After months of self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing, many of our employees and audience find themselves looking for something to look forward to. The American Jersey Cattle Association is proud to provide that glimpse of hope: Jersey Youth Academy Class VII.
Scheduled for mid-July 2021, Jersey Youth Academy will once again take place in Columbus, Ohio. Students will be housed at the Ohio State University campus and attend tours in the nearby region. USJersey staff takes pride in organizing an experience that allows growth in Jersey breed knowledge, while shaping and developing personal and professional skills of all those attending. These skills are honed through hands-on activities and interaction with peers and industry professionals.
Below are testimonials from members of Class VI of Jersey Youth Academy.
“I was most impacted by how the presenters really put into perspective the importance of the Jersey cow to the future of the dairy industry. Also, the information I learned about reading pedigrees has helped me feel more confident when it comes to talking about genetics.” – Sarah A., Pa.
“The Jersey Youth Academy allowed me not only to connect with others in the industry, but also to make new friends who share my love of the Jersey cow. I learned so much and got to meet with so many great people. I am excited to use the knowledge I gained during this experience in my future agriculture career.” – Grace V., Wis.
“Jersey Youth Academy provided me with a network of friends and connections to the Jersey world. Prior to this experience, I was not very immersed in the breed. I feel as if I now have a much better understanding of how everything works, and the people involved. I am much more comfortable in my Jersey knowledge and experience thanks to Jersey Youth Academy.” – Megan G., N.Y.
Jersey youth in attendance during the 2019 event had the opportunity to learn about a variety of subjects. There was a limited amount of classroom time in which USJersey programs, services and history was explained, which created a foundation for the rest of the week’s activities. Later, the attendees had the opportunity to visit different farming operations. One focused on breeding for elite genetics with a hands-on activity that required youth to evaluate pedigrees, live animals and potential mating sires, while having a specific breeding goal in mind for marketing purposes. Another offered a round-table of experiences with the chance to talk to the different business that provide product or services to the farm, such as the nutritionist, banker, semen provider and more.
In an age of value-added products, there was also a high interest in visiting those facilities. Youth went to Velvet Ice Cream, where they learned about the production process and listened to executives in the company talk about the mission and goals. They also visited Pearl Valley Cheese and Woodruff Creamery. Woodruff was in the transition phase of producing products on a higher scale in their brand new facilities.
This is just a hint of what the students experienced during their five days in Ohio. In addition to these experiences, they made connections with their peers, networked with industry professionals and developed a lifelong appreciation for the Jersey breed.
Applications will become available to youth on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. They will be accepted for submission to the Communications Department through Tuesday, December 1, 2020. If you have any questions about the 2021 Jersey Youth Academy, contact AJCA Director of Communications Kim Billman by email or telephone at 614/322-4451.