2012 Ohio Dairy Challenge Contest – Record Student Participation

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

The 2012 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held November 9-10 and was again sponsored by Cargill Animal Nutrition. The Dairy Challenge provides the opportunity for students 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. The farm selected for the contest this year was the Spring Valley Farm in Mt. Gilead, OH (Morrow County), owned and operated by the Creswell family. The farm was begun in 1914; Bill and Andy Creswell and their families own the operation and Andy is the 5th generation owner. They milk about 385 cows in a double-12 parallel parlor. This was a record year for the number of students participating. There were 61 undergraduate students that participated (16 teams), with 9 students being from the Agricultural Technical Institute and 52 from the Columbus campus. This year was a little different in that veterinary students interested in food animal medicine were invited to participate, with 36 veterinary students being involved. 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 undergraduate 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. After about a hour of reviewing the information on the farm, the teams of veterinary students joined the judges at an area hotel for a 2-hour dialogue on the strengths and opportunities for the farm, which concluded the program for the veterinary students. On Saturday, the undergraduate students then had 20 minutes to present their results and 10 minutes for questions from the judges. The judges were Ms. Nicole Colgren (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Mr. Ryan Aberle (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Dr. Maurice Eastridge (Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU), Dr. Normand St-Pierre (Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU) and Dr. K. Larry Smith (Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU). The awards banquet was held on Saturday, November 10 at the Ohio Union. The first place team consisted of Matt Gardner, Kyle Perry, and Erica Wilson; the second place team was Rixt Miedema, Felicia Nonnenmacher, Kara Uhlenhake and Kristen Wright; third place was Billy Grammer, Todd Rupp, Derek Weisent, and Sam Weigart; and the two honorable mention teams were: 1) Jill Durda, Dan Grim, and Grant Nerderman, and 2) Zeke Dicke, Brandon Colby, Alex Hohlbein, and Cayla Inkrott. Individuals that were recognized as providing outstanding contributions to their teams included: Ashlee Dietz, Sarah Finney, Candace Yockey, Marina Cable, Robert Jackson, Erica Wilson, Kyle Perry, Matt Gardner, Leonard Marlowe, Dan Grim, Grant Nerderman, Janet Josten, Felicia Nonnenmacher, Kristen Wright, Kara Uhlenhake, Rixt Miedema, and Miranda Gifford. Four students will be selected to represent Ohio at the 2013 National Contest to be hosted by Ohio State, Michigan State, and Purdue universities during April 4-6 in Ft. Wayne, IN. Students from OSU will also be participating in the Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge hosted by Lakeshore Technical College in Manitowoc, WI to be held February 6-8, 2013. The coach for the Dairy Challenge is Dr. Maurice Eastridge in the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State.

First Place
First Place Team (left to right): Matt Gardner, Erica Wilson, and Kyle Perry.

Second Place Dairy Challenge
Second Place Team (left to right): Felicia Nonnenmacher, Kristen Wright, Kara Uhlenhake, and Rixt Miedema.

Third Place
Third Place Team (left to right): Billy Grammer, Todd Rupp, Derek Weisent, and Sam Weigart.