In February, student members of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Dairy Science Club played host to 120 students and faculty advisers from nine colleges and universities. These visitors came to N.C. State University to attend the Southern sectional meeting of the American Dairy Science Association Student Affiliate Division (ADSA-SAD). The three-day event culminated in an awards banquet, and among top award-winners were CALS students Ashley Fairchild, Dairy Science Club president, and Laura Such, club senior historian.
Fairchild received the Most Outstanding Student Award from among six nominees representing attending schools. “I was extremely grateful to have been chosen for this award,” said Fairchild, a senior from Matthews majoring in animal science with a minor in nutrition, who hopes to become a food animal veterinarian, specializing in cattle. The award was based on the student’s academic status, as well as involvement in the Dairy Science Club and activities at the regional and national ADSA-SAD and dairy challenges.
Such, a senior animal science major from Apple Valley, Calif., won first place in the original research category of the paper presentations for her research on the effects of the intestinal health product Bio-Mos on the health and growth of calves.
Activities kicked off on Thursday, Feb. 23, with a barbecue supper and Dairy Olympics at the College’s Beef Educational Unit, Lake Wheeler Road. Friday’s events included oral presentation competitions in areas of original research, production and management, and dairy foods, along with scrapbook judging and a dairy quiz bowl, at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Then on Saturday, the participants embarked on tours of the NCSU Dairy Processing Plant at Schaub Hall (where Howling Cow Ice Cream is made), the Dairy Educational Unit on Lake Wheeler Road, Maple View Farm in Orange County and Chapel Hill Creamery. The formal awards banquet was held Saturday evening at the University Club, where CALS alumnus Ray Starling of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was speaker.
Participating schools included Berry College, Clemson University, University of Florida, University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia University.
The visiting students and advisers “were very impressed with our university’s dairy processing plant and with how we are building a new parlor and making plans to expand our farm. Due to tough economic times, some schools are having to cut vital education programs, including research farms and facilties,” said Fairchild.
“Whereas, at N.C. State, we have been fortunate enough to be expanding and building for the future.”
Added Cory Robbins, NCSU Dairy Science Club vice prsident, “This conference was an opportunity for people from all over the Southeastern United States to see the diverse and growing North Carolina dairy industry. North Carolina is very proud of its dairy industry, and that is how we got the sponsorship and support we did. The people from the N.C. Dairy Producers and Howling Cow Creamery played a huge part in making this event possible. Overall, this conference could not have gone off any better than it did, and we were very pleased with the outcome.” – Terri Leith