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EAST LANSING, MI -- Miriam Dershem, of St. Johns in Clinton County, was selected as the supreme champion showmanship winner during the Michigan 4-H Youth Dairy Days dairy cattle show held July 18 at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. 

Dershem was chosen as the winner from a field of 12 individual showmanship class winners. The dairy cattle show is one of several youth-centered activities held annually during the week-long Michigan Dairy Expo, the state’s largest dairy event. This year’s expo, the 20th annual, was held July 17-21. Nearly 100 youth competed in this year’s show.

The supreme champion showmanship winner, in addition to the owners of the supreme champion dairy cow and the supreme champion dairy heifer, represented the Michigan dairy industry at the annual Michigan Livestock Expo ‘Sale-abration’ held the evening of the show. This year’s event was the 9th annual.

Dershem’s lot, which was represented by a dairy products basket, sold for $10,000 to a syndicate of buyers: ABS Global, Inc., Farm Bureau Family of Companies Employees, Golden Elm Dairy c/o the Eric Frahm family, Hudson Dairy, NorthStar Cooperative, Inc., Purina Animal Health, Rabo AgriFinance, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Vita Plus, and Ken and Liz Nobis. She received $1,000 and the remaining amount was deposited into a statewide dairy youth fund held by the Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund that supports dairy youth programs through educational grants and scholarships.

Showmanship classes were divided according to the total number of participants and their respective ages. The focus was on having a similar number of participants in each class with no more than one year’s age difference between the youngest and oldest contestant.

Winners of the individual classes were:

Division 1: Miriah Dershem, Clinton County (St. Johns) 

Division 2: Kyle Schafer, Clinton County (Westphalia)

Division 3: Ashton Geurink, Ottawa County (Zeeland)

Division 4: Ian Black, Clinton County (Eagle)

Division 5: Shannon Good, Allegan County (Caledonia)

Division 6: Gabriella Nelkie, Iosco (Whittemore)

Division 7: Tarrah Barnes, Ottawa County (Zeeland)

Division 8: Allie Grice, Ingham County (Dansville)

Division 9: Teagan Howell, Hillsdale County (Jerome)

Division 10: Taylor Gager, Gratiot County (Elwell)

Division 11: Katie Wilson, Isabella County (Blanchard)

Division 12: Anna Moser, Ingham County (Dansville)

As the youth-centered portion of the Michigan Dairy Expo, the largest annual dairy event in the state, Michigan 4-H Youth Dairy Days offers young people interested in the dairy industry opportunities to compete for premiums, ribbons and scholarships in various educational activities, including dairy quiz bowls, dairy management contests, dairy cattle judging competitions and the Dairy Days youth show. This year, nearly 200 youth from around the state participated in one or more of the educational competitions, and winners may go on to represent Michigan in national competitions. 

Awards and other recognition during Michigan 4-H and Youth Dairy Days, along with other dairy youth and judging program activities conducted throughout the year, are made possible through the generous support of numerous businesses, organizations and individuals. 

These include: ABS Global, AIS Equipment, the Branch County Dairy Organization, the CHS Foundation, the Clinton County 4-H Dairy Council, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairyland Laboratories, Inc., the District 1 and District VI Holstein associations, Drs. Joe and Denise Domecq, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Hillsdale County Dairy Leaders, Ira Krupp, the Michigan Dairy Memorial Foundation, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Farm Bureau, the Michigan Holstein Association, the Michigan Jersey Cattle Club, the Michigan Milk Producers Association, the Michigan Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, the MSU Dairy Club, the MSU Dairy Cattle Judging Team, the MSU Department of Animal Science, MOO-ville Creamery, NorthStar Cooperative, the Osceola County 4-H Dairy Boosters, the Ottawa County 4-H Dairy Committee, Rodney Pennock, Purina Animal Nutrition, the Shiawassee County 4-H Dairy Association, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, and the Vitality Dairy crew.

For more information about the Michigan 4-H dairy youth program, contact Melissa Elischer at 517-432-4306. For more information about the Michigan Dairy Expo, contact Dr. Joe Domecq at 517-353-7855.

The 2018 Michigan Dairy Expo is scheduled for July 16-20 at MSU.

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