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OSU’s Dairy Palooza Tenth Anniversary – Ohio Ag Net

By Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Program Specialist, Department of Animal Science, Ohio State University

Although it’s been a long time coming, Dairy Palooza’s 10th anniversary took place at the Wayne County Fairgrounds on April 30. It was a “leap of faith” as the committee began making plans for the winter. However, no one was ready to reject the idea of ​​planning the big goals needed to undertake the project. Obviously, our sponsors also believed in it, as their response was just as strong in their commitment.

Although our environment is somewhat rustic and perhaps lacking in technology, we have kept our promise to “make the best the best” for this special anniversary. Our purple color reflected the color of the champions in all of our advertising and the fact that halters and souvenir t-shirts were also coordinated in this shade. We even gave digital thermometers to each attendee, but they weren’t available in purple.

Palooza started as a simple idea for dairy club members to learn through hands-on activities. The Grammers were generous and provided their farm as the first setting. As they say, the rest is history. Then, thanks to the generosity and support of so many volunteers, educators and businesses, we quickly grew by leaps and bounds. So for 2022, we thought about our memories and even a display of all the t-shirts.

The morning program was consumed with Quality Assurance (QA) topics and a write-shop dedicated to acknowledgments. After a hearty dairy lunch and networking, there was a photo op in those purple t-shirts. The content of the afternoon program included several workshops for all ages on all topics related to a 4-H dairy project. The directing, cutting and fitting, and Dr. Robert Horton’s scientific antics are perennial favorites. However, there was another animal welfare workshop by Dr. Pempek of OSU and others that included an actual udder and reproductive system. Turn a corner and the American Dairy Association Mid-East presented all kinds of products with taste tasting. Even the oranges served a great purpose with a veterinary demonstration on injections, and bovine nutrition was also highlighted. If you had dairy feeders, there was a time slot for your particular interests and there was a full exhibit of example farms where 4-Hers could demonstrate cattle moving practices! Each workshop was intended to connect to the content provided in the morning QI workshops. Even Cloverbuds was offered a separate program with superhero dairy capes, flag folding, creating a dairy food ration, as well as the art of painting their favorite cow. Not to be outdone with a focus on young people, the program included adult sessions on social media, directing guidelines, dairy, and status updates. One of the real highlights for the advisors was the “unveiling” of the new Dairy Heifer and Cow project book!

At the end of the program, helpful door prizes were given to those who stayed all day. A lucky young woman came with a dream and hope to win the handmade display box. She was speechless when her name was spoken. Her story is not unlike the other participants, but she was the lucky and grateful recipient.

Dairy Palooza is a one-of-a-kind event not offered in any other state. Our content has been the recipient of grants, state awards, and even written about in Hoard’s Dairyman. This will not happen without the quality time and effort provided by our planning committee consisting of Lisa Gress (Chair), Mike Janik, Julie Martig, Eileen Wolf, Sarah Thomas, Sherry Smith and myself. Layer in all the presenters, donors and people behind the scenes and you have an extraordinary group of selfless people dedicated to the cause of educating the next generation. If you would like to see our programs and a special celebration video, visit our Facebook page, Ohio 4-H Dairy Palooza.

Whether you are a seasoned participant in Dairy Palooza or this is your first time, the goal of the day was to educate and train all participants to become “champions” with and for their dairy projects. This purple halter is just the beginning of what happens at the end of the rope!


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