Registration is now open for the 2024 edition of the Gopher Dairy Camp, which will be held June 20 to 22 at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. The camp is hosted by the Gopher Dairy Club in cooperation with the Minnesota 4-H Dairy Project Committee and the Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association.

The goal of the camp is to provide dairy youth the opportunity to strengthen their dairy knowledge and skills, as well as to network with other dairy youth who share their interests.

Gopher Dairy Camp is open to all youth who have completed grades six through nine, but have not yet started 10th grade.

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Held Thursday through Saturday, the camp’s agenda offers unique workshops, which will allow attendees to excel in the show ring, improve their fitting skills and grow their knowledge of dairy technology and dairy-related fields.

Those who attend will be housed in the Frontier Residence Hall on the Minneapolis campus. Staying in Frontier will be an excellent opportunity for students as there are more restrooms, air conditioning, private rooms, and security. Frontier is also only reserved for youth camps throughout the summer. The Gopher Dairy Club sees this as an upgrade and is excited to try something new.

The primary focus areas of the camp are calf selection, showing preparation of dairy cattle and showmanship. Campers have the opportunity to select a calf from the St. Paul dairy herd, via the Gopher Gold Auction and prepare that calf for showing. Through this, the campers will have the opportunity to collaborate with other dairy-loving youth.


Professional cattle fitters will be on-site for demonstrations and hands-on assistance in clipping and show ring preparation. On the final day of the camp, a showmanship contest will allow campers to showcase what they have learned.

Throughout the camp, a number of social mixers are offered, including icebreaker activities and a visit to Grand Slam Sports in Burnsville.

“I continue to go to camp every year to learn new skills and meet new people,” said Allison Ratka of Cold Spring, Minnesota, who attended the 2022 and 2023 Gopher Dairy Camp. “It is always so fun earning moo-la and using it at the auction to buy my calf for the weekend. I have learned more and more fitting skills and tips for showmanship each year.”

Because of generous support by camp sponsors, the 2024 Gopher Dairy Camp will continue to be offered at a modest registration fee of $75, which is all-inclusive and covers the cost of housing, meals, and camp materials. Registration information has been dispersed to local Extension offices and is also available online at Registration is due April 24, 2024 with payment due May 8, 2024.

With any questions, please contact co-chair, Gracie Ash at (320) 260-7719 or

The Gopher Dairy Club is the largest and most active student organization on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota, and its members are students who desire to actively promote the dairy industry through youth education, dairy judging, scholarship, leadership, professional development, and teamwork. For more information on the Gopher Dairy Club.

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