MMPA to send Michigan 4-H youth to National 4-H Dairy Conference

The top five interviewees were announced during the State 4-H Dairy Banquet on July 18. From left, Hope Shilling, Madison Halfman, Adalee Thelen, Kassidy Thelen and Joshua Tripp.

NOVI, Mich.—Five Michigan youth will travel to Wisconsin this fall for the National 4-H Dairy Conference, thanks to a sponsorship from the Michigan Milk Producers Association. The top five selected are: Adalee Thelen, Clinton County; Kassidy Thelen, Clinton County; Madison Halfman, Clinton County; Hope Shilling, Branch County and Joshua Tripp, Ottawa County. The alternates are Ian Black, Clinton County and Corbin Redman, Gratiot County.

The students were selected as Michigan delegates after attending the MMPA 4-H Milk Marketing Tour held annual in Novi, Michigan, at the MMPA headquarters. The participants with the highest scores on a dairy industry and cooperative quiz administered at the end of the tour were invited to interview in East Lansing during the Michigan Dairy Expo. The top five interviewees were announced during the State 4-H Dairy Banquet on July 18 and awarded a sponsored trip to the National 4-H Dairy Conference in Madison, Wisconsin on September 29 to October 2.

The National 4-H Dairy Conference, held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo, brings future dairy leaders together build upon their knowledge of the dairy industry. The five students sponsored by MMPA will join approximately 200 delegates from the U.S. and Canada.

During the MMPA 4-H Milk Marketing Tour on June 27-28, 21 youth from nine counties came together to learn about milk marketing and cooperatives. MMPA has welcomed 4-H and FFA members to the cooperative’s headquarters for over 80 years to be immersed in the operations of the dairy cooperative and educated about milk marketing principles.

Co-sponsored by MMPA and Michigan State University Extension, the Milk Marketing Tour is the longest running 4-H tour in existence with thousands of participant alumni. Throughout the tour, participants learned about the role of milk marketing cooperatives through interactive activities involving the MMPA staff members. Additionally, students visited Kroger’s Michigan Dairy plant in Livonia to see how milk is processed and packaged once it leaves the farm.

MMPA is a dairy farmer owned cooperative founded in 1916. MMPA serves approximately 1,600 dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, handling approximately 5 billion pounds of milk annually. MMPA operates two SQF Level 3 certified manufacturing plants in Michigan and a cheese plant in Indiana. Products made at MMPA’s plants include cheese, ultra filtered milk, butter, milk powder, cream and condensed skim milk.