May 4, 2009
Michigan residents wanting a "moovalous" way to spend a summer day can learn about dairy cattle and the dairy industry at a succession of upcoming Michigan State University one-day camps. The 2009 MSU Dairy Youth Cow Camp series will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Caro, Mt. Pleasant, Escanaba, Marshall and Lowell on June 9, 10, 13, 15 and 16, respectively. The camps are targeted to 9- to 13-year-olds, but youth of all ages are encouraged to participate.
"Anybody is welcome to attend," says Renee McCauley of the MSU Youth Dairy Program. "With fewer and fewer dairy farms in our state, we realize the majority of our 'campers' will not be from dairy farms -- and that's OK."
Participants are divided into groups and rotate among learning stations throughout the day. Stations focus on a variety of topics, including comparing dairy breeds, dairy products, fitting and showmanship, dairy judging and the basics of animal nutrition. Live dairy animals will also provide kids with a variety of hands-on activities such as milking a cow!
"The goal of the cow camps is to involve a young audience that has a sincere interest in learning about dairy cows and the dairy industry," McCauley says.
The workshops end with an ice cream social and the "Moo Olympics," with events such as team relays and simulations of farm chores. The first series of cow camps took place in June 2008, and more than 100 youth participated.
The registration cost is $10 per person per day, and preregistration is required. The registration cost covers all camp materials, lunch, snacks and a T-shirt. A copy of the registration form is available online at www.canr.msu.edu/anscikids/events.html or from any local MSU Extension office. The registration deadline is June 1.
For more information on the 2009 MSU Dairy Youth Cow Camps, contact Renee McCauley at 517-355-8319 or [email protected]. Program registration and additional information may be found at www.canr.msu.edu/anscikids/events.html.
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