14th Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge

Hosted by University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, WI

Wednesday, February 7 – Friday, February 9, 2018

On behalf of the Midwest Regional committee of the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, it is our privilege to invite you to participate in the 13th Annual Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge.  The event will be held February 7-9, 2018 and hosted again this year by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin. We thank you for your continued support of the Midwest Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge.

Sponsor Participation: We are building our list of volunteers to help with the event on Wednesday evening thru Friday afternoon.  Being involved and working directly with the students gives you a firsthand view of the students in action, plus a large volunteer pool helps the contest run smoothly.

Schedule: A listing of the scheduled events for this year’s contest is posted on the Midwest Dairy Challenge web page at http://www.dairychallenge.org/mw_event.php

Sponsor Volunteer Registration:  Please submit information for each volunteer from your company using this online form. Forms are due Thursday, February 1, 2018, but will continue to be accepted on an as needed basis.

Hotel: This year’s event is being held at The Madison Concourse Hotel – this is the same location as last year’s Midwest Regional. Individuals are requested to call the Hotel directly at 1-800-356-8293 to make guest room reservations as part of 2018 Midwest Dairy Challenge Sponsor Block. The reservation cut-off date is midnight C.S.T. on February 1, 2018. Any individual reservations received after the cut-off date will be accepted on a space and rate available basis.

The Madison Concourse Hotel

One West Dayton Street

Madison, Wisconsin 53703

PH: 800-356-8293

FAX: 608-257-8454

Rooms are $139.There is an additional fee of $10 for overnight guest parking.

Meals: Meals will be provided for sponsor volunteers.

Sponsor Display:  On Friday you are invited to set up a booth in our Innovation Fair at the hotel.  Booths will be open between 8:00 am and 2:15 pm.  Indicate your desire to reserve a booth using the online registration form.  There is no charge for booth.  Electricity will be available, but you will need to supply your own electrical cords.  All sponsors are encouraged to interact with students and University coaches and view student presentations on Friday.  Remember because of the number of teams, presentations will be going simultaneously.

Mentors: We are seeking a large number of volunteers to serve as Team Mentors. This is an important role as Mentors work side by side with the teams to guide them through the farm analysis process. With enough volunteers, we hope to assign 2 mentors to each team. If you are interested in serving as a Mentor, indicate as such when registering. Please note:

  • Mentors must be available starting with the Mentor Meeting at 4:00 PM Wednesday thru lunch on Thursday at a minimum. Based on mentor comments last year, new this year we are seeking one mentor per team to stay throughout the entire event (through Friday presentation) to allow for even more interaction with your team and to cohesiveness for the team. They will assist the team by being in the prep room on Friday, to be their team guide to the presentation, be present during the presentation and then be their guide to debriefing.  There are also other areas where assistance is needed Thursday and Friday: Thursday: Resource Room, Hall Monitors, Manager Interviews; Friday: presentation room volunteers. Please indicate your plans on the volunteer registration form.
  •  Mentors must have a camera or camera-capable phone to take pictures for their groups and be willing/able to download the pictures.

We kindly ask each volunteer from your company register separately using the online volunteer registration form.  Forms are due back Thursday, February 1, 2018, but will continue to be accepted on an as needed basis.

Go to: https://2018mwdairychallenge-volunteerregistration.eventbrite.com

On behalf of the steering committee, we thank you for your time, energy and commitment to the Dairy Challenge.

If you have questions about volunteering your company’s time at the event, please communicate with Volunteer Coordinator, Tom Vander Heiden 952-378-0518, [email protected]


Many of you have volunteered the time and energy of colleagues and yourselves.  Thank you!  As we enter the final stages of planning, we are able to identify the areas where assistance is needed.  Those areas are: (if you have a volunteer duty preference please complete the information on the form and every opportunity will be made to assign you those responsibilities)

  1. Mentors: We need volunteers on Wednesday Evening thru the farm visit on Thursday morning to Mentor the student groups and to work with them on the host farms.  You will work with your group on Wednesday evening as they start to look through information and prepare for the farm tour.  You will then escort this group of students while on the farm tour on Thursday morning.  It is critical all volunteers who do want to sign up for this new duty are available all of Wednesday evening thru lunch on Thursday. New this year: based on comments we received from Mentors last year, we are hoping to keep at least one Mentor from each team with the students through the end of the event. If you can stay with your assigned team through 3:00 PM Friday, please indicate that on your registration form.
  2. Farm Volunteers: We need people on Thursday morning to help get the students on buses and keep them moving on the host farms.
  3. Support Help: Individuals are needed for Thursday afternoon to assist teams in getting support from IT, questions answered, and to assist with farm manager meetings.
  4. Resource Room: Individuals are needed for Thursday afternoon to assist teams in providing answers to technical questions for their presentations.
  5. Room Monitors: We need 6-12 room monitors for Friday’s presentations. These 6-12 volunteers are needed to share the coverage of the three presentation rooms from 7:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Friday.
  6. Team Guides: We need 3 volunteers to assist getting students to visit with sponsors and to the industry presentations.
  7. Debrief Team: We need 6 individuals to visit with teams following their presentation for 10-minute debriefing sessions on their experience.

Please complete the form.  Thank you in advance for your support of the Midwest Dairy Challenge.

Tom Vander Heiden

[email protected]