Dr. Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University placed second at the 17th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) held April 12-14 in Visalia, CA. There were 36 teams that participated in the national contest and 94 students that participated in the Dairy Challenge Academy. In total, 238 students from 35 US and 3 Canadian academic programs attended this educational event. These students are training for careers in the dairy industry as farmers, researchers, educators, financial analysts, nutritionists, farm service providers, and veterinarians. This year, nine contest teams competed on each of four farms. Each contest team received information about their assigned dairy farm, including production and farm management data. After an in-person inspection of the dairy, students interviewed the herd owners. Each team developed a farm analysis and recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management. Ohio State’s team consisted of Alexandra Houck (Oregonia, OH), Jaclyn Krymowski (Homerville, OH), Hannah Meller (Wauseon OH), and Marina Sweet (London, OH) (see photo provided below). Students from the top two teams at each farm received a plaque and a monetary award, and all Dairy Challenge contest participants received a lifetime membership to Dairy Shrine.
The Dairy Challenge Academy was developed in 2013 to expand this educational and networking event to more college students. Academy student-participants also analyzed and developed recommendations for a dairy farm; however, the Academy was organized in mixed-university teams with two advisors to help coach these students. Due to travel costs, there were no students from the OSU Columbus campus that participated in this year’s Dairy Challenge Academy; however, five students from the Agricultural Technical Institute participated that were assisted by Dr. Shaun Wellert.
In its 17-year history, Dairy Challenge has helped train more than 5,200 students through the national contest, Dairy Challenge Academy, and four regional contests conducted annually. NAIDC is supported completely through generous donations by many agribusinesses and dairy producers, and programs are coordinated by a volunteer board of directors. The 2019 National Contest and Academy will be held March 28-30 in Tifton, GA. For more information, visit www.dairychallenge.org or www.facebook.com/DairyChallenge.
2018 Ohio State Dairy Challenge Team:
Jaclyn Krymowski, Hannah Meller, Alexandra Houck, Marina Sweet,
and Dr. Maurice Eastridge (coach).