Mentorship Program

Helping aspiring producers enter the business successfully

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

"Overall, I thought that the mentorship day was a good experience, and I was able to take away many good ideas that my mentor shared with me that I could bring back to my home farm. I am very glad he was able to take time out of his day to share some of his tips with me that have helped him run a successful dairy operation."
– Jack Goeden, 2017 participant

"I enjoyed visiting with them very much and am glad that I got the opportunity to be a part of this mentorship. I learned a lot and feel more confident in bringing back some new ideas to my own farm."
– Austin Dobmeier, 2017 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 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 registration to the Minnesota Milk Dairy Conference and Expo. At the Minnesota Milk Dairy Conference and Expo, mentors will help participants network with other progressive members of the dairy industry.


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

Application Process

Thanks to Our Sponsors

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