Applications for 2024 Cornerstone Dairy Academy due January 31

Farmers with Cows

Application-Based Leadership-Development Program Set for March 12-13, 2024

With the application deadline nearing for Cornerstone Dairy Academy® presented by the Professional Dairy Producers® (PDP), dairy farmers and other industry professionals will want to submit their applications by Jan. 31, 2024. The three-pillar leadership-development program will be held Mar. 12-13, 2024, in Wisconsin Dells, Wis, and simultaneous translation into Spanish will be available for all sessions.

Cornerstone participants will select one of three leadership pillars – influential, visionary or servant – each designed to incorporate peer-to-peer networking and interaction, and led by world-class experts. The first day of the program will be facilitated at Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., on Mar. 12. The second day of the program will task participants with employing their skills in real time while attending the 2024 PDPW Business Conference on Mar. 13 at the Kalahari Resorts.

Attendees in the Influential Leadership pillar will discover their behavior types, better understand generational differences and the correlating communication methods, master first impressions with courtesy and confidence, and more. Through interactive sessions and opportunities to practice new skills, they will learn to model thankfulness and gratitude and invite contributions and collaborate with team members. Presenters include:

• Holly Green, behavioral scientist and business leader

• Rachel Wagner of Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol

• Hank Wagner, dairy producer, author and founder of Wagner Leadership Training.

Those participating in the Visionary Leadership pillar will learn more about the attributes of integrity, ethical decision-making, observing global trends to discover opportunities early, planning strategically with the use of economic-indicator tools and more. They will not only develop a clear purpose and vision for the future, but also the plan to get there. Presenters include:

• Dr. Richard Kyte, endowed professor at Viterbo University

• Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech and leading agricultural economist

Attendees in the Servant Leadership pillar will learn the value of organizational focus and working as a team, the power of hospitality and customer service, the blessings of a positive, productive work culture and more. This pillar is facilitated by Tom Thibodeau, distinguished professor of Servant Leadership at Viterbo University, who will help attendees lead with passion and a commitment to growing people’s abilities and building communities.

Previous attendee Casi Long of Doodle-A-Long Farms near Spring City, Penn says, “One of the things I learned is that if you want to successfully create a path for people to follow, you must first be a good listener.”

Cornerstone Dairy Academy is application-based to preserve the quality and level of interaction. Applications are due by Jan. 31, 2024, and available at Contact PDP at 800-947-7379 with questions.

Upon acceptance to the program, students and dairy producers pay $200 to attend; allied industry members pay $500. Support from Dairy’s Foundation and State Farm Insurance covers the balance of program fees, including meals. PDP will reimburse participants $50 per night for hotel lodging up to a maximum of two nights or $100.

Cornerstone Dairy Academy is an accredited training and offers Dairy AdvanCE continuing education units (CEUs). To learn more or secure credits, visit

Professional Dairy Producers (PDP) 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.

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