STRATEGIC DAIRY MEETING 2021february 16/19 – virtual edition

Mary Keough Ledman


Rabobank Global Dairy Strategist, RaboResearch Food&Agribusiness
Chicago (USA)

Mary is Global Dairy Sector Strategist at Rabobank. She is a thought leader who has extensive knowledge of domestic and international dairy markets and policy and over thirty years of experience in production agriculture, food processing, government service, agricultural policy, dairy risk management, market information and dissemination, and milk and dairy product price forecasting. Prior to Rabobank, Mary held positions at the USDA, Kraft Foods, and Stella. She later founded Keough Ledman Associates, an economic consulting firm serving the dairy industry since 1995. Mary holds a Bachelor of Science in agricultural journalism and a Master of Science degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University. Early in her career, she was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship to conduct comparative research on US and European dairy policies.


Proprietario e general manager dell’allevamento Dairy Dreams
Wisconsin (USA)

Dr Niles graduated from the University of Minnesota with a D.V.M. in 1982. He practiced in Casco, Wisconsin (’83-’98) and also worked as a Monsanto Technical Service veterinarian in Visalia, CA. Since 2001, Don has been the co-owner and manager of Dairy Dreams LLC, a 2800 cow dairy in NE Wisconsin. Dr Niles has been a featured speaker, both nationally and internationally on topics relating to proper cow care, in particular maternity care on modern dairy farms. Recently, he was elected as president of the newly formed Peninsula Pride Farms, a farmer lead environmental stewardship organization in Kewaunee and southern Door Counties. He participates on the following organizations: AVMA ; AABP; DCWC; DBA and NMC.

Don Niles
Franco Cesaro

Franco Cesaro


Franco Cesaro has been the owner of Cesaro&Associati since 1986, whose specialization is to work on values and dynamics of the family business. His activity has focused since 1974 on supporting the development and generational coexistence of family businesses.
The centrality of his consulting job and studies (with over 500 cases of companies and families ) is the person who works in organizations that, in order to grow, chooses to invest in culture as a prerequisite for their own autonomy, for the development of talents and the solution of problems, with a view to well-being.
From 1993 collaborates with the University of Verona and since 2009 with the State University of Milan as Contract Professor, and also currently he is active with research projects at the University of Bolzano.
He has produced several publications, is a founding member and territorial referent of Medef – Mediators of the Italy family (Italian Association of Professionals of family mediation) for Veneto area and he is also an honorary Member of the Cultural Scientific Observatory – Italian Historical Companies Union. His company has recently obtained the ISO 9001 certification for training activities.
After 3 years of field research and in-depth studies, three universities (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Lancaster University Management School and Polytechnic of Milan ) have published a long article in Strategic Organization (a scientific journal of high international relevance) regarding the method that Cesaro & Associati applies in companies family members, (Generational brokerage: An intersubjective perspective on managing temporal orientations in family firm succession ).


CEO di High Plains Ponderosa Dairy
Kansas (USA)

Greg Bethard received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Tech in dairy nutrition and management. He has served on faculty at New Mexico State University and North Carolina State University, and as a technical services specialist for Monsanto Dairy Business. Since 2000, Greg has operated G&R Dairy Consulting, Inc. with his wife Rachel.
Greg has also served as CFO for the Pagel Family Businesses in Kewaunee, WI from 2014 to 2017. Since 2017 Greg has been a partner in High Plains Ponderosa Dairy in Plains KS and currently serves as General Manager, CEO, and CFO. Greg has published articles in the Journal of Dairy Science and written articles for various dairy industry magazines. He has also given presentations to dairy producers and allied industry around the globe.

Greg Bethard
Giovanni Gnemmi

Giovanni Gnemmi

Bovinevet International Bovine Ultrasound Services & Herd Management

Giovanni is a veterinarian who works for the Spanish company BOVINEVET INTERNACIONAL Bovine Ultrasound Services & Herd Management and he’s an associate professor of bovine reproductive pathology at the veterinary faculty of the Catholic University of Valencia (ES).
Since 1993, Dr. Gnemmi has been working with ultrasonography in cattle, trying to incorporate this method into herd management. Dr. Gnemmi’s fields of interest are reproductive management (ultrasound diagnosis of embryonic death, follicular dynamics, synchronization programs, uterine ultrasound, transition management, filed application of color Doppler), preventive medicine, and continuing education of farm and veterinary workers. In these areas of expertise, he has developed international experience, both as a consultant for large and very large dairy farms in Europe, South America, China, the Middle East and as an instructor in more than 300 training courses around the world. He is the author of 2 atlases on bovine reproductive ultrasound (Le Point Veterinaire 2004, French version MEDCOM 2010, English version Blackwell 2011). He has numerous publications, many of them in peer-reviewed journals, and has presented approximately 280 invited lectures at national and international conferences.


Research & Scientific Projects EDF – European Dairy Farmers

Steffi has graduated in agricultural science (BSc.) and animal science (MSc.) from the Humboldt University in Berlin. She is responsible for the management of all scientific EDF projects and she coordinates EDF’s scientific Team. She is specialised in dairy economics and benchmarking. Steffi started to work for EDF on a scholarship basis in 2006 and is a full-time employee since January 2010.

Steffi Wille Sonk
Albert De Vries


Department of Animal Sciences University of Florida
Florida (USA)

Prof. De Vries grew up on a dairy farm in the Netherlands. He is a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida.
Prof. De Vries is an expert on dairy management and economics. His interests are in optimization of culling and replacement strategies, statistical process control, economics of reproduction, and precision dairy farming. In his extension role, working with allied industry and dairy producers on farm financial management and to apply the results of his research interests. Prof. De Vries also teaches two undergraduate dairy courses and advises undergraduate dairy students and graduate students.


GPS Dairy Consulting
Wisconsin (USA)

Paul Dyk, MSc, PAS is owner of Forward Dairy Consulting, LLC. He provides independent nutrition and management consulting to his dairy clients with a focus on listening to and meeting his client’s goals.
Paul received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dordt College and then a Master of Science in Dairy Nutrition from Michigan State University. He worked for 5 years in the UW Extension service and 1.5 years in the Michigan State Extension service Paul and his wife owned and managed a dairy for 4 years that included both Holsteins and Jerseys. Paul was involved in the dry feed business for 6 years with two different companies focused on ration formulation and on-farm dairy consulting. For the last 8 years, Paul was involved in the liquid feed business as technical support for nutritionists in the Midwest. In this last role, Paul developed a TMR quality control program that has been applied across the US. Paul is a member of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Registry of Professional Animals Scientists.

Paul Dyk
J. Richard Pursley

J. Richard Pursley

Animal Science Department, Michigan State University
Michigan (USA)

J. Richard Pursley is a professor in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University. During his academic career he earn a degree (BS and MS) from Kansas State University and later a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In addition to his teaching activity, his research focused on development of synchronization of ovulation strategies, increasing fertility in lactating dairy cows, and increasing embryo production in donor cows. His researches are published in the major scientific journals. Its Extension activity is focused on programming to enhance reproductive efficiency of dairy cattle.


Renzi Studio, Financials Indipendent Consulting
Sara Renzi graduated in Economics and Commerce from the University of Parma in 1997. She started to work in “Financial Consultancy” at banking institutions and securities firms for “Private Clients”. Since 2009 he has been the owner of the Independent Financial Consultancy Firm “Renzistudiocfi” which deals with business consultancy in financial / banking matters, in matters of succession planning and corporate generational transfers, technical expertise in banking / financial disputes and teaching in training courses economic and financial aimed at entrepreneurial figures. In 2010 he obtained a Master in Corporate Finance. Since 2014 he has also been financial manager for the AgriPiacenzaLatte Consortium. Sara Renzi is associated with AITI (Italian Association of Business Treasurers).
Sara Renzi
Trevor Devries


Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph

Dr. Trevor DeVries is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. Trevor received his B.Sc. in Agriculture from The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2001, and his Ph.D. from there in 2006. After spending one year as a post-doctoral fellow with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in 2007, he was appointed as faculty with the University of Guelph in the Department of Animal Biosciences. In that position Trevor leads a highly productive research program focused on dairy cattle nutrition, management, behavior, and welfare. Trevor works diligently to extend that work to the field. Trevor also contributes to teaching at the university, including instructing undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of dairy cattle management, behavior, and welfare, as well as coaching the university Dairy Challenge team.


EEX-European Energy Exchange AG

Peter Blogg is a Senior Manager, Agricultural Commodities at EEX – the European Energy Exchange. Prior to joining the Exchange in January 2018, Peter had held varoius positions in business and product development at other exchanges, including Euronext-LIFFE and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In a career spanning over 30 years, Peter started out on the trading floors of the London Commodity Exchange and has also worked as busineess development director for an AIM London listed financial information company and as a consultant for the World Bank.

Peter Blogg
Florian Hildebrand

Florian Hildebrand

Dairy Vice President Germany StoneX Group Inc.

Graduated in 2019 at the University of Bingen, then he obtained a Masters in Agricultural Management from Kiel University. He worked from 2012 to 2015 for companies in the agricultural business (BayWa, Cargill) and then moved to the financial services company H. Jurgen Kiefer in the field of “commodities risk management”. He worked in this company until 2019. He is currently part of the International Group of StoneX Financial Services (New York-USA) with the position of vice president of the dairy sector for Germany.

Luis A. Rodriguez

Innovative liquids LLC Team Leader
California (USA)

Luis Rodriguez raised around farms in South America where he obtained a degree in Dairy Science at Universidad “Ezequiel Zamora” and then managed and directed large dairy farms in Venezuela between 1988 and 1992. In 1993 he moved in USA where he obtained a Master in Dairy Nutrition at Virginia Tech and a PhD at Michigan State University in Dairy Nutrition. During the years Dr. Rodriguez published and presented over 30 technical publications on mineral nutrition, dairy management and dairy economics. He worked from 1998 to 2015 for Zinpro Corporation as California manager and for Westway Feed Products (as Regional Sales Manager, Technical Sales Service, Latin American Manager). From 2015 he is owner and Team leader of Innovative Liquid where he manages a team of practitioners specialized in transition cows nutrition and management.

Luis A. Rodriguez

Erin Horst

Innovative Liquids LLC(Germany)
California (USA)

Erin Horst attended Iowa State University to study animal science, earning her B.S. (May 2015) and PhD (June 2020) under the direction of Dr. Lance Baumgard. Horst’s PhD work focused on inflammation’s impact on energetic and calcium homeostasis; she published 6 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the Journal of Dairy Science and presented numerous abstracts at ADSA meetings. In June 2020, Horst joined the Innovative Liquids team as a Technical Service Representative.

Scroll to Top