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Dairy Conference For Young Producers

31 March 2010

US - The sixth annual Indiana Youth Dairy Conference is packed with educational and hands-on sessions to help better prepare youth for a future in the dairy industry.

The conference takes place from 10 am to 4 pm April 24 at the Beck Agricultural Centre, located at the Purdue's Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE) near West Lafayette.

"We want this conference to continue to create a hands-on and interactive opportunity for the participants," said Kelly Heckaman, educator, Purdue Extension Kosciusko County.

The participants will be broken into two groups: grades three through six and seventh grade and above.

"Each group will engage in the same type of information, but the sessions will be targeted toward the age group so it is most beneficial to the participant," Ms Heckaman said.

Session topics include dairy care, how to properly answer dairy questions, pedigree information and dairy nutrition. A Purdue dairy farm and milking parlour tour and dairy cow judging also are planned.

"Theses sessions will not only provide the participant with the basic information they need to understand what is going on in the dairy industry, but also the chance to network with industry professionals," Ms Heckaman said.

Both groups will have a session on pedigree. The younger group will be introduced to the basics of what a pedigree is and will receive tips on how to fill out 4-H enrollment forms. The older group will learn the best way to build a successful pedigree.

Ms Heckaman said the question session is going to be one of the most important of the conference.

"We are in a different world now and there are a lot more people who are curious about how the dairy industry works," she said. "It is important that the participants are able to answer basic questions about an industry they are going to be involved with."

The judging session will highlight a new animal scoring criteria rule change.

"The Purebred Dairy Cattle Association changed the scoring criteria for dairy judging last August," Ms Heckaman said. "The score card criteria went from five categories to four, making each section that much more important when it comes to points. Coaches will have to teach their team members in a whole different way."

The 2010 dairy ambassador interviews also will be held at the conference. The winner will be announced at the end of the day.

Conference registration is due by April 14 and is $15 per person. It includes a T-shirt, handouts and meals. Checks should be made payable to Indiana Professional Dairy Producers. Registrations can be mailed to the Kosciusko County Extension Office at 202 W Main St., Warsaw, 46580.

For more information and registrations go online to http://www.extension.purdue.edu/Kosciusko/IDA07.htm or contact Heckaman at 574-372-2340, [email protected].  

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