Allison Schafer, Clinton County, and Lance Frahm, Saginaw County, were recognized as the highest point-getters in the junior division of this year's Michigan Youth Dairy Days, an annual dairy youth activity held in conjunction with Michigan Dairy Expo. The 16th annual expo was July 16–20 at the Michigan State University (MSU) Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education in East Lansing.
As the youth-centered portion of the Michigan Dairy Expo, the largest annual dairy event in the state, Youth Dairy Days offers young people interested in the dairy industry opportunities to compete for premiums, ribbons and scholarships in various educational activities, including dairy quiz bowls, dairy management contests, dairy cattle judging competitions and the Dairy Days youth show. This year more than 200 youth members from around the state participated in one or more of the educational competitions, and winners may go on to represent Michigan in national competitions.
Schafer, of Westphalia, was awarded the Overall Dairy Youth Dairy Days High Rank Award in the junior division and received a $1,000 cash prize. Frahm, of Frankenmuth, was named the Reserve Overall Dairy Youth Dairy Days High Rank Award winner in the junior division and received a $750 cash prize.
The Overall Dairy Youth Dairy Days High Rank Award is awarded to the contestant who accumulates the highest total rankings in three of four contest categories: dairy cattle judging (conformation placings and oral reasons), dairy management, quiz bowl and showmanship. The senior division is open to youth ages 15 to 19. A similar contest is held for youth ages 9 to 14 (junior division). Each participant may only win the high rank award once in the junior division and once in the senior division.
Joe Domecq, Michigan dairy youth specialist and director of Youth Dairy Days and the Michigan Dairy Expo, said that the weeklong educational event serves as the stage for showcasing some of the industry's most talented and engaged youth and future dairy industry leaders.