The Dairy Challenge® and Dairy Challenge Academy will bring together nearly 250 students in Liverpool, New York, April 7-9, 2016. Students will come from 39 colleges from across the U.S. and two Canadian provinces, to put their textbook knowledge to work by evaluating a dairy operation and developing recommendations. The event is the largest gathering of college students pursuing a dairy career.
"Dairy Challenge is the premier program educating tomorrow's dairy leaders," said Barry Putnam of Cargill Animal Nutrition and chair of the upcoming event. "We are excited to showcase New York's vibrant dairy industry through this event that reaches hundreds of dairy students and industry professionals."
This year, 128 students will compete in the national contest and 121 students will participate in the Dairy Challenge Academy. Between the national contest and Academy, collegiate participants will visit six dairy farms in the surrounding Syracuse area. This is the second year in a row that Dairy Challenge has been held in New York.
Contest participants will evaluate an operating dairy farm, analyze farm data and ask questions of farm owners. Then, each team develops recommendations, which will be presented to farm owners and a panel of five judges. At a concluding banquet, eight college teams will be announced as award winners, meaning their recommendations most closely match those of the official judges.
North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) is funded through the generous support of 120 agribusinesses and dairy farms. Dairy Challenge was started 14 years ago through cooperation between universities, dairy producers and agribusinesses. The event expanded in 2013 with the Dairy Challenge Academy, providing hands-on learning where teams of students evaluate a dairy operation with the help of dairy industry professionals serving as Academy Advisors.
In addition to the national competition and Academy, students will also participate in other educational and networking activities, such as interactive stations on a tour farm, participation in panel discussions with young dairy producers and processors, presentations on cutting-edge research and industry trends, and interaction with agribusinesses in a career fair.
Supporters can follow the student activity through posts and photos at www.facebook.com/DairyChallenge and @DairyChallenge on Twitter and Instagram.
About Dairy Challenge
NAIDC is an innovative event for students in dairy programs at North American post-secondary institutions. Its mission 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. Over its 14-year national history, Dairy Challenge has helped prepare more than 5,000 students for careers as farm owners and managers, consultants, researchers, veterinarians or other dairy professionals.
In addition to the national competition and Dairy Challenge Academy held in April, four regional contests are held in late fall and winter; details are at www.dairychallenge.org