Students from 30 different universities across North  America will gather in Visalia, Calif., April 8-10 to compete in the ninth annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC). The event will be hosted by California Polytechnic State University and California State University-Fresno, marking the first time the competition will be held on the West coast.

"Participating in Dairy Challenge is a rewarding experience for the future workforce of our industry," states NAIDC chair Barry Putman. "The skills required to participate, as well as the networking opportunities available at the event, provide students with a superior foundation for a career in the dairy industry."

He continues, "Vice versa, the companies and dairy business owners involved in Dairy Challenge are able to interact with the best and brightest young people in the industry.”

The Dairy Challenge is an innovative management analysis competition developed in 2002 by industry and university professionals from across the U.S. It strives to incorporate a higher-learning atmosphere with practical application, in turn generating highly qualified graduates to lead and further improve the dairy industry. To date, more than 1,500 students have enhanced their dairy management, communication and business skills through the Dairy Challenge program.

This year, 120 students will step up to the challenge of applying their textbook knowledge to the  ultimate test: analyzing dairy businesses. The contest format starts with each university’s team of four student doing walk-through at the host dairy, interviewing the owners and then digging in to analyze farm-specific data. Each team uses this information to develop  management recommendations, and then presents them to an expert panel of dairy industry judges.

These universities will be participating:

  • Alabama A&M University              
  • University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta)
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • California State University-Fresno
  • Clemson University
  • Cornell University
  • Delaware Valley College
  • University of Florida
  • University of Guelph (Ontario)
  • University of Idaho
  • Iowa State University
  • Kansas State University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Louisiana State University            
  • University of Maine
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • Mississippi State University
  • North Carolina State University  
  • The Ohio State University             
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University            
  • South Dakota State University
  • University of Vermont    
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville            
  • University of Wisconsin-River Falls
  • Washington State University         
  • West Virginia University 

Financial support for the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) comes from generous contributions from dairy industry companies, association and foundations, and dairy business  owners. Sponsors receive an array of valuable benefits, with their contributions tax deductible to the full extent  of the law. For more information on sponsorship support, visit  or contact Executive Director Molly Kelley at (217) 684-3007 or email:

Source: North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge