Six Students from U of M, Crookston Attend World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wis.

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

dairy expo1.jpgCompeting 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 a $250 monetary award, a plaque, and sweatshirts. 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 including 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 in 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 for 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 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photos:
Members of the Traditional Dairy Judging Team (at right) competing at the World Dairy Expo were, in front, Rochelle Herzog and Whitney Lian, and in back, Rachel Grant and Marilyn Lewis. 

Members of the Linear Team (at left) were Corissa Robinson, Andrea Ramponi, Whitney Lian, and Marilyn Lewis

Contact: Harouna Maiga, professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Dept., 218-281-8107 (; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (