Students Apply Real-World Training at North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge®
Fort Wayne, IN, April 5, 2014 – Eastern Kentucky University participated in the 13th Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) held April 3-5 in Fort Wayne, Ind. In total, 264 students from 37 colleges across the U.S. and Canada attended this educational event co-hosted by Purdue University, Michigan State University and The Ohio State University. These students are training for careers in the dairy industry as farmers, researchers, educators, financial analysts, nutritionists, farm service providers and veterinarians.
The EKU team consisted of Caleb Clark (Lebanon), Celia Thomas (Elizabethtown), Kaitlyn Wooton (Nicholasville), and Billy Cameron (Mt. Vernon). Dr. Laurie Rincker coached the team.
Dairy Challenge® is an innovative two-day competition for students representing dairy science programs at North American universities. It enables students to apply theory and learning to a real-world dairy, while working as part of a four-person team. In its 13-year history, Dairy Challenge has helped train over 4500 students through the national contest, Dairy Challenge Academy and four regional contests conducted annually.
Collegiate participants visited six dairy farms in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, as part of their training to help farmers evaluate and adapt management to optimize success and animal care. Also, industry professionals presented cutting-edge research, new programs and career opportunities to students.
Each contest team received information from an area dairy, including production and farm management data. After an in-person inspection of the dairy, students interviewed the herd owners. Each team developed a farm analysis and recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management.
The event culminated with team members presenting recommendations and then fielding questions from a panel of judges. These official judges included dairy producers and industry experts in dairy finances, reproduction, nutrition and animal health. Presentations were evaluated for accuracy of analysis and recommendations, with awards presented at a final banquet.
North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge was established as a management contest to incorporate all phases of a specific dairy business. 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. NAIDC is supported completely through generous donations by 130 agribusinesses and dairy producers, and programs are coordinated by a volunteer board of directors.
Dr. Laurie Rincker
Published on April 05, 2014