Register Now for Women in Dairy 2012

Posted: October 18, 2012

The Women in Dairy Conference is designed by dairy women for dairy women and offers outstanding educational and networking opportunities for every woman in the dairy industry.

Designed by dairy women for dairy women, the Women in Dairy 2012 conference promises exceptional learning and networking opportunities for every woman involved in the dairy industry, from dairy owners to employees to agribusiness professionals.  Scheduled for November 7 at the Best Western Premier Hotel and Conference Center, 800 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, the conference is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Registration fee is now $49 with a completed form to qualify for a discount from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry - Workforce Investment Board. In addition, travel with friends or co-workers from your dairy and take advantage of the "buy 3 and get the fourth registration free."  Note, you must register by November 1 in order to qualify for the buy 3 get one free discount. 

Keynote speaker will be Barbara Martin, co-owner of Dairy Goddess Cheese and Milk in California and passionate advocate for the dairy industry, whose presentation is, "The Creation of a Dairy Goddess." Martin writes the popular Dairy Goddess blog and will bring the inspiring story of finding a successful niche in the dairy industry while fulfilling her desire to be creative. The Dairy Goddess brand is in 13 farmers' markets and 16 stores, and this year the dairy debuted its lightly pasteurized "Cream Top" Milk, a whole milk available also in chocolate.

A regular attendee at the annual conference, Marilyn Hershey, Chester County Ar-Joy Farms, said, "Every time I attend the Women in Dairy conference I come away knowing that it was time well spent. There is value in taking time to network with other dairy persons, learn new farming techniques, and hear personal experiences from quality speakers. This conference is a worthwhile investment for yourself and your dairy."

Another enthusiastic participant, Mary Schmidt, Lost Acres Farms, Crawford County, said, "These conferences are a wonderful way for women to network, share experiences and gain knowledge and training in areas geared more specifically for women. Having breakout sessions with a variety of subjects allows women to 'tailor' the conference to their own operations.  The handout materials and booklet enables us to 'revisit' the conference and topics whenever needed and I have done so on many occasions as situations arise on our farm. I have and will continue to recommend this conference to other women, especially since farming, particularly dairy, is becoming more and more volatile, diverse and challenging."

A diverse array of speakers will provide opportunities to develop new strategies for success in dairy operations while networking with other women in the dairy industry in a supportive atmosphere.

Topics and speakers include:

* Who is Telling Dairy's Story? How Mommy Bloggers Influence Consumers, with a panel of bloggers including mommy blogger Tara Zeigmont and dairy bloggers Barbara Martin and Raechel Sattazan. Panel faciliator is Lisa Perrin, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association.

* Tight Finances, Tight Times, with Rebecca White, senior project associate, Penn State Extension Dairy Team, using real farm examples to highlight methods of evaluating your farm and provide solutions to improving profitability.

* Pins, Needles, Residues and Calf Care with Dr. Robert Van Saun, Penn State Extension veterinarian, discussing calf management and proper approaches to antibiotic treatments for calf disease including methods of treatment and principles of antibiotic residue avoidance.

* Communicating Across Generations, with Gary Snider, vice president, Consulting Services, Farm Credit East, identifying strategies that will be rewarding for each person and business in the relationship by looking at the whole picture from the other's perspective.

* Re-entering the Workforce? Five Things You Need to Know Before You Take the Plunge, with Karl Martz, director of career development, Penn State Harrisburg, looking at considerations in returning to employment.

* Hot Topic - Dealing with Stress in the Farm and Family. Speaker to be announced.

A special motivational session, "You are Not Alone: Enjoying the Ups and Surviving the Downs of Being a Woman in Dairy," is being led by three women with a wide variety of experiences within the industry, and facilitated by Dr. Lisa Holden, Penn State Department of Animal Science. The panel includes Phoebe Bitler, co-owner, Visa Grande Farm, Berks County; Maria Forry, partner, Oregon Dairy Farm, Lancaster County; and Darcie Stolz, VMD, owner, Dairy Production Medicine Associates, Lancaster County. They will each bring personal stories of the joys and frustrations of balancing farm, family, home and career.

Platinum Sponsors include: AgChoice Farm Credit, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, and Center for Dairy Excellence. Silver Sponsors are Elanco Animal Health, Land O'Lakes, Merck, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program and Schneider's Dairy.

This program is eligible for two SmartStart credits from AgChoice.

The $98 registration includes the conference and pre-conference reception Nov. 6, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Best Western Premier where participants and presenters will have an informal get-together and refreshments sponsored by Schneider's Dairy. Registration may be done by mail with a personal check payable to Penn State and sent to Penn State Extension Dairy Team, 324 Henning Building, University Park, PA 16802, or online by VISA or Master Card at Registration forms are available at that site.

To take advantage of the four for three discount registration must be submitted in advance, no later than November 1, 2012, and include names and contact information for all registrants. Online registration with credit card is not available for the special discount pricing.

Hotel reservations may be made with the Best Western Premier Hotel, 717-561-2800.

For more information contact the Penn State Extension Dairy Team at 888-373-7232.