Four teams share top award at Dairy Challenge

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Teams from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State University, Virginia Tech and Penn State University earned the highest award — first place platinum — in the Sixth Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) held March 30-March 31, in the Sioux Falls, S.D. area.

The event attracted 29 teams from the United States and Canada, challenging them to put their textbook and practical knowledge to the ultimate test — analyzing dairies. The format started with a walk-through at the dairies, followed by the opportunity to ask questions of the owners and analyze farm-specific data. Student teams used this information to develop management recommendations, and then presented their management recommendations to a panel of five dairy industry judges.

Each of the first place platinum team members received $200 scholarships.

  • UW-Madison’s team members included Mitchell Amundson, Tony Brey, Jay Janowski and Haley Mell. David Combs and John Goeser coached the UW-Madison team.
  • Iowa State University’s team, coached by Lee Kilmer, included Laura Leazer, Emily McDowell, Lydia Moeller and Lorilee Schultz.
  • Penn State’s team members included Ryan Clark, Jessica Gorrell, Scott Mosemann and Katie Smith, with Gabrielle Varga and Chad Dechow serving as coaches.
  • Virginia Tech team members included Aaron Cornman, Chad Craun, Natalie Keene and Todd Wiseman. Mike McGilliard and Ron Pearson coached this winning team.

Second place platinum award winners, who received $100 scholarships, included:

  • Cornell University’s Kyle Getty, William Leone, Emily Myers and Zachary Waite, coached by Michael Van Amburgh.
  • The Utah State University team included Craig Louder, Amber McKee, Dale Pratt and Tyler Sorensen. Allen Young coached the team.
  • Cal Poly team members included Dianne Coderniz, Adrian Diepersloot, Stephen Mast and Danny Sousa, coached by Les Ferreira.
  • University of Minnesota team members were Peter Burfeind, DiDi Christopherson, Charlie Peterson and Justin Reeck, with Marcia Endres serving as the coach.

Gold awards (in random order) were presented to teams from Delaware Valley College, University of Idaho, The Ohio State University, University of Illinois, Washington State University, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, University of Guelph, University of New Hampshire, Purdue University and Michigan State University.

Teams (in random order) from North Carolina State University, Alabama A&M University, University of Massachusetts, University of Maine, Clemson University, University of Vermont, Louisiana State University, University of Georgia, California State University-Fresno, North Dakota State University and Western Kentucky University received silver awards.

The North American Dairy Challenge was established as a management contest to incorporate all phases of a specific dairy business. It strives to incorporate a higher-learning atmosphere with practical application to help prepare students for careers in the dairy industry. Supported financially through generous donations by industry and coordinated by a volunteer board of directors, the first NAIDC was held in April 2002.

In 2008, NAIDC will be held March 28-29, in Madison, Wis. The University of Wisconsin-Madison will host the event. For more information about NAIDC, go to:

North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge press release



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