Dairy Business Association sets Dairy Strong speakers, programs

The Dairy Business Association today announced the program lineup and keynote speakers for Dairy Strong, one of the Midwest’s premiere conferences for the dairy community, on Jan. 19-21.

The conference, which will be virtual, will bring together farmers, corporate professionals, government and university representatives, and other partners to explore the future through innovation, sustainability and government policy. Each day of the conference will focus on one of those themes.

“We are excited to provide a rich experience for the people who contribute so much to an industry that is integral to the economy, communities and culture of our dairy states, and to the nation and world through the production of wholesome, affordable food,” DBA Executive Director Tim Trotter said.

The featured speakers will be Peter Sheahan, Matt Lewis, Ray Starling and Michael Torrey.


Peter Sheahan, the opening keynote speaker, will talk about business growth and innovation. He is a best-selling author, world-renowned speaker and founder of Karrikins Group, a global growth-oriented consulting firm. Sheahan is known internationally for his innovative business thinking and advises Fortune 500 companies.


Matt Lewis is the senior columnist for the Daily Beast and an author. He is a CNN political commentator, contributing editor for TheWeek.com and a former senior contributor for the Daily Caller. Lewis has been nationally recognized for his political work by Newsweek and Business Insider.


Ray Starling works in agricultural policy and most recently served as the chief of staff for Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue. He was a clerk for Supreme Court justices, worked in the White House and for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Starling earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina and had a stint with the National Economic Council at the White House.


Michael Torrey is the founder of Michael Torrey Associates and provides guidance and management for those in the agricultural industry. He has more than 25 years’ experience in legislative and regulatory policy development, fiscal management and lobbying strategy. Torrey is a federal policy consultant for Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, DBA’s sister organization.

The conference will feature breakout sessions with topics such as how employee personality tests could become a normal part of dairy farm management, driving innovation through retail and food service, and research on environmental and economic sustainability.

A panel discussion will focus on the relationship between farms and processors, highlighted by a virtual visit to a dairy and a processing plant.

DBA will also announce its Advocate of the Year.

Click here for the complete conference schedule.

Registration for the conference is open and farmers who register by Dec. 15 will receive two free passes per farm. Click here to register.

Sponsorships are available by contacting Nicole Barless at [email protected] or Bekah Morrow at [email protected]. For more information on becoming a sponsor, click here.