DelVal students come in a close second to Penn State for the overall NESA competition

Feb 18, 2012

A group of eight teams of four from Delaware Valley College competed in the 2012 Northeast Affiliate (NESA) competitions of the American Dairy Science Association and American Society of Animal Science held at The University of Maine Feb. 17-19.

The students competed in three competitions: oral presentation, livestock judging and quiz bowl.

DelVal took first place in oral presentations and livestock judging and took second place overall, losing to Penn State by only seven points. 

Other participating schools included: Penn State University, University of Rhode Island, University of Connecticut, University of New Hampshire, University of Massachusetts, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, Rutgers and University of Vermont.

“I am very proud of our students,” said Dr. Bruce Richards, assistant professor of dairy science. “It was great to see how excited the students got about it and I hope that next year the excitement continues and we take first overall.”

The DelVal group included:

Mr. Rod Gilbert, Lauren Wasser, Billie-Jo LaVan, Rachel Vaillancourt, Meghan Farmery, Thomas Diffendal, Aubrey Swanson, Logan Hall, Becca Goforth, Stephen Geib, Ingrid Levisay

Devin Cunningham, Avery Corondi, Sam Marcus, Jessica Weston, Jenny Allen, Jack Egan, Darla Romberger, Sam Martz, Taylor Thomas, Taylor Bauder, Trish Hildebrand, Mr. Adam Conover

Michelle Eck, Kaitlyn Supa, Tabitha Dilks, Brianne Bendl, Rachael Kirkhoff, Kayla Romberger, Melissa Long, Rebecca DiFabbio, Beth Lutz, Carrie Hyduke, Brian Gould

For Quiz Bowl, students competed in teams of four and were asked questions about subjects such as poultry, dairy, beef equine, nutrition, reproduction, and other topics they’ve learned about in their animal science courses.

During the oral presentation competition one student from each team presented about a topic.

In the livestock judging competition, students were asked to assign scores to place several different species of livestock including: sheep, goats, standardbred horses, dairy cows, dairy heifers, and beef steers based on productive and trait characteristics

They looked at a group of animals in each class and rated the animals scoring them 1-4. Their scores were then compared to an official judge’s rankings.

DelVal student Darla Romberger’s oral presentation on dairy production and its effects on the environment took first place out of the entire competition. Another DelVal student took fifth in the oral presentation competition.

Romberger, a senior double majoring in animal science and dairy science, was excited to compete.

“I really like participating in judging competitions and quiz bowls like this,” said Romberger. “I enjoy mingling with other students while participating and competing at a higher level.”

Her presentation examined ways dairy farmers are working to reduce their carbon footprints.

One method she explored was a feed additive that is given to cows which causes them to produce less methane.

“I wanted to see what kind of research was out there to show ways that people involved in agriculture are working to be more environmentally friendly,” said Romberger.

Dr. Richards said that the competition gets students exited about learning and helps them develop valuable skills.

“It is good motivation for the students to work hard and it is also an opportunity for students to meet students from other colleges and challenges them in the pursuit of excellence,” said Dr. Richards. “It is another opportunity to work on such things as their oral presentation skills and developing communication skills.”

The students who competed were not part of a class. Students that were interested could sign up to go. Many were either part of Block and Bridle or Dairy Society, two student organizations, but there were some students that weren’t part of those clubs that were recruited.

Three advisors traveled with the students including: Assistant Professor of Animal Science Rodney Gilbert, Assistant Livestock Facilities Manager Adam Conover and Dr. Richards.

“The students worked very hard to prepare for the competition,” said Dr. Richards. “They started practicing last October and arranged their own practices for quiz bowl and livestock judging. I think their hard work paid off.”

He said this year’s group was the largest DelVal has taken to the competition and that this was the best the students have done in many years.