Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Extension Dairy Specialist, Ohio State University Extension (top of page)
Eight Ohio State students participated in the Fourth Annual Midwest Dairy Challenge, which ran Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2008 and attracted 102 students from 13 universities and colleges to the heart of a blizzard in Merrillville, IN. The inclement weather forced the group to forge new territory for the Dairy Challenge, as buses were unable to transport students to the contest farms for tours. This year's contest was hosted by Purdue University. After they arrived, students joined their new teammates and had the opportunity to experience the Fair Oaks Dairy Adventure in Fair Oaks, IN. The next day, students were led in virtual farm tours of three dairy farms located in the Merrillville area by Midwest Dairy Challenge Committee members. After the virtual tours, students had time to meet with their teams and develop questions for the herd owners. The herd owners were then put in touch with the students either in person or via teleconference. Saturday was presentation day as the teams were given 20 minutes to offer their suggestions. This was followed by a question-and-answer session and a critique by the judges regarding their presentation and recommendations. The students from Ohio State who participated in the program were Paige Gott, Anton Henry, Stephanie Metzger, Jeff Riethman, Renee Starkey, Kyle Uhlenhake, Eric Weitzel, and Jesse Whinnery. Judges chose six teams as platinum winners, the contest's highest distinction. The students from Ohio State who comprised these teams included Renee Starkey, Stephanie Metzger, Anton Henry and Eric Weitzel.
It was a clean sweep for the Big 10 at this year's North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC), hosted by the University of Wisconsin and held April 4-5 in the Madison, WI area. Teams from the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, University of Illinois and Purdue University earned the highest award - First Place Platinum - in the Seventh Annual NAIDC. A record number of 32 teams from the US and Canada participated, challenging them to put their textbook and practical knowledge to the ultimate test. The contest started with a walk-through at the dairy farms, 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 the herd owners and a panel of five dairy industry judges. Second Place Platinum award winners included: Iowa State University, The Ohio State University, Kansas State University, and North Dakota State University. The Ohio State team consisted of Anton Henry, Eric Weitzel, Jesse Whinnery and Stephanie Metzger with Maurice Eastridge serving as the coach. The farm analyzed by the Ohio State Team consisted of 200 cows milked in a double-8 parallel parlor averaging 30,000 lb RHA milk with 3-Xmilking. The owners also cropped about 3500 acres and raised dairy steers. In the 7 years of the contest, this is the second time that Ohio State has received a Platinum rating - congratulations!
Pictured: Front row: Stephanie Metzger and Anton Henry. Back row: Eric
Weitzel, Jesse Whinnery, and Maurice Eastridge (Coach).