Speakers for 2022 will be available soon!
2020 Featured Speakers
Dr. Trevor DeVries: Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. Trevor received his Ph.D. at The University of British Columbia. He spent one year as a post-doctoral fellow with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In 2007 he was appointed as faculty with the University of Guelph in the Department of Animal Biosciences. In that position Trevor leads a research program focused on dairy cattle nutrition, management, behavior, and welfare.
David Greene: Independent Dairy Consultant at Barton, Kiefer, & Associates working out of La Follette, Tennessee. David is a technical service and consultant working on large dairy operations all over the US and in multiple countries internationally. He primarily supports producers with nutrition, operation efficiency, and overall farm management.
Dr. Julio Giordano: Dr. Julio Giordano’s research focuses on dairy cattle reproductive physiology, management, and the implications of reproductive performance on the economics of dairy farms. His research integrates basic and applied science to enhance the reproductive performance and productivity of cows. Through the improvement in cow performance, his program intends to improve the economic viability of dairy farms. The basic physiology research in his laboratory focuses on the elucidation of physiological mechanisms controlling the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy, and understanding the implications of pregnancy loss on ovarian dynamics, fertility, and reproductive performance of dairy cattle. In addition, my applied program is focused on developing new and simplifying established reproductive and health management programs for dairy cattle and the integration of new technologies in dairy cattle management.
Dr. RICHARD K. PIMENTEL: Senior Partner; Milt Wright & Associates, Inc
Richard Pimentel is one of the leading experts in North America on practical issues in Leadership, Disability Inclusion, Disability Management, Overcoming Barriers, Crises and Change in the Workplace, Disabled Veterans Employment Opportunities, Job Retention, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act.
He is an exceptional communicator whose audiences praise his ability to understand and meet the needs of the customer he is presenting to. He combines information, humor, metaphor, analogy and storytelling into an informative whole that does not just present the information, but really communicates it in a memorable fashion.
Richard was the co-author of SHRMs ‘Making the ADA Work for You’, ‘What Managers and Supervisors Need to Know About the ADA’ and ‘The Workers Compensation ADA Connection’, He has designed 15 comprehensive Disability Management occupational and non occupational return to work programs for employers throughout the US and Canada. With Laidlaw Bus Corporation his return saved 10 million dollars the first year.
He is the key author of the highly acclaimed and widely used Windmills Changing the Perception of Ability training program designed to change the attitudes and behavior of supervisors who hire and promote employees. This Internationally acclaimed program is in many of America’s largest and most prestigious government and employer organizations.
Richard is a senior partner in the firm of Milt Wright & Associates, Inc. for which he designs Disability Management systems, provides keynotes, training and consultation nationwide on topics as diverse as Leadership and change in the workplace. the Value of Diversity and Disability Inclusion, Attitudinal Change in the world of safety and workers compensation. He was rated one year at the national SHRM conference 15,000 attendees as the number one speaker in at the entire conference.
A full length MGM motion picture of his life story “Music Within” staring Ron Livingston, Melissa George and Michael Sheen was released in theaters throughout the country in the fall 2007 and is now showing on cable channels throughout the world.
Dr. Daryl Nydam: Dr. Daryl Nydam is a veterinarian and epidemiologist who is professor in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and has served as director of the Quality Milk Production Services program since 2013. His research focuses on the intersection of agriculture and public health, specifically sustainable dairy production.
Having grown up in a farming community in the Catskills before attending SUNY Geneseo and later Cornell, as well as working in a private veterinary practice while living in Vermont, Nydam understands the dynamics of rural America, and the food, water, energy, and economic systems that connect those regions to urban centers. Built on this foundation, he’s been lucky enough to work with farmers and allied agricultural service providers on six different continents.
AMY TE PLATE-CHURCH: For Amy te Plate-Church, animal agriculture is foundational to her upbringing, college experiences and a career spanning over 20 years (and counting!)Amy strives to enrich farming and food production – specifically to help build trust, maintain freedom to operate and develop acceptance for new innovation. Amy joined The Center for Food Integrity in 2015, following a lengthy career in the dairy and livestock genetic industry. Today, Amy leads CFI projects related to adoption of gene editing, in addition to speaking and Engage trainings.
Day-in and day-out, Amy works with agribusinesses and farm groups to create and carry out trust-building communication strategies. With a niche in cattle and poultry projects, she is intrigued by the challenge brought by each organization with different and evolving needs. Amy is well-regarded as a speaker, writer, public relations pro, educator and facilitator. She is passionate about volunteering with causes she is passionate about, including ag advocacy, youth development and education.
Amy was raised on an Iowa dairy farm, where values of hard work, teamwork and integrity were deeply engrained. At Iowa State University, she earned degrees in Dairy Science and Ag Journalism.
Based in “America’s Dairyland,” Amy works from a home office in northeastern Wisconsin, where she resides with her husband and their teenage children.
2019 Featured Speakers:
Geoffrey E. Dahl is the Harriet B. Weeks Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Geoff grew up on a dairy farm in Massachusetts. Geoff completed his M.S. in Dairy Science at Virginia Tech in 1987, and earned his Ph.D. in Animal Science from Michigan State University in 1991. Dr. Dahl conducts applied and basic research with direct impact on dairy production. Specific research interests include effects of photoperiod manipulation on production and health, the impact of frequent milking in early lactation on milk production, and heat stress abatement during the dry period on cow productivity and health.
Dr. Trevor DeVries is a Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. Trevor received his B.Sc. in Agriculture from The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2001. Immediately following he began graduate studies at UBC, where he received his Ph.D. in 2006. Following that, he spent one year as a post-doctoral fellow with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In 2007 he was appointed as faculty with the University of Guelph in the Department of Animal Biosciences. In that position Trevor leads a highly productive research program focused on dairy cattle nutrition, management, behavior, and welfare.
Jay Waldvogel, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Global Development. Jay is responsible for leading DFA’s strategic planning process and supporting DFA’s business leaders in implementing the strategies. He also is charged with guiding DFA’s expanding global activities. Jay has more than 25 years of experience in the global dairy industry and spent more than a decade living and working overseas with leading dairy companies Campina in Europe and Fonterra Co-operative Group in New Zealand. He has held senior positions in finance, operations, marketing, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, sales and general management, including serving as Fonterra’s chief operating officer. Jay currently serves on a number of industry leadership groups and company boards, including as deputy chairman of the Global Dairy Platform.
Laura Daniels is a farmer, dairy consultant and agriculture advocate. At Heartwood Farm in Cobb, WI, Laura and husband Jarred Searls take great joy in teaching their children, Nathan and Julia, their values as they work together. Laura is the General Manager in charge of day‐to-day operations of the 300 Jersey cow farm. Laura also helps farms and companies plan, grow and lead through her company, Hitch Pin Consulting, and is the Founder of Dairy Girl Network. She is also very active with many local state and national organizations.
Dr. Paul Fricke was raised on his family’s row crop and dairy farm located near Papillion, Nebraska where his father and uncle continue to farm today. After receiving a B.S. degree in Animal Science in 1988 from the University of Nebraska, Paul went on to complete a M.S. degree in 1992 and a Ph.D. degree in 1996 in Reproductive Physiology from the department of Animal Sciences at North Dakota State University. Paul worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1995 to 1998 and then joined the faculty on July 1, 1998. Dr. Fricke was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004 and to Full Professor in 2009. His current position includes 70% Extension and 30% research appointments in dairy cattle reproduction
Gary F. Sipiorski
Gary joined the Vita Plus Corporation team on October 1, 2008 a 400-employee owned nutrition firm based in Madison, Wisconsin. Gary was in the feed industry working for Ralston Purina for eighteen years working with feed dealers and consultants making over 1,000 calls on dairy farms a year. Gary spent seventeen years with the Citizens State Bank of Loyal as an agricultural loan officer and worked his way up to President and CEO where he serves on the Board of Directors.Gary has given many presentation in Wisconsin, the U.S. and internationally and the author of the book Dairy Money Maters published by Hoards Dairyman.
Dr. Katy Proudfoot: Rethinking the maternity pen with the cow’s behavior in mind
Dr. Katy Proudfoot is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Animal Welfare at the Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her MSc and PhD at the University of British Columbia’s Animal Welfare Program where her research focused on the behavior and housing of transition dairy cows. She currently teaches animal behavior and welfare to veterinary students, continues to research transition dairy cows, and has an extension program on dairy cow management and animal welfare assessment programs.
Jack Rodenburg: Success factors for robotic milking
Jack Rodenburg worked in dairy extension in Ontario Canada for 34 years. Since 1999, when the first commercial robotic milking system in North America was installed 30 miles from his office, he has worked closely with numerous robotic dairies, trouble shooting, conducting field studies and sharing experiences of early adopters. Jack left extension in 2008 and started “DairyLogix” consulting, (www.dairylogix.com) with a focus on management and barn design for robotic milking and other dairy automation and precision technologies. Jack is a frequent speaker on these topics and co-author of the Cow Signals books, “Robotic Milking” and “Building for the Cow”.
Dr. Mike Lormore: What Drives Financial Success on Dairies?
Dr. Mike Lormore joined Zoetis in 2010 and currently serves as the Director of Dairy Cattle Technical Services. Mike is a native of northern NY and a third generation graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. Mike has also completed graduate studies at Penn State, The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and the Wharton School of Business. Mike has extensive experience in the US dairy industry as a veterinarian, nutritionist, business manager and consultant. Mike has worked in corporate food animal practice since 1993, with prior roles at Monsanto and Elanco, as well as a stint in corporate consulting associated with Bain & Co. Mike and his family live in Eagle, ID.
Mack Dryden: Laugh to the Top: A hilarious guide to achieving your goals
Mack Dryden, speaker/actor/comedian has appeared on The Tonight Show with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, acted in such shows as The Guardian and JAG, was a staff writer for ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, and has entertained and inspired hundreds of audiences across the U.S. and abroad with his compelling personal story and hilarious delivery.
Dr. Dave Barbano: New milk analysis tools to improve fat and protein yield
Dr. Dave Barbano conducts an applied and basic research program on dairy product manufacturing and milk analysis for dairy herd management. Recently, Dave has focused on developing new milk analysis measures of cow metabolic health for dairy herd management. He has been very active in the analytical groups of International Dairy Federation and the Association of Official Analytical Chemists International for the past 30 years.
Dr. Nigel Cook: Lifestep: Taking a lifecycle approach to preventing lameness on the dairy farm
Dr. Nigel Cook is a Professor in the Food Animal Production Medicine section of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine. He qualified as a veterinarian in 1992 and worked in a large food animal clinic in Southern England for four years before moving to the Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire, where he spent three years as lecturer and head of the Large Animal Ambulatory Clinic. Since 1999 he has been in Wisconsin, teaching veterinary students, performing research and developing outreach to improve dairy cattle wellbeing. His particular interests include lameness prevention, cow comfort and improving facility design. He developed The Dairyland Initiative – a resource to drive the creation of welfare friendly cattle housing in 2010. He is currently Chair of the Department of Medical Sciences and Past President of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.
Damian Mason: Humor for the Heart of Agriculture
Damian Mason is a professional speaker with a positive and informative message for the people of Agriculture. Damian understands the business of food, fuel, and fiber production. He was raised on an Indiana dairy farm, has a degree from Purdue University in Agricultural Economics, and owns and manages a farm in Indiana. Damian delivers crisp Ag commentary and comedy that resonates with the people who produce, process, package, sell, and transport the bounty of North American Agriculture. Damian’s presentations have been a hit with over 1,600 audiences in all 50 states and 8 foreign countries.
Dr. James Maas: Sleep for Success: Everything You Must Know About Sleep but are too Tired to Ask
Dr. James Maas is a leading authority and international consultant on sleep and performance. He served as Presidential Fellow, Professor and past Chairman of Psychology at Cornell University. Dr. Maas coined the term “Power Nap.” His book Sleep for Success is designed for executives and others wishing to know how to be alert and energetic all day long. His latest book, Sleep to Win!, shows athletes how to improve their performance overnight. Dr. Maas appears frequently on national television programs such as the TODAY Show, The View, and ABC’s 20/20. Oprah devoted an entire hour to Dr. Maas and his research on sleep.
Dr. Lance Baumgard: Effects of Heat Stress on Dairy Productivity
Dr. Lance Baumgard received his B.S. and M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from Cornell University. He joined the University of Arizona faculty in 2001 and then joined Iowa State University in 2009 as the Norman Jacobson Professor of Nutritional Physiology in the Department of Animal Science. Baumgard’s primary research emphasis has been on the metabolic and endocrine consequences of heat stress in growing and lactating animals.
Dr. Pamela Ruegg: 5 Keys to Maximizing Success of Mastitis Treatment
Pamela Ruegg is a professor and extension milk quality specialist in the Dept. of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Prior to joining UW, Madison, she had varied professional experiences including private veterinary practice, academic positions, and corporate technical service. Dr. Ruegg is active in a number of industry organizations and is a past-president of the National Mastitis Council. Her research and extension programs are focused on developing programs that help farmers maintain healthy cows, and improving milk quality and safety on dairy farms.
Carrie Mess: Connecting with Consumers
Carrie Mess is a dairy farmer, blogger, speaker and agvocate for agriculture from Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Farming in partnership with her husband and his parents on their 100 cow dairy, Carrie shares her story and connects with those unfamiliar with agriculture via social media and her blog. Carrie was selected the 2014 Social Media Farmer of the Year and her writing has been featured in The Guardian, Huffington Post and several industry publications.
Jonathan Lamb: Applied Genomics
Jonathan Lamb is a partner is his families’ 6500 cow dairy, Lamb Farms, Inc. The farm operates with milking facilities at 3 sites, as well as 6500 head of replacement heifers. He is active in the Holstein Association, recently retiring from the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Genetic Advancement Committee. Jonathan graduated in 1994 from Cornell University with a Bachelors of Science degree.
Dr. Ray Nebel: What’s new in genomics, use of technology, and management tools
Ray Nebel is Vice President of Technical Services, Select Sires Inc.and oversees the Select Reproductive Solutions program. In this role, Dr. Nebel works closely with Reproductive Specialists and dairymen across the United States, troubleshooting reproductive problems, conducting heat detection and professional A.I. training seminars, and providing other reproductive management resources. Dr. Nebel specializes in large herd dairy reproductive management programs for efficient performance. He has participated in dairy seminars or workshops in over 38 states, 6 Canadian provinces, 6 Mexican states, and 11 countries around the world. Dr. Nebel has authored or coauthored 3 book chapters, 50 refereed journal articles, 82 abstracts, and over 300 popular press and proceedings articles.
Garrison Wynn: Multi-generational solutions
Garrison Wynn is a professional speaker and helps people make the jump from being great at what they do to developing the qualities it takes to be consistently chosen for the job. He gets them to understand why their products, services, or leadership styles—or those of their competitors— are selected. As he says, “If the world agreed on what’s best, everybody would choose the best and nothing else would be considered. Decision making doesn’t work that way.” His presentations help people become more influential regardless of circumstances.
Dr. Jude Capper: Milking sustainability – how do we navigate the ‘S’ word as our population increases?
Jude L Capper, Ph.D. is an independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant who is based in Oxfordshire, UK, and holds adjunct professor and affiliate positions at Washington State University and Montana State University, respectively. Jude’s current research focuses on modeling the environmental impact of livestock production systems, specifically dairy and beef. Current research projects include the effect of specific management practices and technology use upon environmental impact. Her principal professional goal is to communicate the importance of livestock industry sustainability and the factors affecting sustainability to enhance the knowledge and understanding of stakeholders within food production from the rancher and farmer through to the retailer, policy-maker and consumer. She has an active social media presence and spends a considerable amount of time de-bunking some of the more commonly-heard myths relating to resource use and the environmental impact of livestock production. Jude maintains websites relating to her work at: http://wsu.academia.edu/JudeCapper/Talks and http://bovidiva.com/ and has the Twitter handle of @Bovidiva.
Dr. Kenneth Nordlund: Design concepts for calf barns to maximize health
Dr. Kenneth Nordlund is an Emeritus Clinical Professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and was in private veterinary practice in Fergus Falls, Minnesota for 12 years. In 1989, he joined the University of Wisconsin to found the Food Animal Production Medicine program in the School of Veterinary Medicine. His researchinterests have focused on interactions between dairy cattle housing and health, as well as dairy record systems including development of the patented Transition Cow IndexTM. Recent projects have focused on positive pressure ventilation systems for use in calf barns and dairy cow holding areas. He is a co-developer of the Dairyland Initiative website and outreach program. He retired from active service at the UW in 2014, but continues work with a limited number of research projects.
Dr. Bernie Erven: How to attract and retain the best employees
Bernie Erven is professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the Ohio State University. At Ohio State his teaching, extension and research activities were in human resource management and family business management. His consulting work with small businesses through Erven HR Services LLC focuses on family business relations and human resource management. For more than 40 years he has worked on issues such as hiring, training, motivation, discipline, compensation, and performance feedback. He also does workshops on succession and human relations in family businesses, communication, handling the stress of management, team building and time management. His work on these important topics has taken him to more than 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces. He has degrees from Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin. He has been a visiting professor at Cornell University. Bernie’s foreign assignments include seven months teaching at a school for refugee boys at Jericho, Jordan and 3½ years of university teaching in Brazil. Bernie is a two-time recipient of the Ohio State University Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has also received the American Agricultural Economics Association Teaching Award, a U.S. Department of Agricultural National Excellence in Teaching Award, both the Ohio State University Gamma Sigma Delta Extension and Teaching Awards, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Cooperative Education Award and the American Agricultural Economics Association Group Extension Award.
Dr. Nigel Cook: Facilities Impact on your Herd
Nigel Cook is a Professor in the Food Animal Production Medicine section of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine. He qualified as a veterinarian in 1992 and worked in a large food animal clinic in Southern England for four years before moving to the Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire, where he spent three years as lecturer and head of the Large Animal Ambulatory Clinic. Since 1999 he has been in Wisconsin, teaching veterinary students, performing research and developing outreach to improve dairy cattle well-being
Dr. Julio Giordano: Management Strategies for Reproduction Success
Dr. Julio Giordano, DVM, MS, PhD is Assistant Professor of Dairy Cattle Biology and Management in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University with a dual appointment in research and teaching. Dr. Giordano’s research focuses on dairy cattle reproductive physiology, management, and the implications of reproductive performance on the economics of dairy farms. His research integrates basic and applied science to enhance the reproductive performance and productivity of cows. Through the improvement in cow performance, his program intends to improve the economic viability of dairy farms.
Mark Andrew Junkin: Farm Succession and Motivation
Mark Andrew Junkin After his parents divorced due to farm manage- ment and succession issues, Andy has lived to change how farm families make decisions together! succession planners focus on the event of the transfer of assets. Nobody has ever focused on the decade prior to this asset transfer, when parents/kids are awkwardly working together.Nobody has looked at the awkward transition of farm management and wisdom! This is Andy’s niche. Andy has a syndicated column in 9 farm magazines on 3 continents. He has also written 3 books.He daily works with farm families in Ontario and across the Midwest. He lives to save farm families.
Dr. Tom Overton: Ten Tips for Transition Cow Success
Dr. Thomas R. Overton is Professor of Dairy Management in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. Tom is recognized nationally and internationally for his research and outreach efforts relating to metabolism, immune function, and nutritional physiology of the transition cow and his work on milk component production in cows. He serves as Director of the PRO-DAIRY program at Cornell, and as Associate Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension works with statewide and regional extension teams within New York to enhance the dairy and agricultural industries in New York State. He teaches the dairy cattle nutrition course for undergraduates, an upper level seminar course for dairy-oriented undergraduate students, co-teaches a course in dairy nutrition for veterinary students, and works with students in the Cornell Dairy Fellows program.
Dr. Joe Schwarcz: Good Science vs Bad Science
Dr. Joe Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s “Office for Science and Society” which is dedicated to demystifying science and separating sense from nonsense. He is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging. Professor Schwarcz has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. He is the only non-American ever to win the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Grady-Stack Award for demystifying chemistry. He hosts “The Dr. Joe Show” on Montreal radio, has appeared hundreds of times on television and is the author of 14 best sellers.
Jay Waldvogel: The Global Dairy Market and What it Means to Me
Jay Waldvogel is responsible for leading DFA’s strategic planning process and supporting DFA’s business leaders in implementing the strategies. He also is charged with guiding DFA’s expanding global activities. Jay has more than 25 years of experience in the global dairy industry and spent more than a decade living and working overseas with leading dairy companies Campina in Euope and Fonterra Co-operative Group in New Zealand. He has held senior positions in finance, operations, marketing, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, sales and general management, including serving as Fonterra’s chief operating officer. Jay currently serves on a number of industry leadership groups and company boards, including as deputy chairman of the Global Dairy Platform.