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WHO WE ARE

Your Strongest Supporter

Leadership has no age limits; it never expires and it starts young. When incoming generations are after a dairy career, we're here to help them succeed.
Mission
To share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.
Vision
To lead the success of the dairy industry through education.
How It Works

It all starts with the dairy farmer – our members are a passionate and bright group of forward-thinking servant leaders. They work diligently to learn, engage and collaborate on key issues that directly affect our industry's future.

Our dairy farm members tell us what they need, and we work to connect with the world's renowned experts. Together, we create best-in-class programs that train and develop dairy producers, stakeholders, consumers and other industry influencers.

What's with the W?

Our friends call us PDPW. We also go by Professional Dairy Producers®.

Founded a quarter century ago as "Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin" (PDPW), today our membership has outgrown our name as we represent dozens of states. To honor our heritage, the "W" in our logo remains, but our future is focused on impacting members' lives coast to coast and country to country.

Meet Our Leaders

PDPW's nine-member Board of Directors are elected by active PDPW dairy farm members. Each director – also an active dairy producer - can serve two three-year terms. Equipped with the leadership skills and vision to serve, PDPW board members actively shape PDPW's educational calendar, create the organization's plan of work and serve on other industry action committees throughout the dairy sector and beyond.

Board of Directors
Jay Heeg, President
Heeg Bros. Dairy, LLC
Phone: 715-507-0030
Jay Heeg owns and operates Heeg Brothers Dairy LLC along with his brothers Mark and Gary. The Colby, Wis., dairy has 1,100 Holstein cows, raises all of its heifers, grows 2,800 acres of corn and alfalfa, and employs 20 full-time 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.
Phone: 920-210-9661
Katy Schultz owns Tri-Fecta Farms Inc. with her siblings Kari and Nick. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in agribusiness and, before returning to the home farm, was a marketing and communications professional. Now back at the farm full time, Katy serves as the on-farm manager for daily operations, including livestock and employees. The family's farm has 500 cows and 2,000 acres of corn, alfalfa, wheat, soybeans and peas. Katy and her daughter live in Fox Lake, Wis.
 
Dan Scheider, Secretary
Scheidairy Farms, Inc., Freeport, Ill.
Phone: 815-821-4012
Dan Scheider is a fifth-generation farmer who dairies in partnership with his parents, Doug and Trish Scheider.  The Freeport, IL, family farm milks 650 cows and crops 1,200 acres of corn and alfalfa.  Before returning to farming, Dan spent three years in agricultural and business banking in North Central Wisconsin.  He serves as the Vice President of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau Board and on the County Board of Health.  In addition, he serves on the Buckeye Mutual Insurance Company Board of Directors.  Dan and his wife have two school aged children.
 
Janet Clark, Treasurer
Vision Aire Farms, LLC, Rosendale, Wis
Phone: 608-341-6709
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.
 
Andy Buttles
Stone-Front Farm, Lancaster, Wis.
Phone: 608-723-4712
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 employs 25 team members. Andy is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his degree in dairy science.
 
Steven Orth
Orthland Dairy Farm LLC, Cleveland, Wis.
Phone: 920-905-2575
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 1,030 cows, operates 1,900 acres of land, and is supported by 15 team members. Following the passing of his father after a farm accident, Steven became general manager of the farm at age 18. Since his return, he has focused his efforts on improving animal well-being, people development and profitability.
 
Ken Feltz
Feltz Family Farms, Inc. and Feltz's Dairy Store, Inc., Stevens Point, Wis.
Phone: 715-570-6390
Ken Feltz owns and operates Feltz Family Farms Inc. and Feltz’s Dairy Store Inc. with his wife Jackie and their family. Their Stevens Point, Wis., dairy consists of 570 cows that are milked in a double-12 parallel parlor with an additional 110 cows milked with 2 robots. The robotic barn is attached to the retail store where cheese, milk, ice cream, meat, chocolates and many other products are sold. The family operation employs 16 full-time people for work at the farm and dairy store. In 2015, the Feltz family received the Master Agriculturalist award; in 2014 they co-hosted Farm Technology Days. They’ve hosted Portage County’s June Dairy Breakfast twice.
John Haag
Haag Dairy, LLC, Dane, Wis.,
Phone: 608-576-0812
John Haag owns and operates Haag Dairy, LLC, in Dane, Wis., with his son Josh. Haag Dairy raises all their replacements on the 150-cow dairy in addition to selling approximately 50 cows a year to other farmers for their replacements. In August of 2018, they began using two DeLaval robots in their milking routine. In 2011, they hosted the Dane County Breakfast on the Farm; since then John has been involved with the Dane County Promotion Committee, serving as a director-at-large for the past 4 years. He’s also been Lodi FFA alumni president for 12 years and an East Central/Select Sires delegate for 7 years.
Corey Hodorff
Second-Look Holsteins, LLC, Eden, Wis.
Phone: 920-602-6449
Corey Hodorff is part of the fourth generation to own and operate his family’s century farm with his wife Tammy, brother Clint, and parents Doug and Linda. They milk 1,000 cows and crop 1,200 acres at Second Look Holsteins, LLC, in Eden. In addition to the dairy entity, the family business structure also includes Peniel Acres, Ltd. and Hodorff Seeds and Agronomy. On the farm Corey oversees the team members and management of dairy operations. He has served as 4-H leader, Fond du Lac County Dairy committee member, Fond du Lac County Junior Holstein advisor, and Fond du Lac County Holstein Association director.
Advisors
Andrew Skwor
Phone: 608-963-5211
Andy Skwor serves as the Agricultural Services Team Leader at the Baraboo, Wis., office of MSA Professional Services, Inc. – a multi-disciplinary engineering, architectural and planning consulting firm. He is a professional engineer licensed in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin as well as a Certified Professional of Erosion and Sediment Control – experienced in erosion control planning, design, implementation and inspection. His work spans the arenas of project/construction management, farmstead planning, WPDES/NPDES permitting, livestock siting and design of manure processing, transfer and storage facilities. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering as well as a B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Andy has been a member of the PDPW network since 2015. He and his family currently reside in La Valle, Wis.
 
Jim Barmore
Phone: 608-577-5665
Jim Barmore, a Wisconsin native, in 2003 started Five-Star Dairy Consulting and in 2009 was a founding partner of GPS Dairy Consulting, LLC. Jim received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UW-Madison in dairy nutrition and specializes in areas of forage management, dairy operational efficiency, herd performance monitoring, facility and barn design, and dairy expansion planning. He is very involved in strategic planning, performance coaching, executive leadership and people development for dairy owners and managers. Jim is a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS), American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), Professional Dairy Producers of WI (PDPW), and Dairy Business Association (DBA). Jim and his family reside in Verona, Wis.
 
Dr. Paul Fricke
Phone: 608-395-5252
Dr. Paul Fricke was raised on his family’s row crop and dairy farm located near Papillion, Neb. where his family continues to farm today. Dr. Fricks earned a B.S. in Animal Science in 1988 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and M.S. in 1992 and Ph.D. in 1996 in Reproductive Physiology at North Dakota State University. In 1996, Paul joined as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Dept. of Dairy Science and the Dept. of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences at UW-Madison. Paul joined the faculty in the Dept. of Dairy Science at UW-Madison in 1998, and he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004 and to Full Professor in 2009.  His current position includes 70% Extension and 30% research appointments in dairy cattle reproduction. Dr. Fricke’s research program focuses on understanding the biology underlying the many reproductive problems presented by modern dairy cattle.
Kurt Petik
Phone: 920-904-2226
Kurt Petik was raised on an 800 head beef cattle ranch in western South Dakota, which his family still operates today. He earned B.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business from South Dakota State University. His agricultural banking career began in 1997 as a loan officer in Rock Valley, IA. The Petik family moved to Fond du Lac, WI in 2003, where they still reside today. In 2013, Kurt joined Rabo AgriFinance as a Senior Relationship Manager and opened their Madison, WI office. Away from farms and the office, Kurt & his wife are active members of Hope Lutheran Church, enjoy attending their two daughters music and athletic events, and cheer on their son in the UW Marching Band.
A Legacy Well Served
The first 25 years of history, influence and legacy

When PDPW celebrated 25 years as an organization in 2017, we were faced with the challenges of accurately and adequately documenting and presenting that history.

We can attempt to engrave the names of people and important dates and events on paper or digital "headstones," but with each step we are reminded again and again that PDPW is a living, breathing thing.

So, while we may collect remnants of PDPW's first quarter century from minutes of meetings, newspapers, notes on the backs of envelopes, photographs, videos and sometimes-frail memories, we've come to the realization that the interpretation, influence and legacy of the organization's history is more profoundly written and stored in the hearts and minds of the people who have and continue to live it.

For that reason, this story is less about PDPW's chronology – although there is some of that – and more about the visionary actions, shared through words from the people who created the organization and direct it into a second quarter century and beyond.

Learn more about the beginning, the vision, the mission and the people behind it all by viewing the "25 Years of Leadership" documentary.

Ben Brancel, former Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, recalls the mindset that would serve as the dawn of a new era: "In the early 1990s, members of the next generation were starting to hear about how many farms we'd lost, that there wasn't opportunity in dairying and that they had to find something else to do with their lives. And yet there were those people out there who were still positive, still saw a bright future, and really believed in the young people and the opportunities available to them."

In 1991, Terry Smith, director of University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Dairy Profitability, established a subcommittee to explore the need for a dairy producer-led organization to address their professional development needs. The conclusion: the idea was worth pursuing, and it'd probably work best if dairy farmers addressed their challenges by working together.

"The organization needed to be a place where dairy businesses of all shapes and sizes across Wisconsin could benefit from interaction. For this to be successful and sustainable, it had to be grassroots … run by dairy producers. We believed it would not only benefit individual businesses, but more importantly, it would benefit the dairy industry's viability and sustainability."

PDPW Timeline
Picture
1992

PDPW founded by dairy farmers

1992
Movie
1993

First PDPW Business Conference

First PDPW Board of Directors elected

1993
Picture
1995

Released video recordings of speakers from in-person programs

1995
Location
1996

Formed Youth Educational committee

Launched PDPW Mentor Program

Released Heifer Growers List

1996
Location
1997

Formed Public Policy ad hoc committee

Increased communication with state agencies

1997
Movie
1998

Held first "Committee Days" for dairy farmers to share ideas for programming

Took first political position to stop livestock ordinance prohibiting growth

1998
Movie
1999

Advocated for creation of UW Discovery Farm

Began meeting regularly with University of Wisconsin System leaders to position Wisconsin as a long-term global leader in dairy

Launched first Environmental Conference, named "Public Policy Summit"

Began Dairy's Bottom Line print publication

1999
Movie
2000

PDPW Board issued first white paper: State of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry

Launched the Enhanced Internship Program

2000
Movie
2001

PDPW Board hired first staff member, now Executive Director, Shelly Mayer

Formed Public Relations committee

Launched industry's first Effective Communications Training, now known as "Dairy's Visible Voice®"

2001
Movie
2002

Founded Professional Dairy Producers Foundation, serving as Dairy's Foundation

Provided 50 grants to dairy farms with first nutrient management plans

Charter member of the WLIC (Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium)

2002
Movie
2003

Placed international students from Mexico in Enhanced Internship Program

Founded Agricultural Community Engagement® (ACE), in partnership with Wisconsin Towns Association and Wisconsin Counties Associations

Introduced first Mission Sponsor, Badgerland Financial, now known as Compeer Financial

2003
Movie
2004

Launched dairy's first national executive training – Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals®

Presented first Youth Leadership Derby®

2004
Movie
2005

Developed and led the National Dairy Animal Well-Being Initiative, developed principles and guidelines

Voted "Top 10 Companies/People Most Influential in Agriculture"

Leader in stakeholder workgroup for Livestock Siting (ATCP 51)

2005
Movie
2006

Charter member of Center for Food Integrity (CFI)

2006
Movie
2007

Developed Dairy Connect Speaker's Bureau

2007
Movie
2008

Founded the Wisconsin Dairy Industry Crisis Preparedness Plan (WDICPP), in partnership with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

2008
Movie
2010

Held first ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meeting

Launched World Class Webinars, online video training series with Dr. David Kohl as speaker

2010
Movie
2011

Launched food system initiative to connect food companies and allied industry professionals with modern farming practices

Developed Agricultural Professional Partnerships® (APPs) curriculum for non-farm professionals

2011
Movie
2012

Developed "What Matters" initiative with the WVMA (Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association), now called Food Armor®

Began providing continuing education (CE) credits (i.e. UW-SVM, ARPAS and CCA)

Launched the National Dairy Leaders Coalition

2012
Movie
2014

Launched international dairy leadership program, Cornerstone Dairy Academy

2014
Movie
2016

Held first International Dairy Tour, traveling to New Zealand

2016
Movie
2017

Launched DairyAdvanCE.org, first online one-stop shop for continuing education

Launched first Financial Literacy for Dairy curriculum

Celebrated 25th Anniversary

2017
Movie
2018

Advocacy of UW Dairy Innovation Hub

Leadership on Dairy Taskforce 2.0

2018
Movie
2019

Launched PDPW Peer Groups

Unveiled 1st PDPW Podcast

Developed PDPW Dairy Managers Institute

2019

Dairy's Foundation - Professional Dairy Producers Foundation

PDPW proudly established the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation in 2002 and is dairy's foundation. As a stand-alone charitable organization, their leadership serves the industry to raise funds and award grants for PDPW and PDPW-like educational and public trust initiatives.

Their reach serves all dairy stakeholders, from farm to consumer, throughout dairy communities in the United States.

Learn More