September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
One youth's generosity launches 100-Cow Countdown
Katie Osborne, the 18-year-old daughter of Jim and Irene Osborne of Millerstown, Perry County, was a 10-year junior exhibitor of the Premier National Junior Show and the All-American Dairy Show.
"I decided to give my money from two cull cows to the foundation because I have learned so many lessons and made so many friendships when I went to the All-American," Katie said. "I just wanted to make sure other dairy cow enthusiasts have the same experience I have had."
When All-American Foundation executive director Bob Heilman opened Katie's letter accompanying her donation, it was these words that hit home:
"I am contributing the sale value of two of my cows that I exhibited at the All-American Dairy Show. Unfortunately, age caught up to them, but I want their memory to be a benefit to others."
According to Heilman, the Foundation recently launched its first "Cull for the Kids" 100-Cow-Countdown. It is the generosity, leadership, and creativity Katie has shown in thinking of other youth coming up through the ranks that formed the idea and basis for this fundraising campaign.
"This fundraiser encourages dairy producers to follow Katie's lead and consign cull cows in the name of the All-American Dairy Foundation, a non-profit charity. Tax deductible, the donator will receive a receipt for the value of the animal sold at auction," he explained.
Financial grants from the foundation are given to support the Premier National Junior Events, including the shows, judging contests, dairy management contest and showmanship contest, among other dairy leadership and learning opportunities.
"I was born into showing cattle," said Katie. "I was always at shows with my mom and started leading my own heifers when I was about five. When I was six, one of grandpa's cows had the farm's first Red and White calf, and I begged him to let me have her," which was the foundation of her Katie's red herd.
"Even though I've moved on to college and am not able to show at the All-American anymore, I still want to play a role by helping younger members start their adventure as these experiences helped start mine," she added.
Katie is a freshman at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. She plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine focusing on research and disease prevention and genetics. She was also recruited to play field hockey goalkeeper at Wake Forest and believes showing cows "helped me with my competitive edge in field hockey games." Their team was ranked 11th in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, this year.
The Osbornes milked cows with Irene's parents, Ken and Jane Benner, under the prefix Santee-Acres. The family sold all but five of their 40 milk cows and 60 replacement heifers in a dispersal sale in August 2013. The remaining animals are all Katie's youth project animals from which she someday hopes to rebuild.
Follow the "Cull for the Kids" 100-Cow-Countdown Campaign on Facebook and at www.allamericandairyfoundation.org.
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