Madison County youth among 31 junior dairy leaders to graduate at 2019 Empire Farm Days

The 20th anniversary Cornell University Pro-Dairy Junior Dairy Leader class will graduate 31 students at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, at the 2019 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls.

The graduating class includes Madison County student Erin Curtis Szalach of Cazenovia.

Since 1999, the Junior Dairy Leader program has graduated a total of 468 youth. The September-to-August program builds personal, communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills; networks the students with industry professionals and provides exposure to dairy internship opportunities.

Under the guidance of program leader and Cornell Pro-Dairy youth development specialist Deborah Grusenmeyer, each year’s class participates in eight hands-on workshops, attends the National 4-H Dairy Conference and World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., and tours farms and agribusinesses.
Participating students are mostly from New York state, but over the years have also come from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont, where no similar program exists. Past graduates credit the program for influencing their decision to pursue dairy-related careers. A list of the 2019 class of graduates is posted at empirefarmdays.com.

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