Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Extension Dairy Specialist, The Ohio State University
The 2005 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held January 28-29 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 place team received $800, the second place team $300, and the third place team $200 from Cargill Animal Nutrition. The farm selected for the contest this year was Layman Dairy, Inc. located in Utica, OH and owned by Dave and Brett Layman and their families. They have a herd of 275 Holstein cows that are housed in free stalls and are milked in a double-8 herringbone parlor. The contest started by the students and the judges spending about two hours at the farm on Friday evening, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the operation by interviewing the owners and examining the specific areas of the dairy facility. On Saturday, the teams spent four to five hours reviewing their notes and DHI records to provide a summary of the strengths and opportunities of the operation in the format of a MS PowerPoint presentation. 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), Dr. Steve DeBruin (Veterinarian for Layman Dairy, Inc.; Feeder Creek Veterinary Services), Dr. Maurice Eastridge (Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU), and Dr. K. Larry Smith (Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU). The teams that participated this year were: Team #1 (Third Place) - Kelly Epperly, Nathan Goodell, and Dan Ziegler; Team #2 - Neil Moff, Stacey Shipley, and Amy Sprunger; Team # 3 (Second Place) - Mike Allerding, Rick Ellerbrock, and Andrea Keener; and Team #4 (First Place) - Christy Lahmers, Mike Klein, Matt McVey, and Jason Nuhfer. The Awards Banquet was held at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Café, where the students and judges were joined by the Layman families.
The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge is a national contest created to inspire students and enhance university programs nationwide. It is a dairy management contest that incorporates all phases of a specific dairy business in a fun, interactive, and educational forum and is supported financially through generous donations by industry and coordinated by a volunteer steering committee. The fourth annual national contest will be held April 8-9 and will be hosted by Penn State University. The students selected to represent Ohio State at this years national contest include: Mike Allerding, Kelly Epperly, Matt McVey, and Stacey Shipley. Dr. Maurice Eastridge will be serving as their coach.