Fourty-eight students from 11 Southern colleges and universities participated in the second annual Southern Regional Dairy Challenge held at the Cook Hotel & Conference Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in November 2007. Two new schools competed in this year’s event.

Students arrived at the event location on the afternoon of Nov. 15. They were then split into mixed-university teams. Teams got to know each other over jambalaya and then participated in team-building exercises with Dave Winston of Virginia Tech. Winston worked with students to discover the strengths and capabilities of their team, examine ingredients of effective teams and examine personality styles of team members.

“I was impressed with the camaraderie that developed among students from different institutions after only being together for such a short period of time,” Winston said.

The next morning teams received detailed production, financial, nutrition, and reproduction records for the Dairy Challenge invitation farm.

Dairy #1
Students toured Blades Dairy Farm, owned by Ladd Blades. The 70-cow dairy is located in Kentwood, Louisiana.


After a two-hour farm visit, teams returned to the hotel to analyze their data and develop recommendations for improvement. On the second night of the Dairy Challenge, students watched the LSU Block and Bridle Rodeo.

On the program’s final day, each team gave a 20-minute presentation that detailed their observations and suggestions for the invitation farm. While teams weren’t presenting they were given a tour of LSU’s campus, which included a trip to the LSU Dairy Research Facility. PD