Brattleboro, Vt. - Holstein Foundation staff is now making final preparations for Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) Class 7! The class will meet March 2-5 in Albuquerque, N.M.

YDLI, a cornerstone program for the Holstein Foundation, is a three-phase program which takes place over a 12-month period of time. Open to anyone in the U.S. or other English-speaking countries, 53 young adults have been selected to be a part of Class 7. This year's class is very diverse, comprised of individuals from 22 different U.S. states, as well as two Canadian provinces, Italy and Mexico. The first class of YDLI was held in 1994, and has since graduated over 400 alumni.

Phase I includes several hands-on workshops aimed at improving attendees' leadership, communication and advocacy stills, while providing opportunities for networking and building general enthusiasm for the dairy industry. The four-day schedule is packed full of a variety of topics, covering personality styles, personal leadership, media and presentation training, current issues and more.

Phase II takes place in the year between Phase I and III. Class members put their new skills to use through a community outreach project of their choice, as well as other projects aimed at further developing and utilizing their skills. Phase III will be held February 29-March 3, 2012, and will focus on group leadership skills. Workshops will cover topics such as advanced media training, meeting and board skills, and public policy. Class members will also give presentations on their Phase II projects.

YDLI would not be possible without the support of many generous donors. The following organizations have shown their commitment to the future of the dairy industry as YDLI sponsors:

Institute Leaders include Allflex USA, Inc.; Cargill, Inc.; Dairy Management, Inc.; Elanco Animal Health; Farm Credit System Foundation; Holstein Association USA, Inc.; and the Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation.

Organizations at the Institute Supporters level include Cooperative Resources International; Dairy Business Communications; Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.; GEA WestfaliaSurge, Inc.; Hoard's Dairyman; Land O'Lakes Foundation; and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

Institute Friends include the International Food Information Council; Center for Dairy Excellence; CHS; COBA Select Sires; Dean Foods Company; Hilmar Cheese; KeyBank; Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement Program; Robert L. Cain Memorial Fund; Select Sires Canada, Inc.; Select Sires, Inc.; The Country Today; US Dairy Export Council; and Walco International, Inc.

Follow along on the Holstein Foundation's Facebook page for updates live from Albuquerque the first week of March at www.facebook.com/HolsteinFoundation. For more information about YDLI or other Holstein Foundation programs, visit www.holsteinfoundation.org or contact Jodi Hoynoski at 800.952.5200, ext. 4261 or jhoynoski@holstein.com.