University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Southwest Technical College will host college dairy students from 16 schools in 10 states at the Midwest Dairy Challenge, February 17-19, 2016, in Platteville, Wisconsin. Dairy Challenge® is a prominent educational event for students planning a career in the dairy industry. Seventy-seven dairy students from 12 four-year colleges and four technical schools are expected at the 12th annual Midwest Dairy Challenge.

"On behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, it is great to be working together with Southwest Tech to co-host the Midwest Dairy Challenge," states Dr. Tera Montgomery, Professor of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. "We are proud to be able to help the students learn more about the dairy industry while showcasing our wonderful region of Wisconsin."

A highlight of the 2016 Midwest event will be a team-building and community service project on the first evening, Wednesday, February 17. Student participants will be assigned to groups, working with students from other colleges whom they are meeting for the first time. These groups will have a special mission to assemble bicycles, which will be donated to children of a military family.

The Midwest event is one of four regional contests sponsored each year by North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC). These regional contests – plus a national event for about 300 dairy collegiates – are funded through generous support by 130 agribusinesses and dairy producers. Over its 15-year national history, Dairy Challenge has helped prepare nearly 5,000 students for careers as dairy owners or managers, consultants, researchers, veterinarians or other dairy professionals.

At Dairy Challenge, each team of students puts textbook knowledge to the ultimate test – providing solutions for a dairy. Teams inspect an operating dairy, analyze farm data and interview farm owners. Then, each team develops recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health and housing to help the farm optimize performance and profitability.

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. In addition to this consulting competition, students have ample opportunity for networking and education.

Media, sponsors and dairy enthusiasts are invited to the following events at Midwest Dairy Challenge. Please make advance arrangements by contacting Anna Troester, Midwest Dairy Challenge publicity co-chair at 608- 790-5595 or

Educational seminars Wed., Feb. 17 4:00-5:00 p.m. Markee Pioneer Student Center
Community service Wed., Feb. 17 6:15-7:30 p.m. Ullsvik- Velzy Commons
Student farm visits Thurs., Feb. 18 8:00-11:00 a.m. Two area dairy farms
Student presentations Fri., Feb. 19 7:00-10:45 a.m. Markee Pioneer Student Center
Student presentations Fri., Feb. 19 11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. Markee Pioneer Student Center
Educational Program Fri., Feb. 19 8:30-10:00 a.m. Russell Hall Room 120
Educational Program Fri., Feb. 19 12:00-1:30 p.m. Russell Hall Room 117
Industry Innovation Fair Fri., Feb. 13 8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Markee Pioneer Student Center

"We would not have been able to accomplish such a big task without the help of the regional and national leadership of NAIDC, and I am always impressed to see how the industry pulls together to give our students this tremendous learning and networking opportunity," concluded Montgomery.

The 2016 national event will be April 7-9, 2016 in Syracuse, NY; details are at

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.
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