Educational contest increases knowledge of the dairy industry

Springfield, Ill. -- The 2022 Superior Young Dairy Producer Award (SYDPA) program was held August 20, 2022 at the Illinois State Fair. Twenty 4-H dairy project members from across Illinois took part in the event, which is held each year to create an educational activity that promotes youth development, career development, and personal growth through increased knowledge of the dairy industry. 

This three-phase competition emphasizes the youth’s knowledge of the dairy industry. The top three overall participants were awarded a $1,000 scholarship. The scholarships, sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy, were awarded to Drew Lueking of Clinton County, Justin Irwin of Boone County, and Alaina Dinderman of Stephenson County.

Pictured (L to R): Drew Lueking, Clinton County, Alaina Dinderman, Stephenson County, and Alaina Dinderman, Stephenson County

Individual plaques, sponsored by Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeders Association and Illinois State Fair, were awarded to the top three in each phase as well as the top three overall winners. 

The first phase was a dairy management test relating to dairy nutrition, herd health, reproduction, milk marketing, and other dairy related information. Top three contestants for this phase were Justin Irwin of Boone County, Drew Lueking of Clinton County, and Alaina Dinderman of Stephenson County.

The second phase was a three station skill-a-thon on various aspects of the dairy industry. Contestants were asked to identify dairy feeds, identify dairy records information, and identify dairy equipment. The top three contestants in the skill-a-thon were Ben Bremmer of Stephenson County, Drew Lueking of Clinton County, and August Michels of Richland County.

The third phase of the Superior Young Dairy Producer Contest was a judging contest. The judging phase consisted of animal selection by placing four classes of dairy cows and two classes of heifers. The top three contestants for this phase were Drew Lueking of Clinton County, Ben Bremmer of Stephenson County, and Ethan Bremmer of Stephenson County.

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension:  Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. 

For Further Information, Contact:

Source:  Derek Nolan, Extension Faculty Specialist, 

Writer:  Carissa Nelson, Media Communications Manager, 4-H State Office,