Developing Young Dairy Leaders

While spring seemed to take its time, we can finally see planting progress across the region. As many of us have seen in our own home communities, the road infrastructure this spring has been stressed – to say the least! We know that “well built” roads must also be “well maintained” and our industry’s leadership is no different. Like our local, state and national transportation infrastructure, our industry’s leadership infrastructure also needs to be “built” and “maintained” to be ready and relevant today. I recently led a career development discussion with University of Minnesota students, shared personal experiences and encouraged them to take on challenges and shape them into growth opportunities. The students were engaged, asked great questions and convinced me they are on their way to a bright future where they will leave their mark on the food and the agricultural industry.

I also had the opportunity to mentor several high school students participating in The World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute. Several hundred students from across Iowa presented recommendations for tackling food insecurity issues around the globe. The goal of this event was to inspire students to explore careers in food and agriculture. The students’ passion and creativity gives me great confidence that they will play a leadership role in helping solve the worldwide food insecurity challenge.

Last but not least, I hosted a Dairy on the Air podcast with Minnesota Vikings Adam Thielen where we discussed his passion for youth leadership development. His commitment to youth programming, healthy eating and physical activity is in perfect alignment with the goals of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. I encourage you to listen to Dairy on the Air to hear his excitement and how this checkoff-funded program continues to positively impact young student leaders across the country.

Lucas Lentsch, Midwest Dairy CEO