Michigan 4-H Dairy Youth Programming Benefits From A.I. Industry Support

posted on December 12, 2008 6:07am


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  517-432-1555, ext. 170

EAST LANSING,  Mich.—Supporting young people as they learn new skills, build future career contacts and establish lifelong friendships is a solid investment in securing the future of any industry. This past summer, the Michigan dairy industry brought together producers and industry partners to raise money to fund future 4-H dairy youth programming and activities.
  The second annual A.I. Heifer Showcase Sale held in conjunction with the 2008 Michigan Dairy Expo raised over $4,500 in support of the Michigan 4-H Dairy Program. The sale provided an opportunity for producers to purchase replacement heifers and several artificial insemination (A.I.) companies  to engage in some friendly competition to see which company’s genetics garnered the highest bids.
  The sale, managed by United Producers, Inc. (UPI), offered nearly 50 head of springing heifers. Each participating A.I. company was charged with lining up 15 to 20 consignments representing its company’s genetics: ABS Global, Inc.; Alta Genetics, Inc.; CRI (Cooperative Resources International); NorthStar Cooperative, Inc.; and Semex USA. Sellers were charged a 10 percent commission, with all monies remaining after expenses donated to the Michigan 4-H Dairy Youth Program.
  The A.I. Showcase Sale was an innovative fund-raising idea that would draw together the A.I. companies and the state’s dairy producers—buyers, sellers and contenders—all while promoting and benefiting the state’s many 4-H dairy youth program participants and their leaders, many of whom were onsite participating in Michigan Dairy Expo activities.
  “The A.I. companies have always been very supportive of the state’s dairy youth programs, and the sale is one way for us to express our appreciation,” said Joe Domecq, Michigan 4-H dairy youth Extension specialist and coordinator of the Michigan Dairy Expo. “It also creates a friendly competition between companies to see which company can select the highest selling consignments, all while promoting their genetics programs.”
  Domecq said the sale provided a fun and educational learning opportunity for 4-H youth and devoted program supporters alike.
  “The sale is also another opportunity to observe the variety of educational activities our 4-H dairy youth participate in,” Domecq added. “It’s important to showcase and support their efforts.
  “Participating in Expo activities opens up doors and challenges young people to step outside their comfort zones, whether it’s learning how to present oral reasons as part of a dairy judging contest or working together as a team in the quiz bowl competition,” he said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have representatives from the Michigan 4-H dairy judging program place well at national contests and, because of their hard work, earn an invitation to take a trip to Europe on two occasions. I honestly believe that the first steps in that process were taken here at Michigan Dairy Expo.”
  Michigan Dairy Expo is the largest annual dairy event in the state. The 2008 five-day event drew more than 450 dairy animals and more than 200 exhibitors. Michigan 4-H members competed for premiums, ribbons and scholarships in the 4-H dairy quiz bowl, a dairy management contest, a dairy cattle judging contest and the Dairy Days youth show.
  The mission of Michigan Dairy Expo is to encourage and promote youth involvement in dairy activities, showcase the Michigan dairy industry and provide continuing education opportunities for the dairy industry in Michigan and neighboring states.
  Planning is already under way for the 2009 A.I. Showcase Sale. To learn more about becoming involved with the sale, Michigan Dairy Expo and 4-H dairy youth programs, contact Joe Domecq at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 517-353-7855.


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