South Dakota State University Jackrabbit Dairy Camp

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS – The tenth annual SDSU Jackrabbit Dairy camp was held June 20 – 22 on the campus of South Dakota State University in Brookings. The SDSU Dairy Club sponsored this event for youth ranging from 9 to 15 years of age who wanted to enhance their dairy cattle skills, learn about the dairy industry and have fun.

“Dairy Camp is always a great place for youth to touch up their dairy skills in showmanship, fitting, judging, and more about the dairy industry in general. Kids at the Camp always have fun and make new friends as they learn more about something they have a passion for,” said Dairy camp second year Co-Chair, Meg Viland.

On the first day, the participants learned more about promoting the dairy industry with Maggie Stiles, Princess Kay of the Milky Way 2012 Finalist and SDSU Dairy Science student. Participants also learned how to make Mozzarella cheese with Lloyd Metzger, Professor of Dairy Science at SDSU. A mock heifer auction was held and campers got to meet the heifers they would work with over the next few days.

On the second day, they tuned up their fitting skills with Darrel Rennich, a Dairy Science alumnus and currently with Select Sires; showmanship with Rachel Achen, a SDSU Dairy Science student; and judging skills with Tracey Renelt, SDSU Extension Field Specialist. Campers also learned about heifer nutrition as they got to explore the rumen of a live cow with Jill Anderson, Assistant Professor of Dairy Science at SDSU.

Participants toured Crosswinds Jersey Farm in Elkton and also enjoyed an evening of activities which included; swimming, a movie and various games.

Competitions were held the final day of camp in showmanship and fitting Ana Schweer, Dairy Science alumnus was the judge. The showmanship champions were Nicholas Achen, Warner; Laura Stiles, Lakeville, Minn.; and Joe Achen, Warner. The fitting champions were Thjis Reuvekamp, Elkton; Laura Stiles, Lakeville, Minn.; and Nicholas Achen, Warner.

“Dairy Camp is an important and effective way for our Dairy Club students to communicate the exciting nature of the dairy industry and the opportunities it offers,” said Vikram Mistry, Professor and Head of the Dairy Science department at SDSU. “Several participants from previous years later returned to SDSU as Dairy Science students and are now actively engaged in the dairy industry.”

The Jackrabbit Dairy Camp is held annually by the SDSU Dairy Club. This year’s Camp attracted 30 participants from four states. To learn about how you can become involved in the 2014 Dairy Camp, visit in spring 2014 for details or call the Dairy Science Department at 605-688-4116.