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North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC)

recently elected new leadership, including one new board member, reelected three more and are announcing a new Executive Committee.

As described in the NAIDC mission statement, the board focus is to “Develop tomorrow’s dairy leaders and enhance the progress of the dairy industry, by providing education, communication and networking among students, producers, and agribusiness and university personnel.”

Dairy Challenge Board of Directors has provided leadership as the program has expanded significantly and evolved to meet ever-changing dairy dynamics. Dairy Challenge began in 2002 with 56 students from 13 colleges in one national event. Now, more than 600 dairy students have opportunities to participate each year through the national competition, the Dairy Challenge Academy and four regional events. Representing the countless volunteers and supporters of these events, the Board of Directors includes a mix of university professionals, dairy producers, and industry sponsors.

Newly elected to the 15-person volunteer NAIDC Board of Directors is:

  • Cornell Kasbergen, Tulare, California – Cornell’s journey in the dairy industry began at a young age growing up on his family’s dairy farm in Southern California. Together with his wife Teri, son and daughter-in-law Case and Allison they own and operate Rancho Teresita Dairy, in Tulare, CA, aka Kash-In Holsteins and Jerseys. Rancho Teresita Dairy consists of 1,800 acres of farmland, 3,600 Jerseys and 1,400 Holsteins.

In addition to a lifetime in the dairy industry, Kasbergen brings industry experience, having served on a variety of boards: Southern Counties DHIA, Valley Milk Producers, CDFA Milk Producer Review, Tulare DHIA, Ag Council of California Dairy Committee, Cares-California Environmental Justice Fund, Tulare County Environmental Committee, Land O’ Lakes and the National Milk Producers Federation. Currently he is chair of Milk Producers Council.

Cornell has hosted a regional Dairy Challenge event and served as a judge for regional and national contests.

The NAIDC Executive Committee for 2020-2021 includes:

  • Chair: Wanda Emerich, William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute
  • Vice Chair: David Whitlock, Cooperative Milk Producers Association
  • Associate Vice Chair: Kristi Fielder, URUS
  • Finance Chair: Dr. Alex White, Virginia Tech
  • Publicity Chair: Ashley Mohn, AgChoice Farm Credit
  • Program Chair: Cathy Myers, Amelicor
  • Alumni Programs Chair: Megan Mouw, Elanco Animal Health

Continuing NAIDC board members include:

  • Trevor DeVries, University of Guelph
  • Ted Halbach, University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Josh Hushon, Cargill Animal Health
  • John J. Lehr, Farm Credit East
  • Mark McCullouch, Phibro Animal Health Corporation
  • Renee Smith, Virtus Nutrition
  • Craig Walter, Valley Ag