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.