MADISON (WKOW) -- College students from 10 states across the Midwest converged in Madison to assess local dairy farms and network for the 12th annual Midwest Dairy Challenge.
Ben Miller is a senior from Ohio State University. He says, "I interned with a nutritionist this summer and a lot of what nutritionists do is this whole farm auditing."
Jessica Pralle, a UW-Madison senior, says, "It gives you that dynamic of I've gone to school, I've learned it, now I can evaluate another farmer program and help them accelerate themselves."
Midwest Dairy Challenge is a three day event where teams of students from different colleges are paired with industry mentors. They participate in workshops on finance, animal welfare, and optimizing cow comfort. The teams also evaluate a dairy farm, analyze data, and interview farm owners.
Ted Halbach is the Director of Farm & Industry Short Course Program. He says, "The students get to be on the farm for about two / two and a half hours, so it's really not a lot of time to try and troubleshoot whatever bottle necks might be occurring on the farm."
The mission of Dairy Challenge is to develop dairy leaders and enhance progress of the dairy industry by providing education, communication, and networking among students, producers, and agribusiness and university personnel.