Friday, June 06, 2014

4-H Dairy Cow Camp Educates Youth to Become Future Dairy Leaders, Teaches Life Skills

Contact: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- A prominent dairy farm in Springfield, Mo., played host to 40 youth, age 8 to 16, as part of the Missouri 4-H Dairy Cow Camp held May 24-26, 2014.

According to Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist with University of Missouri Extension, Robthom dairy farm has hosted Missouri 4-H Dairy Cow Camp for 18 years.

Organizers from University of Missouri Extension say the camp is significant for two reasons.  First, it is designed to encourage youth wanting to go into the dairy industry.  Second, it provides campers with an opportunity to learn a variety of life skills, including teamwork, cooperation, and responsibility.

“This camp draws attention to the importance of farming and its important role in Missouri’s economy.  It provides youth a hands-on opportunity to care for dairy animals and learn about many aspects of dairy production while learning life-skills at the same time,” Deaver said.

Campers work in pairs under the direction of adults and take part in workshops to learn about judging dairy animals, dairy management, animal care ethics and showmanship.  Persons working in the dairy industry visited with campers about careers in the dairy industry as well.
In addition to educational workshops on dairy heifer nutrition, showmanship, dairy cattle judging and quiz bowl, campers participated in sessions enabling them to be certified in Show Me Quality Assurance.  The activities, designed as a series of learning stations, help 4-H’ers develop both personal and project skills.  Stations included an animal health tool identification, biosecurity, ethics, public image and learning to give injections.


A judging contest and showmanship competition provide the culmination for the camp.  In the dairy judging contest, Lora Wright of Verona was first in the senior division, followed by Ellie Wantland of Niangua.  In the junior division, Nicolas Dotson of Marionville was first and Grant Groves of Billings was second.

In the showmanship competition, winning the junior division was Kelsey Grimm of Aurora and second was Taylor Whitehead of Conway.  In the intermediate division, first was Bailey Groves of Billings and second was Grant Groves of Billings. In the senior division, Lora Wright of Billings was first and Ellie Wantland of Niangua was second.

In the dairy jeopardy competition, the highest score went to Lora Wright of Verona, followed by Taylor Groves of Billings and Blake Wright of Verona.

A number of other awards were given, including rookie awards to Wyatt Groves of Billings and Erin Ingalsbe of Niangua. Teamwork awards were given to sisters Faith and Hope Bohannon of Marshfield and Jessica and Brittany Crawley of Gravette, Arkansas.

Most improved awards were given to Grant Groves of Billings and Nicolas Dotson of Marionville, and Fast Start awards were given to Adeline Dickerson of Lucerne and Julie Griffin of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

A leadership award was given to Maria Poock of Boonville, and a sportsmanship award was given to Blake Wright of Verona.  Scoops of the day were awarded to David Ley of Washington, Michael and Brady Vedder of New Haven, Allison Davis of Crane and Amy McLaughlin of Unionville.


4-H Dairy Cow Camp is a cooperative program between University of Missouri Extension and a number of industry sponsors, including Robthom Dairy, Dairy Farmers of America, Southwest Dairy Farmers, MFA, Inc., Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Holstein Junior Association, Missouri Jersey Cattle Association, Missouri Ayrshire Breeders Association, Missouri Brown Swiss Association, Missouri Guernsey Breeders Association, Land O’Lakes/Purina, Missouri Dairy Association, Sancrest Specialized Transport, S & H Farm Supply, So-Mo Agri-Supply, D Bar J Livestock LLC, John Underwood, Race Brothers of Monett, Hiland Dairy, Monsanto Company, FCS Financial and the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

For more information about cow camp, contact Karla Deaver at the Lawrence County Extension Center in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, or your local county extension center.


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