FVTC hosts Midwest Dairy Challenge, LTC student in top team

February 25, 2014

From postbulletin.com: “U of M, ISU students on top team at Midwest Dairy Challenge” — APPLETON, Wis. — Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota students were among the first place finishers in the Midwest Dairy Challenge.

The 10th annual Midwest Dairy Challenge attracted nearly 60 students from 13 college dairy programs to the event hosted by Fox Valley Technical College.

This is the first time Fox Valley Technical College hosted the event, which has been in Wisconsin three other times.

“The Dairy Challenge is such a positive experience for the college students involved, in developing analytical, teamwork, communication and dairy management skills,” said Kevin Rauchholz, event co-chairman and ag instructor at Fox Valley Technical College. “Students learn how to tie farm management decisions with economics, and it’s important to get students and industry together. Students make many good connections through Dairy Challenge.”

Dairy Challenge students work in teams to evaluate and provide recommendations for an operating dairy farm. Participants worked in mixed-university teams of four or five students and assessed all farm operations, including facilities, nutrition, financials, reproduction and animal health. Students collaborated on a 20-minute team presentation that detailed observations and suggestions to a panel of judges.

Host farms were Sugar Creek Farms, New London, and Country Aire Dairy of Greenleaf.

Participating universities and technical schools included Dordt College, Fox Valley Technical College, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Lakeshore Technical College, University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, Purdue University, South Dakota State University, Southwest Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Wisconsin dairy professionals presented educational seminars to help students prepare for their Dairy Challenge task and gain more real-world experience. Sessions were presented by:

Judges selected two teams as first place winners.

On Farm 1, team Cooperative Resources International was awarded first place. Team members were Jessie Hammerand, ISU; Jamie Pfaff, UW-River Falls; Andrew Plumski, University of Minnesota; Ryan Pralle, UW-Madison; and Heather Smith, Purdue.

On Farm 2, judges selected team Renaissance Nutrition for the top award. Individuals included Kristopher Boucher of Kansas State; Veronica Hilton, Purdue; Kristin Leiteritz, Lakeshore Technical College; Max Luchterhand, UW-Madison; and Kara Uhlenhake, Ohio State.

A complete list of Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge contest participants and their placing can be found at www.dairychallenge.org/mw_event.php.

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