Four CALS students took home scholarships and national honors this month as one of four winning teams at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) in Visalia, California.
Animal Science seniors Aimee Sink, Amanda Smith and Melissa Helms and Biological and Agricultural Engineering senior Jared Robbins returned home with $200 scholarships after successfully besting eight other teams in their comprehensive evaluation of a real-life dairy that milked 1,165 Holstein cows and processed about 25 percent of their milk on-farm.
A record number of teams participated in the 2017 contest: 233 students from 34 U.S. and three Canadian colleges and universities. The CALS team did “an exceptional job,” mentor, professor and Extension specialist Steven Washburn said.
The annual event allows students to apply theory and learning to a real-world dairy while working as part of a team. Participants develop a comprehensive program that includes recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management. They then present this plan to a panel of judges, who grill them on the details.
The goal is to prepare students to become experienced, knowledgeable prospective employees to serve the industry in the future.