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Dairy Farmers and Allied Industry Thrive at 2018 PDPW Business Conference

March 19, 2018
Contact: Shelly Mayer
Full Media Package is available (i.e. flyer, news releases, speaker and conference photos, etc.)
Photo Caption (Full Stage): “The PDPW Business Conference gathered dairy farmers and industry for 26th annual professional development event themed “Dairying to Thrive,” Mar. 14-15 in Madison, Wis.”  Photo Credit: Joseph Opsal Photography
Dairy Farmers and Allied Industry Thrive at 2018 PDPW Business Conference
The 26th Annual Professional Development Conference was Held in Madison, Wisconsin, Mar. 14-15

DAIRY NEWS – Keeping an eye on the future was a common theme during the Professional Dairy Producers® 2018 PDPW Business Conference in Madison on March 14-15. The 26th annual event, themed “Dairying to Thrive,” featured top presenters and experts who encouraged nearly 1,400 attendees to become more efficient as they grow their diary farm businesses for the future.

Former Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer offensive tackle Mark Tauscher served as the emcee and evening keynote for the Conference. He told attendees, including dairy farmers, veterinarians, nutritionists and other industry and food system professionals, that he overcame adversity during his youth by setting goals and having mentors in his life that pushed him to be better at everything he set out to do.

"Like many of you, I grew up on a small dairy farm where you had to do chores seven days a week," Tauscher reminisced. "My dad said the cows don't care if it's your birthday or even if it was Christmas, they needed to be fed and milked. That was ultimately the very first team experience I had during my childhood – being part of a family farm."

Dr. Mike Boehlje, an ag finance professor with the Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue University, provided ways for producers to identify financial vulnerabilities on their farms and then take steps to increase income, lower costs and fortify their operations' financial resiliency. And agricultural economist Dan Basse from AgResources Company in Chicago brought his optimism and forecast for the dairy industry.

“New demand drivers are needed to alter the oversupply in our agricultural landscape,” he suggests. “We are seeing that glimmer of hope in butter, where sales have gotten much better both domestically and internationally.”

PDPW attendees also learned new insights about the dairy industry taking shape in China. Chinese dairy farmer and processor Zhu Li Ke made the trip to Wisconsin to share how he and his family developed a chain of retail dairy “snack shops” throughout his country to create a farm-to-table enterprise to meet the growing demand for nutritious food products for Asian consumers.

The two-day Conference wrapped up Mar. 15 with an inspiring message by motivational speaker Liz Murray, who grew up in a home with drug-addicted parents. Determined not to be defined by her circumstances, she shared how her education and determination become the key elements to a fresh beginning and a whole new way of living.

For more details about the 2018 PDPW Business Conference visit To view the digital coverage of the 2018 PDPW Business Conference and official Conference photos, follow @dairyPDPW and use #PDPW2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Save the date for the 2019 PDPW Business Conference, set for Mar. 13-14, 2019, to be held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.
The 2018 PDPW Business Conference was an accredited training and offers up to 14.25 Dairy AdvanCE continuing education (CE) credits, as well as CEs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS), and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA). To learn more about Dairy AdvanCE’s continuing education platform for dairy farmers and allied industry members and to secure credits, visit
A heartfelt thank you to all the agribusiness leaders whom support PDPW and the 26th annual PDPW Business Conference. Their belief in the PDPW’s mission and vision allows PDPW to execute best-in-class producer education and enables our farmer-led group to stand as dairy’s professional development organization and trusted resource in dairy.
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.