The dairy community is creative and innovative. Dairy Strong brings farmers and industry professionals from diverse management philosophies together to focus on what matters by providing content that is relevant, inspiring and entertaining.

The two-day event hosted by the Dairy Business Association (DBA) takes place Jan. 23 and 24 at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin, and it welcomes dairy producers from across the country and around the world to take part.

In its fifth year, this event is a “must attend” for progressive people in dairy. Farmers at Dairy Strong are owners, managers and decision-makers. They are business people with an aptitude for creativity and the desire to succeed today and tomorrow.  end mark

For more information or to register for Dairy Strong.

Keynote speakers


Peter ZelhanPeter Zeihan – Geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan’s worldview marries the realities of geography and populations to a deep understanding of how global politics impact markets and economic trends, helping industry leaders navigate today’s complex mix of geopolitical risks and opportunities.

With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, his irreverent approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types.

Ken SchmidtKen Schmidt – One of the most in-demand speakers and communications consultants in America, Ken Schmidt has lived a life of which most can only dream. As the former director of communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, he played an active role in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history – and got paid to ride motorcycles.

He is widely known as one of the business world’s most outspoken and provocative thought leaders and has partnered with many of the world’s most successful brands. He shares stories and insights on the road to building a fanatically vocal customer base, creating a passionately loyal corporate culture, and developing leaders who inspire and motivate.

Molly fletcherMolly Fletcher – Formerly, as president of client representation for sports and entertainment agency, CSE, Fletcher spent two decades as one of the world’s only female sports agents. She was hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN as she recruited and represented hundreds of sport’s biggest names, including: Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA Tour golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews, and basketball championship coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers.

She has also authored several books including Fearless At Work; A Winner’s Guide to NegotiatinThe Business of Being the Best; and The 5 Best Tools to Find Your Dream Career.

Schedule of events

Wednesday, Jan. 23

7:30 – 9 a.m.
Breakfast, trade show

9 a.m.
Opening keynote: Molly Fletcher

10 a.m.
Concurrent tracks

Track 1: Consumer trends
Track 2: Dairy technology
Track 3: Business development

12 p.m.
Buffet lunch, trade show

1 – 4:30 p.m.
Innovation Stage sessions

1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Dairy Business Association and Edge annual meeting

3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Wine and beer tasting

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Wisconsin’s Master Cheese Reception, Wisconsin wine and cheese tasting clinic and pairing stage

6:30 p.m.
Plated dinner

7:30 p.m.
Advocacy awards

8 p.m.
Evening keynote: Ken Schmidt

Thursday, Jan. 24

7:30 – 9 a.m.
Breakfast, trade show

8:30 a.m.
Innovation Stage sessions continued

9 a.m.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (invited), Wisconsin legislative keynote

10 a.m.
Trade keynote: Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator,

U.S. Trade representative
10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Economics keynote: Peter Zeihan
11:45 a.m.

Trade show lunch, event concludes following lunch

Innovation Stage presentations

Wednesday, Jan. 23

1 p.m.
Risk management: MPP, LGM and new programs
Aaron Gransee, Investors Community Bank
Sponsored by Investors Community Bank

1:30 p.m.
Giving your calves the best start
Sponsored by Calf-Tel

2 p.m.
Navigating the new tax landscape
Patrick Erickson, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP
Sponsored by CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP

2:30 p.m.
So, you’re thinking about a digester? Talk to me first, please
John Haeckel, Clean Fuel Partners
Sponsored by Clean Fuel Partners

3 p.m.
The new biogas paradigm
Ryan Murray, Eisenmann Corporation
Sponsored by Eisenmann Corporation

3:30 p.m.
Make it, shake it, feed it
Dr. Tom Oelberg, Diamond V
Sponsored by Diamond V

4 p.m.
Practical solutions for improving fiber digestibility in your silage crop
Bill Powel-Smith, Pioneer
Sponsored by Pioneer

Thursday, Jan. 24

8 a.m.
Changing dairy: Starting with how we advocate
Jess Peters, Spruce Row Farm &
Katie Dotterer-Pyle, Cow Comfort Inn Dairy
Sponsored by Cargill Animal Nutrition

Track 1: Consumer Trends

Research roundup: Understanding our consumers
Hannah Thompson-Weeman,
Animal Agriculture Alliance
Sponsored by Edge

Consumers are driving change in today’s food culture
Madlyn Daley, Dairy Management Inc.
and Helen Lundell, the Hartman Group
Sponsored by Quality Liquid Feeds

Track 2: Dairy Technology

Revealing the benefits of precision technology on your dairy
Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, Alltech
Sponsored by Alltech

Results of a bedding dryer; Healthier cows with dryer bedding
Lee Kinnard, Kinnard Farms and Rob Plank, McLanahan
Sponsored by McLanahan

Track 3: Business Development

Value-added: On-farm processing opportunities, challenges and insights
James Baerwolf, Sassy Cow Creamery; Mark Crave, Crave Brothers Farm, LLC; Jerry Jennissen, Jer-Lindy Farms/Redhead Creamery; Moderated by Mary Elvekrog, Compeer Financial
Sponsored by Compeer

Best approaches to managing risk and improving dairy business performance
Molly Fenske, K·Coe Isom
Sponsored by K·Coe Isom