Analyzing a situation, strategizing the fix, and convincing the powers that be it's an exercise in putting everything college dairy students are taught into one weekend competition - Western Regional Dairy Challenge. The organizing committee has registered 67 dairy students from nine universities representing five states and one Canadian province at the February 27-March 1, 2014 event in Tulare, California. The College of the Sequoias, Tulare, will be contest headquarters. The regional event leads to the national contest of the same format, held April 3 5 2014, in Ft. Wayne, IN.
Registered students and coaches hail from Washington State University, California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo, California State University-Fresno, Texas A & M University, University of Alberta, University of California-Davis, University of Idaho and Utah State University. For the first time, Oregon State University joins the competition.
At Dairy Challenge, each team of students puts textbook knowledge to the ultimate test consulting for an actual dairy. Teams inspect an operating dairy, analyze farm data and conduct a question and answer session with farm owners. Then each team develops recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management. Teams will present their recommendations to farm owners, while being evaluated by a panel of five judges including dairy producers, veterinarians, farm finance specialists and industry personnel. Western Regional Dairy Challenge is organized and administered by a volunteer committee of allied dairy industry.
In addition to the competition, students have the opportunity for networking and education. A Thursday afternoon workshop series features a team building workshop by Dr. Louann Waldner and a presentation on direct farm to consumer marketing.
North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) with one national and four regional contests is fully funded through generous support by 125 agribusinesses and dairy producers, and programs are coordinated by a volunteer board of directors. Over its 12-year national history, Dairy Challenge has helped prepare over 4000 students for careers in the dairy industry, dairy farm management, graduate programs and veterinary medicine.
About Dairy Challenge
NAIDC is an innovative two-day competition for students representing dairy science programs at North American universities. Its mission is to facilitate education, communication and an exchange of ideas among students, agribusiness, dairy producers and universities that enhances the development of the dairy industry and its leaders.
The 2014 national contest will be April 3-5 in Fort Wayne, IN, and hosted by Michigan State University, Ohio State University and Purdue University. Four regional contests are held in late fall and winter; details are at www.dairychallenge.org/calendar_news.php.