Students take top honors at National Dairy Challenge

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS – For the first time, the South Dakota State University Dairy Challenge Team earned first place team honors in the 12th Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, held April 4 – 6 in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The SDSU team members include Cassandra Hulstein, Edgerton, Minn.; April Johnson, Heron Lake, Minn.; Lael Schoessler, Kimberly, Idaho; and Alisha Vander Wal, Pipestone, Minn.

The team was coached by Kenneth Kalscheur, Professor; David Casper, Asst. Professor; and Melissa Schmidt, Asst. Farm Manager.

128 students representing 32 universities from across the U.S. and Canada participated. The three-day competition began with analysis of farm data and records, followed by a walk-through of the dairy operation, and a question-and-answer session with dairy owners. Each team then developed recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing, and financial management.

The teams presented their recommendations to the owners, while being evaluated by a panel of five judges including; dairy producers, veterinarians, farm finance specialists, and industry specialists.

Members of the SDSU team were each awarded a $200 scholarship.