Conflict resolution skills, negotiation prowess and media savvy are essential for business leaders, whether they work on a farm or in a board room. DCHA offers one simple tip for leaders aspiring to improve their skills - apply for the DCHA Merck Animal Health Leadership Program.


Six program participants will receive valuable hands-on training in such areas as working with the media, conflict resolution and negotiation skills. They also will serve on a DCHA committee and have opportunities to meet and interact with fellow calf and heifer raisers, as well as industry leaders and experts from across the country. In addition to training, participants will receive all-expenses-paid travel to the 2013 DCHA Conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

DCHA and Merck Animal Health remain committed to the development of the next generation of dairy leaders through their sponsorship of the fifth Merck Animal Health Leadership Program. 


"Merck Animal Health is pleased to be able to support this important initiative that offers individuals the opportunity to take a more active role in the industry and further develop their business acumen," says Rick Jackson, dairy marketing manager for Merck Animal Health. "The program also provides us the opportunity to give back to the dairy industry and the professional men and women who work so hard each day to make it a success."


"The program offers an outstanding opportunity for dairy calf and heifer raisers to sharpen their business skills, network within the industry and become more involved in DCHA," says the organization's president Darin Mann. "Many of our former program participants have gone on to take leadership roles within their communities and even within our own organization."   

Application Guidelines

Custom dairy calf and heifer raisers and dairy producers who raise their own calves and heifers are eligible to apply for this 12-month program. Six class members and two alternates will be selected based on their dairy industry and community involvement, in addition to their interest in the dairy calf and heifer industry. Applicants do not need to be a DCHA member to apply. The complete leadership program criteria and application are available on the DCHA website at Applications will be accepted until Jan. 30, 2013.


"This past year I had the opportunity to be nominated and selected for the 2012 Merck Animal Health Leadership Class. It was an honor to be selected, and the class has provided me with valuable business tools, conflict resolution (handling difficult decisions), and outstanding networking capabilities," says Abbie Heid. "DCHA is a great organization to work with and I am glad I was given this amazing opportunity, and I hope others find it as rewarding as I have."