Dairy champions generate record bids at Michigan Livestock Expo sale
Industry represented by youth from Calhoun, Ingham and Lenawee counties
A record $34,600 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 4th annual Michigan Livestock Expo Sale-abration auction held July 17 at the Michigan State University (MSU) Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education in East Lansing. The record amount topped last year’s total by $1,600.
A majority of the funds generated from the sale of the dairy lots will be returned to the 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, as well as dairy youth program activities, such as the Michigan Youth Dairy Days and related activities. The youth members who exhibited the winning animals or earned the champion showperson award receive $1,000 each.
Topping the dairy lots at $17,000 was the Supreme Champion Dairy Cow owned by Lucas Moser, Dansville (Ingham County). A group of dairy industry supporters pooled their money to purchase the lot: Michigan Milk Producers Association; the Kroger Co. of Michigan; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith; Zeeland Farm Services; Calder Dairy; Class Construction; MPC Cashway Lumber; NorthStar Cooperative; and VitaPlus.
The Supreme Champion Dairy Heifer was owned by Parker Hardy, Tipton (Lenawee County). She sold for $5,000 to Meijer.
Courtney Heisler, Springport (Calhoun County), was the Supreme Champion Showperson. Her lot sold for $5,100 to the syndicate of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM), Kalmbach Feeds, Caledonia Farmers Elevator, Dairy Farmers of America and VanBeek Nutrition.
The UDIM and Kalmbach Feeds placed a final bid of $7,500 to purchase the Grand Champion Cheese exhibited by Cowslip Creamery, Grand Rapids.
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 2012 senior Michigan Dairy Ambassador Britney Zondlak, Byron Center, and the 2012 junior Michigan Dairy Ambassador Kailey Sweers, Williamston.
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 300 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 or Michigan Dairy Expo, contact the Michigan dairy youth office at 517-353-7855 or e-mail Joe Domecq at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2013 Michigan Dairy Expo is July 15-19 at MSU.