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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 Brothers Dairy LLC, Colby, Wis.
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 1,050 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, 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.
Phone: 715.650.0267
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 1,800 cows and 30 full-time and six part-time employees, with Brian managing the dairy operations and a majority of the employee administrative duties.
 
Marty Hallock
Mar-Bec Dairy, Mondovi, Wis.
Phone: 715.495.2812
Marty Hallock of Mondovi, Wis., is a first-generation dairy farmer in northwestern Wisconsin and graduate of UW-River Falls. Marty, his wife Becky, and two sons, Jonathon and Josh, run Mar-Bec Dairy, a 1,050-cow herd, with a total of 1,100 heifers raised on- and off-farm. They also work 2,100 acres of owned and rented land. The farm is supported by 16 full-time and 1-2 part-time/as-needed team members. Held close by both owners and employees, the farm's culture is to build a profitable dairy as a leader by providing an environment where people and cows can excel and enjoy. They also respect family time for owners and employees alike.
 
Mitch Breunig
Mystic Valley Dairy, LLC, Sauk City, Wis.
Phone: 608.643.6818
Mitch Breunig of Sauk City, Wis., owns and manages Mystic Valley Dairy LLC, which milks 430 registered Holsteins and has 450 young stock. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate 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 global dairy industry.
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, Newton, 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 940 cows, operates 1,800 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.
 
Janet Clark
Vision Aire Farms, LLC, Eldorado, 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.
 
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, ingredient procurement and inventory management, 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), Wisconsin Professional Ag Consultants (WAPAC), Professional Dairy Producers of WI (PDPW), and Dairy Business Association (DBA). Jim and his family reside in Verona, Wis.
 
Mark Binversie
Phone: 920-901-2002
Mark Binversie is co-founder and president of Investors Community Bank.  Along with three banking entrepreneurs, Mark started the business in 1997, 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
Phone: 608-669-8094
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.
 
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

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