Local 4-Hers looking into careers in dairy

ADDISON COUNTY — In early October, 12 Vermont teenagers from 4-H clubs across the state will be heading to the 57th Annual National 4-H Dairy Conference in Madison, Wis. Five of those teens are from Addison County: Andrew Levesque and Katy Tracey of the New Haven Dairy 4-H Club, Chelsea Plouffe and Sara Ingwersen from Mountain View 4-H Club, and Kristyn Jerome of the Mt. Independence 4-H Club.
The Addison County organizer for the trip is Cindy Kayhart of Chalker Farm in Weybridge.
The conference, which begins Oct. 2 and runs until Oct. 5, is designed for 4-H youth between ages 15 and 18 who are interested in a future in the dairy industry. Over the course of the four-day conference, attendees will learn more about careers in the dairy industry, gain additional competence in a special-interest area of the industry, and practice leadership and group-participation skills. Participants will be able to attend workshops such as “Biotechnology in the Dairy Industry,” “Dairy Foods Evaluation,” “Interviewing: Secrets to Success” and “Developing a Comprehensive Dairy Herd Mating Strategy,” among many others.
Attendees will also get the chance to visit many farms and locations in and around Madison, which organizers of the conference said is considered to be something of a Mecca for those interested in dairy. Some of the sites for these visits will be local organic dairy farms, the National Dairy Shrine Museum and the World Dairy Expo.
The conference fee combined with airfare will total about $800 per person, and this year’s attendees from Addison County will be seeking individual sponsors throughout the summer and early fall to help defray the costs of the trip. These sponsors can range from local businesses to family and friends who want to support the education of local teens interested in careers in the dairy industry. The local 4-Hers will spend the summer trying to double their initial commitment of $400 to reach their goal by the end of September.
In recognition of June is Dairy Month, Fire and Ice restaurant in Middlebury will donate 10 percent of sales to Addison County 4-H. This applies to diners on June 13-16 who bring in the coupon from the Independent.

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