HARRISBURG, Pa. — High school students in eleventh and twelfth grades who are interested in a potential veterinary science career in the dairy industry are invited to this year’s Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Exploration Experience. The day-long event will be held on Thursday, October 13, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Penn State Dairy Barns and Central Milk Testing Laboratory in State College, Pennsylvania. Hosted by Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow, Penn State University and Penn State Extension, students will learn about proper health for dairy cattle as well as dissect various organs.
“This year’s Exploration Experience not only focuses on veterinary science, but it gives high school students hands-on experience to help them determine if this is a career they want to pursue,” said Michelle Shearer, Workforce Development Manager at the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “This experiential learning experience is meaningful for students because it goes beyond a simple farm tour. They have a chance to apply what they are learning in their high school agriculture classes in a hands-on environment — learning directly from veterinary professionals who have vast amounts of expertise.”
During the day-long event, high school students will get a firsthand look at the Penn State Dairy Barns and learn from professionals who specialize in specific areas of veterinary science. Students will rotate through multiple labs where they will learn about and complete hands-on exercises related to hoof health, physical examinations, calving management, anatomy, and parasitology.
“These hands-on Exploration Experiences are excellent for the students. They are actually out on the farm for students to see, smell and get some hands-on experience,” said Lori Lefever, a high school agriculture instructor from the Lancaster County Career and Technical Center who participated in previous events.
To participate, students are required to submit a brief application by October 3, 2022. Only 24 students will be accepted to participate in the event on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who are interested in applying for the Exploration Experience must meet the following expectations:
- Must be in grades 11 or 12
- Should have an interest in dairy and veterinary science
- Must have a chaperone/advisor travel with them
The Exploration Experience event is free, and lunch and snacks are provided. Participants must provide their own transportation.
To apply for this year’s event and learn more about the experience, visit www.dairyleadersoftomorrow.com/exploration-experience. If you have questions, contact Michelle Shearer at email@example.com or by phone at 570-768-8316.
The Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Exploration Experiences began in 2017 and offer high school students the opportunity to utilize formal education skills in hands-on, experimental learning experiences. These experiences give students the opportunity to apply skills they learned in the classroom in real-world settings, engage in STEM learning through agricultural-focused areas, explore potential career opportunities, and cultivate a network of industry professionals.
Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow is a program managed by the Dairy Excellence Foundation and designed specifically to prepare high school students to work in the dairy industry. A three-part model program, Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow offers classroom instruction, on-farm experiences, and scholarship opportunities. Learn more at www.dairyleadersoftomorrow.com.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence