We are caretakers of animals, stewards of natural resources, and producers of the highest quality milk.
Because the science of farming keeps improving, we believe in continuous improvement. That's why we've made a commitment to lifelong learning. PDPW is our professional development organization.
PDPW is a network of producers and dairy professionals from across the nation and beyond. Our members come from 18 different states and represent every type and size of dairy operation. That’s the great thing about being a professional dairy producer: we can be diverse in our business practices and share the common bonds of milk and a commitment to continuing education.
Members Just Like You.
You're in business for the love of dairying and to earn a living. We intend to help you succeed by offering education and useful information, and by communicating dairy industry needs and accomplishments to key audiences.
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Members Just Like You Videos
You may already know some of us...
If not, you can bet we have things in common – the 3 a.m. vet call, the never-ending balance sheet balancing act, the fulfillment that comes from nurturing animals, land and people.
PDPW's nine-member board of directors is elected by dairy producer members. Each director can serve two three-year terms.
Board of Directors:
Jay Heeg, President
Heeg Brothers Dairy LLC, Colby, Wis.
Jay Heeg owns and operates Heeg Brothers Dairy LLC along with his brothers Mark and Gary. The Colby, Wis., dairy has 990 Holstein cows, raises all of its heifers, crops 2,500 acres of corn and alfalfa and employs 20 fulltime workers. Jay is the dairy manager and human resource manager. A graduate of UW-River Falls with a Bachelor of Science degree in broad area agriculture and a minor in animal science, Jay worked for Babson Brothers Company, the parent company of Surge milking equipment before returning to the farm in 1999. Jay and his wife Cheryl have two young children.
Katy Schultz, Vice President
Tri-Fecta Farms Inc, Fox Lake, Wis.
Katy Schultz owns Tri-Fecta Farms Inc. with her siblings Kari and Nick. The farm has 500 cows and 2,000 acres of corn, alfalfa, wheat, soybeans, and peas. Katy is the on-farm manager for daily operations, including livestock and employees. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where she earned a degree in Agribusiness.
Dan Scheider, Secretary
Scheidairy Farms, Inc., Freeport, Ill.
Dan Scheider is a fifth-generation farmer who dairies in partnership with his parents, Doug and Trish Scheider. The Freeport, Ill., family farm has 650 milk cows and crops 1,100 acres of corn and alfalfa. Before returning to farming, Dan spent three years in agricultural and business banking in North Central Wisconsin. In addition to having served on the community college strategic planning task force, he serves on the Stephenson County Board of Health, the County Farm Bureau Board and on the Missions Endowment Fund Committee at his church. He and his wife Sarah have two young children.
Brian Forrest, Treasurer
Maple Ridge Dairy Business LLC., Stratford, Wis.
Brian Forrest of Stratford, Wis., began working on the family's 60-cow dairy after graduating from UW River Falls. He took ownership of the farm in 2002, growing the dairy to 140 cows and adding two full-time employees. In January 2012, the dairy entered into a partnership with Maple Ridge Dairy and now has 1,300 cows and 25 full-time and six part-time employees, with Brian managing the dairy operations and a majority of the employee administrative duties.
Mar-Bec Dairy, Mondovi, Wis.
Marty Hallock of Mondovi, Wis., is a first generation dairy producer. Starting with 40 cows in 1990, MarBec today has 800 cows, 700 heifers and 150 heifers raised off farm. A graduate of UW-River Falls, Marty works 1100 acres owned and rented, which supplies the corn and alfalfa for the dairy. Marty and his wife Becky have two sons, Jonathon and Josh.
Mystic Valley Dairy, LLC, Sauk City, Wis.
Mitch Breunig of Sauk City, Wis., owns and manages Mystic Valley Dairy LLC which milks 430 registered Holsteins and has 450 young stock. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Dairy Science, Mitch worked for Land 'O Lakes as a livestock production specialist before returning to the family farm. Mitch oversees the genetic work at Mystic Valley, which is known for producing superior genetics to the dairy industry throughout the world.
Stone-Front Farm, Lancaster, Wis.
Andy Buttles owns and manages Stone-Front Farm with his wife Lyn. Together, Andy and Lyn successfully own and manage the dairy as equal partners. The dairy is currently in the process of expanding to 1,200 cows, 1,200 youngstock and employ 25 team members. Andy is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his degree in Dairy Science.
Orthland Dairy Farm LLC, Newton, Wis.,
Steven Orth is co-owner in his family farm, Orthland Dairy Farm LLC, which includes his mother, Maxine, and brother Joel. The farm consists of 820 cows, operates 1,600 acres of land and supported by 15 team members. Following the passing of his father after a farm accident, Steven returned to the farm after graduating from Fox Valley Technical College. Since his return, he has been instrumental in a recent expansion that doubled the size of the herd.
Vision Aire Farms, LLC, Eldorado, Wis.
Janet Clark and her husband Travis of Eldorado, Wis., joined her family's dairy, Vision Aire Farms, LLC in 2010 as employees. Her parents Roger and Sandy Grade are now transitioning ownership to Janet, Travis, and her brother David Grade. Janet manages the financials and calves. The dairy consists of 140 registered milking Holsteins and 1,000 acres of owned and rented land. Vision Aire also does custom baling and harvesting for neighboring farms. The farm was awarded the National Milk Quality award from Hoard's Dairymen in 2015 and 2016. Janet received her bachelor's degree in Agri Business Management from the UW-Platteville and has served in many committee member and leadership positions. She has also participated in several PDPW programs.
Ph: (608) 235-5259
As co-director of the UW Discovery Farms Program, Eric Cooley coordinates and implements water quality research, collects and disseminates data, and develops educational materials based on Discovery Farms' research. His work focuses on natural resource issues in eastern Wisconsin with an emphasis on surface water runoff and tile drainage. Eric spent his childhood working on farms and helping his veterinarian father with farm calls in northeastern Wisconsin, which fostered both his passion for agriculture and his understanding of the region's water quality challenges. He received both his MS in Soil Physics and BS in Soil and Water Conservation from UW-Madison after completing his AS in Nuclear Engineering from Thomas Edison State College. Eric has served a 6-year enlistment in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear reactor operator and water chemist.
Ph: (608) 220-9249
Chad serves as Forage Product Manager for Dairyland Seed. Chad initially joined the company in 2004 as a District Sales Manager in Wisconsin. In his current position, Chad works to develop and maintain existing on-farm strip trial product testing programs to gain knowledge of forage product performance in various environments. In addition, he also coordinates with the National Sales Leader, the Alfalfa Strategy Leader, Marketing, the Corn Product Development Agronomist and Alfalfa Research to design and implement a strategy that stimulates interest in and purchases all of Dairyland's forage products. Chad holds a B.S. degree from the department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he specialized in dairy nutrition.
Investors Community Bank, Manitowoc, Wis.
Mark Binversie is co-founder and president of Investors Community Bank. Along with three banking entrepreneurs, Mark started the business in 1997 and is headquartered in Manitowoc, Wis. Together the bank has become one of the largest in the ag sector and one of the fastest growing banks in the state, providing a range of financial services statewide. Mark, a fellow dairy farmer, owned and operated Heartland Dairy, LLC for 15 years.
Dr. Randy Shaver
UW Madison - Dept. of Dairy Science
Dr. Randy Shaver has been on faculty of the Department of Dairy Science with UW-Madison since 1988. As a professor of nutrition, Dr. Shaver's extension and research programs focus on applied nutrition of lactating dairy cattle. His research focuses on improving nutrient utilization of corn silage and corn grain and B-vitamin supplementation of dairy diets.
How We Work
Committees established by the board work on an ad hoc basis to advise the board of important issues and establish educational programs that are of interest to their business.
Places producers at the table to discuss emerging issues with public policymakers, and provide input from a producer's perspective.
Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals™
PDPW's annual national training event for dairy executives. Producers plan the academy and bring the best, high-level trainers and tours to attendees.
With producer input, this event has grown from a small conference in 1993 to the dairy industry's premier educational event. Producer involvement in planning from start-to-finish helps us keep our relevant edge.
What Matters™ - What Matters™ is dairy farmers and veterinarians working together to ensure safe meat and milk. PDPW partners with the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association to lead the industry to more effective solutions beyond increased regulation.
National Dairy Animal Well-Being Initiative – PDPW is putting dairy producers at the table where issues of animal care are concerned. We've been leading on this issue for the past decade, when our members led the National Dairy Animal Well-Being Initiative, which created the principles and guidelines that have become the standard for dairy animal care and well-being.
It's what makes PDPW unique – meetings planned by dairy producers for dairy producers. When we say we're "grassroots," this is what we mean. Your program ideas matter and are considered by this committee.
PDPW founded with a handful of dairy producers and 20 bucks.
"We need to find the best resources" leads to the first Business Conference for dairy producers and allied industry.
PDPW forms an education committee for youth programming, such as the PDPW Mentor Program.
PDPW forms Public Policy ad hoc committee and increases communication between dairy producers and state agencies responsible for rulemaking.
Develops first annual conference focused on environmental issues.
Begins regular meetings with Deans of the University of Wisconsin system and other educational institutions to discuss issues critical to dairy sustainability.
PDPW Board of Directors issues first white paper on the state of the WI dairy industry.
PDPW Board of Directors hires first staff member, Executive Director.
Professional Dairy Producers Foundation established for the benefit of the entire dairy industry.
Develops first Managers Academy to provide executive level training for dairy producers and industry.
PDPW expands educational programming by 40 percent, per the request of its membership.
Together with the Wisconsin Towns Association and the Wisconsin Counties Association, PDPW establishes the Agriculture-Community Engagement (ACE) program.
PDPW leadership identifies the need to define dairy well-being practices and leads the National Dairy Animal Well-being Initiative.
PDPW proactively forms working partnership with WVMA and leads the What Matters Initiative to ensure safe milk and meat.
Membership includes 1,600 farm entities, located in 18 states throughout the nation.
PDPW Celebrates 25 Years of Leadership More information »