Leader Development

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative > Membership > Leader Development

Developing tomorrow's leaders begins today.

A successful cooperative is one that invests in the development of its members. Building and investing in the next generation of cooperative leaders ensures that the cooperative’s foundation remains strong and stable long into the future. FarmFirst embodies this by investing in membership youth and providing educational and leadership development opportunities for them to become future cooperative leaders.

FarmFirst Future Dairy Leaders Program

Developed and launched in 2020, the purpose of this leadership program is to enhance members’ leadership skills and their understanding of cooperative business practices.

Each day-long program will focus on developing participants’ leadership skills set and their overall perspective on what it means to be a leader in the dairy industry and within a dairy cooperative. Participants will hear from and network with dairy leaders, including plant owners, cheesemakers, leading dairy economists, other dairy cooperative leaders, as well as agricultural agency experts.

This program includes four one-day classes focused on three main areas:

  • Discovering Your Strengths & Understanding Cooperative Business
  • Understanding Your Industry
  • Raising Your Voice

Participants will complete this Leadership Program with a greater sense and understanding of what it means to be a member of a cooperative and the important role they play in guiding the cooperative into the future. Participants will also walk away from the program with a greater understanding of the industry they work in and the resources available to them.

Young Cooperators

FarmFirst first developed its Young Cooperator (YC) program in 2014, as the cooperative recognized the importance of investing in the cooperative’s youngest generation getting involved today. With a vision to develop these members into future leaders of the cooperative, the YC program focuses on providing networking and educational events that improve members’ knowledge as a dairy farmer as well as enhance their ability to be a thought leader in the dairy industry.

Today, FarmFirst invests in cooperative members participating in the National Young Cooperator D.C. Fly-In in June as well as the National Young Cooperator Conference in the fall. These members are selected based on their involvement in other cooperative programs.


FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative
4001 Nakoosa Trail, Suite 100
Madison, WI 53714-1381

Toll-Free: 1-800-525-7704
Phone: 608-244-3373
Fax: 608-244-3643

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