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Managerial projects are one way to match kids to calves, according to Ted Halbach, UW-Madison extension dairy youth specialist. He sees managerial agreements as one of the keys to maintain youth involvement in the 4-H and FFA dairy project area. To encourage managerial dairy projects, Wisconsin State Fair has released an updated Junior Livestock Managerial Project Agreement, which spells out the responsibilities of those involved in the lease and manages liability issues related to the agreement.

Dairy managerial or lease arrangements allow farm and non-farm youth access to dairy animals from cooperator dairy herds.

Again in 2008, the Wisconsin Junior State Fair in the Junior Dairy division will require counties to have their managerial animals identified by June 1 for these cattle to be eligible to exhibit at this year”s fair. The updated form, which now covers all livestock species, will help counties and individuals meet this requirement.

The dairy managerial project has several objectives. One is to develop character, knowledge and a sense of responsibility in dairy youth project participants. Another goal is to maintain or increase the number of youth and dairy animals in the dairy project. The program also provides opportunities to work with registered dairy cattle, for both non-farm youth and youth from farms with non-registered cattle.

According to Halbach, this program is rapidly growing in popularity and provides non-farm youth interested in animals an alternative to domestic-animal or non-animal projects. Not only does the managerial project teach youth about the responsibility and care involved in working with dairy animals, but also about the hard work and subtle rewards encountered in dairy farming.

“If Wisconsin is going to stay a leader in the dairy industry we need to maintain the critical mass of our dairy youth program,” says Halbach. “It might be a bit of a clich