Dairy cow camp prepares future dairy leaders

Youth ages 8 to 18 interested in learning about the dairy industry will want to register for 4-H Dairy Cow Camp, scheduled for June 8 to 10. After more than 20 years at the previous location, the camp is now in its third year at the Lawrence County Youth Fair Grounds in Freistatt, Missouri.

“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,” according to Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist.

The camp takes a hands-on approach to learning about dairy cattle. 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 visit with campers about careers in the dairy industry as well.

Participants at the 2020 cow camp will be certified in the Show-Me Quality Assurance program. The primary goal of the program is to increase the knowledge and awareness of Missouri youth about food quality issues related to animal production.

A judging contest and showmanship competition provide the culmination for the camp.

4-H Dairy Cow Camp is a cooperative program between University of Missouri Extension and a number of industry sponsors. These include Wrightvale Farm, Dairy Farmers of America, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Sancrest Specialized Transport, MFA, Missouri Brown Swiss Association, Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Guernsey Breeders Association, Missouri Jersey Cattle Association, Missouri Junior Holstein Association, Land O’Lakes/Purina, John Underwood, Perrydale Farm, Robert and Janice Perry, S & H Farm Supply, D Bar J Livestock LLC, Doug & Judy Thomas, Orscheln’s of Republic, Jeanne Whip of Republic, Race Brothers, Mac’s Vet Supply, Main Street Feeds, Ozark Mountain Creamery, Countryside Vet, Triple-J Fitting, Shannon Lee’s Cakes and Cookies, Midwest Dairy Association, SW MO Cattlemen’s, FCS Financial and the Missouri  4-H Foundation. 

Registration may be done via 4-H online. For more information about cow camp, or to request a paper registration form, contact Karla Deaver at the Lawrence County Extension Center in Mt. Vernon, 417-466-3102, or your local county extension center.