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Dairy Connections Program
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Minnesota Milk's Dairy Connections Program

I was a little skeptical when filling out the application, but very glad I did now that I am looking back!  The best way to learn is by talking to others in the same field as you.  It is also great to meet new people and gain friendships.  It is great for me to know that if I have a question, my mentor is willing to let me give him a call.  -  Julie Gatewood, 2012 Participant


This program is just for you!

Minnesota Milk Producers Association has designed this program to help aspiring producers enter the business successfully through job shadow and networking opportunities.


Program Description

Once an application is received, Minnesota Milk will pair the participant with a milk producer mentor.  The goal of the mentor is to help participants experience modern dairy production systems by serving as a link to the industry.

Participants spend at least one day job-shadowing their mentor.  A list of sample questions are provided as a starting point for discussions.  In many cases, mentors have invited their veterinarian, nutritionist, lender, etc. to be present during the visit so that participants can learn about all aspects of the farming operation.

Following the job shadow experience, participants are required to type a one-page summary of what they gained from the program.  Once the summary is completed and submitted to Minnesota Milk, participants and their mentors receive a complimentary meal package to the Midwest Dairy Expo in Saint Cloud, MN.  At the Midwest Dairy Expo, mentors will help participants network with other progressive members of the dairy industry.



  • Submit Application: Applications are excepted year-round. Please submit to Minnesota Milk.
  • Confirmation: Electronic confirmation will be sent of your participation in the program.
  • Job Shadow: Once accepted into the program, you will have until October 30 to complete your job shadow experience and submit a one-page summary of your experiences.
  • Midwest Dairy Expo: The participant and mentor will receive complimentary meal tickets to the Midwest Dairy Expo in St. Cloud, MN.


Apply Today

Complete the Participant Application and submit to:

Minnesota Milk Producers Association
Attn: Dairy Connections
108 Marty Drive, Suite 2, Buffalo, MN 55313
Fax: (763) 355-9686


“Eventually one day I would like to have a farm of my own as nice as my mentor’s. They are a great models to the community and role model to future people going in to dairy farming. Every time I drive by I just think I hope that’s me one day.” - Matthew Massman, 2012 Participant


Thank Our Sponsors

This program is made possible by the support of Minnesota Milk Producers Association’s dairy producer members and associate members including:

  • Arnold’s of Kimball, Inc.
  • Bongards Creameries
  • DeLaval, Inc.
  • Elanco Animal Health
  • Gislason & Hunter LLP
  • Lely USA, Inc.
  • Midwest Dairy Association
  • Midwest Machinery Company
  • Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council
  • Modern Farm Equipment


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