Contact: Melissa Elischer at 517-432-4306 or Carla McLachlan at 517-432-5402
EAST LANSING, Mich. – A record $43,000 was raised from the sale of dairy product baskets representing the Supreme Champion Dairy Cow, Supreme Champion Dairy Heifer, Supreme Dairy Showperson and the Grand Champion Cheese at the 5th annual Michigan Livestock Expo Sale-abration auction held July 16 at the Michigan State University (MSU) Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education in East Lansing. The record amount topped last year’s total by $8,400.
A majority of the funds generated from the sale of the dairy lots goes into a statewide dairy youth fund of the Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund. The dairy portion of the fund supports dairy youth programs through educational grants and scholarships. The youth members who exhibited the winning animals or earned the champion showperson award receive $1,000 each.
Topping the dairy lots at $25,000 was the Supreme Champion Dairy Heifer owned by Lucas Moser, Dansville (Ingham County). A group of dairy industry supporters pooled their money to purchase the lot: Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA); the Kroger Co. of Michigan; CoBank; Caledonia Farmers Elevator; NorthStar Cooperative; Dairy Farmers of America (DFA); Zeeland Farm Services; Calder Dairy; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.; VitaPlus; Roberts Dairy Service; Class Construction; Hardys Holsteins; and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM).
The Supreme Champion Dairy Cow was owned by Parker Hardy, Tipton (Lenawee County). This lot sold for $8,000 to Meijer.
Kailey Sweers, Dansville (Ingham County), was the Supreme Champion Showperson. Her lot sold for $5,000 to Kalmbach Feeds.
The UDIM placed a final bid of $5,000 to purchase the Grand Champion Cheese exhibited by Old Europe Cheese, of Benton Harbor.
Dr. Janice Swanson, chairperson of the MSU Department of Animal Science, said it’s a pleasure to see the excellent participation and enthusiasm youth have for the Michigan Dairy Expo and its youth program activities.
“Each year youth not only demonstrate their knowledge of the industry and the biology, care and management of dairy cattle, but they have the opportunity to exhibit their cattle and build lifelong skills such as teamwork, time management and responsibility,” she said. “The Sale-abration event rewards youth with scholarships that open new doors and acknowledges the work that went into their projects. We are deeply indebted to the sponsors of the various events and those who generously participate in the Sale-abration.”
Dairy gift baskets donated by the UDIM were presented to the successful bidders by the 2013 senior Michigan Dairy Ambassador Katelyn Horning, Manchester, and the 2013 junior Michigan Dairy Ambassador Kelly Raterink, Zeeland.
As the youth-centered portion of the Michigan Dairy Expo, the largest annual dairy event in the state, Michigan Youth Dairy Days offers young people interested in the dairy industry opportunities to compete for premiums, ribbons and scholarships in various educational activities, including dairy quiz bowls, dairy management contests, dairy cattle judging competitions and the Dairy Days youth show. This year more than 200 youth from around the state participated in one or more of the educational competitions, and winners may go on to represent Michigan in national competitions.
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.
For more information about the Michigan dairy youth program contact Melissa Elischer, the MSU dairy youth educator, at 517-432-4306. For more information about the Michigan Dairy Expo, contact Joe Domecq, MSU dairy specialist, at 517-353-7855.
The 2014 Michigan Dairy Expo is July 14-18 at MSU.