2009 Ohio Dairy Challenge Contest – Even Larger Than Last Year’s Contest

Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Extension Dairy Specialist, The Ohio State University

The 2009 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held November 12-13 and was again sponsored by Cargill Animal Nutrition. The Dairy Challenge provides the opportunity for undergraduates at Ohio State University to experience the process of evaluating management practices on a dairy farm and to interact with representatives in the dairy industry. The program is held in a contest format whereby students are grouped into teams of three to four individuals, and the first and second place team members received gift certificates to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, at $75 and $25 each, respectively. The farm selected for the contest this year was Harpercrest Dairy in Edison, OH (Morrow County), and it is owned by David and Beth Ertl and Stan and Cecelia Harper. Stan took over from his grandfather at the time when the herd was small and they milked in a flat stanchion. By 2004, the herd had expanded to 240 cows and this is when David began as the herdsman. The partnership was formed in 2009 between the Ertl and Harper families. The herd consists of about 550 cows of Jersey, Holstein, and Jersey-Holstein crosses. The parlor is a double-10 herringbone and cows are milked 3x per day. The contest started by the students and the judges spending about two hours at the farm on Thursday afternoon, interviewing the owners and examining the specific areas of the dairy facility.  During Thursday evening, the teams spent about four hours reviewing their notes and farm records to provide a summary of the strengths and opportunities of the operation in the format of a MS PowerPoint presentation that had to be turned in on Thursday evening. On Friday, the students then had 20 minutes to present their results and 10 minutes for questions from the judges. The judges were Mr. Fred Martsolf (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Mr. Paul Colley (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Dr. Maurice Eastridge (Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU), and Dr. K. Larry Smith (Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU). There were 13 teams and 50 students that participated in the program, the largest participation ever. This surpassed last year’s record of 46 students. The awards banquet was held on Friday, November 13 at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Café. The students among the teams that competed were: Team #1(Honorable Mention) –Hannah Thompson, Laura Gordon, Matthew Borchers, and Kevin Jacque; Team #2 (Honorable Mention) – Karl Wedemeyer, Paul Keener, Neil Duncan, and Jason Miley; Team #3 – Linda Brahler, Jason Hartschuh, Kyle Brockman, and Rachel Foureman; Team #4 –Heather Moff, Ryan Langenkamp, Stephanie Neal, and Kelsey Holter; Team #5 – Melanie Green, Liz Brockson, Katie Cole, and Katherine Crist; Team #6 – Nathan Schulze, Chad Riethman, Derik Baumer, and Megan Buechner; Team #7 – Tony Borchers, Doug Beasancon, Andy Lefeld, and Gregg Homan; Team #8 (Honorable Mention) – Ryan Conklin, Andrea Tholen, Darrin Hulit, and Wendy Van der Burg; Team # 9 (ATI Team) – Francine Harris, Nathaniel Guy, and Ed Weisgarber; Team #10 (First Place) –Annie Eilenfeld, Bethany Stammen, Tyler Thompson, and Amanda Paulhamus; Team # 11 – James Reynolds, David Bowman, and Alex de Roziere; Team # 12 – Stephanie Adams, Hanna Lemle, Tim McCormick, and Justin Rawn; and Team # 13 (Second Place) –Teresa Smith, Catelyn Edgel, Kristin Hobble, and Alissa Hunter. The top 4 individuals for the contest that were selected to represent Ohio at the 2010 National Contest to be held April 9-10 in Visalia, CA were Annie Eilenfeld, Ryan Conklin, Heather Moff, and Amanda Paulhamus. Students from OSU will also be participating in the Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge hosted by The Ohio State University in the Wooster area February 11-13, 2010. The coach for the Dairy Challenge is Dr. Maurice Eastridge in the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State.

First Place Team
First Place Team (left to right): Bethany Stammen,
Amanda Paulhamus, Annie Eilenfeld, and Tyler Thompson.

Second Place Team
Second Place Team (left to right): Teresa Smith,
Kristen Hobble, Catelyn Edgel, and Alissa Hunter.