EAST LANSING, Mich. — Four Michigan youth recently traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to represent Michigan 4-H in the junior dairy management contest at the All-American Dairy Show. The youth, three from Branch County and one from Lapeer County, competed September 18 in the national contest that was open to 4-H and FFA youth from across the country.
The Junior Dairy Management Contest allows participants to demonstrate their skills and knowledge related to the practical care and management of dairy cattle. This year, Jonah Haskins, 18, of Marlette (Lapeer County), Kaylee Kriser, 18, of Quincy (Branch County), Jennifer VanLieu, 19, from Reading (Branch County), and Hayley Wineland, 16, from Coldwater (Branch County) traveled more than 1,000 miles with coach Lisa Bowerman, also of Quincy, to represent Michigan 4-H at the contest. The team earned the opportunity to represent Michigan at the national competition by winning the senior division of the dairy management contest at Michigan 4-H Youth Dairy Days, held in July.
“I am grateful to have had this opportunity to take my dairy management skills to the next level and it’s something I think every 4-H member should strive to experience,” said Haskins, who won the senior division of the dairy management contest at Michigan 4-H Youth Dairy Days. “It was a very fun trip. It was a great learning experience to see how dairy farming is done differently across the country. It takes a lot of studying because there were many different topics to cover and many practices to work with my teammates preparing for the contest.”
In total, 58 youth from 4-H clubs and FFA chapters across the nation competed. Topics covered in the contest included farm business management, feed and nutrition management and evaluation, dairy facilities and cow comfort, dairy foods and milk quality assessment, dairy cow welfare, and linear scoring of cattle. The team took home third place in the overall 4-H division while Kriser placed eighth overall as an individual and Haskins placed ninth.
“The team was very excited to compete in Harrisburg knowing they won the state contest in Michigan, and they hope to make it back next year,” said Bowerman. “It was a great learning experience for them. I enjoyed going over the financial section and helping the youth relate it to real-life scenarios. As a group, we were able to incorporate what the youth need to know in their own situations, like can they afford a car, budgeting rent for an apartment, etc.”
To learn more about Michigan 4-H’s dairy programs, visit the 4-H dairy cattle production and management page on the Michigan 4-H website.
— Michigan State ANR
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