The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin mission “to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed” was fulfilled to the max when 70-plus dairy producers and industry leaders from 18 states gathered Jan. 18-20 in Albuquerque, N.M., for the 2011 Managers Academy.
“This mix of dairy producers and industry leaders was perfect and contributed to the success of the event,” stated Shelly Mayer, chief executive officer of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. “This event is just another example of how dairy producers and other leaders within our industry are on a continual quest of knowledge and seek out events that meet their needs.
“Networking with others from coast to coast was the frosting on the cake for this group while they experienced three days of learning and engaging at this executive training academy.”
Focused on the theme “Managing Momentum,” business coaches Buck Joseph, and Chris Hinrichs used the first day of classroom sessions to broaden the mindset of attendees and had them viewing leadership from a four-pronged capacity: outward, inward, downward and upward. In the end, the difference between management and leadership was crystal clear and attendees now know how to stay true to their company mission while managing momentum and adapting for change and uncertainty.
Taking a break from the classroom setting, Manager Academy participants entered “tour mode” and interacted with highly successful, high-caliber New Mexico business executives from Southwest Cheese Factory, Haw Farms, Poblanos Organic Farms and El Pinto Restaurant/Foods. Each business executive shared information about their unique business model concepts, with business coach David Kohl enhancing the attendees’ experience and relating information to a dairy perspective.
The final day of the business executive training was led by Lowell Catlett of New Mexico State University. Catlett’s presentations, group-think sessions and case studies delivered the tools to help participants understand how successful companies grow and prosper, how to create a culture of ideas and implementation and how to make a company sustainable. He also shared insight regarding “the next big thing” so individuals have the skills and knowledge to look around the corner and develop a matrix of scenarios and their potential impacts.
At the end of the conference, comments such as these abounded: “I learned when to play, when to pass, when to sprint and when to walk away.” “I’m much more confident in knowing that I can manage momentum rather than it managing me.” “The executive-level business tours certainly opened my mind regarding unique business concepts and how elements of those concepts can be applied to my business.”
Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin is a dairy-producer-founded organization that provides educational programs and services to fellow dairy producers. PDPW’s mission is “to share ideas, solutions, resources, and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.”