New York Youth Dairy Discovery Workshop

Friday and Saturday

March 27-28, 2020

Morrison Hall, Ithaca, NY

Sponsored by: The New York State 4H Dairy Cattle Program

Developed and Coordinated by: PRO-DAIRY, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Dairy Management Group


Due to the hands-on approach of the sessions, participation is limited to the first 70 individuals to enroll or March 18, 2020 deadline, whichever comes first. Youth who are 14-19 years of age as of January 1, 2020 with an interest in dairy cattle are eligible to attend.  This year’s registration fee will include cost of the program activities, materials and dinner and lunch.


Replacements heifers are an investment in the future of a dairy.  The heifer enterprise represents the second largest cost on a dairy farm second only to dairy feed.  The average age at first calving for Holsteins in New York is 21-22 months and 24 months across the breeds, with an average daily cost of $2.50.  Raising heifers is 15 to 20% of the cost of producing milk.  For every month that the Age at First Calving is delayed beyond the 22-month target, the cost to producers is about $100 per animal, primarily because of lost milk production opportunity and a loss in the number of days in an animal’s productive life.

A quality dairy replacement program is a management system that consistently generates quality heifers efficiently.  Calving practices, newborn calf care, and feeding programs play a critical role in the management of a heifer-raising program.  Technical and analytical skill development in the areas of: Calf delivery, newborn calf care, colostrum management, and monitoring growth are necessary for assessing and optimizing the heifer raising programs potential.

DAIRY DISCOVERY will be focusing this year’s workshop on “Calf and Heifer Production Management”.  Youth will understand, observe and participate in technical skill training related to such topics as:

  1. Proper calving procedures and techniques
    1. Cow hygiene, using calving chains
    2. The first 30 minutes post-calving
  2. Colostrum management & analysis of passive transfer
    1. Timing, quality & quantity
    2. IgG’s, what is means and how to measure
  3. Diagnosis of illness
  4. Analyzing the heifer program
    1. Growth: BCS, height and weight
  5. Identification, biosecurity
  6.  Heifer economics 101


The deadline for registration is Tuesday, March 18, 2020 or before if registration limit of 70 is reached.

The cost of the workshop will be $50 per Youth.  This fee includes activities, materials, dinner Friday night and lunch Saturday.  Registration forms should be signed by a Cooperative Extension Educator, FFA Advisor or Club Leader.  Cost for Adults accompanying youth is $15 and they will also need to complete the registration form on-line.


25 rooms have been blocked at the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Ithaca for the night of March 27, 2020. Rate is $89.00 per room, plus $15/additional person in the room. This rate includes breakfast, parking, and wi-fi. Ask for room block “Dairy Discovery” when you call the hotel and tell them you’re with the Cornell function.  To get the rooms tax exempt, 4-H participants need to work with your County Cooperative Extension Educator and a tax exempt form will be necessary.  Phone: 607-256-1100.  The block of rooms will be held until March 13, 2020 so make your reservation before this date.


Friday, March 27  (Morrison Hall, Rm 348)

6:15-7:15 PM   Welcome/Dinner

7:15-9:30 PM   Team Challenge Program (Livestock Pavilion)

9:30 PM           Snack & Head for Lodging

Saturday, March 28 (Cornell University-Morrison Hall and surrounding buildings)

7:30 A.M.        Breakfast on your own

8:15 A.M.        Registration in Lobby of Morrison Hall

8:45 A.M.        Welcome/Introduction to Workshops

9:00-11:45       Workshop Session I

11:45-12:20     Lunch in 348 Morrison

12:30-3:30       Workshop Session II

4:00 P.M.        Discussion, Wrap-up, Certificates, Adjourn


Please call Debbie Grusenmeyer at (607) 255-0656 or email