Past Connect Summit: 2021

2021 Connect Conference Presentations and Panels


Welcome and Introduction: Jordan Kraft-Lambert, VAS

Revolutionizing the Dairy Industry – Donald De Jong

Donald De Jong serves as co-owner and chief executive officer for Natural Prairie Dairy — one of the largest, family-operated organic dairy farms in the U.S. based in Hartley, Texas. Natural Prairie Dairy’s mission is to deliver best-in-class organic milk from their family to yours.

Donald De Jong

The road to a data-driven organization – Ralf de Haan, Pon Holdings

We do not need to explain the importance of data anymore, but many companies struggle with how to get the most value out of data and where to start. Ralf de Haan is responsible for Data & Analytics within Pon and will share his pragmatic approach on how Pon companies are transforming to data-driven organisations. A session with tangible examples on e.g. creating a data culture, tackling data quality issues and state-of-the-art data science solutions.

Panel: How Allied Industry is Fueling Digital Transformation in the Dairy Industry

Facilitator: Jordan Kraft-Lambert

Members: Mike Lormore, Shlomi Dagan, Adam Griffin and SriRaj Kantamneni

Moderated by Jordan Lambert, hear from some of the biggest players in the dairy industry on how they’re transforming their organizations to serve dairy producers in a digital world. You’ll gain perspective on the value they’re bringing to market and how their collaboration is propelling producers forward.

Digital Innovation Across Agriculture – Elizabeth Fastiggi

Join Elizabeth to see how Amazon’s culture of innovation and cutting-edge digital technologies are being used by companies across the agriculture supply chain to drive profitability and sustainability.

Panel: Dairy Farming for Generation Alpha and Beyond

Facilitator: Taliah Danzinger

Members: Kristyn Mensonides, Brent Wickstrom, Tony Lopes and Tera Baker

Dairy technology has been rapidly advancing for the last 30 years and so are the young farmers coming home to the family operation. These farmers are evolving with technology like no generation ever before them – but how must the dairy industry adapt to ensure their kids are also able to come back to the family farm.

A Partnership of Choice Enabled by True Knowledge – Shlomi Dagan

Farm sustainability and transparency is fast becoming a license to operate , as there is a rising interest among consumers in definitively knowing about the origin of their food and how the animal was raised.  The good news is that Merck Animal Health has the technology to optimise workflow at farm level and address the need for greater transparency.  The ability to integrate technology and deliver true knowledge which can inform better outcomes for dairy farmers is available to implement. In partnership we can help to deliver meaningful insight and together create a better industry for all.

True Knowledge is Power. Join us in partnership to enable better together.


The Role of Sustainability in the Dairy Supply Chain –  David Darr 

Sustainability is a critical topic for our planet, and our dairy industry. David will discuss the U.S. dairy industry’s role in a more sustainable future, including industry collaboration through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and examples of farm to consumer collaboration.

Panel: Making Greener Milk

Facilitator: Mary Kraft

Members: Fabian Bernal, Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, David Darr, and Tara Vander Dussen

The importance of connecting the on-farm milk production data to the milk processor and distribution channels is growing. Consumers want to know how something was made, where did it come from, and how were the animals & workers treated. This panel discussion will focus what progress has been made in data flow and data connection on both sides of the farm gate.

Precision genetic management, big data, and bridging the gap between phenotype and genotype – John Cole

Cow performance is controlled by both the animal’s genetic potential and the environment in which that potential is expressed. These two aspects have long been treated as independent from each other, but changes in technology now allow us to collect tremendous amounts of information about both. The big challenge we now face is helping our customers turn that data into decisions. The low cost of computation and development of new statistical procedures offers a path to new insights driven by the data itself.

Colliding with Intent – Jason Osterstock

Technology is rapidly evolving across a range of industries and applications. While this evolution has value in the enhancements to specific point solutions, there is also latent value at the intersection of technology applications. Increasingly, our ability to harness the power of technology and data will rely on how we intentionally merge disparate technologies to solve complex problems and create new opportunities. This session will explore the potential for technology collision using case examples to highlight how exciting the future may in fact be.

2021 Connect Conference Innovation Break-out Sessions

True Knowledge informing Better and more Sustainable Outcomes – Merck Animal Health

In this producer-focused roundtable, Merck will facilitate a discussion on the value of data-driven live animal knowledge and how this information can help to inform day-to-day operational choices, produce healthier animals, and secure long-term value for farmers. What is most important for farmers today? How can partnerships help to optimize farm operations? What are the best next steps?

Cultivating collaborative consultative environments for farm success – VAS

Industry representatives will come together in this roundtable discussion to discuss the complex web of on-farm data environments. How might we create a more connected, coordinated, and collaborative space to get producers the support they need to handle the rapid change of the future? Contribute to positive producer outcomes in this engaging roundtable discussion.

Decision Making: Integrating and leveraging data for more timely and informed decisions – Cargill

In this producer-focused roundtable, Cargill will facilitate a discussion on current approaches, challenges, and opportunities in bringing all your data together for decision making. What are the most impactful decisions you need to make for the success of your business? What data to use and how do you bring it together to derive insights for decision making? What are we missing?

Putting Data to Work: Navigating your dairy’s technology transformation – Zoetis

In this farmer-focused roundtable, Zoetis will facilitate a discussion of the practical considerations that need to be made when navigating the dairy industry’s technological transformation. How do you identify and prioritize what is important for the success of your operation as new solutions continue to emerge? What best practices have you identified when successfully implementing technology solutions on your farm?