Washington 4-H Dairy News B Whatcom 4-H Dairy Alum Milks with Passion

Washington 4-H
Dairy News
National 4-H Dairy Conference........ 2
New Dairy Ambassador.................... 3
Donor Spotlight:
Snohomish County Dairy Women.... 3
Alumni Update: Joe Larsen............... 4
Volunteer Spotlight:
Pete Dykstra.................................. 5
Dairy Judging Team...................... 5.
Q & A............................................. 6
Dairy Ambassador Reports
on Experience............................... 7
Dairy Endowment Fund.................... 7
Living 4-H..................................... 8
Whatcom 4-H Dairy Alum Milks with Passion
By Betsy Fradd, WSU Extension 4-H
onding with cows is easy for Seth
Snook. At the age of nine, he purchased two calves from his grandfather
after a visit to a local fair and showed
them the following year. Seth joined
4-H shortly afterward and his dairy journey really began.
“It starts with cows and becomes all
about the people,” said Seth, 29, who
thrived in Whatcom County 4-H dairy
judging, Quiz Bowl and demonstrations.
“Quiz Bowl left a huge impression on
me and made me aware of all the possibilities that showing cows and judging
cows could lead to,” he added.
Seth does the milking at the family’s
Pleasant Valley Dairy, which is home to
70 rotationally grazed cows. The Jerseys,
Holsteins, Brown Swiss and a variety of
others produce 100,000 pounds of milk
per month – one third of which is used
for their famous artisan cheeses and
the remainder sold to Dairygold. Seth
credits his time in 4-H and, especially,
the out-of-state dairy trips for introducing him to a broader spectrum of the
“National trips were certainly a real
eye-opening experience. I was fourteen
the first time I went and saw 2,500 of
the best cows in the world at one place.
It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.
I went eight consecutive years on my
own after that clipping and showing
cows. It left a huge impression on me,”
said Seth.
During his seven years in 4-H, Seth
honed skills in many areas including
public speaking and decision making.
“I’ve emceed several large conventions
and I read pedigrees at sales,” said Seth.
“4-H taught me a lot about making
good decisions. It’s important to have a
Continued… “Passion” p.4
Published by the
Washington State 4-H Foundation
and the Dairy Advisory Committee
Scan this QR code with
your smart phone to go
to the dairy endowment
link on the Washington
State 4-H Foundation
Whatcom County 4-H Dairy Alum
Seth Snook with his wife, Jennifer,
and baby.
National Trip
Brings Insight
and Experience
By Betsy Fradd, WSU Extension 4-H
Four Washington State 4-H teens broadened their perspectives on the dairy
industry and what careers are possible,
at the 2011 National 4-H Dairy Conference. The teens, along with three
chaperones, joined 165 youth from
around the United States and Canada
at the four-day event in Madison,
Wisconsin, in early October. While
learning about production, processing,
marketing and use of dairy products,
teens discovered what jobs are available
in biotechnology, genetics, marketing and dairy production. Many tours,
workshops and speakers highlighted
the event for Aaron Furrer, 17, Monroe;
Katie Rhodes, 18, Chehalis; Frank Swenson, 19, Rochester; and Jared Fohn, 17,
Mount Vernon.
Here, the four participants detail what
meant the most to them at the conference:
What did you enjoy the most?
Aaron: My favorite part was meeting
kids from all over the U.S. They came
from all sizes of farms and it was great
hearing their background, different
stories and what their farms did that
was unique.
Katie: The Crave Brothers Dairy Farm.
They had their own cheese factory and
each of the four brothers all had a section of the farm they took care of. They
knew a lot about how to control and
manage their farm.
Frank: I enjoyed the farm tours the
most. It was cool to see how dairies in
other parts of the country worked and
what they do differently. A number
of them have gone to using methane
[manure] digesters.
The Washington State delegation at the 2011 National
4-H Dairy Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. (Left to
right) Gary Fredricks, WSU Extension Cowlitz County;
chaperones Steve Van Tuyl, and Carmen Van Tuyl; teen
delegates Katie Rhodes, Aaron Furrer, Jared Fohn and
Frank Swenson.
cheese in a microwave. It was very
Frank: Artificial Insemination. It was
hands-on and we actually used cow
reproductive organs to practice on. I
hadn’t done that before.
Jared: Food Science. We got to try food
and it was entertaining. The workshop
leader was easy to follow and funny.
Aaron: Artificial Insemination. Each
person got their own cow reproductive tract and an insemination straw.
We had to feel through the tract and
pretend to breed that way. Each cow
feels different. We couldn’t see and just
had to feel it.
What tour was the most interesting?
Frank: Crave Brothers because they
are on the leading edge of technology. They have two different [manure]
digesters and use conveyor systems to
move the manure around.
What workshop was the most valuable?
Katie: Hoard’s Dairy Farm. They had
Jerseys and Guernseys and most were
registered. All heifers were on one side
and cows and calves were in a separate
area. There was more spacing to raise
animals. They had a lot of old buildings
that you wouldn’t see much around
here anymore. I appreciated seeing the
different signs indicating when the
structures were built and how they were
Katie: Food Science. We got to make
ice cream with liquid nitrogen and
Aaron: ABS. They had big tour buses
that went through the barn. The tour
Jared: I got to meet new people. I met
people from New York, Florida and
Alabama. It was nice to get their input
on dairy 4-H and how it’s different in
other states.
guide talked about how they get a
certain amount of semen and distribute
it to breed a specific number of cows.
When cows calve, they can determine
the calving ease for a particular bull
based on how big the calf is. When the
calves become cows, [ABS] can figure
out the heredity and the genetics the
bull will pass on.
Jared: Crave Brothers because it was
cool to see the cheese making plant,
and the farm was really clean and neat.
What did you learn?
Jared: I learned about the different
setups of farms there. Their barns are
more open because it’s hot in the summer. And they take different precautions since they get more snow. The
barns have something similar to blinds
that come down and block the wind
and snow.
Katie: That it’s good to be out of my
comfort zone. You don’t always have
to do something the same way, and it’s
good to try something in a new way in
different areas of life.
Aaron: It was stressed [to us] the
whole time to get out, meet people and
network because it could lead to internships and jobs.
Frank: That there are a lot more
careers in the dairy industry than you
might think. There’s the technological side of dairy: milking technology,
harvesting, GPS technology and many
4-H Life Skills Create Success for New
Washington State Dairy Ambassador
By Shannon Rodeffer
sons so I could feel confident in giving
them. I grew to enjoy judging and even
had great success at the National 4-H
Dairy Judging contest. Today, I still try
to organize my talks in simple outlines.
During my one-year reign as Washington State Dairy Ambassador, I will
make around 400 appearances as a dairy
industry representative. Being successful
in this role requires knowledge, confidence, speaking ability, and organization! I am proud to say that the 4-H
program played a big role in preparing
me for this responsibility.
I am a nine-year member of Bicycle Tree
Dairy 4-H Club in Snohomish County,
and each of those years has helped me
develop skills that I use as Dairy Ambassador. I have thoroughly enjoyed raising
dairy projects and showing at fairs over
the years, but 4-H is so much more than
that. We learn how to be responsible
and how to be leaders by watching older
members. Record books teach us to
track the time and money we spend on
our projects and also the successes we
achieve. When I was applying for college and scholarships, my record books
provided a wealth of information at
my fingertips and helped me receive 16
Developing judging skills had the biggest impact on growing my confidence
to speak in public and share my opinions with others. The first time I had to
I have also learned a lot through my
favorite event: Dairy Quiz Bowl. I love
knowing about the dairy industry and
being able to answer people’s questions.
I enjoy challenging myself to learn the
information and I like working as part of
a team. Having so much industry knowledge definitely helps me fulfill my State
Dairy Ambassador duties and it has also
helped me create lifelong friends who
are just like family to me.
Being involved in 4-H has
helped me thrive and to find
something that I am interested in and want to stay a
part of.
give oral reasons I ran away and cried
but, with help and encouragement from
my 4-H leaders and county extension
agent, I learned how to organize my rea-
Being involved in 4-H has helped me
thrive and to find something that I am
interested in and want to stay a part of. I
have grown as a leader through serving as club vice president and president
and I have been able to participate in
National 4-H Dairy Conference, the
National 4-H Dairy Judging contest
and the National 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl
Contest. All three of those events led to
making friends from all over the country. Participating in 4-H is so much fun
because we are all doing the things we
love, meeting others with similar interests and preparing ourselves for future
Donor Spotlight
Snohomish County
Dairy Women
The Snohomish County Dairy Women (SCDW) has a long tradition of supporting the Washington State 4-H Dairy Foundation.
Started in 1955, SCDW focuses on promoting the dairy industry
through positive public relations, educational programs and
sales of dairy products. As advocates of the county and state
dairy ambassador programs, the SCDW awards up to ten $750
scholarships annually to qualifying dairy members.
“We see the commitment, enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge in so many of our dairy youth,” said SCDW Treasurer
Pat Manning. Receiving the scholarships and support from
the 4-H Dairy Foundation allows 4-H’ers to participate in
National Quiz Bowl and judging events where they learn even
more about the industry and gain a deeper appreciation of the
opportunities available to them.”
at the Evergreen State Fair. Their Purple Cow drink—a combination of blackberry ice cream, blackberry syrup and lemonlime soda—has become famous throughout the state and
the Northwest. The profits from these sales fund the county
ambassador program, scholarships and many other charitable
community organizations.
More information on the Snohomish County Dairy Women can
be found at: http://www.havemilk.com/article.asp?id=1426.
The group’s main fundraising is done through ice cream sales
Alumni Update
Being a team
player with
good personal skills will
get you farther ahead in
any career in
Joe Larsen
He is one of only a handful of veterinarians providing cattle services in Eastern
Washington. Joe Larsen, 31, travels the
lower Yakima Valley, Columbia Basin and
parts of eastern Oregon tending to regular
and emergency needs of dairy cattle
(approximately 95%) and beef cattle (5%).
As a teen in 4-H, the Ferndale, Washington, native showed dairy cattle and also
took part in Dairy Quiz Bowl and Dairy
Cattle Judging. Joe attended Washington
State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and, in
2005, graduated as a doctor of veterinary
medicine. When he’s not overseeing herd
health Joe enjoys fishing, waterfowl and
upland bird hunting.
When did you know you wanted to work
with cows as a career? How did you come
to realize that?
I always knew I wanted to work with
dairy cattle; my profession as a veterinarian seems liked the best fit to make
that happen. The profession of veterinary medicine would not have been a
choice without an ability to be involved
in the dairy industry. Luckily, veterinary
medicine is extremely flexible when it
comes to career choices.
What intrigues you about your field?
The fact that the dairy industry is ever
changing and always striving for new
and better systems of efficiency and
performance. The uniqueness of individual dairy farms is what I find most
interesting. There is nothing “cookiecutter” about the dairy industry, which
results in its ability to adapt to times of
economic variability.
How did 4-H influence your life as a youth/
Ultimately, any time you can provide
activities for young people to improve
their intellect and social skills outside of
their regular life, it only improves their
capabilities for the future. Very few people get the privilege of growing up in an
agriculture lifestyle. Programs like 4-H
help to promote the positive aspects of
agriculture industries when much negative publicity is broadcast regularly. 4-H
facilitates opportunities for youth/teens
of agricultural backgrounds to interact
with the public and families who would
otherwise have minimal understanding
of actual life in agricultural industries.
Education and interaction with the
Passion continued
public is something that veterinarians
are faced with regularly. Fortunately this
was something that I was exposed to
early through 4-H projects and build on
every day.
What skills did you learn in 4-H that continue to impact your life today?
Being a team player with good personal skills will get you farther ahead
in any career in life. As a veterinarian
I definitely work with animals almost
every day, but, as equally important, is
my ability to work with human clients,
employees of clients, and other professionals. You can be the greatest veterinarian in the world, but if you cannot
function with real people, your other
professional skills will never meet full
Are there any new vet practices being used
with cattle that would be good for readers
to know about?
The evolving use of technology is
interesting. The use of radio frequency
identification (RFID) ear tags has really
helped improve record keeping for
individual cows as many dairy owners
are aware, but we are also finding ways
to help prevent antibiotic residue issues
using the same identification systems.
Disease control of BVD and Johnes,
along with pregnancy diagnosis through
simple blood draws, are other examples
of how improved technology has been
impacting the dairy industry.
goal in mind and learn what steps are needed to achieve the
Seth’s passion for breeding cows motivates him to make
every mating count. “My ideal animal is a long-lived cow
that can eat a tremendous amount of forage. I like building
families. To be stewards of blood lines is really exciting.”
Seth’s milking and his mother, Joyce’s, cheese-making,
attract people from all over the country. Their third generation family-run dairy in Ferndale is well known for its
Gouda and Farmstead cheeses, as well as a Swiss cheese
called Mutschli. Each is made with varying levels of sharpness to appeal to varying tastes.
Pleasant Valley Dairy
6804 Kickerville Road, Ferndale, WA
Dairy Newsletter goes on-line
Help us conserve our resources and control the increasing costs of printing and postage
by signing up to receive the Dairy Newsletter electronically. If you are able to receive the
newsletter on-line, please send a message to [email protected] with “4-H Dairy Newsletter
On-line” listed in the subject line. Savings will be used to support additional 4-H member
travel to dairy events.
Volunteer Spotlight
How do you encourage kids to be the best
they can be?
Pete Dykstra
By encouraging and pointing out
examples of other kids who have done
well. I give them a hug and point out
we learn from our mistakes. If you got
a red ribbon, listen to what the judge
had to say. Keep improving. We’ve all
been there. Use this as a lesson. I started
out with a lot of white ribbons. When
I first joined 4-H, the fitting and showing class had 35 to 40 kids in it. I guess I
wasn’t paying attention and spent some
time getting white ribbons. Eventually I
worked up to the blue ribbons.
Why I Volunteer
As a third generation 4-H leader, Pete
Dykstra embodies the definition of
volunteer. Born, raised and still living
on Maplewater Farm, Pete’s active dairy
produces an average of 45 pounds of milk
per cow, daily. Pete joined 4-H at nine
years old, and in 1976 he, with his wife
Cindy, began their 4-H club. Now, at 68,
Pete continues to guide, cajole and offer
wisdom to youth in Lewis County.
How much longer do you think you’ll
What do you like most about being a
All of it—working with the kids, watching them grow and develop and turn
into fine young adults. We’ve got good
parent cooperation, superb leaders
throughout 4-H, and everyone is willing
to help these kids. It just takes a little
Why do you feel it’s important to give back
to youth?
Because somebody gave to me. I had a
great leader who was always encouraging and had a pat on the back. I try to
set a good example, help them when
they need it, get them aimed in the right
direction, give some advice and show
them what needs to be done.
You lost your entire dairy herd in the 2008
‘Til they hire a preacher to lie about
what a nice guy I was. I have two great
grandchildren who are under three years
old right now. I hope I can help with
their projects.
storm. You started again. Can you speak to
the importance of resiliency?
The main thing was, I had to see it
restored. I had to see cows come back. I
also lost a lot of 4-H animals. So many
of us put the valley back together. We
were inspiring each other. I look at these
kids and tell them if you fall down, you
get up and put things back together. You
get on your feet and keep moving. I see
that ethic in a lot of my older or former
4-H’ers. They’ve lost a job or been laid
off but they go out and look again and
don’t feel sorry for themselves.
What is your hope for these youth?
That they will succeed in life. A lot of
them are going onto college, another
form of education or are out in the
world getting jobs. I just hope that they
succeed and that they try and give back
to the community the same way we
have given to them.
And how do you define success?
Self confidence, self worth…money isn’t
everything. If you feel good about yourself that’s the most important thing.
Washington State 4-H Dairy teens,
outside of Hoard’s Dairy, Wisconsin:
Caroline Glackin, Skagit County; Abby
Smaciarz, Lewis County; Kathryn
Dunham, Snohomish County; and
Damen Jeg, Lewis County;. The group
attended the National Dairy Judging
Contest in Madison, Wisconsin,
October 1–3.
Teens toured several dairies to practice
judging with different breeds. After the
judging contest, the team attended
World Dairy Expo where they watched
more than 2,500 elite dairy cattle
parade on the colored shavings. At the
expo they also toured more than 800
exhibits on all things dairy, including
mixer wagons, milking equipment,
animal health products and dairy
genetics providers.
Q&A: What’s great about Dairy Judging?
Aleah Bright,
16, Snohomish
Liam Kroontje,
14, Whatcom
15, Whatcom
It’s fascinating to see the
different types of cows and how
genetics work. It’s interesting
how breeds are built differently
and to learn about the qualities
in cows. Sometimes it’s easier
to place cows depending
on their class. Dairy judging
has also taught me life skills
like oral reasons and public
Kenny Birdwell,
13, Lewis County
I feel quite accomplished if I
do a good placing. It helps if
you want to buy a cow because
you learn what to look for in an
animal that would win a show.
I like having to be comfortable
with oral reasons and speaking
in public and being able to see
what I know and get feedback
on scores. I’m able to identify
traits in my own cows that I’ll
want to breed out and choose
a bull that’s strong in a point
where my own cow is lacking.
Glackin, 16,
Skagit County
The competition. Dairy judging
gives me a way to learn more
about how I can get into the
dairy industry. My passion is
to become a dairy farmer. I
like learning the terminology.
The more I judge, the more I
learn by listening to others and
picking up on all the terms. It’s
helped me with public speaking
and building confidence in my
Alex Prins, 14,
Yakima County
I get to look at other animals
and compare them. That way
I can understand when I show
my own animals and hear what
the judges say. I look at the
feet, legs, udders and frame.
The most interesting thing is
looking at the udders and seeing
if the vein looks good or if the
cow even has a vein. And to
see how they carry themselves
out by looking at the depth of
ribs and whether their backs are
stretched out or scrunched up.
The logic and reasoning that
comes into play. I like looking
at all the different points and
prioritizing. Even top cows
can have a weak point. It’s
rewarding to give a good set of
oral reasons. I joined the debate
team at school because I like
oral reasons so much. It can
be difficult to judge and get it
right. I just do the best I can.
I like the opportunity to learn
more about cows. I want to
have a dairy some day and I’ll
know what a good cow looks
like. In dairy judging I get to
see a greater mix of cows. The
pedigree portion was a little
difficult; I went off milk protein
and amount of milk. Another
good skill I’ve learned is to
think on my feet really quickly
and be more aware of what’s
going on around me. It’s nice
to be around other people who
enjoy dairy judging, too.
We want to hear from moo!
Submit your stories or ideas for articles to Betsy Fradd at [email protected] or 253-445-4543.
4-H Involvement Provides Experience, Opportunities
for Snohomish County Dairy Ambassador
By Emily Beebe
Being involved in the dairy industry is one of the
best ways to grow up! When I was nine years old, I
started showing Jersey cows in 4-H. My best friend’s
parents owned a dairy in Duvall and I borrowed a calf
from them to show and did chores around the farm
in return. Eventually, I bought that same Jersey calf,
Penny, and started my own herd. On my family’s tenacre piece of land, I currently have four Jersey cows
and two heifers, all registered in the American Jersey
Cattle Association. I use those as my show animals,
and I am also raising three bull calves.
In the nine years that I have shown dairy cows in
the Hy-Lo 4-H Club, I have been to numerous local,
regional and state fairs. Through 4-H I have had a
tremendous number of other opportunities, including
being on the Washington State Judging Team in 2010
and competing at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Currently, I am a member of the Washington
State Quiz Bowl team. For the past two years, I have
also been a member of the Washington State Junior
Holstein Association, and am traveling this year to
Virginia to compete in dairy jeopardy. Last year I went
to Minnesota as a member of the junior Quiz Bowl
ington State Dairy Ambassador.
After high school, I would like to pursue a career as a
large animal veterinarian, studying at WSU and eventually starting my own practice. I plan to continue
with my small herd of Jersey cows on my property
and, possibly, start a raw milk business. The dairy
industry has made a huge impact on who I am today
and inspired me to continue to be involved in this
industry throughout my life.
As one of the 2011–2012 Snohomish County Dairy
Ambassadors, I have the opportunity to promote the
dairy industry and the consumption of dairy products
in Snohomish County. I am very excited to travel to
all the events to share with the public how important
the dairy industry is to our state and our local communities. Next June, I plan on running for the Wash-
Your Help is Needed!
As costs for travel go up, the 4-H Dairy Endowment Fund has remained the same. We
are asking for your donation to continue 4-H support of all future trips. There are as
many reasons to give to the Dairy Endowment as there are kids enrolled in 4-H. But
when it comes right down to it, investing in the Dairy Endowment is making an investment in the future. Your one-time gift, or a pledge spread out over a few years, will
help prepare the dairy youth of today to be the industry’s leaders tomorrow. Pledge
cards are included in this newsletter for your convenience.
The Dairy Endowment Fund was established by a group of dairy youth advocates.
The purpose of the fund is to provide ongoing financial support for youth development, regardless of the economic climate of the dairy industry. Dairy Cattle Judging, Dairy Quiz Bowl, and Dairy Conference are three of the state and national 4-H
dairy events supported by the fund. The fund also supports two college scholarships
plus travel scholarships for youth to participate in national dairy-related educational
events. http://4h.wsu.edu/foundation/dairyendowment/pledgecard.pdf
Washington State 4-H Foundation
2606 W. Pioneer Way
Puyallup, WA 98371-4998
Phone: 253-445-4570
Fax: 263-445-4587
E-mail: [email protected]
Living 4-H: Hands for Larger Service
One pleasure of my job is to interview
4-H members who are trying to earn a
scholarship or win a place on the 4-H
Dairy Conference Team. One question
that I love to ask is, of the four H’s in the
4-H pledge, which one do you identify with most, and why? It is always
a delight to hear the many different
answers. Each applicant will share a story
related to head, heart, hands or health.
For me, I relate best to hands.
Growing up, I was in 4-H, Boy Scouts,
and Science Club and I played several
sports. The one thing they all had in
common was someone, besides my
parents, who volunteered their time to
help me grow. From countless mentors
giving me a hand, I gained knowledge,
leadership skills, friendship and a great
appreciation for helping others. They
made my life the positive experience
that helped shape me into the person
I am today and, along the way, they
helped me have lots of fun. I am more
than grateful that someone took the
time to help me. I am sure the same
goes for you, too.
There are hundreds of organizations
such as 4-H that only work because
someone is willing to volunteer. 4-H
leaders, parents, friends and even other
4-H’ers are there to lend a hand. When
my son came into 4-H, we did not live
on a dairy farm so he borrowed a dairy
heifer from a local farm. He worked
hard at showmanship, but it didn’t
come easy to him. As a junior 4-H
member, competition was tough and,
despite his hard work, he finished dead
last in every dairy showmanship contest he entered. Fortunately, he was in a
club where everyone helped each other.
One older 4-H member was willing to
work with him, putting in many hours.
At the county fair in his last contest as
a junior 4-H dairy showman, he again
found himself at the end of the line. As
he continued to show his heifer to the
best of his ability, he didn’t realize that
he was first in line, not last. Winning
junior champion is a memory that he
has always treasured. He learned that
hard work does pays off. For me, I am
very thankful to that 4-H senior who
helped one young boy achieve his
dream and create a memory that will
Gary Fredricks
Director, WSU
Cowlitz County
last a lifetime.
So now, we start another 4-H year. For
some of you, it means building on your
past talents to achieve your goals, for
others it means trying new things to
gain new experiences and, for some it’s
another year to lengthen your stride.
As you look ahead, let this year be your
turn to lend a hand and help others
move forward. I’m sure that it will be
someone else’s Hands for Larger Service
that helps you achieve your dream.
And don’t forget to say thank you. It
takes only seconds and the effect lasts
for years. It is usually the only reward
a volunteer gets, but it is the one that
means the most. Have another great
year in 4-H.
Visit http://4h.wsu.edu/foundation/dairyendowment/index.html
to learn how to apply for scholarships and travel grants.