Students Excel in 2010 Ohio Dairy Challenge Contest

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

The 2010 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held November 19-20 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, second, and third place team m0embers received gift certificates to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at $100, $75, and $50 each, respectively. The farm selected for the contest this year was the Van Raay Dairy in South Charleston, OH (Clark County), and it is owned by Mr. Ted Van Raay. The farm was begun in 2004 with 800 Holstein cows and today it has 2055 cows, with plans for expansion underway. The parlor is a double-24 herringbone and cows are milked 3x per day. The rolling herd averages were 23,225 lb milk, 3.7% fat, and 3.2% protein. The contest started by the students and the judges spending about two hours at the farm on Friday afternoon, interviewing the owner and examining the specific areas of the dairy facility.  During Friday 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 Friday evening. On Saturday, 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. Bob Hostetler (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Ms. Michele Burky (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 10 teams and 36 students that participated in the program. The awards banquet was held on Saturday, November 20 at the new Ohio Union on the OSU Columbus campus. Individuals listed below and designated with an asterisk were recognized as providing outstanding contributions to their teams. The first place team consisted of Andy Lefeld*, Teresa Smith*, Stephanie Neal*, and Alissa Hunter*, with the second place team consisting of Carly Kestler*, Jessica Simons, Kathleen Shircliff*, and Zachary Grauer. Linda Brahler, Jason Hartschuh*, Kyle Brockman, and Sabrina Eick were on the third place team. The students among the other teams (no particular order) competing were: Team #4 –Hannah Thompson*, Laura Gordon*, Matthew Borchers, and Kevin Jacque; Team #5 (ATI) – Abigail Styron and Arthur Stoller; Team #6 – Stephanie Adams, Darrin Hulit, Kelsey Holter, and Courtney Umhoefer; Team #7– Katelin Jarman*, Larissa Hileman, Alexandra Mailloux-Beauchemin, and Casey Skowron; Team #8 – Justin Rawn, Tricia Tenzek, Chad Riethman, and Derik Baumer*; Team #9 – Kathryn Lamar, Melinda Miller, and Tori Fraizer; and Team # 10 – Jason Miley*, Emily Severt*, and Lindsey Raubenolt. The top 4 individuals for the contest that were selected to represent Ohio at the 2011 National Contest, to be hosted by North Carolina State University during March 31 to April 2 in Hickory, NC, were Andy Lefeld, Teresa Smith, Stephanie Neal, and Alissa Hunter. Students from OSU will also be participating in the Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge hosted by the University of Wisconsin – River Falls in Menomonie, WI to be held February 9-11, 2011. 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):
Teresa Smith, Stephanie Neal,
Andy Lefeld, and Alissa Hunter.

Second Place Team
Second Place Team (left to right):
Zachary Grauer, Kathleen Shircliff,
Jessica Simons, and Carly Kestler.

Third Place Team
Third Place Team (left to right):
Kyle Brockman, Linda Brahler,
Sabrina Eick, and Jason Hartschuh.