Profile picture of Tara Vander Dussen

Tara is a dairy farmer and New Mexico native, growing up on her family dairy farm in Eastern New Mexico. Now Tara and her husband, Daniel, dairy farm along with their two young daughters. Tara has worked as an environmental scientist for the last 9 years on dairy farm projects throughout the southwest. As a project manager, she assists her clients with state and federal regulatory compliance, water conservation, sustainable management practices, and analytical reports. She provides direction to producers on environmental concerns and permits.

Tara’s passion is advocating for modern dairy farming by sharing her story about life on her family dairy through her blog, New Mexico Milkmaid, and her social media platforms. By using her voice, she hopes to change people’s perceptions of farmers and dairy farming. New Mexico Milkmaid now has a community of more than 40,000 followers.

portrait of jennifer van os

Jennifer Van Os is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Animal Welfare on the faculty of the Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Van Os received her PhD in the interdisciplinary Animal Behavior graduate program at the University of California-Davis and conducted postdoctoral research in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia. The research in her lab at UW-Madison focuses on understanding, evaluating, and improving the welfare of dairy animals from a biological perspective. The goal of Dr. Van Os’ extension program is to promote best practices in management and housing to help the dairy industry adapt as our scientific knowledge about animal welfare continues to grow.

Profile picture of Christie Andrus-Nakano

Christie Andrus-Nakano has over twenty-five years’ experience coaching leaders to manage themselves and their teams to extraordinary performance, especially when it comes to leading change. Christie’s unique view as a former professor and senior advisor to college and business leaders means she's able to offer distinct insights to progressive folks wanting to leverage the strengths of their people as they navigate the challenging waters of change. Ms. Andrus-Nakano uses Appreciative Inquiry, a strengths focused approach as the foundation for all her strategic consultations, knowing AI to be a powerful, time efficient means of achieving goals and getting great performance from teams.

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Tom Wall, The Dairy CoachTM, has been working with dairies throughout the country for over 19 years… helping managers create and implement simple systems that work while training and coaching their employees. Wall, based out of Green Bay, owns and operates Dairy Coach, LLC, and has been a regular columnist with dairy industry publications. He is also the creator of the newest employee management app and time clock called PeopleCor, the Details for Dairy training video series, and Dairy Interactive Milker Training simulator.

Profile of Paula Ospina, Lechear

Dr. Paula Ospina is currently running Lechear a bilingual dairy consulting company focused on improving milk quality. She is a veterinarian and epidemiologist with experience working with Quality Milk Production Services. By expanding the knowledge base of all personnel on farms, focusing on why things are done not just the how, and motivating a culture of education, she helps advance farms to the next level.

Profile of Fernando Soberon

Fernando Soberon is the Northeast Regional Business Manager for Standard Dairy Consultants LLC. Standard Dairy Consultants work to provide dairy producers with the information, resources and products they need to be successful. Prior to Standard, Fernando spent 8 years with Trouw Nutrition USA where he was the National Technical Services Manager. Fernando received his Masters and PhD from Cornell University. His research included early lactation milking frequency, the development of the calf, and the effects of early life nutrition on lifetime performance of dairy cows. Fernando has given numerous invited talks around the world relating these topics to producers, veterinarians and nutritionists. Fernando is originally from Mexico, where he received his undergraduate degrees in Zoology and Animal Science.

Profile of Geoff Dahl, University of Florida

Geoffrey E. Dahl is the Harriet B. Weeks Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Dr. Dahl conducts applied and basic research with direct impact on dairy production. Specific research interests include effects of photoperiod manipulation on production and health, the impact of frequent milking in early lactation on milk production, and heat stress abatement during the dry period on cow productivity and health. Dr. Dahl is a member of several professional and honorary societies including the American Dairy Science Association, the American Society of Animal Science, the Society for the Study of Reproduction, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Endocrine Society. Geoff currently serves as the President of FASS, which was previously known as the Federation of Animal Science Societies.

Profile of Stan Moore, Michigan State University Extension

Stan Moore is a field-based Educator with Michigan State University, and has been with the university for over 29 years. Stan works in the area of Farm Business Management. Stan works with farmers in a 24-county area of northern lower peninsula and the eastern UP. Stan also is responsible for agricultural human resource management education for Michigan. Stan has worked with Phil Durst on a number of employee management research and educational programs in the state, resulting in two papers in the Journal of Dairy Science, and a section in the Large Herd Dairy Management, 3rd edition (2017). He is responsible for developing and facilitating labor sessions at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo in Grand Rapids each year, and maintains a page on MSU’s Farm Business web site featuring employer resources. Stan also spearheaded the development of Farm Employee University, an on-line training program for dairy farm employees.

Profile photo of Dr. Travis Thayer

As a Ruminant Field Technical Specialist, Dr. Travis Thayer is responsible for providing technical and research assistance as well as sales support. Dr. Thayer is fluent in Spanish and conducts nationwide employee training in a variety of areas, including feeding/feed management, milking procedure, maternity, animal handling/welfare, and calf care.

Dr. Thayer received a DVM degree from the UC Davis School of Veterinary medicine in 2001 and practiced dairy production medicine in California’s central valley before working with AgriLabs as a technical service veterinarian. Dr. Thayer joined the Diamond V team in 2011, and is based out of California.

Profile photo of Dr. Mark Tegeler

As a Ruminant Field Technical Specialist at Diamond V, Mark is responsible for providing technical and research assistance along with sales support. Mark joined the Diamond V team in 2009.

Prior to joining Diamond V, Mark worked as a dairy nutritionist in the Midwest, where he worked with a variety of operations and herd sizes. His areas of expertise are in ruminant nutrition, forage production, herd management, ingredient cost analysis and labor flow. He has authored several management and feed related articles. He also works internationally with dairy producers in Central America and Asia.

Richard Stup

Richard Stup addresses challenges facing the agricultural industry through educational programs and applied research. He also provides leadership as a liaison between the agricultural industry and employment-focused regulatory authorities. His focus is on human resource management, enhancing employee engagement, regulatory compliance, and leadership development at the farm level.

Libby Eiholzer

Libby Eiholzer grew up on a dairy farm in Central NY. After graduating from Cornell University with a major in Animal Science and a minor in Spanish, she spent two years in Guatemala on an assignment with the Peace Corps. She now works for Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team as a dairy specialist. Some of her responsibilities include providing Spanish-language job training to farm employees, facilitating on-farm meetings, and organizing workshops for the dairy community. Libby has a special interest in human resource management and enjoys working with farms in this area. Libby’s experience working with both farm owners and employees across WNY give her a unique perspective to represent the needs of both.

Mary Kate MacKenzie

Mary Kate is passionate about helping farm families improve management skills in order to reach their business and personal goals. As the farm business management specialist with the South Central NY Dairy and Field Crops Team, she works with dairy and crop farms across six counties to improve record keeping systems, analyze farm financial performance, and plan for the future. In her spare time, Mary Kate operates Sweet Grass Meats, a grazing farm and retail meat business, alongside her husband in Naples, NY.

Profile picture of Tim Lewis

Born and raised in Illinois, Tim's career began working in row crop production, application, and equipment sales. He eventually made his way to crop management for livestock, which brought him to New York as the director of crop management for a large dairy. He joined Dairy One in 2020 and has been responsible for spearheading many new projects in the field of precision farming and agronomy. Tim is passionate about the future of farming and helping farmers us the resources available to them to positively impact both crop yield and milk production.

profile image of rachel holtz in front of a tractor

Rachel Holtz is an experienced leader at Willow Bend Farm in Clifton Springs, NY. Driven by hard work ethic she takes pride in providing the best leadership skills possible to 20 of her employees. As a manager her goals include a safe positive work environment.

Profile picture of Quirine Ketterings

Quirine Ketterings joined Cornell University in fall 2000 to provide leadership for the field crops nutrient management extension and applied research program of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Quirine received her BSc from Agricultural College Deventer and MSc from Wageningen University, both in the Netherlands, and her PhD from Ohio State University. She established and leads the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program, the college’s applied research, teaching and extension program for field crop fertilizer and manure management, that aims to (1) improve dairy industry awareness of soil fertility management, and (2) aid in the development and implementation of agronomic and environmentally sound nutrient management practices at dairy and other livestock farms and cash grain operations.

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Jason Karszes is a dairy farm management specialist with the PRO-DAIRY Program at Cornell University. His extension, teaching, and research efforts have centered on financial performance analysis and decision making programs for dairy farms and the use of Cornell’s Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program. Working with 80 to 100 dairy producers a year, he focuses on annual business performance, budgeting, decision making, activity analysis, and goal setting to improve business performance. He also coordinates activities across the state for Cornell University’s Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program. Along with the whole farm financial analysis program, he has worked on developing key monthly data monitoring programs, cost center activity analysis programs, and facilitates multiple business discussion groups centered on financial and business performance.

Profile picture of Joe Lawrence

Joe Lawrence serves as Dairy Forage Systems Specialist with the Cornell PRO-DAIRY team. He has been involved in the northeast dairy industry his entire life, growing up on a farm in Northern NY and working as an Extension Educator and private sector Crop Advisor prior to his current role. His work has a strong focus on a whole farm approach to forage management.

Profile picture of Adam Bates

Adam Bates is the General Manager, directly responsible for feeding and employee relations, at Stauffer Farms LLC, a 3,500 cow dairy in northern New York. He started his dairy involvement at his grandparents' farm, located near Cobleskill, N.Y., at first mowing the lawns on the farm, which grew into running equipment during his high school and college years. Adam holds an Associate's Degree in Agricultural Business from SUNY Morrisville, and a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science with a dairy management concentration from Cornell University. Adam first started at Stauffer Farms in 2016, as their college intern, and returned full time after graduation in 2017 as the Feeding Manager. Adam also started his own dairy herd in 2018 that is kept on site at Stauffer Farms.

profile picture of Debbie Grusenmeyer

Debbie Grusenmeyer is a Senior Extension Associate in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. She has served as the PRO-DAIRY Youth specialist and a team member of the Dairy Management Group for over 22 years. In her current position, Debbie provides leadership for developing, coordinating and implementing the New York State Dairy Youth programs, including the New York State Beginning Dairy Leader Program and New York State Junior Dairy Leader Program, a yearlong program designed for youth ages of 16-19 who have interest in exploring careers in the dairy industry. Debbie grew up on her family's registered dairy farm and prior to coming to Cornell, she spent over 10 years as a herd manager on a progressive 3,000 cow dairy farm.

Profile of Tonya Van Slyke, NEDPA

Tonya Van Slyke has been the Executive Director of the Northeast Dairy Producers Association, NEDPA for the past eight years. Together with her NEDPA Board of Directors, Tonya has represented the association on the Ag Workforce Development Council, FARM Workforce Development Task Force, NY CAFO Workgroup, Milk Market Advisory Council, NYS OSHA Workgroup, Water Quality Workgroup, and has represented dairy members on Strategic Interagency Task Force on Lessening Obstacles to Agriculture (SILO), and the NYS Ag & Markets/DOL Ag Labor Advisory Workgroup.

Profile of David Munoz, Jeffco Dairy

David Muñoz was born and raised in Honduras, Central America. He began working at Brooksco Dairy LLC as a milker. He has moved on to many different work positions, which have allowed him to gain experience and become manager of Jeffco Dairy and South Brooks Dairy. He has worked in the dairy industry for 25 years.