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Students Attend PDPW Conference

By Jenna Wegner
UW-RF University Communications

APRIL 14, 2006--Trekking through another spring break blizzard, 11 UW-River Falls students attended the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) Annual Conference at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., March 14 – 15.

The students, along with their advisors, UW-RF animal science Professors Steve Kelm and Dennis Cooper, spent two days listening to motivational speakers, participating in break-out sessions on various topics such as cow comfort, employee management and animal welfare. Students were also able to network with farm owners and members of agriculture-related organizations.

Many of the UW-River Falls students attending the conference were participating in the PDPW Mentorship Program. The Mentorship Program serves as an opportunity to expose college students to different dairy operations and to serve as a networking tool.

Students are paired with mentors who offer them insight into the dairy industry. Students spend on day on their farm as a job shadow to learn more about their operation. Then, the mentor and student attend the PDPW conference to learn more about PDPW and have the chance to meet with other farmers.

Students who attend the PDPW conference are able to take what they learn and implement their knowledge into their own operation. PDPW focuses heavily on the on the business side of the dairy industry by increasing awareness on finances, human resource management and employee well being.

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin was founded by dairy-producers in 1992 to provide educational programs and services to fellow dairy producers. PDPW continues to have a positive impact on the dairy industry through the resources it provides, helping enhance the dairy industry’s impact on the state. PDPW’s mission is to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

UW-River Falls students attending the conference included:
Wisconsin:

Arpin – Adam Ward, junior, dairy science
Brooklyn – Jill Franklin, sophomore, animal science
Cashton – Drew Johnson, sophomore, dairy science
Marion - Beth Bowers, senior, dairy science
Ripon – Patrick Wiltzius, junior, dairy science
Slinger – Sam Kuhaupt, sophomore, dairy science
Tony - Amber Lybert, senior, dairy science
Minnesota:
New Richland – Bill Root, junior, animal science
Owatanna – Brandon Balzer, senior, dairy science
Waseca – Matt Hines, junior, animal science

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