Maine accepts the Dairy Challenge

7:51 PM, Nov 3, 2012   |    comments
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WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Usually, visitors from away come for Maine's coast -- not Maine's cows.

But this weekend, it's Holsteins and heffers that are herding in college students from all over the Northeastern U.S. and Canada to take part in the Dairy Challenge.

"When we're in the work force, having this pool of resources to pool from, and then also having this real life situation...we can use it to be more progressive and improve the dairy industry," said Hannah Wentworth, a student from Penn State University.

Students visit various dairy farms and learn about the company's financials, management, and production.

They then work in teams to prepare a presenation about the dairy farm's strengths and weaknesses, and offer ways to improve operations in front of a panel of experts.

It's the first year the challenge has been held in Maine, and organizers say it couldn't have come at a better time.

Earlier this week, Garelick Farms announced it would be shutting down milk processing operations in Bangor.

"It's happened at kind of a good time because of that kind of negative thing -- to have all these young people to sort of energize everybody," said David Marcinkowski, event sponsor with the University of Maine.

More than 100 students traveled to Waterville for the conference, and five of them were from the University of Maine.


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