MSU Dairy Youth

The Hornings: Three Generations at MSU Leads to Three Generations of Farming (2012)

Published: 2012-12-12

Earl, Jeff, Katelyn and Mason Horning represent three generations of involvement with Michigan Dairy Youth programs, Michigan State University, and a life of dairy farming.

Jeff Horning:

"The youth programs that influence me tremendously was the 4-H and it gave me the avenue when I was growing up to learn more about dairy farming. I got involved in dairy judging, and then I got involved in quiz bowl and I learned a tremendous amount and next thing you know I felt that I had learned a ton of things before I ever even got out of high school."

Katelyn Horning:

"Being involved in 4-H is really what gave my career path direction. Without it, I don't know if I'd be headed down the way that I am. "

Earl Horning:

"As I've evolved through . . . from a grade school kid, through 4-H, through high school, it really makes me appreciate what they can, what they can accomplish."


"I was a young kid, I think you could go when you were 12 and I stayed in the dorm up there and I think I probably stayed in the dorm at M.S.U. for every year since until I got into college. At some point during the summer I was up there for Dairy Days or Exploration Days and it gave me a good connection with understanding campus."


"I think Michigan State University has afforded some very good opportunities today. The people who work there recognized what we have in this state to expand the agriculture and dairy. They're very helpful and they're very communicative people. Working together, a team effort today here in Michigan has been extremely important."


"M.S.U. really had the programs that excited me. I mean animal science was a neat opportunity. There's a lot of strength in the animal science program at Michigan State."


". . . a Spartan, I guess I bleed green. Then as I got older I realized that I wanted to pursue the career in the agriculture industry and M.S.U. was a really easy choice for me. I went in just studying animal science and I recently added agri-business management as a duel major. So I get the animal side of things along with the business. After college I'm planning to come back here and hopefully manage the farm some day. So I think that the mix of those two degrees will really help me and get, I guess, the best of both worlds as I'm managing a farm here."


"My dad gave me an opportunity, my great grand-father gave him an opportunity, and today I'm giving my son a choice of what he'd like to do . . . and my grand-kids enjoy what they'd like to do . . . "