Young Cooperator Program

Young Cooperators Heat Up Decorah, Iowa with Spring Conference

The weather could not have been better for this year's Swiss Valley Farms Young Cooperators Conference in Decorah, IA. You can see photos from this conference on Swiss Valley Farms Facebook page.

Here are a few highlights of what took place at this meeting.
  • David Pelzer and Jamie Vander Molen from Dairy Management Inc. presented a workshop on how to stand up for your industry and turn difficult questions into opportunities to educate consumers about dairy.
  • Swiss Valley Farms CEO Don Bolens and Board Chair Pam Bolin held an informal Question and Answer session with the YC'ers.
  • up spent Saturday at the Dairy Research Center in Calmar, Iowa where they toured the new robotics set up.
  • Former NFL player and motivational speaker Mark Inkrott, who is now V.P. of Sports Marketing for DMI, gave interesting insights into the ups and downs in his sports career and how he successfully dealt with them.
  • Jenn Bentley, ISU Extension, gave tips on manure management and how to prepare for a DNR walk through on your farm.
  • The 2015 Young Cooperator Contest was held during this conference with Daniel and Jenelle Thorman of Dakota, Minn. receiving this honor.

2015 Outstanding Young Cooperator Contest Winners

Daniel and Jenelle Thorman, Dakota, Minn.

Daniel and Jenelle Thorman of Dakota, Minn. are the 2015 Outstanding Young Cooperators. The couple milks a herd of 125 cows with Jenelle's parents, Richard & Carol Laska, on that couple's Winona, Minn. dairy. Dan and Jenelle have attended the Swiss Valley YC conference for several years. Jenelle is Agriculture Instructor and FFA advisor at Fillmore Central High School in Harmony, Minn. She helps Dan and her parents on the farm during the summer and whenever she is able over the school year. They also belong to the Minnesota Ayrshire Association, Guernsey Association of Minnesota and the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators as well as the Winona County ADA. The couple just had their first child, Desiree, this winter. Along with the 2014 YC winners Brock and Nelda Bailey of Tomah, Wis., Dan & Jenelle will be representing Swiss Valley Farms this fall at the 2015 NMPF Dairy Summit in Orlando, Fla.

Who is a Swiss Valley Farms YC'er?

Swiss Valley Farms members from 18 through 45 years old are Young Cooperators and are eligible to attend this two-day YC Spring Break. At this conference, equal time is devoted to educational seminars as well as fun and entertainment. Swiss Valley Farms brings in top notch speakers to address the YC'ers on a wide range of issues that affect their lives and their dairy operations. YC'ers from across the Swiss Valley Farms four-state area can relax and meet fellow co-op members, and discover common ground for interesting discussion.

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