February 21-22, 2018 in State College, Pa.

General Session Presenters

Featured speakers at the 2018 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit include:

Ron Hanson, Harlan Agribusiness Professor Emeritus, will speak on "Overcoming Family Challenges to Ensure a Smooth Farm Transition". This will include the process of overcoming family challenges in relation to farm succession as well as planning for success within the next generation. As a retired University of Nebraska professor, Hanson has received university and national award recognitions, including the USDA Excellence in University Teaching Award. He has counseled with Nebraska farm families for over 40 years to help resolve family conflicts in a more positive manner and to improve family relations through better communication. Ron will speak during the Thursday morning general session.

Nina Tiecholz, who authored "The Big Fat Surprise," will be featured with her "Revealing the Big Fat Surprise" discussion. She will talk about her thoughts on the conventional wisdom about all fats with the groundbreaking claim that more, not less, dietary fat -— including saturated fat -— is what leads to better health, wellness, and fitness. Science shows that we have been needlessly avoiding meat, cheese, whole milk and eggs for decades and that we can, guilt-free, welcome these "whole fats" back into our lives. Nina will kick off this year's summit on Wednesday morning.

Ron St. John, founder of Alliance Dairies in Trenton, FL, will share his insights and experience during "Bringing in Non-Family Partners", which will focus on growing a dairy business by bringing in and transitioning to non-family partners and his tips for successfully turning it all over to the next generation. Originally a New Yorker, St. John relocated his family's dairy to North Central Florida in 1986, and blazed a trail of innovation and expansion in dairy farming with Alliance Dairies; now the largest free-stall dairy in one location within the state with more than 5,000 mature cows and employing more than 120 people. Ron will speak during the Thursday morning general session.

Walt Coleman III, National Football League referee and family operator of Hiland Dairy in Little Rock, will speak on "Leading through Hostile Environments". Coleman will share his experiences and observations about the game of football and life, focusing on leading through adversity. Officiating in the NFL since 1989, Coleman has refereed 26 years of pre-season and regular season games, nine divisional playoffs, six wild card playoffs and two conference championships and was an alternate in Super Bowls XXXIV and XLII. Walt will serve as a keynote speaker during Wednesday morning's session.

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