4-H Ontario

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Dairy Sen$e® promotes management skills to young dairy farmers

(Posted May 19, 2015)


Guelph, Ontario (May 19, 2015) — From April 30 – May 2, a group of young dairy enthusiasts came together at the University of Guelph campus for a conference in dairy management, co-managed by 4-H Ontario and the Ontario Holstein Branch.

In its sixth year, 45 youth participated in Dairy Sen$e, which teaches delegates about what it takes to be successful in today’s dairy industry. Through a variety of sessions, farm tours and a detailed case study, delegates become more prepared to become leading dairy producers.

“Dairy Sen$e is an incredibly informative and unique conference,” said Lindsay Bebbington, Coordinator, Sen$e Programs, 4-H Ontario. “In three short days the delegates are able to interact with 20-plus professionals in the dairy industry and they are provided with information that they can take home and apply to their own farms. It is amazing to see the difference in their plans for their farms from when they arrive and then again when they leave.”

During this three-day, two-night conference, delegates participated in sessions from industry, agri-business and farm leaders, as well as had the opportunity to get a close look at financial and production information of four case study farms. Through the case study, delegates were able to learn important lessons about benchmarking and ways to improve an operation. After a presentation about the case study farms, one team of four was selected to take part in a bus trip to Madison, Wisconsin for World Dairy Expo.

Figure 1 The winning case study team of: Carson Wagner, Waterloo; Criag LeRoy, Prescott; Janelle Los, Perth; Chantal Stoop, NiagaraThe winning case study presentation presented a brief analysis of three existing farms and one in-depth analysis of an existing farm using information provided. They calculated costs of building a new facility on this farm and the potential paybacks from the investment. Through application of their gained knowledge during the conference they were able to make solid recommendations and confidently answer questions from the audience and case study’s three judges. This year’s judges included Mark Carson of EastGen, Nancy Charlton of DeLaval and David Rose from CIBC.

"Dairy Sen$e allows young people to obtain more knowledge about managing dairy operations and the different management tools that will equal to their success,” said Jason French, General Manager, Ontario Holstein Branch. “The Ontario Holstein Branch endorses the program as they want to assist in educating current and future members to allow them to understand the value of breed improvement programs."

4-H Ontario and the Ontario Holstein Branch would like to thank the following sponsors for helping to make this year’s Dairy Sen$e such a success: presenting sponsor EastGen, as well as Dairy Farmers Of Ontario, John Deere Canada, Alltech Canada Inc., CIBC Agriculture, DeLaval, Farm Credit Canada, Holstein Canada, Norwell Dairy Systems Ltd., Ontario Dairy Youth Trust Fund, Ontario Joint Dairy Breeds and additional in-kind contributors.

About 4-H Ontario

4-H Ontario is a grassroots organization of leaders building leaders. At 4-H, participants, youth aged 6–21; and screened, trained volunteer leaders come together to create a 4-H club and learn about a selected topic through hands-on activities and mentorship. There are also a variety of provincial camp and conference opportunities. Through the 4-H experience, members learn to do by doing and build valuable skills that will help them reach their full potential to become conscious, contributing citizens.



For more information and or photos, please contact:

Jason French, General Manager Ontario Holstein Branch

Tel: (519) 653-6180



Ryan Metivier, Coordinator, Communications, 4-H Ontario

Tel: 519-803-5026 x465


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