Dairy Experts “Challenged” this Weekend

       University of Guelph, the leading agricultural school in Canada, offers a course which challenges students’ knowledge in the dairy industry. Students are introduced to a farm, given all background information a day or two before being shown the farm. They visit the farm and analyze the working dairy, including production and farm management in their groups of 4. They arrive back to the university and are given one night to prepare a presentation on their recommendations on nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management to economically improve the farm. They are judged by dairy professionals and past competitors.

      I am enrolled in this course and to be honest rather nervous. Our first “challenge” is this weekend on a farm near Embro, Ontario. I met with my group today and we were looking at their production and management records. On Friday we head out to visit the farm and then Saturday morning present. I am looking forward to going to the farm, comparing and contrasting this farm to other dairy’s. I have grown up on a farm, so I hope my hands-on experience will come into play. One group member has never worked or been on a dairy farm, I feel this class would be extremely difficult for them.         

     The Dairy Challenge course at the OAC also offers students a chance to participate at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge that will be held in California this year. The class and judges select four students that they believe represent the Canadian dairy industry the greatest. This adds an extra incentive and pressure for us students to do well in this course.  It would be an honour and privilege for any student to  show the Americans the high level of dairy expertise the students in the OAC have.

dairy challenge

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~ by mpfister on October 2, 2009.

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