Hundreds of youth and hundreds of dairy cows and their owners from across the Great Lakes state will converge on the Michigan State University (MSU) MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education July 15 – 19 for the annual Michigan 4-H Dairy Days and 17th annual Michigan Dairy Expo.
Michigan Dairy Expo, the largest annual dairy event in the state, is a week-long event that combines youth activities with purebred dairy breed association youth and open show events. 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.
Michigan 4-H Dairy Days is the youth-centered portion of the Michigan Dairy Expo. 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.
On Monday, exhibitors will move in their cattle for the weeklong event and youth will compete in the 4-H dairy management contest. Tuesday activities include a day-long youth show beginning at 7:30 a.m. (showmanship contests and breed shows) and at 6 p.m. the fifth annual Michigan Dairy and Livestock Expo Sale-abration auction, where champion animals and products will be auctioned off to raise money for scholarships and youth educational programming and activities.
Michigan 4-H dairy youth members will compete in the dairy cattle judging competition on Wednesday. In addition, the 16th annual Great Dairy Adventure consumer education day will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This family-oriented and volunteer-operated educational event is a fun family outing and a popular field trip destination for many summer children’s programs. New on display at the Great Dairy Adventure this year will be a robotic milking unit. Attendees will have a chance to see and ask questions about the latest milking technology available and currently being used by nearly 30 dairy farms in Michigan.
Thursday events include the 4-H dairy quiz bowl, the Michigan Dairy Expo Celebration Picnic and Dairy Youth and 4-H Recognition Program, and the Michigan Jersey Futurity and 27th annual Michigan Holstein Association Great Lakes State Futurity. The evening will conclude with an ice cream social.
Open and youth breed show activities begin Friday at 7:30 a.m. with showmanship classes. These will be followed by heifer and cow classes and the selection of the supreme champion heifer and cow in the youth and open shows.
All 4-H Dairy Days and Michigan Dairy Expo events take place at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education located on the MSU campus on Farm Lane between Mt. Hope and Forest roads. There is no admission fee to attend, and parking is free.
For more information about 4-H Dairy Days and the Michigan Dairy Expo or to download a complete schedule of events, visit www.midairyyouth.ans.msu.edu
or contact Carla McLachlan