Dairy Challenge Team

Organizer and Coach: Dr. Maurice Eastridge

The Dairy Challenge program provides the opportunity for undergraduates at The Ohio State University to experience the process of evaluating management practices on a dairy farm and to interact with representatives in the dairy industry. The program is held in a contest format whereby students are grouped into teams of three to four individuals. The teams typically spend about two hours at the host farm reviewing all aspects of the operation, including reproduction, nutrition, housing, milking procedures, milk production, etc. Then students work as a team to prepare a 20-minute presentation, addressing the strengths and opportunities for the dairy operation. The presentation is given to a panel of judges from universities and the allied dairy industry.

Ohio Dairy Challenge

The Ohio Dairy Challenge is held annually in October or November and is hosted by The Ohio State University and allied industries. Any sophomore, junior, or senior in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University or second year students enrolled at the Agricultural Technical Institute may register for the contest. Students can form their own team, or they will be placed on an aggregate team at the discretion of Dr. Eastridge. Students are encouraged to participate multiple years. Participation in Dairy Challenge is one of the requirements of the Dairy Certificate Program.

A host farm within about an 1-hour driving distant to the Columbus campus is chosen for the event. A banquet for all participants is held on campus, and the top two to three teams are awarded prizes. The participants to represent Ohio in the Midwest and National Dairy Challenge programs are selected from this contest.

Midwest Dairy Challenge

The Midwest Dairy Challenge is held annually, typically in February, and is hosted on a rotating basis by a midwest university and by allied dairy industries. The contest guidelines are provided at http://dairychallenge.org/mw_event.php. Students nominated by each university to participate are placed on aggregate teams whereby no two students on a team are from the same university.

National Dairy Challenge

The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) began in 2002 and is hosted by universities across the U.S. and by allied dairy industries. The mission of the NAIDC is to develop tomorrow's dairy leaders and enhance progress of the dairy industry, by providing education, communication and networking among students, producers, and agribusiness and university personnel. The program is typically held in April, and a team competes to represent the respective university. Within each host farm, team rankings of first place platinum and second place platinum are given.

The National program also hosts the Dairy Challenge Academy which started in 2013. The Academy includes sophomores, juniors, and seniors in four-year dairy programs, along with students from community colleges and technical schools. Academy students are divided into groups from among different academic institutions and they work with Academy advisors to experience first-hand how to evaluate and prioritize opportunities on a dairy farm.

Ohio State team members who have participated in the NAIDC (Note: after 2011, only Platinum recipients are recognized, and Gold and Silver rankings were removed)
Year Team Members Location Coach Placing
2002 Brian Call, Chad Griffith, Andy Mack, Emily Stammen East Lansing, MI Dr. Peter Spike Gold
2003 Pamela Bucci, Duane Leonhard, Jeremy Kohler, Patrick Hart East Lansing, MI Dr. Maurice Eastridge Silver
2004 Calvin Keller, Chad Knueve, Cynthia Smith, Lauren Ward  Altoona, PA Dr. Maurice Eastridge Silver
2005 Michael Allerding, Kelly Epperly, Matthew McVey, Stacey Shipley State College, PA Dr. Maurice Eastridge Platinum (3rd)
2006 Mike Klein, Stacey Moritz, Daniel Sanders, Amanda Todd Twin Falls, ID Dr. Maurice Eastridge Gold
2007 Gina Berry, Lara Gilligan, Brian Hartschuh, Jason Nuhfer Sioux Falls, SD Dr. Maurice Eastridge Gold
2008 Anton Henry, Stephanie Metzger, Eric Weitzel, Jesse Whinnery Madison, WI Dr. Maurice Eastridge Platinum (2nd)
2009 Jordan Beck, Paige Gott, Renee Starkey, Kyle Uhlenhake Syracuse, NY Dr. Maurice Eastridge Platinum (1st)
2010 Ryan Conklin, Andrea Eilenfeld, Heather Moff, Amanda Paulhamus Visalia, CA Dr. Maurice Eastridge Platinum (1st)
2011 Alissa Hunter, Andrew Lefeld, Stephanie Neal, Teresa Smith Hickory, NC Dr. Maurice Eastridge Gold
2012 Kevin Jacque, Melinda Miller, Emily Stayduhar, Kati Stevens Blacksburg, VA Dr. Maurice Eastridge Platinum (1st)
2013 Ashlee Dietz, Felicia Nonnenmacher, Kyle Perry, Erica Wilson Ft. Wayne, IN Dr. Maurice Eastridge  
2014 Zeke Dicke, Sarah Finney, Kara Uhlenhake, Kristen Wright East Lansing, MI, Columbus, OH, Fort Wayne, IN Dr. Maurice Eastridge  
2015 Kira Andre, Joey Brown, Brandon Colby, Carter Wallinger Syracuse, NY Dr. Maurice Eastridge  
2016 Jan Miedema, Sytske Miedema, Kayla Oxendale, Meghan Sanders Syracuse, NY Dr. Maurice Eastridge  
2017 Angela Evers, Greta Stridsberg, Jacob Triplett, Brittany Webb Visalia, CA Dr. Maurice Eastridge Platinum (2nd)