairies to development and implementation of support tools for Vita Plus staff. I will also serve as a resource for dairy customers and staff on dairy records, nutrition management and reproductive strategies.

What territory will you cover?

I will be based out of the Madison office and support Vita Plus customers, employees and dealerships.


What excites you most about working in your new role?
Without question, the most intriguing aspect is the opportunity to work with a great group of people in a culture based on employee ownership. Secondly, it’s exciting to lead development of Vita Plus initiatives focused on new tools and services that positively impact profitability on our customers’ dairy operations.

How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
I join the Vita Plus team with years of experience and expertise in optimizing the cow environment (facilities, processes and labor) and reproductive programs that improve performance and profits for Vita Plus customers.

What’s your best story from the first day on the job?
On the first day, I spent five minutes trying to figure out how to return a customer’s call using the Vita Plus phone system and resorted to using my mobile phone while standing in the parking lot for reception. I was thinking, “Wow, this will really impress my boss.” What happened to those phones you just picked up and there was a dial tone?

Why did you choose this company?
Vita Plus is made up of good people committed to doing the right things for customers with a focus on quality and performance.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
I hope to add to the great knowledge pool here at Vita Plus and to help grow the Vita Plus influence in all areas of the country.