The 2014 PDPW Business Conference will offer 16 specialty sessions on a wide range of topics faced by dairy producers, no matter what size, style of type of dairy farm they run. The conference will be held March 12-13 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., under the theme, “Exceeding Excellence.”
Specialty session topics and speakers include:
• “21st Century Dairying: How to Select and Maximize Robotic Milking Systems,” led by Jim Salfer of the University of Minnesota Extension will share results from recent research on robotic milking on 52 dairies in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Two producer panelists will address common questions based on their experience with robotic milking: Chad Kieffer of Utica, Minn., and Jake Peissig of Dorchester, Wis.
• “Smooth Moves: Dotting I’s and Crossing T’s When Modernizing or Expanding” will explore the rules and regulations as well as the people dairy farmers need to engage as they begin an expansion or modernization project, including realistic timelines to work through the permitting process. Leading this session is the former director of the University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms Program, Dennis Frame, and Agricultural Attorney Jordan Lamb.
• “The Total Package: Creating Employee Compensation that Works” will show that dairy producers can create a plan to attract and retain good people. This session, led by “Dairy Coach” Tom Wall, will focus on how to design and implement a compensation strategy that reduces employee turnover and rewards performance. The content will be applicable to any size dairy, whether hiring full- or part-time workers.
• “Meet the Demands of Others with Servant Leadership Style” will examine how producers can rise to meet the expectations of consumers, more stringent regulations, and increased liability -- all through a “servant leadership” style. Viterbo University’s Tom Thibodeau will show attendees how this style of leadership is a perfect match for agricultural professions.
• “Odor Management: Your Answer to Those Who Raise a Stink” will examine the science of odor generation, how it travels, and how it is perceived by others. Dr. Robert Mikesell, who has evaluated more than 300 sites for new livestock facilities, will present dairy odor reduction strategies and abatement methods, explore current laws in place, and discuss the legal and social framework for compliance.