Results from 2017 Ohio Dairy Challenge

Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences,The Ohio State University

The 2017 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held October 20-21 and was sponsored by ADM Animal Nutrition, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Commodity Blenders, Provimi North America, Purina Animal Nutrition, Sexing Technologies, and VitaPlus. 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 for undergraduate students whereby they are grouped into teams of three to four individuals. Veterinary and graduate students are invited to attend the farm visit and participate in a meeting later in the evening with the contest judges to discuss observations on the farm. The farm selected for the contest this year was the JIMAN Dairy Farm in Shreve, OH owned by Jim and Ann Obrecht. The Obrecht family started milking at the facility in 1978 with about 45 cows and continued to expand over the years to whereby today they have about 300 cows. Cows are milked 3 times-a-day in a double 6 herringbone parlor. The forages grown on the farm include corn silage, alfalfa, and grass. There were 59 undergraduate students (15 teams; 12 students from ATI and 47 from the Columbus campus) and 22 veterinary students that participated. The undergraduate teams this year were again divided into novice and experienced divisions for judging purposes. 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 three hours reviewing their notes and farm records to provide a summary of the strengths and opportunities for the operation in the format of a MS PowerPoint presentation that had to be turned in on Friday evening. On Saturday, the undergraduate students then had 20 minutes to present their results and 10 minutes for questions from the judges. The judges for the novice division were:  Larissa Deikun (Cargill/Provimi), Brian Lammers (ADM Animal Nutrition), Luis Moraes (Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences), and Dwight Roseler (Purina Animal Nutrition). The judges for the experienced division were: Nicole Colgren (Cargill Animal Nutrition), Maurice Eastridge (Professor, Department of Animal Sciences), Bob Hostetler (Sexing Technologies), and Owen Mickley (VitaPlus). Shaun Wellert with ATI also assisted with the program. The awards banquet was held on Saturday, October 21 at the Fawcett Center on the OSU Columbus campus. The top two teams in the novice division were: First Place – Molly Michael, Megan Retallick, Loren Schmidt, and Allie Schroeder; Second Place – Cole Courtney, Adam Miley, Christian Steiner, and Brady Weaver. The top teams in the experienced division were:  Frist Place – Ella Jackson, Grace Moeller, and Kate Sherman; Second Place – Kyle Daugherty, Nate Leland, Rianne Kruiter, and Courtney Lund. Students will be selected to represent Ohio at the National Contest and to participate in the Dairy Challenge Academy to be held in Visalia, CA during April 5-7, 2018. Students from ATI participated in the Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge held October 26-28, 2017 in Auburn, NY, and students from the Columbus campus will be participating in the Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge hosted by University of Wisconsin-Madison during February 7-9, 2018. The coach for the Dairy Challenge program at ATI is Dr. Shaun Wellert and Dr. Maurice Eastridge is the coach for the Columbus campus. Additional information about the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge program can be found at:

Novice DivisionNovice Division, First Place (left to right): Allie Schroeder, Loran Schmidt, Megan Retallick, and
Molly Michael.

 Novice Division, Second Place: Cole Courtney, Adam Miley, Christian Steiner, and Brady Weaver.

 Experienced Division, First Place (left to right): Kate Sherman, Grace Moeller, and Ella Jackson.

 Experienced Division, Second Place (left to right): Kyle Daugherty, Rianne Kruiter, Courtney Lund, and  Nate Leland.