University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Vermont Sends Two Youths to National 4-H Dairy Conference

Burlington--Two Vermont dairy 4-H'ers recently returned from the National 4-H Dairy Conference held in Madison, Wisconsin, Sept. 30-Oct. 4, in conjunction with the World Dairy Exposition.

Shelby Biasini of Morrisville and Devin Mitchell of Richford were selected to attend based on their outstanding 4-H dairy achievements, including excellent 4-H dairy project record books and participation in University of Vermont Extension county and statewide 4-H dairy events. Shelby is a member of the Green Mountain Moovers 4-H Club. Devin belongs to the Green Mountain 4-H Dairy Club.

They were among the 200 youths, ages 15 to 18, from throughout the country and Canada who gathered on the University of Wisconsin campus to learn about dairy production, processing, marketing, dairy industry issues and other dairy topics. They also explored career opportunities in the dairy industry through seminars, discussion groups and tours of dairy operations and agricultural businesses.

Seminars covered a range of topics including biotechnology, calf feeding, artificial insemination, marketing of dairy products, goat and sheep dairy products, science fun with dairy products and tips for being an effective dairy advocate, among others. The delegates also visited various agricultural enterprises in southern Wisconsin including ABS Global (formerly American Breeders Service), Nasco International, Hoard's Dairyman Magazine and its registered Guernsey farm, the National Dairy Shrine Museum and several local dairy operations.

The 4-H'ers enjoyed an afternoon at the World Dairy Expo, an international dairy industry trade show featuring national dairy cattle shows, commercial exhibitors and seminars. In addition, they heard from leading dairy experts and inspirational speakers and had an opportunity to meet teens who shared their interest in dairying.

The Vermont teens' trip was funded in part by the State 4-H Foundation, Vermont Dairy Industry Association and Alltech, a global animal health and nutrition company.

Cindy Kayhart, who farms with her husband, Brian, in Vergennes, accompanied the delegates. She is the leader of the New Haven 4-H Dairy Club in Addison County and a member of the State 4-H Dairy Committee.