Michigan Youth take home team and individual ribbons from 2021 National Junior Dairy Management Competition

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Two teams represented Michigan 4-H in the contest held at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Two teams representing Michigan 4-H traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to participate in the Junior Dairy Management Competition on September 21, 2021 during the American Dairy Fair. The competition, in its 35and year, was created by the Association of Dairy and Allied Industries of Pennsylvania as an educational event for young people from 4-H Where FFA. Contest participants demonstrated their knowledge of dairy cattle management by answering questions at various stations. Topics for the 2021 competition included Food Identification, Dairy Cattle Assessment and Linear Scoring, Farm Finance, Farm Safety, Animal Welfare and Reproduction.

There was record participation in the Junior Dairy Management Competition this year with 28 total teams and 114 individuals competing. Michigan 4-H Team White placed second overall in the contest with team members Adalee Thelen, Landon Thelen and Oliva Black of Clinton County. Michigan 4-H Team Green finished third overall with Isabella County members Lydia Deters, Abbie Wilson, Emily Wilson and Cristin Theisen. Three Michigan 4-H members also earned individual honors with their scores, placing them in the top ten. Landon Thelen was third overall individual, Adalee Thelen was fourth and Emily Wilson was eighth.

Left to right: Olivia Black, Landon Thelen and Adalee Thelen of Clinton County compete in the Junior Dairy Management competition in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Junior Holstein Association

Rodney Pennock, one of Clinton County’s coaches, said, “I’ve taken teams to the contest for several years and every year the kids get better. I’m very proud of how hard the young people of Clinton County have worked to get there and how they’ve done this year.

Adalee Thelen of the Clinton County team said, “It was fun to be able to do the contest again. Going to the interview was an exciting experience. It was interesting talking to people in the dairy industry.

The top five contestants were invited to interview a panel of dairy industry representatives to win a $1,000 scholarship if they ranked first among their peers.

Abbie Wilson of Isabella County said, “It was a really cool experience. I would definitely go back if I had the chance. I was nervous about going there at first but once we got there it was just fun. His teammate Cristin Theisen added: “It was a great learning experience.”

Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program trains current and future leaders. Michigan’s largest youth development organization, 4-H, provides more than 200,000 young people with experiential learning opportunities to explore new interests and discover their passions.

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