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0608 PD: 14 students earn platinum status at Western Dairy Challenge

Published on 14 April 2008

The Western Dairy Challenge contest took place between Feb. 28 and March 1, at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Visalia, California.

Fifty-four students from seven universities competed in the annual event. Student and university attendance increased this year over last year, said Manoella Alves, the event’s public relations coordinator.

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The event kickoff took place on Feb. 28 with a motivational speech on “Thinking about Leadership in the Dairy Industry” from Dan W. Block of D.W. Block Associates, an agribusiness management consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.

Students were assigned to one of 11 aggregate teams and provided with financial information and management data on a local dairy.

Dairy #1
The observation dairy was Rancho Teresita, owned by Cornell and Case Kasbergen. The dairy is located in Tulare, California.

During a tour of the dairy, each team analyzed the entire dairy operation, including the milking area, cow performance, feeding protocols, along with other dairy practices. They also interviewed the dairy’s owners. Students compiled their reviews during the afternoon of the second day.

On the final morning, teams presented their recommendations to an expert panel of industry judges – discussing the strengths of the operation and opportunities for improvement. PD

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