Delaware Valley University Students Compete in Dairy Challenge

Dec 12, 2017

Delaware Valley University Students Compete in Dairy Challenge

Credit: Delaware Valley University. From left: Sonya Laley ’18 and Emily Lewis ’18 with their 2017 Dairy Challenge awards.

Eight Delaware Valley University students competed in the 2017 Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge in Auburn, New York, Oct. 26 through Oct. 28. The 15th Annual Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge brought together 119 students from 14 colleges and universities.

Dairy Challenge is an innovative, three-day educational competition designed to prepare students for careers in the dairy industry. Working in mixed-university teams of four or five students, contestants assessed all aspects of a working dairy farm, including facilities, nutrition, financials, reproduction, animal health and much more. Students collaborated on a 20-minute team presentation that detailed their observations and suggestions to a panel of judges and participating farm families. Teams were ranked based on how well their evaluations matched judges’ assessments of the dairy operation.

DelVal’s team included: Tom Saunders ’21, Beth Fincham ’21, Emily Lewis ’18, Caitlyn Degner ’19, Brooke Payne ’19, Lynsey Abrahart ’18, Sonya Laley ’18, and Emily Hunter ’19. Saunders and Fincham are visiting DelVal from Hartpury College in England for the fall semester. Students were placed on intercollegiate teams and ranked based on the evaluation they did for one of three farms. Lewis was on the team that placed first, and Laley was part of the team that placed second.

Team-building and fun activities were held throughout the weekend to encourage networking among students and dairy industry sponsors. Dairy Challenge NAIDC is an innovative event for students in dairy programs at North American post-secondary institutions. Its mission is to develop tomorrow’s dairy leaders and enhance the progress of the dairy industry, by providing education, communication, and networking among students, producers, and agribusiness and university personnel.

Over its 16-year national history, Dairy Challenge has helped prepare more than 5,000 students for careers as farm owners and managers, consultants, researchers, veterinarians or other dairy professionals. The 2018 national competition and Dairy Challenge Academy will be April 12-14 in California. For more information, visit