FFA members at World Dairy Expo
Madison, Wisc. – Two Wyoming FFA members made a positive impact at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisc. Sept. 28 through Oct. 2. High school sophomore Lori Hetzel of Powell won the Commercial Hay division of the World Forage Analysis Superbowl, and Buffalo senior Jac Klaahsen assisted Wyoming Business Council Crop and Forage Program Manager Donn Randall throughout the Expo.
“This was Lori’s first year competing at the World Dairy Expo, and the fifth consecutive year Wyoming has won the Commercial Hay Division,” notes Randall. “She led a group of Wyoming producers who represented our state very well, and provided great exposure for Wyoming hay.”
Klaahsen is the 2009/2010 FFA State Champion in Forage Proficiency, and he turned back his proficiency last spring in order to run for it again this year. The trip was an opportunity for him to meet knowledgeable people in the forage industry, and fine-tune his Forage Proficiency project for this year.
“I met a lot of people and learned a lot about dairy hay. One highlight was meeting the FFA National Forage Proficiency winner from last year and helping him feed his dairy cows and seeing first hand how his system works. It was a cool experience visiting and learning from him,” notes Klaahsen.
“Jac also met with two ag program advisors in Wisconsin, one of which is considered the guru for FFA Forage Proficiency in that state. The other program produced the FFA National Forage Proficiency winner last year. Both advisors were very helpful and offered assistance to Jac in his Proficiency project this year,” notes Randall.
“Both advisors gave me a lot of pointers, and I really appreciated them taking the time to meet with me,” adds Klaahsen.
Randall takes a booth to the Expo each year to help promote Wyoming hay, and Klaahsen also helped there. “I helped Mr. Randall as needed and talked to people who stopped by about Wyoming hay and how to get in contact with producers. I also got a lot of people’s contact information,” notes Klaahsen.
“The booth is in a great location and we get a lot of people who are seriously interested in Wyoming hay,” add Randall. “We handed out a lot of business cards and met a lot people. Jac did a great job and stepped right up and visited with people. His background in forage production was evident, and he was a lot of help.”
“After going on this trip with Mr. Randall, I have decided I would like to become a feed specialist and work in the nutrition field,” explains Klaahsen, who adds he didn’t know what he wanted to do after high school prior to this trip.
“It was a lot of fun and very educational. I think I will benefit from it, and the experiences I gained will really help me in FFA and with my future job pursuits,” says Klaahsen, whose future goals include running for a state FFA office. He is currently the Buffalo FFA Chapter president, and in addition to his Forage Proficiency Project, Klaahsen also shows beef and sheep and is on his chapter’s Agronomy and Environmental and Natural Resources teams. His family runs cattle and has a custom haying business outside Buffalo.
“I would say that the exposure Jac received will help him do very well in the future. He’s quite a young man, and two pretty big companies offered him a job right out of high school while we were at the Expo,” notes Randall.
For more information on Wyoming’s performance at the World Dairy Expo, contact Donn Randall at 307-777-6578. Heather Hamilton is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.