Students Apply Real-World Training at Midwest Dairy Challenge



LTC Dairy Herd Management students participate in the Midwest Dairy Challenge in Appleton. Left to right: Kristin Leiteritz, LTC Dairy Herd Instructor Sheryl Nehls, Shawn Banowetz, Ryan Navis, Jesse Bolton, and Nicole Strutz.


Five LTC Dairy Herd Management program students participated in the 10th annual Midwest Dairy Challenge held in Appleton. This educational event featured 57 student participants from 13 collegiate dairy programs in eight Midwestern states. One LTC student earned an award as a member of the first place team.

Dairy Challenge is an innovative dairy analysis competition developed by industry and university professionals, which exposes students to opportunities in a vibrant dairy industry. Working in four- or five-person, mixed-university teams, students at the Midwest Dairy Challenge assessed all aspects of a working dairy farm and presented recommendations for improvement to a panel of judges and participating farm families.

LTC Dairy Herd Students Kristin Leiteritz, Cleveland, Shawn Banowetz, Charlotte, Iowa, Ryan Navis, Cleveland, Jesse Bolton, Port Washington, and Nicole Strutz, Two Rivers, joined LTC Instructor Sheryl Nehls for the three day event. The Dairy Challenge began with educational seminars by Wisconsin dairy professionals about farm finance, nutrition and reproduction. Next, students were assigned to a team, with each team receiving production, financial and farm management data from a working dairy.

Student teams inspected the dairy and interviewed farm owners. Each team developed a farm analysis with recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management. The ultimate goal of providing recommendations is to help improve farm performance and operation profitability.

On the final day, team members presented recommendations and then fielded questions from a panel of judges. These official judges included dairy producers and industry experts in dairy finances, reproduction, nutrition and animal health. Presentations were evaluated for accuracy of analysis and recommendations, with awards presented at a final banquet.

Sugar Creek Dairy LLC of New London and Country Aire Dairy of Greenleaf were the host farms for this year’s Midwest Dairy Challenge.

Kristin Leiteritz of Cleveland was on the winning team. “My teammates were seniors from Purdue, Kansas State, Ohio State and a junior from UW-Madison. It was a great experience for me and I discovered our LTC Dairy Herd Management program had me just as prepared as my teammates. We have a great program at LTC,” said Leiteritz.

North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge was established as a management contest to incorporate all phases of a dairy business. Its mission is to facilitate education, communication and an exchange of ideas among students, agribusiness, dairy producers and universities that enhances the development of the dairy industry and its leaders. In its 13-year history, Dairy Challenge has helped train over 4000 students through one national and four regional contests conducted annually. NAIDC is supported through generous donations by 130 agribusinesses and dairy producers, and programs are coordinated by a volunteer board of directors.

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About Lakeshore Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College is a leading provider of technical education offering more than 120 career programs including associate degrees, technical diplomas, technical certificates and apprenticeship programs. In addition, LTC offers distance learning, customized training to business and industry, and continuing education opportunities.

Serving a 200,500-resident population in east central Wisconsin, LTC operates a main campus in Cleveland and additional learning sites at LTC Manitowoc, LTC Sheboygan, LTC-Plymouth Science & Technology Center, and the Lakeshore Culinary Institute. The college also operates Community Education Centers at area high schools in Elkhart Lake, Cedar Grove-Belgium, Howards Grove, Kiel, Mishicot, Oostburg, Plymouth, Random Lake, Reedsville, and Two Rivers; and 27 distance learning sites. LTC's mission is to enrich lives and strengthen the economy by preparing a workforce that is skilled, diverse and flexible. On average, 87% of LTC graduates work in the LTC District which includes Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties, and parts of Calumet and Ozaukee Counties. Visit LTC at:

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