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Students participate in Dairy Challenge event and industry tours

Thirteen undergraduates from Iowa State participated in this year’s North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge national contest, hosted in Saratoga Springs, New York on March 30 and April 1. The Dairy Challenge is a farm evaluation competition. Students evaluate the farm using farm records, a farm visit, and an interview with the producer, and they present their evaluation in a 20-minute presentation to a panel of judges from the dairy industry. Four students competed on the Iowa State team, and two students competed on an aggregate team with members from Ohio State and the UW-Madison. Additionally, five students participated in the Dairy Challenge Academy in preparation to try out for the Iowa State team in future years, and two Iowa State students volunteered in the social media corps. The aggregate team placed third in their division, and the Iowa State team placed fourth.

Students and chaperones drove to the contest in eastern New York, stopping for tours along the way. O-Deer Diner, owned and operated by student Olivia Ruffner’s family, welcomed the team with free ice cream in Ohio. Students also toured each other’s New York internship farms at Mid-Knight Dairy (Torri Burch) and Aurora Ridge Dairy (Emma Guasta). The trip out also included a stop at Oakfield Corners Dairy, where students observed a robotic rotary. On the return trip, the Iowa Staters drove back through Canada, visiting Niagara Falls and touring the Ontario Dairy Research Centre and Stewardson Dairy. The last stop was at Yankee Springs Cattle Company, the family farm of student Kinsee Lettinga, who was a competitor in the Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge.

The team is coached by Dr. Gail Carpenter and was chaperoned by Gail as well as graduate students Taylor Klipp and Lydia Dunaway. Check out the Iowa State Dairy Teams Facebook page for more pictures from the event.

  • Iowa State team: Tehya Demmer, Chaiden Duitscher, Emma Guasta, Mason Jauquet
  • Aggregate team members from Iowa State: Nicole Gudenkauf, Elizabeth Plunkett
  • Academy students: Torri Burch, Amanda Engelken, Samantha Fredin, Irene Nielsen, Madalyn Palmer
  • Social media corps: Nichole Gerard, Olivia Ruffner
All Iowa State students attending the 2023 North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge contest
Iowa State seniors attending the 2023 North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge contest