UMaine students compete in North American Dairy Competition

Four students from the University of Maine Animal and Veterinary Sciences Program competed in the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge held from April 4-6 in Visalia, California. They joined 212 students from 37 colleges and universities from across the U.S. and Canada. 

Students visited one of the three hosting dairy farms in California. The Dairy Challenge provides a unique opportunity for students to engage in dairy industry management and communication, while networking with other students and exploring industry careers. The Dairy Challenge provides a platform for students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world dairy operations, gaining firsthand experience and networking.

In the Dairy Challenge, teams of university students evaluated a dairy operation, then presented their findings to a panel of judges. The student presentations were evaluated on their content, delivery and agreement with the judge’s findings. 

Visalia is in Tulare County, which is the largest dairy county in the U.S. and is home to over 380,000 dairy cows. The UMaine team evaluated River Ranch Dairy in Hanford, California which milks 5,700 cows, 40 times larger than the average dairy farm in Maine. The team of Jocelyn Childers, Milana Cioffi, Kassidy Lang and Lindsay Mathews are all graduating seniors majoring in animal and veterinary sciences. The Maine team finished fourth out of eight teams competing in their division. The team was coached by David Marcinkowski, associate professor Emeritus in animal and veterinary sciences. 

While in California, the students had an opportunity to visit with UMaine alum Alden West who is a practicing dairy veterinarian in Tulare. They were also able to tour Yosemite National Park.