Applications are now being accepted for the 2009 Badger Dairy Camp, June 14-16 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Badger Dairy Camp, a cooperative effort of UW-Extension, the UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science and the Badger Dairy Club, helps young people aged 12-18 develop self-confidence, sportsmanship and teamwork skills.
In the ten years it has been offered, the program has provided more than 1,100 youth hands-on opportunities to learn about fitting, showmanship and dairy judging and attend workshops on dairy nutrition, reproduction and veterinary medicine. In addition to learning skills that help them succeed in their dairy projects, participants get a chance to explore some of the “science” in dairy science, get a feel for the UW-Madison campus and learn about career opportunities.
“Every year we add little twists to the program, making it a little different than the previous edition of the camp, but our year-in and year-out goal is for the kids to develop their dairy skills and have a great experience at UW-Madison says camp director Ted Halbach, UW-Madison dairy science instructor and dairy judging team coach.
In past years, camp activities have ranged from making ice cream at Babcock Dairy to dissecting reproductive organs of a dairy cow and exploring-literally hands-on-a dairy cow”s rumen, Halbach says.
In addition to Halbach, instructors include Laurie Winkelman, graduate student at Cornell University and former Ohio State University Extension Dairy Youth Specialist, Corey Geiger, associate editor at Hoard”s Dairyman magazine and superintendent for the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, and Dave Dickson, an emeritus dairy science professor and veteran dairy judge.
“Each of these instructors bring tremendous energy and unique insight to our team,” said Halbach. “Dr. Dave, Laurie and Corey all relate extremely well with kids and can draw from their own real-world experiences. Whatever they”re teaching, they”ve been there and done it. This gives them an immediate connection and credibility with the campers.”
The $115 registration fee covers dorm, food and camper activities. Grants and private sponsorships pay for about half of the cost of operating the camp.
Prospective campers are advised to apply early. Applicants are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, and the camp has filled to capacity – 110 campers – each of the last eight years. Applications and more information are available online at http://www.wisc.edu/dysci. You can also contact Halbach directly at (608) 263-3305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.