Monday, September 28, 2009

National 4-H Dairy Conference stops by Hoard’s Dairyman offices

A whole herd of National 4-H Dairy Conference kids (okay, a big group of them; we’re just so used to writing about cows) just came through the Hoard’s Dairyman editorial office. See the photo — here some of them are. It was an early morning, so not everyone looks bright-eyed, but we hope they enjoyed their stop in the office. We look forward to it all year and even do some special cleaning — just for them!

The National 4-H Dairy Conference makes a trip to Fort Atkinson every year. While they are here they are treated to a brunch compliments of Hoard’s Dairyman and Nasco. After brunch, the group divides into four groups that rotate and tour the National Dairy Shrine Visitor’s Center and Hoard Historical Museum, Nasco International, Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine offices, and the Hoard’s Dairyman farm. Some of the editors on staff went through this same National 4-H Dairy Conference years ago. It is an excellent opportunity for these high-school-aged youth. The conference not only exposes them to well-known farms and businesses in the dairy industry, but it educates them on the science behind dairy farming and opens their eyes to countless career opportunities.

Well, about right now the 4-H dairy judging contestants should be close to or done with reasons and the college students are probably midway through their judging. One of our editors is over at Expo grounds right now coordinating the contests. I wonder how it’s going? Since we’re all so involved, we get almost as excited as the kids to find out who the big winners are this year. Check back very late tonight or bright and early in the morning to find out who won the 4-H, Collegiate, and Post-Secondary Dairy Judging contests!

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Over 250 dairy judges descend on Hoard’s Dairyman Farm

This week isn’t just about attending the tradeshow and cow show in Madison for us. Our farm is a popular stop for many of the out-of-town guests coming to World Dairy Expo — so popular that on the Sunday prior to Expo week, over 250 youth visit the farm annually. The group includes many of the 4-H and collegiate dairy judging teams set to place cows on the colored shavings the very next day. The stop at the Hoard’s Dairyman farm serves as a practice. Yesterday, we prepared three cow classes for the youth to place, much like the handful of other farms the group visits during that same weekend.

We’d say the stop was a success this year. Our Guernsey cows behaved quite well on the halter, and, unlike last year, the shuffling of 500 plastic boots didn’t scare any of them. A huge thank you goes to members of the Fort Atkinson FFA Chapter: Seth Elsner, Hudson Elsner, Jed Agnew, Lucas Hetts, and Morgan Lundy all graciously helped us stage and lead the cows for the judging practice. Nearly every event that occurs this week is made possible through people just like this who give their time to make the week as successful as ever.

On this cold, windy, Monday morning, we are anxiously awaiting the 170 delegates and chaperones to arrive in Fort Atkinson from the National 4-H dairy conference.
As with every year, they’ll be stopping in our magazine offices, the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm, National Dairy Shrine, Nasco, and let’s not forget the church across the street for a delicious brunch!  We’ll post more later after they’ve been through.