April 26, 2013 --The four-member team from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls earned a first place award in the annual national Dairy Challenge contest held in Fort Wayne, Ind., April 4-6.
Team members were: Jonathon Hallock of Mondovi, Riley Jolma of Marengo, Carl Lippert of Pittsville, and Elizabeth Simonis of Oconomowoc. The team was coached by Sylvia Kehoe, associate professor of dairy science.
In addition to the recognition, each team member received a $200 scholarship. This was the 12th year for the contest, which involved 128 students from 32 universities.
Dairy Challenge participants put their textbook knowledge to the ultimate test – consulting for an actual dairy. Each university fielded a four-person team that competed without the aid of coaches or the Internet. Each team was assigned to one of four operating dairies that they were to analyze and provide recommendations to improve their profitability.
In addition to a walk-through of the assigned dairy, teams were provided with farm data, and had a question and answer session with the farm owners. Recommendations encompassed the areas of nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management. On the third day of the event, the teams presented their recommendations to the farm owners and were evaluated by a panel of five judges including dairy producers, veterinarians, farm finance specialists and industry personnel.
In addition to the contest, the event also featured a Career and Innovation Fair and presentations on the latest corporate technology.
For more information, contact Kehoe at 715-425-3704.
Photo: seated – Elizabeth Simonis, Carl Lippert; standing – Riley Jolma, Sylvia Kehoe, Jonathon Hallock