By CJ Dvorak | May 10, 2024
Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences 

Students Score with Real-World Dairy Management Skills

By CJ Dvorak | May 10, 2024


Utah State University’s Dairy Science Team placed third among the 30 teams from 24 schools competing in the 2024 National Dairy Challenge, in Visalia, CA. 

The event consists of a team being assigned a dairy and students are tasked to create a plan to maintain and improve the future of that specific dairy. Once team members develop a plan, they present it to a panel of judges who rate the overall ideas, presentation, and how realistically the proposed plan could be implemented at the dairy.
The challenge tests the team members’ knowledge of multiple aspects of the dairy industry including different finance, herd health and nutrition, overall herd health, and milk production.

Teams compete at the regional level before qualifying for nationals. The Western Regional Dairy Challenge teams consisted of David Fidler, Joel Holt, Hanna Crowther, Hannah Stock, Sarah McGary, Alena Kimball, and Abby Sant. At regional competitions, students from all participating schools are divided into teams and work with students from multiple schools. At this year’s Western Regional Dairy Challenge, Crowther and Holt were part of first-place winning teams. The team was coached by Bruce Richards, assistant professor of animal science and USU Extension dairy specialist, and Justin Jenson, lecturer in dairy science and veteran Dairy Challenge coach. 

The national third place team consisted of Crowther, Sant, Stock, and Holt, and was coached by Richards.

USU Dairy Science Club President, Abby Sant really enjoys competing in the events. “It allows us to take what we learn in the classroom and apply it to real life,” she said.
Sant and other team members encourage students to join the Dairy Club and participate in the Dairy Challenge.

“You don’t even have to be studying anything related to dairy,” Abby Sant said. “Agribusiness, economics, even engineering majors can join and be successful, both at the competition and at networking.”

Both the club and competition provide excellent networking opportunities. Two students landed internships from networking at the Dairy Challenges. There are no fees to join the club which often has guest speakers and tours dairies all over Cache Valley and around the state. 

There are no club fees to join the club and it is a great way to get involved, meet new people, and network within a wide variety of industries. Follow them on Instagram @usudairyclub for more information.


Bruce Richards

Justin Jenson

CJ Dvorak