Penn State team finishes 2nd at North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State’s Dairy Challenge team earned a second place award at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge April 9 to 11 in Syracuse, New York. 

One hundred twenty-eight students on 32 teams competed in the national contest. The event is hosted by the Northeast Dairy Challenge committee, a group of agribusiness professionals and university personnel.

Penn State team members, representing the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, included Gearet Fitzpatrick, of Kensington, Maryland; Isaac Haagen, of Howard; Amy Kraus, of Aliquippa; and Evan Snyder, of Elizabethtown.

They evaluated Fesko Farms in Skaneateles, New York, placing second among the eight teams that evaluated the same operating dairy.

Team coaches were Gabriella Varga, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Animal Science; Virginia Ishler, extension associate; and Lisa Holden, associate professor of dairy science. Each student on the team was awarded a $100 scholarship for their placing.

Also participating in the event were Penn State students Jaylene Lesher, of Bernville; Denille Pingrey, of Strykersville, New York; Caitlyn Pool, of Robesonia; and Greyson Smith, of Palmyra.   

Penn State’s team was supported, in part, by a Dairy Challenge endowment established by Department of Animal Science alumnus Clifton Marshall and by contributions from the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association. 

Dairy Challenge, funded with the support of 120 agribusinesses and dairy farms, was started 14 years ago through cooperation between universities, dairy producers and agribusinesses. The event expanded in 2013 with the Dairy Challenge Academy, providing hands-on learning where teams of students evaluate a dairy operation with the help of dairy industry professionals serving as advisors.  

Dairy Challenge is an innovative two-day academic competition for students representing dairy science programs at North American universities. It enables students to apply theory and learning to a real-world dairy, while working as part of a four-person team. The competition incorporates all facets of a working dairy business in a forum that’s interactive, educational and fun.

For more information, contact Sally Bair at 717-285-4926.

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Last Updated May 04, 2015