Young people interested in dairy will learn about showmanship, nutrition, how to network and related topics at Purdue Extension's 10th annual Indiana Dairy Youth Conference on April 12.
The conference will start at 10 a.m. and go to 4 p.m. at the Johnson County 4-H Fairgrounds, 484 N. Morton St., Franklin. Anyone age 8 to 18 is welcome.
Objectives of the conference will be to enhance knowledge about the dairy industry, including herd management and nutrition, and informing attendees about networking opportunities with other young people involved in dairy.
Theme of this year's conference is reality TV with a dairy twist, featuring sessions such as "American Bovine Idol" and "America's Next Top Showman," which will educate participants on how to fit and prepare their animals for show. "Rumen Runway" will highlight basic digestive anatomy and function so participants can learn about nutrition requirements for dairy cattle.
Also highlighted will be activities of the Indiana 4-H Dairy Youth Academy, a program that aims to develop knowledgeable dairy professionals by helping participants improve leadership skills. Kelly Heckaman, a member of the event's planning committee, said the conference gives those in the academy a chance to apply what they have learned in the program.
"Many of the sessions will be taught by members of the Indiana 4-H Dairy Youth Academy," Heckaman said. "This is a great way for them to help educate their fellow 4-H'ers and to be seen as a mentor to the younger members."
Registration, due April 3, is $15 per person. The fee covers admission, a T-shirt, meals and conference materials.
More information and registration forms can be found at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/kosciusko/Brochures/Dairy%20Conference%20Brochure%2014.pdf or by contacting Heckaman at 574-372-2340 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration must be sent to 202 W. Main St., Warsaw, IN 46580.
Other conference sponsors are Prairie Farms, the Dairy Marketing Service LLC, Foremost Farms USA, Elanco Animal Health, Indiana Dairy Producers, Indiana State Dairy Association, Milk Production Services of Indiana Inc., Michigan Milk Producers and the Johnson County Fairgrounds.