BURLINGTON – Six Vermont 4-Hers were among the more than 200 4-H dairy members from 30 states and several Canadian provinces selected to attend the 65th National 4-H Dairy Conference.
The event, held annually in conjunction with the World Dairy Exposition, took place from October 1 to 4, in Madison, Wis. Participants, ages 15 to 18, had the opportunity to learn about the dairy industry and career choices through tours of dairy operations and agricultural businesses, a dairy skill-a-thon, motivational speakers and educational workshops, including one on the science behind dairy foods, which involved making ice cream with liquid nitrogen.
The Vermont delegation included Peyton Ball, Vergennes; Maeve Leslie-Gawalt, Hartland; Gabriel Michaud, East Hardwick; Natalie Michaud, Greensboro; Madalyn Perry, East Montpelier; and Erin Whipple, Bridport. Brian and Cindy Kayhart, New Haven, chaperoned the group.
Applicants had to meet the age requirement and be enrolled in the 4-H dairy project for at least three years. They were chosen on the basis of their outstanding 4-H dairy achievements, including their 4-H dairy project record books and participation in county and state 4-H dairy events, such as dairy shows, judging contests and quiz bowl.
Conference field trips focused on a number of agricultural enterprises in southern Wisconsin including ABS Global, Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine and its registered Guernsey farm, the National Dairy Shrine Museum and Jones Dairy, a centuries-old food company that produces sausages and other breakfast meats. Crave Brothers Farm and Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese in Waterloo, Wis., hosted the 4-Hers for a farm tour, tailgate party, career fair and barn dance.
In addition, conference delegates spent an afternoon at the 2023 World Dairy Expo to visit the trade show and watch the dairy show competitions.