Michigan 4-H Dairy Days and Michigan Dairy Expo return July 20-24

The largest annual dairy event in Michigan is just around the corner and youth are excited for the week’s events.

Youth from Clinton and Washtenaw counties enjoy an exciting round during the 2014 Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest.

Youth from Clinton and Washtenaw counties enjoy an exciting round during the 2014 Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest.

For those youth who have a strong interest in one particular animal science project, there are numerous statewide events that offer the chance to dive in even deeper to project areas. Multiple workshops, the 4-H Animal and Veterinary Science Camp and species-specific shows and expos occur throughout the year. One such event occurring at the Michigan State University Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education July 20-24 is Michigan 4-H Youth Dairy Days and Michigan Dairy Expo.

Every July, hundreds of Michigan youth, parents, volunteers and industry partners come together in East Lansing, Michigan, for a week to participate in the educational contests of Dairy Days and network during Dairy Expo. Events during the week include a dairy management/skill-a-thon contest to kick things off Monday night, July 20. Youth practice critical thinking as they evaluate case studies, answer questions about cattle physiology and demonstrate a skill that is important for everyday cow management.

Tuesday, July 21, is the youth show, starting with showmanship and followed by the breed shows. While exhibiting cows Tuesday, youth are evaluated on how well they work as a team with their heifer or cow and their knowledge about this specific animal.

Wednesday, July 22, is the dairy cattle judging contest that once again exercises critical thinking skills as youth evaluate a class of four animals, ranking them from top to bottom, and then delivering a set of spoken reasons to a judge and enhancing their communication skills. Wednesday is also the Great Dairy Adventure, an event open to the public to learn more about how milk travels from the cow to the kitchen table and sample delicious, nutritious, locally produced dairy foods.

The Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest is Thursday, July 23, which is a fast-paced buzzer game where youth answer questions ranging from the average milk production of a cow to naming metabolic diseases, and understanding how to calculate a ration. Thursday evening is the awards banquet, in which winners of the educational contests are announced and scholarships are awarded to youth receiving the highest individual honors.

Friday, July 24, is the open show where youth may once again exhibit their cattle and compete with adults for top honors in the state.

Michigan State University Extension, the MSU Department of Animal Science and many dairy industry partners are proud to host this event, encouraging youth to remain or become active in the Michigan dairy industry now and in the future. 

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