FarmFirst Workshop Series For All Dairy Farmers

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative welcomes all dairy farmers to attend the cooperative’s Producer Discovery Workshop series on Friday, February 9, 2024. The workshop will be held at the Wintergreen Conference Center and Clarion Suites in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

The theme for this year’s event is ‘Mission:  Possible’, which highlights the cooperative’s commitment to working with dairy producers to help them achieve their goals in the face of evolving markets, changing consumer preferences, and also other challenges by providing relevant information on preparing for the upcoming year in the dairy industry.

The first Producer Discovery Workshop is ‘The Dairy Situation and Outlook for 2024.’ It will begin at 1:15 p.m. with Leonard Polzin, UW-Extension Dairy Markets and Policy Outreach Specialist. He will provide an overview of the dairy markets, examining recent trends as well as possible future directions.

Polzin grew up on a century-old Wisconsin dairy farm and received his bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science and Agricultural Business from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He later received a master’s degree in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics from Michigan State University. He has extensive experience as an educator, farmer, and analyst. His work focuses on dairy markets, firm level economics, risk management, trade, and also policy.

The second workshop is ‘It’s Ok to Not Be Ok: Mental Wellness on the Farm.’ The workshop will begin at 2:45 p.m. and features Jeff Ditzenberger.  He will give insight about his own struggles with mental wellness and how he overcame those challenges. He’ll also provide tips on how to stay mentally well during trying times.

Ditzenberger’s passion for agriculture began on the small dairy farm he grew up on in South Wayne, WI. He has been involved in agriculture in many different facets. He is currently the Wisconsin District Manager for Big Iron Auctions. Ditzenberger is also the founder of TUGS, a non-profit committed to breaking the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

“We encourage all dairy farmers to join us for these Producer Discovery Workshops. The event is free to all dairy farmers, not just cooperative members,” says John Rettler, President of FarmFirst.  “Preparing for the upcoming year by hearing about the market outlook and economics as well as about how we can stay mentally well during the stressful times is essential.”

There is no cost to attend, however attendees are asked to make reservations to ensure sufficient seating. Call Sarah Sarbacker at 608-286-1909 by February 2nd to make a reservation. For more information visit