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Keynotes   |   Pre-Conference   |   Breakout Sessions

Keynote Speakers

Steve BodartSteve Bodart

Compeer Financial

Presentation: Management Strategies to Achieving Success in the Upper Midwest

Steve Bodart has a lifetime of dairy experience having been born on a dairy farm near Pulaski, WI.  After collage Steve began his career as a Dairy Production Specialist where he managed dairy rations and feed programs for Land O’Lakes. He continued his career with Land O’Lakes for 10 years as the Dairy Business Trainer, and then Dairy Business Specialist. Steve trained and provided dairy financial and consulting services related to dairy expansion and facility design, inventory management, budget development, and operations management.  In 1999 Steve became the CFO of Emerald Dairy, LLC where he developed and managed several pieces of the operation and conducted direct consulting with select large dairy businesses.

In 2001 Steve joined Compeer Financial as a Sr. Business Analyst, and in 2004 became a Sr. Dairy Consultant. Steve has a deep understanding of the family dairy business, large producer operations, and the relationships between production performance and financial returns.

Julio GiordanoJulio Giordano

Cornell University

Presentation: Cows Going High Tech: Health and Reproductive Management in the Era of Precision Technologies

Dr. Julio Giordano is Associate Professor of Dairy Cattle Biology and Management in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. His expertise is in dairy cattle reproduction, health, and the implications of herd performance on the economics of dairy farms. His basic research focuses on the elucidation of physiological mechanisms controlling reproductive function and changes in physiological parameters during disease in dairy cattle. His applied program incorporates novel technologies to develop new and simplify established reproductive and health management programs for dairy cattle. Through the integration of these basic and applied research components, Dr. Giordano’s laboratory strives to enhance the reproductive performance, health, and productivity of cows thus, the economic viability of dairy farms.

Crystal GrimaldiCrystal Grimaldi

Ideal Dairy Farms

Presentation: Adapting Management to Changing Labor Regulations

Crystal Grimaldi is a partner and Office & Human Resource manager at Ideal Dairy Farms, in Hudson Falls, NY, along with her parents, John and Denise Dickinson and her two cousins Kyle and Luke Getty. Crystal began with a career as a High School Social Studies teacher before returning to the farm after the birth of her son, becoming the 6th generation of her family at Ideal Dairy. Her responsibilities on the farm include payroll, bookkeeping, compliance (labor, safety, and CAFO), data input, recordkeeping, addressing employee issues and concerns, and community outreach. Crystal is passionate about making their family farm the best that it can be for the future, providing a quality life for their employees and fostering positive relationships within their community.

Cheryl JonesCheryl Jones

University of Kentucky

Presentation: Employee Effectiveness with Lean Systems Concepts

Cheryl G. Jones joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing in 1987. She began her career as an assembly manufacturing supervisor, eventually achieving Vice President of Manufacturing during her 22 years with the company. Cheryl retired in 2009.

Her extensive knowledge of the Toyota Production System encompasses final vehicle assembly, robotic painting using solvent borne and waterborne paints, and parts delivery from supplier to final vehicle assembly. In 2005 Cheryl received international experience working as Toyota's senior advisor at their new truck manufacturing facility in Baja, Mexico. Upon her return from Mexico, her responsibilities were expanded to include regional team leader for all six Toyota North American assembly plants self-reliance initiative.

Cheryl was named as one of the 2005 Automotive News Top 100 Women in the Automotive Industry. She led Toyota North American Women's Leadership initiatives for Toyota, such as the Women's Leadership Exchange Network as a senior advisor, and In the Interest of Women.

She has a degree in Business Management from the University of Ky and a degree from Northwood University in Information Systems Management and Business Management. Cheryl is currently focused on teaching manufacturing and systems implementation utilizing her extensive Toyota production experience and knowledge. She works with the University of Kentucky Lean Systems Program as a lean practitioner.

Mike McMahonMike McMahon

E-Z Acres LLC

Presentation: Adapting Management to Changing Labor Regulations

Mike McMahon is a partner and owner of E-Z Acres LLC in Homer, NY. E-Z Acres is an 850 cow dairy with an additional 750 head of youngstock on 2300 acres of land in the Route 41 valley in the towns of Homer and Scott.  E-Z Acres is an industry leader in environmental stewardship, operating in both the Susquehanna and Skaneateles watersheds as well as being situated over a sole source aquifer.

Mike graduated from Cornell in 1973. He and his brother Pete purchased the business from their parents and have taken the farm from 60 cows and 170 acres to where it is today. Mike has been a featured speaker at university and industry events over the last 20 years on topics such as the environment, nutrient management, Hispanic labor and community relations and has testified in front of Congress about the state of Dairy Farming in the US with respect to immigrant labor and environmental sustainability. He and Edie live in Homer NY and have three grown children, one of which, Neil is a partner on the farm.

Phil PlourdPhil Plourd

Blimling and Associates

Presentation: Evolutions and Revolutions: Engaging Elusive Consumers

Phil Plourd is president of Blimling and Associates, Inc., a division of He leads a team of more than a dozen experts committed to helping clients find better ways to do business through market analysis, risk management and consulting services. Phil avidly follows consumer and macroeconomic trends. He delights in sharing his insights to audiences large and small around the world. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he also on the board of the Madison Public Library Foundation.

Kim SkellieKim Skellie

El-Vi Farms LLC

Presentation: Adapting Management to Changing Labor Regulations

Kim Skellie is a partner of El-Vi Farms LLC in Newark, NY, which is a 2000 cow, 3400 acre dairy with 28 fulltime employees and as many as 20 part time staff during the harvest season.  His main duties are Human Resources across all employees and direct supervision of the crew that works with the animals.  His daily “get dirty” work is monitoring and treating transition cows.  He strives to create a strong team effort with longevity to lead to good business results.

Richard StupDr. Rich Stup

Cornell University

Presentation: Adapting Management to Changing Labor Regulations

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.

Prior to joining Cornell University, Dr. Stup founded Ag Workforce Development, a firm focused on improving individual and team performance through organization development and technology solutions. He also served agriculture in the Farm Credit system as a branch manager and senior leader, gaining extensive experience leading teams in sales, credit, accounting and records, business consulting, risk management, and crop insurance. Earlier in his career, Richard was an Extension specialist with Penn State University, where he led the Dairy Alliance team and developed award-winning educational programming in human resource management. He earned his doctorate from Penn State in the field of Workforce Education and Development, including innovative research into the effects of human resource management on farm employee organizational commitment.

Jay WaldvogelJay Waldvogel

Dairy Farmers of America

Presentation: What Will Influence Northeast Dairy Production Decisions in the Next 10 Years?

Mr. Jay Waldvogel serves as Senior Vice President of Strategy at Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA).


Tom WallTom Wall

Dairy Coach LLC

Presentation: Runaway Wages - Are You Getting What Your Pay For?

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.  Tom is passionate about helping people reach their potential.

Pre-Conference Speakers

Bruce CharletonBruce Charleton

Lincoln Agribusiness

Presentation: Focus on Your Ownership Plan (sponsored by Lincoln Agribusiness)

Bruce Charleton is passionately committed to working with Agribusiness owners, as well as their active and in-active family members throughout Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania.  He helps these business-owner clients to accumulate, preserve, and protect wealth for themselves, their children, and future generations.  Bruce employs a client-centric approach to addressing the estate and succession issues that face Agribusiness owners today to create a comprehensive plan of action to help meet their individual goals and future objectives.

Bruce earned a BS in Finance from Canisius College of Buffalo and an MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester. Bruce Charleton  has been affiliated with Lincoln Agribusiness for nearly 10 years.  He uses his 25 years of training and experience in banking, finance and sales to help his clients reach business and personal financial planning goals. 

Kerry DoyleKerry Doyle

Trident Processes LLC

Presentation: Nutrient Recovery and Watershed Protection on Dairies (sponsored by Pikeside Enterprises)

Kerry Doyle, Founder and CEO of Trident Processes LLC, is an engineering technologist with 35 years executive management experience in ag related technology development, manufacturing and business development. He is the visionary force behind Trident’s innovative nutrient recovery technology. Mr. Doyle has served as an ag technology advisor for the Parliamentary Committee on Sustainability and Environment in Ottawa, Canada and has also been involved as a technology provider in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Nutrient Recycling Challenge.

Jeff FetterJeff Fetter

Scolaro, Fetter, Grizanti, McGough & King, P.C

Presentation: Focus on Your Ownership Plan (sponsored by Lincoln Agribusiness)

Jeffrey M. Fetter is a shareholder of Scolaro, Fetter, Grizanti, McGough & King, P.C. in Syracuse, New York and is Chairman of the Business Practice Group. His statewide practice focuses on business, estate, tax, succession and transactional planning for closely held and family owned enterprises. Legal services Jeff provides his clients include: state, federal and international tax and business planning; estate and long term care planning; business and succession planning for closely held and family owned business enterprises; e-commerce planning; employee and shareholder/principal relations and employee benefits; protection of intellectual property; transactional planning; acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, tax-free reorganization of business entities; entity structuring; contract negotiation, dispute resolution; international contracts and business planning and the dissolutions of business entities.

Jeff is licensed to practice in the State of New York, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of Washington. Clients Jeff represents are involved in professional service, e-commerce, manufacturing, agriculture, communication, and retail businesses.  Jeff is a frequent lecturer for the New York State Bar Association and other professional and civic groups in the area of business and estate planning. He has authored several articles on business and estate planning for various periodicals.

Luke GettyLuke Getty

Ideal Dairy Farms

Presentation: Gaining Value from Your Technology (sponsored by Dairy One)

Ideal Dairy is a family run business with about 30 full-time employees. The farm feeds quality forage grown on their roughly 4,500 acres to their 2,800 cows. They value financial analysis and try to make business decisions based on analysis and recommendations from industry professionals, consultants, and fellow producers. The farm uses a variety of technology tools such as SCR activity monitoring, DelPro for milk weights and sort gates, and DairyComp herd management software.  Luke Getty oversees the herd and herd staff and is also a partner in Cookie-Cutter Holsteins, which merchandises high genomic females and males. Luke and his wife Jessica have 2 children, Evie and Beau.

Kristen GlossonDr. Kristen Glosson

Phibro Animal Health

Presentation: Stressors and Stress Affecting Dairy Cattle and Their Impact on Health and Performance (sponsored by Phibro)

Dr. Kristen Glosson attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, where she received her B.S. degree in Animal Science and her M.S. duel degree in Animal Science and Nutrition.  Dr. Glosson attended the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, where she directed her studies toward transition cow nutrition and the interaction of nutrition and the immune system. Dr. Glosson is a Dairy Technology Manager for Phibro Animal Health involved in product training, farm evaluations, teaching and technical leadership to field employees covering New York and New England, as well as, research and development.

Eileen JensenEileen Jensen

New York Animal Agriculture Coalition

Presentation: Sharing Your Farm Story with Local Media (sponsored by NEDPA)

Eileen Jensen has been working for the NY Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC) for four years and today she serves as the Executive Director. Eileen grew up on a dairy farm in NY and has worked for three major agricultural marketing and communications agencies in the Midwest. Her clients have included the United Soybean Board, Monsanto, Merck Animal Health and Case IH.  With a mission of helping others understand and appreciate animal agriculture, she utilizes her experience and passion for the dairy industry to implement advocacy efforts throughout New York State.

John LehrJohn Lehr

Farm Credit East

Presentation: Missed Margin Opportunities: Are You Capturing Every Gross Income Opportunity? (sponsored by Farm Credit East)

John Lehr is a 30 year ‘career’ Farm Credit employee who brings a strong financial background to his consulting position at Farm Credit East.  He currently works with over 55,000 cows and has worked with many dairy, equine, timber, equipment dealer and farm related businesses.   His experience includes expansion planning, budgeting, financial & production management, tax planning, entity selection, farm transfers and exit strategy planning

Shane St. CyrShane St. Cyr

Adirondack Farms

Presentation: Gaining Value from Your Technology (sponsored by Dairy One)

Having grown up on a dairy farm in Maine, Shane has spent his entire career focused on dairy.  After working on the production side of the industry for several years Shane ventured into ag business.  He has held multiple roles in the dairy industry focused on technology such as North American Training and Field Support Manager for SCR, Technology Scout for Cargill Animal Nutrition, and a brief role on the robotic milking team with Delaval.  Recently, Shane was given the opportunity to get back to the farm.  Today he is a partner at Adirondack Farms in Peru, NY where he enjoys working with a great team of people.  Shane lives near the farm with his wife Bonnie and their son Xander and in their free time they enjoy all the adventures that the Adirondacks have to offer.

Mark ThomasDr. Mark Thomas

Dairy Health and Management Services, LLC

Presentation: Improving Profitability Through the Use of Data-Based Decision Models

Dr. Mark Thomas is a founding partner and consulting veterinarian with Dairy Health & Management Services (Dairy Health) in Lowville, New York.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science at Cornell University and continued his education at the College of Veterinary Medicine where he earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree in 1997.  In 2001 he completed the Penn State Dairy Production Medicine Certificate Program.  He is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) certified in dairy practice.

Following graduation Dr. Thomas entered clinical practice at Countryside Veterinary Clinic, LLP in northern New York where he was a partner for 19 years.  In early 2012 he joined other colleagues and founded Dairy Health to provide bio-economic, decision-based consulting and research to dairy clients within the USA and internationally in Mexico and China.  He is a managing partner and the research team lead for Dairy Health.

Within practice Dr. Thomas’ main focus is production and preventative medicine. In addition to routine veterinary care, Dr. Thomas provides consulting services in the areas of nutrition, reproduction, milk quality and replacement rearing. He speaks Spanish and provides bilingual training programs.  Outside of consulting, Dr. Thomas enjoys lecturing at meetings and is also active in teaching and presenting to veterinary students through various programs including the Summer Dairy Institute at Cornell.

Tim VeazeyTim Veazey

Lincoln Agribusiness

Presentation: Focus on Your Ownership Plan (sponsored by Lincoln Agribusiness)

Tim Veazey grew up on a dairy farm in western New York. He spent the first 10 years of his career as an agricultural lender, and after that, has been a financial planner focused on agribusiness clients for over 25 years. This experience has fueled his passion for helping owners of large farms develop and implement business succession, estate transfer and personal financial plans. Through a comprehensive financial planning process, working closely with the clients' team of other advisors, he is able to help his clients grow, preserve, protect, use and distribute their personal and business wealth more effectively. Tim's strength is the ability to see the "big picture" of the client's situation and issues while being able to address the necessary details to ensure that their goals can be met. The long term relationships between Tim and his clients have proven to be valuable as the financial plans continue to be reviewed and adapted as time and circumstances warrant.

In addition to his work with agribusiness owners, Tim serves as a lead usher at his church, is a board member of the NY Agricultural Society and NY FarmNet, and helps with several 4H, Farm Bureau and Cooperative extension programs and events. He earned a BS in General Agriculture from Cornell University, earned CFP®, CBEC, CLU and ChFC certification or designation, holds Series 7 and 65 securities registrations, and is insurance licensed in several states.

Breakout Session Speakers

Karl CzymmekKarl Czymmek


Presentation: Environmental Issues Update

Karl Czymmek is a staff member of PRO-DAIRY and key collaborator with the Nutrient Management Spear Program at Cornell University with statewide extension responsibilities in the area of nutrient management for field crops with particular emphasis on CAFO issues.   Prior to joining Cornell University, he has experience working on farms and in the private and public sectors.  Karl works with producers, public and private planners, researchers and state and federal agency staff to help examine the confluence of farming, regulations and science and implement practical solutions that enhance farm production and sustainability.  He has provided leadership toward the development of the NY P and N indices and development of a system that links the CNMP with NRCS standards and Land Grant Guidelines.  Karl holds a BS degree from Cornell University majoring in Agronomy and a JD (Juris Doctor) degree from University of Buffalo School of Law, and was admitted to the NY Bar in 1994.

Chuck PalmerChuck Palmer

Michael Best

Presentation: Update on Understanding New Labor Regulations

Chuck is a go-to lawyer for complex cases involving OSHA, employment law, labor negotiations, independent contractor and joint employment matters. Clients rely on his years of experience in dealing with state and federal enforcement agencies to develop human resource, safety and environmental policies and practices that prevent problems and save them significant expense. He has defended employers in more than 1,000 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citation cases for more than 25 years, including multiple six-figure and/or fatality cases. He has argued a good number of those OSHA citation cases before the OSHA Review Commission and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In agriculture, Chuck assists employers in a wide range of regulatory compliance and employment matters throughout the country and advises Agricultural Trade Groups regularly.

Dr. Christopher WolfChris Wolf

Cornell University

Presentation: Practical Risk Management Applications for Commercial Dairies

Chris Wolf is a professor and extension specialist in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.  His research and extension program focuses on dairy markets and policy as well as farm financial management.  He joined the faculty at Cornell in summer 2019 after 21 years at Michigan State University.

Emily SteppEmily Yeiser Stepp

National Dairy FARM Program

Presentation: Protecting Your Brand through the National Dairy FARM Program

Emily Yeiser Stepp is the Senior Director of the National Dairy FARM Program. In this role she is responsible for the management of strategic initiatives for the US dairy industry’s social responsibility program that encompasses animal care, antibiotic stewardship, environmental stewardship and workforce development. She also leads the day-to-day work related to animal care. Emily has been with National Milk Producers Federation since 2016.

Yeiser Stepp began her involvement in the dairy industry through the 4-H dairy leasing program. She then went on to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Animal Science with a minor in Agribusiness Management from Penn State University. Upon graduation from Penn State, Emily worked for ABS Global Inc. as their Young Sire Program Specialist in the Mid-Atlantic region.  She then went on to attend graduate school at Virginia Tech and in 2011, obtained her Master’s of Science degree in Dairy Science.   Additionally, Yeiser Stepp served as the Dairy Initiatives Manager for the Center for Dairy Excellence in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and as the Dairy and Beef Extension Coordinator for the University of Maryland prior to starting with the National Dairy FARM Program.

Emily and her family maintain a small herd of 30 registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss under the Spots-Pride prefix, that are housed at Palmyra Farm in Maryland.