North American Dairy Challenge was established in 2002 as
a management contest to incorporate all phases of a specific
dairy business. The first contest was held in April of 2002
at Michigan State University, East Lansing. The contest had
14 participating schools.
In 2003, the first
regional contest was added in the Northeastern US. Since then,
3 other regional contests have been added: Midwest, Western
and Southern. The events are structured very much like the
national contest. However, the emphasis is more on education
than competition. As such, schools are invited to bring more
than just a 4-member team, allowing them to expose Dairy Challenge
to more of their students. Students are placed on aggregate
or mixed teams with students from other universities with
varying skills and backgrounds.
Dairy Challenge strives to incorporate a higher-learning atmosphere
with practical application to help prepare students for careers
in the dairy industry. More than 1,000 students have enhanced
their dairy management, communication and business skills
through Dairy Challenge, in turn generating highly qualified
graduates to lead and further improve the dairy industry.
Challenge relies on financial support of industry for the
success of the contest. We are establishing a fund to provide
a financial base to ensure stability of the contest. Our goal
is to raise $2 million for Dairy Challenge in 5 years.
Dairy Challenge also
plans to continue to grow the contest, both regionally and
nationally, to make it more available to a larger number of
students. Exposing the contest to more students each year
benefits the dairy industry as a whole, as it generates prospective
employees who are more experienced and knowledgeable.