Texas A&M University Students Take the Dairy Challenge

Writer: Cathy Myers, DHI Provo, 559-289-2585, cathyd@dhiprovo.com
Renee Smith, Virtus Nutrition, 661-699-8552, rsmith@virtusnutrition.com

Four Texas A & M University students participated in the 9th annual Western Regional Dairy Challenge in Tulare, California on February 27 – March 1, 2014.

Traveling to the event were: Emily Ligon, Mary Lavender, Kelsey Bitter, and Bernard teVelde. They were coached by Michael Tomaszewski.

The Western Regional Dairy Challenge is an innovative, three-day educational competition designed to prepare students for dairy careers. Working in mixed-university teams of five or six students, participants assessed all aspects of a working dairy farm, including facilities, nutrition, financials, reproduction, and animal health. Students collaborated on a 20-minute team presentation that detailed their observations and suggestions to a panel of judges. Teams were ranked based on how well their evaluations matched the judges’ evaluations of the dairy operation.

Three teams were ranked as Platinum and three as Gold level teams. Lavender was on a Platinum ranked team, and teVelde was on a Gold level team.

On Thursday the students participated in a team building workshops led by Dr. Louann Waldner, Dean at COS, learning more about the students in their group, how to work with them, and what factors play into group dynamics. Noel Rosa, Rosa Brothers Milk Company, Tulare, spoke to the group about his family’s business, entrepreneurship and dairy industry careers.

Jeff and Lisa Wilbur welcomed the teams to their farm on Friday and participated in a question and answer session with students. Several sponsors attending the event networked with the students over the weekend.

The four students will travel to the North American Dairy Challenge, April 3 – 5, 2014 in Fort Wayne, IN to represent the Texas A & M University in a similar contest format.


For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Maggie Tucker at maggie.berger@ag.tamu.edu or (979) 845-1542.

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