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PDPW Financial Literacy for Dairy™ to Help Farmers Understand Their Numbers

October 1, 2020
Contact: Shelly Mayer
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PDPW Financial Literacy for Dairy™ to Help Farmers Understand Their Numbers
New “Count On Us” Program to Offer Financial Scholarships
DAIRY NEWS – All year long we’ve heard the phrase: “know your numbers,” and this year these numbers are more critical than ever. A solid understanding of financial knowledge and “knowing your numbers” is one of the key components of operating a successful dairy in today’s unpredictable environment.
The Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW) announces its 2020-21 PDPW Financial Literacy for Dairy™ Series. This multi-level, multi-session financial development program is designed to provide dairy farmers and other agribusiness professionals with a solid financial understanding and foundation that will stretch their thinking beyond current comfort levels.
The PDPW Financial Literacy for Dairy® program is the dairy industry’s first dairy-specific financial curriculum.  Launched in 2017, the 3-level, multi-session curriculum is meeting the need of dairy farmers. Not only does it change how they think but it also enables them to make timely – and better – decisions that have allowed their farms, families and legacies to thrive in an ever-changing market. 
“The Financial Literacy class has helped me understand what I’ll need to look for in our business statements to help set, meet and track our goals and help me understand what to look for to be more profitable and efficient,” said Clint Hodorff, Eden, Wis., dairy producer and a Financial Literacy participant.
An online placement assessment will determine which level best suits the degree of the individual’s financial comprehension. Each training group offers a multi-session, multi-date format with day one running from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and day two reconvening from 8 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m.  
All trainings will take place at the PDPW Headquarters, 820 N. Main St., Juneau, Wis.
  • Level 1: Nov. 11-12, 2020; and concludes Dec. 9-10, 2020
  • Level 2: Jan. 13-14, 2021; continues Feb. 10-11, 2021 and concludes March 3-4, 2021
  • Level 3: March 24-25, 2021
Level 1 will dive into core financial concepts such as the value of determining and developing short-term and long-term business goals and the principles of preparing annual balance sheets. Level 1 trainees will also compile a cash income statement to measure their dairy’s profitability.
Level 2 will offer an in-depth look at financial tools such as income statements, inventories, and depreciation. A study of profitability and cost-center tracking will show trainees how to separate various parts of their operation to measure the profitability of each enterprise such as raising heifers, steers and crops.
Level 3 will cover budgeting tools for planning and performance monitoring, trend analysis, key metrics to monitor, and benchmarking. This level will stretch attendees with managing capital investment for their business, how to optimize capital purchases and protocols for sharing records.
Program trainers include Gary Sipiorski, an independent business and financial consultant; and Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and Farm Management Specialist with UW-Extension and Center for Dairy Profitability for Level 1 & 2 instruction; and Dick Wittman, board chair, transition coach and former manager of a 20,000-acre crop, cattle and timber operation in northern Idaho for Level 3 instruction.
New this year to Financial Literacy is the “Count On Us,” program, designed to build partnerships to improve financial reporting, understanding and ultimately, profitability for dairy operations. PDPW has developed a list of lenders, financial institutions and consultants who are willing to provide partial scholarships to dairy producers who participate in the PDPW Financial Literacy for Dairy program. Class attendees will pay the training program fee to PDPW upon registration, then consult with their “Count On Us” partners to determine the scholarship amount.
“Count On Us” partners include:
  • Ag Consulting Team
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Compeer Financial
  • Dairy Business Consulting, Inc.
  • DMB Community Bank – DeForest
  • Farmers & Merchants Union Bank
  • Rabo AgriFinance
  • Citizens State Bank of Loyal
  • Bank of Brodhead – Brodhead
  • Investors Community Bank
  • GreenStone Farm Credit Services
“PDPW sees “Count On Us” as a win-win situation for the producer and the lender. This investment by the lenders will help their clients improve their financial acumen and business performance, leading to a stronger, healthier financial working relationship. It’s also an opportunity for the lenders to invest in and connect with the next generation making their way back to the farm,” said Shelly Mayer, Executive Director of PDPW and dairy farmer from Slinger, Wis.

PDPW will follow the latest CDC guidelines, with adequate distancing offered at both the farm and town hall. Ample supplies of masks and hand sanitizer will also be available.

To learn more about Financial Literacy for Dairy or to register online, visit or call PDPW at 1-800-947-7379. Follow along digitally in advance of and during the event by following @dairyPDPW and using #PDPWFinancialLiteracy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Financial Literacy for Dairy is an accredited training and offers up to 32 Dairy AdvanCE (DACE) continuing education credits for Level 1, up to 48 DACE credits for Level 2 and up to 16 DACE credits for Level 3. To learn more or secure credits, visit
Professional Dairy Producers (PDPW) is the nation's largest dairy producer-led organization of its kind, focusing on producer professionalism, stakeholder engagement and unified outreach to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.