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Conference Agenda and Program

We've gathered the best resources, speakers and leading-edge topics, so you can choose the perfect sessions to help you succeed.

Online registration is now closed. On-site registration opens at. 8AM on Wed. and Thur., Mar. 13-14 at the PDPW Business Conference.

Day 1:
Wednesday, March 13
8:00 am
Hall of Ideas opens
8:45 – 10:00 am
Hands-On & Specialty Sessions
10:15 – 10:45 am
Learning Lounge & Preview Stage
11:00 – 12:45 pm
General Session
Dr. David Kohl
Scott Burrows
12:30 – 2:30 pm
Lunch in Hall of Ideas
1:00 – 1:30 pm
Learning Lounge & Preview Stage
1:45 – 2:15 pm
Learning Lounge & Preview Stage
2:30 – 6:00 pm
Hands-On & Breakout Sessions
4:30 – 6:15 pm
Connection Reception in Hall of Ideas
6:30 – 8:00 pm
Dinner and Evening Program
Keynote: Dr. Richard Pimentel
Live Music: The Jimmys
Until 12:00 am
Evening Hospitality
Day 2:
Thursday, March 14
8:00 am
Hall of Ideas opens
8:30 – 9:45 am
Hands-On & Specialty Sessions
10:00 – 11:00 am
General Session
Jason Karszes
11:00 – 1:15 pm
Lunch in Hall of Ideas
11:30 – 12:00 pm
Learning Lounge & Preview Stage
12:30 – 1:00 pm
Learning Lounge & Preview Stage
1:15 – 3:20 pm
Hands-On & Breakout Sessions
3:30 – 4:30 pm
Closing Keynote
Merril Hoge
Testimonials

Keynotes

Dr. David Kohl
Your time is now
There is no standing still in our dairy world.  Global dairy trotter Dr. David Kohl will steer us around the world to examine what's happening economically and internationally - and what's around the corner for U.S. dairy.  From the world-renowned economic and business-management expert, you'll gain upper-level views and insights and action steps to take home. You won't want to miss the information, ideas and opportunities that only Dr. David Kohl can bring.

David Kohl is a Professor Emeritus in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech, where he was on staff for 25 years. He is currently president of AgriVisions, LLC, a knowledge-based consulting firm; he’s also a business coach and part owner of Homestead Creamery, a value-added dairy business in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Scott Burrows
Find your grit
Scott Burrows was a star football athlete at Florida State University and a fierce competitor whose final victorious kick-boxing championship was broadcast on ESPN.  Scott's life was tragically altered soon afterwards by a car accident while celebrating with friends, leaving the 19-year-old athlete paralyzed from the chest down and diagnosed a quadriplegic. Over six months of physical therapy at a hospital in Denver, he battled numerous life-threatening complications. Determined to move forward, he employed a method that's now been proven through neuroscience to be the key to rewiring the brain and body; he also returned to college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance. What came innately to Scott at such a young age has incredible implications today for the dairy industry.

Today Scott is the author of the best-selling book Vision Mindset Grit and he teaches individuals how to rise above challenges to propel forward through difficult circumstances by engaging vision, managing mindset, and most importantly, finding their grit.

Dr. Richard Pimentel
What's your why?
Some moments in life are more critical than others.  When milk price is high and business is moving along, we feel like we're at the top of our game: strong, resilient, ready to tackle the world. And then the world moves - and we find ourselves questioning our own decisions and wondering "why?" 

Dr. Richard Pimentel also found himself at a pivotal moment when his commanding officer told him to stay behind and hold the line. Dr. Richard asked a question - and the answer defined the rest of his life. This decorated Vietnam War veteran shares what it means to take care of business and be responsible.

Richard Pimentel is also a disability-rights advocate, writer and comedian. He has developed a supervisor-level training program on disability issues to increase job placement of disabled people and had trained tens of thousands of workers, supervisors, managers and representatives of U.S. government agencies and Fortune 500 companies on awareness, disability management and return-to-work models for injured and recently disabled employees.

Jason Karszes
Investment balance: maximize your business potential
Jason Karszes will discuss investment balance as a management strategy used by high-performing businesses to maximize earnings. With so many different investment areas on your dairy, fine-tuning each of them to run at 100% economic capacity is a game changer. Joined by Dr. David Kohl, Karszes will help you determine maximum economic capacity and incorporate operational and strategic planning so you can capture the full potential of your business.

Jason Karszes is a Senior Extension Associate with the PRO-DAIRY program at Cornell University. With a focus on management education, he coordinates the Cornell Dairy Executive Program to further develop business management skills of dairy producers around the country.

Merril Hoge
Make your way forward
To spectators, Merril Hoge's career as an NFL star and ESPN analyst seemed like a fairy tale; but the reality was quite different.Though Merril would say he came from common ground, he also understood what it took to overcome odds and separate himself from the pack. He's not a common person who subscribes to common thinking.  Neither are you. As a player, parent and professional, Merril Hoge is not just a doer. He's a thinker, problem solver, survivor - and a great human being. His story will change the way you see everything - including yourself.

Merril Hoge is a former NFL running back and ESPN analyst, cancer survivor, professional speaker and author of Find a Way: Three Words That Changed My Life. Hoge shows others how those three words helped him beat cancer and overcome family tragedies; today he helps others apply the same concepts to their situations.