Milk means more for 4-H youth: celebrating National Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month, but Michigan youth involved in the 4-H dairy project celebrate and work hard every day of the year.

Michigan 4-H dairy projects mean friends, education, travel, scholarship and limitless possibilities for Michigan youth! Photo credit: ANR Communications | MSU Extension

Michigan 4-H dairy projects mean friends, education, travel, scholarship and limitless possibilities for Michigan youth! Photo credit: ANR Communications | MSU Extension

June is National Dairy Month; a time when we can all have that extra scoop of ice cream, a little more cream in our coffee, or a really cheesy piece of pizza with pride. For youth enrolled in dairy projects through Michigan 4-H, the youth development branch of Michigan State University Extension, National Dairy Month is a time to celebrate the dedication, hard work and commitment to the dairy industry they display every day. Milk means more than a delicious, wholesome drink for youth engaged in dairy science; milk means friends, education, travel, scholarship and limitless possibilities.

There are more than 2,400 youth enrolled in dairy projects throughout the state of Michigan. Some may live on a farm and be the next generation to produce high quality milk for the state and country, while others could be the first in their family to venture into agriculture. No matter their background, youth play an important role in the dairy industry, a leading segment in Michigan agriculture.

''For youth interested in learning more about the dairy industry, there are an infinite number of ways youth can be involved at the local, state and national levels. Contact your local Extension office to find out about dairy 4-H clubs in your area or in neighboring counties. This is a great place to start learning and meeting other youth, parents and volunteers with a similar interests in the dairy industry.

Open to all youth in Michigan, from novice to expert, there are several events and programs throughout the year to help further dairy science, industry, advocacy education and personal development for any experience level. These include:

The opportunities for youth to become engaged in Michigan’s dairy industry are endless and extend well beyond National Dairy Month! While you are enjoying your frozen yogurt, drinking that glass of ice cold milk or melting cheese on a hamburger during a summer cookout, remember the hardworking, dedicated youth and adults who brought that delicious dairy product to your table.