DelVal students compete in dairy challenge

North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge

Students gained hands-on dairy industry experience through the competition

Three Delaware Valley University students competed in the 2019 Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge in Rochester, New York from Oct. 17 through Oct. 19. The 17th Annual Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge brought together 98 students from colleges and universities from the U.S. and Canada.

Dairy Challenge is an innovative, three-day educational competition designed to prepare students for careers in the dairy industry. Working in mixed-university teams of four or five students, contestants assessed all aspects of a working dairy farm, including facilities, nutrition, financials, reproduction, animal health and much more. Students collaborated on a 20-minute team presentation that detailed their observations and suggestions to a panel of judges and participating farm families. Teams were ranked based on how well their evaluations matched judges’ assessments of the dairy operation.

DelVal’s team included Montana Stump ’20, Mekel Chard ’19 (Dec.), and Melissa Bright ’20. The team is coached by Dr. Bruce Richards, a faculty member from DelVal’s Department of Animal Science.

Students were placed on intercollegiate teams and ranked based on the evaluation they did for one of three farms. Bright was on an intercollegiate team that placed third.

“Dairy Challenge is a great way to create new connections through the job fair and to make new friends,” said Bright. ”It challenges you to use the skills and education you have gained thus far.” 

Team-building and social activities were held throughout the weekend to encourage networking among students and dairy industry sponsors. The highlight of these activities was an evening at a trampoline park where students, sponsors, and coaches had the opportunity to jump, slam dunk, play dodge ball, climb a warped wall, and joust.



North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) is an innovative event for students in dairy programs at North American post-secondary institutions. Its mission is to develop tomorrow’s dairy leaders and enhance the progress of the dairy industry, by providing education, communication, and networking among students, producers, and agribusiness and university personnel.

Over its 18-year national history, Dairy Challenge has helped prepare more than 5,000 students for careers as farm owners and managers, consultants, researchers, veterinarians or other dairy professionals.

The 2020 national competition and Dairy Challenge Academy will be held in March in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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