May 22, 2014
Dairy U participants place DNA in an electrophoresis gel at the DNA station, led by Dr. Wower of the Auburn University Animal Science Department.
AUBURN, Ala., — More than 135 students got an up-close look at the dairy industry at the sixth annual Dairy Awareness Introductory Resource for Youth University (DAIRY U) on May 3. It was the largest crowd in the six-year history of the event hosted by the Auburn University Animal Sciences Department and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
“DAIRY U is a hands-on workshop for youth that focuses on dairy cattle and the dairy industry,” said Extension dairy specialist Boyd Brady, who coordinated the event. “This program allows youth from various backgrounds to learn about the science of dairying.”
Extension specialists and Auburn Animal Sciences professors and students led classes involving a milking demonstration, the gestation cycle of bovines, hormones in vegetables and milk, how to properly administer injections, cattle identification, DNA tracing, bacteria transfer, showmanship and a treat from Dippin’ Dots made fresh by participants.
Participants received awards based on years of completion in the program. Awards included a certificate for first-year participants, a personalized old-fashioned milk bottle for fifth-year students and a DAIRY U belt buckle for sixth-year participants.
A commercial dairy heifer show with four weight-based classes followed the awards presentation. The Grand Champion for the DAIRY U show was Sarah Traylor of Wedowee and the Reserve Grand Champion was Porter Henry of Montgomery.
“It was exciting to see the youth interested in learning about dairy production,” Alabama Farmers Federation Dairy Director Guy Hall said. “The hands-on educational experience allows the participants to learn about dairy cattle, milk products, genetics and many other facets of the dairy industry.”
The sixth annual DAIRY U was “a tremendous success,” according to Brady.