SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The 2023 Superior Young Dairy Producer Award (SYDPA) program was held Aug. 19 in conjunction with the Illinois State Fair. Eighteen 4-H dairy project members from across Illinois took part in the event to test their knowledge and compete for one of three $1,000 scholarships.
The purpose of the contest is 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.
This year’s scholarships, sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy, were awarded to: Ben Bremmer of Stephenson County, August Michels of Richland County, and AJ Lenkaitis of Saline 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 and 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 Ben Bremmer of Stephenson County, August Michels of Richland County, and Dakota Schober of Boone County.
The second phase was a three-station skill-a-thon on various aspects of the dairy industry. Contestants had 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, August Michels of Richland County, and AJ Lenkaitis of Saline 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: Ben Bremmer of Stephenson County, August Michels of Richland County, and AJ Lenkaitis of Saline County.
The program is sponsored by the Illinois State Fair. Three $1,000 scholarships are awarded each year in dairy; and nine scholarships are distributed among beef, sheep and swine project members. Contestants must be 14 - 18 years of age to compete.
Source/Writer: Derek Nolan, Extension Faculty Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.