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For more information contact mark.a.kinders@uwrf.edu or brenda.k.bredahl@uwrf.edu.

Students Participate in Midwest Dairy Challenge

FEB 10, 2006--Students from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls attended the Second Annual Midwest Dairy Challenge Jan. 26-28 in Brookings, S.D., hosted by South Dakota State University.  

The Dairy Challenge is an innovative competition developed by industry and university professionals exposing students to promote a vibrant future for the dairy industry. Working in four- or five-person, mixed university teams, students assessed all aspects of a working dairy farm and presented recommendations for improvement to a panel of judges and the participating farm families.

During the competition, students are given two hours to evaluate one of two dairies. After the farm visits, herd owners entertained questions from both students and judges about their farming operations. Armed with detailed productions and financial paperwork from the farms, as well as their own observations, the participants developed a presentation about what they saw and suggestions for improvement. During the presentation, students are given 20 minutes to offer their suggestions, which was then followed by a question-and-answer session and a critique by the judges of their presentation and recommendations.

Judges chose two teams as platinum winners, the contests highest distinction. Receiving a platinum award from UW-River Falls was Adam Ward, a junior from Arpin, Wis., majoring in dairy science.

Some 68 students from 10 universities and colleges attended the Dairy Challenge. Universities and colleges participating included: Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, Northeast Iowa Community College, Purdue University, Ridgewater College, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-River Falls and South Dakota State University.

Making the event possible included many corporate sponsors, who cover lodging and meal costs. In 2006, Midwest regional platinum sponsors included: ABS Global, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Dairy Records Management Systems, DairyBusiness Communications, Genex Cooperative Inc., Hoards Dairyman, Monsanto Dairy Business, Select Sires Inc., Soy Best, West Central Soy, Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition Group, Alltech Inc., Dairy Herd Management, Diamond V Mills, Elanco Animal Health, Pfizer Animal Health and Virtus Nutrition. Gold sponsors included: Alta Genetics, Bou-Matic, Land O' Lakes Purina Feed, Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit, Glanbia Foods, Inc. and Westfalia Surge, Inc.

The North American Dairy Challenge was established as a management contest to incorporate all phases of a specific dairy business. It strives to incorporate a higher-learning atmosphere with practical application to help prepare students for careers in the dairy industry.

UW-RF students who participated in the Midwest Dairy Challenge included:

Wisconsin :
Westby - Mary Capehart, junior, dairy science
Monticello - Keith Christen, senior, dairy science
Johnson Creek - Jacob Cramer, sophomore, agricultural education
Westboro, Stacey Klimeck, junior, dairy science
Tony, Amber Lybert, junior, dairy science
Coon Valley, Charlotte Muenzenberger, sophomore, dairy science
Arpinn, Adam Ward, junior, dairy science

Minnesota :
Owatonna, Brandon Balzer, senior, dairy science
LaCrescent, Leah Johnson, junior, agricultural education
Plainview, Darrin Young, senior, dairy science

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