Florida Dairy Team Wins Silver Place

US - The University of Florida Dairy Challenge team won a silver placing in the Tenth Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) held March 31 – April 2 in Hickory, North Carolina.
calendar icon 13 April 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The event was co-hosted by North Carolina State University and Virginia Tech, with 30 teams from the United States and two teams from Canada competing. The team from UF consisted of Kara Alexander, Lauren Ellison, Stephanie Kirchman and Amanda Reeg. Mary Sowerby and Albert De Vries coached the team.

NAIDC is an innovative two-day competition for students representing dairy science programs at North American universities. It enables students to apply theory and learning to a real-world dairy, while working as part of a four-person team. In its 10 year history, NAIDC has helped train over 3000 students through the national contest and four regional contests conducted annually.

Day One of NAIDC began with each team receiving information about a working dairy, including production and farm management data. After an in-person inspection of one of four designated dairies, participants interviewed the herd managers. Then, each team developed a farm analysis and presentation materials, including recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management.

Day Two was presentation day. Team members presented recommendations and then fielded questions from a panel of judges. These official judges included dairy producers and industry experts in dairy finances, reproduction, nutrition and animal health. Presentations were evaluated, based on the analysis and recommendations. The evening concluded with a reception and awards banquet.

The UF students said they enjoyed the event and that they learned a great deal about dairy farm evaluation, presenting, and the interactions with students from other schools and sponsors.

The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge was established as a management contest to incorporate all phases of a specific dairy business. It strives to incorporate a higher-learning atmosphere with practical application to help prepare students for careers in the dairy industry. Supported financially through generous donations by agribusinesses and coordinated by a volunteer board of directors, the first NAIDC was held in April 2002. Dairy Production Systems, High Springs, FL, is a platinum sponsor of the NAIDC.

UF Dairy Science students have been participating in the annual NAIDC events since 2002. Teams have traveled to events in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Idaho, California and now North Carolina. UF was also a founding school when the Southern Regional Dairy Challenge was created in 2006, a spinoff of the NAIDC event. Southern Regional events are limited to students from schools from the South(east) where aggregate teams focus a bit more on learning than on competition. UF will host the upcoming 6th Southern Regional Dairy Challenge in Live Oak, FL, on November 17-19, 2011.

For more information, e-mail Molly Kelley at [email protected], visit www.dairychallenge.org, or contact Mary Sowerby, [email protected], or Albert De Vries, [email protected]

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