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On-farm experiences for next-generation leaders

June 27, 2023


2 minute read

Midwest Dairy is committed to providing leadership and educational opportunities for youth in the dairy industry. Through programs such as the Dairy Ambassador Program and Princess Programs, checkoff helps develop the next generation of leaders.

Dairy princesses and ambassadors from across Iowa recently met at the Convivium Urban Farmstead in Dubuque, Iowa, for a communications workshop and Iowa Dairy Princess orientation. The young dairy leaders in attendance learned how to deliver a successful interview and practiced their skills through a mock interview conducted by Iowa Dairy Princess Advisory Council members. After the interviews, Iowa Dairy Princess Naomi Scott and Iowa Dairy Princess Alternate Emily Manweiler challenged all to create a handout to promote themselves and their passion for dairy. The morning’s final speaker was Shana Hilgerson, a former Iowa Dairy Princess Alternate, who emphasized the importance of “ag-vocating” for dairy. During her presentation, attendees practiced having difficult conversations with their peers on hot topics to prepare for a real-life situation.

Following lunch, the group toured the Convivium Urban Farmstead, where they experienced urban agriculture and learned about the Convivium’s mission to improve life through food. The event concluded with a dairy princess orientation. Overall, the event provided dairy youth an excellent opportunity for professional development, enhance communication skills, and learn how to advocate for the dairy community. 

Later in May, the Nebraska Dairy Ambassadors gathered to participate in various dairy tours in northeast Nebraska. These experiences allowed the ambassadors to build knowledge and understanding of the various dairy sizes and management practices and observe on-farm milk processing and bottling. This opportunity ultimately gave participants more confidence to engage with consumers about the industry and become stronger advocates for dairy. 

The dairy tour hosts included owners Dean and Lisa Burbach of Burbach Dairy and Burbach’s Countryside Dairy near Hartington, headsman Allison LaHaie of Four Aces Dairy LLC near Osmond, and owner Kent Pulfer of MPM Farm near Wayne.