Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University participated in the 14th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) held April 9-11 in Liverpool, NY. In total, 274 students from 38 colleges across the U.S. and Canada attended this educational event. These students are training for careers in the dairy industry as farmers, researchers, educators, financial analysts, nutritionists, farm service providers, and veterinarians. Each contest team received information from an area dairy, including production and farm management data. After an in-person inspection of the dairy, students interviewed the herd owners. Each team developed a farm analysis and recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management. Ohio State’s team consisted of Kira Andre, Joey Brown, Brandon Colby, and Carter Wallinger (see photo provided below).
The Dairy Challenge Academy was developed in 2013 to expand this educational and networking event to more college students. Academy student-participants also analyzed and developed recommendations for dairy farms; however, the Academy was organized in mixed-university teams with two advisors to help coach these students. The Ohio State students who participated in the Dairy Challenge Academy included Devon Bokeno, Cayla Inkrott, Taylor Kruse, Jan Miedema, Sytske Miedema, and Kayla Oxendale.
Dairy Challenge® is an innovative two-day competition for students representing dairy science programs at North American universities. In its 14-year history, Dairy Challenge has helped train more than 4,700 students through the national contest, Dairy Challenge Academy, and four regional contests conducted annually.
The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge is supported completely through generous donations by 120 agribusinesses and dairy producers, and programs are coordinated by a volunteer board of directors. The 2016 National Contest and Academy will be held April 7-9 and will again be held in Liverpool, NY. For more information, visit dairychallenge.org or facebook.com/DairyChallenge.