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Morrisville State College students compete in national dairy contest, attend dairy academy

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—A team of Morrisville State College students brought home a fourth-place finish from the 12th Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) held in Fort Wayne, Ind. April 4-6.

Three Morrisville State College students also participated in the Dairy Academy, which was held in conjunction with the dairy challenge competition.

The NAIDC is a two-day competition in which four-person teams evaluate a well-managed dairy farm business and then recommend management enhancements to a panel of judges comprised of industry and academic professionals.

The competition enables students to apply theory and classroom learning to real-world situations and facilitates an exchange of ideas among students and dairy producers to help maintain and develop the industry.

A total of 128 students participated in the competition and 98 participated in the academy, from 32 colleges from across the United States and Canada.

The Dairy Challenge Academy is an intensive three-day program which uses the educational component of the Dairy Challenge contest without the competition.

In the dairy challenge, teams were first presented with a dairy summary and detailed production, financial, nutrition and reproduction records, 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 nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management improvements. The teams presented their recommendations to owners, while being evaluated by a panel of five judges comprised of dairy producers, veterinarians, farm finance specialists and industry personnel.

Morrisville’s team placed fourth out of the eight teams in their group that evaluated the same farm.

“Our team did a good job looking at the farm and put together a solid presentation that addressed the mission statement of the farm,” said Steve Mooney, coach and assistant professor of dairy science. “They came away with a better appreciation of how many people can look at the same thing and all come up with different opinions without any of them being wrong.”

Morrisville State College’s Dairy Challenge team was comprised of:
Anna Cline, of Kennedy, agricultural business development B.B.A.
Zachary Calhoun, of Alexandria Bay, agricultural business development B.B.A
David Johnson, of Owego, dairy management B.Tech
Christopher O’Connor, of New Haven, agricultural business development B.B.A

Attending the Dairy Academy from Morrisville State College were:
Courtney Furst, of Moravia, dairy management B.Tech.
Megan Hazel, of Montoursville, Pa., dairy management B.Tech
Dakota Warrren, of Greene, NY, dairy management B.Tech

The event also included a career fair, company seminars, and an awards banquet.

“This was an important learning process for students and an opportunity for them to network with industry experts while also meeting people in the industry they may buy products from in the future,” Mooney said.

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 to experience, Morrisville in motion.