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Morrisville State College students put dairy knowledge, talents to the test during North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—A team of Morrisville State College students brought home a third-place finish from the 11th Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) held recently in Roanoke, Va.

The NAIDC is a two-day competition that enables students to apply theory and learning in a real-world situation. It also facilitates an exchange of ideas among students and dairy producers to help maintain and develop the industry.

This year’s event attracted 128 students from 32 colleges from across the United States and Canada.

“Students hone their ability to work as a team and improve their time management, critical thinking and public speaking skills through participation in Dairy Challenge,” said David R. Winston, coordinator of the 2012 contest and Extension Dairy Scientist-Youth at Virginia Tech. “Employers in today’s dairy job market seek to hire employees with excellent communication and dairy management skills, and NAIDC is a prime opportunity to advance these skills.”

The challenge entailed four-person teams evaluating one of four well-managed dairy farm businesses then recommending management enhancements to a panel of judges comprised of industry and academic professionals.

Teams were first presented with a dairy summary and detailed production, financial, nutrition and reproduction records, and then traveled to one of the contest dairies to evaluate the farm’s cows, facilities and management practices.

After a two-hour visit at the farm, teams returned to analyze data, develop recommendations for improvement and prepare a summary presentation for the panel of judges.

Morrisville’s team placed third out of the eight teams in their group that evaluated “Dairy A.”

“Our team is a talented group that works well together and they returned a solid and sound evaluation with recommendations to the dairy producer,” said Steve Mooney, coach and assistant professor of dairy science. “Throughout their four years at Morrisville State, they have absorbed their skills and talents from a number of different sources, including college course work, experience they brought to school, and what they have gathered from internships and seminars.”

Morrisville State College’s team was comprised of:
Heather Frost, of Sauquoit, dairy management B.Tech
Nathan Harrington, of Mexico, dairy management B.Tech
Kenneth Nearhoof, of Warriors Mark, Pa., dairy management B.Tech
Richard Robinson, of White Creek, dairy management B.Tech

The event also included a career fair, a presentation by Matt Lohr, Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture, and an awards banquet.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.