Dairy Innovation Mentors

Guide student innovators in the Dairy Innovation Hub Student Challenge.

An opportunity to shape the minds behind the dairy industry of tomorrow.

Serve as a professional advisor to students participating in the Fall 2020 Dairy Innovation Hub Student Challenge.

The Dairy Innovation Hub harnesses research and development at UW–Madison, UW–Platteville and UW–River Falls campuses to keep Wisconsin’s dairy community at the global forefront in producing nutritious dairy products in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable manner.

This fall the Dairy Innovation Hub is hosting a Dairy Innovation Hub Student Challenge to encourage students to participate in developing novel solutions for problems being faced by the dairy industry as defined by the Dairy Task Force 2.0.

Students from UW-Madison, UW-Platteville, and UW-River Falls are all encouraged to participate in this virtual student challenge addressing the largest problems being faced by the Wisconsin dairy industry today. Be a part of their professional resource network to assist in business model, proof of concept, and minimal viable product development with opportunities to work closely with student teams.


Fall 2020 Mentors

John Holevoet

John Holevoet oversees a team of government affairs professionals for the Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative that work to improve the regulatory climate for dairy farmers. Prior to joining DBA & Edge, he worked as an attorney in private practice.

Kellian Blazek

Kelliann Blazek is the Director of the Office of Rural Prosperity at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. She grew up on her family’s farm near Bangor, Wis.

Maria Woldt

Maria Woldt serves as the program manager for the Dairy Innovation Hub. In this role, she assists in the management of the Hub budget, develops and disseminates communications, and organizes events. Maria will also coordinates activities between Hub collaborators at UW–Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls.

David Zoerb

Dave Zoerb spent a 40+ year career in business in various consumer product marketing and brand management positions serving many Fortune 1000 companies over a wide variety of retail and business-to-business channels. He has spent the last six years as a volunteer member of the MERLIN Entrepreneurial Mentor Network at UW Research Park, advising aspiring entrepreneurs from south central Wisconsin as well as the entire state.

Tera Montgomery

Dr. Tera Montgomery is a professor in Animal and Dairy Science at UW-Platteville and in addition to teaching classes, she is the advisor for the Pioneer Dairy Club and the Pioneer Sweets student-managed ice cream business, the coach of the Pioneer Dairy Challenge team and the campus liaison for the Dairy Innovation Hub.

Kieran Furhlong

Adam Brock
Marjorie Stieve

Marjorie Stieve is the marketing services manager of Vita Plus.  She’s had a long career within the Wisconsin agricultural industry working for World Dairy Expo and Agri-View in addition to Vita Plus while also serving as volunteer within several industry organizations. 


Watch this short video on the Dairy Innovation Hub Student Challenge to learn more.

Photo by Catherine Reiland/UW-Madison
Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison
Photo by Michael P. King

Interested in more information?

Fill out our mentorship interest form and we will contact you with more information on the opportunity and how you can be involved today.

Contact Heidi Zoerb at heidi.zoerb@wisc.edu for more information on how to participate.