The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) board of directors recently conducted a strategic planning session, resulting in a revised mission and organizational goals.
The revised mission statement now reads, “Develop tomorrow’s dairy leaders and enhance progress of the dairy industry, by providing education, communication and networking among students, producers, and agribusiness and university personnel.”
“The new mission and goals reflect our vision for the future and the role that our organization has in developing leaders for our industry,” explained Devin Albrecht, chair of the NAIDC board of directors. “In its 13-year history, Dairy Challenge has reached over 4,000 students. We look forward to the future impact that we can have on students by providing them with top-notch educational, communication and networking opportunities.”
During the strategic planning process, the board also determined five core areas of focus with associated goals over the next three years. A few highlights include:
• Student experience – Remain as a premier experience for college dairy students while continually improving the opportunities provided to students.
• Dairy Challenge Academy – Grow and enhance the Dairy Challenge Academy to increase the number of student participants.
• Sponsors and funding – Seek out new sponsorship and funding opportunities while maintaining strong relationships with existing sponsors.
• Alumni – Engage Dairy Challenge alumni in more leadership and supportive roles at regional and national levels.
• Board and administrative structure – Assess the structure of the organization and adjust appropriately for future needs.
A key part of Dairy Challenge remains the collaboration among producers and agribusiness and university personnel. This cross-industry involvement creates an optimal learning environment for students, while also supporting career development opportunities and skills.
The NAIDC board created the Dairy Challenge Academy so more dairy students could benefit through a national event. The Academy is held in conjunction with the national contest and allows more students and more dairy programs to participate. In addition to the traditional contest of 128 collegiates, 95 students participated in the inaugural Academy in 2013. The second Academy engaged 138 students, and the 2015 goal is 200 Academy participants. Academy students benefit from more direct mentoring and interaction with sponsors and industry professionals while conducting the farm analysis.
About Dairy Challenge
NAIDC is an innovative event for students in dairy programs at North American post-secondary institutions. Over its 13-year national history, Dairy Challenge has helped prepare more than 4,000 students for careers as farm owners and managers, consultants, researchers, veterinarians or other dairy professionals.
The 2015 national competition and Dairy Challenge Academy will be April 9-11 in Syracuse, NY. Four regional contests are held in late fall and winter; details are at www.dairychallenge.org