Local trio among Junior Dairy Leaders


Lucas DiNitto of Marcy, Abigail Wratten of Oriskany Falls, and Kathleen Gallagher of Waterville will be among the 31 Junior Dairy Leaders who will graduate on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Dairy Profit Seminar Center at Empire Farm Days. The event that is the Northeast’s largest outdoor farm show is held at Rodman Lott & Son Farms, 2973 Route 414, Seneca Falls.

The three teens are representing Oneida County in the Cornell Pro-Dairy Junior Dairy Leader statewide program for youth between the ages of 16 and 19 with an interest in learning more about career opportunities in the dairy industry and gaining hands-on experience in the field. 

The 2018 class of Junior Dairy Leaders and Program Coordinator Deborah Grusenmeyer will welcome sponsors, families and visitors to the graduation ceremony that includes a presentation by the students. The annual graduation at Empire Farm Days provides the Junior DAIRY LEADERs with the opportunity to highlight their year-long experiences, demonstrating the dynamic aspects of dairy education and career options.

The Junior DAIRY LEADER Program begins in late September with a seven-day trip to Madison, WI, to tour dairies and agribusinesses, followed by attending the annual National 4-H Dairy Conference. Throughout the year, class members participate in eight workshops, focusing on team building, personality styles, resume development, change, and leadership skills development.

They will also learn about all facets of dairy production and receive tours and exposure to numerous career options in the dairy field.

The August 8 ceremony will also recognize the 2018 Junior DAIRY LEADER class sponsors: PRO-DAIRY, the Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation, Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement Program, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Northeast Ag and Feed Alliance, DEHM Associates, Genex/CRI, Select Sire Power, NYS Agricultural Society Foundation, Cornell University Department of Animal Science, and New York’s dairy producers.

The 300-acre Empire Farm Days features the latest farming techniques, tractors, trucks, and implements of all sizes and uses; crop and equipment demonstrations, Dairy Profit and other educational seminars, equipment and truck test driving opportunities, live cattle and horse demonstrations, farm safety and family life displays, and information booths by hundreds of agriculture-related vendors, organizations, colleges and associations. Show hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7 and Wednesday, Aug. 8, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9. Parking is $10 per vehicle. For daily schedules and more information visit www.empirefarmdays.com or call 877-697-7837.


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