Amidst uncertain times and a multitude of changes to in-person events, DeLaval continues a 36-year tradition of supporting the National 4-H Dairy Conference with a monetary donation. Traditionally, the conference is held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo and offers youth from around North America an opportunity to participate in state-of-the-art farm tours, leadership development and dairy learning experiences. Although this year’s conference was canceled, DeLaval recognized the need to continue supporting this program with a $5,000 donation.
“It’s important to our industry that this conference continues in future years,” says Fernando Cuccioli, DeLaval Executive Vice President for North and Latin Americas. “The industry has been on a roller coaster this year, so we’re lending our support for these youth to pick up with what can hopefully be a ‘normal’ conference experience in coming years.”
DeLaval is 4-H grown: many field and marketing staff, dealer personnel, researchers and other leaders are products of their local 4-H programs and past conference participants. “This donation is our way of giving back and helping to keep great leaders coming into our workforce in the future,” Cuccioli says.
According to Rel Seykora, National 4-H Dairy Conference Secretary, the donation from DeLaval has historically supported scholarships, increased conference capacity and attendance, and allowed for a higher caliber of conference speakers. “While it was a real disappointment to cancel this year, it was the safest thing to do, and with this generous support from DeLaval we are already planning for future conferences,” she says.
For several years, DeLaval has been the highest-level sponsor of the National 4-H Dairy Conference. More than 182 youth from across North America attended the 2019 event, with attendance steadily growing since 1954. With the largest generation currently thinking about entering the workforce, the goal for the conference is continued growth and development of future leaders in the dairy industry.
“We can’t thank our sponsors enough for their continued support in an off-year,” Seykora says, “We all look forward to resuming our normal conference activities as soon as we can.”