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On-line registration closes Feb. 2
Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference slated

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference is set for Feb. 6-8 at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

On the morning of Feb. 7 (Friday), attorneys from the Rocky Mountain Employers Immigration Alliance legal team will guide attendees through a discussion on employer obligations, starting with the I-9 form and the employment eligibility verification process. In addition to helping employers prepare for audits and dealings with law enforcement officials, they will also cover tough situations involving the workforce and the Affordable Care Act. Members of the team will be available for an in-depth question-and-answer session in the afternoon.

Next, a panel discussion will look at how Michigan dairy producers use checkoff resources and dairy products to reach out to neighbors, community leaders and others to help them better understand the people behind the products. Participants will leave with ideas on how to build consumer confidence in dairy products and stay connected to the community. The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) supports this session.

Two additional sessions will take place Friday afternoon:

Jane Hillstrom will help prepare producers for a crisis on their farms, whether it’s a manure spill or undercover video. Participants will leave with a workbook on how to prepare their families, management teams and employees for a crisis, develop crisis-response procedures for their farms, and think through the internal and external relationships that will be key during a critical situation. Participants will review the core components of a crisis plan, assess vulnerabilities and crisis scenarios, develop crisis response teams and define members’ roles and responsibilities, identify stakeholders, identify spokespeople and more. UDIM supports this session as well.

Agricultural markets are more volatile than ever. For most farms, profits are largely determined by how well production is marketed, and a farm’s future success depends on the operator’s ability to understand the markets and use basic marketing tools. Fred Hinkley, retired MSU Extension educator and marketing specialist, will provide insights and outlook on the milk and grain markets, and suggest strategies to minimize financial risk.

For a complete list of the schedule or to register for the conference, visit www.glrdc.msu.edu. Participants can also register by calling 517-353-3175.

Online registration closes Feb. 2 at midnight.