By Amanda Borkowski, HolsteinWorld Intern
On October 2nd at World Dairy Expo, Dairy Girl Network founder and president Laura Daniels of Heartwood Farm in Cobb, Wisconsin hosted a media conference. Laura took questions from the media, addressed new initiatives and spoke of the future for Dairy Girl Network.
“Three years ago, we invited all of our friends and asked them to invite people they knew. It ended up that those people were from across the nation” Daniels said as she opened the conference. Dairy Girl Network has grown quickly in the last three years since it was founded. From 45 people at the first networking event to now 700 members of the organization, girls from across the nation are getting together to form a support system that extends far beyond dairying. “We come here. We work. Then we go home. We don’t set aside the time to come together and learn from one another, and that is the point of Dairy Girl Network.” Daniels said.
Daniels announced that Diamond V will be a Founding Vision Sponsor for Dairy Girl Network. Also, the organization is starting a new partnership with Land O’ Lakes Cooperative. The organization will also continue to keep it’s networking events going and will have committees in place to plan for programming and a national conference to take place in 2016.
Also addressed at the conference, Daniels talked of the organization’s mission is to connect dairy women who may be isolated for whatever reason. Besides social events, Dairy Girl Network is also taking to social media. Here, women are encouraged to ask questions to other women about anything from barn products to laundry soap. Daniels emphasized that this will help connect dairy women from all over and help them grow as leaders, mothers and better community members.
Finally, Daniels explained that Dairy Girl Network is growing rapidly and working on future opportunities for women. A mentorship program will be starting soon to bring together women on both professional and personal levels. There are also plans in the works for an exchange program. Dairy Girl Exchange would allow women of all ages and dairy careers to cross state lines and expand their interests and network. Pairing assignments would be based on interests, learning objectives and would allow women to step out of their typical dairy related lifestyle to shadow in another area. There is also an opportunity for scholarships and travel stipends.
Overall, Daniels is pleased to see all the women getting involved in this organization and all of the connections being made. Dairy Girl Network is attracting women not only from in the barn, but in everything from marketing to sales to training. Daniels loves all of the ideas coming in and says that, “now our job is sifting through and deciding on what is the direction of Dairy Girl Network.”