Embracing Opportunities for a Viable Future

For more than 3 decades, the Northeast Dairy Management Conference has brought together progressive dairy farmers from across the Northeast to engage and learn about the latest developments and topics in the dairy industry. The conference is presented as a collaboration between Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY and the Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA).

This biennial conference is designed to help dairy farms increase productivity and adapt to change with personal and business-wide strategies. With dynamic and informative sessions, participants will gain insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the dairy industry and explore new ideas and strategies for success. The conference also provides the opportunity to connect with other innovative dairy producers and advisors, establishing a network for long-term success. Don't miss out on this incredible event!

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2024 Conference Highlights

Nearly 400 dairy producers and industry professionals from across the Northeast gathered in East Syracuse, NY last week for two intense days of learning, collaboration, industry thought-leadership, and a few laughs. Participants gained insights about the challenges and opportunities facing the dairy industry, explored innovative technologies and strategies for success, and connected with peers. Attendees represented dairy farms, industry advisors and partners, suppliers, consultants, and university and extensions professionals. 

“We had a great group of speakers who provided excellent talks on key topics for our dairy producers and allied industry professionals.  There was great energy among the attendees as they engaged with speakers and networked with each other”, said Tom Overton, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY Director.

Conference sessions supported the theme of “Embracing Opportunities for a Viable Future”. Topics focused on putting people first, with personal growth and leadership skill development, strategies to increase employee engagement, and research-based practices that support safe, engaged, and productive workforces. Speakers shared the importance of vision and leadership, teamwork and building and maintaining relationships, and moving beyond your comfort zone to re-energize your business and improve performance. Perspective was offered on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and integrate technologies in a Farm of the Future. A favorite highlight of the conference is connecting with like-minded leaders in the industry to share ideas and experiences.

“Spending the past two days with NY dairy industry leaders was energizing as we discussed future opportunities”, said Tonya Van Slyke, NEDPA Executive Vice President of Industry Relations.   “While challenges for our farms exist, especially around the regulatory climate, we must continue to come together, share vision, and focus on the current research and research needed.  Being together reminds us about the importance of communicating our collective commitment to being part of the solution in New York and beyond to providing food security, continuing to care for our environment, and being part of the solution as our state works toward aggressive goals on climate initiatives.”


Awards Presented

During the event, two awards were given to industry leaders.  Jason Karszes, PRO-DAIRY farm business specialist, received the Friend of NEDPA award, which recognizes an extraordinary industry partner whose work has positively impacted New York’s dairy industry.  Additionally, the Dick Popp Memorial Leadership Award was presented to the family of Dennis Eldred in his memory. This award is given to an individual in the Northeast dairy industry who demonstrates a passion and vision for the dairy industry. Eldred was a progressive Cayuga County dairyman who passed in April 2023.

Four students from Cornell University received awards from the Richard Popp Scholarship Fund: Danielle Herrick, Bliss, NY; Lainey Koval, Stillwater, NY; Lucas Walley, Walton, NY; and Sophia Woodis, Dewittville, NY. This fund was established by friends, families, and colleagues of Dick Popp and honors senior undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

Additional conference information

For more information

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Heather Darrow

Conference Coordinator

Animal Science


Heather Darrow