Dennis Edlund General Manager San Joaquin DHIA Herald, California
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
My formal education is a bachelor’s degree in dairy science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a master’s in animal genetics from Virginia Tech.
Please describe your agricultural background.
I was raised on a dairy in the heart of the Central Valley in Hilmar, California. I participated in both 4-H and the FFA, showing at county fairs and receiving the American Farmer degree in FFA. Between college and grad school, I worked as a field rep for Golden Genes and their progeny test division. After grad school, I worked with my brothers in a small registered dairy and farming operation in Idaho for 20 years. I then managed a large 4,000-cow dairy for five years until my return to California 11 years ago. After which, I worked as a field rep for the Holstein Association.
What territory will you cover?
San Joaquin DHIA serves member producers in Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter and Yolo counties of California.
What are your new responsibilities?
As manager of San Joaquin DHIA, I manage and coordinate a field staff of six test-supervisors with the direction of our board, strategic planning and policy decisions. I also stay in contact with our members through our website, social media, email newsletter and on-farm visits.
What previous positions have you held?
I have worked both sides of the street, as a small registered dairy producer, as a manager of a large commercial dairy and then as an industry rep/consultant/salesman.
Who has made the biggest impact on your career?
Outside of my father and mother who instilled a love of animals and farm life, it would be Doug Maddox. He gave me my first job out of college. He was not only an industry leader and pioneer in many large herd management developments, but also a mentor and friend.
How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
I have a lot of experience and knowledge of herd management programs and their use. I hope to be a resource to our members and provide educational opportunities through the website and jointly held industry workshops for our member herds.
Why did you choose this company?
It was an opportunity to work for and with a large number of dairy producers who I have come to know in my previous work for the Holstein Association.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
In accordance with our board of directors, I hope to continue our tradition of providing DHI services with efficiency and flexibility while keeping an eye toward adding new products or services when they make sense for our members.
The industry continues to evolve, and DHIA needs to be ready to adapt. Incorporating the collection of additional health and management traits, such as milking speed, teat end scores and disease occurrences, could enhance industry evaluations. Also the importance of animal welfare could open opportunities for the collection of additional member data, such as locomotion scores, hock cleanliness, etc., for management use. PD