Bringing a new language to Expo education

Information sessions have been a cornerstone of the World Dairy Expo for decades, as dairy farmers and industry leaders converge to share their expertise, research and ideas. Year after year, attendees look forward to hearing knowledgeable speakers at Expo seminars, virtual farm tours, and dairy forages seminars. Two years ago, guests enjoyed the first iteration of Knowledge Nook Sessions, and this year the Tanbark Talks were unveiled.

This year’s other new educational offering addresses the needs of another audience important to the industry. Expo en Español kicks off this week with three presentations designed for Spanish-speaking dairy owners, managers and middle managers to help their farms succeed.

“We are delighted to offer new opportunities to these key members of the industry at Expo this year and for years to come,” said Cassi Miller, Expo International and Youth Specialist, during the announcement of the program this summer. Sessions will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Friday at Mendota 1 in the exhibition hall.

Wednesday’s session drew around 40 people to hear Elsie González of Motiva Consulting discuss five practices to strengthen a diverse farming team. Her engaging presentation encouraged all attendees to think about how they interact with their colleagues and managers to help the farm business run effectively.

Specifically, González highlighted these five factors:

  1. Connect with those around you. This includes finding common interests and opportunities to come together, from a birthday to a casual meal.
  2. Listen and ask questions. Listening attentively allows you to focus on what is actually being said. Asking the right questions at the right time helps you have a better conversation and understand what is expected of all parties.
  3. Provide a response. González explained that a productive feedback conversation includes the specific description of the observation and impact of that action, discussing the situation with the employee from their perspective and possible solutions, confirming that he understands and, finally, the thanks for his work.
  4. Change your goal. A different perspective affects the way we see, interpret, think, and ultimately interact in a situation.
  5. Sometimes you are the problem. Walking in each other’s shoes can provide valuable insight

A variety of questions from the audience sparked discussion after González’s presentation. During a group activity, she reminded them that change takes flexibility, time and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight.

This Expo en Español session is just the start of a whole new aspect of Expo’s educational programming to ensure that everyone who contributes to the success of the dairy industry has the tools they need to do so. their work. Stop by one of the other presentations this week to find out more!

Hoard’s at Expo is sponsored by Agri-Plastics Group of Companies


Katelyn Allen

Katelyn Allen joined the Hoard’s milkman team as Editor-in-Chief of Publications in August 2019 and is now Associate Editor-in-Chief. Katelyn is a 2019 graduate of Virginia Tech, where she majored in Dairy Science and Minor in Communication. Katelyn grew up in her family’s registered Holstein dairy, Glen-Toctin Farm, in Jefferson, MD.


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