North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) awarded three Dairy Challenge Founders Awards during their alumni reception at World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI in early October. Recipients of the award included Dave Thorbahn of Select Sires, Linda Hodorff of Hodorff Enterprises, and Dr. Dave Selner of National Dairy Shrine. The Dairy Challenge Founders Award was established in 2016 to recognize volunteers with extraordinary, consistent contributions and/or distinguished service to NAIDC.
Dr. Maurice Eastridge of The Ohio State University and vice chairman of the NAIDC Board of Directors, presented the awards and highlighted the following contributions of the award winners:
• Dave Thorbahn, President and CEO of Select Sires, Inc.: Thorbahn has been instrumental in Dairy Challenge right from the idea stage. While at the Western Large Herd Conference in 2001, Dave collaborated with Linda Hodorff and others to form the idea of a dairy case study academic challenge. Within just a few weeks, a nationwide planning team was formed, which included Dr. Dave Selner. Thorbahn’s passion and belief in the Dairy Challenge program has not wavered over the years as he served on the NAIDC Board from 2001 to 2008, and has continued to pledge the strong support of his company and employees at regional and national events.
• Linda Hodorff, Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Hodorff Enterprises, and partner in Broken Bow Dairy, LLC and Second Look Holsteins, LLC: Hodorff utilized her vast network of producer and industry contacts to promote the Dairy Challenge concept and encourage others to join in. She has been active both on the national board and within the Midwest region. For Linda, it is a family affair, as she and her husband, Doug, have served as regional and national contest judges a total of 8 times. Linda also served on the national board from 2002 to 2008.
• Dr. Dave Selner, Executive Director of National Dairy Shrine: Selner became part of the NAIDC’s first steering committee after a meeting at World Dairy Expo in 2001 when it all came together. He agreed at that time to help build the contest structure and secured National Dairy Shrine as treasurer through the establishment of the program. The reputation of National Dairy Shrine lent credibility to the fledgling NAIDC fundraising efforts. Dr. Selner was also responsible for writing the by-laws, constitution, contest structure and rules. He also served on the NAIDC Board from 2001 to 2006.
“Thorbahn, Hodorff and Selner are true founders of the Dairy Challenge organization and we are extremely pleased to recognize them for their exceptional contributions and distinguished service,” said Eastridge. “All three of these individuals have made lasting impact on hundreds of college students through the creation of Dairy Challenge, and continued its development to become the premier program for tomorrow’s dairy leaders.”
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 16-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. The next national event will be hosted in Visalia, Calif., April 12-14, 2018. Four regional events will be held this fall and winter; details are at www.dairychallenge.org.