Students Represent the University of Minnesota at Midwest Dairy Challenge

The University of Minnesota was well-represented at the 13th annual Midwest Dairy Challenge held February 8-10 in Madison, WI. The event was hosted by University of Wisconsin-Madison with 112 student participants from 18 collegiate dairy programs in Midwestern states. Participants from the University of Minnesota included CFANS students Laura Jensen, Blaine Knutson, Andrew Krause, Libby Mills, Fred Mansfield, Austin Schmitt, and Gabriella Sorg. Dr. Marcia Endres coached the team.


Dairy ChallengeĀ® 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. The ultimate goal of providing recommendations is to help improve farm performance and operation profitability.

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/genetics, nutrition and animal health. Presentations were evaluated for accuracy of analysis and recommendations, with awards presented at the end of the day.


Laura was a member of the team that placed second on Farm 1, Baerwolf Dairies. Blaine was a member of the team that placed first on Farm 2, Ballweg Dairies. Fred was a member of the team that placed second on Farm 3, Manthe Farms. All seven students gave a very professional presentation as individuals on their respective teams. Congratulations! Our students described the contest as an excellent learning and networking opportunity. We thank all the industry sponsors that make the Dairy Challenge possible.

Front row, left to right: Libby Mills, Coach Marcia Endres, Gabriella Sorg and Laura Jensen Back row, left to right: Fred Mansfield, Blaine Knutson, Austin Schmitt, and Andrew Krause.