Virginia Tech’s Dairy Challenge Team won a platinum second place in the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge contest held March 31 and April 1 in Twin Falls, Idaho.

This was the fifth consecutive year that Virginia Tech has either placed first or second. Team members include Sarah Brauning, a senior from Finksburg, Md.; Brian House, a senior from Nokesville, Va., Rena Johnson, a senior from Glade Spring, Va.; and Wayne Turner, a senior from Bedford, Va. The coaches are Mike McGilliard and Ron Pearson, professors of dairy science, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Twenty-seven teams from the United States and Canada put their education and practical knowledge to the test — analyzing a dairy business. Each team was required to review and analyze the production and financial records from a commercial dairy operation. The teams also visited the farm and reviewed computerized records. Each team presented its management recommendations to a panel of five industry experts.

Teams were divided randomly into three groups of nine teams, with each group assigned to evaluate a different farm. First place winners for each group were Pennsylvania State University, University of Guelph, and Iowa State University. Second place teams were Virginia Tech, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Utah State University.

Sponsorship of the fifth Dairy Challenge exceeded $200,000 from 93 corporations that service the dairy industry. For more information about the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge competition click here.

Ranked 11th in agricultural research expenditures by the National Science Foundation, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers students the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading agricultural scientists. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives students a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. The college is a national leader in incorporating technology, biotechnology, computer applications, and other recent scientific advances into its teaching program.