OAC Students Win Dairy Challenge

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A University of Guelph team earned top honours last weekend at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge in Fort Wayne, Ind. It was the fourth win for Guelph in nine years.

OAC fourth-year students John Wynands, Peter Spruit, Alan Nanne and Hans van Lith competed against teams from eight other schools and came up with the best plan to cut costs and increase milk production.

During the annual two-day event, teams visit a large operating farm and analyze its data. They prepare a presentation on how to improve efficiency, including recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management.

The dairy challenge began in 2002. This year 32 teams competed in four farm groups. The other first-place winners were Penn State, Cornell University and California Polytechnic State University.

The University of Guelph is one of only a few schools offering a credit course to prepare students for the challenge. In the course, students visit dairies and learn how to analyze management programs, feed analysis and herd health reports to recommend ways to make operations more efficient and profitable. They prepare a presentation based on their findings, with the top four students chosen for the intercollegiate dairy challenge.

OAC students, from left: Peter Spruit, Alan Nanne, Hans van Lith and John Wynands.

OAC students, from left: Peter Spruit, Alan Nanne, Hans van Lith and John Wynands.