19th Annual Young Cooperator Summer Break
More than 20 farm families traveled from five states to tour four dairy farms and Trans Ova Genetics at the end of July for Maryland & Virginia’s 19th YC Summer Break.
Jeni and Justin Malott of Misty Meadow Farm in Smithsburg, Maryland, kicked off the event with an on-farm welcome dinner and farm tour. The farm encompasses 800 acres, and the family milks 150 cows and raises their own replacements. The following day, YCs saw the latest in robotic milking technology at Shenandoah Jerseys in Boonsboro, Maryland, owned and operated by Janet Stiles and her daughter, Jessica, and son-in-law, JR Hess.
Continuing the technology tour, the group made a stop at Trans Ova Genetics also in Boonsboro, Maryland. Trans Ova Genetics is a reproductive technology company, providing expertise to dairy farmers and other cattle breeders. Attendees met with Trans Ova representatives and learned how the company handles embryo transfers, in vitro fertilizations, sexed semen and other programs. After lunch, the YCs explored Linden Hall Farm and Orchard in Hagerstown, Maryland. Owned by Mike and Christine Forsythe, the farm is a 60-cow dairy farm and 7-acre orchard of 600 peach and apple trees. The group explored the dairy barn and made a stop at the produce stand to stock up on fresh fruit and produce.
The tour ended with a dinner and tour at Long Delite Farm in Williamsport, Maryland. Owners Brooks and Katie Long recently expanded their 60-cow grazing dairy to include on-farm processing and a farm market store called Deliteful Dairy.
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative’s YC program provides professional development opportunities for members ages 18-40. The cooperative holds two annual YC events, a formal leadership conference each winter and a family focused summer event. The program provides a venue for YCs to interact with co-op leadership, connect with their peers, share triumphs and lessons learned, and to return home inspired and recharged.
Any individual or couple who is a member, member relative or member employee between the ages of 18 and 40 are welcome to particpate in the YC program. contact Daniela Roland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-552-1976.