A Holstein cow exhibited by Kieran Hartnagle, of Gratiot County, was selected as the supreme champion dairy cow and a Holstein heifer owned by Ashton Geurink, of Ottawa County, was chosen as the supreme champion dairy heifer at the Michigan 4-H Youth Dairy Days dairy cattle show held July 18 at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. Each winner was picked from a field of six dairy breed senior and junior champions, respectively. The dairy cattle show is one of several youth-centered activities held annually during the week-long Michigan Dairy Expo, the state’s largest dairy event. This year’s expo, the 20th annual, was held July 17-21. More than 100 youth competed in this year’s show.
Hartnagle and Geurink, in addition to the supreme showmanship winner, Miriah Dershem, of Clinton County, represented the Michigan dairy industry at the annual Michigan Livestock Expo ‘Sale-abration’ auction held the evening of the show. Champion animals selected the previous weekend at the Michigan Livestock Expo were also sold at the ‘Sale-abration’ auction. The dairy champions, however, were represented by dairy product gift baskets.
This year’s gift baskets representing the supreme champion cow and heifer, showmanship winner, and grand champion cheese, raised $36,000. A majority of the funds generated from the sale of the dairy lots goes into a 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. The youth members who exhibited the winning animals or earned the champion showmanship award receive $1,000 each.
The Supreme Champion Dairy Cow package was auctioned off for the combined bid of $14,000 from The Kroger Company of Michigan and Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA). Members of the buying syndicate who purchased the Supreme Champion Dairy Heifer for $9,000 were: Caledonia Farmers Elevator, CoBank, Dairy Farmers of America, and Zeeland Farm Services, Inc. The package representing the supreme champion showmanship winner sold for $10,000 to the buyer syndicate of: to a syndicate of buyers: ABS Global, Inc., Farm Bureau Family of Companies Employees, Golden Elm Dairy c/o the Eric Frahm family, Hudson Dairy, NorthStar Cooperative, Inc., Purina Animal Health, Rabo AgriFinance, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Vita Plus, and Ken and Liz Nobis. The Champion Cheese sold for $3,000, and was purchased by MMPA employees and the law firm of Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.
Dairy animals representing six dairy breeds were exhibited in this year’s Michigan 4-H Dairy Days Youth Show. A list of senior and reserve senior champions, selected from the milking cow classes, and junior champions, selected from the heifer (female dairy animal not yet milking) classes, for each breed appears below.
· Junior champion: Stoney Buell, Monroe County (Temperance)
· Reserve junior champion: Rachel Dvorak, Shiawassee County (Perry)
· Senior champion: Jake Vandermolen, Ottawa County (Allendale)
· Reserve senior champion: Ben Crevier, Shiawassee County (Corunna)
Brown Swiss breed
· Junior champion: Ashton Geurink, Ottawa County (Zeeland)
· Reserve junior champion: Caleb Whittemore, Ingham County (Leslie)
· Senior champion: Kaelyn Pepper, Allegan County (Hamilton)
· There was no reserve senior champion Brown Swiss cow.
· Junior champion: Eric Moser, Ingham County (Dansville)
· Reserve junior champion: Anna Moser, Ingham County (Dansville)
· Senior champion: Anna Moser, Ingham County (Dansville)
· Reserve senior champion: Ian Black, Clinton County (Eagle)
· Junior champion: Keagan Long, Ingham County (Lansing)
· Reserve junior champion: Autumn Reed, Iosco County (Prescott)
· Senior champion: Autumn Reed, Iosco County (Prescott)
· Reserve senior champion: Miriam Cook, Clinton County (Pewamo)
Milking Shorthorn breed
· Junior champion: Kaden Petroshus, Allegan County (Gobles)
· There was no reserve junior champion Milking Shorthorn heifer.
· Senior champion: Ben Crevier, Shiawassee County (Corunna)
· There was no reserve senior champion Milking Shorthorn cow.
Red and White Holstein breed
· Junior champion: Ashton Geurink, Ottawa County (Zeeland)
· Reserve junior champion: Joey Domecq, Ingham County (Rives Junction)
· Senior champion: Kieran Hartnagle, Gratiot County (Wheeler)
· Reserve senior champion: Allison Schafer, Clinton County (Westphalia)
As the youth-centered portion of the Michigan Dairy Expo, the largest annual dairy event in the state, Michigan 4-H 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, nearly 200 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.
Awards and other recognition during Michigan 4-H and Youth Dairy Days, along with other dairy youth and judging program activities conducted throughout the year, are made possible through the generous support of numerous businesses, organizations and individuals. These include: ABS Global, AIS Equipment, the Branch County Dairy Organization, the CHS Foundation, the Clinton County 4-H Dairy Council, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairyland Laboratories, Inc., the District 1 and District VI Holstein associations, Drs. Joe and Denise Domecq, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Hillsdale County Dairy Leaders, Ira Krupp, the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Farm Bureau, the Michigan Holstein Association, the Michigan Jersey Cattle Club, the Michigan Milk Producers Association, the Michigan Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, the MSU Dairy Club, the MSU Dairy Cattle Judging Team, the MSU Department of Animal Science, MOO-ville Creamery, NorthStar Cooperative, the Osceola County 4-H Dairy Boosters, the Ottawa County 4-H Dairy Committee, Rodney Pennock, Purina Animal Nutrition, the Shiawassee County 4-H Dairy Association, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, and the Vitality Dairy crew.
For more information about the Michigan 4-H dairy youth program, contact Melissa Elischer at 517-432-4306. For more information about the Michigan Dairy Expo, contact Dr. Joe Domecq at 517-353-7855.
The 2018 Michigan Dairy Expo is scheduled for July 16-20 at MSU.