Mrs. Bonnie Ayars, Extension Dairy Program Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
It all began with a simple idea cultivated by loyal volunteers. However, the only way Dairy Palooza comes to life is the constant stream of donors, supporters, advisors, parents, and the enthusiasm of every participant! On April 27th, the Canfield Fairgrounds was the host site of our 9th consecutive version of this innovative program. It was a sunny day and the hospitality was even brighter as nearly 400 people were in attendance! With quality assurance training and a session on writing thank-yous in the morning, we also offered special sessions for adults. Lunch included a special recognition for the Grammers and their initial “leap of faith” when they agreed to host our very first version of the program in 2011. Time was set aside for everyone to show off those Palooza shirts and capture the group photo.
There was something for everyone in the afternoon sessions. Each 45-minute rotation offered a wide range of topics. There was science and an experiment for Milk in Motion and yet a barnyard display offered the opportunity and training on cattle movement and animal welfare. Dr. Bob, a perennial favorite, kept everyone involved and having fun. Of course, the traditional showmanship, clipping and fitting demos, and artificial insemination basics were on the agenda. Kids also could learn more about connecting with consumers and first-aid as it relates to farm safety. Dairy feeders and goats also had time on the program. Our presenters are the best of the best, including OSU faculty, Extension educators, a registered nurse, and industry professionals who work hard to include a variety of hands-on activities. Even Cloverbuds had their own identity with a fun-filled program that transformed them into caped, super cow crusaders.
At the closing, two lucky individuals were drawn for $50 Amazon gift cards and others had their tickets drawn for door prizes. The semen raffle winners were also announced and pleased to collect their $100 gift certificates.
Beyond the teaching and learning, all participants go home with a folder filled with materials, a souvenir t-shirt, a first-aid kit, a clipboard, and a heavy canvas bag so all is kept in order.
Dairy Palooza has its own Facebook and web page with special branding and logos developed over the years. Check these social media sources often for updates. Come be a part of our special First Decade celebration in 2020!
Dairy Palooza 2019 group photo.