Six students and two coaches attend World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin.

Six students from the University of Minnesota, Crookston Dairy Club and their two coaches attended the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. recently. The World Dairy Expo is an event for everyone in the dairy industry. All of the students competed in the International Post-Secondary Dairy Cattle Competition held September 30 through October 1, 2012.

Competing were Rachel Grant a freshman from Westminster, Md. , majoring in animal science, Rochelle Herzog, a sophomore from Randall, Minn., majoring in animal science; Marilyn Lewis a freshman from Bemidji, Minn., majoring in animal science; Whitney Lian, a senior from Thief River Falls, Minn., majoring in agricultural education; Andrea Ramponi, a senior from Mountain Iron, Minn., majoring in animal science; and Corissa Robinson, a freshman from Monticello, Minn., majoring in equine science. They were joined by coaches Lyle Westrom and Harouna Maiga, both professors in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department on the Crookston campus.

Lewis , Lian, Ramponi, and Robinson competed as a team in the Practical Judging Contest. The contest consisted of three parts including linear evaluation, identified heifer selection, and non-identified heifer selection. Linear evaluation requires evaluating numerous traits of the animal using a 1 to 50 point grading scale. Identified heifers selection requires the team to use pedigrees and visual appraisal to rank the animals. Non-identified heifers selection requires students to rank the animal first to last using primarily visual appraisal. Lewis, Lian, Ramponi, and Robinson placed first in the linear category as a team. Robinson placed first individually while Lian placed third individually. The team took home sweatshirts, a plaque, and a $250 monetary award. Individuals earned a monetary award and ribbons.

Grant, Herzog, Lewis, and Lian competed in the Post-Secondary Traditional Contest. The traditional contest consists of judging twelve classes of four dairy cows or heifers and ranking them on the desired traits. Students must defend their placing by giving four sets of oral reasons. Lian placed fifth overall in the contest and also took home several top ten scores including 7th High Individual on Milking Shorthorns, 7th High Individual on Brown Swiss, 9th High Individual for Holsteins, and 10th High Individual for Ayrshires. The team placed eighth overall.

During their visit to Madison, the team toured numerous dairy farms. Such farms included Hoard's Dairymen Farm and Sunshine Genetics. The team also visited the Dairy Shrine which contains records of dairy history and important historical and technological improvements. Westrom stated, "The educational value of experiences offered at the Dairy Exposition and dairy tours nearby Madison, Wisconsin, are difficult to duplicate in a classroom."

"The World Dairy Expo offers the ideal platform for students to compete at the international level and provides the global dimension of education to our students." Maiga said.

Currently, the World Dairy Expo serves as a forum for dairy producers, companies, students, faculty, professional organizations and other dairy enthusiasts to come together to compete, and to exchange ideas, knowledge, technology and commerce. To learn more about the expo, visit