University of Idaho Students Post Top Tier Finish in North American Dairy Challenge

Friday, April 16 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences students completed a top-tier finish at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge against teams from across the U.S. and Canada.
The annual event drew teams representing 30 universities that visited working dairies near Visalia, Calif., and made recommendations to improve their operations based on the students' observations and training.
Hosted by Cal Poly and California State University-Fresno, the intercollegiate dairy challenge April 12-14 challenged four-member teams to prepare professional-caliber presentations for the dairy herd owners and industry judges.
The teams were divided into four tracks, each assigned to an individual dairy operation and set of judges. In its track, the University of Idaho team won a reserve platinum award that was second to the top award
University of Idaho team members included Crystal Burke, a senior preveterinary science major from Billings, Mont.; Jackie Wuebben, a senior animal science – dairy option major and agribusiness major from Astoria, Ore.; Stew Russell, senior agricultural science and technology major from Emmett, Idaho; and Carl Betts, senior animal science – dairy option major from Eagle, Idaho.
Amin Ahmadzadeh, associate professor of dairy science in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, served as the team's coach.
Each team of four students put their textbook and practical knowledge to the ultimate test – analyzing dairies. The contest started with a walk-through at one of the four host dairies, followed by the opportunity to ask questions of the owners and analyze farm-specific data.
Teams then used this information and their observations to develop management recommendations, and then presented their recommendations to the herd owners and a panel of five dairy industry judges.
Our students' presentation was right on the money," Ahmadzadeh said. "Their observations and suggestions were in line with the judges'. Perhaps, the only difference between our team and the winning Ohio State University team's was in the order of priorities."
In addition to Ohio State and the University of Idaho, other first- and second-place platinum winners included first place finishers Cal Poly, Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and reserve platinum winners Penn State University, University of Guelph and South Dakota State University.