Maureen Ballatori, Laura Hardie, and Alison K. Conant

One Industry, Many Voices: Telling the Story of NE Dairy 

At the Northeast Dairy Innovation Summit, farmers, processors, and stakeholders will gather from across our 11-state region to dig into the challenges and opportunities for the next decade.  

While there are differences across the region, here at NE-DBIC, we see considerable opportunity in engaging on what we have in common.  

That’s why we’re bringing together Maureen Ballatori of Agency 29, Laura Hardie of Red Barn Writer, and Alison K. Conant of CRA and Conant’s Riverside Farm for a special session on storytelling and leadership in dairy. 

Join us at the Summit for their session Leading Together: Uniting Regional Dairy for Impact 

Large, small, organic, conventional – there are plenty of distinctions in dairy that can set producers up for competition.  In this session, we’re doing something different. Join us as we identify what we share in common across the Northeast dairy sector, and why it’s essential to lift up our common goals and contributions to the regional food system.  

This session will cover the meaningful impact of leadership and storytelling on the dairy industry including a review of some of the latest dairy industry consumer research. We’ll explore how the stories we share individually and through brand marketing relate to and impact the larger landscape. 

Learn more about the speakers below, and register for the Northeast Dairy Innovation Summit by March 1 for special early-bird rates. 

Maureen Ballatori

Maureen Ballatori (she/her) is the founder and CEO of Agency 29, an award-winning brand-building firm for food, beverage, and agriculture brands.

Her experience in brand strategy helps companies scale business growth, define their unique marketing message, and attract their ideal audiences. Maureen’s rural roots are the source of her passion for agriculture marketing and food. An active community member, Maureen holds multiple board seats for local and international organizations, and she is a national speaker and workshop facilitator. 

Laura Hardie is a marketing and communications professional with more than 15 years of industry experience.

She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has worked in local news, at marketing agencies, and on marketing teams for regional and national food and beverage brands. In 2020, she founded the Red Barn Writer, a freelance content marketing agency that uses strategic storytelling to drive measurable business growth for clients in the sustainability, food, beverage, and agriculture industries. Laura is also a seventh-generation Vermonter from a long line of dairy farmers and a beginner lavender farmer. 

Alison Kosakowski Conant

Alison Kosakowski Conant is a communication strategist and executive advisor with deep agricultural roots.

She is passionate about family farms and the vital role they play in shaping rural America. She is an owner at Conant’s Riverside Farms, a family dairy farm in Richmond, VT, operating continuously since 1854.  Alison also brings more than 20 years of experience leading communications in global, corporate, government, and nonprofit settings. As a Managing Partner at CRA Inc., Alison works with leaders to drive organizational change, manage crises, grow stakeholder relationships, and navigate the daily challenges of leadership. Her current client list includes major dairy processors, the nation’s leading restaurant chain, and working lands businesses across the Northeast. 

By far her best and most rewarding job is partnering with her husband, Ransom Conant, to raise their two children – the seventh generation to grow up at Conant’s Riverside Farms

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