Stories by Bonnie Ayers

Our youth are the future of agriculture

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010 … It has been a “dickens” of a year! The challenge of the American job market has loomed in blogs, coffee shop conversations and in every form of printed material. It can even be likened to the plot of the classic Charles Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol. It seems that our country is haunted […]

What does ‘quality of life’ really mean on your dairy farm?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The events of the past two years have given us cause to stop and ponder the quality of our life. Along the way, it would be good if we could take time to recognize some life-altering moments that provide the secure notion that dairy farming is indeed sustainable AND that we can feel satisfied with the quality of life that a dairy farm offers.

Dairy “COW”reers Day: Lots of career options in dairy field

Thursday, March 11, 2010

“Thinking outside of the box.” We use the phrase to refer to a nontraditional idea. Perhaps the exact definition isn’t so important, but we should never underestimate the value of such logic. Maybe the following 4-H dairy program is an example of an idea created outside of the normal parameters. Dairy “COW”reers Day will be […]

Is your child ready for farm chores?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

While recently catching up on some reading, I saw an article that caught my interest. It was titled “Is your child ready for farm chores?” Since I work with dairy youth programs, this topic captured my curiosity. However, as a parent who had regularly enforced chores upon our sons, I had not posed such a […]

Bonnie’s wish list for Santa Claus

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The most beloved Christmas poem of all time begins with the phrase “‘Twas the night before Christmas.” Although it speaks of a family’s preparation for Santa’s visit, here at the office we are on the eve of a new year and there is the usual hustle and bustle to plan the 2010 calendar, review 2009′s […]

Judging teams on Great American Ride

Thursday, October 15, 2009

If you listen to country music, you have heard Toby Keith’s new song, Great American Ride. Over the past couple of months, I have heard it countless times while the 4-H and collegiate judging teams have been traveling to different judging competitions. Strong connection As I was singing along, there was a moment I realized […]

The Ohio State Fair was just what we needed to rescue our spirits

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just like story of Camelot, the Ohio State Fair emerged in 2009 rather like a knight in shining armor. In the midst of the dismal economic times for the dairy industry, the fair may have been just what we all needed to rescue our spirits. In case you did not know, the theme was “Share […]

Ohio Dairy Quiz Bowl is a must see

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I have either observed or been a part of many competitive events in my lifetime. Watching the Olympics on television has been almost like being there. Then there was that time I watched a dairy judge take 15 minutes to decide what two-year-old would end up with the blue ribbon. I’ve even attended OSU/Michigan games […]

Spring Dairy Expo is quite an event

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spring lifts all our spirits. It is the season that allows us the time to step away from reality and renew our hopes for a better year than the last. We can briefly put away our dismal moods and enjoy the simple beauty of turning the cows out to pasture for the first time in […]

Cowmunicators 101 was huge success

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It began with a simple idea. It was then shared with American Dairy Association Mideast and they too saw merit in the concept. On March 28, Cowmunicators 101 became a reality. Held at the Nationwide and OFBF 4-H Center, the attendance far exceeded the original goal and those who attended took part in a one-of-a-kind […]

It’s time to start listening to each other

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dairy farmers are often advised that listening to their cows is a valuable management tool. Working with dairy youth programs, I remind myself of the same logic when it comes to kids, parents and volunteers. If I hope to plan programs that are progressive and useful, time should be set aside to listen to the […]

Dairy judging: What you should know

Thursday, September 18, 2008

About 9:30 p.m. on Labor Day, 16 4-H and Ohio State University collegiate judges and their coaches drove into the Waterman Dairy at OSU. Dairy judging boot camp had officially ended. Everyone scrambled to locate their luggage and find their vehicles or parents to head home. Some had another two or three hours to drive […]

Get excited about local dairy shows

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In my book of favorite events, a county fair is a close second to Christmas. County fairs bring families together, the food is plentiful, and the “gift” is the learning experience that youth are provided through 4-H and FFA. My 4-H fair experiences began in Clark County showing Jerseys. There was lots of competition in […]

Reflecting on 2008 and looking to 2009

Monday, January 7, 2008

Now that winter has set in, 10 p.m. has become a bittersweet time of day for me. It’s not visions of sugar plums that interrupt our winter’s nap, but instead, it is our time to make one final trip to the barn to pitch box stalls and feed hay. Special place It’s not a typical […]

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About Bonnie

Bonnie Ayers is a dairy program specialist at Ohio State University, coordinating all state 4-H dairy programs and coaching the OSU collegiate and 4-H dairy judging teams. She and her husband also own and operate a Brown Swiss and Guernsey cattle farm. In 1994, Bonnie was named Woman of the Year at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.