Thirty-one Jersey youth from 15 states completed a weeklong journey discovering careers and advancing their knowledge within the Jersey and dairy industries July 11-16, 2021, in Ohio.
During the week, Class VII was introduced to representatives of key support agencies and allied industry. Corey Geiger, editor of Hoard’s Dairyman, challenged the group to “Make a Difference.” Charlie Garrison of The Garrison Group talked about his dairy roots and how he chose to be a lobbyist in Washington D.C. on behalf of the agricultural industry. The group visited five diverse Jersey dairies and learned about robotic milking systems, on-farm processing, strategies for genotyping, agri-tourism, and hands on workshops for Linear Type Appraisal and JerseyTags.
Select Sires, Inc., also hosted the youth and enlightened them with the many career opportunities available in the A.I. industry. The class closed out the visit with a bull parade featuring four Jersey bulls in the active lineup and a class photo with River Valley CeCe Chrome-ET, the Jersey sire with the most units sold in the organization’s history. Chuck and Sue Ellis owners of Pearl Valley Cheese shared the history of their cheese plant and the need for high quality solids milk to the class.
A first for the program was international presentations by Jersey breeders from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Jersey Isle and South Africa through videos that showcased geography, philosophies, the Jersey cow and other demographics.
“Everything this week was incredibly valuable to me,” added Gabby Rockwell, Scenery Hill, Pa. “The diversity of what we experienced was great. From visiting Albrights Jerseys LLC and seeing nine robots working, to Woodruffs and Young’s Jersey Dairy, where they milk smaller numbers of cows – it showed me that everyone does things differently but is very successful in what they do.”
“This program has helped me become more open-minded about my career choices and is going to make me reconsider some options as I move forward to the college level,” states Madelynn Hoffman, Manheim, Pa.
“My biggest takeaway this week was learning more about the impact of genetics and nutrition to the milking herd to impact milk values more quickly,” stated Jack Zina, Hadley, Mass. “Taking that back home to our farm and milk bottling program will help continue to produce the highest quality milk.”
“The opportunities and connections we were given this week were outstanding,” said Jacqueline Mudd, Berne, Ind. “An absolutely amazing experience.”
Jersey Youth Academy, first held in 2009, has graduated 223 Jersey youth through seven classes. It is held every two years and provides a unique educational experience to motivate youth of high school and college age to prepare for and succeed in their adult careers in some aspect of the dairy industry, but specifically working with Jersey cattle and/or Jersey products. All program costs, including round-trip transportation for participants, are paid by the Academy.
The eighth class will be held in July 2023. Applications will be available September 1, 2022, and must be received in the AJCA office by December 1, 2022. A maximum of 36 qualified youth will be selected.
Participants in the seventh Jersey Youth Academy were:
California: Kylie Konyn, Escondido ; Aspen Silva, Modesto ; Hartley Silva, Modesto .
Illinois: Addison Raber, Gridley .
Indiana: Jacqueline Mudd, Berne .
Maryland: Morgan Osborn-Wotthlie, Union Bridge .
Massachusetts: Evan Cooper, New Braintree ; Barry Nadon, West Brookfield , Katelyn Poitras, Brimfield ; Jack Zina, Hadley .
Michigan: Miriam Cook, Pewamo .
Minnesota: Summer Schepper, Princeton .
New York: Elizabeth Hyman, Adams ; Grace Stroud, Caneadea.
Ohio: Rachel Anderson, New Philadelphia ; Von Herron, Salem ; Emily Rook, Fredericktown .
Oklahoma: Ali Bowman, Glencoe .
Oregon: Mia Berry, Sherwood ; Jessica Hewitt, Molalla ; Gracie Krahn, Albany ; Tyler Seals, Tillamook .
Pennsylvania: Nicole Arrowsmith, Peach Bottom ; Laura Caruso, Acme; Madelynn Hoffman, Manheim ; Gabriella Rockwell, Scenery Hill .
Tennessee: Alison Graves, Talbott .
Vermont: Keenan Thygesen, Tunbridge .
Wisconsin: Sophie Larson, Reedsburg ; Maleah Sickinger, River Falls ; Emma Vos, Maribel .
The Jersey Youth Academy is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation administered by the American Jersey Cattle Association. Contributors represent a broad spectrum of Jersey breeder and dairy industry support.
For more information contact the Director of Development at [email protected]