SUNY Cobleskill’s Dairy Challenge Team competed at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, held in Visalia, California, April 12-14, 2018. The team placed third on their farm in the competition, with 14 points separating them from the first place team. The team members, who undertook over 200 hours of preparation over the course of the Spring semester, were: Olivia Burnetter (Animal Science B.T., Dairy Track, ‘18), Caitlin Cramer (Animal Science, B.T., Dairy Track, ‘18), Sean Dieumegard (Agricultural Business Management, B.T., ‘18), and Katelyn Patenaude (Animal Science, B.T., Dairy Track, ‘18). Their coach was Kimberly Tarvis (Assistant Professor in Dairy Cattle Management, Animal Science) and the assistant coach was Andrew Murray (Dairy Technical Specialist, Provimi North America).
In addition, five students traveled with the team to participate in the Dairy Challenge Academy. The academy students from SUNY Cobleskill were: Ian Allen, Maxwell Chittenden, Amina Clow, Bradley St. Pierre, and Karen Weller. Dairy Challenge is designed to build student skills in analysis, collaboration, and communication. The goal is to prepare future leaders for the dairy industry. On the first day, students learn how to analyze a dairy farm for strengths and weaknesses. The following day, they give a presentation with recommendations to the farm, and answer questions posed by a panel of judges. Over the course of the events, students have the opportunity to learn from and connect with producers and agribusinesses, as well as to work together with students from over 20 colleges and universities across the nation.