Activities Center Around Involving, Educating Youth About Dairy

Activities Center Around Involving, Educating Youth About Dairy

Cow Camps, Milk Marketing Tour and Exploration and Dairy Days offered.

There are several activities throughout the summer that give youth the opportunity to travel, meet new friends and learn more about the dairy industry in Michigan – and owning a cow is not a requirement.

Three opportunities to practice skills and build dairy knowledge will be available for 4-H members in June. Three "Cow Camps" will be held in Oceana County on June 4, Allegan County on June 16-17 and Isabella County on June 17. The camps will provide hands-on learning on many topics, varying slightly by location to help 4-H members prepare for the show ring and grow their understanding of dairy cattle.

Youth interested in attending the event in Allegan County should contact Robyn Wixom at 269-521-6201 or [email protected]. Those interested in the Isabella County camp can reach Cathy Fry at 989-304-1983 or Jessica Fry at 989-304-1201. For more information about the Oceana County event, contact Kate Deters at [email protected] or 231-578-9490.

The State 4-H Dairy Program and the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) will be teaming up June 16-17,  to again co-sponsor the 4-H/MMPA Milk Marketing Tour. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the dairy industry and how milk is marketed in Michigan, and tour a milk processing plant. Youth interested in participating should e-mail Michigan State University Extension dairy youth specialist Joe Domecq at [email protected].

"The Milk Marketing Tour is a really neat opportunity that anyone with an interest in dairy can participate in," Domecq says. "The information 4-H members will have access to at this event will be extremely valuable as they continue to grow their knowledge about dairy."

From June 22 to 24, 4-H members throughout the state will be gathering at MSU for 4-H Exploration Days. The annual conference attracts nearly 2,500 youth each year and offers attendees the chance to learn about a wide variety of topics that interest them, including dairy. This year's dairy session will focus on reproduction.

From July 18–23, 4-H Dairy Days will be taking place at the MSU Pavilion. This year's event is one day longer than in past years and will include additional opportunities for youth, including a new novice division in the dairy judging and management contests. Additionally, the grand champion showperson and those exhibiting the grand and reserve champion cows during 4-H Dairy Days will be eligible to participate in the third annual Michigan Livestock Expo Sale-abration. In lieu of selling animals, dairy products will be used to represent the three champions; each one will be guaranteed to receive $1,000, with monies above this amount donated to the Michigan 4-H Dairy Youth Program. Registration forms for 4-H Dairy Days for both the cattle show and all youth educational contests are due June 24. Find the forms online at http://www.canr.msu.edu/anscikids/events.html, or contact your local MSU Extension office.

For more information about these and other Michigan 4-H dairy youth activities or becoming involved in the Michigan 4-H dairy youth program, contact Domecq at [email protected] or call 517-353-7855.

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