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The PRO-DAIRY Youth Program provides opportunities for young people to learn about careers in the dairy industry through educational programming as well as hands on opportunities and helps them to develop their interest, enthusiasm, knowledge and leadership skills necessary for creating a successful career in the dairy industry.

NYS Beginning DAIRY LEADER Program — This program is for high school students entering at least their sophomore year, but not graduated, who have potential interest in dairy industry or agricultural careers.  High school participants will have the chance to explore post-secondary agricultural education and career opportunities in a networking environment through interaction with faculty and students, college planning and personal development. 

NYS Junior DAIRY LEADER Program — This one-year program explores careers in the dairy industry along with hands-on experiential learning for a select group of youth ranging from 16-19 years old. The program presents youth with a realistic view and experience for the dairy industry as a viable, profitable and progressive business sector young people can look to for career opportunities while also building personal and professional skills.

NYS Dairy Discovery Program — This hands-on workshop is held annually at Cornell in late March. Each year 60 to 70 youth between the ages of 14-19 years spend one and a half days on campus learning about dairy careers and rotating through a series of hands-on workshops, which focus on a specific aspect of the dairy field and production management.

Dairy Focus for New York State 4-H Career Exploration Program— Participants between the ages of 15-19 will have the opportunity during this 3-day program to learn more about the dairy industry and careers through job to build personal and professional skills and develop a positive attitude about the dairy industry. In this program youth are involved in hands-on learning of skills and knowledge in the areas of veterinary science, dairy nutrition and production management. First opportunities start with meeting and interacting with faculty in the Animal Science Department. The second and third day of the program will include discussions, hands-on learning and practicing of technical skills used by a veterinarian, dairy nutritionists, and production management professionals in their every day activities. In addition to skill development you will have the opportunity to participate in farm level analysis and research practices utilized by dairy professionals such as veterinarians, nutritionists, and herd managers. This program is a great opportunity for youth to explore the vibrant dairy sector with veterinarians and/or dairy nutritionist as their mentor, while connecting with Cornell University.

Animal Crackers — The annual Animal Crackers program provides New York youth with fun hands-on science-oriented learning experiences on Animal Science topics which feature the unique facilities and staff of Cornell university. State-wide Animal Cracker’s program will include a Dairy track every other year starting with the 2008 program.

Traditional Youth Programs — Dairy projects of many kinds (i.e. dairy judging and showing, dairy quiz bowl) are available to New York youth ages 5-19 through the Cornell Cooperative Extension program. For more information, contact your county CCE office or the address at the end of this page.

For more information contact Debbie Grusenmeyer at