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The five student competitors plus the event officials(L-R): Fred M. Hall, Iowa State University; Dr. Gail Carpenter, Iowa State University; Kathryn Ruh, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Anay Ravelo, University of Minnesota; Emily Jacobson, University of Minnesota; Lizet Garcia, University of Illinois; Evan Cole Diepersloot, University of Wisconsin -Madison; and Dr. Derek Nolan, University of Illinois.

The inaugural edition of the Three-Minute Student Thesis (3MT) contest with a poster component was held in conjunction with the 2023 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference in Dubuque, Iowa on June 7-8.

Masters and PhD students from the four partner universities were invited to develop a poster and present a three-minute presentation on research they had completed.

The presentations were reviewed by two panels of judges and the winning poster was picked by the 482 nutritionists and consultants attending the conference for a “People’s Choice” award.

Dr. Derek Nolan presented the award to E. Cole Diepersloot for over-all winner. Diepersloot also won the “Peoples Choice” award.

The over-all winner was Evan Cole Diepersloot a PhD student from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also received the “People’s Choice” award. His focus was the effect of monensin and live-cell yeast supplementation on lactation performance, feeding behavior, and total tract nutrient digestibility by dairy cows. He noted supplementing feed additives, like yeast products and ionophores, can enhance feed efficiency and farm profitability.
Dr. Derek Nolan presented the second-place award to Emily Jacobson, University of Minnesota.

The second-place winner was Emily Jacobson, a master’s student from University of Minnesota. Her information noted biological rhythms guide physiological processes in organisms across all domains of organisms and circadian rhythms are a subset of biological rhythms that occur every 24 hours. She reviewed the rumen microbiome of cows and how circadian rhythms play an important role in digesting structural carbohydrates and producing microbial protein.

The judging panel included: Devan Paulus Compart, Papillon Agricultural Company; Karen Luchterhand, Novus International, Inc.; Andre Pereira, GPS Dairy Consulting, LLC; and Jordan Hunt, GPS Dairy Consulting, LLC.

This completion allowed students to showcase their research in a way understandable to those outside the dairy industry. This contest was open to students from the University of Illinois, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison with graduation dates of May 2023 or later.

The 3MT competition was developed by the University of Queensland in Australia and allows students only three minutes to explain their research and why it is important to the industry.

With the success of this first program, it will be part of the 2024 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference.