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Cow Camp

Cow Camp 2024 - Holstein Hollywood

Saturday & Sunday, May 11 & 12
Mt Morris Camp & Conference Center, Wautoma


We had 42 enthusiastic junior members and beautiful weather at this year’s Cow Camp at Mt. Morris Campgrounds in Wautoma. Campers enjoyed making new friends, had fun competing as color groups in the ag olympics relay, made s’mores and danced at the campfire and learned a lot during educational sessions. The highlight of Cow Camp is always the shaving cream fight. The Star Camper this year was Evan Brey of Brown County.

Thank you to our guest speakers and volunteers for making this another successful event. Sponsors for this year’s camp included: Mullins Cheese, Genovations, AlphaGenetics, Compeer Financial, Land O’ Lakes Foundation, Alcivia, AMPI, Winnebago County Holstein Breeders, CentralStar Cooperative and Wisconsin Farmers Union. Thank you to these great sponsors – we could not provide this fun and educational opportunity for our juniors without your support.


Hoof Trimming with Dave Schmocker – Pink group

Throughout Dave Schmocker’s long career in hoof trimming, he has had many opportunities to hoof trim many famous cows. This past year he purchased a new chute system to improve his overall efficiency while trimming. We learned how to properly take care of a cow with hoof problems using different remedies. We also learned that he has trimmed hooves for rodeo bulls. We thank Dave for teaching us about his job.

Precision Agriculture with Swiderski Equipment – Blue group

This session was led by Melissa Heise and Rich Meyer from Swiderski Equipment. We learned about the evolving GPS technology that improves precision and maximizes yield per acre. We learned how the globe works and got to ride in the UTV that maps out the fields. It was very cool to see the new technology in the ag industry!

Embryos with Dr. Nate Dorshorst – Green group

During Saturday’s workshop, we looked at embryos under a microscope because they are too small to see with the regular eye. We also got to move embryos with a pipet from one well to another well in a small dish. We also got to learn the difference between oocyte and embryos, the difference between traditional flushing and IVF procedures, and also how to deposit an embryo compared to semen in a cow. Thank you to Dr. Nate Dorshorst, it was a very fun and educational session.

Robotic Milking Systems with Richard Franta – White group

The robotic milking system session, hosted by DeLaval, was very educational. Richard taught us about both robotic milking systems and rotary style. With the rotary style, it takes about 3 to 5 months for cattle to adapt and be milked in the carrousel full time. However, a huge advantage of the robotic system is that it is labor free in the sense that no one needs to actively milk the cows or prep them. Overall, we really enjoyed this session.

Calf Care with Sara Harbaugh – Yellow group

During our calf care session, Sara Harbaugh taught us about care for newborn calves, calves on milk and post-weaned calves. We learned about the importance of feeding colostrum, keeping a clean environment with good ventilation, and giving the calf a proper diet. Campers asked lots of questions and they were able to create an action plan for how to care for their calves if they have to leave for the weekend.

Ice Cream with WHA Royalty – Orange group

The Wisconsin Holstein Royalty team, Lauren and Madison, taught us the classes of dairy products. We participated in a fun relay race to practice sorting products into their correct class. Then we made ice cream using half and half. We learned a lot and had tons of fun!

Dairy Bowl with Laura Wackershauser – Purple group

During the Dairy Quiz Bowl session, we learned skills that could help others learn what Dairy Bowl is about. Other kids who didn’t have the opportunity to do Dairy Bowl in the past learned what the fundamentals were and now can look forward to possibly competing on a team. It was nice that each kid had an opportunity to answer a question. Thank you Laura!

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin with Katrina Hoesly – Red group

During our session with Katrina we learned about advocating for agriculture and how to answer questions from people at the county or state fair. We also learned about some of the things that DFW does for Wisconsin dairy farmers including advertising for Wisconsin dairy and the Master Cheesemaker program. We learned that Wisconsin makes over 3 billion pounds of cheese a year. Thank you to Katrina for sharing with us at Cow Camp!

Sponsored by:
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Winnebago County
Holstein Breeders

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