In November 2007, 126 students from 14 Northeast colleges and two Canadian universities participated in the fifth annual Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge held at the Holiday Inn in Concord, New Hampshire.
The event saw the largest student group in the Northeast Regional’s history.
Students arrived at the event on the afternoon of Nov. 8. Teams got to know each other over pizza and then participated in team-building exercises with Jim Henion of Genex. After Henion’s program, Tom Frangione of Pfizer discussed and provided examples of appropriate and inappropriate interview techniques.
The next morning teams visited one of three host farms.
Jones Dairy in Chichester, N.H. is run by Gordon and Marion Jones. They have 65 milking cows. Gordon’s parents bought the farm in 1952, and Gordon and Marion took over management in 1990.
Fernald Farms in Nottingham, N.H. The Fernald Farm has 165 milk cows with an equivalent number of young stock. The farm has been in the famly since 1824. Barbara and Dave Fernald farm there with their children, Katherine and John.
Bohanon Farms in Contoocook, N.H. is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The farm is run by Heather Bohanon and Jamie Robertson. They have 200 milking cows and 180 young stock. They grow 150 acres of corn and 250 acres of hay crop.
From the farm visit, each team prepared and gave a 20-minute presentation.
At a dinner on the second day of the event, New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Taylor used his lifetime of experiences in agriculture to advise students about their futures. On the program’s final day each team presented their evaluation and recommendations to a panel of industry judges. While teams weren’t presenting they traveled to Morrill Dairy in Penacook, New Hampshire, to participate in dairy nutrition, calf care, herd health, nutrient management workshops and an industry fair. PD