Local 4-H youth selected for Junior Dairy Leader Program

Chautauqua County 4-H Dairy members Emily Starceski (left) from Sherman, NY and Katelyn Miller (right) from Cherry Creek, NY were recently selected to participate in the 2018-2019 NYS Junior Dairy Leader Program.

JAMESTOWN — Congratulations to Katelyn Miller and Emily Starceski, longtime Chautauqua County 4-H dairy members on being selected to participate in the 2018-2019 NYS Junior DAIRY LEADER Program through Cornell University.

Katelyn Miller, a 17-year-old member of the Cherry Creek Cornhuskers, is a senior at Pine Valley Central School, and enjoys living and working with her family on their 120 cow dairy farm in Cherry Creek. Emily Starceski, a 17-year-old member of the Sherman Kountry Kids, is a senior at Sherman Central School, and helps her family on their 90 cow dairy farm in Sherman.

The Junior DAIRY LEADER Program activities began in September 2018 with a 7-day trip to Madison, Wisconsin to tour dairies and agribusinesses, and to attend the National 4-H Dairy Conference. Throughout the upcoming year, 31 selected class members from across New York State will participate in various workshops, focusing on team building, personality styles, resume development, change, and leadership skills development. They will be involved in dairy farm tours and learn about various career opportunities in the dairy industry. The youth will participate in hands-on workshops related to the dairy industry, including veterinary science, dairy nutrition, production management, and on-farm production analysis. They will also interact with dairy producers, industry professionals, and other young people who have an interest in agriculture. Thanks to the Cornell University PRO-DAIRY Program for facilitating the program and to the many agribusinesses from throughout New York State for their financial support of this youth leadership and career opportunity.

Katelyn Miller, 4-H member from Cherry Creek, shares information on her first Junior DAIRY LEADER Program activity:

“On September 28th through October 4th, 2018, Emily Starceski and I (Katelyn Miller) were among the 31 delegates selected for the Junior DAIRY LEADER (JDL) group who traveled (by airplane) to Wisconsin to participate in the National 4-H Dairy Conference, representing New York State 4-H. The time spent in Wisconsin was always on the move. We visited ABS Global, the Hoard’s Dairyman Registered Guernsey Farm, Hoard’s Dairyman Publishing, National Dairy Shrine and Museum, and NASCO. Our group toured dairy operations ranging from 450 cows to 9,000 cows and visited another farm that raises 8,000 calves – can you imagine?

We also participated in seminars where it was cool to hear speakers, who have different roles in agriculture, be tied to our own county. We worked in groups where we discussed dairy foods evaluation, marketing, calf-raising, genomics and exploring careers in agriculture. It was good to meet new young people, like Emily and I, who have a great interest in agriculture. Each evening we had time to socialize and we met many new friends.

The World Dairy Expo is an experience in itself. It was my favorite part of the trip where I was able to see the Milking Shorthorn Show, the breed of dairy cattle I show at our local county fair. This is the place where the best cattle in the nation come together. The Lights. The Sounds. The Cows – WOW!

The trip to Wisconsin was loads of fun and I am looking forward to the upcoming program activities. I highly recommend anyone interested in dairy or agriculture to apply, with applications due June 30, 2019. Watch for future updates on our Junior DAIRY LEADER experiences, as Emily Starceski will share more information on one of our upcoming activities.”

Chautauqua County is proud to have Katelyn Miller and Emily Starceski representing our local dairy industry and our 4-H youth program in these Junior DAIRY LEADER activities. According to Lisa Kempisty, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dairy Educator, “Katelyn and Emily are both outstanding 4-H youth, who will continue to develop their leadership skills and dairy knowledge as they actively participate in the Junior DAIRY LEADER Program. We look forward to having them help mentor other 4-H youth by sharing their many experiences at local 4-H activities and at the Chautauqua County Fair.”

The Junior DAIRY LEADER Program is a dairy-focused educational program offered through the 4-H Youth Development Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community-based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.