Competition produces winners from across the U.S.
Source: Western Regional Dairy Challenge news release
Sixty-one students from seven western US and one Canadian university traveled to Everett, Wash., for the 8th annual Western Regional Dairy Challenge Feb. 28 to March 2, 2013.
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.
Along with the competition, students were treated to educational workshops on silage management and safety by Dr. Keith Bolsen, Professor Emeritus Kansas State University and social media and public relations by Michele Ruby of DMI, Inc. on Thursday afternoon.
Jim and Andy Werkhoven welcomed the teams to their farm on Friday and participated in a question-and-answer session with students. Team-building and fun activities were held through the weekend to encourage networking among students and agribusiness sponsors.
First place teams, which were named for Washington counties:
Team 4 King: Karessa Mast, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo; Josina Kasper, University of Idaho; Amy Nelson, Washington State University; Marissa Montez, California State University-Fresno; Jonathan Holub, Texas A & M University.
Team 6 Thurston: Emma Shoaf, Utah State University; Melisa Stilson, University of Idaho; Micah DeGroot, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo; Kayla Nielsen, University of Alberta; Trevor Slegers, California State University-Fresno.
Team 5 Pierce: Beverly Shirts, University of Idaho; Jami Lady, California State University-Fresno; Anna Gibson, Washington State University; Jared DeGroot, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo; Lindsay Simmons, Utah State University.
Second place teams:
Team 11 Pacific: Josh Veenendaal, California State University- Fresno; Hannah Symonds, Washington State University; James Weber, California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo; Cierra Olmstead, University of Idaho; Jacob Miller, Utah State University.