EAST LANSING, MI
Michigan 4-H members and youth from across the state have until June 16 to register for the educational events and June 23 to register for the dairy animal show at this year's Michigan 4-H Youth Dairy Days.
Dairy Days are scheduled for July 21-24 and held in conjunction with the 18th annual Michigan Dairy Expo and dairy breed shows at the Michigan State University (MSU) Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education on the MSU campus. The open dairy breed shows take place on Friday, July 25.
During Dairy Days, 4-H members and youth with an interest in dairy have an opportunity to participate in several educational contests in one of three divisions: novice, junior or senior.
4-H members taking part in the dairy quiz bowl and dairy management and dairy cattle judging contests may also earn a chance to represent the state at national events in the fall. Youth may also compete in showmanship classes and exhibit dairy animals in the conformation classes during the event's youth show.
Those who participate in three of the four contests — dairy management, dairy quiz bowl, dairy cattle judging and showmanship — are eligible to be selected as the overall or reserve overall junior or senior scholarship winner based on their performance in each event. The overall individual winner in the junior and senior divisions each receives a $1,000 scholarship. One runner-up in each division receives a $750 scholarship.
Winners will be recognized at the Michigan Dairy Expo celebration picnic and dairy youth program recognition night July 24.
The Michigan Dairy Days Youth Show takes place July 22 and is open to all youth ages 9-19 as of Jan. 1, 2014. Premiums will be awarded to the top 10 placing animals in the youth show and for the junior, senior and grand champion winners. The owner of the supreme champion animal and the grand champion showperson will also receive money awards.
The deadline to submit entries and qualify for the $5 per animal early entry fee for the youth show is June 23 (postmarked on or before June 23). Late entries will be accepted and charged according to a staggered scale: entries postmarked June 24 through July 1 cost $10 per animal and those postmarked July 2 through July 21 cost $25 per animal.
In addition, the champion heifer, champion milking cow and champion showperson from the youth show will take part in the sixth annual Michigan Livestock Expo Sale-abration auction July 22.
A VIP reception open to industry leaders and sale supporters takes place at 4:30 p.m. and is followed at 6 p.m. by the auction in the Pavilion sale arena. At this sale, the champion and reserve champion winners from the beef, sheep and swine shows held the previous weekend at the Michigan Livestock Expo, will be struck off to the highest bidder.
The dairy champion animals will not be sold, but instead be represented by dairy products provided by the Michigan dairy industry. The three dairy champion youth representatives will each receive up to $1,000, with any amount above that level directed toward a statewide dairy fund of the Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund and is used to support scholarships and educational grants for youth in the dairy industry.
In the 4-H dairy management contest, participants work individually to identify equipment, solve problems and demonstrate skills common in the dairy industry. The dairy management contest will be held on Monday, July 21. Additionally, the winning senior team in the management contest gets the opportunity to represent Michigan in the management contest held during the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pa.
The state youth dairy cattle judging contest takes place Wednesday, July 23, and is an opportunity for youth to test their dairy cattle evaluation skills. 4-H members in the senior division who place among the top 25 individuals will be invited to participate in a series of practices during the summer to earn a place on the Michigan 4-H dairy youth judging teams that compete this fall at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisville, PA; World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI; and the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, KY.
Michigan FFA chapters are invited to participate in the state youth dairy cattle judging contest.
The 4-H dairy quiz bowl is another event held during Dairy Days that provides young people with the chance to demonstrate their dairy knowledge. Based on eligibility age, participants are organized onto novice, junior or senior level teams to compete in the "Jeopardy"-style contest.
The dairy quiz bowl will be held on Thursday, July 24. The winning dairy quiz bowl team earns the opportunity to represent Michigan in the National Dairy Quiz Bowl contest held in November at the NAILE in Louisville, Ky.
The dairy open shows take place on July 24 (Holstein and Jersey futurity classes) and July 25. Entries received on or before June 23 cost $25 per animal. Entries postmarked June 24 through July 1 cost $35 per animal and entries postmarked July 2 through July 22 cost $50 per animal.
A copy of the Michigan Youth Dairy Days/Michigan Dairy Expo premium book, which includes an entry form and a complete schedule of events, is available online at: http://www.midairyyouth.ans.msu.edu/uploads/file/MDE_Show_book_2014.pdf. Information about registering for the educational contests is available online at http://www.midairyyouth.ans.msu.edu/uploads/file/DD_Co_Entry_Info_2014.pdf or by contacting your MSU Extension county office.
To receive a premium book by mail or to request more information about Michigan Dairy Expo, contact Carla McLachlan at 517-432-5402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan Dairy Expo is the largest annual dairy event in the state. Last year's event drew more than 400 dairy animals and more than 200 exhibitors. The mission of Michigan Dairy Expo is to encourage and promote youth involvement in dairy activities, showcase the Michigan dairy industry, and provide continuing education opportunities for the dairy industry in Michigan and neighboring states.