2018-06-07 / Community

Despite the cold, Thumb Dairy Odyssey had a successful start

Submitted by Marianne Buza
Extension Dairy Educator, MSU-Extension Huron County

PIGEON - Despite the cold and damp weather on Saturday, April 28, 24 youth from four counties met at Leipprandt Dairy, Pigeon, for the first of two Thumb Dairy Odyssey Days of 2018. The day began with participants receiving a farm tour and learning about the specifics of the dairy’s daily operation. They then rotated through three different educational stations located around throughout the dairy. Participants learned the finer points of showmanship from members of Junior Holstein Association including how to lead a cow and show an animal’s best traits. They were also given the opportunity to lead a cow. Participants also discovered how to best feed a heifer to unlock genetic potential and improve chances at a blue ribbon. They also explored how veterinarians identify sick animals and how they narrow down problem areas with a physical exam. Thumb Dairy Odyssey is for young people interested in dairy or animal science. The program teaches about the dairy industry, introduces youth to career options in agriculture and strengthens skills used in FFA and 4-H competitions. Youth do not need to be in 4-H or FFA to attend.

The second and final Thumb Dairy Odyssey of 2018 will be held on Saturday, June 16 at Deluur Dairy, Deckerville. Registration is open. The day will begin with a farm tour followed by three educational sessions. Topics will include “what a milk-coop field rep does on farms,” “fitting” and “how a cow views the world.”

Participants will investigate what field reps do on a farm and how they evaluate milking operations. They will learn what type of equipment is used and how to evaluate the equipment. Participants will also learn some tips and tricks to getting a cow ready to show from members of the MSU Dairy Club including the detailed work to make a show cow or calf shine. They will also be given the opportunity to uncover how a cow sees, thinks, and perceives the world and us.

This program is designed for ages 9-19, but all youth whether farm kids, city kids, country kids, FFA or 4-H members as well non 4-H are invited to attend. The program will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2:30 p.m. with lunch included. The cost is $5 per child with accompanying adults attending for free.

To register: visit the Huron County Extension Office, 1142 S. Van Dyke Road (M-53), Ste. 200, Bad Axe.

For more information, call 989-269- 9949 or email mbuza@anr.msu.edu.

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