Helping Youth Explore Careers in Dairy
Mentoring dairy youth has been a flagship program area since the inception of PRO-DAIRY and is critical to build the next generation of farm owners and managers. The Junior DAIRY LEADER and Beginning DAIRY LEADER year-long programs help high school students explore colleges and careers in the agriculture industry, while encouraging personal growth and leadership. PRO-DAIRY also supports Dairy Discovery, Animal Crackers, and other statewide 4H Dairy programs.
NYS Junior DAIRY LEADER Program
Each year, 30 youth, ages 16 to 19, are selected from a rigorous application process to participate in a year of experiential learning in the dairy field and self-discovery.
The cornerstone of the program
Personal and professional leadership are developed in a networking environment where the diversity of career options in agriculture are discovered.
For more than 20 years, JDL has impacted over 500 youth. Many of the program’s graduates attended college, and many choose to study agriculture. Prior to participation over half indicated that they were not planning to study agriculture or they were undecided.
NYS Beginning DAIRY LEADER Program
A competitive edge
This program targets high school students entering at least their sophomore year but who have not graduated. BDL includes four one to two-day workshops to explore post secondary agricultural education and career opportunities in a networking environment with faculty, students and industry professionals, along with college planning and personal development.
Other Dairy Youth Programs
NYS Dairy Discovery Program
NYS Dairy Discovery Program is an annual hands-on one-and-a-half day workshop held in late March at Cornell University for 14 to 19 year-old youth to learn about dairy careers and dairy cattle production. Nearly 100 youth rotate through a series of hands-on workshops focusing on a specific aspect of the dairy field and production management, such as nutrition, herd health, and milk quality. - Update 4H youth programs text to: These traditional 4-H programs provide learning opportunities for 9 to 19 year olds through activities such as dairy judging, showing cattle, and dairy quiz bowl. Statewide events allow youth from across the state to network, learn, and create lifelong friends. For information on local or county programs, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office.