U of G Students Win at 2021 North American Dairy Challenge

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U of G’s winning team

A team of University of Guelph agriculture students won the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC), held remotely this past month.

Rebecca Barr, Brooke Boonstoppel, Clayton McWilliams and Tyrone Wagler competed against three other schools to present the best dairy farm management recommendations.

“We were very proud to have been selected to represent U of G at the NAIDC and even more thrilled to have won the competition,” said Barr. “I think we would all agree that it wouldn’t have been possible without our dedicated mentors.”

For this year’s competition, students were given data and a series of videos from a working dairy farm.

Teams evaluated the farm operations and provided comprehensive management recommendations to a panel of judges made up of industry professionals.

A total of 22 teams from across North America competed in the NAIDC. Teams were split into five farm groups and one team from each group was awarded first place. The other winning teams came from California Polytechnic State University, Michigan State University, Ohio State University and University of Idaho.

“I am very proud of our U of G team,” said Dr. Trevor DeVries, team coach and professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences. “Despite the increased challenges associated with this remote competition, our students rose to those challenges and represented us well.”

The U of G team prepared for a year for this competition. Members were selected from 27 students in DeVries’s fourth-year course called Challenges and Opportunities in Dairy Production.

In this course, students learn to critically assess dairy cattle operations, including analyzing four commercial dairy farms. Four students are chosen each year to compete in the NAIDC.