Dairy Youth Program Updates

Ms. Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Judging Teams Coach and Extension Youth Specialist, The Ohio State University

Spring Dairy Expo

March Madness is a term we use to refer to basketball, but those of in the dairy industry could also use it to explain the 3 very full days of Spring Dairy Expo.  It will take place at the Ohio Expo Center March 27 to 29.  Sales and shows will take center stage as well as many junior activities that include showmanship and the Ohio 4-H and FFA Dairy Judging Contest.  There is also a complimentary dinner provided by ADA on Friday evening.   Expo also has national attention focused on us since Holstein Association USA is holding their annual judges conference on Thursday with many out of state participants attending.

The Buckeye Dairy Club plays a very important role in managing their annual sales and judging students are in charge of the parlor.  Spring Dairy Expo is not only an event but also a destination where the dairy industry can connect with students and the next generation.

If you have never been SDE, you should visit and observe the work of volunteers committed to the goal of sustaining Ohio’s dairy industry.  There is something for everyone!  For more information and the schedule of events, go to http://www.springdairyexpo.com/schedule.html

Youth Dairy Judging Clinic

On Saturday, March 15, a youth dairy judging clinic was held here on campus with participants from all areas of Ohio that included both 4-H and FFA members.  Of the 100 attending, the group was split into experienced and less experienced judges.  Each received a packet of resources to guide them through the day’s educational portion and then they demonstrated what was learned while evaluating  three Jersey classes from the Waterman Complex.  Coaches and volunteers also were given a short summary of details and forms for the Ohio 4-H contest on Saturday, March 29.  Older kids even presented a set of reasons to guest officials from the university judging teams and the younger ones were taught about note taking, questions, and the organization of reasons.

As the instructor of such a group, it is good to see so many working on terminology, decision making, and communication skills.