Students Gain Real-World Experience at the 2018 Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge

Nov 27, 2018

Students Gain Real-World Experience at the 2018 Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge

Courtesy: NAIDC. The Delaware Valley University team included (from left) Sam Landers '20, Amanda Wengryn '19, Brent Weiss '19, Caitlin Denger ’19, and Mary (Brooke) Payne ’19.

Five Delaware Valley University students competed in the 2018 Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge in Fairlee, Vermont Nov. 8 through Nov. 10. The 16th 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: Sam Landers '20, Amanda Wengryn '19, Brent Weiss '19, Caitlyn Degner '19, and Mary (Brooke) Payne '19. The team is coached by Dr. Bruce Richards and Aaron Stepnoski. Students were placed on intercollegiate teams and ranked based on the evaluations they did for one of three farms. 

"The Northeast Dairy Challenge was a really great experience," said Degner. "I made new friends, made connections with industry professionals and was given the opportunity to gain real-life experience."

Students participated in team-building and social activities throughout the weekend where they had the opportunity to network with other 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. 

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 2019 national competition and Dairy Challenge Academy will be held March 28 to March 30 in Tifton, Georgia.

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